January 9, 2008 / 6:09 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 9

Jan 9 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* James Cayne ended his tumultuous 14-year run as chief executive of the battered Bear Stearns Cos Inc BSC.N, passing the baton to Alan Schwartz.

* Shares tumbled late Tuesday after the head of AT&T Inc (T.N) suggested that consumers might be cutting back and Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N denied that it was tumbling into bankruptcy.

* KB Home (KBH.N), the large home builder, said that its fourth-quarter loss swelled as the housing slowdown led to fewer sales and lower revenue.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N), badly bruised by the sharp downturn in the housing market, is bringing its mortgage-related activities under one roof.

* Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) $1.2 billion bid for a Norwegian search software company is seen as an effort to add tools to its lucrative Office products and fend off Google Inc (GOOG.O).

* Silver Lake, the largest technology-focused private equity firm, has reached a deal to sell a 9.9 percent stake to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System for about $275 million, according to people briefed on the deal.

* Some prominent advertisers have pulled their sponsorships for NBC’s strike-subdued Golden Globes coverage and others were weighing their options, media buyers said Tuesday.

* U.S. Treasury secretary Henry Paulson said the administration was in talks with the mortgage industry to expand a program that freezes adjustable rate mortgages for 5 years to include borrowers of loans at prime rates.

* Frontline Wireless, which wanted to build an innovative cellular network for both private use and local public safety agencies, has collapsed because it could not raise enough money to bid in the government auctions of wireless spectrum that start later this month.

* Shareholders in China Eastern Airlines (0670.HK) rejected a bid on Tuesday by Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) to buy a stake in the company, opening the way for the parent of the nation’s largest carrier, Air China (0753.HK), to make an offer of its own.

* FairPoint Communications Inc FRP.N reached an agreement on Tuesday with the Vermont Public Service Department that would allow it to buy Verizon Communications’ (VZ.N) phone lines in the state.

* Barclays Capital said its co-president, Grant Kvalheim, had resigned and would leave at the end of the first quarter.

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