TCRAP_Public/010111.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, January 11, 2001, Vol. 4, No. 8

                               Headlines


A U S T R A L I A

CENTRAL NORTH:  Fails to Make Principal Payment
SKASE:  Spain Kicks Out Fugitive
HOLLWORTH GROUP:  ASIC Probes Firm
STEEL TANK & PIPE:  Strikes Deal with Union


C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

BERJAYA HOLDINGS:  Net Loss Widens to HK$3.19M H1
CHEUNG KONG: Secures HK$3.8B Loan
EAST ASIA HOLDINGS:  Moody's Rates Debt at Baa2
HAINAN TRUST:  Rehabilitation Plan Details are Unknown
SOGO: Chinese Estates Not Involved

SUN HUNG KAI PROPERTIES:  Receives HK$7.8B Credit Facility
WING LEE HOLDINGS:  Issues New Shares To Repay $9.14M Debt


J A P A N

MITSUBISHI MOTORS:  Volvo Takes Over Truck Division
TOKYO SOWA BANK:  Open To Bidders


K O R E A

DAEWOO MOTOR:  Labor Dispute Pulls Down Firm's Value
HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: Fails to Refund Bonds
HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS:  Stock Price Falls
HYUNDAI MARINE:  Gov't Takes Over 80 Percent of Debt
KOREA LIFE:  Hanwha to Participate in Auction
SEPOONG PAPER:  Bowater Withdraws Bid


M A L A Y S I A

BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA:  Borrows US$526.3M


P H I L I P P I N E S

ASB GROUP:  Chevalier Interested to Bid


T H A I L A N D

NATIONAL FERTILIZER:  BAAC Hesitant to Provide Funds
SRIVARA GROUP:  Court Approves Reorganization Plan
THAI PETROCHEMICAL:  Appeals Court's Ruling


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

CENTRAL NORTH:  Fails to Make Principal Payment
-----------------------------------------------
The Central North Island Forest Partnership, an alliance between
China International Trust & Investment Corp. (Citic) and Fletcher
Challenge Ltd.'s forest division, has failed to make a principal
payment that fell due on December 29.

Citic New Zealand Ltd. spokesman Greg Molloy said the company has
the money needed for recapitalization but is waiting to resolve
its debt and management issues first, the Asian Wall Street
Journal reported on Tuesday.

Molloy said, "we have been trying to resolve those for some time
without success, so really we are in the position of preparing
for the worst -- preparing for receivership. It is possible Citic
could buy the forestry assets if they were sold under
receivership."

Citic and Fletcher Forests each hold 50 percent of the
partnership, which owns about 165,000 hectares of New Zealand
forest. In late October, Citic said the partnership needed to be
recapitalized, at a cost of more than $200 million.

However Fletcher Forests says the sum needed for the
recapitalization to meet banking requirements is less. The
recapitalization has been postponed amid disputes between the
partners.


SKASE:  Spain Kicks Out Fugitive
--------------------------------
The Spanish government last week extradited Christopher Skase, an
Australian fugitive wanted for violating bankruptcy law.

The Palma High Court in Majorca ruled that Skase should be
deported from Spain. He was diagnosed as suffering from stomach
cancer, according to the Monday issue of the Australian Financial
Review.


HOLLWORTH GROUP:  ASIC Probes Firm
----------------------------------
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) on
January 7 will investigate the Hollworth Group for various land
deals. Hollworth Retailing, Hollworth International Trading and
KLB Investments are all group members subject to the
investigation.

Horworth will be the provisional liquidator, according to the
Sunday issue of the Courier Mail.

Two of the firm's directors, Kristopher Gregory Hollworth and
Joanne Ivy McGuigan, were placed on the investigation list and
are both undischarged bankrupts.

Hollworth has declared bankruptcy twice in the past. ASIC is
trying to determine if there are any victims from the collapse of
the two companies.


STEEL TANK & PIPE:  Strikes Deal with Union
-------------------------------------------
The Steel Tank and Pipe union has struck a deal with National
Australia Bank and PriceWaterhouseCoopers receiver Greg Hall that
will give workers an entitlement payment. The move was criticized
by Brad and Stephen Weeks, Steel Tank bosses, according to the
Monday edition of Newcastle Herald.

The two brothers accused the union of `media manipulation' to
secure entitlements for workers. "For over five weeks we have had
an offer on the table which is based on a pooling of the
companies in the group to allow the Weeks family to stand aside
so employees can receive their entitlements ahead of the family",
the statement said.

The Weeks family were not informed about the new deals and is
welcoming an alternate deal that produces the same outcome for
everybody.

Union organizer Mike Matheson, commenting on the new deal, said
workers will receive payments on January 19, January 25 and
February 2 and then monthly payments until the pooled funds are
exhausted.

The funds to be used will come from the sale of finished goods
and the completion of work in progress.

Creditors will receive funds released by the sale of other STP
assets.


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

BERJAYA HOLDINGS:  Net Loss Widens to HK$3.19M H1
-------------------------------------------------
Berjaya Holdings, a Malaysian-owned company that is involved in
property investments in Hong Kong, said its net loss widened to
HK$3.19 million in the six months through October from HK$777,000
a year earlier. Loss per share was 0.54 HK cent compared with
0.13 HK cent, according to the Monday edition of Quamnet News
Service.

The company's revenue, meantime, fell 10 percent to HK$917,000.
No interim dividend will be distributed, which is unchanged from
last year.


CHEUNG KONG: Secures HK$3.8B Loan
---------------------------------
Cheung Kong (Holdings) has secured a line credit of HK$3.8
billion together with Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), Amoy
Properties and the Wharf group for a total of HK$17 billion, the
South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Edmond Ip Tak-chuen, executive director of Cheung Kong, said its
five-year revolving and term loan was partly for debt
refinancing. The group had between HK$5 billion and HK$6 billion
in loans requiring refinancing this year. It was expected to be
satisfied by drawing down the newly arranged loan and by cash
from property sales. Net debt was estimated at HK$16 billion,
representing a ratio of about 10 percent on net asset value. Cash
on hand was about HK$6 billion.

Mr Ip said the group had diversified its source of funding in
recent years with corporate loans through a medium-term note
programme. Prevailing borrowing conditions were favourable and he
expected to see further easing of interest rates. The loan
facility carries an interest margin of 41 basis points above the
Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (Hibor).


EAST ASIA HOLDINGS:  Moody's Rates Debt at Baa2
-----------------------------------------------
East Asia Financial Holdings Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of
Bank of East Asia, has received a Baa2 rating from Moody's
Investors Services.

"The rating reflects the guarantee of the issue by BEA and its
subordinated nature," said the credit rating agency. Moody's
already rates BEA's bank financial strength at D+; its long-term
and short-term deposits at Baa1/P-2; and its senior unsecured
long-term debt at Baa1, Quamnet News reported on Tuesday.

The proposed US$500 million 10-year subordinated debt, to be
issued by East Asia Financial Holding (BVI) Ltd., will be
primarily used by BEA to refinance its liabilities under the
US$300 million subordinated floating rate notes issued in
December, 2000.

BEA guarantees the proposed issue on a condition that there are
no material changes to the terms of the issue.

Moody said BEA's deposits and debt ratings are supported by its
adequate intrinsic financial strength.

The bank's D+ financial strength rating is underpinned by its
valuable and defensible franchise, adequate capital base, sound
internal capital generation ability, and good liquidity.


HAINAN TRUST:  Rehabilitation Plan Details are Unknown
------------------------------------------------------
Hainan International Trust and Investment Corporation (HITIC)
still does not know the details of its rehabilitation plan even
though it has already wound up business and it assets are being
audited by an accounting firm.

That's bad news for Hainan ITIC's domestic and foreign creditors,
World News Connection reported on Sunday.

Many of China's trust firms poured money into real estate during
the boom in the early 1990s and hit the skids when property
prices slumped in 1995, prompting ITICs to invest in securities
or take out short-term bank loans to shore up their shaky
finances.

A Shanghai lawyer working with foreign banks on the Hainan case
said: "It's very likely that Hainan's domestic creditors will be
paid back first but since quite a few of those firms are just
subsidiaries of the ITICs under different names it looks like the
culprits will be first in line for their money back".

Since there is little corporate transparency in China and the
country's bankruptcy law gives creditors few arm-twisting rights,
there will be little that foreign banks can to do alter their
fate, the lawyer said.

Gordon Chang, a Shanghai-based lawyer and an expert on China's
financial restructuring, said the mainland's bankruptcy law is so
weak that domestic creditors will be given little choice but to
say "thank you very much and walk away" when the PBOC comes out
with a settlement plan.

Since the second half of last year, some 15 trust firms were
closed down. The sector's 200 firms are expected to eventually be
whittled down to only 40, according to state media reports.


SOGO: Chinese Estates Not Involved
---------------------------------
Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. was not involved in the acquisition
of SOGO department store in causeway bay and its related assets
and debts.

This was revealed by Thomas Lau Luen-hung, chairman of Chinese
Estates Holdings Limited, to CN Market News on Tuesday.


SUN HUNG KAI PROPERTIES:  Receives HK$7.8B Credit Facility
----------------------------------------------------------
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) has received a HK$7.8 billion
credit facility, up from HK$7.3 billion, along with Cheung Kong
(Holdings), Amoy Properties and the Wharf Group. All have tapped
the debt market for a total of HK$17 billion, the South China
Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Aside from SHKP, Cheung Kong has concluded a HK$3.8 billion loan
and Amoy Properties has completed a HK$2 billion line of credit.

SHKP's seven-year loan facility closed with the size increased to
HK$7.8 billion, according to Basis Point. The group paid 58 basis
points above Hibor. The loan was originally HK$5 billion, then
raised to HK$7.3 billion last month. Analysts believe the funds
would be used partly to finance SHKP's HK$20 billion development
of offices, hotel, shops, serviced apartments and residential
units at Kowloon Station.


WING LEE HOLDINGS:  Issues New Shares To Repay $9.14M Debt
----------------------------------------------------------
Wing Lee International Holdings Limited will repay its $9.14
million debt by issuing a total of 76.14 million new shares to
Chang Yuan Shipping Enterprise (HK) Company Ltd, CN Market News
reported on Tuesday.

The issue price of the new shares is set at $0.12 each with a
1.6x premium compared with the $0.045 closing price last Friday.
The new shares will account for 4.3 percent of the enlarged share
capital of the company.


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

MITSUBISHI MOTORS:  Volvo Takes Over Truck Division
---------------------------------------------------
Mitsubishi Motors will hand over its bus and truck division to
Swedish truck group Volvo to block Daimler Chrysler's takeover
bid.

Daimler Chrysler intends to buy 34 percent of Mitsubishi Motors
and has the option to fully control the company in three years,
the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Volvo said the Daimler Chrysler and Mitsubishi Motors tie-up
would affect Mitsubishi's truck and bus division. It is also
concerned that Daimler Chrysler could gain market share.

Volvo bought 5 percent of MMC last November for SKr2.3bn ($244m)
and has agreed to take a 19.9 percent stake in Mitsubishi Fuso
Truck & Bus in July. This transaction will cost Volvo a further
SKr3.2bn.

But Volvo is still studying whether to buy the rest of MFTB
alongside a move to split the division from MMC. It believes this
strategy would be preferable to dismantling its links with
Mitsubishi altogether. Volvo has a strong financial position
following the sale of its car division to U.S. automaker Ford two
years ago.

But DaimlerChrysler will force Volvo to tie-up with other
Japanese truckmakers if it wants to expand in Asia.

Anders Fagerlund, an analyst with UBS Warburg in Stockholm said:
"there's a big risk that the co-operation with Mitsubishi is not
going to work out because DaimlerChrysler is also likely to want
to be involved in the Japanese truck market".

The Volvo Mitsubishi tie-up entered the development of a new
generation of medium-sized trucks.


TOKYO SOWA BANK:  Open To Bidders
---------------------------
Tokyo Sowa Bank has attracted two bidders, Shinsei Bank and
Parsona Group, but the Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the
Deposit Insurance Corp. are poised to accept more applications
later this week.

Several companies -- including a corporate group led by Shinsei
Bank (the former Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan); the Pasona
Group, an employment agency; W.L. Ross and Co.; and Morgan
Stanley, a U.S.-based investment bank -- have offered to purchase
the bank, the Mainichi Shimbun reported on Wednesday.

One of the bidders, Pasona Group, wants to buy Tokyo Sowa for a
tie-up with its joint venture, Pasona Softbank (active in e-
commerce), to promote financial institutions through the
Internet.

The FSA, which took over the function of FRC, has asked the
interested parties to submit their respective takeover plans
later this week to decide the winning bid.

Five second-tier regional banks, including Tokyo Sowa, have so
far been declared bankrupt under the Financial Reconstruction
Law.


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

DAEWOO MOTOR:  Labor Dispute Pulls Down Firm's Value
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Daewoo Motor Company's value has continued to fall as a labor
dispute and supply shortage drag on, giving General Motors and
its Italian affiliate Fiat greater leverage in negotiating for a
takeover.

Labor unions continued to oppose the planned job cuts while
Daewoo's main Korean plant faces disrupted production as key
suppliers declare insolvency, Hong Kong iMail reported on
Wednesday.

Alan Perriton, the executive in charge of new business ventures
at GM Asia-Pacific said: "The delay of the deal has been hurting
[Daewoo's] value."

GM's interest in Daewoo Motor comes as the world's-biggest
carmaker plans to cut first-quarter production in North America
by a fifth as demand sags. Ford Motor Company dropped its US$7
billion (HK$54.6 billion) bid last September after failing to
agree with creditors.

Daewoo Motor Sales, which trades in Seoul as a proxy for its
unlisted parent, rose 7 percent to 1290 won (HK$7.74), bringing
its gains this month to 46 percent. GM shares fell 2.7 percent on
Monday to US$52.56.

Meanwhile Heung Il Industry and as many as 18 other suppliers
continue to hinder production at Daewoo's Bupyong and other
Korean plants. Last November Daewoo decided that it would only
pay 40 percent of the total 1.42 trillion won owed to its
suppliers.

At the end of September, Daewoo Motor's debts totaled 18.9
trillion won, topping for the first time the 18 trillion won
value of its assets.


HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: Fails to Refund Bonds
------------------------------------------
Hyundai Electronics has failed to issue bonds to refund its
maturing bonds, according to a source from the Korea Development
Bank (KDB).

Creditors were asking for higher interest rates during
negotiations with Hyundai on the yield for the projected bonds.  
But KDB requested they resume talks Monday next week, Asia Pulse
reported on Monday.


HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS:  Stock Price Falls
---------------------------------------
Share prices of Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. stocks have
fallen on concern the company will not be able to resolve its
debt problems, possibly affecting its credit rating. Hyundai
Electronics has 3.4 trillion won maturing bonds and must pay 4.7
trillion won in debt this year, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Hoh Young, a strategist at Yuhwa Securities Co., says Hyundai is
already having problems with its cash flow.

Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. shed 270 won, or 4.6 percent,
to 5650 as state-run Korea Development Bank has yet to buy 160
billion won ($126 million) of Hyundai Electronics' maturing
bonds. The two sides can't agree on the terms of the purchase.

The government last week said it would buy cash-strapped
companies' maturing bonds to ease their debt burden. Creditors
agreed to allow Hyundai Electronics to discount export bills up
to a limit of between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion from the
current level of $840 million to help ease cash flow.

Affiliates of Hyundai Group, Korea's second-largest industrial
group, also fell. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's
largest shipmaker, fell 600 won, or 2.8 percent, to 20,700.
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., the nation's largest shipping
company, shed 40 won, or 1.2 percent, to 3,240.


HYUNDAI MARINE:  Gov't Takes Over 80 Percent of Debt
----------------------------------------------------
The Korean government has implemented a debt-supporting plan to
take over 80 percent of Hyundai Marine Merchant's (HMM) debt
worth 40 billion won, which fell due recently.

Negotiations on the effective rates that replacement bonds will
bear and extending the maturity period were not successful.

Hyundai Electronics had W200 billion worth of debts mature on
January 5, but obtained a temporary rollover. Korea Development
Bank and Hyundai decided to postpone the issuance of replacement
bonds because of the disparity on the terms of the bonds, the
Digital Chosun reported Thursday.


KOREA LIFE:  Hanwha to Participate in Auction
---------------------------------------------
Hanwha group will be bidding together with a consortium of
foreign insurance firms for the ailing Korea Life Insurance
during the scheduled auction.

Hanwha has reportedly set aside an 800 billion won fund for the
bid, according to the Wednesday issue of the Digital Chosun.


SEPOONG PAPER:  Bowater Withdraws Bid
-------------------------------------
Bowater Co. of the United States will withdraw its bid for
Korea's Sepong Paper because of labor union opposition.

Labor unions staged a ten-day strike in November against the
Bowater bid, the Digital Chosun reported on Wednesday.

Last September Bowater signed a memorandum of understanding with
Sepoong to purchase the firm's plant in Kunsan at a price of
US$210 million.


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

BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA:  Borrows US$526.3M
----------------------------------------
Bank Negara Malaysia will borrow US$526.3 million from the money
market to aid its anticipated liquidity problem of RM5.411
billion.

The central bank said it would borrow RM2 billion of two-month
money via competitive tenders from the interbank market, Asia
Pulse reported on Monday.


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

ASB GROUP:  Chevalier Interested to Bid
---------------------------------------
Hong Kong-based Chevalier International Holdings Ltd. is
interested in the ASB Group of companies but has offered no
formal proposal.

ASB interim receiver Monico V. Jacob said Chevalier is engaged in
the business of supplying office building mechanical systems and
equipment and has interests in real estate, according to the
Wednesday issue of the Business World.

Jacob said: "The Hong Kong group has expressed interest in
infusing fresh capital into the ASB Group... However, they are
still deciding whether to infuse capital into the (ASB) Group
itself or one of its member companies. They (investors) are
really eyeing ASB's real estate business".

The ASB Group is composed of ASB Holdings, Inc., ASB Realty
Corp., ASB Development Corp., ASB Land, ASB Finance and its
allied companies -- Makati Hope Christian School, Bel-Air
Holdings Corp., Winchester Trading Inc. VYL Development Corp.,
Gerick Holdings Corp., and Neighborhood Holdings, Inc.

The revised rehabilitation plan, proposed by ASB president Luke
Roxas, would restore the advances that should be liquidated.

Some unsecured creditors also sought an extension of the proposed
five-year settlement period, a more definite repayment scheme,
and a valuation of the ASB properties that have been assessed by
an independent appraiser.


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

NATIONAL FERTILIZER:  BAAC Hesitant to Provide Funds
----------------------------------------------------
Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) is
hesitant to provide Bt2 billion to National Fertilizer Plc (NFC)
because it is waiting for new government policy guidelines on
agriculture.

BAAC president Pittayapol Natnaradol said the bank would only buy
NFC's new shares if the government meets the cost when allocating
the bank's budget, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday.

BAAC was uneasy because the chemical fertilizer industry is
unhealthy, a source revealed.

NFC chairman Cherdpong Siriwit said he sympathized with the BAAC
over its new burdens, including the suspension of farm-debt
repayments for three years and funds of one million baht for each
village nationwide.

When the government imposed directives, product prices dropped by
10 percent while production costs increased.

"This makes it very difficult for NFC to be profitable after debt
repayment. NFC will continue to face a liquidity problem," the
source said.

Although NFC planned to increase fertilizer sales to 800,000 tons
this year from 600,000 tons last year, it did not intend to make
a substantial profit, he said.

Earlier BAAC injected Bt300 million in new funds but NFC
accumulated losses for three consecutive years.

NFC has registered capital of 14 billion baht, 0.02 percent of
which is owned by the BAAC. NFC hopes that if the BAAC took
control of its operations, it would help expand NFC's fertilizer
market to BAAC clients, said the source.

NFC has a 32 percent share of the fertilizer market.

Mr Cherdpong said fertilizer prices must increase by Bt500 a ton
to improve the company's cashflow.


SRIVARA GROUP:  Court Approves Reorganization Plan
--------------------------------------------------
The Central Bankruptcy Court has approved the reorganization plan
that was submitted by Srivara Real Estate Group Public Company
Limited to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on December 28, 2000.

Asset Recovery Co., Ltd. was appointed plan administrator and
assisted by Far East Law Office (Thailand) Co., Ltd., according
to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Tuesday.


THAI PETROCHEMICAL:  Appeals Court's Ruling
-------------------------------------------
Thai Petrochemical Industry will appeal the court's ruling
approving its rehabilitation plan, believing the plan could
damage the company and impede its bailout efforts, the Bangkok
Post reported on Wednesday.

Chavalit Utthasart, TPI's lawyer, said the petition appealing the
Central Bankruptcy Court's ruling was filed one month ahead of
the approval of the plan, which gave the company until January
15.

Mr Chavalit said the new Bankruptcy Act has been difficult to
interpret and that the bankruptcy court had been only recently
established. Most interpretations, he said, have been made by
taking into account the country's current economic situation.

TPI has questioned the viability of the creditors' meeting that
approved the rehabilitation plan, which was held at the Business
Rehabilitation Office with receivership officials. The officials
reportedly had no authority to call such a meeting.



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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