May 21, 2019 / 6:48 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 21

(Adds company news items, futures)

May 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 21 points higher at 7,332 on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.38% ahead of the cash market open.

* AMRYT PHARMA: Britain’s Amryt Pharma has agreed to buy Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics, in a deal that reunites the franchise for lomitapide, a treatment for patients with a rare cholesterol disorder.

* WH SMITH: WH Smith Plc Chief Executive Officer Stephen Clarke has decided to step down, the British books, stationary and newspaper chain said on Tuesday as it reported a rise in third-quarter sales.

* HALFORDS: British bicycles and car parts retailer Halfords on Tuesday reported a 18% fall in annual profit, blaming weak consumer confidence, unhelpful weather and investment in the business.

* GALLIFORD TRY: British builder Galliford Try said on Tuesday the strategic review launched last month would see its construction business concentrate on its core strengths in building, water and highways, leading to up to 350 job losses across the UK.

* SEVERN TRENT: British water utility Severn Trent reiterated warnings on Tuesday about the impact of any future nationalisation of the industry on strategic goals the company has set for itself under its officially-regulated business plans.

* TESCO: Britain’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco plc said its banking unit will stop mortgage lending, amid cut-throat competition and tough market conditions that have pressured profits for lenders across the sector. * NATIONWIDE BUILDING: Britain’s Nationwide Building Society reported a 15% fall in profits for the year to April 4, as intense competition in the home lending market and increased spending on digital banking services ate into its margins.

* HSBC: HSBC Holdings plans to add more than a 1,000 jobs this year at its technology development centres in China, as the Asia-focused lender seeks to bolster its presence in the world’s second largest economy.

* GLENCORE: The London Metal Exchange (LME) has dismissed a complaint from miner and commodity trader Glencore over its inability to take fast delivery of aluminium from warehouses owned by ISTIM UK in Port Klang, Malaysia, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

* SOLGOLD: SolGold is in talks with financiers keen to invest in its Ecuadorian copper-gold prospects and mining major BHP could increase its stake in the company, SolGold’s chief executive said on Monday.

* MYSALE: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International Plc dissolved its stake in online retailer MySale Group Plc, a filing showed on Monday.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.5% lower at 7,310.88 points on Monday, as worries over international trade increased on the back of U.S. curbs on China’s Huawei, while weak results from Ryanair triggered a sell-off in airlines across the board.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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