TCRAP_Public/010115.MBX          T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                      A S I A   P A C I F I C

             Monday, January 15, 2001, Vol. 4., No. 10

                            Headlines


* A U S T R A L I A *

TELSTRA: New Cost Cutting Plans Outlined

* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

HONG KONG CONSTRUCTION: Selling 40% Yangpu Interest to Trim Debts

* I N D O N E S I A *

FIRST PACIFIC: Dumps 120 Million Shares To Pay Debts
PT CHANDRA ASRI: IBRA Starts Negotiations with Marubeni & Sumitomo

* J A P A N *

BRIDGESTONE: President Steps Down
KANSAI KOGIN: Files For Bankruptcy
NIAGATA BANK: Ex-Bank Chief Dies
NAGASAKIYA CO.: Declared Bankrupt
TOMEN CORP.: Spins Off Two Units

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO MOTORS: General Motors Still Undecided
HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: Offered to Asian Rivals

* M A L A Y S I A *

CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS: Restructures RM286 Million Debts
MBF HOLDINGS:  Sells Foreign Subsidiaries
MITRAJAYA HOLDINGS: Buys Out South African Unit
POSIM BHD.: Restructures RM136 Million Debt

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

BAYANTEL: Bank of America Conducts Due Diligence Check
NATIONAL POWER: Seeks Rate Increase Approval
PHILIPPINE REALTY:  Restructures P1.6 Billion Debt

* T H A I L A N D *

RENOWN LEATHERWEARS: Opposes Seizure Order
SIAM GENERAL: Raises Bt452.26 Million to Repay Debts


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


TELSTRA: New Cost Cutting Plans Outlined
----------------------------------------
Telstra outlined a plan to lay-off 6,000 or more workers this year
to further cut costs by an estimated $550 million.  Last year,
Testra cut 10,000 employees from its workforce.  

Dr. Ziggy Switkowski, Telstra chief executive officer, said "We
are beginning to look at where the next wave of reductions will
come from".

Telstra sees that its workforce will dwindle to 35,000 after the
sale of NDC, its network construction, according to the Friday
issue of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The mobile division is competing vigorously to gain market share.
But the cost of competing has impacted both the mobile revenue
growth and cost line in the current financial year, Switkowski
said.

Telstra is expanding to the north with a $4.5 billion investment
in Pacific Century CyberWorks, a Hong Kong Internet and telecom
company because it still has a strong balance sheet.

But Telstra and PCCW will pay a high price because of the interest
on its US$1.5 billion loan will be 80 basis points higher than
originally agreed.  Both companies will have a 50-50 percent
sharing in the Internet Protocol backbone joint venture.



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


HONG KONG CONSTRUCTION: Selling 40% Yangpu Interest to Trim Debts
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hong Kong Construction (Holdings) will sell its 40 percent share
in a Yangpu power station on Hainan Island.  The sale, to two
mainland firms, is projected to raise 1.06 billion yuan help ease
problems while still negotiating with creditors for debt-
restructuring plan.

Hong Kong Construction has a total debt of HK$2 billion, According
to a Friday issue of South China Morning Post.

Hainan Power will buy 51 percent while the rest will go to CNOOC
Chemical, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp.  
Hainan Power will use proceeds from a state bond issue worth 250
million yuan while CNOOC will pay 240 million yuan cash.

After acquisition, a new company will be formed and will borrow
from commercial banks 570 million yuan to pay for the acquisition
cost, an official said.

The other stockholders of the two mainland firms who pulled out
because the firms became unprofitable were Ringo Trading, a
subsidiary of China Poly Group, and Japan's Maeda Corp.



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


FIRST PACIFIC: Dumps 120 Million Shares To Pay Debts
----------------------------------------------------
The Salim group sold 120 million existing shares in First Pacific
for US$31 million to pay its debts, Hongkong iMail reported on
Friday.

Shares prices closed down $0.40 or 16.3 percent at $2.05
yesterday.  Some 149.4 million First Pacific shares were traded.

ING Barings said it had sold First Pacific shares on behalf of
First Pacific Investments, an investment vehicle for Salim.

Salim group's stake in First Pacific stood at 26 percent after a
3.8 percent cut, spokesperson from First Pacific.

South China Research manager Patrick Pong said last year First
Pacific swapped with Salim its 8 percent stake in Indofood. Salim
in turn gained 222 million new shares from First Pacific.


PT CHANDRA ASRI: IBRA Starts Negotiations with Marubeni & Sumitomo
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) will start
negotiations for restructuring of PT Chandra Asri with Japan's
Marubeni and Sumitomo Corporations next week.

IBRA deputy chairman Irwan Siregar did not reveal the specifics of
their negotiations with Marubeni but is expecting a new deal next
week.

Financial Sector Policy Committee (FSPC) is asking Marubeni to
infuse fresh capital and increase stake in PT Chandra Asri. It
also required a lower interest rate and longer maturity period.

Chandra Asri has US$700 million debt with foreign consortium led
by Marubeni and another Rp 3 trillion to IBRA, according to the
Saturday issue of the Jakarta Post.  

When the banking crisis hit the country, it domestic debts were
transferred to FSPC through a memorandum of understanding (MOU).   

The FSPC wanted changes in the MOU converting domestic debts to 80
percent stake in the company while Marubeni agreed to convert $100
million debt to 20 percent stake.

Under the new agreement, the founder Prajogo Pangestu will have 49
percent interest while 39 percent stake. The interest rate will be
1.5 percentage points above Libor (London Interbank Offering Rate)
from the previous 2.5 percentage points.

The FSPC wanted a 15-year maturity period while the government
wanted 12 years, Siregar said.

Meanwhile IBRA chief Edwin Gerungan said Sumitomo had also agreed
to reduce the LIBOR level and extend the repayment period to 12-15
years, Asian Pulse reported on Thursday.


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


BRIDGESTONE: President Steps Down
---------------------------------
Yoichiro Kaisaki (67 yrs. old), Bridgestone Corp. president, will
hand over the presidency to its senior vice president Shigeo
Watanabe on March 29 as he denied responsibility for the recall
problem.  Three other executives are also set to step down from
their respective positions.

The shift in leadership was made to rejuvenate management team and
cope with global business environment, Japan Times On Line
reported on Friday.

In the United States, Firestone-Bridgestone US subsidiary-
recalled 6.6 million tires because it was blamed for various
traffic accidents in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. It was
able to replace most of the tires last year.

Watanabe is in charge of technology and quality assurance. He will
introduce foreign executives to the board and promote
globalization in management.

He will try to negotiate for a settlement on the various lawsuits
to settle the problem.


KANSAI KOGIN: Files For Bankruptcy
----------------------------------
Kansai Kogin, failed Osaka-based credit cooperative, filed for
bankruptcy at Osaka District Court on Wednesday to protect it from
creditors.

Total debts as of November last year was 125.9 billion yen,
according to the Thursday edition of the Asia Pulse.


NIAGATA BANK: Ex-Bank Chief Dies
--------------------------------
Former executive of bankrupt Niagata Chuo Bank died at Takasaki
Police station after being questioned by the police over the
bank's collapse, according to the Monday issue of Mainichi Daily
News.

Seiki Watanabe (59 yrs. old), former managing director of the
bank, was rushed to a hospital in Maebashi after feeling ill
during the questioning and died hours later.

The police questioned Watanabe to investigate management's role in
the collapse of Niagata Bank. The bank went bankrupt in October
1999 and placed under state control.

He is an advocate of a chaotic financial situation leading to the  
bank's collapse.


NAGASAKIYA CO.: Declared Bankrupt
------------------------------------
Kyoto District Court on December 15, 2000 declared Nagasakiya Co.,
a Kyoto based confectioner, bankrupt with 12.2 billion yen debts,
Jiji Press English News Service reported on Tuesday.

Nagasakiya as early as July last year wants protection under the
corporate rehabilitation law and go through the usual
rehabilitation process, the private credit research company
revealed.

The company was not successful in turning around it status forcing
742 employees to be out of jobs. No sponsor had signified support
for its rehabilitation.


TOMEN CORP.: Spins Off Two Units
--------------------------------
Tomen and Nichimen Corporations, trading houses, will spin off
their science units and form a new merged independent venture.

The new venture will start on April to specialize in
agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology with both Tomen
and Nishimen having a 40 percent stake. The remaining stake will
be offered to Toyota Tsusho Corp., Toyota auto group trading arm,
as strategic partner, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday.

March last year, Tomen and Toyota Tsusho signed a deal making the
latter the biggest shareholder in Tomen when it assumed its steel
trading business.

Tomen signed a debt waiver with five creditors covering it 219
billion yen debts.

The new Tomen-Nichimen biotech company projected an annual revenue
of 150 billion yen and pre-tax profit of 17 billion yen employing
some 130 workers during its first year in operation.


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


DAEWOO MOTORS: General Motors Still Undecided
---------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp. is putting the South Korean government and
Daewoo Motors at a disadvantageous position by remaining undecided
about the takeover, according to the Thursday issue of the Asia
Pulse.

A due diligence check had been conducted in mid-October but no
memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed. The MOU is
important before starting negotiations and detailed due diligence.


HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS: Offered to Asian Rivals
--------------------------------------------
Hyundai Electronics Industries Co., the world's second largest
memory chip maker, may be offered to Japanese and Taiwanese firms
trying to compete in the global chip market, according to the
Thursday edition of Agence France Presse.

Daiwa Securities analyst said "There are several scenarios. But
the most feasible one is a takeover by Japanese or Taiwanese who
can use HEI to strengthen their position without investment in new
facilities".

South Korean banks agreed to raise the purchase limit on the
company's export bills and documented acceptances even though they
were having second thoughts in extending new loans.

HEI has an estimated debt of more than 10 trillion won. Corporate
bonds account for 51 percent of the total debt. In 1998 it
acquired LG Semicon taking in 3.4 trillion won in corporate bonds
and will fall due this year.

Meanwhile, Korea Development Bank plans to buy 160 billion won in
Hyundai bonds this week and the Korea First Bank will raise HEI's
export bills limit to improve its cash flow situation.

A spokesman of KFB said "We have decided to consider positively
sharing the burden with other banks as the limit increase for
export bills is deemed as critical to Hyundai Electronics
overcoming the temporary cash flow problems".


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


CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS: Restructures RM286 Million Debts
----------------------------------------------------
Chocolate Products, one of six companies in the Lion Group, will
restructure its all of its RM285.9 million debt since it is not
dependent with other Lion companies on an entity-by-entity workout
approach.  The total Lion group debt is RM675.8 million, according
to the Thursday issue of the Edge Daily.

The six companies are Lion Corp Bhd, Lion Land Bhd, Amsteel Corp
Bhd, Angkasa Marketing Bhd, Chocolate Products (Malaysia) Bhd and
Posim Bhd plus their subsidiaries, RHB Sakura Merchant Bankers Bhd
made this announcement at the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.


MBF HOLDINGS:  Sells Foreign Subsidiaries
-----------------------------------------
MBF Holdings Bhd. will sell its non-profitable subsidiaries in
Fiji, Philippines, Australia and Tonga and would rather
concentrate in its credit card business, franchised-car operations
and property development, Bernama reported on Wednesday

Datuk Loy Teik Ngan, chief executive officer of MBK Holdings, said
the present shareholders will have a 10.61 percent stake and the
creditors getting 89.39 percent when various plans will be
introduced to address its RM1.6 billion debt.

Despite these efforts, there will remain RM200 million debt but is
" manageable".  The sale of MBf Printing Industry Sdn Bhd and the
Australian-based MBf Carpenter will be used to pay these debts.

MBF Holdings is the largest issuer of credit card with 280,000
members.


MITRAJAYA HOLDINGS: Buys Out South African Unit
-----------------------------------------------
Mitrajaya Holdings, a construction company, will buy out a 40
percent stake in Samrand Mitrajaya Development Pty, its South
African unit, for RM15.4 million, Business Times reported on
Wednesday

The South African property developer is controlled by Samsudin Abu
Hassan who also has 24 percent stake in Mitrajaya.   

At the end of March 31, 2000, Samrand Development loss were 32.48
million an increase from 15.3 million rand after the company
failed to sell as much land as it had expected to offload.

Mitrajaya bought from Samrand two tracts of land with an area of
62 hectares for RM5.8 million.


POSIM BHD.: Restructures RM136 Million Debt
-------------------------------------------
Posim Bhd., one of six companies in the Lion Group, will
restructure its RM136.29 million debt since it is not dependent
with other Lion companies on an entity-by-entity workout approach.
The total Lion group debt is RM675.8 million, according to the
Thursday issue of the Edge Daily.

The six companies are Lion Corp Bhd, Lion Land Bhd, Amsteel Corp
Bhd, Angkasa Marketing Bhd, Chocolate Products (Malaysia) Bhd and
Posim Bhd plus their subsidiaries, RHB Sakura Merchant Bankers Bhd
made this announcement at the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

The restructured debts represented 95 percent of its total
borrowings of RM143.7 million.



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


BAYANTEL: Bank of America Conducts Due Diligence Check
------------------------------------------------------
Bayan Telecommunications Inc., a company with the Benpres Group,
had tapped Bank of America as financial adviser who will conduct a
due diligence check to assess its financial situation and make its
debt restructuring plan.

The company incurred losses because of bad investments in the
cellular industry and was hit by the peso devaluation, according
to the Wednesday issue BusinessWorld.

BayanTel owed banks some P20 billion, 80 to 85 percent coming from
foreign creditors.  Debts that are maturing this year will be paid
by internally generated funds. The remaining are current
liabilities.

BayanTel has EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization) as of end-September 2000 showed a 50%
improvement at P2.1 billion from P1.4 billion year on-year.

It negotiated with Telenor, a Norwegian company, for 40 percent
interest in its cellular business.

At present, Bell Atlantic Network Systems Corp. owns 20 percent
leaving 40 percent open for interested strategic partners.


NATIONAL POWER: Seeks Rate Increase Approval
--------------------------------------------
The National Power Corporation (Napocor), a state power generating
firm, will ask Congress to allow it to raise electricity rates to
cope up increases in operations and settle maturing debts if the
proposed Power Industry Restructuring Act remain unapproved.

The Asian Development Bank and World Bank wants the power bill
approved first before releasing new loans to Napocor, Manila
Bulletin reported on Friday.

Napocor needs to privatize its assets before new loans will be
released to help ease it financial burdens.  If the bill remains
unapproved, the company may resort to increase in tariffs.


PHILIPPINE REALTY:  Restructures P1.6 Billion Debt
--------------------------------------------------
Philippine Realty and Holdings Corp. (Philrealty), a real estate
developer, has restructured P1.6 billion debt to give the company
a respite from the difficult economic environment, the Philippine
Daily Inquirer reported on Friday.

Amador Bacani, Philrealty executive vice president, the debts were
from the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. restructured into a 10-
year loan with a two-year grace period on the payment of
principal.

Philrealty is a developer of high-rise residential and office
condominiums but mostly remained unoccupied. Its debts stood at
P4.47 billion in 1998 but after agreeing to an "asset-for-debt"
swap through a combination of dacion en pago, it was reduced by 40
percent to P2.61 billion in 1999.

The company also sold its holdings in Bonifacio Land Corp. to Fort
Bonifacio Development Corp. The proceeds applied to the balance
for its lots in the Bonifacio Global City and the acquisition of
additional lots and condominium units at the Bonifacio Ridge.

Philrealty is part of a P1.2-billion residential condominium
project of Comunidades Developers Inc. inside Fort Bonifacio and
has agreed to earmark a P300-million lot as capital for the
project. In exchange for a 1,986-square-meter property, Philrealty
will get 30 percent of the total units of the 25-story residential
condominium project valued at P60,000 per square meter.


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


RENOWN LEATHERWEARS: Opposes Seizure Order
------------------------------------------
Renown Leatherwears Public Co. Ltd. is urging the court to stop
creditors from seizing its assets since it is still negotiating
for the approval of a debt restructuring plan.

Prasert  Suthawiyangkul, Renown Leatherwears Public Co. Ltd.
director, in a letter to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on
Thursday said that they will be submitting on January 15, 2001 to
the Central Bankruptcy Court an investigation report on the
incident.


SIAM GENERAL: Raises Bt452.26 Million to Repay Debts
----------------------------------------------------
Siam General Factoring generated Bt452.26 million by capital-
raising drive to help repay debts worth Bt1.53 billion.

The company is engaged in domestic factoring, inventory finance
and international factoring with assets of Bt1.35 billion last
year and losses of Bt194.86 million, according the Stock Exchange
of Thailand.



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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