TCRAP_Public/000707.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, July 7, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 131


* A U S T R A L I A *

ALPHA HEALTHCARE: Hospital sale-leaseback eases debt weight
MYOB: On collision course with regulator
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK: Broker downgrades, shares tumble
REINSURANCE AUSTRALIA CORP.: Investor bails to cut losses
SA LOTTERIES: Sale postponed
TAB: Sale postponed

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

ATEE ASSOCIATION LTD: Facing winding up petition
CA PACIFIC: Coffers depleted, firm collapsed
SHUN MING CONTAINER TRANS.CO.: Facing winding up petition

* J A P A N *

DAI-ICHI HOTEL: Court approves rehab plan
NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Softbank outlines NCB plan

* K O R E A *

HYUNDAI MOTORS: DaimlerChrysler begins detailed inspection
SEJONG HIGH TECH: Fund mgrs. nabbed for share manipulation

* M A L A Y S I A *

DATAPREP HOLDINGS: Seeks CDRC help for RM64M debt problem
LION CORP.: Wm. Cheng plans injection of cash, properties
SIN HENG CHAN (MALAYA): Robt.Tan to take over through FCW

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

PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: Gov't sweetens share offer
UNIOIL RESOURCES & HOLDINGS: SEC mulls delisting of shares
URBAN BANK: Central Bank okays Bank of Commerce debt plan
URBAN BANK: Three big firms okay equity conversion
URBAN BANKING CORP.: SSS threatens to pull out investment
VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: Allied Bank sees rehab as unlikely
WINCORP SECURITIES INC.: Gives up bourse seat

* T H A I L A N D *

BANGKOK ENTERTAINMENT CO.: Loses more than Bt50 million
BANGKOK EXPRESSWAY: Creditors to consolidate loans
BEER THAI: Denies using unfair trade practices
SIAM YAMAHA: Japanese reorganization, debt cut, fresh funds


ALPHA HEALTHCARE: Hospital sale-leaseback eases debt weight
Alpha Healthcare may have resuscitated its fortunes amid a
cautiously improving industry outlook by selling and
leasing back the bulk of its private hospitals to mend its
debt-laden balance sheet.

The $30 million sale of four New South Wales private
hospitals to Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust, an
unlisted fund owned by the Australian Unity health fund,
will allow Alpha to repay most of its heavy debt burden.
The fund plans to soon issue a prospectus to allow retail
investors to invest in the $105million trust.

Alpha's debt includes a $13 million loan from building
materials company James Hardie Industries due later this
year, the $7.5 million balance owing on a convertible note
held by Alpha's troubled major shareholder, Sun Healthcare,
and other bank debt. Sun went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection last year.

Australian Unity will get first rights of refusal to buy
the 136-bed Alpha Westmead Private Hospital in Sydney, a
co-located hospital due to open in October.  Apart from a
$4 million interest-free loan and project funding for the
Westmead hospital, Alpha will be debt-free.

James Hardie's loan dates back to vendor financial when it
sold its interests in Health Care Corporation to Alpha in
1997. James Hardie retains shares in Alpha valued in its
accounts at $1.8 million.  While larger rival Mayne
Nickless has for several years discussed moving its
properties off balance sheet and focusing on operating its
hospitals, a deal has failed to materialise.

But Alpha will achieve just that when the transaction is
completed in September.  Asset writedowns saw Alpha record
a net loss of $21.3 million and, unlike many other private
hospital operators, Mayne Nickless has not written down the
value of its hospitals.

This could be one tactic employed by Mayne's new chief
executive, former Colonial boss Peter Smedley, to clean the
slate ahead of more wholesale changes.  Alpha managing
director Mark Compton said the deal would allow Alpha to
focus on improving its business operations.

One broking analyst said: "It's good to see Alpha have no
debt, but does this mean their earnings are going to turn
around?"  Mr Compton said the deal was not a case of Alpha
"getting into bed" with a health fund, given Australian
Unity was based in Victoria, where most of its 100,000
members were.

The price paid by Australian Unity was below book value,
reflecting continuing poor market values for the stricken
private hospital sector. Alpha rose three cents to 23
cents.  But the deal comes as most analysts, including
ratings agency Standard Poor's, expect the hospitals to
negotiate increased fees in the coming years as government
incentives see a resurgence in private health fund
membership. (Australian Financial Review  06-July-2000)

MYOB: On collision course with regulator
Software developer MYOB has set itself on a collision
course with the corporate regulator because of its decision
to continue using a contentious accounting treatment.

The company recently issued a market statement saying it
would be sticking with its use of an accounting method that
was disallowed by the Federal Parliament despite an
opposing view being put to MYOB by the Australian
Securities and Investments Commission.

ASIC has told the company it believes MYOB must change its
accounting treatment for it to be able to argue that it
complies with accounting standards. The corporate regulator
has successfully forced high-profile companies such as the
Seven Network, North Ltd and insurance giant AXA to alter
their financial statements over the past 18 months.

MYOB has said it has consulted its advisers and that "its
current intention is to maintain the accounting treatment
previously adopted in its financial statements for the
period to 31 December 1999."  ASIC confirmed the company's
use of the book value methodology as correct for its
December 31, 1999, financial statements.

MYOB accounted for an internal restructure of the company
using book values, which was within the scope of an
accounting standard finalised by the Australian Accounting
Standards Board (AASB) in November.  The standard allowed
companies to account for so-called internal restructurings
by using one of two methods of accounting, the purchase
method or the book-value method. Purchase-method accounting
means a company booking goodwill and intangible assets
because it requires a company to ascribe a current value
for assets.

When a company records goodwill it must write it off in
equal chunks over no more than 20 years, resulting in lower
reported results.  The December 31 accounts were signed off
by the company and its external auditor, Ernst Young, on
February 14, three days before the disallowance of the book
value method took place in the Australian Senate.

MYOB says ASIC is arguing the company should reapply the
accounting standard following the disallowance, which would
result in the recording of goodwill and intangible assets
that the company did not record when it used the book value

"This would require MYOB to restate to their fair value at
the time of acquisition assets that had previously been as
part of an internal reconstruction and which had been
recognised at their carrying amounts," the company said.

MYOB used the book-value method in its prospectus to the
market issued more than 12months ago, which was before the
AASB finalised an accounting rule featuring the now-
disallowed treatment, but it was asked by ASIC to reflect
the impact of both methods in the prospectus to show what
the results might be if the standard did not feature the
book-value method of accounting.  ASIC has issued no public
comment on MYOB's stand. (Australian Financial Review  06-

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK: Broker downgrades, shares tumble
National Australia Bank shares suffered their biggest one-
day loss for more than a year yesterday, falling $1.13, or
4.1 per cent, after an influential broker downgraded its
recommendation on the stock from buy to hold.

However, many brokers were left puzzled about whether there
was more to the sell-off than the Ord Minnett report, which
also lowered the bank's full-year earnings outlook.  The
negative sentiment stemmed from briefings given by the NAB
to analysts the bank saw as having overly high profit

The selling snowballed through the day as other brokers
advised clients along similar themes to Ord Minnett's.
NAB shares had risen sharply since their February 23 low of
just under $20. At their closing price of $26.11, the
shares are still ahead of the levels of two weeks ago.

The Ord Minnett report, written by analyst Brian Johnson,
cites a number of factors, including the recent slight
strengthening of the Australian dollar and the "acquisition
risk" of likely further offshore purchases following the
bank's MLC takeover in May.

The broker also expects a forthcoming $30 billion damages
case to drag down the bank's share price, if only because
NAB will not have the chance to respond to the plaintiff's
arguments for the first two weeks or so.

The case, levelled at the bank by Sydney businessman John
Machonochie, starts on July 24. Mr Machonochie claims the
bank reneged on an e-commerce development deal which would
have resulted in his companies snaring a perpetual royalty
stream from the bank.

Ord Minnett's Mr Johnson said a critical aspect of the
downgrading was lower than expected asset (loan) growth and
the dollar effect. Given the bank derives about half of its
earnings from the US and the UK, a weaker dollar improves
reported earnings.

"We expected NAB to be affected by the weaker dollar and,
while that happened, it did not happen to the extent we
thought it would," he said.

NAB general manager for investor relations David Mooney
said the sell-off was a natural reaction to the price rise
over the two months.  "At some stage it had to reach fair
value," he said.

NAB reports its third-quarter profit on July 27 and its
full-year result on November 2. (The Australian  05-July-

REINSURANCE AUSTRALIA CORP.: Investor bails to cut losses
Wealthy Chinese property developer Mr Wai Hing Kwok has cut
his losses by winding down an ambitious investment in
Reinsurance Australia Corporation.

Two companies part-owned by Mr Kwok spent $6.7 million
earlier this year to acquire a 20 per cent stake in ReAc at
a time when other stake holders were bailing out of the
troubled reinsurer.  Both have now sold a large part of
their holdings for up to 50 per cent less than the original
purchase price.

Grand Improve Holdings spent more than $5 million acquiring
a 14.9 per cent stake in ReAc between January 31 and
February 8, according to substantial shareholder notices
issued to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The shares were bought at prices between 15 and 18. But
on April 11, a day on which ReAC shares closed at 10, the
company reduced its stake to 9.69 per cent.  On Tuesday
that stake was cut to 7.23 per cent, after ReAC shares had
tumbled below 10.

Another Kwok business, Grand Improve Investments, had
similar luck with its 5 per cent stake in ReAc.  The
shareholding cost the company $1.7 million at a time when
ReAc shares were worth 17. But it sold its interest down
to 1.99 per cent for 9 a share on May 4.

The rationale behind the ambitious investment strategy was
never made public, despite rumours of a shareholder revolt
backed by Mr Kwok's companies and another substantial
shareholder, Hunter Hall Investment Management. Stockmarket
analysts suggested the investment was speculative - a
theory borne out by the recent sell-off of ReAc shares.

ReAc was forced into run-off mode in February after it
breached Australian Prudential Regulation Authority licence
conditions and posted an unaudited net loss of $470 million
for the year to the end of December. The huge losses left
ReAC with estimated net assets of only $50 million.

ReAc's problems have been the same as those faced by other
reinsurers: a spate of natural catastrophes that drained
company resources. Europe's bitter Christmas storms,
earthquakes and plane crashes during the past two years
have cost many reinsurers dearly.

Representatives of Grand Improve Holdings and Grand Improve
Investments were not available for comment last night. ReAc
shares closed at 7 yesterday. (Australian Financial Review

SA LOTTERIES: Sale postponed
TAB: Sale postponed
The South Australian Government yesterday averted a planned
strike of TAB staff but was accused of being in disarray
over the sale of the TAB and SA Lotteries.

State Government Enterprises Minister Michael Armitage
announced that the government would delay legislation for
the sale of the state's gaming assets.  The legislation was
to have been debated in parliament yesterday but it would
now not resurface in the Lower House for at least 10 weeks,
he said.

The government's move came hours before TAB and SA
Lotteries staff stopped work at 1pm yesterday to hold a
protest rally that ended on the steps of Parliament House.
The rally, organised by the Public Service Association,
presented a petition bearing 6500 signatures against the

TAB staff had planned to strike again on Saturday in
industrial action likely to have cost more than $17 million
in lost revenue. But the government's decision, made at the
behest of the Opposition and independent MPs who wanted
more consultation, averted the strike.

Mr Armitage said the government remained committed to
selling the state's gaming assets but agreed that more
consultation was needed.  State Opposition leader Mike Rann
said the decision was evidence the government's
privatisation policy was in "disarray."  PSA general
secretary Jan McMahon said the government had no support
for the sale of the SA TAB and SA Lotteries.

"Selling off these two valuable and highly profitable
public assets will cost this state hundreds of jobs and
millions of dollars a year in lost revenue," she said.
(Australian Financial Review  06-July-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

ATEE ASSOCIATION LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for August 9 on the petition of So
Pui Yuen for the winding up of Atee Association Limited. A
notice of legal appearance must be filed on or before
August 8.

CA PACIFIC: Coffers depleted, firm collapsed
CA Pacific's coffers have been depleted by a further HK$ 78
million after a margin client partly to blame for the
brokerage's collapse snubbed a court ruling and refused to
repay his debts.

Liquidators have secured a judgment against Ye Cheng-guang,
one of two clients whose failure to meet margin calls sped
up the demise of the brokerage in January 1998. The other
client was Wong Shi-ling, chairman of Leading Spirit High-
Tech. He is being sued separately by the liquidators for
HK$ 93 million.

However, Mr Ye has fled to the mainland after failing to
offer any defence in the legal action and has not paid up.
Efforts by the liquidators to seek a bankruptcy order
against Mr Ye are made difficult by the fact they cannot
serve the legal papers on him in the SAR.  This leaves
liquidators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) with a judgment
they cannot enforce and an undisclosed sum in legal fees
which will also come out of the CA Pacific coffers.

But efforts are still under way to claw back about HK$ 350
million from former CA Pacific boss Jason Wong But-sit and
his estranged wife, Elizabeth Kong Suk -yee, according to
PWC partner Jan Blaauw.  The pair walked free from the High
Court in February after a three-month criminal trial.

In Wong's case, a judge suspended a two-year jail sentence
for false accounting. His wife received the same sentence
for making a bogus loan agreement.  However, the former
boss was cleared by a jury of stealing HK$ 248 million
from CA Pacific Finance, money which was used to fund the
HK$ 1.24 billion purchase of Central's Century Square
building in late 1997.

This loan was also pivotal in the downfall of the
brokerage. Civil action against the pair taken out by the
liquidators on behalf of the company had to be put aside
during the criminal proceedings, Mr Blaauw said.

"Following that, we made a further application in April in
relation to getting our case (against the pair) back up and
running."  A trial date has not been set.

However, it is unclear whether the couple would have
sufficient funds to meet any judgment made in favour of the
liquidators if they do succeed.  During the mitigation
phase of the High Court trial, it emerged that the
collapse of CA Pacific left Mr Wong financially bereft.

The one-time high-flier also claimed to be jobless and
living in an 80 square foot unit in Tai Hang with only a
small television set for company. Mr Blaauw added: "There
are still issues we are trying to resolve, what assets they

Meanwhile, liquidators are plodding through at least 8,000
claims from investors with CA Pacific.  The claims were
worth HK$ 1.4 billion at the time of the collapse but the
value of the shares held was only HK$ 900 million. A judge
ordered in December 1998 that the shares be returned to the
clients.  However, she admitted this could exacerbate the
costs of the liquidation, was time-consuming and would
culminate in an "unjust result."  (South China Morning Post

SHUN MING CONTAINER TRANS.CO.: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for July 19 on the petition of Law
Yick Fai for the winding up of Shun Ming Container
Transportation Co. Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before July 18.

South East Asia Wood Industries Holdings Limited has
reported to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that on 28th June,
2000, it entered into a number of agreements:

(i) Subscription Agreement between the Company, the
Investor and Mr. Wong for the subscription of approximately
8,180 million to 9,000 million Investor Shares
(representing approximately 85.2 per cent. to 93.8 per
cent. of the enlarged issued share capital of the Company)
at a cash subscription price of HK$0.015 each by the
(ii) Compromise Agreement between the Group Companies, the
Bank Creditors, the Agent Bank and the Investor for the
full and final settlement of, together with any interest
accrued thereon up to Completion, all
(a) the Unsecured Indebtedness which amounts to
approximately HK$136.4 million (in consideration of an
aggregate cash amount of HK$76.8 million which may, at the
option of two of the Bank Creditors, be settled partly in
the form of Bank Shares) and (b) the Secured Indebtedness
which amounts to approximately HK$22.2 million (by way of,
amongst other things, realisation of the Pledged Property);

(iii) Acquisition Agreement between a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company, the Vendors and Wing Lam for the
acquisition by that wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company,
of (a) the remaining 49 percent. shareholding interest in
Wing Lam, and (b) the benefit of certain Net Loans due and
owing by the PRC Company to the Vendors; and

(iv) An agreement between the Company and the Investor for
the provision of the Bridging Loan in the principal amount
of up to HK$10 million by the Investor to the Company.
The Restructuring Proposal, if successfully implemented and
completed, will result in the following:
(i) approximately HK$122.7 million to HK$135 million new
equity capital in the form of cash will be injected into
the Company by the Investor;
(ii) all the indebtedness (including any interest accrued
thereon up to Completion) owed by the Group to the Bank
Creditors will be released, discharged and fully settled in
accordance with the Compromise Agreement;
(iii) the Investor will become the controlling Shareholder.
In the absence of the Whitewash Waiver, the Investor will
be required under Rule 26 of the Code to make a general
offer for all the issued New Shares not held by the
Investor Concert Parties. The Investor will, however, apply
to the Executive for the Whitewash Waiver, which, if
granted, will be subject to the approval by the Independent
Shareholders by way of a poll at the SGM.;
(iv) Wing Lam will become an indirect wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company; and
(v) the liquidity of the Group will be improved and a
positive net asset value will be restored.

The granting of the Whitewash Waiver by the Executive is a
condition of the Subscription Agreement and the Compromise
Agreement. In the event that the Whitewash Waiver is not
granted by the Executive, the Investor may consider waiving
such condition depending on the then circumstances.

If the Investor decides not to waive such condition, the
Subscription Agreement will lapse and no obligation for a
general offer under the Code will be triggered. If, on the
other hand, the Investor decides to waive such condition,
the Investor will be required under the Code to make a
general offer for all the issued New Shares not held by the
Investor Concert Parties. The Investor has undertaken to
Worldsec that it will not waive such condition unless
Worldsec is satisfied that the Investor has sufficient
financial resources to satisfy full acceptance of such
general offer.

Shareholders should note that the Restructuring Proposal
(of which the Subscription Agreement, the Compromise
Agreement and the Acquisition Agreement form part) is
conditional on a number of conditions precedent. As at the
date of this announcement, the Company has not received any
approval from the Stock Exchange in respect of the listing
of the New Shares, the Investor Shares or (if applicable)
the Bank Shares, and the Investor has not obtained the
Whitewash Waiver from the SFC.

The release of this announcement does not in any way imply
that the Restructuring Proposal will necessarily be
implemented and completed. Shareholders and potential
investors are advised to exercise extreme caution when
dealing in the Existing Shares. (Hong Kong Stock Exchange


DAI-ICHI HOTEL: Court approves rehab plan
Bankrupt Dai-Ichi Hotel Ltd. is set to begin rehabilitating
itself with a helping hand from Hankyu Corp. after the
Tokyo District Court approved the hotel chain's
reconstruction plan Tuesday and appointed two business
administrators for the company, including Hankyu President
Taro Ohhashi.

Both companies already have strong links. The railway
operator announced a plan to assist the hotel operator, in
which it is the second-largest shareholder, when Dai-Ichi
Hotel applied for court protection from creditors in
May. Hankyu Chairman Kohei Kobayashi is also chairman of
Dai-Ichi Hotel.  (Asia Pulse  05-July-2000)

NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Softbank outlines NCB plan
Softbank, the leading Japanese internet investment group
that is buying a 49 per cent stake in Nippon Credit Bank,
will only seek a minority role on the nationalised bank's
board, Masayoshi Son, chief executive, said on Tuesday.

Only two of the 12 members of the future NCB board will
come directly from Softbank, while other members will be
drawn from fellow investors, including foreign groups, Mr
Son told the Financial Times.  The move is designed to
stave off concern that Softbank's purchase of NCB could
create conflicts of interest.

In particular, some investors and analysts have expressed
unease that NCB might be tempted to extend loans to
internet ventures that have been funded by Softbank's
venture capital arm.  These concerns have contributed to a
sharp decline in Softbank's share price. However, Mr Son
insisted he would not exert direct control over NCB's
lending decisions or permit it to provide back-door finance
to his internet empire.

"I understand that Softbank should not take advantage of
this bank," Mr Son said. "With only two [members] on the
board how can we do anything wrong to bring an [unfair]
advantage to Softbank?"

The other members of the board will include a
representative from Orix, the leasing company and Tokio
Marine & Fire Insurance, which are each expected to take a
15 per cent stake in NCB. A consortium of 96 regional
banks, which will take a share of about 8 per cent, is also
expected to take two seats and NCB itself will provide two
more seats.

Foreign investors will take three seats. These are likely
to include Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, and
Cerberus, the US investment group, which have acquired a
12.8 per cent stake in NCB. However, several other banks,
including UBS Warburg and Chase Manhattan, are also
understood to be interested in the bank. An announcement
about their role could come this week.

The creation of this type of board of directors is unusual
in Japan, as bank boards are almost entirely composed of
senior bank staff. However, Shinsei Bank - formerly known
as LTCB - created a separate board of directors after it
was sold to Ripplewood, the US private equity group, last
year. The government has encouraged Softbank to follow suit
to improve corporate governance.

However, some analysts remained unconvinced that Softbank
will be able to avoid conflicts of interest. "Softbank is a
venture fund, and venture capital is venture capital. Loans
are loans. Anybody who doesn't understand the difference
shouldn't be running a bank," said Ben Wedmore, analyst at
HSBC Securities in Tokyo.

Softbank has frustrated analysts in Tokyo for failing to
disclose details about its many investments made in Japan,
Europe and the US.

But Mr Son on Tuesday insisted: "We are much better than so
many other companies - the private companies which have
filed IPO procedures are all disclosed and those that are
pre-IPO we cannot disclose." (Financial Times  04-July-


HYUNDAI MOTORS: DaimlerChrysler begins detailed inspection
DaimlerChrysler has launched a detailed inspection of
Hyundai Motor operations including finances as part of an
overall agreement on a strategic tie-up, including the
joint development of a world car.

Hyundai sources said yesterday the two motor firms will be
able to sign an official agreement on DaimlerChrysler's
takeover of a 10-percent stake in Hyundai within a month,
following the inspection.

The two partners will also launch due diligence on
Hyundai's commercial vehicles plant in Chonju, Cholla-
pukto, for six months before retooling it into a joint
venture operation.

Hyundai expects a formal agreement on the joint venture
will be signed at around the end of this year at the
earliest considering the time needed to solve various
issues, including taxes, inspection of assets and operating

The two auto makers agreed to a 50:50 split on the Chonju
commercial vehicle joint venture. Hyundai expects its
partner to put up over 500 billion won ($46 million) in
exchange for half the rights. (The Korea Times  04-July-

SEJONG HIGH TECH: Fund mgrs. nabbed for share manipulation
Seoul district prosecutors placed Choi Jong-shik,
representative of Sejong High Tech (SHT), a KOSDAQ-
registered venture firm, and Lee Kang-woo, a manager at a
brokerage house, under custody on the allegation that they
bribed well-known stock-fund managers in order to
manipulate Sejong's share prices.

The prosecutors also detained six fund managers including
Baik Han-wook at an investment trust company on charges
that they accepted bribes to purchase Sejong's shares at a
price higher than the market price. The prosecutors'
investigation of bribery allegations is unprecedented.

According to the prosecutors, Choi handed over a total of
W1.5 billion to Lee for the stock price manipulation, with
Lee pocketing W600 million himself and the remaining W900
million going to the fund managers. Following the
registration of Sejong's shares in the market, the share
prices hovered between W50,000 W60,000, but with the price
manipulation by the fund managers, the stock prices peaked
at W329,000 at the end of March this year. The prices
plunged to W130,000 in mid-April when the fund managers
divested. (Digital Chosun  04-July-2000)


DATAPREP HOLDINGS: Seeks CDRC help for RM64M debt problem
Dataprep Holdings Bhd has sought the help of the Corporate
Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC) to solve its RM64
million debt after the company and its creditors could not
agree to its own initiated plan proposed in January.

Its chairman and chief executive officer Mirzan Mahathir
says the company had not been able to come to agreements
with the individual banks on its own. He adds that some of
the banks had even asked for more than what was previously
agreed upon.

Dataprep's initiated plan, which was unveiled five months
ago, includes a capital reduction exercise, cash injection
of RM53 million through the subscription of 40 million new
shares and 15.1 million warrants in Dataprep by VXL
Holdings Sdn Bhd and a 30 per cent debt waiver of the
principal amount of unsecured debts as of last Dec 31.

He hopes that the issue will be resolved within "one or two
months", since the outlook for the company for the current
financial year is good.  Speaking to reporters after the
company's annual general meeting today, Mirzan says: "The
longer the delay, the more detrimental it is for all
parties. However, we see the light at the end of the

Dataprep's creditor banks are Arab Malaysian Bank Bhd, Ban
Hin Lee Bank Bhd, HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank
Bhd, Pacific Bank Bhd, Perwira Affin Bank Bhd, Public Bank
Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Sime Merchant Bankers Bhd and United
Overseas Bank Bhd.  Mirzan says the company wanted to clear
its debts and complete its restructuring plans as soon as
possible so that it could be on a sound footing to
undertake a business that has good growth.

"We are bidding aggressively for several significantly-
sized projects where we can create a lot of value for our
customers in the public and private sectors," he adds.

He also says the company was focusing on business models
that can provide Dataprep with recurring income from a
subscriber base such as its newly-launched online e-
business system -- InstantOffice -- which was designed for
small- and medium-sized companies. (The Edge  04-July-2000)

LION CORP.: Wm. Cheng plans injection of cash, properties
Malaysian tycoon William Cheng will inject RM748 million
(S$341.7 million) in cash and properties into his ailing
stable of listed companies in a bid to jump-start the
restructuring of his highly indebted and overly diversified

"It will come from the family's cash flow," said Mr Cheng
yesterday at a press conference to unveil the long-awaited
restructuring exercise. He unveiled a complicated exercise
-- a series of bond issues by his listed companies, a
reshuffling of the group and proposed disposal of assets --
to retire RM5.9 billion worth of debts within the next 10

The exercise will involve five listed entities -- Lion
Corporation, Amsteel Corporation, Lion Land, Angkasa
Marketing and Chocolate Products. In essence, Mr Cheng, who
owns 59 per cent of Lion Corp, has pledged to repay
creditors from the future cash flows of four businesses.

They are Megasteel (manufacturer of hot-rolled flat steel
products), Sabah Forest Industries (producer of pulp and
paper products), its nine China breweries and Silverstone
(maker and distributor of tyres). And the group will
undertake to sell assets over the next five years to pay
bondholders in the event of any shortfall in the pledged
future income streams.

The bulk of the assets to be disposed of will be properties
held by Amsteel, which has pledged to unload its huge land
bank, worth almost RM3 billion, to third parties.  The
group will also hive off Amsteel Securities.  At the same
time, it will undertake an internal restructuring to wipe
off the unwieldy group's huge inter-company loans and other

Under the new structure, Lion Corp will remain the ultimate
holding company with a 90 per cent interest in Megasteel.
The parent will own 48 per cent of Lion Land and 46 per
cent of Amsteel.  Lion Land will in turn own 100 per cent
of Posim and 51 per cent of Chocolate Products.

On the other hand, Amsteel will own 46 per cent of Angkasa
Marketing.  The group has taken over two years to come up
with the plan.  Mr Cheng said: "It's a very complicated
exercise. Bankers asked us to repay RM1 for every RM1 and
we have 109 bankers."

But the exercise will still not resolve its entire debt
overhang of more than RM10 billion chalked up by the group
during the boom years in the early 1990s.  When asked
whether he still believes in the strategy of
diversification, Mr Cheng said he would assess the group's
strength in the wake of liberalisation under the World
Trade Organization and Asean Free Trade Area.

"Steel will remain our core business and we want to be more
focused on the returns to shareholders' funds," he added.
(Business Times  06-July-2000)

SIN HENG CHAN (MALAYA): Robt.Tan to take over through FCW
Low-profile businessman Datuk Robert Tan Hua Choon of the
Jasa Kita group is eyeing financially-troubled Sin Heng
Chan (Malaya) Bhd (SHC), and is likely to use FCW Holdings
Bhd to take over the animal feed producer and poultry-based

Sources say FCW would most probably be making a voluntary
general offer for SHC.  An announcement regarding this will
be made later in the day. Yesterday, FCW requested for the
suspension of the trading of its shares for today. It last
traded at RM1.30.

It also said that it would be serving a notice of takeover
on a company listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
Sources say the voluntary takeover of SHC by FCW will
likely be through a share-swap. They expect the ratio of
the share exchange to be three FCW shares for one SHC
share. Based on the figure and the pre-suspension price of
FCW, SHC shares would be priced at RM3.90 each.

The latter has a paid-up capital of RM19 million and its
pre-suspension price was RM4.10.  On June 23, SHC, which is
under the care of the special administrators of Pengurusan
Danaharta Nasional Bhd, announced a renounceable two-for-
one rights issue of up to 40.30 million shares at RM1 each.
The rights issue took into account the 1.16 million shares
under SHC's employees share option scheme that have yet to
be exercised.

The proceeds of the proposed rights issue are mainly to
repay its RM37.69 million bank borrowings. SHC came under
the special administrators because of its debts. The
voluntary general offer is expected to be implemented prior
to the proposed rights issue.

This is the second time Tan is taking over a financially-
troubled company. Last year, he took over biscuit
manufacturer Khong Guan Holdings Malaysia Bhd, where he
injected his privately-owned Marco Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd
into the company.

Marco handles Casio watches in the country. Observers say
the latest move by Tan would be good for SHC's shareholders
because the offer was attractive. A research manager with a
stockbroking firm says SHC's shareholders do not have many
alternatives as the shares have been suspended. Like Khong
Guan, SHC is expected to enter a new business with the
emergence of Tan.

Observers say Tan, who has other unlisted assets and
companies as well, could inject some of them into SHC at a
later stage. One of the companies owned by Tan is Spanco,
which is involved in the maintenance of the Government's
fleet of vehicles.  (The Edge  05-July-2000)


PHILIPPINE NAT.BANK: Gov't sweetens share offer
To sweeten the sale of the government's remaining 30-
percent stake in the Philippine National Bank, the
government is willing to extend installment payment terms.

This was revealed yesterday by Finance Secretary Jose T.
Pardo who said that a second bidding for the government's
remaining stake in PNB will be held on July 19. And, to
make the sale more attractive to prospective bidders, he
said the Committee on Privatization has approved two
payment schemes: cash or installment.

For the cash buyer, Pardo said government would set a lower
floor price for the roughly 62 million shares of government
in PNB. Instead of the original P100 per share that the
government was asking, it is now willing to settle for P85.
However, if the buyer opts to pay in installment, the floor
price for the PNB shares will remain at P100 per share.

Pardo said, the buyer must open a letter of credit (L/C),
pay a down payment of 10 percent of its bid and pay the
balance over an 18-month period.  Pardo said the lower
floor price of P85 per share for cash buyers is based on
the current trading price of PNB shares the Philippine
Stock Exchange which is at P55 per share.

The current par value of PNB shares is still at P100 per
share, but PNB management has already petitioned the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adjust the rate
to P60 per share.

In the first bidding, government had pegged a floor price
of P140 per share but there were no takers. This time
around, Pardo is hoping that interested buyers who did not
participate in the first bidding may finally find the sale
more attractive. Pardo said he is certain that there are
still interested investors although he did not identify

For the July 19 bidding, Pardo said there will be no
prequalification. The only condition is for the prospective
buyer/bidder to present a P600-million manager's check as
deposit.  Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Rafael B.
Buenaventura said government is really serious in trying to
sell its share and that potential buyers of PNB must take
into account that they will have to make an additional
infusion into PNB as a capital call is being made to raise
additional funds for the bank. (The Philippine Star  06-

UNIOIL RESOURCES & HOLDINGS: SEC mulls delisting of shares
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering
either the delisting or the suspension of trading of listed
shares of Unioil Resources and Holdings Co., the parent
firm of bankrupt investment house Westmont Investment Corp.

Documents from the SEC show that the commission is doubting
the ability of Unioil and its subsidiary Wincorp to
continue doing business, especially since the latter is
experiencing liquidity problems.  The SEC said that in
order to protect investors, the commission directed Unioil
to submit a discussion of all important risk factors
bearing on its capacity to further engage in business.

The SEC also ordered Unioil to submit an update of its
financial condition and results of operation for the fourth
quarter of 1999 and first quarter of 2000, which it
considered essential for the commission to make a proper
determination of the feasibility of Unioil to pursue its
business transactions including the trading of shares at
the Philippine Stock Exchange.

A deadline was set last May 2.  Unioil however, failed to
submit on time and was reminded about it last May 9. Again,
it failed to comply.

"Considering that the company is not able to persuade SEC
of its financial stability and the continued feasibility of
its trading with the PSE, the commission deems it proper to
take preventive measures in line with its policy of
investor protection," a draft order prepared by the SEC

Sources said however, that the commission may give Unioil
another chance since the alternatives are "too harsh." (The
Philippine Star  06-July-2000)

URBAN BANK: Central Bank okays Bank of Commerce debt plan
The central bank monetary board has given its in-principle
approval to the rehabilitation of closed Urban Bank Inc
under the terms submitted by Bank of Commerce, Philippine
Deposit Insurance Corp president Norberto Nazareno said.

Nazareno told reporters that Bank of Commerce's take-over
proposal was "superior" to the one submitted by Asia United
Bank.  Bank of Commerce's proposed rehabilitation plan for
Urban Bank and its investment arm calls for an infusion of
750 mln pesos in permanent equity, and sets a repayment
period of three years for clients' deposits.

"Bank of Commerce dropped the two-year convertible
preferred shares for non-redeemable convertible preferred
shares so they become permanent capital. The 750 mln pesos
could no longer be withdrawn, which is important," Nazareno

Bank of Commerce has committed to look for an additional
250 mln pesos to boost Urban Bank's capital, he said. He
said he hopes Urban Bank could reopen July 26.  (AFX News
Limited  06-July-2000)

URBAN BANK: Three big firms okay equity conversion
Beleaguered Urban Bank's three major depositors -- Petron
Corp., Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and San Miguel Corp.
(SMC) -- have agreed to convert their combined 750-million-
Philippine peso (PhP) (US$17.18 million at PhP43.646:US$1)
deposit in the bank into equity, Bank of Commerce
(Bancommerce) president Raul B. De Mesa said.

Bancommerce, which is controlled by the Cojuangco family,
is one of two banks bidding for closed Urban Bank. The
conversion of the three firms' deposits to equity as
proposed by Bancommerce is expected to hasten the
rehabilitation of Urban Bank.  "They have agreed," Mr. De
Mesa said.

Under Bancommerce's rehab plan, the three firms will become
shareholders of Bancommerce once it absorbs Urban Bank.
Bancommerce is also proposing to infuse P1.65 billion in
fresh equity to Urban Bank and has asked state pension fund
Social Security System (SSS) to convert their 600-million-
peso ($13.75 million) investment into equity.

SSS has already agreed in principle but has yet to sign a
formal agreement.  Bancommerce recently increased its
capital to PhP3.5 billion ($80.19 million). Aside from
Urban Bank, it is also in the process of merging with the
Benedictos' Traders Royal Bank (TRB). Bancommerce is also
in talks with the Tan Yus' Panasia Banking Corp. for a
possible acquisition.

"While our investment in Urban Bank will be only PhP1.65
billion ($37.8 million), our whole equity will be put at
risk since the bank will be consolidated with Bank of
Commerce," Mr. De Mesa explained.

Also, the central bank's policy-setting Monetary Board (MB)
will finally decide on proposals to rehabilitate Urban Bank
as the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) is
scheduled to present to the board today its

PDIC president Norberto C. Nazareno said the state deposit
insurer will make its final presentation after the meeting
was postponed last June 30.

"We will make our presentation this Thursday morning and in
the afternoon, we will know which proposal the MB will
choose for Urban," he told BusinessWorld.

The PDIC earlier planned to reopen the bank at the end of
last month but was unable to do so since it had to meet
again with the interested investors to renegotiate the
terms of their rehabilitation proposals, particularly the
increase in equity infusion and shorter pay-out periods for
depositors and creditors.  Mr. Nazareno, however, said the
PDIC plans to reopen the bank before July 26, the end of
the 90-day receivership period mandated by law to reopen
any closed bank.

The PDIC chief said he hopes all of Urban Bank's creditors
will agree to the details of the proposal that will be
approved by the MB since any disagreement would further
stall the bank's reopening.  "I hope whoever wins will get
the approval of the depositors and creditors of the bank,"
he said.

He added after the MB gives its go ahead, the PDIC will
have to sign some agreements with the chosen buyer, then
make a presentation to the creditors and depositors.
(Business World  06-July-2000)

URBAN BANKING CORP.: SSS threatens to pull out investment
The Social Security System (SSS) is threatening to pull out
its investment in Urban Banking Corp. if the Monetary
Board, the policy making body of the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas (BSP), will not approve a rehabilitation plan for
the bank within 15 days.

"The Monetary Board is expected to come up with an approval
in its next meeting. It must agree in 15 days," SSS
investment head and chief actuary Horace Templo said in an
interview with The STAR.

Templo said they have a commitment or "marriage of the
mind" with Bank of Commerce (Bancommerce) that SSS would
infuse P600 million in case it would be granted approval to
revive Urban Bank.  But, the SSS official said everything
hangs up in the air for as long as the Philippine Deposit
Insurance Corp. and the Monetary Board remain undecided on
which rehabilitation plan to approve.

He said Bancommerce is proposing to reopen Urban Bank
shortly after its rehabilitation plan is approved by the
Monetary Board.  However, he said there are still some
issues that need to be resolved with regards to the
valuation of the assets of Urban Bank.

"There are terms and conditions we also have to agree with
BOC like the valuation of the assets," he said.

Though they are confident that Urban Bank has valuable
assets, Templo said they are faced with a dilemma on
whether to continue investing in Urban considering the fact
that they might have problems of disposing these properties
given the not so good economic condition.

"We need to recover them (SSS investment in Urban). The
problem is nobody is interested to buy (these properties).
We may have to recover (the investment) as soon as Urban
Bank is revived," he said.

Templo said they have not signed any memorandum of
agreement yet with Bancommerce but their commitment was
expressed "verbally."

SSS has been criticized for its investment in Urban Bank.
Finance Secretary Jose Pardo even warned the agency against
investing heavily in the stock market.  But Templo said
there is a need to enhance their investment income to
offset their losses over the years brought about by higher
benefits which exceeded contribution collections.

"They should understand that investing in equities and
fixed income products is necessary to sustain our
operations," he said. "It's a good thing that we have these
investments or else the losses would have been higher."
(The Philippine Star  05-July-2000)

VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: Allied Bank sees rehab as unlikely
Allied Banking Corp. has expressed doubts about Victorias
Milling Co. Inc.'s chances of recovering from its deep
financial mess due to its failure to attract a strategic

In its motion filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), Allied Bank said it has been almost three
years since Victorias filed a petition for suspension of
payments with the agency. But until now, there has been no
assurance that the much-needed capital infusion of P300
million would ever be attained.

"It is even doubtful whether the amount of P300 million is
enough to cause a significant ripple in the corporation's
financial situation," Allied Bank said.

Allied Bank said that while Victorias continues to search
for its white knight, the sugar firm's assets depreciate in
value to the detriment of the creditors who hold the same
as security.  It also objected to the rehabilitation plan
prepared by the management committee for Victorias, saying
it gives undue preference to certain creditors and failed
to pass the test of viability and feasibility.

Allied Bank said the proposal to convert all the accrued
interest and part of the principal loan of the clean
creditors directly into equity and convertible notes
constitutes payment to clean creditors ahead of all other
creditors and unduly elevates their status to a preferred

"The rule is settled that where a corporation asks the SEC
for rehabilitation and suspension of payments, all
creditors shall stand on equal footing and not anyone may
be given preference by receiving payment ahead of the
others," Allied Bank said.

Allied Bank said the alternative rehabilitation plan
provides clean creditors a convenient means to recover
their investment by selling these common shares at the
soonest possible time at a profit. The secured creditors,
on the other hand, who hold real estate mortgages on the
assets of the corporation become fully paid only after 15

The management committee overseeing the assets of Victorias
submitted an alternative rehabilitation plan for the ailing
sugar firm following a failed bidding of the company's
53.5-percent outstanding capital stock.

The March 21 bidding had been formally declared a failure
after no one submitted a bid bond from the two entities --
Cargill Inc. and RCBC Capital Corp. -- which had been
prequalified. The two were supposed to deposit at least 10
percent of the base price of Victorias shares to be
auctioned off in an escrow account with any of the
accredited banks.

In 1997, Victorias filed a petition to suspend debt
payments due to tight liquidity problems. It suffered
financial difficulties which erupted in February 1997 when
it defaulted on its debts with various banks whose loan
exposure to Victorias amounted to P5.07 billion.

Victorias, which accounts for 46 percent of the country's
sugar output, owes 32 banks some P5.07 billion as against
assets of P7.1 billion. Of Victorias' 32 creditor-banks, 23
are unsecured with a combined exposure of P4.2 billion.

Apart from Cargill and RCBC Capital, other groups that had
earlier signified interest in taking over Victorias
included JG Summit Holdings Inc. of tycoon John Gokongwei
Jr., sugar baron and singer Jose Mari Chan, businessman
George Yang, who holds the local franchise for McDonalds,
and Alliance Global Inc.

The bidding is part of the wide-ranging rehabilitation plan
filed by Victorias with the SEC in 1998. Victorias was
supposed to raise at least P567.08 million from the bidding
to be used to jumpstart its rehabilitation program.

The management of Victorias, headed by its president Manuel
Manalac, has also asked the SEC to junk the alternative
rehabilitation plan prepared by the debt-ridden sugar
firm's management committee and approve its submitted
recovery program.  (The Manila Times  05-July-2000)

WINCORP SECURITIES INC.: Gives up bourse seat
Wincorp Securities Inc., the brokerage arm of beleaguered
investment bank Westmont Investment Corp., is giving up its
seat at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Documents obtained by the INQUIRER show that the PSE had
approved on June 27 Wincorp Securities' request to cease
trading operations.  Wincorp Securities is the first
securities company to go under this year.

The approval of Wincorp Securities application for
voluntary suspension was contained in a memorandum order
issued by the PSE membership department.  The closure of
Wincorp Securities may be traced to the liquidity problem
that hit its parent firm Westmont investment Corp. and the
sorry state of the stock market which is still reeling from
the BW Resources scandal and the volatility of the peso.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had issued a
cease-and-desist order (CDO) to Westmont Investment for
brokering the lending of about P7 billion in funds from
over 1,000 individuals to 20 borrower-firms, most of which
were allegedly owned by Unioil stockholders.

The borrower-firms, which have the largest obligations to
investors, were mostly owned and controlled by the Cua
family of ACL Development Corp., Exequiel Robles of Sta.
Lucia and Manuel Tan of Pearlbank Securities, who were also
major shareholders of Wincorp through Unioil.

Last February, these borrower-firms defaulted on their
loans after Westmont Investment Corp.'s credit line with
the former Westmont Bank was cut.  On June 7, law firm
Raval and Lokin representing a group of Wincorp investors
accused the investment company of violating the CDO issued
by the commission.

Lawyers Apollo Sangalang and Augustine Vestil Jr. said they
discovered that some officials of Wincorp as well as
certain branch managers of Westmont Bank have committed
numerous violations of the CDO.

"Despite written demand to the contrary, Westmont
Investment continues to reinvest the interest earnings
accruing on the various investments made by our clients. In
this manner, Westmont is violating the CDO by continuing to
engage in the business of investment placement as well as
through the continued negotiation of these investments to
borrower-companies," the lawyers said.  (Philippine Daily
Inquirer  05-July-2000)


BANGKOK ENTERTAINMENT CO.: Loses more than Bt50 million
The Bangkok Entertainment Co Ltd, the operator of TV
Channel 3, has lost more than Bt50 million from its live
broadcast of "Euro 2000."

The Euro 2000 football tournament, which attracted about 60
per cent of all Thai television viewers, failed to become a
financial bonanza for Bangkok Entertainment.  The company
had found it difficult to raise money from sponsors to
match its outlay of US$2 million (about Bt80 million) for
the exclusive broadcasting rights.

Borisut Puranasamriddhi, public relations director of the
Bangkok Entertainment Co Ltd, said that the company could
not generate enough income from the live broadcast of Euro
2000 because it missed its advertising target by a wide

Initially, Bangkok Entertainment hoped to clinch 12
commercial sponsors, who would have been required to pay
Bt12 million each, Borisut said. As it turned out, the Euro
2000 could only attract five sponsors - Carlsberg, Adidas,
Red Bull, Pepsi and KLM Airlines - who together paid a
combined Bt60 million. This was less than the
target by Bt84 million, he added.

Bangkok Entertainment's total investment in Euro 2000
reached Bt110 million, including the broadcast rights.
Other costs include promotion for the programme (Bt10
million) and broadcast airing costs (Bt20 million).
Borisut said Bangkok Entertainment originally aimed to
attract international sponsors, who were already sponsoring
the event in the European market. But the European sponsors
did not believe there would be a huge audience response for
Euro 2000.

Only two major European sponsors - Carlsberg and Adidas -
bought the advertising package. Each package came with 31
minutes of commercials for the whole Euro 2000, or one
minute per match. This cost a total of Bt12 million.  This
package could not be sold to official sponsors of Euro 2000
in Europe such as Coca-Cola, Fuji Film, Hyundai, JVC,
Master Card, McDonald's, Philips, Pringles, PSINet,
PlayStation, and

Borisut said after the conclusion of Euro 2000 broadcast,
Channel 3 has gained a better image as a leading sports
channel.  (The Nation  05-July-2000)

BANGKOK EXPRESSWAY: Creditors to consolidate loans
Bangkok Expressway Plc (BECL) has scrapped plans to issue
domestic debentures worth 40 billion baht as its creditors
have agreed to consolidate their loans to the company.

Under the new loan contract, totalling 40.4 billion baht,
13 creditors led by Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai Bank agreed
to merge their loans into one contract with the same
payment period and the same interest rate.  The amended
contract was signed yesterday between the creditors and
BECL, averting the need for a bond issue to refinance the
debt.  The loan payment period for the new contract will be
extended from 2009 to 2012.

Panit Dunnvatanachit, a vice-president with Bangkok Bank,
said that under the new contract, all creditors had agreed
to an interest charge five percentage points above the
minimum lending rate. Annual repayments would be based on
the company's projected revenue.  Mr Panit said the
creditors would also allow the company to use part of its
revenue as working capital.

The proportions of the loan payment and working capital
would be based on the annual financial status of the
company.  He said that after overcoming the economic
crisis, the company had learned that the expressway
business differed from other businesses, in that it
depended heavily on consumer behaviour.

"From time to time, BECL has been classified as a good
debtor as it had kept contact with the creditors. So we
believe that its revenue projections will be accurate," Mr
Panit said.

Supong Chayutsahakij, BECL's managing director, said
creditors had disagreed with the debenture plan to
refinance loans because interest rates in the money market
were very low, around 8% for minimum lending rates.  Mr
Supong said that since all the assets of the company had
been pledged as collateral with creditors, if BECL were to
issue bonds it would have to refinance all existing loans.

Otherwise, he said, the creditors would not allow the
company to redeem the assets to back the bonds.  Mr Panit
said that no radical restructuring was required because
creditors viewed that BECL, with its healthy cashflow, was
financially sound enough to comfortably service its

However, creditors have set a ceiling for the company's
debt-to-equity ratio at 2.75 from 2000 to 2002. The ceiling
would be set at 2.5 in 2003 and 2004, and from 2007 onward,
a ceiling of 2.0 would be applied.  Mr Supong said BECL
would be able to repay 50 million baht in loan principal
this year.

The company planned to pay 100 million baht of loan
principal a year in 2001 and 2002, 720 million in 2003 and
2.285 billion baht in 2004.  After that, he said, the
amount of repayments would range above two billion baht
each year until the debts were all repaid.

He said BECL might be able to retire all its debt faster
than the timeframe set in the contract if the number of
vehicles using the expressways reached 600,000 a day, and
the loan interest rate remained below 10%.  Mr Supong said
BECL forecast the number of vehicles using expressways
would grow by 3-4% next year. (Bangkok Post  06-July-2000)

BEER THAI: Denies using unfair trade practices
Beer Thai (1991) Co, the brewer of Chang beer, denies using
unfair trade practices against its rivals.

The complaint by the Consumer Protection Club led by
veteran marketer Seri Wong-montha follows claims by Chang's
arch-rival, the Boon Rawd Brewery Co, that Beer Thai was
using unfair tactics by forcing dealers to buy four dozen
bottles of Chang for every one dozen bottles of white
spirits supplied.

The dispute between Chang and Singha is one of two cases
pending before the Trade Competition Committee.
Beer Thai said in an official statement this week that the
club's claim that the company's tactics were damaging
consumers was unfair, unethical and intended to destroy the
firm's image.

A Boon Rawd Brewery source denied Singha was behind the
club's allegation.  Boon Rawd is a major customer of Dr
Seri's Better Impact Co, a marketing and public relations
consultancy.  (Bangkok Post  05-July-2000)

Internet Knowledge Service Centre (Internet KSC) is
reportedly facing a new round of "friend-turns-foe" among
its management team. This time the rift is between the
company's two founders, chairman Srisakdi Chammornman and
president Kanokwan Wongvattanasin.

Internet KSC will hold its shareholders' meeting on Monday
to discuss the restructuring of its management.  A source
from the company said the fate of both executives will be
decided during the meeting.  After the meeting, MIH, a
Nasdaq-listed media company and a new shareholder in
Internet KSC, will take control of the company, the source

MIH is expected to help KSC Commercial Internet, an
Internet service-provider (ISP) of Internet KSC, compete
with foreign ISPs.  Srisakdi yesterday said Kanok-wan and
her brother, Bandhit, would resign from the company at the
meeting to embark on a new business.  However, he declined
to elaborate on the supposed resignation or the reports of
their conflict.  Kanokwan, meanwhile, said only that a
major corporate shake-up will take place at the meeting.

"Nobody knows now what will happen until the meeting's
resolution is hammered out," she said.

The reported rift between Ka-nokwan and Srisakdi emerged
after Srisakdi began to take a less public role with the
company, and as the two co-founders together fought
minority shareholder Jas-mine International on another
front.  The three major shareholders have been locked in a
legal dispute since early this year.

Jasmine asked the Civil Court on February 23 to block
Kanok-wan and Srisakdi from selling their joint 75-per-cent
stake in MKSC, Internet KSC's holding company, to MIH.
Jasmine said the deal would violate company rules that
stipulate than any change to the cor-porate structure
needed the unanimous consent of all the shareholders.
The case is still pending.  (The Nation  05-July-2000)

SIAM YAMAHA: Japanese reorganization, debt cut, fresh funds
Yamaha Motors of Japan has replaced several top executives
at Siam Yamaha after buying a majority stake in the local
firm earlier this year.

Yamaha Motors' Mazahiko Shibuya has become co-chairman,
along with Khunying Phornthip Narongdej.  Meanwhile,
Toshimori Suzuki was transferred from Yamaha Motors to take
over as president. He succeeds Praphan Phornthanavasin.
Suzuki previously ran Yamaha's operations in Indonesia.

The restructuring followed the acquisition of a majority
stake in Siam Yamaha by Yamaha Motors in March. Yamaha
Motors raised its stake in Siam Yamaha from 28 per cent to
51 per cent. Its local partner, KPN Group, saw its stake
fall from 72 to 15 per cent.

After the acquisition, Siam Yamaha's debt was reduced from
Bt13 billion to Bt3.2 billion, and Yamaha Motors injected
Bt3 billion, including Bt1.6 billion for a capital
increase.   According to a source at Siam Yamaha, Praphan
has become the company's executive vice president and will
concentrate on marketing and sales activities.

Meanwhile, Phornthip's son Kris Narongdej now serves as
Siam Yamaha's executive director. Kris previously was vice-
chairman, the same position held by Phornthip.  Another
source said Yamaha Motors has sent a number ofexecutives to
work closely with Thai staff in every division of the
company. About 60 per cent of the Japanese executives are
working on the production side, including local
manufacturing and distributing and the development of
product designs.

"We are now working on the details of the overall
restructuring with a target to have them completely
finalised in September. After that, we will be ready for a
jump-start in the Thai market," the source said.

Phornthip, Kris, and Praphan yesterday attended the opening
ceremony for the new KPN-ST Logistics' operation centre in
Samut Prakan. KPN-ST is a joint venture between KPN Group,
the minority shareholder in Siam Yamaha, and ST Logistics,
a division of Singapore-based Sembawang Corporation

KPN-ST managing director Allan Poh said the company intends
to become Thailand's largest logistics firm, with revenue
of Bt1 billion, within the next five years. Last year KPN-
ST recorded revenue of Bt110 million, and projects revenue
of Bt160 million to Bt180 million this year.

KPN-ST has invested Bt50 million this year to upgrade its
office building, equipment and facilities, and information
technology. The investment was made to prepare for an
expected upturn in the economy, Poh said.

Poh said the company will invest another Bt50 million next
year to upgrade its computer hardware and software.  KPN-ST
also plans to develop two more provincial distribution
centres in Chiang Mai and Rayong this year and next year,
respectively. A fourth centre may be opened in the South,
perhaps in Surat Thani or Yala. (The Nation  06-July-2000)

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