February 23, 2017 / 7:41 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 23

(Adds details, updates futures)

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 4 points higher, or up 0.05 percent on Thursday, according to Financial spreadbetters, with futures up 0.06 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.4 percent at 7302.25 points, as Lloyds reported its highest annual profit in a decade and Unilever promised a far-reaching review.

* BARCLAYS: Barclays reported a surprise increase in its core capital ratio on Thursday, as the key measure of financial strength rose to 12.4 percent against analysts' expectations it would only climb to 11.8 percent.

* BARCLAYS AFRICA: Barclays PLC has agreed to pay Barclays Africa 12.8 billion rand ($988 million) to fund investments required to separate it from its African unit, Barclays Africa said on Thursday.

* LLOYDS: The British government said on Thursday it has further reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group, a day after the bank posted its highest profit since before the 2007-2009 global financial crisis.

* GLENCORE: Miner and trader Glencore reported an 18 percent increase in core profits for 2016 on Thursday and said the company had never been so well positioned, although an ill-timed coal hedge had eaten into energy profits.

* BAE: Britain's BAE Systems said it expected increased defence budgets to boost its earnings by 5-10 percent this year after it met market expectations with a 7 percent rise in 2016.

* BAT: British American Tobacco, the second-largest international tobacco company, reported a slight increase in full-year cigarette and tobacco sales volumes on Thursday.

* RELX: European information and analytics provider Relx raised its dividend by a more-than-expected 21 percent on Thursday after meeting 2016 results forecasts.

* CENTRICA: Centrica, Britain's largest energy supplier, reported a 4 percent rise in annual adjusted profit on Thursday, slightly ahead of analyst estimates, and said debt levels could be low enough this year to allow an increase in its dividend.

* RSA: Insurer RSA posted a 25 percent rise in 2016 operating profit to an above-forecast 655 million pounds ($814.49 million) due to strong performance in most of its core businesses, and raised its target for return on equity.

* INTU PROPERTIES: British shopping centre landlord Intu Properties posted an unchanged full-year NAV from last year, as values and demand for Britain's top malls stabilised against a weakening broader market following the country's vote to leave the EU.

* MONDI: South African paper and packaging company Mondi's 2016 underlying profit rose, helped by good performance in all its businesses despite pricing pressure in a number of key paper grades.

* RATHBONE: British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers said funds under management rose 17.1 percent in 2016 to 34.2 billion pounds ($42.55 billion), boosted by gains in the British stock market in the second half of the year.

* HOWDEN JOINERY: Modular kitchen maker Howden Joinery Group Plc reported a slower full-year revenue growth for its UK depots, dragged down by weaker consumer confidence following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

* PLAYTECH: Gambling technology company Playtech Plc said full-year revenue rose 12.5 percent, aided by strong performance in its gaming division.

* BANK OF ENGLAND: Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe warned on Wednesday that requiring financial instruments to be cleared in a country that uses the currency in which they are denominated would bump up costs and splinter markets.

* BANK OF ENGLAND/INSURERS: EU capital rules for insurers need some tweaks but are not a deterrent to investment in infrastructure as some insurers' claim, the Bank of England said on Wednesday.

* PURPLEBRICKS: British online real estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc said it intended to raise funds through a share issue to expand into the United States.

* AO WORLD: AO World, the British online electricals retailer, said on Wednesday its founder John Roberts had stepped down as chief executive but would remain on the board in a new executive role.

* OIL: U.S. oil futures rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday after data released by an industry group showed a surprise decline in U.S. crude stocks as imports fell, lending support to the view that a global glut is ending.

* BHP: The first attempt at an acquisition by Australia's South32 S32.AX following its spinoff from BHP Billiton, has raised competition concerns over control of the local coking coal market.

* EX-DIVS: Carnival, Diageo, Easyjet GlaxoSmithKline , Rio Tinto and Lancashire to go ex-dividend. According to Reuters calculations at current market prices, the effect of the resulting adjustment to prices by market-makers would take 12.3 points off the index.

* 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 Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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