March 20, 2017 / 7:49 AM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 20

(Adds company news items)

March 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were flat ahead of the cash market open on Monday.

* HANSTEEN: Britain’s Hansteen Holdings has agreed to sell its German and Dutch property portfolios for 1.28 billion euros ($1.38 billion) to entities owned by funds advised by affiliates of the Blackstone Group LP BX.N and M7 Real Estate, the company said on Monday.

* PHOENIX: Phoenix Group Holdings, Britain’s largest owner of life assurance funds closed to new customers, raised its long-term cash generation target due to benefits of acquisitions made last year.

* UNILEVER: Unilever is preparing a 6 billion pound ($7.44 billion) sale of some of its food brands, British newspapers reported on Saturday.

* BHP BILLITON: The labor union at the world’s largest copper mine, BHP Billiton’s Escondida in Chile, called a fresh offer of talks by management to end a 39-day strike “manipulative.”

* RBS: Lawyers representing tens of thousands of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shareholders have held tentative talks to settle a 1.2 billion pound damages claim over the lender’s 2008 rights issue that was launched shortly before a state bailout, two sources said.

* PETROFAC/WOOD GROUP: Canada’s SNC-Lavalin and Petrofac are eyeing Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler with the aim of acquiring assets and contracts likely to be divested by the UK pair as a result of their 2.2 bln pounds merger, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

* ASTRAZENECA: A newer class of type 2 diabetes drugs significantly cut the risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure compared with other medicines for the disease, according to data released on Sunday from a so-called real world study sponsored by AstraZeneca.

* MELROSE: Melrose Industries bosses are likely to be handed shares worth more than 150 mln pounds, Sky News reported on Sunday.

* BRITAIN HOUSING: Asking prices for homes in England and Wales are showing above-average increases as a shortage of properties for sale outweighed any nervousness about Brexit, a survey published by property data firm Rightmove showed on Monday.

* BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Wales on Monday as part of a plan to engage with all the nations of the United Kingdom before she formally launches Britain’s departure from the European Union.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.1 percent higher at 7,424.96 points on Friday, closing at a record level but with a stronger sterling capping gains.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY‘S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Siju Varghese; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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