December 17, 2014 / 6:27 AM / 3 years ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Dec 17

ZURICH, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open lower on Wednesday, tracking sharp losses on Wall Street, hurt by the relentless drop in oil prices and Russia’s brewing financial crisis.

The Swiss blue-chip index was seen opening 0.7 percent lower at 8,734 points, according to pre-market indications by bank Julius Baer.

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Wednesday:

UBS

UBS said on Wednesday it would nominate Jes Staley, an executive at New York-based hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management, to the board of the Swiss bank at its May shareholder meeting.

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HOLCIM

The battle for the assets cement firms Lafarge and Holcim must sell to get the go-ahead for their merger will likely be between three groups, several people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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SYNGENTA

The United States has not received official notification from China of approval for imports of a type of genetically modified corn at the center of lawsuits against seed maker Syngenta AG, a U.S. government spokesperson said, despite media reports saying the Chinese government had done so.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Schindler’s Chief Executive says the elevator and escalator company would make a “perfect takeover candidate” for a major private equity house, but that the Schindler family, which controls the voting majority of shares, is more interested in expanding the business than in selling.

* Sika said it will discuss with its investors Saint-Gobain’s 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($2.86 billion) takeover of of the Burkard-Schenker family’s controlling stake in the Swiss construction chemicals firm, with the intent of entering into a constructive dialogue after numerous requests from shareholders.

* Partners Group said it is acquiring a controlling stake in Dynacast International on behalf of its clients for $1.1 billion, in a transaction expected to close in February.

* UBS said it will delist its old shares from New York and Switzerland if it can squeeze out minority shareholders following a share swap into a new holding company, part of a restructuring drive to ensure it can be broken up more easily in a crisis.

* Evolva said Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has acquired the company’s anti-bacterial programme, known as the EV-035 series, for $70.5 million and royalties.

* Implenia said Rene Kotacka, until now temporary head of its tunnelling and civil engineering unit, will take up the role on a permanent basis.

* Implenia said it is the technical lead in consortium that has won a 168 million franc contract to build the Granitztal tunnel system in Austria.

* Cosmo said roughly shareholders have submitted withdrawal rights for 121,357 shares in connection with a planned move of the pharmaceutical registered office to Luxembourg for tax reasons and management to Ireland. Cosmo also said it will access how many shareholders have exercised withdrawal rights -- which cannot exceed 600,000 for the move to go through -- by 23 January.

ECONOMY

Swiss ZEW investor sentiment indicator for December due at 1000 GMT

$1 = 0.9616 Swiss francs

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