SunTrust to halt future loans for private prisons

SunTrust Banks Inc. said Monday it has decided to halt providing future loans to companies that manage private prisons and immigration holding facilities.

“Following an ongoing and deliberate process … this decision was made after extensive consideration of the views of our stakeholders on this deeply complex issue,” the bank said in a statement.

SunTrust announced plans Feb. 7 to merge with BB&T Corp. in a $66 billion megadeal in which BB&T shareholders would own 57% of the combined bank.

“BB&T does not provide financing for the private prison industry,” spokesman David White said.

Other banks that have halted loans to private prisons and immigration holding facilities include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

Bloomberg News has said protesters are urging bank executives to back away from the business since detention centers have become a flash point amid reports of substandard conditions at facilities for migrant children.

Richard Craver

Incentives for Lowe’s IT project at $16.2 million

Lowe’s Cos. Inc. will be eligible for up to $16.2 million in performance-based incentives from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, along with up to $56 million in state incentives, The Charlotte Observer reported Monday.

The local incentives deal includes a Business Investment Grant of up to $6.03 million over 10 years from Charlotte, according to city spokeswoman Britt Clampitt. The city’s portion could change when the city council votes on the incentives deal, which will likely happen this month, she added.

The other local portion of the grant comes from the county, which could give Lowe’s up to $10.16 million over a decade, spokesman Lawrence Corley said. That figure will also have to be approved by county commissioners, he added.

Lowe’s said June 27 it will build a new $153 million technology center in Charlotte that would have 1,612 employees. Lowe’s announced in December that it would add up to 2,000 employees in its technology unit.

Many of the remaining jobs will be created at existing Lowe’s locations, including its Mooresville headquarters.

The Charlotte technology center will be in South End section of the city in a 23-story building.

Richard Craver

Catalyst Biosciences achieves Phase 2 success

Catalyst Biosciences Inc. said Monday that its Phase 2 clinical trial of its Factor VIIa product met the primary endpoint of significantly reducing the annualized bleed rate in patients with hemophilia A or B with inhibitors.

The company said the study also met all secondary endpoints of safety, tolerability and lack of anti-drug antibody or inhibitor formation.

The results were presented Sunday at the 2019 Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

In 2015, the company acquired Targacept Inc. of Winston-Salem, gaining $35 million in Targacept cash as part of the transaction.

Targacept shareholders own 42 percent of Catalyst’s shares and eventually could have a 57 percent capital stake.

Richard Craver

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