Richland’s bond rating upped to AAA
Richland County’s financial management practices have earned it the highest possible bond rating from one of the nation’s leading credit-rating agencies. The AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s will enable the county to borrow money at a reduced cost to taxpayers, the county said in a news release Wednesday. The rating applies to long-term, general obligation debt and puts Richland County in the same league as Charleston and Greenville counties. Ratings are based on the S&P’s confidence in a government to meet its financial obligations. Richland County previously had a AA+ rating.
Whole Foods locating in Hilton Head
HILTON HEAD ISLAND Whole Foods Market is coming to Hilton Head Island, a company spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. The store, which sells natural and organic foods with a focus on products produced locally, will occupy 30,000 square feet at The Plaza at Shelter Cove in a space being vacated by Piggly Wiggly. It will employ at least 100 people and is expected to open in mid-2014, the company said.
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Home builders’ confidence drops
U.S. home builders were less confident in the housing market in October, reflecting their uncertainty over the budget impasse in Washington. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped two points to 55. The September reading was revised down from an initial reading of 58.
BofA profits jump
NEW YORK Bank of America Corp.’s profit surged to $2.5 billion in the third quarter as it continued its years-long downsizing and grappled with declining mortgage income. Bank of America said it earned $2.5 billion, or 20 cents a share, in the third quarter, up from $340 million, or zero cents, a year earlier. The bank’s results beat analysts’ expectations.
Dawn Hinshaw, The (Hilton Head) Island Packet, The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed.