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Monday, Jun 5, 2023

Week In Review

Saturday, Jan. 10

First Of Its Kind:

General Dynamics Nassco, the last full-service ship construction yard in San Diego, delivered the first ship of what now stands at nine product carriers to its customer, U.S. Shipping Partners.

In ceremonies at the yard near the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, the ship was christened the Golden State. At 600 feet long, it has a cargo capacity of 331,000 barrels, and will be used to carry petroleum and chemical products between U.S. ports.

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Nassco began work on the Golden State in 2007. The company is now working on three other product carrier ships, the latest one called the Empire State.

Nassco has also been busy constructing a series of dry cargo/ammunition ships for the Navy, and is one of the area’s largest private employers, with 4,700 workers.

, Mike Allen

Monday, Jan. 12

Restitution Ordered:
Two men found guilty by a San Diego federal jury of conspiracy and wire fraud charges in June were sentenced for their roles in a widespread investment fraud case.

Federal Judge Thomas Whelan sentenced Ricky D. Sluder, 51, of Houston, to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, and ordered him to pay $44.8 million in restitution. Co-defendant Larry C. Saturday, 66, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison and ordered to pay $22.4 million in restitution in the same case.

According to federal prosecutors, the defendants used companies named Learn Waterhouse, Wealth Builders Club and Qwest International to fraudulently solicit more than $50 million from investors who were told they would receive returns ranging from 2 percent to 50 percent per month, or more.

, Mike Allen

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Office Space Glut:
Effects of the national credit crunch and housing correction have trickled down into the local office market, according to CB Richard Ellis’ fourth-quarter office market report.

Direct vacancy rates reached 17.8 percent at the end of the year in San Diego, a figure not seen in more than a decade. The rate is 3.8 percent higher than the start of 2008.

CB Richard Ellis brokers and other local commercial brokerage firms expect 2009 to remain slow.

Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial Director of Research Jolanta Campion reported in a fourth-quarter office trends report that there is no doubt that tenant demand in 2009 will be weaker and most investors will take a wait and see attitude.

Campion said many tenants are seeking to take advantage of the soft market conditions, distressed sellers are becoming more motivated to sell, and low-leveraged buyers are expected to lead acquisition activity.

Sub-markets with the highest overall vacancy rates include south San Diego, Scripps Ranch and Carlsbad.

, Michelle Mowad

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City Returns To Bond Market:
The city of San Diego jumped back into the municipal bond market after being locked out for five years because the city omitted significant financial data about its employee pension fund deficit in previous disclosure documents.

The latest bond offering of $157 million has two components: a refinancing of $62.7 million in short-term debt, and $94.5 million for refunding a portion of water bonds issued in 1998. The refunding of the 1998 bonds will generate savings of more than $8.7 million in the next 12 years and free up cash that would have been used to pay interest, the city said.

Money to pay the 30-year bonds, which were priced at an average coupon rate of 4.98 percent, comes from revenue in the city’s water utility fund.

Mayor Jerry Sanders touted the sale as evidence he’s made good on his pledge to restore San Diego’s credibility on Wall Street.

, Mike Allen

Wednesday, Jan. 14

Water’s Fine In County Pool:
San Diego County’s investment pool, which passed the $6 billion mark last year, was reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s with an AAAf credit quality rating, the highest accorded to similar funds, said county Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister. The pool manages the short-term cash investments for 90 public agencies.

, Mike Allen


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