Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5 to 19 points higher, or as much as 0.3 percent higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures indicating a 0.1 percent rise. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 35.92 points higher on Tuesday at 6,282.76, as encouraging earnings reports helped the FTSE higher, with worries over the euro zone receding on the back of encouraging PMI numbers, which measure business activity in the region.
* UNILEVER - The consumer goods supplier is to go ex-dividend on Wednesday, knocking 1.03 points off the index.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The part-nationalised bank will be punished on Wednesday for its role in a global interest rate rigging scandal, with fines of between 400-500 million pounds ($783 million) expected. The bank said on Wednesday it expected to pay “significant penalties” to settle regulatory probes into interest rate rigging.
* VIRGIN MEDIA - John Malone’s Liberty Global struck a deal on Tuesday to buy British cable group Virgin Media for about $15.75 billion in stock and cash
* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - The asset management firm announced that its total assets under administration have passed 30 billion pounds, up 30 percent from the end of 2011, with total net business inflows for last half up 42 percent.
* ENRC - Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation said that the production of key commodities rose in the fourth quarter, and that it anticipates delivering a strong operational performance across the group in 2013, with traders also hearing vague speculation about a takeover bid.
* DAILY MAIL AND GENERAL - The newspaper publisher reports that revenues rose 3 percent year-on-year for the first quarter, trading in line with expectations.
* SSE - The energy company announces the sale of for wind farms to Greencoat UK, dependent on Greencoat’s successful listing and raising of capital.
* AIRLINES - EasyJet’s passenger traffic was up 4 percent in January, it said on Wednesday, while Flybe agrees the transfer possible transfer of a number of routes and aircraft to Ryanair conditional on the Irish airline’s successful bid for Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus reports an operating profit up 40 percent year on year.
* WS ATKINS - The engineering consultancy said it is trading in line with expectations, although negotiation over Middle East contracts continues to be ongoing.
* WOLFSON - Wolfson Microelectronics says that fourth quarter revenue is up 52 percent, with an operating profit of $1.5 million.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY: GLAXOSMITHKLINE releases Q4 results at 1200 GMT
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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