Swiss Stocks Rebound From Two-Week Low as Novartis Gains

Stocks in Switzerland rose, with the Swiss Market Index rebounding from a two-week low, as Novartis AG (NOVN) shares climbed after people familiar with the matter said the company is exploring the sale of its animal-health business.

Novartis, Europe’s biggest drugmaker, added 1.2 percent, contributing the most to the benchmark gauge’s advance. Syngenta AG (SYNN) and Givaudan SA (GIVN) followed a gauge of the region’s chemical companies higher. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) fell 1.9 percent.

The SMI increased 0.2 percent to 8,202.91 at 9:30 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge rallied 2.6 percent in October as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a new budget to avoid a sovereign default and to end a partial government shutdown. The broader Swiss Performance Index also gained 0.2 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the SMI (SMI) was more than double the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Novartis climbed 1.2 percent to 70.95 Swiss francs. The company has identified its animal-health business for a sale as part of Chairman Joerg Reinhardt’s revamp plan, according to three people familiar with the matter. The drugmaker is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a portfolio review and is also considering selling its over-the-counter medicines unit and its vaccines operation, according to the people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

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

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