LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 21 to 31 points, or as much as 0.5 percent, lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.3 percent, or 16.39 points, at 6,449.27 points - its lowest close since December.
* Ex-divs will trim 1.04 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, as Unilever trades without entitlement for its latest dividend payout.
* RETAILERS - British retailers slashed prices at the fastest rate in at least seven years during the January sales, industry figures showed on Wednesday, highlighting tough trading conditions despite an improving economy.
* RSA - British insurer RSA has appointed former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester as its new chief executive with immediate effect, replacing Simon Lee who quit in December.
* LLOYDS - Lloyds Banking Group’s Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio could be awarded and would accept a bonus of up to 2 million pounds ($3.26 million) in coming weeks, Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing Whitehall sources.
* PUNCH TAVERNS - Britain’s second biggest pubs group will warn its lenders on Wednesday that failure to pass a controversial debt restructuring deal could lead to at least five years of “mess” and “uncertainty”, the Telegraph reported.
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