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                            A S I A   P A C I F I C

             Monday, August 14, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 157


* A U S T R A L I A *

ALLMYBILLS.COM: Assets to be sold
PACIFIC DUNLOP: Posts loss, gets warning
SATELLITE GROUP: Creditor moves to have it wound up
SOLACE CORP.: Posts annual loss on excellent sales

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

FRANK INT'L HLDGS.: Raises HK$44M to pay debts
GUANGDONG INT'L TRUST: CCIC Finance seeks court ruling
ISTEELASIA.COM: Posts Q1 loss of HK$33.35M
TA FU INT'L HLDGS.: Announces restructuring plan

* I N D O N E S I A *

METROPOLITAN GROUP: IBRA to go after owners' guarantees
PT BANK DUTA: Court charges Suharto of covering losses
PT BHUWANATALA: Ready to settle debts to IBRA
PT BARUDA INDONESIA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT INDUSTRI PESAWAT TERBANK: Debt-for-equity swap eyed
PT JASA MARGA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT MAHADJAJA GEMILANG: Court declares it bankrupt
PT PELINDO II: Gov't to launch special audit
PT PERKEBUNAN NUSANTARA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT TELEKOMUNIKASI INDO.: Gov't to launch special audit

* J A P A N *

BRIDGESTONE CORP: Stock falls on US,Europe tire recalls
KUMAGAI GUMI: Shinsei Bank mulls debt waiver
NIPPON ROYAL CLUB: Seeks protection from creditors

* K O R E A *

CHEIL JEDANG: FTC fines for wrongful trading
CHEJU BANK: Posts first-half loss
CHONBUK BANK: Posts first-half loss
DAELIM: FTC fines for wrongful trading
DAEWOO ELECTRONIC: Stake sale, supervision cut ahead?
DONGKUK STEEL: FTC fines for wrongful trading
HANVIT BANK: Posts first-half loss
KOLON: FTC fines for wrongful trading
KUMHO: FTC fines for wrongful trading
KWANGJU BANK: Posts first-half loss
KYONGNAM BANK: Posts first-half loss
LOTTE: FTC fines for wrongful trading
PEACE BANK: Posts first-half loss
SSANGYONG: FTC fines for wrongful trading

* M A L A Y S I A *

ESSO MALAYSIA: Posts RM1.6mil first-half, pre-tax loss
FABER GROUP BHD: Court okays restructuring plan

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

JADE BANK: Gov't agency orders director to resign
MANILA ELECTRIC CO.: Suffering opportunity losses
REYNOLDS (PHIL.): SEC recommends charges vs.officials
URBAN BANK: BanCom's refined rehab plan up for approval

* S I N G A P O R E *

VAN DER HORST: L & M buys for $5 million

* T H A I L A N D *

AMARIN PLAZA PCL: Explains 6-mo. loss to SET
KULTHORN KIRBY: Reports Bt9.02M Q2 net loss
OM-SIN AMNUAY SUB FUND: Posts Bt236.03M Q2 loss
SWEDISH MOTORS CORP.: Posts Bt15.27M Q2 loss
THAI-GERMAN CERAMIC INDUS.: Posts Bt140.5M net loss


ALLMYBILLS.COM: Assets to be sold
The assets of could soon be sold as the
company's administrator, Andrew Love, confirmed 9 August
that he was negotiating their sale. From Ferrier Hodgson
and Company, Love declined to reveal the identity of
possible purchasers of Allmybills assets nor what creditors
of Allmybills might expect to receive. He did say that
investors in Allmybills would not receive any return on
their investments.

PACIFIC DUNLOP: Posts loss, gets warning
Pacific Dunlop directors yesterday were still claiming that
better times were ahead, despite a sharp drop in cash,
lower profits in its tyres and Ansell businesses, and yet
another round of hefty abnormals delivering a net loss of
$86.5 million.

While currency movements and low-cost Asian imports savaged
the results in two of its major businesses and helped
produce a lower net operating profit of $141 million, down
29.5 per cent, $227 million worth of abnormal charges
relating to divestments and restructuring costs wiped out

In the past six years, abnormal losses have cost Pacific
Dunlop shareholders close to $1 billion, with GNB and its
former Telectronics divisions causing most of the pain.
In 1998-99, Pacific Dunlop posted a net post-abnormals
profit of $106 million. The poor exchange rate for the euro
sliced $30 million off Ansell's results, producing a 21 per
cent decline in the PacDun flagship's profit.

The other black spot was South Pacific Tyres where profits
fell $56 million, or 77.1 per cent, as a result of lower
prices and lost market share. Mr Chadwick said that result
was a "disaster."  But with PacDun's pre-abnormals profit
finishing at least $10 million higher than market
expectations and the stock falling earlier this week in
anticipation of another disappointing result, its shares
yesterday closed unchanged at $1.52.

Mr Chadwick said directors had approved the acquisition of
two small bolt-on businesses, and foreshadowed a turnaround
in tyres, although it would not return to its historically
high levels in the next 12 months. He also flagged a share
buyback later this year, but only after the diversified
manufacturer banked the proceeds from its $630 million sale
of its GNB batteries business to Exide Corp.

"Coupled with the 10 per cent share buyback initially,
reduction of debt, some opportunity for investment in
growth, I think we have a good portfolio going forward," Mr
Chadwick said.

He said divestments meant margins on sales would increase
strongly next year and gearing would drop by more than 50
per cent with interest cover increasing by the same amount.
The final dividend was sliced from 7c a share to 3c, which
means stockholders will receive a payout of 10c instead of
14c. The dividend remains unfranked.

Proceeds from the GNB sale - combined with its electrical
distribution business going for $343 million and generating
a gain of $145 million which does not show up in the
accounts - will also go to reduce PacDun's debt. PacDun's
net debt was $1.439 billion, compared with $1.049 billion
the year before.  Standard & Poor's yesterday put PacDun on
notice to slash debt substantially or face a downgrade.
(Sydney Morning Herald  11-Aug-2000)

SATELLITE GROUP: Creditor moves to have it wound up
A construction company in Perth has issued winding-up
notices against the Satellite Group.

Consolidated Constructions has yet to be paid for
excavation work on a Satellite development. It issued a
Section 519 notice in the Equity Division of the NSW
Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The action was taken as shareholders and creditors begin
scrambling to recover money from the rapidly disintegrating
company. It follows the resignation of Satellite's
chairman, Dr Kerryn Phelps, after the board voted down her
proposal to appoint an administrator to Satellite.

At least one other creditor is planning similar wind-up
proceedings against the group, which was lauded as the
world's first listed gay and lesbian company when it raised
$25 million in a stock exchange float last year. An
advertisement in yesterday's Sydney Star Observer was
seelomg anyone with outstanding debts from Satellite to
join forces.

SOLACE CORP.: Posts annual loss on excellent sales
Banking and financial software group Solace has recorded a
net loss of $17,000 in 1999-2000 on sales that rose 190per
cent to $9.73 million.

The result is a big turnaround for the technology group,
which seven months ago came out of voluntary administration
and relisted on the Australian Stock Exchange. For the full
year, Solace recorded an operating profit before abnormals
of $1.62 million, compared with a loss of $8.03 million in

The group's revenue climbed from $3.42 million to just
under $10 million for the period, and the company booked an
abnormal expense of $1.6 million, related to the
administration period. Solace managing director Robert Edge
said the turnaround was driven by its equity partner, the
South African-based Global Technology, which helped
strengthen its suite of e-commerce products.

"The company has developed a solid and growing sales
pipeline, with which it will expand its national client
base and penetrate new markets in the Asia-Pacific region,"
Mr Edge said. Shares in Solace firmed one cent to $1
yesterday. (The Age  11-Aug-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

FRANK INT'L HLDGS.: Raises HK$44M to pay debts
Frank International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to place 450
million shares of stock with independent investors at
HK$0.10 per share in order to raise HK$44 million with
which to repay part of its indebtedness to various
creditors and for working capital.

Placement agent will be Kingsway SW Securities Ltd.
The placing is conditional upon a number of things,
including the granting of listing and permission to deal in
the new shares by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

GUANGDONG INT'L TRUST: CCIC Finance seeks court ruling
CCIC Finance Ltd., a joint venture finance company which
counts one of China's biggest banks as a shareholder, is
asking a Hong Kong court to help enforce a claim against a
bankrupt Chinese government-run trust firm.

CCIC, along with seven other lenders, is asking the High
Court to enforce an earlier judgement on $39.2 million of
debt owed by Guangdong International Trust & Investment
Co., the bankrupt investment arm of China's southern
Guangdong Province. A hearing is set for Sept. 18.

"The Hong Kong court has already awarded a judgment in
favor of our syndicate," said Paul Muther, CCIC's Managing
Director in Hong Kong. "We believe the claim should be

The court action highlights growing frustration with the
slow pace of the liquidation process and low levels of
recovery for creditors, nearly two years after Gitic
collapsed with debts totaling about $3 billion.  On Sept.
18, Hong Kong's High Court will hear arguments on whether
it should enforce the judgement issued last October
recognizing the claim against Gitic.

CCIC, a joint-venture financial firm owned by Chicago-based
Bank One Corp., Bank of China, Industrial Bank of Japan and
China Resources Holdings Ltd., and the other creditors lent
the money to Gitic in 1997. The creditors want the court to
seize Gitic's Hong Kong assets to pay for the debt.

CCIC's court action is the second by a foreign lender
against Gitic -- Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank of Japan filed a
claim last May --as the debt workout of China's largest
corporate bankruptcy in the last two decades enters its
second year.

Gitic, which owes creditors 24.1 billion yuan ($3 billion)
in total, according to liquidators, collapsed in October
1998.  The liquidators, led by KPMG International, say the
court action will harm all creditors and plans to ask the
court not to allow the seizure of assets in order to pay
the debt.

The court "may indirectly enable the plaintiffs to gain
priority of payment so as to adversely affect the interest
of the other creditors," Gitic's liquidators said in a July
20 report.

Still, the liquidators can petition to wind up Gitic's Hong
Kong assets to prevent the creditors from gaining priority,
though this ``would escalate the costs of the liquidation,"
KPMG said.

The pace of recovery of assets has been slow in China's
first bankruptcy case of this kind.  In the last two weeks,
liquidators have raised 114.2 million yuan ($13.8 million)
by selling stakes in three Chinese companies. They plan to
sell a string of other assets, including a MacDonald's
fast-food outlet in Guangxin and a hotel in Guangzhou city.

Liquidators said on July 20 they can raise up to 850
million yuan if they successfully sell Gitic's assets and
get debtors to repay loans owed to Gitic.  That's still a
fraction of what Gitic owes.

Further raising creditors' concern was a report this week
by Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper, which cited
unidentified banking industry participants as saying the
Chinese central bank may force creditors to accept a 30
percent loss on loans to China's state-owned investment
trust firms.

The People's Bank of China may unveil this month a plan for
merging the country's 239 state-owned investment trusts
into between 40 and 50 groups, the Apple Daily reported on
Aug. 7.  In the case of Gitic, creditors may only be able
to collect 40 percent of their debts, the Apple Daily
reported. People's Bank of China officials declined to
confirm or deny the Hong Kong newspaper's report.

There's been little progress in reorganizing debt owed by
other casualty's in China's troubled investment trust
industry, though last week creditors of Dalian City's trust
agreed to write off 40 percent of their exposure to the
firm.  CLSA Emerging Markets, the adviser to the company,
said this was the first successful reorganization of trust
firm's foreign debt. (Bloomberg  11-Aug-2000)

ISTEELASIA.COM: Posts Q1 loss of HK$33.35M
------------------------------------------'s sank into the red after its first-quarter
results for the period to June 30, posting a net loss of
HK$33.35 million.

The loss was despite an 86 percent increase in its turnover
to HK$56.1 million. Listed on the Growth Enterprise Market
(GEM), the company attributed the loss to HK$36 million
spent on brand-building, Web-site enhancements, platform-
development and online operations.  The loss was expected
and in line with the company's projections, said Sandra
Lee, director of customer relationship management.

Most turnover was derived from offline steel trading which
grew by 81 per cent to HK$54.63 million. Online
transactions amounted to US$49 million, generating
commission income of HK$1.47 million. Steel-product
transactions, from January to June this year, were worth
US$82 million.

Chairman and chief executive Andrew Yao Cho-fai said the
company would become profitable and investment would
plateau as commission income increased.  However,
executives refused to forecast when the company was
expected to post a profit. They said turnover was showing
double-digit growth, while investment in areas such as
brand-building and platform-enhancing would diminish.
But the company did not give a specific figure on the level
of future investment.

Ms Lee said the company - which saw aggregate transaction
volume exceed US$100 million for the seven months to July -
was starting to show returns.  BNP Prime Peregrine director
Michael Li said the company would be profitable soon.
Directors did not approve an interim dividend. (South China
Morning Post  11-Aug-2000)

TA FU INT'L HLDGS.: Announces restructuring plan
Timber company Ta Fu International Holdings has announced a
restructuring plan that includes a debt discharge of US$49
million by creditors and proposes a share issue to new
investors. According to a company statement, Ta Fu and its
five wholly-owned subsidiaries will see US$42 million of
its liabilities and another US$7 million in credit grantees


METROPOLITAN GROUP: IBRA to go after owners' guarantees
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) is seeking
the personal and corporate guarantee of the Metropolitan
Group owners because one of the group's ten companies is
considered not prospective, said an official.

Henu Koesdaryono, team leader of the group's head loan work
out said based on an analysis on the group's 10 companies,
90% are considered fit for restructuring because most of
them are still prospective, but both parties have yet to
reach the restructuring pattern.  One of the companies
[Metropolitan Keramik Utama] is already closed due to the
1997 crisis. When reassessment on the assets submitted to
IBRA were made, it turned out that the margin of the
group's obligation to IBRA were still quite significant.

"That's why we are going after the personal and corporate
guarantee of the shareholders," he said in an afternoon tea
at IBRA yesterday. (Bisnis Indonesia 11- August-2000)

PT BANK DUTA: Court charges Suharto of covering losses
Former president Suharto has been charged before the South
Jakarta district court of allocating 419.593 mln usd to
cover losses of Bank Duta in the early 1990s, with the
funds taken from one of his social foundation funds, court
documents said.

"A total of 419.593 mln usd was trasferred from Yayasan
Supersemar to PT Bank Duta to cover losses of the bank,"
according to a 45-page document obtained by AFX-Asia.

The document setting out the charges said that of the
419.593 mln usd, about 125 mln usd was transferred from the
foundation's account in Indover Bank to Bank Duta's account
in the same bank on the strength of a letter from then
president Suharto dated Sept 20, 1990. In addition, the
foundation's treasurer, Ali Affandi, transferred
19.593 mln usd to Bank Duta's account on Sept 25, 1990, and
275.043 mln usd on Sept 26, 1990.

The documents also said the foundation transferred 13.173
bln rupiah to bankrupt airline company PT Sempati Air. The
airline is jointly owned by Suharto's sons Hutomo Mandala
Putra and Sigit Harjojudanto as well as businessman
Mohammad "Bob" Hasan.

Suharto was also charged with having issued an order to the
foundation's treasurer in September 1995 to transfer 150
bln rupiah to Hasan's companies PT Kiani Sakti and PT Kiani
Lestari. The former president was also charged of having
ordered the foundation's treasurer to transfer a total of
12.744 bln rupiah to two other companies owned by Hasan: PT
Kalhold Utama (3.694 bln rupiah in December 1982 and 2.750
bln rupiah in May 1990); and PT Tajung Redep Hutan Tanaman
Industri (6.3 bln in May 1993).  The documents also said 10
bln rupiah was also transferred to PT Wisma Kosgoro on Dec
28, 1993.

"With the above actions, the defendant (Suharto) has
enriched PT Bank Duta, PT Sempati Air, PT Tanjung Redep
Hutan Tanaman Indusri, PT Essam Timber, PT Kalhold Utama,
PT Kiani Lestari as well as PT Wisma Kosgoro, which is
against the aim of the foundation," the document said.
"As a result of these transactions, the state lost 191.830
bln rupiah and 419.636 mln usd in potential revenues."
(AFX News Limited 11-Aug- 2000)

PT BHUWANATALA: Ready to settle debts to IBRA
Publicly listed property company Bhuwanatala Indah Permai
Tbk (BIP) is offering a debt-to-equity swap to settle its
Rp 368 billion (about US$43 million) debt with the
Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA).

The company's director, Cahyo Purnomo, said here on
Thursday the swap was one of several debt settlement
alternatives proposed to IBRA.  The other options, he said,
included rescheduling the maturity of the company's debts
to seven years and the issuance of convertible bonds to the
agency.  He said IBRA was conducting a due diligence on the
company's assets and performance before responding to the

"We need to extend the maturity of our debts to seven years
to enable the company to maintain its cash flow," he said
during a media conference.

Bhuwanatala, which owns and operates Hyatt Regency Hotel
and Bandung Indah Plaza, office buildings and retail
outlets, owes Rp 368 billion and $1.8 million to IBRA.
The agency took over the debts from several closed banks --
Bank Pelita, Bank Tiara and Bank Alfa -- and the
recapitalized Bank Duta.

In addition, the company also owes $40 million in dollar-
denominated loans to a syndicate of international banks led
by Japan's Sumitomo Bank.  Regarding its debt to these
international creditors, Cahyo said the company did not
propose any debt rescheduling but asked the creditors to
lower the interest rates on the loans to between 2 percent
and 3 percent from between 5 percent and 6 percent.

"Sumitomo promised to consider our offering, but IBRA has
not given a response since the agency is still doing a due
diligence, which is supposed to be finished later this
month," said the company's finance manager, Tri Haryati.
(The Jakarta Post  11-Aug-2000)

PT BARUDA INDONESIA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT JASA MARGA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT PELINDO II: Gov't to launch special audit
PT PERKEBUNAN NUSANTARA: Gov't to launch special audit
PT TELEKOMUNIKASI INDO.: Gov't to launch special audit
The government said on Friday it was preparing to launch a
second round of special audits of state firms as part of
its agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

The special audits will be of publicly listed
telecommunication firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia; toll
road operator PT Jasa Marga; port operator PT Pelindo II;
plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara IV; and national
airline PT Garuda Indonesia.

The deputy for supervision and control at the State
Ministry of Investment and State Enterprises Development,
Soeroso, said the government was currently in the process
of selecting five auditors from approximately 25
international auditors bidding for the jobs.

"We expect to finalize the tender this month to determine
the five independent auditors," Soeroso said during a media

He said the government expected the audits to be completed
by Dec. 31, after which it would publicly announce the
findings.  The five state firms were selected by the
Ministry of Finance, with each firm representing a
different industry, he added.

He said that the special audits were part of the
restructuring of the state firms, a process hoped to
increase the value of the companies for the privatization
program.  The recently signed letter of intent (LoI) with
the IMF requires the government to audit the five state
firms as part of its program of economic reforms.

Compliance with the LoI is a prerequisite to obtaining the
US$5 billion in promised loans from the IMF.  The first
round of special audits took place last year, and covered
state oil and gas company Pertamina, state electricity
company PLN and the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).

Independent auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers found losses
totaling $4.69 billion at Pertamina between 1996 to 1998.
The auditor said the losses were caused by inefficiency,
loss of income opportunities and future obligations.
Auditor Arthur Andersen said unfavorable business
contracts, irregularities and weak supervision caused Bulog
losses of Rp 6.7 trillion ($807 million) between 1993 and

Concerning PLN, it found an average loss of Rp 5.26
trillion per year between 1996 to 1998 due to inefficiency
in the company's investments and operations. The findings
formed the foundations for Pertamina, PLN and Bulog's
restructuring programs.  Soeroso said the upcoming audits
would be conducted by local auditors who were affiliated
with international auditors.

By law, foreign auditors cannot establish a company here
unless they team up with a local partner. He said the
government planned more special audits next year, with a
target of 30 state firms.

"The goal is to increase transparency and that will
increase the value of the state firms when we privatize
them," he explained.

He said transparency was one of the three principles of
good corporate governance, along with independency and
accountability.  Soeroso said independently audited state
firms that were also practicing good corporate governance
would have a higher value in the eyes of investors.

According to him, investors are willing to pay a premium of
between 11 percent and 20 percent for state firms that
practice good corporate governance. Meanwhile, the deputy
for logistics and tourism, Budi Susetyo, said the
independent audit of Garuda Indonesia was requested by
international creditors of the state firm.

"They want a second opinion on the company aside from the
audit by local auditors," he said.

Garuda owes a total of $1.8 billion to several
international creditors following severe operational losses
between 1996 to 1997 that resulted in the company suffering
a negative equity of $300 million. Garuda has said it will
take 35 years to fully repay its debt. (Jakarta Post 12-

PT INDUSTRI PESAWAT TERBANK: Debt-for-equity swap eyed
Jakarta might swap its loan to PT Industri Pesawat Terbang
Nusantara (IPTN) for shares to release the aircraft maker
from unsustainable debt, according to a report.

Syafruddin, secretary of the Finance Policy Sector
Committee, said the state-owned firm had debts of Rp3.2
trillion (US$ 400 million) and only Rp1.7 trillion of the
debts were considered sustainable. With cash flow problems,
the firm could not be expected to repay its debts,
Syfruddin was quoted as saying by Bisnis Indonesia.

Earlier it was reported that IPTN needed US$ 90 million to
secure a certificate for its new product N-250, a 68-seat
passenger aircraft, to enter the market.  China has
indicated interest in providing the funds as a stake
investment in the N-250 aircraft project.  (Asia Pulse  10-

PT MAHADJAJA GEMILANG: Court declares it bankrupt
Jakarta Commercial Court has declared PT Mahadjaja Gemilang
bankrupt after it failed to repay matured debts worth 19
bln rupiah to the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency,
presiding judge Sjamsudin Mangan Sinaga said.

The bankruptcy petition was filed by IBRA.  Sinaga said
Mahadjaja, which was into zinc manufacturing, has admitted
that it has matured debts worth 19 bln rupiah owed to IBRA
including 100 bln rupiah to other creditors.

The company has acknowledged that the company has little
hope of surviving and there has been miscommunication
between Rudy Hartono, the company's president and its
overseas partner.

"(Given) such conditions, we (the commercial court) have
decided to declare Mahadjaja Gemilang bankrupt," Sinaga
said.  (AFX News Limited  10-Aug-2000)


BRIDGESTONE CORP: Stock falls on US,Europe tire recalls
Shares of Bridgestone Corp. fell sharply Thursday after the
Japanese company said a recall of 6.5 million of its
Firestone tires in the United States would reduce its
earnings this year by 26 percent.

Meanwhile, Bridgestone/Firestone Europe said it was
extending the recall, announced Wednesday in the United
States, to Europe. The recall includes Firestone radial
ATX, radial ATXII and Wilderness AT tires, most of which
are fitted on Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles in
Europe. The company also said it would recall tires
imported for use on 500 Ford vehicles in Japan.

The Japanese parent company said it would take a $350
million one-time charge for the recall. It cut its earnings
estimate for the calendar year to 67 billion yen ($620
million) from 90 billion yen.

Bridgestone shares fell 226 yen, or 11 percent, to 1,849
yen. They have dropped 27 percent this month, amid reports
that the tires' tread sometimes had separated from the
tires, causing fatal accidents.  Just last week, before the
difficulties were disclosed, Bridgestone had announced a 6
percent upward revision in its earnings forecast for its
current year, which ends in December.

Bridgestone's vice president, Tadakazu Harada, told
reporters Thursday that Firestone had received 193 accident
claims and had been named in 50 lawsuits since 1995. But he
said that no claims against Firestone or its parent had
been filed in Japan.

Analysts in Tokyo said it was too early to gauge the full
impact of the recall on the parent company's bottom line.
But some warned of the possibility that Bridgestone would
be forced to revise down its profit outlook even further as
the investigation into the defects proceeds.

The $350 million charge announced by the company is only
enough to cover the costs of replacing tires. Many experts
said that the full cost of the Firestone defects - in lost
sales, legal fees and possible liability payments to
victims - could be many times higher.

The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's Corp. said it
was considering lowering its ratings for Bridgestone Corp.
Bridgestone's problems are "far from over," said Tsuyoshi
Mochimaru, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson (Asia)

Takaki Nakanishi, an analyst at Merrill Lynch in Japan, said
news of the defective tires at Firestone had undercut efforts by the
Bridgestone president, Yoichiro Kaizaki,
to turn around the troubled U.S. tire company, which Bridgestone acquired in
1988. (International Herald
Tribune  11-Aug-2000)

KUMAGAI GUMI: Shinsei Bank mulls debt waiver
Having agreed to forgive some loans of distress contractor
Hazama Corp., Shinsei Bank is considering a similar waiver
for a larger ailing contractor, Kumagai Gumi.

The report eased a shaky market concerned with potential
huge bankruptcies in the declining construction sector and
prompted a 25 percent jump in Kumagai Gumi shares to a
morning high of 50 yen before closing up seven yen (17.5
percent) at 47 yen.

Loans to Kumagai Gumi leave Shinsei exposed to the tune of
190 billion yen. The bank is considering a formula similar
to that to be used for Hazama, according to an official.
Kumagai Gumi's consolidated interest-bearing liabilities
total about 1.06 trillion yen.

The Yomiuri reported Kumagai had decided to ask creditors
to forgive more than 400 billion yen of that. It was
expected to start talks with creditors, including Sumitomo
Bank and Shinsei Bank soon, the newspaper said.  Kumagai
countered with a statement denying any decision has been
made, not elaborating.

NIPPON ROYAL CLUB: Seeks protection from creditors
Golf course operator Nippon Royal Club has filed for court
protection from creditors under Japan's new civil
rehabilitation law, according to a report by Teikoku Data
Bank Ltd.

The action is a counter move to a petition filed July 5
with Tokyo District Court by financially strapped
contractor Hazama Corp. that initiated bankruptcy
procedures against the company.  Hazama has 32.6 billion
yen in loans and unsettled bills to the Tokyo-based Nippon
Royal Club.

The company, whose liabilities total an estimated 100
billion yen, filed its request for civil protection the
same court that Hazama filed with. Nippon Royal Club is a
developer of golf courses and hotels, predominantly in the
Tochigi and Fukushima prefectures.

Such developments required larges sums of money, which the
company acquired through borrowing. After the boom times of
1980s, the economy turned sluggish and the company's
revenues shrank, reflecting weak corporate demand for
leisure-related endeavors.


CHEIL JEDANG: FTC fines for wrongful trading
DAELIM: FTC fines for wrongful trading
DONGKUK STEEL: FTC fines for wrongful trading
KOLON: FTC fines for wrongful trading
KUMHO: FTC fines for wrongful trading
LOTTE: FTC fines for wrongful trading
SSANGYONG: FTC fines for wrongful trading
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined seven of Korea's
lesser conglomerates -- Lotte, Kumho, Ssangyong, Daelim,
Kolon, Cheil Jedang and Dongkuk Steel -- 17.4 billion won
(US$ 15.6 million) for wrongful internal transactions
amounting to nearly 4 trillion won.

Korea's conglomerates are struggling with the many changes
required by their epic restructuring campaigns, the FTC
concludes in its latest progress report. It is also the
first instance of the FTC conducting this type of
investigation on conglomerates not ranked among the five

The FTC investigated suspicious internal transactions
arising among 35 companies affiliated with seven
conglomerates from January 1998 until last April. It will
also notify the National Tax Agency of its findings, since
the FTC is limited in the amount of fines it can issue as

In May 1999, the FTC fined the five largest conglomerates
79 billion won for undue internal transactions amounting to
12.3 trillion won.  Last summer, state-run businesses were
also found to have carried out unwarranted internal
transactions calculated at 4 trillion won.

Many of the company owners were found guilty of
manipulating legal loopholes to pass on company stocks to
their heirs and recklessly extend support to their
affiliates.  Daelim Group is being investigated for the
sale of the majority of its shares in DITCO, one of its
information technology affiliates, to group Chairman
Lee Joon-yong's eldest son at a low price, the FTC said.

Also last year, Samsung SDS was found guilty of
transferring company bonds with subscription warrants which
can be turned into stocks to Samsung Group head Lee Kun-
hee's children at below-market prices.  As of April 15 of
this year, the top 30 conglomerates had invested 45.9
trillion won in affiliated and non-affiliated companies, an
increase of 16 trillion won over last year.

Out of that 45.9 trillion won 34.6 trillion won was
injected in affiliated companies to strengthen the grip of
the group chairman, but the loans can easily trigger domino
insolvencies should one affiliate go belly up. The chronic
practice of one person controlling an entire group with as
little as 1.5 percent of the company shares still goes on.

The Fair Trade Commission now under Lee Nam-kee after
Monday's cabinet reshuffle, said it will toughen measures
to investigate suspect internal transactions but the result
remains to be seen.  (Asia Pulse  10-Aug-2000)

CHEJU BANK: Posts first-half loss
CHONBUK BANK: Posts first-half loss
HANVIT BANK: Posts first-half loss
KWANGJU BANK: Posts first-half loss
KYONGNAM BANK: Posts first-half loss
PEACE BANK: Posts first-half loss
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) unveiled the
results of the first half operations of private banks,
showing that eleven of them in the black and six of them in
the red.

The eleven realizing net profits included H&CB, Kookmin,
Shinhan, Korea First, Hana, Cho Hung, Korea Exchange,
Seoul, KorAm, Pusan and Daegu. Those in the red included
Hanvit, Peace, Kwangju, Kyongnam, Cheju and Chonbuk.  Of
the private banks, Housing & Commercial Bank (H&CB) posted
the largest net profits with W355.2 billion in the first
half of the year, while Kwangju Bank incurred the largest
losses with W115.4 billion.

The financial watchdog agency said the total net profits of
the 17 private banks, which include provincial banks,
reached W925.2 billion in the first half of the year, up
W283.1 billion over the same period last year.  The FSS,
however, noted that the overall net profits turn into W1.03
trillion net losses when forward-looking criteria (FLC) are
applied in the evaluation of their loans. (Digital Chosun

DAEWOO ELECTRONIC: Stake sale, supervision cut ahead?
Daewoo Electronic Components Co. creditors plan to meet
next week to decide whether to end their debt-restructuring
supervision over the electronics parts making unit of near-
insolvent Daewoo Group. The proposal will be made as
creditors near an agreement to sell 24.5 percent of Daewoo
Electronic Components to a group comprised of Aluminum
Korea Co., Pilkor Electronics Ltd. and Korea Technology Co.
for 15.4 billion won ($13.8 million), said Park Joon Lin,
who is in charge of Daewoo Electronic Components debt
restructuring at Hanvit Bank. The lender is the company's
main creditor.

Daewoo Electronic Components could become the first of the
12 key Daewoo Group units to pull out of debt
reorganization a little more than a year after the
conglomerate said it could no longer repay its debts, which
total at least $80 billion.

"Although Daewoo Electronic Components' debt remains at
152.3 billion won, we are hoping creditors will approve the
proposal because the company will be severing all ties with
Daewoo Group after the sale," Park said.

Creditors are at the last stages of talks to sell the stake
offered last year by Daewoo Corp. and Daewoo Heavy
Industries Co. as collateral, he said.  Daewoo Electronic
Components shares gained as much as 10 percent to 4,100
won, extending a two-day rise of 19 percent. Its shares
have risen 80 percent so far this year, compared with a 30
percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index. (Bloomberg


ESSO MALAYSIA: Posts RM1.6mil first-half, pre-tax loss
Esso Malaysia Bhd has recorded a pre-tax loss of RM1.6mil
for the first six months ended June 30, 2000.

That compares with a RM1.5mil profit for the same half-year
period last year.  Esso's loss after tax was RM1.1mil,
compared with a RM9.4mil profit last year due to the tax
waiver last year.

Esso chairman Datuk Dr Philip J. Dingle attribtued the loss
in part at least to the fact that weak refining margins
were further squeezed in the first half of this year. The
cost of crude was rising faster than the increase in
product prices, he noted.

Marketing margins also were affected by the government's
reduction of product-cost recovery for liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) from the third quarter of last year.  Meanwhile,
turnover for the period was RM1.751 million, up 76 percent
over the prior period.

Capital and lease expenditures totaled RM18mil, and were
lower compared to the first half of last year. They are
expected to increase further, however, when Esso completes
its RM120 million investment in the acquisition of a 20
percent stake in Multi-Product Pipeline, Klang Valley
Distribution Terminal and the associated facilities jointly
owned by Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Shell Malaysia Trading
Sdn Bhd.

FABER GROUP BHD: Court okays restructuring plan
Faber Group Bhd has reported to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange in a statement that the Malaysian High Court had
endorsed its proposed restructuring plan last Monday.

The group proposes a composite scheme of arrangement under
the Companies Act for the entire Faber group, including
Faber Hotel Holdings Sdn Bhd, Subang Jaya Hotel Development
Sdn Bhd and their respective creditors. The company also
proposes a capital reduction for the group.


JADE BANK: Gov't agency orders director to resign
Luis Co, a director of Jade Progressive Savings and
Mortgage Bank and father of Jade Bank vice president and
spokesman Alvin Milton Co, has been removed as a director
of the bank, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura.

Buenaventura said yesterday that the BSP is investigating
charges that have been formally filed against Luis Co by a
bank client who claims that Co defrauded him of P5 million.
The BSP chief said Luis Co had been ordered by the Monetary
Board to step down as a director of the bank and is not
supposed to have anything to do with the bank anymore.

Buenaventura said that if Co is found guilty of some
illegal transaction, the BSP would mete out the
corresponding penalty. As it is, investigation is yet to be
conducted.  Jade Bank has been in the news since June
following a tabloid report that the bank had extended loans
to two dead people months after they had died.

Alvin Co had denied the report although he admitted that
two clients who had initially contracted loans from the
bank have since passed away.  The BSP has agreed that if
the loans were initially contracted by living persons who
passed away after the loans were given, the bank had done
nothing wrong. However, if the loan was given to an already
deceased person, that would be a violation.

Luis Co, as his son Alvin Co admitted, had previously been
connected with Producers Bank which was for a couple of
years placed under Central Bank conservatorship due to
financial problems.  Producers was eventually taken over by
Former Finance Secretary Edgardo B. Espiritu. Co was not
supposed to be involved in the management of the bank but
later had a falling out with Espiritu specifically because
of his continued interference in the bank. (Philippine Star

MANILA ELECTRIC CO.: Suffering opportunity losses
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it has been losing
some P500 million a month since May this year due mainly to
its inability to raise its basic rate.

Meralco senior planning officer Dante Pablo said they could
have earned an additional P1.5 billion from May to July
this year had the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) approved
their application for a P0.30 per kilowatthour (Kwh) hike
in its basic rate.

In April, Meralco filed with the ERB an application for a
rate hike. However, government has not issued a decision
due to strong opposition plus a complication arising from a
case filed by the ERB in the sala of the Supreme Court.
The rate is critical for the electric distribution company
which is struggling to attain an eight-percent return-on-
rate-base to be able to access cheap loans from
international lending institutions.

Thus, the prospect of tapping international loans with
higher interest rates and shorter repayment periods for its
P8.6-billion capital outlay has become distinct
possibility. (Philippine Star  11-Aug-2000)

REYNOLDS (PHIL.): SEC recommends charges vs.officials
Investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission
have recommended the filing of charges against officials of
Reynolds Manufacturing Corp. for their alleged fraudulent
trading of the company's shares.

The Brokers and Exchanges Department, which monitors price
activities of listed companies, has recommended to the
Prosecution and Enforcement Department the filing of
appropriate charges against the officers responsible for
rigging the share prices of Reynolds. It was the Philippine
Stock Exchange which first linked Reynolds to the alleged
price manipulation. Initial findings by the PSE showed that
the company might have possibly resorted to kiting and wash
sale to generate funds.

Kiting allows the temporary use of funding or bridge
financing through advance payment of selling transactions.
A wash sale, on the other hand, is a transaction that
involves the same buyer and seller. It is aimed at
artificially influencing the prices of stocks and creating
a false appearance of active trading.

Under securities laws, it is prohibited to conduct a
transaction leaves no changes in beneficial ownership.
The company, however, stressed that it had never engaged in
any illegal trading activity of its shares in the stock
market since it was focused on its proposed rehabilitation.

"Reynolds has never engaged in any so-called kiting
activity or any wash sale transactions involving its
shares. In fact, the company has never bought or sold or
traded in any RPC shares at all. The company reiterates its
commitment.that it shall comply with the provisions of the
Revised Securities Act and the rules and regulations
promulgated by the SEC and the PSE," RPC corporate
information officer Maria Olivia Yabut-Misa said in her
letter to the PSE.

Share prices of Reynolds reached a high of P132 and a low
of P0.78 at the stock market for the whole of last year.
The company's financial operations had been badly hit by
the wild swings in the foreign exchange. This pushed the
costs of raw materials. Reynolds imports raw materials from
Marubeni Corp. of Japan. It also faced stiff competition
from other local and foreign companies, which have lower
overhead costs.

PSE records showed that from June 26 to June 30, Reynolds
bought P85 million worth of its own shares through a
foreign broker which asked not to be named.  The company
said it has documents to prove that its stock price did not
rise significantly during the period being reviewed by the
PSE.  (Manila Times  12-Aug-2000)

URBAN BANK: BanCom's refined rehab plan up for approval
The Monetary Board is set to decide on Thursday the Urban
Bank rehabilitation program offered by Bank of Commerce
(BanCom), as the latter expressed optimism their
refinements would get the government's nod.

Monetary Board chairman and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
governor Rafael Buenaventura said they will decide this
week on the refined program that the Bank of Commerce
proposed for Urban Bank's rehabilitation.

"It will be discussed by the board today (Thursday). The
rehab plan seems on track already," said Buenaventura.

BanCom president Raul de Mesa said they are in the process
of completing the necessary improvement of their earlier
proposal, and will submit it in time for the Monetary
Board's meeting.

"We have to make some refinements because we wanted to add
more value to depositors and creditors. We will submit the
refinements to the Monetary Board," said De Mesa.

However, he refused to disclose details of the improved
program, except for the commitment that they would endeavor
to reopen all of Urban Bank's 28 branches by Sept. 4.
Earlier, the Monetary Board mentioned that BanCom has yet
to explain their moderate level of infusion in the
rehabilitation program, uncertain stance on Urbancorp
Investment, depositors' uncertain commitment to covert
equity, and the extent of SSS' investments.

BanCom's response to these concerns are expected to be
contained in the refined rehabilitation plan. Another item
that the Monetary Board is expected to include in their
agenda would be BanCom's possible use of Urban Bank's
enlistment in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Urban Bank is a publicly listed company that monetary
authorities said BanCom may use as vehicle for a backdoor
listing when they finally take over the ailing bank which
closed down due to liquidity problems last April. On July
6, the Monetary Board approved in principle the
rehabilitation plan proposed by BanCom.

BanCom offered a bid of as much as P2 billion for Urban
Bank's assets including its branches, on top of a
rehabilitation proposal wherein BanCom would pay for Urban
Bank's liabilities in three years.  Thirty percent of the
payment would be made within one year and the remainder in
two years, with an interest rate that would be based on the
91-day treasury bill rate plus a premium of four percent.

The plan also involves the P750-million conversion of
exposures into equity of its top depositors San Miguel
Corporation, Petron, and Manila Electric Company; a P600-
million infusion from the Social Security System; P300
million in new money from the College Assurance Plan and
existing shareholders led by the family of Antonio
Cojuangco. (ABS/CBN News Channel  11-Aug-2000)


VAN DER HORST: L & M buys for $5 million
L&M GROUP Investments, controlled by Indonesia's
Soeryadjaya family, is in the final stages of acquiring
about 90 per cent of engineering and infrastructure company
Van der Horst (VDH).

In the deal, L&M will pay $5 million for VDH lock, stock
and barrel, including some $19 million in liabilities.
The acquisition will be made following a restructuring of
the debt-laden and crippled company, which is linked to
rival Indonesian businessman Johannes Kotjo.

L&M also announced yesterday it had taken over VDH's assets
in Indonesia for $11 million as the first part of the deal.
The Soeryadjaya family gained control of L&M from Mr Kotjo
about a year ago.  VDH has been under judicial management
since January this year and trading of its shares has also
been suspended.

Accounting firm KPMG partners Bobby Chin, Michael Ng and
Peter Chay were appointed the judicial managers. The move
to put the company under judicial management -- made in
consultation with its lenders -- was a voluntary one.
VDH said then that it would facilitate the restructuring of
some $119 million worth of debt.

Mr Ng told The Straits Times yesterday that the proposed
restructuring would involve VDH's lenders swapping their
debt for equity.  The equity will in turn be bought by L&M.
The deal will dilute the combined stake held by existing
shareholders to about 10 per cent and L&M will own the

Despite the small free float, L&M group chief executive
officer Edward Soeryadjaya said that VDH will not be
delisted and he intends to keep the company as a listed
vehicle within the group.  The acquisition of VDH is still
subject to approvals by shareholders and creditors of Van
Der Horst as well as the High Court and the Singapore

The Indonesian assets, which L&M bought, represented 13
percent of VDH's net tangible assets. They include a 17.15
per cent stake in VDH's Jakarta-listed subsidiary PT Van
Der Horst Indonesia (VDHI).  As L&M will also take over
three other private subsidiaries of VDH, it has a direct
and indirect shareholding of 49 per cent in VDHI.

L&M said that the acquisition of VDH would provide
opportunities in the oil and gas related businesses for
L&M, which is involved in construction. These include a
US$300 million (S$519.6 million) contract with the state-
owned oil and gas company Pertamina. (The Straits Times 11-


AMARIN PLAZA PCL: Explains 6-mo. loss to SET
Amarin Plaza Public Company Limited (AMARIN) has explained
to the Stock Exchange of Thailand that the consolidated net
loss it posted for the six months ended June 30, 2000
actually was lower than for the same period in 1999 by more
than 20 percent.

The main reasons for the loss, it explained, were that its
subsidiary companies incurred losses on revaluation of
fixed assets totaling 922 million baht and losses on the
exchange rate of  49.35 million baht in 1999, while it
incurred loss on exchange rate of only 11.63 million in

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services posted an audited Bt32.6
million net loss in the second quarter of this year. By
comparison, the company posted a net profit of Bt72.38
million for the same period last year. The company attribed
the loss to higher operating expenses, foreign-exchange
losses that amounted to Bt31.91 million and administrative
expenses, which rose 39.75 per cent during the same period.

Jalaprathan Cement recorded a Bt4.30 million net loss in
the second quarter of this year. Comparatively, the company
posted a profit of Bt83.20 million for the same period last
year. For the first six months of the year, Jalaprathan
recorded a net loss of Bt45.81 million, down substantially
from its profit of Bt131.73 million in the same period last

KULTHORN KIRBY: Reports Bt9.02M Q2 net loss
Kulthorn Kirby posted a Bt9.02 million net loss in the
second-quarter this year, reducing the amount of loss from
Bt23.82 million last year. For the first half of the year,
however, it posted a net profit of Bt26.31 million, much
better than the Bt136.40 million net loss for the same
period last year.

OM-SIN AMNUAY SUB FUND: Posts Bt236.03M Q2 loss
Om-Sin Amnuay Sub Fund (OSA) has posted a net loss of
Bt236.03 million for the second quarter this business year.
Combined with Q1 results, the company recorded a net loss
of Bt745.02 million for the first half of the year.

SWEDISH MOTORS CORP.: Posts Bt15.27M Q2 loss
Swedish Motors Corporation (SMC) has posted a Bt15.27
million net loss for its second-quarter of operations this

Due to a more favorable first quarter, the company was
still able to post a net profit of Bt26.44 million for the
first half of 2000. By comparison, for the second quarter
of last year, the company recorded a Bt41 million profit,
while suffering a loss of Bt175.10 million in the first
half of 1999.

THAI-GERMAN CERAMIC INDUS.: Posts Bt140.5M net loss
Thai-German Ceramic Industry posted a net loss of Bt140.5
million in the second quarter of this year. For the same
period last year, the company posted a net profit of Bt2.52
million. For the first six months, the company recorded a
Bt 275.5 million net loss, substantially wider than the net
loss of Bt64.53 million it posted in the same period last

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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