Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Daiei awaits right price for Ala Moana

The founder of Ala Moana Center's owner, Daiei Inc., has reiterated the company's interest in selling Hawaii's largest shopping mall.

"I think we should sell Ala Moana," Isao Nakauchi, the company's founder, told Bloomberg News. The Kobe, Japan-based company, which expressed an interest in selling the center last year, hasn't sold it yet because it's waiting for the best price, he said.

Nakauchi's comments came as he steps down as the company's president to be replaced by vice president Tadasu Toba. Nakauchi, 76, who headed the company since it was set up in 1957, will stay as chairman and said he'll continue to participate in negotiations for store openings and other external affairs. Daiei, Japan's largest supermarket operator, is trying to pay off debts accumulated from expansion into nonretail businesses such as real estate development.

Hawaiian Airlines sees traffic rise

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. carried 425,348 passengers in December, 4.2 percent increase from 408,315 in the previous December.

Reporting today on its total interisland, mainland-Hawaii and Hawaii-South Pacific passenger figures, the airline said its December flights averaged 74.8 percent full, an increase from a load factor of 69.5 percent in December 1997.

Through the full year, Hawaiian carried 5.26 million passengers, an increase of 0.8 percent from 5.22 million in 1997. Its load factor for all of last year was 76.5 percent, the same as for 1997.

Isle coffee group will meet on Oahu

The Hawaii Coffee Association will hold its fourth annual conference July 29 through Aug. 1, bringing together all segments of the industry, including growers, processors, millers, roasters, retailers and researchers. The association said the meeting will be held on Oahu for the first time, at the Hilton Turtle Bay Resort. Previous conferences were on Kauai and in Kona. The conference will include a trade show at the Waialua Coffee Co.

For more information, call the association in Keauhou, Kona, at 808-322-0935, or check its Web site at http://www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org.

In other news . . .

PHILADELPHIA -- The cable television system operator Comcast Corp. is selling its cellular telephone operations to the regional phone company SBC Communications Corp. for $1.7 billion. SBC has 6.5 million cellular subscribers in 16 states while Comcast has about 850,000 customers.





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