TCRAP_Public/001130.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

           Thursday, November 30, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 233


* A U S T R A L I A *

ARTHUR YATES: Stock hits all-time low
GEO2: Wants to use shares to pay off $4M debt
IAMA LTD: Finds merger partner
NRMA: Under review after heavy loss
SOLUTION 6: Answer is cut, cut cut

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

PEARL ORIENTAL CYBERFORCE: Shares fall after bidder change
SIU FUNG GROUP: Daido unit to acquire stakes in its units
STAR CRUISES: Selling shares to repay debt

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT BAKRIE & BROTHERS: Creditors approve $1.08B debt deal
PT DANAMON SANATEL: IBRA to sell the communications unit
PT WICAKSANA OVERSEAS: 93.9B rupiah loss

* J A P A N *

HASEKO CORP: Negative net worth rises
MAZDA MOTOR CORP.: Closes commercial vehicle plant
TOKYO MUTUAL LIFE INSUR.: Mulls capital increase, HQ sale

* K O R E A *

HYUNDAI ENGIN.& CONSTR.: HQ sale may go to creditors
REGENT INSURANCE: Under alert to secure solvency

* M A L A Y S I A *

LION CORP:Posts Q1 net loss
RENONG BHD: Posts RM37M 1Q net loss

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

ASB GROUP: Receiver makes new pitch for rehab plan
MONDRAGON INT'L PHILS.: PentaCapital pulls Mimosa offer
NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: SEC approves liquidation on Jan. 15
RURAL BANK OF SAN MIGUEL: Fraud charges filed vs. officers
URBAN BANK: Central bank files more cases vs. bosses
VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: BPI asks SEC to scrap rehab plan

* T H A I L A N D *

SRITHAI SUPERWARE: Plans to ask court to lift bankruptcy
THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Protest strike may cost Bt350M/day


ARTHUR YATES: Stock hits all-time low
Shares in garden products manufacturer Arthur Yates hit an
all-time low of 25 cents on Wednesday following its
announcement that further deterioration in its trading had
resulted in the company needing an equity injection.

Arthur Yates chairman Mr Stanley Howard told a group of
angry shareholders that the financial results for the
1999/2000 year were extremely disappointing and will be
seen by shareholders as unacceptable. But Mr Howard had
more bad news, informing shareholders that the weak
performance has continued into the current financial year
and the company would have a tough time turning things
around in the short term.

Shareholders grilled directors on the performance and said
the company was destroying itself and the Yates name was in
danger of being savaged on the market. Recently installed
Arthur Yates CEO Mr Ian Fraser said the poor performance
could be directly linked to two major initiatives that were
completed during the year - the warehouse at Mt Druitt and
the manufacturing facility at Wyee.

Mr Fraser said the problems had been addressed, but
significant cutbacks in the range of Yates products was
needed to reduce costs and return the company to
profitability. Its revised budget for the year to June 30,
2001, shows a reduced EBIT of $1.5 million, which combined
with an anticipated interest expense of $3.2 million, is
expected to lead to a full year pre-tax loss of $1.7

In the year to June 2000, the company reported a net loss
of $7.11 million. Arthur Yates shares traded on Wednesday
at 30›, giving the company a market capitalisation of
slightly more than $20 million. Shareholders are worried
Arthur Yates would have to issue a considerable amount of
shares to raise the money needed to provide sufficient
working capital, one shareholder saying any money raised
would be "chicken feed" at the company's current trading

Meanwhile, Arthur Yates chairman Mr Howard had a tough time
getting re-elected as chairman, but finally managed to
scrape through for one more term despite the majority of
shareholders at the AGM voting against his re-election.
(Australian Financial Review 29-Nov-2000)

GEO2: Wants to use shares to pay off $4M debt
Troubled water cleansing outfit Geo2 has accumulated debts
of around $4 million, but with only $40,000 in the bank,
will ask shareholders to issue shares to the company's
creditors in lieu of repayment.

First in line are interests associated with former
director, Mr Charles Hider. SimsLockwood administrator, Mr
David Lockwood, said four companies made a $1.5 million
secured loan to Geo2 in early October. In lieu of repayment
the four companies - Daswan Nominees Pty Ltd, Robinson Road
Pty Ltd, Torrington Investments Pty Ltd and BNP Securities
Ltd - are set to receive 15 million shares between them at
10 cents a share plus 7.5 million options exercisable at 20

Shareholders at today's annual general meeting will vote to
approve the issue and allotment of the shares. Geo2's
accounts show that the company spent $20 million in the
year to July 2000 and a further $2.2 million from July
until October. Brokers D&D Tolhurst are owed $218,000 with
employee benefits making up a further $200,000 of the debt.

Unsecured creditors - a wide range of consultants and
traders - are owed $1.1 million. CSIRO Manufacturing
Science and Technology is owed $55,000 while Torrington
Investments accounts for a further $66,000 and Mr Hider a
relatively low $593. Registry services company,
Computershare is owed $6,600 and real estate agent, Knight
Frank nearly $13,000.

Mr Lockwood said the company would have to consider laying
off staff soon because payments would have to be met on
Geo2's eight joint ventures. Geo2 shares last traded at
6.6› before the stock was last week suspended ahead of the
appointment of voluntary administrators. (Australian
Financial Review  29-November-2000)

IAMA LTD: Finds merger partner
The long-running battle for IAMA Ltd appears to be over
after Wesfarmers Ltd delivered what analysts believe will
be the winning bid for the troubled agribusiness company.

Under the proposal, IAMA will acquire Wesfarmers' rural
arm, Wesfarmers Dalgety in return for 116 million ordinary
shares in IAMA, giving Wesfarmers a 60 per cent stake in
the company.  The deal will see IAMA inherit Wesfarmers
Dalgety debt of between $45 million and $70 million.

It also gives existing IAMA shareholders, including Nufarm
and Futuris Corp Ltd, the opportunity to dispose of their
shares for $1.65 each after the merger.  IAMA shares closed
almost 10 per cent or 14c higher on the back of the deal
which will speed up much needed rationalisation of the
overcrowded rural sector.  But Wesfarmers' shares shed 6c
to $15.93, signalling the enormous task it has of
restructuring IAMA.

The merger proposal and cash exit are conditional on
Futuris ceasing all legal action against IAMA and
Wesfarmers within the next two weeks.  The two companies
were expected to appear in court in January as a result of
IAMA's 15 per cent placement to Wesfarmers in July.

IAMA chairman Mr Neil Roberts said he was confident Futuris
would support the Wesfarmers Dalgety-IAMA merger proposal.
"The road will be clear for us to put the proposition to
shareholders in early February," Mr Roberts said.  Mr
Roberts said he also expected to win the support of Nufarm
Ltd which launched a $1.30 per share cash bid for IAMA only
last week.

If successful the merger will create one of the largest
agribusiness retailers in Australia with turnover of $1.8
billion.  Mr Roberts said the merged IAMA would make a
significant effort to rationalise the back end of the
business with the introduction of Wesfarmers Dalgety
systems into IAMA.

He said it would also look at the number of outlets of both
organisations and the extent to which some of these could
be closed or merged.  But he said the geography of the
locations meant that wholesale closures were not expected.
(The Border Mail Online  29-Nov-2000)

NRMA: Under review after heavy loss
A wide-ranging review is underway of the road service
giant, NRMA Limited, sparked by a collapse in the
organisation's operating viability.

NRMA has a record number of members - nearly 2 million, and
a record number of vehicle subscriptions - nearly 2.5
million.  But chief executive Rob Carter reported to
today's annual general meeting an operating loss of $23

"It will take time and energy to turn this operational
result around, we need to secure a strong and viable
organisation to ensure our growth well into the future," he

A strategic review of the NRMA is now underway. Chairman
Nick Whitlam has given an assurance that it will not lead
to its demutualisation. "NRMA Limited is a mutual and will
remain a mutual," he said. (ABC News Online  29-Nov-2000)

SOLUTION 6: Answer is cut, cut cut
Software group Solution 6 Holdings is expected to announce
staff cuts of up to 150 people, representing 10 percent of
the workforce, and almost three times the level expected.

The layoffs will be made across the company's Australian,
New Zealand and British operations, including its head
office, as Solution 6 looks to decentralise operations and
thin its management layers. Although research and
development staff levels will be trimmed, R&D spending will
not be cut back.

The cuts are expected to be announced by Solution 6 chief
executive Mr Neil Gamble at today's annual meeting. It is
believed that there will be no closure of any of the 15
companies acquired under the reign of previous chief
executive Mr Chris Tyler, although some are earmarked for

Since Mr Gamble joined two months ago, eight of the 12
senior management staff have left Solution 6 and four
directors have departed the group, including chief
operating officer Mr Lindsay Yelland, chief software
developer Mr Martin Greenlees and European head Mr David

Solution 6 has confirmed that One.Tel chairman Mr John
Greaves will be appointed group finance director, filling
the vacancy created by the departure of Mr Tom Montgomery.
Mr Greaves starts on Friday. Solution 6 shares finished 2c
lower at $1.01 yesterday. (Sydney Morning Herald  29-Nov-

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

PEARL ORIENTAL CYBERFORCE: Shares fall after bidder change
The share price of Pearl Oriental Cyberforce Ltd. fell as
much as 6.7 percent after its Chairman, Wong Kwan, ended
talks with one potential buyer of his controlling stake in
the company and started talks with another possible

Yesterday, shares in Pearl -- which invests in North Korean
telecommunications and Hong Kong real estate -- fell as far
as 2.8 HK cents from 3 HK cents before rebounding to 2.9 HK
cents. The stock lost 91 percent of its value this year.

Pearl did not identify either possible purchaser of Wong's
stake. In October, the Oriental Daily newspaper named
property tycoons Nina Wang and Charles Chan as potential
buyers. Pearl later said Wong, a former chef, and Wang, one
of Asia's richest women, had stopped talks.

Pearl, which bought Hong Kong real estate for top dollar in
the mid-1990s and sold higher, is now selling assets to pay
debt mostly accumulated at that time. It has sold an office
floor and two hotels, and plans to sell luxury housing by
tender. (Bloomberg  29-Nov-2000)

SIU FUNG GROUP: Daido unit to acquire stakes in its units
A wholly owned subsidiary of Daido Group Ltd has reached an
agreement with Siu Fung Group by which it will acquire
interests in Siu Fung Ceramics (Beijing) Sanitary Ware Co
Ltd, Dubois (Beijing) Co Ltd and Yixing Haldenwanger Fine
Ceramic Co Ltd for HK$22 million.

The Daido unit will get a 56 percent stake in Siu Fung
Ceramics (Beijing), a 70 percent stake in Dubois (Beijing)
and a 45 percent stake in Yixing Haldenwanger. From Daido's
standpoint, the transaction will help develop its business
in China by expanding into the design, sale and manufacture
of ceramic products.

Siu Fung Group, on the other hand, has suffered from severe
financial difficulties, with its Siu Fung Ceramics Holdings
Ltd, NHD Systems (Asia) Ltd and Siu Fung Concept Ltd
affiliates being in liquidation. The purchase monies,
therefore, will go a long ways to helping relieve liquidity

STAR CRUISES: Selling shares to repay debt
Asian cruise operator Star Cruises has raised $5.7 billion
by selling new shares and bonds convertible into equity for
use in helping to repay debt borrowed to fund its takeover
of Oslo-based NCL Holdings.

The company also is seeking regulatory approval for its
shares to trade on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK)
starting tomorrow in a bid to make it easier for investors
to buy and sell its stock as well as to "enhance the
group's profile," according to the company's filing

"The directors believe the introduction and placement will
provide the group with flexibility in funding its
operations and capital expenditures," the Malaysia-based
company said.

Star Cruises will use the proceeds to reduce its debt
following a tussle in January with Carnival, the world's
biggest cruise company, for control of Oslo-based NCL
Holdings, parent of Norwegian Cruise Line.

"The company wants another listing to broaden its
shareholder base," said a source close to the company. "A
listing in Hong Kong would attract more international

Star Cruises had to borrow $4.6 billion from 16 banks and
S$322 million (HK$1.4 billion) from shareholders to finance
the takeover after Carnival pulled out of the agreement.
The company is issuing 685.6 million new shares at $5.66
(72 cents) each. Resorts World, which owns 28 per cent of
Star Cruises, will obtain 609.8 million shares for $3.4
billion through the conversion of a $3.7 billion bond due
next year.

HSZ, a Swiss fund manager, and Kay Hian, a Singapore stock
brokerage, will buy 75.8 million shares for $429 million.
As part of the transaction, Star Cruises is converting a
$1.8 billion loan into shares, and a company director is
buying HK$1.5 million in shares. HSBC Holdings and Credit
Suisse First Boston managed the share sale.

Star Cruises has a primary listing on the Luxembourg stock
exchange and is traded over the counter in Singapore. It
will withdraw its listing from Luxembourg when it starts
trading in Hong Kong. The new shares represent 16 per cent
of the company's enlarged share capital after the debt is
converted. Its shares have dropped 63 per cent this year.

The listing prospectus said the company had a waiver from
the stock exchange to have at least 10 per cent of its
shares in the public float rather than the 25 per cent
usually required in Hong Kong.

Star Cruises has a market capitalisation of US$2.3 billion
(HK$17.9 billion), and the exchange has the discretion of
waiving the public float requirement if a company's market
capitalisation exceeds US$500 million, the prospectus said.
(Hong Kong iMail  29-Nov-2000


PT BAKRIE & BROTHERS: Creditors approve $1.08B debt deal
Creditors of publicly listed business group PT Bakrie &
Brothers approved the company's US$1.08 billion debt
restructuring proposal during a vote held by the Central
Jakarta Commercial Court, Bakrie said on Tuesday.

Bakrie spokesman Lalu Mara Satria Wangsa said the majority
of its creditors, representing 91.4 percent or $965.24
million of the company's total debt, had voted in favor for
the debt restructuring proposal. Only two creditors,
representing $14.39 million in debts, had voted against
the proposal, while six creditors with $26.52 million in
debts abstained, he said.

"We have finally completed the restructuring of our debts
of $1.08 billion, under an exchange of debt for equity
deal," Mara said in a media statement. Ninety percent of
the holding company's debts are foreign debts, with
theremaining 10 percent comprising debts from local banks,
including debts transferred to the Indonesian Bank Restruc-
turing Agency (IBRA).

The group's creditors include Amex Singapore, Cariploe
Singapore, Chase Manhattan Singapore, Deutsche Bank,
Dresdner Ltd., IBJ Leasing, Hitochu Corp., The Law
Debenture Trust and Westdeutsche Landes Bank Girozentrale.
Mara said under the debt restructuring strategy, the
company would surrender 95 percent of its stake to
creditors.  Banks will own a stake in Bakrie through a
special purpose vehicle, which the company planned to form.

"As banks do not own companies, we will form a special
purpose vehicle toaccommodate their stake in us," he said.

Through its implementation, creditors will also own a 52.4
percent stake in PT Bakrie Sumatra Plantations, 20 percent
stake in coal-mining firm PT Arutmin Indonesia and a 70
percent stake in electronics company PT Bakrie Electronics
Company. Mara said the Bakrie family, which founded the
holding company, and the public would own only five percent
of the company.

"We must admit that the exchange of debt for equity deal
causes the ownership of existing shareholders to dilute
significantly," he said.

However, he added, the deal was deemed as providing the
best solution. Bakrie began negotiating for a debt
restructuring plan since 1997, but had never reached 100
percent creditor approval in order for the debt restruc-
turing deal to become effective. Mara said an earlier vote
in May 2000 ended with only 76 percent strong support.

As some creditors rejected the deal, Bakrie last month
appealed for the suspension of its debt payment at the
Jakarta Commercial Court in a move that would allow it to
negotiate debt restructuring under the court's supervision.
Based on the 1998 Bankruptcy Law, Bakrie needs only to
secure the vote of two-thirds of its creditors to go ahead
with a debt restructuring plan.

The company said earlier that the court had granted its
appeal to suspend the debt payment, thus giving way for the
finalization of its debt negotiation process. "The
discussion of the proposal was conducted transparently
under the supervision of the commercial court," Mara said.

He said that prior to the vote, the court had also verified
the exact amount of Bakrie's debt. "The latest vote reveals
a significant increase in support over the company's debt
restructuring proposal," he said. (Jakarta Post 29-Nov-

PT DANAMON SANATEL: IBRA to sell the communications unit
PT Danamon Sanatel, a communications unit pledged by the
former owners of nationalized PT Bank Danamon, is to be
sold by a holding company under the Indonesian Bank
Restructuring Agency (IBRA).

Holding company PT Bentala Kartika Abadi is set to sell
assets pledged by the Bentala Group owned by businessman
Usman Admadjaja. It will offer a 90 percent stake in
Sanatel, proceeds from which sale will be used to pay down
Bentala Group debt to IBRA.  Bentala, a finance and
property group, owes Rp3.5 trillion to IBRA.

Sanatel services the branch and automated teller machines'
network of Bank Danamon, and next year plans to expand into
other services. PricewaterhouseCoopers is advising Bentala
on the sale and has requested expressions of interest to be
submitted by Dec. 1.

PT WICAKSANA OVERSEAS: 93.9B rupiah loss
More details have come available on PT Wicaksana Overseas
International's recording of a 93.9 billion rupiah net loss
for the nine months ended Sept. 30. The loss was markedly
up from a 11.4 billion rupiah loss for the same period a
year ago.

Sales for this year's period topped 1.955 trillion rupiah,
however, up from 1.918 trillion rupiah the prior year's
period. Operating profit for the period was 50.1 billion
rupiah, down from 60.6 billion in the previous period. Loss
per share was 423 rupiah compared with 51 rupiah

Wicaksana said its poor sales was due to "the excise
driven price increases that have impacted negatively on the
sales volume of BAT Indonesia cigarettes." Wicaksana is a
consumer products distributor whose operations include the
wholesale and retail and food manufacturing sectors.

The company also recorded a foreign exchange loss of 235.2
billion rupiah during the nine months to Sept. 2000, four
times its forex loss of 58.6 billion the year earlier.

The company confirmed it has obtained legal approval for a
debt-for-equity swap, under which its US$9.349 million in
debt will be converted 6 shares per US$1, or approximately
1,575 rupiah per share. After the conversion, creditors
would hold 20.19 percent of the newly expanded equity, the
company's founder will have 43.34 percent and other
shareholders 36.47 percent.


HASEKO CORP: Negative net worth rises
Haseko Corp recorded a 29.7 billion yen (US$268.89 million)
extraordinary loss for the six-month period ended Sept. 30.
As a result, the company's consolidated liabilities now
exceed assets by 161.6 billion yen.

Releasing its consolidated interim results for the first
time, Haseko is projecting that 163.6 billion yen in debt
waivers by financial institutions will all but eliminate
the excess liabilities by the end of the current fiscal
year, March 31, 2001.

The first-half extraordinary loss included 25.3 billion yen
in real estate write-offs and 2.3 billion yen in valuation
losses on golf club memberships. Both contributed to a
consolidated net loss of 27.2 billion yen for the period.
Excess liabilities increased by 32.1 billion yen when
compared with the level as of March 31.

Cost-cutting has helped improve construction profitability,
but sales and administrative costs rose because of a change
in accounting methods. That led to a 12 percent decline in
operating profit, its consolidated operating profit
totaling 7.8 billion yen.  Extraordinary loss for the full
year is projected at 80 billion yen.

MAZDA MOTOR CORP.: Closes commercial vehicle plant
Mazda Motor Corp. has shut down part of a factory complex
making commercial vehicles, after deciding to close a
passenger car facility by next September, according to
President Mark Fields.

The Ford Motor Co. affiliate is making the moves in order
to cut domestic production overcapacity. The company's
plant at its headquarters in Fuchu, Hiroshima Prefecture,
with a current production capacity of 46,000 units a year,
has been closed. Mazda also plans to close its Ujina plant
in Hiroshima (annual production capacity of 266,000), and
cuts its overal output by 28.4 percent to about 312,000
vehicles annually.

Fields denied needing financial support from parent Ford
Motor Co. He did, however, indicate there would be further
cooperation between the firms in vehicle development and
production, to support their U.S. joint venture. He said
that in addition to the Mazda 626, known as the Capella in
Japan, the two companies will likely jointly manufacture a
new model derived from the 626 which shares the same
platform with a Ford car.

TOKYO MUTUAL LIFE INSUR.: Mulls capital increase, HQ sale
On the heels of reporting negative financial results for
the first half of fiscal 2000, Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance
Co. plans to take remedial action, including getting a
capital infusion from its creditor banks and the possible
sale of its headquarters building.

The life insurer posted a significant 22.9 percent drop in
premium revenues to 64.82 billion yen for the April-
September period compared with the same period last year,
with new business dipping 9.6 percent to 312.42 billion
yen.  Though the value of contracts terminated remained
high at 459.13 billion yen, the figure actually fell 4.6
percent from a year earlier.

Unrealized losses in securities of 59.41 billion yen
followed, causing the firm's solvency margin to slide to an
estimated 370 percent. Although still higher than the 200
percent level viewed as the minimum safe margin, the rapid
slide in the insurer's solvency margin -- a key measure of
life insurers' ability to settle claims -- has started
alarm bells ringing among customers and industry watchers.

President Kenichi Nakamura told a news conference his
company will seek capital injections of between 20 billion
yen and 30 billion yen from Daiwa Bank and other creditors
around February to achieve a solvency margin of around 500
percent at the end of March.  Daiwa Bank officials have
said they are prepared to support the insurer and will
provide between 50 billion yen and 60 billion yen if

Nakamura said his company plans to locate its core
operations in urban areas and cut sales staff from the
current 940 to 680 by the end of fiscal 2002.  The company
aims to boost its solvency margin ratio to around 600
percent by the end of March 2003, he said.

The life insurer will also attempt to securitize and sell
its headquarters building in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward,
transferring its headquarters operations to its sales
office in Tokyo's Minato Ward.  Tokyo Mutual Life has lost
customers since Chiyoda Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Kyoei
Life Insurance Co. failed in October.

The company recorded 1.8 times more terminated contracts in
October than it did last year, although the pace of
canceled contracts slowed in November, officials said.
Nakamura said rival insurance companies' sales personnel
slandered and tried to undercut Tokyo Mutual Life's
credibility. (Japan Times Online  29-Nov-2000)


HYUNDAI ENGIN.& CONSTR.: HQ sale may go to creditors
Responsibility for the sale of the Hyundai Group's main
headquarters building might have to be given to its main
creditor, Korea Exchange Bank, if the group is unable to
overcome snags before the November 30 deadline.

As part of its self-rescue plan unveiled November 20,
Hyundai Engineering & Construction pledged to sell portions
of the building and give the bank the right to dispose of
it if the sale deal fell through.  The sales of six floors
of the main building and six floors of its annex were
projected to raise upwards of 170 billion won, but the deal
has been deadlocked due to price and collateral problems,
sources said.

REGENT INSURANCE: Under alert to secure solvency
Regent Insurance is having difficulty meeting solvency
requirements so as to make payments on insurance claims,
according to an industry source.


LION CORP:Posts Q1 net loss
Lion Corporation Bhd posted a net loss of RM56.96 million
for the first quarter of its financial year ended June 30,
up from a net loss of RM35.66 million for the same period
the previous year.

In a statement to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, the
company said the increase in net loss was partly due to a
higher interest payment on borrowings and greater
depreciation and amortization.  Pre-tax loss amounted to
RM68.83 million versus RM32.64 million in the same quarter
last year.

Turnover totaling RM289.2 million in the first quarter,
however, was 35 percent higher than the preceding quarter,
a jump mainly due to inclusion of three months of turnover
from Megasteel Sdn Bhd instead of two months previously.
Steel manufacturing contributes to the bulk of turnover
with RM252.60 million, followed by motor (RM25.18 million),
steel furniture (RM10.25 million), construction and
engineering (RM1.05 million), while investment and others
accounted for RM87,000. (The Edge Daily 28-Nov-2000)

RENONG BHD: Posts RM37M 1Q net loss
Infrastructure group Renong Bhd recorded a massive loss of
RM37.09 million for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 -
a huge turnaround from the RM39.21 million net profit it
posted for the same period the previous year.

The losses were due mainly to higher interest on borrowings
amounting to RM67.64 million, up from RM423,000 for the
same period a year ago. As of Sept. 30, the group had total
debt of RM9.74 billion, comprised of RM9.64 billion in
long-term debt and RM92.02 million in short-term debt.  The
group also had assets totaling RM12.16 billion, mainly held
by its transportation sectors, valued at RM6.21 billion.

In a separate statement to the KLSE, Renong's property unit
Faber Group Bhd reported a net loss of RM18.86 million for
the three months ended Sept. 30, consistent with a RM26.46
net losses in the same period a year ago. Turnover rose to
RM114.84 million from RM114.23 million previously.

Renong's transportation group Park May Bhd recorded a net
loss of RM5.64 million for the first quarter ended Sept.30,
up from a net loss of RM4.89 million for the same period
the prior year year.  Park May's turnover increased to
RM29.86 million from RM26.03 million, however.

Renong's petroleum operations, Crest Petroleum Bhd,
recorded a net profit of RM2.42 million for the nine months
ended Sept. 30, sharply lower than the RM36.16 million
profit for the same period last year. During the assessment
period, its turnover fell to RM453.75 million from RM489.45
million previously.
For the third quarter only, Crest Petroleum posted a
RM10.28 million net loss, compared with a net profit of
RM10.67 million for the corresponding period last year.
Turnover was slightly higher at RM175.99 million, up from
RM166.76 million. (The Edge Daily  27-Nov-2000)


ASB GROUP: Receiver makes new pitch for rehab plan
The interim receiver of the ASB Group of Companies has
asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to override
the objections of secured creditors to the rehabilitation
plan. The interim receiver said the same plan should be
approved subject to changes proposed by the unsecured

Owned by property developer Luke Roxas, the ASB Group filed
a loan suspension payments petition with the SEC in July
this year owing to tight liquidity problems resulting from
the sudden pretemination of investments of its clients.
In a report to the SEC, Fortunato Cruz, head of ASB's
receiver committee, said the secured creditors "would
naturally oppose the plan because they stand to realize
substantial benefits from the disapproval thereof."

The secured creditors opposed the plan saying it was not
viable and that it was unrealistic and inconsistent with
the guarantee of freedom of contract. They said the plan
also failed to provide the basis of the selling values
and the net realizable values of the properties.
Furthermore, the plan offsets the receivables from Roxas in
the amount of P5.23 billion against the appreciation of
real properties.

While they posed no objection to the plan, the unsecured
creditors recommend that the rehabilitation plan maintain
the advances of Roxas as a receivable of petitioners, which
should be eventually liquidated. The plan, they said,
should not limit the period for the settlement of the
obligation of the ASB to five years. The unsecured
creditors said the plan should provide valuations of the
properties of the ASB Group that have been subjected to the
appraisal of an independent appraiser.

Cruz said the delay in the approval of a rehabilitation
plan would cost the ASB Group considerable losses in terms
of missed opportunities and unnecessary additional
expenses. The delay, he said, will also unnecessarily make
the unsecured creditors, contractors and unit buyers
anxious as to whether they may ever be able to recover
their investments and claim from petitioners.

He said that majority of the unsecured creditors are
individual depositors and investors who have invested their
life savings with petitioners and now find themselves
without any cash on hand.  "The approval of the plan will
bring about a lot of positive developments not only for
petitioners but also for the secured creditors, the
unsecured creditors and the unit buyers," Cruz said.

Cruz said the approval would also trigger the resumption of
installment payments by the unit buyers and restore the
confidence of all creditors and indicate the viability of
the business of petitioners, which may encourage not only
prospective investors but also the current investors to
invest in the Group.

"Thus, between liquidation and rehabilitation, the latter
ensures a more fair treatment to all the creditors of
petitioners. It is without doubt that the said approval
will in the end benefit all. The continued business
under rehabilitation, as against the halt thereof under
liquidation will generate more business opportunities in
the future," he said. (Manila Times  29-Nov-2000)

MONDRAGON INT'L PHILS.: PentaCapital pulls Mimosa offer
PentaCapital Investment Corp. has severed its ties with
Mondragon Leisure and Resorts Corp. after the bankrupt
company's owner Jose Antonio Gonzalez accused President
Estrada and his cronies of a "Mafia-like shakedown" to
take over Mimosa hotel casino and the golf course complex
at the Clark economic zone.

"The deal is off," Rogelio Singson, chair of both the Bases
Conversion Development Authority and Clark Development
Corp., told reporters.

In a letter to Singson, PentaCapital president Jovencio
Cinco cited the disclosures on cronyism by Gonzales as the
reason for his group's decision to pull out of its proposal
to revive the estate, including Mimosa Regency Casino.
PentaCapital said Gonzalez squandered what could have been
a viable opportunity to rehabilitate his flagship company
and take back Mimosa, albeit in a minority position,
following several futile attempts to regain his pet
project. Mimosa was forcibly taken over by the government
in 1998 due to Mondragon's failure to pay its dues.

Mondragon and PentaCapital earlier signed an agreement
wherein the investment house would arrange a fully secured
LIFO (last-in, first-out) loan of up to P650 million for
Mondragon. The loan would have been used to pay Mondragon's
back rentals to Clark Development Corp., past due gaming
levies to the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp.
(Pagcor), entrance fees due to the Bureau of Internal
Revenue, and the firm's working capital requirements.
PentaCapital would also move to overhaul Mondragon's
contract and restructure its P6 billion in loans.

In a statement, PentaCapital said it terminated its
financial advisory agreement with Mondragon effective
Monday, Nov. 27, due to press statements issued by Gonzalez
and his lawyer, Ernesto B. Francisco Jr., which the
investment house claimed were "untruthful" and have made it
impossible to continue with their relationship.

PentaCapital stressed that it was acting "for the account
and sole benefit" of Mondragon and that any contract or
compromise agreement with the government or any of its
agencies would have to be signed first by Gonzalez. The
investment house said it was puzzled why Gonzalez would
attack as "a crony deal" the proposed restructuring program
it crafted when it would benefit Mondragon, through the
lowering of rental fees to Clark from P1.7 billion to P826

"Had Clark insisted on the old rental rates, there
would have been no way for Mondragon to be rehabilitated
and for the government to collect its dues."

PentaCapital said the negotiations with the government were
still ongoing (no agreement has been signed yet) and were
not done hastily since talks started more than three months
ago. Contrary to Gonzalez's allegation that certain groups
would get free equity shares in Mondragon, PentaCapital
said that prospective lenders in the P650-million loan
would have the option to subscribe to 20 percent equity in
Mondragon while the existing creditors would convert their
loans into equity of about 55 percent in Mondragon.

No new money will be poured into the project but the loans
would be converted to equity which would lead to a dilution
of Gonzalez's equity in Mondragon to 25 percent.
PentaCapital said Gonzalez agreed to give the management
contract of Mondragon to New Millennium Investment Corp.,
which is led by investment banker Josue Camba Jr. Camba was
with PentaCapital in 1993 when he advised Gonzalez on his
bid for the Mimosa contract.

"Camba is the most familiar with the account which is the
reason why his company was chosen," PentaCapital said.

Philippine Daily Inquirer  29-Nov-2000)

NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: SEC approves liquidation on Jan. 15
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved
the request of the National Steel Corp.'s (NSC) liquidator
to extend to Jan. 15, 2001 the deadline for the submission
of the steel firm's liquidation plan.

The liquidation of the cash-strapped steel firm, supposedly
expected to be underway by Dec. 4 this year, has been
postponed to the second week of January next year due to
the unpreparedness of the newly appointed liquidator,
Danilo Concepcion. The SEC said Concepcion has been unable
to submit a liquidation plan after assuming the vacated
post of former SEC-appointed liquidator Monico Jacob
who resigned last Nov. 7, 2000. Concepcion took his oath as
liquidator only two weeks ago.

SEC Chairman Lilia Bautista has expressed a sense of
urgency in fast-tracking the liquidation of the beleaguered
steel firm which was ordered liquidated by the commission
following the failure of NSC's interim receivership
committee to present a credible investor to salvage it from

"The liquidation of the firm will attract foreign investors
to look into the possibility of buying it with all its
asset and liabilities clearly accounted for in a
liquidation process," Bautista said earlier.

Already, six investors, led by an Arab-Chinese group, have
expressed interest in buying the steel firm. However, the
corporate watchdog has refused to disclose details on their
identities as negotiations are still underway. Bautista
said the rehabilitation of the steel firm could have been
undertaken had the Malaysian majority shareholder of the
debt-riddled company inhibited itself from opposing the
proposed rehabilitation of the SEC-appointed interim
receivership committee.

Observers, however, noted that the SEC-issued liquidation
order may not be carried out after Hottick Investments Ltd.
followed up its objection to the rehabilitation plan by
questioning SEC's authority to order the steel firm's
liquidation. Hottick said that the jurisdiction to issue
such an order has already been transferred to the regional
trial courts after the completion of the Securities
Regulation Code. (Philippine Star  29-Nov-2000)

RURAL BANK OF SAN MIGUEL: Fraud charges filed vs. officers
The Bangko Sentral (Central Bank) and state deposit insurer
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) have requested
the Department of Justice (DoJ) to conduct a preliminary
investigation against officers of closed Rural Bank of San
Miguel (RBSM) for the possible crime of estafa (fraud).

In a document dated November 16, a copy of which was
obtained by BusinessWorld, the government regulators
charged RBSM president Hilario P. Soriano, First Coconut
Rural Bank, Inc. (FCRBI) president Romeo Santos and
RBSM consultant and former central bank employee Eduardo
Macatulad of estafa through falsification of commercial
documents. Messrs. Soriano and Santos were also charged
separately for the crime of falsification by private
individuals and use of falsified documents.

The Bangko Sentral and the PDIC said the officers violated
the law when assets of RBSM were "sold" to Mr. Santos.
A 320-square meter lot purchased by RBSM last January 1997
for 9.6 million Philippine pesos ($.194 million at
PhP49.393=$1) was "sold" to FCRBI's Mr. Santos for PhP10.5
million ($.212 million) as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute
Sale last March 12, 1998.

Upon verification at the Register of Deeds, however, the
Deed of Sale for the same lot showed that the purchase
price was only PhP1 million ($.020) and dated Dec. 16,
1998. The amount was allegedly paid in lump sum by Mr.
Santos. Based on the affidavit of RBSM's former chief
accountant, Melinda S. Manuzon, the regulators also
discovered that the PhP8.544 million used in the
construction of the building plus the PhP10.5 million "were
all sourced from the time deposits of various RBSM
depositors which were preterminated without their knowledge
and consent upon the instruction of Messrs. Soriano
and Macatulad."

The proceeds of the time deposits were illegally diverted
to serveral savings accounts whose creation and
disbursements were under the name or direct control of Mr.
Soriano, the Bangko Sentral and PDIC further stated.

"The net result of such stratagem is that RBSM lost its
asset (parcel of land) in favor of Mr. Santos without
having received any actual and valid consideration. Bluntly
stated, the sale is fraudulent and criminal. It is clear...
that the... parcel of land and the building... which (were)
made to appear as having been legitimately bought and
constructed, respectively, by Mr. Santos are, in reality,
assets of RBSM," the government regulators added.

Bangko Sentral and PDIC also alleged that based on Ms.
Manuzon's affidavit, the "modus operandi" was the "brain-
child" or Mr. Macatulad, Mr. Soriano's alleged mentor.
(Business World  29-Nov-2000)

URBAN BANK: Central bank files more cases vs. bosses
The Bangko Sentral (Central Bank) filed last November 15 at
the Department of Justice (DoJ) additional charges versus
five Urban Bank officers for violating banking laws.
Charged were Urban Bank president and chief executive
officer Teodoro C. Borlongan, senior vice-president Nida S.
Santos, vice-president Cecilia M. Magugat, senior manager
Milagros D. Santiago and manager Chulla M. Formanes.

The central bank said the officers violated Section 23 of
Republic Act 337 or the General Banking Act in relation to
Section X303 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks and
Monetary Board (MB) Resolution 658, dated June 4, 1997.

Section 23 states that other loans or credits which the
Monetary Board, the policy making body of the Bangko
Sentral, may specify as non-risk assets should not exceed
15% of the unimpaired capital and surplus of a bank.
Section X303 or the single borrowers' limit (SBL),
meanwhile, stipulates a limit of 25% of the unimpaired
capital and surplus of a bank for such loans.

MB Circular 658 on the other hand, limits commercial banks'
aggregate limit on real estate loans to not more than 20%
of their total loan portfolio. As of April 25, Urban Bank
has an unimpaired capital of 2.187 billion Philippine pesos
($44.28 million at PhP49.393=$1). (Business World 29-Nov-

VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: BPI asks SEC to scrap rehab plan
The Bank of the Philippine Islands has asked the Securities
and Exchange Commission to resolve a petition it filed five
months ago to end proceedings on the rehabilitation of
Victorias Milling Co.

BPI also told the SEC that the motion to approve an
alternative rehabilitation plan for Victorias should be
scrapped because more than half of the sugar miller's
secured creditors opposed it. The rules of procedure on
corporate recovery bar changes to a rehabilitation
plan if a majority of creditors oppose it, the bank said.

BPI, Allied Banking Corp. and Manulife Financial Corp.--
which represent 46.71 percent of Victorias' secured
creditors--rejected the alternative rehabilitation plan for
Victorias. A fourth creditor, Metropolitan Bank and Trust
Co., said it opposed the plan because it excluded some
P27.7 million worth of additional obligations arising from
refined sugar delivery orders.

SEC officials hearing the case said earlier this month they
were preparing an order to approve the alternative
rehabilitation plan filed by Victorias' management
committee. The committee consists largely of the sugar
miller's clean creditors. Victorias owes about P5.3

SEC officials said most of Victorias' creditors approved
the rehabilitation plan, except for BPI. They said the
alternative rehab plan submitted by Victorias itself would
simply be treated as a "comment" to the alternative
plan presented by the Victorias management committee. The
committee submitted an alternative rehabilitation plan to
the SEC after a public auction for a 53-percent stake in
Victorias as called for in an earlier recovery plan failed.
(Philippine Daily Inquirer  29-Nov-2000)


SRITHAI SUPERWARE: Plans to ask court to lift bankruptcy
Plastic products producer and distributor Srithai Superware
says it expects to see sales revenues of Bt3.1 billion for
the whole year, slightly topping earlier forecasts of
Bt3.09 billion.

This follows what managing |director Sanan Aungubonkul
described as a "successful restructuring." He said revenues
for the first nine months reached Bt 2.33 billion - a
growth of 25.3 per cent. Market analysts had projected
growth of 19.9 per cent. As a result of the turnaround,
Sanan expects the company will soon leave its bankruptcy
status and resume its status as sovereign trading company.

"We are negotiating with the creditors' steering committee
to submit a proposal to the Central Bankruptcy Court in the
next two weeks (to ask the court to lift the company's
bankruptcy status). We believe that the court will approve
the proposal before the end of this year," Sanan said.

Srithai Superware Plc entered into a debt rehabilitation
process last December after filing for bankruptcy. Under a
plan recently approved by creditors, the creditors had to
convert debt to equity and reschedule some debts for five
years down the track.

As a result, creditors currently own a 81.9-per-cent stake
in Srithai Superware, while the rest is owned by older
shareholders and minor shareholders. Sanan said the company
had reaped benefits from debt restructuring because it was
able to reduce debts and compete competitively around the

If the company had not restructured debts, it would have
lost several business opportunities, Sanan said. He said
Srithai Superware would keep expanding by introducing new
products - and it expected to launch new products next
year. It also hopes that Italian designers, now negotiating
with the company, will agree to work on new products, such
as the melamine home kitchen and tableware in both
traditional and modern styles.

Sanan's aim is to expand the company's share in domestic
and overseas markets in Europe, the United States, China,
and other Asian countries. The company is also looking to
|break into the South African and South Korean markets.
Sanan said the company planned to change its logo for new
products and new concepts, however he would not divulge any
details, saying only that it would be launched next year.

"Superware will offer modern styles for a young generation
next year," he said.

Sanan said that next year the company planned to spend Bt50
million on a new factory and marketing. He expected sale
revenues from new products to reach Bt50 million next year.
After that it was expected to grow 15 per cent a year.

"We believe that the new products have growth potential and
they will be our major selling points over the next three
years," he said.

At present, 55 percent of the company's total sales come
from plastic products and the rest from melamine products.
Some 36 percent of total sales comes from export markets
and the rest from the domestic market. (The Nation 29-Nov-

THAI PETROCHEM.INDUS.: Protest strike may cost Bt350M/day
A strike at Thai Petrochemical Industry's Rayong complex is
expected to start on Friday, according to Wachirapunthu
Promprasert, the company's chief financial officer.

The growing labour tension followed the approval by
creditors on Monday of the firm's $3.2-billion
restructuring plan, delayed for more than three years.
Labour Ministry officials said it remained uncertain
whether staff would be allowed to strike under the labour

In any case, Mr Wachirapunthu said that at least half of
the 6,000 Rayong employees were expected to walk off the
job for two weeks. Nearly all production units at the
plant, save for the oil refinery unit, would be shut down
during the period.

Mr Wachirapunthu said employees at TPI's Bangkok head
office were also considering a strike if the Rayong work
stoppage led to a drop in operations at headquarters.
He warned that the Rayong strike was expected to lead to
losses of 140 million baht per day. If all production units
under the TPI group were stopped, daily losses could reach
350 million baht.

"Regardless, a strike at the Rayong complex would affect
production for months," he said.

TPI labour representatives last week submitted a long list
of demands to Effective Planners, the firm appointed by
creditors to run the petrochemical giant. Demands include
calls for a bonus and wage increase, guarantees against the
sale of non-core assets, and assurances that TPI management
would be retained during the implementation of the
restructuring plan.

Effective Planners had rejected the demands. Under the
labour law, a work stoppage is not allowed for five days
after a petition, during which each side agrees to enter
talks mediated by Labour Ministry officials. Chokechai
Kerdnaymongkol, an official with the Labour Protection and
Welfare Department office in Rayong, said final talks were
scheduled between TPI employees and Effective Planners

If no agreement is made, the matter would be forwarded to a
screening committee to rule within 30 days. Mr Chokechai
said that TPI, as an energy and oil firm, came under a
clause in the law preventing employees from striking while
the screening committee was in session.

"TPI staff should consider carefully the legal implications
involved. If there is an illegal strike, then they will
fall outside of the protection given under the law," he

TPI staff yesterday afternoon agreed to submit a petition
with labour officials reserving their right to strike, but
without formally setting a date for a walkout. Chakrapat
Chaivansith, a legal adviser to TPI management, said
calling for a strike was a basic right of employees seeking
to protect their interests. But he agreed that any stoppage
had to comply with the law, and that further discussion was

Effective Planners has insisted that it has no plans to lay
off staff. Managing director Anthony Norman said a priority
for the firm was improving co-operation between TPI staff
and the plan administrator.

The Central Bankruptcy Court will hear the formal results
of the TPI creditors' vote Nov. 30, as well as rehabili-
tation plans for four other affiliates. Prachai
Leophairatana, TPI's chief executive officer, has vowed to
continue his fight against the plan in court. He said
Monday's creditors' meeting lacked transparency and good

"How would things turn out if the world knew that Bangkok
Bank hired its own people to do a debt restructuring plan
for its own benefit. (Bangkok Post 29-Nov-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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