Bloomberg News

Swiss Stocks Decline Before Europe Summit; Swiss Re Slips

October 26, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks declined before the second European summit in four days as the region’s leaders try to settle differences among them and solve the debt crisis.

Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world’s second-largest reinsurer, slid after Bankhaus Metzler advised selling the stock. Novartis AG, Europe’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company, fell for a second day after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the shares.

The Swiss Market Index, a measure of the biggest and most actively traded companies, dropped 0.2 percent to 5,700.5 at the close in Zurich. The gauge has retreated 15 percent from its high this year on Feb. 18. The broader Swiss Performance Index lost 0.1 percent today.

“There is no quick fix,” said John Plassard, director at Louis Capital Markets in Geneva. “Ministers are working on what will inevitably turn into a solution. There won’t be any miracles.”

European leaders are holding the 14th crisis summit in 21 months today to discuss Greece’s second bailout, the recapitalization of banks and strengthening the 440 billion-euro ($612 billion) rescue fund into a more potent weapon.

Swiss Re, Novartis

Swiss Re lost 1.2 percent to 47.14 Swiss francs after Bankhaus Metzler cut its recommendation on the shares to “sell” from “buy.”

Novartis slid 0.3 percent to 49.96 francs. Exane BNP Paribas equity analyst Florent Cespedes downgraded the shares to “neutral” from “outperform.” The drugmaker said yesterday that it plans to eliminate 2,000 jobs in Switzerland and the U.S. and add employees in China and India to offset the effect of drug-price reductions.

Von Roll Holding AG, a Swiss maker of wire insulation and transformers, declined 3.9 percent to 3.18 francs. The company said nine-month sales fell 3 percent to 410 million francs ($470 million).

Advanced Digital Broadcast Holdings SA added 2.6 percent to 11.85 francs. Natixis raised the stock to “buy” from “neutral.”

--With assistance from Corinne Gretler in Zurich. Editors: Srinivasan Sivabalan, Andrew Rummer

To contact the reporter on this story: Adria Cimino in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

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