LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 6 to 9 points higher, or as much as 0.1 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.97 points lower, or flat in percentage terms, at 6,729.17 points in the previous session.
* LEGAL & GENERAL GROUP - The company announced a bulk annuity contract with the TRW Pension Scheme removing 2.5 billion pounds (3.95 billion US dollar) liabilities from TRW Automotive’s balance sheet and insuring over 22,000 of the Scheme’s pensioners.
* SABMILLER - The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments, majority shareholders in Coca-Cola Sabco, have agreed to combine the bottling operations of their non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses in Southern and East Africa.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo’s CEO Carlo Messina told Corriere della Sera daily that the retail bank was interested in growing in countries such as Britain, the United States and Switzerland, as well as in Asia.
* Asked about Coutts International after a source close to the matter said this week Intesa could be interested in the wealth management arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, Messina said it was a “very interesting asset” but that RBS was reluctant to sell it.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE - U.S. Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve GSK’s proposed acquisition of Novartis’s vaccines business.
* RIO TINTO - Global miner Rio Tinto said it approved the development of a fourth pipe at its Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
* STAGECOACH GROUP - Britain said it would award a contract to run trains between London and Scotland to a Stagecoach and Virgin partnership, returning the East Coast line to private control after five years in state hands.
* Two thirds of Britain’s smaller companies are aiming to pay off their debt and not borrow more, according to a survey published on Thursday.
* Brent crude fell to a four-year low under $76.30 a barrel on Thursday as it became increasingly unlikely that OPEC would cut output in support of prices during a meeting in Austria.
* London copper edged up on Thursday from a three-week low hit in the previous session as a softer dollar offset concerns over demand growth in top consumer China.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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1 US dollar = 0.6331 British pound Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Blaise Robinson