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

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The Independent Online
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY - The chairman of United Newspapers, Lord Stevens, and Tony O'Reilly, chairman of Heinz, are discussing ways in which United could buy Mr O'Reilly's Irish group, Independent Newspapers.

The deal could involve Independent Newspapers taking a stake of about 15 per cent in United Newspapers and injecting its management into the group, whose titles include the Daily Express and the Yorkshire Post.

Swinton Insurance, the motor broker that has been suffering from competition from Direct Line, is to part company with its managing director, Alex Thomson.

He will leave as part of a reorganisation instigated by Sun Alliance, which has invested pounds 100m and has taken control of Swinton.

Malbak, the South African food and drugs group, is planning a quote on the London Stock Exchange in response to growing interest.

The City of London fraud squad has launched an inquiry into the mortgage indemnity insurance broker, Quercus Holdings. This follows last weekend's arrest of its chairman, Andrew Graham-Watson, and his brother Hugh.

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - A public share issue is likely to be recommended to finance the pounds 2.5bn Channel tunnel rail link. Members of the government-backed committee set up last week to examine ways of attracting private finance for infrastructure projects believe that construction companies are now too weak to finance such deals on their own.

A paper to be published today will show that car ferry prices to cross the channel have doubled in real terms since 1985. The European Union's competition authorities are examining evidence to decide whether to take legal action against the two main operators, Sealink and P&O.

David Jones, managing director of one of TI's engineering subsidiaries, is to take over as chief executive of South Wales Electricity.

SUNDAY EXPRESS - Richard Branson's Virgin Group will this week announce plans to begin flights from London City Airport to Dublin, in a joint venture with a new business start-up, City Jet.

THE SUNDAY TIMES - The Kuwait Investment office is preparing a worldwide sale of its assets to fund the country's debts following the Gulf war.

KIO sources say it is being asked to send dollars 300m a month to Kuwait for the next three years, a total of dollars 10bn.

The most liquid assets, including property in Britian and the US, could be first to go. Its stake in British Petroleum could be reduced or sold completely.

BMW, the German car-maker, wants to buy Rover, British Aerospace's car-making subsidiary. A similar attempt last year to buy the car group, valued by BAe at pounds 1bn, fell through at the last moment.

The Government is split over whether National Power and Powergen, the electricity generators, should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Tim Eggar, energy minister at the Department of Trade and Industry, is believed to favour such a move. But the Treasury, which wants to sell the remaining government stake next summer, is against it.

THEOBSERVER - The merchant bank NM Rothschild is inviting tenders from companies to join its bid to run the National Lottery.

Companies will be invited to bid for everything from printing tickets to training staff.

The takeover of London & Edinburgh Trust, the property company, by the Swedish mutual insurance group, SPP, in 1990 could have cost pounds 1.2bn, with more losses to come this year.

An analysis of London & Edinburgh Trust's accounts show that SPP could have had to find nearly pounds 800m to finance LET over the past three years, on top of the pounds 491m paid for the group.

Proshare, the organisation set up to promote wider share ownership, is in danger of running out of money.

Geoffrey Maddrell, the organisation's chief executive, is lobbying for new funds.