URGENT ¥¥¥ HSBC says to sell Panama unit to Bancolombia for $2.1 bn

HSBC bank said on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell its Panama subsidiary to Bancolombia for $2.1 billion (1.57 billion euros) in cash as part of its plan to slash costs by offloading non-core assets.

"The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions and is expected to complete by the third quarter of 2013," HSBC said in a statement.