Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, January 18, 1999

Isle bank to quit taking BofA checks

About 13,000 American Savings Bank customers are still using Bank of America checks and they are being warned that starting March 7, those checks will be no good.

American Savings said that's when they will no longer be processed for the ASB accounts and instead will be routed to Bank of America on the mainland, where the customers don't have accounts. The problem arose because when ASB acquired Bank of America's Hawaii business last year and the accounts shifted to ASB, those customers were allowed to continue to use their Bank of America checks for a time. That time is now running out, ASB said. ASB, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., said customers can order new ASB checks at any of the 68 branches and should do so by mid-February to avoid disruptions.

Japanese official: Economy looking up

TOKYO -- Japan's struggling economy may have bottomed out late last year or may do so early this year, the country's top economic forecasting official said today. Economic Planning Agency chief Taichi Sakai-ya also said the latest financial bailout plan will have a favorable effect on the Japanese financial industry within several months.

In other news . . .

Bullet MILAN, Italy -- Gucci Group said that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA has disclosed it holds a 26.7 percent stake in the Italian fashion house. LVMH, parent of duty-free firm DFS Group Ltd., has said "it has no plans of making a tender offer" for Gucci.

Bullet MANILA -- Philippine Airlines Inc. said its creditors may repossess its airplanes if the flag carrier doesn't make a debt payment by the end of this month on the $2.2 billion owed to banks, export credit agencies and leasing firms, Bloomberg News reported.

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