Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, February 4, 1999

Isle cruise line hires project leader

American Classic Voyages Co. has hired a veteran cruise line executive to head up its project of building two new cruise ships for its Hawaii market, the biggest passenger vessels to be built in the United States. Roderick K. McLeod, 58, was named president and chief executive of the cruise line's "Project America," which has signed a letter of intent to order two ships at around $400 million each from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The first ship is expected to go into service in late 2002, carrying passengers around the Hawaiian islands. McLeod has 27 years experience with major international cruise lines. American Classic owns American Hawaii Cruises and the Delta Queen Steamboat Co.

Mortgage rates increase to 6.75%

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 6.75 percent this week, up from a six-week low of 6.74 percent last week, the mortgage company Freddie Mac said today. Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 6.38 percent this week, up from 6.37 percent. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.63 percent, up from 5.57 percent last week.

In other news . . .

Online investors were unable to trade stocks through E*Trade for nearly 3 hours today, marking a second straight day that software problems continued to affect the Internet brokerage.

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