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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, September 22, 1999

HawTel employees get stock options

About 2,800 GTE Hawaiian Tel workers are eligible for a stock option program announced today by parent company GTE Corp.

GTE said it has granted options to 83,000 U.S. employees to purchase more than 10 million shares of the company's common stock at $68.75 a share. GTE today closed at $77.06, up $3.

All GTE's full- and part-time workers -- salaried and hourly -- in Hawaii are eligible for the program, a GTE spokesman said.

Japan's economy seen growing faster

WASHINGTON -- Japan's economy will grow faster this year and next than estimated only a month ago, the International Monetary Fund said, citing better prospects for consumer spending and government pump-priming.

The world's No. 2 economy behind the United States is expected to expand 1 percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2000, the IMF said. That's up from the 0.25 percent forecast for this year and the 1 percent for next year contained in the IMF's review of Japan's economy, which was published last month, Bloomberg News reported. "There is clearly the potential for a stronger pickup next year if private sector confidence strengthens further," the IMF wrote in its latest outlook.

Taiwan quake hits computer chip firms

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The earthquake that hit Taiwan will cause computer chip companies to lose more than a week of production and may lead to an increase in worldwide prices, analysts said today.

Investment firm Merrill Lynch & Co. said in a report that the powerful quake, which struck yesterday, would affect output for between one and 11/2 weeks. The quake knocked out power supplies at most companies in the Hsinchu Science-based Technology Park. As of this morning, only partial power had been restored to several leading chipmakers located there.

Prices on the chip spot market have been rising recently because of a short supply and high demand, and analysts said the disruption in Taiwan could drive them even higher.





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