Sunday Round-Up: The main stories fron yesterdays City pages

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The Independent Online
The Mail on Sunday

Lord Weinstock, managing director of GEC, plans to re-open talks with British Aerospace to seek a merger of their defence arms. A deal would create the world's second-largest defence contractor.

Prudential, the life insurer, could face compensation claims after transferring the pensions of 246 working miners out of their occupational pension scheme.

Mel Smith, the comedian, has borrowed hundreds of thousands of pounds from his private company.

The Sunday Telegraph

John Cahill is expected to resign today as chairman of British Aerospace after clashing with Dick Evans, chief executive. Mr Cahill is well-regarded in the City but the remoteness that stems from his American home is said to have caused problems within BAe.

Claims that 500,000 members of company pension schemes have been wrongly advised to transfer to personal pension plans have been grossly exaggerated, according to Fimbra, the regulator for independent financial advisers.

Denby Pottery, maker of tableware, is planning a stock market flotation this spring that could value the firm at pounds 50m. A float would make millionaires of Stephen Riley, managing director, and three colleagues.

Jon Moulton, a prominent figure in the venture capital industry, has resigned as managing partner of Schroder Ventures, after falling out with its merchant banking parent. Schroder Ventures has had to re- open its latest investment fund.

Peter Nutting, the Lloyd's council member who is the former chairman of the Outhwaite Names' Association, is urging members of the insurance market to accept a pounds 900m settlement of their claims.

The Sunday Times

The stock market is braced for its biggest sell-off since Black Monday in 1987. Analysts fear a fall of up to 150 points in the FT-SE 100 after the American Federal Reserve's signal that it is raising interest rates for the first time in five years.

Prince Caracciolo, head of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which owns 18.4 per cent of the Independent newspaper group, is discussing with his partners in the Mirror consortium whether to increase its 250p a share offer.

A bumper exit package for British Aerospace chairman John Cahill, including several millions of dollars of share options, looks set to unsettle BAe's boardroom, as does concern over his tax position.

Gerry Robinson, Granada's chief executive, is preparing to increase his 700p a share bid for London Weekend Television in an effort to win a recommendation from LWT chairman Sir Christopher Bland.

ESN Pension Management, the electricity industry's pension fund manager, has investigated the possibility of taking over the pounds 14bn British Coal pension fund, the largest in Britain.

The Observer

Pentos, the retail group, has written to its landlords saying that it will have to pay December's rent on its Dillons, Athena and Ryman shops in three monthly instalments to save money. The letter also warns that Pentos will soon be requesting further rent concessions.

The Building Societies Association is to complain to the insurance and investment regulator Lautro about the way Marks & Spencer has been promoting its personal equity plan. The building societies object to the way M&S compares the tax-free returns from PEPs with the taxed returns on building society accounts.

Insurance companies must brace themselves for claims from people suffering work-related stress, the Association of British Insurers will warn this week.

John Cahill, the British Aerospace chairman who last week agreed the pounds 800m sale of Rover to BMW, is planning to quit the company this year.

London markets are braced for a significant retrenchment following Friday's 96-point fall on Wall Street after the first rise in American interest rates for five years.

Independent on Sunday

The Insider dealing unit of the Stock Exchange is examining share transactions by two Americans connected with TeleCommunications Inc, the US cable giant that took control of the British company Flextech last week.

A big fall in share prices is being predicted by equity strategists when world markets open today as dealers take stock of the US Federal Reserve Board's decision to increase short-term interest rates for the first time in five years.

BMW plans to move quickly to reduce Rover's dependence on parts it buys from Honda, a move that threatens not only Rover's 15-year relationship with the Japanese car maker but also the future of Honda's engine factory at Swindon.

Schroder Ventures, one of the largest international venture capital groups, has been forced to extend the closing date for its latest UK buyout fund in the wake of the sudden resignation of its managing partner, John Moulton.

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