June 24, 2014 in Business

No Sterling branches in Spokane will close

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

None of Sterling Bank’s nine area branches will be closed during a round of reductions now taking place as Umpqua Bank begins aligning operations in the wake of its takeover of Sterling.

Bank officers are closing 27 branches across Washington, Oregon and California during the next several months.

Those closures – including 13 branches in Washington along with seven each in Oregon and California – are occurring where both Umpqua and Sterling had branches within a few miles of each other, said company spokeswoman Eve Callahan.

Umpqua finished its purchase of Sterling two months ago in a $2 billion stock deal.

The nearest Sterling closures to Spokane will be two Tri-Cities branches and one in Clarkston, Callahan said. The two closed Tri-Cities Sterling branches were located inside Wal-Marts, she said.

In some cases the closed branch was an Umpqua operation, and in others it was a Sterling branch, she said.

In the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, two branches were within 500 feet, she said. In that case, an Umpqua branch will be folded into the nearby Sterling branch.

The exact number of jobs lost has not yet been settled, Callahan said.

No more branch closures are anticipated during 2014, she said.

Nationwide home sales post monthly gain in May

WASHINGTON – Sales of previously owned U.S. homes posted the best monthly gain in nearly three years in May, providing hope that housing is beginning to regain momentum lost over the past year.

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes. The monthly gain was the fastest since August 2011, but even with the increase, sales are still 5 percent below the pace in May 2013.

The median price of a home sold in May was $213,400, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.

By region of the country, sales were up the most in May in the Midwest, an 8.7 percent gain which likely reflected further catch-up from the severe winter. Sales rose 5.7 percent in the South and 3.3 percent in the Northeast but showed only a slight 0.9 percent increase in the West.

Locally, 551 homes sold in May, a monthly gain of 25.2 percent, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors. The median price of homes sold in Spokane last month was $164,000, down 3 percent from April and down 2.4 percent from May of 2013.

Oracle buying Micros in $5.3 billion software deal

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Software maker Oracle is buying Micros Systems Inc., which provides software and hardware to the hospitality and retail industries, for about $5.3 billion.

Oracle Corp. said Monday that it will pay $68 per Micros share, a 3 percent premium to the company’s $65.77 Friday closing price.

Shares of Micros gained $1.43, or 2.2 percent, to $67.20 in premarket trading Monday.


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