November 19, 2018 / 6:12 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Nov. 19

ZURICH/BERLIN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent higher at 8,926 points, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer .

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

ABB

Talks between ABB and Hitachi on a sale of all or parts of ABB’s power grid business are at a “fairly developed stage”, but a deal is not yet assumed and the potential value of the transaction still unknown, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the matter.

NESTLE

Nespresso aims to use sustainable aluminium in all of its coffee capsules by 2020 under a deal with mining major Rio Tinto .

Also, Nestle’s Indian business is pitted against Unilever in the final round of negotiations for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business in India, the Economic Times reported.

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NOVARTIS

* Novartis said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the use of its low platelets drug to treat patients with a rare, genetic blood disorder.

* Additionally, Alphabet’s life sciences division Verily said that it was putting on hold a smart contact lens designed to help monitor sugar levels. Verily had partnered with Novartis’ Alcon to develop the lens.

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RAIFFEISEN SWITZERLAND

Raiffeisen Switzerland is seeking to have its purchase of private equity firm Investnet annulled, SonntagsZeitung reported, months after financial market supervisor FINMA found the bank’s handling of conflicts of interest was inadequate, including in relation to that transaction.

Prosecutors are investigating former Chief Executive Pierin Vincenz, who denies wrongdoing, on suspicion of breach of trust linked to cashless payments business Aduno as well as Investnet.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Cosmo Pharmaceuticals said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved a new drug to treat travellers’ diarrhoea.

* DKSH said Martina Ludescher, Chief Commercial Officer, Head Business Unit Consumer Goods and Member of the Executive Board, will leave the company to pursue other challenges.

* Mobilezone Chief Executive Markus Bernhard said in an interview with Cash the company was confident to reach its 2018 targets, would likely generate a net profit of at least 35 million Swiss francs and did not see a reason to cut its dividend. He also said the company was interested in doing acquisitions or might itself become a target.

* Oerlikon said it deepened its partnership with Airbus, having received a qualified supplier status.

* Zur Rose announced the terms of its 200 million Swiss franc ($199.90 million) capital increase to finance the medpex acquisition as well as further organic growth initiatives.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss National Bank’s policy of negative rates combined with the ability to intervene in currency markets if needed is appropriate given risks such as Brexit, SNB Governing Board member Andrea Maechler said.

* Standard & Poor’s affirmed Switzerland’s rating at ‘AAA/A-1+’, outlook stable. ($1 = 1.0005 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Zurich Newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)

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