New York headlines

* Asia Slides on Greece Worries

* Lenovo fourth quarter net profit up 59 percent, meets forecasts

* PTT swoops with higher bid for Cove

* US senators vote to cut aid to Pakistan

* World Bank cuts China growth forecast to 8.2 per cent

* West shifts stance on Iranian sanctions

* Brazilian central bank moves prop up real

* India, Pakistan agree on gas pipeline

* Egyptians choose first president since Mubarak

* Billionaire Batista sees $300m EBX stake sale this week

* Putin ally is named to head oil giant

* Ex-Sino-Forest chief accused of fraud

* Markets: down

Asia Slides on Greece Worries
Asian markets and commodities fell Wednesday after the former Greek Prime Minister said preparations for an exit from the euro zone are being considered, damping optimism ahead of a European Union summit, the WSJ reports.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304019404577421030464607186.html

Lenovo fourth quarter net profit up 59 percent, meets forecasts
Strong sales in China helped Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK) post a 59 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, meeting analyst expectations, Reuters reports.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/23/us-lenovo-results

idUSBRE84M07D20120523

PTT swoops with higher bid for Cove
Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production has trumped a recommended £1.12bn offer from Royal Dutch Shell for Cove Energy with a new bid valuing the Africa-focused exploration company at £1.22bn, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ffa30e3c-a4a8-11e1-9908-00144feabdc0.html

US senators vote to cut aid to Pakistan
Tensions between the US and Pakistan escalated on Tuesday when a US Senate committee voted to slash aid to Islamabad unless military supply routes to Afghanistan were reopened, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8c879e8e-a45a-11e1-a701-00144feabdc0.html

World Bank cuts China growth forecast to 8.2 per cent
The World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for China this year to 8.2 per cent on Wednesday and urged the country to rely on easier fiscal policy that boosts consumption rather than state investment to lift activity, Reuters reports.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/05/23/worldbank-china-growth-idINDEE84M02020120523

West shifts stance on Iranian sanctions
Western powers are prepared to offer Iran an “oil carrot” that would allow it to continue supplying crude to Asian customers in exchange for guarantees it is not building an atomic bomb, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/149b7962-a433-11e1-84b1-00144feabdc0.html

Brazilian central bank moves prop up real
Brazil’s central bank has sold more than $2bn in currency derivatives in its biggest attempt so far this year to prop up the plunging real, scrambling to offset the effects of weaker global growth, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c9ab946a-a454-11e1-84b1-00144feabdc0.html

India, Pakistan agree on gas pipeline
Countries involved in a US-backed trans-Afghanistan pipeline will sign a commercial agreement Wednesday that is aimed at keeping the much-delayed $7.6bn project alive, the WSJ reports.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304791704577419952213969924.html

Egyptians choose first president since Mubarak
Egyptians head to the polls today to choose the first president since the removal of Hosni Mubarak, passing a milestone in the country’s march toward civilian rule after more than 15 months of turmoil, Bloomberg reports.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-22/egyptians-choose-first-president-since-mubarak-in-landmark-vote.html

Billionaire Batista sees $300m EBX stake sale this week
Billionaire Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest person, will sell a 0.8 per cent stake in his EBX Group Co. to a US investor this week for $300m as he seeks to boost foreign shareholders in his holding company, Bloomberg reports.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-23/billionaire-batista-sees-300-million-ebxstake-sale-this-week.html

Putin ally is named to head oil giant
A powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin was named chief executive of Russia’s state oil company on Tuesday, completing a realignment of senior positions in Mr. Putin’s new administration and cementing his control of economic and security policy, the WSJ reports.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304791704577420373698325342.html

Ex-Sino-Forest chief accused of fraud
Canadian authorities have formally accused Allan Chan and other former Sino-Forest executives of fraud, a year after the first allegations of misconduct caused shares in the Chinese forestry company to collapse, and have said that an investigation continues into the “role of the gatekeepers”, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/521fc67c-a450-11e1-a701-00144feabdc0.html

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index down -2.05% at 900.44

Europe
FTSE up -1.86% at 5,303
RTS down -3.86% at 1,271
Warsaw Wig down -1.57% at 37,295
FTSE 300 Eurotop down -1.55% at 978.24

Americas
DJIA down -0.01% at 12,503
S&P 500 up +0.05% at 1,317
Bovespa down -2.74% at 55,039

Asia
Nikkei 225 down -1.98% at 8,557
Topix down -1.60% at 721.57
Hang Seng down -1.33% at 18,786
Shanghai Composite down -0.42% at 2,363
MSCI Asia ex-Japan down -1.79% at 399.67
S&P CNX Nifty Index down -0.51% at 4,836

Currencies
€/$ 1.26 (1.27)
$/¥ 79.40 (79.96)

Commodities
Brent Crude (ICE) down -1.34 at 107.07
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.96 at 90.89
100 Oz Gold (Comex) unchanged 0.00 at 1,576