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The Journal Gazette

Friday, April 21, 2017 1:00 am

Subway has 359 stores close in '16

Staff, news services

Subway Restaurants closed hundreds of domestic locations last year, marking the biggest retrenchment in the history of a chain that spent decades saturating America with restaurants.

The company lost 359 U.S. locations in 2016, the first time that Subway had a net reduction. The store count dropped 1.3 percent to 26,744 from 27,103 in 2015, but Subway remains the nation's most ubiquitous eatery. McDonald's Corp. is No. 1 by sales.

The closely held company is coping with a sales slowdown in the U.S., made worse by the emergence of newer fast-casual rivals and the heavy reliance on discounts and promotions.

World leaders back globalization

World finance leaders Thursday defended globalization against an assault from President Donald Trump and European populists, saying that blocking free trade would hobble economic growth instead of saving jobs from foreign competition.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told journalists that freer trade and more openness were “critical for the future of the world.”

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said the answer to the wave of populism gaining support in many countries was to work for “more growth and better growth” in the world economy.

1st Source parent has record income

1st Source Corp., parent company of 1st Source Bank, reported Thursday a record-high net income of $16.21 million for the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 17.28 percent compared with $13.82 million reported in the first quarter a year ago.

The increased net income was attributed to gains of $1.29 million on the sale of investment securities available-for-sale, mort­gage backed security prepayments of $0.45 million and gains on the sale of fixed assets of $0.20 million, according to a news release from the South Bend company, which has multiple Fort Wayne-area locations.

Diluted net income per common share for the first quarter of 2017 was also a record high at 62 cents per share versus 53 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016.

iAB holding firm has decline in earnings

Independent Alliance Banks Inc., the holding company of iAB Financial Bank, announced net income for the first three months of 2017 was $1.9 million, a 23 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016 earnings of $2.5 million.

The company said in a news release the decline was primarily due to after-tax expenses associated with its pending merger with First Merchants Corp.

Earnings per share were 47 cents per share for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with 60 cents per share in the same period in 2016. Return on average assets was 0.72 percent, and return on average equity was 6.29 percent for the first quarter of 2017.

Japan supports TPP trade pact

Japanese officials are indicating Tokyo intends to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact despite the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.

In comments reported by NHK on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, at a conference in New York, said he believed the TPP trade talks would offer greater advantages to Japan than bilateral negotiations with the U.S.