Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Workers' comp rates may drop

State Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt has approved a 3 percent decrase in average loss costs paid by employers in the state for workers' compensation insurance, which may help to bring down premiums for some companies.

Hawaii insurance companies will base their rates on the lower costs starting in January. The loss cost is a significant factor in determining rates, Schmidt said, though the lower cost does not mean all workers' comp premiums will fall by 3 percent. Schmidt cited fewer workplace accidents as a major reason for the drop.

First Hawaiian warns of 'phishing'

First Hawaiian Bank is warning Hawaii residents about a so-called phishing scam that it says recently victimized one of its customers, who had his identity stolen.

The customer had receive a fake e-mail, purporting to be from eBay, asking for personal information, which the customer gave out. The bank says others who have fallen for the scam should contact their banks and the major credit bureaus, as well as file a police report.

Makaha golf resort being sold

The owners of the Makaha Valley Country Club are selling the property to an undisclosed buyer.

Nitto Hawaii Co. Ltd. said in a notice to state labor authorities that the sale of the club, known as Makaha-East, is expected to be completed by Dec. 24.

Nitto Hawaii plans to fire all of the club's employees but said it expects them to be rehired by the new owner. It said 53 employees will be affected.

Nitto Hawaii is a unit of financially troubled Nitto Kogyo Co., one of Japan's biggest golf course operators, which filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago and is now owned by U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The announcement follows the sale earlier this year of the adjacent Makaha Resort Golf Club by previous owner Towne Realty Inc. to Canadian hotel operator Fairmont Resort Properties Ltd.

Central Pacific declares dividend

Central Pacific Financial Corp., declaring its first dividend since it merged with City Bank's parent CB Bancshares Inc., maintained its dividend at 16 cents a share. It will be paid Dec. 17 to shareholders as of Nov. 19.

The two companies merged last month. Subsidiaries Central Pacific Bank and City Bank are scheduled to merge in the first quarter.


Delta pact staves off bankruptcy

Delta Air Lines, the nation's third-largest airline, reached a tentative agreement with its pilots union last night on long-sought wage and benefit cuts, averting a threatened bankruptcy filing, at least for now.

Terms of the deal, reached during talks in Herndon, Va., where the pilots union is based, were not available.

Agreement came after an intense day of negotiations, as Delta made its final offer in its bid for $1 billion in contract concessions, people close to the company said.

If pilots had not agreed to the tentative deal, Delta was prepared to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today.

America West interested in ATA

INDIANAPOLIS » America West Airlines Inc. said yesterday it may still be interested in buying ATA Airlines, a day after discount carrier ATA filed for bankruptcy protection.

"We're looking at it. We may still be interested. We may continue to work on an offering. We think a potential America West proposal may be more desirable for (ATA) creditors and employees," America West spokeswoman Janice Monahan said yesterday.



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