December 19, 2018 / 6:02 AM / 6 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Dec. 19

ZURICH/BERLIN, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent lower at 8,512 points on Wednesday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

SWISSCOM

The Swiss telecommunications group is buying a 31 percent stake in Swisscom Directories from media company Tamedia for 220 million Swiss francs ($221.68 million), making government-controlled Swisscom the business’s sole shareholder.

NOVARTIS

The Swiss drugmaker could do bolt-on acquisitions worth up to $15 billion, its chief executive said in an interview with Handelsblatt.

Novartis said separately that its generics unit Sandoz had entered into a commercialisation and supply agreement for insulin biosimilars, as it anticipates growing demand as the diabetes burden rises.

The company’s Alcon eyecare unit, which is being spun off next year to shareholders, also announced it was buying Tear Film Innovations.

ABB

Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of the Swiss maker of factory robots and electric vehicle fast chargers, said a no-deal Brexit would hurt Britain’s industry, the Financial Times reported.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* LafargeHolcim said a top executive, Urs Bleisch, who heads activities including innovative products and services, is stepping down. The company also named its human resources and compliance heads to the executive committee.

* DKSH Holding said it signed a distribution agreement with Belgian watch brand Ressence in Japan.

* HIAG Immobilien said its data subsidiary is entering into a strategic partnership with SIX for secure Swiss cloud services.

* Georg Fischer said Andreas Mueller, the CFO, will succeed Chief Executive Yves Serra next April as part of a long-anticipated change in leadership.

* Sika AG said it is buying Arcon, a roofing and waterproofing systems business in Romania

* Peach Property Group said it is buying a residential portfolio in Germany’s Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan region

* Gurit Holding issued a profit warning, saying it is cutting expectations for 2018 operating profit to 6.5-7.5 percent of net sales after higher losses and restructuring expenses in its composite components unit. It has started a plan to sell the business.

* Molecular Partners said it would receive an upfront payment of $50 million from Amgen as part of an immuno-oncology partnership, with the possibility of nearly $500 million more in additional payments.

* Romande Energie said it appointed Christian Petit as its new chief executive officer.

* Comet Group said Chief Financial Officer Markus Portmann is leaving the company after 14 years in the post. A search for his successor has begun.

ECONOMY

No economic data scheduled. (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)

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