Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, May 27, 1999

Hawaiian Air to add flight to Samoa

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said it will add a third flight to American Samoa next month. Hawaiian Air currently offers flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago on Mondays and Fridays. The additional flight will run on Wednesdays, from June 23 through Aug. 18. A spokesman for the carrier says the flights will help ease the peak travel season and help with the flow of mail.

Mortgage rates steady at 7.23%

McLEAN, Va. -- The benchmark U.S. home mortgage rate this week stayed at the highest level in a year and a half. The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 7.23 percent this week from last week, according to a survey of by Freddie Mac. This week's rate remains the highest rate since 7.24 percent in the week ended Nov. 7, 1997, Freddie Mac said.

Freddie Mac also said the average rate on an adjustable mortgage fell to 5.73 percent from 5.76 percent last week, and 15-year mortgage rates rose to 6.84 percent from 6.83 percent.

One oil merger OK'd; another on the rocks

DALLAS -- Shareholders of Exxon Corp. and Mobil Corp. voted today to approve the $82.2 billion merger between the two largest U.S. oil companies. More than 99 percent of the shares in Exxon were voted in favor of the marriage, as were more than 98 percent of Mobil shares. Shareholders of both companies were meeting separately in Dallas. Regulators in the United States and Europe must still approve the deal before the companies could effect the merger.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News today reported that Chevron Corp.'s effort to buy Texaco Inc. in a $43 billion stock swap has stalled over leadership of the combined company and Texaco's U.S. refining and fuel-sales joint venture. The report, citing people close to the talks, said that Chevron and Texaco have been far from agreement from the start. When the talks were reported on May 7, the structure of the merger, management issues and a firm price hadn't been determined.

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