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Business Briefs

For Friday, November 11, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


HVCB gets contract for North America

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has been awarded the contract for the North America Meetings, Conventions and Incentives market by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

North America is the largest major market area for Hawaii's visitor industry, "and we are confident that the HVCB's extensive experience, knowledge and strategic approach will assist the HTA in developing new tactics" to meet business travelers' needs, said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO, in a statement.

The new contract became effective Wednesday and will end Dec. 31, 2013, with HTA having an option to extend the contract period for three years to Dec. 31, 2016.

Economist picked to lead Greece from crisis

ATHENS, Greece » Europe's financial crisis eased Thursday as Greece installed a respected economist to replace its prime minister and Italy appeared poised to do the same -- both hoping that monetary experts can do better than the politicians who drove their nations so deeply into debt.

The announcement in Athens -- coupled with the prospect that volatile Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be ushered out soon -- quieted market fears, at least for now, that turmoil in Europe could threaten the global economy.

But significant challenges remain in both debt-heavy Mediterranean countries.

Greece's new prime minister, Lucas Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, must quickly secure the crucial loan installment without which his country will go bankrupt before Christmas, and approve the EU's $177 billion bailout deal.

In Italy, lawmakers have to pass new austerity measures over the next few days. However, expectations that respected economist Mario Monti will lead an interim technocratic government after Berlusconi goes helped lift the gloom.

Bernanke gives GIs pep talk on jobs

WASHINGTON » Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday tried to reassure U.S. soldiers, a group hit hard by high unemployment, that the Fed is working to strengthen the economy.

In a speech at a military base in El Paso, Texas, Bernanke told the soldiers and their families that the Fed is trying to lower unemployment. He talked about the Fed's policies of keeping short-term rates near zero and buying securities to try and reduce longer-term rates, such as mortgages.

Many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are returning home to find few jobs and limited prospects. The unemployment rate for veterans of those wars was 12.1 percent in October. That's up from 10.6 percent a year ago and well above the national average of 9 percent.

TV channels, more visitors boost Disney

LOS ANGELES » Disney said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 30 percent, thanks to higher spending by theme park visitors and growth at pay TV operations ESPN and Disney Channel.

Net income in July through September rose to $1.09 billion, or 58 cents per share. Disney posted net income of $835 million, or 43 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Excluding one-time items, Disney's adjusted earnings came to 59 cents per share, beating the 54 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $10.43 billion, also beating the $10.37 billion expected by analysts.

Starbucks buys juice-maker for new chain

Starbucks Corp. hopes to do for juice what it's done for coffee.

The Seattle-based company that changed the way Americans drink their cup of Joe said Thursday that it acquired juice-maker Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million as part of a larger effort to move beyond just offering coffee.

Starbucks said it plans to "reinvent" the $1.6 billion super-premium juice segment with its purchase of Evolution, which is based in San Bernardino, Calif. The company plans to open a new chain of health and wellness stores in the coming year that will carry Evolution products such as juices and simple foods. Details are still thin on the new chain, but Starbucks described it as a retail model that has never been seen before.

Trade, jobless numbers ease outlook

WASHINGTON » The outlook for American jobs and trade looked a little brighter Thursday, despite growing uncertainty overseas.

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to a seasonally adjusted 390,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest since April.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43.1 billion in September, its lowest point of the year, the Commerce Department said. Foreign sales of American-made autos, airplanes and heavy machinery pushed exports to an all-time high.

The data suggest layoffs are easing and the economy grew slightly better over the summer than the government had estimated a month ago.


University of Phoenix Hawaii Campus has appointed the following to academic affairs roles:

» Anna Edmonds to academic affairs manager. Her experience includes work as head of quality enhancement as well as lecturer on the faculty at Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

» Maryam "Mimi" Quinn to academic affairs project manager. She was previously an enrollment adviser for the University of Phoenix.


Territorial Savings Bank has appointed Beryl Hamabata to training and procedures manager. Her responsibilities includes coordinating and implementation of bankwide training. Hamabata has 38 years of banking experience.


Sunetric has named Jordan Abrell safety manager. He will be responsible for the implementation and management of Sunetric's safety program, including training for equipment inspections and employees as well as managing installation processes and procedures to ensure the team members' safety.

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