Feb 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 30 points higher at 7,264.8 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.48 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* BGEO: Georgia’s BGEO Group Plc, which is planning to split its banking and investment businesses, reported an 8.1 percent rise in full-year profit.
* BALFOUR BEATTY: Britain’s Balfour Beatty said on Friday its joint venture had won a $1.95 billion contract relating to building, financing and managing an airport transport system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the United States.
* VIRGIN MONEY: Virgin Money formed a rare female chair and chief executive team among Britain’s top 350 listed companies by hiring former HSBC HSBA.L executive Irene Dorner as chairwoman.
* TULLOW OIL: British oil firm Tullow oil has picked electrical engineer and businessman Kweku Awotwi as the new head of its Ghana operations after the retirement of its current managing director, the company said in a statement.
* BOOKER/TESCO: Shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended investors in Booker to vote against a planned merger with Tesco, citing concerns about the financial merits of the deal.
* OIL: Oil prices edged higher on Friday as the dollar languished near a three-year low, with Asian trade likely to be subdued as many markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
* GOLD: Gold prices held firm on Friday to remain on track for their biggest weekly percentage gain in nearly two years, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar and as investors looked to hedge against inflation.
* COPPER: London copper edged up in thin trade on Friday amid China’s new year holidays and was on track for its strongest weekly gain in more than one year, backed by resilient global manufacturing growth and a persistently weak dollar.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.28 percent at 7,234 points on Thursday.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Harish Bhaskar)