ZURICH, July 9 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were seen opening flat on Wednesday, with many investors awaiting the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting for clues on when interest rates may rise.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening virtually unchanged at 8,556 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Wednesday
L‘Oreal finalised the buyback of an 8 percent stake in the French cosmetics giant from the Swiss food group Nestle, the two firms said.
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* Zurich Insurance said it placed 600 million Swiss francs ($672.34 million) of senior unsecured notes in three tranches -- consisting of a 150 million franc bond with a maturity of 12 years and an annual coupon of 1.50 percent, a 250 million franc bond with a maturity of 6 years and an annual coupon of 0.625 percent, and a 200 million franc bond with a maturity of 23 months and a quarterly coupon of 3-month Swiss franc Libor plus 0.16 percent -- to retail and institutional investors in the Swiss franc domestic market in order to refinance outstanding senior debt.
* Glarner Kantonalbank said it has exercised a greenshoe allotment of its recent initial public offering of 450,000 shares, bringing the total raised to nearly 64 million francs.
* The Swiss stock exchange SIX said it will not make any additions or exclusions to the blue-chip Swiss Market Index, or SMI, in an annually conducted review.
* Georg Fischer said its automotive division will enter a strategic and financial partnership with German mold maker Meco Eckel GmbH, in a bid to strengthen the Swiss firm’s position as a supplier of light-metal die castings. The two agreed not to disclose financial details of the tie-up.
* Helvetia said it is confident that all issues raised by Standard & Poor’s following the takeover of Nationale Suisse will be minimized and resolved, and that a “credit watch with negative implications” by the ratings agency is not expected to have any effect on its ability to refinance the deal in the capital markets.
* Cosmo Pharmaceuticals said it will combine a subsidiary with Salix Pharmaceuticals, in a bid for the Raleigh, NC-based firm to establish a tax efficient corporate structure to enhance acquisition strategy and organic growth.
* Cosmo Pharmaceuticals said it will unwind an agreement Valeant Pharmaceuticals over experimental acne treatment CB-03-01 and replace it with an agreement granting the Canadian drugmaker a right of first refusal should Cosmo decide to license out the drug after completing its development.
* Myriad said total registered subscribers in its MSNGR chat service rose by 34 percent to 67 million in the second quarter.
* Meyer Burger said it has installed and commissioned the first next generation SpotLIGHT cell tester for high efficiency solar cells in an industrial manufacturing setting.
$1 = 0.8924 Swiss Francs