PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – June 2

June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
the New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* As it investigates a suspected kickback scheme in New
York’s pension system, the Securities and Exchange Commission
has been pushing to bar Steven Rattner, a prominent financier
and former adviser to the Obama administration on the auto
industry, from working in the securities industry for up to
three years, according to three people told of the discussions.

* The strike that has crippled production at Honda Motor’s
(7267.T: ) factories in China has come as a wake-up call to
Japan’s flagship exporters as they seek to remain competitive
and push into China’s burgeoning market with the help of
low-wage workers.

* Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: ) has created what it believes is a
first-of-its-kind application allowing Facebook users to buy
tickets to “Toy Story 3” without leaving the social networking
site and while, at the same time, prodding their friends to
come along.

* The American International Group Inc (AIG.N: ) scuttled the
deal to sell its huge Asian life insurance arm to Prudential
Plc (PRU.L: ) of Britain for about $35 billion, in a major
setback to repaying the government for its 2008 rescue.

* The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had begun
civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in
the Gulf of Mexico, as the deepening crisis threatened to
define President Obama’s second year in office.

* Altria Group (MO.N: ), the nation’s largest tobacco
company, announced on Tuesday that it would pay $971 million to
resolve a tax dispute concerning leasing transactions in the
years 2000 through 2003.

* The Foxconn Technology Group, a giant contract
electronics manufacturer that experienced a series of worker
suicides, said it would raise salaries by at least 30 percent,
more than previously indicated.

* Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) announced Tuesday that it
would cut 9,000 jobs and take a charge of about $1 billion over
several years, as it consolidates and automates data centers.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N: ) is closing 330 branches of its
consumer finance business as part of an overhaul aimed at
finding a buyer for the unit, the bank said on Tuesday.

* In a tentative and qualified move, the Bank of Canada
increased its benchmark lending rate on Tuesday for the first
time since July 2007.

* The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the
sale of Amgen’s (AMGN.O: ) osteoporosis drug Prolia to help
prevent fractures in postmenopausal women. Last week, the
medicine received European approval.

* Portugal Telecom (PTC.LS: ) said on Tuesday that Telefonica
(TEF.MC: ) had raised its bid for a venture that controls
Brazil’s largest wireless operator to about 6.5 billion euros
($7.99 billion).

* A federal judge said Tuesday that it was unfair to hold
Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s liable as
underwriters on securities offerings that required their
ratings.

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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – June 2