LONDON Oct 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 23 to 27 points lower, or 0.36 to 0.42 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.1 percent higher at 6,348.42 points on Wednesday.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Australia's competition watchdog said it has postponed a final decision on Royal Dutch Shell's $70 billion takeover of BG Group BG.L by a week to November 19, following an earlier deferral in September.
* BP - ICBC Financial Leasing Co, China's biggest leasing company by assets, said on Thursday it has signed an $869 million agreement with BP Shipping to lease 18 oil vessels, the first business deal between the two companies.
* RIO TINTO - Rio Tinto on Thursday came a step closer to gaining approval to expand its Warkworth coal mine in Australia after an influential panel recommended the work proceed, against the wishes of environmental and community groups.
* BANKS - Banks in Britain are relocating an increasing number of jobs to UK regions outside London to cut costs but keep staff in the country, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said on Thursday.
* British car production rose by nearly 16 percent in September compared with the same month last year driven by a rise in car exports, an industry body said on Thursday.
* Hong Kong's stock exchange has kicked off a preliminary study to build a "London Hong Kong Connect" scheme to link commodities markets in the two global financial centres.
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