Business Briefs for Oct. 24, 2013

Report looks at impact of goods trade in BR

Baton Rouge and New Orleans both ranked among the top 50 U.S. metro areas for trade in a new report released Tuesday that tracks which regions generate the most international trade.

The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program paper showed that New Orleans had annual total goods trade of $147.6 billion a year, ranking it 26th out of the 100 largest U.S. cities. Baton Rouge, which had annual total goods trade of $115.1 billion, was ranked 36th in the country. New York was ranked first, with an annual value of $720 billion.

The same report found that 15.4 percent of the trade from New Orleans was international, putting it 37th among the largest cities. Baton Rouge had 14.9 percent of its trade classified as international, which put it 42nd.

La. banks increase small business lending

The six Louisiana community banks participating in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Small Business Lending Fund boosted the amount of their loans by $195.1 million in the second quarter.

That boosted the amount of lending to $530.8 million over the baseline levels set at the depth of the most recent recession, the treasury department said.

Community Trust Bank, of Ruston, was the biggest gainer in Louisiana, with $180.4 million in loans over the baseline. That’s a 50.2 percent increase. First NBC Bank of New Orleans had a 36.8 percent gain over the low point, with an additional $136.1 million in loans.

First Guaranty Bank of Hammond was up by $43.8 million, a 24.3 percent increase, and MidSouth Bank of Lafayette was up by $86.9 million or 22.1 percent.

IberiaBank profit rises in third quarter

IberiaBank Corp. reported third-quarter earnings rose to $23.2 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with $21.2 million, or 73 cents per share, a year ago.

The Lafayette company cut operating expenses by $4 million during the quarter. Daryl G. Byrd, president and chief executive officer, said solid growth in loans and deposits also helped the company’s performance.

Regions’ third-quarter profit shows drop

Regions Financial Corp. reported its third-quarter profit slipped to $285 million, or 20 cents per share, from $301 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago.

The company improved its net interest income by $7 million to $824 million. But that gain was offset by lower non-interest income, which fell $38 million to $495 million. Regions had $1.32 billion in revenue, down from $1.35 billion a year ago.

Compiled from Advocate business staff and Associated Press reports