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Business news in brief

In the Region

Plymouth Meeting lender bought

New Penn Financial L.L.C., a Plymouth Meeting mortgage lender, said Friday it had been acquired by Shellpoint Partners L.L.C., New York, for an undisclosed price. New Penn said it employed more than 400 in 24 offices and generated $1.2 billion in mortgages last year. New Penn founder Jerry Schiano will remain at New Penn and assume a management position at Shellpoint, New Penn said. The plan for the combined operation is that Shellpoint will package mortgages originated by New Penn into securities, with an emphasis on providing mortgages to borrowers who do not fit government agencies' loan criteria. - Harold Brubaker

Man charged in Ponzi scheme

The U.S. attorney in Philadelphia charged a Bala Cynwyd man, Ira J. Pressman, in a Ponzi scheme involving a company that specialized in buying and quickly reselling closeout items, such as bedsheets, flags, and furniture, promising investors a share of the profits from the deals. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Pressman, who was arrested by Montgomery County authorities in March, received $20 million from about 20 investors since 2006, using some of it to pay back earlier investors and some for his own benefit. The total investor loss was $6 million, authorities said. If convicted of one count each of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, Pressman faces a maximum possible sentence of 60 years. - Harold Brubaker

Moody's raises credit rating

Moody's Investors Service raised its credit rating for AmerisourceBergen Corp., the Chesterbrook distributor of prescription drugs. Moody's lifted its rating to Baa2 from Baa3. Both ratings are investment grade; the higher rating is two notches above "junk" status. The firm said its outlook on AmerisourceBergen was now stable, down from a positive outlook. The company has a strong position in the market and does business with a significant number of small retail chains, independent pharmacies, and institutional customers, Moody's said. Amerisource-Bergen's profit margins should improve, Moody's said in raising the rating, even though pharmaceutical distribution is a low-margin business. - AP

PNC chief lauds combination

PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s integration of National City Corp., Cleveland, was a "tremendous execution" that has led to greater cost savings sooner than expected, chief executive officer James Rohr said. PNC is the third-largest bank in the Philadelphia region. The addition of National City took 11/2 years instead of the expected two years, and PNC, of Pittsburgh, was able cut costs by $1.8 billion compared with a plan of $1.2 billion, he said. - Bloomberg News


Group: Service sector grew in May

The U.S. economy's service sector, which employs 90 percent of the nation's workforce, grew in May for an 18th straight month, posting slightly faster growth than in April. The Institute for Supply Management said its index tracking the health of service companies increased to 54.6 in May compared with 52.8 in April. The last three months have had lower readings than in February, when the index hit a five-year high of 59.7. A reading over 50 indicates expansion. - AP

Greece poised for more of bailout

Greece is set to receive the next installment of its bailout facility, and will likely get further rescue loans to prevent it from defaulting on its huge debts, European officials said. Debt inspectors from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund said Greece should receive the next $17.5 billion of its $160 billion bailout as long as additional austerity and privatization measures are deemed sufficient. - AP

Boeing looks to Asia, Mideast

Boeing Co. is counting on growing demand in Asia and the Mideast for military aircraft to help offset possible spending cuts in Europe and the United States, a top company executive said. Austerity measures to help lower government debt will likely reduce military spending in Europe and leave U.S. expenditures flat for the next several years, said Dennis Muilenberg, chief executive of Boeing's defense, space, and security unit. Boeing hopes to boost defense sales outside the United States to about 25 percent of its revenue by 2013, up from 17 percent last year and 7 percent in 2006. About half of Boeing's $64 billion of revenue last year came from defense sales. - AP

S. Carolina bank is closed

Regulators have shut down a small bank in South Carolina, the 45th U.S. bank failure this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday seized Atlantic Bank & Trust, Charleston, with $208.2 million in assets and $191.6 million in deposits. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank. The failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $36.4 million. - AP