Massachusetts business in brief

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

State Street passes Fed’s stress test

BOSTON – State Street Corp. was one of nine big financial companies that passed the Federal Reserve system’s “stress test” that was conducted to see if the companies needed additional capital, particularly if more loans they held went sour.

State Street, which specializes in asset management and providing back-office services to big investors, was the only Massachusetts-based company to be subjected to the stress test. CEO Ron Logue said State Street executives are pleased that the company passed by a wide margin. Logue said State Street is now in a position to return the $2 billion in federal Troubled Asset Relief Program funds that it received last fall.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, the state’s largest retail bank, was one of 10 banks that the Fed says will likely need additional capital.

Mass. foreclosures fall 18% in March

BOSTON – The number of foreclosure deeds filed in Massachusetts in March fell 18 percent from the same month a year ago – a sign that the pace of foreclosures is trending downward. The Warren Group said 953 foreclosure deeds were filed in March, down from 1,167 in March 2008.

Meanwhile, lenders initiated 2,381 petitions to foreclose in March, down 19.5 percent from the same month a year ago.

Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren said in the first few months of 2008, lenders rushed to initiate foreclosures to beat a state law that took effect last May requiring a 90-day warning notice. He said that deadline could have played a role in the unusually high foreclosure rates in the first few months of last year. He also noted that many big lenders put in place moratoriums that stalled or delayed foreclosure proceedings in recent months.

Entergy spin-off late but moving forward

PLYMOUTH – Entergy Corp. is still planning to move forward with its spin-off of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth and four other plants into a new company called Enexus Energy, despite the fact that the spin-off is nearly a year behind schedule.

Entergy president Richard Smith told analysts during a conference call on Monday that Entergy is still working with regulators in New York and Vermont to resolve concerns about the financial viability of the new company. Smith said Entergy has made significant progress in the last couple of months and could wrap up its talks with agencies in both states in July. New Orleans-based Entergy originally hoped to spin off the Pilgrim plant and four sister plants before last October.

Berkeley Investments names leasing agent

BOSTON – Berkeley Investments has tapped Jones Lang LaSalle to be its leasing agent for Berkeley’s Fort Point portfolio in South Boston. The sites include 368 Congress St., a six-story office building slated for redevelopment; 381 Congress St., a five-story office building planned for redevelopment; 22 Boston Wharf Road, an eight-story building with six parking levels and two office floors; and 12 Farnsworth St., a six-story office and retail building.

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