May 18, 2016 / 6:42 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 18

(Adds company news, futures)

May 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 20 points, or 0.3 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.4 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.3 percent at 6,167.77 on Tuesday, with house builders helping the index higher after Taylor Wimpey announced a special dividend payout to lead gains in the sector.

* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP: London Stock Exchange Group Plc will hold its shareholder meeting on the proposed $30 billion merger with Deutsche Boerse in July, the British firm said in an update on Wednesday.

* SABMILLER: Brewer SABMiller posted an 8 percent fall in revenue even as beverage sales rose 2 percent by volume in fiscal year 2016, as foreign currencies struggled against a strong dollar.

* SSE: Britain’s second-biggest energy supplier, SSE, said on Wednesday it was considering selling up to a third of its 50-percent ownership gas distribution business SGN to raise cash for shareholders or to reinvest.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca’s recently approved ovarian cancer drug Lynparza failed to increase overall survival significantly when given with chemotherapy to patients with gastric cancer in a late-stage trial, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.

* SHELL: Two investor advisory firms have recommended Royal Dutch Shell shareholders oppose the CEO’s 2015 remuneration, in the latest sign of rising discontent over pay amid falling oil prices.

* INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP: Qatar Airways has raised its stake in British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) to 15.01 percent and may consider acquiring more of the company over time, the airline said Tuesday.

* BP: The head of exploration at BP, Richard Herbert, is leaving the British oil major after slightly more than two years in the job, a period in which the company slashed spending on the search for new deposits.

* ENTERTAINMENT ONE: U.S. hedge fund Livermore Partners wants Entertainment One Ltd to add directors with more industry and financial expertise, the fund’s top executive said on Tuesday, in its latest bid to spur changes at the Canadian media company.

* BURBERRY: British luxury fashion group Burberry said it would overhaul its retail operations and simplify its product range after its full-year profit fell 10 percent.

* STANDARD LIFE: Standard Life was given an embarrassing dressing down by shareholders at its AGM, with reaction to its 2015 pay report delivering a metaphorical bloody nose to an insurer that in its role as an investor in other companies has itself been critical of high executive pay.

* STOCK SPIRITS: Vodka maker Stock Spirits Group Plc won the backing of one of its top shareholders in its tussle with the company’s biggest investor over expanding the board.

* UK REFERENDUM: Most companies based in the euro zone believe a British decision to leave the European Union would hurt the region as it struggles with a sluggish economy and a migration crisis, a survey showed on Wednesday.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sunil Nair)

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