PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Aug 17

Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
The New York Times business pages on Tuesday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Mark V. Hurd, former chief of Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ),
was accused of sexual harassment by Jodie Fisher, an H.P.
contractor. A company inquiry found no harassment, but found
other violations.

* Major retailers are working with a new smartphone app
called Shopkick that tracks and offers promotions to users as
they shop.

* In June the Danish government cut into its benefits
system, the world’s most generous, by limiting unemployment
payments to two years instead of four

* The Federal Reserve announced that it was adopting new
rules banning yield spread premiums, which allowed mortgage
brokers and lenders to gain additional profit from loans by
charging borrowers higher-than-market interest rates.

* The police in Bangladesh have arrested three garment
industry labor leaders and 18 other people on charges that they
organized and participated in violent protests last month.

* Higher energy prices drove inflation in the euro area to
an annual rate of 1.7 percent in July, the highest level in 20
months but still within the range considered acceptable by the
European Central Bank.

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced on
Monday that it had reached a $12 million settlement on charges
that a trader for the ConAgra Trade Group, a prominent
commodities trading company that was at the time a part of
ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N: ), purposely executed a trade for an
oil futures contract at “a nonbona fide price.”

* Barclays Bank Plc (BARC.L: ) has agreed to pay $298 million
to settle accusations that the bank facilitated illegal
transfers of dollars for countries that were sanctioned by the
United States including Iran, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar,
according to documents filed Monday in federal district court
in Washington.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N: ) failed on Monday to win a judge’s
approval to pay $75 million to settle claims by the Securities
and Exchange Commission that the bank misled investors by
understating subprime-related holdings.

* SKS Microfinance, the first microfinance company to sell
stock to the public in India, got a strong endorsement from
investors on Monday when its shares closed up 10.5 percent on
the first day of trading.

* Dell Inc (DELL.O: ) said Monday that it has agreed to buy
3PAR Inc (PAR.N: ), a data storage company, for about $1.15
billion in cash, as the computer giant races to expand beyond
its core PC-making business.

* The Obama administration said Monday that it would
require significantly more environmental review before
approving new offshore drilling permits, ending a practice in
which government regulators essentially rubber-stamped
potentially hazardous deepwater projects like BP Plc’s (BP.L: )
out-of-control well.

* A World Trade Organization panel gave broad backing on
Monday to the United States, Japan and Taiwan in their
complaint over European duties on electronics products, and
told Brussels to bring its trade measures into line with
international rules.

* Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: ), a mining company based in
Britain, said Monday that it would buy a stake in an Indian
energy company for $9.6 billion in a move intended to bolster
India’s domestic oil production.

* James J. Kilpatrick, a prominent conservative voice for
half a century as a newspaper editor and columnist, author and
television personality, died Sunday in Washington. He was 89.

* Consumers bought more air-conditioners and grills at the
home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos (LOW.N: ) in early summer,
lifting second-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) 9.6 percent, but overall spending
was hurt by hot weather and the weak economy, the company said
Monday.

* Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: ) (BRKb.N: ) partly rebuilt
the stake in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: ) it had reduced in the
last two years to raise cash for other investments, and
increased its investment in Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: ) in the
second quarter.

PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Aug 17