Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Chevron refinery to shut for 36 days

To do routine maintenance, Chevron plans to shut down a portion of its Kapolei refinery that helps produce gasoline for automobile consumers.

The shutdown is set to start in early April and last for about 36 days.

Chevron has been planning for the shutdown and is confident there will be no supply disruptions for consumers, a Chevron spokesman said. Chevron is one of two refiners in the state, along with Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

Chevron typically does repair and maintenance work at the refinery every five years. The last time was in 1998.

As part of the work, Chevron will be replacing two 100-barrel tanks, built in 1959, that are used to pump a powerful acid. The tanks are stationed about 435 feet from the Leeward shore, using various spillage protections. Chevron needs city permits, including a special management area use permit.

Tesoro is planning to shut down its refinery temporarily in the first quarter of 2004 for scheduled inspections and maintenance. Tesoro previously shut its plant for routine maintenance in 2000.

Panel OKs Ko Olina tax credit bill

A bill to provide $75 million in tax credits for development at Ko Olina Marina and Resort appears headed for approval once again this session.

The House Committee on Tourism and Culture approved the bill providing the tax credits over 10 years for construction intended to attract more projects to the West Oahu coastal area.

A Senate committee approved a companion version of the bill last week.

Both measures are identical to bills passed by both chambers last year that eventually were vetoed by then-Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Gov. Linda Lingle has said she supports the tax credit bill, even referring to it in her State of the State address as a way to spark economic development and improve the quality of life for residents of Leeward Oahu.


BNP Paribas 4th quarter net falls

PARIS >> BNP Paribas SA, owner of First Hawaiian Bank, posted a 20 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, hurt by investment banking. Michel Pebereau, chairman of France's biggest lender, said he's now seeking to expand his consumer lending business in the United States.

Net income fell to 696 million euros ($758 million), or 77 cents a share, from 866 million euros, or 97 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.5 percent to 4.2 billion euros.

Pebereau said he plans to pursue consumer banking acquisitions in the western U.S. after a two-year decline in mergers advising and securities underwriting cut investment banking profit. He also left open the possibility that BNP may counter Credit Agricole SA's bid to buy Credit Lyonnais, France's sixth-largest bank.

Another U.S. purchase would be "good news," said Paul Moghtader, who manages $1.2 billion, including BNP shares, at State Street Global Advisers. "Banks need to have more balanced portfolios between investment and consumer banking as it seems stock markets won't rebound as everybody has been hoping."

The price of BNP Paribas' American depository receipts was unchanged at $19.80 today in over the counter trading.

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