PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – March 24

March 24 (Reuters) – The following were the top stories in
The New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Another European government fell victim to the politics of
austerity on Wednesday when the prime minister of Portugal
resigned after opposition parties rejected his last-ditch
attempt to push through a package of spending cuts and tax
increases.

* Google Inc may seek help from Congress as it
tries to salvage a book publishing settlement that was rejected
by a federal judge.

* With cellphones ready to act as credit cards, banks,
carriers and card issuers are fighting for control.

* The chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc ,
Lloyd C. Blankfein, testified on Wednesday in the
insider-trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam, who before his arrest
in 2009 was among the most powerful hedge fund managers on Wall
Street.

* The Federal Reserve denied Bank of America Corp’s
request to raise its dividend. Other banks did not reveal their
plans for buying bank stock or increasing their dividends.

* A former American Apparel Inc sales associate
filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging she was sexually harassed
by Dov Charney, the company’s unconventional chief executive and
founder best known for promoting his American-made T-shirts and
leggings in provocative ads that feature young women.

* Toyota Motor Corp told its workers in North
America on Wednesday that it expects to halt production at one
or more plants because of shortages of Japanese-made parts.

* Even as the aftershocks from the earthquake pushed
financial markets sharply lower last week, American investors
poured $1.2 billion into Japanese equity exchange-traded funds,
the biggest weekly inflow on record.

* Imax Corp has reached a deal valued at about $100
million to open 75 new theaters in China, a move that
underscores the degree to which the movie exhibition business is
surging there.

* Germany’s Enercon, a wind turbine maker, says it has lost
its Indian subsidiary after a dispute with a local partner and a
run-in with the Mumbai law enforcement authorities.

* General Motors Co on Tuesday announced plans to
sell all of its preferred shares in Ally Financial, its former
lending arm, in a $1 billion offering.

* Colgate-Palmolive said on Wednesday that it had
agreed to buy Sanex, the personal care unit of Unilever
, for $940 million in cash, expanding its share of the
skin care market in Europe.

* ConocoPhillips announced on Wednesday that it
would sell $5 billion to $10 billion of noncore assets in the
next two years and use the proceeds to buy back shares and
invest in its business.

(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 – March 24