TCRAP_Public/000331.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 31, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 64


* A U S T R A L I A *

ADELAIDE: Mitsubishi merger may mean Adelaide reprieve
ADELAIDE: DaimlerChrysler chief casts doubt on future
GUANGDONG BUILDING INDUS.: Parent's debt takes its toll
STAR MINING CORPORATION NL: Completes restructure pact
TELSTRA: Telco union says company cutting contractors
TRUST BANK: Declining profit, payouts in probe spotlight

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

BANK OF CHINA: Considers off-loading bad loans
iMERCHANTS: Losing $4M a year, it seeks $357M in GEM cash
NEW CHINA HONG KONG GROUP: Businessman loses appeal vs.ING
NPH INT'L HOLDINGS: Reports delay in rehab to HKSE
PAM & FRANK INT'L HLDGS: Clarifies court order for HKSE
WENDY FOODS LTD: Facing winding up petition
ZHENZHOU BAIWEN (GROUP): CINDA to seek liquidation

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT BANK BALI: Court rules Gov't takeover illegal

* J A P A N *

ASAHI BANK: Showing huge losses
BUNKA SHUTTER CO.: To eliminate FY99 pension underfunding
DAIEI INC.: In talks to sell 7 hotels to Goldman Sachs
DAI-ICHI KANGYO BANK: Showing huge losses
FUJI BANK: Showing huge losses
HUIS TEN BOSCH CO.GROUP: Main creditor to forgive loans
INDUSTRIAL BANK OF JAPAN: Showing huge losses
MYCAL CORP.: Stock prices fall, hover at low levels
NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Softbank deal delayed by Goldman role
SAKURA BANK: Showing huge losses
SANWA BANK: Showing huge losses
SUMITOMO BANK: Showing huge losses
TOKAI BANK: Showing huge losses

* K O R E A *

HYUNDAI GROUP: Gov't to probe group's financial arms
KOOKMIN LIFE: Gov't concludes sale
KOOKMIN BANK: Plans to borrow $100 million
PACIFIC LIFE: Gov't concludes sale
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Creditors consider talks extension
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Renault mute on talks extension

* M A L A Y S I A *

PANCARAN IKRAB BHD: Chief explains annual loss

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

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Forecasts annual loss this year
PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: L.Tan defers deal on PNB block sale
UNIWIDE GROUP: Receivership asks SEC for rehab plan okay
UNIWIDE GROUP: Creditors endorse amended rehab plan
UNIWIDE HOLDINGS INC.: Posts annual loss

* T H A I L A N D *

FINANCE ONE: Pin extradition full hearing set Aug.29
PANJAPOL PULP INDUSTRY: Tax issues blocking debt proposal
SAPHAN MAI DON MUANG STORE: Robinson closing branch
SIAM CITY BANK: FIDF may cancel sale to Newbridge
THAI FARMERS BANK: Announces imminent staff, branch cuts
THAI OIL CO.: Creditors give rehab plan final approval
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Sets up company for rehab plan


ADELAIDE: Mitsubishi merger may mean Adelaide reprieve
Senior executives involved in the world's latest auto
merger are toying with the idea of introducing new
models in Australia, prolonging the life of Adelaide's
struggling Mitsubishi's plant.

Adelaide's excess capacity would help provide a
launching pad for DaimlerChrysler's Asian expansion,
with the European giant hoping to locate 25 per cent
of its global sales within the region in the next
decade.the chairman of DaimlerChrysler, Mr Jurgen
Schrempp, said yesterday his senior production staff
were locked in talks with Mitsubishi about
"collaborative ventures" in Asia.

While the talks were at an extremely early stage,
there was no doubt that Daimler could benefit from the
spare production space at Mitsubishi's Asian plants,
including its Australian operation, he said. The
Stuttgart-based company has no idle lines at its European
and US plants - making it reliant on Mitsubishi for extra

Mitsubishi's president, Mr Katsuhiko Kawasoe, also
suggested that his firm's tie-up with Daimler could
give Adelaide a new lease of life. Given the competitive
global market for cars and Mitsubishi's existing production
glut, "it certainly would be very difficult to keep on
running major facilities all by ourselves", he said.

"We believe there is the possibility for us to engage
in joint collaboration with DaimlerChrysler on
production facilities."

However, Mr Kawasoe stressed that any talk of specific
collaborative ventures was premature. While the two
companies have agreed to form an alliance,creating the
world's third-biggest car group, Adelaide will have to
compete with Asian Mitsubishi plants, including ultra-
efficient Thailand operation, for future production orders.
Industry analysts say Australia's relatively small car
market and its distance from the rapidly growing Asian
demand centres, will count against it.

However, the tie-up is already working in Adelaide's
favor with Mitsubishi confirming it will use much of
the 225 billion yen ($A3.45 billion) raised by selling
34 per cent of its equity to Daimler to tackle its
crippling debt. Mr Kawasoe said the cash injection would
enable Mitsubishi to wind back its 1.7 trillion yen in
consolidated debt a year earlier. (The Age  29-March-2000)

ADELAIDE: DaimlerChrysler chief casts doubt on future
Announcing his company's 34 per cent investment in
Mitsubishi yesterday, Mr Schrempp said financial studies
would determine the future of all the car maker's global
manufacturing plants.

Asked about the future of the Adelaide plants, Mr Schrempp
said: "It could very well be that as a result of our
studies . . . that one or the other vehicle could be
produced in certain parts of the world and that includes

Chrysler's national public relations manager, Geoff
Middleton, said any decision about the future of the
Tonsley and Lonsdale plants was "a long way down the track.
It's not going to be a quick decision, any decisions like
that are a long way off," said Mr Middleton, who is in town
for the Adelaide Motor Show.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi officials said yesterday it would be
some time before the impact on the local operations would
become clear.

"At this stage we know what's in the basic agreement
between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi in Japan but we
don't know what that will mean for Mitsubishi Australia,"
company spokesman Kevin Taylor said. "We don't expect any
drastic changes in terms of product or operations.
"What we have to do is to put our heads down, we have to
work hard and we have to become internationally competitive
and healthy and then I'm sure we'll become attractive to
both people," he said.

Under the alliance DaimlerChrysler agreed to pay $3.47
billion for a 34 per cent and controlling stake in
Mitsubishi Japan. DaimlerChrysler will also have the power
to veto Mitsubishi board decisions and will get a much
needed foothold in the Asian market. (The Advertiser  30-

GUANGDONG BUILDING INDUS.: Parent's debt takes its toll
Guangdong Building Industries, the company that Jeff and
Felicity Kennett once thought was a good investment, is now
seriously under water thanks to the financial travails of
its Chinese parent, Guangdong Investment (GDI).

The locally listed Guangdong Building yesterday unveiled a
thumping $65.61 million loss after tax and abnormal charges
for the year to 31 December.  That paled beside the $HK2.4
billion ($A509 million) loss reported by GDI to the Hong
Kong market yesterday. GDI's loss compares with the $HK2
billion loss it made in calendar 1998.

Mrs Kennett was revealed to have bought shares in the 1993
float of Guangdong Building, amid allegations of
preferential treatment in what was then a highly sought-
after public listing. She is understood to have sold them
long ago.  The Australian-listed but Hong Kong-based
offshoot of GDI has now revealed that it had negative
shareholders funds of $50.5 million at the end of 1999,
reflecting the decision to wind down its core business.

Its auditors declined to form a view as to whether the
accounts showed a true and fair view of its circumstances
because directors acknowledged the chief subsidiary, Full
Arts Metal Works, was no longer a going concern and the
future was uncertain. The board said they were winding down
the business, which clads the walls and windows of office
buildings and accounted for $30 million of assets and $81
million of liabilities on the balance sheet.

Shares in Guangdong were suspended on 13 March because the
company had notified the Australian Stock Exchange that it
would miss the mid-March reporting deadline for its
results. The stock has been hanging around eight cents a
share for most of the past year since the GDI group
revealed the depth of its problems.  Its ultimate owner,
the Guangdong Province in China, has been trying since late
last year to reschedule the massive debts in the companies
by injecting ownership of the Dongshen Water Supply Co,
which supplies about 75 per cent of Hong Kong's water, as
an anchor asset and business.

The standstill agreements made by the GDI group last year
on its debts meant that Guangdong Building was unable to
take on additional debt to finance its own activities. (The
Age  29-March-2000)

STAR MINING CORPORATION NL: Completes restructure pact
Following the approval of Shareholders at the meeting held
November 29th 1999, the Company has progressed all aspects
of this transaction to completion which allowed the signing
of all related documents on the 27th March 2000 UK time.

The signing of the Debt Settlement Agreement resolves the
debt due to the Standard Bank London Limited (Standard)
leaving the Company substantially debt free.  Under the
Power of Attorney executed at completion, Star Mining
appoints Standard as the manager of the Russian mining
assets with authority to negotiate the disposal of each of
these assets. Star retains the right to 90% of any surplus
funds received from the disposal of these mining assets
after payment of the bank debt agreed.

Should the final disposal of these assets fail to settle
the previous debt Standard will write off any shortfall.
Following the previous experience of the Company in Russia
the Board believes that shareholder interests would be
better served if future investment by Star Mining was
directed towards the broadening of both the Company's
location and scope of activities. The Board will keep
shareholders informed as its investigations progress.
(Australia Stock Exchange  29-March-2000)

TELSTRA: Telco union says company cutting contractors
Many telecommunications companies were facing bankruptcy
and their staff unemployment after Telstra's cancellation
of several contracts, the main Telstra union said

Community service cuts or delays would also eventuate from
the cancellation of contracts with most of the company's
major contractors and subcontractors, the Communications,
Eletrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) said.  CEPU official
Kerry Doran said the action was staggering, coming after
Telstra's $2 billion half-yearly profit announcement and
decision to cut 16,000 jobs.

The contractor companies had become Telstra's supplementary
workforce, growing as Telstra slashed its own workforce.
But the jobs of about 6000 employees in the 12 main
companies and up to 8000 in hundreds of smaller operators
were in jeopardy because Telstra was pulling back contracts
due to being over-budget, Doran said.

"The decision to withdraw these contracts, along with
Telstra's decision to cut 16,000 other jobs from its
workforce, is bad news for all Australians, but rural and
regional Australia will be hardest hit," he said in a

A Telstra spokesman said the union claims were rubbish.
He said Telstra had a mix of short and long-term outside
contracts which expired at different times.

"We have spent about $830 million on contract work for the
upgrading of our network this year," he said.  "Some of
those contracts are ongoing, some have been fulfilled and
we are looking at renewing those contracts for the next
financial year."  (IT Daily News  28-March-2000)

TRUST BANK: Declining profit, payouts in probe spotlight
Parliament's powerful Public Accounts Committee is almost
certain to expand its investigation of the Trust Bank saga
to include examination of why the bank's profits were

The committee, which is dominated by non-government MPs, is
due to begin hearing evidence on Friday.  The probe will
initially concentrate on reports of extraordinarily large
payments being made to former Trust Bank board members and
senior executives.  It is expected to expand to investigate
declining profitability, malfunctioning computer systems, a
Government document showing a $9.2million loss which is
allegedly an error and allegations against former managing
director Paul Kemp.

The committee also will examine the final payment made to
David Airey, the managing director who was with the bank
for just seven months last year. Mr Airey's final payout is
not known, but a special investigation by The Mercury
revealed he had received $1.2 million compensation when
Trust Bank failed to go to a public float.

Unlike most parliamentary committees, Public Accounts is
not dominated by Government appointments.  The Government
can guarantee only two votes among the six members. The
committee is chaired by independent Murchison MLC Tony
Fletcher, who previously held the position of Government
Leader in the Upper House during the Groom Liberal

Members of the committee are Denison Liberal MHA Bob Cheek,
Apsley independent MLC Colin Rattray, Nelson independent
MLC Jim Wilkinson, Lyons Labor MHA Ken Bacon and Bass Labor
MHA Gill James.  The committee about four weeks ago agreed
to investigate the issue of payments made to Trust Bank
board members and executives after approaches from the
public and one unnamed MP.

Mr Fletcher said former Trust Bank board chairman Gerald
Loughran had agreed to give evidence.  Mr Fletcher said the
committee would act quickly. "We need to get to the facts,
so Tasmania can have confidence in its institutions and
those who run them," he said.

Maverick Labor senator Shayne Murphy urged the committee to
investigate why the bank's fortunes had declined while
every other bank in the country prospered.  Senator Murphy,
who earlier this week called for a commission of inquiry
into Trust Bank, said the bank's value had shrunk by 50% in
five years. (The Mercury  29-March-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

BANK OF CHINA: Considers off-loading bad loans
The Bank of China Group (BOC) has hinted its bad-debt
portfolio may be taken over by an asset-management company
as part of its pre-listing reconstruction programme.

Tidying up a balance sheet burdened by a bad-debt portfolio
which could amount to anything upwards of HK$46 billion -
or 13 per cent of total loans - would be a basic minimum
requirement for a successful listing by the group.

Presenting the annual results of a group he called a
"sleeping tiger," Liu Jinbao, chief executive of the Bank
of China Hong Kong-Macau regional office, said: "The group
is working with an asset-management company to study how to
deal with the bad-debt problem after the restructuring."

The group's consolidated assets would make it the second-
largest bank group in the SAR, behind Hongkong & Shanghai
Banking Corp.  But investors keen to grab a slice of the
listing may have a longer wait than they were prepared for,
judging by Mr Liu's comments.

"We just want to restructure our group and don't have any
plan to go listing yet," he said.  "Whether we'll go for a
listing depends how our business does and the goal we set
after restructuring. But I think listing is ultimately what
we will do."

Mr Liu called the restructuring exercise an "unprecedented
and gigantic project" and said the group was presently
drafting a feasibility study and proposals which would have
to be approved by regulatory authorities on the mainland
and in Hong Kong. (South China Morning Post  29-March-2000)

Full-year results for the companies under Guangdong
Enterprises (Holdings) Ltd. provided lots of red figures,
with four of the five Hong Kong- listed units reporting
losses for 1999.

Guangdong Brewery Holding Ltd. was the only profitable
exception in the debt- ridden group, but even its net
profit fell 42% from the previous year.

The losses prompted unlisted Guangdong Enterprises, the
investment arm of the Guangdong provincial government in
southern China, to strike a deal with its foreign creditors
in December to restructure its debts. Guangdong Investment
Ltd., the flagship of the group, said its net loss widened
to HK$2.39 billion (US$307 million) in 1999 from HK$2.01
billion the year before. Revenue fell 15% to HK$5.36
billion. The loss on operating activities grew to HK$1.89
billion from HK$1.33 billion.

Although the company's infrastructure revenues will make
stable contributions toward its debt, Guangdong
Investment's growth prospects are limited, said Winnie Mak,
who covers the company for BNP Prime Peregrine.
The company said it will focus on utilities and
infrastructure in the future, while winding down many of
its noncore operations. So far, however, its efforts have
lacked an aggressive approach to finding new and more
profitable businesses, said Ms. Mak.

Ms. Mak said the loss was bigger than her forecast of a
HK$1.90 billion shortfall.The fall was probably due to a
larger exceptional loss, that wasn't reported in the
announcement for full-year 1999, she said, noting that an
exceptional loss of HK$1.70 billion was booked for the half
year that ended June 30, 1999. The loss reflected hefty
provisions totaling HK$2.79 billion, partly to cover bad
debts, reduction in values of investments resulting partly
from the freeze and reduction of credit facilities, the
company said.

It has also set aside HK $457 million in anticipation of a
loss from the sale of its Guangdong Brewery and Guangdong
Tannery Ltd. units under its asset disposal program.
The remaining provisions are meant to cover the winding-
down of the group's cement and retail operations and its
Guangdong Building Industries Ltd.unit. Guangnan (Holdings)
Ltd., the group's second-largest unit and a sister
company of Guangdong Investment, reported a net loss of
HK$194.2 million, which marked a considerable improvement
from a HK$3.47 billion loss in the previous year, despite
an overall reduction in profit margins.

"The company is laden with debts and negative equities. . .
. it can't even pay its interest," noted BNP Peregrine's
Ms. Mak. "There is no growth prospect at all."Guangdong
Brewery, the group's only profitable arm, saw its net
earnings fall 42% to HK$49.0 million on a 10% revenue
increase to HK$682 million. (The Asian Wall Street Journal

Red-chip Guangdong Investment (GDI) has posted a net loss
of HK$ 2.39 billion for last year, exceeding the most
pessimistic of analysts' forecasts.

The company, which is undergoing a restructuring with other
members of the Guangdong Enterprises (GDE) group, reported
a HK$ 2.01 billion loss in 1998.  Analysts' estimates for
last year had ranged between a profit of HK$ 767 million
and a loss of HK$ 2 billion, according to Barra Global
Estimates.  Fellow GDE unit Guangnan (Holdings) narrowed
its net loss to HK$ 194.2 million last year, from HK$ 3.49
billion in 1998.

Shares in both companies fell yesterday following the
results announcements. GDI lost five cents, or 4.35 per
cent, to close at HK$ 1.10 while Guangnan dropped two
cents, or 5.63 per cent, to 33.5 cents.

GDI chairman Wu Jiesi said last year had been "challenging"
for the group.  Of its HK$ 2.48 billion operating loss, HK$
2.33 billion came from provisions for the disposal of
cement, retail and building businesses, and for the fall in
value of property, hotel interests and investments.

"Whilst 1999 has seen a measure of improvement in Hong
Kong's economy as compared with 1998, operating conditions
in a number of industries in which the group is engaged in
Hong Kong and mainland China remained difficult," Mr Wu

The company was also hit by continued high financing costs
of HK$ 662 million, only 6 per cent lower than the previous

"Interest rates continued at high levels by historical
standards and remained a heavy burden on the group," Mr Wu

The net loss took the company's accumulated losses at the
end of last year to HK$ 3.01 billion, and reduced its net
assets to HK$ 4.54 billion from HK$6.21 billion. Despite
the escalating red ink, Mr Wu expressed confidence in the
future once the GDE restructuring was complete.

"A successful restructuring will ensure that GDI will have
a robust future and develop into a flagship company for
Guangdong province," he said.

The group had "every reason for optimism", he said. GDI
will acquire Dongshen Water, which supplies most of Hong
Kong's water, from a company owned by the Guangdong
government as part of a complex restructuring of the
insolvent GDE group.  GDI is simultaneously undergoing a
business restructuring that will see it shed non-core
businesses and focus on four key areas of utilities,
infrastructure, property and hotels.

Nevertheless, these core businesses also posted
unimpressive performances last year. Operating profit from
utilities fell 74.4 per cent to HK$ 59.3 million, while
infrastructure profit was down 67.5 per cent to HK$ 6.4

Property and hotels both remained loss-making, although
operating losses were sharply reduced from HK$ 274.6
million to HK$ 2 million for property, and from HK$ 241.7
million to HK$ 3.8 million for hotels.  GDE, GDI and
Guangnan reached agreement in principle on a debt
restructuring on December 16 but a final agreement has yet
to be signed.  (South China Morning Post  29-March-2000)

iMERCHANTS: Losing $4M a year, it seeks $357M in GEM cash
E-commerce solutions provider IMerchants expects to raise
$357.47 million to $430.13 million by placing 290.63
million shares of $1.23 to $1.48 per share on the Growth
Enterprise Market (GEM).

Although turnover has improved, iMerchants remains a loss-
making company, losing about $4 million a year since 1998.
The 290.63 million shares will comprise 232.5 million new
shares and 58.13 million existing shares. The firm said it
intended to use about $80 million of the net proceeds,
estimated to be about $293 million, to purchase new
hardware and software to further improve services offered
by its service bureau.

The firm said the proceeds would also be used to provide
systems which would enhance the efficiency of its finance,
accounting and human resources and knowledge management
processes. About $39 million will be used to invest in
business development and marketing activities.  The firm
said about $33 million would be used to hire more staff.

About $35 million of the net proceeds will be used to
acquire or invest in ventures which have passed their
incubation stage, it said.  The rest of the net proceeds,
according to the firm, will be reserved as general working
capital.  The market capitalisation of the company is $1.58
billion, which is based on an offer price at the mid-point
of the price range at $1.355 per share. Adjusted net
tangible asset value per share is 28 cents.

The company's turnover for the 10 months to January 31 was
$10.37 million. It was $4.66 million for the year to March
31, 1999 and $2.79 million for the same period in 1998.
Almost all the turnover was contributed by IMerchants'
consulting services.  Its net loss for the 10 months to
January 31 was $4.41 million. It was $4.66 million for the
year to March 31, 1999 and $3.57 million for the same
period in 1998.

Meanwhile, IMerchants has been granted waivers from the
stock exchange.  The share lock-up period for the company's
initial management shareholders has been shortened from two
years to six months and its share option scheme has been
allowed to increase to 30 per cent.

BNP Prime Peregrine is the global co-ordinator, bookrunner
and sponsor of IMerchants' placement.  IMerchants will make
its debut on the GEM board on Friday.  (Hong Kong Standard

NEW CHINA HONG KONG GROUP: Businessman loses appeal vs.ING
Pro-Beijing businessman Tsui Tsin-tong yesterday lost his
Court of Appeal bid to quash a court decision demanding
that he repay $69.6 million to ING Bank in relation to the
debt restructuring of New China Hong Kong Group.

"The defendant has not satisfied me that there is any
question or issue here which ought to be sent for trial,"
Mr Justice Gerald Godfrey said.

"He (Mr Tsui) has no real answer to the plaintiff's (ING
Bank's) claim and the judge was quite right to give
judgment against him."

The litigation between Mr Tsui and ING Bank goes back about
three years when New China Hong Kong Capital (NCHKC) agreed
to sell warrants over shares of Pearl Oriental to one of
its customers. NCHKC, in turn, bought the same number of
warrants from ING Baring Financial Products (ING BFP). But
with the sharp fall of Pearl Oriental's share price from
June 1997, most of the 400 million original shares remained
unsold after ING BFP exercised its put option in September

The parties entered into a debt rescheduling agreement in
November 1997, when Mr Tsui agreed to be a guarantor of the
debts. In May last year, ING Bank applied for a summary
judgment against Mr Tsui for the principal sum. In the
Court of First Instance in December, Mr Justice William
Stone ordered Mr Tsui to repay about $69.6 million to ING

Counsel for Mr Tsui, Anthony Neoh, told the Court of Appeal
Mr Justice Stone had been in error when he considered the
debt rescheduling deed separately from other documents,
which formed an integral part of transactions by the
relevant parties.

Mr Neoh also argued that if the put option transaction _ an
over-the-counter option which he claimed contravened the
Securities Ordinance - was illegal, the contract should be
unenforceable.  But Mr Justice Simon Mayo did not agree
with Mr Neoh that there had been any contravention of
section 76 of the Securities Ordinance.  Mr Justice Brian
Keith, the third appeal judge, also concurred on the
dismissal. (Hong Kong Standard  29-March-2000)

NPH INT'L HOLDINGS: Reports delay in rehab to HKSE
The Directors of NPH International Holdings, through Huang
Shuyun, Deputy Chairman, notes that pursuant to the
Takeovers Code and the Listing Rules, N P H should normally
post a circular in connection with the Announcement within
21 days of the date of the Announcement (i.e., on or before
28 March 2000).

However, because of the complexity of the Financial
Restructuring, more time is required for N P H to collate
the information to be contained in the circular. The
posting of the circular will therefore be deferred.  N P H
has made applications to the Executive Director of the
Corporate Finance Division of the SFC and the Stock
Exchange for an extension of time for posting the circular.
The Directors intend to post the circular on or before 3
April 2000.  (Kong Kong Stock Exchange  29-March-2000)

PAM & FRANK INT'L HLDGS: Clarifies court order for HKSE
The Board of Directors of Pam & Frank International
Holdings Limited (the "Company"), through Yang Hung Yu,
William, Chairman,
wish to clarify an article appeared in the press today.

On 27th March, 2000, a bankruptcy order was made by the
Court against Mr. Yeung Kai Fai, Frank and Mrs. Yeung Liu
Wing Chau, Pamela (the "Yeungs") and the Company has been
informed by the Yeungs that they have instructed solicitors
to negotiate a settlement of the outstanding amount in
order that the bankruptcy order might be withdrawn.

Since the Group has completed a restructuring on 31st
March, 1998 and the Yeungs resigned as directors of the
Company and all of the Company's subsidiaries ("the Group")
on 10th April, 1998, the Board of Directors considers that
any bankruptcy of the Yeungs will not have any material
impact on the Group.  (Hong Kong Stock Exchange  29-March-

WENDY FOODS LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for May 3 on the petition of Au
Yeung Siu Chun for the winding up of Wendy Foods Limited.
A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or before May

ZHENZHOU BAIWEN (GROUP): CINDA to seek liquidation
Zhenzhou Baiwen (Group) Ltd said it has received notice
that China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd has applied to
Zhengzhou Intermediate Court for Zhengzhou Baiwen to be put
into liquidation.

It is among the first reported cases of an asset-management
company using its shareholding status to send a company
into liquidation.

The company, Zhengzhou Baiwen (Group), held debts of 2.23
billion yuan (about HK$2.08 billion) with assets of 1.4
billion yuan at the end of last year.  In 1998, the company
reported losses of 502 million yuan, becoming the biggest
money-loser on the Shanghai stock exchange. An interim
report for the first half of last year revealed an
additional loss of 500 million yuan in that period.

In December, Cinda made an agreement to swap 1.94 billion
yuan worth of Zhengzhou Baiwen's debt held by China
Construction Bank.  An official at Cinda said no decision
had been made on whether the Zhengzhou firm would be
restructured or liquidated.  However, Cinda's decision to
file the bankruptcy petition raises further questions about
the debt-equity swaps formula.

Last year, Beijing authorised the establishment of asset
managers - Cinda, Dongfang, Great Wall and Huarong - to
clear non-performing loans held by the country's Big Four
state-owned commercial banks and ease the debt burden of
their state-owned clientele, mainly via the use of debt-
equity swaps.  State firms involved in the swaps were
expected to restructure their business and management
operations, allowing the asset managers to eventually
liquidate their shareholding.

By the end of last year, the four asset-management
companies had signed swap agreements with 73 state-owned
enterprises in deals worth 72.5 billion yuan.  State
Development Planning Commission guidelines state that the
swaps were to be limited to the country's key state-owned
industrial enterprises and other large companies saddled by
extraordinary interest payments but whose market potential
remained high.

Zhengzhou Baiwen met few of those requirements. Although
once one of the mainland's leading wholesale and retail
companies, the company has fallen on hard times, due to
falling prices, increased competition and slack consumer

Cinda last year acquired 1.94 bln yuan of non-performing
loans issued to Zhengzhou Baiwen by China Construction
Bank, and the asset management company has applied to the
court for the recovery of 2.13 bln yuan, a figure which
includes unpaid interest on the loans, an announcement

Zhengzhou Baiwen's gross assets at end-1999 amounted to 1.4
bln yuan, while its total liabilities amounted to 2.23 bln
yuan, it said.  The company added that it expects to report
a net loss in its 1999 annual results.  Zhengzhou Baiwen's
A shares last closed at 5.2 yuan.  (AFX News Limited  29-
March-2000, South China Morning Post  30-March-2000)


PT BANK BALI: Court rules Gov't takeover illegal
The State Administrative Court has ruled that the takeover
of PT Bank Bali by the government last year was illegal, a
spokesman for the bank's former owners, the Ramli family,

The court "has cancelled the BTO (bank takeover) status of
Bank Bali," the spokesman said.

He said the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA),
which is currently supervising the bank, must now surrender
it to the founding family.

"Legally, IBRA has to hand over the management of Bank Bali
to its original management. So this means the takeover was

Separately, Bank Indonesia Governor Sjahril Sabirin said
the government will appeal the decision. He added that a
planned rights issue late next month to recapitalise the
bank will now be delayed.  (AFX News Limited  30-March-


BUNKA SHUTTER CO.: To eliminate FY99 pension underfunding
Bunka Shutter Co. (5930) will record an extraordinary loss
of 12.6 billion yen in the year ending this month to cover
an equivalent shortfall in retirement benefit funds,
company officials said Wednesday.

The shutter maker expects a net loss of 7.9 billion yen,
reflecting the effect of deferred tax accounting, compared
with a loss of 1.8 billion yen a year earlier. It will
still pay a 4.5 yen per share dividend for the second half
using cash reserves.

Revenue will dip 1% to 93.5 billion yen, reflecting low
demand for office buildings. Pretax profit will jump 36% to
1.9 billion yen as a result of cost-cutting.

On a group basis, revenue will increase slightly to 102
billion yen, while pretax profit is predicted to grow 30%.
The firm estimates a net loss of 9 billion yen, against a
1.8 billion yen loss the previous year. (Nikkei  30-March-

DAIEI INC.: In talks to sell 7 hotels to Goldman Sachs
The Daiei Inc. (8263) group is in the final stages of talks
to sell seven Japanese hotels that it controls to the
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned

According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the
total selling price for the seven hotel properties is
likely to range between 65 and 70 billion yen.  The sale
would essentially mark the end of a series of moves by
Daiei to unload major assets under a sweeping restructuring

Daiei has been scrambling to lower its roughly 2.8 trillion
yen in groupwide interest-bearing debt by selling part of
its stakes in Recruit Co. and convenience store chain
Lawson Inc. Daiei expanded into the hotel business in the
late 1980s as part of a push to diversify beyond its core
supermarket operations, establishing a flagship portfolio
of Oriental Hotels.

The current talks are focused on a package of five Oriental
Hotels in Kobe, Osaka, and Chiba Prefecture, as well as two
business hotels, one in Fukuoka and the other in Chiba
Prefecture. If the deal goes through, the hotels would be
purchased by two Goldman Sachs investment funds and
Strategic Hotel Capital Inc., a hotel investment company
affiliated with the U.S. investment bank and securities

Goldman Sachs is expected to turn over management of the
properties to hotel operating firms, including U.K.-based
Bass Hotels & Resorts Inc. and U.S.-based Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide Inc. The brand names of the hotels would
likely be changed to Inter-Continental, Westin or Sheraton,
depending on location and other factors. (Nikkei  30-March-

HUIS TEN BOSCH CO.GROUP: Main creditor to forgive loans
The Huis Ten Bosch Co group, which operates a theme park in
Nagasaki Prefecture, has announced that its main creditor
the Industrial Bank of Japan (TSE:8302) will relinquish
20.2 billion yen (US$ 189.2 million) in loans by
fiscal 2004.

Huis Ten Bosch now has 240 billion yen in outstanding loans
due to the large initial outlays associated with the park,
which opened in 1992. But attendance and revenue are
faltering.  (Asia Pulse  29-March-2000)

MYCAL CORP.: Stock prices fall, hover at low levels
Mycal Corp. (8269) shares fell March 14 to a record low of
315 yen, and they have stayed at low levels since then.

The company's share price hit a recent high of 567 yen on
Jan. 18, but Nagasakiya Co.'s (8262) filing for protection
from creditors on Feb. 13 generated uncertainty for all
retailers, and the sector was broadly sold.

Mycal unveiled a restructuring plan Feb. 21 that included
consolidation and reorganization of 13 subsidiaries,
including its money-losing specialty stores, but this
failed to revive its share price.

Investors seem to be looking for further restructuring
plans, but Mycal President Kotaro Utsunomiya says he will
wait at least until mid-term results are announced for the
half ending in August.

Parent-only pretax profit in the year ended Feb. 29 fell to
about 3 billion yen, down 80% on the year, due to lower
turnover and other factors. The company expects to post a
consolidated net loss of 6 billion yen, less than its 35.6
billion yen loss the year before.

Mycal aims to improve its earnings this year through the
unification of its family clothing sales sections and
through other measures. It also plans to liquefy the assets
locked up in its stores, to improve its balance sheet, and
to make a big move into Internet-based sales.

Futoshi Saito, a senior analyst at Daiwa Institute of
Research, says, "One must appreciate the company's efforts
to revive profitability in its main businesses by changing
its diversification route."

However, it may take time for the company to show real
improvement, so for the time being the stock is likely to
stay at the low end of its range. (Nikkei  29-March-2000)

NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Softbank deal delayed by Goldman role
The attempt by Softbank, the Japanese internet group, to
purchase the nationalised Nippon Credit Bank has been
delayed amid concerns over the role of Goldman Sachs.

The US investment bank is advising Softbank, and Japanese
government officials have expressed concerns over a
possible conflict of interest.  Goldman Sachs also advised
the Financial Reconstruction Commission, the body in charge
of banking reform, on the sale of Long Term Credit Bank,
the first nationalised bank, to Ripplewood last year.

Following the concerns, the Softbank consortium was forced
to suspend its due diligence of NCB this week. The
government announced this year it would sell NCB to the
consortium led by Softbank, which includes Tokyo Marine and
Fire, and Orix.

Goldman's work on LTCB has ended, and the bank discussed
its position with the FRC before taking on the role with
Softbank. It pledged to maintain confidentiality and ensure
that there was no conflict of interest.  But though the FRC
accepted these arguments last year, in recent weeks politicians
have complained that Goldman faces a conflict of interest.

"I think people are concerned with reputational questions
now - politicians are asking more questions about the sale
of nationalised banks," said one Japanese observer close to
the deal.

Some government officials have suggested that Goldman could
resolve this by using different advisory teams. The FRC and
Goldman on Wednesday both refused to comment.  Goldman has
faced similar criticism about potential conflicts of
interest in the US and Europe recently. The delay is also a
blow for the FRC, which is keen to conduct a rapid sale of
NCB and demonstrate that it can make Japan's markets
transparent and efficient.

Another issue complicating the sale process is a dispute
between Softbank and the FRC about the style of due
diligence that should be used. The FRC has told Softbank
that it could either conduct thorough due diligence and
carry all the risk itself or conduct limited diligence and
have a loss-sharing scheme.  (Financial Times  30-March-


HYUNDAI GROUP: Gov't to probe group's financial arms
The financial regulators will shortly conduct extensive
investigations into Hyundai Group's financial arms.

In the wake of the brotherly power struggle for Hyundai's
leadership, the Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday
said the regulators would launch large scale probes into
chaebol-owned financial firms, with Hyundai subsidiaries
being the first target.

An FSC spokesman added that the special investigation would
begin in May and last until the end of the year. Other
groups named by the financial authority include Samsung,
LG, SK, Tongyang and Dongbu.  The financial authority said
family disputes at large conglomerates were all due to
their attempts to possess financial affiliates within the
group and that as long as the operation of chaebol-owned
financial units became transparent, such unproductive
disputes would disappear.

The financial regulator pointed out that the Hyundai case
provided a rationale for the government to reinforce its
control on chaebol-owned financial operations. Hyundai at
present runs five financial units: Hyundai Securities,
Hyundai Trust Management, Hyundai Investment Trust, Hyundai
Capital and Ulsan Merchant Banking.

During the previous investigation, conducted last year,
regulators imposed legal punishment on 47 senior executive
board members of Hyundai's financial operations for illegal
inside trading and intersubsidiary deals.  The FSC added
that it would impose severe penalties this time if any
unlawful business practices were uncovered.

Earlier, the regulators said the government would provide a
legal framework targeted at reforming the family-dictated
business structure of large conglomerates.  The spokesman
said the government would closely reexamine the case of the
Hyun ai Group's power dispute and enact laws to prevent
family ownership of large conglomerates.  (Korea Times  28-

KOOKMIN LIFE: Gov't concludes sale
PACIFIC LIFE: Gov't concludes sale
The government yesterday finalized the sale of two troubled
life insurers - Kookmin Life and Pacific Life.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said it signed a
final deal with the SK Group for the sale of Kookmin Life,
and with a consortium between the Tong Yang Group and U.S.-
based Rothschild Recovery Fund for the sale of Pacific
Life.  The FSC and SK will inject 259.4 billion won and
107.1 billion, respectively, into Kookmin Life to cover its
net asset shortages of 366.5 billion won.

For Pacific Life, whose liabilities exceed assets by 312.7
billion won, the commission will provide capital of 259.7
billion won, while the Tong Yang-Rothschild consortium will
supply 53 billion won.

The acquirers will seek early normalization of the
distressed life insurers through additional capital
increases, the commission said.  SK Life will merge with
Kookmin Life, while Pacific Life will be consolidated with
Tong Yang Life.

Out of six troubled life insurers that were put up for sale
in March last year, five deals have so far been made. The
FSC expects the final deal for sale of the remaining Handuk
Life to be concluded by the end of next month with the
Young Poong Group. (The Korea Herald  30-March-2000)

KOOKMIN BANK: Plans to borrow $100 million
Kookmin Bank will introduce a foreign loan of $100 million
through the issuance of asset-backed securities in the
United States, a bank official said yesterday.

Bank One Capital Inc. of the United States will raise the
fund by floating commercial paper backed by Kookmin's
holdings of government and municipal bonds.

The loan, which will come due in one year, will carry an
interest rate equivalent to the Libor (London Inter-Bank
Offered Rate) plus 0.75 percent, the official said. Kookmin
will use the loan to pay back government-backed foreign
debts ahead of maturity early next month, he added. (The
Korea Herald  29-March-2000)

SAMSUNG MOTORS: Creditors consider talks extension
A Samsung Motors Inc creditor said negotiators are studying
whether to extend Friday's deadline for exclusive talks
with Renault SA after the current round of talks aimed at a
Renault takeover of the company failed, the Yonhap news
agency reported.

The official with a Samsung creditor bank, who was not
identified, was quoted as saying parties to the talks "are
examining the possibility of an extension of the
negotiation period and of holding a final session in

He said "progress" was made in the second session of the
talks, particularly over the takeover price, but added that
"further talks are necessary about certain terms and
conditions" for the proposed takeover. An official with
Hanvit Bank, the largest Samsung Motors creditor, would
only confirm that the have talks ended without a result,
and said: "Our team is currently on its way home."  (AFX
News Limited  29-March-2000)

SAMSUNG MOTORS: Renault mute on talks extension
Renault SA would neither confirm nor deny that it will
resume talks in Seoul tomorrow with creditors of Samsung
Motors Inc.

"Our position remains the same," a Renault spokesman said.
"We did not expect to extend the period of exclusive talks"
which end tomorrow. This does not mean that we are not
going to negotiate" either from now until the end of this
period or beyond that. Renault will not give either a date
or a place," he said.

Earlier, Samsung Motors' main creditor Hanvit Bank said
Samsung creditors will resume talks with Renault in Seoul
tomorrow. Hanvit's statement must be taken "in the context
of what we are saying," the spokesman said.  (AFX News
Limited  30-March-2000)


PANCARAN IKRAB BHD: Chief explains annual loss
Ikrab Bhd (PIB)'s main loss for 1999 arose from writing off
nine tower cranes owned by a subsidiary, Handal Sujana Sdn
Bhd, says chairman Datuk Azhar Hashim.

"Further contributing factors to the loss are the provision
being made for bad debts and obsolete stocks in the books
of Powerdrive subsidiaries and the substantial amount of
costs being incurred by the group despite the fact that
operations had dwindled down substantially during the
period," he added.

In its latest annual report, Azhar said its subsidiary,
Syarikat Pembinaan Beng Teck Sdn Bhd however, managed to
contribute a pre-tax profit of about RM2.2 million to the
consolidated results, arising from its successful
completion of several projects undertaken last year.

"For the other subsidiaries, steps were taken to withdraw
from non-profitable projects so that they would not further
drain the group's depleted reserves in the future. This
measure, together with the continued depressive market
conditions relating to the construction industry have
reduced the group's turnover to RM41.64 million during the
financial year."

He says as a result of the losses suffered by the group for
the last two consecutive years, both the group's
shareholders' funds and net asset values have been
drastically depleted. Azhar added that the group was thus
unable to meet the obligations of its creditors and
lenders, and was on the verge of being insolvent.

He further said that the company sought the advice from a
team of advisers, which include Bumiputra Merchant Bankers
Bhd, Arthur Andersen Corporate Advisory Sdn Bhd and Jeff
Leong, Poon & Wong to restructure its debts. Azhar said the
application for a proposed restructuring scheme was
submitted to the Securities Commission and other relevant
authorities for approvals on February 3.

"On completion of the debt restructuring exercise, the
group is expected to emerge stronger and ready again to
take on the challenges the economic recovery will bring,"
he added.

Azhar said the exercise include capital reduction by
cancelling 75 sen of the existing par value per share which
will reduce PIB's issued capital of RM19 million to RM4.73
million comprising 19 million shares of 25 sen each. After
the capital reduction, the shares in PIB will be
consolidated on a four for one basis resulting in the share
capital being RM4.73 million comprising 4.75 million shares
of RM1.00 each.

PIB will also incorporate a new company as a purpose of
being the new investment holding company of the group.
Under a scheme of arrangement between PIB, shareholders and
Newco under Section 176 of the Companies Act 1965,
shareholders of PIB will exchange their shares of RM1.00
each after the capital reduction and share consolidation,
for new share of RM1.00 each in Newco, on a one for one
basis.  (Business Times  30-March-2000)


PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Forecasts annual loss this year
Philippine Airlines, the national flag carrier expects a
net loss of $16.4 million for the 1999-2000 fiscal year for
its rehab plan.

PAL President Avelino Zapanta said PAL is shooting for
break-even result at best or a minimal loss at worst,
lamenting that the rising cost of jet fuel which makes up a
quarter of PAL's operating budget, was dragging down the
carrier's impressive operational performance.

"We would have easily made a year-end profit of P500
million if not for the unforeseen 63 percent rise in the
price of aviation fuel since the start of the fiscal. over
which we had no control," Zapanta said.

On the other hand, PAL chairman Lucio Tan said the flag
carrier will aim to recover in five years, half the time
projected by its receiver and creditors.  Tan exhorted PAL
employees to build on this year's gains, saying "our goal
should be to graduate from rehabilitation sooner than 10
years the rehab plan projects. If we can do it in half the
time projected -- in five years - then that will be a major
accomplishment unprecedented in the annals of Philippine

Earlier, PAL released its performance report for January
which showed a P98.3 million net income for the month.
(RP Business News  28-March-2000)

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: L.Tan defers deal on PNB block sale
Exercising his right as "majority shareholder" of
semiprivate Philippine National Bank (PNB), tycoon Lucio C.
Tan has deferred signing a memorandum of agreement (MoA)
with the National Government for the block sale of the
bank's shares.

Finance Secretary Jose T. Pardo, who had a meeting with the
beer and tobacco magnate Tuesday night, said Mr. Tan has
"some comments" on the first draft given last Monday.
As a result, the Department of Finance (DoF) is again
drafting a "simpler" memorandum to be submitted to Mr. Tan
for approval.

"I had a meeting with Lucio Tan last night. He had comments
on the first draft we did, so a new draft is now being
prepared," Mr. Pardo yesterday told reporters.

He said Mr. Tan wanted the agreement not to be "overly
complicated," and should "cover just the main agreement" on
the joint sale.  The Finance chief added the government and
Mr. Tan have yet to agree on the selling price of PNB but
he added, " 160 Philippine pesos (PhP) (US$3.9 at
PhP41.008:US$1)(per share) is the emerging number."

The government has tapped Dutch investment bank ING Barings
and US-based Lehman Brothers to prepare a valuation of the
PNB shares, Finance Undersecretary Joel Ba§ares yesterday
said on cable television.  While both the government and
Mr. Tan wanted a PhP160-per share price for the 76% block,
he said the eventual selling price of PNB would be have to
be "balanced" with "what the market wants" and the
valuation recommended by ING Barings and Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Ba§ares also said getting the go signal from Hong Kong-
based fund manager Templeton Asset Management Corp. to sell
its 12.9% stake in the bank "is no longer important" as the
joint government-Tan divestment would already command "a
majority."  The Finance department expects to have an
agreement signed with Mr. Tan by the end of the week.

Finance Undersecretary Cornelio C. Gison is preparing the
new agreement to formalize the joint sale of about 76% PNB
shares.  Mr. Tan controls 46% of PNB through direct
ownership and proxies while the government owns 30%.
Mr. Pardo had said the signing of the agreement will allow
the DoF to attach the floor price for the PNB sale, paving
the way for the block sale.

He said three foreign investors have already expressed
interest in buying the PNB block.  Two of the potential
buyers have approached DoF while the other investor
expressed "half-intent" in buying the semiprivate bank, he
said.  The DoF is under pressure to complete the
privatization of PNB by end-June to fulfil commitments with
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Selling the government's stake together with Mr. Tan's
shares as a block is believed to command a higher price
given the "more attractive" and larger stake. Aside from
Mr. Tan, the government also plans to invite Hong Kong-
based Templeton stake in the bank together with the
government and Mr. Tan's combined 46% stake. Earlier, Mr.
Pardo said the DoF has yet to officially invite the
Templeton group to the block sale.

"We want to just lock in in the agreement first with the
group of Lucio Tan and hopefully move on to the Templeton
(group). This would put us at least on track with our
planned privatization," he said.

Still, the DoF remains focused on securing Mr. Tan's
agreement on the sale. "We have the majority, that is the
more important thing," Mr. Pardo said. (Business World  30-

UNIWIDE GROUP: Receivership asks SEC for rehab plan okay
The interim receivership committee of the Uniwide Group has
asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its
amended rehabilitation plan to enable the group to finalise
its strategic partnership with Casino Guichard-Perrachon by
June, according to documents filed at the SEC.

"Considering that the amended rehabilitation plan is not
opposed by a majority of any class of creditors... but only
by 22 pct of the secured creditors and 2 pct of the
unsecured creditors, ... (the rehabilitation) plan may now
be approved," the committee said in a letter to the SEC.

The approval of the plan "becomes absolutely necessary
because of the need to close the transaction with Casino
Guichard-Perrachon by June this year," it said.  Uniwide
closed unchanged at 0.50 peso.  (AFX News Limited  29-

UNIWIDE GROUP: Creditors endorse amended rehab plan
Creditors of the debt-saddled Uniwide Group of Companies
have endorsed the company's proposed amended rehabilitation
plan and have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) to fastrack the approval of its proposed amended
rehabilitation plan.

The interim receivership committee led by its chairman
Monico V. Jacob, and members Cornelio T. Peralta and Arthur
N. Aguilar, told the SEC the approval is needed soonest as
there are many implementing activities which can only be
done after the company's recovery plan is sanctioned by the
corporate watchdog.

Jacob said Uniwide has received comments from 39 secured
and unsecured creditors out of about 1,200 creditors. Among
the secured creditors, three banks whose total exposure to
the Uniwide Group amounts to P1.531 billion filed their
opposition to the amended rehabilitation plan.

These oppositors comprise 22 percent of the total value of
the obligations to secured creditors. However, the receiver
continues to negotiate with these banks and "it is most
likely they will eventually agree to the amended rehab plan
with the possible exception of one bank with a credit which
comprises 10 percent of the total value held by secured
creditors," Jacob said.

Meanwhile, unsecured creditors with a total exposure of
P68.815 million have opposed the rehab plan mainly because
they object to the 50 percent discount held on their
credit.  Jacob said the SEC should approve the plan

"Considering that the amended rehabilitation plan is not
opposed by a majority of any class of creditors... but only
by 22 percent of the secured creditors and two percent of
the unsecured creditors, the plan should already be

Jacob said the SEC's approval is "absolutely necessary"
because of the need to close the transaction with Casino
Guichard-Perrachon, the French retail giant which will pay
P3.57 billion in cash for 89.2 percent of Uniwide
subsidiary, Uniwide Sales and Warehouse Club Inc. (USWC).

Uniwide is badly in need of new money as it continues its
losing streak, posting a bigger net loss of P2.665 billion
in 1999 compared to P667.2 million the previous year.
Uniwide said its operations and finances further
deteriorated last year because of the substantial interest
payments to a number of its creditors to which it owes an
aggregate of about P13 billion.

To get back on its feet, Uniwide is awaiting the approval
of its amended rehabilitation plan by the SEC. At the same
time, it has been entering into agreements with its
creditors for a dacion en pago or payment in kind
settlement of its debts. It has already signed an agreement
with the United Coconut Planters Bank and East Asia Capital
to extinguish its loans through the dacion en pago scheme.
(The Philippine Star  30-March-2000)

UNIWIDE HOLDINGS INC.: Posts annual loss
Debt-laden Philippine retailer Uniwide Holdings Inc. posted
a 1999 net loss of 2.67 billion pesos ($65.2 million),
compared with a loss of 667.2 million pesos in 1998,
because of interest payments and lower sales. The company
said revenue fell 74% to 129.3 million pesos from 491.9
million pesos. (The Asian Wall Street Journal  29-March-


FINANCE ONE: Pin extradition full hearing set Aug.29
A full hearing on the extradition of fugitive financier Pin
Chakkaphak is expected to be held in Bow Street Magistrates
Court on August 29, according to British lawyer Helen
Malcolm, who represents the Thai government.

But Britain's High Court of Justice must first help to
determine the charges brought against Pin, so that the
extradition hearing may proceed, the lawyer said.  The
British court, meanwhile, set additional bail conditions
for Pin yesterday.  The Thai government wants to bring Pin
back to Thailand to face allegations that he and his
associates embezzled more than Bt2.1 billion from the
now defunct publicly listed company, Finance One.

Pin, who was former president of Finance One, was
arrested by the British authorities in December last
year after a request by the Thai government. Yesterday, Pin
showed up at the Bow Street Magistrates Court with his
daughter Saraneeya. With his neatly combed hair, Pin looked
more comfortable with himself.

The new bail conditions come despite Pin having
already agreed to place real estate worth 1.5 million
(Bt90 million)and ú500,000 (Bt30 million) of cash as
sureties. Pin was required to get seven individuals
who must show combined assets of ú120,000 (Bt7.1
million) to provide him with guarantees that he will
not jump bail.

If Pin can fulfil the new bail conditions, he will
only need to report himself to the Belgravia police
station twice a week - on Mondays and Thursdays. Before
entering the Bow Street Magistrates Court, Alan Jones,
Pin's solicitor, said all the proceedings against his
client were unlawful.  He claimed that if the High Court
agreed to hold a hearing on Pin's appeal, "that's the end
of it".

But a member of the Thai prosecutor team said the High
Court has agreed to hold a hearing into the conspiracy
charges against Pin.  The Thai government has filed several
charges against Pin, some of which include conspiracy to
defraud and fraudulent trading.  Jones earlier said he
would be fighting to remove these charges against his
client at the High Court, because Pin had not made any
criminal violations.  (The Nation  29-March-2000)

PANJAPOL PULP INDUSTRY: Tax issues blocking debt proposal
Both the Customs and Revenue departments have filed an
objection to the rehabilitation plan approved by the
creditors of Panjapol Pulp Industry Plc related to the part
covering debts owed to the state agencies.

As a result, the Central Bankruptcy Court has postponed the
court hearing to today.  At their meeting early this month,
the company's 58 creditors holding debts worth about 19
billion baht gave approval to the rehabilitation plan
proposed by Panjapol. It was submitted to the court, which
had earlier scheduled the hearing for Tuesday.

However, the court decided to postpone the hearing after it
received an objection from the Customs and Revenue
departments to the plan, as it needs to consider the
objection in detail.  The departments said that the debts
that Panjapol had to repay them totalled about 32.26
million baht. These were classified as unsecured debts in
the category of state agencies.

The rehabilitation plan submitted to the court indicated
that repayment of the debts under this classification would
not take into account either interest or penalty fees. The
departments said tax was owed to the state agencies. The
objections filed by the departments said that the
bankruptcy law covered only the restructuring of debts
between members of the private sector.

Debt restructuring did not cover debts which the state
agencies as creditors had to collect from private
companies. The objection also said that the extension of
tax payment schedules in the rehabilitation plan to the
state agencies was also considered not in compliance with
the law.

If the court allowed private companies to take advantage of
rehabilitation plans to reduce their debts to state
agencies, or delay their payments, this would have an
adverse impact on the way the government managed the
country's affairs, the departments said. As a result, the
departments asked the court to consider ordering amendments
to the parts of the plan relating to the debts owed to the
state agencies. (Bangkok Post  30-March-2000)

SAPHAN MAI DON MUANG STORE: Robinson closing branch
Robinson Department Store Plc, a unit of Central Retail
Corp (CRC), will close its Saphan Mai-Don Muang store on
Friday after facing losses for years.

Some other under-performing stores could also be closed as
part of an effort to increase profits and enhance
shareholder value, said Kanok Wongtragan, chief operating
officer and president. The store opened in 1989. Executives
declined to discuss the size of its losses.

The closing will leave the company with 19 branches, 10 of
them in Bangkok. It has no plans for new branches this
year. Robinson Ratchadaphisek is the top-selling branch.
Mr Kanok also said that the company would return to profit
this year. Last year, total revenue was 7.28 billion baht,
with a net loss of 5.59 billion.

Mr Kanok said the 100 staff at Robinson Don Muang could
transfer to other divisions of Robinson or CRC, or resign
if they preferred. (Bangkok Post  29-March-2000)

SIAM CITY BANK: FIDF may cancel sale to Newbridge
The Financial Institutions Development Fund plans to cancel
the sale of Siam City Bank if US fund Newbridge refuses to
settle details on the deal within the next several weeks,
said M.R. Chatumongol Sonakul, governor of the Bank of

The central bank would appoint new managers and keep Siam
City state-owned if the sale fell through, he said.

"Fund managers normally look to buy cheap, dressing up
assets then selling them off in the short-term," M.R.
Chatumongol said.  "Newbridge has tendered bids in other
countries, including Malaysia and Korea. We will wait for
two or three weeks to see if we can settle the deal. But we
have prepared for the option of running the bank

Executives of Newbridge were unavailable for comment. M.R.
Chatumongol acknowledged that appointing capable management
to run Siam City Bank would be a problem, given the lack of
eligible executives in the market.

"The central bank would select a "good and clean" manager
to run the bank, he said. "There are several good people
around, but every one of them is tainted. Siam City Bank
has major problems, given its size and difficulties in
state hands for a long time."

The sale of Bangkok Metropolitan Bank to HSBC, meanwhile,
should be finalised by the end of the month, M.R.
Chatumongol said.  The Financial Institutions Development
Fund seized both Siam City and Bangkok Metropolitan Bank in
1998.  Regulators last year completed the sale of two other
intervened banks, selling Nakornthon to Standard Chartered
and Radanasin to United Overseas Bank.

Sources at the Financial Institutions Development Fund say
they are preparing to completely change Siam City's
management and board if the bid falls through. Salinee
Wangtal, director of the central bank's Financial
Institutions Rehabilitation Office, would be appointed
chairperson of Siam City Bank, sources said.

Somchai Sakulsurarat, now president of Bangkok Metropolitan
Bank, would be brought over to head Siam City Bank once the
HSBC deal was completed. Central bank officials privately
said a management change was necessary to help accelerate
the process of debt restructuring and organisational

Siam City Bank has been hurt by charges of banking
violations by several of its own senior executives. The
central bank ordered the assets of seven executives frozen
pending a police investigation into allegations of fraud
and embezzlement stemming from transactions conducted by
Siam City and a subsidiary.

In any case, if the deal for Siam City Bank fell through,
it would help clarify the bank's own future position and
ease the task of setting operational policies, according to
bank president Paitoon Kijsamrej. He said the bank had been
unable to set long-term policies to date, because of
uncertainties about the privatisation process. Focus had
been primarily on asset recovery and setting up a new asset
management company to oversee bad loans.

Mr Paitoon said the Financial Institutions Development
Fund, as owner of Siam City Bank, had full authority to
order a change of management.

"I have no opinion on the matter. If the shareholders see
that change is necessary, then fine," he said.

Siam City Bank's current management team was appointed by
Chaiyawat Wibulswasdi, former central bank governor.
But central bank officials said that relations between Siam
City management and regulators have deteriorated since M.R.
Chatumongol Sonakul became governor.

Siam City executive chairman Sompoch Intranukul and Mr
Paitoon, had questioned a quick sale of the bank to foreign
investors while market sentiment was poor, officials said.
But Siam City executives said the bank had made progress in
restructuring over the past two years. (Bangkok Post  30-

THAI FARMERS BANK: Announces imminent staff, branch cuts
In a move to trim expenses, Thai Farmers Bank (TFB), the
country's third largest, yesterday announced plans to cut
employee levels by 1,000 or 12 percent, down from 13,400,
by May in addition to closing as many as 40 branches.

The job cuts will be implemented through a voluntary early
retirement program which will be introduced in May, said
Tongchai Charoensit, First Senior Vice President. He added
that the downsizing program also includes closing up to 40
branches out of 533, of which 27 have already been closed.

"We expect to reduce salary expense of 6.1 billion baht by
10 to 20 percent after the program is in place," said
Thongchai, adding that "the branches that are expected to
be eliminated are mostly ones which don't have sufficient
business to generate substantial revenue."

He noted, however, that the passive branches would be
converted to banking outlets with a few staff and no
manager to authorize loans, adding that loan decisions
would be made by the central office.  The redundant staff
are expected to join the early retirement program scheduled
to begin in May.

In 1998 TFB reduced its work force by 150 through the early
retirement program. Last year it cut 1,350 personnel by the
same means.  Bantoon Lamsum, the bank's President, earlier
said that the bank plans to further reduce staff levels
down to around 9,000 in the next three to five years from
the current level of 13,400.

In addition, TFB said it is preparing to add new loan
centers to deal with business entities with over 100
million baht financial portfolios. The bank currently has
eight such service centers which function more like
wholesale banks with four to six manager-level personnel
and 20 to 30 staff.

Local banks, including Krung Thai Bank (KTB) (the second-
largest), DBS Thai Danu Bank and Standard Chartered
Nakornthon Bank, are cutting staff after a two-year
recession slashed demand for corporate loans.  In January,
38 percent of Thai banks' total loans were defaulted,
according to central bank figures. (Business Day  29-March-

THAI OIL CO.: Creditors give rehab plan final approval
Creditors gave final approval Wednesday to state-owned Thai
Oil's dlrs 2.29 billion debt restructuring plan, a lead
creditor said.

"We had the creditor vote and it was a unanimous approval,"
Mike Collins, Chase Manhattan Corp.'s managing director for
Asia Pacific, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Thailand's bankruptcy court is expected to rubber-stamp the
deal Friday and restructuring will begin in mid-April,
Collins said.  Creditors with $2.26 billion in debt voted
in favor of the plan and creditors with less than dlrs 30
million abstained, Collins said. There were no
votes against the plan.

Under Thailand's new bankruptcy laws adopted since the
Asian Crisis erupted in mid-1997, creditors that voted in
favor of the workout are protected from future legal action
by any abstaining party.

"This deal is important for Thailand because it shows the
legal system is working," Collins said.  (AP Worldstream

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Sets up company for rehab plan
Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI) has founded TPI Planner,
a special company established between TPI and an
independent third party to draft a debt rehabilitation
plan, said a statement issued by TPI.

The statement added that the debt reform scheme would be
prepared by TPI Planner with advice from the creditors in
order to ensure that the ultimate plan gains acceptance by
all parties before being submitted to the Central
Bankruptcy Court.

TPI, ruled insolvent this month by the Central Bankruptcy
Court after defaulting on US$3.5 billion of debt, said it
is considering Arthur Andersen LLC, Ernst & Young,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grant Thornton LLP and Deloitte
Touche Tohmatsu as candidates to jointly manage the company
and write a rehabilitation plan, which will take about five

A group of creditors, led by Bangkok Bank, Citigroup, the
US Export-Import Bank and International Finance Corp
earlier proposed Ferrier Hodgson as temporary manager.
Ferrier is Bangkok Bank's adviser in dealing with TPI.

By working with an international accounting firm, TPI would
be able to "continue its operations in the manner
consistent with the maximization of cash flow," the company
said, adding that such a venture would ensure "equitable
treatment of all creditors" as well as "transparency in the
restructuring process."

TPI proposed setting up TPI Planner as an alternative to
Ferrier's Effective Planners. TPI Planner's board would be
a mix of representatives from the accounting firm and the
company's current management, with the majority from the
accounting firm.  The company, in a statement to creditors,
said complete details of the company would be ready within
a few days.

Ferrier Managing Director Anthony Norman last week said his
company had support from creditors holding 68 percent of
the total debt before the court ruling - which deferred a
decision on temporary management.  (Business Day  29-March-

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

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