LONDON May 12 Britain's FTSE 100 index
is seen opening 14 to 17 points higher, or up as much as 0.3
percent, on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more
on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were up 0.3 percent by 0629
* The UK blue chip index closed 24.68 points lower, or down
0.4 percent, at 6,814.57 points on Friday. It had risen to a
high of 6,840.37 on Thursday, its highest since late February.
* The Confederation of British Industry, Britain's top
business lobby, upgraded its economic growth forecasts for this
year and next on Monday and said it expects to see marked
improvements in British business investment and productivity.
* CAPITA - British outsourcing group Capita said it
was on track to achieve its organic growth target for the year
after securing 1.1 billion pounds ($1.85 billion) worth of
contract wins in the first quarter.
* ASTRAZENECA - British Prime Minister David Cameron
said on Sunday he had made very good progress in securing
guarantees from Pfizer over the U.S. drugmaker's $106
billion bid to buy AstraZeneca.
* BP - The oil major plans to invest $1.5 billion
this year to increase its production of natural gas in Egypt,
hit by an energy crisis following three years of political
turmoil, the state news agency MENA said on Sunday.
* BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING GROUP - The company said
on Monday it was in early talks with Rupert Murdoch's 21st
Century Fox over the possible acquisition of its pay-TV assets
in Germany and Italy, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, confirming
* BABCOCK INTERNATIONAL GROUP - The engineering
support services company said its rail business has been
successful in winning work across three of the seven geographic
lots to deliver conventional plain line track works for Network
* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - Britain's largest
tobacco group has hired bankers to advise on multibillion-pound
acquisition opportunities in America, including possible deals
with Reynolds American and Lorillard, The Times
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Shell is restarting an
unspecified unit at its 255,000-barrel-per-day Scotford oil
sands upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta, it said in a message
posted on a community information line on Friday night.
* BARCLAYS - The UK fraud office stepped up its
probe into British bank Barclays' dealings with Qatar, the
Financial Times reported on Sunday.
* British employers plan to hire staff at the fastest rate
since the early days of the financial crisis, a business survey
by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed
on Monday in a further sign the economy is picking up speed.
* Brent crude futures firmed above $108 per barrel on
Monday, supported by renewed tensions in Ukraine.
* Pro-Moscow rebels declared a resounding victory in a
referendum on self-rule for eastern Ukraine, with some saying
that meant independence and others eventual union with Russia
The European Union is set to step up pressure on Russia on
Monday by taking a first cautious step towards extending
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
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(Reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Tricia Wright)