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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, August 20, 2001



Hawaiian Vintage, Castle dropped from S-B listings

Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Co. and Castle Group Inc., which both have been delisted from the Over The Counter Bulletin Board within the past year, have been removed from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin daily local stock listings. Hawaiian Vintage, which was dropped from the OTCBB in May, and Castle Group, removed in December, both were delisted for failing to submit Securities & Exchange Commission filings on their financial condition.

The Star-Bulletin has removed the two companies because their failure to submit SEC filings makes it difficult for potential investors to get reliable financial information.

Hawaiian Vintage last traded at 3 cents while Castle Group was last priced at 50 cents. Both stocks are thinly traded.

First Hawaiian Bank parent declares dividend

BancWest Corp., parent of First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, said it will pay a cash dividend of 19 cents a share on Sept. 14 to stockholders of record Aug. 31. The amount is 11.8 percent higher than the dividend paid at the same time last year but the same as the dividend paid in May.

Honolulu-based BancWest, which has assets of $19.3 billion, expects to merge into French financial giant BNP Paribas before the end of this quarter, at which point there will be no publicly held shares and no more BancWest dividends. However, there is an arrangement that could produce some more dividend cash, based on the number of days from Aug. 31 until the day before the merger takes place.

BNP, which owns 45 percent of BancWest, will pay $35 a share for the BancWest stock it does not already own.

Fed seen cutting rates to spur sagging economy

WASHINGTON >> Hoping to jump-start an economy that is barely growing, the Federal Reserve is expected to trim interest rates by a quarter percentage point tomorrow, its seventh cut this year.

Many Fed officials had hoped by now to see signs the world's largest economy was pulling out of its slump. But growth has remained sluggish, and some economists have become more concerned about the threat of a recession as questions have emerged over the effectiveness of rate-cutting. The funds rate, which is what banks charge each other for overnight money, now stands at a seven-year low of 3.75 percent. The Fed has chopped it a total of 2.75 percentage points so far this year.

Fujitsu to ax 16,400 under reform plan

TOKYO >> Fujitsu said today it would slash 16,400 jobs, or 9 percent of its work force, in a bid to stem red ink amid a worldwide electronics slump.

The Tokyo-based company said 11,400 of the job losses will be at its overseas operations. The company has 180,000 workers worldwide.

Fujitsu president Naoyuki Akikusa cited international market conditions that he said were "changing very rapidly. We need to adopt a global perspective."

[Taking Notice]

NEW JOBS

>> Patricia A. Blackburn has been appointed director of sales & marketing for Tri-Star Restaurant Group. Working at Maui headquarters, she is the contact person for all four Tri-Star Restaurants: Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana, Sarento's Top of the "I," Sarento's on the Beach, and Nick's Fishmarket Maui. Blackburn was most recently with Westin Hotels & Resorts.

ON THE BOARD

>> Lincoln Jacobe has been elected president of the American Marketing Association, Honolulu Chapter. Jacobe is president and CEO of Pacific News.Net. Other 2001-02 board of members include Vice President and President-elect Helen Au (vice president of admissions, marketing and placement at Hawaii Business College), Treasurer John Flanigan (cash management sales officer at First Hawaiian Bank) and Secretary Shelley Quinones (marketing and operations project manager at Ocean Cable). The mission of the association's Honolulu Chapter is to urge and assist the personal and professional development of its membership and advance the science and ethical practice of the marketing discipline.





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