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HEMIC declares dividend

The board of directors of the Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co. Inc., known as HEMIC, have declared a $1.5 million dividend, payable to qualified policyholders.

This is the sixth consecutive year the board has authorized a dividend exceeding $1 million.

The company insures "some of the safest employers in Hawaii and some with unfortunate loss histories," said Jason Yoshimi, president and CFO. He estimates that nearly 80 percent of the company’s members will receive a dividend this year.

GM hiring for computer center near Detroit

DETROIT » General Motors plans to hire up to 1,500 workers to staff a new computer technology center outside Detroit.

It is part of a move to bring 90 percent of information technology in-house, which GM believes will make the company more nimble and efficient. The carmaker plans to hire 10,000 people at four new technology centers in the next three to five years. The centers will help get breakthrough ideas into the company’s cars and trucks, GM says.

Last month the company announced it would hire 500 people for a center in Austin, Texas. The remaining two sites haven’t been announced.

Freeze, drought take bite out of tourism

INDIANAPOLIS » Devastating spring freezes and a historic drought have stripped some charm from rustic fall destinations, leaving some corn too short to create mazes, orchards virtually devoid of apples and fall colors muted.

Extreme weather has forced agritourism ventures in the heart of the country to scramble to hold onto their share of an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Pat Schaefers, who runs Schaefers Corn Maze near Lollie, Ark., hopes visitors to the farm’s two mazes won’t mind that the corn is just 6 to 8 feet tall this fall — up to 4 feet shorter than the wall of corn that families and school groups normally pay to get lost and turned around in.

YouTube goes abroad with programming

LONDON » YouTube is extending its original programming initiative to Europe, with at least 60 new video channels from media companies including Britain’s BBC, London-based FreemantleMedia and the Netherlands’ Endemol.

The Google Inc.-owned video site said Monday that the new channels, with content from Britain, Germany, France and the U.S., will be in addition to the 100 channels launched in the U.S. last year.

Like pre-existing American offerings, the European channels will have a mix of celebrity-oriented, niche and established programs.

World Bank cuts Asia growth outlook

BEIJING » The World Bank cut its growth forecast for Asia on Monday in a new sign of weakening global demand and warned China’s cooling economy faces the risk of a "more pronounced slowdown."

The bank cut this year’s growth outlook for developing Asia-Pacific economies to 7.2 percent, down from its May forecast of 7.6 percent. The bank cut its forecast for China, the region’s biggest economy, to 7.7 percent from May’s 8.2 percent.

The bank cited weak global demand due to the lackluster U.S. recovery and Europe’s recession. It said Europe’s debt crisis still is a "major risk," followed by the U.S. "fiscal cliff" — a mix of tax and spending cuts due to take effect at year’s end that might chill growth.

UnitedHealth plans overseas growth

UnitedHealth Group Inc.s will spend about $4.9 billion to buy a majority stake in Brazilian health benefits and care provider Amil Participacoes SA, as the largest U.S. health insurer leaps into an international market it says is primed for growth.

UnitedHealth, based in Minnetonka, Minn., said Monday that the deal gives it better access to a country of 200 million people where only 25 percent of the population is covered by private health insurance. In contrast, about 78 percent of the U.S. market has private health benefits, as opposed to government coverage like Medicaid or Medicare.

Amil Participacoes is the largest health insurer in Brazil, with a network of providers that includes 3,300 hospitals and 44,000 doctors. In addition, it also owns 22 hospitals and about 50 clinics, with most of its business concentrated in the country’s two largest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The company reported $4.45 billion in revenue last year.


Hawaii Advanced Imaging Institute has named Trisha Burgeson operations manager. She has 19 years’ experience in the medical field and was previously an imaging supervisor/PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) administrator at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

American Savings Bank has promoted Margaret Pettyjohn to executive vice president for retail banking. Prior to joining the bank in 2010, Pettyjohn was an executive vice president and director of retail support and delivery for the South Financial Group in Greenville, S.C.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced that

Renee F. Yamada

has joined the firm’s Windward office as a Realtor associate. She was previously a team member for Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers.

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