Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Check sales rise 3.9 percent in isles

The dollar volume of purchases by check in Hawaii stores rose 3.9 percent last month compared with September 1998, according to TeleCheck Services Inc., a national check-verification company. The national level also rose 3.9 percent last month, the company said. Houston-based TeleCheck says its figures, although they don't include credit-card and cash purchases, are a good indicator of overall retailing activity since check purchases account for 37 percent of retail sales.

BMW breaks ground on Kapiolani outlet

BMW of Honolulu began work on its new showroom at 777 Kapiolani Blvd. with a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony today.

The 55,000-square-foot facility, due to open June 1, will be the third luxury-car dealership in the area, near a just-opened Lexus outlet and the TheoDavies Euromotors showroom. BMW said its offices will include a cafe and a shop featuring BMW-logo clothing and accessories.

Oahu car rental rates best in U.S. -- survey

Honolulu has the lowest daily car-rental rates among 100 metropolitan areas covered by a recent national survey. Runzheimer International said short driving distances and a competitive tourist market contribute to the low prices in Honolulu.

The average Honolulu rental rate of $38 for an intermediate-sized car for one day beat out the next-lowest level of $40.50 in Manchester, N.H., and was less than half the highest rate in the country, $92 in New York City.

Rochester, Wis.-based Runzheimer cautioned that rental car companies recently unbundled their rates and customers may get charged extra for such expenses as airport fees and some taxes.

In other news . . .

Bullet NEW YORK -- Gold rose 2.5 percent to a two-year high as mining companies, banks and speculators proceeded with a weeklong buying spree after European central banks agreed to limit supply. Gold for December delivery rose $8 to $326 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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