February 27, 2018 / 7:45 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 27

(Adds items, updates futures)

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 28 points higher at 7,317.8 on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.11 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* SKY/COMCAST/FOX: Comcast Corp, the biggest cable operator in the United States, offered to pay $31 billion to buy Sky, the European pay-TV group that has agreed to be sold to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox.

* GKN: British engineering group GKN, which is attempting to fend off a 7 billion-pound hostile bid from Melrose Industries, reported a surge in annual pretax profits on Tuesday to 658 million pounds ($919.3 million )from 292 million pounds a year earlier.

* DIRECT LINE: Direct Line Insurance Group raised its special dividend from last year as strong performance in its motor brands, rising premiums and favourable claims helped it post a 3.6 percent in 2017 operating profit.

* PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Troubled Provident Financial said it would raise gross proceeds of about 331 million pounds via a rights issue, as it looks to meet the costs of resolving an investigation by Britain’s financial watchdog and restore its capital position.

* JUPITER FUND MANAGEMENT: British asset manager Jupiter Fund Management on Tuesday posted a 13 percent rise in full-year pretax profit, after inflows and market gains helped boost the company’s assets under management by almost a quarter to 50.2 billion pounds.

* GREGGS: British baker Greggs on Tuesday met forecasts with a 2 percent rise in 2017 profit, helped by extensions to its product ranges and a net 90 new store openings.

* INCHCAPE: Car dealership chain Inchcape’s reported full-year pre-tax profit rose by a third to 370 million pounds ($517 million) in line with expectations thanks in part to a strong performance in Asia and emerging markets, it said on Tuesday.

* DERWENT LONDON: Derwent London Plc, a central London office developer, promised a special dividend of 75 pence on Tuesday, citing profit from recent property sales and growth in the value of its buildings despite looming concerns about Brexit headwinds.

* DRAX: British power producer Drax Group Plc reported full-year core earnings above analysts’ expectations, helped by higher profit from its biomass power plants and the acquisition of Opus Energy.

* CRODA: Speciality chemicals maker Croda International Plc posted an 11.1 percent rise in full-year profit, helped by strong growth across its core businesses.

* FRESNILLO: Precious metals miner Fresnillo Plc on Tuesday posted a 3.2 percent rise in annual profit, helped by record silver production.

* VIRGIN MONEY: Virgin Money Holdings reported a 28 percent rise in full-year pretax profit on the back of “market-beating” growth across its core products and said it had captured better quality market share in mortgages as well as credit cards.

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered Plc’s pretax profit rose six-fold in 2017, slightly below estimates, as it made its way back towards higher revenues after two years of restructuring and dealing with bad loans in some of its main markets.

* VODAFONE/DEUTSCHE TELEKOM/LIBERTY GLOBAL: Vodafone’s CEO Vittorio Colao said Deutsche Telekom’s opposition to its plan to buy some assets from Liberty Global was surprising, and he contested its assertion that Vodafone wanted to shut down competition.

* DIAGEO: Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, is launching a U.S. limited edition of its Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch featuring a woman on the label, called Jane Walker, it said on Monday.

* STANDARD LIFE ABERDEEN: Aberdeen Standard Investments, part of Standard Life Aberdeen, will establish an investment and distribution business in Ireland to ensure it continues to meet the needs of clients across the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc.

* BREXIT: Britain must leave the European Union’s customs union to be able to sign new trade deals with the world’s fastest-growing economies or risk squandering one of the main benefits of Brexit, the trade minister, Liam Fox, will say on Tuesday.

* The UK blue chip index closed closed up 0.6 percent at 7,289.58 points on Monday, shaking off last week’s slight decline as firmer commodity stocks and Associated British Foods propped up the FTSE.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> 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 Esha Vaish in Bengaluru)

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