March 29, 2018 / 7:04 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 29

(Adds company news item, futures)

March 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 20 points lower at 7,025 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.40 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* CME/NEX: U.S. exchange operator CME Group said it had reached an agreement to buy Michael Spencer’s NEX Group, valuing the British company at about 3.9 billion pounds ($5.49 billion) and creating a cross-border trading powerhouse.

* CONVIVIALITY: British drinks wholesaler Conviviality said on Thursday it was likely to appoint administrators to the business within two weeks, putting around 2,600 jobs at risk.

* CHESNARA: Chesnara Plc, an insurance-focused takeover specialist, reported on Thursday a surge in full-year pretax profit, driven by strength in its domestic business and gains from its acquisition of Legal & General’s Dutch insurance business.

* SHIRE: Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is considering a bid for London-listed rare disease specialist Shire that could top $40 billion and spark another takeover battle in the deal-hungry pharma industry.

* RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser’s chief executive Rakesh Kapoor got an 18 percent pay cut in 2017, his second in two years, due to a halving of his long-term incentive benefits, after a year of underperformance at the British consumer goods company.

* GKN/MELROSE: The three-month battle for GKN will be decided on Thursday when the deadline for shareholders to accept Melrose Industries’s 8 billion pound ($11 billion) hostile bid expires, ending one of the most closely-contested takeover fights in Britain for years.

* GSK/TEVA: A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a U.S. jury’s verdict that required Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to pay GlaxoSmithKline Plc more than $235 million for infringing a patent covering its blood pressure drug Coreg.

* UK CAR OUTPUT: British car production fell 4.4 percent in February, dragged down by the seventh consecutive monthly decline in domestic demand as sales in Europe’s second biggest car market continue to slump, an industry body said on Thursday.

* EX-DIVS: British Land, Intercontinental Hotel Group and Prudential will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.88 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.6 percent at 7,044.74 points on Wednesday, shaking off broader concerns over the U.S. tech sector that rattled global equity markets. Shares in pharma firm Shire surged.

* 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 Rahul B in Bengaluru)

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