TCRAP_Public/001221.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, December 21, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 248

                                        Headlines


* A U S T R A L I A *

LION NATHAN: Looking for partners after losses
TOURISM COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA: Goes into voluntary admin.


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CHUANG's CONSORTIUM INT'L: Posts HK$26.08M 1H net loss
CULTURECOM: Comic book publisher records loss
FAIRWELL INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
FORWARD WEALTH CO.LTD.: Facing winding up petition
GOLD DELTA DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
GREAT HONOUR DEVELOPMENTS LTD: Facing winding up petition
HARVEST CONCEPT INVESTMENTS LTD: Facing winding up petition
HENDERSON & ASSOCIATES LTD: Facing winding up petition
HONOUR EAGLE DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
HONOUR FAIR INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
HONOUR VIEW INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
SOUTH EAST GROUP: Posts HK$6.13M 1H loss
TOM.COM: To close e-commerce unit
VISION TECH INT'L HLDGS.: Posts HK$8.53M 1H loss
WING LEE INT'L HLDGS.: Posts HK $44.47M 1H net loss


* I N D O N E S I A *

PT BUNAS FINANCE: 37 creditors approve rehab plan
PT DHARMALA GROUP: Subsidiaries undergo debt restructuring
PT HOLDIKO PERKASA: IBRA sells off ten of its assets


* J A P A N *

DIA KENSETSU: Cerberus to waive most of owed credits
MARUTOMI GROUP CO.: On brink of bankruptcy


* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTOR: Management proposes to lay off 6,846 workers
HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: `Still financially unstable'
KOOKMIN BANK: Mass resignation before strike
KYONGNAM MUTUAL SAVINGS: FSS suspends it for 6 months
SAMSUNG GROUP: Resists debt penalty payment
SAMSUNG GROUP: Creditors prepared to sue over auto debt
SAMSUNG GROUP: Civic group sues in Constitutional Court
SEOUL GUARANTEE: Gov't to infuse W1T


* M A L A Y S I A *

L&M STRUCTURES SDN: Parent files winding up order vs. it
SYARIKAT BINAAN BUDI SAWMILL: Posts 9-mo. loss


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

WESTMONT BANK: New charges filed against
WESTMONT INVESTMENT CORP.: New charges filed against


* T H A I L A N D *

DAEWOO MOTOR SALES: To close up, auction assets
THAI OIL: Posts Bt589M annual net loss


=================
A U S T R A L I A
=================

LION NATHAN: Looking for partners after losses
----------------------------------------------
Trans-Tasman brewer Lion Nathan yesterday said its loss-
making Chinese operations were not up for sale but talks
were underway with six potential partners in an effort to
stem costs in a difficult market environment.

Chief executive Gordon Cairns said the company had an "open
mind" in looking at the options for its China Brewing
operations which racked up a net loss before interest and
tax of A$27.6 million (HK$116.9 million) for the 12 months
to September 30, 2000.

"We don't have the business up for sale," he told reporters
after the annual general meeting. "We're looking for
partners to help us cut the cost of doing business in
China."

Mr Cairns said Lion Nathan was in talks with two Chinese
brewers, two Hong Kong-listed investment companies, an
international brewer and another party which he declined to
describe further except to say they were "not Australian."

However, he refused to indicate a timeframe for a possible
deal.  Earlier, he told shareholders the move to enter the
Chinese market was the correct decision but conditions had
now changed with more than 500 brewers in an oversupplied
market.  He said without having an internationally
recognised brand there was no competitive advantage.

Lion Nathan -- which moved into China in 1995 with an
initial 60 percent share in Wuxi Lion Nathan Taihushui
Brewery -- had earlier forecast positive earnings for the
China operations by 2002.  It brews Australian beers
Toohey's and Fourex. (Hong Kong iMail 20-Dec-2000)

TOURISM COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA: Goes into voluntary admin.
--------------------------------------------------------
The Tourism Council of Australia (TCA) has gone into
voluntary administration. Bill Butterell and Paul
Billingham, of Grant Thornton Australia, have been
appointed as administrators.

A recent investigation revealed that TCA is unable to meet
its liabilities due to a significant cash shortfall. With
30,000 members Australia-wide, TCA has had financial
difficulties for some time. A Senate Estimates Committee
hearing first raised the prospect of TCA's insolvency in
November. TCA managing director Phil Young will not return
to the company following his vacation. Industry sources,
however, say the shortfall is due to a property investment
made before Young's appointment.


==============================
C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G
==============================

CHUANG's CONSORTIUM INT'L: Posts HK$26.08M 1H net loss
------------------------------------------------------
Chuang's Consortium International Ltd., a property
developer and investor, recorded a HK$26.08 million net
loss for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, a turnaround
from the net profit of HK$75.65 million it posted for the
same period a year earlier. Loss per share was 2.35 HK
cents compared with earnings per share of 6.83 HK cents the
period the previous year. Revenue fell 19.8 percent to
HK$190.9 million. No interim dividend will be distributed.

CULTURECOM: Comic book publisher records loss
---------------------------------------------
Comic-book publisher Culturecom recorded a net loss of
$13.1 million for the six-month period ended Sept.30. By
comparison, the company posted a net loss of $24.9 for the
same period the previous year.  Loss per share for the
interim period was $0.49, and no dividend was declared.
Turnover for the latest period fell 20 per cent to $79.6
million.

Publisher of over 100 titles, including kung fu comics
Dragon Tiger Hero and Chinese Hero, a company statement did
not comment on the reason for the loss, but said it the
company had been focusing on the research and development
of new products and on a number of information technology
projects.

Founded by comic king Tony Wong Chun-loong, Culturecom was
originally known as Jademan Holdings. It was the first
comic book publishing firm to be listed in the mid-1980s.

FAIRWELL INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
----------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Intance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2001, on the petition
of Kincheng Banking Corporation for the winding up of
Fairwell International Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before January 2.

FORWARD WEALTH CO.LTD.: Facing winding up petition
--------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on February 7, 2001, on the
petition of The China & South Sea Bank, Limited for the
winding up of Forward Wealth Company Limited. A notice of
legal appearance must be filed on or before February 6.

GOLD DELTA DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on December 27 on the petition of
Bank of Communications for the winding up of Gold Delta
Development Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before December 26.

GREAT HONOUR DEVELOPMENTS LTD: Facing winding up petition
---------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2001, on the petition
of Kincheng Banking Corporation for the winding up of Great
Honour Developments Limited. A notice of legal appearance
must be filed on or before January 2.

HARVEST CONCEPT INVESTMENTS LTD: Facing winding up petition
-----------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 17, 2001, on the
petition of Sin Hua Bank Limited for the winding up of
Harvest Concept Investments Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before January 16.

HENDERSON & ASSOCIATES LTD: Facing winding up petition
------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 10, 2001, on the
petition of Pang Ngai Kwan for the winding up of Henderson
& Associates Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be
filed on or before January 9.

HONOUR EAGLE DEVELOPMENT LTD: Facing winding up petition
--------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2001, on the petition
of Kincheng Banking Corporation for the winding up of
Honour Eagle Development Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before January 2.

HONOUR FAIR INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
-------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2001, on the petition
of Kincheng Banking Corporation for the winding up of
Honour Fair International Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before January 2.

HONOUR VIEW INT'L LTD: Facing winding up petition
-------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2001, on the petition
of Kincheng Banking Corporation for the winding up of
Honour View International Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before January 2.

SOUTH EAST GROUP: Posts HK$6.13M 1H loss
----------------------------------------
South East Group Ltd recorded a net loss of $6.13 million
for the six months ended Sept.30. Turnover was $29.54
million and loss per share was 0.19 cent. No interim
dividend was declared.

TOM.COM: To close e-commerce unit
---------------------------------
Tom.com is denying a report that it plans to close its e-
commerce unit and redeploy the staff, laying off 30
employees in the process. According to a Quamnet report,
out of the 60 staffers in its Hongkong office, 10 will be
released while 20 will be transfer-red to Hutchinson
Whampoa Ltd.

Spokeswoman Helen Lam said tom.com is not making any
layoffs at this time, but only is conducting an annual
performance review that could be the basis for redeployment
of some personnel, including to Hutchinson Whapoa. The e-
commerce unit, she added, is not closing down, just being
regrouped "under a broader umbrella." Only last July,
tom.com cut 80 jobs from its editorial, production and
technical departments.

The company's stock was down 5.5 percent at HK$2.15 by mid-
morning Wednesday on a turnover of HK$1.23 million; the
shares fell 8.08 percent Tuesday.

VISION TECH INT'L HLDGS.: Posts HK$8.53M 1H loss
------------------------------------------------
Vision Tech International Holings Limited recorded a net
loss of $8.53 million for the six months ended Sept.30, a
turnaround from the net profit of $15.47 million it posted
for the same period a year earlier. Turnover was $96.84
million, and loss per share was 0.40 cent. No interim
dividend was declared.

WING LEE INT'L HLDGS.: Posts HK $44.47M 1H net loss
---------------------------------------------------
Wing Lee International Holdings Limited recorded a net loss
of $44.47 million for the half year ended Sept.30, up from
a net loss of $11.34 million for the same period the prior
year. Turnover was $140 million, and loss per share was
3.20 cents. No interim dividend was declared.


=================
I N D O N E S I A
=================

PT BUNAS FINANCE: 37 creditors approve rehab plan
-------------------------------------------------
Jakarta Commercial Court judge Christi Purnami Wulan has
confirmed that 37 creditors of PT Bunas Finance have
approved the company's debt restructuring scheme covering
debt in the total of 2.6 trillion rupiah. Wulan said three
creditors, representing 493 billion rupiah in debt,
rejected the proposal.

The 37 creditors include the Indonesian Bank Restructuring
Agency (IBRA), which has outstanding borrowing of US$14
million and 106.6 billion rupiah. Under the proposal, Bunas
Finance will repay 33.63 percent of the debt in cash within
seven months, 59.4 percent will be converted into five year
convertible bonds, 6 percent will be exchanged with Ongko
Group's interest in affiliated companies and the balance
will be converted into a five-year term loan. Bunas Finance
total assets are currently valued at around 1.304 trillion
rupiah.

PT DHARMALA GROUP: Subsidiaries undergo debt restructuring
----------------------------------------------------------
Some 15 subsidiaries belonging to the Dharmala Group will
undergo debt restructuring through litigation, while eight
others are engaged in settlement processes via litigation
and another seven have reached agreement under Memorandums
of Understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian Banking
Restructuring Agency (IBRA).

According to a source at IBRA, the 15 subsidiaries not
restructured have debts totaling Rp768.15 billion and
$37.28 million. They are:
1. PT Dharmala Inti Utama (holding company) - total debt
Rp298.54 billion and $22 million;
2. PT Musco Sakti (holding company) - total debt Rp12.25
billion;
3. PT Dharmala Realindo (holding company) - total debt
Rp53.48 billion;
4. PT Dharmala Sejahtera Finance - total debt Rp39.51
billion;
5. BBL Dharmala Finance - total debt Rp8 billion and $1.5
million;
6. PT Probolinggo Pelletizing - total debt Rp8.99 billion;
7. PT Dharmindo Adhiduta (holding company) - total debt
Rp64.25 billion;
8. PT Mekasindo Dharma International (heavy equipment
rental and sales) - total debt Rp94.98 billion and $1.09
million;
9. PT Jaindo Metal Industries - total debt Rp10 billion;
10. PT Aster Dharma Industries (plastic bag manufacturing)
- total debt Rp96.93 billion;
11. PT Dharmala Sakti Elektronik (AIWA product distributor)
- total debt Rp42.05 billion and $3.69 million;
12. PT DeMat Investment (China) Co.Ltd - total debt $9
million;
13. PT Dharmala Trading - total debt Rp21.34 billion;
14. PT Palembang Jaya (agriculture product trading) - total
debt Rp8.09 billion;
15. PT Dharmala Lampung (agriculture product trading) -
total debt Rp9.74 billion.

The eight companies involved in litigation, with debts
totaling Rp1.2 trillion, are:
1. PT Dharmala Agrindo (tapioca producer) - total debt
Rp79.64 billion;
2. PT Deemte Sakti Indonesia (holding company) - total debt
Rp623.36 billion;
3. PT Dharmala Agrifood - total debt Rp98.38 billion;
4. PT Artacitra Terpadu Feedmill -- total debt Rp78.63
billion;
5. PT Dharmala Sakti Sejahtera (financial service) - total
debt Rp289.21 billion;
6. PT Mansur Impor Ekspor Co - total debt Rp11.01 billion;
7. PT Muara Alas Prima - total debt Rp9.5 billion;
8. PT Probolinggo Pelletizing Factory - total debt Rp9.07
billion.

Meanwhile, the seven companies with MoU's represent debts
totaling Rp520.46 billion. They are:
1. PT Dharmala Intiland (holding company) - total debt
Rp305.53 billion;
2. PT Dharmasejahtera Sakti (financial services) - total
debt Rp1.56 billion;
3. PT Dharmala Land (property) - total debt Rp71.79
billion;
4. PT Sinar Puspa Persada - total debt Rp60 billion;
5. PT Grand Family View (real estate developer) - total
debt Rp12.85 billion;
6. PT Grand Interwisata - total debt Rp1.68 billion;
7. PT Taman Harapan Indah (real estate) - total debt
Rp67.07 billion.

The Dharmala Group is owned by the Gondo Kusumo family and
taken over by IBRA in 1999. With 30 subsidiaries, the
group's debts at the time it was taken over totaled Rp1.98
trillion and $99.95 million.

PT HOLDIKO PERKASA: IBRA sells off ten of its assets
----------------------------------------------------
To date this year, PT Holdiko Perkasa has completed ten
asset sale transactions consisting of 45 companies valued
upwards of Rp8.7 trillion, representing a recovery rate of
54 percent. Holdiko official Irawati Koswara said the asset
sales are part of a master agreement signed in September
1998.

"The 45 companies are only some of the 108 companies
transferred to the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency
(IBRA). We will at least sell around 15-20 assets next
year," Irawati said in a press statement Tuesday.


=========
J A P A N
=========

DIA KENSETSU: Cerberus to waive most of owed credits
----------------------------------------------------
U.S. investment fund Cerberus Asia Capital Management LLC
has agreed to waive claims on 17 billion yen of its 23
billion yen in credits to Dia Kensetsu Co., the nation's
second-largest condominium builder, it was announced
Tuesday.

Under the same agreement, Delaware-based Cerberus will
funnel 4 billion yen to Dia through the purchase of
convertible bonds it will float, the two companies said.
In a press release, the builder said the bonds will be
converted into Dia shares in the near future.

When all the bonds are converted into common stock,
Cerberus will be Dia's largest shareholder, with a 24.1
percent stake. The contractor's net worth stood at only
16.9 billion yen on a group basis as of March 31. It
incurred a 7.1 billion yen group net loss in closing
midterm books for the first half of fiscal 2000 and is
seeking to rehabilitate its debt-ridden corporate finances
under a five-year reconstruction plan.

Cerberus earlier bought the 23 billion yen loan to Dia from
an affiliate of the failed Nippon Credit bank that was
nationalized in late 1998. NCB itself was sold on Sept. 1
to an investment group led by Softbank Corp.  Under the
Dia-Cerberus deal, the two also agreed to launch a
securitization business based on cash flows expected to
accrue from Dia's real estate holdings.

Cerberus is a major investment group that specializes in
helping companies seeking to rehabilitate their finances.
It is also involved in the rehabilitation process for major
retailer Nagasakiya Co. through a stock-investment scheme.
(Japan Times Online 20-Dec-2000)

MARUTOMI GROUP CO.: On brink of bankruptcy
------------------------------------------
Marutomi Group Co., a Nagoya-based chain-store retailer of
shoes, confirms it virtually has gone bankrupt with
liabilities totaling 76.1 billion yen. The company filed
with the Nagoya District Court for court protection from
creditors.

Marutomi was set up in 1973 and rapidly expanded its
network of sales outlets during the following 10 years,
reaching some 1,800 at one time. Many of the outlets fell
into the red, however, the result of the economic slump. In
October this year, its financial straits heightened due to
financial problems of its suppliers.

Marutomi will seek financial support and ways to
reconstruct itself under the supervision of the court,
although the company intends to continue operations in all
of its 1,315 remaining outlets nationwide. It also does not
intend to cur any of its 1,343 employees.

For the business year March 1, 1998 to Feb. 28, 1999, the
company posted a pretax loss of 1.9 billion yen. For the
following business year ended Feb. 29,2000, its pretax loss
expanded to 6.8 billion yen and its net loss to 8.7 billion
yen. Sales also fell to 121.1 billion yen.


=========
K O R E A
=========

DAEWOO MOTOR: Management proposes to lay off 6,846 workers
----------------------------------------------------------
Daewoo Motor management has submitted a restructuring
proposal to its labor union that proposes to cut its
operating expenses by W997.3 billion including the
layoff of 6,846 workers. Daewoo hopes to save W234 billion
in personnel expenses by the manpower reduction. The
company's labor union, however, says it will not back the
proposal, citing the failure of management to consult with
them in advance of drawing up the plan.

HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: `Still financially unstable'
-------------------------------------------------
Hyundai Electronics Industries (HEI) is still financially
unstable despite the 800 billion won it mobilized in
syndicate loans, Deutsche Bank said in a report.

The bank said the 800 billion won is 200 billion short of
Hyundai's original target. Half of the loan matures in one
year, while the other half will be repaid two years later.
According to the report, Hyundai is expected to spend half
of the loan to pay 400-500 billion won of debt out of the
850 billion won of loans maturing in the final quarter of
this year.

The rest will be used to meet the 950 billion won of debt
due in the first quarter of next year. In light of the fact
that Hyundai faces a total of 3.6 trillion won of debt
maturing next year, Deutsche Bank said the syndicate loan
could simply aggravate the company's debt problems.

The bank said Hyundai's plans to raise $300 million by
issuing asset-backed securities and another $500 million by
floating Yankee bonds could hit a snag because of the
aggravating situations in the world capital markets.
The bank maintained its opinion on Hyundai Electronics as a
"market performer." (Korea Herald 20-Dec-2000)

KOOKMIN BANK: Mass resignation before strike
--------------------------------------------
Some 80 percent of Kookmin Bank union workers have
indicated they will tender their resignations a day before
they go on strike to protest against a possible merger with
H&CB.

According to Shin Hyun Chul, a Kookmin Bank union leader,
the labor union is collecting resigna-tion letters from
about 9,000 employees for submission to management Thursday
-- a day before the strike. The union also has filed a
libel suit against Financial Supervisory Commission
chairman Lee Keun Young for allegedly stating that
the bank is potentially weak.

The statement made was that "Kookmin Bank is not a
profitable bank, but a potentially weak bank." As Mr Lee's
remarks "damaged the bank's reputation and credit standing,
the union has filed suit to claim damages for libel."

The union maintains that Kookmin is one of the strongest
banks in South Korea, as shown by its capital adequacy
ratio of 11.13 per cent and assets exceeding debt by four
trillion won (S$6.8 billion). At the same time, Korean
banks face another showdown with labor as the government
moves to streamline its banking system to make it more
internationally competitive.

Union workers went on strike in July to protest against
government-driven mergers in the banking industry. Last
week, Kookmin and H&CB, Korea's top mortgage lender, were
forced to suspend merger talks after 48 hours of union
protests at Kookmin culminated with a threat from a bank
worker to set himself on fire outside the bank president's
office.

Kookmin president Kim Sang Hoon bowed to labor demands
minutes after one union protester doused himself with
linseed oil outside his seventh-floor office suite at the
bank's 15-story headquarters in downtown Seoul. The
government expects talks to resume later this month between
Kookmin, which has market value of US$3.8 billion (S$6.6
billion), and H&CB, whose market value stands at US$2.6
billion.

Korea's largest financial labor union, which claims 80,000
members, is threatening to go on strike on Dec 28 unless
the government calls off bank mergers, including the
possible alliance between Kookmin and H&CB. (Straits Times
20-Dec-2000)

KYONGNAM MUTUAL SAVINGS: FSS suspends it for 6 months
-----------------------------------------------------
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) suspended the
operations of Kyongnam Mutual Savings and Finance Co in
South Kyongsang Province for six months beginning Wednesday
on grounds of insolvency due to bad management. The short-
term finance company had a capital adequacy ratio of only
2.02 percent -- far below the Bank for International
Settlements' required 8 percent.

SAMSUNG GROUP: Resists debt penalty payment
-------------------------------------------
Samsung Group notified creditors of Samsung Motors it would
not pay 38.8 billion won ($32.12 million) of monthly
penalty interest, according to a report in the Maeil
Business Newspaper.

Samsung also said the group would not purchase subordinated
bonds issued by creditors which group chairman Lee Kun-hee
had promised to buy, the newspaper said.  Lee had said he
would compensate creditors' losses arising from the failure
of its auto affiliate by the year end in part by raising
funds from listing its affiliate Samsung Life Insurance.

He also had promised to purchase subordinated bonds issued
by creditors and provide an additional 500,000 shares of
the insurer to the creditors if compensation failed to meet
total debt amount. He already provided creditors with 3.5
milliion shares of the insurer.

But the country's regulator Financial Supervisory Service
cancelled earlier this month a plan to allow life insurance
companies to list their shares within this year.  Creditors
had warned that they would impose a penalty if the group
failed pay 2.45 trillion won by the end of the year.
Creditors would convene to discuss their position on
Wednesday, the newspaper said. (Reuters 20-Dec-2000)

SAMSUNG GROUP: Creditors prepared to sue over auto debt
-------------------------------------------------------
Samsung Motor's creditors said on Wednesday they would take
Samsung Group to court if it did not abide by its contract
to pay the auto affiliate's debt.

"Creditors would take legal action if the group failed to
pay Samsung Motor's 2.45 trillion won ($2.03 billion) debt
by the end of the year as promised," said Son Byeong-yong,
a general manager from the lead creditor Hanvit Bank.

Creditors met after Samsung said it would not be able to
abide by the contract, signed mid-1999.  "The contract was
legally imperfect as it was signed under severe pressure by
creditors who threatened to file bankruptcy for the
automaker," said Kim Jun-shik, Samsung Group general
manager.

In addition, shareholders represented by the People's
Solidarity for Participatory Democracy had filed suit,
arguing that the contract constituted a breach of trust, he
said.  He also said the group would not purchase
subordinated bonds issued by creditors which group chairman
Lee Kun-hee had promised to buy. But chairman Lee would
provide creditors with an additional 500,000 shares of
Samsung Insurance, he said.

In the 1999 contract, chairman Lee said the group would
compensate creditors' losses arising from the failure of
its auto affiliate by end-2000 in part by raising funds
from listing its affiliate Samsung Life Insurance.
The group also had promised to purchase subordinated bonds
issued by creditors and it said Lee would provide an
additional 500,000 shares of the insurer to the creditors
if compensation failed to meet total debt amount.

He already provided creditors with 3.5 million shares of
the insurer.  But the country's regulator Financial
Supervisory Service cancelled earlier this month a plan to
allow life insurance companies to list their shares within
this year. (Reuters 20-Dec-2000)

SAMSUNG GROUP: Civic group sues in Constitutional Court
-------------------------------------------------------
The People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
group has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court
concerning Samsung Group companies' allegedly illegal
wealth transfer to Lee Jae-yong, the only son of Samsung
Chairman Lee Kun-hee, at the expense of minority
shareholders.

The anti-chaebol civic group asserted that the decision by
the Seoul District Prosecutors' Office not to indict
Samsung SDS managers is inappropriate, since the company
placed bonds with warrants (BWs) on the junior Lee at
unreasonably low prices, allowing him to make a windfall.

"The prosecution showed no will to investigate the case, as
evidenced by its failure to even summon the managers for
questioning," the PSPD said. "Prosecutors cleared them of
the charges brought by the PSPD based on their unilateral
written statements."

The civic group noted that the National Tax Service has
already acknowledged that the junior Lee evaded a large
amount of gift taxes in the process of expediently
acquiring the BWs.  It also noted that Chang Sung-hwan,
president of Yuil Semiconductors, was recently arrested on
charges of neglect of duty, for his acquisition of company
BWs at excessively low prices.

"In light of the Yuil Semiconductor case, which is
identical with the Samsung SDS case, the prosecution's
treatment of Samsung SDS managers is incomprehensible," the
PSPD said.

The anti-chaebol crusaders said that they came to resort to
a constitutional complaint since its request for investi-
gation was rejected not only by the district office, but
also by the higher-level prosecutors' offices.  The PSPD
petitioned the district prosecutors' office in November
last year to investigate Samsung SDS and its managers for
causing huge losses to minority shareholders, by issuing
discount BWs to Lee Jae-yong.

Samsung SDS privately placed BWs on Lee at 7,150 won per
share in February 1999, which entitled him to acquire
3,216,738 shares in the company one year later. Samsung SDS
later made an initial public offering to list its shares on
the over-the-market Kosdaq, allowing Lee to benefit from a
rise in stock prices. (Korea Herald 20-Dec-2000)

SEOUL GUARANTEE: Gov't to infuse W1T
------------------------------------
State-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. (KDIC) plans to
inject one trillion won in equity investments into Seoul
Guarantee Insurance Co. on Dec. 23 as part of its efforts
to clean up defaulted bills from former Daewoo Group
affiliates.

In turn, Seoul Guarantee Insurance would inject one
trillion won worth of liquidity into the investment trust
and management sector, which has been plagued by losses
from the Daewoo debacle, by as early as next week, the
company said.  Funds for the capital infusion would be
raised by issuing KDIC bonds starting Thursday, officials
said.

This would bring KDIC's equity investments into Seoul
Guarantee Insurance to some 4.65 trillion won so far, with
another 5 trillion won more expected next year. Although
Seoul Guarantee Insurance's losses from defaulted bills
related to Daewoo affiliates are estimated at some 2.3
trillion won, the government has opted to limit its support
to one trillion won for now, officials said. (Korea Herald
20-Dec-2000)


===============
M A L A Y S I A
===============

L&M STRUCTURES SDN: Parent files winding up order vs. it
--------------------------------------------------------
L & M Corporation filed a winding up order for its
subsidiary L & M Structures Sdn Bhd on Dec. 18. According
to a report from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, L&M Corp.
proposed liquidation pursuant to a proposed restructuring
scheme.

SYARIKAT BINAAN BUDI SAWMILL: Posts 9-mo. loss
----------------------------------------------
Timber-based Syarikat Binaan Budi Sawmill Bhd (SBBS)
recorded a loss of RM3 million for the first nine months of
its financial year on a turnover of RM25.25 million. By
comparison, the company posted a profit of RM1.41 million
on a turnover of RM36.28 million for the same period the
previous year. It likely will finish its financial year
ending Dec. 31 in the red as well.

For the first nine months of the year, SBBS Chua attributed
the lower turnover to lower than expected domestic
construction growth and more competitive European markets.
Nonetheless, the company is confident of returning to
profitability next year, according to managing director
Kenny Chua Kien Lam. Chua cited an improving Malaysian
economy and the company's own initiatives for the basis of
the firm's optimism.

SSBS is in the midst of setting up a trading unit and has
succeeded in improving efficiency through better recovery
of its downstream waste. Chua further expected that SBBS's
turnover next year would double that of 1999. He also noted
that the company was "aggressively exploring the Middle
East and Northeast Asia markets" and hoped to see exports
contribute 75 percent of its turnover, up from the present
55 percent.

Meanwhile, at an extraordinary general meeting, share-
holders approved the private placement of 10 percent or
three million shares to Commerce Asset Ventures Sdn Bhd.
The proceeds are to be used to repay bank borrowings and
for working capital.


=====================
P H I L I P P I N E S
=====================

WESTMONT BANK: New charges filed against
WESTMONT INVESTMENT CORP.: New charges filed against
----------------------------------------------------
A new illegal fund solicitation complaint has been filed at
the Justice department against Westmont Investment Corp.
(Wincorp) and Westmont Bank officials, led by John Anthony
Espiritu, bringing the total of alleged anomalous
collections to 525 million Philippine pesos ($10.471
million at PhP50.140=$1).

Tacloban-based (eastern Visayas) businessman Rafael Young
charged 10 Wincorp and two Westmont Bank, now United
Overseas Bank, officers with violation of the Securities
Regulations Code, claiming bank officials enticed him to
deposit PhP12.5 million ($249,301.95) in a special deposit
instrument, assuring him Westmont Bank Tacloban branch
personnel will handle his investment.

The money was later loaned to Wincorp, which in turn loaned
it to its borrowers. The Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) never gave Wincorp the authority to operate such
investment scheme. The new charge, filed the other day,
caused the delay in the preliminary investigation against
respondent-officials.

Mr. Espiritu, son of former Finance Secretary Edgardo B.
Espiritu, vice-chairman Manuel N. Tankiansee, president
Antonio T. Ong, treasurer Henry T. Cua Loping corporate
secretary Nemesio R. Briones, assistant corporate secretary
Francis E. Ore¤a, and directors Mariza Santos-Tan, Manuel
A. Estrella, Vicente T. Cua Loping and Simeon S. Cua were
set to submit last Monday replies to claims they conspired
to deceive bank depositors.

Instead, senior state prosecutor Philip A. Aguinaldo, who
leads the preliminary investigation, gave the executives
and their lawyers until next month to file a consolidated
answer to the two pending complaints.

"Both charges contain basically the same allegations.
Although this is a new case, we should expect that this
will be consolidated with the one filed last month by the
SEC prosecution and enforcement department," he said.

The next hearing was set on Jan. 18. With the filing of the
new complaint, the Justice department could no longer
comply with its self-imposed 45-day deadline to resolve the
SEC complaint. Wincorp and Westmont lawyers representing
respondent-officials contributed to the delay in the probe.

They refused to immediately receive copies of the new
complaint during the hearing at the DoJ last Monday. They
said their clients hired them to defend them from the SEC
complaint, not Mr. Young's. Moreover, they said it is a
"matter of ethics" that they first inform their clients
about the new complaint, before receiving it.

They asked the DoJ panel to instead send new subpoena to
Wincorp officials and Westmont Tacloban branch managers
Vicente T. Yu, Jr. and Clara N. Sugbo. Branch officers and
managers Lester Yu, Susan Tan, Harry Yap, Victoria Carlos,
Cesar Co, Rene Madrid, Anita Tan, Chester Hung, Nenita Ho,
Neil Labrador, Nikki Que, Susan Bagain, Dolly Go Teo, Don
Plata, Emmanuel Puno, Cora Go, Domingo Chiu, Vicente Yu and
Antonia Go -- who were named in the SEC complaint -- were
not included in the new charge.

Last month, SEC asked the DoJ to investigate 11 Wincorp
officials and 19 Westmont branch managers and officers and
determine their liability in the alleged scam. Mr. Young
excluded assistant corporate secretary Francis E. Ore¤a
from his list of respondents.

SEC, as in Mr. Young, claimed the implicated officials
coaxed a number of investors into placing their money in
high-yield deposits in Westmont Bank. Records showed as
early as 1997, Wincorp either granted new to or increased
credit lines of several corporations, most of which were
owned by members of the Wincorp board.

Among the biggest creditors are Power Merge Corporation,
PhP2.5 billion ($50 million); Ebecap Holdings, PhP801
million ($15.975 million); Sta. Lucia Realty and
Development, Inc., PhP718 million ($14.320 million);
Pearlbank Securities, Inc., PhP465 million ($9.274 million)
and Ebedev, Inc., PhP464 million ($9.254 million).

In Mr. Young's case, he said his confirmation advice showed
his money was lent to Ebedev, Inc., Unioil Resources and
Holdings Co., Inc., Straightline International, Inc. and
Ebecom Holdings, Inc. SEC averred the collection of funds
from depositors for use of cash-strapped Wincorp officials
was illegal as under the securities law, only registered
corporations can enter into investment contracts.  It
sought the officials' prosecution for fraudulently selling
and offering securities.

"The beneficial owners of Wincorp are the very borrowers to
which Wincorp loaned my money, which shows that Wincorp did
not act for my benefit as investor, but for the benefit of
its beneficial owners," said Mr. Young, in his four-page
affidavit-complaint. Mr. Young and SEC representatives are
expected to appear at the DoJ in the next scheduled hearing
for clarificatory questions. (Business World 20-Dec-2000)


===============
T H A I L A N D
===============

DAEWOO MOTOR SALES: To close up, auction assets
-----------------------------------------------
Daewoo Motor Sales, Daewoo Motor Co's distributor in
Thailand and a joint venture between Korea's Daewoo Motors
and a number of Thai families including the Boonvisuths,
will close and auction off its remaining cars and parts to
raise money to pay its 40 employees.  Expected to follow
suit are a dozen auto dealers, since Daewoo Motors has
failed to shipped them new cars or spare parts.

Thonburi Automotive Industries, distributor of Ssangyong
Motor products, has been able to avoid closure, continuing
to receive revamped  Mussos and KJ sporty-utility vehicles
lines from Ssangyong.

THAI OIL: Posts Bt589M annual net loss
--------------------------------------
Thai Oil reported that its post-debt restructuring
operation in 2000 resulted in a net loss of 589 million
baht, compared to 9.9 billion baht in 1999.

Julachit Boonyaket, managing director of Thai Oil disclosed
that this year the company generated a gross income of 8.44
billion baht from an average refinery fee of $3.44/barrel.
According to him, the net loss of 589 million baht is about
15 percent of the anticipated loss of 4 billion baht in the
first year of operation after the company's debt restruc-
turing program was completed.

"We anticipated a $1.70/barrel average refinery fee
throughout the year 2000 while it turned out that the real
average fee was $3.44/barrel as a result of oil price
increases," said Julachit.

He said that the company also received a 12.8 billion baht
gain from debt-restructuring, a 590 million baht gain from
affiliates, and 644 million baht from insurance claims on
assets damage.  Commenting on next year's prospects,
Julachit said that the company projects higher net loss due
to an anticipated drop in the price of crude oil to about
$15.0/barrel.

He also said that according to the restructuring plan, by
basing on an average refinery fee of $1.90/barrel in 2001,
the company's net loss in the whole year would be around
3.0 billion baht.  However, due to a slowdown in US economy
and lower world consumption, the average refinery fee will
not exceed $1.90/barrel.

Julachit said that the company plans to operate at 85
percent of its full capacity of 220,000 barrels per day
next year and that it will sell 85 percent of the total
product in local market and will export the rest. This
year, it operated at 79 percent of full capacity or about
173,000 barrels per day and refined a total of 8,833
million litres of product which was sold to PTT (57
percent), Caltex (10 percent), independent markets (14
percent) and export markets (15 percent).

Lower demand in regional markets, lack of cash to buy raw
product and fire accident were cited as main factors that
kept the refinery to operate at below capacity level. (The
Business Day Thailand 20-Dec-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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