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ZURICH, April 20 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.08 percent higher at 8,539 points on Wednesday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks.
The Swiss engineering company said on Thursday it expected 2017 to be a transitional year, with the first signs of a recovery in some industries, as it reported better-than-expected earnings during the first three months of the year.
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The Swiss food giant said on Wednesday that first-quarter organic sales growth was 2.3 percent, compared to the 2.25 percent average forecast in a Reuters poll, as it grappled with weak consumer demand for packaged foods in North America. The biggest food company confirmed its 2017 organic growth targets.
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* Georg Fischer said its 2016 compensation report was rejected in a non-binding vote at Wednesday's AGM, based largely on recommendations of two proxy advisors. The company said it would work with large shareholders over coming months to develop a pay model that passes investor muster.
* Novartis said an NIH study showed its drug eltrombopag as first-line therapy with standard treatment improves responses in severe aplastic anemia.
* Ascom Holding AG said late on Tuesday that Andreas Umbach was elected as new board chairmsn. It also said that Erasmus MC was buying its MYCO 2 smartphones and software.
* Bucher Industries said shareholders approved all of the board's proposals at the annual general meeting, including a dividend of 5 Swiss francs per share.
* Evolva said current board member and former Unilever executive Gerard Hoetmer is proposed to suceed Tom McKillop as Evolva chairman.
* Kuehne & Nagel said first quarter earnings were stable at 165 million Swiss francs ($165.48 million), adding cost control and volume increases helped mitigate pressure on margins.
* WiseKey International said it plans to establish a Blockchain center in the Swiss canton of Zug to offer a platform to U.S. based enterprises.
ECONOMY ($1 = 0.9971 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)