Markets wind down ahead of Christmas

Zurich Financial Services will be among the companies making the news in the coming week Keystone

The holiday season sets in early on the Swiss markets with companies winding down their corporate announcement programmes until January.

This content was published on December 9, 2001 - 10:24

However, the medical technology group Card Guard will make news when it holds an extraordinary general meeting with shareholders on Monday.

Card Guard announced in November that it would ask shareholders for permission to raise its capital.

It said it planned to create a new authorised capital of one million registered shares, and an additional conditional capital of a further one million registered shares.

Card Guard said in a statement that the capital increase would allow it to fund acquisitions in its telemedicine sector.

"Encouraging discussions with potential targets have led the board of directors to consider the time to be right for the decision," it said.

Zurich Financial

Elsewhere, investors in Zurich Financial Services will be keen to see what price is set for shares in Converium (Zurich Re).

The reinsurance arm of Zurich is being spun off from the main company and will start trading on the market on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Swiss National Bank chairman, Jean-Pierre Roth, will be back in the news on Tuesday as he addresses a business conference in Geneva.

No doubt his words of wisdom on the domestic economic situation will be eagerly awaited for future clues on what's happening next to interest rates.

Thursday will see hard data released on the Swiss economy as third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers are scheduled for publication.

GDP growth - the most important measure of economic growth - was running at 2.0 per cent in the second quarter of 2001. Most analysts are expecting to see some decrease over the third quarter as the global economic slowdown hits home.

by Tom O'Brien

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