(Updates futures, adds and updates company news items)
Dec 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 22 points, or 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.11 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index was up 2.5 percent at 6,017.79 points at its close, after eight straight sessions of falls, with supermarkets, commodity stocks and firms with South African exposure among the companies rebounding from recent weakness.
* ROLLS-ROYCE: Rolls-Royce, the British engineering company which has issued four profit warnings in just over a year, said it was scrapping a layer of senior management in the first move by new boss Warren East to turn the business around.
* SUPERGROUP: SuperGroup, the owner of British fashion brand SuperDry, reported a 54 percent rise in first-half profit on Wednesday on what it termed strong trading in its stores and online, and said it was well-placed for Christmas.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Royal Bank of Scotland said on Wednesday it would begin a dual-track trade sale process of its William & Glyn banking business in the first half of 2016, after attracting informal interest from buyers.
* DIXONS CARPHONE: Dixons Carphone DC.L, Britain’s largest electricals and mobile phone retailer, beat forecasts with a 23 percent rise in first half profit, helped by a strong performance in its home market where it outperformed rivals.
* ALLIANCE TRUST: Alliance Trust Plc said on Wednesday it was exiting fixed income markets and had sold commercial property as part of an overhaul to the company instigated by activist investor Elliott.
* ASTRAZENECA: Britain’s AstraZeneca has agreed to buy Takeda Pharmaceutical’s respiratory business, including expanded rights to roflumilast, a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca aims to build up its already strong position in China by making and developing more medicines locally, and will invest more than $800 million in the country over the next 10 years, it said on Wednesday.
* COPPER: London copper rose on Wednesday from a one-week low hit in the previous session as investors covered short positions ahead of a widely anticipated interest rate hike in the United States.
* RIO TINTO: High-cost iron ore producers are “hanging on by their fingernails”, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, as miners fight for survival in the face of falling metal prices amid a glut and weak demand.
* IMPERIAL TOBACCO: Imperial Tobacco Group plans to drop “tobacco” from its name and call itself Imperial Brands, which is more in keeping with its business now, it said on Tuesday. Big tobacco companies have diversified into cigarette alternatives as the world smokes less due to growing health consciousness and regulation.
* BHP BILLITON: Iron ore miner BHP Billiton is expected to cut capital spending again for its diminished United States oil and gas business, and is considering shutting down more rigs and further write-downs to the onshore division next month, The Sydney Morning Herald said. This news was published by other media houses as well. (bit.ly/1P6iyHT)
* DOMINO‘S PIZZA GROUP: Britain’s Domino’s Pizza Group PLC said on Tuesday it is forming a joint venture with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises to buy Joey’s Pizza for 45 million euros ($49.13 million), creating Germany’s largest pizza delivery group.
* BUY-TO-LET MORTGAGE LENDERS: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said in a Financial Times interview that the central bank will take action to regulate lending for mortgages used by landlords to buy properties.
* UK "CHALLENGER" BANKS: UK regulators will challenge any new international moves asking smaller banks to hold more capital against residential mortgage loans, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said according to Sky News. Sky News said it obtained a letter sent on Tuesday by PRA's CEO Andrew Bailey to a group of smaller lenders, trying to reassure them about the effects of a consultation paper published by the Basel Committee last week. (bit.ly/1mm8Ojn)
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 * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru)