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Meng Wanzhou, Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, Russia October 2, 2014.

Alexander Bibik | Reuters

Meng Wanzhou, Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum “Russia Calling!” in Moscow, Russia October 2, 2014.

In the saga involving the recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada, questions have surfaced as to whether U.K. banking giant HSBC will be named in the legal case.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, a monitor appointed by the U.S. government to oversee HSBC’s anti money-laundering controls flagged illicit transactions made by Huawei at the bank and shared them with New York prosecutors. That led to the arrest Saturday of Wanzhou, potentially for violating U.S. sanctions that prohibit Huawei from selling equipment to Iran.

HSBC is not being investigated as part of the case, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential.

However, HSBC’s broader involvement could further complicate trade talks between the U.S. and China. Even though the bank is headquartered in the U.K., HSBC (originally known as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is one of China’s most influential companies and has one of the largest foreign-owned banking networks on the mainland. HSBC incorporated locally in China in 2007.

Additionally, HSBC has had its share of encounters with U.S. authorities.

In 2012, the bank forfeited $1.9 billion to U.S. authorities for its role in allegedly laundering money from drug cartels as well as Iran, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Burma, countries that were all sanctioned. The agreement also led to the federal monitorship of the company’s anti-money laundering organization in the U.S.

As far back as the 1990s, HSBC groups allegedly “worked with sanctioned entities to insert cautionary notes in payment messages,” including not mentioning Iran, according to the 2012 agreement.

Huawei has been under scrutiny since at least 2012 for accepting money from Iran and, according to a House Intelligence Committee Report, not complying with a federal investigation into the issue.

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Andrew Penn weighs in on profit fall and 5G rollout

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Australia’s largest telecom company Telstra will soon be ready to give customers the next-generation of ultra-high speed mobile internet, known as 5G, its CEO said on Thursday.

Mobile is the “engine room” of Telstra’s business and it will be a critical part of the future, Andrew Penn told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

“We have had more than 200 sites rolled out on 5G now,” he said. “We’ll be one of the first global operators to actually put 5G in the hands of our customers in the coming months when handsets are available.”

Penn’s remarks came after Telstra released its half year results for financial year 2019 on Thursday morning.

Net profit after tax was down 27.4 percent on-year to 1.2 billion Australian dollars (approximately $854 million) in line with expectations. The company said its financial results were affected by a partially-completed fiber network, which is owned by the government. Essentially, Telstra has to pay before it can connect to that network to provide broadband internet to its customers.

“We have a structural change in the industry where, essentially, a significant proportion of our business is being aggressively transferred to this new entity,” Penn said, adding that it “basically takes away about a third-to-half of our earnings in a lot of our activity.”

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Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng returning to US to face charges

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Copies of the Financial Daily newspaper featuring a front page report on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are displayed for sale at a stand in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

Nadirah Zakariya | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Copies of the Financial Daily newspaper featuring a front page report on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are displayed for sale at a stand in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group banker accused of playing a role in defrauding sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), will return to the United States to face criminal charges against him, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Ng will waive extradition to the United States on Friday during an appearance in a court in Malaysia, according to his lawyer Marc Agnifilo. Ng intends to plead not guilty when he appears in a U.S. federal court, Agnifilo said.

Ng, who left Goldman Sachs in the spring of 2014, has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since Nov. 1, shortly after the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against him for allegedly laundering funds siphoned off from 1MDB.

Tim Leissner, another Goldman Sachs official, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho have also been charged in the United States over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

“As we have said all along, we are outraged that any employee of the firm would undertake the actions detailed in the government’s charges,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said when asked about Ng.

Goldman Sachs itself is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

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Asia stocks set to slip following fears of slowing US economy

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Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower after the release of U.S. retail data in December came in as a "shocker."

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