May 22, 2019 / 6:40 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 22

(Adds company news items, futures)

May 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 21 points higher at 7,350 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.29% ahead of the cash market open.

* ACACIA MINING: Acacia Mining Plc said on Wednesday it continued to be excluded from discussions between Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO and the Government of Tanzania with regard to a tax dispute.

* IG GROUP: Online financial trading platform IG Group Holdings Plc on Wednesday forecast a sharp fall in full-year net trading revenue and operating profit, saying it was continuing to suffer from low levels of financial market volatility.

* SUPERDRY: Fashion retailer Superdry appointed Nick Gresham as interim chief financial officer on Wednesday to succeed Ed Barker, who resigned on April 2 after the return of its founder Julian Dunkerton as interim boss.

* Royal Mail: Royal Mail Plc on Wednesday slashed its dividend by 40% and said it would invest a further 1.8 billion pounds ($2.29 billion) in its UK postal service over the next five years in hopes of turning the business around.

* MARKS & SPENCER: Britain’s Marks & Spencer reported a 10% fall in full-year profit, a third straight decline, along with falls in quarterly underlying sales of both clothing and food, showing the pain of its latest attempt at a multi-year turnaround.

* PARAGON BANKING: Paragon Banking Group reported a jump in first-half underlying profit, driven by a surge in Mortgage and commercial lending volumes.

* BABCOCK: British engineering services group Babcock said on Wednesday it expected revenue and underlying operating profit to fall in 2019/2020 during what it expects to be a “challenging” year.

* SSE: British energy supplier SSE Plc on Wednesday missed analysts’ expectations for annual profit and warned of another hit to results in 2019 as it battled stiff competition and rising costs.

* BHP: Global miner BHP Group on Wednesday said it plans to expand its nickel sulphide operations amid an expected boom in demand for the material in electric vehicle batteries.

* ACACIA: Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp said on Tuesday it has proposed to acquire all of the shares it does not already own in Acacia Mining Plc through a share-for-share exchange of 0.153 Barrick shares for each ordinary share of Acacia.

* METRO BANK: Metro Bank escaped a potential investor challenge at its annual meeting on Tuesday, but there were sizeable votes against several of its most senior directors.

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.25% at 7,328.92 on Tuesday, helped by a rally in homebuilders amid news of a proposed parliamentary vote on a second Brexit referendum and gains in Asia-facing stocks after the United States relaxed restrictions on China’s Huawei.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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