Alaska Business Insider

Alaska’s economy never stands still. One minute the oil industry is booming while tourism companies are tottering, and the next the construction industry is laying down its hammers while fishermen are enjoying strong catches.

In this blog we’ll track those highs and lows, resource development disputes, new ventures and many other topics. We’ll rely on our own reporting as well as bring you relevant news from other media or any other source that has information of interest to people following Alaska industries, from mining to retail to real estate.

We encourage your comments on our posts, but please keep them courteous and on topic. If you violate the ADN comment policy, your posts will be deleted.

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Imagining Alaska's economy without oil - 3/10/2011 4:54 pm

Nine local women added to ATHENA Society - 3/1/2011 10:02 am

Alaska tribe takes coal mine concerns to UN - 2/25/2011 1:22 pm

Missed deadlines on North Slope gas line - 2/24/2011 4:42 pm

Pat Galvin's new job - 2/24/2011 4:24 pm

Sport groups pressure EPA on Pebble - 2/24/2011 3:27 pm

Study highlights Arctic drilling's economic impact - 2/24/2011 1:46 pm

Muni changing wireless, Internet providers - 2/23/2011 9:06 pm

ASMI launches new seafood site for consumers

From Bill White --

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has launched a new consumer website.

The site features recipes, information on the seafood harvested in Alaska and the regions they come from, and photos and stories of Alaska fishermen.

ASMI logoASMI logo

read more »

The Fed looks at Alaska foreclosures, delinquencies

From Bill White --

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has published a review of house foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies in Alaska.

It shows that the big problem nationally is a little problem in Alaska, where the economy is stronger and the housing market didn't go so haywire in the early 2000s.

Check out the maps of how different parts of the state compare in the depth of their foreclosure/delinquency issues ... as well as how, to the extent there is a problem, it seems to be easing.

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Economic impact of hatchery salmon

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp. has released a study it commissioned about the jobs and dollars generated by its hatchery salmon.

Their findings come at a time when some scientists are raising concern that production of hatchery salmon in Alaska and Japan may end up harming more genetically-diverse wild stocks.

read more »

Obama weighs in on North Slope gas line

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

Larry Persily, the federal coordinator for developing a North Slope gas pipeline, delivered a letter from President Barack Obama to the Oil and Gas Congress, an annual gathering of Alaskans and Canadians involved in the oil and gas industry in downtown Anchorage this week.

"As part of Alaska's contribution to America's energy needs, I share with you the anticipation that a North Slope natural gas pipeline could finally be on its way south to serve North American markets," Obama wrote in the letter, dated Monday.

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NANA announces shareholder dividend

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

NANA Regional Corp. said it will pay a 2010 dividend of $14 per share in early November to its shareholders. A typical shareholder with 100 shares will get $1,400. NANA's annual dividend last year was $12 per share.

In its fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30, the basis for last year's dividend, the Native corporation reported profits of $17.1 million on revenue of $1.3 billion.

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Alaskan brewer loses court appeal in Seattle

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Co. -- producer of the popular Alaskan Amber and other beers -- is reassuring its employees and clients this week that the company isn't facing a big financial hit.

Those reassurances come after the brewery lost a $5.5 million lawsuit in Washington state appeals court this week. The SeattlePI.com web site posted a legal analysis of the court decision.

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Paula Deen samples Alaska seafood

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

Paula Deen and husband Michael Groover show off a king salmon caught by a local commercial fishing family at the Tutka Bay Lodge, near Homer. Photo courtesy Hoffman Media.Paula Deen and husband Michael Groover show off a king salmon caught by a local commercial fishing family at the Tutka Bay Lodge, near Homer. Photo courtesy Hoffman Media.

The Alaska Travel Industry Association said it used funding from the state Legislature to bring national celebrity chef Paula Deen to Alaska this summer.

Deen visited Southeast and Southcentral Alaska from Aug. 6 to Aug. 14.

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Health effects on Gulf cleanup workers to be studied

From Bill White --

A lingering gripe about the Exxon Valdez oil spill is that many cleanup workers were exposed to noxious chemicals that have left some with lingering health problems. But the validity of their claims often have been challenged or dismissed

Some health officials now want better information on the short- and long-term effects of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico spill. Here's an Associated Press story from today on the topic.

read more »

Tough year for commercial construction

From Bill White --

McGraw-Hill Construction tracks contracting for future construction in Southcentral Alaska, and its
latest numbers
show a big drop from last year.

Through August this year, the building industry has received $309 million in contracts for future construction. That's down from $702 million for the same eight months last year.

It should be noted, however, that last year's number was the highest McGraw-Hill had reported in over two decades.

read more »

34,000 more jobs in Alaska forecast through 2018

From Bill White --

The state Department of Labor's crystal ball foresees 33,670 more jobs being added to the economy through 2018.

That's a 10.5 percent growth, compared to a forecast of 10.1 percent for the nation as a whole, the department says.

The Alaska industries forecast to lead the way will be mining (up 17%), construction (up 11.3%), utilities (up 13.8%), professional, scientific & technical services (up 12.3%), and health care (up 26.5%).

read more »

Builders dislike proposed development rules in Anchorage

From Bill White --

BOMA Anchorage members recently dissected a proposed rewrite of Anchorage's Title 21 -- the law that governs development in the city.

BOMA doesn't like the rewrite one bit. The city has worked on the rewrite for many years, and it's nearly final.

Here's a letter and analysis of the proposed rewrite that BOMA sent to Mayor Sullivan this summer.

(BOMA is an acronym for Building Owners & Managers Association.)

read more »

The latest on the Anchorage and Mat-Su housing markets

From Bill White --

Here are some tidbits I learned about the Anchorage and Mat-Su housing markets while combing through some new statistics:

-- The average sales price for single-family houses in Anchorage through July this year was $328,655. That’s 2.4 percent higher than a year ago, and the first positive after two years of falling (slightly) average sales prices, according to Multiple Listing Service.

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BP, Shell booted from Dow Jones sustainability index

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

Three global companies that do business in Alaska – BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Teck Resources -- had mixed success this year with the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
The index is the premier component of the Dow Jones Sustainable Indexes, billed as the world’s oldest benchmarks for sustainable investment. The index includes those among the world’s largest companies deemed the “best in class” for their economic, environmental and social performance.

read more »

FedEx's international business continues to pick up

From Bill White --

FedEx reported its fiscal first-quarter financials today, saying its international traffic continues to be its strong performer. Much of its U.S.-Asia air cargo flows through Anchorage, where the Memphis-based company has a massive sorting hub.

But FedEx Corp. indicated the global economic recovery remains uneven, the AP reports. "While strength in international shipments is boosting net income, FedEx is cutting 1,700 jobs in its U.S. freight business to offset losses there."

read more »

NANA Development gives life vests to shareholders

From Bill White --

NANA donates life vests: NANA shareholder Helen Thomas models a donated life vest.NANA donates life vests: NANA shareholder Helen Thomas models a donated life vest.

Here's a different turn on a business giving back to the community.

NANA Development this week is distributing about 5,000 life vests to about 1,200 homes in the 11 villages within the NANA region of Northwest Alaska.

read more »

ACS getting a makeover

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

The ACS moniker is going away.
Starting this week, Alaska-based telecom company Alaska Communications Systems changed its brand name to Alaska Communications.
No, there is no acronym for that, though the name “ACS” still remains in some of the company’s advertising, a company spokeswoman said.

read more »

BBNC reports huge jump in profits, flat revenue

From Bill White --

Bristol Bay Native Corp. posted $31.9 million in profits for its fiscal year ended March 31, its second highest profits ever, the company said.

Strong returns from its $85 million investment portfolio boosted the profits in particular, contributing $23.3 million to the bottom line, the company said. By contrast, a year earlier Bristol Bay profits totaled $5.2 million, held back by $34.3 million in investment losses during the stock-market meltdown.

read more »

Eyak subsidiary makes hostile-takeover bid

From Bill White --

Eyak Tek, a subsidiary of Native corporation Eyak Corp., is amid a $67 million hostile takeover bid for a suburban Washington, D.C., business that provides IT services to the government.

Here's an Associated Press article on the Eyak effort.

DULLES, Va. -- Eyak Technology LLC remains committed to its $7-per-share offer for GTSI made just over one month ago, the company said Wednesday.

read more »

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