TCRAP_Public/010124.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

          Wednesday, January 24, 2001, Vol. 4, No. 17

                          Headlines


A U S T R A L I A

ARTHUR YATES: Revives $40M Merger Plans
FRANKLINS STORES: Heavy Losses Forces Disposal
MAXIS:  Liquidates Two Subsidiaries
MONTEATH:  Administrator Confirms $A35M in Debt
NATIONAL TEXTILE:  Fails To Pay Workers Entitlements


C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

PALIBURG HOLDINGS:  Proposes Debt Restructuring Plan
SOUND INTERNATIONAL:  Posts $75M Loss for Year Ending September
ZHENGHOU BAIWEN:  Suppliers Sue for 3.7M Yuan


I N D O N E S I A

PT ANEKA RAYA:  Liquidates Subsidiary
PT JAMSOSTEK: Government Will Not Change Status
PT RAMAKO GERBANGMAS:  Deadline Extended to January 31


J A P A N

OFFICEMAX JAPAN:  Japan-U.S. Owners to Halt Joint Operation
SOGO:  Investigation Findings Revealed
SUMITOMO BANK:  Sells London Branch


K O R E A

DAEWOO SHIPBUILDING:  Repaying 200 B won Debt Likely
HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS:  Bonds Downgraded to BB+
HYUNDAI MOTOR:  Sells 150 B Won Bonds
KOREA ELECTRIC:  Spins Off Distribution Division
SSANGYONG MOTOR:  Union Decides Against Strikes


M A L A Y S I A

TANCO HOLDINGS: Revises Share Price
TIME DOTCOM:  Unveils US$497M IPO


P H I L I P P I N E S

BW RESOURCES:  Founder Loses Hope
PHIL. NATIONAL BANK:  Buys Back P15 B Assets


T H A I L A N D

BANGKOK METROPOLITAN:  Offers Retirement to Employees
PREMIER ENTERPRISE:  Court Rejects Rehabilitation Plan


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

ARTHUR YATES: Revives $40M Merger Plans
---------------------------------------
Arthur Yates & Co. had revived merger plans with Norgard Clohessy
Equity (NCE), Agribusiness funds manager, for $40 million aside
from the two-for-five scrip swap.

The proposal placed Yates shares at 15.8 cents a share, one-third
less than its finish value on Friday. This does not include the
value of NCE's debt repayment proposal's value to Yates's
shareholders, Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday.

Yates has $32.7 milion in borrowings as of June last year, $18.5
million in accounts payable and a debt-to-equity ratio of 96.5
percent.

UBS Warburg Australia Corporate Finance, the lead underwriter to
the placement, has not given its guarantee to the fundraising.

Yates' chairman is Stan Howard, the Prime Minister's brother. The
company has yet to disclose its true financial position and its
debt level.


FRANKLINS STORES: Heavy Losses Forces Disposal
----------------------------------------------  
Franklins, a discount supermarket chain owned by Hong Kong's
Farm, will be sold to interested foreign investors following
massive losses that the parent company says it can not reverse.

The company reportedly lost $100 million in 2000 while struggling
to maintain costs and has grappled with a loss in market share
since 1995. In 1999 Franklins lost $60.1 million after one-off
charges and interest on revenue of $4.32 billion. That has left
the group in dire need of additional funds, according to the
Monday edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Among the interested buyers are Australia's Coles Myer BiLo
chain, Germany's Aldi, Wal-Mart of the U.S. and Dutch food group
Ahold.

Dairy Farm, the parent company, has invested $100 million in
Franklins for the past three years while competing directly with
Coles and Woolworths.


MAXIS:  Liquidates Two Subsidiaries
-----------------------------------------
Maxis Corporation, a technology company, will liquidate two
subsidiaries because of reported huge losses. The company's share
price has plummeted by more than 60 percent to close at $A0.032
per share, the Age reported on Wednesday.

Australian Business Technologies and the Heartland Communications
are expected to be liquidated.

Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, left the
board of a company three weeks before it collapsed. His
successor, Charles Blunt (National Party Leader of Australia)
also resigned from the board of Maxis last year. Both officials
have expressed optimism in one of the subsidiaries, Heartland
Communications, according to the Wednesday issue of the Sydney
Morning Herald.


MONTEATH:  Administrator Confirms $A35M in Debt
-----------------------------------------------
Monteath, a property development company, has a total debt
amounting to $A35 million according to the appointed
administrator.

The company was placed under receivership on December 29, 2000,
and an administrator was appointed, according to the Friday issue
of the Australian Financial Review.

The property development company owed $A7 million to Bank of
Western Australia and $A10 million to the National Australia Bank
(NAB).


NATIONAL TEXTILE:  Fails To Pay Workers Entitlements
----------------------------------------------------
National textile workers could not collect benefits worth $A11
million one year after the firm was closed, the Australian
reported on Wednesday.

Based on the rescue package made by Stan Howard (the Australian
Prime Minister's brother), the company directors' assets are not
covered by the liquidation. He also said that the company should
not set aside money for workers' entitlements.


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

PALIBURG HOLDINGS:  Proposes Debt Restructuring Plan
-----------------------------------------------------
Paliburg Holdings Ltd. is negotiating with bondholders of its
US$140 million debt maturing February 6 to approve a
restructuring plan, according to the Monday edition of the CN-
Market News.

The company is proposing an extension of the repayment period for
90 days. Deutsche Bank was invited to participate in the debt
restructuring.


SOUND INTERNATIONAL:  Posts $75M Loss for Year Ending September
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sound International Ltd. has posted a loss of $74.47 million for
the year ended September 30, down from a net profit of $4.34
million in 1999, CN-Market News reported on Wednesday.

Turnover was $36.72 million for the 12 months. Loss per share was
4.1 cents. No final dividend was declared.


ZHENGHOU BAIWEN:  Suppliers Sue for 3.7M Yuan
---------------------------------------------
Zhenghou Baiwen Group Co. has four complaints from suppliers for
3.7 million yuan but it will have no bearing on the company's
bailout plan.

Under the bailout plan Shandgong Sanlian will acquire a
controlling stake in Zhenghou Baiwen for 300 million yuan, and
assume Zhenghou Baiwen's debt of 1.5 billion yuan, Asian Wall
Street Journal reported on Friday.

The shares immediately rose sharply in early January in contrast
to being on the brink of being delisted in December.


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

PT ANEKA RAYA:  Liquidates Subsidiary
-------------------------------------
PT Aneka Kimia Raya (AKRA) announced it would liquidate its
subsidiary PT Aneka Silikatama Raya (ASR) located in Surabaya and
cancel Pt Aneka terminal Curah Medan (ATCM) in Jakarta in order
to improve operational activities and financial performance of
the company.

Haryanto Adikoesoemo, Aneka Kimia President Director, said the
company is redirecting its core business, which includes chemical
material distribution and logistics, according to the Friday
edition of Indoexchange News.

PT Aneka Kimia Raya suffered a Rp255.68 million net loss by the
end of November of last year even though it managed to have an
operating profit of Rp51.85 million. The non-operating expenses
of Rp409.49 eroded net profits.

Meanwhile, the company reported a Rp254.22bn foreign exchange
loss and Rp181.25bn of interest expenses by the end of November
2000.

In this regard, the company's negative equity stood at
Rp560.02bn, due to retained losses that reached Rp670.02bn.


PT JAMSOSTEK: Government Will Not Change Status
-------------------------------------------
PT Jamsostek will not change its status from a limited company
(PT) to a non-profit company because it can provide protection
and good services to its customers.

Senior Finance Ministry official Efendi said its status as PT is
more flexible now, Bisnis Indonesia reported on Monday.

The government is at present reviewing the status of some
companies (not PT Jamsostek) and that its present management on
whether to transform from Pt to non-profit.

A. Djunaidi, PT Jamsostek president-director, said the board of
directors will comply with the decision of the shareholders since
the company is 100 percent owned by the government.

He said the board of directors has been working to improve the
company's image over the past six months and will continue
despite the series of cases.


PT RAMAKO GERBANGMAS:  Deadline Extended to January 31
------------------------------------------------------
PT Ramako Gerbangmas, a license holder of McDonald's Indonesia,
has been given an extension until January 31, 2001, to settle its
Rp53.8 billion promissory notes obligations.

Beyond that deadline the company will immediately be declared
bankrupt, Bisnis Indonesia reported on Monday. Accordingly,
lawyers are preparing the bankruptcy suit against PT Ramako.


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

OFFICEMAX JAPAN:  Japan-U.S. Owners to Halt Joint Operation
-----------------------------------------------------------
OfficeMax Japan Co., a joint venture between Jusco Co. of Japan
and OfficeMax Inc. of the U.S., will halt operation because the
joint venture is losing money.

OfficeMax will gradually close down its six stores. The joint
venture agreement will be dissolved on January 31, Japan Times On
Line reported on Tuesday.

The dissolution will result in a huge 3.3 billion yen loss, which
was already included for the current business year that ends in
February. The losses have resulted from sluggish economic
activity and intense competition.

The joint venture has a capitalization of 20 million yen that is
81 percent owned by Jusco and 19 percent by OfficeMax.

OfficeMax is an operator of a stationery store chain in the U.S.
while Jusco Co. is a major supermarket chain operator.


SOGO:  Investigation Findings Revealed
--------------------------------------
Former Sogo Chairman Hiroo Mizushima and other executives have
been criticized for mismanagement that eventually led to its
collapse, according to the Tuesday edition of the Yomiuri
Shimbun.

The report found three main reasons for Sogo's failure:

-- Promotion of a policy to establish as many stores as possible.

-- Failure of real estate investments along with many of the new
stores.

-- Failure of overseas projects in 14 countries, resulting in a
loss of about 180 billion yen.

The report said Mizushima and former executives continued to
expand even after failures during the bubble economy.

According to the report, when Sogo planned to open new stores, it
bought the land adjacent to the new stores in anticipation that
it would rise in value. When land prices went up after the new
stores opened, the company sold the land at a profit.

The investigating committee was chaired by Shigeru Kobori, lawyer
and former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.


SUMITOMO BANK:  Sells London Branch
-----------------------------------
Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. will give up its London subsidiary
as part of the group's restructuring plan.

Sumitomo Trust International PLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, will
be transferred to the Sumitomo Trust London branch by the end of
March, according to the Tuesday edition of Japan Times.

Sumitomo International deals mainly in selling and underwriting
Eurobonds with a capitalization of 32 million pounds and has 46
employees. It posted a pretax profit of 3.2 million British
pounds and a net profit of 2.11 million British pounds in 2000.

The group is getting out from relatively unprofitable areas and
shifting its capital and management assets to strategically
important areas, a company spokesman said.


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

DAEWOO SHIPBUILDING:  Repaying 200 B won Debt Likely
----------------------------------------------------   
Daewoo Shipbuilding Co. will be able to repay its 200 billion won
debt this year ahead of schedule, according to the Monday edition
of the Korea Herald.

This year the company has projected 2.86 trillion won in
revenues, an increase of 60 percent from 2.7 trillion last year.
Operating profits this year are expected to be 210.7 billion won,
with 128.5 billion won in ordinary profits.

Daewoo Shipbuilding is also asking the court for the relisting of
the company's shares after it turned down minority shareholders'
complaints on the writing off of Daewoo Heavy Industries claims.

This year, the company will focus on high-value-added products
such as LNG ships and very large crude carriers (VLCCs).


HYUNDAI ELECTRONICS:  Bonds Downgraded to BB+
---------------------------------------------
Korea Information Service (KIS) has downgraded the ratings for
bonds issued to Hyundai Electronics Ind. (HEI) to BB+.

KIS decided to downgrade the bonds because of HEI's huge debts of
4.6 trillion won despite securing a syndicated loan of 800
billion won, the Digital Chosun reported on Tuesday.

HEI will be released from KDB this year and will be the one who
will absorb the hundreds of billions of maturing binds unlike in
the past.


HYUNDAI MOTOR:  Sells 150 B Won Bonds
-------------------------------------
Hyundai Motor Co. plans to sell bonds worth 150 billion won to
fund ongoing operations.

The two-year bonds will be offered on January 29 and will yield
about 8.34 percent until maturity. The move will be the first of
planned sales totaling 1 trillion won, Bloomberg reported on
Monday.

Hanwa Securities Co. and Daishin Securities Co will arrange the
sale. The bonds have an "A-" credit rating by the Korea credit
agencies, three levels higher in investment grade.

Corporate bond sales in Korea are on a decline prompting
creditworthy companies to expand corporate bond sales. Bank of
Korea is expected to lower its benchmark rate from 5.25 next
month to prop up a slowing economy.


KOREA ELECTRIC:  Spins Off Distribution Division
------------------------------------------------
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) will spin off its
distribution division into 12 independent companies. These new
companies will offer consumers service choices, the Digital
Chosun reported on Monday.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE), which will
oversee the breakup, will finalize the spin off and privatization
by the end of next month.

The distribution division employs 10,000 workers, or 30 percent
of KEPCO's workforce, with assets worth 11 trillion won.


SSANGYONG MOTOR:  Union Decides Against Strikes
-----------------------------------------------
Ssangyong Motor Co. labor unions have agreed to creditors'
demands to stop holding strikes can reschedule its debts and form
a revival plan.

Management and the union want to achieve an operating profit this
year to gain creditors' confidence in the company's survival. In
October of last year, the company broken even on the operating
level, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Chung Mu Young, Ssangyong spokesman, said Chohung Bank and other
creditors plan to extend the maturity of 2.2 trillion won in debt
in return for getting the union's assurance that it will support
the reform plan.

Ssangyong shares rose as much as their daily permissible limit of
15 percent to 895 won.

The company says last year's sales reached a record 116,273
vehicles, or 1.8 trillion won, Chung said.


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

TANCO HOLDINGS: Revises Share Price
-----------------------------------
Tanco Holdings Bhd. is seeking a downward revision on the issue
share prices to settle its RM80 million loan stocks as part of
its proposed restructuring exercise, which also calls for a new
two-call rights issue with warrants.

At stake will be an RM80 million irredeemable convertible
unsecured loan of Tanco stocks (ICULS) 1997/2002 by the issue of
80 million shares at a proposed issue price of RM1 instead of the
earlier proposal of 56.74 million shares at RM1.41, according to
the Tuesday edition of the Edge Daily.

The two-call rights issue will involve 190.7 million shares with
190.7 free attached warrants to be implemented after the proposed
revised ICULS settlement at RM1 issue price.

The revised proposal is adapting to current market conditions and
will hasten its implementation.


TIME DOTCOM:  Unveils US$497M IPO
---------------------------------
Time dotCom, a telecommunications firm, has unveiled its initial
public offering worth US$497 million in order to eliminate its
losses and increase future earnings.

There will be 572 million shares of Time dotCom issued at M$3.30
each. The IPO will run until February 8 and will be listed in
March, according to the Thursday issue of the South China Morning
Post.

Time dotCom owns the country's largest fibre-optic network
spanning 5,200 kilometres.

Nor Hayati Abdul Hamid, a fund manager at Metrowangsa Asset
Management said government institutions and corporations would
mostly likely be the takers rather than retail players.

Time dotCom expects its net profit to rise to M$150.6 million
this year as compared to a loss of M$2.6 million in the previous
year.

Time Engineering shares jumped 14.8 percent, or 35 cents, to
M$2.71 on Monday.

It said net income should grow to about M$376.4 million next
year.


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

BW RESOURCES:  Founder Loses Hope
---------------------------------
BW Resources founder Dante Tan has lost hope in winning the cases
filed against him after the ouster of his friend, former
president Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Jose Salvador M Rivera Jr., counsel of Dante Tan, said his client
called him up last Saturday and he seems to have lost hope with
the change of administration despite assurance that they have a
strong case, according to the Monday edition of the Business
World.

Mr. Tan tried to leave the country early this month but the Pasig
regional trial court did not allow him to leave.

Before the ouster of Mr. Estrada, Tan sounded very confident that
he would be cleared in the price manipulation charges against
him. He accused some individuals, whom he refused to divulge, as
the manipulators who caused the downfall of the stock market last
year.

He cleared his friend Mr. Estrada of involvement in the scandal
saying Estrada does not own shares in the company.


PHIL. NATIONAL BANK:  Buys Back P15 B Assets
--------------------------------------------
The Philippine National Bank (PNB) wants to buy back its
surrendered properties in pledge for the payment of a P15 billion
loan to the Central Bank after five to 10 years.

Felipe L. Miranda, PNB president and chief executive officer,
insisted that there is no government assistance and that the bank
is going to fully repay the loan.

The Lucio Tan-controlled bank and the central bank have agreed in
principle to settle PNB's PhP15-billion "emergency" loan last
year through a payment-in-kind scheme.

Among PNB's assets to be transferred to the central bank is the
PNB Financial Center along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, which
amounted to PhP4 billion ($74.67 million) but has been revalued
at PhP9.8 billion ($183.67 million).

The PNB main office appraisal was too high at P9.8 billion
considering that because it was "too large" some of the floors
are closed.

Under the propose plan, PNB is supposed to surrender to the
Central Bank P20 billion real estate properties including the PNB
headquarters. The bank has P22 billion in foreclosed real estate
categorized as lodged under its real and other properties owned
or acquired account (ROPOA), given its aggressive foreclosure
rules.

Some 30 percent of the loan portfolio is non-performing loans as
of the first half of last year, the highest level in the
industry.

Meanwhile a due diligence audit is underway to determine the
amount of outstanding government debt the state-owned Philippine
Deposit Insurance, Inc. (PDIC) will assume.

Government receivables are estimated to reach P12 billion, P2
billion higher than the emergency loan of P10 billion extended
last October by PDIC.


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

BANGKOK METROPOLITAN:  Offers Retirement to Employees
-----------------------------------------------------
Bangkok Metropolitan Bank (BMB) is offering a voluntary early
retirement plan to employees to cut its current staff of 4,300 to
cope with the present operations.

But BMB needs more time to study the details and conditions
including the compensation in advance, Business Day reported on
Tuesday.

In the past a maximum of 20 months' salary was given to voluntary
early retirees but this plan did not achieve its targeted number
of employees.

Employees have been apprehensive to participate in the plan
because they reportedly have no confidence in the organization
and would rather wait for the government to intervene and help
resolve the company's debt problems.


PREMIER ENTERPRISE:  Court Rejects Rehabilitation Plan
------------------------------------------------------
The Stock Exchange of Thailand reported Monday that on January 18
the Central Bankruptcy Court rejected the debt rehabilitation
plan of Premier Enterprise Plc. because of objections raised by
some creditors.

But the firm's planner and legal advisor plan to petition the
Supreme Court, saying the plan has been structured in accordance
with bankruptcy law.



S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter -- Asia Pacific is a daily
newsletter co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service,
Inc., Trenton, NJ USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington,
DC USA. Lexy Mueller, Managing Editor, James Philip P.
Jover and Maria Vyrna Nineza, Editors.

Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale
or publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding,
electronic re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly
prohibited without prior written permission of the
publishers.  Information contained herein is obtained from
sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR -- Asia Pacific subscription rate is $575 for 6
months delivered via e-mail. Additional e-mail
subscriptions for members of the same firm for the term of
the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.
For subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at
301/951-6400.

                      *** End of Transmission ***