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Top News Links: Friday, Nov. 7

Powell named to new UA post

The University of Alabama has announced the appointment of Dr. Lars Powell as the inaugural director of the newly created Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research. Powell is a professor of finance and holds the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. – News release

Alabama’s quirky role in airbag disaster

Shares in Takata Corp fell more than 4 percent on Friday, reversing earlier gains after a newspaper reported that the Japanese auto parts maker had concealed the risks of potentially defective air bags following an accident in 2004. The New York Times reported Takata had secretly conducted tests on 50 airbags retrieved from scrap yards after the accident in Alabama, with results showing cracks in steel inflators in two of the air bags. – Today Singapore

Republican Caucus backs Hubbard

The House Republican Caucus Thursday voted to back Mike Hubbard of Auburn for a second term as Speaker of the House. The nomination came a few weeks after Hubbard, who helped engineer the GOP's takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, was indicted on 23 counts of using public office for personal gain. – Montgomery Advertiser

Austal to christen new ship Nov. 10

The christening ceremony for the U.S. Navy's newest littoral combat ship, named in honor of Alabama's capital city, will be held Monday, Nov. 10 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile where it was built. – WSFA

Infinity beats Wall Street expectations

Infinity Property and Casualty Corp. on Thursday reported profit of $14.9 million in its third quarter. The Birmingham-based company said it had net income of $1.29 per share. Earnings, adjusted for investment gains, came to $1.23 per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. – Insurance News Net

Artur Davis relocating to Montgomery

Former congressman Artur Davis has stepped down from a corporate board and plans to relocate to Montgomery next month in what appears to be an all-but-official move to run for mayor of the city. Davis, who has been dropping increasingly loud hints about his plans over the last few months, said in an email Thursday he plans to establish residence in the city in December. – Montgomery Advertiser

ServisFirst sees huge spike in deposits

Barely two years after entering the Mobile market, ServisFirst Bank has already outgrown its headquarters and expects to break into the top six for local market share before celebrating its fifth anniversary in the Port City. In fact, the Mobile bank recorded a 500 percent increase in total year-over-year deposits from only $15 million in June 2013 to more than $90 million in June 2014, ranking it 10th in total Mobile County market share. – AL.com

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