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

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The Independent Online
The Mail on Sunday

TSB has arranged transfers worth pounds 84m out of the British Coal pension schemes into personal schemes. Such transfers have been strongly criticised by the Securities and Investments Board, the chief investor protection agency.

The Bank of England last year appointed inspectors to investigate the affairs of Habib Bank, Pakistan's largest financial institution which has a British branch network.

Alan Duncan MP, who resigned as a parliamentary private secretary last week after allegations that he had exploited the Government's scheme to allow council tenants to buy their homes, was chairman of a company that used tax and national insurance deducted from employees' pay to finance its own business, according to the company's receivers.

The Sunday Telegraph

The pop star Michael Jackson has put in a pounds 20m insurance claim with Lloyd's of London under a policy designed to compensate him for loss of income from the withdrawal of sponsorship after his world tour was abandoned. Including promoters and other groups hit the by the tour's cancellation, total claims could exceed pounds 40m.

Investors at Ashley Group are though to have ousted the chairman, James White, in anger at the turmoil within the Glasgow windows and blinds company. Mr White is thought to have offered to resign on Friday.

A team of Ferranti International managers is this week expected to make a tentative offer of pounds 20-30m for the bulk of the businesses within the collapsed electronics group.

Buy: Glynwed, London Electricity, First Leisure, DC Cook.

The Observer

British Gas is poised to clinch a series of contracts to link remote South American oilfields with consumers in the continent's largest cities. The deals in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile would be worth over pounds 3bn.

Michael Cannon, former chairman of the West Country brewer Devenish, is thought to be negotiating to buy 450 pubs from Scottish & Newcastle.

The new government in northern Cyprus has launched a police investigation into how dollars 4.2m ( pounds 2.8m) was secretly made available from a government pension fund to the fugitive businessman Asil Nadir before last month's election upset.

Buy: Gestetner, Medeva, Soundtracs.

The Sunday Times

Swiss Bank Corporation is likely to emerge as London's most profitable investment bank during 1993. Its estimated profit of close to pounds 600m is thought to put it ahead of Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers. BZW and NatWest Markets are also heading for record years.

LWT is believed to have approached Walt Disney Company and Time Warner in its attempts to find a white knight to defeat the hostile bid from Granada. Time Warner is thought to have rebuffed the approach and Disney is also likely to stay clear.

The quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce will this week show that Britain's recovery is slower than recent evidence has suggested, price pressures are subdued and the rising pound is worrying exporters.

Buy: TSB, Burn Stewart. Sell: Glaxo.

Independent on Sunday

Telewest, one of the biggest cable TV companies in Britain, plans to float on the stock market later this year. Goldman Sachs and Kleinwort Benson are being appointed global co-ordinators for an international offering expected to raise pounds 400m and value the company at pounds 1.5bn.

Sir Bryan Carsberg, Director- General of Fair Trading, is ready to throw a spanner in the works of Granada's pounds 670m bid for London Weekened Television (LWT) by recommending a strict limit on the amount of advertising any one company can sell. The ruling is likely to recommend that, if Granada wins its bid, LWT would have to give up its pounds 200m-a-year contract to sell the airtime of Yorkshire Tyne-Tees, worth pounds 1m a year in profits to LWT and saving YTTV about twice that in costs.

The Government looks poised to cancel the pounds 2.5bn CrossRail project this week. A feasibility study by six consultants for Transport Secretary John MacGregor found a question mark over the economic viability of linking lines in east and west London because of the fall in City employment since the late 1980s.

A meeting of creditors of the London accountancy firm Moore Sloane voted down a rescue last week after objections from Sting, the rock star. Sting claims the firm owes him pounds 7.7m after funds were misappropriated in the course of setting up and running an investment company for him. The firm contests this.

Buy: John Waddington, Sheffield Insulations, Argyll.

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