TCRAP_Public/001113.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, November 13, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 221


* A U S T R A L I A *

BRAMBLES INDUSTRIES: Trading shaky, under scrutiny
FIRST NETCOM: Still suing Telstra, but enters liquidation
HOLDEN: To cut 300 jobs due to Daewoo collapse
NEWS CORP: Posts losses due to Olympics
ONE NATION LTD: Provisional liquidator moves in

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

PACIFIC CENTURY CYBER.: Offers vol.retirement to cut costs
PANDA-RECRUIT: Posts $13.33M 9-mo.loss
PELOTA WORLDWIDE: S'holder pledges holdings against debts
PETROCHINA: Has cut 10,000 staff since beginning of year

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT DAYA GUNA: Staring trouble in the face

* J A P A N *

MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP: Forecasting losses for next 2 years

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTOR CO.: Files for court receivership
DAEWOO MOTOR: Stops production at largest plant
HYUNDAI ENGIN.& CONSTR.: Creditors agree to loan extensions

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

NAT'L STEEL CORP.: Retraction of liquidation order sought
VICTORIA PLAZA MALL: Debt load worries
WATERFRONT INSULAR HOTEL: Closes; Davao City gov't worried

* S I N G A P O R E *

OKURA SINGAPORE: Ordered to pay off Singaporean debts first

* T H A I L A N D *

ELECTRICITY GEN'G AUTHORITY: Cabinet slashes re-fi loans
ROYAL CERAMIC INDUSTRY: Reorganization plan approved
SUBMICRON TECHNOLOGY: Creditors look favorably on rehab
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Prachai seeks plan vote delay
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: 6 major creditors favor orig.plan
THAI WAH CO.: Reports Bt595M net loss


Basketball Canberra has been placed in receivership because
of a debt it admitted it could not handle.  Tony McGrath,
of KPMG was appointed receiver and manager of ACT
Basketball Incorporated on Tuesday afternoon, relating to
Basketball Canberra's $3.2 million debt with the
National Australia Bank.

Basketball Canberra president Bernard Trevanion said the
association would continue to operate its full range of
competitions and programs in the short term. McGrath will
assess Basketball Canberra's ongoing viability in
conjunction with the management and members of the
association's board, however, and KPMG is also in
discussions with the ACT Government.

"I would hope the long-term future of the sport in Canberra
is not in jeopardy but certainly the structure of
Basketball Canberra is in jeopardy," Trevanion said. "The
board is hopeful it could be [resolved in] a matter of
weeks but we've got no certainty."

Tuggeranong Indoor Sports Centre accounts for $2.5 million
of the overall debt but Trevanion said that selling the
stadium was prevented by a special lease purpose clause.
Despite Basketball Canberra's woes, Capitals coach Carrie
Graf said that it was business as usual for the WNBL
championship-winning team. "We have got ball games to win
and we've been instructed that it's a property asset
issue," Graf said. "There have been guarantees that our
contracts will be honoured, so the main thing for us is for
people to stay positive about basketball." (Canberra Times

BRAMBLES INDUSTRIES: Trading shaky, under scrutiny
Share of Brambles Industries fell another 8 percent Nov. 9
as its surprise earnings warning and continuing scrutiny by
corporate regulators unsettled and upset investors.

It is believed the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission yesterday received complaints that Brambles
failed to inform the market as soon as it knew that first-
half earnings would fall short of previous forecasts.
On Nov. 8, Brambles shares dropped 7 percent as Credit
Suisse First Boston dealers advised clients of research
warning of a potential revision to this year's profit
stemming from a poor performance by the equipment rental
business and an economic slowdown in Europe and Australia.

After the sharemarket closed, Brambles issued an update
stating it was likely report flat first-half earnings,
sparking a rash of downgrades from analysts and a $3.82
fall in the shares yesterday to $44.80. The stock has lost
$7.39, or 14 per cent, in the past two sessions.

On Nov. 9, the company stated chief executive Mr John
Fletcher and finance director Mr Michael Brown had not
divulged any sensitive information about future earnings to
CSFB transport analyst Mr Greg Ward at an exclusive
briefing last week.

"All parties have confirmed that no information was
communicated regarding the forecast financial results for
the current half-year," company secretary Mr Douglas Corben
wrote in response to a query by the Australian Stock

However, the issue is not closed yet, with both ASIC and
the ASX expected to closely examine the matter and
investigate Wednesday's frenzied trading. "ASIC is aware of
the issues and is in discussion with the ASX about the
appropriate response," an ASIC spokeswoman said.

An ASX spokesman said: "In terms of further action, it is
something always open to us. We can do it regardless of
whether or not they have made a response."

Mr Corben said it was intended chairman Mr Don Argus would
deliver the earnings update to shareholders at today's
annual meeting but it was decided to bring forward the
statement in view of the rumours circulating. Brambles also
said on Wednesday that Mr Brown would not stand at today's
meeting for re-election as director.  The October 17 notice
of meeting indicated he would seek reappointment to the

Salomon Smith Barney transport analyst Mr Jason Smith wrote
in a research note the unexpected departure "adds weight to
the view that current senior management has had differing
views to some members of the board."

It is thought a falling out with Mr Argus was at least
partially behind Mr Fletcher's decision to leave Brambles
next March. Most analysts downgraded full-year profit
forecasts for Brambles, including CSFB and SSB. On average,
the revisions stripped about 4.5 per cent from estimated
net profit in the year ended June 30, 2001, to $385 million
and around 8 per cent in financial 2002 to $425 million.

SSB cut its rating on Brambles to neutral, its "first non-
positive view since July 1997". "Brambles' gloss as one of
Australia's best earning certainty companies now has to be
seriously questioned," Mr Smith wrote. (Sydney Morning
Herald  10-Nov-2000)

FIRST NETCOM: Still suing Telstra, but enters liquidation
Wholesale phone reseller First Netcom has been placed into
liquidation after spending $2.5 million on a bitter, three-
year legal battle with Telstra. First Netcom's managing
director, Mr Neil Macdonald, yesterday vowed to continue
the David and Goliath battle, with the help of "litigation

"Based on discussions we've had today with the liquidator
and litigation funders, we expect the matter will become
very active before the end of the year."

In the mid-1990s First Netcom, along with other phone
companies such as AAPT, became embroiled in a series of
complex disputes with Telstra over its wholesale billing
system. In 1998 Telstra claimed it was owed some $150
million for wholesale telecommunications services from
several resellers, including $15 million from First Netcom.

In response, the resellers made cross-claims, arguing
Telstra's bills were riddled with errors because of an
unreliable billing system. People familiar with the
disputes said Telstra had tried to adapt a retail billing
system for wholesale customers in the early '90s. Most of
the disputes were resolved over the past few years,
including a settlement with AAPT. The Telstra billing
system has also since been updated.

However, Mr Macdonald said Telstra had rejected attempts by
First Netcom to settle the matter out of court and so he
battled on. While racking up $2.5 million in legal fees,
First Netcom's service deteriorated. It received legal
threats from the Australian Communications Authority and
the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman for non-
compliance with the Telecommunications Act and eventually
stopped trading.

The Ombudsman, Mr John Pinnock, said yesterday the ACA had
been preparing to take First Netcom to court for unpaid TIO
dues when creditors won a petition to have the company
wound up. First Netcom owed $4.6 million to several
creditors, including Telstra, Cable & Wireless Optus and
the Australian Tax Office, which was chasing about $600,000
in unpaid group tax, said liquidator Mr Andrew Wily of
accountancy firm Armstrong Wily & Co.

First Netcom had only two assets: the Telstra court case
and $3 million in uncollected bills from about 2,500
customers. (Sydney Morning Herald  10-Nov-2000)

HOLDEN: To cut 300 jobs due to Daewoo collapse
At least 300 hundred jobs will be cut by Holden in Victoria
as a result of the collapse of South Korean carmaker
Daewoo, according to newspaper reports in Melbourne.
Daewoo's bankruptcy, declared Friday, will also force
Holden to close its Port Melbourne plant next week for 10
days to slow production, The Age reported.

Exports of Holden engines to South Korea ground to a halt
after Daewoo's letters of credit were withdrawn in the
crisis. Holden was also concerned about being paid for its
engines already stockpiled in South Korea. The temporary
closure of the engine production plant from the middle of
next week will force workers onto annual leave for five
days and five days off on half pay.

The 300 jobs would be lost through voluntary redundancies.
Already, up to 200 contract workers have been laid off
after the Daewoo crisis began last month. Production of
Holden's four-cylinder engines will drop to 900 per day
after the plant reopens from a peak of 1400 per day at the
start of October. (AAP Information Services Pty. Ltd.  10-

NEWS CORP: Posts losses due to Olympics
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sank into the red in the first
quarter of the new financial year, with television income
hit hard by rival coverage of the Sydney Olympics.

The global media giant yesterday posted a net loss after
abnormals for the three months to September 30, 2000, of
A$439 million (US$232.67 million), compared to a net profit
of A$251 million in the same period the previous year.
On a pre-abnormals basis, the company reported a three
percent lift in profit to A$259 million.  Revenues rose to
A$5.62 billion from A$4.85 billion a year ago, however.

The result was largely in line with analysts' expecations
but dragged its stock 6.1 percent lower on the Australian
market where it closed down 1.29 dollars at 19.98 dollars.
Chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said News' US
television businesses, centered on the Fox network,
suffered a slump which he blamed on higher programming
costs and a fall in ratings caused by rival NBC's coverage
of the Olympics.

"In Australia, it [the Games] just scooped all the money
out of the pool for those two weeks and a few weeks on
either side," he said in a telephone conference. (Business
Day, AFP News  10-Nov-2000)

ONE NATION LTD: Provisional liquidator moves in
A provisonal liquidator has said he will seize the assets
of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Ltd as a possible prelude to
winding up the corporate arm of the controversial political
party.  The ACT Supreme Court approved the appointment of
Bill Rangott as provisional liquidator with the power to
assess the financial situation and any irregularities with
the party's finances. The legal move follows Ms Hanson's
failed efforts last month to gain access to the party's
books at its Manly, Sydney, headquarters.

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

Chinadotcom Corporation (CC) posted a loss for the third
quarter ended September 30 totaling US$20 million (HK$156
million), up 40 percent for the same period the previous
year. The loss included US$18 million in noncash expenses.
The company had posted a US$14.58 million net loss in the
previous quarter ended June 30. Meanwhile, operating losses
jumped 23.2 percent to US$28.5 million in the third quarter
this year, up from US$23.13 million in the previous

CC's turnover was US$36 million, up 20 percent for the same
quarter last year. The company, parent of,
attributed the rise to strong growth in its e-business,
from which coincidentally, it had cut more than 40 jobs at
during the period.

PACIFIC CENTURY CYBER.: Offers vol.retirement to cut costs
Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCC) has offered voluntary
retirement to 2,500 employees in a cost-cutting move it
hopes will attract at least a 10 percent response. PCC
currently employs some 14,000 persons. Ip Kwok-fan,
chairman of the Pacific Century CyberWorks Staff
Association, said the move was unexpected, though he
acknowledged voluntary early retirement was different from
straight layoffs. CyberWorks could save up to $61 million
in staff costs, said knowledgable sources, although the
company might have to make a $29 million one-time payout to
those electing to take the offer.

PANDA-RECRUIT: Posts $13.33M 9-mo. loss
Panda-Recruit recorded a $13.33 million loss for the first
nine months of this financial year. That was over 3.5 times
its loss of $3.63 million for the same period the previous
year. Turnover was $99.95 million, however, up from $51.42
million for the same period last year. Loss per share was
1.87 cents; no dividend was declared.

PELOTA WORLDWIDE: S'holder pledges holdings against debts
Pelota Worldwide, which holds 23.2 percent of the Fujian
Group property firm and is controlled by Fujian director So
Sik, was named in a winding up petition filed by Sin Hua
Bank. As a result, So Sik has pledged some 69 million
Fujian shares -- representing a 6.5 percent stake -- to Sin
Hua Bank as security for a HK$49.3 million (US$6.32
million) overdraft facility taken out by Pelota.

A statement from Pelota also confirmed that after Kincheng
Banking Corp. won a HK$97.4 million (US$12.49 million)
judgment against Pelota on Nov. 7, So Sik pledged about 171
million shares -- a 15.9 percent stake in Fujian -- to

PETROCHINA: Has cut 10,000 staff since beginning of year
PetroChina, the largest oil company on the mainland, has
axed over 10,000 staff in the first nine months of this
year in order to meet its downsizing target for this year.

The firm promised before its global offering in April to
retrench between 10 and 12 per cent of employees in the
next five years. A PetroChina spokesman announced that the
company would stick to this policy. He said that they had
issued strict orders to subsidiaries to cut 10,000 staff
every year from 2000 to 2002.

The People's Daily said that the firm was offering
incentive packages to staff to resign voluntarily.  As the
largest oil producer and second-largest refiner in China,
PetroChina was forced into restructuring by rising
competition from China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation
(Sinopec) and the looming challenge from multinational oil
giants after China enters the World Trade Organization.

State media reports show that the company lost 4.7 billion
yuan (about HK$4.4 billion) in the first five months of
this year due to high crude prices and low efficiency.
Last month PetroChina completed two high-profile mergers in
Northwest Gansu province and Northeast Heilongjiang
province to reduce costs and boost competitiveness. (South
China Morning Post  10-Nov-2000)


PT DAYA GUNA: Staring trouble in the face
Loss-making Indonesian fishing company PT Daya Guna
Samudera is about to stare trouble right in the face, as in
20 days, it has to come up with $11.3 million to pay
interest on a $225 million bond maturing in 2007.

One possibility for the company is to sell more of its
fishing fleet, as it did last May to make a June coupon
payment. But even that is unlikely to reassure investors,
who already have seen the company's stock removed from
trading on the Jakarta Stock Exchange after losing 75
percent of its value the first six months of the year.

Its now rarely traded bonds were last bid at 13 cents to a
dollar, down from 70 cents last year. According to Sandeep
Gupta, a fixed income analyst at UBS Warburg, the
likelihood of bondholders receiving their next coupon
payment would be "a pleasant surprise."

Daya Guna lost about $5 million a month in the first two
months of the year. It also has lost half of its crew of
7,200 fishermen  due to religious and ethnic violence in
the Maluku province, the seas around which the company
fishes. That has contributed to reducing its catch by at
least one-third. It also led to Daya Guna's credit rating
being cut to "selective default" by Standard & Poor's Corp.
last month after it failed to repay $83 million owed to
bank creditors. The credit rating on its bonds is "double-
C," only two positions above S&P's lowest D rating.

Daya Guna had earlier said it will sell some of its fleet -
- comprising 548 catching boats, 26 support boats and two
refrigerated carriers -- to fund the payment. Still,
selling its main assets to repay its debts coupled with a
declining catch has led auditors to question the company's
viability. Only last  August, the company said it could
sustain its negative cash flow only for another six months.


MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP: Forecasting losses for next 2 years
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said it may lose money for the next
two years as Japan's fourth-largest automaker waits for the
benefits of building fewer basic models and other cost cuts
to take effect.

While the DaimlerChrysler AG affiliate hopes to break even
by the year ended March 2002, it may lose money that year
because the new business plan only starts next April,
President Takashi Sonobe said in an interview. Net losses
may triple this fiscal year to at least 70 billion yen
($652 million), the company said.

Sonobe, who became president on Nov. 1 after a cover-up of
defects in its autos led his predecessor to resign, is
under pressure from DaimlerChrysler to deliver results. The
German automaker cut the price it paid for its 34 percent
stake in the maker of Pajero sport-utility vehicles after
the scandal and demanded more management input.

The planned Jan. 19 appointment of DaimlerChrysler
executive Rolf Eckrodt as Mitsubishi's chief operating
officer won't trigger the same changes under way at rival
Japanese automaker, Nissan Motor Co., following the arrival
of its now-President Carlos Ghosn, Sonobe said.

"I met with DaimlerChrysler executives while I was in
Germany a couple days ago and Mr. Eckrodt knows that he
will report to me," Sonobe said. "He's also worried that
people think he might conduct a drastic corporate plan. But
he won't."

Ghosn introduced a revival plan for Nissan a year ago,
demanding cuts of one in seven staff, the closure of
factories and halving of company debt by March 2003.
Japan's No. 3 automaker will post a first-half profit later
this month.

Mitsubishi Motors shares fell 2 percent to 376 yen. The
stock has gained 8 percent this year compared with a 21
percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index.
DaimlerChrysler shares rose as much as 1.3 percent to 54.70
euros in Frankfurt.

Sonobe cited "reducing the number of cars (and) having a
lean headquarters" as among the main challenges facing the
company.  For the year to March 2002, "there may be a loss
on the net level from posting extraordinary items due to
the restructuring, as well as others," said Sonobe.

The current profit "tells you where our business is. We
will have to become profitable -- if no profits, it's not
business," he said. As for Mitsubishi Motors' share price,
Sonobe called it low, arguing that investors don't yet
appreciate the company's potential.

"We need to tell the market quickly and have them
understand what we are up to after we come up with the
measures to improve the company," he said, adding that the
company should assess "how many people it actually needs."
Cutting jobs in Japan would be "more difficult than to do
so in the U.S., he said, noting that there is more job
mobility in the U.S. and people can find jobs more easily
in that market.

Mitsubishi Motors' debt reduction plan is on track and is
moving faster than expected, Sonobe said. The company had
group debt of 1.47 trillion yen by the end of last March,
which Mitsubishi hopes to trim by 12 percent to 1.3
trillion yen this business year, and to 1 trillion yen by
March 2002.  The total debt figure includes retail finance
debt, mainly from the U.S., of more than 300 billion yen,
Sonobe said.

The maker of Galant and Diamante sedans had forecast a
group net loss of 70 billion yen this business year as it
plans to write off pension liabilities. That loss will
probably widen because of recall-related costs, analysts
said.  The company's parent net income forecast of 47
billion yen for the first half ended Sept. 30 is also not
likely to be achieved, said Sonobe. The automaker hasn't
released estimates for half-year group earnings.

"Our results will be worse than what we have already
estimated," Sonobe said. "The results and estimates we will
be announcing on Monday will include recall-related costs,"
he said, referring to the timing of the earnings release.

The automaker is set to book 7.5 billion yen in costs
related to the recall this year, and book an additional 10
billion yen over the next two years to pay for free
maintenance services offered at its dealers. Mitsubishi
hasn't revised its earnings forecasts in the wake of the
scandal, which involved the concealment of defects for more
than two decades. The company will release half-year
earnings on Nov. 13, 1 p.m. Japan time. (Bloomberg  09-Nov-


DAEWOO MOTOR CO.: Files for court receivership
Daewoo Motor Co filed for court receivership Nov. 10 after
it was declared insolvent by creditors Nov. 8.

"Daewoo Motor filed for court receivership as its
management normalisation became impossible after creditor
banks declared it insolvent," the company said in a

The company said it will draw up and carry out a tougher
restructuring plan aimed to attain operating profits and
secure enough liquidity so as to be able to stand alone
without bank support.  "Daewoo Motor believes the court
will accept the application for receivership taking into
consideration its role in the nation's economy," the
statement said."

The company also said its unit Daewoo Motor Sales Co is
operating normally as it has secured sufficient cashflow.
Meanwhile, Daewoo Motor confirmed that its shipping
contractors are refusing to release Daewoo cars being held
on ships in Europe until the besieged company makes good on
delayed freight payments in the wake of the Korean car
maker's bankruptcy.

After arriving at ports in Bremen, Germany and Antwerp,
Belgium Wednesday [8th November], the day Daewoo went bust,
the contractors announced that they would hold onto the
1,688 vehicles on board until payment owed was received.
Other shipping companies are expected to do the same at
ports around Europe. Daewoo ships 50,000 cars to Europe a
month at a freight cost of around 500 US dollars per

DAEWOO MOTOR: Stops production at largest plant
Bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. stopped production at its largest
plant Nov. 9 after its suppliers stopped deliveries, a
company spokesman has confirmed.

Production at the plant in Bupyong, just west of Seoul,
screeched to a halt after suppliers stopped consignments of
parts and components to Daewoo Motor, calling for cash
payment instead of promissory notes.

"We decided to shut down Bupyong plant for a day today,"
the Daewoo Motor spokesman said. "We are talking to
suppliers to normalize the operation."

With an annual capacity of 500,000 vehicles, Bupyong is the
largest of the three Daewoo Motor plants in South Korea.
The plant makes passenger cars but production has fallen to
around 50 percent of capacity because of slow sales. Daewoo
Motor's two other plants, in the southeastern city of
Changwon and on the southwestern coast, kept operating but
they are also expected to cease production when they run
out of parts.

Daewoo Motor, which has about 10 billion dollars of debt,
was officially declared bankrupt Wednesday after unions
rejected a cost-cutting plan including the loss of 3,500 of
the 17,000 production jobs. The company failed to meet
payments of 44.5 billion won (US$39 million) for two
consecutive days. It has also failed to pay other debts
this week.

South Korea's second largest carmaker is expected to file
for court receivership in the next few days, which would be
accompanied by a freeze on all liabilities and claims on
loans. (Agence France Presse  09-Nov-2000)

HYUNDAI ENGIN.& CONSTR.: Creditors agree to loan extensions
Most of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co.'s creditors
agreed to continue extending the maturities on the
company's loans until Dec. 31, bank officials said
following a meeting of the creditors.

Creditors will roll over 690 billion won ($606.6 million)
in debt until year end, according to an official at lead
creditor Korea Exchange Bank. Of Hyundai Engineering's
total debts of 5.2 trillion won, the company will have to
pay off 1.2 trillion won in debt by the end of the year,
the official said.

The Korea Exchange Bank official said the creditors hadn't
yet received any new "self-rescue" or reform plans from
Hyundai Engineering, South Korea's largest construction
company and a unit of Hyundai Group. A joint statement
released by creditors said they will immediately seek court
receivership when the company is hit again by liquidity

The statement added that creditor financial institutions
can stop extension of maturity on Hyundai Engineering's
debts if the company doesn't effectively implement its
self-rescue plans. Hyundai Engineering narrowly averted
bankruptcy last week, resulting in instability in
local financial markets. (The Asian Wall Street Journal


NAT'L STEEL CORP.: Retraction of liquidation order sought
To prevent the closure of National Steel Corporation (NSC),
its majority owner Hottick Investment Ltd. has asked the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to retract its
liquidation order of the steel firm's assets.

In a motion filed Nov. 9 with the SEC, Hottick said only
the Regional Trial of Courts has the authority to order
involuntary dissolution of a corporation.

"The jurisdiction to order involuntary dissolution and
liquidation of a corporation under the Insolvency Law has
always been vested with the regular Regional Trial Court,"
Hotticks said. "Corporation Code provides that the
jurisdiction of the SEC to order involuntary dissolution is
limited only to the grounds provided existing rules such as
continuous inactivity of the corporation for at least five
years, commission of the corporation of ultra vires or
illegal acts, and the corporation was illegally organized."

Hottick added the SEC jurisdiction to order liquidation of
an insolvent corporation under rehabilitation was
transferred to the regular courts. "Jurisdiction of the SEC
is retained only with respect to suspension of payments
cases filed as of June 30 this year," Hottick said.

The Malaysian firm, which owns over 80 percent of the NSC,
also said the SEC hearing panel allegedly committed grave
abuse of discretion after it issued the liquidation order
without hearing the comments on the rehabilitation plan of
the creditors. Hottick also has criticized the SEC for not
granting it additional time to file an alternative
rehabilitation plan.

Last October 3, the SEC ordered the liquidation of NSC's
assets, claiming that Hottick failed to submit a new rehab
plan that failed to give specifics such as the timetable
for the period of negotiations with potential

"(The SEC panel) earnestly believes that petitioner from
the time it was directed on February 28 to submit a more
detailed rehabilitation plan up to the last extension of
the suspension of payments order on September 30, had
all the time to iron out and finalize its own rehabilita-
tion plan," the SEC said.

However, Hottick said it needed more time to work out a
viable rehab plan since it was still discussing with
potential buyers issues on evaluation, working partners,
current condition of the plant and machinery, and
restarting costs.

SEC chair Lilia R. Bautista earlier said "the order to
liquidate NSC stays," saying that the SEC had given the
Malaysian firm enough time to present a white knight to
ensure the non-closure of the steel firm. "Up to now, they
have failed to present a white knight. They really have no
basis," Bautista said.

As of end-1999, total assets of NSC stood at P28 billion,
P24.6 billion of which comprises property, plant and
equipment. On the other hand, total liabilities amounted to
P17 billion excluding bank debts of P13.2 billion and trade
payables of P500 million and accrued expenses for
retirement and separation pay of P600 million. Its
resulting net worth is P11 billion.

NSC shut down its operations in Iligan City last November
due to financial troubles, which started when the pledged
capital infusion of Malaysian investors Wing Tiek Group and
Hottick failed to materialize. The steel firm's debts
ballooned when it was forced to borrow from banks to
continue its operations amid the entry of cheap steel
imports from South Korea and Russia. (ABS/CBN News Channel

VICTORIA PLAZA MALL: Debt load worries
A legal battle is shaping up between Robert Limso, owner of
Victoria Plaza Shopping Mall - reputed to be Mindanao's
biggest shopping center -- and Philippine National Bank
(PNB). Reportedly, the mall owes PNB as much as 1.4 billion
Philippine pesos (US$27 million at PhP50.414=$1) in loan
principal plus accrued interest. The bank issued a notice
of foreclosure, to which Limso responded by taking PNB to
court. The battle continues to be waged.

WATERFRONT INSULAR HOTEL: Closes; Davao City gov't worried
The Waterfront Insular Hotel of Davao closed shop last
which came as a big surprise to the city, which has not
encountered similar problems in its four decades of

Government officials now are concerned the city could lose
more big businesses to bankruptcy in coming months. City
mayor Benjamin de Guzman asked the Davao City Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Nov. 9 to consult with its
members for an assessment of the real business situation.

Waterfront's closure came even though tourist visits to the
city are up 17 percent and the Waterfront hotel's nearly 50
percent occupancy rate is higher than its competitors.


OKURA SINGAPORE: Ordered to pay off Singaporean debts first
If a foreign company goes bust, the Singapore liquidator of
its branch here will have to pay off all its debts. Only
then can what is left of its assets be sent to a liquidator
in the firm's own country.  The Appeals Court clarified
this after the foreign liquidator of a Japanese firm here,
Okura Japan, wanted the correct interpretation of the
Companies Act on the powers of a foreign liquidator.

On Feb 11, the foreign liquidator, Tohru Motobayashi, had
asked the High Court to declare that the Singapore
liquidator of Okura Singapore pay it the net assets after
paying off the priority debts here. Priority debts include
employees' salaries, CPF payments and the cost of the
winding up of Okura, a company dealing with machinery and
steel trading which was declared bankrupt in Tokyo in
August 1998, with debts of about 252.8 billion yen (S$4

The foreign liquidator's legal action came after Okura's
Singapore liquidator, represented by lawyer Leo Cheng Suan,
sought direction from the High Court on the interpretation
of the Companies Act section which deals with how the
assets are to be distributed. The High Court then ruled
that the local creditors ought to be paid first before any
surplus is remitted to the head office for the liquidator

Dissatisfied with the decision, Tohru Motobayashi,
represented by senior counsel Michael Hwang, filed an
application for the assets to be remitted after the
priority debts have been paid. But another High Court judge
dismissed the application, ruling it an "abuse" of the
court process, as the foreign liquidator had delayed
taking legal action for more than half a year even though
it was kept informed of the progress of the earlier action.

Tohru Motobayashi then appealed and asked the Appeals Court
for the proper construction of the section relating to the
foreign liquidator's powers under the Companies Act. Last
month, the Court of Appeal decided that Tohru Motobayashi's
application was not an abuse of the court process.

But Judge of Appeal L. P. Thean said in a written judgment
that the Singapore liquidator of a foreign company has to
pay off not just the priority debts but also all other
liabilities here. (Straits Times  08-Nov-2000)


ELECTRICITY GEN'G AUTHORITY: Cabinet slashes re-fi loans
The Thai cabinet approved Bt9.33 billion in refinancing
loans for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
(Egat) - instead of Bt37.5 billion the power authority had

Egat had submitted a request for 28 bonds totalling Bt33.18
billion and two new loans from the Government Savings Bank
totalling Bt4.33 billion. The new borrowing is to be used
to rollover its old debts, which will come due over the
next 14 years.

But the Finance Ministry objected to Egat's refinancing
plan, saying it was not be the right way to solve its
liquidity shortfall. Besides, the ministry added, it would
be improper to approve a lending plan for such a long

"According to its privatisation plan, Egat will have to
sell its power plants by 2003 and thus will have additional
income to service its debts that will come due in the
future," a ministry report submitted at yesterday's Cabinet
meeting concluded.

But to service its debt repayment need prior to 2003, the
ministry suggested Cabinet approve Bt9.33 billion in new
loans for refinancing purposes. Cabinet yesterday agreed to
the proposal. The Finance Ministry will provide a guarantee
on the Egat's new loans.

According to financial analysis conducted by the ministry,
Egat will remain under a liquidity constraint for several
years. This is because 20 percent of Egat's total debts
will come due for principal repayment between this year and
2004. And Egat, thus, has to borrow new loans to rollover
its old debts.

The Finance Ministry told Cabinet it would prefer not to
provide a guarantee on Egat's new loans. It said it had
already extended the provision to Bt182.6 billion worth of
debts incurred by the agency, Bt60.6 billion of which is in
local-currency loans. The existing guarantee for Egat
already accounts for 20.48 percent of the total provision
given by the ministry to all state agencies in the country.

Egat's liquidity problem stems from its high reliance on
loans. Debt financing accounts for 60 per cent of projected
costs. (The Nation  10-Nov-2000)

ROYAL CERAMIC INDUSTRY: Reorganization plan approved
Creditors of Royal Ceramic Industry Public Company Limited
have approved the company's business reorganization
plan. Some 13 creditors were present at the Nov. 8
creditors' meeting, representing 1.733 billion baht of

Ten of the creditors approved the plan representing 1.62
billion baht or 93.44 percent of the total debt. The trio
of rejecting creditors represented 113.7 million baht or
6.56 percent of the total debt. The Central Bankruptcy
Court has set Nov. 24 for its consideration of the plan.

SUBMICRON TECHNOLOGY: Creditors look favorably on rehab
Creditors of debt-ridden Charn Uswachoke, the man who
founded Submicron Technology and dreamed of turning
Thailand into a Silicon Valley, agreed to keep Charn afloat

Charn told creditors, who hold about 20 billion baht in
personal guaranteed loans, that their move to declare him
bankrupt would hurt the debt restructuring and
recapitalization process of Submicron.

"I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the talks,"
said Charn. "For the rehabilitation of Submicron, we are in
the process of talking with several parties that are
interested in joining us. The expected investment is about
$800 million."

A creditor of Submicron who declined to be named said
yesterday that if Submicron is rehabilitated, as Charn is
claiming it will be, creditors are likely to recuperate
more of the debt owed by Charn and Submicron, totaling some
50 billion baht.  Another creditor of Submicron said Charn
has presented credible evidence of potential partners for
Submicron, including Motorola, Siemens, Lucent and IBM,
among others.

Submicron was to engage in the production of wafers, or
computer chips, but ran out of money after falling prey to
the economic crisis.  Charn said the rehabilitation plan
would be completed by March of next year, though potential
partners for Submicron have not been forthcoming with
details of their talks with Charn. That has led to
speculation that Charn is engaged in a last ditch effort to
save his 'empire' by playing on news of potential partners.
(Business Day  10-Nov-2000)

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Prachai seeks plan vote delay
Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc's major shareholder and
chief executive, Prachai Leophairatana, apparently is
trying to delay further the creditors' vote on the
company's rehabilitation plan in the expectation that the
next government's economic policies will favour his
business, according to a source representing a creditor.

The source said that creditors who control more than 68 per
cent of the TPI's total US$3.2 billion (Bt139.74 billion)
debts have not yet agreed to the rehabilitation plan,
following Prachai's inclusion of 20 conditions. Most
importantly, one condition stipulates that after the loan-
to-equity conversion is completed, Prachai would be able to
buy back a 75 percent stake in TPI from creditors at Bt5.45
per share, plus interest on the share value at 150 basis
points above the prevailing minimum lending rate. A meeting
to vote on the plan is scheduled for next Thursday.

"On November 16, the receivers will need to consider if
there is any significant reason to further delay the plan
review," said the source. "The creditors, however, will try
to finish the plan review on the day."

A market source said that the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's investment arm, and the
US Export and Import Bank, who are on the creditors'
steering committee, would push for a bankruptcy ruling. Any
further delay would do no good to the creditors, he said.
Wisit Wisitsora-at, director general of the Legal Execution
Department, which will make the final decision on the plan,
said the voting could be delayed if at least one-tenth of
the creditors or the debtors requests a postponement.

He said that today is the last day for filing complaints
against the rehabilitation plan prepared by Effective
Planner Co Ltd. There have been no complaints so far, but
the department expects that creditors opposed to the
plan will file complaints today. The voting on the
rehabilitation plan was postponed from October 30 as most
creditors required time to review Prachai's 20 conditions.

If creditors with at least 51 percent of TPI's total loans
oppose the rehabilitation plan at next Thursday's meeting
the rehabilitation process would be revoked and the
creditors could file a bankruptcy suit against TPI.

"TPI knows that if both sides do not reach an agreement,
the rehabilitation plan would fall under the Central
Bankruptcy Court's bankruptcy process," the source said.

The source noted that creditors have softened their stance
by cutting some loans for the company. (The Nation 10-Nov-

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: 6 major creditors favor orig.plan
Six major local bank creditors of Thai Petrochemical
Industry Plc (TPI) have agreed to vote for the original
business rehabilitation plan and to reject any changes,
according to a Bangkok Post report.

The plan was proposed by TPI and Effective Planners Co.
It said a foreign creditor had threatened to file a
bankruptcy suit against the company if the creditors and
the company could not settle their differences over changes
to the proposal.

"Our combined loans amount to more than 50 pct of TPI's
total debts, so if we voted 'yes', other creditors would
have to accept the plan as well," an unnamed executive of a
Thai creditor bank said in the newspaper report.

The creditors were scheduled to vote for the plan late last
month but TPI president Prachai Leopairatna proposed some
changes to the plan and the vote was postponed until
Thursday.  The six Thai banks, led by Bangkok Bank Plc,
held an informal meeting on Tuesday to discuss the
amendments to the plan at which they agreed that they would
not accept any changes and would vote for the original
version, the newspaper said.

If the plan was approved, Effective Planners would be
assigned to proceed with its implementation. At the last
meeting with creditors, Prachai had sought amendments to
20 points.  The source said Prachai was expected to appeal
to the court if most creditors voted in favour of the plan
and Effective Planners was chosen. Prachai was also
expected to propose the court postpone the voting to
prolong the case.

"It is very likely International Finance Corporation and
the United States Import and Export Bank, as core
creditors, will bring the case to the bankruptcy court if
the conflicts are prolonged and cannot be settled soon,"
the source said in the report.

The source said creditors will likely consider the proposed
amendments case-by-case to see which changes could be
accepted but it was impossible for them to consider and
approve all 20 issues at one meeting. A source at the
Business Rehabilitation Office said debtors were entitled
to appeal for a postponement of next Thursday's vote
because no deadline was set by law.

Also, creditors had the right to do so if they represented
10 percent of the total debt. "However, the final decision
rests with the Business Rehabilitation Office. The appeal
can be rejected if it means prolonging the case," the
source said.

Peter Gothard, a director of Effective Planners, said in
the report that under the restructuring process there is a
statutory moratorium in place blocking action against TPI
but if the plan was voted down, creditors would be free to
file separate suits for their claims. He said it is
uncertain whether any new amendments would be filed, owing
to questions over the status of the previous meeting.

If new amendments were allowed to be submitted, the
deadline would be today, he noted. "We certainly hope that
the process can move forward. As the planner, we're sitting
in the middle between the creditors and the debtors but
there's a legal process that must be followed," Gothard
said.  (AFX News Limited  10-Nov-2000)

THAI WAH CO.: Reports Bt595M net loss
Thai Wah recorded a net loss of Bt594.66 million in the
third quarter, slightly less that the Bt747.17 million loss
for the same period the previous year. The company also
posted an overall net loss for the first nine months of the
year totaling Bt1.02 billion, down from a Bt1.03 billion
loss for the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Thai Wah Group Planner Co, rehabilitation
planner of Thai Wah, has approved guarantees for loan
amounts not exceeding US$39.81 million for subsidiary
companies and Bt797 million for associated companies.

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

Troubled Company Reporter -- Asia Pacific is a daily
newsletter co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service,
Inc., Trenton, NJ USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington,
DC USA. Darryl Henning, Managing Editor, James Philip P.
Jover and Maria Vyrna Ni¤eza, Editors.

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

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