PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Jan 27

Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:06pm EST

Jan 27 (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.

* Federal prosecutors are trying to thwart the easy access that predatory lenders and dubious online merchants have to Americans' bank accounts by going after banks that fail to meet their obligations as gatekeepers to the U.S. financial system.

* There will be enough money to recapitalize banks that fail a review by the European Central Bank later this year, top European leaders said on Saturday, seeking to assuage lingering doubts whether policy makers will succeed in cleaning up the financial system and restoring the flow of credit. ()

* The British bank HSBC has apologised after reports that some customers were prevented from withdrawing large sums of cash from their accounts. HSBC said as part of a policy change put into effect in November, it began asking customers in some instances to show evidence of what they planned to do with large cash withdrawals. ()

* Uber, the hot start-up whose software allows anyone with a smartphone to get a cab ride, is suddenly facing trouble. ()

* NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corp, said it has extended the contract of Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures, through 2017 and handed her oversight of worldwide marketing and overseas production. ()

* Google and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , which are frequently involved in patent infringement lawsuits but not against each other, said on Sunday that they had reached a global patent cross-licensing agreement.

* Martin Marietta Materials Inc, a big producer of sand and gravel, is in late-stage talks to acquire Texas Industries Inc, according to people briefed on the matter. A deal for Texas Industries, a construction supplies company, could be announced early next week, these people said.

* Residents of Casselton, N.D., are concerned about the crude oil convoys that roll through their town, as what was once a stopgap becomes commonplace and safety standards lag. ()

* The bursting of the housing bubble didn't deter affluent buyers for long. They are pouring back into the market, and adding options galore to their new homes. ()

* The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is making big bets to court China, including Chinese-language signage and displays at the Australian Open tournament. ()

* In what may be the latest in a continuing spate of cyberattacks on American retailers, Michaels Stores said Saturday that it was investigating a potential security breach involving customers' credit card information. ()

* After a week of speculation, it turns out that Ezra Klein, the prolific creator of The Washington Post's Wonkblog, will be going to Vox Media, the online home of SB Nation, a sports site, and The Verge, a fast-growing technology site. ()

* The attendees at this year's World Economic Forum have been hearing a consistent message, share your riches. ()

* Arianna Huffington and Nicolas Berggruen, a billionaire investor, announced the creation of WorldPost, a new website under the Huffington Post umbrella aimed at international issues. ()