Swiss Stocks Retreat in Zurich as Fitch Downgrades Greek Debt

Swiss stocks fell for the first time in three days, erasing earlier gains, amid concern Greece will have to restructure its debt as 10-year bond yields rose to a record and Fitch Ratings cut the nation’s credit rating.

Syngenta AG (SYNN), Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) and Adecco SA (ADEN) slid more than 1 percent. Bank Sarasin & Cie. rallied 2.2 percent after saying it has held informal talks on a management buyout.

The SMI, made up of the biggest and most actively traded companies, declined 0.4 percent to 6,530.61 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich, sending the gauge down 0.5 percent this week. The broader Swiss Performance Index (SPI) also lost 0.4 percent today.

“Greece is facing some severe headwinds,” said Joshua Raymond, a market strategist at City Index in London. “The afternoon saw a vicious swing in short-term sentiment, with traders unwilling to hold buy positions over the weekend.”

Yields on Greek 10-year bonds rose 55 basis points to 16.6 percent, more than twice the level of a year ago when Greece accepted a bailout. Fitch cut Greece’s credit rating to B+, four notches below investment grade, and warned that even a voluntary restructuring of the country’s debt would amount to a default.

Syngenta, the world’s largest maker of agricultural chemicals, had the biggest drop in the SMI (SMI), falling 1.7 percent to 288.5 Swiss francs. Holcim, the second-largest cement maker, slid 1 percent to 67.9 francs.

Adecco, Sarasin

Adecco, the biggest supplier of temporary workers, retreated 1.1 percent to 57.35 francs as Exane BNP Paribas removed the company from its “growth stocks” list.

Sarasin rallied 2.2 percent to 39.95 francs after the Swiss wealth manager controlled by Rabobank Groep NV said it has held informal talks over a management buyout. Sarasin’s “preferred option” is a management buyout and the bank has had internal discussions with Rabobank “as is normal between subsidiary and parent company,” spokesman Benedikt Gratzl said in a telephone interview from Basel.

Komax Holding AG (KOMN) rallied 3.7 percent to 114.1 francs after Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) raised its recommendation on the maker of wire-processing machines to “outperform” from “neutral.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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