(Adds futures price, company news items)
LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures edged up 0.1 percent on Monday, with the stock market likely to get some support from firmer commodity prices. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.2 percent at 6,960.49 points on Friday.
* BHP BILLITON : BHP Billiton’s spin-off South32 debuted near the bottom of expectations on Monday as investors awarded only a small premium to the new listing amid concerns about broad weakness in the resources sector.
* RIO TINTO : Global miner Rio Tinto plans to sell some of its aluminium assets in a potential $1 billion deal, the Financial Times reported, reviving a sale plan for its Pacific Aluminium unit two years after it was cancelled.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : A U.S. judge on Friday ordered Nomura Holdings Inc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to pay a collective $806 million for making false statements in selling mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
* BWIN.PARTY /888 HOLDINGS : British online gaming company 888 Holdings Plc said it had submitted a proposal to buy Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc in cash and shares, as it saw “significant industrial logic” in the combination.
* AVEVA : A pack of European and American conglomerates are plotting bids for Aveva, the British engineering software developer, the Sunday Times reported. Senior City sources said Aveva is likely to be the next British company to fall into the hands of an overseas suitor as Schneider Electric , the French energy giant, America’s GE, and Emerson, weigh approaches for the company. Traders saw Aveva rising around 2 percent at the open.
* INMARSAT : British satellite company Inmarsat Plc delayed the launch of its Global Xpress satellite on Monday following the launch failure of another rocket at the weekend, forcing it to also trim its financial outlook.
* MITIE : British outsourcer Mitie posted flat full operating profit, with its performance held back by local government cuts weighing on demand for its homecare and social housing business.
* THORNTONS : Chocolate company Thorntons said its chief executive would be stepping down.
* AFREN : Oil company Afren said two non-executive directors would be leaving the company.
* BIFFA: Biffa has appointed Rothschild to prepare for an IPO, Sky News reported.
* OIL PRICE: Oil prices rose on Monday on supply concerns in the Middle East following fighting in Iraq and Yemen, but Iranian comments that OPEC was unlikely to cut output as well as signs of strengthening U.S. production capped gains.
* BRITAIN/EU REFERENDUM: Andy Burnham, frontrunner to become leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, threw his weight behind the idea of a referendum on the country’s EU membership, and said he would demand it took place in 2016 if he becomes party leader.
* Separately, the Financial Times reported that Whitehall faces up to 100,000 fresh job cuts over next five years.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> 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 Sudip Kar-Gupta)