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Digest

Economic index posts Octobers gains

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 21, 2006


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The Conference Board, an industry-backed research group based in New York, reported Monday that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.2 percent in October. Increased real-money supply and improved consumer expectations helped offset the sharp decline in housing permits and weaker vendor performance. The housing market slowdown has weighed on the leading indicators index this year. But all told, strengths and weaknesses in the leading indicators have been roughly balanced, according to the Conference Board report. The index stood at 138.3 vs. 139.1 in January - its peak so far this year. The index has declined four of the past seven months.

Miami banker to lead lending group

A. Buster Castiglia, president and CEO of Continental National Bank of Miami, has been selected chairman of Tampa-based Neighborhood Lending Partners Inc., a nonprofit lending consortium that offers financing for affordable housing and community development statewide. NLP provides access to a private loan pool funded by the member banks, as well as a loan pool of government funds. The funds provide first and second mortgage loans. Established in 1974, Continental National was the first Cuban American-owned national bank chartered in the country.

Office Depot breaks ground for new HQ

Office Depot Inc. broke ground on a new headquarters in Boca Raton on Monday. The facility, expected to be completed in 2008, will replace a current headquarters in Delray Beach. The new facility will accommodate up to 2,500 people, 500 more than the current facility, said Office Depot spokeswoman Melissa Perlman. Office Depot Inc. is the nation's second-largest office-supply chain behind Staples Inc.

Steelmaker buys U.S. rival for $2.3B

Russia's biggest steelmaker, Evraz Group SA, said Monday it has agreed to buy Oregon Steel Mills Inc. for $2.3-billion in cash. In a statement posted on its Web site, the company said it had signed an agreement under which Evraz will acquire Oregon Steel for $63.25 per share in cash. That price represents a premium of 7 percent to Oregon Steel's closing stock price Friday of $58.96 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Oregon Steel rose $4.54, or nearly 8 percent, to $63.50 - above the offered price - in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Oregon Steel's board of directors has unanimously recommended the company's shareholders accept the offer. The deal also needs to be approved by antitrust and other regulators, the statement said.

T-bill rates fall

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $18-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.940 percent, down from 4.955 percent last week. An additional $15-billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.940 percent, the same as the three-month bills, and similarly down from 4.955 percent last week.

 

[Last modified November 21, 2006, 00:06:35]


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