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Business Briefs

For Friday, July 2, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:40 a.m. HST, Jul 02, 2010


Home tax credit extension wins OK

Homebuyers with pending purchases that qualified for a federal tax credit will get more time to complete their transactions under a bill approved by Congress.

The extension bill, if signed by President Obama, would give qualified buyers until Sept. 30 to complete sales, which adds three months to the prior June 30 deadline.

The National Association of Realtors estimated that 180,000 buyers, including 710 in Hawaii, had qualified for the credit by signing sales contracts by April 30 but wouldn't be able to complete their purchases by Wednesday's deadline.

The tax credit provides rebates up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for repeat buyers.

Mortgage rates reach 50-year low

WASHINGTON » Mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades.

Freddie Mac said yesterday the average rate for 30-year fixed loans sank to 4.58 percent this week. That's down from the previous record of 4.69 percent set last week and the lowest since the mortgage company began keeping records in 1971.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to an average of 4.04 percent, the lowest on records dating to September 1991 and down from 4.13 percent a week earlier. Average rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 3.8 percent from 3.77 percent.

Hawaiian plans buyback, gets payout

The parent of Hawaiian Airlines said it plans to repurchase up to $10 million of its stock based on Wednesday's closing price of $5.17 a share.

The repurchase amounts to about 3.7 percent of the company's outstanding common shares, Hawaiian Holdings Inc. said yesterday.

"Our decision to repurchase our stock is a reflection of the confidence our management and board has in Hawaiian's future and reflects our commitment to build value for our shareholders," said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer.

Hawaiian also said it expects to record a gain of approximately $9 million as its share of a litigation settlement, which would be reflected in results for the third quarter. The settlement resolves a lawsuit between LAX TWO Corp., a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation of which Hawaiian Airlines is a member, and the Los Angeles World Airports over LAX TWO's leasehold interest in Terminal 2 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Separately, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said it has revised its visitor expenditure forecast for Hawaiian's new flight between Honolulu and Seoul-Incheon International Airport that is scheduled to debut in January. HTA now expects the four-times-a-week service to bring in $74.3 million annually based on $238 per-person, per-day spending an average length of stay of 6.8 days. HTA previously forecast that visitor spending from the South Korea flight would generate $19.4 million. Overall, Dunkerley says, the economic impact for the state will be $100 million.

Carnival will offer cruises to Hawaii

Carnival Cruise Lines plans to offer two California-to-Hawaii round-trip voyages next year and in 2012.

The 15-day cruises will leave from Los Angeles in December 2011 and San Diego in April 2012.

Both voyages are expected to make daylong stops in Hilo, Kahului, Honolulu, Lihue and Kona.

The cruises will mark the first time Carnival Cruise Lines has offered round-trip journeys to Hawaii. The state's cruise ship traffic dropped in recent years after Norwegian Cruise Lines removed two of its three interisland vessels from Hawaii in 2008.

ON THE MOVE

Michael F. Nauyokas has been named alternative dispute resolution liaison of the Federal Bar Association. He is the first attorney in Hawaii to hold this distinction.

Century 21 of Hawaii, Oahu offices, has presented the following awards for the month of May:

» Century 21 Liberty Homes -- Randy Prothero, top sales associate, and Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, top listing associate.

» Century 21 Realty Specialists -- Charmaine Q. Poki, top sales associate, and Eva Hinderleider, top listing associate.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has promoted Justin Smith to manager of eMarketing from Internet marketing specialist. His experience includes serving as a project assistant with the company as well as associate for AcademyHealth.

The Kona Community Hospital received the "Pualu Business Innovation Award" from the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. The hospital was selected for enhancing patient care, employee development, marketing and customer service and is the first to start "new initiatives" for the Big Island and the state.






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