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VOL. 123 | NO. 212 | Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daily Digest

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BancorpSouth Bank Acquires 26 Properties

Tupelo, Miss.-based BancorpSouth Bank has acquired 26 properties for $2.3 million in a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure” filed earlier this month. The transaction included 14 homes, eight lots, two office buildings and two shopping centers. The seller of record was McSwain Family LP.

Most of the homes and lots are in the Raleigh, Frayser and Bartlett areas of Shelby County.

Both shopping centers are in Bartlett: one at 6255 E. Stage Plaza and the other at 6301 Stage Road. Both office buildings also are in Bartlett: one at 2959 Elmore Park Road and the other at 6238 Stage Road.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

GTx Stock Price Could Double

The stock price of Memphis-based GTx Inc. should double within the next year, according to a recent report in Investor’s Business Daily.

Joel Sendek, an analyst with Lazard Capital, made the projection in an article titled “Handful of Biotechs Could Defy Meltdown” that ran in the newspaper’s Friday edition. Sendek said the company had a late-stage pipeline of new drugs that most analysts have overlooked.

GTx is scheduled to report its third quarter earnings on Nov. 6. The biopharmaceutical company specializes in the research and development of small molecule therapies to treat cancer, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and other medical conditions.

Home Prices Post 17% Annual Drop

Home prices tumbled by the sharpest annual rate ever in August, with little indication of a turnaround in sight, a closely watched index showed Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index dropped a record 16.6 percent from August last year, the largest drop since its inception in 2000. The 10-city index plunged 17.7 percent, its biggest decline in its 21-year history.

Both indices have recorded year-over-year declines for 20 consecutive months.

“The downturn in residential real estate prices continued, with very few bright spots in the data,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.

Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted more than 20 percent since peaking in July 2006. The 10-city index has fallen nearly 22 percent since its peak in June 2006.

No city in the Case-Shiller 20-city index saw annual price gains in August — for the fifth straight month.

However, the pace of monthly declines did moderate last month from July, and Boston and Cleveland showed monthly gains from July to August.

Boston, the first city to post price declines in the 20-city index starting in October 2005, has recorded five straight monthly gains in home values.

But on the other hand, Dallas and Denver both showed negative returns in August after four consecutive months of increases.

Price declines in Las Vegas and Phoenix surpassed 30 percent in August, according to Case-Shiller, while prices in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego all plunged more than 25 percent.

Home prices likely won’t improve in September, either, as other key housing indicators have shown the housing slump still in full swing. Recent data from the government and the National Association of Realtors showed the median prices for new and existing homes both tumbled by 9 percent in September.

Maxine Smith Scholarship Established at U of M

A scholarship honoring civil rights pioneer Maxine Smith has been established at the University of Memphis with a major contribution from Dr. Paula Myrick Short and Dr. Rick Jay Short.

The Maxine A. Smith Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming freshman who comes from an under-represented population, therefore contributing to the diversity of the student body, and who demonstrates financial need by qualifying for a Pell Grant at any level.

Smith is a former member of the Tennessee Board of Regents and was presented the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in 2003.

Rick Short is associate dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Science at Middle Tennessee State University and Paula Short is vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Treasury Predicts Huge Government Borrowing Needs

The financial rescue operation will force the federal government to borrow an unprecedented amount of money as the budget deficit climbs to record heights, a top Treasury Department official said Tuesday.

Anthony Ryan, Treasury’s acting undersecretary for domestic finance, said the administration back in July was forecasting that the deficit for the current budget year, which began on Oct. 1, would hit a record $482 billion. He said that forecast did not include all the government’s efforts since then to deal with the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

“This year’s financing needs will be unprecedented” with all the rescue programs now in place, Ryan said.

Ryan said those borrowing efforts will need to address numerous government initiatives: The $700 billion rescue program passed by Congress on Oct. 3; efforts by the Federal Reserve to bolster banks’ balance sheets, which have required it to utilize Treasury’s borrowing resources; and the need of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for resources to deal with a rising number of bank failures.

Speaking to the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in New York, Ryan said the rising borrowing was occurring against the backdrop of a slowing economy. Many private economists believe the economy has already slipped into a recession because of the huge upheavals on Wall Street, which have shaken consumer and business confidence.

“The potential for deterioration in economic conditions given the contraction in credit may also affect budget conditions this year,” Ryan said in his remarks.

The federal deficit for the just-completed 2008 budget year hit an all-time high of $454.8 billion, reflecting in part the $168 billion economic stimulus bill that Congress passed at the beginning of the year to jump-start the economy.

The administration in July projected a deficit of $482 billion for the current budget year. Private forecasters believe the red ink could rise to $700 billion or more given a looming recession and all the government programs being used to battle the financial crisis.

In his speech, Ryan told the Wall Street executives that Treasury was considering reviving the three-year note starting in November to help raise the money that will be needed to fund the rising deficits. He pledged Treasury would keep the markets informed of other financing changes that will be undertaken.

Forum to Focus On Ending Violence

A “Stop the Killing” citywide forum will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3245 Central Ave. The event is being held by Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives.

“We want to hear from our community,” said Stevie Moore, president and founder of Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives. “We want the community to get involved. We’ve invited elected officials so they can hear from the community and get them involved.”

Question and solution sheets will be passed out.

“We’re going to have a committee to analyze them,” Moore said. “We want to have an action plan.”

Nordex to Build Jonesboro Wind Plant

Nordex USA Inc. will build a $100 million wind turbine plant in Jonesboro, Ark., the company has announced.

The plant, which is slated to start production in January 2010, will employ about 700 people at an average wage of $17 an hour. Every component of wind turbines, except for the tower, will be manufactured at the plant.

Nordex will focus on its large-scale family N90 and N100, which is one of the largest series of wind turbines in the world, at the plant. Company officials said Jonesboro and the surrounding region also can expect parts and components suppliers for Nordex to locate in the area.

Headquartered in Germany, Nordex has offices and subsidiaries in 18 countries and employs more than 2,000 people around the world. Nordex USA Inc. is headquartered in Chicago.

McDonald Murrmann Center Launches New Web Site

The McDonald Murrmann Center for Skin, Laser & Healthy Aging has launched a new Web site, www.mmwcskinandlaser.com, independent from the McDonald Murrmann Women’s Clinic site.

The new Web site will allow clients to learn about the services, procedures and products offered at the center.

PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468