(Adds company news items and futures)
Feb 18 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen 2 points higher at 7,239 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.10 percent ahead of the cash market open. * COCA-COLA: Soft drink bottler Coca-Cola HBC said on Monday it would buy Serbian biscuit and confectionary maker Bambi for an enterprise value of 260 million euros ($294 million) from private equity investor Mid Europa Partners. * GALLIFORD TRY: Builder Galliford Try struck a deal worth about 275 million pounds ($354.9 million) to build 470 new homes and a new council headquarters building as it handed over its Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project that has faced numerous delays. * INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE: Exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange said on Monday that its European derivatives clearing platform has been given clearance to continue to serve European Union clients even if Britain leaves the bloc without a formal deal at the end of March. * PETRA DIAMONDS: Miner Petra Diamonds Ltd has appointed former AngloGold Ashanti finance director Richard Duffy as its new chief executive officer, the company said on Monday as it reported first-half adjusted core earnings of $75.6 million. * SPIRAX-SARCO: Valve maker Spirax-Sarco Engineering Plc said it had started exclusive talks to buy French electrical thermal products maker Thermocoax Developpement for 158 million euros ($178.7 million) to grow in Europe and the United States. * PEARSON: British education company Pearson said on Monday it had agreed to sell its U.S. K12 courseware business to Nexus Capital Management LP for $250 million as it shifts its focus from textbooks to digital. * MCCOLL: British convenience retailer McColl’s warned of an 11 percent fall in sales in April and May if Britain leaves the European union without a deal, as customers migrate to new products and supply chains are disrupted.
* RECKITT BENCKISER: British consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser Group reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter sales growth, helped by improvements in both its health and home and hygiene businesses.
* BURBERRY: Burberry Group Plc creative head Riccardo Tisci went back to his fashion-student days in 1990s London for his second catwalk show for the luxury label on Sunday, presenting a collection he said looked at Britain as a country of contrasts.
* LLOYDS: Britain’s biggest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group has hired senior Morgan Stanley banker William Chalmers as its new chief financial officer.
* PLUS500: Online trading platform Plus500 Ltd confirmed on Friday a drafting error in its 2017 report resulted in the company failing to disclose certain losses from customer trading.
* GOLD: Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than two weeks on Monday as the dollar weakened on hopes the United States and China are nearing a trade deal, while palladium hit a record high.
* OIL: Oil prices fell on Monday after climbing to their highest this year earlier in the session as China reported automobile sales in January fell for a seven month, raising concerns about fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.55 percent up at 7326.68 on Friday on news of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
* 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com
* For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat)