HSBC Apologizes to US Senate

From, you’re watching the Financial News Network. I’m Laura Hankin, here with an update on HSBC. The bank, which the Senate accused of providing services to money-launderers and to banks with potential links to terrorism and drug cartels, appeared before the Senate today to apologize for its actions.At the hearing, David Bagley announced he would step down as the head of HSBC’s compliance office at its London headquarters. Bagley is the top executive in charge of HSBC’s anti-money-laundering programs. Bagley also revealed that HSBC plans to close many of its Cayman Islands accounts, after the Senate report showed that HSBC had little awareness or regulation of Cayman Island accounts holding $2.1 billion. Chief Legal Officer Stuart Levey stated that the bank has reorganized in order to better manage these risks. HSBC will still have to undergo an investigation by the Justice Department, where they could be forced to pay a fine that many believe might exceed the record $619 million fine paid by Dutch bank ING after similar accusations. HSBC closed down at $3.30 a share today, a .59% drop. For more updates on this and other stories, check out our Twitter @FNNOnline.

Report calls for Vatican financial reforms

A European report on the Vatican’s attempts to make its financial sector more transparent says the seat of the Catholic Church has to do more to reach international standards on combating money laudering and financing terrorism.

Analyst Moves: TGT, VIA

Target (TGT) was downgraded today by Citigroup (C) from buy to neutral with a price target of $69 as the firm is taking a more cautious macro outlook with regards to the retail giant. Shares are lower by about three tenths of a percent.

Retail Sales Numbers Down in June

New economic data out this morning. The Commerce Department reported retail sales fell in June to seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent last month. This result follows declines in both April and May of this year.The decline occurred in almost every retail industry with the largest being at gas stations, which saw a fall of 1.8% in sales. The only sellers to report gains were liquor stores, clothing outlets, groceries and certain internet retailers.The last time retail numbers were down three months in a row was in the second half of 2008. Despite these results though, U.S. retail numbers over the last 12 months have risen 3.5%. For more financial news and analysis follow us on Twitter @FNNOnline.

Goldman Sachs Announces Earnings

Goldman Sachs (GS) announced that net income dropped by 11 percent in the most recent quarter due to fewer investment banking deals and financial market volatility. Net income was $962 million, or $1.78 in the quarter, versus $1.09 billion, or $1.85 per share in the same period last year.

Comcast Buys Microsoft’s Shares in MSNBC

Cable provider Comcast has bought all of Microsoft’s stock in news site The deal is said to cost Comcast approximately $300 million. Microsoft and Comcast, the parent company of NBC-Universal, had an equal partnership in MSNBC for 16 years prior to this news. will now be known as according to Jennifer Sizemore, Editor-in-Chief of the newly named NBCNews. The two companies joined forces to operate the outlet in 1996, but ended their operating partnership in 2005 when the MSNBC was solely run by NBC. Comcast has said recently that it will sell it’s stakes in other joint ventures with partners like A&E Television Networks and Disney-ABC Television Group.

TPG Acquires Par Pharmaceutical

Par Pharmaceuticals Cos. has agreed to a takeover by private-equity firm TPG Captial causing shares to surge above $50 dollars on Monday. The deal will see TPG acquiring Par for $1.84 Billion in cash. Par specializes in making generic drugs and niche pharmaceuticals. In late 2011 and early 2012 it acquired generic pharmaceutical companies Anchen Pharmaceuticals, and Edict Pharmaceuticals, allowing Par to increase its generic drug operations. Par has said that its board unanimously approved the buyout, but the deal needs the approval of the majority of Par’s outstanding stockholders. The deal is estimated to finish before the end of 2012.