First Reliance shows $1.2 million loss


First Reliance Bancshares reported a $1,154,614 loss for the quarter ended June 30, compared to a $683,421 gain the previous year.

Add in a $208,547 preferred stock dividend and the net loss available to shareholders for the quarter was $1.4 million for the Florence, SC-based parent of First Reliance Bank.

Officials attributed the loss to an increase in loan loss provisions. Provisions for loan losses for the three-month period were nearly $3.6 million, up from $645,794 in 2008.

First Reliance is currently trading for $2.75 a share, well off its 52-week high of $10.


Community Capital posts heavy loss


Community Capital Corp. of Greenwood, SC, reported it lost nearly $3 million during the quarter ended June 30.

The company posted a loss of $2,941,000, compared to net income of $427,000 during the same period in 2008.

Loan loss provisions rose to $5.8 million from $2.5 million a year earlier while nonperforming assets nearly doubled during the same period, to $34.4 million from $18.7 million, according to the information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

During the second quarter Community Capital said it incurred one-time expenses of $350,000 related equity-raising efforts, a $375,000 expense for the special FDIC assessment, and wrote down other real estate by $1.2 million.

The company also said it has eliminated fees paid to its bank and holding company boards of directors.

Community Capital closed Monday at $3.63 a share, just a penny off its 52-week low. The company has traded as high as $11.20 over the past year.

Shining light on fate of Japanese POWs


Another of the mysteries of World War II is becoming a little clearer: Records on up to 760,000 Japanese imprisoned in Soviet labor camps after the conflict have been found at a national archive in Moscow, casting new light on the obscure events that followed the war’s aftermath.

Japan has estimated that about 560,000 people were taken prisoner and 53,000 of them died after being taken to Siberia and other places to engage in railway construction and other work to supplement the lack of labor in the Soviet Union after the war, but the latest findings could lead to a review of the figures, according to Kyodo News.

Some estimates of the number of Japanese POWs who died while under Soviet watch are much greater.  

The fate of the Japanese POWs who ended up in Siberia is particularly ironic given that the Soviet Union didn’t declare war on Japan until Aug. 8, 1945, two days after the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and shortly before the end of the the Second World War.

The last major group of Japanese POWs wasn’t repatriated until late 1956, according to Wikipedia.

Russia has largely agreed to provide the newly found documents to the Japanese government, and the documents will start arriving as early as this year.