TCRAP_Public/000725.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

             Tuesday, July 25, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 143


* A U S T R A L I A *

COMMONWEATH BANK OF AUST.: Takes stake in creditor
FLUOR DANIEL: Anaconda boosts claim to $1 billion
NORTH, LTD.: White knight emerging
VERSACE (SYDNEY): In $1.3M debt crisis, receivership
YIMUYN MANJERR: Founders on gold fallout

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

GIANT DRY CLEANERS LTD: Facing winding up petition
GUANDONG INT'L TRUST: Liquidators to auction shares
NICE ISLAND DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
SMART FULL DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
SO MOU KEE VEGETABLE CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition
TUNG FOOK CHINESE WINE(1982)CO: Facing winding up petition
UPTOWN ENTERPRISES CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT BANK BALI: Indonesia approves capital rescue
PT DATAKOM: S&P's lowers credit rating
PT LANDASAN TERUSAN SENTOSA: Seeks payment suspension

* K O R E A *

CENTRAL BANKING CORP.: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
CENTRAL BANKING CORP.: Struggling to stay afloat
HANS MERCHANT BANK: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
HYUNDAI ENGINEERING & CONST.: Struggling to stay afloat
H&S INVESTMENT BANK: Struggling to stay afloat
KOREA INC.: Struggling to stay afloat
KOREA MERCHANT BANKING: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
KOREA MERCHANT BANKING: Struggling to stay afloat
SAEHAN GROUP: Struggling to stay afloat

* M A L A Y S I A *

BESCORP INDUSTRIES: New company to be formed for assets
DAMANSARA REALTY: To revise revamp plan
ORIENTAL BANK: Value may be less than 1/3 paid-up capital

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

PHIL.NAT.BANK: S'holders OK capital call,share dilution
REYNOLDS PHIL.CORP.: Bourse probes Reynolds stock trade
URBAN BANK: BanCom to convert more deposits into equity

* T H A I L A N D *

BANK OF ASIA: Posts first-half loss
BANK OF AYUDHYA: Posts first-half loss
BANKTHAI: Posts 6-mo. loss
COUNTRY PLC: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
EASTERN WIRE PLC: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
JASMINE INT'L PCL: Signs debt-rescheduling pact
KRUNG THAI BANK: 2nd-quarter loss narrows
SAHAVIRIYA OA PLC: Reports Debt Restructuring Progress
THAI CANE PAPER: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
THAI LUBE BASE: Debt rehab plan moves forward
THAI MILITARY BANK: Posts first-half loss
THAI OIL POWER: Eyes refinancing of debt
THAI PARA-XYLENE: Debt rehab plan moves forward
UOB RADANASIN BANK: Posts first-half loss


COMMONWEATH BANK OF AUST.: Takes stake in creditor
Data Advantage Limited announced in June 2000 a joint
venture with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Limited
(CBA) in something of a coup, as the CBA will join Data
Advantage by taking a third stake in its debt recovery
business, Alliance Holdings.

Alliance will then become the CBA's exclusive creditor.
Data's shares have gained 10 per cent in the weeks since
the deal was announced, closing at $A4.40 on 19 July 2000
after peaking at $A$.80 on 10 July. Alliance's expansion
into banking debt collection is not expected to stop with
the CBA deal.  (ABIX - The Australian Financial Review  20-

FLUOR DANIEL: Anaconda boosts claim to $1 billion
Anaconda Nickel has lifted its claim on Fluor Daniel to $1
billion from $300 million, as the dispute over who pays for
design modifications at the giant Murrin Murrin project
heads to arbitration.

The news came as Anaconda's London-based insurer Lloyds
delivered a $113 million payout over construction delays at
the Murrin Murrin laterite nickel project, near Laverton in
Western Australia.  The settlement, after a lengthy period
of arbitration, is a curtain-raiser to the main
negotiations between Fluor and Anaconda, which have so far
failed mediation.

It exceeded the original $96 million sum claimed by
Anaconda and resolves all other claims under insurance
policies taken out by Murrin Murrin's joint-venture
partners, Anaconda (60 per cent) and Glencore
International.  The policies related to liquidated damages
for delays in completing and ramping up the project.

Anaconda's argument in the case was that Fluor had failed
to deliver the proper engineering design and materials
selection.  Lloyds argued there was new and unproven
technology contained in the design and Anaconda had not
disclosed some issues to the insurer.

Anaconda chief executive Andrew Forrest said the payout
will allow the company to apply some pressure in
negotiations with Fluor. This is rejected by Fluor, with
the engineer saying the settlement has no bearing on

The payout comes as speculation mounts that Anaconda will
have to source significant amounts of cash to get Murrin
Murrin out of the woods.  Murrin Murrin had reached 32 per
cent capacity at the end of May, 15 months behind schedule,
and production costs are believed to be unsustainably high.
Mr Forrest said the $1 billion claim was based on costs to
fix the plant and lost earnings. (The Age  22-July-2000)

NORTH, LTD.: White knight emerging
The Foreign Investment Review Board is set to give the
green light to Rio Tinto's $2.8 billion hostile bid for
North Ltd as rumours swept the market of a possible
friendly counter-offer.

It is believed North and Japan's biggest steel maker,
Nippon Steel, one of its partners in its Pilbara iron ore
mines, were working hard late yesterday to find a "white
knight" to launch a rival bid.  Speculation that South
Africa's Anglo American had already agreed to mount a
sharemarket raid sparked a late flurry in North shares,
which closed up 16› at $3.98, 18› above Rio's bid price.
Shares in Anglo American fell 3.6 per cent in London trade.

Advisers to North and Rio Tinto were still at their offices
late last night awaiting confirming that a rival bidder was
seeking North stock from institutions in Europe and North
America.  London brokers said that the sudden surge in
North's share price in early European trading could be
partly due to expectations of FIRB approval and the view
that Rio Tinto would be forced to lift its bid.

Macquarie Equities analyst Mr Paul Barnes said: "It's hard
to say whether there's any substance in the rumour, but it
seems to be fairly strong."

Macquarie Corporate Finance is advising Rio, and Merrill
Lynch is advising North.  Market analysts suggested Anglo
might be prepared to bid up to $4.20 a share, valuing North
at more than $3 billion.  Nippon Steel is one of
Australia's biggest iron ore customers.

It has been working against the Rio Tinto takeover bid
because of concerns about its iron ore supply and possible
price implications if Australia is reduced from three to
two suppliers.  It has offered incentives to possible
counter-bidders believed to involve iron ore contracts
totalling 16 million tonnes and up to 6 million tonnes of
coal contracts, currently held by Rio Tinto.

The value of these inducements is about $1 billion.
The most active buyers in North stock yesterday were Perth-
based broker Hartley Poynton, ABN Amro and Deutsche Bank.
Slightly less than 1 per cent of North's stock was traded.
JB Were and Son sold 1.5 million North shares into the
strengthening price, while CSFB traded 859,000 shares,
selling 600,000 and buying 259,000.

Mr Barnes said Anglo American was probably the only company
that could take on Rio Tinto, but an Anglo American
spokeswoman in South Africa declined to comment.  North Ltd
has consistently stated a white-knight bidder could emerge.
(Australian Financial Review  21-July-2000)

VERSACE (SYDNEY): In $1.3M debt crisis, receivership
The Sydney Gianni Versace exhibition has been placed into
receivership due to its more than $A1.3 million in debts.
Enterprise Versace has been bankrupted.

Unpaid creditors include the National Australia Bank,
designers Mud Australia, Mitchell English, Momo Road,
Personal Space and builder, Modern Art, trying to recover
the highest debt amount. Enterprise Versace had been
established by Jeremy Bayard from Melbourne. There have
been, however, to few visitors to see the exhibition. (ABIX
- The Daily Telegraph  20-July-2000)

YIMUYN MANJERR: Founders on gold fallout
Yimuyn Manjerr, a resources subsidiary of construction
giant Multiplex Constructions has fallen into

It comes in the wake of its surprise withdrawal of funding
from the General Gold-managed Yimuyn Manjerr gold project
in the Northern Territory.  Multiplex Constructions
directors Geoff Allen and Andrew Roberts surrendered
control of the subsidiary Yimuyn Manjerr (Investments) Pty
Ltd to Sydney insolvency accountant Max Prentice on 8 July
2000. Australian Securities and Investments Commission
records show the company was registered until 22 June 2000
as Multiplex Resources Pty Ltd, a name that it had gone by
since March 1989. (ABIX - The West Australian  20-July-

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

GIANT DRY CLEANERS LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on August 2 on the petition of
Coburg Investment Company Limited for the winding up of
Giant Dry Cleaners Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before August 1.

GUANDONG INT'L TRUST: Liquidators to auction shares
Liquidators of China's Guangdong International Trust and
Investment Corp (Gitic) will auction its domestic
institutional shares in three Chinese listed firms, the
official China Business Times said yesterday.

However, it said there were disputes about the prices at
which bidding would start.  It quoted auctioneers as saying
20.6 million shares held by Gitic in Shenzhen-listed
Guangdong Electric Power Co and 5.2 million shares in white
goods maker Guangdong Macro Co Z would be auctioned on July
28. Another 60 million shares in Shanghai-listed garment
maker Xingfu Industry Co would be auctioned on Aug 3, it
said, quoting the Southern Office of the Panlong Enterprise
Auction Office, which is responsible for the auction.
(Business Times, Reuters  22-July-2000)

NICE ISLAND DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on August 16 on the petition of
China Weal Property Management Limited for the winding up
of Nice Island Development Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before August 15.

SMART FULL DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on August 23 on the petition of Sin
Hua Bank Limited for the winding up of Smart Full
Development Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before August 22.

SO MOU KEE VEGETABLE CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 14 on the petition of
Lo Kwun Kau for the winding up of So Mou Kee Vegetable
Company Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed
on or before September 13.

TUNG FOOK CHINESE WINE(1982)CO: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on August 16 on the petition of
Guangdong Foodstuffs Import & Export (Group) Corporation
for the winding up of Tung Fook Chinese Wine (1982) Company
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before August 15.

UPTOWN ENTERPRISES CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 6 on the petition of
Sin Hua Bank Limited for the winding up of Uptown
Enterprises Company Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before September 5.


PT BANK BALI: Indonesia approves capital rescue
Parliament has approved a plan to recapitalize PT Bank
Bali, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether the troubled
lender would survive.

The approval, passed Saturday, allows the government to
proceed with its plan for the bank to raise more than 5
trillion rupiah ($566.5 million) in a rights offering,
using the capital to offset bad debt. The move should also
expedite a resumption of trade in Bank Bali's shares on the
Jakarta Stock Exchange after a week's suspension.

The bank appeared to be headed for closure after Anwar
Nasution, acting governor of the central bank, said that
the government did not have enough money to resuscitate it.
He said a delay in the recapitalization plan, owing to a
lawsuit brought against the government by Bank Bali's
former owner, Rudy Ramli, drove up the cost of
recapitalizing the bank. That suit has since been settled.

Lawmakers also approved a plan to recapitalize Bank Rakyat
Indonesia and Bank Tabungan Negara, which will allow the
government to complete its bank recapitalization plan.
Harry Wiguna, director of the Jakarta Stock Exchange, said
the exchange would meet Monday to decide whether to put
Bank Bali back on the trading board.  (International Herald
Tribune 24-July-2000)

PT DATAKOM: S&P's lowers credit rating
Standard and Poor's on Friday lowered its long-term
corporate credit rating on Indonesia's PT Datakom Asia from
'CC' to selective default, saying the pay-TV company was in
financial distress.

"The rating action reflects Datakom's current financial
distress and the continuing high level of operating
vulnerability in the pay-TV industry amid a still very
uncertain economic and political environment in Indonesia,"
the ratings agency said.

A Standards and Poor's statement said Datakom's long-term
credit rating was removed from Creditwatch, where it was
first placed on January 27, 1998, and that the 'CC' rating
on Pratam Datakom Asia BV's 260 million dollar senior notes
due in 2005 remained on Creditwatch with negative
implications.  Datakom, it said, was in default on most of
its debt obligations including its senior bank debt.

"Although the company is still in negotiations with its
creditors to restructure its debt, prospects for any
meaningful debt workout are slim," the statement said.

It added that in addition to its financial problems, the
company faced "extremely difficult" operating conditions,
with a small base of some 22,000 subscribers as of May this
year, amid uncertain prospects.  (China Daily 21- July-

PT LANDASAN TERUSAN SENTOSA: Seeks payment suspension
Ongko Group unit PT Landasan Terusan Sentosa is seeking
suspension of debt payments in response to a bankruptcy
petition filed by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency
(IBRA), Sutrisno, a director of Landasan said.

Sutrisno said Landasan Terusan owed only 139 bln rupiah to
IBRA instead of 270 bln as mentioned in IBRA's petition.
He said verification of the amount of debt will be carried
out after the debt payment suspension is approved.  (AFX
News Limited  21-July-2000)


CENTRAL BANKING CORP.: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
HANS MERCHANT BANK: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
KOREA MERCHANT BANKING: Gov't gives mandate to improve ops
The government has handed down a mandate to three ailing
merchant banking companies to improve their operations. If
they fail to honor the government directive, they face
forced mergers or stronger measures to upgrade their
financial status.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) announced Friday
that it imposed the mandate on Korea Merchant Banking,
Central Banking Corp. and Hans Merchant Bank, as each of
the companies?capital adequacy ratio was found below 8% as
of the end of June. The FSC said the capital adequacy ratio
of Korea Merchant Banking stood at 2.38%, while that
Central Banking reached 7.26%.

Hans Merchant's operations have been suspended for three
months because of a liquidity shortage. The FSC said the
capital adequacy ratio for Hans dropped to ?.39% at the end
of June, dropping by 10.48% from the end of March. These
merchant banking companies will have to increase their
capital to upgrade their capital adequacy ratio over 8% by
October 20 to remain in operation.

FSC explained that the capital adequacy ratio for five
other merchant companies were substantially higher and
robust. These include 22.72% at Regent Banking, 15.99% at
Kumho Merchant Banking, 13.38% at Ulsan Merchant Banking
Corp., 13.13% at Tong Yang Merchant Banking Corp and 9.61%
at Korean French Banking Corp. (Digital Chosun  21-July-

CENTRAL BANKING CORP.: Struggling to stay afloat
HYUNDAI ENGINEERING & CONST.: Struggling to stay afloat
H&S INVESTMENT BANK: Struggling to stay afloat
KOREA INC.: Struggling to stay afloat
KOREA MERCHANT BANKING: Struggling to stay afloat
SAEHAN GROUP: Struggling to stay afloat
The Korean economy is still very volatile, and a number of
companies are struggling to stay afloat. For Korea Inc. --
crippled three years ago by its deepest recession in
decades -- this week was one of the toughest since it took
a $57 billion international bailout and introduced a raft
of financial reforms.  For investors, it was a reminder
that while Korea may be rebounding -- its economy grew 12.8
percent on year in the first quarter -- thousands of its
companies are still struggling to pay their bills and won't
recover any time soon.

Korea's H&S Investment Bank was suspended for three months
and the government said two more merchant banks don't have
adequate capital.  As H&S Investment -- formerly known as
Asian Banking -- struggled to pay its debts, the benchmark
Kospi stock index fell 5.4 percent for the week, its
biggest weekly decline in more than a month. In the past
two weeks international investors have sold 265 billion won
($238 million) more shares than they bought.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. -- a unit of Korea's
No.1 industrial group -- is trying to sell property and
shares to raise as much as $1.3 billion to repay debt.
Meantime, Saehan Group, a mid-sized textile and video
cassette business, is asking creditors to rescheduling its
debts to stave off bankruptcy.

If any of these vast companies stumble, it could lead to
the loss of thousands of jobs -- Hyundai Construction alone
has 24,000 staff -- and the collapse of a host of smaller
companies across the economy. "Korea could be a very
volatile market, depending on the outcome of reforms," said
Bruno Lebada, head of the capital market team at Credit
Lyonnais Securities. "There are still risks here."

Indeed it's problems at the smaller companies that are
partly to blame for the merchant banks' woes. Since 1997,
the number of merchant banks, firms which specialize in
short term lending, has dwindled to eight, from more than
20.  Aside from H&S, the third to be suspended or closed
this year, the Financial Supervisory Commission today said
capital levels at Central Banking Corp. and Korea Merchant
Banking were below the statutory minimum required.

As of June 30, none of the three firms' ratios of capital
to risk-weighted assets met the minimum 8 percent level,
the regulator said.  The weak merchant banks have a month
to submit a management reform plan and three months to
increase their capital base, said Jung Chae Woong, director
of the FSC's non-bank restructuring team.

"There is a possibility that more merchant banks could be
suspended" as mass withdrawals of deposits continue, said
Terence Lim, banking analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in
Seoul.  Standard and Poor's yesterday said Korea will have
to spend 140 trillion won, or one third of the nation's
gross domestic product, to clean up its battered financial
industry. That's 20 trillion won more than the rating
company's previous estimate.

"The Korean banking systems is ailing, as corporate
restructuring is slow," S&P said in a report. "Incomplete
private sector restructuring and low levels of bank
capitalization continue to constrain the recovery of
Korea's financial sector."

Even the government won't rule out further aid. "We may
need more money later this year, depending on how much the
government needs to spend to recapitalize banks," said FSC
Chairman Lee Yong Keun.

All that does little to bolster the confidence of foreign
investors. H&S' latest problems stem from a failed stake
sale. Foreign companies including units of France's BNP
Paribas SS and Germany's Commerzbank AG, this week decided
not to buy $30 million worth of new shares from H&S.
(Bloomberg  21-July-2000)


BESCORP INDUSTRIES: New company to be formed for assets
A new company ("Newco") will be incorporated to facilitate
the transfer of the listed status of financially-troubled
Bescorp Industries Bhd to the vendors of Hua Yang
Development Sdn Bhd.

Bescorp, which has been placed under the care of special
administrators, told the KLSE it had proposed that Hua Yang
and its units be injected into a Newco for a total purchase
price of RM172.8mil. The deal will be settled with the
issuance of 101.87 million newco shares of RM1 each at
RM1.50 apiece, and 20 million redeemable unsecured loan
stocks together with an equivalent number of detachable

"The company has entered into an MoU with the vendors of
Hua Yang with the intention of setting out the key areas of
agreement pending finalisation of the proposed
restructuring scheme," it said.

The key areas of agreement expressed in the MoU are subject
to and conditional on a due diligence conducted by the
special administrators.  (The Star  24-July-2000)

DAMANSARA REALTY: To revise revamp plan
Damansara Realty Bhd has proposed to revise the terms of
its proposed reconstruction and restructuring exercise in
view of possible benefits to the group's future cashflow
and profits arising therefrom.

Under its capital reduction, it has proposed that its
existing share capital of RM781.69mil comprising 781.69
million ordinary shares of RM1 each be reduced to
RM234.51mil comprising of the same number of shares of 30
sen each.

The reduction of 70 sen for every existing share would give
rise to a credit of RM547.18mil which would be used to
reduce the company's audited accumulated losses.
Thereafter, its share capital would be consolidated on the
basis of 3.3 ordinary shares of 30 each into one new share
of RM1 each resulting in a paid-up capital of RM234.51mil
comprising of 234.51 million shares of RM1 each.

Under its proposed share exchange, the company has
suggested that it be implemented via a scheme of
arrangement whereby existing shareholders of the company
exchange their ordinary shares into new newco shares and
warrants, on the basis of two newco shares and one warrant
for every two shares in the company held after the capital
reduction.  As a result, Damansara Realty will be a wholly-
owned subsidiary of the newco.  (The Star 24-July-2000)

ORIENTAL BANK: Value may be less than 1/3 paid-up capital
The price tag for Oriental Bank Bhd could be less than one-
third of its paid-up capital of RM370 million if the offer
by EON Bank to the former's employees under the merger
exercise is any indication to go by.

It is learnt that EON Bank had offered 32 sen for each
share held by Oriental Bank's employees that were issued to
them under the employees' share option scheme (ESOS).
Based on such figure, Oriental Bank would have been valued
at RM118 million. The low valuation is believed to be due
to the huge losses suffered by the bank.

However, this is unlikely to go down well with the
shareholders of Oriental Bank, which had expected a much
higher amount because of the premiums commanded by banking
stocks.  Despite this, banking analysts say the price tag
is likely to be lower than this amount of 32 sen a share
considering Oriental Bank's net tangible asset (NTA) of
only 6.5 sen per share or RM24 million for the bank based
on its accounts as at Mar 31, 1999.

While a tussle over pricing is currently taking center
stage in the bank merger exercise, analysts say that a rule
of thumb valuation basis of 1.7 to two times NTA can
generally be applied.  Even if Oriental Bank were valued at
twice the NTA, the acquisition price would only amount to
around RM50 million. However, analysts caution that
negotiations are still ongoing and EON might be willing to
pay a higher premium for the bank.

Oriental Bank is a 75.17 per cent owned subsidiary of
listed Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd and has
64 branches across the country. According to the results
released, the bank had posted a pre-tax loss of RM315
million for the nine months ended Dec 31, 1999.

Staff of Oriental Bank, who had exercised their ESOS, is
concerned about the offer since EON Bank announced that it
would be buying over the business rather than an equity
stake in the bank.  Employees who had bought shares in
Oriental Bank under the option scheme over the years
suddenly are unable to cash out their investment because
the bank is not listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

An Oriental Bank employee, who declined to be identified,
says EON Bank had offered 32 sen for all outstanding shares
owned by the staff. It is believed that the Oriental Bank's
employees owned a total of 23 million shares, which came
from ESOS.

"If we take up the offer, we will lose a lot of money. But
we can't hold on to the shares either. Without the core
banking business, there's no point holding on to the
shares. Furthermore, because it is not listed, we may have
a problem selling the shares later on," says the staff.

Upset over their potential losses, some staff lodged a
complaint with the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).
NUBE's general secretary Gopala Krishnan confirmed that
NUBE had received a verbal complaint and are processing the
case. Gopala hopes to be able to call a meeting between the
parties to resolve the matter soon.  Officials of EON Bank
could not be reached for any comment.

Analysts say that the affected OBB staff may end up with
little choice but to accept the offer from EON Bank. Or at
best try to negotiate for a better price.  As EON Bank is
only acquiring the business of Oriental Bank, it is not
obliged to buy-back the shares from the staff or other
shareholders of the bank.

"When you buy equity, you are buying the company and the
payment is made to the shareholders who will have a direct
claim on the consideration. But when you buy the business,
you are only buying a part of the company's assets and
liabilities, so payment is made to the company and not to
the shareholders," explains an analyst.

Hence, in the latter case, shareholders will only have an
indirect claim to the consideration via their shareholding,
he adds.  (The Edge 21- July-2000)


East Asia Capital Corp., an investment house owned by the
Eduque and Ortigas families, may be slapped a fine for
failing to maintain the required paid-up capital for
investment houses, according to an official of the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC official said an audit being conducted on East Asia
showed that the investment house has fallen short of the
required P300-million paid-up capital owing to tight
liquidity problems as a result of the sudden pre-
termination of investments of its clients.  The Brokers and
Exchange Department, a SEC unit that monitors the
operations of investment houses, is preparing a cease-and-
desist order against East Asia on the basis of complaints
lodged by several investors and findings that the
investment house has engaged in multiple sales of
commercial papers.

Several investors have asked the SEC to compel East Asia to
issue the commercial papers registered in their names to
recover their investments.  Some investors said they bought
real registered long-term commercial papers from East Asia
but upon the date of renewal, the investment house had
replaced the papers with its own promissory notes without
informing them.  (Manila Times 24-July-2000)

PHIL.NAT.BANK: S'holders OK capital call,share dilution
Tobacco and beer tycoon Lucio C. Tan will pay 6.62 billion
Philippine pesos (PhP) (US$150 million at PhP44.51:US$1) in
cash for his recent purchase of the State's 30% stake in
Philippine National Bank (PNB), instead of an earlier plan
to pay it on installment.

With the remittance, the National Government expects to
solve its dilemma on where to source funds to plug its
targeted PhP62.5-billion budget gap this year.  Finance
Undersecretary Cornelio C. Gison said representatives from
Mr. Tan's group have discussed with Finance officials the
possibility of the full payment this September. The Tan
camp thinks paying for the purchase on installment would be
"more expensive" as this requires presenting a letter of

"They approached us and they are considering paying in
cash. It makes sense since a letter of credit will be more
expensive for them," Mr. Gison told BusinessWorld last

Mr. Tan, through his three-month old holding firm Starbuck
Equities Corp., emerged as the lone bidder for the
government's PNB shares last Wednesday.  Mr. Tan will now
control around 76% of PNB.  His group offered to buy the
block for PhP6.62 billion, or PhP100 apiece to be paid on
installment over one and a half years.

Starbuck last Wednesday paid the government PhP600 million
as downpayment for the PNB shares. The firm said it may pay
the PhP6-billion balance by July 18, 2002.  Anticipating
that cash will not come in this year, the Department of
Finance said it will offer Starbuck's letter of credit to
investors to get the badly needed PhP6 billion within the
year.  The government is relying on the payment to help
plug its budget gap, which has already ballooned to PhP47
billion as of June.

The PNB sale was also done to fulfil the government's
commitment with the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank. Both institutions want the State to get out of
the commercial banking business.  Mr. Gison over the
weekend said the Committee on Privatization and the policy-
setting Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral (Central Bank
of the Philippines) have approved last Friday the transfer
of ownership of the shares to Mr. Tan, making him the
majority owner of the bank.

"We looked at the application and whether it conforms with
the requirements under the existing rules," Bangko Sentral
Gov. Rafael B. Buenaventura said. "We approved it since
they qualify under both the old and new General Banking

He said PNB should now concentrate on implementing its
eight-point rehabilitation plan to return the bank to
profitability.  At a special stockholders' meeting last
Friday, PNB shareholders also approved a controversial
capital-raising exercise meant to revitalize the ailing
bank and cement Mr. Tan's hold.

With no dissenters, shareholders approved the reduction in
the bank's par value to PhP60 apiece from PhP100. The lower
par value will make it easier for the bank to sell new
shares at a price closer to its present market value of
PhP56.50 per share.  The move, however, drew sharp
criticism from some minority shareholders, notably Hong
Kong-based Templeton Asset Management Corp., which is
facing a dilution of its 12.9% stake in the event it passes
up its right to subscribe to new shares.

PNB needs to raise PhP10 billion in fresh capital to return
to profitability and comply with central bank regulations
on equity-to-asset ratios.  PNB stockholders also approved
the issuance of stock warrants meant to augment its
capital. PNB will offer 171.85 million new shares -- five
warrants for every six shares held by stockholders -- at
PhP60 apiece. It will also offer one warrant for every one
rights share held at the same price.

PNB president Feliciano L. Miranda told reporters he
expects the bank to post a net income of PhP100 million by
yearend and PhP1.5 billion by end-2001.  As of the first
half, he said the bank reported a net loss of PhP1.2
billion and non-performing loans of 35% of total loan
portfolio. However, the bank managed to post its first net
profit in June, at P40 million, after a streak of losses
since 1996.  (Business World  24-July-2000)

REYNOLDS PHIL.CORP.: Bourse probes Reynolds stock trade
The Philippine Stock Exchange has put Reynolds Philippines
Corp. under close scrutiny on suspicion that the company
might have been illegally trading its own shares.

The PSE said the company could have resorted to "kiting"
and "wash sale" activities to influence the price of its
shares and it has threatened to suspend the trading of
Reynolds shares unless the company can prove otherwise.

Reynolds has repeatedly stated that it was not aware of any
new material information that may affect the value and
trading of its shares. Based on the company's latest
disclosure dated July 20, corporate information officer
Maria Olivia Yabut-Misa said: "We have repeatedly stated
that we did not engage in any illegal trading of (Reynolds)
shares or any shares whatsoever."

But the company has yet to give a satisfactory explanation
on the preliminary findings of the PSE. Last Friday, the
PSE elevated the probe to the level of its Business Conduct
and Ethics Committee.

Based on its audit of Reynolds shares, PSE president Ramon
Garcia said the company might have engaged in "kiting," a
practice which allows temporary funding or bridge financing
through the advance payment of a selling transaction.  At
the same time, Garcia said there were indications that the
company might be guilty of "wash sales" as the buyers and
sellers of Reynolds shares appeared to be one and the same

Garcia reminded Reynolds that under existing regulations,
it was unlawful to create a false or misleading appearance
of active trading in any security registered on the
exchange or to effect any transaction which involved no
change in the beneficial ownership.

Although the scale of the alleged price manipulation
attempts behind Reynolds was not as alarming as the
controversial BW Resources Corp. fiasco, market players
said the apparent attempt to support Reynolds shares has
been going on for a longer time, even before the BW scandal

Some brokers were wondering about the motive behind
Reynolds' crusade to support its own share price, but
market sources said the company, which was currently
undergoing a restructuring program with creditor-banks, had
some shares pledged as collateral to these banks.

To maintain the value of these collateral, they said
Reynolds shares would have to be maintained at a certain
level to be acceptable to the banks, which were now
required by the Bangko Sentral to implement the marking-to-
market of their securities holdings and other assets.

Other sources said most of the Reynolds shares being traded
were held by its retirement fund and holding company, which
means that if the price manipulation attempts were proven,
the obvious culprit would be the company itself and not
just any big investor which had picked on Reynolds for
speculative play. However, some brokers said it would take
a lot of work for the PSE to prove such suspicions,
specially since the scheme would not have been possible
without the brokers knowing they were being used for the

During the last 12 months, the following brokers were the
biggest buyers of Reynolds shares: Jaka Securities Corp.,
HDI Securities Inc., Mark Securities Corp. and Magnum Intl.
Securities Inc. On the other hand, the biggest sellers were
GK Goh Securities and Stocks Inc., Magnum International
Securities, All Asiasecurities Management Corp. and Guild
Securities Inc.

Reynolds was established in 1954 by Reynolds International
Inc. of the United States. It manufactures and distributes
aluminum sheets, foil and extruded sections used in the
packaging, container, construction, appliance manufacturing
and vehicle manufacturing industries (Philippine Daily
Inquuirer 24-July-2000)

URBAN BANK: BanCom to convert more deposits into equity
The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) said
Friday Bank of Commerce (BanCom) is in talks with
depositors of Urban Bank to convert P200 million more of
deposits into equity to increase the latter's
rehabilitation fund.

PDIC President Norberto Nazareno said the deposits for
conversion to equity could expand to about P1 billion after
BanCom signed a deal with Urban Bank's big corporate

"They are trying to convince other big depositors to
convert about P200 million of deposits into equity which
should be good for the bank," said Nazareno.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Petron Corporation (Petron)
and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) were reported to have
expressed intentions to convert P750 million, or 25% of
their deposits into equity in Urban Bank.  SMC has P1.3
billion in deposit; Petron has P1 billion; while Meralco
has P500 million.

Earlier, the government approved the bid of BanCom to take
over Urban Bank after the former tendered a better offer
than Asia United Bank, the other bidder for Urban Bank.
Under the rehabilitation plan, BanCom offered to pay Urban
Bank's liabilities in three years, 30% of which will be
paid within one year and the remaining in two years.
BanCom is expected to re-open the beleaguered bank's 28
branches by September 4.

Meanwhile, the PDIC said it is preparing to file charges of
estafa against other Urban Bank officials, including
Teodoro Borlongan and a certain Lilibeth Fajardo after they
allegedly withdrew SMC president Francisco Eizmendi's time
deposit account.

"The charges against Urban Bank officials in relation to
violations of banking laws would be filed in the coming
weeks. I think, contrary to reported claims of the
Department of Justice, we will be able to substantiate our
charges," said Nazareno.

Last April 26, the government ordered the closure of Urban
Bank due to liquidity problems. The liquidity problem was
said to have been caused by the failed investments of Urban
Bank's subsidiary Urbancorp Investment Inc.  (ABS/CBN News
Channel 22- July-2000)


BANK OF ASIA: Posts first-half loss
Bank of Asia has reported that its first-half losses almost
doubled to 3.35 billion baht, due to increased provisioning
for bad loans.

The loss compared with 1.75 billion baht losses for the
same period the previous year. The bank said its
performance had been neither consolidated nor reviewed by
auditors, with more comprehensive statements due by mid-
August.  BOA said it had set aside 3.5 billion baht against
bad debts in the period, up from 1.01 billion baht a year

Meanwhile, Thai Farmers Bank (TFB) posted second quarter
earnings of 2.2 billion baht, beating analysts' forecasts
by over 1.5 billion baht, or 245 percent. TFB posted
profits for the second consecutive time after seven
quarterly losses, as it has set aside adequate reserves for
loan losses, in line with regulatory standards.

SCB earned a net income of 714 million baht in the quarter,
compared with a net loss of 39.4 billion baht in the same
period a year earlier.  (Bloomberg, Business Daily  21-

BANK OF AYUDHYA: Posts first-half loss
THAI MILITARY BANK: Posts first-half loss
UOB RADANASIN BANK: Posts first-half loss
Despite Bank of Ayudhya's (BAY's) announcement that it has
set full loan loss provisions, banking analysts still say
the bank is not a good investment when compared with other
blue-chip banks.

Yesterday the bank reported that it met 100 per cent of its
loan loss provisions, or Bt42 billion, by the end of June,
resulting in a capital adequacy ratio of 10.5 per cent, of
which 6.8 per cent is tier-1 capital.  BAY reported a first
half net loss of Bt9.54 billion, compared with a loss of
Bt16.36 billion in the same period last year.

The bank's second quarter loss of Bt6.83 billion was mainly
due to its setting aside of funds to meet the loan loss
reserve requirement. The bank had a net loss of Bt15.29
billion in the second quarter last year. BAY's second
quarter earnings per share were-Bt3.69 a share.

Kasem Prunratanamala, head of research at BNP Prime
Peregrine Securities, said his company still had a "hold"
recommendation on BAY, saying that considering its loss
ratio, capital adequacy ratio and management team, the bank
was not as attractive as other major banks.

"BAY tried to send good news to the market [about its loan
loss provisions], but the market did not respond. Though
the bank's stock price is quite low, other major banks'
shares are also low. In the second quarter, BAY's margin
also declined. In light of these aspects, investors are
still not confident in BAY," Kasem said.

The bank's stock price yesterday closed at Bt6.20 per
share, down Bt0.10 from its opening level.  Kasem added
that BAY's tier-1 capital following the full provision was
too low. , at around 5.5-6 per cent. The bank still needs
to increase capital by at least Bt8 billion, he said. He
estimated the bank's loss ratio at 45 per cent, which is in
line with the industry. However, if the actual ratio is
higher than expected, it will be bad news for BAY.

Adisak Kammool, analyst from Phillip Securities (Thailand),
said BAY needs about Bt10-15 billion of additional capital.
He said the bank's recapitalisation plan can be put off
until next year.  A senior executive at the bank said
yesterday that BAY need not increase capital by the end of
this year.  Despite its full loan loss reserves, Adisak
said BAY may wish to set aside slightly more provisions in
the fourth quarter this year to be conservative in case of
a deterioration of assets.  According to the bank's
announcement, its non-performing loans declined from 32 per
cent of total loans in December last year to 24 per cent by
the end of June this year.

Other banks also reported their first half performance
yesterday.  Bangkok Bank announced a net profit in the
second quarter of Bt102 million. The bank has set aside
provisional reserves of Bt4 billion for loan losses. The
bank's operating profit in the second quarter was Bt4.1
billion, an increase of Bt28.1 per cent over the Bt3.2
billion profit in the first quarter.  In addition, the bank
has written off classified loans amounting to Bt183.4
billion, in accordance with a Bank of Thailand directive.
Classified loans at the end of June totalled Bt203.7
billion and represented 27.2 per cent of total loans.

Thai Military Bank (TMB) yesterday announced a net loss for
the first half of Bt24.07 billion, compared to a Bt5.96
billion net loss in the same period last year. The bank's
large loss was due mainly to its meeting of the loan loss
reserve requirement. As of the end of June, TMB had set
aside reserves of Bt23 billion, while the bank wrote off
Bt32.93 billion of bad loans.

Consequently, the bank now has loan loss provisions that
are Bt193 per cent of the total requirement. Following the
provision, TMB's capital adequacy ratio stood at 13.3 per
cent, of which 8.9 per cent is tier-1 capital. Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank yesterday announced a net loss for the
first half of the year of Bt2.22 billion, compared to
Bt2.46 billion in the same period last year.

Standard Chartered Nakornthon Bank yesterday reported the
bank's first half loss at Bt701.21 million, down sharply
from Bt5.93 billion in the same period last year.
BankThai yesterday announced a net loss of Bt1.58 billion
for the first half of the year, down 87 per cent from the
Bt12.2 billion loss in the same period last year.

UOB Radanasin Bank yesterday announced a first half loss of
Bt502.78 million, much lower than Bt1.15 billion in the
same period last year. (The Nation  21-July-2000)

BANKTHAI: Posts 6-mo. loss
State-owned BankThai last week announced six-month losses
of 1.58 billion baht, sharply down from the 10.6-billion-
baht loss posted in the first half of last year.

Despite the loss, the bank says its transformation into a
wholesale bank is proceeding well, with more than 20
billion baht in new loans approved this year.  Bank
president Phirasilp Subhapholsiri said that of the approved
loans, four billion baht had already been disbursed.  Total
outstanding loans at the end of June were 250 billion baht.
Mr Phirasilp said revenues have increased not only through
new lending, but also from gains in fees for financial

"I can say confidently that BankThai, in the eyes of the
business community, can fully meet their needs," Mr
Phirasilp said.

BankThai was formed by regulators in 1998 through the
merger of Union Bank and other financial institutions. Over
the past two years, the bank has undergone significant
restructuring, including the closure of 39 branches, with
only 78 planned to remain open by the end of August.

More than 120 billion baht in loans have been restructured
to date. The bank expects to restructure another seven
billion baht per month until the end of the year, which
will help reduce bad loans to around 40 billion by
December, or 20% of outstanding credit.  Plans call for the
bank to be privatised eventually, with the state's holdings
reduced to under 50% from 90% now.

Talks between regulators and the bank are now focused on
finalising details of a yield maintenance scheme where
regulators will compensate BankThai for lost revenues
incurred from bad loans.  Progress in debt restructuring is
expected to limit losses to around 10 billion baht over the
next few years. Shares of BankThai are expected to resume
trade on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in November.
(Bangkok Post 24-July-2000)

COUNTRY PLC: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
EASTERN WIRE PLC: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
THAI CANE PAPER: Creditors' objections stall salvage plans
Rehabilitation plans for three listed firms have run into
difficulty due to creditors' objections.

The Central Bankruptcy Court is scheduled to hear testimony
from creditors and the representatives of Country Plc,
Eastern Wire Plc and Thai Cane Paper today.  Hearings in
the business rehabilitation of Inter Far East Engineering
are also scheduled to begin today.  Total debt involved in
the cases of the four companies stands at around 21.1
billion baht.

Creditors of Country, Eastern Wire and Thai Cane Paper have
objected to the petitions to enter rehabilitation.
Country, a property developer with total debt of around
12.79 billion baht, had 15 creditors submitting objections,
led by state-owned Krung Thai Bank. Other creditors are
primarily home-buyers who had entered contracts with the

One Krung Thai official said the bank was owed around 7.6
billion baht by Country. The bank's main objection, he
said, was to the firm's proposal that it oversee and
prepare its own rehabilitation plan.  The bank believes
that company's management lack sufficient expertise and
credibility to oversee the rehabilitation, given the poor
operating performance of the firm over the past few years.

Country reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand assets
of 4.08 billion baht against liabilities of 12.69 billion
at the end of the first quarter.  Other objections lodged
by creditors include allegations that Country refused to
report full details of its assets or shareholdings in other
companies to the court, as well as information on other
litigation pending in the civil court.

The case of Eastern Wire involves debt of around 1.81
billion baht. Ocean Insurance, which has claims on
debentures worth 21.1 million baht issued by Eastern Wire,
has objected to rehabilitation as impractical. Assets of
the firm stand at 770.75 million baht, against liabilities
of 1.8 billion.

Thai Cane Paper's debt is 4.8 billion baht. Twelve
creditors oppose the petition for rehabilitation. Assets of
the firm are reported at 6.9 billion baht against
liabilities of 4.8 billion.
Shares of all four companies have been suspended from trade
on the SET.( Bangkok Post 24-July-2000)

JASMINE INT'L PCL: Signs debt-rescheduling pact
Jasmine International Public Company Limited (JASMIN) has
informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand that on 14 July
2000, it signed a debt-rescheduling agreement totaling
US$ 303.58 million with its creditors. The signing ceremony
was presided over by M.R.Chatu Mongol Sonakul, Governor of
Bank of Thailand (BOT).

For the total debt USD 303.58 million, US$ 192 owned by
JASMIN and its subsidiaries are under the  repayment
schedule while the remainings are to be repaid by its
subsidiaries and/or self-liquidated as they are bid bonds.
JASMIN's debt-repayment period is extended to about 6.5
years as of signing date.

According to the debt-rescheduling agreement, the company
will pay US$192 million by  repaying total 14 instalments
with the first payment of US$ 2 million and the last
payment being made  in December 2006.

Repayment schedule and interest rate
Effective Date                       US$ million

     15 December 2000                            2.00
     15 June 2001                                4.51
     15 December 2001                            4.51
     15 June 2002                               16.61
     15 December 2002                           16.61
     15 June 2003                               15.03
     15 December 2003                           15.03
     15 June 2004                               15.87
     15 December 2004                           15.87
     15 June 2005                               15.20
     15 December 2005                           15.20
     15 June 2006                               14.70
     15 December 2006           remaining instalments

Interest Rate  Until Dec. 2003     Until 2006

     THB Tranch       LR+0%              MLR+0.5%
     USD Tranch       LIBOR+1%           LIBOR+1.5%
     JPY Tranch       TIBOR+1%           TIBOR+1.5%

The debt rescheduling agreement will enable the company to
attain cash flow adequacy and meet debt service obligations
in the foreseeable future as well as maintaining the
company's leader position in  telecom industry.  The first
two years instalment would be set low enough to ensure no
financial  problem for the company while the economy is
expected to improve.

Revenues generated from Jasmine International's Group
derives from its subsidiaries including  Acumen Co., Ltd. -
an VSAT operator, Jasmine Submarine Telecommunications Co.,
Ltd. (JSTC) -  submarine optical fiber network operator,
Jasmine Telecom Systems Co., Ltd. (JTS) - turnkey
engineering operator.

In the future, the company will gain increasing incomes
from the Internet- related businesses and its regional
mobile satellite service of Asia Cellular Satellite System
or ACeS  as the sole national service provider in Thailand.
For business direction, Jasmine International will
streamline its business line focusing on telecom
expertise which are profitable and low investment by
maximizing efficiency of its nationwide telecom
infrastructure network laid by Jasmine's Group arraying
from VSAT's network, submarine optical fiber network and
provincial fixed-line telephone  network. (Thailand Stock
Exchange  18-July-2000)

KRUNG THAI BANK: 2nd-quarter loss narrows
Krung Thai Bank Pcl, the nation's No.2 lender, said its
second-quarter loss narrowed by 93 percent from the same
period last year, as interest costs fell and the bank set
aside less reserves against bad loans.

The state-controlled lender lost 864 million baht ($21
million), or 0.04 baht per share, compared with a net loss
of 11.5 billion baht or 1.03 baht per share in the same
quarter in 1999, it told the Thai stock exchange.  Net
interest income rose by a third as interest expenses fell
37 percent after the bank slashed deposit rates by about a
third last year. Interest income only declined 21 percent.

The bank set aside only 739 million baht as reserves for
loans that may not be repaid. In the second quarter of last
year, it set aside 10 billion baht.  Excluding provisions,
the bank's operating loss narrowed by 92 percent to 126
million baht. Krung Thai earlier said it expects to break
even this year on an operating basis.  (Bloomberg 24- July-

SAHAVIRIYA OA PLC: Reports Debt Restructuring Progress
Sahaviriya OA Plc reported debt restructuring progress in
Q2 as follows: Transfer of Acer Computer shares to offset a
loan provided by Acer Sales and Distribution; transfer of
selected assets and liabilities to special purpose
vehicles; reduction in paid-up capital to 200m bt from 300m
bt; increase in registered capital to 2bn bt by issuing
180m shares (10-bt par). Thus debt of 900m bt was swapped
for equity. The firm will reduce capital again on July 28,
to 500m bt from 2bn bt. (Bangkok Post 24-July-2000)

THAI LUBE BASE: Debt rehab plan moves forward
THAI PARA-XYLENE: Debt rehab plan moves forward
The debt restructuring plans of another two subsidiaries of
Thai Oil, Thai Para-xylene (TPX) and Thai Lube Base, are
also making progress.  TPX's debt restructuring plan has
already been approved and is in the documentation process
while the debt workout for Thai Lube Base is expected to
receive approval soon.  (The Nation 24-July-2000)

THAI OIL POWER: Eyes refinancing of debt
Thai Oil Power, a subsidiary of Thailand's largest refinery
operator, Thai Oil, is in negotiations to refinance its Bt3
billion debt, paving the way for the company to float its
shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, possibly in the
first half of next year.

Chainoi Puankosoon, deputy managing director of Thai Oil,
said the debt is divided into two parts.  The first Bt1.5
billion is owed to Thai Oil for Thai Oil Power's purchase
of a 115-magawatt Small Power Producer (SPP) plant from the
parent company. The other Bt1.5 billion is owed to Bangkok
Bank (BBL).  The five-year loan was originally due last
year, but the company is hoping to extend the repayment
period to 10-12 years.

"We are negotiating with another local bank to refinance
our total debt. The aim of the debt refinancing is to
reduce our financial burden, enabling us to enjoy a higher
share value when we offer our shares on the SET," Chainoi

At the same time, Thai Oil Power is focusing on launching
its Independent Power Producer (IPP) project on schedule.
The 700-megawatt, gas-fired power plant is scheduled to
begin operations next month.

"We have put an emphasis on getting the IPP plant running
on time as the project represents a major source of revenue
for Thai Oil Power", said Chainoi.

The IPP project is owned by Independent Power (Thailand),
which is 50 per cent owned by Thai Oil, 24 per cent owned
by Unocal Asia-Pacific Ventures, and 20 per cent by
Westinghouse Electric.

Thai Oil Power itself is 55 per cent owned by Thai Oil and
26 per cent by PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), with
B-Grim and Electricity Investment Company (EIC) of
Switzerland sharing 15 per cent and four per cent of
equity, respectively.  After launching the IPP plant, Thai
Oil Power plans to take another six to nine months to
prepare for the SET listing. The process should be complete
within the first half of next year when market sentiment is
expected to have improved. (The Nation 24-July-2000)

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

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Copyright 2000.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

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