LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen edging higher at the open on Tuesday, with June futures on the index up 0.2 percent at 0627 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 23.21 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,754.64 points on Monday.
* SHIRE : The drugmaker has hired investment bank Citi as an adviser, expecting to receive takeover approaches following a wave of deals in the healthcare sector, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* WHITBREAD : Britain’s biggest hotel and coffee shop operator, reported a strong start to the year on Tuesday, helped by growing demand across its Premier Inn hotels, Costa Coffee and pub restaurant businesses.
* BP The oil major’s chief executive Bob Dudley said on Tuesday the oil company’s operations in Iraq were so far unaffected by violence in the country.
* BG Group : The oil group said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its interest in Britain’s CATS pipeline for total proceeds of up to 562 million pounds ($943.65 million).
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL : The oil major launched a long-anticipated sale of most of its stake in Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd on Tuesday, looking to reap about $5.7 billion as it moves to focus on developing its own gas assets in Australia.
* ASHTEAD GROUP : The company said on Tuesday its full-year pretax profit came in at 357 million pounds ($599.44 million)versus 214 million pounds ($359.33 million)a year ago.
* RSA INSURANCE GROUP LTD : Britain’s largest non-life insurer is looking to sell its Asian operations in an auction that could fetch up to $500 million and draw a wide range of suitors, people familiar with the sale process told Reuters.
* BANKS: Exempting Britain’s banks from planned European Union rules to curb risky trading would be illegal, the bloc’s lawyers said on Monday in a legal opinion that marks another setback for UK attempts to limit Brussels’ influence on the City.
* British inflation data for May, due at 0830 GMT, will be closely scrutinised after the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, last week raised the prospect of a rate increase sooner than the market had expected.
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