Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, June 3, 1999

Kaiser Hawaii may nudge rates

Kaiser Permanente said it expects to raise its health-plan premiums an average of 9 to 10 percent across the country next year, but a spokeswoman said Hawaii won't be included and could see either no increase at all or a maximum rise of 2 percent.

Beverly Hayon, media relations director at Kaiser's Oakland headquarters, said the higher rates for more than 8 million Kaiser plan members are needed to improve Kaiser's financial position.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has made no statement about its rates for next year and does not expect to do so until some time in the fall, spokewoman Jan Kagehiro said.

Rival Hawaii Medical Service Association has said it will raise its rates about 8 percent on July 1.


Mortgage rates hit nearly 2-year high

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit its highest level in nearly two years. The average rose to 7.41 percent, the highest since September 1997, according to a weekly survey released today by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company. Last week the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 7.23 percent. Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 7.04 percent this week, up from the average of 6.84 percent last week. On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.85 percent, up from 5.73 percent.

BriteSmile shares increase sharply

Shares in BriteSmile Inc., the Pennsylvania dental-hygiene company that former Hawaii Tourism Authority Chairman John Reed now heads, rose sharply today. BriteSmile jumped $2.69 to $13.75 a share, a nearly 25 percent increase. The company yesterday named Reed as its new chief executive.

Today, BriteSmile said its teeth-whitening procedure will be used by Orthodontic Centers of America Inc.

Chevron, Texaco halt merger talks

NEW YORK -- Merger talks between energy companies Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. were halted yesterday amid disagreements over price and the complexity of the deal. Texaco said Chevron's proposal to buy Texaco was unacceptable.

In other news . . .

Bullet Lucio Tan, majority owner of Philippine Airlines, said he has succeeded in raising the $200 million needed to keep the troubled carrier flying beyond a deadline tomorrow.

Bullet Litton Industries Inc. agreed to buy rival shipbuilder Avondale Industries Inc. for $529 million.

Bullet Lockheed Martin Corp. is cutting up to 2,000 more jobs at its Marietta, Ga., plant.

Bullet Roche Holding AG will exercise its right to buy the third of Genentech Inc. it doesn't own for $3.7 billion.

Bullet Paine Webber Group Inc. will replace Bankers Trust Corp. in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index after the market closes today.

Bullet Alice Rivlin, the No. 2 official at the Federal Reserve, announced her resignation as its vice chairman.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin