MG Rover parent company Phoenix Venture Holdings finally published its long-delayed 2004 accounts yesterday and raised questions about its ability, ultimately, to transfer assets to the trust fund set up to aid ex-Longbridge workers and their families.

The company recorded a financial loss of #41.3 million versus a profit of #18.8 million in 2003.

The deficit is a book-keeping exercise that takes into account the possible impact on PVH of a number of multi-million pound claims that may or may not materialise.

But with cash reserves of only #3 million in the bank, the company could be wiped out by just one successful claim, industry insiders pointed out.

One even questioned whether or not PVH, whose accounts come with a health warning by auditors Deloitte, is in fact solvent.

Chairman John Towers and his three co-directors are working unpaid to wind up PVH's affairs in an orderly fashion with a view to transferring its remaining assets to the trust fund.

A spokesman last night dismissed Deloitte's disclaimer as a "technicality" and insisted the company was still viable and would ultimately have money to put into the fund.

* A high-powered delegation from the municipal government in Nanjing will meet council leaders tomorrow.

Luo Zhijun, chief senior adviser at Nanjing city government, is leading a tenstrong delegation to Birmingham to tour the former MG Rover site at Longbridge.

The delegation will then meet Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby and Clive Dutton, director of planning and regeneration, to talk about forging trade and economic links between the two cities.

The trip could help Birmingham's efforts to ensure Beijing's team chooses the city for its 2012 Olympics base camp.

Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) said: "A relation-ship which can only boost our aspirations for city-wide job creation opportunities through economic ties, cultural benefits and our bid to ensure that the Chinese team comes to Birmingham for the 2012 Olympics."