TCRAP_Public/000414.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, April 14, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 74

                                   Headlines


* A U S T R A L I A *

570 QUEEN ST.MANAGEMENT: Radisson leaves after receivership
BROKEN HILL PROPRIETARY: Pollution suit threatened
LEND LEASE CORP.: MLC sale concerns push share losses
TELSTRA: Market, S&P cautious about telecom moves
VIDEO EZY: No resolution from ACCC discussions


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

TOP GLORY INT'L HLDGS.: Sued for hotel construction costs
VICTORY GROUP: Venture announcement leaves questions
YUEN HING SEWING MACHINE CO.: Facing winding up petition


* I N D O N E S I A *

PARIS CLUB: Awaits creditor approval of debt rescheduling
PT DHARMALA SAKTI SEJAHTERA: Creditor files protest
PT FISKARAGUNG PERKASA: Court asked to cancel agreement
PT OMETRACO CORP.: Case adjourned for evidence gathering
PT SUMI ASIH: Case adjourned for evidence gathering


* J A P A N *

GLOBAL WAVE: Files for bankruptcy
JAPAN RADIO CO.: Loss-maker sells Canadian unit in pieces
TOSHIBA TEC CORP.: Pegs pension gap at 20B Yen


* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
HYUNDAI MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
JUNG II ENGINEERING: KTI moving to acquire  
KIA MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Court proposes deal
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Renault bid poses dilemma
SEOUL BANK: German giant to manage it
SSANGYONG MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action


* M A L A Y S I A *

RENONG BHD: Bank share-swap plan raises fears


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

PHILIPPINE AIR LINES: To get back 2 planes from creditor
PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: 1999 net losses widen to PhP9.87B
PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: IMF sets June 10 deadline for sale  


* T H A I L A N D *

ALPHATEC ELECTRONICS PLC: KTB takes 30.5% stake
CUSTODEAL CO.: Tisco Finance takes over
GSS ARRAY TECHNOLOGY: Competition threatens viability
NAKORNTHAI STRIP MILL: Court accepts joint rehab petition
NTS STEEL GROUP: Creditors approve debt-restructuring plan
PIZZA PLC: To get jury trial in the US
THAI MILITARY BANK: High-tech savvy to help restructure
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Creditors dislike joint planner idea
TOTAL ACCESS COMMO.: Uses alliance instead of restructure


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

570 QUEEN ST.MANAGEMENT: Radisson leaves after receivership
-----------------------------------------------------------
Radisson Hotels in Australia has been forced to give up its
management of the Radisson Hotel and Suites in Brisbane
after the operator of the property, 570 Queen Street
Management Pty Ltd, went into receivership in March.

Radisson Hotels managing director Bill Sinclair said the
move was brought on by proposals by the receivers for a
change of management structure. Mr Sinclair said Radisson
had been keen to continue managing the property but the
receiver had declined to ratify or adopt the existing
management contract.

"It is disappointing that we have been unable to continue
to play the role that we were initially contracted to
perform for this hotel by the developer," he said. "We had
always made our role clear, that we would manage the hotel
and it was never in our plans to own the operational and
management rights of the property."

He said Radisson would now become an unsecured creditor of
570 Queen Street Management. The operation of the hotel had
been commercially viable but became unstuck because of the
development companies' insolvency, he said.

"We are particularly disappointed because we have honoured
all aspects of our side of the agreement with the
developer," he said.

He said the receiver had indicated the new management
structure would be put in place on April 16, but would not
involve the replacement of Radisson by another hotel chain.
(Asia Pulse  13-April-2000)

BROKEN HILL PROPRIETARY: Pollution suit threatened
--------------------------------------------------
Steps by Australia's Broken Hill Proprietary Co. to
extricate itself form its environmentally damaging Ok Tedi
copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea took a step
backward with landowners threatening to sue if the
pollution emitted by the mine isn't reduced.

The minerals, energy and steel company is in talks with the
Papua New Guinea government to try to reach a compromise on
the mine, which dumps about 80,000 metric tons of waste a
day into local rivers, but which is also a cornerstone of
the country's economy, accounting for about 10% of its
gross domestic product.

Proposals to cut the pollution have in the past been ruled
out as economically unviable and BHP Chief Executive Paul
Anderson has said that given the problem, BHP is
uncomfortable with operating the mine through the closure
in 2010.  But any "get out" agreement with the government
could leave BHP liable for cleanup costs while the court
threatens to keep BHP embroiled in OK Tedi even after an
agreement.

Claiming to represent some 30,000 local landowners,
Australian lawyers Slater & Gordon allege that BHP and its
partners in the mine have breached a 1996 agreement with
landowners by not reducing the amount of pollution. The
landowners now want the partners to take measures to
mitigate the pollution or face damages. BHP rejects the
allegations.

BHP has a 52% stake in Ok Tedi and is partnered in the mine
by Canada's Inmet Mining Corp. with 18% and the Papua New
Guinea government with 30%.

Under the 1996 out-of-court settlement partners agreed to
pay landowners around A$126.4 million (US$75.8 million) in
compensation and undertake to reduce the amount of waste
being dumped in the river provided that is was economically
and technically feasible to do so. (The Asian Wall Street
Journal 12-April-2000)

LEND LEASE CORP.: MLC sale concerns push share losses
-----------------------------------------------------
Lend Lease Corporation's shares slumped for the fourth
straight day yesterday as more concerns emerged about the
$4.56 billion sale of its main earner, life insurance and
funds management arm MLC, and a possible shake-up of the
Lend Lease share register.

Lend Lease slumped 52c to $18.60, stretching to almost $3
the share price fall since Friday morning.  In contrast,
MLC's purchaser, National Australia Bank, continued its
stellar run, adding another 39.1c to $24.38.

Meanwhile, MLC has wasted no time expanding in its Asian
operations, spending $24 million for a 25 per cent stake in
life company Advance Assurance.  Advance is based in
Thailand, where only 11 per cent of the population have
life insurance.

Lend Lease's share price falls in the wake of National
Australia Bank's purchase of MLC on Monday highlight the
potential for significant selling on Lend Lease's register.
Employees hold about 13 per cent of Lend Lease. About half
of these shares are tied up in employee share plans, while
the other half relate to holdings in employee
superannuation funds.

All of Lend Lease's 11,000 global employees have shares in
one form of another, including the 1,200 MLC staff. It
remains unclear whether these staff will offload their Lend
Lease shares en masse as they transfer these and other
benefits under NAB.

Earlier this week, NAB gave an undertaking to MLC staff
that they would not be worse off under their new owners,
but would not comment on how employee shares would be
treated. A spokesman for Lend Lease, Mr Dick Morath, said
the status of employees' shares would be clarified along
with plans for a $1.5 billion or $3-a-share capital return
from the MLC proceeds.

"We have to have negotiations with the Australian Tax
Office in regard to the way we return capital to
shareholders," said Mr Morath.

Added to this concern has been recent selling by
institutional investors.  Lend Lease's biggest investors
include Capital Group, with 7.5 per cent, and Merrill
Lynch, with 5 per cent - though a parcel of 4 million
shares, or just under 1 per cent, was traded on Monday.

Capital is an international fund manager for MLC but Lend
Lease hosed down speculation that the MLC sale would prompt
Capital to offload its Lend Lease stake. Mr Morath said,
however: "They would never make an investment decision that
reflected a business relationship. There's a business
relationship with MLC, then there's an investment decision
about whether they buy or sell Lend Lease shares." (Sydney
Morning Herald  13-April-2000)

TELSTRA: Market, S&P cautious about telecom moves
-------------------------------------------------
Telstra 2 instalment receipts sank below their issue price
today as market watchers questioned the telco's alliance
with Pacific Century CyberWorks.

Uncertainty surronding the deal combined with a sharp drop
on the United States Nasdaq exchange overnight led to the
T2 receipts plummetting by 19 cents or 4.07 per cent to
close at $4.48, with 16.531 million changing hands. This
was below the issue price of $4.50. The shares had
previously hit an all-time low of $4.30 on February 7 2000.
Telstra ordinary shares also dived by 23 cents or 3.01 per
cent to close at $7.41 with turnover of 19.227 million
shares.

Reynolds and Co director Peter Struk said the share price
plunge was to be expected given the Nasdaq's fall, and was
not a judgement on the telco giant's $US3 billion ($A5.04
billion) deal with PCCW.

"I think the newspapers and the media are probably taking
Telstra out of proportion today," he told AAP.  "The market
was down, the Nasdaq was down - there was always going to
be a fall in Telstra today.  The fall of 23 cents (in
Telstra ordinary shares) is just, it's not beyond the
realms of a realistic base at the moment."

Under the deal announced yesterday, Telstra and PCCW formed
a strategic partnership to create "Asia's leading Internet,
data, IP (Internet protocol) backbone, wireless and
business services groups."  Telstra will directly invest
$US1.5 billion in PCCW through a convertible note and also
make a $US1.5 billion cash payment to the Hong Kong based
company.

The alliance partners will also form two new companies - a
cable and satellite infrastructure company and a regional
mobile company, which they intend to float separately.
The strategic alliance is still subject to a number of
conditions, including the successful completion of PCCW's
acquisition of Cable & Wireless HKT.

"Obviously people are trying to work out whether the deal
is value adding or whether they (Telstra) have paid a high
price, that's all being thought out," Mr Struk said. "But I
think people are making too much out of it."

However, ratings agency Standard & Poor's Corp today warned
that returns from Telstra's investment might take some time
and were not assured. S&P and Moody's Investors Service put
Telstra's long term ratings on review for a possible
downgrade.

Mr Struk added that it would take a few days before market
watchers were fully informed as to the ramifications of the
deal.  "The analysts will do a little work...realistically
it will take a few days for them to get to the stage to
make a judgement," he said. (Sydney Morning Herald  13-
April-2000)

VIDEO EZY: No resolution from ACCC discussions
----------------------------------------------
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
is looking to prosecute Video Ezy over claims it has used
the goods and services tax (GST) to raise video rental
prices by $1 on new releases.

A confidential meeting between the two parties in Canberra
has not resolved the issue. ACCC Commissioner David Cousins
has told reporters in Adelaide the maximum penalty for
imposing the GST on goods or services before July 1 is $10
million.

"It is clearly a significant offence to in fact increase
prices in advance of any GST liability actually being
incurred. And so it is a major offence that we are acting
very swiftly when we in fact find any cases that are
occurring," Mr Cousins said. (ABC News Online  13-April-
2000)


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

TOP GLORY INT'L HLDGS.: Sued for hotel construction costs
---------------------------------------------------------
Top Glory International Holdings and its majority
shareholder have been slapped with a HK$86 million lawsuit
for allegedly dodging full joint-venture costs of building
what was to be the mainland's largest hotel chain.

Gloria Inns would have been the mainland's biggest luxury
hotel development, taking five years to complete and
consisting of 20 identical buildings across the country.
However, only three hotels were completed, at the cost of
HK$482.64 million.

As a result, Top Glory International's 50.5 per cent
shareholder Top Glory Holding is being sued for HK$58.14
million in unpaid construction bills.  The red chip in turn
faces court action over HK$27.89 million it allegedly owes
to the same joint-venture company set up to develop the
sites, in particular for unpaid construction costs of two
commercial developments.

In mid-1994, the Top Glory group embarked upon a plan to
build and run "Gloria Inns", according to a High Court
writ.  A joint venture was set up with Alan Chau, who
before January 1995 was the chief executive of Collection
Interior, a listed company. The new company was to be 60
per cent held by Mr Chau and 40 per cent by a subsidiary of
Top Glory Holding.

According to the writ, the joint- venture company would be
responsible for construction. Top Glory Holding was to be
responsible for building costs. Super Worth Contracting was
incorporated in January 1995. The shareholding was modified
in 1997 to leave Mr Chau with 24.75 per cent and Top Glory
Holding with 51 per cent.

The company started construction in Suzhou, Hainan Saywa
and Nanchang, with Top Glory Holding providing the names of
"entities" with whom Super Worth would sign construction
contracts, the writ says. But for oral assurances given by
Top Glory, Super Worth claims it would not have given
contracts to these "unknown entities".

In particular, the writ says Super Worth was oblivious to
the credit-worthiness of these firms. The HK$58.14 million
outstanding in unpaid bills from Top Glory Holding is for
the Nanchang hotel, the writ says. Despite repeated
demands, the company has refused to pay, it claims.

Top Glory International moreover allegedly owes HK$15.71
million in unpaid bills for "Capital Paradise", a
commercial project in Beijing. It allegedly owes Super
Worth a further HK$12.18 million for the development of
Shenyang Pang Yuen Metro Plaza. Interest and costs are also
sought. (South China Morning Post  13-April-2000)

VICTORY GROUP: Venture announcement leaves questions
----------------------------------------------------
The loss-making car dealers of Victory Group made an
announcement yesterday -- they plan to convert the
mainland's cable television networks to broadband and
make themselves e-commerce facilitators in the mainland's
backward provinces.

Any questions?  Yes, said someone in the press gang.
Can you tell us about your revenue model?

Silence. Not just silence but very long silence.

The executives shifted in their seats as it unravelled
around them. Finally one of them piped up. He said there
would be three "revenue streams."  One: converting the
cable infrastructure. Two: providing Internet services
through said infrastructure. And three: providing
application services for aspiring e-commerce firms.

Slight problem. One: they haven't got even a tacit
agreement from the authorities in any province. Two: it's
still uncertain whether the mainland government will allow
foreign firms to participate in Internet ventures, which
means the rest of their businesses may not go ahead.

Lai See was left wondering if she had misheard the Victory-
ous executive. After all, the acoustics at the conference
weren't ideal. Perhaps he said "revenue dreams."  (South
China Morning Post  13-April-2000)  

YUEN HING SEWING MACHINE CO.: 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 Lee
Hoi Yeung for the winding up of Yuen Hing Sewing Machine
Co. Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on
or before May 2.


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

PARIS CLUB: Awaits creditor approval of debt rescheduling
---------------------------------------------------------
The government might have to cut spending if the Paris Club
creditors reject its proposal for debt rescheduling, an
official says.

Indonesia hopes to secure agreement from its creditors,
which will hold a meeting Wednesday, to put off repayment
of a US$ 2.1 billion debt due for repayment this year and
next.  Muhammad Abduh, an official of the National
Development Planning Board, said the slashing was
inevitable as rescheduling of the US$ 2.1 billion debt had
been included in calculating the state budget for the
current fiscal year starting this month.

Abduh said the International Monetary Fund agreed with the
cutback included in the state budget.  He said the World
Bank and Asian Development Bank were expected to have no
objection to the proposal.  He said problems might arise in
the case of Japan as its law allowed no debt rescheduling.
In 1998 Tokyo coped with such cases by offering fresh loans
to repay mature debt.  (Asia Pulse  11-April-2000)

PT DHARMALA SAKTI SEJAHTERA: Creditor files protest
---------------------------------------------------
PT Hanil Bakrie Finance has filed a protest with the
commercial court over the conduct of a creditors meeting
with PT Dharmala Sakti Sejahtera to decide on the
restructuring of the latter's 2.4 mln usd debt.

"We have lodged a protest to the supervising judge
Syamsudin Manan Sinaga," Hanil Bakrie vice president
Frankie Ongky said.

He alleged that Dharmala Sakti had misrepresented the
proportion of creditors in attendance at the meeting in
order to push through a restructuring plan prepared by the
company.  The number of creditors in attendance in fact
fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve the
plan, Ongky said.

In addition, he alleged that the restructuring plan
contained misrepresentations of the facts of the case; for
instance, the debt was stated at 1.5 mln usd rather than
2.4 mln usd.  The meeting was adjourned until tomorrow.
Dharmala Sakti representatives were unavailable for
comment.  (AFX News Limited  12-April-2000)

PT FISKARAGUNG PERKASA: Court asked to cancel agreement
-------------------------------------------------------
Court receiver of the now insolvent PT Fiskaragung Perkasa
is asking the Commercial Court to cancel the US$3 million
loan agreement between the salt producer and its Hong Kong
creditor, Catnera International Ltd.

Rafael Adrian, the lawyer representing the court receiver,
said on Wednesday the signing of the 1999 loan agreement
between Fiskaragung and Catnera breached the previous
agreement the salt producer had with other creditors.

"The previous loan agreement banned Fiskaragung from
borrowing money from other creditors until it repaid the
existing loans," Adrian said after the court hearing over
the case.

The hearing has been adjourned until next Monday when they
hope to receive a written legal reply from the defendant.
Adrian said the controversial loan agreement involved a
pledging of all the company's main fixed assets to the new
creditor.

Creditors holding pledged assets as collateral have the
preferred rights in the distribution of the liquidated
assets of the insolvent company, according to the 1998
Bankruptcy Law.

These creditors with preferred rights would be entitled to
the proceeds from the sale of the assets pledged to them,
while the other creditors who hold no collateral would get
the proceed from the sale of the remaining unpledged
assets, the law said.

In the Fiskaragung case the creditors outside Catnera
risked not receiving any proceeds from its asset sale of
the company liquidation because they did not have any
assets pledged to them, according to Adrian.

"All the other creditors gave a total loan amount of over
$30 million to Fiskaragung, while Catnera only gave $3
million," said Adrian.

Lucas S.H., lawyer representing Catnera, said it was the
fault of those other creditors who had lent money to
Fiskaragung without any collateral.

"Catnera extended loans to Fiskaragung with collateral, the
other creditors did not. So, it is their problem," Lucas
said.

Adrian argued that all the other creditors did not require
any collateral, but instead required Fiskaragung to never
pledge its asset to anybody else.

"But what has happened now is that Catnera has all
Fiskaragung's assets pledged to them as collateral," he
said.

However Adrian said the validity of the Catnera
"collateral-based" loan agreement was weak as it was signed
less than one year prior to the company being declared
bankrupt by the Jakarta Commercial Court.

"Any action which undermined the company total asset value,
and was done during the past year prior to its court-
granted insolvency status, should be canceled by the
court," said Adrian quoting the one-year "retroactive rule"
as stipulated in the 1998 Bankruptcy Law.

Fiskaragung was declared bankrupt by the court in late
November last year, where the loan agreement with Catnera
was signed in March of the same year, he added.

However Lucas said that the retroactive rule should not be
filed against a fellow creditor.  Perhaps if Fiskaragung
sold some of its assets to a third party, then the one-year
retroactive rule could be applied here, Lucas implied.

"Catnera is not a third party to Fiskaragung, it is a
creditor," Lucas said.

Fiskaragung was delisted from the trading board of the
Jakarta Stock Exchange following its being declared
bankrupt late last year. Its total asset, according to the
latest valuation of the court receiver Makarim & Taira law
firm stood at below $3 million. (Jakarta Post  13-April-
2000)

PT OMETRACO CORP.: Case adjourned for evidence gathering
PT SUMI ASIH: Case adjourned for evidence gathering
--------------------------------------------------------
The Jakarta Commercial Court has adjourned the bankruptcy
hearings involving PT Ometraco Corporation and PT Sumi Asih
to allow the parties more time to prepare their evidence,
Ometraco lawyer Leonard Simorangkir said.

The bankruptcy cases were filed by the Indonesian Bank
Restructuring Agency (IBRA).  IBRA earlier said Ometraco
has outstanding debts of 53.179 mln usd as of Feb 29, while
Sumi Asih has separate outstanding accounts of 73.937 bln
rupiah and 6.728 mln usd as of January.

Simorangkir said while his client recognized the amount of
debt cited by IBRA, Ometraco rejected the claims against it
because the company was declared a liquidated company by
the South Jakarta District Court on April 5.

"It means that as a company, Ometraco no longer exists and
all matters related to debt settlement have been taken over
by the liquidator. And by law, a company under liquidation
cannot be declared bankrupt," he said.

Simorangkir appealed to the court to reject IBRA's
petition. However, IBRA's lawyer Benny Harman said Ometraco
should have sent its liquidator to the court hearing
instead of its lawyer, given that the petition was filed by
IBRA before Ometraco's self-liquidation application was
approved by the South Jakarta court.

In the other bankruptcy case, PT Sumi Asih lawyer Hotman
Paris Hutapea said his client disputes the amount of debt
cited by IBRA. He said the company's outstanding debt to
IBRA is only 1.4 mln usd.  Hotman said Sumi Asih has
already paid part of the debt to the the frozen PT Bank
Pelita as well as to IBRA's team in charge of liquidating
Bank Pelita.  (AFX News Limited  13-April-2000)


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

GLOBAL WAVE: Files for bankruptcy
---------------------------------
A major sales agent for Japan's leading mobile telephone
shop operator Hikari Tsushin Inc. has gone bust with debts
of over 22 million dollars, a credit research agency said
Thursday.

The sales agent, Global Wave, filed for bankruptcy at the
Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, Teikoku Databank said.
Its liabilities amounted to 2.36 billion yen (22.4 million
dollars) as of last September, said the private research
firm, which monitors corporate failures in Japan.

Hikari Tsushin, also a major investor in Internet start-
ups, has a 19.5-percent stake in Global Wave and had
invested about 100 million yen in the collapsed firm,
Hikari Tsushin spokesman Naoki Kasashima said.

The operator of the "Hit Shop" mobile phone outlets and
other units had also paid several hundred million yen in
payments including commissions to Global Wave, he said.
The stock of Hikari Tsushin closed on sell indication only
Thursday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, sliding to 36,800 yen
compared with 45,800 when it last traded on Monday with
sell orders overwhelming buy orders.

Global Wave's failure is the latest blow to the company
whose share price has been diving as investors grow wary of
its Internet investment strategy. Diminishing returns from
the Hit Shop chain are also discouraging investors,
analysts have said.

"We had been aware of financial difficulty at Global Wave
since last December," Kasashima said.  "We have already
finished transferring the sales networks (of Global Wave)
to other agents," he said, adding the bankruptcy "would not
affect" Hikari Tsushin's operations.

Global Wave posted sales of 5.8 billion yen in the year to
September 1999, with some 100 shops and 200 employees under
its management, Teikoku Databank said.

"In addition to having to run Hit Shop and Digicom Plaza
(another mobile phone retailer) outlets with low profit,
the company was burdened with loans resulting from an
aggressive expansion drive," the agency said.

Global Wave had come to depend on "sales-promotion"
bounties from Hikari Tsushin which had failed to
materialise, it said. The company started as an agent for
long-distance telecom carrier Japan Telecom Co. Ltd. in
1996. It became a sales agent for Hikari Tsushin in late
1998. Japan Telecom declined to comment on the failure.

"We have no capital or personnel ties with Global Wave
now," a Japan Telecom spokesman said. "It is only one of
our agents as its main business had shifted to mobile phone
sales."  (Agence France Presse  13-April-2000)

JAPAN RADIO CO.: Loss-maker sells Canadian unit in pieces
---------------------------------------------------------
Japan Radio Co. (6751), a producer of radio communications
equipment, has sold JRC Canada Inc. to five Canadian firms
after talks to sell the company in one piece failed, The
Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Wednesday.

The company sold the assembly lines of the poorly
performing subsidiary to two corporate buyers, and the
plants for measuring instruments and other products to
LogiCan Technologies Inc. and two other companies. The
combined price for the sale was about 1.5 million Canadian
dollars, or about 100 million yen.

JRC Canada served as Japan Radio's North American base for
manufacturing and marketing mobile phones until April 1999,
when it stopped producing mobile phones because of
declining sales and switched to making cordless phones,
computer peripherals and modules for radio communications
equipment for other manufacturers.

Assuming a sale would go through, Japan Radio has posted an
extraordinary loss of 4.8 billion yen for the fiscal year
ended March 31. (Nikkei  13-April-2000)

TOSHIBA TEC CORP.: Pegs pension gap at 20B Yen
----------------------------------------------
Toshiba Tec Corp. (6588) has reported that its unfunded
pension liabilities stemming from the introduction of new
accounting rules will total about 20 billion yen on a
parent-only basis.

The company is considering what method to adopt to close
the gap, with it hopes to do as quickly as possible.
Using a discount rate of 3.5%, Toshiba Tec estimates that
its retirement obligations totaled about 41 billion yen as
of March 31. Against this, it has accumulated retirement
allowances of about 9 billion yen and pension assets of
about 12 billion yen. (Nikkei  13-April-2000)


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

DAEWOO MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
HYUNDAI MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
KIA MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
SSANGYONG MOTORS: Car workers suspend strike action
---------------------------------------------------
The labor unions of automobile firms, Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo,
and Ssangyong, temporarily suspended their strike started
last Thursday, it was reported Wednesday.

The representatives of the unions will meet with the Korean
Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) Thursday to decide
whether to continue their walk-out.  According to industry
officials, the auto firms reported losses of W76.5 billion
(74,500 cars) in lost production as of Wednesday. Hyundai
reported the most losses at W43.36 billion, followed by Kia
at W15.69 billion, Daewoo at W13.75 billion, and Ssangyong
at W3.5 billion. (Digital Chosun  12-April-2000)

JUNG II ENGINEERING: KTI moving to acquire  
------------------------------------------
Kosdaq-registered Korea Technology Investment (KTI) is
making moves to acquire Jung II Engineering and Clean
Technology which was designated by Kosdaq for investment
watch.

"We are negotiating with three companies, including KTI,
since they have shown interest," said Lee Kwan-sik, a
manager at Jung II.

Jung II was officially declared bankrupt in December 1997
with 139 billion won in debt. (The Korea Herald  13-April-
2000)

SAMSUNG MOTORS: Court proposes deal
-----------------------------------
A Seoul court has proposed that creditors of Samsung Motor
Inc take 462.1B won of the proceeds from the sale of the
auto firm totalling 667.3 bln won, with 205.2 bln going to
Samsung Corp, Samsung Corp said.

The division is not strictly in line with the amount of
debt or equity contributed by each party but is meant to
settle an outstanding issue of additional debt which turned
up in Renault SA's due diligence for the purchase of
Samsung Motor.

The scheme would have Samsung Corp recovering the
equivalent of some 70 percent of its loans to the auto unit
while creditors will be repaid to the extent of 15 pct from
the sale proceeds.

If the parties decline this proposal, the court will
declare the automaker bankrupt.  The court sought a
response to the proposal by the end of the week, Samsung
Corp said.  (AFX News Limited  12-April-2000)

SAMSUNG MOTORS: Renault bid poses dilemma
-----------------------------------------
To stay or go? That is the question about 2,000 workers at
Samsung Motors have been asking themselves for 15 weeks
while awaiting the outcome of talks between Renault and
their company's creditors on reviving the failed car-maker.

An exclusive negotiating period granted Renault to take
over the firm was extended at the beginning of the year
until April 21 and, since then, the bargaining has been
grinding on in both Seoul and Paris.

In the ultra-modern workshops of Samsung's only plant in
Pusan, opened just as the region was hit with economic
crisis in 1997, 1,500 workers toil in beige overalls and
yellow hard hats marked with their firm's blue logo.
But every morning, members of an "emergency representative
group" talk with them about a list of their demands to be
delivered by the end of the week to Renault's international
human resources department.

One thing they all know is that Renault cut 21,000 workers
from Nissan's global payroll when it took majority control
there and, more significantly, closed five plants in Japan.
Samsung Motors was launched in March 1998 but was placed in
receivership last July with 4.3 trillion won (about
HK$30.23 billion) in debts.

Last week, Renault and Samsung Motors' creditors said they
had narrowed their differences on sale terms, including the
contentious issue of the bankrupt company's hidden debt.
The French firm's latest offer is reported to be worth 611
billion won.

Ironically, it was thanks to Nissan's involvement the Pusan
factory was launched. The gleaming facility is capable of
churning out 240,000 vehicles a year, but a lack of orders
means it instead only sputters out copies of the Japanese
Maxima sedan, called the SM5.

"Our aim is to safeguard people's jobs," said Lee Kyunghwa
of Samsung's personnel department.

But in South Korea, where the chaebol system of
interdependent conglomerates has assured workers pay
cheques for life, those words carry more weight than they
might in other places.  Samsung Group management, which
must separate from its car division, proposed Samsung
Motors workers be transferred to another industrial branch
of the conglomerate.

In South Korea, working for Samsung - whose name means
"Three Stars" - constitutes a social and economic blessing,
even making it easier to get bank loans.  That's what
compelled Renault's human relations director to visit South
Korea in March to consult with workers. Renault is worried
the workers will choose at the end of any takeover to
remain within the bosom of the chaebol, hampering its plans
to relaunch production in Pusan.

"Renault has affirmed our case is completely different from
Nissan. We were 6,000 when the plant was launched, today
we're little more than a third [of that]," said Seong
Kunje, head of Samsung Motors' public relations department.

Mr Seong said that, apart from providing work for some
2,100 subcontractors - all in favour of the Renault deal -
the plant also sustained another 75,000 people in Pusan, a
port city located some 450 km south of the capital Seoul
and the country's second city with four million people.

"Renault's international human resources management has
promised us not only that they'll keep all the workers, but
also they'll hire back workers who have left Samsung since
the plant was launched," said Ms Lee, who has met
representatives of the French company.

She previously worked with Samsung's electronics division
in Seoul and asked to join the car company two years ago
because she was from Pusan, but is no longer sure what to
do.  "My parents are here and I'm asking myself what I
should do, and there are a lot of people in the same
situation as me," she said. (South China Morning Post  14-
April-2000)

SEOUL BANK: German giant to manage it
-------------------------------------
Deutsche Bank AG will sign an agreement to manage the
ailing Seoul Bank, after the government's two-year quest
for a buyer of the bank failed, the Yonhap news agency
reported Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, the German bank agreed to appoint
a chief executive officer for Seoul Bank, Yonhap reported,
citing an unidentified government official.  Seoul Bank
confirmed that talks with Deutsche were in the final
stages. Deutsche declined to comment.

"The government will announce a plan to turn around Seoul
Bank in the very near future," said Lee Yong Keun, chairman
of the Financial Supervisory Commission, which is
overseeing restructuring of the South Korean banking
sector.

The strategic partnership is Seoul's latest attempt to turn
around the bank, which the government took control of in
January 1998 when it spent 1.5 trillion won ($1.35 billion)
bailing the lender out.  In August HSBC Holdings PLC pulled
out of talks to buy Seoul Bank, and subsequent efforts to
find a buyer failed.

Deutsche will take over management as Seoul Bank is showing
signs of improvement amid the country's rapid economic
recovery and the government bank's restructuring efforts.
Seoul Bank said Wednesday that it earned 106.1 billion won
in the first three months of the year, after four years of
losses. Total lending increased 7 percent in the first
quarter to 13.1 trillion won, as companies borrowed more to
increase capacity.

The alliance with Deutsche is likely to be based on fees,
involving no equity investment, said H.J. Lee, a banking
analyst at Samsung Securities Co.

"Still, there is a possibility that Deutsche may get a
stake in the bank, should its finances improve and list its
shares back on the Korea Stock Exchange."

Three weeks ago, the acting president of Seoul Bank, Shin
Eok Hyun, stepped down abruptly, fueling speculation that
the government was close to a new management deal. (The
International Herald Tribune  13-April-2000)


===============
M A L A Y S I A
===============

RENONG BHD: Bank share-swap plan raises fears
---------------------------------------------
Renong claims a plan to swap its shares in Commerce Asset-
Holding for bonds Malaysia's largest industrial group sold
last year would not spark a fall in the stock of the
country's second-biggest bank.

Renong executive chairman Halim Saad yesterday said the
group was considering a plan to further reduce its debt
obligations through a swap of its 12.3 per cent in Commerce
for bonds it sold to creditors under an earlier debt
workout.

The announcement sparked worries bondholders would sell the
shares the moment they received them. Commerce shares
tumbled 2.8 per cent on Tuesday. They closed unchanged
yesterday at M$10.40 (about HK$21.30).

"An over-riding concern is the stability of the share price
of Commerce-Asset," Renong said, pointing out the swap
might include an agreement that bondholders could not sell
the shares immediately or below a given price.

Under the plan, which Renong said was one of several
options being considered, bondholders would be offered
Commerce shares in proportion to their percentage holding
in the bonds - that is on a pro-rata basis.  They might
also have the right to buy more shares of the bank than
they are entitled to, Renong said.

Merrill Lynch, Renong's financial adviser, will meet
bondholders this week and next, and present the plan to
them.

"Anything Renong plans to do will require a special
resolution from bondholders," Merrill Lynch director of
corporate finance Asia James Graf said.  "We will not hit
them with a surprise."

Renong last September sold 8.4 billion ringgit of bonds
through its toll-road unit Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan,
using the funds to help itself stay afloat. (South China
Morning Post  13-April-2000)


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

PHILIPPINE AIR LINES: To get back 2 planes from creditor
--------------------------------------------------------
Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) will get back from its
creditors one aircraft in June and another in August to
increase its current fleet, a PAL official said yesterday.

In a telephone interview with BusinessWorld, PAL president
Avelino L. Zapanta said the creditors decided to hand back
the two aircraft following PAL's improved economic
performance in the last twelve months.

The company will now have a 28-aircraft fleet once it gets
back the two airplanes."Now they have re-established
confidence in our ability to use those aircraft
productively and so they'll return (the planes) to us for
productive use in the line," he said.

The airplanes are Airbus 340-300s, which will be used for
international flights, he said. They were taken by PAL
creditors when the airline temporarily closed down in 1998
to minimize operational costs, he added.Mr. Zapanta also
said the company will seriously consider if it will try to
get back additional airplanes.

"We will first study very carefully the other aspects. We
don't want to bite much more than we can chew. We have to
be very careful very sure about the next step," he said. He
added that the Cebu-Hong Kong route PAL reopened last March
26 has been earning. PAL flies from Cebu to Hong Kong
thrice a week.

He also said the airline will begin flying to Australia in
June, adding that PAL will fly to Vancouver, Guam, and
possibly Saipan and Europe within the year.

"We're still completing the studies for the other sectors
that we will open up, but we're thinking of increasing our
frequencies across the Pacific to the United States," he
said.

Mr. Zapanta added that aside from PAL's maintenance and
engineering operations, none of its other businesses will
be divested within the year. Last month, Mr. Zapanta said
the airline will divest in April or May its maintenance and
engineering operations to Lufthansa Technik Philippines. He
said the move will reduce operation costs and raise
millions in revenues for the company but he did not say
exactly how much the company is expected to raise.
(Business World  13-April-2000)

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: 1999 net losses widen to PhP9.87B
------------------------------------------------------
Due to a "higher-than-expected" level of bad-debt buffer,
semiprivate Philippine National Bank (PNB) incurred net
losses of 9.87 billion Philippine pesos (PhP) (US$239.80
million at PhP41.157:US$1)for end-1999, its newly released
audited financial statements prepared by Punongbayan &
Araullo show.

This was 35% higher than the 1998 level of PhP7.3 billion
($177.37 million).  The audited figure is also more than
PhP2 billion ($48.60 million) higher than the bank's
unaudited net losses of PhP7.7 billion ($187 million)
earlier bared by former bank president Benjamin Palma-Gil
and reported by BusinessWorld.

A ranking industry source yesterday said the "adjustment"
was mainly due to the actual loan loss reserves of PhP6.8
billion ($165.2 million) the PNB had to set aside to shore
up its weakened asset base. Still, the loan buffer level
was already a significant adjustment from the much-lower
PhP8.4 billion ($204 million) reported in the unaudited
statement.

The source was specifically referring to the bank's loan
books which reflected a non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of
29% as of the fourth quarter of last year, and was the
highest in the industry. The bank made PhP11 billion
($267.27 million) in interest income from its almost PhP100
billion ($2.40 billion) in loans last year.

PNB would have reported PhP1.6 billion ($38.87 million) in
operating income if it did not set aside the buffer, the
source said. The bank's management, he added, has decided
to set aside "over PhP8 billion ($194.37 million) worth" of
fresh loan loss provisions to be conservative.
"On top of that, they have a 'tax bite' of over PhP2
billion," he added.

Earlier, Mr. Palma-Gil said the bank's net loss position
was due largely to provisioning and not to operating
losses.  Provisioning for bad debts is deducted directly
from the bank's income and serves as a buffer to protect
the portfolio from loan defaults.

The semiprivate bank's net loss position widened despite
last year's PhP9.47-billion ($230 million) stock rights
offer made to raise fresh loanable funds.  With its
deteriorating asset quality, analysts said the prospect
that the bank would fetch PhP160 per share for the 76%
stakes up for sale on May 15 becomes gloomier. (Business
World  13-April-2000)

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: IMF sets June 10 deadline for sale  
-------------------------------------------------------
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants the government
to sell its 30% stake in the Philippine National Bank (PNB)
by June 10, 20 days earlier than the original deadline, to
facilitate the speedy release of a crucial $100-million
loan to the banking sector.

"June 10 is the deadline for the joint sale option (between
the National Government and tobacco and beer magnate Lucio
C. Tan)," said Bangko Sentral (Central Bank of the
Philippines) Gov. Rafael B. Buenaventura.

Still, the Department of Finance (DoF) is sticking to the
scheduled May 15 joint sale of the 76% combined stakes of
the government and PNB's biggest shareholder Lucio C. Tan,
Finance Undersecretary Cornelio C. Gison said.

"We still use it as a target. It's quite difficult but that
was the agreement with Lucio Tan," he said in an interview
yesterday.

He said pending issues on the pricing of shares and time
needed for the due diligence audits by bidders are factors
that could delay the sale.  Still, sources privy to the
bidding process said the delay could not go beyond the June
10 deadline set by the IMF so as not to affect the
government's loan.

The earlier deadline, however, came as a surprise as Fund
representatives, during a closed-door meeting with the
Bangko Sentral late Tuesday night, already agreed to lift
the original end-June deadline on the sale.  Emerging from
the meeting, Mr. Buenaventura said there will no longer be
any time-frame for PNB's privatization, as both the IMF and
the World Bank are more concerned about transparency issues
in the forthcoming sale.

"It's the 'how' -- the approach we will take -- that is
more important to them," he told reporters Tuesday night.

Yesterday, however, the Bangko Sentral chief failed to
explain the reason for setting an earlier privatization
deadline. A source at the Finance Department said the new
deadline is a "concession" the government is making to the
IMF and the World Bank to ensure a favorable review of the
country.  Disbursement of the final tranche of the World
Bank's $300-million banking sector reform loan (BSRL) will
proceed as scheduled despite complications in the sale of
PNB.

"(The release of the) BSRL will push through as scheduled,"
Mr. Buenaventura said.

The $100-million World Bank loan represents the second
tranche of a $300-million loan for banking sector reforms.
The full privatization of PNB is one of the World Bank
conditionalities for the release of the loan within the
semester. Mr. Buenaventura said the government panel
negotiating with the IMF is "almost in agreement" with the
Fund on all the economic issues, except for the PNB sale.

The Bangko Sentral chief also said the IMF is supportive of
the government's plan to combine its PNB shares with that
of Mr. Tan in a joint sale.  "The IMF likes the idea of a
joint sale," he said. "They are leaving the pricing totally
up to us. All they want to make sure it that (the sale is)
done transparently."

The DoF's Mr. Gison, meanwhile, said the government may
also team up with the Templeton Holdings group in case the
joint sale with Mr. Tan fails. The Hong Kong-based global
fund manager of emerging markets guru Mark Mobius earlier
expressed interest to ride on the joint sale by selling its
12.9% stake in PNB.

Under the DoF's agreement with Mr. Tan, the joint sale will
only be good for one public bidding. If this fails, the two
parties are not bound to rebid, Mr. Gison said. (Business
World  13-April-2000)


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

ALPHATEC ELECTRONICS PLC: KTB takes 30.5% stake
-----------------------------------------------
Krung Thai Bank has taken 30.51 per cent in Alphatec
Electronics Plc (ATEC) as part of the latter's debt
restructuring plan. In a filing to the Stock Exchange of
Thailand, it said it has completed the purchase of 806
shares worth Bt8,060.  (The Nation  13-April-2000)

CUSTODEAL CO.: Tisco Finance takes over
---------------------------------------
Tisco Finance has taken over 100 per cent of True-Way Co
Ltd after Custodeal Co Ltd settled debts worth Bt12.19
million by selling 4.219 million shares in True-Way, which
is engaged in hire-purchase business.

Following the debt restructuring, TISCO Finance Co Ltd's
number of subsidiaries and affiliates has increased to
five.  Apart from True, Tisco Leasing Co Ltd, Hiway Co,
Thai Commercial Auto Co and Thai Information Technology Co
are under the finance firm's empire. (The Nation  12-April-
2000)

GSS ARRAY TECHNOLOGY: Competition threatens viability
-----------------------------------------------------
GSS Array Technology has warned that its revenue this year
might fall significantly due to the increasingly intense
competition in the electronics manufacturing service
industry.

The warning came despite the fact that the company had just
returned to profitability this year after three consecutive
years of losses.  GSS reported a net profit of 50 million
baht in the first two months of this year, compared with a
net loss of 217 million baht in the same period in previous
year.

Chuangchai Nawongs, managing director of BNP Prime
Peregrine, an independent financial adviser to GSS Array,
said the risk of a fall in revenue would be due to heavy
competition in the industry, where economies of scale were
important.  GSS has only one plant in Thailand, making it
unable to compete with rivals who have bases all over the
world and can optimise product sourcing at lower costs.

GSS recently completed a tender offer agreement with US-
based ATC Manufacturing. Under the deal, ATC expects to buy
all 21.2 million shares of GSS from existing shareholders
at the tender price of 163 baht per share.

Mr Chuangchai said that at present, approximately 90% of
the company's revenue came from only four customers,
increasing the risk of dependency. With such a small
customer base, relatively high volatility in the number of
orders is inevitable, making it hard for the company to
predict its sales growth and profit margins.

GSS's profit margin has gradually declined to 5.2% in the
first quarter this year from 6.2% last year and 6.6% in
1998.  Mr Chuangchai said GSS had failed to maintain its
debt-to-equity ratio at less than 2:1 as required in loan
agreements with creditor banks. The ratio now stands at
8:1, with debts totally 2.8 billion baht.

He said GSS might be required to restructure its capital to
be in line with its loan terms and a capital increase may
be required.  However, the acquisition by ACT would take
care of local debts, said James Menges, president of GSS
Array.

Currently, Mr Menges said, key shareholders having
approximately 31% of GSS's issued shares have agreed to
sell their shares to ACT and vote in favour of delisting
from the Stock Exchange of Thailand. An extraordinary
general shareholders' meeting to vote on the delisting is
scheduled for April 28.  Mr Menges said GSS so far had
encountered no opposition from shareholders to the
delisting vote.

Currently, 70% of all GSS shares are held by foreign
investors and funds and the remainder by local investors.
Two local GSS shareholders with more than 100,000 shares in
the company said they would vote in favour of delisting,
saying the offer price of 163 baht was relatively high when
compared with the company's book value and future risks.

The shareholders, who declined to be named, said they had
bought the shares at 100 baht each on average. However,
they have not received any dividends for three years due to
the company's losses.

The company posted losses of 317 million baht last year,
1.1 billion baht in 1998 and 137 million baht in 1997. As
of Feb 29 this year, its retained losses were estimated at
952 million baht.  The heavy losses during the last three
years were due to its loss-making manufacturing operations
in the United States and the United Kingdom. (Bangkok Post  
13-April-2000)

NAKORNTHAI STRIP MILL: Court accepts joint rehab petition
----------------------------------------------------------
The Central Bankruptcy Court said it has accepted a joint
petition filed by Industrial Finance Corp of Thailand and
Nakorn Thai Strip Mill Plc to rehabilitate Nakorn Thai.
The statement said Nakorn Thai owes 170 creditors a total
of 33.54 bln baht.  The court is scheduled for hearing on
May 8.  (AFX News Limited  12-April-2000)

NTS STEEL GROUP: Creditors approve debt-restructuring plan
----------------------------------------------------------
Another step in the restructuring of NTS Steel Group's
Bt15-billion debt has been made.

The 16 creditors participating in a process guided by the
Corporate Debt Restructuring Advisory Committee met at the
central bank yesterday to vote on the restructuring of
Bt8.28 billion of the company's debts.  Nine creditors,
holding a combined 85.66 per cent of the Bt8.28 billion
debt, approved the plan, said the Bank of Thailand. Seven
creditors, holding a combined 14.34 per cent, rejected the
plan.

The plan sets the stage for business consolidation in the
Thai steel industry, Thirachai Phuvanat Naranubala, the
central bank's assistant governor, said yesterday. The plan
will be implemented under the supervision of the Corporate
Debt Restructuring Advisory Committee.

NTS Steel, which is owned by steel tycoon Sawasdi
Horrungrueng, is the last of his major units to receive
creditor approval to proceed with debt-restructuring.
Within two weeks, both parties are scheduled to sign a
debt-restructuring agreement. In another next two weeks,
the plan will be forwarded to the Central Bankruptcy Court
for final approval, Thirachai said.

The plan must proceed through the court because some of the
company's creditors are not participating in the CDRAC
process, he said. They hold about Bt6.72 billion in debt.

"The court will force all of them to accept the plan,"
Thirachai said.

The debt-restructuring plan involves a debt-to-equity
conversion of Bt11 billion and the rescheduling of Bt4
billion in debt over 14 years, he said.  Under the plan,
the rescheduled debt will be subject to 0.5 per cent
interest per annum for the first two years and 3 per cent
in the third year. From 4 to 14 years, the interest rate
will be the minimum lending rate at Krung Thai Bank.

After the plan is finalised, Sawasdi's group will see its
stake reduced from about 60 per cent to 2 per cent.
However, the plan includes a buy-back option for Sawasdi.
He can buy back up to 30 per cent of the company's
registered capital of Bt11.96 billion, but only within the
next three years.

If the deal successfully makes its way through the court,
it would be a good start to consolidation in the Thai steel
industry, Thirachai said.  Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank,
Siam Commercial Bank and Siam Cement Plc are now
considering a merger of domestic steel companies, he said.
NTS Steel will be the core company in a merger with Siam
Iron and Steel Ltd and Bangkok Steel Industries Ltd, he
added.

The three factories can produce up to 2.5 million tonnes of
steel a year, or 20 per cent of the country's total
production capacity.  The merger would not lead to a
monopoly in the Thai steel industry, Sawasdi said. After
NTS Steel's debt-restructuring plan is finalised, two small
subsidiaries, owing a combined Bt5 billion in debt, would
begin the debt-restructuring process, he added. (The Nation  
13-April-2000)

PIZZA PLC: To get jury trial in the US
--------------------------------------
The US District Court in New York agreed last week to Pizza
Plc's request to have a trial by jury to settle its dispute
with Tricon Global Restaurants over its Pizza Hut
franchise, Pizza Plc said yesterday. The trial is scheduled
to begin on July 31.

"To support its position at this trial, Pizza Plc has also
amended its complaint to emphasise the breach of contract
claim against Tricon, and to make the decision simpler and
clearer for the jury," the company said.

Pizza Plc will open 70 to 80 new outlets this year of new
and existing restaurant chains, including Burger King and
Chicken Treat, it said. In addition to its 116 pizza
restaurants, it owns and operates more than 170 Swensen's,
Sizzler and Dairy Queen restaurants. (The Nation  13-April-
2000)

THAI MILITARY BANK: High-tech savvy to help restructure
-------------------------------------------------------
Telecom tycoon Thaksin Shinwatra is poised to pour a series
of advanced technologies into Thai Military Bank, following
its successful recapitalisation.

The move has been dubbed a key strategy to compete against
hybrid banks.  TMB president Thanong Biday said he was
confident participation of four investor groups,
particularly Thaksin, would help strengthen the bank both
financially and operationally.

During the signing ceremony with National Finance Plc, who
will be an underwriter of the capital-raising deal, he said
no giant foreign banks would be joining the bank, unlike
other deals in the industry.  Liquor tycoon Charoen
Sirivadhanabhakdi, the Chaiyawan family, as well as
National Finance are the other new investors.

While Thanong expressed his confidence, the bank's Bt30
billion recapitalisation plan has left most analysts
unimpressed, given the absence of strategic offshore
partners.  Thus, in the eyes of foreign investors, analysts
said, the country's sixth largest bank might have a less
competitive edge than its rivals in this period of stronger
competition in the Thai banking industry.

Thanong said the full support of the four new investor
groups was expected to help TMB achieve its goal to become
a local bank for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

"We plan to increase our lending from 60 per cent to 70 per
cent in the next three years," he said.

After the bank raised fresh funds, it would also plan to
restructure its 360 branches nationwide, he said. US-based
Boston Consulting Group is the adviser on branch
restructuring.  So far, the sale of new share issues via
private placement had been oversubscribed two-and-a-half
times, Thanong said.

He said after recapitalisation there would be a big change
in the bank's shareholding structure as its major
shareholder, the Thai army, would not exercise its full
right to buy new shares.

A bank executive, who asked not to be named, said
representatives of the military group planned to step down
from the board of directors soon after the capital hike was
complete.  He said the army was willing to reduce its
leading role, for the sake of the bank's long-term
survival.

Thanong said the Finance Ministry would hold a 49 per cent
stake and the army's would be reduced from 42 to 11 per
cent. The four new investor groups would hold 10 to 11 per
cent combined.  Thanong said the number of directors
currently totalled 19, of which 10 were army
representatives.

"Representation from the army needs to be reduced, its
representatives on the executive board will be reduced from
five to three," he said.

General Wimol Wongwanich is chairman, while General Pramon
Phalasin and General Surayud Chulanont are vice-chairmen.
The directors are General Teeradej Meepien, General Mongkon
Ampornpisit, Admiral Thira Hao-Charoen, ACM Sanan Tourtip,
General Patana Putananon, General Rawat Boontup and General
Montrisak Boonkong.

Thanong said all subscription payments for the
recapitalisation plan would be made by May 19 and the bank
would then fully set aside the loan-loss provision. It
needed about Bt12 billion to meet the 100 per cent
provisioning requirement. It currently only reserved 63 per
cent against bad loans.

Thanong said he expected an operating profit to be seen in
the second half of this year. Its target for loan growth
stood at six per cent year-on-year. AT Kearny is now the
adviser for risk management. Currently, the bank is
recording losses of Bt100 million to Bt120 million a month.

In the first quarter this year, non-performing loans
amounted to Bt82 billion, or 29 per cent of total loans.
Thanong said that he predicted the figure would decline
late this year to about seven to 10 per cent, after
establishment of an asset management company.  TMB's share
price yesterday was up Bt0.25, closing at Bt10.50. (The
Nation  13-April-2000)

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Creditors dislike joint planner idea
-----------------------------------------------------------
Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc's steering committee of
creditors said it does not support the joint planner
structure proposed by TPI and Ernst Young.

"The committee does not accept the proposed TPI planner
structure," it said in a statement.

The committee said the proposed joint structure will not
lead to the implementation of the restructuring plan
contained in the indicative term sheet agreed between the
creditors and TPI in February 1999 and documented in
the master restructuring scheme.

"It does not give creditors sufficient comfort that they
will indeed control either the plan preparation process or
the operations of TPI during the planning period," the
steering committee said.

It said TPI and Ernst Young plan to reopen negotiations on
the terms of the restructuring plan, adding that the
committee believes these discussions are certain to result
in an inferior plan.  It said TPI proposed more than 70
substantial changes to the plan approved by creditors.

The committee also expressed concern that the structure
proposed by TPI and Ernst Young does not ensure that an
independent party will control the plan preparation process
or the operations of TPI.

"The committee also is concerned that TPI may not adhere to
the contractual arrangements with its joint planning
partner," it said.

The committee considers that the joint planner structure
will fail to produce a plan of reorganisation acceptable to
creditors, it said.  (AFX News Limited  12-April-2000)

TOTAL ACCESS COMMO.: Uses alliance instead of restructure
---------------------------------------------------------
Total Access Communication Plc, Thailand's second largest
mobile phone operator, has negotiated a strategic alliance
with Telstra, Australia's largest telecom operator, and is
expected to announce details this month.

Boonchai Benjarongkul, chairman of United Communication
Industry Plc (Ucom), the parent company of Total Access
Communication (TAC), said yesterday TAC had already
concluded strategic partnership talks.

"We will officially announce the deal soon, which is worth
more than US$100 million (Bt3.79 billion)," Boonchai said.

Telstra has been involved in talks with TAC about the
strategic partnership since the beginning of this year,
competing with Norway's Telenor.  Telenor pulled out after
failing to reach an agreement about sharing management in
TAC and the deal's overall value.

Yesterday Boonchai accompanied Telstra executives to meet
Sombat Uthaisang, chairman of both the Telephone
Organisation of Thailand and the telecom concession
conversion committee. Sombat said Telstra had discussed
with him its prospective investment and the latest
progress on the conversion process.

Boonchai said that in the meantime, Ucom and TAC were
undertaking refinancing to retire debt and improve their
financial strength, while seeking a partner.  Earlier TAC
announced that it was considering a plan to restructure
debts of US$300 million to shore up its share price before
concluding a partnership deal.

TAC's financial advisers had mooted the debtrestructuring
recommendation last year, but then the company was
controlled by several factions, which stopped it from
arriving at a decision.  But now the situation has changed,
after founding member Boonchai assumed total control of the
company.

In the last two years, TAC has solicited several potential
foreign companies to form an alliance, including British
Telecom, Singapore Telecom, Bell Canada, Telenor from
Norway and Telstra. (The Nation  13-April-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, James Philip P.
Jover 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 ***