March 21, 2019 / 6:01 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 21

ZURICH/BERLIN, March 21 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent lower at 9,445 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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

SWISS NATIONAL BANK

The Swiss National Bank drastically cut back its foreign currency interventions to a “modest” 2.3 billion Swiss francs ($2.32 billion) during 2018, the central bank said in its annual report. This was a major reduction from the 48.2 billion francs of foreign currency the SNB bought in 2017 and 86 billion francs in 2015, the height of the bank’s campaign to relieve upward pressure on the safe-haven currency.

* SNB monetary policy decision due at 0830 GMT. Three-month LIBOR target rate seen unchanged at -1.25 to -0.25 percent.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Zur Rose Group AG: outlook 2019: focus remains on growth, with aim of achieving break-even at EBITDA level; 2018 EBITDA was minus CHF 12.5 million; net income / (loss) was minus CHF 39.1 million

* French healthcare group Stallergenes has agreed to a 730 million euro ($834 million) takeover by the Waypoint/Ares Life Sciences vehicle of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, the companies said on Thursday.

* KTM Industries said its majority owner Pierer Industrie is in talks with India’s Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV over a possible deal in which Bajaj would convert its existing 48 percent stake in the Austrian company’s motorcycle unit, KTM AG, into a minority holding in the listed company.

* Meyer Burger Technology reported a full year loss of 59.4 million Swiss francs, mainly due to value adjustment on deferred tax assets of 49.0 million Swiss francs.

* Metall Zug said its full year gross sales climbed 25.1 percent to 1.2 billion Swiss francs.

* Intershop Holding said a share buyback to reduce share capital was successfully completed.

* Aventron AG said its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased by 18 percent to 28.2 million Swiss franks in 2018.

Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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