TCRAP_Public/000119.MBX      T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                      A S I A   P A C I F I C

            Wednesday, January 19, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 13

                            Headlines


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CENTURY CITY INTERNATIONAL: Seeks $50m to repay bank loans
SHENZHEN BAOHENG GROUP: Affiliate's assets frozen by court


* I N D O N E S I A *

BAKRIE CAPITAL INDONESIA: Nirwan Bakrie fights bankruptcy
STEADY SAFE: Gets till April to avoid delisting


* J A P A N *

KOJIMA IRON WORKS: Post FY99 loss
NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Gov't leans toward Softbank purchase


* K O R E A *

DAEWOO CORP.: Foreign creditors seek fresh talks on debt
DAEWOO MOTOR: Ford to bid on Daewoo and Ssangyong
DAEWOO MOTOR: Renault interested in truck unit
HYUNDAI GROUP: Planning to pare 7 subsidiaries this year
KOOKMIN INSURANCE: NY Life walks away from takeover deal
SAMSUNG MOTOR: Renault arrives for negotiations


* P H I L I P P I N E S *

BW RESOURCES CORP.: PSW probe findings next month
MINDANAO PORTLAND CEMENT: Rejects merger with cement cos.
MONDRAGON LEISURE: White knight group eyeing Mimosa resort
NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: Industry players offer to buy,rehab
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK: Tan may sell near-50% stake
SHEMBERG MARKETING CORP.: Creditor banks ready to help
TRANSFARM & CO..: Transfers Chrysler RP rights
UNIWIDE GROUP: Velarde offer on Uniwide outlets rejected


* T H A I L A N D *

BANK OF ASIA: Expected to report large 4Q losses
BANK OF AYUDHAYA: Expected to report large 4Q losses
CHRISTIANI & NIELSEN (THAI): Reports on debt-rehab to SET
DBS THAI DANU: Expected to report large 4Q losses THAI
KRUNG THAI BANK: Expected to report large 4Q losses
KULTHORN KIRBY: To unveil rehab plan this week
MILITARY BANK: Expected to report large 4Q losses
PADAENG INDUSTRY: Plans for new alliance
SIAM CITY FUND: Posts 2nd quarter losses
SIAM CITY TWO FUND: Posts 2nd quarter losses
THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Gets nod for debt revamp
WANG PETCHABOON GROUP: To wrap up debt-revamp talks


==============================
C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G
==============================

CENTURY CITY INTERNATIONAL: Seeks $50m to repay bank loans
----------------------------------------------------------
Lo Yuk-sui, controlling shareholder of Century City
International Holdings, plans to raise $51.06 million by
placing 138 million shares or 4.5 per cent of the existing
share capital with more than six independent private
individual and institutional investors at $0.37 per share.

Mr Lo has also conditionally agreed to subscribe for 138
million new shares or 4.3 per cent of the group's enlarged
share capital at the same price.  The placing price is at a
discount of 8.64 per cent to the closing price of $0.405
per share on 14 January, the last trading day immediately
prior to the announcement.

Company secretary Eliza Lam Sau-fun said the net proceeds
of the subscription will amount to $50 million in cash. The
company intends to use the proceeds for the repayment of
bank borrowings.  She noted that the placing will reduce
the shareholdings of Mr Lo from 62.58 per cent to 58.08 per
cent. The subscription will then increase the shareholding
of Mr Lo to approximately 59.89 per cent of the group's
enlarged issued share capital.

The fund-raising exercise was not a surprise to the market
since Mr Lo said earlier that "to resolve the current
financial problems, the company is actively working on the
possible disposal of part of its stake in Paliburg
Holdings, while, at the same time, also exploring feasible
means of raising new funds for the group's companies by way
of equity financing."

Since October 1998, cash-strapped Century City Holdings
received demands from certain lenders for repayment of
existing debts. Because of the squeeze in corporate
lending, Century City was faced with liquidity
difficulties.

Given the need to reinstate stability and to reduce
borrowing levels, the group had to resort to disposal of
assets. The most significant asset since disposed of was
the US$234 million (HK$1.82 billion) sale of all its hotel
interests in the US to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
through its listed subsidiary Regal Hotels International in
November.

While the planned asset sale is continuing, the majority of
the company's lenders have agreed among themselves to an
informal standstill arrangement.  In spite of its liquidity
difficulties, Century City along with its two listed arms
Paliburg Holdings and Regal Hotels International announced
last week that they will set up an information technology
joint venture.

The new venture named 8D International planned to offer
services including direct marketing, reservations,
electronic tourism, cyber shopping, online securities
trading and other hi-tech activities.  Mr Lo, also the
chairman of the IT venture, said 8D's growth could be
financed from internal resources, placements and through
joint ventures. (Hong Kong Standard  17-Jan-2000)

SHENZHEN BAOHENG GROUP: Affiliate's assets frozen by court
----------------------------------------------------------
Shenzhen Baoheng Group Co Ltd said the assets of Shenzhen
Ribao Life Magnetic Health Products Co Ltd, in which it
holds a 30 pct stake worth 7.7 mln yuan, have been frozen
by court order.

Shenzhen Baoheng is also required to take full
responsibility for 2.2 mln yuan in debts owed by Ribao
Life, an announcement said.  Ribao Life was set up in June
1993 in cooperation with Japan Life (Hong Kong) Ltd, it
said.  The joint venture imported raw materials and carried
out direct marketing of magnetic health products, but a
government ban on network sales since 1997 means the
venture has been unable to continue operations.

In Dec 1999 and Jan 2000, some of Ribao Life's assets were
frozen by Shenzhen's Baoan district civil and economic
courts as a result of lawsuits over debts owed to the Baoan
sub-branch of China Merchants Bank and salaries owed to
employees of Shenzhen RibaoLife.

The Nantou customs house also froze the joint venture's
goods as a result of customs duty arrears, while the
Shenzhen State Taxation Bureau is carrying out an
investigation into Ribao Life's value-added tax payments.
The announcement said Ribao Life has suspended operations
and is unable to repay its debts, meaning that Shenzhen
Baoheng will have to take responsibility for the debt
repayments.  (AFX Asia Limited  17-Jan-2000)


=================
I N D O N E S I A
=================

BAKRIE CAPITAL INDONESIA: Nirwan Bakrie fights bankruptcy
---------------------------------------------------------
The law firm representing Nirwan D. Bakrie said on Friday
that the bankruptcy suit filed by Sinar Mas Multi Finance
(SMF) against the prominent businessman at the Jakarta
Commercial Court was invalid.

The Fuady, Tommy, Aji Wijaya law firm said in a statement
made available to The Jakarta Post that the suit was
invalid because SMF was the party responsible for Bakrie
Capital Indonesia's (BCI) inability to repay the matured
debts to the finance company owned by the Sinar Mas Group
of the Eka Tjipta family.

The law firm claimed that SMF failed to meet its obligation
to disburse the committed Rp 100 billion total loan
facility as set out in the "factoring facility agreement"
between BCI and the finance company.  Factoring is a loan
facility which is used by the borrower to finance its
accounts receivable.

"SMF, without giving any reason, only disbursed Rp 60
billion of the Rp 100 billion committed total loan
facility to us," the statement said.

Because of that, BCI could not carry out its planned
corporate program. This, according to the law firm, in
turn, directly resulted in the disruption of BCI's ability
to repay the disbursed portion of the loan.  BCI's loan was
based on the security in the form of personal guarantee
issued by its shareholder Nirwan D. Bakrie.

Meanwhile, Central Jakarta District Court, in its
preliminary verdict in late December, 1999, issued an
injunction ordering SMF to temporarily refrain from any
effort to retain its receivables from BCI until there
was a final court verdict on the dispute.

BCI filed a law suit against SMF last year, claiming that
the finance company had caused BCI to incur losses due to
the incompleteness of the loan disbursement.  The lawyer
representing SMF, Benny Harman from Abdul Hakim G.
Nusantara law firm, said the Central Jakarta District
Court's injunction was strange as it was issued without
considering whether there was an urgency for it.

"The injunction should only be issued after considering
that there is an urgent situation that the court
requires one party to do or to refrain from doing a
specific act," he said.

He also claimed that the injunction was being manipulated
in favor of the borrowers who were not settling
their matured debts to their creditors in good faith.

"How come the creditors lose the right to collect their
receivables at the time when it matures?" Benny queried.
(The Jakarta Post  17-Jan-2000)

STEADY SAFE: Gets till April to avoid delisting
-----------------------------------------------
Wahono said a debt restructuring agreement is very
important to prevent Steady Safe from being delisted from
the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX).  He said Steady Safe has
been put on the delisting watch list because its 1997
and 1998 financial reports carried a disclaimer and because
the company reported negative equity.

"The disclaimer opinion of the independent auditor is
anchored on the uncertainty of a favorable resolution of
the debt negotiation with Peregrine, " he said.

Wahono said the JSX has given Steady Safe until April 2000
to reverse the disclaimer opinion. If Steady Safe fails,
the comany will be delisted from the stock exchange.  He
said he is confident that a debt settlement agreement will
be reached, resulting "in a substantial book gain that will
effectively address the issue of negative equity, the
ground for the disclaimer opinion of the indepedent
auditor."

"Upon satisfactory resolution of the negative equity and
disclaimer, Steady Safe will overcome the grounds for
delisting," he said.

He added the debt to Peregrine represents 98 pct of Steady
Safe's total debt.  (AFX News Limited  17-Jan-2000)


=========
J A P A N
=========

KOJIMA IRON WORKS: Post FY99 loss
---------------------------------
Kojima Iron Works Co. (6112) announced Friday that it
incurred a net loss of 390 million yen in the year ended
Nov. 30, 1999, compared with a profit of 150 million yen in
the previous year.

The domestic situation for orders for hydraulic presses
used in automobile production was found to be difficult,
and sales fell 8% on the year to 1.93 billion yen. Fixed
costs shrank about 20% due to personnel reductions through
a voluntary early retirement program. However, earnings
were affected by low factory-operating levels and the
growing cost of developing large presses.  The company will
suspend dividend payment for the year.  (Nikkei  17-Jan-
2000)

NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Gov't leans toward Softbank purchase
--------------------------------------------------------
The Japanese government may be leaning towards the
consortium led by Softbank, the Japanese internet group, in
its choice of purchaser for the failed Nippon Credit Bank.

Michio Ochi, head of the Financial Reconstruction
Commission (FRC), has indicated that the decision will be
made partly on the basis of information technology skills.
Mr Ochi also indicated in an interview with the FT that he
expected the future buyer of the bank to focus its
operations on retail banking.

"IT has to be part of the new scheme and I think that NCB
is probably going to be more focused on domestic retail
business," he said.

The comments suggest that the FRC now favours selling the
collapsed bank to the consortium led by Softbank. Although
the FRC is not expected to make a final decision on the
sale for several weeks, government officials privately
admit that the Softbank consortium is regarded as the
strongest bidder.

"I think the Softbank group are ahead now," one said.

Softbank's consortium initially included Ito-Yokado, the
retailer, Tokio Fire and Marine, the insurance group, and
Orix, the leasing company. Although the company has not
commented formally on its plans for NCB, it is believed to
be developing a strategy based largely on retail operations
and internet banking.

The other bidders for NCB include Paribas, the French bank,
Cerberus, the US buyout specialist, and Lehman Brothers,
the US investment bank. However, Lehman Brothers is now
seriously considering joining the Softbank consortium in
order to present a more Japanese edge to its bid. And the
FRC is understood to favour this move, as this would
strengthen the investment banking skills of the Softbank
consortium.

Last year the FRC sold Long Term Credit Bank, another
nationalised bank, to Ripplewood, the US private equity
group. The move was taken as a striking sign of reform,
because it marked the first time that a foreign private
equity group had been allowed to purchase a large Japanese
company and the first time that a bank had been sold to a
foreign bidder.

However, in recent weeks there have been growing signs that
the FRC is coming under political pressure to slow the pace
of reform. In addition, many Japanese government officials
believe that the FRC will try to sell NCB to a Japanese
group, to avert protests from nationalists.

Mr Ochi has denied that he will chose the bidder on the
basis on nationality, or that he was anti-foreign in his
stance. "We have opened the door to foreign financial
institutions," he said. (Financial Times  17-Jan-2000)


=========
K O R E A
=========

DAEWOO CORP.: Foreign creditors seek fresh talks on debt
--------------------------------------------------------
Foreign creditors of Daewoo Group have proposed fresh talks
with the government after easing their position on the
amount of losses they are prepared to take, the Corporate
Restructuring Coordination Committee said.

"We will have new talks this week as foreign creditors have
revised their position, offering to take more losses from
their exposure to Daewoo," an official with the government
body said.

Foreign creditors last week offered to retrieve 45 pct of
their loans to the group instead of the 59 pct they had
earlier demanded, he said.  But the proportion is still far
higher than the 36 pct proposed by the government, and both
sides have yet to narrow their differences, he said.  The
official quoted committee chief Oh Ho-Keun as saying the
government will come up with a revised proposal aimed at
striking a compromise before placing key Daewoo units under
court receivership.

"We will stick to our position but the terms can be
adjusted to narrow differences on the method of
evaluation," Oh was quoted as saying.  (AFX News Limited
18-Jan-2000)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Ford to bid on Daewoo and Ssangyong
-------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Co. directors have decided to bid on Daewoo
Motor Co. at its meeting in Detroit Friday, said industry
sources in Seoul yesterday, and will make a bid for sports-
utility vehicle maker Ssangyong Motor Co. in addition to
Daewoo Motor's entire passenger car operations.

In this regard, an executive at one of Daewoo's creditor
banks said that visiting Ford officials, who arrived in
Seoul last week, are speeding up their asset evaluation on
Daewoo Motor.

"The Ford survey team is collecting information on Daewoo
Motor's production, sales and market shares, while asking
for data on Ssangyong Motor," he said.

Ford plans to bring in a more diligent staff for a closer
investigation this week.  Earlier on Wednesday, Ford Motor
Vice Chairman Wayne Booker said in a meeting with Korean
reporters at his Detroit office that Ford is interested in
acquiring the whole of Daewoo Group's passenger car
businesses.

He said that Ford is willing to assume parts of Daewoo
Motor's debts to stand a better chance of winning the
coming international auction. Booker also stated that Ford
is ready to review all options, including consortium with a
Korean car maker such as Hyundai Motor.

Intensifying international competition for the No.2 Korean
car maker, a top General Motors executive, Rudy Schlais,
told a French newspaper Thursday that GM is strongly
determined to buy Daewoo. But the GM executive made clear
the company's intent to close some Daewoo plants in and
outside of Korea after the merger, while showing reluctance
over the debt assumption issue.  Daewoo's creditors plan to
select one company for exclusive negotiations by the end of
March.

Meanwhile, Ssangyong Motor's shareholders agreed to spin
off the SUV maker from the crippled Daewoo Group in March,
with creditors' equity stake rising to 63.6 percent through
debt-for-equity swaps by then. In contrast, former Daewoo
Group Chairman Kim Woo-choong's stake in Ssangyong will be
reduced from the current 52 percent to 18 percent by March
31.

"Despite the planned spinoff, Ssangyong will be sold in a
package deal with Daewoo Motor. But separate sale will not
be ruled out," said a spokesman for Chohung Bank, the lead
creditor for Ssangyong.

On the other hand, Daewoo Motor said that its passenger car
plant in Kunsan, about 250 km south of Seoul, has shifted
to a 24-hour operation to meet an exploding demand for its
new minivan, Rezzo, and popular compact sedan, Nubira. The
number of orders for Rezzo, which went on sale Jan. 7,
already exceeded 10,000 units as of Saturday, company
officials said. (Korea Herald  17-Jan-2000)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Renault interested in truck unit
----------------------------------------------
French auto giant Renault is seeking to purchase the
commercial vehicle unit of South Korea's troubled Daewoo
Motor Co. for around 800 billion won (711 million dollars),
Yonhap News Agency said Monday.

Renault is proposing taking over the Daewoo unit which
produces trucks and buses, Yonhap quoted business sources
and creditors as saying.  Daewoo creditors were positively
reacting to Renault's offer, it said.  Daewoo and its
creditor banks were not immediately available for comment
on the report.

The report came just as a delegation from Renault arrived
in South Korea for talks with South Korea's another
troubled Samsung Motors Inc. here Monday, ahead of full-
fledged negotiations on the takeover the bankrupt firm.
(Agence France Presse  17-Jan-2000)

HYUNDAI GROUP: Planning to pare 7 subsidiaries this year
--------------------------------------------------------
Hyundai Group is planning to cut seven subsidiaries this
year, Hyundai officials said yesterday.  Of the seven, four
-- Inchon Iron and Steel, Hyundai Pipe, Hyundai Energy and
Hyundai Petrochemical -- will be either spun off or sold.

The 70 percent of Hyundai Energy's stake is to be sold to
Tractebel SA of Belgium. Hyundai Pipe is being sold to
Otemachi, a company set up by Tokyo Mitsubishi
International. Hyundai Petrochemical is being bundled
together in a government-favored "big deal" or inter-
conglomerate business swap.

T.Zone Korea, Hyundai's electronics sale outlet, and
Hyundai Space and Aircraft will be separated. Hyundai
Aircraft is a shell of its former self, left with the
production functions of automotive transmissions, while
aircraft manufacturing portions have been taken away and
put under the Korea Aerospace Industries.  Aluminum of
Korea is again the subject of negotiations for sale,
Hyundai officials said. Alcoa Inc. of the United States has
recently recanted a memorandum of understanding on the
purchase of this Hyundai subsidiary.

The officials also said that recently acquired Hankuk Life
Insurance is set to merge with Josun Life and become
affiliated with the group.  Considering other potential
organization changes, Hyundai's affiliates will likely
reduce their number to 25 from 26 by the end of this year,
down from the 31 last year.

Meanwhile, Hyundai reported on the progress in corporate
restructuring it made last year to its main creditor Korea
Exchange Bank.  Hyundai said in its report that it cut 46
affiliates last year, two more than planned, while asset
sales amounted to 3.86 trillion won, about 192 billion won
more than it had planned. New rights issues of Hyundai
affiliates totaled 14.2 trillion won. Hyundai said that it
attracted a total of $3.04 billion in foreign investment.

The Korean conglomerate concluded that it overachieved by
up to 166 percent the established targets which were set in
an agreement with its creditors.  Hyundai officials said
that although it has yet to come up with a final figure,
its year-end debt to equity ratio was estimated to be at
the 190 percent level, below the required 200 percent.
(Korea Times  17-Jan-2000)

KOOKMIN INSURANCE: NY Life walks away from takeover deal
--------------------------------------------------------
New York Life Insurance, which had been engaged in
negotiations to take over the non-viable Kookmin Life
Insurance, recently contacted the Korean government about
an irreparable failure in their talks.

One high-ranking Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC)
official said Monday that New York Life advised them of the
breakdown in negotiations, chiefly citing vast differences
in the takeover price and other internal problems. Sources
said the government stood firm on the sell off price at
W100 billion while New York Life had been asking for a
price below W70 billion.

As a result, the FSC has decided to sell off Kookmin to
local firms and will confirm detailed plans for the sell-
off within the month. Two or three local insurance firms
including SK Life Insurance will be selected as preferred
bidders for the ailing firm.  (Digital ChosunIlbo  17-Jan-
2000)

SAMSUNG MOTOR: Renault arrives for negotiations
-----------------------------------------------
A delegation from Renault, the French automaker, arrived on
Monday in Seoul to kick off negotiations with Samsung Motor
and its largest creditor, Hanvit Bank. Hanvit and Samsung
said discussions with the European auto firm will cover
major agenda items such as the continued production of
Samsung's own model, SM5, and a fine-tuning of the terms
and conditions of the proposed takeover.

One industry observer said Renault would only begin to reap
benefits from the takeover when Samsung's Pusan plant rolls
out 500,000 units a year. As his speculation goes, 150,000
vehicles must be sold domestically, another 150,000
exported to Japan, and the remaining 200,000 sold to
various other international markets.  (Digital ChosunIlbo
17-Jan-2000)


=====================
P H I L I P P I N E S
=====================

BW RESOURCES CORP.: PSW probe findings next month
-------------------------------------------------
Following months of speculation and investigation, the
possible culprits behind the BW Resources Corp. (BWRC)
fiasco will soon be exposed as the Philippine Stock
Exchange (PSE) guaranteed submission of its investigation
report to the corporate overseer by February 15.

PSE president Jose Luis Yulo, Jr. said the bourse would be
ready with its report on BW even before the February
deadline. "There will be no more extensions, we will submit
our report before the 15th," he said.

Moreover, a PSE official requesting anonymity said the
Exchange's compliance and surveillance department sent out
last Friday show-cause letters to brokers and individuals
who may have been involved in influencing the most actively
traded gaming stock.

"We have given all those involved, a period of five days to
explain their side ... to give the case due diligence. If
they fail to answer within the given period, the PSE will
go on with its report even without the needed response."
the source said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said once the
investigation report (of PSE) is turned over to his office,
it will "act as swift as possible" in order to put an end
to the BWRC issue.

The commission's preliminary investigation report on BWRC
showed violations of the broker-director rule.  The broker-
director rule, as proposed in the Securities Act of 1999,
prohibits brokers from buying or selling listed securities
of a corporation "where any stockholder, director ... of
said broker is at that time holding office in said issuer
... as director ... or is a controlling person of the
issuer."

The SEC reported that directors and officers of top
brokerage firms, including their relatives were among the
heavy traders of BWRC stock.  PCCI Securities Brokers,
Inc.'s managing director Francisco Liboro, for instance,
traded over five-million-peso (US$123,000 at
PhP40.529:US$1) worth of the said gaming stock, within a
10-day period.

Mr. Liboro is said to be married to the sister of BWRC
president Eduardo G. Lim Jr.  Moreover, Mr. Lim's common
law wife Irene Salud also traded heavily on BW shares,
through PCCI and Belson Securities -- of which Mr. Lim is
also a stockholder.

The commission also reported that a show-cause letter was
sent to Belson Securities with regard to the said broker-
director violation.

Meanwhile, the Senate appears unswayed by politicking on BW
Resources as it sniffs out activity of buyers and sellers
of the stock.  Senator Raul Roco, chairman of the Senate
committee on banks, financial institutions and currency,
told reporters at the PSE yesterday that the Senate probe
team will not be affected by reports of unofficial results
of the PSE's own BW investigation.

He added that the Senate investigation will not be
influenced by pressure on Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) chief Perfecto Yasay, Jr. to step down
from his post.

"It doesn't affect me. We have to go on the data instead of
whatever the report says," said Sen. Roco of reports of a
PSE official saying there were "indications" of price
fixing through wash sale in BW transactions.

BusinessWorld earlier reported that PSE saw signs of price
manipulation as it looks for possibilities of wash sales in
buying and selling deals.  A wash sale is a transaction
which does not result in a change in beneficial ownership
between the buyer and the seller of stocks. This artificial
account affects the movement of the stock's price.

BusinessWorld earlier learned that the PSE has found
certain transfer of securities "questionable." Such
transactions involve "unauthorized transfers" or "off
market transfers" which meant the stocks were directly
transferred from one broker to another without actual
buying or selling.

"We have received all the reports of the brokers of the
transactions but since (they're all) separate (from each
other) hindi namin mapagtugma (we cannot match them). We
cannot reconcile who is the buyer and who are the sellers,"
Sen. Roco said.  "And so we had to come here and get access
to the (PSE) machine to show who was buying and who was
selling. If everything is fictitious, then that by itself
is something. That is not normal, If the buyer and seller
are the same then there should be something done about it,"
Sen. Roco added.

He referred to this act as "churning" or a way by which
brokers make it appear that there are deals taking place to
influence the price.

"Churning kung pinaiikot lang ang transaksyon (the
transactions are just rotated) to make the price go up,
then there is price manipulation. But we have sought the
cooperation of the PSE and SEC on Wednesday. I don't want
to give any particular comments because baka kulang ang
data, (the data may be insufficient)," Sen. Roco said.

Senate will renew its hearing of the BW case on Wednesday
to be held at the PSE. The solon also said sanctions will
be recommended to the Executive Department and the
judiciary. Sen. Roco could not give a definite time period
on how soon the investigation will be completed.

"I'm hoping before June (before Senate halts for recess).
It depends on the data PSE will give). If everything is
above board, it would be faster," he said. (Business World
18-Jan-2000)

MINDANAO PORTLAND CEMENT: Rejects merger with cement cos.
---------------------------------------------------------
The proposed merger of four local cement firms may have to
be put on hold, pending resolution of the cases filed with
the corporate court, involving the recovery of shares of
stocks of Iligan Cement Corp. (ICC) and Mindanao Portland
Cement Corp. (MPCC) -- two of the merging companies.

In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), MPCC shareholder Vicente C. Ponce stressed his
objection to the merger with ICC, Fortune Cement Corp. and
Republic Cement Corp. on the grounds of his pending
petition for the appointment of a management committee to
oversee MPCC's operations.

"As stockholder and former officer of (MPCC and ICC)
seeking to recover the true majority ownership, it is only
proper that the proposed merger should not push through
until such time that the said cases are decided with
finality," Mr. Ponce said.

Moreover, Mr. Ponce said a hearing for any application for
merger should be made before the commission can approve
such as the merger might only complicate the planned audit
of all the transactions entered into by the present
management of MPCC and ICC. Earlier, Mr. Ponce charged that
unless a management committee is appointed, Zeus Holdings,
Inc. (ZHI) or MPCC -- reportedly without the required legal
authority -- will "continue to inflict damages to MPCC and
its shareholders, including the risk of forfeiture of
MPCC's franchise."   (Business World  18-Jan-2000)

MONDRAGON LEISURE: White knight group eyeing Mimosa resort
----------------------------------------------------------
A consortium of Filipino and foreign investors is looking
to initially pump in P600 million to take over and upgrade
the Mimosa hotel and golf estate previously leased by the
state-owned Clark Development Corp. to Mondragon Leisure
and Resorts Corp.

Raul de Mesa, president of Bank of Commerce, said the
bank's investment firm, Bank of Commerce Investment Corp.,
was representing the possible group of investors in the
talks with CDC.

"There must be other facilities like an Olympic-size
swimming pool and spa. It's supposed to cater to a more
mature crowd than Fontana, which will cater to the younger
ones," De Mesa said.  "They have to do a lot of
refurbishing, a lot of remodeling," he noted.

The P600 million would also include the rental fee to be
paid to CDC, which has recently gotten court approval for
the termination of its lease of the estate to MLRC due to
the latter's non-payment of back rentals under a compromise
agreement signed earlier.

De Mesa said the group of investors was keen on really
developing the estate for leisure rather than on operating
the casino. The building housing the now-closed Mimosa
Regency Casino is part of the leased estate of CDC.
However, the casino cannot be reopened without a new
license from the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp.

"Gaming is a small component of the consideration," De Mesa
disclosed. The main aim of the group was to develop the
estate as a prime tourist destination.

He clarified that the group of investors was different from
that of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho and on-line bingo
king Dante Tan as well as that of Antonio Gonzales of the
Mondragon group. (Philippine Daily Inquirer  17-Jan-2000)

NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: Industry players offer to buy,rehab
---------------------------------------------------------
Investors belonging to the downstream steel industry are
confident of taking over National Steel Corp. and steering
it back to profitability even without government protection
in the form of higher tariffs or import quotas.

A top official of the Department of Trade and Industry said
the offer submitted by the downstream steel industry was
the "best" among the proposals made by several interested
buyers of NSC, all of whom were demanding government
protection and were willing to invest only $50 million as
initial working capital, or less than half of the $130
million initial cash infusion needed to restart and
rehabilitate the steel giant.

Aside from pumping in $50 million in new capital, the
downstream players--led by members of the Philippine Steel
Rolling Mills Association (PSRMA), Association of
Philippine Steel Mills (APSM), and Filipino Galvanizers
Institute (FGI)--have committed to purchase NSC's output
first before buying their raw material from abroad.

NSC manufactures billets used by PSRMA and APSM members to
manufacture long steel products. NSC also produces hot
rolled and cold rolled products used in making flat
products such as galvanized roofs for FGI and tin plate for
food canners.

The DTI source said that with assured buyers of NSC's
production, the government need not impose high tariff
walls or impose an import ban in order to prop up NSC's
operations.  To further ease the capital requirements, the
DTI source said the downstream steel industry can avail of
generous fiscal perks under the 1999 Investment Priorities
Plan which allows companies that have been idle or
operating below capacity are eligible for new incentives.

In contrast, other interested buyers of NSC are seeking a
moratorium and quota imposed on Russian steel imports as
well as the imposition of higher tariffs on steel products.
The source noted that the $50-million investment was only
enough for working capital and that at least $80 million
more would be needed to debt rehabilitation and enhancing
operations to cope with foreign competition.

The government and creditor banks, led by Philippine
National Bank, are currently reviewing the offers for NSC
in order to immediately reopen the firm's Iligan plant
which has been closed for the last three months. The longer
the NSC's furnace is closed, the higher the cost of
starting up its operations will be.

The government and creditor banks' plan to sell NSC to a
new investor has likewise been delayed by a court order
obtained by Hottick Investments-Renong Bhd. of Malaysia
stopping the disposition of NSC's assets originally
scheduled last month.

Hottick-Renong had filed for a suspension of payments with
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the appointment
of a receivership committee to oversee NSC's
rehabilitation. But the government and creditor banks could
still play out their plans if individuals allied to their
cause are appointed as members of the receivership
committee.

But even though it has a superior offer, downstream players
have to contend with their peers from the upstream steel
industry, specifically Cathay Pacific Steel Co., which are
also interested in running NSC.  Capasco's owners are
Presidential Adviser on Iron and Steel John Ng and banker
Benjamin Chua and both are close allies of taipan Lucio Tan
who is also interested in NSC.

This makes them odds-on favorite to get NSC because Tan has
a 50-percent interest in PNB which is the single biggest
creditor of NSC with P5 billion out of the steel company's
P16 billion loans. PNB was reportedly willing to
condone its debts to NSC if Capasco takes over the company.
(Philippine Daily Inquirer  17-Jan-2000)

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK: Tan may sell near-50% stake
-----------------------------------------------------
Given the right price, beer and tobacco magnate Lucio Tan
said he is willing to sell his stake in semiprivate
Philippine National Bank (PNB) to any interested buyer.

Asked how much his current stake in PNB is, the Chinese-
Filipino businessman disclosed it is now already "close to
50%."  In an ambush interview last Friday at his Century
Park Sheraton hotel, Mr. Tan said he also wants to bid for
the government's remaining 30% stake in PNB which will be
up for grabs next quarter.

"Yes, sell if the price is correct," Mr. Tan said, when
asked if he is willing to sell his holdings in the bank.

Bangko Sentral (Central Bank of the Phils.) Gov. Rafael
Buenaventura buttressed Mr. Tan's statement, saying, "If I
recall correctly, when I asked him once, he was saying if
(he) could get a better price than what he got it for, of
course, he would sell... If somebody offered him a profit,
he might (sell)."

At a press conference last Friday, the central bank chief
also confirmed reported plans of Mr. Tan to eventually
merge PNB with his own Allied Banking Corp.  "If PNB is
privatized, he would like to buy it because he wants to
merge it (with Allied Bank)," Mr. Buenaventura said.

Finance Secretary Jose T. Pardo earlier vowed to make PNB's
privatization a "clear and transparent process".  He also
confirmed Mr. Tan's intention to bid for the government's
stake in the bank. He added Mr. Tan is just waiting for the
final terms of the bank's sale.  Last year, Mr. Tan
acquired a substantial stake in PNB, reportedly equivalent
to a 35% stake, primarily through the bank's 9.47-billion-
peso (US$233.2 million at PhP40.6:US$1) stock rights
offering.

Mr. Tan was said to be the same party who scooped up the
15.6% stake which the government forfeited when it passed
the chance to subscribe to the rights offering.  Despite
his entry, the government will insist on a public bidding
of PNB, then Finance Secretary Edgardo Espiritu had said.
On the other hand, Mr. Espiritu admitted the entry of the
Tan group "may limit the number of participants to the
public auction".

He said the due diligence audit of PNB by PriceWaterhouse
Coopers and Lehman Brothers "is not very encouraging."
The government is under pressure to sell PNB, given its
previous commitments to international lending agencies such
as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as
well as its own financial needs.

Divesting from PNB is a condition for the release of a
$100-million loan from the World Bank next year.
Though the market closely monitors Mr. Tan's moves in PNB,
focus is still on the bank's financial condition, industry
analysts said.  While the prospect of Mr. Tan selling his
close to 50% stake in PNB "might entice the incoming buyer
to purchase a substantial stake," an analyst from a local
securities firm said what would really drum up investors'
interest is PNB's improving financial condition.

As of the third quarter last year, PNB's nonperforming loan
(NPL) level was at 28% of total loans, one of the highest
in the industry.  Its profitability is likewise dismal. As
of the first half of last year, PNB recorded only PhP7.3
million ($180,000) in earnings, or a mere 2.84% of its
downscaled net income target for 1999 of PhP257 million
($6.3 million).

"Is PNB already attractive? At this point, it would take a
well-acclaimed, deep-pocketed investor (to turn around the
bank)... Overall, it would still redound to PNB's
financials," the analyst said.  "It might be a different
story if Allied Bank will be merged with PNB," the analyst
added. (Business World  17-Jan-2000)

SHEMBERG MARKETING CORP.: Creditor banks ready to help
------------------------------------------------------
After three years of tough negotiations to recover P3.2
billion in unpaid loans from Shemberg Marketing Corp., the
country's largest carrageenan manufacturing company, the
consortium of creditor banks finds itself on the verge of
putting together the final touches to an "omnibus
agreement" which would give Shemberg a new lease on life.

Shemberg chief executive officer Benson Dakay said
Wednesday that he was glad about the progress of the
negotiations with his creditors.  Under the ominibus
agreement, the outstanding loans will have to be reduced by
35 percent within 24 months from effectivity of the omnibus
agreement, to be governed by these options: "dacion en
pago, conversion of debt to equity, purchase of zero coupon
bonds by any of the borrowers, negotiated sales for cash to
third parties of properties owned by the companies and
sureties, advances or infusion of new equity by existing
stockholders or strategic investors, or any combination of
the foregoing options.

Another significant option offered by the consortium of
creditor banks led by Aristotol Villagraza, senior vice
president of Equitable PCI Bank, was the conversion of
equity of 45 percent to 50 percent of the unsecured portion
of the loan, which accounts for 30 percent of the total
loans incurred by Shemberg, Dakay said.  The remaining loan
would be restructured from 10 to 12 years, he added.

Some of the big creditors of the consortium have already
signed the agreement. They account for 47 percent of the
total loans borrowed by the company from the consortium.
To make the agreement binding, consortium leader Equitable
PCI Bank pushed for 67 percent of the total loans to be
represented by members of the consortium of creditor banks
in the agreement.

Among the first to sign the agreement were Equitable PCI
Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank, Land Bank of the
Philippines and Solidbank. The rest of the signatories will
follow once they have secured authority from their
respective boards of directors, a report said.  Encouraged
by the opportunity offered by the creditor banks, Shemberg
posted $22.02 million in sales of semi-refined carrageenan
beginning the later part of 1998 and up to 1999.

The U.S. and European markets provided 80 percent of
Shemberg's revenues for the period, a company insider said.
As this developed, the firm's production increased by 48
percent to 2.202 metric tons of carrageenan, the report
said.

This marked a major improvement from a good part of 1998
during which Shemberg was unable to serve orders from its
clients, giving its competitors the chance to make a
killing.  In effect, the final implementation of the
omnibus agreement this month will serve as the culmination
of Dakay's crucial struggle for a 10-year rehabilitation
program of his company which was badly hit by the Asian
financial crisis, the company source pointed out.

The consortium is now making final plans to establish a
collateral trust account, to be managed by Equitable PCIB,
at the end of this month to pool all mortgaged properties
of Shemberg.  Under the 10-year-restructuring program, the
company will be granted a grace period from the payment of
the principal loan.

However, there will be a quarterly payment of the current
interest rates on the restructured loan.   Observers said
the application of "dacion en pago" on Shemberg as one of
the options under the program would work well for the
company would work well for the company as this would clean
its balance sheet of interest expense, at the same time
reducing its debt by 50 percent.

Through the dacion en pago option, some 50 percent of
Shemberg's P3.2-billion debt would be converted into
equity, leaving the company with a remaining loan balance
of P1.6 billion. (Sun Star Daily  15-Jan-2000)

TRANSFARM & CO..: Transfers Chrysler RP rights
----------------------------------------------
The right to assemble Chrysler vehicles in the Philippines
is now registered under the name of Norkis Automotive
Resources Corp. (NARC). This developed after the Board of
Investments (BoI) last week approved its transfer from
original registrant Transfarm Co. & Inc. A BoI source said
Transfarm reportedly requested for the transfer owing to
its legal problem with Daewoo Corp. of South Korea.

Transfarm and Daewoo have a joint venture for the marketing
and assembly of Daewoo cars in the Philippines. The venture
has gone sour due to the Korean partner's intention to end
the agreement and market its own products here by itself.
The source said the legal tussle may affect Transfarm's
partnership with Chrysler and, thus, the Cebu-based
automotive firm had to shield its Chrysler assembly project
from such a scenario.

Both Transfarm and NARC are owned by the Quisumbing family
of Cebu City. BusinessWorld sought Transfarm president and
chief executive officer Luis Quisumbing yesterday, but he
was not immediately available for comment. Transfarm's
registration with BoI covers the assembly of Chrysler Jeep,
Cherokee, Grand Caravan, Dakota Pick-up, Jeep Wrangler,
Dodge Durango (two- and four-wheel drive). (The Philippine
Star, Business World  18-Jan-2000)

UNIWIDE GROUP: Velarde offer on Uniwide outlets rejected
--------------------------------------------------------
The group of El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde is reportedly
"out" of the race for the acquisition of a majority stake
in the retail warehouse clubs of Uniwide Holdings, Inc
(UHI).

BusinessWorld sources said the Gow family and the firm's
receivership committee have junked Mr. Velarde's proposal
because it was "extremely low."

"The Gow family needs money and they would not sell their
assets for simply anything. Of course, they will have to
look for an extremely good offer to bail them out of their
problems. Velarde's group is out of the running when one
talks of their proposal, but who knows the group may be
accumulating in the market," a source said.

The Velarde group was not immediately available for
comment.  Earlier, Mr. Velarde confirmed that his group was
on the "final stages" for the acquisition of a majority
stake in UHI's warehouse clubs given plans to put up a
multipurpose cooperatives for members of his religious
organization.

"We got interested in the warehouse clubs because we have
just recently formed the El Shaddai Brothers Keeper
multipurpose cooperative. We will go into the marketing of
goods for our members and the Uniwide sales clubs would be
very good outlets," he said during an interview last year.

He added that he would only proceed with the acquisition if
he would not be burdened with UHI's existing loan
obligations which is now at 11 billion Philippine pesos
(US$270.9 million at PhP40.6:US$1).  Mr. Velarde would have
wanted a 53% stake in the company for PhP900 million ($22.2
million). Sources said the supposed deal would be a good
buy considering that the price was given at a 73% discount.
The firm has an appraised value of PhP3.4 billion ($83.7
million).

For the seller, the amount will cover 47% of "demandable"
debts which have reached PhP1.9 billion ($46.8 million).
Currently due are loans from Equitable PCI Bank, Philippine
National Bank, Rizal Commercial banking Corp., Asian Bank,
East-West Bank, and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

The company has started paying its debt through dacion en
pago arrangements.  In the first week of January, UHI
subsidiary Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corp. (USRRC)
inked a memorandum of agreement with creditor United
Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) for a debt-for-asset swap to
settle its PhP1.044-billion ($25.7 million) loan.

USRRC -- a 98%-owned subsidiary of listed firm Uniwide
Holdings, Inc. -- is the property development arm of UHI.
It was created in 1989 to acquire and construct retail
establishments which will house UHI's warehouse clubs as
well as develop properties into comprehensive residential-
commercial communities.

Under the rehabilitation plan drafted by the firm's
receivership committee appointed by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), a fresh capital of PhP1.5
billion ($36.9 million) is needed to pay UHI's liabilities.
It also wants the repayment of loans to be fixed at nine
years with a fixed interest rates of 8% per annum. SEC has
yet to approve the plan.

In a related development, Uniwide creditor Equitable PCI
Bank recently asked the corporate court to junk and in
effect, reverse approval of the questioned sale os some
unnecessary assets of First Paragon Corp. (FPC) -- operator
of the Uniwide Group's Family Store outlets.

In an opposition filed with the SEC late last Friday,
Equitable PCI Bank said "its right over the leasehold
rights of FPC will be prejudiced by the approval of the
sale of (FPC) assets."

The SEC, however, earlier approved the petitioned sale of
FPC assets after Equitable PCI and another creditor --
Philippine Bank of Communications -- agreed to the sale,
"provided their respective rights were protected."  The
sale of the assets of FPC to IMart International Corp. was
made through a memorandum of agreement executed last
December 9, the proceeds of which will be held in escrow in
Solidbank.

IMart Corp. -- operator of the IMart chain of stores in the
country -- submitted the best bid at PhP145 million ($3.6
million) for the FPC assets.  The sale includes buildings
and other equipment of the 39 operational Uniwide Family
Stores, and all other recoverable assets of the five non-
operational stores.

For its part, Equitable PCI said the sale will leave FPC
with no assets to own and manage. "It would only be a
matter of time for FPC to die a natural death by way of
dissolution ... which is totally averse to the very idea of
the petition to rehabilitate the allegedly ailing company."

Earlier, Uniwide's receivership committee informed the SEC
of the "urgent need to sell FPC's assets that are fast
deteriorating and convert the same into cash to be held in
escrow pending approval of the rehabilitation plan."
Equitable PCI Bank -- assignee of FPC's intangible
properties in the form of leasehold rights -- has yet to
release the said rights in favor of IMart before the
transaction can be concluded.

"The interest of creditors is better served with this sale
because we are converting deteriorating assets into cash.
The cash proceeds (to be held in escrow) will be the
subject of whatever rights the creditors of FPC and
leasehold assignee may wish to exercise subject to the
Commission's approval," the receivership committee said.
(Business World  17-Jan-2000)


===============
T H A I L A N D
===============

BANK OF ASIA: Expected to report large 4Q losses
BANK OF AYUDHAYA: Expected to report large 4Q losses
DBS THAI DANU: Expected to report large 4Q losses
KRUNG THAI BANK: Expected to report large 4Q losses
THAI MILITARY BANK: Expected to report large 4Q losses
------------------------------------------------------
Capital Nomura Securities (CNS) is predicting that eight
Thai commercial banks will post combined losses of 143.3
billion baht during the fourth quarter of last year.

Kavee Schukitkasem, CNS Assistant Manager of Research
Department, said only Bangkok Bank (BBL) and Thai Farmers
Bank (TFB) are expected to register operating profits,
excluding loan loss provisions, while Siam Commercial Bank
(SCB), which had already set aside the loan loss provisions
in full, will see a profit of 1.32 billion baht.

He said under the assumption that all banks meet their loan
provisions, Krung Thai Bank (KTB) will record a massive
loss of 74.5 billion baht in the fourth quarter of 1999,
while TFB is likely to post 24.8 billion baht loss.  BBL
was estimated a loss of 21.1 billion baht while Bank of
Asia (BOA), Bank of Ayudhaya (BAY), Thai Military Bank
(TMB) and DBS Thai Danu all predicted to have red number of
between 8 to 3.4 billion baht.

CNS said without the assumption that banks would provide
full loan loss provisions, the losses would be considerably
lower than the projected figures.  BBL and TFB had set
aside 85 percent and 80 percent loan provisions,
respectively.

Kavee said banks with a loss record in the fourth quarter
were likely to post further losses during the first 6
months of this year, adding that it would be advisable for
investors not to purchase their stocks because of the risks
involved. However, he saw SCB as a good prospect since it
had achieved full loan loss provisions, and he expected SCB
shares to rise to 65 baht a share during this year.

Another good bet, according to CNS, was TFB, whose shares
were likely to hit 60 baht during the first 6 months of
this year.
Banks except SCB had reported combined total losses of 52.6
billion baht during the third quarter of last year. SCB
posted net profit of 208 million baht during the same
reporting period.

All banks are to report their fourth quarter 1999
performance to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) by
January 21.  (Business Day  17-Jan-2000)

CHRISTIANI & NIELSEN (THAI): Reports on debt-rehab to SET
---------------------------------------------------------
Danuch Yontararak, director of Christiani & Nielsen (Thai)
Public Company Limited, has reported to the Stock Exchange
of Thailand that the company has already redeemed 1,854,195
units of debentures (Baht 1,854,195,000), and that 75,739
units have been agreed in principle. The remaining 270,066
units (Baht 270,066,000) are in the process of negotiation.

The company reports it has no problem with the financial
institutions and trade Creditors for the debt arising from
normal operation of the Company's business and that it has
fully complied with the conditions of its Creditors.
(Stock Exchange Of Thailand  17-Jan-2000)

KULTHORN KIRBY: To unveil rehab plan this week
----------------------------------------------
Kulthorn Kirby will present its rehabilitation plan on
Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Royal Princess Hotel. (Bangkok
Post 17-Jan-2000)

PADAENG INDUSTRY: Plans for new alliance
----------------------------------------
Thailand-based mining company Padaeng Industry announced
plans to choose a new strategic partner to replace Western
Metal.  An unnamed source at Padaeng told Business Day that
the company will decide between Union Minere and a
Singapore investment firm to replace the Australian firm
Western Metal, which refused to subscribe to additional
shares to increase the company's capital.

The new ally, if selected, will hold a 30 percent stake in
Padaeng Industry.  The source also told Business Day that
it is likely that Padaeng will opt for Union Minere, a
Belgium mining company who specializes in mineral
separation processes, as the new partner. Padaeng is
dependant on zinc purification technology which the Belgium
company can provide.

In addition, Union Minere has has a good relationship with
Padaeng through Cogem, a subsidiary who purchases zinc from
Padaeng to sell in the global market.  The source added
that the company will need to look in more detail at the
agreement regarding share prices, technology transfer and
power distribution within the organization.

The source remarked that the only potential stumble block
is that with a 30 percent holding in the company, Union
Minere might be over eager to exercise its power in the
running of the business. This would run counter to
Padaeng's policy of being a Thai-controlled organization.
Padaeng hopes to make its final decision by February.
(Business Day  17-Jan-2000)

SIAM CITY FUND: Posts 2nd quarter losses
---------------------------------------
Siam City Fund announced losses of 10.8m baht for its
second quarter ending Nov 30, compared with losses of
251.1m for the same period the year before. 1H profits
totalled 11.6m baht, compared with losses of 358.7m the
year before.  (Bangkok Post 17-Jan-2000)

SIAM CITY TWO FUND: Posts 2nd quarter losses
-------------------------------------------
Siam City Two Fund posted losses of 5.3m baht for 2Q ending
Nov 30, compared with losses of 149.3m for the year before.
1H profits were 15m, compared with losses of 212.5m for the
year before.  (Bangkok Post 17-Jan-2000)

SINO-THAI ENGIN.& CONSTR.: Files rehab petition with court
----------------------------------------------------------
Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction has filed a
rehabilitation petition with the Bankruptcy Court, and
asked that trading be suspended starting Monday until a
ruling by the court.  (Bangkok Post 17-Jan-2000)

THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Gets nod for debt revamp
---------------------------------------------------
Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc finally received creditors'
approval on Saturday for the company's US$3.5-billion debt
restructuring plan, Watchirapunthu Promprasert, executive
vice president of TPI, said.

"The company is ready to sign the debt workout plan this
week," he said "and it is possible that the long-delayed
plan can be signed on Monday [this] afternoon."

The plan, in principle, is similar to the one agreed by
both parties in February last year. It includes converting
unpaid interest into equity, totalling $400 million and
this will give creditors 30 per cent of TPI's total
shareholding.  In addition, another debt of Bt46 billion
will have its payback period extended by five years, while
the repayment period of another long-term debt of Bt70
billion will be extended by 8-10 years.

The first instalment will start in 2001 as agreed to in
February last year.  The debt reforms had been delayed
because TPI had proposed a $1-billion equity raising as
part of the deal.

Watchirapunthu said TPI has now agreed to the reforms
without the $1 billion equity as demanded by its creditors
"but there will be negotiations later."

If the TPI deal is signed, the country's non-performing
loans are expected to decline by Bt140 billion. The firm
defaulted on the debt in 1997. Its affiliated company TPI
Polene signed its own Bt50-billion debt reform plan in
November last year. (The Nation  17-Jan-2000)

WANG PETCHABOON GROUP: To wrap up debt-revamp talks
---------------------------------------------------
The Wang Petchaboon Group, the owner of the World Trade
Centre, is expected to wrap up debt-restructuring
negotiations on its Bt2.6-billion debt burden with one of
its major creditors, Bangkok Metropolitan Bank, by the
first quarter of this year.

Although the bank is now controlled by the Financial
Institution Development Fund (FIDF) after taking the bank
over from the Tejapaibul family, which is also the majority
shareholder in the group, which also includes the World
Trade Tower Co Ltd.

Wang Petchaboon executive vice president Somsak Tejapisal,
said that he was confident the BMB and the company's other
major creditor, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), would realise
the potential of the business and continue their financial
support.  The total debt owed by the two companies is Bt2.6
billion, of which Bt1.2 billion is owed by Wang Petchaboon
and Bt1.4 billion by World Trade Tower.

According to the debt-restructuring plan both capital and
interest burden will be discounted with interest payments
reduced and debt payments rescheduled for another 10 years.

"The debt-restructuring is intended to improve cash flow
and the continuation of ongoing investment projects, which
includes an exhibition hall and a high-rise office
building, as well as marketing activities this year," said
Somsak.

He denied that the Tejapaibul family would lose management
control of the Wang Petchaboon group because there was now
a conversion of debt to equity. However, after the
completion of the debt-restructuring process, the company
will seek a strategic partner to help operate the 26,000-
square-metre exhibition hall and also the 63-storey office
tower expected to be completed by next year.

"The Tejapaibul family is still the major shareholder in
the Wang Petchaboon group," he said, adding that it was
likely to allow the World Trade Tower Co to temporarily put
on hold its debt of Bt500 million, which was extended to
build the 63-storey World Trade Tower.  "Additionally, both
creditors, [SCB and Bangkok Metropolitan Bank], will pump
in Bt3 billion of fresh capital to continue the projects.
The new funding will carry a 10-to-15-year maturity
period."

At the same time it has already signed an agreement to
purchase 25,000 square metres of office space in the new
building for its new headquarters.  "Due to the delay in
the project, we have had more opportunity to obtain
bookings for office space from leading organisations and
government agencies," Somsak added.

Because of the economic crisis and shortage of funds for
the ailing property market, construction of the company's
five-star hotel project will be suspended, even though the
piling work is 100 per cent complete.  The company is
confident that once the office tower has been completed it
will become a one-stop service for customers with 330,000
square metres of shopping area, including 4,200 square
metres of duty-free shops, 26,000 square metres of
exhibition space and parking for 4,000 cars.

Meanwhile World Trade Centre Association (WTCA) vice
president Robert C DiChiara will meet World Trade Centre
Bangkok's president and CEO Viroon Tejapaibul next Monday.
This visit is a unique opportunity for DiChiara to closely
observe the operation and development of the World Trade
Centre Bangkok (WTCB) along with other Asean World Trade
Centres after the impact of the recent financial crisis on
countries in the region.

During the visit DiChiara will pay a courtesy call on
Industry Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Korn
Dabbaransi.  The association was established to encourage
mutual assistance and cooperation among members, promote
international business relationships and foster increased
participation in world trade by industrialising nations.

The non-profit, non-political association is the umbrella
organisation for all World trade Centres (WTCs) operating
around the world.  Since its establishment in 1968, the
WTCA has expanded rapidly in every corner of the world
trading arena. At present there are 330 WTC's in 98
countries.  Altogether there are over 400,000 business
entities around the world affiliated with the WTCA. The
WTCB was initiated by Dr Udane Tejapaibul to encourage and
develop international business, regarded as essential to
the peace and prosperity of the Thai people. (The Nation
17-Jan-2000)


S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter -- Asia Pacific is a daily
newsletter co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service,
Inc., Trenton, NJ USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington,
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Copyright 2000.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

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The TCR -- Asia Pacific subscription rate is $575 for 6
months delivered via e-mail. Additional e-mail
subscriptions for members of the same firm for the term of
the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.
For subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at
301/951-6400.

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