Pacific Northwest The board of Air France has approved the purchase of five Boeing 777 freighters, with options to buy three more. The aircraft are freighter...

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The board of Air France has approved the purchase of five Boeing 777 freighters, with options to buy three more.

The aircraft are freighter versions of the just-launched ultra-long range 777-200LR, which is now undergoing flight tests. Last month, Air Canada announced the first order for the new freighter, which will fly farther than any other air-cargo jet and will enter service in 2008.

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Air France already operates a fleet of 22 777s.

Harbor Properties

Belltown complex sold for $23.8 million

Harbor Properties, raising money for a new round of residential development projects, yesterday sold the Site 17 apartment complex in Belltown to HAL Real Estate Investments of Seattle for $23.8 million.

Site 17, built in the late ’90s, includes 129 apartment and loft units and street-level retail space in two buildings on Western Avenue at Battery Street.

Harbor Properties President Denny Onslow said proceeds from this and other recent sales would be used to develop more midprice housing near downtown.

Prometheus Energy

$3 million raised for conversion plant

Seattle-based Prometheus Energy said yesterday that it raised $3 million in venture capital to help develop a facility that turns pollution, such as landfill gases, into liquid natural gas.

The largest investor in the company’s first round of financing, Sowood Capital Management, contributed $1 million. It is also buying $5 million in convertible notes from Prometheus.

Prometheus recently moved into a new headquarters building south of Boeing Field and expects to double its 15-person team by mid-summer.

Federal Home Loan Bank

Finance board OKs 3-year business plan

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, which ran in to financial problems last year, said yesterday its three-year business and capital-management plan was approved by the Federal Housing Finance Board.

Under the plan, the bank is returning to its traditional business of lending money to member banks and will no longer buy mortgages from them. The bank also stopped dividend payments to members until further notice, and further restricted stock repurchases by the members.

Microsoft

CEOs get it now, VP says at summit

Chief executives are no longer Luddites, Microsoft Group Vice President Jeff Raikes said yesterday.

Raikes, speaking during Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ annual CEO Summit taking place in Redmond this week, said the bosses have “a real hunger, a thirst” to learn about new workplace technology. He contrasted that with the first summit in 1997, when even Jack Welch, then head of GE, wasn’t using e-mail.

“Today what you have is a set of CEOs who understand these trends have an effect on their business,” he said.

Raikes was on a panel at the event, where Gates gave the 100 or so execs a preview of Microsoft office technologies available over the next year.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff