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Fri May 30, 2014 5:01am EDT

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TOP STORIES

BNP shares slide as investors fret over U.S. fine size

PARIS - Shares in France's biggest bank BNP Paribas fall by as much as 6 percent amid investor fears size of sanctions-busting U.S. fine could cost them dividends and hurt bank's stability. (BNP-PARIBAS-USJUSTICEDEPT/FRANCE (UPDATE 1, PIX/TV), Expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, 450 words)

After Credit Suisse, investors fear next step in US probe

ZURICH/WASHINGTON - Experts are bracing themselves for higher-than-expected fines at 13 Swiss banks under investigation by U.S. authorities after Credit Suisse last week agreed to pay out more than double the fine it had budgeted for. (USA-SWITZERLAND/TAX, expect at 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Joshua Franklin and Patrick Temple-West, 900 words)

Google complies with EU's "right to be forgotten" ruling

SAN FRANCISCO/BRUSSELS - Google takes first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens should have the right to have links deleted on the Internet but faces logistical challenges and may disappoint privacy activists. (GOOGLE-EU (UPDATE 3), expect by 1200 GMT/8 AM ET, by Alexei Oreskovic and Julia Fioretti, 700 words)

Countdown begins for Scottish vote that could break up UK

EDINBURGH - The formal campaign for a Scottish independence vote that could result in the break-up of the United Kingdom begins, though polls currently show Scots are unlikely to vote for the demise of the 307-year-old union with England. (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/CAMPAIGN), moved, by Alistair Smout, 600 words)

+ See also:

- SCOTLAND INDEPENDENCE/WORLD, moved, by Michael Peacock, 1,300 words

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Shares steady near record high, focus on ECB meeting

LONDON - Global shares are steady after setting a new record high, with investors trading cautiously ahead of next week's crucial policy meeting of the European Central Bank. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 4), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Atul Prakash, 800 words)

High-profile M&A failures temper share gains expectations

LONDON - A series of high-profile failures to seal big European corporate deals has led investors to temper their expectations of big merger-driven gains on the stock market. (EUROPE-STOCKS/MERGERS (INVESTMENT FOCUS, GRAPHIC), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Sudip Kar-Gupta, 600 words)

Russian bond markets in deep freeze as banks stay out

LONDON - Fund managers looking to buy back Russian bonds after the selloff are finding themselves effectively locked out of a market where banks have slashed inventories of Russian assets to the bare minimum. (EMERGING-RUSSIA/BONDS, expect by 1300 GMT/7 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 750 words)

Reuters asset allocation poll

LONDON - Reuters issues its monthly asset allocation poll: Will the world's top investors cut their cash holdings? (FUNDS-POLL/GLOBAL, expect at 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Carolyn Cohn, 600 words)

+ See also:

- FUNDS-POLL/JAPAN (POLL), moved, By Hideyuki Sano, 600 words

ECONOMY

Japan's post-tax consumption slumps: IMF calls for reforms

TOKYO - Japan's consumer spending and production slumped more than expected in response to last month's sales tax increase, raising questions about the pace of economic recovery and highlighting the need for reforms to sustain growth once the tax shock fades.(JAPAN-ECONOMY (WRAPUP 1), moved, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara, 600 words)

India's "007" central bank governor faces pro-growth boss

MUMBAI - Hailed as a troubleshooting "James Bond" of central bankers amid India's currency crisis last year, Raghuram Rajan was given a licence to kill inflation with higher interest rates and drive a programme of monetary policy reforms. (INDIA-POLITICS/RAJAN (PIX, GRAPHIC), moved, by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Tony Munroe, 1,000 words)

COMPANIES

easyJet chief executive McCall settles in for the long haul

LONDON - When Carolyn McCall took the top job at Britain's easyJet, the abrasive boss of rival low-cost airline Ryanair attempted to write her off as "some old media luvvie". Almost four years later, Michael O'Leary is having to play catch-up, emulating some of the more customer-friendly strategies that McCall, a former newspaper group boss, has brought to easyJet's bright orange brand. (EASYJET-MCCALL/PROFILE, PIX, GRAPHIC), expect at 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Sarah Young, 900 words)

U.S. companies seek cyber experts for top jobs, board seats

NEW YORK - Some of the largest U.S. companies are looking to hire cybersecurity experts in newly elevated positions and bring technologists on to their boards, a sign that corporate America is increasingly worried about hacking threats. (USA COMPANIES/CYBERSECURITY, moved, by Nadia Damouni, 700 words)

Australia's Envestra backs $2.2 bln cash takeover by CKI

SYDNEY - Australian gas pipeline owner Envestra Ltd backs a A$2.37 billion ($2.20 billion) cash takeover bid from firms linked to Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, a deal that would give Asia's richest man control of a lucrative infrastructure asset.(AUSTRALIA-ENVESTRA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

Alibaba's Alipay gets regulator nod for Tianhong deal

SHANGHAI - Chinese regulators give the go-ahead to Alibaba Group Holding's online payment affiliate Alipay to take control of fast-growing fund firm Tianhong Asset Management Co as the e-commerce giant bulks up its push into online finance. (TIANHONG-ALIPAY/, moved, 300 words)

COMMODITIES

Australia risks organic export growth after GMO case

SYDNEY - A landmark GMO contamination ruling in Australia could usher in lower organic farming standards, stripping the country of its premier status and threatening organic exports in an industry set to double in size by 2018. (AUSTRALIA-GMO/ORGANIC (UPDATE 1), moved, by Colin Packham, 600 words)

China trims long-term iron ore contracts as glut hits market

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI - Chinese steel mills are cutting back on long-term iron ore contracts in favour of cheaper spot cargoes, confident that beaten-down prices are unlikely to rebound amid the first global ore surplus in 10 years. (CHINA-IRONORE/SPOT (PIX, UPDATE 1), moved, by Manolo Serapio Jr and Ruby Lian, 850 words)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.