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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, December 2, 2002



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HAWAII

Local trading firm to liquidate

Honolulu import/export firm Hawaii Rim-Pac Trading Co. has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy proceedings, estimating it has debts of between $1 million and $10 million.

The company, which has done business as Hawaiian Aloha Coffee Co. and Hawaii Rim-Pac Coffee Co., estimates no funds will be available to unsecured creditors.

Creditors include local law firm Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, Hawaii Air Cargo, Kaanapali Estates Coffee and the state Department of Taxation.

Hawaii Rim-Pac is being represented in the bankruptcy by law firm Doi Luke & Miyatake.

MAINLAND

IBM's unit's sale to Hitachi cleared

Armonk, N.Y. >> International Business Machines Corp. received U.S. Federal Trade Commission clearance for the $2.05 billion sale of its computer hard-disk drive business to Japan's Hitachi Ltd.

The companies, which announced the sale in June, received commission approval Nov. 27, IBM and Hitachi said in a statement. The deal still needs approval from regulators in Mexico because IBM has a plant there, said IBM spokesman Jay Cadmus.

IBM, the world's largest seller of computers, is shedding unprofitable businesses and turning to other companies to make some hardware to reduce costs. IBM's hard-disk drive business had a pretax loss of $423 million last year on sales of $2.8 billion.

Incentives incite new car fever

When it comes to moving autos, incentives work. With a third of Americans looking to buy or lease a car by the end of next year, Yahoo! asked people what would affect their behavior when choosing a car.

Incentives came out the winner, with nearly 80 percent saying rebates, zero-percent financing deals and the like would prompt them to buy.

The state of the economy was a factor for 66 percent, and 34 percent said war with Iraq would influence their decision on a car.

Also, a third of the 2,766 people surveyed said they go online to compare and study cars. Half said a trip to the dealership constituted their new-vehicle research.

The poll was conducted Oct. 16-18 for Yahoo!Autos by Harris Interactive.

Are you sure you're covered?

Remember that old holiday ditty, "Over the river and into the woods..." yadda, yadda, you end up at Grandma's house?

The insurance industry wants you to heed the perils of such trips with a quick review of your coverage.

Your policy might not cover everything you assume, hope or pray it does.

For example, towing insurance. It costs a small fee on most policies, but many people don't consider it.

Rental car replacement is also a coverage one might want, if a hulking SUV turns your Toyota to mush and a lengthy repair is required. Such rental reimbursement typically costs only a few dollars per month on many policies, according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute.

Job security hits a low point

Ever feel insecure at work, wondering how long until the ax falls on your job? You're not alone.

Job security has dropped to its lowest point in a decade, with only 54 percent of employees expressing security in their positions. In 1992, barely half of U.S. workers (51 percent) felt secure.

Two years ago -- before the tech bubble's burst and the extinction of healthy 401(k) balances -- 68 percent of workers said they were feeling secure.

The survey was conducted with 230,000 people from January through October, by Sirota Consulting, a management consultancy based in Purchase, N.Y. "The steep drop from its highest point in the last two years is a good representation of how quickly the economy deflated in such a short period," said Jeffrey Saltzman, Sirota's chief executive.

WORLD

Philippine central bank to seek loan for debt

MANILA >> The Philippine central bank plans to take out a five-year, $700 million bank loan next year to help pay debt due in April, Deputy Gov. Amando Tetangco said yesterday, confirming a newspaper report.

The bank wants a loan rather than selling bonds because it doesn't want to compete with the government, which will sell as much as $2.3 billion of debt next year to plug a budget deficit. The central bank last borrowed in July, when it received a $675 million, five-year loan from 22 lenders.

Next year's loan will boost dollar reserves used by the central bank to protect the peso against a slump that it deems risky for the economy.

The reserves fell 1.5 percent to $15.7 billion at the end of November from the previous month.


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[ HAWAII INC. ]

NEW JOBS

>> Randall K. Fujiki has been appointed senior vice president and project director at Construction Management & Development Inc. He will oversee all Hawaii projects, supervise managers, and guide the company's relationships with project owners. He previously served two years as the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting director. CM&D is a Honolulu-based international project and construction management firm.

>> The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa recently appointed Janette R. Goodman as resident manager. She manages all aspects of the resort's room operations, including guest services, housekeeping, laundry, loss prevention and spa operations. She most recently served as the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort's director of human resources and brings nearly 10 years of experience in human resources to her position.

ON THE BOARD

>> David Izat was elected National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Honolulu president. He earned the Life Underwriter's Training Council Fellowship designation in 2001, has been active with the association nine years and served as an officer for six years. Others elected are: President-elect Martin Arinaga, Chinen & Arinaga Financial Group Inc. senior vice president; Vice President Robert Crozier of Principal Financial; Secretary Miles Moriyama of Transamerica Insurance and Investment Group; Treasurer Clayton Agena of Clayton Agena & Associates; and National Committeeman Shirley C. Wong of Principal Life.



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