(Adds futures and company news item)
May 31 (Reuters) - Financial spreadbetters at IG expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down by 17 points, or 0.3 percent, on Tuesday, with futures up 0.18 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index posted its biggest weekly gain in six weeks after finishing up 0.1 percent at 6,270.79 points on Friday. Royal Mail rose more than 2 percent on the day.
* ALLIANCE TRUST: British investment firm Alliance Trust Plc said on Monday it had received an informal merger approach from RIT Capital Partners Plc, which is chaired by financier Jacob Rothschild.
* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered is to launch its mobile and online banking platform in eight African countries, its consumer banking chief for the region told Reuters, as the lender seeks to grow in Africa at a time when some European banks are retreating.
* PETRA DIAMONDS: Petra Diamonds Ltd said Finance Director David Abery would step down, effective June 30, to pursue other opportunities.
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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 Mamidipudi Soumithri and Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)