Aug 29 (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.
* Switzerland and the United States are close to announcing an agreement to end their long dispute over how to punish banks that helped Americans evade taxes, banking and government officials said on Wednesday. ()
* Globant, an Argentine software and information technology services company, has filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, in a move to broaden its reach. ()
* A number of private equity groups have been knocked out of the running to acquire Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's ParknShop, the Hong Kong supermarket chain owned by the billionaire Li Ka-shing that is considering selling itself in a deal that could command $3 billion to $4 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. ()
* Nintendo Co Ltd on Wednesday introduced a new portable gaming system, the Nintendo 2DS. The device will cost $130, or $40 less than its 3DS sibling. It is capable of running all the games made for the 3DS, but without 3-D effects.
* The Advertising Council and the United States Army, hoping to lower absenteeism in schools across the country, are introducing a public service campaign this week aimed at helping parents keep track of their children's absences. ()
* Fewer people signed contracts to buy American homes in July, but the level stayed close to a six-and-a-half-year high. The modest decline suggests that higher mortgage rates have yet to slow sales sharply. ()
* The Bank of England's new governor took his ideas for spurring Britain's sluggish economy on the road on Wednesday, traveling to the heart of the country to convince households and managers that interest rates will remain low and that he will not follow the United States in reining in the bank's stimulus efforts just yet. ()
* Portugal is finding that increasing exports is the way to pull its economy out of a recession. Portuguese authorities said this month that rising exports were the main reason Portugal posted the strongest growth in the second quarter among the nations of the European Union. ()
* A federal bankruptcy court judge granted the city of San Bernardino eligibility for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, raising the possibility that the city will propose a plan to dig itself out of debt by cutting money promised to the public pension system. ()