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Swiss Stocks Rise to Highest Level Since May; Roche Gains

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Switzerland advanced, sending the Swiss Market Index to its highest level in more than two months, as Roche Holding AG gained.

Roche climbed 1.5 percent after a report that the drugmaker may not buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Julius Baer Group Ltd. and Credit Suisse Group AG slipped.

The SMI rose 0.3 percent to 8,000.60, its highest level since May 30, at the close in Zurich. The equity benchmark has surged 17 percent so far this year, the fourth best performance among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. The broader Swiss Performance Index also increased 0.3 percent today.

“We could have in the next days more profit taking,” Arnaud Scarpaci, who helps oversee $260 million as a fund manager at Montaigne Capital in Paris, said by telephone. “A lot of company results were supportive of the markets in the first week of August and now we have plenty of good news valued in stock prices.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI companies was 35 percent lower than the average of the last 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Swiss stocks advanced last week as better-than-forecast economic releases from the euro area and China outweighed concern that the Federal Reserve will reduce the pace of its bond-purchase program.

Germany’s Economy

The German Economy Ministry has predicted that gross domestic product climbed 0.75 percent in the second quarter, according to a person familiar with the forecast, who asked not to be identified because the projection remains confidential. That would exceed the 0.6 percent median of 46 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Germany’s Federal Statistics Office releases the official figure on Wednesday.

Three companies on the SMI -- Geberit AG, Holcim Ltd. and Zurich Insurance Group AG -- release their financial results this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Roche climbed 1.5 percent to 239.60 Swiss francs for the biggest gain on the SMI. NZZ am Sonntag reported that the largest maker of cancer drugs and Alexion, whose blood-disease treatment is among the world’s most expensive medicines, disagree on price. Roche’s spokeswoman Silvia Dobry said the company doesn’t comment on rumors.

Julius Baer, Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, retreated 0.5 percent to 43.68 francs. Credit Suisse, the nation’s second-biggest bank, lost 0.6 percent to 28.51 francs.

AMS AG slid 2.1 percent to 68.50 francs. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut the maker of semiconductors to neutral from buy, lowering its estimates because of weakness in the company’s revenue from smartphone customers.

Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG dropped 2.1 percent to 132.60 francs, its largest decline in seven weeks. MainFirst Bank AG downgraded the freight-shipping company to underperform from outperform, meaning that investors should hold fewer of the shares than are represented in benchmark indexes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Inyoung Hwang in London at ihwang7@bloomberg.net

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

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