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City Water Board gets solid bond ratings

Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed the Hono­lulu Board of Water Supply’s bond ratings at Aa2 (the third-highest rank) and AA+ (second highest), respectively, maintaining a “stable outlook” in both cases. The Moody’s Aa2 rating is the agency’s third-highest level. Fitch’s AA+ is its second highest.

“We are very pleased with the bond rating reviews and Moody’s and Fitch’s determination that our bond rating should continue to be a very strong ‘Aa2 and AA+,’” said Ernest Lau, the board’s chief engineer.

“The Board of Water Supply is committed to improving its operations, system infrastructure and financial position, and this bond rating is the result of that ongoing commitment to our ratepayers,” he said.

Fitch said the board “has rights to sufficient ground water supplies to meet its anticipated needs with limited treatment costs and no regulatory issues at present. The advantageous water supply results in affordable rates for the system, even with scheduled increases.”

Bank, community group get $40M in credits

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund awarded $40 million in tax credits to American Savings Bank and Enterprise Hono­lulu to finance development projects in low-income communities in the state, including healthy food initiatives and alternative energy programs.

The tax credits will be used by Puna­wai ‘o Pu‘u­ho­nua LLC, a community development partnership with the bank and Enterprise Hono­lulu.

“American Savings Bank is gratified to have another tool to support economic development and help build stronger communities throughout our islands,” said Rich Wacker, president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to partner with Enterprise Hono­lulu to bring these additional resources to reinvigorate project investment in our communities that need it most.”

Punawai was formed two years ago “to help address challenges such as the slow job market, high cost of living and reliance on imported food and fossil fuels,” the bank said.

Feds probe throttles in 1.9M Ford sedans

Federal safety regulators have launched an investigation into sticky accelerators in more than 1.9 million Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans.

The investigation includes cars from the 2001 through 2006 model years. Taurus and Sable models are nearly identical.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received at least 14 complaints about the problem. No crashes or injuries have been reported, but drivers have said they have had difficulties stopping the car.

Bailout watchdogs condemn AIG tax break

WASHINGTON >> Former members of a congressional panel that oversaw bailouts during the financial crisis blasted the Treasury Department on Monday for granting a tax break worth billions to insurance giant American International Group.

The tax break amounts to a “stealth bailout” on top of the $182 billion AIG received from the government, and it unfairly helps AIG, its shareholders and executives, former oversight panel chairwoman Elizabeth Warren and others said.

Companies sometimes defer losses and use them to reduce the tax burden in future years. Companies that change ownership usually face strict limits on how much of a loss they can defer. But the Treasury Department granted AIG an exemption, handing the company $17.7 billion in profit, the former panel members said.

PepsiCo revamps management team

NEW YORK >> PepsiCo Inc. revamped its management structure Monday in a move to strengthen its lineup of potential successors to CEO Indra Nooyi and leverage its scale as a global company.

The management restructuring puts John Compton, who heads the company’s Americas foods division, in charge of all the company’s global groups in the newly created role of president.

PepsiCo said Compton will also work with its regional groups for Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa to build brands, develop new products and cut costs. Compton, 50, started his career with PepsiCo when he was 22 and has been there ever since.

Yahoo sues Facebook over patents

NEW YORK  >> Yahoo is filing a lawsuit against Facebook over patents, following through on a threat it made last month.

Yahoo Inc. said in a court filing Monday that Facebook has infringed on 10 of its patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social networking.

Yahoo threatened to sue Facebook last month, insisting that the social network licensed its patents.

Facebook pledged to defend itself vigorously against what it called “puzzling actions” by Yahoo.


The American Marketing Association Hawaii Chapter will honor the following people at its April 17 annual AMA Hawaii Marketer of the Year awards luncheon: 

» Gregg Yamanaka and the APEC Host Committee as the "Hawaii Marketer of the Year"; Disney Aulani Resort and Spa for "Best Marketing of a New Product or Service"; Farmers Insurance Hawaii for "Best E-Marketing"; and Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands, county and state film offices, "Best Non-Profit/Government/Non-Commercial Marketing."

New York Life Insurance Co. has hired: 

» Shaunalei Awong, previously an adviser at Edward Jones Investments and owner-operator of a promotions and production company.

» Rose Delos Santos.

» Falelua Lafitaga Jr., formerly with the state departments of Transportation and Accounting and General Services.

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