Jan 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 29 points, or 0.5 percent higher on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.02 percent by 0750 GMT, ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 40.61 points lower on Monday at 5,871.83 points, ending in negative territory for a fourth straight session, hit by late falls in Shire and energy firms.
* SABMILLER: Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings is considering acquiring Grolsch and Peroni, two beer brands owned by SABMiller, to secure growth beyond a saturated and ageing home market, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
* MORRISONS: Britain’s No. 4 supermarket group beat expectations for Christmas trading, reporting a first period of positive underlying sales since 2012.
* MICHAEL PAGE: British staff recruitment firm Michael Page reported a 9.2 percent rise in underlying profit on Tuesday, as strong demand in continental Europe and the United States offset a slowdown in Asia and the UK.
* DIRECT LINE: UK’s largest motor insurer said it estimated total claims of between 110 million pounds and 140 million pounds from the three storms that hit Britain in December.
* VIRGIN MONEY: British ‘challenger’ bank Virgin Money on Tuesday unveiled two new senior hires from rival lenders as part of a plan to accelerate growth.
* SHIRE: Drugmaker Shire clinched its six-month pursuit of Baxalta International on Monday with an agreed $32 billion cash and stock offer.
* CMC MARKETS: CMC Markets, which is likely to be valued at more than 1 billion pounds, is to announce as early as this week that it will float on the stock market, the Guardian reported on Tuesday. (bit.ly/1IZttnD)
* AB InBev: Beer giant AB InBev was holding its first investor calls Monday to line up the sale of what could be the largest bond ever sold, part of the financing for its purchase of SABMiller.
* CRUDE: Crude oil prices continued a relentless dive early on Tuesday, falling as much as 20 percent since the beginning of the year as analysts scrambled to cut their 2016 oil price forecasts and traders bet on further price falls.
* RETAIL: British retail spending over the crucial Christmas period recorded its weakest quarterly growth in more than a year as stores competed to offer discounts, industry data showed on Tuesday.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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