(Adds company news items and futures)
Aug 31 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 14 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* ASTRAZENECA: Britain’s AstraZeneca offered to buy Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co last year, a business magazine reported on Thursday, sending the stock soaring before trade was suspended.
* BAT: British American Tobacco said on Thursday it has reorganized its regional management structure to integrate the next generation products (NGP) business following the completion of the Reynolds American Inc acquisition.
* LADBROKES: British betting company Ladbrokes Coral Group reported a 7 percent rise in first-half operating profits on Thursday which it said was due to strong trading online.
* RESTAURANT GROUP: Britain’s Restaurant Group Plc reported a 30.4 percent drop in its underlying first-half pretax profit on Thursday, as slowing consumer spending weighed on sales.
* HAYS: Recruiter Hays declared a special dividend of 4.25 pence on Thursday, after posting higher full-year profit supported by growth in continental Europe and improving hiring trends in the U.K. as the impact of the Brexit vote faded.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell staff have returned to a major oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico in preparation to restart production one week after its shutdown due to Hurricane Harvey, industry sources said on Wednesday.
* CO-OPERATIVE GROUP: Britain’s Co-operative Group is in exclusive talks to buy Nisa, entering the fray days after larger rival Sainsbury’s suspended its own bid talks for the wholesale group.
* OIL: Gasoline prices hit $2 a gallon for the first time since 2015 on Thursday as flooding from storm Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of U.S. refineries, while crude prices stabilised following a slump the previous day.
* EX-DIVS: Croda, G4S, Hammerson, Intercontinental Hotel Group and St James’ Place will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 1.15 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.4 percent at 7,365.26 points on Wednesday, recovering some of the previous session’s losses as financials firmed and media stock ITV crept higher.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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