PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - March 5

March 5 Tue Mar 5, 2013 1:41am EST

March 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.

* While a trader known as the "London whale" has come to represent a multibillion-dollar blowup at JP Morgan Chase & Co , U.S. Congressional investigators have discovered that the problems involved more senior levels of the nation's largest bank.

* H.J. Heinz Co disclosed late on Monday that William Johnson, its chief executive of 15 years, could stand to make nearly $213 million if Heinz's new owners decide to show him the door.

* British finance minister George Osborne is expected Tuesday to urge his European Union counterparts to water down proposed rules restricting the size of bankers' bonuses. Many in the UK government and the financial industry worry that mandated limit to bonuses could make it harder for London to compete in international banking circles.

* Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will form a new joint company for securitizing home loans as a steppingstone toward reducing government involvement in the mortgage market, the regulator of the U.S. government-controlled companies said on Monday.

* Bond insurer MBIA Inc on Monday won the dismissal of a lawsuit by the Bank of America Corp and Societe Generale that challenged its 2009 restructuring.

* The Italian energy giant Eni SpA began Monday to restart operations of the trans-Mediterranean natural gas pipeline it closed Saturday after fighting between two Libyan militias threatened its gas complex west of Tripoli.

* Hess Corp announced on Monday a plan to sell off its retail and refining operations and focus primarily on oil production. The streamlining comes as it seeks to fight off an activist investor, hedge fund Elliott Management, which said that the oil company's plans did not go far enough to address management problems.

* Haruhiko Kuroda, the nominee to become the next Bank of Japan governor, said Monday that he would do "whatever is needed" to finally end deflation in the world's third-largest economy.

* Gyorgy Matolcsy, the new governor of Hungary's central bank, tightened his grip on power during his first day in office Monday, issuing new rules that curb the powers of the bank's deputy governors.

* Mexican glass maker Vitro SAB de CV said Monday that it had reached an agreement with bondholders, ending a dispute among powerful financiers that had ricocheted between Mexican and American courts.

* Monster Beverage Corp defended its energy drinks on Monday against a lawsuit accusing them of being responsible for the death of a 14-year-old girl, arguing that no blood test had been performed to confirm that she died of caffeine toxicity.

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