Speculation linking Marks & Spencer to a possible bid for Sainsbury's is continuing, with reports that the retailer has asked its banker to assess a bid.

Last week reports in The Times suggested M&S executives had held internal meetings to weigh up the merits of a bid for Sainsbury's.

However, M&S has asked US investment bank Citigroup to assess the merits of a bid and look at how M&S could profit from a merger, according to reports in the Sunday Express.