UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 15
(Adds company news items, updates futures)
Jan 15 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 14 points, or 0.2 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.2 percent by 0746 GMT ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 42.74 points lower on Thursday at 5,918.23, hit by falls in downgraded travel and leisure stocks.
* BHP BILLITON: Global miner BHP Billiton said on Friday it will write down the value its U.S. shale assets by $7.2 billion on a bleak outlook for oil and gas prices, cementing expectations it will be forced to cut its dividend for the first time in over 25 years.
* BT GROUP: British competition authorities cleared BT Group's 12.5 billion pound acquisition of mobile operator EE on Friday, saying it would not substantially lesson competition in the broadband, fixed and mobile markets.
* SHELL/BG: Royal Dutch Shell's top executive planning the integration of BG Group will become transitional CEO of BG after expected completion of the $48 billion acquisition next month, company sources said.
* SABMILLER: Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp will partner with Japan's Kirin Holdings Co Ltd if it bids for SABMiller PLC's Grolsch and Peroni beer brands, its President Ramon Ang said on Friday.
* SANTANDER UK/ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Santander UK Plc is readying a fresh bid for more than 300 Royal Bank of Scotland branches, Sky News reported on Thursday. Continuación...