February 22, 2018 / 7:51 AM / in 5 months

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 22

(Adds more company news items, futures)

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen to open 82 points lower at 7,199.8 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.86 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* PLAYTECH: British gambling technology company Playtech posted an 18 percent rise in annual revenue, helped by a strong performance in its gaming business.

* MORGAN SINDALL: Britain’s Morgan Sindall Group Plc on Thursday reported a 48 percent rise in annual pretax profit, helped by a strong performance in its office installation and refurbishment business.

* KAZ MINERALS: Kazakhstan-focused Kaz Minerals on Thursday said its full-year profit before tax jumped to $580 million in 2017 from $220 million a year earlier and said it expected its 2018 output to be up as much as 16 percent.

* TBC BANK: TBC Bank Group Plc, Georgia’s largest retail bank, reported a jump in full-year net profit, buoyed by robust lending, and maintained its medium-term targets in a growing economy.

* CENTRICA: Britain’s largest energy supplier Centrica, which issued a profit warning in November, raised its cost efficiency programme target by 500 million pounds ($694.00 million) and said it would cut about 4,000 jobs by 2020.

* SERCO: British outsourcer Serco reported 2017 profit in line with its recently-upgraded forecast and reiterated its expectations for 2018, expressing confidence in a sector hit by the collapse of rival Carillion.

* RSA: Insurer RSA’s 2017 operating profit rose 1 percent to an above-forecast 663 million pounds ($920.24 million), boosted by strong performance in its Canadian and Scandinavian businesses, it said on Thursday.

* HAYS: British recruiter Hays posted a 16 percent rise in first-half profit, helped by growth in its international business and cost controls in its domestic market, where hiring has been hit by uncertainty since Britain voted to leave the EU.

* British American Tobacco reported higher full-year sales and profits on Thursday, helped by the acquisition of Reynolds American and market share gains.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Anglo American on Thursday reported underlying EBITDA of $‍8.8​ billion, a 45 percent increase year-on-year, halved its net debt and delivered free cash flow of $4.9 billion, a 93 percent increase.

* RATHBONE BROTHERS: British wealth and investment manager Rathbone Brothers on Thursday posted a 17.6 percent increase in pretax profit, boosted by record assets under management on the back of market gains and net inflows.

* BARCLAYS: Barclays PLC on Thursday reported its annual profit for 2017 rose 10 percent from the year before, and pledged to restore its full dividend with a payout of 6.5 pence per share in 2018.

* BAE SYSTEMS: British defence company BAE Systems posted an 8 percent rise in annual earnings, in line with forecasts, helped by the ramp up in production the F-35 combat aircraft, and guided that it expected earnings to be flat for 2018.

* INTERSERVE: British contractor Interserve, which is in talks with its bankers to secure funding after issuing two profit warnings last year, has decided to close its power business as part of an operational restructuring of its industrial unit.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca Plc, said on Wednesday an advisory committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of its FluMist Quadrivalent vaccine in the upcoming flu season, reversing its earlier position.

* UNILEVER: The British government is bracing for Unilever, , one of the country’s biggest companies, to shift its headquarters to the Netherlands after months of political pressure from both sides, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

* GLENCORE: Glencore and four bank lenders have reached a deal with Chad on the restructuring of an over $1 billion oil-backed loan, sources familiar with the matter said.

* SIMPLYBIZ-IPO: British company SimplyBiz is joining a queue of financial services firms preparing for flotations on the London stock market with plans for a listing that could value the group at more than 150 million pounds ($209 million).

* AA: Ten hedge funds betting on a fall in AA shares are set to reap collective paper profits of more than 16 million pounds ($22.3 million) after its stock dropped by up to 30 percent.

* METRO BANK: Metro Bank could raise capital this year, its CEO said, as the British lender looks to fuel growth.

* EX-DIVS: Carnival, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Imperial Brands, will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 9.1 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations

* BRITAIN-EU: Britain still wants an implementation phase with the European Union of around two years, a government source said on Wednesday, saying there was no change in the government’s Brexit policy.

The transition period after Britain leaves the European Union at midnight of March 29th, 2019, should last as long as it takes to prepare a new free trade agreement with the European Union, a British document showed on Wednesday.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday, pulled down as a firmer dollar outweighed a report of a decrease in U.S. crude inventories.

* GOLD: Gold prices held steady around a one-week low on Thursday, weighed down by minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that showed policymakers backed further interest rate rises.

* METALS: London metals fell on Thursday after U.S. policymakers backed the need for more rate rises, pushing up the dollar and putting pressure on metals as trading in Shanghai resumed after a week-long break.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.48 percent higher at 7281.57 points on Wenesday, as solid earnings from Glencore and Lloyds gave a boost to miners and financial shares, helping lift the blue-chip index into positive territory after earlier losses.

* 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 Harish Bhaskar)

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