Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Moody's may hike ratings for Pacific Century credit

Moody's Investors Service, a leading investment credit rater, said today it likes the changes being made at Pacific Century Financial Corp. enough to consider upgrading its ratings of the company's debt, including that of its Bank of Hawaii subsidiary.

Pacific Century has received negative ratings recently because of concerns that regulators may not permit it to pay preferred dividends, Moody's said.

There is now growing confidence that the dividends will be allowed, Moody's said.

Among the steps the organization sees as positive are the divestiture of several non-core operations and reductions of the bank's exposure to syndicated loans and loans in Asia.

The divestments should improve the bank's liquidity, Moody's said.

Moody's said it has placed the issues "on review for possible upgrade" and meanwhile left its existing ratings in place.

Hawaiian Electric makes management switches

Robert "Robbie" Alm, a First Hawaiian Bank officer since 1993 and a former director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, will join Hawaiian Electric Co. July 1 in a new position, senior vice president of public affairs. Hawaiian Electric also announced that Tom Joaquin, currently vice president of power supply, has been promoted to senior vice president of operations.

Alm, who was a First Hawaiian executive vice president and manager of the bank's financial management group, will oversee regulatory and government affairs, corporate communications, consumer education and community relations.

Joaquin, who started with the company in 1973 at its Maui Electric subsidiary, will oversee the planning and management of Heco's generation, transmission and distribution systems. Heco is the main subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.

In other news ...

TOKYO >> Japan's largest mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc., plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange in September, the Financial Times reported today. The listing would diversify DoCoMo's funding options if it decides to invest further in the United States or push its stake in AT&T Wireless beyond 16 percent.

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