June 17, 2019 / 6:50 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on June 17

(Adds futures and company news items)

June 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 23 points higher at 7,369 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.18% ahead of the cash market open.

* BABCOCK, SERCO: British engineering services group Babcock International Group Plc on Monday confirmed that it had rejected an offer made by rival Serco Group back in January to combine the two companies in a deal which would have created a company worth 4 billion pounds ($5.04 billion).

* KIER GROUP: Kier Group Plc said on Monday it would cut about 1,200 jobs and suspend its dividend for the next two years, as part of a review to lower debt and simplify its structure.

* AIRTEL AFRICA: Airtel Africa Ltd IPO-AIRTA.L, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, on Monday set a price range of 80 to 100 pence per share for its planned initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN: Hargreaves Lansdown Chief Executive Officer Chris Hill is waiving a bonus of as much as 2.1 million pounds ($2.65 million) over the firm’s links with Neil Woodford’s suspended fund, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Sunday the completion of a merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank would lead to RBS shedding 4.7 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) of risk weighted assets and boost its core capital.

* GOALS SOCCER CENTRES: British five-a-side football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres is preparing to launch a sale process within months, Sky News reported on Saturday.

* RYANAIR: Belgium’s labour laws can apply to Ryanair employees based in the country, a local court ruled on Friday, in a case that could set a precedent elsewhere in Europe and upholds a 2018 agreement reached between the airline and Belgian unions.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will take all actions necessary to guarantee safe navigation in the Middle East, as tensions mounted following attacks on tankers last week.

* GOLD: Gold prices steadied on Monday after retreating from a 14-month peak in the previous session, as the dollar strengthened on back of strong U.S. retail sales report, while investors await U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week.

* The UK blue chip index slipped by 0.3% on Friday as Asia-focused banks took a hit from underwhelming Chinese industrial growth data, while Kier shed more than a third of its value after it was reported to be planning to sell its housebuilding unit at a discount.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)

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