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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 22
Published at 22/07/2021 at 07:58

(Updates futures, adds news items)

July 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.04%.

* MORRISONS: Shareholders in British supermarket group Morrisons will get to vote on a 6.3 billion pound takeover offer from a consortium led by SoftBank owned Fortress Investment Group on August 16, it said.

* NATWEST: Britain's government said on Thursday that it plans to sell up to a 15% stake in NatWest over a 12 month window.

* UNILEVER: Unilever Plc reported higher-than-expected underlying sales growth for the second quarter and first half as consumers cooked more meals at home.

* WORKSPACE: Workspace Group Plc said it expected strong signs of businesses in London returning to work with easing of pandemic-related restrictions.

* FIRSTGROUP: FirstGroup increased its planned shareholder returns by 135 million pounds after closing the sale of its U.S. bus assets to private equity firm EQT Infrastructure.

* CENTRICA: Centrica reported broadly flat operating profits for the first six months of 2021, with the benefits of higher commodity prices and stronger energy use offset by the impact of COVID-19 and industrial action.

* IG GROUP: Online trading platform IG Group reported a 52% jump in annual profit, as a retail frenzy boosted trading activity beyond the already strong levels seen in the previous financial year.

* GO-AHEAD: British transport company Go-Ahead named Christian Schreyer as its new chief executive from Nov. 5, replacing David Brown who said in May he planned to retire before the end of the year.

* MARLOWE: Britain's Marlowe Plc made public its offer to take over office services provider Restore Plc for about 743 million pounds ($1.02 billion).

* BHP: BHP Group said it signed a nickel supply agreement with Tesla Inc and will work with the electric carmaker on lowering carbon emissions in the battery supply chain.

* COVID19: British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he was concerned by a so-called 'pingdemic' in which hundreds of thousands of workers have been told to isolate by an official app as fears grew of food and fuel shortages.

* RETAIL: Britain's retailers could open thousands of local high-street stores over the next 12 months as people start to step out again after months of coronavirus curbs, according to research from Barclays.

* RIO TINTO: Canadian union Unifor said on Wednesday miner Rio Tinto has been served with a 72-hour strike notice after nearly seven weeks of unproductive negotiations over proposed changes to workers' retirement income and benefit levels.

* HISCOX: Insurer Hiscox Ltd said the group's chief executive, Bronek Masojada, will retire at the end of the year and will be replaced by current Chief Financial Officer Aki Hussain.

* FOOD SUPPLY: Britain's food supply chains are "right on the edge of failing" as absence related to COVID-19 has aggravated a critical shortage of labour, a meat industry body said on Wednesday.

* OIL: Oil prices fell after an unexpected rise in U.S. crude oil inventories and as rising COVID-19 infections threaten demand.

* Travel-related stocks and retailers helped London's FTSE 100 to record its strongest session in more than five months on Wednesday.

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

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

((shanima.a@thomsonreuters.com; (Within UK +44 20 7542 1810; Outside UK+91 80 6182 2587; Direct: +91 77 6034 7399 );))