Business briefs


POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

State sells $725.3M in bonds

Hawaii sold $725.3 million of general obligation bonds over the past two days to fund various capital projects, including at public schools, the University of Hawaii and others statewide.

The bond sale included $500 million of new money proceeds to fund new capital improvement projects and $225.3 million of refunding bonds to refinance outstanding debt. The refinancing of existing debt resulted in a reduction in debt service of approximately $100 million a year in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The overall interest rate for the bonds was 4.12 percent.

Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Ratings Service and Fitch Ratings recently affirmed the state's bond ratings of Aa2, AA and AA, respectively. Fitch recently lowered its outlook to negative from stable, while Moody's and S&P kept their stable outlooks unchanged.

“;The current economic climate posed significant challenges to the state in issuing these bonds,”; Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday. “;However, we were able to maintain our high credit ratings, and our bonds were well received by the bond market.”;

The sale received approximately $200 million in retail orders, many of which were from Hawaii residents.

“;The new money portion of the sale was increased in size to $500 million from the $400 million originally planned due to strong investor response and demand for the bonds,”; said Georgina Kawamura, state director of finance. “;The ability to sell the increased amount of bonds provided the state with an excellent opportunity to borrow additional funds at favorable interest rates.”;


Hawaiian Air first in punctuality

Hawaiian Airlines topped the nation again in punctuality as it posted an on-time performance in April of 91.1 percent, according to the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The carrier also tied for the top spot in fewest flight cancellations, at 0.4 percent, representing 26 cancellations out of 5,876 total flights.

In baggage handling, Hawaiian had the second-best mark with 1.89 mishandled baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers served.


Boston Globe imposes 23% pay cuts

BOSTON » The Boston Globe reporters and editors who narrowly rejected wage and benefit concessions awoke to greater uncertainty yesterday as their employer imposed a pay cut anyway and their union weighed costly litigation to stop it.

The Globe's parent company, The New York Times Co., said yesterday it will keep the 137-year-old newspaper open after achieving the needed $20 million in annual savings. But Boston Newspaper Guild leaders said they would try to block the 23 percent pay cut that the Times Co. unilaterally imposed to make up half of those savings, and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

Labor and media experts say such a protracted dispute could further damage or risk the Globe's closure.

The guild, which represents about 700 editorial, advertising and business employees, voted 277-265 Monday to reject a contract proposal that included an 8.3 percent wage cut, five-day unpaid furloughs, the elimination of 190 lifetime job guarantees and cuts in health and pension benefits.


On the move

;  » Morris Visitor Publications has hired Joan Murata as publisher of all Hawaii publications. She has 24 years experience in the publishing field and previously was vice president and group publisher at Media-HI Inc. Morris Visitor Publications publishes Where GuestBooks, Where magazines, Where QuickGuides, Best Read Guides, In New York and In London magazines, plus a host of other maps, guides and directories for business and leisure travel, and owns the Hospitality Industry Association.

» MetLife Bank has hired Percy Ihara as a reverse mortgage consultant for the Hawaii region. He has five years experience as a reverse mortgage specialist for Financial Freedom and as a certified senior adviser.