LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 7 points on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were up 0.5 percent by 0642 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed up by 17.80 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,690.17 points on Friday, albeit having fallen by 2.6 percent over the course of the week to post its biggest weekly drop since March.
* Stock markets globally had been hit by concerns that Portugal’s largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo was badly exposed to its owners’ accounting problems, raising questions as to whether there were more shoes to drop in European banking.
* The Bank of England has been lobbying for the easing of global capital requirements for small banks, concerned that the rules could make it harder for them to compete with larger rivals when offering mortgages and small business loans, the Financial Times reported.
* A debate is intensifying among the Federal Reserve’s regional bank presidents about whether to push interest rates up from zero sooner than planned because of recent improvements in the U.S. job market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
* Britain is to set out proposals to force foreign buyers of key UK companies to make binding commitments to secure jobs and research budgets, Sky News reported.
* SHIRE : - Shire said on Monday it was ready to recommend a new offer from AbbVie after the U.S. firm returned with a fifth bid valuing the London-listed drugmaker at 31.3 billion pounds ($53.3 billion).
* ROLLS-ROYCE : European planemaker Airbus confirmed on Monday that it would sell revamped versions of its A330 wide-body jet powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and offering 14 percent fuel savings.
* SPORTS DIRECT : The company is to launch in Australia and New Zealand.
* EXPERIAN : The world’s largest credit-checking agency is bracing itself for a shareholder rebellion over concerns about pay and corporate governance, the Times said.
* J SAINSBURY : The pension liabilities facing J Sainsbury could prevent the supermarket group from competing with rivals in the grocery price war, according to new research, the Telegraph reported.
* SEVERN TRENT : Liv Garfield, chief executive of Severn Trent, is the latest FTSE boss to face a pay row as shareholders have been urged to vote down the water company’s remuneration policy, the Telegraph said.
* DEFENCE FIRMS: Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems , envisages a new wave of mergers across Europe’s aerospace and defence sector, the Telegraph reported.
Also, British Prime Minister David Cameron will announce 1.1 billion pounds of investment in defence on Monday, his office said, to bolster the country’s ability to respond to threats such as global terrorism.
* PIZZA EXPRESS: Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital has struck a deal with Gondola Group to buy Britain’s Pizza Express chain for about 900 mln pounds, the companies said on Saturday.
* BT : British Telecom is set to return to the mobile phones market after a 13-year gap when it unveils its plans for a business-focused service on Thursday, the Sunday Express said.
* DIRECT LINE : The British insurer is holding advanced talks with a series of industry players to sell its operations in Italy and Germany, where the company has struggled to gain scale, two sources close to the deal said.
* BARCLAYS : Barclays Plc’s planned sale of its index business could yield close to $1 billion for the British bank, more than double what had been expected, according to people familiar with the matter.
Also, Barclays boss Antony Jenkins faces one of the biggest tests of his leadership this month when he decides whether the bank, Britain’s third largest, should fight accusations it deceived and defrauded customers in the United States.
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$1 = 0.5877 British Pounds Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Alistair Smout