published Friday, July 29th, 2011

CapitalMark earnings up 14%

Staff and Wire Reports

CapitalMark earnings up 14%

CapitalMark Bank & Trust boosted its second-quarter earnings by 14 percent over a year ago. The Chattanooga bank reported Thursday that it earned $947,000, or 14 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30. A year ago, CapitalMark earned the equivalent of 12 cents per share.

Founded in 2007, CapitalMark has grown its assets to $427 million and its loan portfolio to $320 million. The bank operates in Chattanooga and Knoxville.

TVA to add sirens with batteries

TVA plans to correct a problem that left only 12 of Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant’s required 100 emergency sirens working after the April 27 tornadoes. The power loss that left 88 sirens useless also caused problems at the nuclear plant.

Bill McCollum, the TVA’s chief operating officer, said the utility is looking at installing emergency sirens with battery backup capability.

Lender lowers energy deal rates

Pathway Lending is lowering the interest rate for its energy efficiency loan program from 5 percent to 3 percent to help more Tennessee companies gain access to financing for energy-saving projects during the hottest summer months.

The reduction will last through Sept. 30 in hopes of helping companies beat surging utility prices during the height of summer, according to Pathway.

“We believe reducing the program’s already low rates will encourage Tennessee companies and manufacturers to expedite planned efficiency projects,” said Clint Gwin, president of Pathway Lending.

Carmakers strike deal on mileage

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and major auto manufacturers have reached a deal to raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks between 2017 and 2025, resolving a contentious negotiation over how to cut vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement would require U.S. vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon or 163 grams per mile of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, which represents a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases and a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with today’s vehicles, according to sources briefed on the matter.

Amazon signs streaming movies

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Amazon.com Inc. continued its quest to challenge Netflix Inc. in streaming video offerings by signing a deal with NBCUniversal for rights to Universal Pictures movies, the company announced Thursday.

The deal gives Amazon Prime customers instant access to movies such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Being John Malkovich” and “Billy Elliott.”

Clawbacks net Madoff losses

NEW YORK — A trustee recovering money for investors who lost billions of dollars through Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff’s dealings says he’s secured more than a billion dollars through settlements with associates of the second-largest feeder fund group to invest with Madoff.

Trustee Irving Picard announced Thursday the settlement will boost clawbacks of money available to jilted investors to more than $8.6 billion. He says that’s nearly half the approximately $17.3 billion in principal lost by Madoff, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and is serving a 150-year prison sentence in Butner, N.C.

Murdoch remains BSkyB chairman

LOS ANGELES — James Murdoch finally got some good news.

The embattled News Corp. executive, tarnished by the phone-hacking scandal at the now-closed News of the World, is still chairman of British Sky Broadcasting after a Thursday board meeting. There had been speculation that the probe into News of the World could weaken his position at BSkyB, Britain’s largest pay television provider, and possibly lead to his having to step down.

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