Business Notes


Seth Hancock resigns from Churchill Downs board

Longtime Churchill Downs Inc. board member Seth Hancock unexpectedly resigned his seat last week. The resignation was not announced until Tuesday. Churchill Downs held its annual meeting Thursday, the day that Hancock quit the board. Hancock has been on Churchill's board since 1973 and his term would have expired in 2010.

”After more than three decades of service, it's time for me to move on and embrace new challenges.,“ Hancock said in the corporate release. ”I look forward to CDI's continued innovation and success for the benefit of our entire industry.“

Hancock, 58, is managing partner of the storied Claiborne Farm in Paris and president of Hancock Farms. He is also a director of Hopewell Company and the Keeneland Association.

Hancock could not be reached for comment.

Churchill board chairman Carl F. Pollard said in the release: ”Seth Hancock has served the board with great distinction for many years, and his leadership will be missed. ... Personally, I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.“

BB&T 3rd-quarter dividend raised 2.2%

BB&T Corp. raised its third-quarter dividend Tuesday to 47 cents a share, an increase of 1 cent, or 2.2 percent, from the third quarter of 2007. The higher dividend will be paid Aug. 1 to shareholders of record on July 11. BB&T has $136.4 billion in assets and operates banks in 11 states, including Kentucky. The stock symbol is BBT.


Reports suggest housing slump deepening

No matter who's measuring, the results are the same: Housing prices are tumbling at the sharpest rates ever with a bottom still at least a year away, economists say. Both the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indices and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight index on Tuesday reported record year-over-year declines in April, a sobering signal that the housing slump not only is deepening, but also engulfing markets once above water. No city in the Case-Shiller 20-city index appreciated in April, the first time that's happened since its inception in 2000.

Pilot groups agree on joint contract

Delta and Northwest pilot negotiators say they have a tentative agreement with Delta management on a joint contract to cover both pilot groups when the companies combine later this year. Delta's pilots union said in a statement Tuesday that the agreement is between the two pilot groups and Delta management. Terms were not disclosed. Next the two pilot groups will try to reach an agreement on a merged seniority list. The joint contract agreement, which covers roughly 12,000 pilots from both airlines, still needs rank-and-file approval and to be reviewed by the governing bodies of the two unions. Both unions' executive committees were scheduled to meet separately later this week.

Millionaires' numbers, wealth increase

Add an extra zero to the ranks of the millionaires club.The number of people around the world with at least $1 million in assets passed 10 million for the first time last year, according to a new report. And their bank accounts are growing even faster. The combined wealth of the globe's millionaires grew to nearly $41 trillion last year, an increase of 9 percent from a year before, Merrill Lynch & Co. and consulting firm Capgemini Group said Tuesday. That means their average wealth was more than $4 million, the highest it's ever been.

Fed expected to hold interest rate steady

Borrowing costs are likely to hold steady as the Federal Reserve tries to avoid both stirring inflation and stifling a fragile economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues opened a two-day meeting Tuesday afternoon, where they will assess the economy and decide the best course on interest rates. The Fed is almost certain to hold its key interest rate steady at 2 percent when it wraps up its session on Wednesday. If that's the case, the prime lending rate for millions of consumers and businesses would stay at 5 percent. The prime rate applies to certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports