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POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free evaluations for businesses

Free, confidential business evaluations are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration at the agency's SBA Resource Days at two local banks next month.

This month's events will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3 at First Hawaiian Bank's Kaimuki Branch, 3599 Waialae Ave. and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 17 at the Hilo branch of Bank of Hawaii, 120 Pauahi St. Reservations are recommended, which can be made online at www.sba.gov/hi or by phone at 541-2900.

Marine Corps to hold job fair

Marine Corps Community Services will stage a job fair that is open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon June 19 in the Kahuna's Community Ballroom at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe.

Staged in conjunction with the Joint Employment Management System, the fair will feature opportunities on base and with about 40 companies and government agencies.

Applicants must be 18 or older and should bring multiple resumes. Children will not be permitted inside.

More details can be obtained at 257-7787 or 257-7790.

Bank offers tips on retirement saving

The Bank of Hawaii is offering its “;Saving for Retirement”; seminar series through June 10 on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, after studies showed that most Americans don't save enough for their retirement years.

The free seminars, open to customers and others, are led by Bankoh experts, but no products or services will be sold.

Dates, times and more information are available online at www.boh.com/seminars or from the bank's 24-hour call center at (888) 643-3888. Press 0 and ask about the Smart Money Seminars.

Drug company wins ruling in lawsuit

DOVER, Del. » A Delaware judge ruled yesterday in favor of drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC in a suit claiming that the company's antipsychotic drug Seroquel causes diabetes.

In a one-paragraph ruling, Superior Court Judge Joseph Slights III in Wilmington granted the company's request to exclude testimony from a medical expert for Nina Scaife, a Kansas woman who claimed that Seroquel caused her to develop diabetes.

The case, which had been scheduled to go to trial June 29, marks the third time that a judge has granted summary judgment to London-based AstraZeneca in Seroquel litigation, with no case yet having reached trial.

Russian puts Facebook value at $10B

NEW YORK » Facebook is getting a $200 million investment from a Russian Internet investor that values the social networking company at $10 billion even though it has yet to turn a profit.

The investment gives Digital Sky Technologies a nearly 2 percent stake in Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook's preferred stock. Digital Sky won't get a board seat.

The $10 billion valuation for Facebook is less than the $15 billion value implied in 2007, when Microsoft spent $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in the company—even though Facebook has substantially grown since then. However, Facebook's own appraisal after the Microsoft deal gave the company a market value of about $3.7 billion, according to details revealed in a legal settlement.

The latest investment, in preferred stock, does not necessarily compare with what the company's common shares would be worth on the open market. That would be determined if the company were to go public, which is likely a ways off.

During a conference call yesterday, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said an IPO is “;not something we are rushing toward.”; He called the Digital Sky investment a “;good cash buffer”; to support its growth. Facebook now counts 200 million users, 70 percent of whom live outside the United States.

On the move

» Pacific Health Ministry has hired Theodore A. Norris as chief executive officer. He has more than 25 years' experience in health care administration, including program director for the Queen's Wound Care Center and director of clinical operations for Straub Clinic & Hospital.

» Pankow has promoted Sean Konishi to operations manager of its Hawaii team from senior project manager. He has been with the company since 2001.

» The Fairmont Kea Lani has hired Juan Pablo Garcia-Neveu as director of group sales. His experience includes associate director of sales for Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico and sales manager for Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.