Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Construction deals fall back in Hawaii

Contracts signed for future construction in Hawaii last month were for less than half the value of those signed in August 1998, according to the monthly survey by the F.W. Dodge Division of the McGraw-Hill Cos.The firm reported $102.8 million in contracts signed last month, compared with $217.6 million in the year-earlier month.

Home-building contracts were down only 12 percent at $53.8 million for August, but nonbuilding contracts, for such work as highways and bridges, were at $6.8 million, down 91 percent from August 1998. Nonresidential contracts, including commercial buildings and schools, were down 50 percent at $42.2 million. However, the year-to-date contract level was unchanged from the dollar volume of the first eight months of last year at $1.08 billion.

Kona company hires Queen's executive

Ivan Lui-Kwan has been chosen as the first president and CEO of Kona Bay Oyster & Shrimp Co.

Lui-Kwan, who most recently was chairman and chief executive officer of Queen's Development Corp., is a former partner of the Carlsmith Ball law firm.

Kona Bay uses technology developed at the University of Hawaii to produce disease-free oyster and clam stock for the international aquaculture market and large shrimp for the high-end restaurant market in Hawaii. Located at the aquaculture park at Keahole Point, Kona, the start-up company is funded by Honolulu-based venture fund HMS Hawaii, Singapore-based Technology Development Fund and private investors.

Playboy to offer stock in online unit

CHICAGO -- Playboy Enterprises Inc., one of the world's largest adult-entertainment companies, said it plans to sell shares of its online business to the public next year. Playboy said it will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this year for the sale, which it expects to complete in early 2000, Bloomberg News reported. Chairman and Chief Executive Christie Hefner is working to expand Playboy beyond its traditional magazine and X-rated cable programming and onto the Internet. Its Web sites have already begun broadcasting adult programming and and selling related merchandise.

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