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iAB parent preps for stock split

Independent Alliance Banks Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to issue 8 million additional shares of common stock on June 1. The new shares will support a stock split and “future expansion opportunities,” the company said in a written statement.

The Fort Wayne-based holding company for iAB Financial Bank will also split its shares 3-for-1, buy back an undetermined number of shares and increase its quarterly dividend by 5 percent.

Independent Alliance Banks’ directors have voted to pay 63 cents a share to shareholders of record as of May 15. They also decided to repurchase up to 75,000 shares of common stock during each of the third and fourth quarters. The board will announce the per-share price of its offer at the beginning of each quarter.

Money for the stock repurchase will come from available cash, the company said.

Area Ohio counties see jobless rates dip

The unemployment rate retreated in northwest Ohio last month, giving our regional neighbors something to feel good about, according to figures the state released Tuesday.

Paulding County had the lowest jobless rate in March at 7 percent, compared with 7.6 percent in February. Other data showed the jobless rate in Van Wert and Williams counties at 7.4 percent, compared with 7.8 percent for both in February.

Defiance County was 7.3 percent last month, compared with 8 percent in February.

Apple shareholders to split $100 billion

Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders over two years. At the same time, the company said it expects sales for the current quarter to fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years.

Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it will buy back $60 billion in shares – the largest buyback authorization in history. It is also raising its dividend by 15 percent.

Investors have been clamoring for Apple to give them access to its cash hoard, which ended March at an unprecedented $145 billion.

New-home sales jump 1.5 percent

U.S. sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent. The gain brought the level higher than February’s pace of 411,000, though below January’s 445,000 – the fastest pace since July 2008.

New-home sales are still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But the pace has increased 18.5 percent from 352,000 a year ago.

MF Global trustee sues ex-CEO Corzine, others

The trustee in the MF Global Holdings bankruptcy case has sued ex-CEO Jon Corzine and other former executives, alleging that they pushed the company into risky practices that ultimately led to its collapse.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in bankruptcy court in New York, says Corzine and two other top executives “dramatically changed” the company’s business plan after he became CEO in 2010. Tuesday, a spokesman for Corzine called the lawsuit “a clear case of Monday morning quarterbacking.”