TCRAP_Public/001016.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

             Monday, October 16, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 201


* A U S T R A L I A *

BIGFATRADIO.COM: Joins the list of dot-com failures
COLES MEYER: Divisions drag financial performance down
HEALTHLAND: Buyers lining up
HIH: Chief steps down as pressure builds
MAINSTREET INTERNET: Cash burn pushes into administration
ONE.TEL: Stock falls 9.7% on investor sell-off
PLANETEL: Cash burn pushes into administration

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

BEST & BEST INT'L INVEST.LTD: Facing winding up petition
CENTROCORP LTD: Facing winding up petition
CHONG KO ENTERPRISES LTD: Facing winding up petition
DIMAN HIGH FASHION CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition
GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: $3B non-core asset sell-off
HEEPSON HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
KANE ENTERPRISE HLDGS.LTD: Facing winding up petition
METRO HONOUR INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
SHENHUA SHENG YU COAL AND ENERGY:Facing winding up petition
SHOW8 CYBER MEDIA: To transfer or axe more staff
SMART JUMBO INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
UNITED HONG KONG LTD: Facing winding up petition
WISE TALENT (HK) LTD: Facing winding up petition

* I N D O N E S I A *

BAKRIE & BROTHERS: Restructuring, debt-for-equity swap near
PT BAKRIE SWASAKTI UTAMA: Restucturing proposal rejected

* J A P A N *

DAIEI INC: Officials launch probe of ex-execs
INTER-LEASE CORP: May be liquidated
SOGO CO: Draft plan foresees closing 10 stores

* K O R E A *

CHOHUNG BANK: Debt-for-equity swap possible
DAEWOO MOTOR: Labor dispute threatens GM due diligence, bid
DONG-AH GROUP: To slash assets, jobs for loan
SSANGYONG CEMENT CO.: Debt-for-equity swap possible

* M A L A Y S I A *

EXPRESSWAY LINGKARAN TENGAH: Creditor blocks debt plan
EXPRESSWAY LINGKARAN TENGAH: Report it's dropped rehab plan
STAR CRUISES: Sued by Saudi prince

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

WESTMONT INVEST.CORP.: SEC recommends charges vs. officials

* S I N G A P O R E *

BINTAN LAGOON RESORT: To restructure bond payment

* T H A I L A N D *

FINANCE ONE: Faces suit for failure to repay Bt300M notes
TPI POLENE PLC: Proposes debt-for-equity swap


BIGFATRADIO.COM: Joins the list of dot-com failures
---------------------------------------------------, the highprofile Internet venture fronted
by Angela Catterns, Ian Rogerson, Debbie Spillane, Helen
Razer, Andy Glitre and Michael Tunn, has shut down.

"If you have a business that is spending more money than it
is making, it can't keep going," said Bigfatradio cofounder
Chris Gilbey yesterday. "Bigfatradio was set up with a
longterm view in mind, but the market conditions changed.
Of course it's disappointing, incredibly disappointing."

Bigfatradio's management team included the former general
manager of the Triple J and Triple M radio networks, Barry
Chapman; and an exvice president of Warner Bros
AsiaPacific, Brian Harris. It was backed financially by
Snowstorm, an investment consortium including Strathfield
Car Radio boss Andrew Kelly and Paul Keating confidant
Chris Coudoudanris.

But despite the credentials and a growing audience of
Internet users, venturecapital firms turned their nose up
at yet another consumer dotcom business. Coudoudanris said
the Internet radio station, which planned to float on the
Australian Stock Exchange, was unable to raise a second
round of funding.

Gilbey attributed the swift closure, only fourandahalf
months from the launch, to the inability of advertisers to
understand the streaming media technology it offered.
Bigfatradio was all talk and pictures. Internet users who
joined the website sat back and were taken on an online
tour as a string of new Web pages appeared.

Advertisers were offered live 30-second reads, and their
website included as part of the tour.  In its first month,
the radio station claimed an audience of 35,000 Internet
users, staying an average 15 minutes. (Fairfax I.T.  13-

COLES MEYER: Divisions drag financial performance down
More than $530 million was wiped from the market
capitalization of Coles Myer yesterday as the retailer
failed to deliver a much-anticipated special dividend and
investors remained concerned about the ailing Target and
Katies chains.

Australia's biggest retailer produced a 9.3 per cent rise
in net profit before abnormals to $483.7million, also
revealing it would review its shareholder discount card
scheme because of higher than expected costs. Market
jitters surrounding possible changes to the discount card
also hurt the stock, which slumped 45.4› to close at $6.88.

While the underlying result was in line with market
expectations, analysts were concerned about the home and
apparel division made up of Target, Katies and Fosseys,
which reported a 41.7 per cent slump in earnings to $74.2
million.  Chief executive Mr Dennis Eck gave the strongest
signal yet that the Katies chain, which lost $14million in
1999-2000, would finally be divested, with Kmart New
Zealand, which plunged into the red by $6.5million.

The company took the knife to both businesses through heavy
writedowns of their asset values to smooth the way for a
sale.  "It's positioned us to have the flexibility of any
option we pick, whether to exit or continue to run them,"
Mr Eck said.

Coles Myer also announced an on-market share buyback of up
to $220million, and foreshadowed further buybacks and
dividend payout measures to release $525million in excess
franking credits before mid-2001.  The company will seek
the approval of shareholders at its annual meeting for
a preference share issue to fund the moves.

Coles Myer has more than 565,000 shareholders on its
register, with 400,000 of them holding between 500 and
1,000 shares enabling them to qualify for a discount card.
The group has temporarily suspended the discount card
scheme for new shareholders, but Mr Eck said the review
would be finished before the end of the year, when a new
card would be introduced.

Shareholders already on the register will still be able to
use their cards at Coles Myer outlets while the review is
undertaken. Mr Eck said it was too early to make a
confident forecast about retail conditions in the next few

"We're going to hold our powder dry," he said. Shoppers
were still "settling down" after the Olympic Games, while
GST issues were still filtering through.

Mr Eck said that during the Olympics there had been a spike
in sales of food items and takeaway food across the group.
Sales revenue at Coles Myer increased 7.7 per cent to
$24.2billion, with the bottom-line profit slipping 25.8 per
cent to $300.7million because of after-tax abnormals
totalling $183million.

On a pre-tax basis, the abnormals reached $260.2million,
which included higher-than-expected GST implementation
costs of $138.5million and restructuring and closure costs
at Katies, Kmart NZ and World4Kids which totalled
$78.1million.  The Katies business has now been written
down to a market value of $20.7million. Shareholders will
be paid a fully franked final dividend of 13.5› per share
on November 13.

The food and liquor arm generated a 10.3 per cent rise in
EBIT to $471.3million, with both Bi-Lo and Coles increasing
market share in a competitive pricing environment. The Myer
Grace Bros department store business lifted EBIT by 21.5
percent to $148.4million, while the general merchandise
division, made up of Kmart and Officeworks, powered ahead
by 33.8 per cent to generate an EBIT of $132.9 million.
(Australian Financial Review  13-Oct-2000)

HEALTHLAND: Buyers lining up
US hotel giant Hilton Group is circling the troubled
Healthland fitness club chain which was put into voluntary
administration last week.

Hilton has been looking to expand its health club
subsidiary LivingWell for some time and sees Healthland,
which operates 11 clubs, as an ideal vehicle for its entry
into the Australian market.  LivingWell is the UK's biggest
health club operator with 76 clubs. It has another nine
clubs planned in the UK by the end of 2001.

It recently expanded beyond the borders of the UK with a
club in Malta and plans to open clubs early next year in
Berlin, Dresden and Mainz. Perth health club group BC The
Body Club also revealed it was in negotiations to buy the
Healthland business.

BC managing director Mr Jim Cowling said he had appointed
Trudo Corporate as the Perth company's adviser to negotiate
with the Healthland administrator. BC operates a chain of
13 health clubs in Perth, which Mr Cowling said had
about 28,000 members. He said Healthland represented an
opportunity for BC to meet its national expansion

"BC has been researching a national expansion program for
the last three years and we are working with Trudo to
consider any investment opportunities that may present in
regards to Healthland," said Mr Cowling.

Healthland's administrator, Mr Alan Topp of Armstrong Wily
& Co, said he had received plenty of interest from
potential buyers both from Australia and overseas.
"At the moment I am dealing with expressions of interest
which total in excess of 60," Mr Topp said.

Many of those were only for individual or particular sites,
he said, and he expected to have a clearer idea of
potential buyers by the end of the weekend.

"It is my view that, as of Monday, there will be at least a
final number of five parties bidding for the group who have
done their due diligence and will be in a position to give
me an indicative offer," Mr Topp said. "There is a very
tight time frame and I don't believe all the potential
parties will be able to deal with the business in the time
frame I have."

The collapse of Healthland caused syndicator Teys McMahon
Investments to withdraw a $16.175 million public raising
from the market a week ago. Any acquisition of the
Healthland chain, would not change the status of the
cancelled syndicate, Teys McMahon Investments director, Mr
Michael Teys said yesterday.

"We can't take the hit we did and then turn around and ask
people to invest [in the product] again." (Australian
Financial Review  13-Oct-2000)

HIH: Chief steps down as pressure builds
Months of pressure and a stumbling share price have finally
taken their toll on HIH Insurance's managing director, Mr
Ray Williams, who outlined his resignation yesterday with
no replacement yet found.

Mr Williams' exit will formally occur once a replacement is
found by executive search firm Korn Ferry, expected by the
end of this calendar year. In a tumultuous year, HIH has
suffered poor results and was forced last month to sell its
flagship business, its Australian personal lines
operations, to Allianz to repair its balance sheet amid new
capital adequacy regulations.

HIH's shares rebounded 9c to 52c as shareholders welcomed
the changes, which also included a revamp of the company's
board. Executive directors Mr Terry Cassidy and Mr Dominic
Fodera have stepped down from what was a board heavy in
executive representation. Both will continue in executive

It is understood that Korn Ferry has asked HIH director and
former FAI managing director Mr Rodney Adler if he would
like to apply for the job, but because of other commitments
he is reluctant to do so unless drafted for the job. While
Mr Williams was under pressure from the financial community
and the board, it is believed he submitted his resignation
on his own account.

But Korn Ferry, which has been scouting for a replacement
for some time, is expected to find it difficult locating a
replacement given the job may involve further downsizing
and the sale of assets, particularly HIH's US and UK
exposures. HIH chairman Mr Geoffrey Cohen said Mr Williams,
who founded the company 30 years ago, "does not want HIH's
future progress to be constrained in any way by any
preconceptions or misconceptions held in relation to his

After a weak second half, HIH reported a net profit of
$18.4 million for the year to June, but controversially
added another $163 million to its goodwill for the FAI
acquisition because of additional losses in the first year
of acquisition. (Sydney Morning Herald  13-Oct-2000)

MAINSTREET INTERNET: Cash burn pushes into administration
PLANETEL: Cash burn pushes into administration
Another two high-technology companies have fallen prey to
the increasingly common symptom of dot com cash burn.
Planetel, an Internet service provider, last week appointed
corporate insolvency group Ferrier Hodgson while Sims
Lockwood & Sons, the voluntary administrator appointed by
Mainstreet Internet Services in June, has moved to
liquidate the Sydney Web development group.

The dot com duo are the latest in a fast-growing line of
Internet failures - a phenomenom which kicked off in June
with the death of large e-tailer The Spot. Planetel, which
was formed in November last year following the merger of
Planet Internet and computer group Integration Design, owes
its 280 creditors about $18.5 million.

However since Ferrier Hodgson was appointed, a contingent
claim of $15 million has arisen in the US from bandwidth
reseller Net Direct, taking the potential monies owed to
about $34 million. Of the undisputed claims, TipChoy, a
local syndicate of individual investors, is the largest
creditor. It had been Planetel's main source of funding,
pumping in $13 million over several years.

Partner with Ferrier Hodgson, Mr Steve Sherman, said a
major catalyst for Planetel's demise had been the falling
out last fortnight with US telecom giant MCI WorldCom,
which provided Planetel with access to its underwater
telecom cable between Australia and the US. Mr Sherman said
negotiations between the companies "irreconcilably broke
down" when MCI WorldCom cut Planetel off from the service
after a dispute erupted regarding an alleged outstanding
payment of "more than $1 million."

Planetel, however, is still servicing its 4,000 corporate
subscribers and 18,000 resulting users, having switched to
its back-up Optus satellite network. As well as trying to
reignite talks with MCI WorldCom, Mr Sherman also said he
was in the process of looking for a buyer for Planetel but,
as yet, there were no expressions of interest.

"Planetel has a sound business plan but it needs a big
brother right now," he said. "There was a hiccup in the
cash cycle of the business and the IP-based business model
has been slower to come online than was initially

Meanwhile, Mr Scott Pascoe, partner with Sims Lockwood &
Son, has managed to sell most of Mainstreet Internet's
assets and is now considering whether to take legal action
against its two directors and co-owners, husband and wife
team Tony and Jennifer Mayfield.  Mr Pascoe said he was
considering making an insolvent trading claim against the
pair, seeking to recover around $250,000.

He also said there were a number of other potential legal
actions under way, including one from an aggrieved
customer. Mainstreet was placed in voluntary administration
in late June, owing 50 creditors, mainly suppliers, around

Since Sims Lockwood moved to liquidate the company, another
$500,000 in claims has arisen. Mr Pascoe said there had
been around 40 expressions of interest from potential
buyers but "only half a dozen were serious."

It is understood the highest offer, of around $500,000,
came from Web development and e-commerce integration firm
TodayTech. TodayTech eventually withdrew its offer after
itsreal intentions were revealed. Sources claimed TodayTech
had only wanted to poach Mainstreet's staff.

Kinetic Education, an educational software firm, offered
$100,000 but also withdrew the offer. Mr Pascoe said unless
legal claims against the company bore fruit, Mainstreet's
creditors would get nothing. (Sydney Morning Herald 13-Oct-

ONE.TEL: Stock falls 9.7% on investor sell-off
The stock of One.Tel Ltd., a loss-making Australian phone
company, fell 9.7 percent Friday as the entire Australian
stock market fell. One.Tel shares fell 6 cents to 56 cents,
their lowest since Dec. 1998. Perhaps contributing to the
share decline was One.Tel's announcement Thursday that it
is pulling out of the Singapore phone market, having blamed
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. for levying high charges
to use its network. Overall, the Australian Stock Exchange
All Ordinaries Index was down 1 percent on Friday.

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

BEST & BEST INT'L INVEST.LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 12 on the petition of
Chan Tak for the winding up of Best & Best International
Investment Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before December 11.

CENTROCORP LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 13 on the petition of
Tse Siu Kwan for the winding up of Centrocorp Limited. A
notice of legal appearance must be filed on or before
December 12.

CHONG KO ENTERPRISES LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on November 8 on the petition of
Bank of Ching, Hong Kong Branch for the winding up of Chong
Ko Enterprises Limited. A notice of legal appearance must
be filed on or before November 7.

DIMAN HIGH FASHION CO.LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 20 on the petition of
Asia Commercial Bank Limited for the winding up of Diman
High Fashion Company Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before December 19.

GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: $3B non-core asset sell-off
Debt-ridden Guangdong Investment (GDI), the SAR-listed
flagship of the Guangdong municipal government, hopes to
raise HK$3 billion from the sale of non-core assets to help
repay its heavy debt, according to managing director Li

A total of 20 loss-making and non-core businesses would be
sold or closed over the next five years to help the company
to reduce its gearing ratio, Mr Li said.  Five of those
assets would be closed if they could not be sold. They
include companies making operating losses such as main-
board-listed Guangdong Building Industries, which makes
sanitary ware and kitchen cabinets, and cement, timber and
financial businesses.

"Our target is to repay 45 per cent of our debt to our
creditor banks by June 30, 2005 so as to lower our gearing
level to a comfortable level," Mr Li said.

This would mean GDI is to repay HK$3.6 billion of its
outstanding debts of about HK$8 billion, according to chief
financial officer Paul Wang.  In the first half of the
year, GDI disposed of two assets - including the sale of
its interest in Zhongshan Toll Road - to cash in about
HK$140 million.

Under a debt restructuring plan announced at the end of
last year, GDI said it would re-focus its operations on
four core businesses.  These were utilities, infrastruc-
ture, property and hotels.  Selling non-core businesses
constituted part of the company's debt-restructuring plan.

As part of that plan, the Guangdong municipal government
agreed to inject an 81 per cent stake in a water project
plus US$20 million in cash into the insolvent company.
The injection of the water project stake into GDI is a key
element of the Guangdong provincial government's plan to
restructure US$5.59 billion in debts owed by its insolvent
window company Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) (GDE).

GDE and its subsidiaries built up huge debts in the 1990s.
The problem surfaced following a credit crunch after the
closure of the provincial government's investment vehicle
Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp (Gitic)
in October 1998, amid uncertainty about whether creditors
would get any of their money back.

Gitic's problems prompted investors in other government-
linked companies, such as GDE, to panic.  This precipitated
the restructuring and forced the Guangdong municipal
government to rescue its window company and listed flagship
through the debt restructuring plan announced last

"We plan to repay our debt by three major sources of
revenue: first the cash flow from the pending acquisition
of the Dongjiang water project, then the proceeds from
disposal of non-core businesses and the earnings from our
operations," Mr Li said.

GDI shareholders are expected to vote on the debt
restructuring plan. It can go ahead only if they approve
the deal. It is also conditional on completion of the GDE
restructuring plan, targeted for the end of the year.
(South China Morning Post  13-Oct-2000)

HEEPSON HOLDINGS LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 12 on the petition of
Chan Dat Chan, Tseung Kwan O. and Lau Ngan Chai for the
winding up of Heepson Holdings Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before December 11.

KANE ENTERPRISE HLDGS.LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on November 15 on the petition of
The Daiwa Bank, Limited for the winding up of Kane
Enterprise Holdings Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before November 14.

METRO HONOUR INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 6 on the petition of
Fung Fuk Sun for the winding up of Metro Honour
International Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before December 5.

SHENHUA SHENG YU COAL AND ENERGY:Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on November 22 on the petition of
Richman Resources Limited for the winding up of Shenhua
Sheng Yu Coal and Energy Corporation Limited. A notice of
legal appearance must be filed on or before November 21.

SHOW8 CYBER MEDIA: To transfer or axe more staff
Troubled Internet content provider (ICP) Show8 Cyber Media
is to lay off more staff and transfer others to a new joint
venture as part of a continued restructuring.

Employees from Show8's entertainment news portal
will be transferred to a joint venture freshly established
with (Holdings).  The merger of the two ICPs'
entertainment news business has come after widespread
retrenchments among many similar SAR businesses which had
found advertising income insufficient to cover expenses.

Stephen Shiu Jnr, executive director of Growth Enterprise
Market-listed, will head the yet-to-be-named
joint venture.  He said, which operates portals
offering general and stock market news, will have a 60 per
cent stake and management rights.

Officials of the companies declined to reveal additional
financial arrangements, other than to say money had changed
hands.  But chairman Wong Yuk-man emphasised
the company will not take up any of Show8 Cyber's debt.

"There is definitely no such thing as us paying off their
debts," he said.  But he added the merger would help save
costs and bolster the combined entity's market position.
"The trend is very clear. Going on your own [in building an
ICP operation] is no longer viable," he said. "We have seen
what happened to a lot of ICPs in Hong Kong."

Show8 Cyber will transfer 10 of's approximately
40 staff to the joint venture.  The remainder are to be
laid off or transferred to other operations.  Show8 Cyber
co-founder and chief executive Frank Ng said the firm was
in talks with investors who were interested in launching a
property-related portal. He hoped that unit would be able
to accommodate some staff.

Show8 Cyber also operates food and dining portal,
lifestyle portal and music portal,
which are all undergoing restructuring.  In two rounds of
redundancies earlier this year, the firm laid off more than
100 staff.  It employed more than 200 people after its
launch in September last year.

Mr Shiu claimed the joint venture would break even in one
to two months, as already had monthly advertising
income of about HK$200,000.  He said the joint venture
could save costs in computer server-hosting fees and
Internet-backbone connection charges as well as rents,
because's operation will be moved into's premises.

"It's just like two people getting married and sharing an
apartment," he added. (South China Morning Post  13-Oct-

SMART JUMBO INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on November 1 on the petition of
Nanjing Textiles Import/Export Corporation Limited for the
winding up of Smaart Jumbo International Limited. A notice
of legal appearance must be filed on or before October 31.

UNITED HONG KONG LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 6 on the petition of
Fung, Wong, Ng & Lam for the winding up of United Hong Kong
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before December 5.

WISE TALENT (HK) LTD: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 6 on the petition of
Choi Mei Yuk Willy for the winding up of Wise Talent Hong
Kong Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on
or before December 5.


BAKRIE & BROTHERS: Restructuring, debt-for-equity swap near
Bakrie & Brothers (BB) group has nearly completed the
restructuring  of US$1.086 billion in debt. Additionally, a
Bakrie statement said it had reached agreement with
creditors on a debt-to-equity swap. The group also has
divested its 25.52 per cent in Bakrie Kasei Corp for
US$51.5 million as part of a debt restructure. After the
restructuring was complete, the company said it would focus
on telecommunications and supporting infrastructure

PT Bakrie Sumatera Plantations (BSP), a Bakrie & Brothers
subsidiary, has agreed to restructure debts worth $76m or

The debts indebted to foreign syndicated banks led by
Credit Suisse First Boston worth $73m, said BSP President
Director Ambono Januarianto. The remaining $3m is in the
form of trade financing facilities from Credit Lyonnais.
Debt restructuring is to be conducted by a 3-year
rescheduling.  "Payments will be made gradually, based on
the company's cash flow condition," Ambono said.

The first payment, 10% of the total amount, is projected to
be carried out in the first quarter, with the following
ones to be made over three years at 20%, 30% and 40%
respectively.  The interest rate under the agreement is at
3.5% premium of the Singapore Inter-Bank Offered Rate

Furthermore, there is no haircut on interest payments. "We
are only extending the maturity period," he added.

Through the restructuring, BSP management is expected to
improve its performance in the future.  The company
performed very poorly in the first six month of this year
posting Rp105.11bn net losses, swinging from a Rp67.48bn
net profits in the corresponding period last year.

The loss in this year's first semester was mainly
attributable to a Rp140.02bn currency losses and Rp34.48bn
net interest charges. Thereby, non-operating losses in the
first semester of this year almost reached Rp173.0bn.
Whereas, a year earlier, it still enjoyed Rp30.64bn non-
operating income.

Meanwhile, operating profit stood at Rp20.06bn, reflecting
a plunge of 8.94% from Rp22.03 the year before. In the
first half of this year, net sales totaled Rp149.11bn,
representing a 1.58% drop from Rp151.5bn. In this regard,
company total assets amounted to Rp983.5bn, down 5.79% from
Rp1.04tr in the corresponding period last year.

Meanwhile, total equity sank by an average 63.92% to
Rp282.92bn from Rp102.08bn previously. Total liabilities
were up 15.82% at Rp881.42bn compared to Rp761.03 the year
before. The debt to equity ratio stood at 863.42%, much
worse than the 268.99% ratio a year earlier.

In FY1999, despite of Rp37.40bn operating profits, BSP
still had to book Rp6.45bn net losses, due to quite high
non-operating expenses, which were totaling at Rp51.08bn in
that year. (Indoexchange News  13-Oct-2000)

PT BAKRIE SWASAKTI UTAMA: Restucturing proposal rejected
A Bakrie Brothers affilated company, PT Bakrie Swasakti
Utama (BSU) owes IBRA more than Rp812.2 billion (US$ 93.4
million), 10 percent of the group's debts, and has proposed
a restructuring plan using a debt-to-equity swap scheme.

The company proposed that its ownership be diluted to 46.7
percent with the remaining 53.3 percent of shares being
transferred to the government.  The financial consultant
hired by IBRA to review the proposal, Ernst & Young, have
rejected it, however.

They doubt BSU's ownership of a number of assets,
including 1,476 apartment units and other building projects
in Jakarta. They say CSU will have no cash flow or profit
for another ten years. Ernst & Young recommended instead
that all BSU's assets be liquidated, enabling payment of
from 25 to 50 percent of the company's debts.  Bakrie has
countered by suggesting to IBRA that Ernst & Young should
be replaced by CIMAD, a French consultant.

A former Finance minister, Bambang Sudibyo, as quoted in
Tempo, cynically commented about bailouts that  conglomer-
ates wanting a clear path have to deposit funds with
President Wahid's National Awakening Party (PKB) or the
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). What is certain is that the other
"big fish" debtors will be watching carefully to see
whether the irrepressible Bakries can once again pull a
rabbit out of the hat and wiggle out of this tight corner.
(AsiaGateway 13-Oct-2000)


DAIEI INC: Officials launch probe of ex-execs
The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC)
and the Tokyo Stock Exchange have an investigation under
way on supermarket chain operator Daiei Inc.'s former
president Tadasu Toba and vice president Kazuo Kawa. The
SESC suspects the pair of carrying out questionable stock
dealings with a Daiei-affiliated nonbank financial

According to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbun, questioning
of employees of Daiei OMC Inc., a nonbank financial
institution by stock market officials has begun, and the
SESC has obtained OMC account statements in efforts  to
shed light on stock dealings that are thought to constitute
insider trading, in violation of the Stock and Exchange

Under that law, company executives and employees may not
buy shares in their companies based on insider information
concerning their companies' mergers, bankruptcy, revision
of their account settlements or successful development of
new products until the news is made public because such
information affects share prices.

On May 11 and 13 last year, Toba bought 100,000 OMC shares
worth about 20 million yen. Kawa, then president of another
Daiei affiliate, purchased 30,000 shares worth about 5.4
million yen.  According to sources close to OMC, the
nonbank financial institution began in April last year to
map out a plan to deal with bad loans it extended during
the bubble economy.

Around June the same year, OMC decided to deal with all of
its nonperforming loans at once.  On Aug. 4, OMC revised
downward its midterm settlement statement and announced the
measures it would take to deal with about 120 billion yen
in bad loans.

OMC share prices soared. Toba sold his shares last December
and in January this year, making a profit of 16 million
yen, and Kawa sold all of his shares in February, gaining
about 8 million yen.  The SESC and the stock exchange are
focusing on how Toba and Kawa obtained and sold their

INTER-LEASE CORP: May be liquidated
Nippon Shinpan Co., Japan's biggest credit card company,
said it may liquidate its debt-strapped affiliate Inter-
Lease Corp.

The move would mark the country's sixth-biggest corporate
failure since World War II.  The leasing unit is on the
verge of collapse because of its 774 billion yen ($7.2
billion) in liabilities and 277 billion yen in bad debts as
of August, said Hidetaka Yotsuji, a Nippon Shinpan managing

"Liquidation is an option," he said. "We have to first talk
with other creditors about what to do with the company."

He said he doesn't know by how much liabilities would
exceed assets in a liquidation.  The leasing firm's woes
come amid a spate of Japanese financial companies failing
because they can no longer afford to carry excessive debts
and bad loans.  The hole left by an Inter- Lease bankruptcy
would follow credit card firm Life Co., which filed for
court protection in May with liabilities of about 960
billion yen, according to Teikoku Data Bank Ltd.

"Most of non-bank (finance companies) made very large loans
to corporations in the late 1980s, not only directory but
to subsidiaries, many of which would have been rejected by
banks," said Paul Heaton, an analyst at Deutsche Securities
Ltd.  "Almost all those loans went bad," he said.

Chiyoda Mutual Life Insurance Co. became Japan's biggest
corporate failure in half a century when it filed for
bankruptcy on Monday.  Nippon Shinpan said it expected to
report a special loss of 46 billion yen as par of its plan
to liquidate the ailing leasing affiliate. Its shares fell
as much as 22.7 percent, or 50 yen, to a two-year low of
170. It's the stock's biggest one-day fall since Nov. 26,

The parent company said it revised consolidated forecast
for the full year ending March 2001 to 4.9 billion yen,
down 59 percent compared with the previous forecast, partly
due to a liquidation of Inter-Lease.  Inter-Lease is in
final talks with its main creditors, Sakura Bank Ltd.,
Sanwa Bank Ltd., Taiyo Mutual Life Insurance Co. and
Shinsei Bank Ltd., and the banks have basically agreed on
the liquidation, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said, without
citing sources.

Sanwa Bank, Inter-Lease's biggest creditor, is owed 47.2
billion yen, said Sanwa spokesman Yoichi Fujita. Sanwa is
also a creditor to Nippon Shinpan, he said. (Bloomberg  13-

SOGO CO: Draft plan foresees closing 10 stores
Department store chain Sogo Co., which earlier this year
filed for court protection from creditors, has drawn up a
draft of a rehabilitation plan under which it would likely
close about 10 of its stores.

Sources close to the company report Sogo plans to submit
its final plan to the Tokyo District Court on Oct. 25.
The stores preliminarily tabbed for closure are financially
struggling ones, sources say, including ones in Toyota,
Aichi Prefecture; Kakogawa, Hyogo Prefecture; and the
Seishin branch in Kobe; the Kurosaki store in Kitakyushu;
and in Sapporo. Sogo's employees will be dismissed and then
rehired, the sources said. Overall, the Sogo chain has 22
stores run by 21 companies. Sogo Co. operates the stores in
Kobe and Osaka, but different companies were established to
run each of the other Sogo stores.

In a further effort to decrease its massive debts, Sogo
likely will ask creditors to waive about 70 percent of its
debts.  The sources said the plan to be submitted to the
court on Oct. 25 deals only with those stores deemed
financially viable, including stores in Yokohama, Chiba,
Kobe, Hiroshima, Hachioji in Tokyo, Omiya in Saitama
Prefecture, and its flagship store in Osaka.

Plans for stores facing closure will be prepared
individually after negotiations are held with local
governments, which act as the stores' landlords. Even
though Sogo accepts that closure of most of the 10 stores
is inevitable, it nonetheless has continued negotiations
with the local governments acting as the landlords of its
Sapporo and Seishin stores. Those stores could remain open
if their rents are reduced enough.


CHOHUNG BANK: Debt-for-equity swap possible
SSANGYONG CEMENT CO.: Debt-for-equity swap possible
Chohung Bank and other Ssangyong Cement Co. creditors may
swap about 300 billion won ($267 million) of its debt for
equity to help improve the Korean company's finances,
according to a report in the Korea Economic Daily.

Chohung Bank, Korea Development Bank and Hanareum Merchant
Bank will each swap 100 billion won of Ssangyong Cement's
debt into convertible bonds, the newspaper said, citing
unidentified creditor bank officials.  Creditors plan to
complete the debt-equity swap plan by the end of this month
when Taiheiyo Cement Corp., Japan's largest cement maker,
pays $350 million for a 28 percent stake in Ssangyong
Cement, the newspaper said.

Ssangyong cement has been seeking to reduce 1.9 trillion
won of debt, or about half of its total debt incurred
before Korea's financial crisis in 1997. It is looking to
sell real estate and part of its 69 percent stake in
affiliate Ssangyong Information & Communications Corp.
(Bloomberg  13-Oct-2000)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Labor dispute threatens GM due diligence, bid
Daewoo Motor creditors said yesterday that General Motors
began preliminary due diligence on the ailing automaker,
with the intent to sign a formal takeover contract next
February or March, but the outlook for the sale of Daewoo
is not looking good in the face of stubborn resistance from
its labor unionists, creditors said.

Daewoo's 1,300-odd executives, tendering their resignations
en masse Wednesday, vowed to cut their own salaries by 50
percent in line with the company's sweeping restructuring
efforts. However, company unionists rejected the pay-cut
proposals, forcing the management to freeze their wages at
the current level.

As the creditor banks are determined not to extend
additional loans without painful restructuring, like
overall pay cuts, industry analysts forecast that all of
Daewoo's assembly lines may be completely halted next
month.  Unionists, insisting that the pay cuts and other
self-rescue measures were largely intended to pave the way
for a discount sale, warned that they will hold a large-
scale rally to protest foreign takeover in conjunction with
the powerful metals-industry unions.

Meanwhile, a Daewoo creditor spokesman said: "GM and
creditors agreed to start conducting due diligence and as
GM has gone through the first round of due diligence
already, the bidder hopes to finish it as quickly as

In March, GM conducted due diligence by collecting basic
information and factory visits. This round will focus on
Daewoo Motor's financial status and accounting data. "GM
sees a lot of changes since March, so it will look for
changes as well in accounting and even make visits to
plants if necessary," he said.

The preliminary due diligence is expected to take three
weeks, followed by an exchange of memorandum of
understanding in early December, and six weeks of intensive
due diligence afterwards. If GM agrees to takeover Daewoo
Motor, a binding offer is expected next February or March.
(Korea Herald  13-Oct-2000)

DONG-AH GROUP: To slash assets, jobs for loan
Dong-Ah Group Group confirms it will implement a program to
boost its finances, provided creditors put forth $A590
million.  The Korean construction group says that it will
cut its workforce by one-third and sell off A$88 million in
real estate assets if it receives the requested 350 billion
won in funding.

This month, creditors including SeoulBank have not yet
decided whether to provide the funds. With an estimated
debt load of 3.3 trillion won, Dong-Ah has been
trying to improve its financesfor the past two years. The
group sold its sole property in Australia in early 2000,
for a A$53 million loss.


EXPRESSWAY LINGKARAN TENGAH: Creditor blocks debt plan
Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn, or Elote, a subsidiary of
United Engineers Malaysia Bhd., the country's biggest
construction group, has seen its efforts to reorganize 1.1
billion ringgit ($271 million) in debt fail after the
unit's main creditor rejected its plan.

Ending more than a year of discussions, Danaharta Nasional
Bhd., a state-run asset management body, opposed the plan
to swap the debt for bonds with a yield of 11 percent, said
UEM Managing Director Ramli Mohamad. Danaharta is owed
almost half the total borrowings of Elite.  Danaharta
didn't think Elite, which manages a 36-mile road linking
Kuala Lumpur to its international airport, could make the

Elite's traffic fell from a monthly average of 3.3 million
vehicles in July 1998 to 2.7 million in March 1999,
according to UEM's 1999 annual report.  "Looking at the
traffic flows, Elite may not be able to" meet the terms of
the bond payment, said K.C. Kok, managing director of
research at Worldsec Securities Advisor.

The failed talks will slow the recovery at UEM, which is
looking to pare down its 8.3 billion ringgit debt and focus
on boosting earnings. Last year, the company's profit rose
for the first time in four years.  It also shows how state
creditors lower the bar for large Malaysian companies to
the detriment of other lenders.

UEM is a unit of Renong Bhd., which was formed in 1989 by
pooling many of the interests of the ruling United Malay
National Organization party. The company enjoyed the pick
of government contracts, including the building and
operating of the country's biggest toll road that now
snakes across peninsular Malaysia.

Elite's rehabilitation plan included the conversion of
Elite's debt into serial bonds, or a series of bonds
maturing in between 7 years and 11 years. While the other
creditors wanted an 11 percent yield, Danaharta and UEM
thought it was too high, Ramli said.  The terms of the
bonds such as the yield were "against us," he said.

A new plan is being worked out and is expected to be ready
by the end of the year, he said. Nora Shah, head of
communications at Danaharta, declined to comment. In August
last year, Elite defaulted on 940 million ringgit of loans
and was unable to pay 21.3 million ringgit in interest.
Elite has a contract until 2018 to manage the highway,
which cost 1.34 billion ringgit to build, and to collect
tolls. Elite chalked up sales of 82.3 million ringgit last

Meanwhile, UEM shares have fallen 37 percent in the past
month on concern its Vice Chairman Halim Saad may not be
able to exercise an option to buy more than $600 million in
Renong shares from UEM. The stock's the worst performer on
the benchmark Composite Index, which has dropped 2.2
percent in the period. Saad said today he will honor the
option. The company's shares Closed 44 sen, or 10.28
percent higher at 4.52 ringgit. (Bloomberg  13-Oct-2000)

EXPRESSWAY LINGKARAN TENGAH: Report it's dropped rehab plan
United Engineers Malaysia Sdn, parent group of Expressway
Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd (Elite), now is maintaining that a
report that stated that Pengurusan Danaharta Bhd opposed a
plan to swap debt for serial bonds with a yield to maturity
of 11% is completely wrong.

"The correct situation now is that UEM's subsidiary,
Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd (Elite) has aborted a
debt restructuring scheme that would have involved Elite
issuing bonds with an 11% yield," a UEM statement said.
"In its place Elite has begun work to put in place a new
refinancing scheme that is intended to repay all of Elite's
current lenders. In fact, while awaiting the completion of
the new scheme, Elite has now resumed servicing interest at
an agreed rate on the principal of loans that it previously
defaulted on.

"The response from Elite's lenders to this new financing
scheme has been positive and we are confident that the
scheme can be completed by end-2000," UEM said. (Star
Online  13-Oct-2000)

STAR CRUISES: Sued by Saudi prince
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has filed a
suit in Norway against Malaysia's Star Cruises and its
controlling shareholder for allegedly refusing to meet
legal obligations in a shares transaction, his company said
on Wednesday.

The prince's Kingdom Holdings said in a statement that
"Kingdom group has Sued Star Cruises Plc and its
controlling shareholder, Mr G T Lim, for refusing to meet
their obligations under Norwegian law to buy out the
remaining shareholders of Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)
after the Star Group acquired more than 95 per cent of NCL.
The Star Group's refusal to meet its legal obligations to
buy Kingdom's shares (in NCL) has caused substantial
economic damage," said the statement, faxed to Reuters in
Dubai.  Star Cruises has not reacted to the statement.

The statement said the Star Group had "assured investors
that it intended to buy all remaining NCL shares pursuant
to Norwegian compulsory acquisition procedures once Star
acquired at least 90 per cent of NCL."

It said that the Star Group had announced in February that
it held over 95 per cent of NCL, and that it intended to
purchase the remaining NCL shares.  When Kingdom Group
asked Star to buy Kingdom's NCL shares, Star denied that it
owned 95 per cent of NCL and refused to buy the remaining
interests in the company, it said.

The statement said the prince had until now never sued
anyone in connection with any investment. "However, in this
case the prince had no choice because these actions by Star
and Mr Lim are outrageous and they have refused to address
the problem," the statement said.  (Reuters, Straits Times


WESTMONT INVEST.CORP.: SEC recommends charges vs. officials
The prosecution arm of the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) has recommended the filing of criminal
charges against the directors and officers of Westmont
Investment Corp. (Wincorp) for alleged violations of the
Securities Law.

SEC's prosecution and enforcement department (PED) said it
will file an expanded investigation report to include
allegations of fraudulent transactions by the troubled
investment house. Wincorp allegedly violated antifraud
provisions of the old Securities Law.

Under the Revised Securities Act (RSA), "it is unlawful for
any employ any scheme to defraud or to obtain
money by means of any untrue statement."

Earlier, PED asked Wincorp's 22 major borrowers to confirm
their borrowings from the beleaguered investment house.
A Commission source said the letters issued by PED to
concerned companies would be used as documentary evidence
in filing the case against Wincorp.

Most of the borrowers are also said to be shareholders of
listed firm Unioil Resources and Holdings Co., which owns
100% of Wincorp.  PED said it is looking into some leads
that it discovered in the course of its investigation to
come up with an airtight case against the responsible
officers of Wincorp.

Data from the SEC departments showed that Wincorp extended
credit to corporate and individual borrowers by requiring
the execution of a promissory note and loan agreement
payable to the firm, and issued confirmation advice to its
funders, using the loan agreement as reference collateral.

"The confirmation advice, which is considered a commercial
paper under the New Rules on Registration of Short Term
Commercial Papers (STCP), has not been registered with the
Commission nor can it be considered exempt from
registration under the said rules," the PED said.

Earlier findings by the SEC's brokers and enforcement
department (BED) on the Wincorp fiasco pointed to
violations of the registration requirements under the
short-term commercial paper (STCP) rules. Under the rules,
exemption from registration applies "provided all evidence
of indebtedness are held on to maturity and neither
negotiated nor assigned to any one other than the Central
Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines."

BED said Wincorp negotiated and assigned securities without
first registering the same. Moreover, the BED said that
Wincorp clearly violated the 19-lender rule, with its 2,200
lenders or investors recorded.  Moreover, the PED noted
that Wincorp's non-registration of the loan instruments
will hold the company accountable under the Securities
Law, which include imprisonment of not less than seven
years and a fine of up to 500,000 Philippine pesos ($10,459
at PhP47.806=$1).

The PED will file the said report with the Department of
Justice within the next few weeks, sources said. The same
report will also be endorsed to the money, market
operations department for the filing of necessary
administrative fines and the National Bureau of
Investigation for further investigation.(Business World 13-


BINTAN LAGOON RESORT: To restructure bond payment
Bintan Lagoon Resort, an island hotel partly owned by
Singapore's SembCorp Industries Ltd. and Temasek Holdings
Pte., will rearrange its S$53 million ($29 million) bond
repayment by December, according to a report in the
Business Times citing Lye Fei, the resort's executive

The plans come after the company failed to repay bond-
holders the principal on maturity two weeks ago, though it
had not missed interest payments to date.  Lye said
Societe-Generale Singapore Merchant Bank, the bond sale's
manager, would have plans ready by end of the year, and
that Bintan Lagoon would repay every cent, including any
additional interest costs.

The resort project's development was initially budgeted at
S$160 million, but cost over-runs took this to S$250
million, the paper reported.  Bintan Lagoon offered
investors a coupon of 5.875 percent in September 1995 in
return for money to develop its hotel and golf course
project on the Indonesian island that's about an hour south
of Singapore by ferry.

Kintetsu Group of Japan owns 26 percent of the resort,
Indonesia's Salim Group has 10 percent, Temasek's Seletar
Investments 10 percent, Keppel Land Ltd. 10 percent and
SembCorp's Safe Enterprises 44 percent. (Bloomberg  13-Oct-


FINANCE ONE: Faces suit for failure to repay Bt300M notes
Kiatnakin Finance has filed a civil suit against defunct
Finance One over the failure to repay notes worth 300
million baht.

Kiatnakin had earlier sought to offset the notes against
its own debt owed to Finance One, which was turned down by
officials of the Financial Sector Restructuring Authority.
Instead, Kiatnakin was liable for its debt to Finance One,
and would have to wait with other creditors before
receiving payment on its own claims against the firm.

Lawyers for Kiatnakin said the firm had filed claims with
the FRA for repayment, but that a final decision had not
been made despite several rounds of inquiries.  The FRA, a
state organisation set up under a special decree, is
responsible for the sale of assets and settlement of claims
of the 56 finance companies ordered closed in 1997.

But creditors have become concerned about delays in the
settlement of claims, noting that the FRA has been forced
to file bankruptcy against five finance companies to stay
separate civil claims by other creditors seeking to bypass
the authority's repayment scheme.  More civil claims were
expected as the FRA settlements continue to drag on. Once
in the bankruptcy court, all creditors are required to
file their claims with the court.

The FRA has called on creditors to abide by its settlement
procedure, noting that pursuing claims through the courts
would result in significantly longer delays before final
payment is made.  But one attorney for Kiatnakin said that
if a case was made under the court system, it would be the
Legal Execution Department which handled settlement of
claims and the close of accounts, supported by the
bankruptcy code.

Suraphon Jariyarangsrirattana, special manager for Finance
One, insisted that bringing the settlement case into the
bankruptcy process would only lead to additional
complications and delays for all parties. At the Legal
Execution Department, officials have set up a new office
to specifically handle claims from the closed finance

Disputes over creditor claims are referred to the Central
Bankruptcy Court for a final ruling. In any case,
department officials say they are now seeking additional
staff to help handle the growing caseload.  Earlier,
Finance One had filed a suit against Kiatnakin calling for
repayment of 290 million baht in debt.

The civil court yesterday asked Mongkhon Maksaereekun,
special manger for Finance One, to testify in the case.
Mr Mongkhon testified that several creditors had lodged
suits against Finance One, but had withdrawn their cases
after negotiations.  He said that under the FRA rules,
Kiatnakin was unable to cancel out the obligations, and
would have to submit its claims along with other
creditors. (Bangkok Post  11-Oct-2000)

TPI POLENE PLC: Proposes debt-for-equity swap
TPI Polene Plc vice president for finance Prasert Ittimakin
said according to the company's rehabilitation plan, unpaid
interest of 140-150 mln usd will be converted into equity
at 50-60 baht per share.

"The conversion price of 50-60 baht per share is equal to
the pricing of new shares ... under the capital increase
plan for next year," he said.

He added that the pricing of shares is based on a cashflow
projection for the next 10 years.  Prasert said at a news
conference that he does not expect any problem with the
creditors' vote on the plan as around 70-80 pct of total
creditors have signed letters of acknowledgement.

"The company is likely to be appointed as plan
administrator at the meeting to vote (on the rehabilitation
plan)," he said.

Under the plan, the company will raise between 180-270 mln
usd in new capital, Prasert said.  Prasert said he expects
the new capital issue in the first quarter of 2001 but the
offer will be only for private placement with financial

"The placement of shares will not be with strategic
partners," he said, adding, however, that the company might
also consider a rights issue.

He said the company will submit the rehabilitation plan to
the receiver by December 16, with the creditors set to meet
after that to vote on the rehabilitation plan.  Prasert
said the company is now in the process of buying back its

"We are now waiting for confirmation of a debt buy-back
agreement with creditors who are required to reply by
November 6," he said.

Under the debt buy-back scheme, the company will initially
pay 10 pct of the principal to creditors, he said, adding
that payment for the remaining will be made after the
company completes its capital increase exercise. The
company expects to report only a minimal profit, before
foreign exchange losses, in the third quarter of this year.

After factoring in forex losses, however, the company
expects to post a net loss, Prasert said.  TPI Polene
expects total sales this year of 14 bln baht followed by 16
bln baht in 2001, he said. Prasert added that prospective
investors should seek direct negotiations with the company
because TPI Polene is likely to be appointed the
administrator of the rehabilitation plan.

"The (rehabilitation) plan administrator is authorised to
run the company, so any interested investors should seek
direct talks with us," he said.

At 3:30 pm, TPI Polene was down 0.20 baht at 8.40 on trade
of 420 lots.  (AFX News Limited  13-Oct-2000)

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

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Jover and Maria Vyrna Ni¤eza, Editors.

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

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