Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, April 8, 1999

First Hawaiian gives $1 million to UH

A First Hawaiian Bank charity has committed $1 million to the University of Hawaii in hopes of attracting a new dean for the College of Business Administration. Bank Chairman Walter A. Dods Jr. said it is important to train future leaders and the UH is the most important vehicle to do that. The donation from the First Hawaiian Foundation will establish the First Hawaiian Bank Chair of Management and Leadership. The chair will be held by the business college dean. The college has been without a permanent dean since David Bess left the post last year to go back to teaching.

Mortgage rates slip to 6.92 percent

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined slightly this week to 6.92 percent, down from 6.98 percent the two previous weeks, the mortgage company Freddie Mac said today. Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 6.53 percent this week, down from 6.58 percent. One-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged initial rate of 5.59 percent, down from 5.65 percent.

Gucci Group rejects higher bid by LVMH

PARIS -- LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said it plans no further talks to acquire Italian fashion house Gucci Group NV, which today rejected a sweetened takeover bid by the French maker of luxury goods. Gucci board members turned down the $85 a share offer, which was increased from $81 a share, calling one condition of the proposal "unacceptable." LVMH, which owns Duty Free Hawaii's parent company, said it will refrain from launching a formal takeover bid for Gucci until its suit against the Italian company runs its course.

In other news . . .

FRANKFURT, Germany -- The European Central Bank cut key interest rates by one-half percentage point today to 2.5 percent in the first reduction since the euro currency was launched Jan. 1. The reduction, which affects the 11 nations that adopted the euro, exceeded analysts' expectations.

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