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Swiss National Bank chairman, Jean-Pierre Roth, will be making the news in the coming week Keystone

A clutch of corporate numbers awaits the market over the coming week, with further news on Swiss interest rates expected from the Swiss National Bank chairman Jean-Pierre Roth.

On Tuesday the Feintool Group will release its full set of figures for the latest business year.

The company, which manufactures machine tools used to produce precision metal parts from steel, aluminium and copper strips and plates, has already released some of its numbers earlier.

In the year to September the company lifted its consolidated sales by 10.3 per cent to SFr471 million ($283 million).

Most of that growth stemmed from its European and Japanese business as well as from its assembly/automation division, which saw a large increase in sales. That was due among other things to the first-time consolidation of its acquisition of the Afag Group.

The company said at the time “in the light of new orders for parts and components plus enquiries regarding presses and automation systems, the Group’s medium to long-term prospects are bright”.

Thursday the Schaffner Group will discuss its latest annual figures.

The Swiss-based company is one of the world’s leading providers of products and services in the area of electromagnetic compatibility).

In the last financial year the group reported consolidated sales of SFr177.2 million ($106.6 million) – its second best result ever after the record year of 1999/2000.

On the economic front Swiss National Bank (SNB) chairman Jean-Pierre Roth will address the International Finance and Economic Forum in Vienna on Thursday.

No doubt currency and equity traders will be keen to see if he gives any clearer indications on the next move down for Swiss interest rates.

Last week Roth briefed the Swiss cabinet that the domestic economy was slowing faster than expected this year but prices rose more moderately than forecast.

At the traditional year-end briefing, Roth also pointed out that the central bank had eased policy significantly this year given the changing economic conditions and developments in the Swiss franc’s exchange rate.

The next definite news on interest rates should come at the SNB’s year-end news conference at the end of next week.

by Tom O’Brien

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR