Cisco Systems plans to buy advanced wireless equipment maker Starent Networks Corp for $2.9 billion to boost its product offerings as phone carriers build out next generation networks, Reuters reports.

In other stories on Wednesday:

Royal Bank of Scotland Group is considering a government-backed plan to give up all 312 of its RBS-branded branches in England and Wales in a move to satisfy European authorities, the Financial Times says.

Las Vegas Sands, which is seeking to raise up to $2.5 billion by listing its Macau assets on the Hong Kong stock exchange, could launch the initial public offering by late November, the South China Morning Post reports.

Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on track to pay employees about $140 billion in total compensation and benefits this year, the Wall Street Journal says, citing an analysis of securities filings for the first half of 2009 and revenue estimates through the end of the year.