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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Sunday, July 7, 2002



Taking Notice

NEW JOBS

>> Kamehameha Schools has hired Grant Sumida as financial reporting manager in its communications division. His duties include preparing and analyzing financial activities. He is a certified public accountant with 10 years of finance experience. Deborah Erskine has been hired as the assistant controller for investments and reporting. She will prepare and analyze investment activities and reporting requirements of Kamehameha's core and non-core assets. She previously worked as an audit manager at KPMG and has 10 years of finance and accounting experience.

PROMOTIONS

>> Romeo Paet has been promoted to executive chef at the Outrigger Wailea Resort. He his duties include overseeing the kitchens for Outrigger Wailea's Hula Moons Restaurant, Kumu's Bar & Grill, Wailele Snack Bar, in-room dining and private function catering. He was previously the Outrigger Wailea's executive sous chef and has nearly 30 years of cooking experience.

>>McNeil Wilson Communications Inc. has promoted Sandi Yara, Bernie Caalim and Lori Michimoto to vice presidents of its travel and tourism group. Yara manages the firm's account team that handles leisure travel public relations and promotions for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. Caalim leads the account team that represents Marriott International Hotels and Marriott Vacation Clubs International in Hawaii. Michimoto supervises an account team that handles the public relations for Hawaiian Airlines, Kauai Visitors Bureau and Prince Resorts Hawaii.

RECOGNITION

>> Mike McKenna of McKenna Motors has been named Model Community Partner for Excellence in Education by Kaohao, the development committee for Lanikai Elementary Charter School. McKenna has created partnerships with Windward schools, as well as a program in which for every new car sold at his dealership, McKenna makes a donation to a school of the buyer's choice. The program has yielded $600,000 for schools around the state.



BACK TO TOP

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Philippine inflation lowest in two years

MANILA >> Philippine inflation unexpectedly slowed in June to the lowest in more than two years, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates at the lowest in more than a decade.

Consumer prices rose 3 percent from a year earlier, the smallest gain since February 2000, the National Statistics Office said. Economists expected inflation to hold steady at 3.6 percent.

Tame inflation will help the central bank stick to its plan of holding rates steady for the rest of the year, after cutting them 8 percentage points between December 2000 and March 2002. Cheap credit may spur investment and lift an economy that grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the first quarter.

Kohler buys majority of Karat Sanitary

BANGKOK, Thailand >> Kohler Co., a U.S. bathroom- fixture maker, will pay 1.52 billion baht ($36.5 million) for 81 percent of Karat Sanitaryware Pcl, Thailand's No. 2 maker of bathroom fixtures told regulators.

Kohler will buy 38.1 million shares in the Thai company, which distributes Kohler products, from a group of shareholders led by Somkiart Limsong for 40.11 baht each, Karat Managing Director Suroj Subhasavasdikul said in a statement, a 5.6 percent premium.

Karat shares have more than doubled this year after the company returned to profit for the first time in three years.

Wal-Mart isn't ready for Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia >> Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it isn't ready to invest in Australia's retail market after newspaper reports the world's largest retailer may consider a joint bid for the nation's biggest store owner, Coles Myer Ltd.

"Australia is certainly a market that we would look at and consider, but I wouldn't like you to read more into that," said Wal-Mart spokesman Bill Wertz, in an interview. "I wouldn't say Asia is a particular target, but it would be among the areas we would consider for growth down the road."

Wal-Mart's comments follow reports in Australian newspapers that the retailer may jointly bid with Woolworths Ltd. for Melbourne-based Coles Myer.

Business confidence down in South Korea

SEOUL >> South Korean business confidence fell for a second month in June as exporters expected the currency's recent gains to hurt sales.

The Federation of Korean Industries' business conditions index declined to 114.6 points, the lowest since January, from 121.8 the previous month. The index, based on a survey of 523 companies at the end of June, gauges expectations for the coming month.

"Exporters are growing more concerned about their business prospects because of the strengthening won," the federation said in a statement.





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