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Leading stock market index gets overhaul

Five new companies were added to Switzerland's leading stock market index on Monday in an effort to make it more representative of the economy. The Swiss Market Index (SMI) will grow to 28 firms with the new intake.

The index, considered to give the pulse of the Swiss stock market, will be given a new look with the integration of companies that are typical of the "new economy".

Among them are the digital technology group Kudelski, based near Lausanne, and the Geneva-based biotechnology group Serono, which is the world leader in hormone treatment against sterility.

Also joining the SMI are more traditional concerns such as the technology group Unaxis (formerly Oerlikon-Bührle), the Julius Bär banking group of Zurich, and the luxury goods group, Richemont, which controls the watch brands Cartier, Piaget, and Baume & Mercier.

Commenting on the move, Swiss Stock Exchange spokesman Ettore Candolfi said the companies involved would benefit from more attention from investors.

"The trading volume will be increased and so the stock becomes more attractive," Candolfi told swissinfo.

He added that the addition of the five companies would give more international attention to the SMI and therefore the Swiss Stock Exchange as a whole.

swissinfo with agencies

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