Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Sunday, July 29, 2001

Bankoh opens 3rd branch in American Samoa

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> Bank of Hawaii officially opened a branch in American Samoa Friday, the first in the U.S. territory in more than a decade.

The bank, at government-owned Daniel K. Inouye Park in Tafuna, is the third branch in the territory.

"Convenience for the people of the territory is the sole purpose of opening a third branch," said branch manager Brent Swenke. "As the population of the territory grows, we also need to grow."

Bank of Hawaii, the longest serving bank in the territory, first opened in 1969 in the downtown area and established its second branch in 1990 in Pavaiai.

The Honolulu-based bank has planned to expand in Tafuna since 1990 to address the growing population and businesses, Swenke said.

The one-story structure occupies 23,000 square feet of land including parking. The bank has signed a 30-year lease for the government-owned land for 45 cents per square foot.

Gov. Tauese Sunia thanked Bank of Hawaii for "maintaining American Samoa as part of your network." He added, "We still have a vibrant economy despite the financial woes faced by the government."

Bank of Hawaii is the primary financial institution used by the American Samoan government.

"Overall, it has been a great 31-year relationship between the Bank of Hawaii and American Samoa," Tauese said. "Not only is Bank of Hawaii a great contributor to the local economy; they are also a part of the American Samoa family."

Investors win $43 million award in futures case

NEW YORK >> Thirteen investors have won $43 million from futures brokerage Refco Inc., one of the firm's former brokers and a flamboyant financial adviser accused of losing $100 million for clients.

The arbitration award by the National Futures Association includes $15 million for California investor Robert Elliott, the largest individual award ever by the commodity industry's self-policing agency, NFA arbitration director Cynthia Cain said.

Jay Goldinger, a former high profile money manager, had been accused of distributing false reports to investors after betting incorrectly on whether interest rates would rise or fall.

The award will compensate clients for 90 percent to 100 percent of their losses, plus 9 percent interest, Cain said. Arbitrators decided against awarding attorneys' fees and triple damages.

The plaintiffs alleged that Goldinger, Refco and former Refco trading desk chief Constantine Mitsopoulos "allocated futures trades and transferred positions among accounts in a fraudulent scheme," Cain said.


New Jobs

>> Kenneth Uemura has been named chief financial officer at Hilo Hattie. Uemura joins the company after serving as senior vice president and controller at C. Brewer and Co.

>> Stephen E. Winter has been named director of condominium operations for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts' Maui properties. He will also serve as resort manager at Outrigger's Royal Kahana Resort. Winter was previously employed as corporate director of hotel operations with HTH Corp.

>> Dawn Krause has joined the Mission Houses Museum as a development officer. She will be responsible for securing corporate, foundation and government funding for museum operations and special programs. Krause joins the museum after spending two years employed by Eddie Bauer on the mainland.

>> Ole Larsen has been named senior vice president for branch administration and operations at City Bank. He was previously employed at Sanwa Bank (Calif.). In addition, Gregory Sokolowski was named banking sales officer at the bank. Sokolowski joins City Bank after serving as a loan officer at Island Community Lending.

>> Jelani Madaraka has been named lead civil rights analyst for the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Program in the Hawaii State HUD office. He comes to Hawaii after spending seven years at HUD's Southeast/Caribbean office.


>> Bert R. Toba has been named senior vice-president at R.M. Towill Corp. He will be responsible for the company's engineering, surveying and photogrammetric services. Toba joined Towill in February. In addition, Greg Hiyakumoto has been named senior project manager, and Ryan Suzuki and Gary Takahashi have been named project coordinators at the company. Hiyakumoto has been with the company for 16 years. Suzuki, a licensed surveyor, joined Towill in 1994. Takahashi, a licensed civil engineer, has been a Towill employee since 1989.

>> Denise Young has been named resort manager at the Aston Kaanapali Shores on Maui. She will be responsible for oversight of resort operations. Young, an Aston employee since 1991, previously served as an operations analyst for the company.

>> Michael Grossi has been named sales leader of Marsh Inc.'s Hawaii office. He joined the company in 1997. Grossi, who also serves as vice president, will be responsible for coordinating new and expanded business opportunities office-wide.

>> Tiana Johnsen has been named marketing specialist at Altres Global Business Services. She will assist with marketing and business development at the company. Johnsen joined Altres in 1998.

On The Board

>> Kawahine Kamakea-Ohelo was named president of the board at AlohaCare.

Other appointments for 2001-02 were: Richard Bettini, vice-president; Geoffrey Pang, secretary; J. Potter Swartz, treasurer; Stephanie Launiu, at-large member.

Kamakea-Ohelo is executive director of the Waimanalo Health Center.


>> Paul Kane has been awarded Rookie of the Year honors and the 2000-01 Pacesetter Award by the Honolulu Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute. The Pacesetter Award is given for outstanding construction product representation.

Kane, an employee with Aloha Marketing Manufacturers Representatives LLC, was honored during the CSI Honolulu Chapter's annual awards banquet.



China and Korea, which are wooing away Japanese tourists this summer, and leaving Hawaii a few shy. Korea, in particular, is gathering more summertime Japanese tourists -- 342,000, a 6 percent increase -- compared with the 1 percent decline to a predicted 272,000 for Hawaii, according to JTB Corp.'s latest poll. Sneaking up fast is China, which is adding 9 percent more Japanese tourists this summer, and nearly matching Hawaii's number.

<< Airline travelers, who got stuck at airports fewer times so far this year than they did a year ago. Flight delays have dropped 5 percent year-to-date, according to Federal Aviation Administration statistics. But before you choke down that extra mini-bag of pretzels, consider that at 11 of the nation's busiest airports -- not Honolulu -- more than 25 percent of flights arrive late. The worst is Seattle, a popular hub to ship tourists our way. Honolulu International wasn't measured, since the weather is nearly always nice, and that keeps planes on time.

California shipping company Santa Maria Shipowning & Trading, which started off its announcement of a Hawaii route by shaking the right hands to keep things sailing smoothly. The company introduced Gov. Ben Cayetano's former chief of staff as a "political adviser" and included the governor in a press event last week. Now all it needs is ships, which will be built if the company receives federal financing.


Adtech Inc., the local tech firm that's a chapter of England's Spirent Plc. Just two weeks after the company's president resigned rather publicly, intimating layoffs were upcoming and that work may be shifted to the mainland, the company followed through with an announcement confirming at least part of the prediction. Adtech last week said it will fire 10 percent of its work force -- 30 employees -- in the face of a continuing sales slump. No upswing is likely until next year, the new company president says.

Massimo Fuchs, who is fighting a two-front war. As $1.5 million in assets of his company, WorldPoint Interactive Inc., get sold away at auction, he is facing a suit, and lodging his own countersuit, against the owner of the Aina Haina house he has been renting. The landlord, Japanese businessman Hiroshi Teramachi, claims Fuchs owes $14,800 in rent. Fuchs, in his counter claim, wants his $120,000 deposit and $50,000 for improvements to the property.

>> Hawaii hotels, since for nearly half a year now, fewer people have been staying at them. The latest hotel occupancy report, released last week, said that in June, 74.4 percent of hotel rooms were occupied -- a 6 percent drop from June a year ago and the fifth month in a row the figure has dropped. However, hoteliers aren't panicking, since this year they are able to charge the fewer tourists a higher rate per room -- an average of $155.54, up 5 percent from last year.

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