Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, January 6, 1999

Trade group lauds convention center

A California-based contractor has won national recognition for installing the air conditioning and ventilation at the Hawaii Convention Center. In its eighth annual Design/Build awards, the national trade magazine Contracting Business chose Menlo Park, Calif.-based Critchfield Mechanical Inc.'s $10 million job on the center as the best new construction over $500,000. The magazine features a photo of the convention center on its December cover.

LVMH acquires 5% of Gucci Group

NEW YORK -- Gucci Group NV today confirmed that luxury goods maker LVMH Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA acquired more than 5 percent of its shares. Gucci, the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based maker and seller of luxury leather goods, jewelry and accessories, said it had no prior knowledge of the transaction.

LVMH, based in Paris, owns champagne producers, perfume makers, a publisher and fashion houses. Its brands include Dom Perignon champagne, Louis Vuitton luggage and Christian Dior, Givenchy, Kenzo and Guerlain perfumes.

LVMH also owns DFS Group Ltd., the parent of Hawaii duty free shops operator, DFS Hawaii.

Japan group sees economy down 1%

TOKYO -- A Japanese think tank has forecast that the country's economy could contract by 1 percent with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost if low stock prices and a strong yen continue for a year. Japan Research Institute based its forecast on three assumptions: that the yen will cling to the 110 level vs. the dollar, the benchmark Nikkei stock index will hover around 13,000 and that long-term interest rates will be at around 1.9 percent for a year, Kyodo news agency reported.

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