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Business Briefs

For Saturday, June 11, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:


First Hawaiian gives APEC $50,000

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum's 2011 Hawaii Conference has received a grant of $50,000 from the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, the charitable arm of First Hawaiian Bank. The funds will be used for APEC's Youth Education Program, which is designed to promote global awareness and the benefits of economic cooperation among Hawaii's youth.

Buffett lunch auction raises $2.6M

An anonymous bidder agreed Friday to pay more than $2.6 million for a lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, offering a final amount after the auction closed that topped last year's bid that set a record for the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay.

When online bidding ended Friday night, the high bid fell short of the record, standing at $2,345,678. However, organizers say the bidder wanted to spend more to top last year's $2.6 million and settled on a final amount of $2,626,411. The amount isn't considered a bidding record for eBay's charity auctions because the record total was only surpassed after bidding had closed, eBay spokeswoman Lonnie Shekhtman said.

All proceeds go to the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco.

Buffett will spend several hours discussing whatever it is the winner would like to talk about, traditionally at New York's Smith and Wollensky steak house.

Ford to pay $2B in overcharging suit

DETROIT » The Ford Motor Co. must pay $2 billion in a class-action lawsuit accusing it of overcharging commercial truck dealerships over an 11-year period, an Ohio judge ruled Friday.

Ford said it would appeal the decision that it had violated agreements with about 3,100 dealerships from 1987 to 1998. The judge said Ford used "hidden discounts" and unpublished prices to boost profits at the dealerships' expense.

The ruling by Judge Peter J. Corrigan of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio, said Ford made dealers pay a total of $800 million more than they should have for nearly 475,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including tractor-trailers and bulldozers.

The damages include $1.2 billion in interest and were calculated based on the formula that was used by a jury in February to award $4.5 million to the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Westgate Ford in Youngstown, Ohio.

Toyota expects profit to drop 31%

TOKYO » Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday that it expected its annual profit to fall almost a third from the previous year, hurt by production disruptions after the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.

The company's prediction of a 31 percent decline in profit to $3.5 billion for the year that ends in March 2012 was gloomier than expected. Analysts had anticipated a profit forecast of about $5.3 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey. In the same period the previous year, Toyota earned $5 billion. But Toyota's forecast also projected a robust recovery in the coming months as the automaker made headway in mending its supply chain.

ON THE MOVE

» Hawaiian Airlines has promoted Shannon Okinaka to vice president-controller from senior director. She is responsible for overseeing Hawaiian's financial reporting and accounting activities. Prior to joining Hawaiian Airlines, Okinaka was a manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Honolulu.

» Kiewit Building Group has hired the following people as engineers in its estimating department:

-- Sujin Beck has four years of engineering experience, including as field engineer with Viola Inc. in California.

-- Kathy Cruz has nearly three years of engineering experience, including working in engineering positions with American Piping & Boiler Co.

-- Chris Whitmer has six years' experience in the construction industry and was previously a construction manager at Wilson Engineers in Phoenix.

» Pacific Biodiesel has hired following for their Hawaii Military Biofuel Crop project:

-- Matt Johnson as project manager. He is co-owner of Oahu Fresh.

-- Dan Rudoy as farm manager. He was previously a farm manager and general manager of weFarm@Kapalua.






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