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Isle credit union to add Vegas branch

Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union is going Vegas.

Hawaii’s third largest credit union plans to open a branch in Las Vegas in November.

The company, which was established in 1936 by city employees and has about $700 million in assets, acquired the branch of Silver State Schools Credit Union at 8660 W. Cheyenne Ave. for the expansion. The branch is about 20 minutes from downtown Las Vegas.

Wallace Y. Watanabe, Aloha Pacific’s president and chief executive officer, called the out-of-state growth a groundbreaking move that hasn’t been previously attempted by a Hawaii-based credit union. He said the initiative is aimed at attracting new members as well as serving existing members who live and vacation in Las Vegas.

"Aloha Pacific decided to embark on a bold new plan," he said. "We are bringing Aloha to Vegas."


Automaker to sell electric Coda here

A small automaker based in Southern California is the latest company to announce plans to sell electric vehicles in Hawaii. Privately held Coda Automotive said it expects to deliver its first five-passenger sedan in the third quarter of next year.

The company did not disclose a price for the Coda, which is similar to the electric Nissan Leaf in terms of size, range and performance. The Coda’s lithium-ion battery pack produces 33.8 kilowatt hours of energy that gives the car a range of 90 to 120 miles and a top speed of 80 miles per hour, the company said.

The first mass-produced electric car in Hawaii will be the Nissan Leaf, with the first deliveries scheduled for January. Other companies that plan to offer electric vehicles include Palo Alto, Calif.-based Better Place, Korea-based CT&T Co., and Atlanta-based Wheego Electric Cars Inc.


Mortgage rates hit historic low

WASHINGTON » Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in decades for the 10th time in 11 weeks, as investors worried about the economy.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.32 percent this week, down from 4.36 percent last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said yesterday. That’s the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.83 percent from 3.86 percent the previous week. That’s the lowest on records starting in 1991.

Rates have been falling since spring as investors have shifted money into safer Treasury bonds. That has lowered their yields, which mortgage rates tend to track.

The low rates have fueled a wave of refinancing by borrowers. Refinancing is at its highest level since May 2009 and makes up almost 83 percent of all new loans, its highest share since January 2009.

People seeking lower rates helped boost mortgage applications by 2.7 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Wednesday.

However, the low rates have not been enough to lift the struggling housing market. Home sales are at the lowest level in more than a decade. Potential buyers are holding off purchases, worried about jobs and the economy. Some are having trouble meeting tighter lending standards.

Average rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.54 percent from 3.56 percent the week before. Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to an average rate of 3.50 percent from 3.52 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount. The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac’s survey averaged seven-tenths of a point for 30-year and 1-year mortgages. They averaged six-tenths of a point for 15-year and 5-year mortgages.


Ron Williams, CEO of Atlantis Adventures, has been selected as chairman of the Hawaii Tourism Authority board of directors. Williams succeeds Kelvin Bloom, president of Aston Hotels & Resorts, who served the maximum of two consecutive, one-year terms as board chair.

"Ron is a long-time industry veteran who his spent his entire 30-year career working in Hawaii’s visitor industry," said Mike McCartney, HTA president and chief executive officer. "His expertise and demonstrated leadership is invaluable to the HTA as we work to strengthen Hawaii’s tourism economy."

Williams was first appointed to the HTA board in 2009.

Gerry Tomonari has been promoted to senior vice president — principal broker by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. She most recently worked as Coldwell Banker’s senior vice president of development, overseeing human resources and staff development.

Hawaii Centers for Independent Living Board of Directors has announced M.J. Kimo Keawe as their volunteer interim executive director. His experience includes serving as former president as well as on the executive board of Aloha Festivals in 1999 and Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii in 2001.


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