LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening slightly lower on Friday, with futures dipping 0.1 percent before the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 4.44 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,815.42 points on Thursday, hovering close to its 2013 high of 6,875.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Royal Dutch Shell warned on Friday that its fourth-quarter figures are expected to be significantly lower than recent levels of profitability because of current oil and gas prices and problems in the downstream environment.
* BANKS - Britain’s banks will have to shrink and sell off branches in order to improve competition if Labour wins the next election, party leader Ed Miliband will announce on Friday in a speech spelling out his agenda for financial reform.
* TELECOMS - Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG and France’s Orange said on Friday they will maintain the current management structure of their joint venture EE, putting on hold plans to float the largest mobile operator in Britain.
* AVIVA - British insurer Aviva and Astra International sign a joint venture in Indonesia, to serve the market in the country.
* SHIRE - The British pharmaceutical agrees to sell Dermagraft to Organogenesis, saying it will record a loss on the disposal of approximately $650 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
* WILLIAM HILL - The bookmaker said it expects group operating profit of around 334 million pounds ($545.89 million), with net revenue increasing 16 percent on a full year basis.
* RETAILERS - John Lewis saw weekly sales rise 9.5 percent in the week to January 11.
* EVRAZ - Russia’s largest steelmaker Evraz said on Friday its fourth-quarter crude steel output rose 0.7 percent from the previous quarter to 4.0 million tonnes.
* SPECTRIS - The British industrial firm downgraded its forecast for 2013 operating profit.
* Brent crude slipped toward $105 a barrel as concerns over a rise in supply from Libya and Iran dragged on prices, although an OPEC production cut checked losses. Copper was barely changed.
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