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May 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 25 points, or 0.4 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.69 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 73.57 points, or 1.2 percent, at 6,112.02 points on Wednesday, as basic resources stocks extended the previous day’s losses and retailers came under pressure.
* ROLLS-ROYCE: British engineering company Rolls-Royce stuck to its outlook for 2016, a year which it has already said would be challenging, with profit expected to halve due to changes in the aero-engine market and weak demand from energy customers.
* MORRISONS: Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket, reported a further improvement in quarterly underlying sales on Thursday, suggesting its chief executive, now over a year into the job, might have stabilised the business.
* BT: Britain’s biggest broadband provider BT said it would spend 6 billion pounds on rolling out superfast fibre and 4G mobile connections in the next three years as it reported a better-than-expected 6 percent rise in full-year earnings.
* TRINITY MIRROR: British publisher Trinity Mirror said on Thursday it would shut the New Day newspaper it launched just nine weeks ago after an attempt to introduce a new title to the fiercely competitive market failed.
* BEAZLEY: Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley Plc reported a rise in first-quarter gross written premiums, helped by strong growth in its specialty lines.
* LANCASHIRE: Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd on Thursday reported a 48.5percent slump in first-quarter pretax profit, and appointed Heather McKinlay as chief financial officer for its Cathedral arm.
* SHAWBROOK: British bank Shawbrook reported a jump in first-quarter underlying pretax profit on Thursday, and said it would grow customer loan balances to 8.5 billion pounds ($12.34 billion) by 2020.
* M&C: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc cautioned of an uncertain trading environment as hotel revenue fell due to lower occupancy and room rates in key gateway cities of New York, London and Singapore.
* BARCLAYS: Barclays said on Thursday it had raised 603 million pounds ($875.50 million) from the sale of a 12.2 percent stake in Barclays Africa Group, boosting its key capital ratio by 10 basis points.
* RSA: Net written premiums at insurer RSA fell 1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as a result of disposals, it said on Thursday, though operating profits for the quarter were strong and ahead of expectations.
* SABMILLER: Australia’s antitrust regulator on Thursday cleared beer giant Anheuser Busch Inbev SA’s planned $100-billion takeover of rival SABMiller Plc, saying the deal would not adversely affect the domestic market.
SABMiller and Coca-Cola have agreed concessions with the South African government to win approval for their plan to merge African soft drink operations into what would be the continent’s biggest Coke drinks bottler.
* RIO: Mining giant Rio Tinto is not counting on an upturn in commodities markets anytime soon despite recent gains in prices of iron ore, its main source of revenue, as much of the world’s economies continue to underperform. It also said on Thursday it has no plans to expand its iron ore infrastructure capacity in Australia beyond 360 million tonnes a year.
* SMITH & NEPHEW: Smith & Nephew, Europe’s biggest maker of artificial knees and hips, reported a slightly worse-than-expected 3 percent rise in first-quarter revenue on Thursday, as weakness in China and the oil-rich Gulf states offset good U.S. demand.
* ROYAL BANK OF CANADA: Royal Bank of Scotland Chairman Howard Davies said the state-backed bank was preparing for a potential phase of economic instability following a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered would risk a staff exodus if it cut bonuses, Chairman John Peace said on Wednesday, responding to investor anger over high pay when the bank’s shares have tumbled and there will be no final dividend for 2015.
* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP: The New York Stock Exchange’s owner N> has shelved plans to make a counterbid for London Stock Exchange that could have derailed the British firm’s planned merger with Deutsche Boerse.
* MAIL.RU: Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters. The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular email service, among others, said Alex Holden, founder of Hold Security.
* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: The European Union’s highest court on Wednesday upheld a tough EU law that will standardise cigarette packs, ban menthol flavouring and restrict e-cigarette advertising, paving the way for its adoption this month and dealing a blow to Big Tobacco.
* RECKITT BENCKISER: South Korean retailer Lotte Mart stopped ordering Reckitt Benckiser products on Wednesday along with some e-commerce sites, after the British firm apologised for selling humidifier sterilizers linked to deadly lung injuries.
* BHP BILLITON: Mining companies Vale SA and BHP Billiton were hit with a 155 billion-real ($43.5 billion) civil lawsuit for the collapse of a dam at a mine last year that killed 19 people and caused damage that prosecutors said was comparable to BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
* TULLOW: Production has restarted at Tullow Oil’s offshore Jubilee field in Ghana and it is pumping 30,000 barrels of crude per day, the company’s managing director in Ghana Charles Darku told an investor forum on Wednesday.
* STANDARD LIFE: HDFC Standard Life Insurance, a joint venture between India’s HDFC and Britain’s Standard Life Plc, is set to mandate four banks to manage a planned initial public offering worth up to $500 million, IFR reported on Thursday, citing people close to the deal.
* EX-DIVS: BP Plc, Kingfisher Plc and London Stock Exchange Group Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 5.78 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* UK REFERENDUM: John Malone’s cable company Liberty Global, which also owns Virgin Media, is evaluating a potential contribution of up to 500,000 pounds ($724,550) to a campaign to keep Britain in Europe.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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> 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 Esha Vaish and Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sunil Nair)