(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 17 to 21 points, or 0.3 percent higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.2 percent at 0726 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed up 60.19 points, or 0.9 percent, at 7,022.51 points on Friday, led by cement company CRH, which surged on expectations of lucrative asset purchases, to vault above 7,000 points for the first time in its history.
* BG GROUP - Britain’s BG Group and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd will invest up to $1.08 billion to explore for oil and gas in four blocks off the coast of Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Sunday.
* SVG CAPITAL - The British private equity firm saw returns of 10 percent on its investment portfolio in the 13 months to end of January 2015.
* PENNON - Water utility Pennon said that trading since September 2014 remained in line with guidance.
* CENTAMIN - Gold-miner Centamin said its full-year core profit fell 29 percent as the average realised gold price fell.
* HALFORDS - The bikes-to-car parts retailer said on Monday it had appointed Jill McDonald as its new chief executive with effect from May 11.
* DAIRY CREST - Dairy Crest Group said the sale of its dairy operations was being referred back to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by the European Commission for review.
* YOUGOV - Pollster YouGov said first-half profit was up 16 percent and that firm was on track to meet full-year expectations.
* OPTIMAL PAYMENTS - Optimal Payments said it would buy Sentinel Topco Ltd and its unit from Sentinel Group Holdings for an enterprise value of about 1.1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) to expand its online payment and digital wallet services.
* FIRSTGROUP - British transport company FirstGroup said it signed a contract with the UK government to run train services in western England until April 2019, extending its operatorship with a promise to add capacity on busy routes.
* Britain leaving the European Union could result in a permanent loss of 2.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product by 2030, and the costs would not be offset solely by striking a free trade deal with its former partners, think tank Open Europe said.
* Only 2 percent of large British firms have separate insurance against cyber attacks and the number dwindles to nearly zero for smaller firms, the government said in a report on Monday.
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 * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Alistair Smout)