PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 5

Tue Aug 5, 2014 12:36am EDT

Aug 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.

* Federal prosecutors have begun a civil investigation of General Motors Co and other companies' subprime auto lending practices, focusing on the packaging and selling of questionable loans to investors. In the inquiry, federal prosecutors are looking for potential violations of Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act. (nyti.ms/1o7NCfA)

* Banco Espirito Santo SA is not just battling with financial problems but also legal ones. Portuguese and European prosecutors and regulators are investigating possible accounting fraud, abuse of privileged information and accusations that the bank funneled dubious loans to parts of the Espirito Santo business empire, which includes hotels, hospitals, farms and more.(nyti.ms/1tQaceZ)

* The Chinese government warned Microsoft Corp not to interfere with its antitrust investigation, days after officials conducted surprise raids on four of the technology giant's offices across the country. (nyti.ms/1soTDVB)

* Chegg Inc said that it has teamed with the Ingram Content Group, a big book distributor, to handle the business of physically storing and shipping textbooks. The deal is meant to free the company to continue building out its digital operations. (nyti.ms/WXIHme)

* McDonald's Corp said that a scandal over a meat supplier in China was hurting sales in the region and that its global sales forecast for 2014 was "at risk." The company said in a regulatory filing that there was "significant negative impact" in China, Japan and other affected markets, which make up about 10 percent of McDonald's revenue. (nyti.ms/1soAFx6)

* Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues - along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea. The Google conference projects an aura of exclusivity - its existence has not previously been disclosed. It is called, simply, the Camp. (nyti.ms/UXRjYj)

* With Time Warner Inc's rejection last month of an $80 billion bid by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, the mating ritual had begun, or so it seemed. But Time Warner's unyielding stance has at least some analysts wondering if an acquisition really is inevitable. (nyti.ms/1AQcAUV)

* The Gannett Co Inc is near a deal to buy the 73 percent of Cars.com that it does not already own for $1.8 billion, giving the media company complete control over the online car-sales website. (nyti.ms/UPj31s)

* The State of Texas and SpaceX, the technology company led by Elon Musk have announced that the company will build the first commercial site for orbital launches on the state's southernmost tip. (nyti.ms/1zPsYDK)

* Seeking to head off a costly election-year fight over oil and gas drilling that could threaten vulnerable Colorado Democrats, Governor John Hickenlooper said Monday that he had reached a deal to keep two anti fracking measures off November's ballots. (nyti.ms/1pzRNil)

* Warburg Pincus said on Monday that it planned to invest up to $600 million in Zenith Energy, a company that aims to build oil and natural gas terminals abroad. (nyti.ms/1kBnppb)

* Fosun International Ltd, the Chinese investment group that likens itself to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said it was making its first push into the oil and natural gas business, with a $441 million bid for Roc Oil Co Ltd of Australia. (nyti.ms/1tOfZBF)

* Shares in the world's biggest pork producer, WH Group Ltd of China, soared in their trading debut in Hong Kong on Tuesday, signaling renewed appetite among investors for Chinese initial public offerings. WH Group's sizzling debut on the Hong Kong market came just three months after it scrapped plans for a $5.3 billion share sale. (nyti.ms/1mhr9an) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bangalore; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)