Swiss Stocks Advance; Julius Baer, UBS Shares Lead SMI Higher

Swiss stocks advanced, with the benchmark Swiss Market Index (SMI) rebounding from its lowest level since October, as banking shares climbed after three days of losses.

Julius Baer Group Ltd. gained 5.6 percent and UBS AG (UBSN) rose 2.9 percent in Zurich. Galenica AG (GALN) rallied the most since 2008 after saying its Vifor Pharma unit and Fresenius Medical Care will strengthen an existing partnership to form a pharmaceutical company focused on renal care.

The SMI gained 97.27, or 1.5 percent, to 6,409.70 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich. The gauge had fallen to its lowest level since October this week after a European Union-led bailout of Ireland failed to reassure investors that the region will contain its sovereign-debt crisis. Still, the measure had rallied 7.9 percent from its 2010 low in July as investors anticipated the decision by the Federal Reserve in November to unveil another round of bond purchases to boost the world’s largest economy.

Sovereign debt concern “remains an issue in the background but this liquidity that is coming through will probably takeover in the reasonably near future and we’ll see markets rebound,” Philip Poole, the global head of macro and investment strategy at HSBC Global Asset Management, which manages $411 billion in London, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Andrea Catherwood.

The broader Swiss Performance Index climbed 1.6 percent to 5,742.99 today. The banks gauge on the Stoxx 600 Europe Index, which has fallen for the past three days, today gained the most since August.

Julius Baer, UBS

Julius Baer gained 5.6 percent to 40.2 Swiss francs. UBS climbed 2.9 percent to 15.47 francs.

Galenica, the Swiss drug wholesaler, rallied 8.2 percent to 530 francs.

Novartis AG (NOVN) gained 1.8 percent to 54.2 francs. Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said he sees more pressure on drug prices in the months to come, and the Swiss drugmaker will continue to reduce expenses. He spoke at a Financial Times drug industry conference in London today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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