July 29, 2019 / 6:52 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 29

(Adds company news items and futures)

July 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 2 points higher at 7,551 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures flat ahead of the cash market open.

* JUST EAT-TAKEAWAY.COM: European online food delivery rivals Takeaway.com and Just Eat said on Monday they had agreed in principle to create one of the largest players in the sector globally through an 8.2 billion pounds ($10.1 billion) all-share deal.

* HAMMERSON: British shopping centre operator Hammerson Plc reported lower first-half net rental income on Monday, and said it sold stakes in two shopping centres in Europe for 423 million pounds ($523 million).

* KELLER GROUP: Keller Group Plc posted a 32% drop in first-half profit on Monday as costs rose in its North America operations, but the engineering contractor stuck to its full-year expectations citing a stronger second half of the year.

* BANK OF IRELAND: Brexit is weighing heavily on the minds of Irish small and medium enterprise customers, the chief executive officer of the Bank of Ireland said on Monday.

* HISCOX: Insurer Hiscox reported a higher first-half profit on Monday as it earned more from premiums and strong returns on investment, helping offset steep claims from natural catastrophes, including typhoon Jebi in Japan and hurricane Michael in Florida.

* LIONTRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT: Liontrust Asset Management Plc confirmed on Monday it was in discussions for a possible acquisition of Neptune Investment Management Ltd.

* TBC BANK: Georgian lender TBC Bank Group Plc on Monday said it has appointed independent director Nikoloz Enukidze as the company’s chairman with immediate effect, less than a week after its former chief Mamuka Khazaradze stepped down.

* FERGUSON: Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP has urged Ferguson Plc to sell its UK business, Sky News reported on Sunday, a month after the activist fund built up a 6% stake in the plumbing products distributor.

* LSE: The London Stock Exchange Group Plc said on Friday it was in discussions to acquire financial data analytics provider Refinitiv Holdings Ltd for $27 billion, including debt.

* SPORTS DIRECT: Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley said buying House of Fraser may have been a mistake for the British sporting goods retailer, in a delayed results statement that also warned it could face a 674 million euro bill from Belgium’s tax authority.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Mining mogul Anil Agarwal pocketed just 6% profit from his 3.5 billion pound investment in Anglo American, held since 2017, even though the underlying shares rose over 50% since then, according to Reuters estimates.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Monday as investors fretted over the outlook for global economic growth, while weekend talks between Iran and major powers ended on a generally positive note, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

* GOLD: Gold prices gained on Monday ahead of this week’s U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting, which is expected to lead to a cut in U.S. interest rates.

* Britain’s FTSE 100 surged on Friday led by Vodafone, which enjoyed its best day in more than 16 years on plans to create a separate European tower company, while mid-cap Sports Direct fell after thrice delaying its annual results.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Siju Varghese in Bengaluru)

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