December 10, 2018 / 5:57 AM / 5 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Dec 10

ZURICH/BERLIN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.9 percent lower at 8,659 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:

CREDIT SUISSE

The bank plans to announce this week a share buyback that could be worth around 3 billion Swiss francs, SonntagsZeitung reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the programme.

ROCHE

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc named Roche executive Daniel O’Day as its new chief executive officer, the companies said on Monday.

JULIUS BAER

Julius Baer is in talks about transferring its Venezuelan book of business to Spain’s Banco Santander as Baer reorganises operations in Latin America, sources close to the situation told Reuters.

SULZER, OC OERLIKON

Russian businessman and major shareholder Viktor Vekselberg has asked U.S. authorities to review whether he should remain on a U.S. sanctions list, SonntagsZeitung reported, citing a spokesman.

BANKS AND REAL ESTATE

The Swiss National Bank and watchdog FINMA are conducting stress tests of around 20 banks to see how well placed they are to handle the impact should rising interest rates hit borrowers who invest in commercial real estate, the Schweiz am Wochenende paper reported. Results are due early next year and could help determine how widespread exposure is in the banking sector.

ZUR ROSE

Chief Executive Walter Oberhaensli told German paper Welt am Sonntag that consolidation in the mail-order drug store sector is far from over and that the owner of the DocMorris chain is looking for more acquisitions, especially in Germany, Italy and Fance.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Lonza Group AG: Lonza to establish strategic biomanufacturing base in China using GE Healthcare solution

* Utility Alpiq said Chief Executive Jasmin Staiblin would leave at year’s end. Jens Alder will assume operational management of the group in addition to his role as chairman.

* Hochdorf Holding AG: has revised its annual forecast downwards, based on sales still expected this year

* Kuros Biosciences AG: receives FDA 510(K) clearance for extending commercial indications of magnetos putty in United States

* BKW said it had appointed Antje Kanngiesser to the Group Executive Board, effective Jan. 1 where she will be head of the Group Markets & Services division.

* Barry Callebaut AG: successfully closes transaction with Burton’s biscuit company in UK

* Baloise Holding AG: nominated Christoph Mäder and Markus Neuhaus to become members of board of directors, will propose them for election at AGM on April 26

* Von Roll Holding AG: majority shareholder has decided to convert convertible bonds it holds with a total nominal value of CHF 163,355,000

* Basilea Pharmaceutica AG: continued strong Cresemba (isavuconazole) U.S. sales performance by Astellas Pharma Inc. triggers CHF 10 million milestone payment to Basilea

ANALYSTS’ VIEWS

NOVARTIS - Barclays cuts to “underweight” from “equal weight”

MEYER BURGER - Credit Suisse cuts to “underperform” from “neutral”

STRAUMANN HOLDING - Morgan Stanley raises to “overweight” from “equal weight”

ECONOMY

* Swiss November ajusted jobless rate 2.4 percent.

* Moody’s affirmed Switzerland’s ‘AAA’ rating and maintains a stable outlook

Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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