Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, July 16, 2001

Aloha Air, MasterCard team up on fare special

To mark its 55th anniversary, Aloha Airlines is offering air fare specials in conjunction with MasterCard International.

The airline is selling a book of six one-way interisland coupons for $330, provided payment is made with a MasterCard credit card. The tickets are available through Aug. 31 and are good for travel through Dec. 15.

The book of tickets includes 5,500 frequent-flyer miles, or can be exchanged for a round-trip ticket from Hawaii to any of Aloha's mainland destinations between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, with reservations at least 21 days in advance.

Gas prices fall 13 cents; Honolulu is still priciest

CAMARILLO, Calif. >> Gasoline prices dropped nearly 13 cents in the past three weeks as supplies rose, an analyst said yesterday.

The average price of gasoline, including all grades and taxes, was $1.51 Friday -- down 12.8 cents since June 22, according to the Lundberg Survey of about 8,000 gas stations nationwide.

As a result, consumers are paying 16 cents a gallon less than a year ago.

"After having been warned by jittery officials and consultants of a shortage and $3 gasoline this summer -- which never materialized -- we see bargain prices," analyst Trilby Lundberg said in a statement.

Since peaking on May 18 at $1.76, prices have tumbled more than 25 cents.

Honolulu and Tulsa, Okla., had the highest and lowest gas prices in the nation with $1.91 and $1.16, respectively.

Japan puts top emphasis on stock market reforms

TOKYO >> Measures to revitalize Japan's foundering stock market, including tax system revisions, are being given top priority in the government's structural reform plans, Economics Minister Heizo Takenaka said.

In a television interview taped last week and aired today, Takenaka said the government was considering a broad range of steps to encourage people to be less risk-averse so that shares would play a bigger role in Japanese citizens' $11.21 trillion in financial assets.

To date, the bulk of the fortunes has been stashed away in bank deposits, and the government has since early this year studied various tax incentives for stock market investors.

"Securities market measures, including the taxation system, would be included as one of the top-priority short-term policy steps," Takenaka said.

In the most recent parliamentary session, which ended last month, a tax break on capital gains below 1 million yen a year was approved.

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