Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, July 1, 1999

BancWest completes acquisition

BancWest Corp., parent of First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West in California, said today it has completed its acquisition of SierraWest Bancorp, parent of Sierra West Bank.

The purchase, for $180 million worth of BancWest stock, raised BancWest's assets to about $16.3 billion. Truckee, Calif.-based SierraWest and its bank subsidiary, with $900 million in assets and 20 branches stretching from San Francisco to Reno, have been merged into Bank of the West.


JTB Hawaii names new top executive

JTB Hawaii Inc., the largest Japanese travel wholesaler in Hawaii, has named Takashi Kitamura as its president and chief executive officer.

Kitamura, 57, joined the parent Japan Travel Bureau Inc. in 1965 and his most recent position was director of business travel system promotion and general manager of corporate sales in the Tokyo head office.

Kitamura replaces Mituaki Yoshioka, who is returning to Japan after four years in Hawaii to become president of a JTB division.

Mortgage rates hit a two-year high

WASHINGTON -- The benchmark U.S. home mortgage rate rose this week to the highest level in more than two years, according to Freddie Mac.

The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 7.71 percent, the highest since June 13, 1997. That's up from last week's 7.63 percent.

The average on adjustable mortgages rose to 6.05 percent from 5.93 percent, while 15-year mortgages jumped from 7.28 percent to 7.34 percent.

Airlines offer more frequent-flyer miles

DALLAS -- In a play for business travelers weary of high fares, major airlines are sharply boosting frequent-flyer incentives on flights this summer.

Delta Airlines started by offering passengers 70 percent more frequent-flyer miles. USAirways upped the ante by offering double miles, and others soon followed, including American, United, Continental, Northwest and TWA.

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