TCRAP_Public/000310.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

             Friday, March 10, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 49

                                    Headlines


* A U S T R A L I A *

AUSTRAL COAL LTD: 1999 financial results disappointing
PACIFIC DUNLOP LTD.: Acquiring companies are circling


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

AWT HOLDINGS CO.LTD.: Reports rehab progress to HKSE
NPH INT'L HOLDINGS: Restructures debts, injects capital
UNION WELL INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition


* J A P A N *

AJINOTAKARA COMPANY: VAT-dodging firm faces charges
ARABIAN OIL CO.: Launches dramatic round of restructuring
KAWASAKI STEEL CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
KOBE STEEL: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP.: 140B Yen in unfunded pension liab.
NIPPON LIGHT METAL CO.: Revises FY99 losses downward
NIPPON STEEL CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
NKK CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
OHMORI CO.: Revises outlook downward for this FY
SOFTBANK CORP.: Softbank, Internet stocks fall
SUMITOMO METAL INDUSTRIES: Rehab efforts to keep it in red


* K O R E A *

DAEWOO GROUP: Minority shareholders to reject workouts
DAEWOO MOTOR: Rebound puts Hyundai in running for Daewoo
DONKUK STEEL CORP.: CEO accused of insider trading
SAMSUNG MOTOR: Renault must raise offer to avoid auction
SEOUL BANK: To borrow $100M in foreign loan


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

CALEX PHIL.: Under probe for tax credit scam
FIRST WOMEN'S CREDIT CORP.: 3 officers face fraud charges
MOBIL PHILIPPINES: Under probe for tax credit scam
NISSAN MOTOR PHIL.INC.: Taiwan's Yulon to invest P1-B
PETRON CORP.: Under probe for tax credit scam
PILIPINAS SHEEL: Under probe for tax credit scam
SCOPE INDUSTRIES: Being probed for tax credit fraud


* S I N G A P O R E *

CLOB INT'L: Dep.PM calls deal "pragmatic,legally binding"


* T H A I L A N D *

ASIAN MARINE SERVICES: Posts annual loss
BANGKOK LAND PLC: Will get restructure help
BANGKOK STEEL INDUSTRY: Posts wider annual loss
BIG C SUPERCENTER: Posts wider annual loss
BOOK CLUB FINANCE: Posts annual loss again
BUMRUNGRAD HOSPITAL: Posts much wider annual loss
EMC PLC: Tells SET of the postponed schedule of rehab plan
KRISDA MAHANAKORN: Posts much wider annual loss
KRUNGTHAI THANAKIT: Posts much wider annual loss
MINOR CORP.: Seeks re-fi funds via stock, debt markets
NATURAL PARK: Posts wider annual loss
ONE HOLDING: Posts much narrower annual loss
ROCKWORTH: Posts narrower annual loss
SUBMICRON TECHNOLOGY: Files claim insisting its solvent
THAI FISHERIES: Posts annual loss again
THAI IDENTITY SUGAR GROUP: Debt plan proposed
THAI OIL CO.: Looks to sign final deal on April 3
THAI PETRO.INDUSTRY: Insists on carrying out own rehab plan
THAI PETROLEUM INDUS.: Effective ready to draft plan
WONGPAITOON GROUP: Gets financing for $15M debt


=================
A U S T R A L I A
=================

AUSTRAL COAL LTD: 1999 financial results disappointing
------------------------------------------------------
Austral Coal Ltd yesterday described its $716,000 operating
profit after tax for calender 1999 as disappointing and
inadequate for the investment risk.

The result, which included abnormal charges of $2.106
million, compared with a $3.13 million net profit in 1998.
Austral's bottom line was bitten by a 24 per cent reduction
in the average price of coking coal compared to 1998,
reflecting the general deterioration in the coking coal
market world wide.

Abnormal charges included a write down of coal stock and
retrenchments.  While Austral Coal said it had implemented
a number of cost saving initiatives to offset the price
fall, the full effect was negated by reduced productivity
in the December quarter due to difficult roof conditions
encountered on the longwall face.

Austral said prices have now fallen 40 per cent in two
years and it was only the restructuring of the workforce
and other cost reduction measures that have kept the
company in "financial health."

"Recently concluded coal price negotiations for hard coking
coal indicate continuing downward pressure on coal prices
will challenge Australian coal producers in 2000," Austral
said.  "It is of concern to directors that, with iron ore
prices rising strongly, coal producers continue to
sacrifice coal prices."

However Austral said it was confident that buoyant demand
for Austral's coal from its Tahmoor colliery in New South
Wales, productivity improvement initiatives currently being
implemented and the full flow on of cost reductions would
work to maintain profitability in 2000.  Austral said it
was in a sound financial position at December 31 1999 with
total shareholder equity of $34.29 million, cash and
receivables of $7.17 million and no borrowings and solid
demands for its coal products. Austral did not declared a
dividend. Austral Coal shares closed one cent down
yesterday at 12 cents. (Herald Sun  09-March-2000)

PACIFIC DUNLOP LTD.: Acquiring companies are circling
-----------------------------------------------------
The cast of players circling Pacific Dunlop Ltd seems to be
growing steadily, with Kerry Packer's Consolidated Press
Holdings, the Pratt family's Thorney Holdings and US
investment group Harlin rumoured to have bought stock
alongside the Disney-backed Shamrock Holdings.

Former PacDun food chief Grant Latta also is continuing to
approach various parties in an effort to put together a
consortium to push for a break-up, while Mr Alan Newman's
Futuris Corporation is an outside chance to get involved
and Solomon Lew is thought to also have an interest.

PacDun chairman John Ralph and managing director Rod
Chadwick have valiantly pushed on with their restructuring
strategy as the stock has continued to slide as low as
$1.49 yesterday before rebounding to a less alarming $1.50.
The worry for the PacDun board will be if these parties and
disgruntled institutional investors BT, Franklin/Templeton
and Maple-Brown Abbot ever agree to join forces to force a
break-up. (The Australian Financial Review  09-March-2000)


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

AWT HOLDINGS CO.LTD.: Reports rehab progress to HKSE
----------------------------------------------------
AWT Holdings Company Limited (Incorporated In Bermuda with
limited liability), through David Leung Tze Hang, Managing
Director, hereby reports on its Rescue Proposal.

As at the date of this announcement, the maximum aggregate
claims (including contingent liabilities) against the Group
is approximately HK$97.6 million, including the debt owed
by the Group as mentioned below.

Further to the announcement made by the Company dated 20th
November, 1999, the remaining secured bank creditor to
which Pioneer Glory Properties Limited, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company, owes approximately HK$37.3
million (as at 20th November, 1999) and the repayment of
which debt is guaranteed by the Company, has informed the
Company in around mid-December, 1999 that it has disposed
of the property which was mortgaged to it as security on
30th November, 1999 at a consideration of AUD$6million,
which is equivalent to approximately HK$30 million, to
satisfy part of the debt and the remaining portion of the
debt, which is now in an amount of HK$8.7 million
(including principal and interest), was assigned to Giant
Step Investments Limited, the beneficial owners of which
are Mr. Lau Kim Hung Jack and Mr. Tetsuo Tsumura and who
are independent of and not connected with the Company nor
with the directors, chief executive or substantial
shareholder of the Company, and any of their subsidiaries
or any of their respective Associates, on 28th February,
2000. The Company is discussing the terms of settlement
with Giant Step Investments Limited which may or may not
include the issue of Shares.

The remaining unsecured creditor bank to which AWT World
Transport (Far East) Limited, a non wholly-owned subsidiary
of the Company, owes approximately HK$5.1 million
(including principal and interest) and the repayment of
which debt is guaranteed by the Company, has informed the
Company that it has assigned the debt of approximately
HK$5.1 million to Plexton International Limited, the
beneficial owner of which is Mr. Chan Kin Hang Johnny and
who is independent of and not connected with the Company
nor with the directors, chief executive or substantial
shareholder of the Company, and any of their subsidiaries
or any of their respective Associates, on 1st February,
2000.

The Company is discussing the terms of settlement with
Plexton International Limited which may or may not include
the issue of
Shares.  The Company is also under discussion with one of
its major unsecured creditors to which the Group owes
approximately HK$4.4 million (including principal and
interest) and the settlement arrangement may or may not
include the issue of Shares.

The Group is at preliminary discussion with its creditors
in respect of the remaining outstanding claims which
settlement arrangements may or may not include the issue of
Shares and the Company wishes to settle such claims as soon
as possible.  (Stock Exchange of Hong Kong  08-March-2000)

NPH INT'L HOLDINGS: Restructures debts, injects capital
-------------------------------------------------------
Chinese medicine retailer NPH International Holdings signed
a financial restructuring agreement to partially repay
loans to two major creditors.

The group has been suffering cash flow difficulties in the
last year.  As of the end of January it had net current
liabilities of about $139.67 million and outstanding debts
of about $154.65 million. The debts included about $19
million judgment debts due to a creditor Xinyuan Trading,
about $82 million in bank loans and $53.65 million due to
trade and other creditors.  About $139.23 million, or 90
per cent of the outstanding debts, was overdue.

The first part of the financial restructuring agreement
sees a consolidate of every five NPH shares into a single
share as well as increasing authorised capital to $300
million from $100 million to facilitate the implementation
of debt restructuring.

On February 29 NPH signed a bank restructuring agreement
with Sin Hua Bank, Hong Kong branch. NPH owed $80 million
to the bank as a guarantor to the group's subsidiaries as
well as $8.57 million in accrued interest. It has also
issued convertible notes to Sin Hua Bank at full face value
of $40 million.  The same day the company signed a creditor
restructuring agreement with Xinyuan Trading giving it
convertible notes at a face value of $13 million. This is
partial settlement of judgment debts due to Xinyuan.

"The directors of NPH believe that the issue of the
convertible notes will reduce the aggregate indebtedness
immediately due for repayment and owed by the Group to its
creditors by $53 million and therefore improve the
financial position of the group," NPH said.

Another round of its financial restructuring involved the
issue of 800 million new consolidated NPH shares to Hong
Tau Investment -- the group's substantial shareholder -- at
the subscription price of 10 cents a share for a total of
$80 million.  The net proceeds of the Hong Tau subscription
was about $78.4 million of which $3 million will go towards
partial repayment of bank debts, $760,000 to pay judgment
debts, $44.99 million going to other creditors and the
balance, of about $29.65 million being used for working
capital.

The company also made a private placement of 200 million
new consolidated NPH shares, through placing agent KGI
Asia, to independent investors at 10 cents each. The net
proceeds of about $19.6 million which will be used as
working capital.  After the restructuring, Hong Tau has a
stake, both direct and indirect, of 49.92 per cent. Sin Hua
Bank has 24.25 per cent and Xinyuan Trading 7.88 per cent.
(Hong Kong Standard  09-March-2000)

UNION WELL INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for April 5 on the petition of
Leung Yuet Choi for the winding up of Union Well
International Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before April 4.


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

AJINOTAKARA COMPANY: VAT-dodging firm faces charges
---------------------------------------------------
Officials from the Revenue Department and police officers
from the Economic Crime Investigation Division yesterday
raided a Japanese company and seized documents to
substantiate their claim that the company has been evading
value-added tax (VAT).

Suchart Chaovisit, Director General of the Ministry of
Finance's Revenue Department, announced in a press
interview yesterday that the Department's officials and
police officers from the Economic Crime Investigation
Division searched Ajinotakara Company for documents, mainly
involving lists of product sales, and wage and salary
payments.

Suchart said the raid followed a tip-off that the company
had been involved in VAT dodging.  Suchart said the Revenue
Department will take legal action against the company. The
firm is to be charged with tax evasion and obstructing
justice - the company's employees tried to prevent the
police and Revenue Department officials from conducting the
search.

The Revenue Department has not yet identified the exact
amount of VAT which the company is alleged to have evaded.
He added that the Revenue Department was acting on its due
authority to protect the country's economic interests. It
will continue to check every company, both Thai and
foreign, that has been reported for tax evasion. (Business
Day  09-March-2000)

ARABIAN OIL CO.: Launches dramatic round of restructuring
---------------------------------------------------------
Arabian Oil Co. (1603) has launched a drastic restructuring
program, hoping to survive the loss of its Saudi Arabian
drilling rights.

The company is halving its work force in Japan as it tries
to create a structure that can prosper from its remaining
oil interests.  Despite the efforts, the company faces a
substantial loss in the current business year through
December and a very uncertain future.

One looming issue is the company's equipment at its
concession in the Khafji oil field. Under the agreement
with Saudi Arabia, the kingdom could appropriate all
equipment and facilities when the firm's oil rights
expired. Arabian Oil is planning to write this off as an
extraordinary loss, but it could come to half of the
company's 36 billion yen in tangible fixed assets.

Arabian Oil has been paying tax at a rate of 80% on its
pretax profit from its Saudi and Kuwaiti interests,
contributing to two consecutive years of losses. The
company will continue to pay the same rate on its remaining
interests in Kuwait.

Considerable uncertainty also remains about the company's
settlement with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis may demand that
Arabian Oil buy out their 10.9% stake in the company. They
may also ask the firm to recognize Saudi Arabia's ownership
rights in assets the company holds in other countries
according to the equity stake ratio.

In addition, the kingdom has reportedly presented the
company with a bill of two to three billion yen for
repairing equipment in the Khafji field.  Even if Arabian
Oil successfully settles with Saudi Arabia, it is doubtful
whether it can survive with just its remaining interests in
Kuwait, even after downsizing.  The only hope for the
company appears to be to settle with the Saudis as quickly
as possible and then prepare to merge with another company.
(Nikkei  07-March 7-2000)

KOBE STEEL: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
KAWASAKI STEEL CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
NIPPON STEEL CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
NKK CORP.: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
SUMITOMO METAL INDUSTRIES: Rehab efforts to keep it in red
----------------------------------------------------------
Most of Japan's most steel-makers said restructuring
efforts will keep them in the red this year, despite a
rebound in steel production to meet surging demand form
Asian economies.

Kobe Steel Ltd. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. said
larger-than-expected restructuring charges will contribute
to wider losses. NKK Corp. expects to report losses in line
with earlier projections. Kawasaki Steel Corp. and Nippon
Steel Corp., which got a head start on their restructuring
efforts previous years, will either post a modest profit or
break even.

Although the recovering economies of South Korea and
Thailand led to a surge in demand for Japanese steel over
the past year, the companies' bottom lines were largely
unaffected. Most of this demand focused on low-margin
unfinished products, executives at the companies said.

A strengthening of the yen compared to the year-earlier
period will also weigh on profits for the term. While the
dollar traded at an average of 128 yen during the 1998
fiscal year, it fell to an average of 111 yen over the past
year, a depreciation of about 13%. Early in New York
Tuesday, the dollar was trading at about 106 yen.

The five steelmakers said they expect Japanese crude steel
production in the fiscal year starting April 1 total
between 94 million and 95 million metric tons, down from
this year's approximately 97 million metric tons, as
domestic demand tapers off and demand from Asian nations
slows. Nevertheless, the steelmakers generally said they
expect to see their earnings improve as their cost-cutting
and restructuring measures begin to pay off.

Kawasaki Steel reduced its group net profit outlook for the
current term to 12 billion yen on sales of 1.23 trillion
yen, down from its earlier forecast of a 14 billion yen on
sales of 1.27 trillion yen. It cited the continued slump in
the domestic economy. However, the steelmakers said
profitability has been improving in its steel, chemical,
engineering and electronics operations. Overseas demand has
recovered due to the recent recovery in the Asian
economies.

While the company's crude steel production this fiscal year
will not reach the highs seen in the early 1970s, output
will likely approach its highest level since 1990, Kawasaki
officials said.

Kobe Steel sharply widened its group net loss forecast for
the year to 48 billion yen from 27 billion yen, primarily
due to deferred income taxes for its semiconductor-related
business and a worse outlook for parent company earnings
from securities valuation losses and special retirement
charges. The steelmaker said 15 billion yen of the expected
increase in the group net loss stems from the deferred
taxes. Kobe Steel originally planned to pay the taxes over
five years, but will now dispose of the bill in one years.
Another five billion yen comes from charges incurred by the
parent company.

NKK stuck to its earlier expectations. The company expects
to report a group net loss of 46 billion yen on sales of
1.69 trillion yen. Although NKK will report profits on a
parent net and pretax basis for the first time in two terms
this year, large-scale restructuring of its Keihin plant
and an early retirement plan will dent the group company's
bottom line.

Cho Otani, an NKK vice-president, said these same measures
will return NKK to the blak on a group net basis during the
year starting in April.  Steel production next fiscal year
isl ikely to fall, Mr. Otani said. Demand for housing and
construction materials is expected to taper off as the
impact of the government's tax incentives for housing
fades. NKK, along with other major steelmakers, has seen
its average steel prices fall about 11% this fiscal term
from the previous year.

Nippon Steel, Japan's largest steelmaker, largely kept its
outlook in line with earlier estimates. It expects to break
even on a group net basis on sales of 2.66 trillion yen.
Group pretax profit is now pegged at 65 billion yen, down
from an earlier estimate of 70 billion yen.

Nippon Steel said its main steel operations remained
sluggish on weak domestic demand. Engineering, chemical and
nonferrous metal businesses are also still in difficult
situations, while its electronics and information-related
divisions are expected to have become profitable after
selling off its semiconductor operations last fiscal year,
Nippon Steel said.

Sumitomo Metal Industries expects to report a group net
loss of 146 billion yen for the year on special losses
totaling 207 billion yen at the parent company, as it
restructures affiliates and business divisions. Parent net
loss forecasts were widened to 93 billion yen from 48
billion yen. The company kept its group sales outlook
unchanged at 910 billion yen.

"The point of this year's earnings will be that we have
returned to the black on a parent pretax profit basis,"
said Mikio Kato, a Sumitomo Metal Industries vice-
president.  (The Asian Wall Street Journal  08-March-2000)

MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP.: 140B Yen in unfunded pension liab.
-----------------------------------------------------------
As Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) moves forward on
negotiations to form an alliance with DaimlerChrysler AG,
the company revealed that it has a substantial unfunded
pension liability.

Mitsubishi Motors asked a trust bank to assess the
condition of its tax-qualified pension program as of the
end of last year. Following new accounting standards to be
implemented next fiscal year, and using a discount rate of
3.5%, the unfunded pension liability was estimated at
around 100 billion yen for the parent company alone, and
140 billion yen for the consolidated entity.

Mitsubishi Motors is now considering how it will write off
the liability, which is expected to be a heavy burden. The
company hopes to drastically improve its balance sheet
through a capital injection. (Nikkei  08-March-2000)

NIPPON LIGHT METAL CO.: Revises FY99 losses downward
----------------------------------------------------
Nippon Light Metal Co. (5701) is projecting a group net
loss of 13.5 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March
31, compared with its earlier forecast of a 3 billion yen
net loss.

The aluminum products manufacturer expects a 5 billion yen
pretax loss from memory disk operations. This business has
deteriorated even more than expected, so the firm has
decided to withdraw from this area and will take an
extraordinary loss of about 7 billion yen as it writes off
its investment in associated facilities.

Consolidated earnings will also be hurt by poor results at
a subsidiary, Shin Nikkei Co. (5924). The manufacturer of
building materials is now expected to book a net loss of 5
billion yen, or 1 billion yen worse than forecast earlier.
(Nikkei  07-March-2000)

OHMORI CO.: Revises outlook downward for this FY
------------------------------------------------
Ohmori Co. (1844) said Tuesday that it expects to incur a
net loss of 180 million yen in the fiscal year ending July
31. The construction firm earlier forecast a profit of 230
million yen, but now foresees a second consecutive loss.

The company expects to record a non-operating expense of
just over 160 million yen stemming from the revaluation of
stockholdings. It also expects to incur a more than 100
million yen expense on the early redemption of convertible
bonds and a 170 million yen charge for bad debt.

Sales are projected to edge up 1% from a year earlier to
15.2 billion yen. However, price competition in its core
sewer construction business has been stiff, so
profitability is suffering. (Nikkei  08-March-2000)

SOFTBANK CORP.: Softbank, Internet stocks fall
----------------------------------------------
Japanese Internet-related stocks such as Softbank Corp.
fell on concern gains they've made over the past six months
were overdone given the uncertainty of the outlook for
their revenue and earnings.

"Softbank is one of the companies which represent `New
Japan', but the market thinks that at above 90,000 yen"
it's overvalued, said Fiachra MacCana, head of equity
research at West LB Securities (Japan) Ltd. "Some foreign
investors get a bit worried about being permanently
underweight banks and take advantage of any weakness to buy
them."

The Topix index of all stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
first section rose 2.95, or 0.2 percent, to 1664.09. The
Nikkei 225 stock average added 63.93, or 0.3 percent, to
19,830.70. The Topix banking sub-index fell 13 percent in
the past two months.

Nikkei futures for March delivery in Osaka rose 50 yen to
19,840 and gained 75 yen to 19,850 in Singapore. Softbank,
one's of the world's largest backers of online investments,
fell 4,000 yen to 126,000. Hikari Tsushin Inc., which sells
cellular phone handsets and e-mail services, dropped 9,000
yen to 130,000. Softbank almost tripled in value since last
September, while Hikari Tsushin doubled in the same period.
(Bloomberg  08-March-2000)


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

DAEWOO GROUP: Minority shareholders to reject workouts
------------------------------------------------------
Minor shareholders of major Daewoo subsidiaries that have
been going through workout programs have been moving ahead
to resort to collective action in annual shareholders'
meetings scheduled this month.

Under current business laws, major decisions such as spin-
offs and capital reduction must be approved by 2/3 of those
in attendance at shareholders' meetings meeting a 50%
quorum. Accordingly, the workout programs themselves stand
to be nullified if minority shareholders band together to
oppose them, as they collectively own a 45% portion of
Daewoo Heavy Industries, 93% of Daewoo Corp., 95% of Daewoo
Electronics and 70% of Daewoo Telecom.

The government's Corporate Restructuring Coordination
Committee (CRCC) and Daewoo's creditor banks maintain that
they will respect the rights of minority shareholders in
principle. One high-ranking CRCC official pointed out that
the whole point of the workout programs has been to
alleviate financial difficulties of the firms and that
minority shareholders stand to loose if they reject the
workouts. (Digital Chosun  08-March-2000)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Rebound puts Hyundai in running for Daewoo
--------------------------------------------------------
Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest car-maker, returned to
profit in the second half of 1999, making it a more
attractive ally in any bid to take over rival Daewoo Motor.

Hyundai Motor made a net profit of 304 billion won (about
HK$2.1 billion), based on unconsolidated financial
statements for the full year, compared with a loss of 32
billion won in the same period in 1998.  Second-half net
income was calculated by subtracting first-half profit from
full-year profit, because the company did not provide the
figure in results announced on Wednesday.

"The bottom line is that it makes Hyundai Motor more
competitive in its bid for Daewoo Motor," said Mark
Barclay, a car industry analyst at Samsung Securities.
"I don't think it will get 100 per cent of Daewoo Motor. I
think it will be more successful in a consortium with
another foreign automaker."

General Motors and Ford Motor, the world's two largest car-
makers, as well as DaimlerChrysler,Fiat and Hyundai, have
expressed interest in bidding for debt-ridden Daewoo Motor
as they look to Korea and elsewhere in Asia to provide
future growth.  Helped by a surge in sales in the second
half, Hyundai Motor made a dramatic turnaround from 1998,
when Korea's severest recession in nearly half a century
destroyed domestic demand.

Hyundai Motor's sales in the second half jumped 85 per cent
to 8.15 trillion won. That compared with 4.41 trillion won
in 1998. (South China Morning Post  09-March-2000)

DONKUK STEEL CORP.: CEO accused of insider trading
--------------------------------------------------
The CEO of Donkuk Steel Corp., Chang Chae-soon, has been
accused of trading company stock using insider information.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) told prosecutors
that Chang, along with seven others, used prior knowledge
of Donkuk's intent to issue stock gratuities to purchase
34,700 shares in advance.

According to FSS reports, Chang purchased the shares
November 25 and 26 1998, whereas the company's official
statement for capital increase was not made until December
1 that year. Furthermore, Chang tried to disguise his
illegal activities by channeling stock transactions via
friends' accounts, the FSS continued.

Following the official announcement, prices of Donkuk
shares quickly rose to 9,080 won per share from the 6,150
won posted November 25. Chang sold off the shares early
last July, racking up over 208 million won in profits.
Criminal charges were also leveled at Chang's sister and
brother-in-law, who were found to have purchased 7,700 and
38,250 shares, respectively, prior to the announcement,
thereby profiting by a total of 78.2 million won.

Kim Chong-won, Kim On-shik, and Kim Ho-sun - all of whom
the FSS calls "close friends of Chang" - are being charged
with making 44 million won, 267 million won, and 116
million won in unlawful gains through inside information.
Also under investigation is the founder of Donkuk Steel,
Chang Sang-tae, the current CEO's father. The senior Chang
is suspected of failing to report six occasions of stock
purchases amounting to 2.6 million shares.

The FSS also reported that the parties involved were
uncooperative in providing access to pertinent documents.
Donkuk officials flatly denied the allegations, asserting
that Chang's stock transactions were channeled through his
own account and that the "friends" in question were merely
acquaintances.

"If Chang were to capitalize on stock opportunities, would
he have bought a mere 34,000 shares?" stated a spokesperson
for the firm.

According to insiders, the recent allegations will damage
Donkuk's reputation as a leader in the steel industry. The
company posted 50 billion won in profits from 1.45 trillion
won in sales last year.

"In light of the current difficult situation in the steel
industry, the recent FSS announcement is likely to hurt
Donkuk Steel's outlook," stated a company insider.

The recent incident is the latest in a string of executive
level scandals involving securities exchange violations.
Last year, Hyundai Electronics Corp.'s misallocations of
company equity and Kumho's insider trading incident have
been brought to prosecutors' attentions. (The Korea Herald
10-March-2000)

SAMSUNG MOTOR: Renault must raise offer to avoid auction
--------------------------------------------------------
Renault SA must improve its purchase offer of 450 mln usd
for Samsung Motors Inc by the end of the month or Samsung
Motors creditor banks may invite bids for the company, an
official at creditor Hanvit Bank said.

"We may think of organising an international auction to
sell Samsung Motors if negotiations with Renault end in
failure," a top executive of Hanvit Bank said, stressing
that Renault's offer is unacceptably low. But Renault will
retain its exclusive negotiating rights until the end
of March as we agreed earlier," he said, adding that a
Renault delegation is expected in South Korea to negotiate
for the firm next week.

He said German auto parts company Sachsenring
Automobiltechnik AG is interested in taking over Samsung,
while other potential bidders are also being sought. (AFP-
Extel News Limited  09-March-2000)

SEOUL BANK: To borrow $100M in foreign loan
-------------------------------------------
Seoul Bank will borrow $100 million from Morgan Stanley
through the issuance of floating rate notes (FRNs), or
bonds whose interest rate is adjustable to the benchmark
market rate.

The U.S. brokerage house will lead-manage the issuance of
the FRNs which will mature in three years and carry an
interest of Libor (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) plus a
spread of 1.15 percent points, a bank official said.
Seoul Bank has the right to repay the loan ahead of
schedule, while underwriters of the bonds will also be able
to demand an early repayment, he added. (The Korea Herald
10-March-2000)


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

CALEX PHIL.: Under probe for tax credit scam
MOBIL PHILIPPINES: Under probe for tax credit scam
PETRON CORP.: Under probe for tax credit scam
PILIPINAS SHEEL: Under probe for tax credit scam
--------------------------------------------------
At least 48 companies including four oil firms may be
liable of economic sabotage for availing of fraudulent tax
credit certificates.

The four oil companies that may be liable for availing of
fraudulent tax credits are Petron Corp. (PhP5.785 billion
or $140.95 million), Pilipinas Shell (PhP1.7 billion or
$41.42 million), Caltex Phil. (PhP1.682 billion or $40.98
million) and Mobil Philippines (PhP36 million or $.877
million).

Cagayan Rep. Edgar R. Lara, chairman of the House of
Representatives' committee on good government, said they
are investigating reports on the anomalous use of PhP60
billion (US$1.46 billion at PhP41.042:$1) in unlimited tax
credits and duty drawbacks granted to certain firms.  Tax
credits are incentives granted by the government to
exporters representing the refund of duties and taxes paid
on raw materials, supplies and semi-manufactured products.

"What we have found so far is the tip of the iceberg ...
these companies may be liable for violation of the
investments law and the Tariff and Customs Code. Had the
Philippine government been more careful in issuing tax
credits, then perhaps our economy will not be this bad,"
Mr. Lara said.

For his part, Ernesto Q. Hiansen, executive deputy director
of the one-stop shop interagency tax credit and duty
drawback center of the Department of Finance, noted that
Pilipinas Shell has already filed an appeal before the
Ombudsman which has been denied.  Mr. Hiansen added that of
the 48 companies already identified as having availed of
fraudulent tax credits, 10 companies belong to the Chingkoe
group. The Chingkoe group of companies availed of at least
PhP2.2 billion ($53.6 million) tax credits.

"We would like to give caution that there are quite a
number of companies whose names of the incorporators appear
to be just dummies," Mr. Hiansen said.  "This gives the
impression that the Chingkoe group was set up for the
purpose of availing tax credits," he added. The Chingkoe
group is said to be mostly composed of textile and
transportation companies.  (Business World  09-March-2000)

FIRST WOMEN'S CREDIT CORP.: 3 officers face fraud charges
---------------------------------------------------------
The Department of Justice has filed eight counts of estafa
against businessman Ramon "RJ" Jacinto and two others for
allegedly using at least P16.2 million of funds belonging
to a lending firm to pay the maturing obligations of four
Jacinto-led companies.

The charges were filed before the Mandaluyong regional
trial court yesterday against Jacinto, Jaime Colayco and
Angelo Bonoan Jr., all officers of First Women's Credit
Corp. (FWCC), a lending company catering for women
investors.  The DOJ recommended a bail of P320,000, or
P40,000 for each count, for each of the accused.

According to the complaint that Japanese investor Tumiyaki
Fukuda filed in 1998, the three FWCC officers allegedly
"abused their position of trust" when they pre-terminated
FWCC money market placements worth P16,212,362.31 without
prior board approval.  They then allegedly diverted the
funds, which had been placed in Ventures Rural Bank of
Mandaluyong Inc., to pay maturing obligations of RJ Group,
Telemarketing, Rajah Broadcasting Network, and RJ
Guitarworks, all companies under the RJ Group.

"The documents show that the money belonging to FWCC on
deposit with Ventures Bank were, on several occasions, also
diverted for the use of Mr. Jacinto's own companies," a DOJ
statement said.

Some of the funds that were diverted had been entered in
the company's books as loans to the RJ Group, but were "not
secured," the statement said.  The DOJ panel of
prosecutors, composed of Menardo Corpuz, Albert Fonacier
and Lagrimas Agaran, initially recommended the dismissal of
the criminal complaint against Jacinto, the president for
finance and administration of FWCC, and his two co-accused.
Colayco is the executive vice president for finance and
administration of the firm.

But Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuo reversed the
panel's recommendation after reviewing it and finding
enough evidence and probable cause for the filing of
criminal charges.

"The records clearly support a finding of misappropriation,
conversion, diversion and abuse of trust," Zuo said.

He said the respondents also violated the Rural Banks Act.
This aspect of the case, however, would be referred to the
Central Bank for appropriate action.  Because of the large
amount involved, Jacinto, Colayco and Bonoan could face up
to 20 years imprisonment if convicted.  Justice
Undersecretary Regis Puno said the case for which charges
were filed yesterday was different from the one involving
the Philippine National Bank.

The PNB case, involving a million-dollar obligation that
Jacinto owes the bank, has not yet reached the DOJ
(Philippine Daily Inquirer  09-March-2000)

NISSAN MOTOR PHIL.INC.: Taiwan's Yulon to invest P1-B
-----------------------------------------------------
Taiwanese automotive giant Yulon Motor Corp. spending P1
billion this year for the acquisition of a 30-percent
interest and financial restructuring of Nissan Motor
Philippines Inc. (NMPI).

Meeting with the press for the first time since they took
over NMPI, Yulon chief executive officer Kenneth Yen said
the company's Philippine operations would be expanded to
include automotive parts manufacturing to supply the South
East Asian market.

According to Yen, strategic planning is underway to make
Nissan Philippines an exporter of automotive parts by 2000.
He expressed optimism that South East Asia has the biggest
potential for growth in the automotive industry.

"This region is the place to be. We believe that growth
will be rapid and speedy," Yen said, when asked why Yulon
chose to invest in the Philippines, he said "I like the
Philippines better than any place in the region."

Per Nissan estimates, regional demand for automobiles will
reach five million units by 2005. This is an indication of
a huge potential for expansion for all automotive firms
including Yulon which currently produces 500,000 automotive
units.  Yulon's decision to team up with Nissan Philippines
will place both companies in a strong position to get a
firm foothold of the market in South East Asia.

According to Nissan Philippines executive vice president
Jack Wu, Yulon is paying P500 million for the acquisition
of a 30-percent interest in Nissan and another P400 million
for the financial and corporate restructuring of the
company.

After Yulon's acquisition, Nissan will be six percent owned
by Nissan Motor Co. and four percent by Marubeni Corp. of
Japan. The remaining 60 percent will continue to be in the
hands of local investors. Yulon will have management
control.  Wu said Nissan's operations will eventually
expand to include assembly of commercial vehicles,
automotive parts manufacturing and high technology-based
intelligent transportation system (ITS).

The bulk of Yulon's future investment, however, will be on
a research and development (R&D) facility it is planning to
put up. Wu said the company does not have a fix on the
total project cost at this time.  Wu said Nissan had
applied for full incentives with the Board of Investments
(BOI) and registered its R&D project as a pioneering
venture.

To qualify as a pioneer venture under the investment
Priorities Plan, however, the BOI earlier said Yulon had to
invest at least $300 million. Yulon has submitted an
unofficial proposal seeking incentives but the BOI said it
was returned because the total investments declared was
less than the $300 million hurdle set by the IPP for
pioneer projects.

Yulon is a multi-brand automotive manufacturer in Taiwan
and its biggest brand is Nissan. It is the sole
manufacturer and distributor of Nissan vehicles in Taiwan.
(The Philippine Star  09-March-2000)

SCOPE INDUSTRIES: Being probed for tax credit fraud
---------------------------------------------------
A major textile player is being investigated for his
alleged involvement in the operations of at least 10
textile firms which filed fraudulent tax credit claims
worth 1.09 billion Philippine pesos ($0.027 billion at
PhP41.042=$1) with the One Stop Shop Tax Credit and Duty
Drawback Center (OSS) from 1994 to 1996.

Government sources, however, declined to reveal more
details, saying investigators are still pursuing leads in
the case.

A case against Scope Industries, which obtained 95
fraudulent tax credit certificates (TCCs) worth PhP230.45
million ($5.61 million), has been filed with the
Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.  The group represents the
second largest textile group after the Chingkoe group of
companies, which defrauded the government of at least
PhP2.5 billion ($0.061 billion) worth of fake tax credit
claims through the OSS.

The 10 firms are Nikko Textile Mills Corp.; Nippon East
Knitting Corp.; Integrated Multi Cotton Mills, Inc.;
Kultura Knitex Corp.; Devmark Textile International; Ilufa
Manufacturing, Inc.; Filipino Way Industries, Inc.;
Mannequin International Corp.; Texasia Inc. and Scope
Industries.  All companies in the textile group, save for
Nikko, closed shop in 1998.

Unlike the Chingkoe group, most of the registered
incorporators of the companies in the second group are
fictitious or dummies of the real owners, sources said.
But in the case of Mannequin International, Melchor P. Tan,
with three other members of the Tan family, were listed as
its incorporators. Mr. Tan is the son of Julio, Sr., one of
the owners of the defunct Imperial Textile Mills, a major
textile firm during the Marcos regime.

BusinessWorld tried to reach Mr. Tan, but he was not
available for comment.  Based on OSS records, the said
companies declared export sales to obtain tax credits in
spite of the fact that they were not issued "export
authority to load" by the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
Other companies in the group copied the export declaration
numbers issued by the BoC to legitimate exporters to cover
up their fictitious exports.

The OSS is a tax credit window under the Department of
Finance (DoF), which is manned by a composite team from the
BoC, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Board of Investments
(BoI). It was formed by former President Corazon C. Aquino
on Feb. 2, 1992 through Administrative Order No. 266.
Qualified export companies obtain tax credits from the OSS
for duties paid on imported materials used in their export
production.

Instead of cash refund, the government issues TCCs, with
which companies can settle their tax obligations.  The said
companies also submitted fake bank credit memos from
Equitable Banking Corp. and Allied Banking Corp., claiming
these as remittances from their alleged exports. Officials
from the two banks have since denied that the said
companies were their clients, said Ernesto Q. Hiansen, OSS
deputy executive director.  The signatures on the credit
memos were also either forged or were not made by
authorized representatives of the said banks.

Mr. Hiansen said while some of the companies in the group
imported raw materials, there are questions on what
happened to these imports. "Since the companies in the
group were not granted export clearance and export permits,
they couldn't export," he said.

DoF sources said the imported materials could have been
distributed among companies in the group for local
production and sale.  In other cases, the imported raw
materials were sold to the local market.

"This is sophisticated smuggling. Whoever imported all
these materials would have to be a major textile player," a
DoF source said.

Based on OSS documents, similarities in the operations of
the said companies indicated that these companies were
linked. Most companies filed for registration with the BoI
from 1994 to 1995. From 1995 to the early part of 1998,
they all applied for TCCs using fake documents. By mid-
1998, most of them, save for Nikko, ceased operations.

Of the P1.09 billion ($0.027 billion) worth of TCCs that
were fraudulently obtained by the said companies, at least
50% were sold or transferred to other firms.  As in the
case of the Chingkoe group, Pilipinas Shell was a major
buyer of the fraudulent TCCs from these firms.

The companies all rented facilities and claimed to have
capacities that were not reflected in actual investments in
property and equipment.  For instance, Kultura Knitex in
its registration papers, claimed to have a production
capacity of 1,500 metric tons per year but its alleged
plant site address was a residential apartment in San Juan,
Metro Manila.

Most of the companies in the group also derived their
income from subcontracting work.  Audited financial
statements showed knitting income, but no export sales.
The average knitting income was PhP2 million ($0.049
million) a year, and yet records of their TCC availment
showed sales-to-TCC ratios which were way beyond the
textile industry average of 10% to 15%.  These ranged from
209.6% for Integrated Multi Cotton to a whopping 10,676%
for Ilufa Manufacturing.

Even more telling was the usage pattern of TCCs for some
firms, said an OSS audit report.  High percentages of TCCs
transferred to other firms showed that some firms, like
Mannequin -- which transferred 60% of its TCCs -- were in
the business of selling TCCs.

Devmark's TCC use pattern also showed that it was in the
business of selling TCCs, said the same report.  About 80%
of Devmark's TCCs were sold or transferred to firms like
Steel Asia and Proton Philippines.  For the latter,
Devmark, alleged that it needed vehicles for its marketing
staff even after it had declared that "it was a 100% export
firm selling to one customer in Hong Kong."

OSS has since canceled the TCCs issued to the 10 companies
and revoked all transfers granted to the same.  It has also
endorsed the documents for further investigation by the
Special Presidential Task Force 156. The task force was
formed by President Estrada through Executive Order No. 156
to review, investigate and gather evidence to prosecute
irregularities committed at government offices or agencies
connected with the Finance department.

The OSS has also urged the task force to identify the real
owners of the said firm and the possible complicity of
former center officials and staff in the transactions.
(Business World  09-March-2000)


=================
S I N G A P O R E
=================

CLOB INT'L: Dep.PM calls deal "pragmatic,legally binding"
---------------------------------------------------------
The settlement of the Clob dispute between the Singapore
and Malaysian stock exchanges "is a pragmatic one in the
circumstances", Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told
Parliament yesterday.

Responding to MPs' queries, BG Lee said in getting the
Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) to finally negotiate,
and enter into a legally binding agreement, the Singapore
Exchange (SGX) was "acting in the best interests of
investors".

He added: "The terms of the schemes presented to Clob
investors are significantly improved from those previously
offered."

BG Lee noted that some Clob investors had written to the
local press expressing disappointment with the solution
reached. "Some feel that SGX and CDP should have insisted
on Clob investors' strict legal rights and taken a firm
stand with the Malaysian authorities, particularly as
Singapore was on sound legal ground. A few went further to
suggest that SGX had merely been 'talking tough' in the
past months."

But he pointed out that each Clob investor is in a
different situation and has different interests, especially
with regard to how long he is able to wait. The fact that
SGX was prepared to enforce, as a last resort, the "clear
and unambiguous legal rights" of more than 172,000
investors of different nationalities, was "clearly
significant" in reaching a solution.

He said SGX's legal position was strong, both under
Malaysian law and at the World Trade Organization. But the
alternative of taking the issue to the courts or the WTO
would have meant dragging the process on for several years.
And even after Singapore won the case in the courts, an
appeal by Malaysia would have dragged the issue for several
additional years. Also, in the case of the WTO, its ruling
is non-binding, BG Lee added.

However, he said that individual investors who want to
commence legal proceedings on their own are entitled to do
so. But they should seek professional advice and decide
according to their individual circumstances.

"It is quite clear that SGX and the Singapore government
have done their part to resolve this situation and have not
left investors in a black hole," he said.

On the calls from Clob investors that SGX should defray the
fees to be paid to Effective Capital Sdn Bhd -- the company
endorsed by Kuala Lumpur to facilitate the staggered
migration of the shares to Malaysia where they can then be
sold -- BG Lee also said such a payment was "beyond the
scope of SGX's legal duties".

"Furthermore, for SGX to do so would raise a serious issue
of moral hazard, because fundamentally the risk of
investing in securities on Clob, or other markets provided
by SGX, has to be borne by investors themselves, and not by
the exchange or the government."

He added that this was true of Clob, Singapore shares or
any other shares in Singapore or anywhere else.  He
dismissed suggestions that in entering into the Feb 25
agreement with the Malaysian bourse, SGX had conceded that
Clob was an illegal market.

"SGX conceded no such thing," he said. "Clob International
was never illegal, and the SGX's confidence in its legal
position was based on informed legal advice."

He explained that during the negotiations, SGX had insisted
that the terms of any settlement address Clob investors'
two key concerns: that the agreement be legally binding,
and that it be comprehensive -- that is, with a reasonable
alternative offer for those who did not wish to accept the
private sector offer.

These two points "which the Malaysian authorities had
consistently refused to agree to, are now embodied in the
SGX-KLSE agreement", he said.  He added that the agreement
also allows the KLSE "to meet its duty to maintain an
orderly market for the trading of securities in Malaysia".

He also distributed recent letters exchanged between
Finance Minister Richard Hu and his Malaysian counterpart
Daim Zainuddin showing that both sides endorsed the deal.

In his letter, Mr Daim said: "As this is a comprehensive
solution and the agreements are legally binding, I am
confident KLSE will ensure that the obligations under the
agreements are fully discharged." (Singapore Business Times
09-March-2000)


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

ASIAN MARINE SERVICES: Posts annual loss
----------------------------------------
Asian Marine Services had consolidated 1999 losses of 85.2m
bt, compared with profits of 33.9m in 1998.  (Bangkok Post
07-March-2000)

BANGKOK LAND PLC: Will get restructure help
-------------------------------------------
The Government Savings Bank will restructure debts
totalling 800 million baht owed by Bangkok Land Plc on
loans used to build facilities for the Asian Games in 1998.

"Restructuring is the best solution and better for the
bank. The loans were part of the government's policy to
build the sports complex," Tarrin Nimmanahaemindha said
yesterday after a meeting of economics ministers.

The company had been hit by the property market slump, the
finance minister added. The restructuring plan is subject
to approval by the cabinet today. Under the plan, interest
will be reduced to the minimum lending rate (MLR), from the
MLR plus 1.5 percentage points, backdated to July, 1999.

Interest rates will be cut once Bangkok Land pays back
accrued interest of 20 million baht to the bank.  For the
remaining accrued interest, the company has two options.
First is to transfer ownership of condominiums to the bank,
appraised by an independent valuer. The company could have
the right to buy the units back.

A second method would be for the bank to return title for
two buildings, JFK and New Geneva, worth 400 million baht,
by the end of September. If the company sought the return
of JFK, it would have to settle principal payments of at
least 210 million baht, and a minimum of 90 million baht
for New Geneva.

The GSB would waive fees on early repayment, requirements
on setting up a reserve account for interest payments and
the need to set aside additional collateral for interest
payments.  Two principal payments totalling 175 million
baht will be rescheduled to 2004.

The Finance Ministry says Bangkok Land has defaulted on its
loans since Dec 18. The company proposed to restructure its
debt by releasing the two buildings as collateral with the
bank, cutting interest rates, rescheduling payments and
accepting transfer of condos to cover accrued interest.

The GSB agreed with the company's proposal and yesterday
told the committee for acknowledgement.  Given Bangkok
Land's financial standing, operating result and the
project's return, GSB had warned the government before
making the loan decision that the loan would be high-risk.

The cabinet ruled in September, 1997 that the government
must secure financing to support Bangkok Land's
construction of a sports complex for the Asian Games at
Muang Thong Thani, with the company taking responsibility
for all debt.  However, the Finance Ministry still
supported the loan arrangement but proposed that loan
collateral would be placed to cover the risk for principal
and interest payments.  The government endorsed the lending
terms for Bangkok Land in October, 1997. (Bangkok Post  07-
March-2000)

BANGKOK STEEL INDUSTRY: Posts wider annual loss
-----------------------------------------------
Bangkok Steel Industry posted consolidated 1999 losses of
3.33bn bt, compared with losses of 892.27m the year before.
(Bangkok Post  07-March-2000)

BIG C SUPERCENTER: Posts wider annual loss
------------------------------------------
Big C Supercenter posted consolidated 1999 losses of 421.2m
bt, compared with losses of 121.19m in 1998.  (Bangkok Post
07-March-2000)

BOOK CLUB FINANCE: Posts annual loss again
------------------------------------------
Book Club Finance posted 1999 losses of 815.66m bt,
compared with losses of 1.38bn the year before.  (Bangkok
Post  07-March-2000)

BUMRUNGRAD HOSPITAL: Posts much wider annual loss
-------------------------------------------------
Bumrungrad Hospital posted consolidated 1999 losses of
1.05bn bt, compared with losses of 131.2m in 1998.
(Bangkok Post  07-March-2000)

EMC PLC: Tells SET of the postponed schedule of rehab plan
----------------------------------------------------------
In regard to EMC Public Company Limited, informing of the
postponed schedule of Rehabilitation plan within 4 months
from November 4,1999, referring to our letter as said above
No.1. EMC has later sent reference letter as said above No.
2, informing progress on the Rehabilitation plan.

EMC, through Mr. Slib Soongswang, President & CEO, may
inform the SET that after December 1,1999, EMC signed its
name to restructure its debt according to the Corporate
Debt Restructure Advisory Committee, was grouped in the
third category of the debtors (Kor Por Nor 3), is in stage
8 of submitting the restructuring plan. Besides EMC's 3
subsidairy companies have signed and involved the
restructuring process since January 27, 2000.

EMC hence would like to inform that so far EMC has been
urgently processing its debt-restructuring. However, such a
process has been slower than stipulated because a large
amount of details are being involved, negotiations
generally take time. EMC therefore informs and request the
approval of postpone the rehabilitation plan and propose to
the shareholder within 4 months from this letter date.
After the fulfillment of rehabilitation plan with the
shareholders, EMC shall onward and promptly notify to the
SET.  (Thailand Stock Exchange  08-March-2000)

KRISDA MAHANAKORN: Posts much wider annual loss
-----------------------------------------------
Krisda Mahanakorn posted consolidated 1999 losses of 7.17bn
bt, compared with losses of 2bn in 1998.  (Bangkok Post
07-March-2000)

KRUNGTHAI THANAKIT: Posts much wider annual loss
------------------------------------------------
Krungthai Thanakit posted 1999 losses of 6.9bn bt, compared
with losses of 3.95bn the year before.  (Bangkok Post  07-
March-2000)

MINOR CORP.: Seeks re-fi funds via stock, debt markets
------------------------------------------------------
Minor Corp Plc, a distributor of consumer goods with
holdings in a chain of hotels and in The Pizza Plc, has
announced a massive fund-raising drive to tap both the
equity and the debt markets, despite lackadaisical investor
sentiment.

Out of a total of 129 million shares to be issued, 122.98
million shares will be sold via private placement and the
rest, 6.01 million shares, will be held in reserve for the
conversion of warrants to be given to existing
shareholders. Shareholders will receive the warrants free
of charge at the ration of one warrant for 10 existing
shares.

The warrants, according to a filing with the Stock Exchange
of Thailand, will mature in three years after the issue
date, at which time the holder can convert one warrant into
one new share at the exercise price of Bt10 per unit. The
proceeds should raise the company's capital from Bt210
million to Bt1.5 billion.

Its shares failed to attract buyers and fell at the close
of the market yesterday.  Minor Corp plans to sell via
private placement debentures in the amount not exceeding
Bt500 million, or its equivalent in foreign currency, with
not more than five years' maturity. The company's board or
president has been authorised to decide on the specifics of
the debenture offering.

The proceeds from the combined stock and debt financing
will be used for debt refinancing and working capital.
However, executives were not available for comment.
The capital increase and the bond offering are subject to
shareholders' approval at a meeting slated for April 28.

In a related development, Royal Garden Resort Plc, an owner
and operator of hotels and resorts in Thailand and a Minor
Corp affiliate, said its board of directors has approved
the sale of debentures in an amount up to Bt1 billion
through either a domestic private placement or by any means
abroad.

In a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the company
said the plan would be presented to shareholders on April
7.  The bonds will carry a term of no more than five years,
may be secured by collateral, may come with put and call
options for early redemption, and may be listed for
secondary trading.  Details of the issuance are at the
discretion of the company president or authorised
directors, the company said. (The Nation  08-March-2000)

NATURAL PARK: Posts wider annual loss
-------------------------------------
Natural Park posted consolidated 1999 losses of 9.14bn bt,
compared with losses of 6.9bn the year before.  (Bangkok
Post  07-March-2000)

ONE HOLDING: Posts much narrower annual loss
--------------------------------------------
One Holding posted consolidated 1999 losses of 334.6m bt,
compared with losses of 4.4bn the year before.  (Bangkok
Post  07-March-2000)

ROCKWORTH: Posts narrower annual loss
-------------------------------------
Rockworth posted consolidated 1999 losses of 67.9m bt,
compared with losses of 117.56m the year before.  (Bangkok
Post  07-March-2000)

SUBMICRON TECHNOLOGY: Files claim insisting its solvent
-------------------------------------------------------
Submicron Technology has filed a petition with the Central
Bankruptcy Court, confirming that its assets still exceed
its liabilities.

The petition was filed on Feb 28 by Submicron and its
founder, Charn Uswachoke, in response to a Jan 27 court
ruling that put the assets of both Submicron and Mr Charn
into the hands of receivers in a case filed by Siam City
Bank.  The fact that the debtors had not repaid the
creditor after receiving two formal demands within one
month, as the court of first instance had heard, could not
be taken to mean that their liabilities exceeded their
assets, the Submicron petition said.

The petition said such a conclusion was a mere legal
assumption, and that receivership might thus be a
misrepresentation of the law.  The petition claimed that
Siam City Bank did not carry out a clear investigation to
discern the actual value of the collateral, including land
and premises, pledged against the debts.

The bank had concluded only that the value of the land
mortgaged with the bank was 4.8 billion baht. It did not
take into account the factory on which construction was
already 90% completed.  The petition said the combined
value of the land and the factory was at least 9.6 billion
baht.

Submicron and Mr Charn said in the petition that even
Navakij Insurance Co had agreed to underwrite a fire
insurance policy on Submicron's factory with an insured sum
of 3.6 billion baht.  They said the decision made by the
court was based on the debts of Submicron which totalled
19.25 billion baht, versus collateral of just 4.8 billion.

In fact, the petition said, the debts included an overdraft
line that had not yet been totally drawn down. A source at
Submicron said that only 12 billion baht had been drawn.
The petition said the cause of the liquidity problem faced
by Submicron could be attributed mainly to the floating of
the baht in 1997. As a result, Submicron could not raise
new funds by increasing capital. It also said 23 financial
institutions had cancelled earlier agreements to lend to
Submicron.

The petition claimed that Submicron's largest creditor had
agreed to reduce the interest payable and extend the
repayment schedule. As well, Bank of America, Submicron's
financial adviser, was negotiating to obtain $800 million
to $1 billion in fresh capital, the petition said.
Submicron would then be able to increase its registered
capital to 23 billion baht from five billion baht, and
start to make loan repayments. (Bangkok Post  07-March-
2000)

THAI FISHERIES: Posts annual loss again
---------------------------------------
Thai Fisheries posted consolidated 1999 losses of 527.9m
bt, compared with losses of 466.7m in 1998.  (Bangkok Post
07-March-2000)

THAI IDENTITY SUGAR GROUP: Debt plan proposed
---------------------------------------------
Creditor banks have reached preliminary agreement with Thai
Identity Sugar Group to restructure the company's Bt14-
billion debt, according to a senior executive of Thai
Farmers Bank, which holds 27 per cent of the total debt.

The debt-restructuring plan includes interest rate cut to
0.01 per cent.  Sirivudh Siempakdi, a senior executive of
Thai Farmers, said yesterday that creditors would vote on
the plan in May. The company is scheduled to submit the
details to them on April 22.  Besides Thai Farmers, Bankgok
Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Exim Bank are major creditors of
the sugar company.

The reduction of interest rate to 0.01 per cent will cover
part of the debt - what proportion is not yet disclosed -
and the rest of debt will be subject to minimum lending
rate.  Sirivudh said the interest cut would compensate for
the fact that creditor banks would not have to inject new
money into the company under this plan.

In addition there will be no conversion of debt into equity
as was the case in the previous restructuring plan, opposed
by the company.  The creditor banks will play a role in the
management of Thai Identity Group, which has three sugar
refineries, but the details are not yet finalised.

A source at the Bank of Thailand's Corporate Debt
Restructuring Advisory Committee said the debtor company
would also have to increase the transparency of its
accounts and allow examination by creditors.

Previously the company was forced by creditors to reduce
its equity to cover losses before recapitalising via the
conversion of debt into equity. However, this plan was
strongly opposed by the company's major shareholders, who
successfully dismissed the plan with the help of cane-
planters who, siding the shareholders, shot the plan down
as they outnumbered the bank creditors, which was possible
under the previous bankruptcy law.

Sirivudh said creditors would have to be convinced by the
debtor company's cash flow that it would be able to pay
back debts. "So far, we think the plan is feasible. This is
a last chance to solve the problem. Otherwise there will be
more litigation." (The Nation  08-March-2000)

THAI OIL CO.: Looks to sign final deal on April 3
-------------------------------------------------
A final agreement restructuring Thai Oil Co's mammoth debt
is likely to be signed on April 3.

The date has been set in expectation that the Central
Bankruptcy Court will endorse one of the country's largest
debt-restructuring plans on March 30, according to Thaioil
executives.  The schedule was announced after at least 85%
of the company's international creditors confirmed they
would support the plan prepared by Vibhavadi Planner Co
which was appointed by the court to undertake the work.

Vibhavadi Planner intends to submit the debt reorganisation
plan for the country's largest oil refinery to the official
receiver on Thursday.  All creditors of Thaioil completed
filing claims with the receiver on Feb 18, and the company
expects him to call a meeting of Thaioil's creditors to
vote on the reorganisation plan by March 28.

"Things are progressing smoothly and we are optimistic that
the final deal will be signed on April 3," said Chulchit
Bunyaketu, managing director of Thaioil.

With the successful implementation of the plan, Thaioil's
debt will be slashed to about US$1.4 billion from $2.2
billion, with repayment over 14 years.  The company's
equity structure will be improved significantly with the
Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) holding 49.99%,
creditors 49.99% and the Crown Property Bureau 0.02%.

Total registered capital will increase from 20 million baht
to about 19 billion baht ($500 million).  Under the plan,
the PTT will agree to provide 50% of Thaioil's crude oil,
and buy at least 50% of Thaioil's production. Thaioil will
sell the remaining 50% locally and abroad.

The debt structuring programme also calls for Thaioil to
divest up to 45% equity in its wholly-owned subsidiary,
Thaioil Power Co and all its 40% interest in Thai Carbon
Products Co. Proceeds from the sales will be used to
support the debt restructuring plan.

Thaioil has resumed operation of its Si Racha oil refinery,
about 130 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, which was halted
by a Dec 2 blaze that claimed seven lives and caused damage
estimated at one billion baht. The refinery regained its
full refining capacity of 220,000 barrels a day more than a
month ago. The fire that engulfed Thaioil's tank farm did
not affect the processing units. The loss of assets and
profits, as well as third-party liabilities, are covered by
insurance. (Bangkok Post  07-March-2000)

THAI PETRO.INDUSTRY: Insists on carrying out own rehab plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc said it insists on carrying
out its own rehabilitation plan for its petrochemical
business.

It said it has submitted an objection to a creditors
petition to have Effective Planners Co Ltd named as the
planner for TPI's rehabilitation.  The Central Bankruptcy
Court has still to rule whether or nor TPI is eligible
for rehabilitation or should be declared insolvent.

In a statement, TPI said its assets exceed its
liabailities, while the company is not overdebted. It
claimed creditors want to take over the company. TPI said
it was forced to sign a debt restructuring deal on Jan
17 incorporating conditions it is unable to fulfil and
under which creditors will hold a combined 75 pct in the
company if it defaults on debt payments. The statement said
TPI's business is seeing an upturn.  (AFX News Limited  07-
March-2000)

THAI PETROLEUM INDUS.: Effective ready to draft plan
----------------------------------------------------
Effective Planner, Thai Petroleum Industries' (TPI),
prospective debt planner, said it will not include a sale
of the company's core-businesses in the draft if it is
chosen to be financial planner.

Effective Planner, hired by TPI's creditors to draft a debt
reform plan for the company, said its is ready to start
drafting the plan as soon as the Central Bankruptcy Court
rules on the case.  The court is due to decide on March 15
if it will allow Effective Planner or TPI to draw up the
debt reform process.

TPI earlier told the court that Effect Planner, a financial
advice company, had no experience in planning debt
restructuring of this magnitude. TPI owes US$3.5 billion to
multiple creditors.  Anthony Norman of Effective Planner
said if the company is chosen, it will draft a plan based
on the one already agreed by both parties in February 1999.

The endorsed plan includes debt-to-equity swaps, capital
raising, and reduction of non-core businesses. Effective
said the company plans to hire an advisor to manage and
analyze debt instrument issuance.

"However, the plan that was agreed in February 1999 must be
altered to suit TPI's current financial status; but,
basically, it will be based on the same framework," said
Norman, adding that "it took 120 days to draft the February
1999 plan."

Norman emphasized the debt plan will definitely not include
selling off TPI's core-business - only non-core entities
will be sold. He added that the existing debt plan does not
specify any details about selling TPI assets.  TPI had
identified its non-core business as seaport operation,
gasoline stations among others, of which Norman said
creditors will determine which are to be shaved off.

With regard to Thailand's bankruptcy laws, he said the law
itself is ambiguous on defining insolvency, as seen by
court decisions deeming insolvency on the basis of assets
and liabilities, without taking business cashflow into
consideration. (Business Day  08-March-2000)

WONGPAITOON GROUP: Gets financing for $15M debt
-----------------------------------------------
Wongpaitoon Group said Siam Commercial Bank, Bank of
Ayudhya and Siam City Bank have agreed to provide $15m in
support to repay debt owed to Daiwa Finance.  (Bangkok Post
07-March-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.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale
or publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding,
electronic re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly
prohibited without prior written permission of the
publishers.  Information contained herein is obtained from
sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

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

                   *** End of Transmission ***