Washington Mutual stock fell 21. 6 percent Monday on concern a $700 billion government-sponsored bank-bailout plan won't erase enough of...

Share story

Financial services

Washington Mutual stock fell 21.6 percent Monday on concern a $700 billion government-sponsored bank-bailout plan won’t erase enough of its soured mortgages to lure bidders.

“There could be an in-limbo case, where potential buyers are unwilling to take on WaMu’s troubled mortgage book until issues are ironed out,” CreditSights analyst David Hendler wrote to investors Monday. “But the company needs to raise incremental capital in the meantime.”

Shares of Seattle-based WaMu, the nation’s largest savings and loan, fell 92 cents to $3.33.


Takeover of Safeco finally wrapped up

Liberty Mutual Group completed its purchase of Safeco Monday, making it the fifth-largest U.S. property-and-casualty insurer.

Safeco CEO Paula Rosput Reynolds will leave after a “short transition period,” Boston-based Liberty Mutual said.

No other departures or layoffs have been announced since the deal became public April 23. At that time, Liberty Mutual’s CEO said there would be job cuts after the operations combined and that the Northwest would be affected.

Real estate

Eastside, Seattle office vacancies up

Office-vacancy rates in Seattle and the Eastside have climbed this quarter, in part because several new buildings were finished, brokerage Colliers International said Monday.

The total vacancy rate for the Eastside was 10.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 7.6 percent a year ago, Colliers said. In the downtown Seattle market, which stretches from Pioneer Square to Fremont, the vacancy rate rose from 8 to 9.2 percent year-over-year.

Colliers said Expedia’s headquarters move from Eastgate/Factoria to a new building in downtown Bellevue contributed to the Eastside’s higher vacancy rate.

While the vacancy rate in Bellevue’s central business district was almost unchanged from the second quarter, the rate in the Interstate-90 corridor rose from 4.2 to 12.3 percent.


Cell Therapeutics drug gets boost

Cell Therapeutics shares rose 37.2 percent Monday as the company said, after a meeting with federal regulators, that it had enough data to apply for an expanded label for Zevalin, an anti-cancer drug. Approval could expand Zevalin’s market share in the U.S.

The Seattle biotech company acquired the data from Bayer Schering in June. Zevalin, a radio-immunotherapy used to treat relapsed non-Hodgkins lymphoma, is Cell Therapeutics’ only commercial product.

Cell said it would submit an application during the fourth quarter asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve the product’s use as a consolidation treatment after an initial therapy. The company said it would request a fast-track review of its application.

Cell Therapeutics shares closed up 35 cents at $1.29.

Compiled from Bloomberg News and Seattle Times staff