LONDON, June 30 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 13 points, or 0.2 percent higher, on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were up 0.1 percent by 0642 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.3 percent at 6,757.77 points on Friday, although it posted a 1 percent drop for the week. Still, it is sitting within reach of a record high 6,950.60 set in 1999.
* The recent strength of the British pound reflects the relative strength of the economy and should settle over time, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was quoted as saying in an interview on Saturday.
* Market expectations of a rise in British interest rates at the turn of the year are "reasonable", Bank of England policymaker Charlie Bean told Sky television on Sunday.
Also, Bean said on Sunday the bank could begin to unwind its quantitative easing programme of bond purchases once interest rates start to rise.
* Britain's Finance Minister George Osborne will unveil plans to merge income tax and national insurance, as a key element of the next Conservative manifesto, the Times reported, citing sources.
* BAE SYSTEMS : Europe's biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it would reorganise its interests in Saudi Arabia into one company to enhance its relationship with Riyadh Wings, its partner there.
* SHIRE : Shire, which is being pursued by U.S. drugmaker AbbVie in a $46 billion takeover attempt, said on Monday it had received a $248 million cash refund from the Canadian revenue authorities.
Also, the boss of AbbVie Inc is flying into London this week to court Shire's shareholders and try to convince them of the merits of a potential takeover, the Telegraph reported.
And AbbVie's approach to Shire scuppered the London-listed firm's own plan to buy rival rare disease business NPS Pharmaceuticals, the Sunday Telegraph said.
* Investor support for large acquisitions and a desire to trump rivals in consolidating markets have led chief executives to strike big transactions so far in 2014, raising year-to-date global deal volumes to their highest level in seven years.
* UNILEVER : Male hair grooming product Brylcreem has been put up for sale by Unilever in the Anglo-Dutch company's next stage in streamlining its portfolio of brands, the Sunday Telegraph said.
* ANGLO AMERICAN : The global miner has put some of its platinum mines in South Africa up for sale in a move by Chief Executive Mark Cutifani to dispose of underperforming assets, the Sunday Times reported.
* BARCLAYS : Barclays has hired lawyers from the high-profile firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP to help the bank defend itself against accusations that it deceived investors in its "dark pool" trading venue, according to people familiar with the matter.
Also, Barclays has shifted the head of its equities electronic trading unit out of his day-to-day roles so that he can focus on the internal investigation into the British bank's U.S. dark pool trading venue, a person familiar with the situation said.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : GlaxoSmithKline on Sunday confirmed the existence of an intimate video recording of its former China head, Mark Reilly, which the Sunday Times reported kicked off a bribery investigation that has damaged the drugmaker's business in China.
Also, GlaxoSmithKline and Genmab A/S said their cancer drug Arzerra failed to treat a type of leukemia more effectively than other drugs in a late-stage trial.
* BP : BP has asked a U.S. judge to direct what it called a "vast number" of businesses to repay hundreds of millions of dollars it says were wrongly awarded as compensation on claims stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
* FINANCIAL SERVICES: Britain's financial services firms saw an unexpected fall in profit in the three months to June, after six quarters of strong rises - the result of increased competition and costs, an industry survey showed.
* BG GROUP : The partners in Israel's giant Leviathan natural gas field said they had signed a preliminary agreement with the British oil and gas company to negotiate a deal to export gas to BG's liquefied natural gas plant in Idku, Egypt.
* REINSURERS: Brokers have warned that rising competition between global reinsurers is forcing these companies to provide cover for terrorism, forcing them to revisit terms they have sought to avoid since the 9/11 attacks, the Financial Times said.
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 * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Tricia Wright)