(Updates with company news, futures prices)
LONDON Dec 3 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 25 to 30 points lower, or 0.39 to 0.47 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent higher at 6,423.41 points on Wednesday.
* Britain’s parliament voted on Wednesday to launch bombing raids against Islamic State in Syria, supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s case that the country needs to help destroy militants who are “plotting to kill us”.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday won approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the company’s proposed $70 billion takeover of BG Group Plc, leaving China as the last regulatory hurdle to the deal.
* BP - Manslaughter charges were dropped against two former BP well site managers involved in the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil drilling disaster on Wednesday, and one pleaded guilty to an environmental crime, federal prosecutors said.
* STANDARD CHARTERED - Standard Chartered PLC has shut its renminbi (RMB) solutions group in the United States and Europe, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, as part of major restructuring that has forced the lender to take an axe to one of the industry’s fast-growing businesses.
Standard Chartered Plc, the British bank with operations across Asia and Africa, has ended its dollar-clearing operations with commercial banks in Angola as part of its retreat from countries that it deems pose a higher risk.
* BARCLAYS - New Barclays Plc Chief Executive Jes Staley has approached his former JPMorgan colleague Blythe Masters to run the British bank’s investment bank division, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Barclays has agreed a deal to sell its Italian bank branches to CheBanca!, the seven-year-old retail arm of Mediobanca, it said on Thursday confirming a Reuters report.
* SABMILLER - Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking to sell SABMiller’s Grolsch and Peroni brands in what it said was a bid to address potential EU antitrust concerns over its planned acquisition of the world’s second largest brewer.
* RIO TINTO - Rio Tinto announced it has unearthed one of Canada’s largest-ever, gem-quality rough diamonds at its Diavik diamond mine in the remote Northwest Territories, a 187.7-carat stone called the Diavik Foxfire.
* ACACIA MINING - Gold miner Acacia Mining Plc said 1,050 employees, or about 27 percent of its workforce, have either left or would leave as the company steps up its organisational revamp.
* PURPLEBRICKS GROUP IPO-PURP.L - Purplebricks Group Plc , a British online estate agency backed by fund manager Neil Woodford, said it expects to list on London’s junior Alternative Investment Market with a market value of 240.3 million pounds ($359 million).
* Britain’s insurers were warned by the Bank of England on Wednesday not to dip into their reserves to flatter earnings if doing so would undermine their resilience to market shocks.
* London’s Court of Appeal has asked lawyers for Tom Hayes, jailed in August for conspiracy to manipulate Libor benchmark interest rates, to provide an up-to-date medical report on the former yen derivatives trader by next Wednesday.
* Two British fighter jets took off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus early on Thursday shortly after Britain’s parliament voted to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria, a Reuters witness said.
* British Tornado bombers conducted their first air strikes on Syria just hours after parliament approved Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to strike at Islamic State militants in Syria, a government source said on Thursday.
* British bombers attacked oilfields in eastern Syria in the early hours of Thursday, defence minister Michael Fallon said, hours after parliament approved the bombing of Islamic State targets in the country.
* Prime Minister David Cameron is pressing other members of the European Union to conclude talks on Britain’s ties with the 28-member bloc at a summit in two weeks’ time, European Council President Donald Tusk was reported as saying.
* METALS PRICES - London copper slipped on Thursday to its lowest in a week in the face of a steadily strengthening U.S. dollar and weakening demand growth in top consumer China.
* OIL PRICES - Crude futures rose around 2 percent on Thursday after a report suggested that Saudi Arabia would propose a deal to balance oil markets, signalling the OPEC kingpin was willing to compromise after a rout that has more than halved prices since June 2014.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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