March 29, 2019 / 5:27 AM / 8 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 29

ZURICH/BERLIN, March 29 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent higher at 9,436 points on Friday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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

NESTLE

A U.S. federal judge rejected the company’s bid to dismiss a revised lawsuit claiming that it defrauded consumers by filling bottles of its Poland Spring water with ordinary groundwater.

Additionally, Colgate-Palmolive is among the bidders for the consumer arm of Nestle’s skin-care business, Bloomberg reported.

VAT GROUP

The Swiss vacuum valve maker on Friday said it is prolonging shorter working hours for 400 production employees for another three months through June 30, citing persistent soft market conditions particularly in semiconductor equipment.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Valiant Holding said Hanspeter Kaspar has been named its new CFO

* Cosmo Pharmaceuticals said its 2018 loss widened as U.S. regulatory hurdles delayed its Methylene Blue product, but it expects to return to profitability come 2020.

* Sika appointed a new head of construction, Philippe Jost

* Meyer Burger announced the acquisition of an equity stake in Oxford Photovoltaics, as announced on March 21.

* Straumann ClearCorrect business will pay $35 million to settle a patent dispute with Align Technology, a move largely provisioned for but which means a one-time expense of 8 million francs in the first half of 2019.

* DKSH said it had completed its acquisition of Auric Pacific’s distribution business

* Swiss rail maker Stadler, which is planning an IPO, announced a U.S. contract worth more than $600 million

* Aevis Victoria said its net loss in 2018 was 6.6 million francs, as revenues and operating profit fell.

* Barry Callebaut opened a new processing unit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

* Molecular Partners said it will be presenting pre-clinical data at the upcoming 2019 annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in Atlanta.

ECONOMY

* Swiss March KOF indicator due at 0800 GMT. Seen at 93.9

* The Swiss National Bank remains committed to its expansive monetary policy to tackle the “highly-valued” franc, governing board member Andrea Maechler said, as the safe-haven currency hit its highest value against the euro in 20 months. (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)

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