PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – April 8

April 8 (Reuters) – The following were the top stories in
The New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* In the face of evidence that jam-packed stores encourage
sales, retailers are redesigning their space to stuff in more
displays.

* The federal government is a very big business, and
temporarily pulling the plug would disrupt many other
businesses.

* Investors are sifting through an inventory of empty, dank
houses in Florida, hoping to spruce up the properties cheaply
and sell them at a profit.

* Portugal’s request for an international bailout puts
European leaders in the difficult position of drafting a package
of austerity measures and financial aid that will survive the
country’s caretaker government.

* The Walt Disney Co placed a huge bet on China’s
shifting approach to Westernized entertainment on Friday as it
broke ground here on a $4.4 billion theme park and resort – even
if it is one without classic American features like a Main
Street.

* Defying critics and breaking ranks with its counterparts
in the United States and Britain, the European Central Bank
moved on Thursday to slay what some economists say they believe
is an imaginary inflation threat, raising the benchmark interest
rate in the euro area for the first time since 2008.

* A proposal from a British commission is expected to
suggest separating the trading and deposit-taking functions at
the country’s banks.

* Retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters posted an unexpected
1.7 percent increase in March, handily beating the average
analyst estimate of a 0.7 percent decline.

* Little more than a year after General Motors
engineered a sale that saved Saab from oblivion, the carmaker is
facing a fresh bout of financial troubles that threaten to
spread pain across Sweden. Work at Saab’s main pant in Sweden is
halted as the company tries to resolve pay and contract disputes
with its suppliers.

* Time Warner Cable and Viacom Inc (VIAb.N: Quote, Profile, Research) each
filed lawsuits on Thursday that seek to resolve a stormy dispute
in the television business over the right to stream channels to
new devices like iPads.

* The line between cyberspace and the physical world is
blurring with a new search technology being demonstrated by
Autonomy , a British software publisher.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co paid Jamie Dimon, its chief
executive, a total of $20.8 million last year, a substantial
increase from $1.3 million he received in 2009, the bank
disclosed Thursday afternoon in a regulatory filing.

* The world of offshore tax havens gained a surprising new
contender on Thursday when the Justice Department asked a
federal court for permission to force HSBC , the
London-based bank, to turn over the names of wealthy
Indian-American clients suspected of evading taxes through
offshore accounts at the bank’s affiliate in India.

* Expedia Inc , the online travel company, said on
Thursday that it would split into two companies, with its
TripAdvisor business becoming a separate business.

* Oil prices rose to their highest level in more than two
years on Thursday, while Wall Street erased gains prompted by
better-than-expected economic data after reports of another
earthquake in Japan.

(Compiled by Mary Meyase; Bangalore Equities Newsdesk +91 80;
4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)

PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – April 8