Business Beat

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Bank lending increases during second quarter despite lower profit margins

According to Tuesday’s report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the banking industry earned over $34.5 billion in the April-June quarter, a $5.9 billion improvement from last year’s profits during this timeframe, despite Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate the economy through low-interest rates. 

The Federal Reserve plans to keep loan interest rates low through 2014, according to an Aug. 28 article published by CNN. Regardless of the profits lost through low interest, banks’ earnings have increased by 21 percent compared to the 2011 second quarter, and the earning rate is projected to rise. The boost in lending this quarter was the second largest since the beginning of the bank’s financial crisis. 

Ask.com buys out About.com for $300 million in cash

Sunday, it was announced that the search engine About.com, previously owned by the New York Times, will now belong to the parent company Ask.com

Because of a recent change in the structure of Google search results, content from About.com became more difficult to find, according to an article published Monday in USA Today. Ask.com’s search technology is planned to direct more users to About.com and increase its profits. 

Cyber-robbers using financial advisors to steal money from investors

Cases of online fraud using financial advisers as bait to steal client money are on the rise. A successful theft resulted in $35,000 stolen from one client. 

Cyber criminals have been using fake email addresses to impersonate business officials and  fool financial advisers into using client money for various purposes. Victims of this crime must dispute with financial advisers instead of being able to track criminals in order to get reimbursed, according to an article published Sunday by USA Today. This particular type of scheme is on the rise as so many investors work with their advisers through email only.

Apple iPhone showing little signs of commercial success in China

Apple is currently seventh place among smartphone suppliers in China. According to an article published Tuesday by CNN, the price of the iPhone makes it a small contender in China’s market, now becoming the biggest smartphone market in the world. 

Samsung and Nokia are in higher positions in the China smartphone market, but no one company holds a majority. Apple CEO Tim Cook said there are no plans to create a cheaper iPhone to compete with other companies for the Chinese market. 

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