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

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The Independent Online
Independent on Sunday

The Personal Investment Authority, the embryonic financial watchdog, was plunged into a fresh crisis this weekend as it emerged that the bulk of applications from prospective member firms have been filled in wrongly.

The Government's inflation estimates could be thrown out by the relentless and little noticed surge in the prices of raw materials in recent months. Some manufacturers are already passing on their higher costs to the consumer.

Lloyd's of London will announce tomorrow that its losses have been overstated by pounds 600m because of double counting. But the smaller than expected losses will be little comfort to investors who, according to one analyst, face a cash levy as early as July this year to keep the market solvent.


Thomas Ward, the US attorney who aided Ernest Saunders, the disgraced former chief executive of Guinness in the infamous pounds 2.7bn takeover of Distillers, is suing Guinness for upwards of dollars 85m ( pounds 57m).

Co-operative Insurance, which ranks second only to the Prudential in terms of the number of customers, is being primed for a stock market flotation.

Sunday Times

Britain's privatised water and electricity companies are heading for more heavy write-offs and losses after last week's announcement by East Midlands Electricity that it has written off pounds 80m on its widely criticised diversification programme and is making 700 people redundant.

De La Rue, the banknote printer, is the mystery company in bid talk with Portals, the pounds 500m security printer.

BMW has halted development of Rover's new Metro, due to be launched next summer. Instead the German company, which bought Rover from British Aerospace in January for pounds 800m, plans to revamp the existing Metro despite the fact that the car's basic design is 15 years old.

Sunday Telegraph

Latest figures this week on high street sales and average earnings are set to provide another flash-point in fast polarising relations between the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, and the Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George.

Engineering group GKN is poised to launch a wholesale programme to sell non- core subsidiaries following last month's successful pounds 577m hostile takeover of the helicopter group Westland.