Bloomberg News

Swiss Stocks Drop as China Tightens Mortgage Rules

March 04, 2013

Stocks in Switzerland declined, with the benchmark Swiss Market Index snapping three days of gains, after China tightened mortgage rules to rein in real-estate prices.

Kuehne & Nagel (KNIN) International AG, the world’s biggest sea- freight forwarder, fell the most in more than 10 months as full- year net income missed estimates. Transocean (RIGN) Ltd., the largest offshore rig contractor, advanced after posting a fourth-quarter profit for the first time in three years.

The SMI (SMI) dropped 0.2 percent to 7,585.45 at 9:35 a.m., after rising 0.6 percent last week. The measure has rallied for six consecutive months, its longest streak of monthly gains since 2009. The broader Swiss Performance Index also retreated 0.3 percent today.

The number of shares trading hands on SMI-listed companies was 23 percent higher than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In China, the government intensified a three-year campaign to cool the real estate market, ordering larger deposits and stricter enforcement of sales taxes.

The People’s Bank of China’s regional branches may implement the measures in accordance with the price-control targets of local governments, China’s cabinet said in a statement on its website. Cities facing the most pressure from rising house prices must further tighten limits on buying property, according to the statement.

Chinese Industry

Separately, the non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for the world’s second-largest economy fell to 54.5 in February from 56.2 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement yesterday.

Kuehne & Nagel slid 4.4 percent to 101.30 Swiss francs, the biggest drop since April. Net income of 485 million francs ($515 million) for 2012 missed the average analyst estimate that called for 523 million francs. The company also said Chief Executive Officer Reinhard Lange will step down for health reasons.

“Results fail to convince us,” Michael Foeth, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG, wrote in a note to clients. “CEO transition remains an issue.”

Transocean climbed 2.3 percent to 49.70 francs. Net income was $456 million, or $1.19 a share, compared with a loss of $6.17 billion, or $18.67, a year earlier. Excluding a $101 million tax benefit, per-share profit was 9 cents more than the average of 35 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company also said it recommends a dividend of $2.24 a share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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