PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 11

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:01am EST

Dec 11 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office has launched a broad criminal investigation into whether seven corporate executives cited in a recent Wall Street Journal article traded improperly in shares of their own company's stock, according to a person familiar with the matter. ()

* HSBC Holdings Plc plans to acknowledge that for years it ignored possible money laundering, part of a record $1.9 billion settlement with U.S. authorities that caps the bank's disastrous foray into the U.S. market. ()

* Standard Chartered Plc agreed to pay $327 million in penalties for alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Libya and other nations, closing another chapter in the U.S. crackdown on banks sidestepping restrictions meant to prevent money laundering. ()

* A 2011 inspection conducted for a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc found serious fire-safety concerns at a clothing factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, that burned down last month, killing 112 people, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. ()

* The Treasury Department said Monday it plans to sell all of its remaining shares in AIG Inc. ()

* Morgan Stanley might soon ask U.S. regulators to let the securities firm buy back shares for the first time in more than four years, according to people familiar with the firm's thinking. ()

* SPX Corp has emerged as the front-runner in the auction of industrial-pumps maker Gardner Denver Inc, with the two companies entering into one-on-one talks this week with the goal of hammering out a deal, people familiar with the matter said. ()

* European Union authorities are considering launching a legal crackdown on some national regulators for restricting European banks from freely moving funds across national borders, according to officials familiar with the matter. ()

* McDonald's Corp surprised investors on Monday by reporting higher November sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, but analysts remain cautious about the months ahead. ()

* Intel Corp on Monday disclosed details of a new recipe for making chips for mobile devices, a key element of the technology giant's high-stakes campaign to improve its lagging position in that fast-growing market. ()

* Federal Reserve officials, frustrated with the sluggish job market and tepid growth, are poised this week to extend the central bank's efforts to spur a stronger recovery. ()

* Bank of England Governor Mervyn King warned of the risk of currency wars in the coming year as nations search for new ways to spur their economies in a world of slow growth and few other good options. ()

* North America will become a net energy exporter by 2025, thanks to a surge in oil and gas production and rapid improvements in energy efficiency, Exxon Mobil Corp predicts in its latest long-term energy outlook. ()

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