Sunday Round-Up: The main stories from yesterday's City pages

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The Independent Online
The Sunday Express

William Hill, the bookmaker, is to mark the start of the Cheltenham Festival this week with the introduction of an incentive scheme. Points awarded for every pounds 20 staked by customers will be redeemable against luxury goods whether the bet proves a winner or not.

The Mail on Sunday

Maurice Saatchi, chairman of the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising group, is relinquishing his five-year rolling contract, worth pounds 3m. No other director has a contract longer than three years. Charles Scott, the chief executive, is thought to have pressed Mr Saatchi to follow suit.

The Observer

Asda is pressing suppliers to bring in permanently lower prices rather than promotional offers. The move is intended to stop price fluctuations which, Asda claims, upset customers.

English China Clays is to demerge its UK and US building materials operations, which are thought to be worth around pounds 300m. The plan is likely to be announced today at the group's 1993 results meeting. ECC is thought to have made a pre-tax profit of pounds 85m in 1993 compared with pounds 100m in 1992.

The Sunday Times

The Inland Revenue believes that Britain's black economy may have exceeded pounds 50bn as people try to avoid tax. It is estimated that the figure for 1994/95 may be up to pounds 54bn, suggesting that it is growing faster than the official economy.

Reuters, the media group, is planning to expand into healthcare information, providing services to pharmaceutical companies, doctors and laboratories. The company may also provide information services for the insurance and advertising industries.

The Sunday Telegraph

Several big funds have declined to participate in the flotation of Maid, the on-line business information provider, which is coming to the market through a pounds 25m placing. The company is expected to be valued at more than pounds 100m.

The annual report of Baring Brothers, the merchant bank, will show that its chairman, Peter Baring, was paid pounds 1,242,000 last year against pounds 462,000 the previous year. The report will also show that the highest-paid director was paid pounds 1,670,000 ( pounds 708,000).

Independent on Sunday

Elf Aquitaine has had informal talks that could lead to the sale of its 10 per cent stake in Enterprise Oil, the largest independent oil company in the UK. Elf, which is due to be privatised by the French government, has already said that Enterprise is no longer regarded as part of its core business.

Medway Ports may face legal action from former dockers who had to sell their shares in the company after being unfairly dismissed and who are now claiming that they have been deprived of significant gains.

Nearly 2,500 names at Lloyd's of London have received letters warning them of bankruptcy proceedings unless overdue syndicate losses are met without delay.

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