daily briefing

daily briefing

August 29, 2008

Shipping line to add business at the port

The port of Baltimore will get new roll-on/roll-off business from shipping line European Red Sea African Lines, which will begin using the North Locust Point Marine Terminal to transport cars, trucks and construction equipment to West Africa and Europe, the Maryland Port Administration said yesterday. The terminal is operated by Ceres Terminals Inc., which recently signed a three-year lease with the MPA for 9.5 acres of land at North Locust Point. Under an agreement with the shipping line, Ceres is expected to handle about 20,000 roll-on/roll-off units of cargo a year, or three to four vessel calls per month at North Locust Point. The shipping line's new export service will start with two separate vessels, the Trigger and the Grand Baltimore. Ceres also handles cargo and automobiles at the port's Dundalk Marine Terminal and the Atlantic and Chesapeake terminals, as well as cruise business at the South Locust Point Terminal.

Lorraine Mirabella

Micros System reports rise in 2Q profit

Columbia-based Micros Systems Inc., which makes information systems for the hospitality and retail industries, reported a 12 percent increase in profit yesterday for its fourth quarter ended June 30. Net income was $30.7 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, compared with $27.4 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, in the corresponding period last year. Revenue for the quarter was up nearly 16 percent to $256.6 million, from $221.6 million a year ago. Profit for the fiscal year was $101.3 million, up 26 percent, from $80 million in the last fiscal year.

Hanah Cho

Banks increase borrowing from Fed

WASHINGTON : Banks borrowed more over the past week from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program, while Wall Street firms passed for the fourth straight week. A Fed report released yesterday said commercial banks averaged $18.47 billion in daily borrowing during the past week. That compared with a daily average of $17.51 billion in the previous week. For the week ending Aug. 27, Wall Street firms didn't take out any loans, the fourth straight period of no action. Their borrowing, however, averaged as high as $38.1 billion a day over the course of a week in early April. Investment houses in March were given similar loan privileges as commercial banks after a run on Bear Stearns pushed what was the nation's fifth-largest investment bank to the brink of bankruptcy. The situation raised fears that other Wall Street firms might be in jeopardy.

Associated Press

30-year mortgage rate falls for second week

WASHINGTON : Rates on 30-year mortgages fell for the second straight week, declining to the lowest level in more than a month. Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported yesterday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 6.40 percent this week, down from 6.47 percent last week. The new rate was the lowest since the week of July 17, when 30-year mortgages stood at 6.26 percent. The 30-year mortgage has been above 6 percent since late May, reflecting the view of financial markets that rising inflation pressures will keep the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates further even though the economy is still mired in a period of significant weakness.

Associated Press

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