TCRAP_Public/000822.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, August 22, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 163


* A U S T R A L I A *

BOO.COM: Report reveals true scale of debts
EISA: Tells s'holders to `take the money and run'
GLORIA MARSHALL FITNESS SALONS: Clients promised refunds

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CORAL KING LTD: Facing winding up petition
FINEX SHIPPING LTD: Facing winding up petition
HOLDGOOD HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
HONG YA HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
MILLION BASE ENGINEERING LTD: Facing winding up petition
NATIONAL HARVEST (HLDGS) LTD: Facing winding up petition
ORIANA: Stake of loss-making oceanliner to be auctioned
RAINBOW SHIP MANAGEMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
RICHBOND INDUSTRIES LTD: Facing winding up petition

* I N D O N E S I A *

BP AMOCO: Strike forces mine closure
RIO TINTO: Strike forces mine closure

* J A P A N *

SEVEN-ELEVEN: E-commerce plan fails to deliver to investors
SNOW BRAND MILK PRODUCTS: Production at plant suspended

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTOR: Sale contract to Ford expected Sept.15
HYUNDAI GROUP: Management reneges on restructure promise

* M A L A Y S I A *

PUNCAK VISTA SDN: Remains in default on loan
WOO HING BROTHERS: Rescue plan in the making

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

PETROCHEMICAL CORP.: Gets fresh capital; to resume ops
SHEMBERG BIOTECH CORP.: Colgate contract depends on rehab
URBAN BANK: S'holder meeting to okay merger

* S I N G A P O R E *

FHTK HOLDINGS : Net loss widens to $51.2M

* T H A I L A N D *

SOON HUA SENG: Rehab talks failing, chief to face suit
SRITHAI SUPERWARE: To leave rehab program, convert loans
SUPALAI PUBLIC: SET told of debt rehab agreement
TPI POLENE: Bankruptcy Court asks for rehab plan


BOO.COM: Report reveals true scale of debts
Internet retailer had debts of œ178 million, ($456
million) almost double the amount estimated when it
collapsed in May, according to a report by Britain's
Official Receiver.

The report, which was sent to creditors, reveals for the
first time the true scale of one of the most spectacular
and high-profile collapses of an Internet business. It
reveals that had assets of just œ1.4 million
including œ564,184 in cash and œ303,293 in computer systems
and intellectual rights.

The document says owed trade creditors and
suppliers œ49.5 million - a figure far higher than the œ30
million estimated when the company collapsed. Other
liabilities include œ130 million in shareholders' equity.
Most creditors are likely to receive nothing.

The ambitious global sportswear e-tailer had been seen as
Europe's brightest dot com hope, but instead Boo only set
the pace for a string of bankruptcies and takeovers as
investors refused to pump further capital into cash-hungry
Internet businesses following the April "tech wreck" on
international sharemarkets.

In Australia, Internet retailer The Spot was later forced
to sell out to David Jones. Last week, yet another dot com
hit the dust with American furniture site filing
for bankruptcy after burning $US68 million ($115 million)
in venture capital, despite holding an alliance to draw
traffic from

KPMG, the liquidator appointed to by the Official
Receiver, said just two creditors, GE Capital and Lombard
Finance, which had claims over computer equipment, have a
chance of being paid. The report also reveals that KPMG has
been unable to gain control of the company's stock. The
stock is held in a warehouse in Germany but is subject to
"various claims." was founded in 1998 by two young Swedes - Ernst
Malmsten, a former poetry critic, and Kajsa Leander, a
former model. The company raised five rounds of financing,
from investors including the Benetton family and French
businessman Bernard Arnault, of the luxury brand LVMH Moet
Hennessy Louis Vuitton, but it quickly burnt its way
through an astonishing œ90 million. (Sydney Morning Herald

EISA: Tells s'holders to `take the money and run'
Troubled Internet service provider Eisa has issued a second
desperate appeal for its shareholders to accept a cut-price
$24.4 million takeover bid from Austar.

Chairman Evan Rees warned shareholders who dragged their
feet would be lucky to see any return on their investments
if the 20c a share bid failed and the company was forced to
appoint a voluntary administrator.  The warning comes as
Eisa fights battles on all fronts.

Apart from urging hesitant shareholders to accept Austar's
bid, the company is frantically trying to track down
someone who claims to be an employee and is sending what
appear to be sensitive internal files to the media.

Meanwhile, acting CEO Ian Timmis confirmed the company was
in discussions with the Royal Bank of Canada to recover
$500,000 it paid in April as an establishment fee for a $10
million loan which was not, ultimately, provided.  Mr
Timmis said the loan was sought as a bridging facility to
tide Eisa over until it completed a $325 million takeover
bid for larger rival OzEmail.

At the time of the application Eisa is believed to have had
more than $5 million in its coffers.  But the loan was not
received and the ambitious bid failed in June when Eisa's
strategic partners backed out.

"The establishment application for the loan was made in
April. It was a bridge loan to last until we had raised the
capital to acquire OzEmail," Mr Timmis said. "The loan
wasn't consummated (and) we're looking to see if we can
recover the $500,000."

In late June, regional media and internet group Austar
emerged with a 20c a share bid for Eisa, valuing the
company at less than a 10th of its peak during the failed
OzEmail bid.  But the bid has already been extended once
and Eisa's shareholders appear reluctant to accept such a
low offer.

Mr Rees said the company had received a number of requests
from shareholders for further information about the Austar
offer, due to close at 7pm on September 1.  His letter to
the Australian Stock Exchange gave a detailed description
of the company's perilous position.

If Austar's bid failed, "it is likely that the directors of
Eisa will have to seriously consider placing Eisa into
voluntary administration", Mr Rees said.

The chance of a rival offer emerging was seen as "highly
unlikely" and, if an administrator was appointed,
shareholders would receive "a far smaller return, if any,
than the 20c being offered by Austar. Eisa's financial
position is such that the company will require further
funding if Austar's offer is not accepted," Mr Rees said.
"Also, Eisa will be required to pass to Austar its
operations in Canberra, Darwin and Cairns which represent
around 35 per cent of Eisa's business."

Eisa shares were steady yesterday at 18.5c. (The Australian

GLORIA MARSHALL FITNESS SALONS: Clients promised refunds
Clients of the bankrupt diet company Gloria Marshall
Fitness Salon have been promised full refunds for their
aborted weight-loss programs by the company's creditors.

Administrator of the Adelaide-based business John Irving
said the decision would also ensure employees would be paid
their entitlements.

"People employed by Gloria Marshall salons when the
business was closed on July 22 will now receive their full
annual and holiday leave as well as superannuation
entitlements," he said. "Any patrons who had joined weight
loss programs from March 8 this year, will now be refunded
the full amount of the unused portion of their contracts."

Assets of Gloria Marshall salons were auctioned in Perth,
Sydney and Melbourne yesterday while assets from the four
closed Adelaide salons will be auctioned tomorrow. Mr
Irving said creditors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the
proposal at Friday's meeting.  (Asia Pulse  21-Aug-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

CORAL KING LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on October 4 on the petition of Lin
Heung Tea House & Bakery for the winding up of Coral King
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before October 3.

FINEX SHIPPING LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 20 on the petition of
The Kwangtung Provincial Bank for the winding up of Finex
Shipping Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before September 19.

HOLDGOOD HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 27 on the petition of
The China State Bank Limited for the winding up of Holdgood
Holdings Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before September 26.

HONG YA HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 27 on the petition of
The China State Bank Limited for the winding up of Hong Ya
Holdings Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before September 26.

MILLION BASE ENGINEERING LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on October 11 on the petition of Lo
Ka Ying for the winding up of Million Base Engineering
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before October 10.

NATIONAL HARVEST (HLDGS) LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on October 18 on the petition of
Cornhill Development Limited for the winding up of National
Harvest (Holdings) Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before October 17.

ORIANA: Stake of loss-making oceanliner to be auctioned
The once sensational Oriana luxury oceanliner now docked on
the Huangpu River may soon be a sight of the past for the
city as one of its major shareholders announced on August
15 that it will auction its stake in the profitless
sightseeing attraction.

The announcement came from Hangzhou West Lake International
Tourism Culture Development Co Ltd, which holds a 85
percent stake in the liner. The other 15 percent is owned
by Hangzhou Jiebai Group Co Ltd, a department store

"We are shifting to another big project abroad, so we have
to find a new, replacement investor to carry on operating
the ship, though it has been a hard decision for us to
make," said Chen Yajun, chairman and general manager of the

Built in Britain, the 245-metre-long oceanliner has covered
6.5 million kilometres and visited 108 harbours worldwide
since its maiden voyage in 1960 and before its discharge in
1986. In co-operation with Hangzhou Jiebai, the company
spent 50 million yuan (US$6.05 million) purchasing the
Oriana in November 1998 from Qinhuangdao in North China's
Hebei Province.

"With the aid of its fame, we intended to turn it into a
leisure and cultural facility that combined sightseeing,
cuisine, entertainment and hotel services," said Wang Yang,
senior staff member with the Shanghai Oriana Entertainment
Co Ltd, the liner's business operator.

After a 30 million yuan (US$3.63 million) renovation, the
Oriana opened its doors to visitors in Shanghai in
February, 1999. Yet during its 18-months of operation and
despite more than 500,000 visitors, the luxury liner hasn't
attained expected profit levels and its operators have lost
at least two million yuan (US$241,800).

Though it has posted 30 million yuan (US$3.63 million) in
revenue, a source with the company said. The liner now
receives about 100 visitors during the week and 200 to 300
during weekends at a price of 35 yuan(US$4.23), according
to ticket sales.

"Maybe it's because we do not specialize in this sort of
business," said Wang Yang. "At least another 50 million
yuan (US$6.05 million) is needed to achieve our previous
goal to retrieve our initial investment in five years,"
Wang said. "And that possibility has now been denied us
with our biggest shareholder pulling out."

Scheduled for September 28, the auction is open to domestic
and foreign investors, and the reference bid price is 60
million yuan (US$7.2 million), said a source with the
Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co Ltd, which is
responsible for the auction. It will be the first time
investment restructuring has occurred through auction in
China, the source said.

"Whether the liner will stay in Shanghai depends on the new
investor," said Wang. (China Daily  21-Aug-2000)

RAINBOW SHIP MANAGEMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 20 on the petition of
Shanghai Ocean Shipping Company for the winding up of
Rainbow Ship Management Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before September 19.

RICHBOND INDUSTRIES LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on September 20 on the petition of
Wong Yung Ying for the winding up of Richbond Industries
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before September 19.


BP AMOCO: Strike forces mine closure
RIO TINTO: Strike forces mine closure
Rio Tinto and BP Amoco have ceased production at their
Kaltim Prima coalmine in Indonesia, unable to resolve a
strike that is nearly three months old.

A Rio Tinto spokesman confirmed the Kaltim Prima coal unit
closed its Sangatta coalmine on Friday after several days
of talks between the owners and the striking SBSI union
workers did not find a resolution to the dispute. The
coalmine, Indonesia's biggest, has experienced production
delays since workers blockaded operations on June 14 in
order to protest about wages.

Since then, Rio Tinto and BP claim to have lost coal
production of 1.85 million tonnes and sales of $US50
million. Kaltim Prima has declared force majeure on coal
contracts and has been unable to deliver coal to customers
since August 7 when supplies at its port facilities were

Talks aimed at deciding the future of the mine continued
through last week, and will extend into this week with a
meeting between workers and management set for Tuesday.
Rio Tinto's 50 per cent share in Kaltim Prima was the
fourth biggest contributor to profits in 1999, contributing
net earnings of $US26 million.

The Kaltim Prima dispute is part of a broader campaign by
Indonesian workers to push Rio Tinto for higher wages and
land compensation. The compaign also is affecting the
company's nearby Kelian gold operations. Rio has agreed to
compensate landowners for land at Kelian where a roadblock
has stifled output for more than a month.

Rio Tinto shares closed 11.4c down at $26.55 in local
trading on Friday. (Sydney Morning Herald  21-Aug-2000)


SEVEN-ELEVEN: E-commerce plan fails to deliver to investors
Seven-Eleven Japan Co. shares have fallen by more than half
this year as investors abandoned expectations that the
nation's largest convenience store chain will grow fast by
offering e-commerce services.

Seven-Eleven Japan has sank 56 percent to 7,150 yen since
the beginning of the year, making it the Nikkei 225 stock
average's biggest decliner.

"We don't think there will be a material contribution from
e- commerce sales for at least another two years, because
the amount of investment is very low and the offering from
Seven- Eleven is still very, very weak," said Michael Allen
an analyst at ING Barings, who rates the stock "sell."
"This is not yet an attractive way to shop."

Allen's assessment contrasts with the earlier optimism of
analysts and investors, who pushed the shares to a high of
18,290 yen, or 244 times earnings, in November 1999. None
other than Masayoshi Son, Softbank Corp. president and
Japan's biggest Internet investor, in June praised Seven-

Eleven's march into cyberspace as "a uniquely Japanese
brand of e-commerce," and agreed to ally with the
convenience store to sell books online starting in
November.  Sony Corp. to Microsoft Corp., NEC Corp., Bandai
Co., Japan's largest toymaker; and Mitsui & Co., the No. 1
trading company, have also formed e-commerce alliances with
Seven-Eleven, with each announcement sending the company's
shares higher.

Then Japan's Internet bubble burst, as investors, taking a
cue from their U.S. counterparts, started focusing more on
prospects for profit than on forecasts for rapid revenue
growth. The Sankei-Bloomberg Internet Index shed almost
three-quarters of its value, falling from a Feb. 22 high of
9466.63 to 2585.66 at yesterday's close.

Still, Seven-Eleven in June said it expects to process 7
billion yen ($64.3 million) in e-commerce transactions
through its systems in the year ending February 2001, then
leap to 180 billion yen in the year ending February 2003
and to 240 billion yen in the following year.

"We've just started the venture, so we cannot really
predict how it will do yet," said Minoru Matsumoto, a
Seven-Eleven spokesman.

The company declined to say how much its Internet
businesses will contribute to revenue or profit, though
some analysts say the convenience store needn't make much
profit on e-commerce itself, as long as the services lure
more customers into its stores, where they're likely to buy
additional goods off the shelf.

Seven-Eleven's daily per-store customer count will rise to
1,160 in 2003 from 960 in 1998, with average daily sales of
830,000 yen, up from 693,000 yen, said Kenji Tsukazawa, an
analyst at Jardine Fleming International, who rates the
shares "buy."

Tsukazawa said he has maintained his "buy" recommendation
even as Seven-Eleven shares have fallen by half this year.
That's because the company, a unit of Ito-Yokado Co.,
Japan's largest supermarket chain, is the No. 1 player in a
growing industry, he said.

"Seven Eleven has strength in every respect," said
Tsukazawa. He said the company's daily per-store sales are
200,000 yen higher than those of rival Lawson Inc., the No.
2 convenience store chain.

Seven-Eleven operated 8,288 stores in Japan as of the end
of July and 6,131 in the U.S. and Canada as of the end of
May.  Seven-Eleven in April posted a 15 percent gain in
group net income in the year ended February, and expects
income to rise 8.6 percent to 78 billion yen this year.

Shares of Seven-Eleven parent company Ito-Yokado Co., which
owns a 51 percent stake in Seven Eleven Japan, also have
fallen 51 percent since the beginning of the year, after
rising to the highest at least 16 years. Ito-Yokado is the
fourth biggest decliner among Nikkei 225 members.

Investors had bought the shares on news that Ito-Yokado
will offer banking service through Seven Eleven outlets,
but sold on doubts that the net banking business's
profitability.  The decline in Seven-Eleven and Ito-Yokado
accounts for almost half of the 89-member Topix Retail
Index, which has fallen 39 percent this year.

Convenience stores -- once a rare bright spot amid the
nation's economic slump -- are now being affected by weak
consumer spending and new rivals, an analyst said.

"Convenience stores operators have been regarded as a
growth sector, but now investors are questioning that, as
consumer spending remains sluggish," said Shinichi Tamura,
an analyst at Marusan Securities Co., who rates Seven-
Eleven "accumulate." "And supermarkets are now extending
their hours of operation, adding a new competitor to
convenience stores."   (Bloomberg  20-Aug-2000)

SNOW BRAND MILK PRODUCTS: Production at plant suspended
Snow Brand Milk Products has once again suspended
operations at its plant in Taikicho, Hokkaido until the
results of a government inspection are received.

The Hokkaido prefectural government and the Obihiro Health
Center inspected the Snow Brand's Hokkaido plan on Saturday
to determine why the skim milk produced there was tainted
with toxin from staphylococcus bacteria. According to the
local government, though the plant was inspected on July
13, the main focus of the first inspection was the sanitary
condition of the facility. The inspection Saturday,
however, focused on whether the factory's production lines
had been stopped or not in early April when the tainted
skim milk was manufactured.


DAEWOO MOTOR: Sale contract to Ford expected Sept.15
Ford Motor and Daewoo Motor creditors are scheduled to
finalize negotiations on the final takeover price for the
ailing Korean car manufacturer by the end of this month and
sign a formal contract by by September 15, sources said.

Ford has just completed its six-week appraisal of Daewoo
Motor's assets at home and abroad and presented its revised
bid price to the Daewoo Group restructuring committee.
Ford's initial bid was 7.7 trillion won ($6.9 billion) for
all of Daewoo's auto operations.  A Daewoo source said that
the price cut proposed by Ford does not exceed 1 trillion
won. (Korea Herald  21-Aug-2000)

Of the 11 non-life insurance firms who close out their
accounting in March, only three firms realized net profits
in the first quarter (April through June), according to the
Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). These loss-making non-
life insurance firms posted net losses of W45.1 billion for
the three month period.

Included in the group of loss makers are LG Fire and Marine
with net losses of W50.3 billion; Ssangyong with W13.2
billion; Kukje Insurance with W11.3 billion; and First
Insurance with W10.7 billion.

The three firms posting profits are Samsung Fire and
Marine, which achieved net profits of W47 billion; Dongbu
Fire and Marine with W14.7 billion; and Hyundai Marine and
Fire with W5.2 billion.

HYUNDAI GROUP: Management reneges on restructure promise
The ailing Hyundai Group once again revealed reluctance to
reform its problematic management practices and finances,
angering regulators, creditors and the market.  Reneging on
its earlier promises to the government and creditors,
Hyundai said over the weekend that Hyundai founder Chung
Ju-yung will sell his 6.1 percent stake in Hyundai Motor
directly to investors, instead of creditors.

Analysts forecast Hyundai's violation of its publicly
announced restructuring and self-rescue pledges is expected
to considerably delay the separation of Hyundai Motor,
slated for this week. Even worse, its untrustworthy
attitude has raised fears that the group will rapidly lose
investor confidence, sinking again into a liquidity crisis,
they say.

As part of the latest reform package, unveiled August 13,
Hyundai said that its founder Chung will sell 6.1 percent
of his Hyundai Motor stake, retaining the legally
permissible 3 percent, to creditors, helping to clear the
last hurdle to the automaker's spin-off. The creditors were
then to sell the Hyundai Motor shares, worth 220 billion
won ($198.2 million), randomly to domestic and foreign

Watching Hyundai's reversal of stance, analysts express
doubt over whether the group was serious about other
promises for massive asset sales to salvage the near-
bankrupt Hyundai Engineering & Construction and spin-off of
Hyundai Heavy Industries by 2002. Hyundai's corporate
restructuring committee said yesterday that Chung's 6.1
percent in Hyundai Motor shares will be sold in several
blocks to domestic and foreign institutional investors in
two to three days.

The committee added that the search for potential stock
buyers is already underway and the application for the
separation of Hyundai Motor will be submitted by the end of
this week.

"Hyundai opted for a direct sale, as the procedures and
terms for equity transfer to creditors are expected to be
complicated and time-consuming," said a committee official.

He said that the group already obtained creditors'
concessions over the issue.  But the Korea Exchange Bank,
the main creditor, said that it has never been formally
notified of the change in plan, triggering the speculation
that Hyundai and creditors may plunge into a fresh
restructuring dispute.

In addition, the Chung family will probably be entangled in
a new internal dispute, as Hyundai's actual owner Chung
Mong-hun, the fifth son of founder Chung, and Hyundai Motor
Chairman Mong-koo, the eldest son, may resume their
quarreling, this time over the character of the buyers of
Hyundai Motor stocks.

"Hyundai scrapped its key reform pledge as creditors were
said to consider selling chunks of the 6.1 percent stake to
Mong-koo, giving impressions that the elder Chung and his
favored son Mong-hun are still reluctant to yield full
controls of Hyundai Motor to Mong-koo," said a Hyundai

Mong-koo is believed to be capable of mobilizing nearly 30
percent of shareholdings in Hyundai Motor but has been
constantly challenged by his younger brother Mong-hun.

"Depending on the character of the stock buyers, the elder
Chung and Mong-hun may be able to maintain strong
managerial influences over Hyundai Motor in violation of
the government's restructuring policy."

He noted that considering the Chung family's unreliable
track record, the elder Chung, Mong-hun and their aides
will likely attempt to temporarily "hide" the 6.1 percent
stake in friendly third-party forces.  Also worried about
such restructuring tricks, the government is pressing the
Hyundai management to abide by the original restructuring

Government reformers and creditors have been pushing to
separate Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Hyundai Precision &
Industry and five other auto-related affiliates from the
parent group, as part of the chaebol reform drive aimed at
severing financial subsidy flows from healthy units, like
Hyundai Motor, to their weaker sisters.

Further confounding the outlook for Hyundai crisis, the
conglomerate is escalating its dispute with the government
and creditors over the dismissal of problematic executives,
like Hyundai Securities Chairman Lee Ik-chi, Hyundai
Engineering president Kim Yoon-kyu and Hyundai
restructuring chief Kim Jae-soo. (Korea Herald  21-Aug-


PUNCAK VISTA SDN: Remains in default on loan
United Engineers Malaysia Bhd has reported that its
associate company, Puncak Vista Sdn Bhd, remains in default
onn the payment of principal and interest on its 363
million ringitt syndicated term loan and convertible bank
guarantee facility, as well as on a 30 million ringitt
revolving credit facility.

Puncak Vista has fully utilized the term loan facility and
some 6.115 million ringitt of the revolving credit facility
as of end-June, UEM said in a status update report.
Principal on the term loan as of the end of June totaled
363 million ringitt, while interest on the loan amounted to
113.727 million ringitt. Principal and interest due and
payable on the revolving credit facility were 6.115 million
ringitt and 1.749 million ringitt respectively.

Both facilities are secured against Puncak Vista's 32.3
acres of land in Kuala Lumpur and a debenture against all
of Puncak Vista's assets. The debenture provides for the
agent bank to appoint a receiver in the event of a default,
which has not yet been done, according to the UEM report.

WOO HING BROTHERS: Rescue plan in the making
A rescue scheme is in the works under the supervision of
Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd and an agreement is
expected to be signed soon.

Jiwa Ragam Sdn Bhd, the single-largest shareholder in
financially-troubled Woo Hing Brothers (Malaya) Bhd, is
likely to remain the controlling party in the watch
retailing company after its debt-restructuring exercise.
Sources say an asset injection could probably come from
Jiwa Ragam to resuscitate Woo Hing, which have accumulated
losses of RM45 million as at the end of last year, into a
viable concern.

They also say the asset to be injected is likely to be a
150ha property project in Puchong, Selangor. Jiwa Ragam,
which is believed to be linked to Senator Datuk Nor Azah
Awin, owns an 11.41 per cent stake in Woo Hing that
comprises 1.78 million shares as at Dec 31, 1999.

Woo Hing has a paid-up capital of RM15.6 million. Nor Azah
is also the chairman of Denko Industrial Corp Bhd. Woo Hing
came under the supervision of Danaharta on March 2
following the appointment of special administrators for the

On the asset injection, the sources say the mixed property
development in Puchong will be developed over several
years. A source says the property project will be able
generate an income of RM400 million during this period.
Shareholders of Woo Hing may be given a reprieve as the
proposed restructuring exercise, unlike in other cases, is
not expected to touch on a capital reduction of the
company, sources say.

As for the creditors, it is learned that they will be paid
from the proceeds of a capital-raising exercise, which
could be in the form of loan stocks and instruments.
Woo Hing, whose shares were suspended from trading on March
2, has been in the red over the last coupled of years.

For the 1998 and 1999 financial years ended Dec 31, Woo
Hing recorded post-tax losses of RM18.14 million and
RM17.66 million, respectively. The accumulated loss results
in a capital deficiency of RM27.79 million for the group.
As at the end of last year, the group had net liabilities
of almost RM80 million.

According to the auditor's report on Woo Hing's latest
annual report, the continuation of the group and company as
a going concern depends on the future profitable operations
and the support of the shareholders and creditors. Woo Hing
chairman Tun Ghafar Baba said in his annual report
statement that the special administrators are looking into
avenues to restructure the company in order to strengthen
the cash flow and the overall financial standing. (The Edge


PETROCHEMICAL CORP.: Gets fresh capital; to resume ops
Petrochemical Corp. of the Asia Pacific (PetroCorp) has
found a strategic partner that will provide the firm needed
working capital to resume operations for one year beginning
in October 2000.

PetroCorp president and chief executive officer Antonio
Garcia said in a telephone interview the firm is set to
sign a PhP4-billion contract ($88.9 million at
PhP44.992=$1) with the partner which he refused to name.
He volunteered though that the partner is already a
minority shareholder in PetroCorp but does not intend to
further increase its interest.

The firm intends to ask for a restructuring of its PhP2
billion ($44.45 million) debt with banks after the contract
is signed, Mr. Garcia said.  The contract involves a stream
of intermediate materials supply to the partner "which will
result in a good profit margin for the partner," Mr. Garcia

PetroCorp shut down operations in May 2000 due to soaring
prices of raw materials and the slump in domestic demand
for intermediate goods.  With the contract, PetroCorp will
be able to resume operations in the first week of October
and "we will be in good shape in two to three years," the
company head said.

He expects the period from mid-2000 to 2004 will be good
for the industry and that the company is seeing a bottoming
out of the industry's down cycle this year.  "It appears
there is a semblance of normalcy now," he said, referring
to the prices of raw materials in the world market as well
as the price differential between imported raw materials
and finished goods.

Raw materials such as propylene and ethylene are now less
than $500 per metric ton as compared to $540 months back.
"The price of raw materials is easily moving down," he

The price of finished goods, on the other hand, is up from
$600 per ton to $620.  PetroCorp had difficulties dealing
with the price differential then because it also competes
with imported finished goods and its competitiveness is
constantly challenged due to the high costs of converting
raw materials into finished goods.

The firm had to shut down temporarily because it was
"losing cash," he said, noting the volatility in the world
market in the last three months and the hike in prices of
crude gasoline.

"The more we sold, the more we lost. The volatility (in the
world market) was so severe that keeping operations would
eat up on your cashflow conditions....The most prudent
thing them was to let the storm blow away and let the dust
settle," he said.

He claimed, however, that the firm has not reneged on its
debt obligations with creditor banks.  "We're working with
the banks and we want a restructuring of our debt after we
sign the contract (with the strategic partner). Resumption
of our plant operations will not require new loans because
of the contract which, in fact, will help us to be able to
service repayment obligations."  (Business World  21-Aug-

SHEMBERG BIOTECH CORP.: Colgate contract depends on rehab
US personal care products giant Colgate-Palmolive Co. has
told  Shemberg Biotech Corp. that it will buy carrageenan
for its tootepaste products from Shemberg only until the
end of the year unless Shemberg files a restructuring plan
by then.

Carrageenan is a thickener, emulsifier, stabilizer and
gelling agent in food, beverages, cosmetics and
pharmaceuticals. It is extracted from Euchema seaweed.

Colgate established the rehab plan filing as a condition
before committing to a long-term agreement for the purchase
of carrageenan. It will not allow Shemberg to bid for the
contract next year unless the condition is met.

Financially troubled Shemberg's debts amount to $10
million, which has undermined the company's profitability.
Shemberg president Benson U. Dakay said a restructuring
plan will be presented to the company's creditor
consortium, led by Standard Chartered Bank, next week in
Manila. The creditor consortium includes multilateral
agencies Asian Development Bank (ADB), DEG and Commonwealth
Development Corp. (CDC).

In addition to meeting Colgate's rehab plan condition,
Dakay says the company will seek to find other outlets for
its carrageenan product.

URBAN BANK: S'holder meeting to okay merger
Urban Bank Inc will hold a special shareholders meeting on
September 7 to seek approval for the proposed merger of the
bank with the Bank of Commerce.

Under the merger terms, Bank of Commerce will be the
surviving entity, according to receiver Philippine Deposit
Insurance Corp. (PDIC).  In a letter to the stock exchange,
PDIC said the proposed merger between Urban Bank, Urbancorp
Investments Inc and Bank of Commerce is part of the
rehabilitation of the bank.

Under the proposed rehabilitation plan earlier approved in
principle by the central bank's monetary board, Bank of
Commerce will repay Urban Bank's deposits within three
years and beef up the bank's capital by P1.65 billion.


FHTK HOLDINGS : Net loss widens to $51.2M
Fruit and vegetable distributor FHTK Holdings has reported
that its full-year net loss for the period ended March 31
widened to $51.2 million from $44.7 million for the same
period last year.

The company said in a statement that the reason for the
widened loss was due to increased provisioning for bad
debts. Management had deemed it necessary to increase the
provision charged to the profit and loss for bad debts from
$860,000 to $7.3 million.

The additional debt provision was required after FHTK
accepted proposals from two major debtors for a 40 percent
discount on their long outstanding debts. The company said
that it decided to accept this "in view of the
long-term trading relationship with these debtors and
improved collections from these debtors on recent sales."

As a result of the adjustment, loss per share increased to
10.63 cents from 9.29 cents. Net tangible assets per share
fell 0.98 cent to 8.42 cents.  Its net current liabilities
over assets widened to $98.5 million from $79.8 million
while shareholders' fund fell to $56.9 million from $63.4

Group turnover remained unchanged, however, at $116.2
million. That was down 13 percent from the previous year.
FHTK earlier attributed its poor performance to "banks
limiting credit facilities to the group as trading
activities were constrained by a lack of additional working
and long term capital."

Nonetheless, the company managed to cut its losses from
$81.5 million due to a tightening of its debt collection
efforts and trimming of overheads. The group currently is
finalizing a debt restructuring scheme. It recently
completed a rights issue exercise to raise funds to repay
bank borrowings.


SOON HUA SENG: Rehab talks failing, chief to face suit
Local banks are preparing to file a bankruptcy suit against
Kitti Damnernchanvanich, head of the agribusiness giant
Soon Hua Seng group, after failure to reach progress in
restructuring talks.

Mr Kitti and other family members will be sued as
guarantors of the group's debt, estimated to be as much as
150 billion baht, including foreign loans.
Major bankers of the group include Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai
Bank and Thai Farmers Bank. Soon Hua Seng has interests
spanning commodities trade, pulp and paper manufacturing,
property development and power generation among more than
12 different companies.

Local bankers say that legal action is needed following the
failure of progress in restructuring talks.  Since June,
the Bank of Thailand has required local banks to submit
restructuring schedules for their delinquent borrowers. If
talks fail to meet committed deadlines, banks are required
to press legal suits or risk fines imposed by the central

One executive at Bangkok Bank said the bank would file suit
against individual companies of the group, starting with
Advance Agro Plc, a listed pulp and paper manufacturer.
In the suit, the bank plans to focus more on individual
guarantors of the debt rather than the company itself,
given that the firm's assets is insufficient to cover the

"By filing suit against the personal holdings of the group
executives, we hope that we can recover the loans better
than taking direct action against the firms themselves,"
the banker said.

Total outstanding loans to Bangkok Bank alone by the group
is estimated at around 30 billion baht.  Thai bankers are
frustrated by what they feel is the group's unfair
treatment of creditors.  Soon Hua Seng has serviced its
debt to foreign creditors through its export earnings,
while allowing loans from Thai banks to go bad, bankers

Even overseas loans guaranteed by Thai creditors have been
allowed to go non-performing, forcing Thai banks to pay the
difference.  Bangkok Bank has already sent formal notice to
the company warning that legal action was imminent, and
requesting instructions on whether further restructuring
talks should be held.

At Krung Thai Bank, executives said if one creditor took
action against Soon Hua Seng, other banks, including the
state-owned giant, were likely to follow in order to
protect their legal claims. Restructuring talks with the
group have stretched over two years, complicated by the
sheer size of the debt and scope of the group's business

Soon Hua Seng has hired SCB Securities to help draft a
restructuring plan. Any plan, said one executive of SCB
Securities, would require forbearance and compromise on the
part of both creditors and the group. Most of the banks
exposed to the group knew that their collateral was
insufficient to cover their outstanding debt, he said.

On the other hand, Soon Hua Seng was willing to give banks
a full share of the group's 300-million-baht annual
earnings from agricultural exports. Other business lines,
including pulp and paper and the group's industrial parks,
were showing losses and had insufficient cash flow to
service debt.

"The group is willing to negotiate with the banks, and has
co-operated as much as possible," said another executive.
"The banks, however, don't want to accept losses. So when
the group asks for a haircut of debt, the banks refuse,
even though they well understand the position of the

But other bankers said this was unfair, and clouded the
issue of how the group managed its finances among the
different companies. The Soon Hua Seng case has proved "to
be a huge headache for all the creditors", said one
executive of Thai Farmers Bank.  Funds from many loans to
the group were actually used for alternative purposes, with
no clear trace of where cash was transferred to result in
losses at some companies, he said.  (Bangkok Post  21-Aug-

SRITHAI SUPERWARE: To leave rehab program, convert loans
Srithai Superware is planning to leave its debt-
restructuring programme soon and will convert foreign loans
into baht early next year.

Sanan Angubolkul, the executive chairman, said the firm's
creditors had decided to sell 24.9% of the company's total
shares and it was likely the holdings would be bought by
institutional investors this month or next. Existing
shareholders and the company's management were interested
in buying back the shares but they would only do so in a
subsequent round.

The sale would reduce the creditors' combined stake to
51.1%. The price of the shares has not been disclosed.
Previously, when the creditors accepted equity in lieu of
cash repayment, the price was 13.75 baht per share.
Mr Sanan said the company would clear its debts as soon as
possible. It would sell non-performing assets, including
land worth 600 million baht, in the next five years.

Srithai expected to clear its accumulated losses of 600
million baht within two years, he said. The conversion of
loans into baht was an urgent matter, he said, as every
time the baht weakened by one baht against the US dollar,
it swelled foreign debt by the equivalent of 70 million

For the six months ending June, Srithai Superware reported
a net profit of 281.6 million baht, compared with net
losses of 183.7 million baht in the same period last year.
However, the Srithai group posted consolidated losses of
238.5 million baht for the first half, compared with losses
of 183.7 million last year.

Srithai projects that its sales will increase 10% this year
from last year's level, with exports accounting for 40% of
revenue, up from 23%. Mr Sanan said that if the company
achieved its target, and the baht strengthened to 38 to the
dollar, the company would post a 400 million baht profit
this year. (Bangkok Post  21-Aug-2000)

SUPALAI PUBLIC: SET told of debt rehab agreement
Supalai Public Company Limited reported to the Stock
Exchange of Thailand that it entered into Debt
Restructuring Agreement on Aug. 18 with 3 CDRAC financial
institutions,(previously accepted the Restructuring Plan
and was announced to public since 18 January 2000)  and 1
non-CDRAC institution.

Total Debt done was 2,267.7 million Baht principal, 1,793.6
million Baht interest and settlements of 474.1 million Baht
of:  1. Assets set-off worth of 735.7 million Baht at 2
institutions; 2. Hair cut in principal and interest of
331.2 million Baht; 3. Issue 2 tranches of Zero Coupon
Bond: 3.1. redemption in 7 years at the amount of 288.3
million Baht with     2.5% p.a yield. 3.2. redemption in 10
years at the amount of 343.2 million Baht with average
2.568% p.a yield. 4. Issue convertible debenture redemption
in 1 year at the amount of 18.1 million Baht and
subsequently converted to be 864,700  shares at the rate
of 20.95 Baht per share.

There are two remaining CARAC institutions expected to sign
the agreements no later than the end of this month at the
total Debt amount of 796 million Baht. (Stock Exchange Of
Thailand  21-Aug-2000)

TPI POLENE: Bankruptcy Court asks for rehab plan
TPI Polene Plc said the Central Bankruptcy Court has asked
the company to prepare a business reorganisation plan. In a
statement, the company said it expects to submit the plan
to creditors as soon as possible, as creditors already have
approved the commercial details of the plan.

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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