SC business notebook, Nov. 6

November 5, 2013 

Randy Fox

Fox new chief credit offficer at Congaree State Bank

Randy Fox is the new chief credit officer with Congaree State Bank in Cayce, founded in 2006. Fox has more than 35 years of experience in the banking industry, retiring recently from BB&T. A lifelong Batesburg-Leesville resident, Fox previously served on town council for four years and the local school board for 12 years. The Lander University graduate received his MBA from the University of South Carolina.

Homeownership rate climbs from lowest level in 18 years

The U.S. homeownership rate climbed from the lowest level in 18 years, signaling that the real estate rebound is drawing in more buyers. The share of Americans who own their homes was 65.3 percent in the third quarter, up from 65 percent in the previous three months, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The prior level was the lowest since the third quarter of 1995. Rising real estate values are removing negative equity, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, while also luring would-be purchasers into the market before prices and mortgage rates go higher. The pool of eligible buyers is expanding as U.S. employment improves and families who lost properties during the recession repair their credit and seek another chance at owning.

BMW AG net profit increases in third quarter

Luxury car maker BMW AG saw its third-quarter net profit increase 3.2 percent as tax expenses declined, but the company said its performance was affected by high spending on new technology and growing competition. The company – whose only North American manufacturing plant is in Greer – reported Tuesday net profit of 1.33 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in the July-September period, up from 1.29 billion euros a year earlier. It said income tax expenses dropped to 659 million euros from 698 million. The BMW Group, which includes Mini and Rolls-Royce, saw revenues decline 0.4 percent to 18.75 billion euros from 18.82 billion euros, though car sales rose 10.7 percent to 481,657 vehicles.

Burger King bringing back Big Mac look-alike Big King

What has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame bun? Burger King’s latest sandwich. The Miami-based chain says it’s bringing back its Big King sandwich, which looks a lot like the popular Big Mac made by its bigger rival McDonald’s. Burger King says it’s an addition to the permanent menu.

Hallmark Cards eliminating 225 jobs in party ware business

Hallmark Cards says will eliminate at least 225 jobs by doing away with its party ware business and streamlining parts of its greeting card operation. The Kansas City Star reports party wares wasn’t meeting revenue expectations.

Bloomberg News and The Associated Press contributed.

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