ZURICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open higher on Monday, recouping some of their losses after the Swiss National Bank’s shock decision last month to end its currency cap against the euro.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent higher at 8,408 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks:
The Swiss private bank said on Monday it has launched a roughly 100 million Swiss franc ($107.96 million) cost savings programme in response to the recent appreciation of the Swiss currency.
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Irish building materials company CRH Plc confirmed that it agreed to pay $7.34 billion for assets from cement companies Lafarge SA and Holcim Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Lafarge said on Monday the deal included about 5 billion euros of cash.
The Swiss Attorney General’s office has opened an investigation into possible insider trading in the securities of cement producer Holcim Ltd, the office said in a statement on Sunday.
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Migros CEO Herbert Bolliger said in an interview with SonntagsZeitung newspaper on Sunday that he expected the group would take losses of 40-50 million francs due to the scrapping of the SNB’s currency cap last month. He also confirmed Migros’ hotel arm Hotelplan was interested in taking over the Swiss tour business of Kuoni, one of several assets Kuoni is selling.
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* Geberit said it has received the competition clearance for Sanitec Corp, a Nordic ceramics maker it is acquiring for 9.7 billion Swedish crowns ($1.17 billion).
* Gurit said full-year sales rose nearly 20 percent on the year to 281.1 million francs, and that it expects operating profit of between 4 and 4.5 percent of net sales when it reports full results on March 17.
* Emmi said that the Capital Group Companies, Inc. holds 5.0766 percent of the company’s share capital, according to Swiss stock exchange disclosure.
* Roche said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted a second Breakthrough Therapy Designation to its investigational cancer immunotherapy MPDL3280A (anti-PDL1).
* Novartis said the U.S. FDA had granted approval of its Pazeo solution to relieve itch associated with eye allergies for sale in the United States.
SNB sight deposits at 0800 GMT
January PMI at 0830 GMT
The Swiss National Bank, which last month scrapped the cap it had imposed on the value of the franc, is unofficially targeting an exchange rate of 1.05-1.10 francs per euro, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday, citing sources close to the bank.
$1 = 8.2713 Swedish crowns $1 = 0.9263 Swiss francs