Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Sunday, February 17, 2002

[Taking Notice]


>> Central Pacific Bank employees Charles E. Keyes, Kyle K. Sakamoto and Wanda T. Fujimori have been selected to represent the bank in its newly-created Maui Region. Keyes will serve as vice president and manager. He had worked at the Bank of Hawaii Maui Commercial Banking Center since 1986 before joining CPB. Sakamoto, who also joins CPB from Bank of Hawaii, was named vice president and business relationship officer. Fujimori will handle customers' daily financial and lending needs as the Maui Division business banking relationship representative.

>> Irene Bowie has joined Pacific Whale Foundation as marketing manager. She was among the founders of the Maui-based organization 22 years ago. For nine years, Bowie ran Beyond the Reef Marketing, an advertising and promotion agency.


>> Rich Wolter has been promoted to director of training, standardization and team development at Hawaiiana Management Company Ltd. He will be responsible for training incoming property managers and standardizing administrative and service functions. Wolter most recently worked at Certified Management Inc.

>> Steven Payne has been named customer solutions manager for the Hawaii and Pacific Region of Diebold Inc. He has been with the company for 22 years.


>> Donald H. Graham Jr. has been elected chairman of the Counselors of Real Estate Hawaii Chapter for 2002. Other new officers include: Jan Randall Medusky, vice chair; James E. Hallstrom Jr., secretary; Susan W.F. Todani, treasurer; and Paul D. Cool, membership officer.

>> The Pacific Printing and Imaging Association-Hawaii Chapter and the Printed in Hawaii Association have named Scott O'Brien as the organizations' president. O'Brien will serve a two-year term. Other newly elected officers are: Matt Heim, vice president; Edith Kawashima, secretary; Erwin Hudelist, treasurer and outgoing president; and Jody Kadokawa, assistant treasurer. In addition, the following individuals were named committee chairpersons: Roy Yamashiroya, government affairs chair; Don Ojiri, PIHA chair; Glenn Paul, program chair; Ken Slavik and Harris Nakamura, membership co-chairs; and Mark Ibara, director.


>> Diane M. Bruce and Todd A. Hedrick have earned professional accreditations from the International Council of Shopping Centers. Bruce, a Victoria Ward Limited employee, is now a certified marketing director. Hedrick earned accreditation as a certified shopping center manager. He works at MMI Realty Services Inc. The two passed accreditation examinations last year prior to the ICSC annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

>> Castle and Cooke Realty Inc. has named Teana Vann Realtor of the Year for 2001. Vann, who has more than 22 years of real estate experience, had the highest sales volume of the year at the company, selling more than $7 million worth of real estate.

>> Janis K. Kinmore has been named Realtor of the Year for 2001 by Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii. She was the top home sales agent for the company last year with more than $23 million in sales.



Bermuda tourism falls to 21-year low

HAMILTON, Bermuda >> Tourist arrivals in Bermuda fell by 16 percent to a 21-year low last year because of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States and the weakening U.S. economy, according to government figures released Thursday.

In 2001, 458,814 people visited the affluent mid-Atlantic British colony, down 16 percent from 543,126 in 2000.

This reflected a broad slump in tourism and the airline business worldwide. But the decline in tourism in Bermuda came off a low base as the figure for 2000 was already at a 20-year low.

International business has overtaken tourism in recent years as Bermuda's biggest source of income as growing numbers of reinsurance companies have set up in the island.

Since Sept. 11, nine new reinsurance companies have announced they are moving to Bermuda.

Business conditions stumble in Australia

SYDNEY >> Australian business conditions fell in January from a 16-month high after export demand dropped because of the global slowdown and on signals a housing construction boom may have peaked.

National Australia Bank Ltd.'s closely watched index of business activity fell to a reading of minus 3 points in January, according to Bloomberg News. The bank surveys 400 non-farm companies and asks them about sales, employment, profit, forward orders and stock levels.

At the same time, the survey's measure of business confidence rose to seven-year high, signaling the economy should continue growing apace.

New Zealand retail sales increase in quarter

WELLINGTON >> New Zealand retail sales rose twice as much as expected in the fourth quarter as lower interest rates and higher wages encouraged consumers to buy more cars than at any time since 1992.

Retail spending, after removing inflation and seasonal variations, rose 2.1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, Statistics New Zealand said. That's more than twice a 1 percent rise economists expected, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Sales rose a revised 0.6 percent in the third quarter.

Rising consumer spending comes as the economy added 16,000 jobs in the quarter.

Taking out sales through auto dealers, inflation-adjusted sales in the quarter rose 0.8 percent following a revised 0.2 percent increase in the third quarter. Sale have risen for four quarters.

Japan PC sales fall 16% from year ago

TOKYO >> Japan's personal computer sales at large electronics stores fell in the week ended Jan. 27 from the year-ago period, technology weekly Nikkei Market Access said.

Sales fell 16.3 percent by volume and 16.7 percent by value, extending declines that began in May last year, according to figures supplied to Nikkei by private research company Gfk Japan.

Japanese consumers are paring spending on electronics as the jobless rate fell to a record 5.6 percent in December during the country's third recession in a decade. The world's second-largest economy will probably contract 1 percent in the year ending March 31 and post zero growth in the coming year, according to government forecasts.

Norway whaling quota boosted for exports

OSLO, Norway >> Norway last week raised its whaling quota for 2002, saying it was ready to start exports of whale meat and blubber to Japan.

Oslo, which lifted a self-imposed ban on exports of whale products last year, said the whaling quota for this year had been set at 674 minke whales, compared with 549 last year.

"The whaling quota is set within the interval recommended to maintain full safety considering the protection of the minke whale population," Fisheries Minister Svein Ludvigsen said in a statement.

Newfoundland oil project shelved by Chevron

CALGARY, Alberta >> ChevronTexaco Corp. said it shelved its proposed Hebron-Ben Nevis oil project off Newfoundland after two years of study, striking another blow in a region once touted as the oil industry's next North Sea.

ChevronTexaco and its partners concluded the costs of developing the North Atlantic oil field, which could have been the fourth major project on the Grand Banks off Canada's east coast, were too high to make it viable, the company said.

The news came as Exxon Mobil Corp., ChevronTexaco's partner in the 414 million barrel prospect, said it put all but one of its Newfoundland exploration licenses up for sale.

Offshore oil has been held up as an economic savior for Newfoundland, Canada's poorest province and one that has for years suffered with the country's highest unemployment. But developing prospects has proven slower and more costly than in many of the world's other oil regions.

January unemployment jumps in Sweden

STOCKHOLM >> Sweden's unemployment rate rose more than expected to 4.4 percent in January, as companies slashed jobs because of stalling demand, Statistics Sweden said.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected 4.2 percent unemployment in January, an increase from 3.6 percent in December. The jobless rate was 4.4 percent in the year-ago month.

Swedish companies such as Ericsson AB, the biggest phone- equipment maker, are shutting plants and firing employees against the backdrop of an economic slowdown.

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