TCRAP_Public/001226.MBX            T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                        A S I A   P A C I F I C

             Tuesday, December 26, 2000, Vol. 3, No. 250

                              Headlines


* A U S T R A L I A *

INFOSENTIALS: Cash Flow Crisis Hits Info Firm
LEND LEASE: Investors Take Another Slash At Lend Lease
ORICA: Shareholder Group Advocates New Chairman in Wake of Poor Results
VILLAGE ROADSHOW: S&P Ratchets Subordinated Note Rating Downward

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

EBIZ.hk: Net Loss widens To HK$1.09M for Half-Year Ending Sept. 30
KELON ELECTRICAL: Shares Drop 5.6% on Warning of Core Business Loss
ONLINE CREDIT: Reports HK$19.04M Loss for Half-Year Ending Sept. 30
PEKING APPAREL: Posts HK $123,000 1H Net Loss

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT BERLIAN LAJU: Rights Offering in Place to Settle Credit Suisse Debt

* J A P A N *

HIGASHI-NIPPON: To request Government Capital Infusion
SOGO CO: Chinese Estates Advances $3.5B Offer For HK Store Location

* K O R E A *

CHOHUNG BANK: No Write-Off Plans
DAEWOO MOTOR: Labor Union Vows To Resist Sale To GM
HYUNDAI ENGINEERING: Rating Agency Lifts 'Negative View' of Bonds
KOOKMIN BANK: Workers Ready to Strike to Voice Merger Opposition
KORAM BANK: Records W300 Billion Loss This Year
KOREA REGENT: iRegent.com Affiliate Faces Bankruptcy After Default
SAMSUNG GROUP: Samsung Backs Away From Debt Guarantees

* M A L A Y S I A *

ACTACORP HOLDINGS: Hopes to Wrap-Up Debt Restructuring by June
IDRIS HYDRAULIC: Buying 78% Stake in Malaysian Insurer for $20 Mln
METROPLEX BHD: Fails to Redeem RM310 of Bonds Due Dec. 20
TENAGA NASIONAL: Rethinking Plan to Sell Power Plant

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

BW RESOURCES: Trial Scheduled to Begin on January 16
PILIPINO TELEPHONE: Debt-for-Debt Swap Expires January 23

* T H A I L A N D *

ROBINSON DEPARTMENT: Accord Cuts Debt by 68.5%
ROBINSONS DEPARTMENT: Plans to Invest Bt256M in Renovations & New Stores
ROYAL CERAMIC: RCI Plans to Restructure Debt & Raise Fresh Capital
STECON & CONSTRUCTION: Concludes Three-Month Business Rehabilitation
THAI HEAT EXCHANGE: Questions Creditors' Rehabilitation Plan
THAI TELEPHONE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Debt Set to Be Restructured
THAI TELEPHONE AND TELECOMMUNICATION: Plan Wins 90% Creditor Approval


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

INFOSENTIALS: Cash Flow Crisis Hits Info Firm
----------------------------------------------
Online training and content company Infosentials yesterday suspended its
shares from the stock exchange and appointed a voluntary administrator,
following what company founder and former host of Nine's A Current Affair
program, Mr Michael Schilberger, described as a "cash flow hiccup".

The Infosentials board appointed Melbourne firm Spencer & Co as
administrator yesterday after learning that a sale of its document delivery
service, Infotrieve, back to its US parent would be further delayed by
legal paperwork, delaying a payment of $1.5 million and an immediate cash
component of $US500,000 ($904,200).

"We will seek equity investors," Mr Schilberger said. He maintained that
product sales, particularly through a US office, were increasing.

Infosentials reported a loss of $9.4 million for 2000, on operating revenue
of $11.7 million.

Shareholders were told at last month's annual meeting that staff numbers
had been cut 21 per cent to rein in considerable costs racked up developing
products, but revenue was on track for $20 million.

Founded in 1983, Infosentials listed on the exchange in 1998. A series of
five acquisitions in 1999 included the purchase of encyclopedia and CD Rom
publisher Webster, which was expected to bring the company to positive cash
flow that year.

But in June a proposed $30 million purchase of Information Australia was
canned, and a plummeting market saw Infosentials sell off two businesses,
Infotrieve and ERM, to partners for $4 million. (Sydney Morning Herald
22-Dec-2000)


LEND LEASE: Investors Take Another Slash At Lend Lease
------------------------------------------------------
Investors took the knife to Lend Lease shares again yesterday, slashing
their value by $2.52 to $15.78 following the group's profit warning on
Wednesday.

This brings to 30 per cent the share price fall since then.

The sell-off was tempered by suggestions that another share buyback could
be on the cards, with analysts tipping the group could buy back 40 million
shares at about $18 to $19 a share.

In October the group completed a successful $1.8 billion buyback at $20.22
a share.

It is also expected the group could release details early in the new year
of the planned $1 billion development of the Time Warner multi-use office
and retail headquarters in New York.

Earlier this week Lend Lease warned investors that its profit for the
2000-01 year would be about $210 million to $230 million, compared with an
expected $290 million. The downgrade is due to a provision on the Internet
coupon business coolsavings.com and the poor performance of the real estate
investment division.

In a report to clients, Merrill Lynch said: "We believe that there is an
increased possibility of further buybacks. It seems that LLC is finding it
difficult to find appropriate acquisitions for the remainder of the MLC
proceeds.

"We have downgraded our 2001 earnings forecast from $312.4 million to
$205.4 million (-34.3 per cent) and our 2002 forecast from $415.2 million
to $300.1 million (-27.7 per cent).

"We maintain our view that investors do not have to be in the stock over
the next 12 months".

Some brokers have down-graded their recommendation to "hold" from "buy",
with the average 12-month price range between $16.20 and $18 a share. But
others believe the positive long-term growth story remains intact.

JB Were has also revised its estimates. "Our revised net profit after tax
estimates are $224.4 million in 2000-01 (-19.5 per cent); $298.1 million in
2001-02 (-12.2 per cent); and $318.8 million (-12 per cent). We see no
reason to  change our fundamental view that the Lend Lease business model
is a sound one and we will see strong earnings growth emerge ... once the
current stage of transition is completed." (Sydney Morning Herald
22-Dec-2000)


ORICA: Shareholder Group Advocates New Chairman in Wake of Poor Results
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Orica delivered its frustrated shareholders a few parting jolts to cap off
a disappointing year, telling them at yesterday's annual meeting the
company had terminated a major chemicals distribution contract and had
placed its dividend policy under review.

Management was keen to pitch both developments in a positive light but
shareholders were in no mood to brook excuses after sharp declines in
earnings and returns to shareholders over several years.

In three hours of hostile questioning, they repeatedly called for the
company's entire board to stand aside, criticised directors' remuneration
and lamented a more than halving of the Orica share price since 1997.

"What we need is a new chairman, a new chief executive and further changes
in the board," said Mr Ted Rofe from the Australian Shareholders'
Association, who likened Orica to the BHP of 1998 before its shake-up under
Mr Paul Anderson.

Chairman Mr Ben Lochtenberg said a review of the board was under way and he
would retire next year on reaching the age of 70. But, he said, there was
"no dramatic turnaround" likely in the near term.

A deterioration in the housing and construction industry and higher input
costs, mainly due to spiralling oil and gas prices, were squeezing margins
in financial 2001. Earnings for some of Orica's business units exposed to
the building cycle were off 30 per cent so far.

Although its core businesses of mining services, chemicals and consumer
products will increase earnings in the full year, plastics would remain a
drag especially after strike action at the Altona plant in Victoria.

Mr Lochtenberg told shareholders he expected Orica's share of losses from
the Qenos joint venture with ExxonMobil to total $10 million after tax.

Orica announced its Crop Care Australasia business had agreed to terminate
a contract to distribute crop protection products for Syngenta in
Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The arrangement had
provided about half of Crop Care's $280 million in annual revenue.

However, Orica managing director Mr Philip Weickhardt said the company had
negotiated a "positive" outcome, including a $50 million termination
payment in September 2002. It will also receive $10 million in April 2001
and monthly payments from then through to September the next year to
compensate for lost earnings.

Orica will join a growing list of companies including Lend Lease, Brambles
and BHP, in reviewing its dividend policy.

Mr Lochtenberg said increasing earnings from offshore would mean Orica may
never again fully frank a dividend. Given that, and a recent overhaul of
the tax system, Orica would examine "a number" of alternatives over the
next year.  Other companies have said they are considering reducing
dividends in favour of more tax-effective measures, such as share buybacks.
(Sydney Morning Herald 22-Dec-2000)


VILLAGE ROADSHOW: S&P Ratchets Subordinated Note Rating Downward
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard and Poors downgraded  Village Roadshow's rating from BB- to BB+
for its $US50.5 million subordinated note program while planning to  borrow
$US 500 million by partially floating its Austrereo FM network of radio
stations.

A rival ratings firm,  Moody's Investors Service, had not changed its Baa3
rating against Village's US-dollar notes, a  report from The Age said.

The radio, theme park and film distribution businesses had a  strong
performance but not enough to  offset the fixed costs in the cinema
business.  Local cinema is plague by overcapacity with the stiff
competition from the multiplexes in different regions while the audiences
numbers decline.

If the cashflow protection ratio will not improve given its high debt
burden, a rating downgrade could result, S&P said.


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

EBIZ.hk: Net Loss widens To HK$1.09M for Half-Year Ending Sept. 30
------------------------------------------------------------------
eBiz.hk.com Ltd. (0384), a fashion retailer, said its net loss widened to
HK$1.09 million in the six months through September, from HK$186,000 a year
earlier. Loss per share was 0.5 HK cent, compared with 0.1 HK cent. Revenue
dropped 41.2 percent to HK$3.02 million. No interim dividend was declared.


KELON ELECTRICAL: Shares Drop 5.6% on Warning of Core Business Loss
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holdings Co. (0921) dropped as much as 5.6
percent after it issued a profit warning.

At 10:40 a.m. Hong Kong time, the stock was quoted at HK$1.34 with
HK$795,800 worth of shares changing hands.

China's No. 1 refrigerator maker warned that it expects to record a loss in
its core business for the year ending Dec. 31, due to the deterioration in
the household electrical appliances market and keen competition.

"Further to the company's profit warning announcement dated July 14, 2000,
the trading conditions relating to the company's principal business, namely
the manufacture, distribution and sale of refrigerators and air-
conditioners in the People's Republic of China and overseas, failed to
improve," the company said.

The company reported a 75 percent drop in interim net profit to 108.2
million yuan in the six months through June, from a year earlier. Earnings
per share were 0.11 yuan compared with 0.48 yuan a year earlier.  (Quamnet
News 22-December-2000)


ONLINE CREDIT: Reports HK$19.04M Loss for Half-Year Ending Sept. 30
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Online Credit International Ltd.  suffered a net loss of HK$19.04 million
in the six months through September compared to last year's HK$18.05
million.  Loss per share was 1.5 HK cents, compared with 1.44 HK cents.
The investment holding company, in a statement said its revenue increase of
64.9 percent to HK$27.2 million was offset by an increased operating costs.
No interim dividend was declared.


PEKING APPAREL: Posts HK $123,000 1H Net Loss
---------------------------------------------
Peking Apparel International Group Ltd. (0761) said its net loss narrowed
to HK$123,000 for the six months through September, from HK$3.76 million a
year earlier. Loss per share was 0.03 HK cent compared with 1.4 HK cents.
No interim dividend will be distributed.


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

PT BERLIAN LAJU: Rights Offering in Place to Settle Credit Suisse Debt
----------------------------------------------------------------------
PT Berlian Laju Tanker (BLTA) will issue Rp67.27 billion right shares to
pay debts incurred by its affiliate firm, Averina Maritime S., to Credit
Suisse Singapore amounting to $6,375,200.

BLTA's president Widiardjo Tanujaya said  BLTA will offer 61.152m new
common shares with Rp500 nominal price. Every 17 old shares has the rights
to buy 2 new shares priced at Rp1,100 each, an INDOEXCHANGE NEWSreport  
revealed.

Tunggaladhi Baskara will act as underwriter for the rights offering while
PT Tunggaladhi Baskara, an affiliation of BLTA, will act as standby buyer
for the rights shares.

Its stock was closed at Rp1,075 on Thursday, rose Rp50 or 4.48% from the
previous day's closing.


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

HIGASHI-NIPPON: To request Government Capital Infusion
-------------------------------------------------------
Higashi-Nippon Bank, a Tokyo-based regional bank which has taken over four
Tokyo and Saitama branches of the failed Niigata Chuo Bank, plans to apply
for an infusion of public money in order to boost its capital base, sources
close to the bank said Friday.  (Kyodo News 21-Dec-2000)


SOGO CO: Chinese Estates Advances $3.5B Offer For HK Store Location
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Chinese Estates Holdings'  Chairman Joseph Lau or related person has
offered $3.5 billion for Causeway Bay premises of financially troubled
Japanese retailer Sogo, say unsourced HK Economic Times report. Says offer
price close to Sogo's minimum price, and Lau has sent associates to Japan
to talk to Sogo's management.  Chinese Estates couldn't be reached for
reply by Dow Jones' reporters.  Developer Hang Lung said last month it was
approached by Sogo to buy site, adding Sogo had also been in talks with
other potential buyers. Sogo Japan collapsed in July and is looking to
dispose of its HK commercial office building to pay off debts.  (Dow Jones
21-Dec-2000)


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


CHOHUNG BANK: No Write-Off Plans
--------------------------------
Chohung Bank  has no plans in writing off its capital as well as expect any
bail-out funds from the government.  Chohung President Wee Sung Bok said   
Korea's fifth largest bank will not follow the other five Korean Banks in
preparation to receiving government funds.  The banks shares shrank by 27
per cent following the announcement, a report from CHANNEL NEW ASIA said.


DAEWOO MOTOR: Labor Union Vows To Resist Sale To GM
---------------------------------------------------
Daewoo Motor's labor union said yesterday that it will raise objection to
creditors' attempt to sell off the bankrupt automaker to General Motors.

According to the labor's own restructuring blueprint presented to the
management, unionists have decided to push for the company's independent
survival, instead of its sale to foreigners.

The labor group also recommended a "circular leave of absence" as an
alternative to the management-proposed massive layoff scheme.

The labor's restructuring plans, drawn up in response to the management's
recent notification of an intent to cut 6,850 jobs out of the firm's 19,00
workforce, are expected to lead to severe bilateral conflicts in the coming
negotiations, industry watchers said.

Last week, the management sent a letter to the union, vowing to lay off
6,850 workers, including 5,374 plant employees, prompting the union leaders
to insist that the layoff scheme was just a means of facilitating GM's take
over.

The union, meanwhile, demanded that the government and creditors write off
between 12.9 trillion won and 17.5 trillion won of the automaker's 18
trillion won debt as losses, to help speed up the independent survival.

It also asked management to increase next year's sales target from 500,000
units to 700,000 units, and pour about 1.8 trillion won into research and
development on new models. (Korea Herald 22-Dec-2000)



HYUNDAI ENGINEERING: Rating Agency Lifts 'Negative View' of Bonds
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Korea Management Consulting & Credit Rating Corp. (KMCC) said yesterday
that it has removed commercial paper and corporate bonds of Hyundai
Engineering and Construction (HEC) from its "negative view" list.

HEC's commercial bills and corporate bonds are rated as BB+ and B+,
respectively.

"The risk for the recurrence of a short-term liquidity crisis has been
reduced sharply as HEC's total debts decreased to 4.6 trillion won as of
Dec. 20, thanks to domestic creditors' rollover of debts worth 700 billion
won and HEC's fulfillment of self-rescue efforts," said a KMCC official.

The credit-rating agency also positively evaluated the return of Chairman
Chung Mong-hun to management, the possibility of a donation of his private
wealth, the declaration of a management strategy focused on profitability
and ongoing management and structural reforms of the company.  (Korea
Herald 22-Dec-2000)


KOOKMIN BANK: Workers Ready to Strike to Voice Merger Opposition
----------------------------------------------------------------
Workers from Kookmin Bank are expected to go on strike today in protest
against the on-going merger talks with H&CB because their jobs will be
sacrificed to reduce costs, a STRAITS TIMES report said.

Mr Lee Yong Deuk, head of the Korean Financial Industry Union,  they intend
to  stop the computer network at banks  to force government to givein to
their demands.  Some 80,000 employees from other banks will follow suit on
Thursday.  The planned strike was illegal and the government will deal with
it sternly.

Kookmin Bank union leader Shin Hyun Chul claimed 80 per cent, or 9,000
employees, are ready to tender their resignation once the H&CB, Kookmin
will push true.


KORAM BANK: Records W300 Billion Loss This Year
-----------------------------------------------
KorAm Bank will record a loss of more than 300 billion won, because it will
have to put up more loan-loss reserves at the request of its controlling
shareholder, the Carlyle Group, a bank official said yesterday.

The bank will accumulate full reserves against loans to distressed
companies including those under debt workout programs and set aside loan-
loss reserves amount to 3 percent to 4 percent of normal loans, he said.

The increased provisioning against potential losses will lower KorAm's BIS
(Bank for International Settlements) capital adequacy ratio to around 8.5
percent at the end of this year, the official said.

KorAm posted a net income of 50.3 billion won and a capital adequacy ratio
of 12.14 percent last year. In the first half of this year, the bank
chalked-up a net profit of 13.2 billion won, while its capital adequacy
ratio stood at 11.64 percent at the end of June this year.  (Korea Herald
22-Dec-2000)



KOREA REGENT: iRegent.com Affiliate Faces Bankruptcy After Default
------------------------------------------------------------------
Korea's Regent Merchant Bank, which is linked to local investment fund
iRegent.com (5750), defaulted on maturing bills of 12. 3 billion won
(US$10.03 million) and will be declared bankrupt if the bills aren't paid
by the end of today, Reuters reported from Seoul.

Shares of iRegent.com were suspended this morning at the request of the
company, pending an announcement on the sale of its stake in KoreaOnline
Ltd., the parent of Regent Merchant Bank.

iRegent owns 46 percent of KoreaOnline Ltd., which in turn holds 31 percent
of Regent Merchant Bank. Korean regulatory authorities have been
investigating Jin Seong-Hyun, a minority shareholder in KoreaOnline, over
allegations of stock price manipulation.

Regent Merchant Bank has suffered a heavy run on deposits in connection
with the Jin scandal. It had said it would resolve its liquidity crisis
with help from loans from KoreaOnline and sale of KoreaOnline shares.

iRegent.com said last month its financial interest in Regent Merchant Bank
is about US$15 million, or 12 percent of its consolidated net tangible
assets at March 31.

Shares of iRegent.com ended yesterday down 19.4 percent at 29 HK
cents. (Quamnet News 22-December-2000)


SAMSUNG GROUP: Samsung Backs Away From Debt Guarantees
------------------------------------------------------
Samsung Group has informed creditors it won't fulfill interest- penalty
payment and debt payment guarantees by Samsung Group affiliates on 2.45
trillion won ($2.03 billion) of Samsung Motors debt.

"Samsung Group has sent a letter to creditors saying it can't carry out the
penalty-payment agreement," said a person at Samsung Group who was familiar
with the situation.

The person said Samsung Group could offer creditors 500,000 Samsung Life
Insurance Co. shares held by group Chairman Lee Kun Hee, but refused to
make penalty payments, saying that the continuing lawsuit between Samsung
Group and a civic organization, and opposition from foreign investors have
made it difficult to carry out the agreement.

Major creditor banks, including Hanvit Bank, Korea Development Bank and
Korea Exchange Bank, were set to discuss possible measures regarding
Samsung Group's refusal at a meeting on Wednesday, Hanvit Bank said.

"At the worst case, creditors can seize assets of Samsung Group's chairman
and group affiliates," said Kim Ki Rin, a spokesman at Hanvit Bank.

Last year, Mr. Lee donated 3.5 million shares in unlisted Samsung Life to
creditors of Samsung Motors to compensate for the auto maker's debt.

Samsung Group estimated the value of the Samsung Life shares at 2.45
trillion won, based on 3.5 million shares at 700,000 won a share, if
Samsung Life stocks were listed on the main stock exchange. There had been
expectations the government would allow listing of Samsung Life by the end
of this year.

Mr. Lee also had promised to donate an additional 500,000 Samsung Life
shares if the value of 3.5 million shares fell short of 2.45 trillion won.

Samsung Group also had agreed with creditors to pay a 19% interest-penalty
payment beginning in January if it fails to pay the 2.45 trillion won in
debt by the end of this year, regardless of whether Samsung Life is listed.
Samsung Group's affiliates also agreed to a payment guarantee on Samsung
Motors' debt.

With the South Korean government's recent decision to put off listing of
Samsung Life shares indefinitely, creditors have demanded that Samsung
Group carry out its promise on the penalty-payment and debt-payment
guarantees.

The civic organization involved in the lawsuit has alleged that Samsung
Group's chairman illegally transferred his assets to his children and also
moved financial supports from the group's healthy units to its weaker
units. Samsung has never admitted to the allegations.

The auto maker was sold to Renault SA of France and a new entity called
Renault Samsung was established Sept. 1.  (The Asian Wall Street Journal  
21-December-2000)



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

ACTACORP HOLDINGS: Hopes to Wrap-Up Debt Restructuring by June
--------------------------------------------------------------
Actacorp Holdings Bhd is targeting to complete its debt restructuring
scheme by next June, said group executive director Syed Adeli Syed Amir.

"The company has already held discussions with its creditors to gauge its
position on various aspects of the scheme,'' Adeli told reporters after the
company's AGM in Subang yesterday.

He said the company was undertaking the restructuring under the direction
of the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC), which had made a few
proposals regarding an asset injection.

However, Adeli declined to elaborate, saying the details had yet to be
finalised.

He said that on completion of the restructuring the company's core business
might be changed, depending on the type of new assets to be injected into
it.

"The company's future core business could be construction, property
development or a totally new business,'' he said.

Adeli said the company might see the emergence of a new substantial
shareholder after the restructuring.

Currently, the company, via its subsidiary, has managed to secure a major
contract worth RM80mil from Jabatan Perumahan Negara to construct six
blocks of low-cost apartments in Kuala Lumpur.

Actacorp's total liabilities amount to RM221mil, of which 80% is owed to
bank creditors and the rest to trade creditors.

For its financial year ended June 30, 2000, the group recorded a 60%
increase in turnover from RM18mil to RM28mil. However, it remained in the
red with a pre-tax loss of RM35mil, although this was much less than the
loss of RM214mil it posted the year before.  (The Star Online 22-Dec-2000)


IDRIS HYDRAULIC: Buying 78% Stake in Malaysian Insurer for $20 Mln
------------------------------------------------------------------
From Kuala Lumpur, Bloomberg News reports that Idris Hydraulic Bhd., a
diversified Malaysian business group, said it signed a pact to buy a
domestic insurer as part of its reorganization plan to move away from its
loss-making timber business.

It will pay 78 million ringgit ($20.5 million) to buy 78 percent of Tenaga
Insurance Bhd. from real estate group Asian Pac Holdings Bhd., the company
said in a statement.

``The company will also make arrangements to acquire the remaining 22
percent stake from (other) minority shareholders,'' it said.

The move makes Idris -- controlled by Annuar Senawi, a nephew of Finance
Minister Daim Zainuddin -- one of the earliest to take consolidation steps
as the government prods its 53 domestic insurers to combine for strength.
Idris already owns an insurer known as Talasco Insurance Bhd.

In August, Idris said it will sell its timber and property assets to help
repay 782.2 million ringgit of debt and focus on boosting its insurance arm
to make it the company's main business.  (Bloomberg 22-Dec-2000)


METROPLEX BHD: Fails to Redeem RM310 of Bonds Due Dec. 20
---------------------------------------------------------
Metroplex Bhd failed to redeem its RM310 million redeemable bank
guaranteed bonds (1995/2000) which was due on Dec 20, said Rating Agency of
Malaysia Bhd (RAM).

The rating agency in November reaffirmed the long term rating of BBB2
(bg) on the bonds, based on the bank guarantee that had enhanced its risk
profile beyond Metroplex's stand-alone risk.

RAM said in accordance with the guarantee agreement, the trustees, BHLB
Trustees Bhd had called upon the guarantors on Dec 20 to pay the sum
guaranteed within 14 days. Under the bank guarantee, all risks are to be
absorbed by the guarantors.

Metroplex is a holding company involved in property development, hotel and
leisure, construction and casino operations. (The Edge Daily 21-Dec-2000)


TENAGA NASIONAL: Rethinking Plan to Sell Power Plant
----------------------------------------------------
Tenaga Nasional Bhd. will  rethink it plan to sell  power plants to raise
RM 4 billion because it will allow  competition to sell power to users and
raises investors' concern on it ability to pay its RM 25.7 billion  debt as
of August 31.

The power firm is South-east Asia's biggest power utility producing 60 per
cent of Malaysia's electricity.  Malaysia increased its power consumption
by 13 per cent  at the end of August this year while the economy had a
demand growth of 0.7 per cent a year ago  when it was just pulling out of
recession.

Jason Chong, head of research at Merrill Lynch & Co.,  wanted to know  
about the new  tenaga game plan and its effect to its  high debt level and
spending if there's a slowdown in the economy, a BUSINESS TIMES report
said.

Jamaludin Jarjis, Tenaga new chairman of the board,  said the board will
still have to study the proposal for the firm  becoming smaller.
Tenaga has already sold 40 per cent interest in Malakoff Bhd. for RM2.5
billion and sole  stakes in Powertek Bhd.


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

BW RESOURCES: Trial Scheduled to Begin on January 16
----------------------------------------------------
The trial of BW Resources officials will set to begin on January 16 before
Pasig Regional Trial Court branch 153 Briccio Ygana.

Presidential  friend Dante Tan, minority stockholder Jimmy Juan, Jr. and
former BWRC president Eduardo "Moonie" G. Lim, Jr. are expected to  enter a
plea and submit answers to  violating three provisions of the Revised
Securities Act . The three will  face 21 years imprisonment for each
violation of the securities law, a BUSINESS WORLD report said.

Some 50  other individuals are not yet off the hook because the Securities
and Exchange Commission can still  refile complaint against them.  They are
investigated to have violated  the non-disclosure of beneficial ownership
rule, broker-director rule and lock-up schemes, the respondents were also
investigated for resorting to wash sales and matched orders, marking the
close, abuse of the EQ trade facility and other artificial active trading
devices.


PILIPINO TELEPHONE: Debt-for-Debt Swap Expires January 23
---------------------------------------------------------
Pilipino Telephone Corp. (PILTEL) will exchange $183 million worth of
convertible bonds as part of its debt restructuring plan giving holders
until January 23, 2001 to avail the offer.

These bonds will be changed into exchange bonds comprising a third of
Piltel's P34.9 billion debt.

Piltel president and chief executive officer Napoleon was glad with the
move because this is a step toward rehabilitating the company.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Piltel's parent company, had
committed to extend financial help by providing $150 million funds.


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



ROBINSON DEPARTMENT: Accord Cuts Debt by 68.5%
----------------------------------------------
Robinson Department Store Plc has finalised a major restructuring plan that
cuts its debts by 68.5%, to 4.76 billion baht, and allows Thailand's
second-largest department store to plan for expansion in two years.

The Central Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday approved the rehabilitation plan
prepared by Robinson Planner Ltd. Creditors representing 89.55% of the
debts owed voted for the plan on Dec 15. They will now own 60% of the
company.

Robinson Planner is the court-appointed plan administrator. Central Retail
Corp (CRC), a major shareholder of Robinson, and Effective Planners, the
representative of creditors, each hold a 50% interest in the firm.

"The completion of this debt restructuring plan will benefit all of our
major shareholders, creditors, suppliers and employees," said Robinson
president Kanok Wongtrangan.

Robinson has total debts of US$460 million or about 20 billion baht in
unsecured loans, mostly denominated in US dollars and Japanese yen. It also
has 127 million baht in secured loans from Thai Farmers Bank.

The loans were borrowed to expand ahead of the mid-1997 economic crisis.

Mr Kanok said Robinson had incurred huge foreign-exchange losses. Sales
shrank as consumer spending fell, and poor cashflow made it hard to pay
suppliers. Robinson stopped repaying its creditors on July 2, 1997.

Under the five-year rehabilitation plan, creditors would accept a
write-down of 13.7 billion baht, which would include forward interest at 5%
in 2001 and a 1% increase annually until 2005.

"Our debts will be reduced to only 4.76 billion baht and the first
repayment of 900 million baht is due next year," said Mr Kanok.

Robinson now has 1.4 billion baht in cash. It will increase its registered
capital tenfold to 14.8 billion baht.

The new shareholding structure will give creditors 60%, CRC 30%, and
executives and others 5% each.

CRC has an option to buy back up to 21% within three years at a discount of
10-30% to market prices.

After recapitalising, Robinson would reduce equity to 11.1 billion baht to
clear accumulated losses, Mr Kanok said. The company would start developing
new stores in two years, he said, declining to give locations or budgets.
(Bangkok Post 22-Dec-2000)


ROBINSONS DEPARTMENT: Plans to Invest Bt256M in Renovations & New Stores
------------------------------------------------------------------------
After the Central Bankruptcy Court endorsed Robinson Department Store's
debt restructuring plan two days ago , it plans to invest Bt 256 million
working capital to renovate nine branches and expects to generate sales
revenue Bt9.2 billion  next year.

In a The Nation report Kanok Wongtrangan, Robinson chief operating officer
and president, said it will still have to write off Bt16 billion in
accumulated losses in the first quarter of next year.  Creditors have
agreed to reduce its debts by Bt13.7 billion.

Robinson Planner Ltd, a joint venture between Central Retail Corporation
(CRC), Robinson's majority shareholder, and Effective Planners Ltd, will be
the debt-plan administrator.  They will hold 60 per cent in Robinson and
CRC holding 30 per cent, down from 55 per cent .  Robinson's  company
officials will take  5 per cent and the rest divided among the small
shareholders.  A 14-per-cent growth next year  was projected  an increase
of 8 per cent.

Kanok said they need to  complete the Bt4.76 billion restructuring  for
five  years  and will have a 5-per-cent interest rate next year.   The
succeeding years , a percentage point will be added until 2005.


ROYAL CERAMIC: RCI Plans to Restructure Debt & Raise Fresh Capital
------------------------------------------------------------------
Royal Ceramic Industry (RCI) said it planned to increase capital by
94.28 million baht to 314.28 million baht as part of the debt
restructuring plan which called for debt-to-equity conversion.

The company said the fresh capital will come from selling 9.42 million
shares at 10 baht apiece. Most will be sold to Thai Farmers Bank (TFB)
and Chuntaburi Asset Management Company.

They will be allocated 4.85 million shares and 2.4 million shares
respectively, and the rest will be sold to local institutional investors.
Creditors recently approved RCI's
restructuring plan which involved debt of about 1.7 billion baht. RCI's
debt repayment is spread over 14 years and its overdue interest payment
will be converted to equity in the company.  (Business Day (Thailand)  20-
December-2000)


STECON & CONSTRUCTION: Concludes Three-Month Business Rehabilitation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The debt-ridden construction firm STECON and Construction Plc. Ltd.
(STECON) is now officially out of the debt crisis after the bankruptcy
court approved its request to pull out of the business rehabilitation
program, making it the first construction company to do so.

Anutin Charnveerakul, managing director of STECON said that on
December 4th this year the Bankruptcy court had agreed to the request
after no creditors stepped out to block it. According to him, the
operation of the company has now been returned to the former management
team.  (Business Day (Thailand)  20-December-2000)


THAI HEAT EXCHANGE: Questions Creditors' Rehabilitation Plan
------------------------------------------------------------
Thai Heat Exchange (THECO)'s  filed a petition with the Central  Bankruptcy
Court opposing the rehabilitation plan laid out by creditors.  THECo also
asked the court to change the appointed planner  to Thai Heat Revival Co.
Thai Heat Revival's directors are Surapon Leesahapanya, Olan Charujinda and
Surin Wanpensakul, who also sit on THECO's board of directors.



THAI TELEPHONE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Debt Set to Be Restructured
----------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Thai Telephone & Telecommunications PCL are expected to
accept today a long-delayed plan to restructure the company's 44.4 billion
baht ($1.03 billion) in debt.  Thai Telephone -- which operates a phone
network of 1.5 million fixed lines under a concession from state-owned
Telephone Organization of Thailand, or TOT -- began negotiations with its
creditors in the first quarter of 1998. Earlier this year, Thai Telephone
went to court to prevent its smaller creditors from further delaying
the restructuring process.

"We expect the vote to sail through with at least 70% of the creditors
supporting the plan," said an executive of one of Thai Telephone's main
creditor banks.  For the plan to proceed, Thai law requires support from
creditors holding more than 50% of the company's debt.

Under the proposed restructuring plan, Thai Telephone's debt would decline
to about 33 billion baht, after it repays loans from TOT and converts into
equity about 6.5 billion baht in debt and accrued interest owed to existing
shareholders.

Shareholders such as Jasmine International PCL, Loxley PCL, Italian-Thai
Development PCL and an asset-management unit of Thai Farmers Bank PCL would
see their combined shareholdings in Thai Telephone increase to about 75%
from 55%.

The restructuring deal has faced resistance from two key creditors: TOT and
a local unit of equipment supplier Alcatel SA of France. They initially
opposed the debt-workout plan on the grounds that they were being treated
unfairly. The two parties combined hold about 20% of Thai Telephone's total
outstanding debt.

Thai Telephone has managed to resolve most of its differences with TOT. TOT
has claimed that Thai Telephone owed it about 4.6 billion baht for leased
lines and telephone circuits, while Thai Telephone put the figure at 3.6
billion baht.  Thai Telephone and TOT have now agreed to settle their
difference over those figures in the future, so as not to hold up the debt-
workout agreement to be signed today.

But Thai Telephone's dispute with Alcatel hasn't been settled. The Thai
company and its other creditors expect Alcatel to oppose the restructuring
plan in today's vote. Alcatel -- which holds about 9% of Thai Telephone's
debt -- has said it doesn't agree with the relatively low repayment
priority classification of its debt in the restructuring plan.

Other creditors with claims similar to Alcatel's, such as Ericsson
(Thailand) Ltd., a unit of Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, and Sumitomo Corp.,
have supported the debt plan.

After Thai Telephone settles its debt issues with TOT and completes its
debt-to-equity conversion, the company's remaining debt would be classified
in three categories. Creditors included in tranche A would get top priority
in repayment and receive a higher interest rate. Repayment of tranche-A
debt is to be completed within 12u years. Repayment of tranche-B debt would
be spread over 14 years, tranche-C debt over 17 years.

All debt repayment would be scheduled for completion by 2017, one year
before Thai Telephone's current concession ends.

Under the plan, Thai Telephone is also required to inject five billion baht
in fresh capital within 30 months of the plan's approval. If Thai Telephone
fails to raise the additional equity, creditors will take full control of
the company.

Companies such as United Communication Industry PCL, Shin Corp.,
TelecomAsia PCL and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. have expressed
interest in taking a stake in the company. But most want creditors to write
off some debts first.

Securities analysts have welcomed the Thai Telephone restructuring, but
they say the company needs more than the debt deal to attract new
investors. "There is no upside to the stock," said Amarit Sukhavanij, a
telecom analyst at Merrill Lynch Phatra Securities. He said Thai Telephone
has just 200,000 lines remaining to be sold and that "the likelihood of
more lines for the concession is low." He added that "the revenue per line
is also low and the company does not have a market for value-added
products."

If TOT changes its concession terms, however, Thai Telephone's outlook
could improve. Under the current concession, Thai Telephone has to pay 43%
of its revenue to TOT, which, according to Mr. Amarit, is a drag on the
company.  (The Asian Wall Street Journal  21-December-2000)


THAI TELEPHONE AND TELECOMMUNICATION: Plan Wins 90% Creditor Approval
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Thai Telephone and Telecommunication Plc (TT&T) yesterday
voted in favour of the company's 40.608-billion-baht debt restructuring
plan with the only supplier creditor, Alcatel, opposing the plan.

TT&T owes Alcatel about three billion baht. Creditors representing 90.49%
of the total debt supported the plan, said Witit Sajjapong, vice-president
of the provincial fixed-line telephone company.

The Central Bankruptcy Court has scheduled a hearing for today on Alcatel's
objection.

TT&T's major financial creditors are Sumitomo Bank, Krung Thai Bank,
BankThai, Credit Lyonnais and Bank of Sweden.

Mr Witit said Alcatel had opposed the plan as the supplier would be paid
only after financial creditors' debt had been settled.

Two other suppliers, Sumitomo and Ericsson, who were owed a combined five
billion baht, backed the plan, he said.

Of the 40.608 billion baht in debt, 25.164 billion was owed to financial
creditors; 8.05 billion to major trade creditors and 232 million to small
suppliers of equipment and services. A total of 7.163 billion baht was owed
to related trade creditors.

Mr Witit said the plan divided the debts into three lots. The first lot,
equivalent to 33.213 billion baht, would be restructured to the equivalent
of 20.623 billion baht. There would be a repayment term of 11.5 years
including a 1.5-year grace period. Interest would be paid monthly.

Creditors in the first group can elect to convert up to one billion baht,
or a portion of their loans, directly into ordinary shares.

A second lot equivalent to 6.030 billion baht would have a repayment term
of 13 years including a grace period of 11.5 years. Interest is to be paid
monthly, but can be capitalised in an amount equivalent to 18 months of
interest without triggering a default.

The third lot, equivalent to 6.56 billion baht, would have a term of 16.5
years with a 13-year grace period. Interest will be paid only after the
loans are paid up. The company has the option of buying back the third lot
of loans with the proceeds from capital increases.

Alcatel managing director Philippe Chettou declined to comment on the
company's objections. Earlier, Alcatel had submitted a financial package to
assist TT&T, but Mr Witit said the proposal would have committed his
company too much to Alcatel in terms of future purchases.

Shares of TT&T rose 10 satang yesterday to close at 4.10 baht on the SET.
(Bangkok Post 22-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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