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Jan 30 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 28 points at 7,156 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.4 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.32 percent at 7184.49 points on Friday supported by Tesco, which soared 9.3 percent after agreeing to buy wholesale supplier Booker in a deal that cements its dominant position in the UK.
* RANDGOLD: Gold miner Randgold Resources Ltd said it is negotiating with some of its employees to end their illegal sit-in at its Tongon mine in Ivory Coast demanding annual ex-gratia payments.
* HGCAPITAL: London-based private equity firm HgCapital Trust Plc has agreed to sell Zenith, a British vehicle leasing business, to peer Bridgepoint in a deal valued at 750 million pounds ($942.08 million), its manager HgCapital said on Monday.
* LLOYDS: The British government has cut its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to just below 5 percent as it aims to return the bank to full private ownership in the next few months.
* WS ATKINS: WS Atkins Plc, a British engineering and design consultancy, has been approached by U.S. company CH2M for a possible $4 billion merger, the Times reported.
* TESCO/BOOKER: UK's competition regulator, Competition and Markets Authority, came under pressure to intervene in Tesco's planned takeover of food and drink wholesaler, Booker, the Times reported. bit.ly/2jtda6e
* WEETABIX: America’s third-biggest cereal company, Post Holdings, and the UK’s Associated British Foods are among a group of four bidders vying for British cereal brand Weetabix, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
* TERRA FIRMA CAPITAL: The world’s largest fast-food retailer McDonald’s Corp said it would sell its Nordic restaurants to British equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd’s founder and chairman Guy Hands as part of a turnaround plan it had previously announced.
* BRITAIN TRADE: Britain is committed to free and open trade with the United States and Canada, UK Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Friday, though he did not elaborate on whether that would mean bilateral trade talks with the two countries.
* BRITAIN ECONOMY: Growth in Britain’s private sector and confidence among consumers remained solid at the turn of the year, according to surveys published on Monday, although both indicators warned about rising inflation in coming months.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> 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 Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)