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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, December 27, 2001



Kamehameha Schools' lessors to get new prices

The Kamehameha Schools will unveil its new lease-to-fee conversion prices in early February. The $6 billion charitable trust said it plans to send letters to lessors in less than two months informing them of the new leasehold conversion prices.

The Kamehameha Schools, the state's largest private landowner, said it is exiting the leasehold land business. Last May, the trust put a 120-day hold on its existing lease-to-fee prices as it re-evaluated its residential real estate holdings.

Critics have long argued the Kamehameha Schools overvalued its leasehold properties and several expect the trust to drop prices once the re-evaluation is completed.

The estate owns the fee interest under 5,000 condominium units and 500 single-family homes.

Tech job fair targets Hawaii ex-pats

Hawaii's alumni associations are teaming up for the "2nd Annual Holiday Tech Fair," a free event taking place tomorrow between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The job fair, sponsored by the state High Technology Development Corp., hopes to inform Hawaii ex-pats of local tech job opportunities. More than 20 companies are expected to attend. The event last year drew 1,000 job seekers, mainly from Punahou, Iolani and Kamehameha schools. For more information, contact Sandy Park at 539-3794 or sandyp@htdc.org.

First Hawaiian debt rating gets a boost

Two major credit rating agencies have upgraded their ratings on the debt issued by First Hawaiian Bank and its parent BancWest Corp., following the completion of BNP Paribas S.A.'s $2.5 billion acquisition of the companies last week.

Standard & Poor's on Friday raised the rating on BancWest's subordinated debt to A from BBB and upgraded the company's counterparty credit rating to A+ from BBB+.

Standard & Poor's also upgraded its ratings on BancWest's and First Hawaiian Inc.'s Capital I preferred stock issues to A- from BBB-.

Meanwhile, Fitch upgraded its ratings on BancWest's senior long-term debt to A+ from A- and raised its ratings on the company's senior short-term debt to F1+ from F1.

Standard & Poor's and Fitch said the upgrades reflect BNP acquisition of the companies, which was completed on Thursday. BancWest is a "a strategically important subsidiary" of the Paris-based banking giant and BNP's 100 percent ownership implies greater financial support, Standard & Poor's said.

In other news ...

Sunnyvale, Calif. >> Yahoo! Inc., the Internet's most-used search service, agreed to buy job-listings Web site HotJobs.com Ltd. for $436 million after TMP Worldwide Inc. declined to sweeten a competing bid. HotJobs.com shareholders will an equal amount of cash and stock valued at $10.50 a share.


[Taking Notice]

NEW JOBS

>> Deborah Kim has been named president of the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union. She is the first woman to head the state's largest credit union, where she previously served as executive vice president. She replaces Peter Leong.

>> Elroy Abe has been named branch sales manager at American Savings Bank's Bishop Square branch. He will oversee all daily operations and business development at the bank. Abe comes to Hawaii after working as a financial center manager at a Nevada bank.

>> PM Realty Group has named Elizabeth Palmer senior property manager of City Financial Tower. She has more than 2O years of commercial, retail and industrial property management experience, most recently as property manager for a private foundation and a portfolio of private trusts with an assessed value of $238 million. 

RECOGNITION

>> Patricia Lange-Otsuka, associate professor of nursing at Hawaii Pacific University, was recently presented with the Duane Walker Memorial Award by the Hawaii chapter of the American Association of Nurse Executives. The award honors a person who most exemplifies the attributes of leadership and service within the nursing profession locally. In addition to teaching, Lange-Otsuka serves as the academic coordinator for the graduate nursing program and chairperson of the Faculty Assembly at Hawaii Pacific University.





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