Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, December 1, 1998

BBB offers
fee arbitration

The Better Business Bureau is offering legally binding or nonbinding arbitration on a fee basis for fast resolution of business-to-business and buyer-to-seller disputes. "The key features of the program are its flexibility and cost effectiveness," said Anne Deschene, bureau president. "The entire process is designed to be simple, fast, private and fair."

The arbitration costs depend on the value of the claims and counter claims and the hours involved, Deschene said. The average arbitration takes three or four hours. For information, call 536-6956, ext. 306. From neighbor islands, call 1-877-222-6551, ext. 306.

Holiday shopping picks up in isles

Hawaii holiday shopping picked up pace through the Thanksgiving weekend, with same-store sales up 3.4 percent comparing Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the same three days last year, according to a survey by TeleCheck Services. The national check-acceptance company monitors purchases paid with checks.

Ms. Magazine sold to Steinem, others

NEW YORK -- Ms. Magazine, the grandmother of feminist publications, has been sold to a group of investors led by Gloria Stein-em, who helped found it 27 years ago.

MacDonald Communications Corp. agreed yesterday to sell the magazine to Liberty Media for Women, backed by Steinem.

Online brokers raise 'Net margin rules

At least five online brokerages have increased margin requirements on Internet stocks since mid-November, citing volatile prices and heavy volume. Waterhouse Securities Inc. has raised margin requirements on an "unprecedented" 24 stocks -- 20 of them Internet-related -- within the past two weeks, said John Chapel, president of the No. 3 online brokerage.

At least four other online trading companies, Ameritrade Holding Corp., Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., ETrade Group Inc. and SureTrade Inc. also have raised margin rules.

Report: Economy may improve in '99

NEW YORK -- The manufacturing sector slowed for the sixth straight month during November, but there are signs of a possible improvement in the economy by mid-1999, according to two reports issued today.

The National Association of Purchasing Management, which tracks the manufacturing sector, said new orders, exports and imports declined at many of the nation's factories last month.

But the Conference Board reported its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.1 percent in October to 105.6.

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