UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on June 28
(Adds company news items, futures)
June 28 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 1 point higher at 7,404 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 down 0.05% ahead of the cash market open.
* FRENCH CONNECTION: French Connection FCCN.L on Friday pushed the date by which the British clothing retailer could be sold by three months to Sept. 17, with talks still ongoing with a number of interested parties. AIRTEL AFRICA: Airtel Africa Ltd AAF.L , a unit of India's Bharti Airtel Ltd BRTI.NS , priced its London market debut at 80 pence, at the bottom end of the expected range, its bookrunner said on Friday. MERLIN: Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments MERL.L is to be acquired by the investment vehicle of Lego's founding family and private equity firm Blackstone (NYSE: BX ) Group LP BX.N in a deal valuing the company and its debt at nearly 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion). WOODFORD PATIENT: Woodford Patient Capital Trust WPCT.L said on Friday it plans to cut debt and refresh its board following talks with shareholders concerned about a slide in the company's share price. AVOCET MINING: Struggling gold miner Avocet Mining Plc AVM.L on Friday said its board has proposed voluntary liquidation of the company and that remaining cash be used to pay creditors. UNITE GROUP: Britain's Unite Group UTG.L said on Thursday it was in advanced talks to buy fellow student accommodation firm Liberty Living from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). TCS GROUP: Russian consumer lender TCS Group TCSq.L , the parent company of Tinkoff Bank, said on Thursday it would raise extra capital by offering 16.7 million global depositary receipts (GDRs) at $18 per unit. BT: BT Group BT.L said on Thursday that Orange ORAN.PA , France's number one telecoms operator, would offer up its entire 2.5% stake in the Britain's former telecoms monopoly. GLENCORE: At least 41 artisanal miners were killed on Thursday when part of a copper and cobalt mine owned by Glencore GLEN.L collapsed in southeast Congo, the provincial governor said. PETROFAC: Iraq has temporarily suspended Petrofac PFC.L from bidding on new contracts, although existing deals are not affected, the head of an Iraqi state oil firm said on Thursday. MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS: Britain's Merlin Entertainments Plc MERL.L is to be acquired for 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion) by a group made up of Kirkbi, the investment vehicle of Lego's founding family, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP BX.N and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, the Financial Times reported on Friday. BHP: BHP Group BHPB.L BHP.AX has agreed to pay the state of Western Australia A$250 million ($175 million) to end a dispute over royalties paid on iron ore shipments sold through its Singapore marketing hub, the two parties said on Friday. GOLD: Gold prices jumped on Friday, heading for their best month in three years, as uncertainty loomed over whether highly anticipated trade talks between China and the United States would yield any progress in ending a year-long trade dispute. OIL: Oil prices eased on Friday in a cautious market, as traders eyed a scheduled meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit and next week's OPEC meeting. The UK blue chip index closed 0.2% lower on Thursday as initial investor optimism gave way to uncertainty amid conflicting reports on whether Washington and Beijing would commit to a trade truce, while Glencore skidded after a mine collapse in Congo. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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