Originally created 06/16/04

Business briefs



First Bank ranks high among peers

First Bank of Georgia ranked high among similarly-sized banks across the country, according to the June edition of Independent Banker magazine.

For lenders with between $250 million and $500 million in assets, First Bank ranked fifth in the return-on-equity category. It also ranked 14th in return-on-assets, making it the only Georgia bank to crack the top 20.

Georgia-Carolina Bancshares Inc, the bank's holding company, reported $284 million in assets at the end of March.

Casino merger in final negotiations

LAS VEGAS - Boards for Mandalay Resort Group and MGM Mirage met Tuesday to approve a $4.8 billion cash offer that would merge the two gambling companies into the industry's dominant casino operator.

Sources close to the negotiations said they were confident that the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would be wrapped up by today.

Circuit City losses narrow in quarter

RICHMOND, Va. - Cir-cuit City Stores Inc., the nation's No. 2 consumer electronics chain, said Tuesday that its loss narrowed to $5.9 million in its first quarter as sales rose nearly 7 percent.

The loss for the quarter ended May 31 amounted to 3 cents a share in contrast to a loss of $46.7 million, or 23 cents a share, in the previous year.

Citigroup to issue binational cards

MEXICO CITY - Catering to the large U.S. Hispanic market, Citigroup Inc. is introducing binational credit-card programs that can be used by Mexican clients living in the United States and their family and friends in Mexico.

The world's largest financial services group said in a news release Tuesday that the program will allow Mexican residents to benefit from credit lines granted to Citigroup's U.S. clients and to withdraw cash from American accounts.

Nearly 40 million Hispanics live in the United States, of which more than half are Mexi-cans. Mexicans living in America send more than $1 billion monthly to their families' bank accounts in their native countries, according to Mexican central bank data.