Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, July 2, 1999

Duty Free pays off major debt to state

Hawaii's largest retailer has paid off a $49.5 million debt to the state.

Duty Free Shoppers fell behind in its quarterly payments to the state in January 1998, blaming poor sales due to the Japanese economy. The company laid off 300 workers in March of last year. The payment is for principal only. "The interest will be decided later," Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida said.

Senate confirms Treasury secretary

WASHINGTON -- The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly confirmed Lawrence Summers to succeed Robert Rubin as treasury secretary, promoting the man who helped lead the Clinton administration's effort to combat the recent global currency crisis.

The vote was 97-2, with only Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Bob Smith, R-N.H., opposing Summers' appointment.

The 44-year-old Summers joined Treasury in 1993 as undersecretary for international affairs and has served in the agency's No. 2 job since 1995, when Rubin became secretary.

Coca-Cola recalls more bottled water

WARSAW, Poland -- Coca-Cola Co. announced the recall of another product in Poland today, and a government health expert said the water at one of its main Polish bottling plants was contaminated with bacteria. Ron Pugsley, general-director of Coca-Cola Beverages Poland, told a news conference that an estimated 180,000 plastic half-liter containers of Bonaqa Plus mineral water were being pulled off store shelves.

In other news

Negotiators seeking an agreement on a new contract for nearly 15,000 longshore workers at West Coast ports continued talks today after the previous contract expired yesterday.

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