Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Saturday, November 10, 2001

Canada 3000 shutdown strands 3,400 in Hawaii

As many as 3,400 Canadians could not get home from Hawaii after the airline they traveled on shut down all its flights yesterday following a bankruptcy declaration, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. The department yesterday recommended that stranded Canada 3000 passengers contact Air Canada, which is offering them half-priced one-way tickets home.

The contact number is (888) 247-2262. Fiji-based Air Pacific is also offering discount one-way fares from Honolulu to Vancouver. For more information about Air Pacific, travelers should call (800) 227-4446.

Meanwhile, the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau has been working with island hotels to provide lower rates for Canada 3000 passengers stuck in Hawaii. State officials said 288 Canada 3000 passengers were scheduled to leave the islands yesterday, 112 today, 162 Sunday and 287 Monday.

Berkshire Hathaway posts loss on huge WTC claims

NEW YORK >> Warren Buffett warned that the upsurge in insurance premiums after Sept. 11 will not last as long as expected, and that a recession is already biting at profits, as his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported a large third-quarter net loss, dragged down by massive claims from the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Berkshire, which set aside $2.275 billion for the Sept. 11 attack, reported a net loss of $679 million, or $445 per share in the quarter, including realized investment gains. That compared with a profit of $797 million, or $523 per share, in the year-ago quarter. The loss from Sept. 11 is the largest of any insurer affected by the attack, which is likely to cost insurers worldwide about $70 billion, making it the most expensive single event for insurers to date. Berkshire, through its General Re unit, is the largest U.S. reinsurer. Berkshire Class A shares, which have never been split in Buffett's 36 years in charge, closed at $69,600 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ex-isle funeral operator to emerge from bankruptcy

VANCOUVER, British Columbia >> Funeral home operator Loewen Group, which earlier this year sold its Hawaii operations to Right Star International Inc., reported a third-quarter loss yesterday as it prepared to ask a court for permission to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The firm, which received $35 million for the Hawaii properties that included Valley of the Temples Mortuaries, recorded a net loss in the quarter of $50.8 million, up from $3 million in the same period last year. The company said it had earnings from operations of $5.9 million before an impairment charge of $34.1 million.

Loewen's shares were delisted from the Toronto and New York exchanges while it was under the court's protection but said its loss in the quarter would have been 71 cents per share vs. 7 cents per share in the year ago period. Loewen will go before a U.S. Bankruptcy court on Nov. 27 to seek approval of a reorganization plan that has been endorsed by the company's creditors. Loewen filed for protection in 1999.

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