US Airways Gets Tax Break

As US Airways prepares to emerge from bankruptcy, the airline has landed a state tax break on jet fuel. The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to a measure capping the fuel taxes paid by the airline, which has its largest hub at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, at $2.5 million annually. The state has estimated the change will cost about $5 million a year in lost tax revenue. In March, Georgia's legislature capped fuel taxes at $15 million a year in a similar move to assist Delta Air Lines.


Fannie's Portfolio Shrinks

Fannie Mae said its mortgage investment portfolio shrank for a ninth month in July to the lowest since November 2002. The investments, which account for more than three-quarters of Fannie Mae's profit, contracted by $19.4 billion to $788.8 billion. The decrease is 25.3 percent on an annual basis, the government-chartered company said.

Fannie Mae's portfolio is down from $904.6 billion at the end of 2004, as the company conserves cash to build a 30 percent capital surplus required by its federal regulator by Sept. 30 after breaking rules in accounting for hedges from 2001 to mid-2004.


Carlyle Sells Laminate Maker

The Carlyle Group, a Washington-based buyout firm with about $30 billion under management, sold laminate maker Panolam Industries International for about $375 million at a profit of about 11/2 times its investment. Carlyle sold Panolam to private equity firms Genstar Capital and Sterling Group, a Carlyle spokesman said.

Bowie Bank Reports Slump

Washington Savings Bank of Bowie reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.9 million (23 cents a share), down from $2.3 million (28 cents) a year earlier. For the year ended July 31, the bank had a profit of $8 million (98 cents), down from $8.9 million ($1.11) the previous year. In a statement, the bank said the slump in profits stemmed mostly from a $5.4 million charge for an increased allowance for loan losses. It cited "unfavorable trends" in its portfolio, especially on construction loans.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.