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Business Briefs

For Saturday, January 22, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Hawaiian Electric refunds coming

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers will receive a one-time refund next month related to the utility's 2009 rate case.

The amount of the refund for each customer will vary by type of customer and the amount of their electricity usage. A residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours a month will receive a refund of about $2.97. The refunds will be issued in the form of a credit on customer bills beginning Feb. 1. A total of $2.1 million will be refunded.

The Public Utilities Commission gave HECO interim approval in August 2009 and February 2010 to begin collecting a rate increase of 5.7 percent, or $74 million. In December the PUC gave final approval to the rate hike, making adjustments for software and other costs that resulted in a lower rate increase. The refund represents the difference between the higher and lower amounts.

CPB to close private stock offering

The parent of Central Pacific Bank, which has been under a mandate since December 2009 by federal and state regulators to improve its capital ratios, said yesterday it expects to close its $325 million private stock offering "within the next month." The shares closed yesterday down 12 cents at $1.80. The bank will release its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings before the stock market opens on Friday.

GE generates more quarterly revenue

NEW YORK » General Electric Co. said yesterday that fourth-quarter net income increased 52 percent as the company made more money in both its lending and industrial businesses. The lending arm, GE Capital, drove the company's results in the final three months of 2010 as it dealt with fewer loan defaults. Risky loans hammered the company during the financial crisis, forcing GE to book huge write-downs.

Industrial sales also rose during the fourth quarter, and orders for equipment, an indication of future business, jumped 20 percent.

Citigroup CEO's $1 salary goes up

NEW YORK » Citigroup Inc. is giving its CEO a big raise.

The New York-based bank is lifting Vikram Pandit's base salary to $1.75 million from just $1 a year effective immediately, according to a filing made yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The announcement comes after Citi reported its first full year of profits since Pandit took over the top job in 2007 and the bank exited government ownership.

Citi was one of the hardest-hit U.S. banks during the credit crisis, and received a $45 billion government bailout. Pandit pledged in 2009 to take a $1 salary until the troubled bank returned to profitability. The government sold off the last of its stake in the bank in December for a profit of $12 billion.

Greece tames debt but needs growth

LONDON » Bailed-out Greece is doing better than anticipated in getting a handle on its debt problems but could still face another potentially damaging downgrade if the economy doesn't start growing again this year, a leading credit ratings agency said yesterday.

Greece is on course to having reduced its budget deficit by a massive 6 percentage points of GDP last year to 9 percent at a time when the economy has contracted a further 4 percent. The country was bailed out to the tune of 110 billion euro ($148 billion) last May by its partners in the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as its borrowing costs in the markets surged to unsustainably high levels, effectively preventing it from raising money in the bond markets.

In return for the bailout funds, the Greek government has had to enact a series of budget cuts, tax increases and reforms to large chunks of the economy.


American Savings Bank announced two promotions and a new hire:

» John Miller Jr. was promoted to first vice president, manager of collections and recovery services, overseeing the recovery and collections of retail credit and small-business credit scored loans.

» Laurie Komatsu was promoted to first vice president, director of community development, where she will manage the bank's external communications and community development initiatives, including serving as corporate spokeswoman.

» Thomas Ishida was hired as vice president, commercial banking officer, where he will manage corporate and middle-market relationships.


Hawaii National Bank has hired Myles Miyachi as vice president and commercial real estate officer. He will oversee the growth of commercial mortgage loans, business development and supervising loan underwriting within the bank's commercial mortgage department. He has more than 25 years of financial services experience including time spent serving in management positions at Pacific Rim Bank, Central Pacific Bank and City Bank.


The Hawaii Youth Symphony board of directors elected Laurie LaGrange as director. She is founder and president of Ontai-LaGrange and Associates.

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