(Updates with company news)
LONDON Oct 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 23 to 27 points lower, or 0.36 to 0.42 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.1 percent higher at 6,348.42 points on Wednesday.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Australia’s competition watchdog said it has postponed a final decision on Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion takeover of BG Group BG.L by a week to November 19, following an earlier deferral in September.
* BP - ICBC Financial Leasing Co, China’s biggest leasing company by assets, said on Thursday it has signed an $869 million agreement with BP Shipping to lease 18 oil vessels, the first business deal between the two companies.
* RIO TINTO - Rio Tinto on Thursday came a step closer to gaining approval to expand its Warkworth coal mine in Australia after an influential panel recommended the work proceed, against the wishes of environmental and community groups.
* ANGLO AMERICAN - The company reported a two percent rise in Q3 production.
* LADBROKES - The betting company said that its performance was in line with expectations and that its proposed merger with Coral was on track.
* ASTRAZENECA - AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly said on Thursday they were deepening their collaboration in cancer immunotherapy by testing new drug combinations for treating solid tumours.
* RELX - RELX, Europe’s largest media group formerly known as Reed Elsevier, reiterated its full-year outlook after reporting an as-expected 3 percent growth in underlying revenue in the first nine months of the year.
* FOXTONS - British estate agent Foxtons said on Thursday that the number of sales in the prime central London property market was taking time to recover due to price rises and increases in a property tax.
* DEBENHAMS - Debenhams, Britain’s second largest department store group, said on Thursday its Chief Executive Michael Sharp would step down sometime in 2016.
* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP - London Stock Exchange Group posted a rise in its third-quarter revenue from continuing operations, aided by growth at all its divisions.
* BANKS - Banks in Britain are relocating an increasing number of jobs to UK regions outside London to cut costs but keep staff in the country, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said on Thursday.
* Britain’s competition watchdog has decided against recommending an end to “free” in-credit banking or forcing the break-up of big banks to improve competition in UK banking sector, but has recommended measures to aid easier comparison of accounts.
* British car production rose by nearly 16 percent in September compared with the same month last year driven by a rise in car exports, an industry body said on Thursday.
* Hong Kong’s stock exchange has kicked off a preliminary study to build a “London Hong Kong Connect” scheme to link commodities markets in the two global financial centres.
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 Kit Rees)