November 16, 2017 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Nov 16

(Adds company news items and futures)

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 4 points at 7,377.1 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.35 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* PRUDENTIAL: Prudential Plc’s new-business profit for the first nine months of the year rose 17 percent, with a major chunk of it coming from Asia, and the British life insurer also saw growth opportunities in the United States, and the UK and Europe.

* BRITISH LAND: Property company British Land on Thursday reported a rise in net asset value, adding to signs that property demand from companies continues to hold up ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

* CLOSE BROTHERS: British lender Close Brothers Group said it had made a good start to its financial year, driven by strength in its banking division and higher trading activity at its market maker Winterflood.

* GSK: Europe has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s new three-in-one inhaler for chronic lung disease, which the group hopes will help it keep its lead in respiratory medicine despite falling sales of older drug Advair.

* ROYAL MAIL: Britain’s Royal Mail reported 250 million pounds ($328.7 million) in half-year adjusted profit before tax, down slightly, while revenue edged up 2 percent helped by its European parcels business.

* TBC BANK: TBC Bank Group Plc, Georgia’s largest retail bank, reported a 29 percent jump in third-quarter underlying net profit, buoyed by robust lending, and maintained its medium-term return-on-equity target.

* MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL: Mediclinic International Plc, South Africa’s largest private hospital group, reported a 12 percent drop in underlying earnings per share in the first half of the year, hurt by weakness in its Middle East and Switzerland businesses.

* INVESTEC: South Africa’s Investec Plc reported an 11.8 percent rise in first-half operating profit on Thursday fuelled by strength at its top businesses.

* 3I GROUP: London-listed private equity firm 3i Group posted a fall in total return to 655 million pounds ($862 million) in the six months to Sept. 30, compared with 1 billion pounds in the same period of 2016.

* PREMIER OIL: Premier Oil cut its full-year capital expenditure for a third time this year, after reporting an 11 percent rise in production so far in 2017.

* VIRGIN MONEY: Virgin Money on Thursday revived plans to enter the small to medium-sized business (SME) banking market, one year after shelving them due to an uncertain outlook for Britain’s economy following its vote to leave the European Union.

* BHP BILLITON: BHP Billiton said on Thursday it hopes to divest its troubled U.S. onshore shale business in around two years. The company also said it was looking for the right time to sell its Nickel West business in Australia.

* SHELL: A combined 75,206 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 215,122 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production are shut-in at four platforms in the wake of a Nov. 8 fire at Royal Dutch Shell’s Enchilada platform, according to U.S. government data.

* VODAFONE: Vodafone plans to use its expertise in customer data to help to fend off competition in Italy from French newcomer Iliad and avoid an India-style price war, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

* LSE: The London Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it will provide “all the facts necessary” for shareholders to vote on how its chairman handled the planned departure of Chief Executive Xavier Rolet.

* GOLD: Gold prices were little changed on Thursday after upbeat U.S. economic data bolstered the prospects of interest rate increases next month and beyond by the Federal Reserve.

* OIL: Oil markets were stable on Thursday as rising U.S. crude production and inventories were countered by expectations that OPEC will extend an ongoing production cut during a meeting at the end of this month.

* EX-DIVS: Bunzl, Imperial Brands, Marks & Spencer, Royal Dutch Shell (A), Royal Dutch Shell (B), J Sainsbury and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend payout on Thursday, trimming 14.56 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.6 percent and closed at 7,372.61 points on Wednesday, as stocks suffered their fifth straight day of losses, dragged to five-week lows by big falls in mining and energy shares.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


> Financial Times

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