TCRAP_Public/000301.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, March 1, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 42


* A U S T R A L I A *

AMP: Posts net loss, share price slips
ASHTON MINING: Aurora takes the shine off with big loss
BHP: More slash and burn at BHP
BHP: Tightens belt, but shares fall further
FOSTER'S BREWING GROUP: Court resurrects $500M spectre
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK: Seeks salvation in new economy
PASMINCO: Facing launch of huge class action
TELSTRA: NFF may oppose Telstra sale until gov't pays up
YASUDA TRUST AUSTRALIA: Enters voluntary liquidation

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

B.G.INT'L. LTD: Facing winding up petition
PEREGRINE INVEST.HLDGS.: Crash-probe report imminent

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT ASTRA INT'L: Singapore casts out bidder lifeline
PT DHARMALA SAKTI SEJAHTERA: Seeks time to negotiate debts

* J A P A N *

BANDAI: To post extraordinary loss of Y1.95B
KAWASHO CORP.: To post 3B Yen FY99 net loss
LONG-TERM CREDIT BANK: RCC buys 1.4T Yen of its bad loans
MITSUI FUDOSAN CO.: Projects annual loss, gets downgraded
NIPPON ASSET MANAGEMENT: Y73.7B in loans to be forgiven
NOMURA REAL ESTATE DEVEL.CO.: To Post Y50B special loss
TOHO MUTUAL LIFE INS.: Insurers to pay Y380B in liquidation
TOKYU CONSTRUCTION CO.: To post 50B Yen in special loss
VICTOR CO.OF JAPAN: Earnings projections worsen

* K O R E A *

CHO HUNG BANK: Records overseas losses
DAEWOO GROUP: Main creditors finalise debt scheme
DAEWOO MOTOR: Due diligence to be allowed bidders
EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF KOREA: Records overseas losses
HANA BANK: Records overseas losses
HANVIT BANK: Records overseas losses
H&CB: Records overseas losses
INDUS.BANK OF KOREA: Records overseas losses
KOOKMIN BANK: Records overseas losses
KORAM BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA EXCHANGE BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA FIRST BANK: Records overseas losses
SEOUL BANK: Records overseas losses
SHINHAN BANK: Records overseas losses

* M A L A Y S I A *

ARAB-MALAYSIAN CORP.: Shareholders okay payment scheme
ESSO MALAYSIA BHD: Posts annual loss

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

ONGPIN GROUP: More details on APC's P150M suit
ONGPIN GROUP: Denies lawsuit charges
PHILWEB.COM.INC.: More details on APC's P150-M suit
SOUTH SEAS NAT.RESOURCES: More details on APC's P150M suit

* S I N G A P O R E *

CLOB INT'L: Effective Cap expects acceptance of offer

* T H A I L A N D *

DBS THAI DANU BANK: To streamline operations
TCJ MOTOR PLC: Requests waiving of foreign exchange loss
THAI IDENTITY SUGAR GROUP: Debtor offers creditors new plan


AMP: Posts net loss, share price slips
The AMP managing director, Mr Paul Batchelor, said he hoped
to lift the financial-services group's return on equity
above 15 per cent within a "couple of years."

Mr Batchelor also hinted at more partnerships and alliances
for AMP, rather than growth by acquisition.  Last Thursday,
AMP posted a net loss of $424million for the year to 31
December, 1999, a result weighed down by abnormal losses
totalling $1.47billion. Pre-abnormal net operating profit
improved marginally to $1.05billion, from $1.03 billion
previously.  Return on equity (ROE) before abnormals was
12.9per cent for the year.

Mr Batchelor told Channel Nine's Business Sunday program
that ROE could be driven higher by "another one or three
percentage points", but not anywhere near the 20per cent
achieved by some banks.

"I haven't set a target that said we should be at 20 (per
cent), but I've said that I want to get us above 15 in the
short term."  Asked to define short term, Mr Batchelor
said: "Couple of years."

AMP would build on its core strengths, especially in funds
under management where it is number one in Australia and
New Zealand, he said.  "We'll look to growing that and
leveraging that in the UK (where there are) tremendous
opportunities," he said.

Mr Batchelor again ruled out large acquisitions, although
AMP would continue to look at small acquisitions, he said.
Nevertheless, AMP had "sufficient size and base now that we
can grow it organically and that's my focus". Mr Batchelor
also accepts full responsibility for AMP's financial

AMP was battered by $1.1billion in reinsurance losses from
its now wholly owned subsidiary GIO Australia Holdings.
Mr Batchelor said AMP had taken steps to minimise its
exposure to further losses.  Mr Batchelor also confirmed
that AMP had uncovered an incident of alleged fraud
involving "about $600,000" in its Melbourne funds-
management operation, and is "getting the police involved".

Business Sunday believes the alleged fraud was carried out
on funds managed on behalf of a public company client.
AMP shares slipped 9.1 cents on Friday to $14.98. (The Age

ASHTON MINING: Aurora takes the shine off with big loss
Ashton Mining missed its chance to show off a strong profit
result yesterday after exposure to a gold miner in
Indonesia pushed it down to a $44.6 million loss.

Ashton picked up an abnormal charge of $62.1 million from
its 35 per cent interest in Aurora Gold, which last week
announced a loss of $93.8 million on the back off an asset
writedown on its Indonesian operations.  Ashton chief
executive Doug Bailey said Ashton was not a seller of
Aurora below its 33.5c carrying value. Aurora closed
yesterday at 29c.

The fall-out from Aurora's troubles in Indonesia masked a
result that will position the company for strong earnings
growth in 2002.  With Aurora removed from the picture,
profit from diamond operations was up 20 per cent from
$14.6 million to $17.5 million.

A 20 per cent rise in diamond prices during the year and a
strong performance from the 40 per cent owned Argyle
diamond mine in Western Australia underpinned the result.
Final dividend rises 0.5c to 2.5c a share.  Over the full
year, dividend payments were 1c a share higher and Mr
Bailey said the increase was sustainable and would benefit
from substantial franking credits available.

Argyle increased its pre-tax and interest earnings from
$56.2 million to $79.2 million.  The profit was despite a
disruption to mining from a cutback of the open pit to
allow access to new ore and increase the mine life to 2006.
The effect of the cutback was to slash diamond production
to 29.6 million carats compared to 40 million carats in the
previous year.

Mr Bailey said production would fall further this year as
the mine cutback continued but that, if, as expected,
diamond prices did not fall below current levels, then a
similar profit result could be expected. (The Australian

BHP: More slash and burn at BHP
BHP yesterday unveiled a tough new management era that will
see further asset sales and costs slashed as the Big
Australian tries to revive its flagging fortunes.

The blueprint for recovery outlined by BHP's managing
director, Mr Paul Anderson, in Melbourne includes:
The sale of an additional $4 billion in assets by June next
year. Cost cuts of $1.5 billion over the next five years.
Eliminating jobs by cutting duplication among divisions,
contracting out information technology work and applying
tougher performance targets.  Walking away from the
troubled Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea in return for
indemnities from the PNG Government against any legal
action over its pollution problems.

BHP's new approach follows the closure last year of the
Newcastle steelworks and the offloading of other unwanted
steel assets to shareholders which was flagged late last
week.  The company is developing a range of possible
projects, such as further expansion of mines in Chile and
Queensland, along with other assets worldwide, but all will
be subject to tough financial scrutiny before a go-ahead is

The abandoning of the Ok Tedi mine is expected to be
confirmed within weeks, in return for the government
indemnity.  Dumping of tailings from the gold and copper
mine into the Fly River has caused extensive environmental

Mr Anderson said the consensus among local communities,
non-government organisations and PNG authorities was that
the "mine should continue to operate."  However, BHP was
"not comfortable" with its role and the company had
proposed a "way in which we might go forward into the
future under the assumption that the mine does continue to

Mr Anderson gave no further details, saying public
disclosure of the proposal was probably a month away.
The new-look BHP will also focus on its minerals and oil
and gas operations, with the steel division - based around
the Port Kembla works - classified as a "regional

As part of its tighter financial discipline, the company
has also set a target of achieving an average 12 per cent
return on capital in the five years to June 2004. This
would be good news for shareholders since BHP's latest
return is 3.5 per cent, although the target is well short
of the 15 per cent return achieved by other leading

The continued reworking of BHP's assets base will see a
very different company emerge within five years, in line
with Mr Anderson's vision of BHP as a globally significant
minerals company with niche interests in petroleum. Mr
Anderson said the company's present assets split - 45 per
cent minerals, 30 per cent steel and 25 per cent petroleum
- would become 40-50 per cent minerals, 30-40 per cent
petroleum and about 20 per cent steel.

The previously unheralded growth potential of the petroleum
division reflects growing optimism by Mr Anderson over
projects in the Gulf of Mexico and planned gas and oil
operations in Algeria.  Meanwhile, BHP's share price
remains under pressure, most recently in the wake of its
planned spin-off of most of its remaining steel assets
outside of the Wollongong works and associated facilities.
(Sydney Morning Herald  29-Feb-2000)

BHP: Tightens belt, but shares fall further
BHP shares slid to four-month lows yesterday as investors
continued to react negatively to the company's plan to spin
off its $1.9 billion long products steel business, with
sentiment remaining unmoved by the tougher management
blueprint outlined by managing director Mr Paul Anderson in
Melbourne yesterday.

The decision to spin off the unwanted assets has seen $1.1
billion wiped off BHP's sharemarket capitalisation since
Friday, with its shares closing down almost 4 per cent
yesterday, losing 63.5c to end at $16.12

Meanwhile Mr Anderson opened the door on the company,
revealing for the first time a strategic performance
blueprint which stockbroking analysts said set aggressive
targets and clearly stated what could be expected from the
company in the next five years. "It spells it out in black
and white," Rothschild Australia Asset Management's
associate director Mr Tim Barker said.

BHP set itself a target of cutting about $300 million a
year from costs, or $1.5 billion over five years. "That's
a lot more than anyone would have thought," said one

BHP also said it was targeting an average return on capital
of 12 per cent, against just 3.5 per cent in 1998-99 and
would generate cash flow of more than $11 billion over the
next three years. The company said it wanted to maintain
its gearing ratio between 40 and 45 per cent, sell $4
billion in assets for the three years to June 2001 and
invest at least $12 billion in maintenance capital.

Some analysts expressed surprise that BHP's share price
continued to be dogged by the planned float of the unwanted
long products business through a pro-rata distribution of
shares to shareholders.  Shareholders would have the option
to sell their shares before the new entity is listed on the
Australian Stock Exchange in the second half of the year.

But the company is having a hard time selling the concept
to institutional investors, who would have preferred a
trade sale and are showing little support for the move.
Concerns centred on the low return on capital (about 5 per
cent), little or no growth prospects and "poor" timing when
the market is focused on "new economy" telecom and
technology stocks.

On long products' reported $1.9 billion book value, shares
in the new entity were likely to be priced around $1.08 a
share.  But institutions said the new company would have to
offer investors significant incentives including a high
annual dividend yield to lock in their support. (Sydney
Morning Herald  29-Feb-2000)

FOSTER'S BREWING GROUP: Court resurrects $500M spectre
The chances that the Foster's Brewing Group could be forced
to pay as much as $500 million to the creditors of a failed
Adelaide property development company have increased
following a judgment in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In his judgment, Justice Glen Williams also criticised
Foster's tactics in defending itself in the suit and said
the creditors of the failed property group "may have been
defrauded".  The litigation recalls loans made by the
Foster's-owned Elders Finance Group during the 1980s to
Adelaide entrepreneur Giuseppe Emanuele.

By March 1995, the Emanuel Group was put into liquidation
with debts of about $300 million.  Creditors to the Emanuel
Group are believed to be owed about $500 million.  Justice
Williams said the group's liquidator, Peter Macks, had
"reasonable prospects" of recovering a large part of the
$500 million.

Mr Macks has previously said the Emanuel Group had been
technically insolvent since 1988, but traded until 1995
acting under instructions from EFG. EFG was the Emanuel
Group's biggest creditor and was awarded $186.6 million in
a court judgment in February 1995.  However, EFG released
Mr Emanuele from his obligations and paid the Emanuel
Family Trust $3.3 million in cash and released mortgages
over three residential properties valued at $1.3 million.

Mr Macks has also claimed Foster's bought about 13,000ha of
land, 100km north of Brisbane below market value. Justice
Williams's comments came after Foster's had attempted to
have Mr Macks removed as liquidator for alleged champetry
the illegal division of funds gained from litigation by
those who instigated it.

After failing to raise funds from the original creditors to
pursue the liquidation, Mr Macks took out an $80,000
insurance policy with GIO to cover costs.  Costs have
passed $3.3 million so far, but GIO also has a "risk
premium" clause which entitles them to 35 per cent of "net

Justice Williams dismissed the Foster's case and also said:
"Because of the economic strength of the Foster's Group,
the liquidator has been subjected to pressures beyond the
norm."  He also said that attempts by Foster's to have Mr
Macks removed for alleged misconduct was "another example
of an endeavour on the part of the Foster's Group to dredge
up any possible argument to embarrass the liquidator".

Foster's declined to comment on the judgment yesterday.
(The Australian  29-Feb-2000)

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK: Seeks salvation in new economy
In a desperate bid to boost an ailing share price, National
Australia Bank's managing director, Mr Frank Cicutto, has
reiterated his commitment to launch the bank headlong into
the "new economy".

Speaking at the Australian Custodial Services Association
conference yesterday, Mr Cicutto said there had been a
reweighting in global markets towards companies of the so-
called "new economy" and away from traditional businesses.

"This distinction is having a profound impact on the way
fund managers and others are valuing stocks, not only in
Australia but in the key markets of Europe and the United
States," he said. "For industries such as custodial
services and companies such as the National, this means we
have to be prepared to revisit our strategies and ensure
they are appropriate to the economic and market conditions
of today and the future."

Mr Cicutto said the custodial market held "significant"
growth opportunities for the bank in both Australian and
offshore markets. The National services about 27 per cent
of Australia's $300 billion custodial market. He said the
custodial industry would benefit from the "explosion in
financial service-related activity".

While analysts agreed the bank's Australian custodial
operations were strong, they were less optimistic about
National's offshore opportunities.

"National Nominees is a good business for them - but it's
low-margin and they're going up against some seriously big
global heavyweights like State Street and Bank of New
York," an analyst said.

The bank has long identified Global Custodial Services as a
linchpin in its attempts to create global business lines
and generate more non-interest income. But the momentum
appears to be stalling.

"They're under pressure strategically - they're looking
marginalised in the UK, with less than 2 per cent share. In
the US their position is even worse and Australia is
flatlining in terms of growth" one analyst said.

And speculation is mounting within National that the bank's
head of strategy, Mr Roland Matrenza, is under increasing
pressure from his managing director.  Since peaking at
$30.14 in April last year, National has shed $14 billion in
value and been dogged by bad news. The bank's shares closed
steady at $20.80 yesterday - bouncing off a 17-month low of
$19.90 late last week.

"Many blue-chip stocks have felt the impact of the change
in focus despite strong fundamentals and excellent profit
performance," Mr Cicutto said, trying to explain the price
fall in the face of booming high-tech and media stocks.

While National talks up the so-called new economy, it is
seen to be lagging its competitors in terms of real
changes. "NAB's been guilty of dragging the chain with its
e-commerce agenda and appears to be playing catch-up.
Bottom line, the bank has not been communicating its
strategy well to the market and doesn't appear to be
implementing it particularly well either," another analyst
said. (The Age  29-Feb-2000)

PASMINCO: Facing launch of huge class action
A group of Port Pirie residents is suing mining company
Pasminco in what is expected to be one of Australia's
largest class actions.

The action alleges noxious fumes from the South Australian
city's smelter caused residents to suffer serious health
complaints.  Another Pasminco smelter at Cockle Creek in
New South Wales is also the subject of legal action.

It is alleged Pasminco wrongfully caused and permitted
emissions of noxious fumes, vapours, lead and sulphur
dioxide into the air.  Residents living near the smelters
are now claiming they suffered a range of health problems
including intellectual disability, tumours and cancer.

A public appeal is now underway to determine how many
people are affected.  Legal firm Coleman and Grieg says
anyone born in Port Pirie or Cockle Creek in the past 21
years or anyone living in a radius of five kilometres of
the smelters over the past six years could file for action.
(ABC News Online  29-Feb-2000)

TELSTRA: NFF may oppose Telstra sale until gov't pays up
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) says it may campaign
against the full sale of Telstra unless promised upgrades
in regional telecommunications are delivered.

The NFF has called on the Federal Government to get on with
the $750 million worth of improvements promised from last
year's sale of the second tranche of Telstra.  The peak
farming lobby group also wants the government to release
details of the inquiry into Telstra service standards.

NFF president Ian Donges says if the benefits of T-2 are
not delivered to regional Australia, the NFF might play an
active role against any further privatisation.

"That's a possibility, there's no doubt about that, because
the feelings are running very strong in terms of the
quality of services and delivery of those services right
now," he said.  "There's no doubt that the $750 million
that was legislated for last year is something that rural
people are looking for."

A spokesman for the Communications Minister, Richard
Alston, says the government has already enhanced high speed
data services and strengthened the universal service
obligation for regional customers.  He says the government
has made it clear it will not pursue full privatisation
until the study of service standards is carrried out. (ABC
News Online  29-Feb-2000)

YASUDA TRUST AUSTRALIA: Enters voluntary liquidation
Effective on 16 February 2000, Yasuda Trust Australia
Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Yasuda Trust
and Banking Company, Limited (President: Takahiko
Kiminami), had officially entered into voluntary
liquidation process.

Reorganization of our overseas operation which was
announced in November 1998 is now completed and all of our
overseas branches and subsidiaries were closed down. We,
the Yasuda Trust and Banking Company, Limited, is now
concentrating to domestic business in Japan by allocating
our resources mainly to the strategic business fields such
as private banking, real estate business, and asset
securitization.  (Regulatory News Service  25-Feb-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

B.G.INT'L. LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for March 22 on the petition of
Chan Ying Ha for the winding up of B G International
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before March 21.

PEREGRINE INVEST.HLDGS.: Crash-probe report imminent
A probe into the collapse of Peregrine Investments Holdings
is expected to be completed within the next week, when an
independent inspector hands a report to the Financial

The investigation by Richard Farrant, former chief
operating officer of Britain's Financial Services
Authority, will determine whether there was any malpractice
behind the collapse.  However, it is anticipated that due
to time and budget constraints the report will not be an
extensive insight into the demise of one of Asia's largest
investment banks.

Mr Farrant was appointed by Financial Secretary Donald
Tsang Yam-kuen in April, a move endorsed by the High Court.
The probe is expected to cost less than $10 million.
Peregrine collapsed in January 1998 under the weight of a
$265 million loan made to Indonesian taxi company Steady

Of particular interest will be the extent that the report
refers to the role played by former Peregrine directors, in
terms of the disclosure of information given to creditors
prior to the group's collapse.  A number of announcements
were made on behalf of directors and the group to dispel
market rumours that Peregrine was in serious financial
trouble in the months leading up to its demise.

Legal action has already been taken by former investors who
claim Peregrine directors made negligent misrepresentations
of the company's financial health.  Cheeroll, part of the
Sun Hung Kai Group, claims it lost $27 million as a result
of two sets of statements aimed at reassuring shareholders.

Another lawsuit lodged by Commerzbank focuses on a 73
million deutschmark (about HK$283.02 million) swap
transaction conducted on January 9, one working day before
Peregrine filed for liquidation.  Because of time
differences, Commerzbank carried out the first leg of the
swap but it is claimed Peregrine did not meet its due

The knowledge of the directors regarding the group's
finances is pivotal to the lawsuit.  A non-contentious
court case in London in the meantime is expected to be
launched by liquidators PricewaterhouseCoopers soon, in
order to clarify legal issues surrounding International
Swap Dealers Association (ISDA) transactions.

Many Peregrine Fixed Income claims are ISDA-related. Until
the legal issues are clarified, creditors whose claims are
documented under ISDA cannot be paid a dividend.  About
$850 million has been put aside on their behalf pending the
outcome of the court case. (South China Morning Post  29-


PT ASTRA INT'L: Singapore casts out bidder lifeline
Singapore's powerful investment arm, the Government
Investment Corporation, has emerged as a co-investor in
each of three rival groups bidding for a substantial stake
in one of Indonesia's flagship companies.

The three bidders shortlisted to buy 40 per cent of the
shares in PT Astra International, the Indonesian motor
vehicle, finance and agribusiness conglomerate, are about
to start due diligence scrutiny of Astra's accounts before
submitting their final bids in about three weeks to the
Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency.

The bidders include a group led by listed Singapore car
distributor Cycle & Carriage, one headed by international
merchant bank Lazard Freres, and another that includes
three US investment firms Gilbert Global Equity Partners,
Newbridge Capital, and Chase Asia Equity Partners.

The GIC's involvement as a minority investor in all three
groups is the result of Singapore government moves to
support efforts by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid
to attract foreign investment.

Last month, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
announced the creation of a government-backed fund of
$US500 million ($811.03 million) for co-investment in
Indonesia. The money is to be used by Singapore government-
linked companies to buy stakes of up to 15 per cent in
troubled Indonesian firms under the control of IBRA.

The GIC invests Singapore's surplus reserves in securities,
stocks, property and unlisted companies around the world,
although its holdings are seldom revealed. In an unusual
public statement, the GIC said its "participation in the
three consortia bidding for Astra is consistent with the
catalytic role that Singapore will play in helping IBRA
sell its assets".

IBRA, which plans to announce the winner of the Astra
bidding by the end of March, manages bank assets, including
property and shares, with a face value of about 500
trillion rupiah ($1.1 billion).  It has been set a target
by the Government of raising 17 million rupiah in asset
sales in the fiscal year to the end of March, and 18.9
trillion rupiah in the shortened financial year from April
to the end of December. So far IBRA has collected 10.5
trillion rupiah from the sale of assets this fiscal year.

Analysts say the GIC's involvement may act as a lure to
bring other investors into Indonesia and help IBRA meet its
asset disposal targets.  But they also say the fact that it
is a participant in each of the competing bidders for Astra
and would presumably have knowledge of each group's
strategy and offers could put it in a potential conflict of
interest situation.

Amir Sambodo, a senior adviser to IBRA chairman Cacuk
Sudarijanto, said that the GIC was prepared to invest as
much as $US100 million as a co-investor in Astra.
(The Australian  29-Feb-2000)

PT DHARMALA SAKTI SEJAHTERA: Seeks time to negotiate debts
Publicly listed PT Dharmala Sakti Sejahtera asked the
Jakarta Commercial Court on Monday to hold off issuing a
verdict in a bankruptcy suit filed against the holding
company to allow it to negotiate its debt restructuring
with creditors.

"Considering the clear signs of economic recovery in
Indonesia, Dharmala Sakti Sejahtera sees a good chance to
improve its operations and be able to settle its debts with
the creditors," said Anwar from Indriany, Anwar and Jimmy
law firm, representing Dharmala Sakti.

Joint venture PT Hanil Bakrie Finance Corporation filed a
bankruptcy suit against Dharmala Sakti in mid-February for
the latter's failure to repay US$2.4 million in matured
promissory notes.  Dharmala Sakti also has outstanding
debts totaling $114.5 million and Rp 457 billion with other
local and foreign creditors.

Among the biggest creditors are the Indonesian Bank
Restructuring Agency, Hong Kong-based Peregrine Fixed
Income, currently in liquidation, the Singapore branch of
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, joint venture PT AB
Sinar Mas Finance and the Jakarta office of Standard
Chartered Bank.

Anwar said his client was progressing in serious debt
restructuring negotiations with the above creditors and
some others, covering about 50 percent of the total debt

"So, it is fair that Dharmala Sakti petitioned the court
for a suspension of payment, or a PKPU", Anwar said.

According to the 1998 Bankruptcy Law, a company facing a
bankruptcy suit can temporarily halt the action by filing a
PKPU request with the court.  If the request is approved,
the company is given a maximum of 270 days to negotiate a
debt restructuring deal with all of its creditors.

However, the grace period can be ended at any time by a
majority vote of the creditors if the borrower fails to
show it has the ability and good faith to settle its debts.
The majority vote is decided by at least three fourths of
the number of the creditors who attend the court-supervised
creditors' meeting. The three-fourths vote must represent
at least 50 percent of the total value of the debt.

If the PKPU period ends without a debt restructuring deal
in place, the borrower is automatically declared bankrupt.
By being declared bankrupt through the PKPU process, the
borrower loses its right to appeal to the Supreme Court
under the law.  Dharmala Sakti is a holding company of
Dharmala Group, owned by the Gondokusumo family.

There are five companies affiliated to Dharmala Group that
have been declared bankrupt: PT Dharmala Agrifood, PT Putra
Surya Multidana, PT Deemte Sakti Indo, PT Putra Sejahtera
Persada and foreign affiliate Detron Ltd. of Singapore.
Another, PT Aster Dharma, was also declared bankrupt, but
the decision was overruled by the Supreme Court through its
civil review decision late last year. (The Jakarta Post


BANDAI: To post extraordinary loss of Y1.95B
Bandai, Japan's biggest toy maker, will post an
extraordinary loss of Yen 1.95B during this fiscal year to
March 31 to pay for the planned closure of an unprofitable
unit in May.  Bandai, maker of Power Ranger toys, will shut
Bandai Music Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary which
makes and sells music CDs, because it it unlikely to turn a
profit.  It is not known what will happen to the 60

KAWASHO CORP.: To post 3B Yen FY99 net loss
Kawasho Corp. (8110) expects to post just over a 3 billion
yen net loss for the current year ending March 31, due to
its disposal of unprofitable subsidiaries ahead of a full
introduction of consolidated book accounts.

Last April, Japan's top steel specialist trader merged with
Nozaki & Co., a midsize trading firm in canned food and
leather products. In fiscal 1998, Kawasho booked 400
million yen in net profit, while Nozaki suffered a net loss
of 1.1 billion yen. Kawasho projected last November that
its net balance for fiscal 1999 would break even.

Kawasho expects to incur 12-13 billion yen in extraordinary
losses relating to six subsidiaries, due to its financial
support for them and the booking of a loan-loss provision
covering their potential losses. This follows another
extraordinary loss totaling 3 billion yen in the first half
of fiscal 1999. Hoping to help reduce its net loss, Kawasho
plans to sell stocks and other assets.

The company forecasts 2.5 billion yen in pretax profit,
compared with just below 1.1 billion yen in profit at
Kawasho and a 400 million yen loss at Nozaki, both in
fiscal 1998. The pretax profit figure will beat the firm's
estimate last November of 2 billion yen, thanks to
reorganization efforts at Nozaki and salary cuts at
Kawasho. (Nikkei  29-Feb-2000)

LONG-TERM CREDIT BANK: RCC buys 1.4T Yen of its bad loans
The Resolution and Collection Corp. announced Monday that
it purchased nonperforming loans with a face value of 1.49
trillion yen from Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, clearing
the way for the sale of the failed bank to an international
consortium of investors.

The latest RCC purchase of LTCB assets comes on top of an
earlier round conducted in August 1999, putting the total
face value of bad loans transferred from LTCB to RCC at
about 4.25 trillion yen.

LTCB, which was nationalized in 1998, is scheduled to be
removed from state control on March 1, when it will be
relaunched as Shinsei Bank under the management of a group
of investors led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

RCC paid a total of 716.8 billion yen for the LTCB loans,
or about 16.8% of face value, a percentage that is
equivalent to the 10-20% of face value that foreign
financial institutions typically pay for nonperforming
loans in the Japanese market. The total number of borrowers
is 739.

In February 1999, the bad loans held by LTCB were
officially announced at about 4.7 trillion yen. But the
total subsequently declined by about 500 billion yen, due
in part to independent collection efforts undertaken by

The purchase price paid by RCC was reduced by an
uninterrupted fall in land prices, which lowered the value
of collateral backing the bad loans. The RCC and the
Deposit Insurance Corp. turned to real estate appraisers to
value large properties, and in some cases the assessments
of the actual worth of the collateral were quite severe.
(Nikkei  29-Feb-2000)

Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics Industries Ltd. (6783) is
projecting a 10.1 billion yen group net loss for the fiscal
year ending March 31, its first red ink ever.

Its shares fell sharply on Feb. 21, the first business day
after the announcement, and at one point hit 1,720 yen,
their lowest level since July 1995. They have recovered
somewhat since then, closing at 1,877 yen on Friday.
Earnings are deteriorating mainly because sales of CD-ROM
drives are seen falling due to a shortage of key

Consolidated sales are seen dropping 18% to 539.4 billion
yen. The company also forecasts an 8.3 billion yen pretax
loss, turning around from its 24.3 billion yen profit the
year before.  Matsushita-Kotobuki also expects to book 8
billion yen in extraordinary losses on closing its hard
disk production subsidiary in Ireland and repaying old

The company has announced several reforms, including
regional flexibility in working conditions, cuts in
compensation for top managers, and the reorganization of
domestic and foreign manufacturing facilities for hard
drives, videocassette recorders and CD-ROM drives.

HSBC Securities Ltd. senior analyst Hideki Watanabe rates
the issue a "buy," saying, "With the downward revision in
the earnings outlook, the bad news is out in the open. The
company has high growth potential in hard drives for
audiovisual equipment, hydrodynamic bearing motors and
other new fields."

Matsushita-Kotobuki's share price appears to have stopped
falling and to be marking time. The market is waiting to
see the course of the company's reform efforts. (Nikkei

MITSUI FUDOSAN CO.: Projects annual loss, gets downgraded
Mitsui Fudosan Co. expects to report a group net loss of
58.5 billion yen ($526.2 million) for the year ending March
31 because it will write off unrealized losses on it land
holdings and set aside loss reserves for its debt guarantee
for a construction unit.

The company had previously projected group net profit of
five billion yen for the current fiscal year.  This would
mark the fourth consecutive year of group net losses for
Mitsui Fudosan.

Mitsui Fudosan said it will post a 91 billion yen special
loss as it lowers the value of its property holdings to
reflect current market values and a possible further
decline in land prices.  It will also report a special loss
of 46 billion yen to set aside loss reserves for debt
guarantees for Mitsui Harbour & Urban Construction Co.

Separately, Moody's Investors Service said it has
downgraded Mitsui Fudosan's long-term debt to Baa3 from
Baa2. It also downgraded Mitsui Fudosan's short-term debt
to Prime-3 from Prime-2. The rating outlook is negative,
Moody's said. (The Asian Wall Street Journal  28-Feb-2000)

NIPPON ASSET MANAGEMENT: Y73.7B in loans to be forgiven
Japan's Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. (8403) will forgive
Y73.7 billion of loans it has extended to Nippon Asset
Management Inc., an affiliate of nationalized Long-Term
Credit Bank of Japan Ltd., the trust bank said Monday.

The debt waiver will not affect Sumitomo Trust's earnings
for the current fiscal year ending March 31, as the bank
has already booked reserves on the loans, it said.  Nippon
Asset was formerly called Japan Leasing Corp. but changed
its name after it sold its leasing operations to GE Capital
Corp. in March 1999. Its restructuring under the Corporate
Rehabilitation Law was approved by the Tokyo district court
earlier Monday. (Nikkei  29-Feb-2000)

NOMURA REAL ESTATE DEVEL.CO.: To Post Y50B special loss
Nomura Real Estate Development Co. expects to mark a 50
billion yen extraordinary loss in the fiscal year through
March on eliminating latent losses on its property holdings
and shutting down overseas operations, company sources said

The subsidiary of Nomura Securities Co. (8604) also expects
to reduce its interest-bearing liabilities by 150 billion
yen to 260-270 billion yen, ahead of a possible rise in
interest rates in the future.

The company projects an extraordinary loss of 30 billion
yen on the sale of real estate. The firm plans to offer
major discounts on leisure-related properties and sell at
market prices land that is unlikely to be developed soon or
that is part of large-scale redevelopment projects.

The firm expects to mark 20 billion yen in extraordinary
loss on withdrawing from operations in the U.S., Australia
and other foreign countries.  The extraordinary loss will
likely be offset by an equal amount of extraordinary profit
gained from the sale of shareholdings, enabling the company
to post a net profit for fiscal 1999.

Nomura Securities will include the real estate subsidiary
in its consolidated earnings starting in the current fiscal
year, a factor encouraging the unit to get rid of its
negative assets. (Nikkei  29-Feb-2000)

TOHO MUTUAL LIFE INS.: Insurers to pay Y380B in liquidation
Japan's life insurance industry will pay slightly more than
380 billion yen -- about 20 billion yen more than they had
previously expected -- to help liquidate the failed Toho
Mutual Life Insurance Co., sources close to the matter said

Toho Mutual's assets were initially evaluated by
administrators at the end of September to determine the
liquidation cost. However, the disposal of its foreign
exchange losses and an increasing gap between its portfolio
returns and guaranteed rates have contributed to the
greater-than-expected burden of liquidating the insurer.

The exact amount to be paid by the life insurers will be
determined by the market value of Toho Mutual's assets as
of Wednesday, when the insurer's policies will be
transferred to GE Edison Life Insurance Co.

On Dec. 22, the administrators announced that Toho Mutual
had liabilities worth 650 billion yen in excess of its
assets. The life insurance industry had planned to cover
360 billion yen of that shortfall. (Nikkei  29-Feb-2000)

TOKYU CONSTRUCTION CO.: To post 50B Yen in special loss
Tokyu Construction Co. (1855) will record just over 50
billion yen in extraordinary loss for the term ending March
31, company sources said Sunday. The figure includes a 40
billion yen charge to dispose of unrealized loss on
property which the company holds for resale purposes.

In a bid to keep the extraordinary loss from plunging the
firm into negative net worth for fiscal 1999, the company
will receive capital grants from the Tokyu Corp. (9005)
group. The grants will shrink net loss to around 25 billion
yen, the sources added.

In addition, the parent Tokyu Corp. and other group firms
will accept new share allocations by Tokyu Construction at
the end of March, which will bring the latest financial
assistance, combined with the grants, to some 50 billion
yen.  The real estate appraisal loss far exceeds a previous
estimate of 9 billion yen in such loss.  The company had
8.2 billion yen in equity capital at the end of March 1999.
(Nikkei  28-Feb-2000)

VICTOR CO.OF JAPAN: Earnings projections worsen
Victor Co. of Japan, or JVC, said earnings for the year
through March will be worse than it originally expected
because of a stronger yen, poor domestic consumption and
capital investment, and restructuring efforts.

JVC now expects to report a group net loss of six billion
yen ($54 million), compared with a previous estimate that
it would break even. Sales are now expected to be 850
billion yen, down form an estimate of 870 billion yen.

On parent basis, the company expects to report a pretax
loss of 15 billion yen on sales of 550 billion yen,
compared with a forecast pretax loss of two billion yen on
sales of 565 billion yen.

JVC said it will sustain a special loss of about 1.50
billion yen from its its efforts to improve the financial
state of a U.K. television manufacturing company. (The
Asian Wall Street Journal  28-Feb-2000)


CHO HUNG BANK: Records overseas losses
EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF KOREA: Records overseas losses
HANA BANK: Records overseas losses
HANVIT BANK: Records overseas losses
H&CB: Records overseas losses
INDUS.BANK OF KOREA: Records overseas losses
KOOKMIN BANK: Records overseas losses
KORAM BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA EXCHANGE BANK: Records overseas losses
KOREA FIRST BANK: Records overseas losses
SEOUL BANK: Records overseas losses
SHINHAN BANK: Records overseas losses
Foreign branches of Korean commercial banks saw US$960
million in losses last year, according to the Financial
Supervisory Service (FSS) Monday. The FSS said that the
combined deficit of the 110 overseas locations of local
banks, including foreign branches, offices and fully
localized offices, showed a US$335 million improvement from
the US$1.296 billion deficit posted in 1998.

The overseas locations of Hanvit Bank posted the largest
total losses of US$383 million, followed by the US$212
million deficit of the Korea Exchange Bank.  Other loss
amounts are as follows: Cho Hung, US$180 million;
Industrial Bank of Korea, US$72 million; Shinhan US$51
million; H&CB, US$49 million; Korea Development Bank US$46
million; Korea First Bank US$23 million; Kookmin US$20
million; Seoul Bank, US$17 million; Export-Import Bank of
Korea, US$7 million; KorAm, US$5 million; and Hana, US$1
million.  (Digital Chosun  28-Feb-2000)

DAEWOO GROUP: Main creditors finalise debt scheme
The nation's creditor banks have finalised a much-touted
debt-restructuring programme for the flagship of the
insolvent Daewoo Group to resurrect its construction and
trading operations.

The programme, mapped out by prime creditors including
Hanvit Bank, called for the separation of Daewoo Corp,
which has served as the group's holding company, into
construction, trading and management.

"The firm's trading and construction divisions will be
reborn as separate and sound entities by the end of June,"
Im Chul-jin, a Hanvit official, said.  "Its management
section will be defined as a dead company carrying the
burden of 28.4 trillion won [about HK$194.39 billion] for
liquidation later."

The programme involves debt-equity swaps worth 1.7 trillion
won, a fresh cash injection of 1.41 trillion won, and a
rescheduling of 22 trillion won in debt, he said.  The
programme was drawn up six months ago, but its
implementation has been delayed by disputes over how to
handle the firm's debt, estimated at 34 trillion won.
Minor creditors have yet to endorse the plan. (South China
Morning Post  29-Feb-2000)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Due diligence to be allowed bidders
US giant General Motors Corp. and four other bidders will
be allowed to scrutinize the debts and assets of South
Korea's troubled Daewoo Motor Co. this week at the
earliest, officials said Monday.

"The five bidders will be given an equal opportinuty to
conduct due diligence studies," Han Yong-Chul, a supervisor
of the government-guided auction management committee, told
AFP. "The due diligence could start soon, probably this
week or next week."

He confirmed that General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Co,
Germany's DaimlerChrysler, Italy's Fiat and South Korea's
Hyundai Motor Co. had applied to take over Daewoo Motor.
The auction opened on February 14, but the official's
comments marked the first formal disclosure of any details
of the bidders.

The committee promised to provide bidders with "the
opportunity to conduct limited first round due diligence
and plant tours, and evaluate" the data of Daewoo Motor and
its sister firm Ssangyong Motors.

"The committee will select one or two preferred bidders to
conduct extensive due diligence and plans to start
negotiations with them thereafter," it said in a statement.

It described the due diligence as "an important first step"
in the process of revitalizing Daewoo Motor's operations
and boosting its corporate value. Local newspapers said
earlier that Volkswagen AG of Germany was also invited
to the auction but had stayed away for unkown reasons.

The auction is seen as a critical test for South Korea's
economic reforms aimed at opening up its restricted -- and
domestically prized -- auto industry to free competition
from foreign firms for the first time.  The sale of Daewoo
Motor is a part of the process of dismantling the debt-
ridden Daewoo Group to avert the world's biggest

Daewoo Motor, formerly the nation's second biggest auto
maker with an annual production capacity of around two
million units, is saddled with around 16 billion dollars in
debt. South Korean financial officials remained tight-
lipped. But GM has been tipped as the most serious suitor
because of its old partnership with Daewoo Motor.

GM established a partnership with Daewo in 1978. But
Daewoo's aggressive expansion drive on debt scared away the
US partner in 1992.  Analysts said GM's drive was part of a
global strategy to strengthen its bridgehead in Asia as
South Korea makes an attractive production base to China
and other fast-growing Asian countries.

GM has aready offered six billion dollars to invest in
Daewoo Motor. But it has yet to meet tough demands from
South Korean officials who have favored a buyer that will
contribute to developing the local industry and provide
benefits to parts suppliers and labor.  (Agence France
Presse  28-Feb-2000)


ARAB-MALAYSIAN CORP.: Shareholders okay payment scheme
Arab-Malaysian Corporation Bhd (Amcorp) Friday received its
shareholders' approval for a proposed composite scheme of
arrangement to pay its creditors.  Under the scheme, Amcorp
proposed to dispose up to 68.21 million ordinary shares
which represent 17.10 percent of the equity interest in
AMMB Holdings Bhd (AMMB).  (Asia Pulse  28-Feb-2000)

ESSO MALAYSIA BHD: Posts annual loss
Esso Malaysia Bhd suffered a pre-tax loss of RM69.557
million (US$ 18.3 million) for the financial year ended Dec
31, 1999 from a pre-tax profit of RM96.738 million in 1998.
Total turnover was higher at RM2.489 billion in the period
reviewed compared with RM2.269 billion previously.  (Asia
Pulse  25-Feb-2000)

Former Batu MP Joseph Chong was charged in the Sessions
Court here yesterday with abetting investment holding
company Westmont Industries Berhad in furnishing a
misleading report to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

He was alleged to have, "with intent to deceive," abetted
Westmont Industries Bhd to issue the unaudited preliminary
results of the Westmont group of companies for the year
ended Dec 31 1996 which stated that the consolidated
operating profit before taxation for the group was

Later, Westmont Industries Berhad chairman Dato Mohd Desa
Pachi confirmed, in his annual report, that the group had
recorded a consolidated pre-tax loss of RM721mil for the
year ended 31 Dec 1996.  The Westmont group is an
investment company involved in shipbuilding and owns Sabah
Shipyard Sdn Bhd.

Chong also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of
making a misleading statement that was likely to induce the
sale or purchase of Westmont Industries Berhad shares by
other persons.  The alleged offence was said to have
occurred at the office of Westmont Industries Berhad at
Level 25 Wisma Goldhill, 67 Jalan Raja Chulan here between
March 20, 1997 and March 31, 1997.

Chong, who was in a dark suit, was calm when the charge was
read out. If found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of
RM3mil or 10 years jail or both under Section 122B (b) read
together with Section 122C (c) of the Securities Industry
Act 1983 while the alternative charge under Section 86(b)
of the same Act carries a maximum RM1mil fine and 10 years'

Securities Commission Deputy Public Prosecutor Yaacob Mohd
Sam headed the prosecution while Chong was represented by
K.Kumaraendran, V. Sithamram and William Leong.  Judge
Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi set bail at RM1mil with a RM500,000
deposit and fixed a two-week trial beginning July 17.
He also allowed Chong to have his passport released when
necessary provided he made a formal application to the

It is learnt that Chong had resigned as Westmont Industries
managing director on Oct 16, 1996 and at the time of the
offence, held no position in the company.  However, he
resumed the managing director's post at Westmont Industries
on Nov 5, l998.

Chong's bail was posted by Fu Choon Yen, who described
himself as a businessman.  Chong is no stranger to
controversy.  Described as outspoken and sometimes brash,
the businessman cum politician contested the Batu
parliamentary seat in 1995 as a Barisan Nasional candidate,
two years after he joined Gerakan in 1993 and became the
party's Johor treasurer.

In the 1995 elections, PRM candidate Dr Sanusi Osman lodged
a police report alleging that Chong should be disqualified
from contesting because he had been charged with several
commercial crimes offences in Singapore.  A year later
Chong created controversy when he decided to contest the
party secretary-general's post and later the president's

His attempts were however thwarted when he was removed from
the Gerakan central committee prior to the party elections
in October.  Chong had allegedly hurled accusations against
party president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik during the
party elections.  After losing his bid to contest, he took
the matter to court, which failed to turn things around.

Chong resigned from the party in Nov 1996 and became an
independent MP.  In June last year, Dr Lim revealed that
Chong had written a letter to him claiming that former
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had
instigated him to challenge Lim for the Gerakan presidency
in 1996.  Chong earned business and law degrees in London
and later set up his own company, Westmont group of
companies. (The Star  29-Feb-2000)


ONGPIN GROUP: More details on APC's P150M suit
PHILWEB.COM.INC.: More details on APC's P150-M suit
SOUTH SEAS NAT.RESOURCES: More details on APC's P150M suit
The APC Group Inc. (APC) has filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) a P150-million derivative suit
accusing former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin, PhilWeb.Com
and South Seas Natural Resources Inc. of having illegally
appropriated for themselves corporate opportunities and
business that properly belong to Philippine Global
Communications Inc. (Philcom) and Philcom Interactive
Systems Inc. (Philcom Interactive).

APC a company 49-percent owned by Belle Corp., from which
Ongpin and his ally Jaime Gonzales were ousted from the
board during its stockholders meeting last year, said the
Ongpin group has acquired interests adverse to Philcom and
Philcom Interactive.

Sources said that "it is easy to come to the conclusion"
that Ongpin's group had been planning all along to steal
Philcom's Internet business.

The sources said that during the acquisition of 80 percent
of Philcom by APC, its financial adviser, AIA Capital
Corp., which was controlled by Ongpin and Gonzales, told
APC to entrust the remaining shares of Philcom to AIA and
to businesswoman Vivien Yuchengco's MVY Holdings Inc. while
initially keeping 40 percent first.

"Only 40 percent was in Philcom's name," pending APC's
seeking approval by the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC) of a permit to own more than 40 percent of
Philcom's telecommunications and Internet business. After
getting NTC approval, APC then asked AIA and MVY Holdings
to return the Philcom shares to APC.

MVY Holdings, however, interpleaded with the SEC to resolve
the directorship of Belle Corp., first before turning over
the Philcom shares.  While this was going on, the sources
said that as early as June last year, Philcom Interactive
developed a complete and integrated business plan geared
toward taking advantage of the new technologies and
advances in e-commerce and Internet-based ventures.

The business plan intended to transform Philcom Interactive
into a fully integrated company that will offer high-
bandwidth connections for audio, video and date-intensive
applications.  Unknown then to Philcom and Philcom
Interactive, Ongpin, and key directors of Philcom, namely,
Alex Villamar, Sonia Pamatmat, Almario Velasco and Rozanna
Calingin (all were charged with breach of their fiduciary
duties to Philcom and Philcom Interactive), took advantage
of their high corporate positions and knowledge of Philcom
Interactive's confidential business plan.

"In utter bad faith, and in wanton breach of their duties
to both Philcom and Philcom Interactive, stealthily and
craftily conceived, implemented and executed their own
scheme of treachery and betrayal to appropriate to
themselves Philcom Interactive's corporate opportunities
and its very own business," APC said in its complaint to
the SEC.

Ongpin also allegedly pirated other key personnel from
Philcom and Philcom Interactive, established PhilWeb and
launched an advertising campaign to pre-empt Philcom
Interactive's Internet based business.  Ongpin, also
chairman of PhilWeb.Com Inc., also used the business plan,
the marketing plan and strategy and resources, assets of
Philcom and Philcom Interactive.

The sources said that Ongpin controls Philcom in paper,
since seven of the 10 board directors are aligned with him
while only Gregorio Yu, president and CEO of Belle Corp.,
and Eric Recto, treasurer of Belle, are with the group of
Ongpin's Belle nemesis, the Willy Ocier and Tan Guat
faction. (The Philippine Star  29-Feb-2000)

ONGPIN GROUP: Denies lawsuit charges
Businessman Roberto Ongpin denied yesterday claims by the
new management of APC Inc., majority shareholder of
Philippine Global Communications Inc., that his new firm, Inc., "illegally appropriated" APC's planned
Internet business.

"Sour grapes," Ongpin said in reaction to the complaint
filed by APC with the Securities and Exchange Commission
asking for over P150 million in damages for the alleged
theft of Philcom's planned Internet business through
Philcom Interactive Systems Inc.

"There is no way we illegally appropriated anything.
Philcom never had a business plan. That is precisely the
reason why (Alex) Villamar resigned as president because
they have no clue about the Internet business," said

He added that APC might have been prompted to file the suit
because has a bigger market capitalization than
APC's parent firm, Belle Corp., where Ongpin was a former
director.  APC said in the complaint that Philweb
appropriated for itself the corporate opportunities and
business that belonged to Philcom's Internet subsidiary
Philcom Interactive.

APC said as early as June 1999, Philcom, under the
leadership of Ongpin and former Philcom president Alex
Villamar, was already developing a complete and integrated
business plan geared toward taking advantage of new
technologies and advances in e-commerce and Internet-based

Ongpin allegedly pirated as many as 40 key personnel from
Philcom and Philcom Interactive to form,
formerly known as South Seas Natural Resources Inc.
(Philippine Daily Inquirer  29-Feb-2000)


CLOB INT'L: Effective Cap expects acceptance of offer
Effective Capital, which expects up to 90 per cent
acceptance to its Clob offer, does not think there is room
for other private sector proposals to release the 20
billion Malaysian ringgit (S$9 billion) worth of frozen
Malaysian shares previously quoted on Singapore's Clob

Asked at a press conference yesterday if it's still
possible for other private sector bids, Effective Capital
chief executive Mohamed Moiz said: ""From my understanding,
this is the final basis for solving Clob but it (the
question) should be directed to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange and the Singapore Exchange.''

The exchanges of Malaysia and Singapore have not indicated
whether they would entertain the other six proposals to
unfreeze the shares following their surprise agreement last
week to offer Clob investors two choices: u Pay a 1.5 per
cent fee to Effective Capital which will then stagger the
release of the shares over 16 months - three months to open
trading accounts followed by 13 months to release the
shares in weekly batches.

The offer closes on March 31; or you Pay a one per cent fee
to KLSE's Securities Clearing Automated Network Services
(Scans) to release the shares within 42 months from March
31. The shares will be released in batches over nine months
after a lock-up period of 33 months. The fee is based on
the average prices of the securities over the last five
trading days of the 31st month. Investors can sign up for
the option within the first 32 months.

With such a long gestation period under the second scheme,
analysts said most investors would be forced to accept the
first option.  In fact, Mr Moiz expects an acceptance rate
of between 88 per cent and 90 per cent.  He reckoned the
basket of Malaysian shares to be worth between RM19 billion
and RM20 billion as at Feb 15, 2000, the date used to
calculate the fee payable to Effective.

The company, which enjoys close ties with Malaysian Finance
Minister Daim Zainuddin, is set to rake in almost RM300
million from administering the scheme. Mr Moiz said the
company does not have to split the fee with the KLSE but
Effective Capital will absorb charges like transfer charges
and the cost of the software to implement the scheme.

Effective Capital will have three centres - in Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru - to assist investors with the
documentation between March 8 and March 22. The offer
document will be disseminated by March 6. (Singapore
Business Times  29-Feb-2000)


DBS THAI DANU BANK: To streamline operations
DBS Thai Danu bank has vowed to be Thailand's best
commercial bank in the near future by aiming to push for
more new lending and by cutting operating costs.

DBS Thai Danu, a unit of Singapore's DBS Group Holdings,
expects to return to profit this year after recording
losses two years earlier. The bank began reporting losses
two years ago when the recession and currency devaluation
triggered a surge in loan defaults. The bank lost 13
billion baht in 1999 and 9.1 billion in 1998.

Akey part of the new strategy is a loan target of 13
billion baht in new loans this year - a 14 percent rise
from 1999, said the bank President Pornsanong Tuchinda. He
added that the initial plan is to sight roughly 60 percent
of the 13 billion for commercial lending with the balance
coming from retail borrowers.

"The 14 percent target increase might sounded too high
while most Thai banks expect to gain only about 5 percent
in lending," he explained. "But we are different from other
banks in that we possess sufficient funds and don't need to
raise capital."

In addition, the bank will also slash operating costs by
cutting the number of branches nationwide by more than a
third, to around 60 outlets.  Staff levels will be reduced
to about 1,850 from more than 2,000, said Pornsanong.

"With 60 branches and 1,850 personnel, DBS Thai Danu could
operate with more efficiency and without overlapping in
duty," he added.

Moreover, he said the bank is planning to grab a greater
market share from competitors, notably, Bangkok Bank, Thai
Farmers Bank and Bank of Ayudhaya, adding that in future,
Thai Danu shareholders will be paid higher dividends than
those of rival banks.

As far as non performing loans (NPLs) are concerned, the
bank claims substantial progress in reducing bad debts. By
the end of 1999, the bank had NPLs of 41 percent of total
loans with an 81 percent loss-loan provision already set
aside, higher than required by the central bank.

Meanwhile, Cheong Kie Chong, DBS of Singapore Managing
Director, is very optimistic about Thai Danu's future,
saying that with the parent bank's technology, Thai Danu
has a potential to compete globally. (Business Day  29-Feb-

TCJ MOTOR PLC: Requests waiving of foreign exchange loss
T.C.J. Motor Public Company Limited, through Ms.Srivilai
Chatjuthamard, Financial Director, requests a waiving of
unrealized foreign exchange loss which may affect the
delisting consideration.

As the total shareholders equity would be Baht 67.44
million, should it has not taken into account the Baht
296.74 million unrealized foreign exchange loss which
incurred from the company's foreign loans. These foreign
liablities were outstanding at the balance sheet dated
before 2 July 1997 and have not been paid yet. Shareholders
equity + Unrealized loss = -229.29 + 296.74 million Baht
= 67.44 million Baht

Also the company has sent an additional report on effects
of foreign exchange rate on the above mentioned
liabilities. (Stock Exchange of Thailand  29-Feb-2000)

THAI IDENTITY SUGAR GROUP: Debtor offers creditors new plan
Creditors of Thai Identity Sugar Group are scheduled to
vote on April 5 on a new Bt14 billion debt-restructuring
plan, said Prapan Siriviriyakul, president of Kaset Thai
Sugar Co, a unit of the group.

Prapan's plan follows the failure of creditors to have
their debt-restructuring plan approved by the Central
Bankruptcy Court late last year.  Over the past few months,
Prapan has pursued negotiations with creditors and
formulated a new plan that he said will benefit all parties

The previous plan faced violent opposition from Prapan
whose family is the group's major shareholder. Prapan's
brother allegedly orchestrated the murder of the Australian
auditor who had been in charge of the group's debt-
restructuring plan. According to that plan, South Sathorn
Planner Co, the firm appointed by the creditors to salvage
the company, would reduce the company's capital to only
Bt0.01 per share.

However, the previous bankruptcy law allowed the plan to be
rejected by a numerical majority of the creditors even
though they held only a small amount of the company's debt.
For the most part, the creditors who rejected the plan were
sugar cane planters loyal to the major shareholders.

But now the bankruptcy law has changed and minor creditors
are not able to block restructuring plans that have been
approved by creditors holding more than 75 per cent of the
total debt.  Negotiations with creditors are taking place
under the Bank of Thailand's Corporate Debt Restructuring
Advisory Committee, Prapan said. The debt would be divided
into two tiers.

Tier one debt would carry a rate based on the minimum
lending rate and would depend on the normal lending rate of
each creditor bank. Tier two debt would be interest free or
carry a rate of about 0.1 per cent. Prapan did not say the
amount of each tier.  Length of repayment would differ for
each of the group's three units. Thai Identity Sugar would
pay back its debt in 10 or 11 years while Ruam Phol
Nakornsawan would take more than 15.

Prapan said he was now ready to have representatives from
creditor banks take control of the financial management of
the group's three sugar mills.  Currently, Kaset Thai is
the country's largest sugar refinery with daily capacity of
42,000 tonnes. Because of its high efficiency, the firm has
enough cashflow to pay back debts even though world sugar
prices have fallen to a low of 7-9 cents per kilogram ,
Prapan said.

The group would proceed with its Bt6-billion project to
turn cane residue into pulp. It had already invested Bt800
million in the project.  Due to a large supply of raw
material, the pulp factory, which will be built next to the
Kaset Thai mill, would generate a return of 30 per cent on
investment based on a pulp price of $420 million per tonne,
he said. Pulp prices have already risen to $600 per tonne,
he said.

The group recently signed a memorandum of understanding
with Agrol of the UK to form a joint venture to produce
alcohol from sugar cane residue, he said. (The Nation  29-

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