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Aug 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 6 to 11 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up over 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.2 percent at 6,634.40 points on Wednesday, with weaker commodities and property-related stocks offsetting an HSBC-led rally in banking stocks.
* AVIVA: British insurer Aviva posted a 13 percent rise in operating profit on Thursday, helped by a strong performance in its UK life insurance unit, although a rise in natural catastrophes led to a year-on-year rise in payouts.
* SAB/AB INBEV: Anheuser Busch InBev SA said the combined group after its deal to buy SABMiller Plc would be based in Leuven, Belgium, with its global functional management office in New York.
* SERCO: British outsourcing firm Serco Group Plc hiked its 2016 profit forecast for the second time this year, citing slightly higher-than-expected cost savings and the fall in the value of sterling increasing the earnings from its overseas contracts.
* JOHNSTON PRESS: Johnston Press Plc, the publisher of the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, reported a 27 percent fall in adjusted profit before tax as lower employment, property and motor classifieds hurt its earnings.
* COBHAM: British aerospace and defense company Cobham reported a plunge in first-half profit, as expected, after difficulties in its communications unit, and said it was on track to meet full-year expectations as earnings improve over the period.
* RANDGOLD: Gold miner Randgold Resources Ltd said its second-quarter profit from mining was flat, as higher gold prices were offset by lower production and higher costs.
* HIKMA: Drugmaker Hikma Plc said full-year core operating profit from its generics unit would be hurt by delayed approvals of new products and higher-than-expected costs.
* VODAFONE/LIBERTY GLOBAL: The European Commission authorised a joint venture in the Netherlands between British telecoms firm Vodafone Group Plc and U.S. cable operator Liberty Global Plc in exchange for concessions.
* LSE: London Stock Exchange Group Plc, which has agreed to merge with German peer Deutsche Boerse to create a giant European trading house, reported a rise in first-half adjusted operating profit on Thursday and said it was working on securing regulatory approvals.
* LSE/ICE Intercontinental Exchange Inc was “fortunate” to have scrapped a potential counterbid for the London Stock Exchange in May, ahead of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the head of the New York Stock Exchange operator said on Wednesday.
* LADBROKES: British bookmaker Ladbrokes reported a better-than-expected 34 percent rise in first-half operating profit on Thursday, helped by some bookmaker-friendly sporting results.
* BUPA: British private healthcare group Bupa posted a 2 percent rise in underlying pretax profit in the first six months of 2016 and said the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union had so far been limited.
* ECB: There are possibilities to adjust the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) programme, but it is important not to alter the design, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said in an interview published on Thursday.
* UK INTEREST RATE: The Bank of England is poised to cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 later on Thursday, as Britain’s economy teeters on the brink of recession after June’s vote to leave the European Union.
* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto’s CEO said on Wednesday there was no progress for now on finding infrastructure financing for the massive Simandou iron ore project in Guinea even after more than 200 meetings with possible backers.
* BP: BP Plc is working to stop a malfunction at the wastewater treatment plant of its Whiting, Indiana refinery, which allowed greater-than-permitted amounts of industrial waste to go into Lake Michigan since last Friday, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.
* CAR REGISTRATION: British new car registrations fell marginally in July, the first time sales have fallen two months in a row for four and a half years, preliminary industry data covering the first full month since the Brexit vote showed on Thursday.
* EX-DIVS: BP, Relx, SABMiller and Unilever will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 9.6 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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