(Adds company news item, updates futures)
Oct 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 0.5 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures trading 0.32 percent lower ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.85 percent at 6,958.09 points on Wednesday, hit by weakness in banks and mining stocks after Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Antofagasta Plc fell after disappointing earnings updates.
* LLOYDS: The British government said on Thursday it had reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to just below 9 percent, its first sale since the relaunch of a trading plan that was shelved almost a year ago because of market turbulence.
* KAZ: Kazakhstan copper firm Kaz Minerals reported a 66 percent jump in production in January-September as two of its main mines expanded output.
* INCHCAP: Car dealership chain Inchcape said its performance was boosted by the fall in the value of the pound since Britons voted to leave the European Union.
* MISYS: Software company Misys said on Thursday that it will not proceed with its plans to list on the London stock market at this time, adding to a run of aborted listing attempts in recent weeks.
* HENDERSON: London-based fund manager Henderson Group said on Thursday that third-quarter assets under management rose 6 percent, buoyed by positive market moves and currency gains after a slide in the value of sterling.
* MONEYSUPERMARKET.COM: Price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com Group Plc said it had appointed Mark Lewis, retail director of John Lewis, as its chief executive officer.
* DEBENHAMS: Debenhams, Britain’s second-largest department store group, said annual profit inched up 0.5 percent as it struggled to grow in a tough retail environment in 2016.
* BT: BT, Britain’s biggest broadband provider, met market expectations with a 1 percent rise in second-quarter earnings, helped by price rises and strong demand for faster fibre connections, keeping it on track for its full-year targets.
* AMEC: Oilfield services firm Amec Foster Wheeler Plc said it agreed to dispose of three assets held for sale for 100 million pounds ($122.17 million) as it aims to reduce debt.
* BHP BILLITON: BHP Billiton said on Thursday its chief commercial officer, Dean Dalla Valle, who has led the company’s response to the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil, will leave the company in March 2017.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc held fresh discussions with a group of institutional investors to settle one of many outstanding cases against the bank over its 12 billion pound rights issue, Sky News reported.
* BARCLAYS: Barclays Plc and UBS AG have agreed to settle U.S. litigation by bondholders who accused the banks of conspiring with rivals to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate, lawyers for the plaintiffs said in court filings on Wednesday.
* RANDGOLD: Randgold Resources has agreed to pay the Malian government 15 billion CFA francs ($25 million) to help to resolve a tax dispute that resulted in the company’s Bamako offices and bank accounts being closed by authorities this month, chief executive Mark Bristow said in a statement on Wednesday.
* ICAP/TULLETT PREBON: Interdealer broker ICAP Plc’s sale of its global hybrid voice broking business to Tullett Prebon Plc is likely to miss the year-end target as UK regulators are examining the licenses needed for the tie-up, Bloomberg reported.
* LADBROKES: Bookmaker Ladbrokes said Britain’s competition regulator had cleared its acquisition of Gala Coral, paving the way to create a betting group that will seek to build on its dominance of Britain’s high streets to expand its online business.
* IAG: British Airways has agreed to pay 300 million pounds ($367 million) per year into its pension scheme, plus top-ups, under a new plan which leaves room for the airline to pay dividends to owner IAG.
* EX-DIVS: Barratt Developments Plc, ITV Plc, Provident Financial Plc, Unilever Plc and Wolseley Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.62 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* UK PROPERTY: Demand from British businesses for commercial property has partly recovered from its slump after June’s vote to leave the European Union and foreign investors are looking to take advantage of the weak pound, industry data showed on Thursday.
* UK ECONOMY: Britain escaped a severe economic slowdown in the three months after the Brexit referendum shock, official figures are expected to show on Thursday, further diminishing the chance of a fresh interest rate cut by the Bank of England next week.
* UK CAR EXPORT: British car production rose by an annual 0.9 percent in September with a rise in exports compensating for a fall in demand at home, an industry body said on Thursday.
* UK INVESTMENT: British finance minister Philip Hammond should encourage businesses to invest and spend more on infrastructure when he delivers his first budget statement since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, an employers group said.
* OIL: Oil prices were below $50 per barrel on Thursday on doubts OPEC will be able to bring together its members and Russia to organise a coordinated crude production cut.
* 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 topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)