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LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 3 to 4 points, or 0.1 percent lower on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.1 percent to 6,888.90 points on Thursday, having risen to a 15-year high of 6,921.32 points on Wednesday, hindered by a slump in Centrica.
* STANDARD LIFE - Standard Life said on Friday its operating profit jumped 19 percent to 604 million pounds ($931.49 million), though added annuity sales would be hit this year by government pension reforms.
* BP - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc’s attempt to reduce the maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal Clean Water Act.
* HSBC - Swiss lawmakers plan to question the country’s financial watchdog about HSBC’s Swiss bank to determine whether parliament needs to take a more active role in investigation of a trove of details on alleged tax evasion by some of the bank’s wealthy clients.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE - Australia’s competition regulator said on Friday it will not oppose a three part deal between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline to trade more than $20 billion worth of assets, following approval from EU regulators.
* BT - The European Commission has criticised British regulator Ofcom’s plan to monitor the price the country’s dominant telecoms operator BT Group Plc charges rivals to access its superfast fibre network.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Union negotiators on Thursday rejected the latest contract offer from oil companies, lead by Shell, and said the largest U.S. refinery strike since 1980 may spread to more plants beyond the 11 where walkouts are underway.
* MAN GROUP - The world’s biggest listed hedge fund company said on Friday it had agreed to buy the investment management business of NewSmith, an equity investment manager with $1.2 billion of funds under management.
* BHP BILLITON - BHP Billiton said it had ceased ship loading at Australia’s Hay Point coal terminal due to a cyclone crossing the Queensland state coastline.
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 Alistair Smout; editing by Blaise Robinson)