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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, May 30, 2002



WSF awaits notification of registration revocation

Honolulu-based WSF Corp., whose registration was permanently revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to file financial reports, said in a press release yesterday that it is awaiting confirmation of restrictions on resale of the company's stock. WSF said its shareholders now hold shares in a private company. The stock last traded at one-thousandth of a penny on the over-the-counter bulletin board and has been delisted.

WSF, formerly known as Wall Street Financial, develops resort and residential real estate in Belize. The company has scheduled a stockholders meeting for Sept. 26 and said more details will be available later at its Web site at www.wsf.com.

Kvaerner shares rise on $220 million Matson deal

Oslo, Norway >> Kvaerner ASA shares closed up 2.8 percent after the Norwegian shipbuilder won a $220 million contract to build two container ships for Alexander & Baldwin Inc. subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. to use in upgrading its West Coast-Hawaii fleet.

The stock climbed 0.24 krone to 8.89. The ships are already under construction at Kvaerner's Philadelphia shipyard. The first new vessel is due to be put into service in late 2003, with the second following sometime in 2004. They will replace two less-efficient steam-powered ships built in 1970.

ResortQuest replaces auditor Arthur Anderson

ResortQuest International Inc., the Memphis, Tenn.-based parent of Aston Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii and other vacation-property businesses across North America, has named Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company's new independent public accounting firm.

The company, which manages more than 5,000 hotel rooms and apartment units in Hawaii, is the latest of hundreds of publically traded firms to leave Arthur Andersen LLP since that firm was caught up in the Enron scandal.

In a press release, ResortQuest said the decision to change auditors was not the result of any disagreement between the company and Arthur Andersen.

Vegas unions push back strike deadline 30 days

Las Vegas >> Unions for Las Vegas hotel and restaurant workers extended a strike deadline for smaller casino operators by 30 days to give union members and companies more time to negotiate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The union agreed to new contracts with the biggest casino companies, including MGM Mirage, last week, the paper said, after talks that left little time for the smaller casinos to negotiate before contracts expire tomorrow. The extension will be granted only once, said John Wilhelm, chief negotiator for Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165.

California bill props up TV and movie production

SACRAMENTO >> In a bid to keep Hollywood centered in California, the Assembly passed a bill yesterday that would provide incentives for producing television shows and movies within the state.

The bill would establish a wage-based tax credit for film, television and commercial production companies that keep at least 50 percent of production in California. The total cost of the production's wages must be between $200,000 and $10 million.

California's film entertainment industry lost nearly 18,000 jobs within the last year -- a 12 percent drop -- largely as the result of runaway production, said the bill's author, Speaker Herb Wesson, D-Los Angeles.

In other news ...

NEW YORK >> Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. is exploring the idea of selling non-food items in its restaurants to drive up sales beyond its mainstay hamburgers, fries and soft drinks, a spokesman said yesterday. As part of its long-term growth strategy, McDonald's is "looking at concepts that might go beyond restaurants, which could involve retail extension," said spokesman Walt Riker.





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