PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Feb 5

Tue Feb 5, 2013 2:14am EST

Feb 5 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Justice Department in the United Status filed civil fraud charges late Monday against the nation's largest credit-ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, accusing the firm of inflating the ratings of mortgage investments and setting them up for a crash when the financial crisis struck.

* Dell Inc neared an agreement on Monday to sell itself to a group led by its founder and the investment firm Silver Lake for more than $23 billion, people briefed on the matter said, in what would be the biggest buyout since the financial crisis.

* China Petroleum and Chemical Corp , the state-owned oil and refining giant better known as Sinopec, is selling new shares worth up to $3.1 billion, in what ranks as one of Asia's biggest equity deals so far this year.

* Japan Airlines said that the grounding of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet would cost it 700 million yen, or $7.5 million, in earnings through March and that it would seek compensation from Boeing Co.

* British regulators will have the power to split up banks that fail to separate risky trading activity from retail banking, George Osborne, the country's chancellor of the Exchequer, said.

* Microsoft Corp, taking aim at the world's fastest-growing smartphone market, said on Monday that it would team up with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows smartphone in Africa.