The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in Zurich. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names. Share prices are from the last close.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) of the biggest and most actively traded companies gained 0.4 percent to 6,098.05 in Zurich. The broader Swiss Performance Index advanced 0.6 percent to 5,548.33.
Actelion Ltd. (ATLN) : James Shannon, the alternative chairman proposed by some Actelion investors, will pursue potential buyers for the Swiss biotechnology company and pull back on higher dividends and share buybacks if he is elected at the annual meeting in May, the Financial Times reported, citing an interview. The shares surged 2.9 percent to 49.6 Swiss francs.
BB Biotech AG (BION) : The investor in drug companies said it will start share buyback programs. The stock increased 1.4 percent to 61.75 francs.
Clariant Holding AG (CLN VX): The world’s biggest maker of printing ink chemicals is buying Octagon Process LLC, a privately held New York-based company specializing in de-icing and anti-icing fluids for aircraft. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Separately, Clariant didn’t commission a so-called fairness opinion from an outsider before its agreed purchase of Sued- Chemie AG, NZZ am Sonntag reported, citing Ulrich Steiner, a company spokesman.
Shares in Clariant rallied 4.8 percent to 15.19 francs.
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) : Switzerland’s second- biggest bank may exceed a 2012 target for asset inflows at its wealth business in Asia after an “encouraging” start to this year, said Walter Berchtold, chief executive of Credit Suisse’s private banking business. The shares gained 0.1 percent to 38.01 francs.
Feintool Holding AG (FTON SW): A Swiss investor group signed an agreement to buy BalTec Maschinenbau AG from Lyss, Switzerland-based Feintool. The shares were unchanged at 350 francs.
Meyer Burger Technology AG (MBTN) : The machinery maker reported full-year net income of 97.9 million francs ($108.3 million) versus 29.2 million francs last year. The shares increased 0.2 percent to 32.35 francs.
Nestle SA (NESN) : The world’s largest food company’s Nespresso has introduced new machines that make it more difficult to use coffee capsules from competitors, Le Temps newspaper reported, citing its own research. Shares in Nestle were unchanged at 49.74 francs.
Novartis AG (NOVN) : The drugmaker received approval from the European Commission for its Gilenya treatment that helps patients with highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The shares added 0.5 percent to 48.62 francs.
Roche Holding AG (ROG) : Genentech, a drugmaker owned by Roche, said a pivotal Phase II clinical study of its Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor showed positive results. Roche shares lost 0.2 percent to 125.3 francs.
Sika AG (SIK) : The maker of chemicals for the construction industry bought a majority stake in Hebei Jiuqiang Construction Material Co. Ltd., Sika said late on March 18. Shares in Sika gained 3.2 percent to 2,046 francs.
Sonova Holding AG (SOON) : The hearing aid company’s executives learned at a February budget meeting that the company wouldn’t meet sales targets, NZZ am Sonntag reported, citing an unidentified employee. Sonova on March 16 reduced its sales and profit forecast. The shares lost 2.2 percent to 88 francs on March 18.
Swiss Reinsurance Co. (RUKN VX): The world’s second-biggest reinsurer estimates claims costs of $1.2 billion, net of retrocession and before tax, from the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan, the company said today. The shares climbed 1.8 percent to 50 francs.
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