Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, December 31, 1999

Bankruptcy tally ends 6.9% lower

Hawaii ended 1999 a total of 5,411 bankruptcy filings yesterday, a 6.9 percent decrease from 5,813 in 1998.

As reported yesterday in the Star-Bulletin, this is the first year since 1990 that the bankruptcy tally is not a record over the previous year. The court was closed today for the federal holiday. In reporting final numbers yesterday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court officials said the 1999 bankruptcies included 4,881 filed under Chapter 7 liquidation, down 7.4 percent from 5,269 in 1998. Most Chapter 7s were personal bankruptcies.

There were 29 Chapter 11 business reorganization filings this year, up 7.4 percent from 27 in 1998. And there were 501 Chapter 13 filings, holding off debt for individuals while they try to get back on their feet. That was 3.1 percent less than last year's 517 Chapter 13 filings.

US West sells shares of Global Crossing

DENVER -- U S West Inc., the U.S. local telephone company merging with Qwest Communications International Inc., said it sold 65 percent of its stake in Global Crossing Ltd. to take advantage of a rise in Global Crossing's shares. U S West sold about 24 million shares, valued at $1.15 billion. It bought the shares in June before canceling a planned merger with Global Crossing, a two-year-old company that's building a worldwide phone and data network. Global Crossing stock has risen about 84 percent since October. U S West, which operates in 14 western U.S. states, said it has no immediate plans to sell the rest of its Global Crossing stake, Bloomberg News reported.

Dollar drops vs. yen, gains against euro

NEW YORK -- The dollar finished 1999 with an 11 percent drop against the Japanese yen and a 16 percent gain against the euro.

Measured against the collective currencies of its major trading partners, though, the dollar has slipped only about 1.3 percent since the start of the year, according to a Federal Reserve index. At the end of trading today, the dollar was valued at 102.21 yen and $1.0052 per euro.

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