February 23, 2018 / 7:43 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 23

(Adds company news and futures)

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE futures up 0.03 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* WILLIAM HILL: British bookmaker William Hill posted an 11 percent increase in annual pretax profit, led by growth in its online business and payout gains from more draws being played on Boxing Day English Premier League soccer games.

* PHOENIX/STANDARD LIFE: Phoenix Group on Friday said it would raise 950 million pounds ($1.32 billion) in a rights issue to finance the acquisition of Standard Life Aberdeen’s European life insurance business for 2.93 billion pounds.

* IAG: British Airways owner-IAG posted a 19 percent rise in annual profit on Friday, broadly in line with expectations, and said it expected a further improvement in profit this year, as it announced a 500 million euro share buyback.

* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported a full-year profit of 752 million pounds ($1.05 billion) - its first since 2007 after an anticipated multi-billion dollar settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice failed to appear.

* TEMENOS/FIDESSA: Temenos’s planned 1.4 billion pound ($1.95 billion) takeover of financial software peer Fidessa Group will enable faster sales growth at the British company, Temenos Chief Executive David Arnott told Reuters on Thursday.

* STOBART: British haulier Stobart is in talks with UK regional airline Flybe about a potential deal between the two companies, according to a source familiar with the matter.

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered said on Thursday it will fully consolidate its operations in Singapore into its local subsidiary, reinforcing its commitment to the country.

* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto, is moving some of its support staff as it creates three global hubs, but is not changing its operating model, it said on Thursday.

* SERCO: Britain’s Serco has called for more transparency from the government over the award of public contracts to protect companies after rival Carillion went bust, saying the market should not be a “Wild West”.

* BRITISH FOODS: Primark owner Associated British Foods said on Thursday its chairman Charles Sinclair will retire on April 11 and be succeeded by Michael McLintock, an existing non-executive director at the firm.

* OIL: Oil prices dipped on Friday as high U.S. crude exports outweighed lower crude inventories in the world’s biggest consumer of the fuel.

* GOLD: Gold prices slipped on Friday and were headed for their sharpest weekly drop in 2-1/2 months as the dollar strengthened during the week.

* METALS: London copper eased on Friday and was headed for a small weekly drop as the dollar gained steam this week on rising expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes, but prospects of demand were rosy given a healthy outlook for global economic growth.

* BRITAIN-ENERGY: Britain’s green energy production hit record highs in 2017, government data showed on Thursday, while overall output rose for a third year.

* BRITAIN-TRADE: Britain will be able to agree and sign trade deals during a transition period after it leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Thursday after some Brexit campaigners feared a new document cast doubt on the ability to trade independently.

* BRITAIN-JOBS: Britain’s’ biggest smart meter maker Landis+Gyr is considering moving some production abroad because of a 20 percent rise in costs, due in part on the pound’s fall after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the GMB union said on Thursday.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent to 7,252.39 points on Thursday.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


> 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 Harish Bhaskar)

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