Business theme briefs for Sept. 3

Business theme briefs for Sept. 3, 2014
Oklahoman Published: September 3, 2014
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In brief

College savings plan cuts fees

Oklahoma’s 529 College Savings Plan has cut management fees by 12.5 percent, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Tuesday. The reduction potentially saves account owners more than $300,000 annually, he said. “This fee reduction means Oklahomans are getting an even better deal with more of their money being invested to help reach their college savings goals for their loved ones’ higher education expenses,” Miller said. The contract negotiated with TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. includes two more fee reductions when total funds invested in the savings plan reach $750 million and $1 billion, he said. Currently, the plan contains almost $640 million in nearly 55,000 accounts. Since the plan’s inception in 2000, Oklahoma families have withdrawn almost $244 million from the plan for qualified higher education expense for the benefit of more than 13,000 children.

Home Depot investigates activity

— Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a major credit card data breach. The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it is working with both banks and law enforcement to investigate “unusual activity” that would point to a hack. “Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers,” said Paula Drake, a spokeswoman at Home Depot. She said the retailer would notify customers immediately if it confirms a breach. Shares of Home Depot Inc. fell $1.88, or 2 percent, to close at $91.15.

Rates mixed on Treasury bills

— Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Tuesday’s auction with rates on three-month bills falling to the lowest level since late April while rates on six-month bills were unchanged. The Treasury Department auctioned $28 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.025 percent, down from 0.030 percent last week. Another $24 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.050 percent, unchanged from last week. The three-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 0.020 percent on April 28. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,999.37 while a six-month bill sold for $9,997.47. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.025 percent for the three-month bills and 0.051 percent for the six-month bills.

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