May 23 (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.
* The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum aims to woo foreign investment, but the event is under a cloud this year as Russia stands on the verge of recession. A panel at an annual economic forum here was deeply divided over the direction of the Russian economy. The isolationists in the group favored relying on state banks for its financing needs. Others called for Russia to deepen its ties with China, while a different contingent said global trade and commerce remain critical. (r.reuters.com/cer59v)
* Hundreds of miles from Credit Suisse's Madison Avenue office tower and an ocean away from its headquarters in Zurich, the bank found an unlikely opponent in Alexandria, Virginia. Federal prosecutors there helped lead an investigation into Credit Suisse, which this week pleaded guilty to helping thousands of American clients hide their wealth overseas. (r.reuters.com/fer59v)
* The Mizkan Group's $2.15 billion purchase of Unilever Plc's Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce brands is the latest overseas foray by a storied and gutsy vinegar maker, one that helped transform sushi from an obscure delicacy into a global culinary phenomenon. (r.reuters.com/qar59v)
* The slide continued on Thursday for the deeply troubled Sears Holdings Corp, whose dismal earnings report not only lacked signs of improvement but also laid bare how few options the company had left. Sears Holdings, owner of Sears and Kmart stores, was once again the bleakest of the lackluster reports. It announced that it would close at least 80 stores this year, a downsizing move it has made in previous years without significant results. (r.reuters.com/xar59v)
* Online Chinese retailer JD.com Inc started life as a publicly traded company with a rousing start, closing up 10 percent on the Nasdaq on Thursday. At that price, shareholders valued the company at more than $28.6 billion, more than other American technology names like Twitter Inc and LinkedIn Corp. Investors in the United States seemed eager for the offering, even though some analysts have criticized JD.com's corporate governance and lack of profitability in recent years. (r.reuters.com/zar59v) (Compiled by Aurindom Mukherjee in Bangalore)