June 17 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories on The New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. * Faced with weak markets and uncertainty over regulations, many of the biggest firms are preparing for deep cuts in jobs and other costs.
* After reducing its profit forecast seven weeks ago, Research in Motion , the maker of the BlackBerry, turned in earnings results on Thursday that were even worse than analysts’ lowered expectations.
* The tumult in the European monetary zone is spreading concern among investors of a broader crisis in financial markets from Ireland to Spain. The worry is that the worst case, a Greek debt default, would lead to damaging losses for European banks and spur a global panic, replaying the events of September 2008.
* Spain’s already fragile banking sector was shocked Thursday by the news that Emilio Botín, the country’s most influential banker and chairman of Banco Santander , and 11 of his relatives were the subjects of an investigation into tax evasion stretching back to accounts that ostensibly were opened during the dark days of the Spanish Civil War.
* Some of the largest oil fields auctioned by the Iraqis went to non-American companies, but American-based concerns, Halliburton Co , Baker Hughes Inc , Weatherford International Ltd and Schlumberger Ltd , have won the largest portion of the subcontracts to drill for oil, build wells and refurbish old equipment.
* William A. Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management, is considering raising as much as $3 billion for a new portfolio through an initial public offering.
* Capital One Financial will buy ING Group’s online banking business in the United States for about $9 billion in cash and stock, in an effort to bolster its banking operations.
* The Energy Department plans to announce on Friday that it will provide a $150 million loan guarantee to a company in Massachusetts, 1366 Technologies, that has developed a radical new way to make the silicon wafers for solar cells at a far lower cost.
Compiled by Aching Susanna; Bangalore Equities Newsdesk +91 80 4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780