June 14 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Friday:
* Top management at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is pressing to increase the ceiling on a possible rights issue to 2 billion euros ($2.66 billion) from 1 billion euros, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
* British financial services firm Resolution Group and private equity firms TPG Capital and J.C. Flowers are bidding for Allstate Corp’s Lincoln Benefit Life subsidiary, according to two people familiar with the situation.
* Luxury hotel owner Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc has hired investment bank Eastdil Secured to explore a possible sale of the real estate investment trust, two sources familiar with the matter said this week.
* French bank Societe Generale is in talks to buy out rival Credit Agricole’s 50-percent stake in their jointly owned brokerage Newedge, several sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG and Russia’s VTB Capital , has selected banks for a possible initial public offering next year, two sources familiar with the situation said.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc has quietly offered some top clients a tool that allows them to plug into its trading system and buy or sell large blocks of stock electronically.
* Malaysian energy and water company Ranhill Energy and Resources Bhd is expected to launch its initial public offering on June 28 that will target raising 1 billion ringgit ($319.23 million), two sources said.