TCRAP_Public/000210.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

            Thursday, February 10, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 29

                                   Headlines


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

BURLINGAME INT'L CO.LTD: Reports to HKSE
HOPEWELL HOLDINGS LTD.: S&P lowers corporate credit rating
S. MEGGA INT'L: Reports on stock movement to HKSE
WIN SUCCESSFUL SECURITIES: PWC says worth only $2.4M


* I N D O N E S I A *

PT ASTRA INT'L: Abandons opposition to sell-off
PT BENTOEL PRIMA: IBRA restructures debts
PT TIMOR PUTRA NATIONAL: Indonesia woos KIA Motors
PT TRI POLYTA INDONESIA: Hopes to rehab $185M foreign debt


* J A P A N *

ABE INT'L VENTURES: Applies for liquidation
NIPPON TEL.AND TEL.: Facing large write-off
NISSAN DIESEL: Top-level overhaul at truck division coming
NISSAN MOTOR: Facing large write-off
NISSAN MOTOR CO.: Suppliers help cut costs
NISSAN MOTOR: Shrugs off ratings downgrade
NISSAN MOTOR CO.: IHI in purchase talks on defense division
TOMEN CORP.: Battling Losses, to slash jobs, sell ops
TOMEN CORP.: Requests creditors forgive 200B Yen in loans
TOMEN CORP.: To reduce capital, consolidate, speed rehab


* K O R E A *

DAEHAN ELECTRIC WIRE: Guilty of price fixing
DAEWOO GROUP: Workouts taskforce to be launched next week
INCHON IRON & STEEL: Guilty of price fixing
SAMMI SPECIAL STEEL: Guilty of price fixing
SHINDONGBANG GROUP: To be sold


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

NATIONAL POWER CORP.: WB, ADB ready to restructure loans
PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: World Bank worried over auction
PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: Tan tightens hold on PNB board
UNIWIDE GROUP: More details on French firm's purchase
UNIWIDE GROUP: Sara Lee asks for rehab-plan modifications


* T H A I L A N D *

ROBINSON DEPARTMENT STORE: Creditor majority okays plan
SINGER PLC: Raises Bt900m from debentures
THAI MELON POLYESTER: SCB sues for B4.54bn
THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Reports rehab progress to SET


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

BURLINGAME INT'L CO.LTD: Reports to HKSE
----------------------------------------
Burlingame International Company Limited (Incorporated in
Hong Kong with limited liability), through Kan Che Kin,
Billy Albert, Chairman, states that apart from the
completion of the signing of the Compromise Agreement with
all seven of its Hong Kong bank creditors, Burlingame
International Company Limited (the "Company") is not aware
of any other reasons for the increase in the shares price
and trading volume.

Save as disclosed in the restructuring proposal announced
by the Company on 29th November 1999, we confirm that there
are no further negotiations or agreements relating to
intended acquisitions or realisations which are
discloseable under paragraph 3 of the Listing Agreement,
neither is the Board aware of any matter discloseable under
the general obligation imposed by paragraph 2 of the
Listing Agreement, which is or may be of a price-sensitive
nature.

The Company has not received any reports up to the time of
this announcement from the directors of the Company
regarding their purchase, sale or redemption of shares of
the Company today.  (Hong Kong Stock Exchange  09-Feb-2000)

HOPEWELL HOLDINGS LTD.: S&P lowers corporate credit rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Agency said Thursday it lowered
its long-term corporate credit rating on Hopewell Holdings
Ltd. to double-B-minus from double-B.

S&P said the move reflected weak operating results, low
internal liquidity and continuity capital expenditures.
S&P said it holds a negative outlook on the rating, taking
into account the possibility of a weaker-than-expected
recovery in Hopewell's Hong Kong real-estate operations.
Hopewell's operating performance continues to be weak, with
cash from operations in 1999 insufficient to cover
scheduled interest repayments, the rating agency said.

S&P also lowered its ratings on the US$600 million
unsecured senior notes due 2004 and 2007 issued by Hopewell
subsidiary Guangzhou-Shenzhen Superhighway (Holdings) Ltd.
to double-B-minus from double-B. Although the ratings are
off CreditWatch, S&P said the outlook on the notes is
negative.

The change reflects the credit quality of Hopewell
Holdings, which currently supports interest payments on the
unsecured notes through an agreement with its wholly owned
subsidiary Delta Roads Ltd., S&P said. It also takes into
account the credit quality of a joint venture that operates
a superhighway in China's Guangdong province under the name
of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Zhuhai Superhighway Co.

Hopewell Holdings Chairman Gordon Wu said Thursday he is
"not overly concerned" by S&P's downgrade. "Hong Kong is
now on the road to recovery and we can also look forward to
China's forthcoming entry to the World Trade Organization,
which will further boost economic activity," he said in a
statement. (The Asian Wall Street Journal  08-Feb-2000)

S. MEGGA INT'L: Reports on stock movement to HKSE
-------------------------------------------------
The Stock Exchange has received a message from S. Megga
International Holdings Limited, through Howard Leung,
Executive Director, that the company has noted the recent
increases in price of the Company's shares and volume
traded.

Save as disclosed in the announcement dated 3 February
2000, published on 8 February 2000 regarding the Revised
Third Party Proposal, the Debt Restructuring Agreement or
modification thereof, we confirm that there are no
negotiations or agreements relating to intended
acquisitions or realizations which are discloseable under
paragraph 3 of the Listing Agreement, neither is the Board
aware of any matter discloseable under the general
obligation imposed by paragraph 2 of the Listing Agreement,
which is or may be of a price-sensitive nature.  (Hong Kong
Stock Exchange  09-Feb-2000)

WIN SUCCESSFUL SECURITIES: PWC says worth only $2.4M
----------------------------------------------------
Only a small amount of cash and company assets are
available to meet the claims of clients and creditors of
collapsed Win Successful Securities, according to its
provisional liquidator.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) said available securities were
valued at $2.4 million, while clients' claims amounted to
$62 million.  PWC said preliminary investigations showed
the company had about 300 clients.

Win Successful collapsed last month after police arrested
owner Albert Au Wai-man in connection with allegations that
clients' assets had been stolen.  Police subsequently
arrested two other staff.

The Hong Kong stock exchange has invited claims from
clients from the Unified Exchange Compensation Fund for
losses to money or property entrusted to the company.
The High Court last week appointed PWC's Joanne Oswin and
Stephen Caswell as provisional liquidators. (South China
Morning Post  09-Feb-2000)


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

PT ASTRA INT'L: Abandons opposition to sell-off
-----------------------------------------------
Astra International, Indonesia's biggest carmaker, said on
Monday that it would no longer try to block the sale of
around 45 per cent of its shares by the government,
removing an obstacle to the latter's much-delayed programme
of asset sales.

"We'd never want to see that Astra became another Bank
Bali," said Rini Soewandi, chief executive, who is expected
to be replaced by shareholders today after falling out with
the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (Ibra), which
controls the 45 per cent stake.

Some of the shares are owned directly by Ibra, and the
agency has control of the remaining shares, which are being
transferred to the government by businessmen in lieu of
unpaid bank debts.  Ibra's plans to sell part of Bank Bali
to Standard Chartered Bank collapsed in December because of
resistance from the local bank's management.

Fears of a repeat performance with Astra rose last week
after a US investment group dropped its bid for Ibra's
shares in the company.  Ibra has made slow progress in its
efforts to raise cash for Indonesia's bank recapitalisation
programme by selling billions of dollars worth of
nationalised assets, though the agency expects to meet its
fundraising target for the year to March.

Newbridge Capital and Gilbert Global Equity Capital of the
US dropped their bid of Rp3,750 a share after Astra refused
to provide detailed data for due diligence. Astra said the
demands for information were too intrusive and that Ibra's
decision late last year to appoint the US group as
preferred bidder was "non-transparent".

Ibra officials concede that they could have published more
information about their negotiations with Newbridge and
Gilbert, but they maintain that the bid was the best
available at the time and accuse Astra's management of
trying to slow down the sale for its own reasons.

Ms Soewandi denied the latter charge on Monday in an open
letter to President Abdurrahman Wahid, who is abroad.
"Any measure taken by the management is solely to maintain
Astra's integrity," she said.

She also denied allegations of improper business dealings
by Astra's management, which have been widely reported in
the local press. "We have always done the transactions as
openly as possible," she said.

Ibra is thought to have the votes it needs to have Ms
Soewandi replaced at today's extraordinary shareholders
meeting, as long as it attracts a quorum, though it is not
yet clear whether other executives will also be asked to
step down.

Analysts believe the tug of war over Astra reflects a wider
struggle between rival Indonesian business interests for
control of top companies, many of which have been taken
over by Ibra in lieu of unpaid bank debts which are owed by
their shareholders. Bidding has now re-opened for the Astra
stake, which Ibra has to sell by 31 March to meet a budget
target. Five potential bidders have already replied to the
40-50 invitations sent out by Ibra.

They are understood to include a group led by Lazard
Frres, another led by Philippines-based JG Summit Holdings
and a partnership of George Soros and a local finance firm.
An Ibra source said Newbridge and Gilbert might also bid
again.

Astra makes motor vehicles in partnership with leading
Japanese firms, and its other interests include
agribusiness, information and financial services. Ibra
expects to get at least Rp4,000 a share, though some
analysts in Jakarta value the company at up to Rp5,000 a
share.  Astra is generally regarded as one of Indonesia's
best-run businesses and returned from the red last year
with a net profit of Rp809bn ($108m).

Unlike most local conglomerates, it has already rescheduled
its more than $1bn in debt.  Today's shareholder meeting
will also consider a share issue by Astra later this year
to help it cover the cost of servicing debt this year.
Dorys Herlambang, chief financial officer, told reporters
that Astra was also negotiating to sell down stakes in its
motorcycle and telecommunications ventures to foreign
partners. (Financial Times  08-Feb-2000)

PT BENTOEL PRIMA: IBRA restructures debts
-----------------------------------------
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) has
restructured the debts of PT Bentoel Prima and its
subsidiaries totalling Rp300 billion under an
accelerated payment schedule up to 2004.

IBRA said in a press release yesterday that the company is
one of the ten debtor companies that has reached the stage
of debt restructuring implementation.  The Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between Bentoel and IBRA was signed
February 1, 2000. Peter Sondakh represented Bentoel while
Andreas Bunanta signed on behalf of IBRA.

PT Bentoel Prima and its subsidiaries have a principal
outstanding debt of about Rp300 billion. Agreement of
restructuring was granted January 13, 2000 by IBRA
executive committee, chaired by Glenn Yusuf.  (Asia Pulse
08-Feb-2000)

PT TIMOR PUTRA NATIONAL: Indonesia woos KIA Motors
--------------------------------------------------
Indonesian officials and businessmen will visit South
Korea's KIA Motor Corp. during a presidential visit there
Friday to check on the possibility of reviving a
controversial Suharto-era national car project, the state
Antara news agency said yesterday.

Antara quoted the trade division chief of the Indonesian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Soy Pardede, as saying
they were hopeful KIA would be in a position to take over
the debts of the national car company, PT Timor Putra
National (TPN).

"On February 11 a numnber of Indonesian officials and
businessmen will visit KIA Motors to see their capacity in
taking over Timor. We just have to wait (for the results),"
he said.  "Basically Indonesia does not want to bear the
burden, and TPN's debts and outstanding taxes must be
settled."

More than 100 businessmen will be travelling with
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid on his two-day state
visit to Seoul which starts Thursday.

"Now that South Korea has been enjoying a robust recovery
it is well positioned to import more from Indonesia and
even make new investments through asset aquisitions,"
Pardede said.

In September of last year the Indonesian parliament urged
the government to revive the defunct TPN project, launched
in 1996 in cooperation with KIA by Hutomo Tommy" Mandala
Putra, the youngest son of former president Suharto.
After Suharto's fall in May of 1998, the government
withdrew exclusive tax and import breaks awarded by the
Suharto government which had drawn howls of protest by
European and US carmakers, who took the issue to the World
Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO ruled against TPN as the company was selling wholly
imported KIA cars with no local content.  TPN is now listed
as one of the 20 largest debtors of the Indonesian Bank
restructuring agency (IBRA), and IBRA sources said Tuesday
they understood the amount of debt stood at around three
trillion rupiah ($402 million. The government has tried to
claim back a similar amount from KIA, which it says KIA
owes because of importing wholly-foreign made local cars
with local content tax breaks.  (Business Day  09-Feb-2000)

PT TRI POLYTA INDONESIA: Hopes to rehab $185M foreign debt
----------------------------------------------------------
Publicly listed PT Tri Polyta Indonesia is upbeat its
overseas bondholders will accept its debt restructuring
proposal, given signs of recovery in its business
performance.

"During the economic crisis, we were dragged down by a
considerable foreign exchange loss, but now we are getting
out of it and ready to restructure our debts," said
investor relations executive Jeanne Watulo on Tuesday.

Jeanne said the format of the restructuring of the
company's US$185 million debt with the overseas bondholders
would be a combination of a debt principal reduction,
rescheduling and a conversion of debts into equity through
issuance of new shares.

She declined to elaborate on the progress of the debt
restructuring negotiations, saying the company was bound by
terms of a confidentiality agreement with bondholders.

"The progress is good and we will meet again with the
bondholders within four weeks to six weeks from now," she
said, adding that the meeting with the bondholders was
first held in November last year.

According to Jeanne, Tri Polyta, which is listed on the
Jakarta Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange,
issued the U.S. dollar- denominated bonds worth $185
million which issued in the U.S. in 1996. They were to
mature in 2003.

The company failed to pay coupon payments to its
bondholders on Dec. 1, 1999 and June 1, 1999, said Jeanne.
Bonds denominated in U.S. dollars, traded in the U.S. and
issued by companies outside the U.S. are called Yankee
bonds.

The market price of the company's Yankee bonds is currently
30 U.S. cents per dollar, or a 70 percent discount on the
face value.

Asked about the debt reduction which would be offered to
the company's bondholders, Jeanne said the amount would not
refer to the bond market price.  "The bond market price
will not be the reference of our debt reduction program,"
she said during the company's public expose at the Jakarta
Stock Exchange.

Tri Polyta, with its production base in Cilegon, West Java,
has a total capacity of 360,000 metric tons of
polypropylene per year.  Polypropylene is plastic resin
used as raw material for various packaging applications.
Sales and marketing director Didi Andries said most of the
company's output went to overseas buyers. "We sell 80
percent of our products to the international market, while
the remaining 20 percent is for the domestic market."

The company sold 225,076 metric tons of polypropylene in
1999, compared to 128,795 tons and 226,219 tons during 1998
and 1997 respectively.  Total polypropylene consumption in
Indonesia in 1999, according to company data, was 464,000
tons. It compared to 403,000 tons, 527,000 tons and 476,000
tons in 1998, 1997 and 1996.

Didi projected a 15 percent increase in the domestic market
consumption this year.  The market, however, continues to
experience an oversupply due to the still weak domestic
demand and the inflow of imported polypropylene at
competing prices.  The current market price for
polypropylene is $800 per ton.

"The market price is very fluctuational. It could go up and
down by $200," he said.

With the current market price, the company could book a
margin of about $205 per ton, compared to its highest
margin of $500 per ton before the crisis.  "The margin
continues to go down to today. It adjusts instantly to the
going market demand and supply -- the factors which
influence the price," she said.

Jeanne added the market price for polypropylene was also
influenced by oil prices, which directly determined the
price of the raw material for producing polypropylene.
The company booked net income of Rp 22.3 billion in 1999,
as compared to a net loss of Rp 589.7 billion and a net
loss of Rp 388.8 billion in 1998 and 1997 respectively.

The losses in 1998 and 1997 were due to huge foreign
exchange losses of Rp 542.8 billion and Rp 342.4 billion
respectively.  The company used an exchange rate of Rp
8,025 for 1998, and Rp 7,100 for 1999.

"We had a reversal of the previous year's foreign exchange
loss, thus making a foreign exchange gain of Rp 136 billion
in 1999, due to the strengthening of the rupiah against the
dollar," Jeanne said.

The company's total assets stood at Rp 2.03 trillion as per
Dec. 31, 1999, compared to Rp 2.06 trillion the previous
year.  The company's shareholders as of the end of 1998
were PT Bima Kimia Citra (31.22 percent), Prajogo Pangestu
(8.51 percent), Henry Pribadi (6.73 percent), Ibrahim
Risjad (5.31 percent), Sudwikatmono (5.31 percent), other
individuals (13.9 percent) and the investing public (29.02
percent). (The Jakarta Post  09-Feb-2000)


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

ABE INT'L VENTURES: Applies for liquidation
-------------------------------------------
A real estate company managed by singer Masao Sen, whose
real name is Kentaro Abe, applied for liquidation with the
Tokyo District Court on Feb. 4, a private research company
Teikoku Databank Ltd. revealed on Tuesday. The singer-owned
company was ridden with a 103.4 billion yen debt.

The company, Abe International Ventures Co., was
established by Sen in 1972 originally as a promotional
vehicle for his entertainment activities. In 1986,
however, the company moved into the real estate business as
the Japanese economy was booming during the asset inflated
bubble period.

At its peak, the company owned more than 50 office
buildings in Tokyo and its vicinities. The company's 35
billion yen purchase of an exclusive Hawaiian resort hotel
in 1990 created a great sensation across the nation.
After the economy began to decline, however, the company
faced difficulties paying back borrowed money.

Debt coupled with the collapse of the Long-Term Credit Bank
of Japan (LTCB), one of the company's main banks, the
company was forced into a practical bankruptcy when it
failed to make any further repayments on its loans.
(Mainichi Daily News  09-Feb-2000)

NIPPON TEL.AND TEL.: Facing large write-off
NISSAN MOTOR: Facing large write-off
-------------------------------------------
Listed Japanese companies are stepping up a move to clear
away unfunded pension and retirement liabilities ahead of
the adoption in fiscal 2000 of new pension accounting rules
that will spotlight shortfalls in their pension and
severance programs.

According to calculations conducted Tuesday by Nihon Keizai
Shimbun Inc., listed companies here plan to book charges
totaling 1.5 trillion yen in the fiscal year ending March
31 to reduce pension and severance plan shortfalls. The
one-time losses are equivalent to 16% of the projected
pretax profits of all listed companies for fiscal 1999.

But analysts believe the final disposal of unfunded pension
and severance liabilities is likely to swell even higher in
fiscal 1999, and a researcher at NLI Research Institute
says the figure could top 2 trillion yen.

Companies in a wide range of industries including
electrical machinery, steel, autos and telecommunications
are poised to take pension and severance-related write-
offs, with 47 firms planning extraordinary charges of 1
billion yen or higher.

Driving the move, analysts say, is the fear among company
officials that their stock prices or credit ratings will
fall if they do not move swiftly to plug pension and
severance shortfalls. The new accounting standards will
require companies to show unfunded liabilities on their
balance sheets starting in fiscal 2000, bringing more
scrutiny to the financial condition of retirement plans.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (9432) is eyeing the
biggest pension and severance write-off of any company so
far this year, planning extraordinary charges of 768
billion yen on a groupwide basis.  In a move expected to
contribute to a large net loss in fiscal 1999, Nissan Motor
Co. (7201) plans to book loss of 274.2 billion yen to cover
unfunded liabilities.

Four leading steelmakers, meanwhile, are planning
extraordinary charges totaling 48 billion yen. (Nikkei  09-
Feb-2000)

NISSAN DIESEL: Top-level overhaul at truck division coming
----------------------------------------------------------
Nissan Motor is planning an overhaul of senior management
at Nissan Diesel, its truck-making arm.

Nissan and Renault, its alliance partner which owns 36.8
per cent of the Japanese carmaker and 22.5 per cent of
Nissan Diesel, will install one or more executives from
outside the company in the next few months.

"Certainly we think Nissan Diesel has to be managed
differently to recover," said Thierry Moulonguet, senior
vice-president and deputy chief financial officer. "One
condition is to renew the management of Nissan Diesel."

In an unusual move for a Japanese company, Nissan will pick
the executives from outside its ranks, though managers from
Renault, or Renault VI, its commercial vehicles unit, are
unlikely to be selected.  Outside recruitment would put
more distance between Nissan and its truck-making unit,
perhaps making it easier to sell in the future.

The shake-up comes on the heels of Nissan's announcement of
a restructure, including a 200bn ($1.86bn) four-year
credit line from a bank syndicate and sales of assets and
stock holdings.

While Nissan Diesel and Renault VI will co-operate on
technical matters such as distribution and procurement, the
French group will not play a significant role in the
management of Nissan Diesel, Mr Moulonguet said.

Investors have been waiting for signs of financial recovery
from Nissan Diesel, which had 500bn in interest-bearing
liabilities as of last March.  Shares in the truck-maker
jumped 4.9 per cent, or 5, to 107 on Monday.

But many analysts remained unconvinced. "I don't think
there are many people in the market who believe that Nissan
can do much about Nissan Diesel," said Koji Endo, analyst
at Schroders. "It makes it easier for those guys to sell it
[Nissan Diesel] to anybody who wants to buy it."

Another analyst said: "The trend seems to be to prop up the
company, not to deal with the problems of the company in a
real structural way. It appears to be a fairly minimal
fix."

DaimlerChrysler withdrew from negotiations with Nissan
Diesel last spring because of concerns about its heavy debt
level. (Financial Times  08-Feb-2000)

NISSAN MOTOR CO.: Suppliers help cut costs
------------------------------------------
More than 80 percent of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s suppliers
have accepted its plan to cut costs by 20 percent over
three years, chief operating officer Carlos Ghosn said
yesterday.

"The end of January was the deadline for the response of
our suppliers to the specific request that Nissan has sent
to them for the revival plan," Ghosn told a seminar
attended by Japanese industrial leaders.  "I can tell you
that not far from 100 percent answered, made their
proposals and a big majority of them, above 80 percent for
the moment, have committed themselves to the Nissan Revival
Plan," he added.

Nissan announced the major restructuring plan in October
last year under the guidance of Ghosn, who was imported
from top shareholder Renault SA to steer through the
painful changes. (Business Day  09-Feb-2000)

NISSAN MOTOR: Shrugs off ratings downgrade
------------------------------------------
Struggling Japanese carmaker Nissan Motors yesterday said
its restructuring drive remained on track, despite a
Standard and Poor's downgrade which cut its credit rating
to junk-bond status.

The world's fifth biggest auto company said it remained on
target to achieve objectives laid out in a "revival plan"
conceived under the control of majority share owner Renault
of France.  The US credit rating agency late on Monday said
it was lowering Nissan's long-term ratings to a
predominantly speculative "BB plus" from investment-grade
"BBB."

Standard and Poor's also affirmed its "A-2" short-term
rating on Renault, which bought a controlling stake of 36.8
percent in Nissan last May.  The downgrade reflected
"continued weakness in Nissan's operating performance and
the challenges the company faces in carrying out its
business restructuring plan," the agency said in a
statement.

It cited a 13-percent drop in Nissan's Japanese sales last
year and its "increased involvement in the restructuring
efforts of its troubled affiliate, Nissan Diesel."

Standard and Poor's, however, raised its outlook for
Nissan's long-term ratings to stable from negative.
Nissan said it was still on target to achieve its main
ojectives, which include a return to profitability by March
next year and to halve its interest-bearing debt to 700
billion yen (US$6.54 billion) by March 2003.

"Once our targets are achieved, the full range of our
evaluation [by outsiders], including credit ratings and
stock price, will improve," Nissan's head of investor
relations, Masa Saito, said.  "Despite this change in
ratings, we face no adverse impact on our ability to
conduct ongoing business as well as in implementing the
Nissan Revival Plan," added Nissan's head of global
communications, Keiichi Tsuboi.

The Tokyo stock market was less sure, and Nissan shares
closed down 19 yen or 4.3 percent at 423 yen.  Nissan
announced last on Wednesday that its operating profit in
the fiscal year to March could be lower than the 90 billion
yen it gave as its forecast in November, when it posted a
massive interim net loss.

For the full year, Nissan expects a net loss of 590 billion
yen, hit by restructuring costs, the slump in its Japanese
auto sales and the need to account for its huge pension
liabilities.

The ratings downgrade was a blow but not the key source of
concern at Nissan, said Sakura Research Institute auto
analyst Tadayuki Nakamura.

"The crucial thing is whether Nissan's car sales will
improve, but the outlook is still unclear," he said.

The controversial Renault-led plan, unveiled last October,
involves 21,000 job losses and the closure of five plants
in Japan.  On Friday Nissan said creditors of its troubled
truckmaking unit, Nissan Diesel, had agreed to extend a
four-year credit line worth up to 200 billion yen.

Under the revival plan Nissan plans to spin off divisions
to concentrate on its core business of making vehicles.
Standard and Poor's noted Nissan's progress in improving
its financial standing through aggressive measures"
outlined in the plan. (Business Day  09-Feb-2000)

NISSAN MOTOR CO.: IHI in purchase talks on defense division
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries Co. is in talks with
Nissan Motor Co. to purchase the Japanese auto maker's
defense division, according to an IHI spokesman, a sale
that would allow Nissan to reduce its massive debts and
focus on its core automobile business.

The IHI spokesman said Nissan and the Japanese heavy-
equipment maker have been in discussions for some time and
are "now in the midst of duscussing a sale price and other
terms" of the possible transaction. "Nothing has been
firmly decided, and we don't know at this point when we can
finalize the deal or whether the deal is even possible at
all," he said.

Nissan also issued a statement acknowledging its talks with
a company over the sale of its defense unit but declined to
name the company.  IHI was responding to a Japanese
newspaper report Thursday that IHI has decided to acquire
Nissan's defense division, which employs about 860 people
and posted about 50 billion yen ($466.6 million) in revenue
in the year ended March 31, 1999. The newspaper said that
the two companies are "in a final stage of negotiations."

Nissan defense division has been one of the most
significant unresolved issues for Nissan since France's
Renault SA purchased a controlling 37% stake in the auto
maker last year and announced a sweeping restructuring
plan. Nissan has said repeatedly hinted at selling its
defense division in order to focus resources on the core
business of automobile manufacturing. (The Asian Wall
Street Journal  08-Feb-2000)

TOMEN CORP.: Battling Losses, to slash jobs, sell ops
-----------------------------------------------------
Tomen Corp. said Tuesday that it would close or sell many
operations, cut jobs by more than 20 percent and take a
restructuring charge of more than 400 billion yen ($3.69
billion) to try to recover from losses on real-estate
investments made more than a decade ago.

The trading house said it would liquidate 123 affiliates
and sell 84 units by March 2001 and cut its work force by
390 people, to a total of 1,500, by March 2003.

As a result, the company, based in Osaka, will post a
restructuring charge of 407.4 billion yen for the year
ending March 31, including 184 billion yen from the
consolidation of real-estate affiliates and 145.8 billion
yen from the sale or disposal of other unprofitable units.
It now expects a group net loss of 93.4 billion yen for the
current year, in contrast to an earlier forecast of a 2
billion yen profit.

Tomen said it would seek 200 billion yen in debt
forgiveness from creditor banks, mainly from Tokai Bank
Ltd., and reduce its capital by about two-thirds, to 16.7
billion yen.

Akihiro Tsuji, president of Tomen, said the company had
been forced to seek help from its creditors because planned
changes in Japan's accounting rules had forced drastic
restructuring measures on it.  A Tokai spokesman said the
bank intended to "respond positively to the request."
Tomen's shares fell 2 yen to close at 206. The
restructuring plan was announced after the market closed.
(The International Herald Tribune  09-Feb-2000)

TOMEN CORP.: Requests creditors forgive 200B Yen in loans
---------------------------------------------------------
Trading house Tomen Corp. (8003) announced Tuesday that it
has requested Tokai Bank (8321) and other creditors to
forgive a debt totaling 200 billion yen and that it is now
expecting a net loss of 109.3 billion yen for the current
fiscal year ending March 31.

The company added that excessive real estate investments
and failed diversification attempts have caused serious
deterioration in its financial condition and made funding
difficult.  Tomen will be the second general trading house
after Kanematsu Corp. (8020) to request a debt waiver.

Tomen also said it will book an extraordinary loss of 407.4
billion yen in the current fiscal year. This reflects
losses resulting from writing off paper losses on its
investments, as well as liquidating group firms. Writing
off real-estate-related losses will give the firm a loss of
184 billion yen, and the sales and liquidation of 207
affiliates in other sectors will result in a 145.8 billion
yen loss.

To cope with such losses, Tomen will reduce its capital by
33 billion yen and raise 30 billion yen in fresh money via
a third-party share allocation next fiscal year.

After simulating its financial condition, using the new
accounting standard to be introduced in fiscal 2000, Tomen
found that its liabilities exceeded assets by more than 200
billion yen. This prompted it to abandon the effort to
repay bank loans and to request the debt waiver, sources
close to the company said.  Tomen executives stated that
the firm's main lender, Tokai Bank, has responded to the
request positively.

Company President Akihiro Tsuji may step down even before
the current fiscal year ends March 31. "I will resign as
soon as the prospects of the debt waiver and the third-
party share allocation become clear," he said. (Nikkei  09-
Feb-2000)

TOMEN CORP.: To reduce capital, consolidate, speed rehab
--------------------------------------------------------
Tomen Corp. (8003) of Japan will take additional measures
to speed up the restructuring of its group operations ahead
of Japan's introduction of a new accounting system
centering around consolidated earnings, Tomen said Tuesday.

The trading house will more than halve its capital to
Y16.74 billion from Y49.78 billion initially, as it needs
to compensate for losses expected as a result of the
company's sweeping reform of its group operations, Tomen
said.

However, Tomen also said it aims to raise a fresh Y30.0
billion through the private placement of new shares with
financial institutions and business partners.  Tomen also
plans to request a debt waiver totaling about Y200 billion.
Tokai Bank Ltd. (8321) is Tomen's largest lender and
largest shareholder.

Tomen will minimize its unprofitable real estate operations
by consolidating an unspecified number of related business
affiliates, it said. Tomen expects a loss of Y184.0 billion
from the liquidation of affiliates in this sector.  Tomen
will also sell and liquidate a total of 207 unprofitable
group firms in other sectors, a move which will give Tomen
a loss of Y145.8 billion, the company said. The sales and
liquidations ouside of the real estate sector alone will
nearly halve the number of its group firms, which total 469
at present.

Tomen aims to complete the new measures by March 2003, it
said. The steps are in addition to the company's initial
series of restructuring steps launched April 1998. Tomen
will cut its number of employees to 1,500 by March 2003
from 1,890, the number expected at the end of March this
year, Tomen said.

Through the staff reduction and other measures, Tomen aims
to cut annual spending by 40.9%, or Y17.8 billion, by the
fiscal year to March 2003, compared with the fiscal year to
March 1999, Tomen said.  In the current fiscal year to
March, the trading house will book an extraordinary loss of
Y407.4 billion, it said.

The special loss reflects a loss expected from the sale of
securities, loan loss reserve and early retirement
promotion spending, as well as losses seen resulting from
the downsizing of real estate operations and the sale and
liquidation of unprofitable affiliates, Tomen said. (Nikkei
09-Feb-2000)


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

DAEHAN ELECTRIC WIRE: Guilty of price fixing
INCHON IRON & STEEL: Guilty of price fixing
SAMMI SPECIAL STEEL: Guilty of price fixing
--------------------------------------------
Three cold rolled, low-carbon steel production companies,
Inchon Iron & Steel, Daehan Electric Wire and Sammi Special
Steel were found to have been guilty of price fixing by the
Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Tuesday and were fined a total
of W632 million. The FTC announced that the three committed
illegal acts from last August, including applying higher
foreign exchange rates compared to the market. The three
firms manufacture over 70% of exported cold rolled low-
carbon steel. (Digital Chosun  08-Feb-2000)

DAEWOO GROUP: Workouts taskforce to be launched next week
---------------------------------------------------------
The government and domestic creditors of the failed Daewoo
Group will set in motion a standing committee next week to
restructure the conglomerate, the Financial Supervisory
Service (FSS) said yesterday.

The committee will be in charge of speeding up debt workout
programs for Daewoo's 12 units and selling some of them to
foreign investors.  Oh Ho-keun, chairman of the Corporate
Restructuring Coordination Committee, is widely expected to
head the projected body, an FSS official said. (Korea
Herald  09-Feb-2000)

SHINDONGBANG GROUP: To be sold
------------------------------
Shindongbang Group, an ailing business under a corporate
workout program, will soon be sold to another company from
a similar industry.

The potential bidders for takeover of the food specialist
include U.S. Cargill Food, and Doosan Group, Daehan Flour
Mills and Cheiljedang of Korea.  The creditor banks
including Hanvit Bank and Seoul Bank will shortly own
Shindongbang, once a leading manufacturer in the food
industry with 17 affiliated business units, following the
debt rescheduling of over 300 billion won.

Yesterday, the creditors executed a debt equity conversion
worth 62.1 billion won, 74 percent of the existing company
stakes.  Hanvit and Seoul will each have a 14.5 percent
stake in the company.  After the debt-equity conversion,
total company assets will come to around 80 billion won.
The company's capital was scrapped last December after it
went virtually bankrupt due to a liquidity shortage.

"It is a policy of creditor banks to sell the companies
under corporate workout schemes once debt rescheduling is
completed. As soon as banks receive official proposals from
potential investors, a sale decision will be reached
immediately," said a senior official of Hanvit Bank in
charge of the corporate workout division.

"There is various speculation on the market concerning the
takeover of Shindongbang. Still, no one has come up with a
formal offer," he said, adding that banks are in the
process of finalizing a detailed sales plan for
Shindongbang.

The Hanvit official added that all creditor banks prefer
disposing of Shindongbang immediately after completing the
debt rescheduling plan rather than keeping it as a
subsidiary business unit.  An executive member of
Shindongbang said it is up to the new owners - creditor
banks - to decide what to do with the future of the
company.

"We believe the banks are weighing various options for
disposal of the company. Since they will take over the
majority stake, we will have to go along with the decision
of the banks," he told The Korea Times on condition of
anonymity.  "There have been many discussions with Cargill
Foods of the U.S., in particular, for a joint venture in
past. But so far nothing has been materialized," he added.

Shindongbang, founded in 1966 as a cooking oil
manufacturer, has suffered numerous setbacks during the
last few years.  After expanding its business to a group
scale, Shindongbang faced liquidity problems during the
financial crisis era of 1997-1998.  Recently the company
was accused of rigging share prices as part of an illegal
fund raising campaign.  Last July, company chairman Shin
Myung-soo was arrested for share price manipulation and
siphoning of company funds for private investments. (Korea
Times  08-Feb-2000)


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

NATIONAL POWER CORP.: WB, ADB ready to restructure loans
--------------------------------------------------------
The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB),
primary lenders of the National Power Corporation (NPC),
have already agreed in principle to restructure the P100 to
P150 billion loans of the power firm which the national
government committed to absorb upon its privatization.

This was disclosed by NPC president Federico E. Puno as he
said discussions on the mechanisms of re-financing said
loans are now on-going.

The national government, through the Department of Finance
(DOF), and upon the endorsement of Congress sought the
restructuring of the loans to be transferred to its balance
sheet, so that it would not create an adverse impact on the
government's projected deficit in the coming years.

Rep. Florencio Abad, a key member of the House committee on
energy, said the WB and ADB are amenable to extend the NPC
loan repayment period by additional 20 to 25 years.  With
this move, he said the government's absorption of part of
NPC's residual debt would not cause further ballooning in
the budget deficit. At the same time, the proposed
reduction in power rates could be attained successfully.

The DOF has initially committed to Congress the national
government's willingness to absorb P100 billion, instead of
the proposed P150 billion, of NPC's debts.

Congress has provided under House Bill 8457, or the power
industry reform measure, that the NG should settle part of
NPC's residual debt, but it would be up to the Executive
Branch to craft set of measures on how it could be done -
whether it would float bonds or allocate this in the yearly
budget.

The lawmakers earlier said the DOF and the Department of
Budget and Management could work out the proposed
mechanisms in consultation with the National Treasury.
The debt-settlement framework to be formulated by the
Executive Branch would be incorporated in the
implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the power
industry reform measure once it is passed into law.

The transfer of the P100 billion worth of NPC debts would
translate to P0.30 per kilowatt hour (kwh) cut in power
rate for residential consumers, but if the coverage would
expand, the figure would vary.

The power bill has already packaged a mechanism on how the
NPC could recover its stranded costs, through the
electricity industry reform charge (EIRC) to be paid by all
consumers. EIRC works the same way as the "competition
transition charge" employed by the State of California and
the "universal levy" which is used by other countries in
recovering said costs.

The proceeds of the privatization of the NPC forecasted at
around $3.0 to $4.0 billion, a hefty sum but not yet enough
to retire its outstanding obligations.  The privatization
of the NPC involves the disposal of its transmission and
subtransmission facilities and its generation companies
(gencos) initially grouped into six.  (Manila Bulletin  09-
Feb-2000)

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: World Bank worried over auction
----------------------------------------------------
Concerned about the impending transfer to private hands of
Philippine National Bank (PNB), the World Bank has sought a
formal assurance from the government that the semiprivate
bank's scheduled sale will be above board.

Specifically, the international lending body wants the
Bangko Sentral (Central Bank of the Phils.) to issue a
"certification" that no laws were violated when tobacco and
beer tycoon Lucio Tan was allowed to accumulate PNB shares
via the bank's stock rights offering last year,
BusinessWorld sources said.

It has also asked the Department of Finance (DoF) to submit
a concrete "action plan" on the privatization.  The World
Bank is requiring the government to submit the documents
before it releases a $100-million loan that would bankroll
a banking sector reform program.  It is also asking the
Finance department to submit the results of a due diligence
audit PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Lehman Brothers conducted
on PNB.

The external auditors, however, are still asking PNB to
comment on the audit before submitting the report to
authorities.  PNB's senior management, led by newly named
president Feliciano L. Miranda, reportedly met with Finance
officials last week to ask for a "delay" in giving their
comments, citing that they would need time to study the
audit.

BusinessWorld, however, learned the preliminary audit
report made by PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Lehman Brothers
showed the magnitude of PNB's bad loans problem, which
worried its new majority shareholder.  Finance Secretary
Jose T. Pardo earlier admitted this much, when he said the
due diligence audit "is worrying the government."

Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora earlier said Mr. Tan has
already invested around nine billion Philippine pesos
(US$221.9 million at PhP40.547:US$1) to build up his stake
in the bank to nearly 50%. The taipan is seen as the sole
bidder for the remaining 30% stake the National Government
plans to auction off next quarter.

The sources said Finance officials have assured the World
Bank there is "nothing illegal" about Mr. Tan's PNB stake.
"They have been assured verbally," Finance Undersecretary
Joel A. Baares said in an interview.

He also admitted the World Bank has made the complete due
diligence audit on PNB as a conditionality for the release
of the $100-million banking sector reform loan.  The DoF is
also asking the new PNB board to come up with an "action
plan" on strengthening the bank's capital base and loan
portfolio, Mr. Baares said.

He said the report is needed to complete the government's
privatization plan.

As of end-1999, PNB's non-performing loans hit 29% of its
total loan portfolio, higher than 26% in the third quarter.
Total nonperforming loans had amounted to PhP34.9 billion
($860.7 million).  The bank's bad loans were way above the
industry average ratio of 14.6% as of last November.
(Business World  09-Feb-2000)

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: Tan tightens hold on PNB board
---------------------------------------------------
Business tycoon Lucio Tan is reportedly consolidating his
hold on the board of Philippine National Bank.

Highly placed banking sources said Tan's brother, Mariano
Tanenglian, will soon replace Malacanang's nominee Gregorio
Santayana in the PNB board.  Tanenglian's entry into the
PNB board is expected to be announced during the PNB board
meeting at the end of this week.

Sources said Tan now virtually runs PNB, holding office at
the PNB head office Complex daily.  Tan plans to acquire
government's remaining 30 percent stake in PNB.  They also
said Tan is reviewing the books of PNB in preparation for
his offer for the government shares in a public bidding.

A date for the bidding has not been set since a financial
audit of the bank being conducted by Price Waterhouse has
not yet been completed.  Finance Undersecretary Joel
Banares said the new PNB management has asked for
additional time to complete the audit report with Price
Waterhouse.  Sources said the PNB management probably wants
to ensure that the audit report will not come out with any
adverse findings.

However, they said that Price Waterhouse did find some
questionable transactions including an over provision for
the bank's loan-losses.  PNB's non-performing loans as of
the end of 1999 soared to an uncomfortable 29 percent of
total loan portfolio. (The Philippine Star  09-Feb-2000)

UNIWIDE GROUP: More details on French firm's purchase
-----------------------------------------------------
French retail firm Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA (Casino
Group), France's second-largest retail chain, will be
investing $110 million (approximately 4.4 billion
Philippine pesos) in Uniwide group. The capital infusion is
equivalent to 60% of the shareholdings currently held by
the Gow family.

Philippe Bastien, head of Casino's investor relations
department, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview
yesterday that the French retailer will initially acquire
60% of the Uniwide group through a local company and will
be increasing its stake in the future to 90%.

Uniwide is reportedly set to finalize negotiations with the
French retail firm within 120 days, a source privy to the
negotiations said.  The source said the two parties are
trying to arrive at a "win-win situation" and come up with
a "fair" agreement.  While Casino wants a "debt-free"
Uniwide, the source said Uniwide need not necessarily pay
off its entire obligations to creditor banks before the
foreign firm gains control of the group of companies.

Out of the Uniwide group's PhP11.1-billion (US$273.8
million at PhP40.547:US$1) debt, PhP6.95 billion ($171.4
million) are owed to 13 creditor banks. Loans from the
banks have maturities ranging from 1998 up to 2003.

Under Philippine laws, foreigners are not allowed to own
retail companies. However, the French company is awaiting a
government move to liberalize the retail sector. A
bicameral conference committee is set to decide today the
final version of the Retail Trade Law.

"In the Philippines, it's impossible for overseas investors
to own more than 60% of retail companies. What we plan to
do is get 60% initially then increase this to 90% at the
end of the deal. We're looking for a local partner who will
buy the 60% for us," he said.

The Casino official, however, declined to reveal the
identity if the local group Casino is currently discussing
with for a joint investment in Uniwide. The local partner
will be tapped to help in the development of Uniwide's
hypermarket operations.

Mr. Bastien said Casino expects to finalize the acquisition
deal by end-June to immediately implement "remodelling"
plans for the Uniwide group. At least PhP12 billion
($295.95 million) in sales is expected to be generated once
the local group has successfully restructured its debts by
2001.

"Basically we will remodel the company for the next 12
months. We have to change many things. It will be more of a
re-engineering program," he said. Mr. Bastien refused to
give further details.

A Uniwide official said Casino is considering changing
Uniwide's name but the plan is still on the drawing board.
Casino announced last Friday in France that it will be
acquiring a majority stake in Uniwide on the condition that
the companies operating under the group are debt-free. The
buy-in will effectively make the French retailer one of the
country's leading retail chains.

The French firm is involved in food retailing as well as
selling hardware, clothing and other goods at its
hypermarkets. The group already has presence in Asian
countries such as Taiwan and Thailand and is responsible
for the rehabilitation of the latter's Big C hypermarket
now considered as the biggest retailer in the said country.

Under the agreement entered into by both parties, Casino
will acquire Uniwide's 10 hypermarkets or warehouse-type
discount stores, one distribution center and five real
estate projects. The said assets are worth PhP4 billion
($98.6 million).  However, the French group will only
infuse its investment once Uniwide's assets have been
restructured and transferred debt-free. The management is
now fast-tracking the settlement of the companies' debts.

To date, the Uniwide group has already settled obligations
owed to East Asia Capital Corp. amounting to PhP60.4
million ($1.5 million) and to United Coconut Planters Bank
totalling PhP1.044 billion ($25.7 million).  The agreement
will also be subject to the approval and implementation of
the group's revised rehabilitation plan which will be
submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission later
this week.

The corporate watchdog has extended for the fourth time
Uniwide group's debt moratorium pending submission of the
said revised rehabilitation plan which the management
promised to submit on February 11.  Uniwide has been
negotiating individually with creditor banks for a debt-
for-asset swap deal to reduce its loans.

Another source said creditor banks would welcome the entry
of Casino into Uniwide. "It doesn't really matter who the
party is, as long as the money is there," the source said.
The source added a fresh infusion of over PhP4 billion into
the Uniwide group is "good enough." (Business World  09-
Feb-2000)

UNIWIDE GROUP: Sara Lee asks for rehab-plan modifications
---------------------------------------------------------
Domestic subsidiaries of US-based personal care giant --
Sara Lee Philippines, Inc. (SLPI) and Sara Lee Personal
Products Philippines (SLPPP) -- yesterday asked the
corporate court to order the modification of the
rehabilitation plan earlier proposed by Uniwide

As trade creditors of the Gow-owned group, both SLPI and
SLPPP said the rehab plan should be changed to "ensure a
more fair and equitable payment scheme for trade
suppliers."

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Perfecto
R. Yasay, Jr. told reporters last Monday that Uniwide has
promised to submit by Friday a revised rehabilitation plan
that would conform to what has been agreed upon by the
components of the case."

SLPI and SLPPP said Uniwide was not fair in its treatment
of creditors when in June last year, it inked a debt-for-
asset swap deal with Equitable Banking Corp.

Under the questioned rehab plan, trade suppliers will be
given an initial payment of 5% of the outstanding loan
balance of PhP50,000 ($1,200) whichever is higher, under
the assumption of a PhP1-billion equity infusion. The
succeeding payments will then be made in exchange for new
credit terms, which the suppliers are being asked to
extend. Repayment on the outstanding payables shall be made
in an amount equal to the credit terms granted on new
purchases.

Furthermore, assuming an annual sales level of PhP12
million ($295,000) beginning December last year, trade
suppliers can be paid within 14 months.  The personal care
manufacturer also said recovery of its exposure to the
beleaguered retail chain operator has been subjected to
conditions whose fulfillment is not guaranteed.

Conditions for repayment are: PhP1-billion capital
infusion; that credit be given in an equivalent amount
before succeeding payments of the outstanding payables
share be made and; payment on the previous balance to be
completed in 14 months only if the annual sales reach a
certain amount.

SLPI and SLPPP also questioned the rehabilitation plan's
failure to take into account the possible interest or
penalties incurred by the trade creditors due to nonpayment
by the cash-strapped retail giant. (Business World,
Philippine Star  09-Feb-2000)


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

ROBINSON DEPARTMENT STORE: Creditor majority okays plan
-------------------------------------------------------
Creditors holding a significant amount of debt yesterday
voted for a Bt19-billion debt restructuring of Robinson
Department Store Plc under court supervision.

The approval came from bondholders with Bt1.8 billion,
about 10 per cent, of the total debt. However, they also
hold the majority of the total debt owed by Robinson.
Among these major creditors are Citibank and other foreign
banks.

Under the restructuring plan, creditors will convert some
debt into equity and extend the debt repayment period by 7
to 8 years.  The restructuring will reduce Central Group's
shareholding in Robinson from 51 per cent to only 5 per
cent.  Suthichart Chirathivat, chief executive officer of
Central Retail Group, said that the group is still a major
shareholder and has no plans to sell shares to other
investors.

"(If there is going to be shareholding change) the
management of Robinson will make their own decision. They
are authorised to do so. I will be the last to know," he
said.

The debt restructuring is to proceed in the Central
Bankruptcy Court. Once approved by Robinson and its
creditors, the plan will be implemented under the court's
supervision.  The debt restructuring plan is expected to be
finalised by the first quarter of this year, Suthichart
said.

Although Central would no longer have majority control and
management powers, creditors wanted it to continue managing
Robinson due to its expertise in department stores.
However, a creditor source said Central would be unwilling
to continue managing Robinson if it has to run the company
with a heavy debt.

"Central would have only a 5 per cent shareholding left
after the restructuring, so why should it be responsible
for making profits for the rest of the shareholders," the
source said.

To persuade Central to run Robinson after the
restructuring, creditors would have to offer incentives
such as management fees and/or options to buy back shares,
the source said.  Robinson faced serious problems when the
economic crisis struck in 1997. It has had foreign-currency
debts of about US$400 million. The floating of the baht saw
the debt rise from about Bt10 billion to Bt19 billion.

As of Sept 30, 1999, the company's net worth was negative
at minus Bt4.2 billion. It reported revenue of Bt5.07
billion and a net loss of Bt2.4 billion for the first nine
months of 1999, down from revenue of Bt7.8 billion and a
net profit of Bt1.3 billion in the same period
the previous year.  The company declared its default in
June 1998. (The Nation  09-Feb-2000)

SINGER PLC: Raises Bt900m from debentures
-----------------------------------------
Singer (Thailand) Plc has successfully sold Bt900 million
worth of debentures with subscription exceeding the
offering amount by two times, thanks to current historic
low in interest rates.

The household electrical appliance maker is the first firm
to raise funds through a debenture issue this year. The
nation's largest cement conglomerate, Siam Cement Plc, and
Siam Panich Leasing Plc are also planning to offer such
debt instruments.

The debentures carry a coupon rate of 7.75 per cent, far
above the 2.5 to 2.75 per cent rate for savings accounts
offered by commercial banks and even higher than the 6.5
per cent of government bonds.

Thai Farmers Bank (TFB) senior vice president Tawit
Thanachanan said that the principal of the unsecured and
unsubordinated debentures, which have a three-year
maturity, will be payable quarterly. TFB and Bangkok Bank
are joint lead underwriters.

"From the book building process, yields of Singer's
debentures are in the region of 7.75 to 8.50 per cent and
subscriptions from institutional investors are two times
higher than the limit. This shows the demand for debentures
is strong," he said.

The debenture issue is part of Singer Thailand's plan to
mobilise funds of Bt1.5 billion. The other Bt600 million
will be borrowed through a syndicated loan, scheduled to be
allocated tomorrow. The funds would be used to repay
offshore loans that carried higher interest costs, and to
expand its hire-purchase business since electrical
appliance sales were now reviving.

Tawit attributed the success of the issue to the settlement
structure of the debentures matching the company's cashflow
and its monthly debt service account.

Late last year, the US-based Singer NV filed Chapter 11 in
bankruptcy court but executives of the Thai unit at that
time confirmed that the problems with the US operation
would not hit Thailand as the major shareholder in Singer
Thailand is the Netherlands operation, Singer BV.

Singer (Thailand) Plc's earnings performance in the first
nine months of last year posted a Bt47.87 million net
profit, against a Bt219.06 million net loss over the same
period the previous year. (The Nation, Bangkok Post  09-
Feb-2000)

THAI MELON POLYESTER: SCB sues for B4.54bn
------------------------------------------
Siam Commercial Bank has filed a 4.54-billion-baht
bankruptcy suit against Thai Melon Polyester, in one of the
largest such cases to date.

Earlier, Bangkok Bank also filed a civil lawsuit against
the company for debts totalling 1.7 billion baht. The SCB
suit names Thai Melon and Chanvuth Bodiratnangkura, its
managing director, as defendants. The Central Bankruptcy
Court has accepted the case and scheduled the first hearing
for Feb 18.

SCB said in court documents that Thai Melon started
borrowing from the bank in May 1984 by opening a current
account at the bank headquarters.  The loans extended to
Thai Melon were in the form of overdrafts, letters of
credit issued to the company's overseas buyers, offshore
loans, bills of exchange, promissory notes, standby letters
of credit, as well as packing credits and trustee debt
contracts.

Thai Melon placed as collateral 12 machines and properties
in Bangkok and upcountry. It also placed 460,200 shares it
held in Krung Thai Bank and 3.8 million shares of First
Bangkok City Bank.  The value of all the assets pledged was
appraised at 2.9 billion baht, far below the total amount
owed. The bank said it had sent many reminders for
repayments without receiving a response.

The business operations of Thai Melon were discontinued in
October 1998 when the bank petitioned the court to put the
firm into receivership.  (Bangkok Post  09-Feb-2000)

THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Reports rehab progress to SET
--------------------------------------------------------
Thai Petrochemical Industry Pcl, through Mr. Wachirapunthu
Promprasert,Executive Vice President and Group Chief
Financial Officer, reports that a petition was filed by
various creditors on 17th January 2000 for the
rehabilitation of Thai Petrochemical Industry Pcl. TPI
agreed not to object to the presentation of the petition,
on the understanding that the restructuring documentation
would be amended to correct certain commercial assumptions.

A negotiation has continued since 17th January in as
attempt to agree the necessary amendments, but such
negotiation have not yet been completed. TPI, therefore,
filed a formal objection to protect its position, pending
the satisfactory completion of these negotiations, so as to
give all parties an opportunity to approve those
amendments. TPI hopes that this can be finalised before the
end of February 2000, so that the restructuring can proceed
on a consensual basis.  (Stock Exchange of Thailand  08-
Feb-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,
DC USA. Darryl Henning, Managing Editor, Feliz Ordona and
Cristina Pernites, Editors.

Copyright 2000.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

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