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Vestin-managed trusts report quarterly losses

Two mortgage real estate investment trusts managed by Vestin Group on Monday reported third-quarter losses, reversing profit for the same period a year ago.

Vestin Realty Mortgage II lost $40.1 million, or $2.72 a share, compared with profit of $1.5 million, or 10 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues declined to $3.7 million from $6.9 million in the third quarter last year.

Vestin Realty Mortgage I lost $6.4 million, or 93 cents a share, in the quarter, reversing net income of $105,000, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 60 percent to $400,000 from $1 million a year ago.

Vestin Realty II gained 5 cents, or 1.8 percent, and closed at $2.87 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Vestin Realty I lost 20 cents, or 12.9 percent, and closed at $1.35 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Wynn Resorts stock added to S&P 500

Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Dentsply International Inc. were picked to replace Ashland Inc. and Hercules Inc. in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The change in the benchmark index for U.S. stocks will occur after the trading closes Thursday, S&P said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Wynn Resorts is a Las Vegas-based casino company; Dentsply, based in York, Pa., produces dental supplies.

Insurer AIG receives $150 billion in aid

American International Group Inc. got a $150 billion government rescue package, almost doubling the initial bailout of less than two months ago as the insurer burns through cash at a record rate.

AIG will get lower interest rates and $40 billion of new capital from the government to help ease the impact of four straight quarterly deficits, including a $24.5 billion third- quarter loss posted Monday by the New York-based company.


Budget shoppers boost sales for McDonald’s

Consumers worldwide who are watching their spending bought more burgers and chicken breakfast biscuits at McDonald’s in October, leading to a big rise in sales at established locations for the fast-food leader.

McDonald’s Corp. said Monday its global same-store sales jumped 8.2 percent during the month. That beat the company’s own prediction for a rise similar to the one it recorded in its last quarter, when same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, jumped 7.1 percent worldwide.

The results were a bright spot in what was a dismal month for most restaurant operators. Many sit-down chains have reported steep declines in same-store sales during October as consumers grew more anxious.

General Growth warns of bankruptcy

Owners of some of the most prestigious malls in Las Vegas warned they may wind up in bankruptcy court if they can’t refinance more than $4 billion in debt due by the end of 2009.

In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, General Growth Properties reported it could seek “legal protection from our creditors.”

General Growth’s value, which owns Shoppes at Palazzo, Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Fashion Show, Boulevard and Meadows malls, has been falling for months after the emerging recession and subsequent credit crisis left management stuck with too much debt and not enough money to make payments.

During an earnings call last week, managers of the Chicago-based real estate investment trust announced a shake-up of senior management and plans to offer Fashion Show, Grand Canal and Shoppes at Palazzo for sale.

The bankruptcy warning came in a 65-page filing in which General Growth reported, “there can be no assurance that we can obtain such extensions or refinance our existing debt or obtain the additional capital necessary to satisfy our short-term cash needs on satisfactory terms.”

General Growth owns about 200 properties in 44 states.

Utilities regulators slate open meeting

The Public Utilities Commission will solicit comments and questions Thursday at an open meeting.

The commission staff will make a presentation on energy conservation, customer rates and the commission’s role.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m. at the Harney Middle School, 1580 S. Hollywood Blvd.

Call 486-7210 for more information.


Interest rates decline in Treasury auction

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday’s auction with three-month bills dropping to the lowest level on record.

The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.355 percent, down from 0.53 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.99 percent, down from 1.1 percent last week.


Treasury prices rise as stocks head down

Treasury prices climbed Monday as economic anxieties pushed stocks lower.

The 10-year note rose 0.28 points to 101.94 and yielded 3.76 percent, down from 3.79 percent.

The 30-year bond rose 1.09 points to 104.97 and yielded 4.21 percent, down from 4.25 percent.

Treasury bills, considered the ultimate safe assets, see their yields fall when demand rises.

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