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Swiss Stocks Rally to Four-Week High as China GDP Rises

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Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks advanced for a second day, with the Swiss Market Index posting its biggest weekly rally in six weeks, as a report showed growth in China accelerated for the first time in three quarters.

Schindler Holding AG climbed 4.3 percent after the elevator maker said it plans to spend as much as 1.06 billion Swiss francs ($1.18 billion) in a modified share buyback offer. Sulzer AG rebounded from its lowest price in almost a year as Berenberg Bank recommended that investors buy the stock.

The SMI advanced 0.7 percent to 8,084.65 at the close of trading in Zurich, the highest since Sept. 20. The gauge rose 1.9 percent this week as U.S. lawmakers reached an agreement to end the fiscal impasse and avoid a government debt default. It has surged 19 percent in 2013 as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period. The broader Swiss Performance Index also gained 0.7 percent today.

“As we look into 2014 we are probably the most bullish on China,” Dario Schiraldi, head of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s global client group, told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television. “We were expecting a good number. This is here to stay. We see growth in 2014 approaching 8.6 percent and we advise clients to take advantage of it.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 40 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China Growth

China’s economy expanded 7.8 percent in the three months through September from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The government has set an annual growth target of 7.5 percent for this year.

Schindler increased 4.3 percent to 127.30 francs, its biggest rally since November 2011. The company offered to buy as many as 4.1 million registered shares at 129 francs each, and the same number of participation certificates at 129.80 francs apiece, according to a statement today.

Sulzer advanced 2.7 percent to 135.70 francs as Berenberg raised its rating on the stock to buy from hold, saying the pump maker’s new targets for the full year are more realistic. Sulzer yesterday lowered its sales forecast amid declining European demand at its waste-water pump business.

Credit Suisse Group AG gained 2.4 percent to 30 francs, its highest price in more than two years, as Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit added the lender to its Europe 1 list and reiterated its buy recommendation on the stock.

Nestle SA, which makes up 21 percent of the SMI by weight, rose 1.4 percent to 64.80 francs, extending its highest price in two months. The world’s biggest food company may sell some brands in France, according to a Les Echos report which cited Richard Girardot, chief executive officer of Nestle France.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sofia Horta e Costa in London at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net

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

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