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

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Sunday Express

Rentokil, the business services group, will today announce the acquisition of two businesses, one in Spain and the other in the US. The combined cost is likely to be between pounds 5m and pounds 10m.

Imro, the City watchdog, is investigating Ian Kennedy, a director of Baring Asset Management. The investigation follows a Channel 4 programme looking at Mr Kennedy's activities as a director of Govett Strategic Investment Trust during the 1980s.

The Observer

John McGregor, the Transport Secretary, will face difficulties in transferring the pounds 2bn debts of British Rail into Railtrack, the vehicle for privatisation that will come into being next April.

Rail experts estimate that about pounds 1.7bn of the borrowings relate to work on the Channel tunnel rail link, but the Channel Tunnel Act prohibits the investment of public money in the project.

Imperial Chemical Industries has put its Millbank building up for sale in the wake of the demerger of its biotechnology arm, Zeneca.

Estate agents are planning to set up an ombudsman scheme in an attempt to clamp down on sharp practice in the industry.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors believes that, despite new legislation to clean up the industry, controls are still lacking. The aim is to have the scheme in place before the market takes off again.

The planned rescue of Norton, the motor-cycle business, may be jeopardised by the fact that the man behind the rescue, Nelson Skalbania, is due to stand trial later this month on charges of misusing trust funds.

Share tips: Amersham International.

The Sunday Telegraph

Lloyd's of London, the insurance market, expects to raise up to pounds 2bn of corporate capital from investors backing syndicates with limited liability. Together with a recent surge of interest from underwriting members, this could increase the market's capacity from pounds 8.5bn to pounds 10bn for 1994.

Peter Wilmot-Sitwell is poised to retire as vice-chairman of SG Warburg, the merchant bank, to be succeeded by his protege Nick Verey.

Staff were told on Friday that Mr Wilmot-Sitwell would relinquish executive responsibilities at the group's annual meeting although he would remain a non-executive.

Maddox, the computer leasing group, will this week announce a writedown of its US assets, a change of name to Wakebourne and a new board appointment.

The changes, likely to be announced with its results on Wednesday, are an attempt to rally investor confidence and end its problems in the US.

DFS, the furniture group, will be valued at about pounds 250m when the prospectus for its float is issued this week. That is ahead of City estimates of about pounds 200m.

Share tips: Bowater, Canadian Pizza, Lloyds Chemists, Court Cavendish.

The Sunday Times

The board of the Savoy hotel group is split over the appointment of a chairman to replace Sr Anthony Tuke, who retires next year. Loyalists have approached Willi Bauer, chief executive of the Wentworth golf club, but others want John Kemp-Welch, a Savoy director and former senior partner of Cazenove, to take the chair.

Hanson, the industrial conglomerate, is expected to dispose of businesses worth pounds 500m both here and in the US to allow it to focus on its core construction, tobacco, chemicals, timber, coal mines and cranes businesses.

Among the businesses analysts expect to be up for sale are Tommy Armour, the golf club maker, and Valley, a pool table manufacturer, both based in the US. In Britain, Crabtree, an electrical products manufacturer, could be sold.

Pearson, the media group, is a front-runner in the bidding for Macmillan, the publishing group owned by the administrators of Robert Maxwell's empire, and for Extel, the information services business put up for sale by United Newspapers.

Analysts estimate Macmillan could fetch up to dollars 500m ( pounds 375m) while the price tag on Extel is about pounds 50m.

Lonrho's directors will meet on Thursday to discuss setting up audit and remuneration committees.

Share tips: British Aerospace, Whitbread.

The Mail on Sunday

Sir Clive Sinclair last year lent pounds 115,000 to his private company, which is behind his Zike electronic bicycle. He has said he will continue to support it to enable it to continue trading.

Fyffes, the banana group, is suing its rival, Geest, in an attempt to get some of its licences to import fruit from the Windward Islands.

Relate 2000, the videophone manufactured by GEC which allows callers to see each other, is likely to miss its sales targets.

Dixons has sold only 200 of the phones since they were launched in April. The phones, marketed by BT, had a sales target of 10,000 in their first year.

Share tips: Blick, Tunstall Group, Roxboro

The Independent on Sunday

Clive Leach, chairman and chief executive of Yorkshire Tyne-Tees Television, and Allan Hardie, commercial director, are to resign today following pressure from LWT and Pearson, the group's two largest shareholders.

The decision to call for their departure was taken at a meeting of non-executive directors on Friday. It follows last week's warning by the group that problems with advertising sales mean it is likely to make a loss this year.

Ward Thomas, a non-exective director, is expected to become chairman until a permanent replacement can be found.

Royal Bank of Scotland is considering a change of brokers amid speculation that it could sell off Direct Line, its insurance subsidiary, to shore up its defences against a possible bid. Among the half-dozen brokers believed to have made presentations are Smith New Court and Warburg Securities. The bank's present brokers, Credit Lyonnais-Laing and Bell Lawrie White, have not yet been told whether they will be dropped.

Signet, the jewellery chain formerly known as Ratners, is testing a third format in its shops. Called Equa, it will operate alongside the two other brands being tested - Kudos and Saquis. The group admits it is more like a clothing store, such as Next, than a traditional jewellery chain.

Robert Montagu, chairman of Tiphook, has put his herd of pedigree cattle up for sale following the drop in his personal fortune caused by the fall in the group's share price.

The herd, which includes Charolais and Highland cattle, is estimated to be worth about pounds 500,000.

The market is likely to recover some of its poise this week following Friday's 63.4-point fall, according to equity strategists. They say the outlook for British shares depends on the US Treasury bond market.

Share tips: SG Warburg, Amersham International, Manchester United.

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