Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

[ Taking Notice ]


>> Palo Lopez has joined Marc Resorts Hawaii as director of operations. He is responsible for supervising the company's portfolio of hotel and condominium resorts. He was most recently director of operations for the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nev., and operations manager for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.

>> Starbucks International authorized licensee Coffee Partners Hawaii has appointed Jack Pitcher to the newly created food manager position for its Hawaii Starbucks retail locations. He oversees standards, training and quality implementation for all of the stores' food and beverage products and also manages the development of new food products. He was most recently a sales representative for Honolulu's Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants and was responsible for staff training at various restaurants on Oahu.

>> Douglas M. Forman has joined Bank of Hawaii as a senior vice president and asset management operations and administration manager. He will supervise the quality and performance of the Asset Management Group's business lines. He was previously a senior credit officer at Aetna International in Hartford, Conn., and has 25 years experience in the financial services industry.

>> Dean Tamanaha was named sales and training manager at Territorial Savings Bank. He joined the bank in Sept. 2002 and was previously a vice president and treasurer of Finance Factors and finance manager for Hawaii State Federal Credit Union.

>> Chris Byrer has joined Edward Jones investment representative Geal Fukumoto Talbert's Kaneohe office as a second investment representative. He will work out of her office for the next few months and subsequently open a third office in Kaneohe.

>> Scott Robbs and Darnell Arceneaux have joined Hawaii Sports Network. Robbs, a returning Hawaii resident is assistant sports information director. Arceneaux, a football player, is developmental programs coordinator. Robbs will write stories for the HSN Web site,, and serve as its editor. He will also oversee the Student Sports Information Directors program, a high-tech internship that provides Hawaii high school students with hands-on experience of sports journalism on the Web. Robbs has lived in Las Vegas for the past 10 years, where he worked at KLAV radio station. Arceneaux has returned home after graduating and playing football at the University of Utah. He will assist Doris Sullivan, director of student services in the HSN Athletic Prep Academy, a division of the Hawaii Sports Network Foundation. Arceneaux will work with student-athletes and their families to find a college that best fits their needs.


>> Edgar Gum has been named general manager of Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club at Poipu, Kauai. He oversees the resort's management and operations. He has worked for the company in Hawaii for more than 15 years and was resident manager at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina prior to being promoted.

>> Edwin I. Tanaka has been promoted to compliance manager for Hawaii Pacific Federal Credit Union. He is responsible for risk management of delinquencies and managing the firm's compliance program and security issues. He has been employed at the union since 1999 as a loan adjuster and has more than 29 years of banking experience.

Japan trade surplus shrinks to 609 billion yen

Tokyo >> Japan's trade surplus shrank in September as slowing growth in the U.S. and a rising yen eroded the value of exports for the fourth straight month, jeopardizing a recovery from recession in the world's second-biggest economy.

The surplus narrowed to 609.1 billion yen ($4.9 billion), seasonally adjusted, from 923 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said. Exports fell 2.3 percent and imports rose 6.6 percent. The median expectation of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 777.4 billion yen surplus.

Exports accounted for more than half of the Japan's 0.6 percent second-quarter economic growth -- the economy's first expansion in more than a year.

Philippine workers sent home $4.26 bil

Manila >> Filipinos working abroad sent home $4.26 billion between January and July, a quarter more than a year earlier, as an increasing jobless rate in the Philippines prompted more people to go overseas for employment.

Dollars remitted boosted the Philippines U.S. currency reserves 3 percent to $16.1 billion, the central bank said in a statement. The central bank can use the reserves to support the peso and to pay for imports and repay foreign-currency loans.

In January to June, about half a million Filipinos left for jobs abroad, the Department of Labor said.

Dollars sent home spurred consumer spending, helping the economy to grow 4.5 percent in the second quarter, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Most Taiwan people want China links

TAIPEI >> A majority of Taiwan people are in favor of ending a decades-old ban on direct links with rival China, although many fear links could hurt the island's economy, a government-commissioned survey said last week.

More than 70 percent of the 1,096 people interviewed said the government should allow direct links with the mainland, but on the condition national security and dignity were ensured.

But more than 60 percent were worried direct links would have a negative impact on the island's economy and would trigger more capital outflows and rising unemployment.

Australia LEI rises 0.4 percent

Sydney >> A leading index of economic indicators for Australia, a gauge of growth over the next six to nine months, rose for the first time in six months in August as building approvals and stock prices gained, a survey showed.

Westpac Banking Corp./Melbourne Institute's monthly index of economic activity rose 0.4 percent in August. The leading indicator combines nine gauges of economic activity -- including overtime hours, building approvals, telephone installations, labor costs and share prices -- to give an indication of the likely pace of future economic growth.

Westpac said the index points to the economy slowing to an annual growth rate of about 3 percent as consumers spend less, a housing booms ends and a drought cuts exports and lowers farm incomes, according to a Bloomberg News report. The economy expanded 3.8 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier.

Anheuser-Busch boosts stake in China

ST. LOUIS >> Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., the world's largest beer company, is boosting its stake in Tsingtao Brewery Co., China's largest brewery. The cost will be $181.6 million.

The St. Louis-based maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers said last week it has signed an agreement to raise its 4.5 percent interest in Tsingtao to 9.9 percent initially and to 27 percent over seven years. It has held its current stake in Tsingtao since 1993.

Anheuser-Busch will pay $116.4 million at closing and an additional $65.2 million within 12 months. The money will be used to improve Tsingtao's brewing assets, construct new facilities and make future acquisitions, Anheuser-Busch officials said.

The Chinese government will remain the largest shareholder in Tsingtao, holding a 30.56 percent share after all bonds are converted. Anheuser-Busch will be the largest non-government shareholder and will receive proportional representation on Tsingtao's board of directors.

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