August 23, 2016 / 6:51 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on August 23

(Adds futures, company news items)

Aug 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 24 to 28 points, or 0.4 percent, on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.5 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* The UK blue-chip index closed down 0.4 percent at 6,828.54 points on Monday, with commodity-related stocks leading the market lower following a drop in metals and crude oil prices.

* RANK GROUP: Casino operator Rank Group Plc said on Tuesday Britain’s decision to leave the European Union would have little or no direct impact on its performance, days after it dropped its joint bid to buy bookie William Hill Plc.

* PERSIMMON: Britain’s second largest housebuilder, Persimmon, said its reservation rate had risen an annual 17 percent since the start of July, shrugging off the impact of the Brexit vote, which some fellow builders have warned could slow the property market.

* KIER: Kier Group Plc said it had won three contracts worth over 5 billion pounds ($6.6 billion) to carry out construction in the UK since July, easing fears that work had stalled across the sector after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

* NATIONAL GRID: Britain’s power grid operator National Grid has cancelled a tender in which companies vie to be paid not to use electricity at peak times in the coming winter so power can be diverted to households, citing a lack of willing participants.

* BARCLAYS: Barclays Plc has mandated itself as sole bookrunner and structuring adviser for a U.S. dollar Reg S Additional Tier 1 offering.

* RBS: Lawyers for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) sat down with representatives of angry shareholders to broker an end to what may end up being the costliest case in British legal history. The meeting was convened to persuade investors to drop claims they were misled into stumping up 12 billion pounds ($16 billion) just a few months before the bank’s bailout in 2008.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Tanzanian president John Magufuli ordered officials on Monday to speed up long-delayed work on a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, saying implementation of the project had taken too long. BG Group, recently acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, alongside Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy, plan to build a $30 billion-onshore LNG export terminal in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) by the early 2020s.

* BP: BP Plc’s 413,500 barrel per day Whiting, Indiana refinery returned to normal production by Monday morning for the first time since late July, sources familiar with plant operations said.

* BREXIT: New Zealand is keen to forge a free-trade agreement with Britain when it leaves the European Union, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday following a meeting with his New Zealand counterpart in London.

* UK EXECUTIVE PAY: Plans by British Prime Minister Theresa May to give shareholders more powers to curb top executives’ pay could prove unpopular with some big investors, and some industry analysts say they may have little impact. BP <BP.L > and WPP were among major companies to face high-profile revolts at shareholders’ meetings this year, reflecting broader anger at inequality that helped persuade Britons to vote to leave the European Union in June.

* CINVEN: Cinven Ltd said on Monday it agreed to acquire BioClinica Inc from two other buyout firms, Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners, in a deal that sources said values the U.S. clinical trials company at around $1.4 billion, including debt.

* ERNST & YOUNG: Ernst & Young LLP cannot require its employees to give up their rights to pursue work-related claims together, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday, giving a major boost to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board’s campaign against so-called class action waivers.

* OIL: Oil prices fell over 1 percent on Tuesday, with Goldman Sachs warning that August’s price rally had been overdone and that a proposed oil production freeze at current near-record levels would not help rein in an oversupplied market.

* METALS: London copper edged higher on Tuesday on support from a softer U.S. dollar, but the metal was still hanging near six-week lows as swelling supply kept a tight lid on its price prospects.

* NORTH SEA CRUDE: North Sea Brent crude oil differentials fell on Monday, while Forties held broadly steady after a flurry of bids from Petroineos, and cheap tanker rates helped an excess of unwanted crude persist.

* STERLING: Sterling gained on Monday, after registering its strongest week in five against the dollar as a run of robust economic data suggested Britain’s economy was faring better than expected following its vote to leave the European Union.

* SPORTS DIRECT: Sports Direct has been heavily criticised by its own shareholders and corporate governance experts after it emerged that the sportswear retailer pays an obscure company owned by Mike Ashley's brother to deliver online orders outside the UK, the Guardian reported on Monday.

* UK DEFICIT: Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond have both scrapped George Osborne's plan to abolish the budget deficit by 2020, giving them room to hike borrowing - potentially by as much as 50 billion pounds in the next financial year, the Telegraph reported on Monday.

* FINDEL: The former Argos and Homebase boss Terry Duddy has been approached about taking over the chairmanship of Findel Plc, the mail order retailer, as it seeks to resolve a row over the influence of Mike Ashley, the tycoon whose sports goods chain is its biggest shareholder, Sky News reported on Monday.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * For Top News : (Reporting by Pranav Kiran in Bengaluru)

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