Last Week's Headlines

CapitalSource buying Calif. retail banking operation

April 20, 2008

Deal diversifies lender portfolio

CapitalSource is acquiring the retail banking operations of Fremont General, a move that will shore up and diversify its portfolio as credit markets tighten, the commercial lender said. The deal gives CapitalSource, based in Chevy Chase, access to the distressed California bank's 22 branches and $5.6 billion in deposits.

Justice OKs sale of Point

The Department of Justice approved the sale of the Sparrows Point steel plant to Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal. Severstal announced last month that it had agreed to buy the Baltimore County plant for $810 million in cash. Severstal must also get approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

City may revive Oldtown Mall

City officials are trying again to revitalize the deteriorating Oldtown Mall in East Baltimore. The Baltimore Development Corp. has begun acquiring property in the mostly vacant pedestrian mall and is seeking a private developer to build a housing and retail project that would complement plans for a nearby grocery store.

First Mariner claims 1Q loss

First Mariner Bancorp reported a worse-than-expected $3.3 million first-quarter loss Wednesday, but it said it is close to turning the corner after a year of bad news stemming from the declining housing market and a slew of bad loans. The results came as the Baltimore-based bank increased its provision for bad loans to a record level.

Provident loss is $17.6 million

Provident Bankshares Corp. reported a $17.6 million first-quarter loss after a less-than-expected write-down of its mortgage and housing-related investment portfolios. The Baltimore-based bank said it took a $42.7 million charge related to investments that fell in value as credit markets soured with the declining housing market.

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