Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed; Richemont Shares Advance
Swiss stocks were little changed, following three days of gains, as euro-area finance ministers met to approve the second bailout for Greece and to discuss crisis-fighting measures in Spain and Portugal.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, jumped to its highest price since at least 1990. Basilea Pharmaceutica (BSLN) AG increased 7 percent. Temenos Group AG (TEMN) retreated as the company ended talks with Misys Plc after no agreement was reached on a possible merger.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI), a measure of Switzerland’s biggest and most actively traded companies, added less than 0.1 percent to 6,189.86 at the close in Zurich. The gauge posted a 0.6 percent gain last week, its first weekly advance in three. The broader Swiss Performance Index declined 0.1 percent today.
“There’s a topic change in international financial markets,” said Reto Huenerwadel, a senior economist at UBS AG in Zurich. “Greece is moving away from the focus of investors who can now turn their attention to the broader global economy and Chinese economic indicators.”
Greek Aid Package
Ministers from the 17 nations that share the euro will gather in Brussels today to sign off on the 130 billion-euro ($170 billion) second package for Greece after bondholders agreed last week to take a loss on the country’s debt. The officials will also focus on Spain’s measures to reduce its budget deficit and Portugal’s aid program.
China (CNFRBAL$) reported its biggest trade deficit last month since at least 1989, adding to last week’s reports on factory output and retail sales that signaled slowing growth for the world’s second-biggest economy.
Richemont climbed 2.3 percent to 57.85 Swiss francs, its highest price since at least April 1990, as a gauge of personal and household goods was among the best performers in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Basilea Pharmaceutica jumped 7 percent, the most in more than a month, to 50.65 francs after the drugmaker said the U.S. phase III Handel study on a potential eczema treatment met endpoints.
Nestle SA (NESN), the world’s largest food company, added 0.1 percent to 56.65, reaching the highest level since at least 1989, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Helvetia Holding AG (HELN), Switzerland’s fourth-biggest insurer, added 2.2 percent to 320.75 francs. The company reported full-year profit of 287 million francs ($312 million). That beat the 278.3 million-franc average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Temenos declined 4.9 percent to 15.40 francs, the lowest since Jan. 20. The banking-software maker said that talks with U.K.’s Misys ended after no merger agreement was reached.
Misys and Temenos on Feb. 3 said they started talks about a merger that would create the largest vendor of banking software. Last week ValueAct Capital, Misys’s largest shareholder and initially a backer of Temenos’s merger proposal, joined forces with buyout firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. to work on a cash bid for the London-based company.
Transocean lost 3.8 percent to 47.95 francs after crude oil fell from the highest price in more than a week in New York.
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