(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 7 to 9 points, or 0.1 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, although futures were roughly flat ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.1 percent higher at 7,013,47 points, lon Thursday, with energy stocks tracking a rally in oil prices and miners banking on China further stimulating its economy.
* SEVERN TRENT - British water supplier Severn Trent reported a 3.2 percent rise in full-year profit thanks to higher demand, allowing it to fulfill a pledge to pay shareholders and pay a dividend of 84.90 pence per share.
* HSBC - HSBC Holdings Plc is exploring the sale of its Brazilian unit, the UK-based lender said in a stock exchange filing in Hong Kong on Friday.
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday reversed a $2.46 billion judgment against HSBC Holdings Plc in a long-running securities fraud class action stemming from a consumer finance business it bought more than a decade ago.
* WHITBREAD - Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee, on Friday named Lloyds Banking Group executive Alison Brittain as its new boss, succeeding Andy Harrison.
* BANKS - Britain’s new banks are achieving superior returns than larger rivals, picking up customers shunned by bigger lenders since the 2007-9 financial crisis, consultancy KPMG said on Friday.
A top U.S. regulator issued a scathing dissent late on Thursday over her agency’s decision to grant a series of regulatory waivers to five big banks, including Barclays and RBS, which pleaded guilty to market manipulation on Wednesday.
* Britain’s market watchdog said it will open a competition probe into wholesale banking services, looking at the choice of lenders, limited transparency and bundling of services.
* NATIONWIDE - Britain’s biggest customer-owned lender Nationwide said on Friday its Chief Executive Graham Beale intends to retire in July 2016 and reported a 32 percent increase in 2014 underlying profit to 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).
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)