Washington Mutual expands residential mortgage business

Herald news services

SEATTLE — Washington Mutual will acquire the residential mortgage business of the PNC Financial Services Group for about $605 million in cash.

The deal makes Washington Mutual the country’s third-largest mortgage originator and fourth-largest servicer of residential mortgages, based on data for the first half of 2000.

The deal adds to Washington Mutual’s penetration in its key western markets, but also allows it to broaden its base in the Midwest and Northeast.

  • Bartell launches Web site: Bartell Drugs went online Monday, offering prescription refills and more than 5,000 health and beauty items through www.bartelldrugs.com. Shoppers can pick up their orders at their neighborhood store or, for a fee, have it delivered by U.S. Postal Service or by local courier.

  • Monday’s prices: Gold sold for $273.10 a troy ounce, silver for $4.935 and platinum for $579.50.

  • T-bill rates rise: The Treasury Department sold $10.5 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 6.075 percent, up from 6.005 percent last week. An additional $9.5 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 6.040 percent, up from 5.985 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors — 6.257 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,846.40 and 6.318 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,694.60. The average yield for one-year Treasury bills, the most popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, fell to 6.08 percent last week from 6.09 percent the previous week.

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