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Tickers: June 29


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s federal regulator said U.S. home prices may be “bottoming” as government efforts to bolster the market gain traction. “We’re in a process where we may be seeing some bottoming,” James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said in an interview on CNBC. “Certainly mortgage rates being down where they were was helpful,” he said. “At 5.4 percent, they’re higher, but they’re still in a range that I think does achieve affordability.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee 56 percent of all residential mortgage loans in the United States.

Storm Lake-based Meta Financial Group Inc. has approved the restatement of its financial results for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 and the quarters ended Dec. 31 and March 31. The restatements, which result in an earnings decrease for fiscal year 2008 and a corresponding change to shareholders’ equity at Sept. 30 and at the end of the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2009, are the result of an error in estimating income tax expenses associated with the company’s March 28, 2008, sale of its MetaBank West Central subsidiary. As a result, fiscal 2008 net income decreased to a net loss of $1,023,000, or 38 cents per diluted share, from net income of $51,000, or 3 cents per diluted share.

Ankeny-based KLM International has purchased the former Kingsway Cathedral at 901 19th St. in Des Moines. The international evangelistic organization founded by pastors Kenney and Neja Linhart plans to rename the building “The Kathedral” and host international conventions and regional events, the company said in a news release. KLM is working with HLKB Architecture to renovate and restore the building to its original design, including the towers and steeples lost in a 1917 fire. The cathedral is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A group led by Bernie Van Til of Preservation Properties LLC appealed to the city to have the building demolished after it was deemed unsafe for public use, but the request was denied. The building has been listed for sale for more than $4 million, including the building price and estimated cost to renovate it.

The Business Record received two awards during the Alliance of Area Business Publications conference last weekend in Minneapolis. The Business Record received a bronze in the “best overall design – small tabloid” category. Judges said: “This publication has a beautifully consistent approach to covers.” In addition, the weekly e-mail publication Business Record Iowa won one of four “best ideas” awards, this one for electronic publishing.

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