TCRAP_Public/001031.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, October 31, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 212


* A U S T R A L I A *

EMAIL: To confirm plant closure

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

BESTWAY INT'L HLDGS.: Posts FY accumulated loss
GOLD HONEST MANAGEMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
KAIMAY PLASTIC AND METAL MFTY.: Facing winding up petition
PEOPLE'S INSUR.CO.OF CHINA: Orders trust & inv. firm shut
PEREGRINE INVEST.HLDGS.: Liquidator announces dividend
PETROCHINA CO.: To merge, shut down more refineries
SINOCAN HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss
WELBACK HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT APAC CENTERTEX: Sells stake in Vita Daya to pay debt
PT MUARA ALAS PRIMA: IBRA appeals bankruptcy ruling
PT PLN: Gov't may bail it out

* J A P A N *

SEGA ENTERPRISES: Stock dives after loss warning

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTOR: Creditors ready backup plan if GM walks
DONG-AH CONSTRUCTION: Faces liquidation

* M A L A Y S I A *

AUSTRAL AMALGAMATED: Proposes restructure
TAIPING CONSOLIDATED: Restructure expected done by Jan.

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

ASB GROUP: Creditors reject rehab plan

* T H A I L A N D *

ITALIAN THAI DEVELOP.: Merrill Lynch to form debt plan
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Creditors delay debt plan vote
WANG PETCHABOON GROUP: Struggling to stay afloat


EMAIL: To confirm plant closure
Around 520 workers will lose their jobs over the next 15
months, with leading white-goods manufacturer Email Ltd
expected to confirm today the closure of its Chef oven-
making factory in Melbourne.

Email, the subject of a hostile $815 million takeover bid
by Smorgon Steel, said increased import competition and
reduced exports had forced it to consolidate production in
Adelaide, where wage and other costs were lower. Urgent
meetings between the Australian Workers Union, the
Victorian Government and the company have so far failed to
avert the closure of the business at Brunswick, in
Melbourne's north.

The Email board will finalise the decision at a meeting
today, with the plant expected to be phased out over the
next 15 months.  Email's major appliances manager, Mr
Trevor Carroll, said all staff who wished to relocate would
be offered employment at Email's Dudley Park facility in

"Those jobs will be lost in Victoria, but all staff will be
offered employment in Adelaide," Mr Carroll told The
Australian Financial Review.

He denied the closure was prompted by Smorgon Steel's $815
million, or $3-a-share, takeover bid for the Email group -
which is conditional on Email offloading its appliances
division to Sweden-based Electrolux. Email directors are
not expected to respond to the Smorgon bid until

"It has got absolutely nothing to do with it; it's totally
unrelated," Mr Carroll said. "The decision is all about
consolidating production into the Adelaide factory. It's
really all about having a more efficient operation."

Union and State government sources say the company is
winding up parts of the appliance business such as Chef to
make it more attractive to Electrolux, which is an
interested buyer of the major appliances business.
The Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Mr Rob Hulls,
sent a letter to Email last week offering further
government assistance to prevent the closure.

The facility, acquired from Southcorp 18 months ago, has
reportedly improved productivity considerably, with the
workforce reduced from 560 to around 520 in that time.
Union sources suggested that any attempt to close the
factory would cost the company more than $17 million in
redundancies. (Australian Financial Review 30-Oct-2000)

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

BESTWAY INT'L HLDGS.: Posts FY accumulated loss
Bestway International Holdings, a maker of PVC products,
recorded an accumulated loss of HK$15.72 million for the
year ended March. By comparison, the company posted
retained profits of HK$104.68 million the prior year.

The accumulated loss was reached by deducting retained
profits of HK$104.68 million at the beginning of the
financial year from a net loss of HK$120.4 million.
Loss per share was 11 HK cents compared with 28.3 HK cents
a year before. Revenue fell 54.6 percent to HK$523 million.
No final dividend will be distributed.

GOLD HONEST MANAGEMENT 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
Telford International Company Limited for the winding up of
Gold Honest Management Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before November 7.

KAIMAY PLASTIC AND METAL MFTY.: 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
Cable & Wireless HKT Enterprises Limited for the winding up
of Kaimay Plastic and Metal Manufactory Limited. A notice
of legal appearance must be filed on or before December 11.

PEOPLE'S INSUR.CO.OF CHINA: Orders trust & inv. firm shut
The Chinese government has ordered People's Insurance
Company of China (PICC), the mainland's biggest insurance
company, to close down its wholly controlled trust and
investment company, as part of its efforts to restructure
the trust and investment sector, China Securities reported.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the mainland's banking
regulator, formally rescinded the company's license
following nearly three years of internal restructuring
imposed by the regulator. An official with the central bank
said the closure is different from the previous closures of
trust and investment company that were triggered by
financial difficulties.

The move was to comply with a central government decision
for a massive restructuring of the trust and investment
sector, the official said. PICC was also forced by the
central government to relinquish its securities arm to
China Galaxy Securities Company, the only state-owned
securities company in China, according to the bank

Earlier media reported that PBOC announced that Beijing
would keep only three state level trust and investment
companies, China International Trust and Investment
Corporation (CITIC), China Coal Trust and Investment
Company and China Economic Development Trust and
Investment. The rest of more than 100 so-called
international trust and investment companies would be
either shut down or merged. (ChinaWeb 30-Oct-2000)

PEREGRINE INVEST.HLDGS.: Liquidator announces dividend
The liquidator of Peregrine Investments Holdings Ltd.,
holding company of the collapsed Peregrine Group, declared
a second-interim dividend of 10% to unsecured  creditors,
payable on Nov. 7.

Liquidator PricewaterhouseCoopers said the second-interim
dividend was in addition to a first-interim dividend of
7.5% declared on March 1, resulting in total interim
dividends of 17.5%.

"The total amount of the cash already paid or about to be
paid in respect of the first- and second-interim dividends
is in the vicinity of HK$2.7 billion (US$346.1 million),
to some 210 creditors," said David Hague, the partner in
charge of the Peregrine liquidations.

The total interim dividends of 17.5% exceed the lower end
of PricewaterhouseCoopers' estimated dividend forecast
of 15% to 25% reported in April, Mr. Hague said. The
liquidation of the Peregrine Group of companies is one
of the largest and most complex in Hong Kong's corporate

Since January 1998, Peregrine operations in nine countries
have been sold and more than 60 group companies have been
placed into liquidation in 11 jurisdictions. Across the
group, about HK$3.4 billion has been paid to more than
1,000 external creditors. (The Asian Wall Street Journal

PETROCHINA CO.: To merge, shut down more refineries
PetroChina Co., China's foremost oil producer, plans to
merge more of its refineries by March next year, including
refineries in Daqing, Linyuan, Lanzhou and Jilin and a
chemical plant in Lanzhou.

The Ming Pao Daily is reported the cutbacks, naming no
source for the information. The company also will close
some smaller refineries in a bid to cut costs and boost
efficiency, according to the report. Petrochina said in
August that closure of six refineries in the first half
reduced its product output by 5.3 million tons. It still
hopes to hold 20 percent of the mainland market for
petroleum products within two years, saying it held 12
percent of that market by August-end.

SINOCAN HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss
Sinocan Holdings Ltd recorded a net loss attributable to
shareholders of $36.6 million for the year ended December
31, 1999.  However, the company reported its financial
statements do not yet include the equity for the group's
share from the results of Kisco (BVI) Ltd and its
subsidiary for the period from January 1, 1999 to October
15, 1999.

The company explains that is because, at that time, the
group had ceased to be in position to exercise significant
influence over the Kisco's group.  In the firm's auditors'
opinion, that is not in accordance with the requirements of
HKSA Statement and no reliable financial information for
the Kisco's group was available.

The auditors, therefore, have not been able to quantify the
effect from the group's share of results of the Kisco's
group for the year ended December 31, 1999.  The group's
plant and machinery with a book value of about $178 million
as at December 31, 1999 had operated substantially below
capacity during the year and have been mostly idle at the
time of the audit report.

In the auditors' opinion, provision for impairment should
be made for plant and machinery as required by HKSA
statement.  In the absence of an independent professional
valuation of these assets, the auditors have not been able
to quantify the effect of impairment of these plant and
machinery on the consolidated profit and loss account for
the year ended December 31, 1999.

The auditors have considered the adequacy of the disclosure
made in the financial statements concerning the adoption of
the going concern basis on which the financial statements
have been prepared.  The company is negotiating with an
existing major shareholder on debt restructuring. (CN-
Market News 30-Oct-2000)

WELBACK HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss
Welback Holdings Ltd recorded a loss for the year ended
June 30, $22 million less than the loss posted last year.
Turnover actually increased by 35.1 percent from the prior
year to $348 million. Nonetheless, no final dividend was


PT APAC CENTERTEX: Sells stake in Vita Daya to pay debt
Textile producer PT Apac Centertex Corporation reportedly
has sold a 24 percent stake in PT Vita Daya Harapan (VDH)
for Rp7.5 billion (US$84,000) to help the company pay its
debts. Apac president Benny Soetrisno said the stake
represented 6 million VDH shares at a price of Rp1.250.

PT MUARA ALAS PRIMA: IBRA appeals bankruptcy ruling
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) has filed
an appeal to the Supreme Court from a commercial court
ruling that rejected its 17.7 billion rupiah bankruptcy
suit against Dharmala Group affiliate PT Muara Alas Prima.

Previously, the commercial court rejected IBRA's suit
against Muara Alas on the grounds that the company already
had dissolved itself as a business entity and was
undergoing liquidation.  IBRA claimed that Muara Alas'
dissolution was carried out in bad faith, done only to
evade a bankruptcy suit from creditors.

IBRA further claims that Muara Alas breached a credit
agreement that stipulates that creditors' consent must be
secured before any material corporate action can be taken
-- including dissolution of the company.

PT PLN: Gov't may bail it out
The government may approve a request by state electricity
company PT PLN to pay its debts, totaling Rp 12 trillion
(about US$1.34 billion), with independent power producers

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo
Yusgiantoro said in Bandung the government was likely to
pay PLN's debts considering its importance in safeguarding
national power supply.

"Well PLN is a state company, so if the company is sick the
government issick too," Purnomo told reporters on the
sidelines of a seminar on electricity on Saturday.

He said that PLN's request was still being discussed by
finance minister Prijadi Praptosuhardjo and the state
electricity company. However, he said he could not
guarantee that the government would approve PLN's bailout
request. "It's up to the finance minister," he added.

Technically, he went on, PLN needed large investments to
build new power infrastructure and prevent a power crisis.
The state company has said that if power demand continues
to grow by its present pace of 12 percent a year, Java
might face a power shortage in 2003. Purnomo said he had
given PLN and the ministry's director general for
electricity two months to come up with a plan to avoid a
power crisis.

"The plan will be included in the national general plan on
electricity, which will have to be completed by January
2001," he explained.

Over the years, PLN has failed to pay for electricity it
purchased from IPPs. PLN buys power from IPPs at an average
price of 6 U.S. cents (about Rp 540) per kilowatt per hour
(kWh), but sells it at an average of Rp 240 per kWh. In the
first half of this year, PLN recorded a net revenue of Rp
10.11 trillion, up 30 percent from the same period last
year, mainly because the government approved raising
electricity rates by an average of 29 percent since April.

But during the same period, the state company recorded a
twelvefold increase in losses to Rp 11.58 trillion as
against last year's first semester loss of Rp 974 billion.
PLN attributed the losses largely to the costs of
purchasing IPPs' power, the price of which had quadrupled
during the first half of the year due to a fluctuating

Hatta Radjasa of House of Representatives Commission VIII
for energy affairs said the government could not afford to
let PLN go bankrupt. "I don't agree or disagree (with the
bailout), but PLN has short-term andlong-term liabilities
that it cannot pay," he said. (Jakarta Post  30-Oct-2000)


SEGA ENTERPRISES: Stock dives after loss warning
Shares in Sega Enterprises Ltd tumbled 12.33 percent on
Monday after the Japanese video game maker cut its earnings
forecast sharply for the year to March, predicting a fourth
straight year in the red.

Sega's shares fell by a daily limit of 100 yen to a record-
low 711 yen, below the previous low of 806 yen.  After the
stock market closed on Friday, Sega had slashed its group
net forecast for the year to a loss of 22.10 billion yen
($203.4 million) from the previous prediction of a 1.5
billion yen profit, due mainly to a reduction in the
overseas sales price of its mainstay Dreamcast game

In a much-awaited move, Sega had also said it plans to
start providing its game software for rival makers'
consoles.  But Shunji Yamashina, an analyst at Societe
Generale Securities, said the strategy appears half-
hearted, as it applies only to existing software.

"The shift is welcomed, but the decision came too late,
given a huge loss it would take if it pulls out of the
hardware business as expected," said Takashi Oya, an
analyst at Deutsche Securities also said, estimating Sega
would need more than 30 billion yen to withdraw from the

Sega has repeatedly denied speculation it would discontinue
its hardware business.  CSK Corp , which holds a 17.2
percent stake in Sega, also revised down its estimate to a
group net loss of 11 billion yen, against its previous
forecast of a net profit of 300 million yen. CSK shares
also fell by the daily limit of 300 yen or 17.14 percent to
1,450 yen.

Deutsche's Oya said it would also be too risky to invest in
CSK given uncertainty in Sega's future in addition to an
estimated 63 billion yen in latent losses from its
shareholdings in Sega.  "It would be too early to consider
buying CSK's shares" on bargain hunting, Oya said.

CSK's subsidiary and publisher Ascii Corp , which also
revised down its earnings forecast for the full year to
March, is down by the daily limit of 100 yen or 16.31
percent to 513 yen. (Reuters 30-Oct-2000)


DAEWOO MOTOR: Creditors ready backup plan if GM walks
Creditor banks of Daewoo Motor reportedly have been
preparing contingency plans to handle a possible breakdown
in sale negotiations with General Motors, with creditors to
invite local large-sized firms, including Samsung, to
submit bids to become Daewoo Motor's largest shareholder if
this were to happen.

According to sources at main creditor Korea Development
Bank (KDB) Monday, creditors have been prompted by worries
that talks could be aborted over unfavorable conditions
offered by GM. According to the source, creditors would
convert the company's debt into equity after making a
capital reduction and then sell off a substantial stake to
a local firm.

Commenting on this new proposal, officials at Renault-
Samsung made it clear that Samsung was free to go ahead and
invest into Daewoo Motor, but that Renault would absolutely
not take part in such a deal.  The KDB source added that
another backup plan could see Hyundai Motor operating
Daewoo Motor on a commissioned management basis.

Under such a plan, creditors would ask Hyundai Motor to
make a substantial equity investment into Daewoo Motor.
Commenting on this plan, one high-ranking executive at
Hyundai Motor said his firm does not find anything that
goes against its business plan in such a deal and is open
to analyzing the possibilities.

Meanwhile, many in government and some members of the
creditors' group feel that Daewoo Motor should be
liquidated. Most industry analysts say, however, that
liquidation is not likely as the economic impact of closing
down the nation's second-largest automaker would be too
severe a blow for the country to absorb. (Digital Chosun

DONG-AH CONSTRUCTION: Faces liquidation
Creditors of Dong-Ah Construction Industries decided Monday
to refuse to give additional fund and to suspend workout
program of the nation's major construction company.

The creditors announced that the decision was made after
its steering committee voted to deny Dong-Ah's request by
74.74%. The decision is expected to be endorsed by whole
creditor financial organizations Tuesday.

Spokesman for the major creditor Seoul Bank said they
decided Dong-Ah has little chance to recover after studying
its business prospect and management plan. Dong-Ah is
expected to seek for court protection. Of the three large
firms that have been pegged as likely to be liquidated,
so far only Dong-Ah Construction Industries appears likely
to be placed under court control in preparation for

The other two firms industry observers had said were in the
line of fire for closure are Hyundai Engineering &
Construction and Ssangyong Cement. Once creditors finalize
a decision to no longer keep Dong-Ah afloat, the firm
will be placed under court control, something which is
expected to happen in November.

The pessimistic outlook of creditors is based on the firm's
vastly deteriorated performance. Despite recent proposals
for self-rescue, including a plan to trim its staff of
3,900 by 1,500 and to raise W52.7 billion through the sale
of real estate assets, creditors could not see past dismal
performance figures for the first half: the firm posted
sales of only W790 billion for the first six months of the
year, resulting in W619 billion in losses for the period.
(Digital Chosun  31-Oct-2000)


AUSTRAL AMALGAMATED: Proposes restructure
Property developer Austral Amalgamated Bhd (Austral Amal)
is proposing a corporate restructuring exercise which
involves a capital reduction, a rights issues with
warrants, an injection of new companies and a creditors
scheme to turn around its ailing financial position.

In a statement to the KLSE last Friday, Austral Amal said
the company had proposed a capital reduction on a ratio of
20 to one.  The existing share capital of Austral Amal, of
RM188.2mil comprising 188.2 million shares of RM1 each
would be reduced to RM9.4mil comprising 188.2 million of 5
sen each after the capital reduction exercise.

The reduction of 95 sen for each existing share of RM1 par
value would give rise to a credit of about RM178.86mil
which would be utilised to reduce the group's audited
accumulated losses of RM940.8mil as at June 30, 1999.
The entire share premium reserve amounted to RM403mil would
be utilised to set off against the accumulated losses.

After the capital reduction, every consolidated share shall
be exchanged for a new share in Furqan Business
Organisation Bhd, which will take over the listing status
of Austral Amal, the statement said.  To raise fresh funds
for the new restructured group, Austral Amal has also
proposed a rights issue of 18.82 million new Furqan shares
with 18.82 million free attachable warrants on the basis of
two rights shares with two free detachable warrants for
each Furqan share held after the proposed capital

The company proposes to inject two companies, Eastern
Biscuit Factory Sdn Bhd (EBF) and Wilayah Leasing Sdn Bhd
(WL) into Furqan.  Austral Amal and Furqan had entered into
a conditional sale and purchase agreement to buy the entire
stake in EBF from Teong Hoe Holding Sdn Bhd (THSB), Forad
Management Sdn Bhd (FMSB) and Datuk Tan Kok Hwa for

The consideration will be settled by issue of 196 million
Furqan new shares at RM1 each. The proposed injection of
EBF is attached with a profit guarantee which the aggregate
pre-tax profit of the three financial years ending Dec 31,
2001, 2002 and 2003 shall not be less than RM8.99mil,
RM15.96mil and RM17.74mil respectively. EBF is engaged in
property development and investment, and owns an integrated
hotel and retail centre.

Austral Amal and Furqan had also entered into a sale and
purchase agreement to buy the entire stake in WL from Chong
Ching Siew Holding Sdn Bhd, Tong Yoong Fatt and FMSB for
RM70mil.  The acquisition would be settled by issue of 70
million Furqan shares.

WL is principally involved in the leasing of equipment in
the printing and plastics industries, and providing
financing through hire purchase.  The statement said
Austral Amal had also made a proposal that FMSB would
subscribe to the proposed restricted issue of 45 million
Furqan shares for RM45mil cash after the consolidation

As for Austral Amal's RM805.3mil debts, it has proposed
seven separate schemes to restructure the borrowings and
reduce its interest payment.  Upon completion of the
restructuring exercise, Austral Amal will be delisted from
the KLSE main board. FMSB and THSB will be the two largest
shareholder of Furqan which holds 32.3% and 27.5%

The gearing ratio of the new restructured group will fall
to 1.25 times upon the completion of the exercise, taking
into account a full exercise of warrants. (The Star Online

TAIPING CONSOLIDATED: Restructure expected done by Jan.
Taiping Consolidated Bhd's much awaited restructuring
exercise is expected to be completed by the end of this
year, and would result in YTL Corporation Bhd owning 51
percent stake in the company.

Its chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Suleiman
Manan said subsequently, the company would be relisted on
the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange after being suspended since
July 1998.

"All negotiations related to the exercise have been
completed and we are now waiting for the final approval
from the government before finalising it," he told
reporters after the company's annual general meeting here

The restructuring of the troubled Taiping Consolidated
started two years ago and was earlier scheduled to be
completed during the fourth quarter of 1999. Asked on the
delay, Suleiman said the restructuring took time as
negotiations involved several parties including the
creditors, a new partner (YTL Corp) and the authorities.

Under the restructuring exercise, Taiping Consolidated has
proposed to enlarge the company's share capital and
Suleiman himself is proposing to own 30 percent equity in
the company, making him the second largest shareholder.
On its immediate plans, he said the company would revive
the Sentul Raya project comprising a 118-ha land in Sentul,
Kuala Lumpur which was suspended due to the economic

The Sentul Raya development which is a 70:30 joint venture
between Taiping Consolidated and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd,
includes a 380-unit high-cost apartment project and 774
units of medium-cost apartments both of which are already
80 percent completed. Its other projects in the first phase
comprising a nine-hole golf course and 68 units of shoplots
have already been completed.

On the remaining land of the Sentul Raya project, he said
the decision on the development would be made by the new
management after the completion of the restructuring
exercise.  Suleiman said Taiping Consolidated would likely
remain as a property developer after the restructuring and
further injection of land into the company was expected in

Asked on its post-restructuring performance, he said he was
confident that Taiping Consolidated would be on a strong
foothold again and be able to return to the block with the
support of its new partner, YTL Corp. (Malaysian National
News Agency  30-Oct-2000)


ASB GROUP: Creditors reject rehab plan
A group of creditor-banks led by Metropolitan Bank & Trust
Co. has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to
junk the revised rehabilitation plan for the debt-strapped
ASB Group of Companies, saying some provisions of the
plan encroached on the banks' rights over mortgaged

In a motion filed with the SEC, the creditor-banks said the
provision calling for the release of the mortgaged property
to form part of the asset pool to be later on managed by a
trustee bank and a project governing board would usurp the
vested rights and powers they enjoy under the mortgage
trust indenture.

The banks which are secured creditors of the ASB Group also
include Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Philippine National
Bank, Prudential Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines,
United Coconut Planters Bank, and Equitable-PCI Bank.
They added that the release of a portion of the mortgaged
property is in violation of the terms of the MTI with the
ASB Group.

They also cited Article IV of the MTI, which provides that
the trustee shall not be required to release any part of
the mortgaged property at any time in events of default.
The banks said the filing of the petition for
rehabilitation is an event of default, which effectively
prevents the trustee from releasing a portion of
the mortgaged property.

They earlier asked the SEC to thumb down ASB's request for
extension of the debt moratorium to allow them to institute
foreclosure proceedings against the group's assets. The ASB
Group last week asked that the loan payments suspension
order be extended for another 60 days or until Dec. 30
pending submission of comments by all creditors on the
proposed rehabilitation plan.

Without an extension, creditors of the ASB Group can start
foreclosing on the ailing firms' assets. The extension of
the suspension order, which expires on Oct. 31, will also
give the SEC ample time to decide on ASB Group's proposed
recovery program.  Owned by property developer Luke Roxas,
ASB Holdings sought reprieve from the SEC on the payment of
its over P5-billion debts.

In a separate filing with the SEC, UCPB said the plan is
not comprehensive as it failed to address material and
relevant matters pertaining to the financial statements of
petitioners. It said the plan includes adjustments to the
financial statements that are not acceptable under
generally-accepted accounting principles and are "not
realistic but are manipulations intended to conceal the
financial condition of petitioners."

UCPB said the ASB Group should in fact be liquidated since
it is already insolvent. It claims that the ASB Group has a
negative net asset of P3 billion. DBS, for its part, said
the plan failed to provide a material financial commitment
for the payment of secured creditors. Under the plan, the
payment of secured creditors is totally dependent on the
success of the asset pool which is highly questionable.

"There is no reasonable certainty that the finished
projects that are to be contributed to the pool will be
completed or that the new projects to be constructed will
materialize. The plan does not provide alternatives in the
event that the asset pool does not generate the projected
revenue or otherwise fails," DBS said.

"It is doubtful whether the terms of the plan would be
sufficient to bring about the rehabilitation of the ASB
Group because it does not provide for the institution of
changes in the ASB Group's management, organization,
policies, operations or finances for the purpose of
rescuing or reviving the petitioning corporations," DBS

Individual creditors of the ASB Group, on the other hand,
said they would not oppose the rehabilitation plan unless
such program would result in the complete and total
settlement of all obligations.  They said the rehabilita-
tion plan should make provisions for a repayment scheme,
specifying those for interest as distinguished from
payments on the principal and allocate a specific portion
of the amounts realized from ASB's projects to service its
debts to creditors. (Manila Times  31-Oct-2000)


ITALIAN THAI DEVELOP.: Merrill Lynch to form debt plan
While trying to woo new investment partners to join its
cash-hardened operations, a leading construction
conglomerate, Italian Thai Development (ITD), has
commissioned Merrill Lynch to study the company and find
ways to restructure its massive debt, incurred largely as a
result of the on-going economic slump.

Premchai Kanasut, Director and Chief Executive Officer of
ITD, said that Merrill Lynch will propose its debt
repayment recommendations to the Creditors Committee in
early November.  On October 27, the company held a
shareholders meeting to clarify why it was not able to meet
interest obligations on the firm's unsecured debentures,
due on October 11.

Premchai told the meeting that the cash-flow shortage,
caused by the economic down turn, had forced the company to
postpone interest payments, amounting to 212 million baht,
to all holders of unsecured debentures.  Premchai also
disclosed that Italian Thai had been forced to opt for a
debt moratorium on its third round of debt repayments to
financial institutions.

Meanwhile, he said that the company has been trying in vain
to attract new joint investors.  "We want to increase our
capital by offering shares to our partners. But the plan
hasn't worked out because of our country's negative
investment image. However, we are still working on this
because we know that the more capital we can generate, the
easier the negotiation with our creditors will be,"
Premchai said.

Currently, ITD's total debt stands at 11.5 billion baht. Of
this amount, 3.5 billion is owed to holders of unsecured
debentures, seven billion to foreign financial institutions
and one billion to domestic lenders.  Premchai also
responded to allegations made by a brokerage company that
ITD in fact had adequate cash by saying that the 600
million baht on its books cannot repay debt as it is being
used to guarantee new projects. (Business Day  30-Oct-2000)

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Creditors delay debt plan vote
A creditors' vote on the $3.5-billion restructuring plan
for Thai Petrochemical Industry has been postponed.

Legal Execution Department officials agreed to delay the
vote until Nov 16 to give creditors more time to study
proposed amendments to the plan. Ten creditors and TPI
asked for the delay at Monday's meeting. Creditors noted
that Effective Planners, which is overseeing the restruc-
turing plan, had not prepared copies of the proposed
amendments in Thai.

Visit Wisitsora-at, executive director of the Business
Reorganisation Office, said Effective Planners had
confirmed that the amendments would be submitted to
creditors next week.  Prachai Leophairatana, TPI chief
executive, said the delay would give creditors additional
time to study the proposed changes in the plan.

He said TPI would continue to work to protect its
interests, adding that the company had had no input to date
in preparing the rehabilitation plan. He added that
payments by planners to members of the creditor steering
committee, amounting to some five million baht per month,
was akin to bribery and lobbying of creditors to accept the

"The government should be more active in helping protect
the country's assets. But in the past, they haven't helped
at all, only following the orders of the IMF," Mr Prachai

The delay opens the door for creditors or TPI to propose
new changes up to three days before the meeting. But major
creditors, including Bangkok Bank, Citibank and the
International Finance Corporation, have already indicated
that they plan to reject all proposed amendments. Anthony
Norman, managing director of Effective Planners, said he
did not believe that any major changes to the restructuring
plan would be made.

He denied that there had been any lobbying of creditors
ahead of the vote, and insisted that the current plan was
fair to all creditors involved. Fees had been collected and
the plan drafted honestly and based on Thai law, Mr Norman
added.  A total of 11 proposed amendments had been made by
TPI, creditors and Effective Planners.

Proposals deal with the pricing of shares swapped for
debt to be repurchased by TPI from creditors in the future,
details on the sale of non-core assets and treatment of
credit facilities for various banks.  Shares of TPI on the
Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday fell 10%, closing
off 40 satang at 3.6 baht in turnover worth 31.36 million
baht. (Bangkok Post  31-Oct-2000)

WANG PETCHABOON GROUP: Struggling to stay afloat
The Tejaphaibul family is struggling to keep afloat its
last major business interest, the debt-ridden Wang
Petchaboon Group, developer and owner of the World Trade

The company, which has an outstanding debt of Bt2.8 billion
against assets of Bt8 billion, is facing a major court
battle against bankruptcy. Its executives insist they can
save the trouble-plagued company.  "Our assets are still
positive, even if we repaid all debts," said the group's
executive vice president, Somsak Tejapisal.

But since the financial crisis struck in 1997, the Wang
Petchaboon group has not paid interest on its loans or
repaid principal.  As a result, Bangkok Metropolitan Bank
and Siam Commercial Bank have filed bankruptcy suits
against the company.

Ironically, the Tejaphaibuls once controlled the Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank. But overlending to the family's business
subsidiaries led the institution into financial distress,
even in good economic times. Bangkok Metropolitan
Bank was nationalised by the banking authorities in late
1997, dealing the Tejaphaibul family a major blow. Since
then a string of events has gone against the Tejaphaibuls.

The family has lost control of Thai Amarit Brewery Co, the
brewer of Kloster beer. The brewer is now in Bangkok Bank's
hands, following a court order last month. Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank has provided a Bt2-billion supporting
loan to the World Trade Plaza, a subsidiary of Wang
Petchaboon Group and operator of the World Trade Shopping

Of that loan, Bt1.2 billion has been used on construction
work. The remainder has been used for loan guarantees.
Siam Commercial Bank lent a further Bt800 million to the
ill-fated World Trade Tower project, another subsidiary of
Wang Petchaboon Group and developer of the 26,000-square-
metre exhibition hall and 63-storey office tower.

Originally, the World Trade Centre was envisaged as a
hallmark building complex on Ratchadamri Road comprising
the World Trade Shopping Centre, the World Trade Tower and
the World Trade Hotel. The shopping centre has been
completed, and is the only project generating income for
the group. The other two projects were never completed.

Construction of the World Trade Tower stopped at the 42nd
storey in 1997. It is now little more than a giant concrete
block.  The World Trade Hotel has also been on the back
burner since 1997. However, Somsak said the company was
negotiating with a strategic partner to develop the hotel
as a joint venture.

He would not name the potential partner, because that
company is currently negotiating to restructure its debt.
"The partner will start negotiating with us after
completion of the debt-restructuring," Somsak said.

The Wang Petchaboon Group ended up in the Central
Bankruptcy Court after debt-workout negotiations failed at
the Corporate Debt Restructuring Advisory Committee level.
This committee, chaired by Bank of Thailand Governor MR
Chatu Mongol Sonakul, is tasked with the responsibility of
mediating and accelerating talks between creditors and

If the talks fail the case is automatically referred to
court. There is also pressure on the Financial Institution
Development Fund (FIDF), which now controls almost 100 per
cent of Bangkok Metropolitan Bank, to accelerate its legal
action against the Wang Petchaboon Group.

The FIDF has almost completed a deal to sell a 75-per-cent
stake of Bangkok Metropolitan Bank to Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation.  At the completion of the sale Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank, will be renamed after the parent
company. According to its debt-restructuring plan with BMB,
the Wang Petchaboon Group has proposed stretching its debt-
repayment period from five years to 10 or 12 years,
depending on the interest.

Before this, the Wang Petchaboon Group had intended to sign
an agreement to buy 25,000 square metres of office space in
the World Trade Tower for BMB's new headquarters. This
would have partially alleviated its Bt2-billion debt to
Bangkok Metropolitan Bank. But the deal has been scrapped
because of the lawsuit.

Regarding its debt to Siam Commercial Bank, the Wang
Petchaboon Group has proposed three conditions: injection
of a fresh loan of Bt4 billion to complete the tower
project, forgiveness of half the outstanding Bt800
million and converting the debt into equity. Obviously,
Siam Commercial Bank cannot accept these three conditions:
it would mean further commitment to a project that is
already foundering. And so, the group is in court again.
(The Nation  30-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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