LONDON May 27 Britain's FTSE 100 index
is seen opening higher on Tuesday, with the June futures
contract up 0.4 percent at 0628 GMT ahead of the cash
market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks,
please click on
* The UK equity market, which was closed owing to a public
holiday on Monday, was set to play catch up with a strong rise
in European equities on solid election showings for governing
parties in Germany and Italy.
* On Monday, Germany's DAX hit a record high and
the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 hit a new 5-1/2 year
peak as showings by pro-European forces in Germany and Italy
provided an antidote to Eurosceptic gains in France, the UK and
* The UK blue chip index fell 4.81 points, or 0.1 percent,
to 6,815.75 points on Friday. Earlier this month it climbed to
6,894.88, the highest level since December 1999, when it set a
record high of 6,950.60 points.
* ASTRAZENECA : Pfizer abandoned its attempt
to buy AstraZeneca for nearly 70 billion pounds ($118 billion)
on Monday as a deadline approached without a last-minute change
of heart by the British drugmaker.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : Lloyds Banking Group said
it will float about 25 percent of its TSB business on the London
Stock Exchange, with the remainder sold before the end of 2015.
* INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS : The world's largest
hotelier has rejected a 6 billion pound takeover offer from a
U.S. bidder, Sky News reported, citing unidentified sources.
* BSKYB : The satellite broadcaster is grabbing a
5-million-pound stake in the owner of the Scotsman and Yorkshire
Post as part of a big financial overhaul at the newspaper
publisher, Johnston Press, according to the Sunday Times.
The pay-TV company will end up owning nearly 2 percent of
Johnston after a 360-million-pound refinancing expected to be
agreed this week, the newspaper said.
* WPP : The advertising giant has taken a stake in a
social network launched by former Burberry and Topshop creative
director Justin Cooke, the Sunday Times reported.
Through its AKQA subsidiary, Sir Martin Sorrel's media
empire has bought 20 percent of Tunepics, an app that lets users
post photos and music at the same time, the newspaper said.
* BABCOCK INTERNATIONAL : The defence firm is teaming
up with Associated British Ports in a bid to run a military
harbour on the south coast, the Sunday Times said.
* BP : Rosneft and BP signed an agreement on
Saturday to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in Russia,
the first major deal for the state-run Russian oil company since
the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine in March.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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($1 = 0.5936 British Pounds)
(Editing by Alistair Smout)