4 Financial Stock Stories Making Midweek Waves

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS): Current price $168.06

On Wednesday, Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein made his most public commitment yet to his bank’s commodity trading arm while regulators mull over measures that could force Wall Street out of physical markets. Goldman is not moving so far, even though JPMorgan elected in July to no longer trade in the physical raw material markets and Morgan Stanley has publicly considered spinning off all or a part of its giant franchise. Blankfein remarked to CNBC that, “That is a core, strategic business for us,” commenting that Goldman’s customers might be worse off if the firm exited the commodities markets.

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U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB): Current price $21.29

U.S. Bank and Western Union are working jointly to broaden Western Union Money Transfer services to U.S. Bank customers by means of online banking and for the first time, via mobile banking. The development makes U.S. Bank the first domestic bank to seamlessly join the Western Union worldwide money transfer capability directly into its mobile banking app. Since 2009, the firm has offered Western Union Money Transfer services through its branches, giving its customers the ability to transmit money to over 500,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Now, customers may enjoy of the same services from their mobile app and ultimately through their online banking portal.

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) Current price $51.93

Inside sources report Wednesday that Citi has named Valentin Garger to lead the financial institutions group in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, for the firm’s corporate banking arm. Garger is presently a managing director of the financial institutions group in Europe and has been chief of the corporate banking financial institutions group in Germany for the past decade. Ashish Bajaj, the previous chief of the financial institutions group for the region, will become the head of Citi’s Commercial Bank in the Asia-Pacific region. Bajaj oversaw the Asia-Pacific FIG group since January of 2010.

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American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG): Current price $50.93

Chairman Steve Miller announced that the insurer that repaid its government bailout in 2012 is centering its focus on market share as competition lowers its leeway to charge more for coverage. The executive observed to Tom Keene and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television’s Surveillance Wednesday that, “We do not have pricing power, except to the extent we can prove we can give better service than our competitors. But the main thing that will distinguish us is that we select the right risks and price them right with our premiums. And if that means that we lose some business elsewhere so be it.”

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