ZURICH, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday
Swiss machinery maker Sulzer said it is in talks on a potential tie-up with U.S.-based compressor and turbine maker Dresser-Rand, a move that may trigger rival offers from other potential suitors.
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* Roche announced the launch of a blood test for assessing a woman's ovarian reserve.
* Perrot Duval and Infranor said their boards of directors signed a merger agreement.
* Vaudoise Assurances said consolidated net profit after tax rose 26.5 percent to 82.5 million de francs suisses.
* Nestle named Ian Donald as the food and beverage maker's new chairman for South Africa and managing director, as it unveiled a five-year 2 billion rand (182.27 million US dollar) investment plan in the country.
* Helvetia said shareholders approved a capital increase required for its takeover of Nationale Suisse at an extraordinary meeting as well as elected five representatives from the acquired company to its board.
* Meyer Burger said it placed of 100 million Swiss francs (107.01 million US dollars) of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2020, with an investor put option in 2018, for funding of potential working capital requirements, investments in demo equipment and general corporate purposes.
* Clariant said it will expand its Roha, India production facility which will double capacity for pigments and pigment preparations in order to increase its market coverage in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
* Partners Group said it was part of the winning consortium to operate Sydney's North West Rail Link, Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project.
* August trade data at 0600 GMT
* Swiss National Bank quarterly rate decision due at 0730 GMT
1 US dollar = 10.9730 South African rand 1 US dollar = 0.9345 Swiss franc