Olympia Snowe joins board of T. Rowe Price Group

Former Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine has joined the board of T. Rowe Price Group.

Snowe, a Republican who opted not to run for re-election last year, served for 18 years in the U.S. Senate and 16 years in the U.S. House from Maine’s 2nd District.

Snowe is now running her own policy and communications consulting firm and is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

T. Rowe Price Group, headquartered in Baltimore, is an investment management firm with more than $600 billion in assets under management.

Snowe “brings a broad range of valuable leadership and public policy experience,” said Brian C. Rogers, chairman of T. Rowe Price Group, in a written statement.

Maine secretary of state warns corporations of scam

Maine’s secretary of state is warning corporations to be aware of a scam by a company named Corporate Records Service, which has sent solicitations seeking a $125 payment to complete an annual minutes requirement statement.

The state was alerted of the scam on Wednesday and sent an alert to corporations statewide.

The solicitation letter from Corporate Records Service is not being sent on behalf of the secretary of state, officials said. Maine corporations are not required to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Corporate Records Service sent out a similar request in January. The company could not be reached for comment.

“At first glance, this solicitation may look official; however, it is important to remember that any official notice a business receives from the Secretary of State’s Office will contain the Maine state seal, the Secretary of State’s name, and contact information for the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions,” said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.

The state urged businesses with questions to contact the Division of Corporations at 624-7752.

On home turf, Airbus steals Boeing’s thunder

Airbus beat its rival Boeing in the orders stakes at the Paris Air Show but both aircraft manufacturers were encouraged that their lucrative wide-body planes were finding new customers — a sign that the global economy could be on the mend.

The show is a platform for the sales race between the world’s two major aircraft makers, whose customers are increasingly interested in the new-generation, energy-efficient planes to offset jet-fuel price hikes.

Europe’s Airbus said Thursday it notched about $70 billion in sales at the show. Boeing Co., which last week signaled it expected a lower tally than Airbus, announced orders worth $66 billion.

Jobless benefit applications rise, but growth continues

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 18,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. The level remains consistent with moderate job growth.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average increased by 2,500 to 348,250.

Applications, a proxy for layoffs, have fallen 6 percent since January.

Rate on 30-year mortgage at 3.93 percent – for now

WASHINGTON – U.S. mortgage rates fell for the first time in seven week, keeping the average on the 30-year fixed loan just under 4 percent. But rates are expected to surge next week, as markets respond to Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments that the Federal Reserve will likely reduce bond purchases later this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan eased to 3.93 percent last week. That’s down from 3.98 percent last week but is still the highest level since April 2012.

The rate on the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.04 percent from 3.10 percent. That’s the highest since May 2012.

– From staff and news services