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Business briefs

For Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:


Horizon to launch China service

Horizon Lines Inc., the second-largest ocean shipper serving Hawaii, plans to launch weekly service to China on Dec. 13 from Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., with port calls at Shanghai and Ningbo.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company said it will add approximately 12,500 new containers to its international and domestic shipping network to support existing customers and the new Asia service. Horizon will use five 2,824 20-foot-equivalent-unit capacity Hunter Class vessels for the service. Port-to-port transit from Shanghai to Los Angeles will be 11 days.

"Market receptivity to our new service remains very strong and as of today, we are now over 45 percent subscribed on the first sailing," said Brian Taylor, senior vice president of international services at Horizon.

Horizon's chief rival in Hawaii, Matson Navigation Co., began China service in 2006.

HCDA writes off $805,000 debt

The Hawaii Community Development Authority wrote off an uncollectible $805,000 debt from a defunct local company at its meeting earlier this month.

The debt was owed by Rosette Steel Hawaii LLC, which attempted to manufacture low-cost steel framing for affordable housing. The company rented a Kakaako warehouse from HCDA, a state agency, in 2005 and 2006.

Rosette shut down in 2006 after startup financing fell through following a decision by the Legislature not to issue bonds to support the company.

HCDA's board deferred action on the matter in July to allow a federal agency, which at one time had an interest in revenue from the warehouse, to review the debt issue.

UHERO improves website

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization has redesigned its data portal at www.uhero.hawaii.edu to provide improved navigation, expanded functionality and better graphics. The improvements are expected to make it easier for users to spot emerging trends in key economic indicators, compare information across counties, and access additional analysis provided by UHERO. The lead sponsor for the redesign was Bank of Hawaii, which pledged $120,000 over three years.

The database provides current information on economic indicators, as well as monthly, quarterly and annual statistics from previous years. It has historical data on more than 1,600 economic indicators.

In addition to its data portal, UHERO offers regular economic forecasts and a range of studies on important local issues.

UHERO relies heavily on corporate and private support to provide research and educational programs, to maintain forecasting and data services, and to provide outreach to the community. Contributions can be made online at www.uhfoundation.org/UHERO or by contacting Lori Admiral at 956-5747 or Lori.Admiral@uhfoundation.org.

Bankoh in top 200 of strongest banks

Bank of Hawaii is ranked 102nd in the top 200 of the nation's strongest publicly listed banks as measured by financial performance and condition over the last six quarters ended June 30 according to bank industry tracker FinStrata.

The bank posted third-quarter earnings Monday of $44.1 million, up 20.8 percent from the year-earlier quarter.

Separately, B. Riley analyst Joseph Gladue raised his rating on Bank of Hawaii yesterday to "buy" from "neutral" and raised his target price to $48 from $47. The bank's stock fell 43 cents yesterday to $43.39.

On the Move

The Queen's Medical Center has named Karen Seth as director, Neuroscience Institute and ancillary services. She was previously manager of the Neuroscience Institute for six years and has also served as director of programs for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association of Hawaii.

***

The National Academy of Engineering has selected University of Hawaii-Manoa professor Brian Bingham as one of the nation's top innovative young engineering educators. He will be joining 52 other early-career faculty members from around the country for the organization's second Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium Dec. 13-16 in Irvine, Calif. Bingham is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, specializing in the development of tools for precision underwater navigation, autonomous vehicles and diverse sensors.

***

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa has raised $70,000 through its fourth annual Swing for Wishes golf tournament to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Hawaii. More than 200 golfers attended the annual tournament held Oct. 14. The official check presentation will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Great Hall of Hyatt Regency Waikiki.






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