TCRAP_Public/010316.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

           Friday, March 16, 2001, Vol. 50, No. 53



                           Headlines

A U S T R A L I A

OGENIC: Settles With Deloitte, Stanton
BRADMILL: Up For Sale
PACIFIC DUNLOP: Announces Further Restructuring Details
SIMEON WINES: Announces Half-Year Results; Slips Into The Red


C H I N A   &   H O N G  K O N G

PEARL RIVER: Slides Into The Red, Posts $37.57M Loss
JILIN INTERNATIONAL: Shuts Down Under State Policy
ZHENGZHOU BAIWEN: Shareholders Oppose Rescue Plan


I N D O N E S I A

SINAR MAS: Tenders Fixed Assets Collateral To IBRA
INDAH KIAT: Share Plunged As APP Defaults Debt Payment


J A P A N

BETTER LIFE: Seeks Court Protection
MITSUI CONSTRUCTION: To Issue Y20.4B New Shares


K O R E A

HYUNDAI CORPORATION: Posts W76.5B Net Loss
KOREA STEEL: Creditors Terminate Debt-Workout Program
KOREA INDUSTRIAL: To Apply For Court Receivership


M A L A Y S I A

MALAYSIAN TOBACCO: Awaiting EPU Decision
EKRAN BERHAD: To Sell Resort In Philippines
TONGKAH ELECTRONICS: Shares To Be Sold To Measurex
GADEK CAPITAL: Proposes To Infuse Asset
EPE POWER: Defaults Interest Payment


P H I L I P P I N E S

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL: BSP To Draft New Rehab Plan
NATIONAL STEEL: Creditors To Approve Liquidation Plan
URBAN BANK: RCBC Eyes Closed Bank


S I N G A P O R E

PANPAC MEDIA.COM: To Stop Operations of Portal
ASIA PULP: Announces Default Of Debt Payments


T H A I L A N D

SIAM YAMATO: To Raise Capital; Restructure US$40M Debt
WONGPAITOON GROUP: Reports Progress Of Debt Restructuring Plan




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


OGENIC: Settles With Deloitte, Stanton
--------------------------------------
Investment company, Ogenic, has settled a claim of losses of A$3
million, with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Stanton Partners. The
loss was incurred in the purchase of PKE Electronics in South
Guildford.

The acquisition was made in 1994, The West Australian reported on
Tuesday.

Ogenic, in a settlement reached in the federal court, made a
payout of A$1.5 million to the two accounting firms.


BRADMILL: Up For Sale
---------------------
Bradmill's receiver, Accenture, will put the Melbourne textile
group up for sale in the middle of March, the Australian
Financial Review reported. Selling the business has been an on-
going concern, its creditors facing lower payouts.

The company owes its 946 employees a total of A$5.5 million in
accrued entitlements. Bradmill's biggest secured creditor, the
ANZ Bank, has yet to collect from the company a total of A$33
million.

Mark Mentha, a receiver, said in the Review that Bradmill was a
strong brand name, famous for research and development of new
fabrics.


PACIFIC DUNLOP: Announces Further Restructuring Details
-------------------------------------------------------
Pacific Dunlop Limited announced on Tuesday to the Australian
Stock Exchange the further details of its proposal to separate
its businesses into two independent publicly listed companies.

Following the acquisition of Sara Lee Apparel, which had
significantly enhanced the business of Pacific Brands, the
company further reviewed its remaining portfolio of businesses.
The company had been engaged in a program to divest non-core
assets.

In reviewing the strategic fit of the remaining portfolio of
businesses, the company also decided to divest its automotive
distribution business, the Pacific Automotive.

Pacific Automotive is Australasia's largest automotive
replacement parts distributor with annual sales of close to A$800
million, and approximately 400 outlets. It includes the
businesses of Repco, Ashdown, Motospecs, Appco and a 50 percent
interest in CarParts.

The outlook for South Pacific Tyres remains difficult, despite
the recent comprehensive restructuring of the business. Pacific
Dunlop, with its partner the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of
U.S.A., is currently reviewing options regarding this business.

In undertaking a review of options for South Pacific Tyres,
together with the divestment of Pacific Automotive and the
remaining non-core assets, the directors of Pacific Dunlop are
determined to insure that maximum value is realized for
shareholders.

Proceeds from the sale of assets received prior to the separation
of Ansell will be applied to the reduction of borrowings, in
order to maximize the financial strength of Ansell as an
independent listed company.

Once the sale of Pacific Automotive is completed, and the
separation of Ansell is in effect, the core operating business of
Pacific Dunlop will be Pacific Brands. Consistent with this
portfolio restructuring, a program is well advanced to further
reduce corporate overheads.

Since the announcement, on February 15, 2001, of the proposal to
separate the businesses of Pacific Dunlop into two independent,
publicly listed companies, significant progress had been made in
developing the details of the proposal and in preparing a
comprehensive explanatory statement. A search had been underway
to identify overseas and domestic candidates for the board of
Ansell.

Mr. Rod Chadwick will oversee the transition of Ansell to a
publicly listed company in his capacity as inaugural Chairman of
the company. His appointment as Chairman will terminate at the
end of June 2003.

It is still expected that an extraordinary meeting of
shareholders to approve the proposal will be held early in the
new financial year.


SIMEON WINES: Announces Half-Year Results; Slips Into The Red
-------------------------------------------------------------
On Tuesday, Adelaide-based Simeon Wines Limited released the
company's half year results for the 6-month period ending
December 31, 2000 at the Australian Stock Exchange.

Earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) were marginally
ahead of the previous half-year's result.

Managing Director, Neil MacKenzie explained the result: "We had
forecast EBIT to be around $1.5 million better at the half year.
The variance is explained by a delay in export sales which will
be booked in the second half, increased costs as we gear up to
handle a greater volume of wine in the current 2001 vintage and a
shortfall in contribution from Yaldara due to a downturn in
domestic sales.

"The operating loss after tax was worse than the previous
period's breakeven result due to higher interest charges of $1.8
million. Additionally, the 1999 half-year result contained a one
off taxation benefit amounting to $2.1 million.

"As in previous years, the first half result contains no
contribution from the corner stone of our business, viz sales of
product to our major domestic wine companies. The second half
will see the usual turnaround in earnings and profitability when
70 percent of the vintage output is invoiced to domestic
customers."

McKinsey & Co. undertook a major review of the business
operations in late 2000. This has resulted in the Board approving
the following steps:

* An aggressive strategy of wine selling will be implemented with
an emphasis on exports direct to the end distributor. This will
be channeled through strategic joint ventures and distribution
arrangements, directed to the <$10 segment, covering bulk,
private label and entry level brands.

* With 100 percent plant utilization and the increased costs of
production, wineries will focus on cost control and margin
growth. Contract processing in particular will only be undertaken
when returns reach internal targets.

* Direct exposure to vineyard yield risk will be eliminated over
the next three years through sale and/or lease arrangements. Our
remaining Padthaway vineyard has been leased to Orlando for seven
years. Additionally two of our Riverland vineyards are currently
under offer.

* Yaldara will focus on the production and sale of premium wines
and continue to be the commercial front for the Company's export
initiatives.

* With a more plentiful supply of grapes, a major contract grower
vineyard classification programme will be introduced in order to
increase quality, reduce cost of sales and improve margins over
the next two years.

* The proposed sale and lease back of some winery assets will be
finalized within a month. The net effect will be to reduce
gearing from 66 percent to 46 percent. The lease will be EPS
neutral.

Mr. MacKenzie made specific comments on the Yaldara division,
export sales potential and the current status of the 2001
vintage. He said, "The Yaldara business is in the process of
being restructured in order to deliver its maximum benefit.
Domestically, trading has been break even due to difficult market
conditions. We are not making any investment in this area as this
is not a part of our core business, but rather another
distribution channel for 4 million liters of wine produced at our
Loxton Winery and on which a margin is derived. The packaging
operation will be closed and subcontracted at the end of March
whilst domestic sales will be undertaken by a joint venture
arrangement with effect from 1st July 2001. These initiatives are
forecast to deliver substantial cost savings, while allowing us
to focus on winery operations and supply.

It is pleasing to note that last year's Yaldara acquisition has
dramatically increased customer awareness in export markets,
giving us the ability to move some sales away from entry level
price points and improve margins.  Internationally, the ability
to offer a complete range of products, including brands, is now
showing results after a period of establishment costs. A new
Yaldara brand has secured a major UK listing with a September
launch date in the GBP4.50 - GBP5.00 range. First year sales
budget is 50,000 cases, falling into fiscal 2002."


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


PEARL RIVER: Slides Into The Red, Posts $37.57M Loss
----------------------------------------------------
Pearl River Tyre (Holdings) slips back into the red last year
ending December 31, 2001, as it registered $37.57 million net
loss, a drop by 574.51 percent. Its turnover hiked up to $38.7
million from $10.12 million in the same period of the preceding
year. Loss from operations swelled by 70.43 percent to $5.59
million.

Its mainland joint venture, the Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber
Tyre, posted a net loss of $46.19 million, after taxation, during
the same period last year, or an increase by 93.13 percent. This
was attributed to the loss provision in value of equity
investments of $11.837 million.

According to Pearl River director Goh Nan Kioh in the Hong Kong
Imail report, the company has been under restructuring measures,
a part of which was to trim down the company's workforce by over
30 percent. The current 2,200 workers will be cut to 1,800 later
in the year, with the offshoot of the inner-tube division.

The company has dual listing in Australia and Hong Kong, with
operations and production facilities in Guangdong province,
producing tires for both light and heavy commercial vehicles
uses.


JILIN INTERNATIONAL: Shuts Down Under State Policy
--------------------------------------------------
Jilin International Trust and Investment Corporation (Jitic) has
been shut down since March 1 under a state policy that aims to
clean up and liquidate China's troubled trust sector, a report by
South China Morning Post said, citing liquidators of the trust.

Based in northeastern China, the trust incurred no foreign debt,
with "only domestic assets and liabilities.as international
business has been at a standstill for two years," said an
official quoted in the report.  

China's efforts to consolidate the financial trust sector
followed the collapse of Guangdong International Trust and
Investment Corporation (Gitic) in 1998. This measure is aimed at
cutting the number of trust companies to about 40 from over 200
existing before Gitic's closure. Under this policy, a small
number of insolvent trusts will follow Jilin's fate this year.

The closure of Jilin Itic, said the report, was not because it
slipped into the red, but "was policy-driven as the trust had
been in the black for several years before the shutdown, although
it was once losing money."

Established, in 1993, by the Jilin provincial government Jilin
employed less than 1,000 people. The trust owns a 9.38 percent
interest in Shanghai-listed Changchun Goldenstar Biology Science
and Technology Group and is its second-largest shareholder.


ZHENGZHOU BAIWEN: Shareholders Oppose Rescue Plan
-------------------------------------------------
Burdened by debt, retailer Zhengzhou Baiwen's restructuring plan
is facing resistance from two of its shareholders, Hong Kong
Imail reported on Wednesday. The plan would still need government
approval for it to take off.

The plan proposes that Shandong-based Sanlian Group, a
diversified company, will be held responsible for part of
Baiwen's debts, and to take care of the infusion of assets to
gain a backdoor listing in Shanghai. In return, the group will
take 98.79 million shares for free.

Up to 7 million of these shares will be bought by Baiwen's mother
company to pacify skeptical shareholders.

Over-the-counter trading of shares of Zhengzhou Baiwen has been
suspended until April 5, 2001.


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


SINAR MAS: Tenders Fixed Assets Collateral To IBRA
--------------------------------------------------
Sinar Mar Group offered a fixed-asset collateral worth R23.10
trillion to the Sinar Mas Group to the Indonesian Bank
Restructuring Agency (IBRA), said AFX in a report on Monday. The
offer was to pay off loans from the former subsidiary Bank
Internasional Indonesia. It included the following as collateral:
the plant and equipment under PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper, PT
Pabrik Kertas Tjiwa Kimia, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills I and
II, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industry and PT Purinusa
Ekapersda.

Fixed assets of Indah Kiat were appraised at R7.504 trillion,  
Tjiwi Kimia at R8.657 trillion, Pindo Deli at R6.718 trillion,
Lontar Papyrus at R21.646 billion, and Purinusa Ekapersada at
R204.253 billion.

Sinar Mas has been expected to repay PT Bank Internasional
Indonesia its debt of US$1.25 billion on seven installments until
September 2003, as agreed by both parties on January 26, 2001. In
the same agreement, Sinar Mas pledged as collateral at least 145
percent of its total debts to IBRA.


INDAH KIAT: Share Plunged As APP Defaults Debt Payment
------------------------------------------------------
PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper Tbk (INKP), along with PT Pabrik
Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk (TKIM), suffered a drop in shares. This
came in the wake of talk circulatint about its holding company,
Asia Pulp and Paper Company (APP), having defaulted on repayment
of its loans, the IndoExchange reported.

Indah Kiat's share took a nosedive, falling 18.25 percent at
Tuesday's closing, while Tjiwi Kimia's plunged a bit deeper by
22.22 percent. Indah Kiat and Tjiwi Kimia have 85.50 million
shares and 59.68 million shares in circulation, respectively.

This incident followed APP's announcement a day before of the
company's standstill on interest and principal payments,
including those of its subsidiaries. The standstill was made upon
the suggestion of Credit Suisse First Boston, its financial
adviser.

APP, which is controlled by majority stakeholder Sinar Mas Group,
has debts totaling $12 billion.


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


BETTER LIFE: Seeks Court Protection
-----------------------------------
Better Life Company is seeking court shield from creditors, Jiji
Press English News Service reported. The corporate rehabilitation
law covers court protection.

Based in the Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, the company runs do-it-
yourself stores. It announced on Monday that it has failed to
homor about Y1.715 trillion of promissory notes, Jiji added.


MITSUI CONSTRUCTION: To Issue Y20.4B New Shares
-----------------------------------------------
Mitsui Construction Company will issue new shares amounting to
Y20.4 billion late this month to 11 creditors and its mercantile
arm, Sanken Corp., Japan Times Online said, citing a company
announcement. This is part of a debt-waiver plan asking 13
related entities, which would include major creditor Sakura Bank,
to forgive Y163 billion in claims on their outstanding loans to
the company.

The 11 financial institutions, Times reported, are Chuo Mitsui
Trust & Banking Company, Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Company,
Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Company, Norinchukin Bank, Asahi
Bank, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Company, the Industrial Bank of
Japan, Aozoka Bank, Shinsei Bank, Sumitomo Bank, and the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

The issue price is Y65 per share and payment due date is  March
29. Payment for the new shares, the company proposed, totaling
Y20.4 billion would then be subtracted from the requested debt-
waiver tally.

Mitsui has also reduced its projections for the March settlement
of fiscal 2000 to Y23.7 billion of consolidated net loss from the
projected Y7.9 billion made last December.

The Times also said, as told by the company, that the conclusion
of the ongoing negotiations in regard to the debt-waiver has been
set for March 31.


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


HYUNDAI CORPORATION: Posts W76.5B Net Loss
------------------------------------------
Hyundai Corporation posted a net loss of W76.5 billion, as
against a profit of W22.9 billion, an AFX report said. It
registered sales totaling W40.8 trillion and a recurring loss of
W15.5 billion.

The company, in the AFX report, attributed the drop in earnings
to the non-payment of receivables owed by Iraq and its exposure
to Korea Industrial Development. The latter has been pronounced
insolvent.

Hyundai Corp added that no payment of dividend would be made for
2000, having paid out 220 won in 1999.


KOREA STEEL: Creditors Terminate Debt-Workout Program
-----------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Korea Steel Chemical Company approved, in a meeting
over the weekend, termination of the debt-workout program of the
company.

A subsidiary of the Oriental Chemical Industries (OCI), Korea
Steel produces coal chemicals, fine chemicals, petrochemicals,
polymers and material processing. It has been under a workout
program since 1998.

OCI bought the company in January 2000 through the acquisition of
the company's 89.76 percent stake for W235 billion from Korea
Deposit Insurance Corporation.


KOREA INDUSTRIAL: To Apply For Court Receivership
-------------------------------------------------
Bankrupt builder, Korea Industrial Development Company (KID),
will be filing an application for court receivership before the
end of the week, The Korea Herald reported. However, the company
will have to prepare the documents for application.

The Hyundai Group firm is fast-tracking the filing of the
application with the court. Court receivership, a company
official said, would work to the advantage of the company.

An official of KID's creditor bank reported that it would take
the court 1 to 2 months to decide on company's request for
protection.


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


MALAYSIAN TOBACCO: Awaiting EPU Decision
----------------------------------------
Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Berhad, on behalf of Malaysian
Tobacco Company Bhd (MTC), announced on January 30, 2001, that
the company had submitted an appeal to the economic planning unit
in respect to the proposed acquisition of Grand Saga (GS). The
appeal was based on a revised proposal, which involved reworking  
the shareholding structure in GS and addressing the Bumiputra
equity participation in MTC in the event that it falls short of
the minimum 30 percent requirement.

The company, in its announcement to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange (KLSE) on March 5, 2001, has yet to receive any decision
from the EPU on the appeal. In addition, other authorities have
not submitted any decisions to the company.

The extension granted by the KLSE for the non-suspension of the
company's listing status will expire on May 2, 2001, if the
company has not received the requisite regulatory approvals
within the extended timeframe stipulated. The Arab-Malaysian, on
behalf of the company, announced that MTC, together with the
vendors of Grand Saga and Alam Ria have mutually agreed not to
proceed with the proposed acquisition of companies. The
conditional sale and purchase agreements have lapsed.

Chelwood and GPU have also mutually agreed to terminate the
conditional sale and purchase agreement.
  
MTC, with the lapse of such agreements, will continue to identify
or secure suitable and viable assets to be injected into MTC so
as to retain its listing status and maximize value for the
shareholders of the company within the deadline stipulated by the
KLSE, being 2 May 2001.

Should MTC fail to identify suitable assets or secure an
extension of time from the KLSE it might opt for a voluntary
liquidation, which would entail the delisting of MTC from the
main board of the KLSE followed by a capital distribution to the
shareholders of the company.


EKRAN BERHAD: To Sell Resort In Philippines
-------------------------------------------
Ekran Bhd reportedly expressed its inclination to sell off its
Samal Casino Resort, located in Samal Island off Davao City. It
will be sold for RM100 million, half its total worth, Bernama
reported on Tuesday.

Suffering from financial losses attributed to the unstable
conditions in Mindanao, the Malaysian firm was compelled to close
the resort in July last year.

If it can't be sold, Ekran will consider that the option of a
long-term lease be offered to investors.


TONGKAH ELECTRONICS: Shares To Be Sold To Measurex
--------------------------------------------------
Tongkah Holdings Berhad announced on March 13, 2001, that the
company had entered into a supplemental share sale agreement with
Measurex Corporation Berhad. The agreement was expected to reduce
consideration for the proposed disposal of 10.2 million ordinary
shares representing 51 percent equity interest in Tongkah
Electronics Sdn Bhd (TESB) from RM3.0 million.

The reduction of sale consideration to RM1.00 was made after
taking into account the lower value of the net tangible assets of
TESB at negative RM33.52 million as of December 31 as compared
with the NTA of negative RM28.89 million as of October 31, 2000.

Based on the unaudited accounts of TESB as of December 31, 2000,
the proposed disposal would result in a gain of approximately
RM27.5 million to the THB Group for the year ending June 30,
2001, mainly due to the reversal of losses of TESB absorbed by
the group. The NTA per share of the THB Group is estimated to
improve.


GADEK CAPITAL: Proposes To Infuse Asset
---------------------------------------
Gadek Capital Berhad announced to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange, on Tuesday, March 13, 2001, that the company has
proposed to acquire Khuan Choo Realty Sdn Bhd, comprising
16,650,010 ordinary shares from Datuk Lim Siew Choon, Sebaya
Murni Sdn Bhd, Capt (R) Noziah Bt. Dato' Hj Osman, Zaheera Bt
Ahmad, Major Ismail bin Ahmad and Lim Choon Hai for a purchase
consideration of RM87.891 million cash.

Gadek also proposed the acquisition of an estimated 69.12 percent
equity interest of Bukit Rimau Development Sdn Bhd (BRD)
comprising 3,455,997 ordinary shares from Asas Unggul Sdn Bhd for
a purchase consideration of about RM49.114 million. This would be
satisfied in cash and the proposed assignment to Gadek Capital
the advances to BRD by a director of BRD and BRD's holding
company Asas Unggul totaling RM30.886 million for a cash
consideration of the same amount.

The same proposal also offered the acquisition of the entire
issued and paid-up capital of Domain Resources Sdn Bhd,
comprising 1 million ordinary shares from Hillary Frank
Fredericks, Wee Beng Aun and Che Kiong Seong for a cash
consideration of RM38 million.

DRB-HICOM Berhad, formerly known as Diversified Resources Berhad,
on December 21 2000, together with Gadek Berhad, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of DRB-HICOM, had entered into a conditional sale and
purchase agreement with Malton Corporation Sdn Bhd, formerly
known as Malton Hotel Management Sdn Bhd, to collectively dispose
of their entire equity interest comprising 174,176,464 ordinary
shares in Gadek Capital for a total cash consideration of RM480
million. Pursuant to the disposal of Credit Corporation
(Malaysia) Berhad, as announced by Gadek Capital, the company
does not have a core business.

These proposed acquisitions form an integral part of a proposed
restructuring plan for Gadek Capital, which will include an offer
for sale, by Malton, of Gadek Capital Shares to the Malaysian
public.


EPE POWER: Defaults Interest Payment
------------------------------------
EPE Power Corporation Berhad announced to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange on Tuesday that the company had further defaulted in the
payment of monthly interest of RM825.171 million due to several
banks under the revolving credit facilities. The total principal
outstanding on the revolving credit facilities as of March 13,
2001 was RM94.6 million.

The company also announced that it had presented, with the
assistance of Commerce International Merchant Bankers as the
financial advisor, a concept paper for the debt-restructuring
plan to the lenders, where negotiations have been ongoing.


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


PHILIPPINE NATIONAL: BSP To Draft New Rehab Plan
------------------------------------------------
After it junked the first rehabilitation plan of troubled
Philippine National Bank (PNB), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
would draft another rehab plan that will be based on results of
negotiations between the national government and Lucio Tan, the
Manila Times reported. The ongoing negotiations concerned with
Tan's suggestion of a joint sale of both parties' shares. "On
that basis, we will come out with another rehab plan that is
acceptable to the government and the new buyer," the Times quoted
PDIC President Norberto Nazareno.

The government, he said, hass decided to pursue the joint sale
with Tan as soon as possible. The joint sale, if possible, could
be the second between the two parties. Not a single buyer showed
up at the first sale, held July of last year.

The BSP would review the bank's first proposal for the repayment
plan of its P15 million emergency loan from BSP. In that same
proposal, PNB proposed to pay BSP P10 billion of the total loan
with its real estate assets, while the remaining P5 billion would
be restructured. Otherwise, it would be paid in 5 to 8 years at a
compromised rate.

The proposal got earlier approval from BSP in January. However,
the Department of Finance asked that a committee it created would
review the original rehab plan.

PDIC, he said, is also considering a means to treat PNB's loans
given to the national government in a debt-for-debt plan, wherein
PDIC will take the P10 billion that the government owed the bank
to be collected through the Department of Budget and Management.    


NATIONAL STEEL: Creditors To Approve Liquidation Plan
-----------------------------------------------------
Creditors of National Steel Corporation (NSC) are expected to  
approve the liquidation plan for the company this week
as proposed by appointed liquidator Danilo Concepcion, the
Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The creditors earlier opposed a request of Hottick Investments
Limited, on behalf of NSC, to the Securities and Exchange
Commission to put on hold its directive to liquidate the troubled
steel company. Hottick, a Hong Kong-based firm that holds 82.5
percent of the steel company, proposed that the SEC place NSC
under rehabilitation.

The initial liquidation plan, filed with the SEC, proposed to
group NSC's assets into two categories -- as plant assets and as
other assets to include real properties. Iligan steel plant and
all its facilities fall under the first category. The other
assets, including various fixed assets, inventory, accounts
receivable and pieces of land in Iligan, Pasig, Bohol, Makati,
Antipolo and Benguet fall under the second.

Of NSC's total liabilities of approximately P19.1 billion, about
50 percent is owed to secured creditors and about 33 percent owed
to other bank creditors. NSC also owes P1.7 billion to the
government, P675 million to NSC employees, and P811 million to
other credotors.


URBAN BANK: RCBC Eyes Closed Bank
------------------------------------
The Yuchengco-owned Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
is showing interest in Urban Bank, Business World reported. Urban
Bank is "more affordable" than RCBC's previous prospect,
Equitable PCI.

RCBC, should it want to buy the closed bank, could easily shell
out funds to rehabilitate it.

RCBC's interest in Equitable PCI flagged due to Equitable's P30-
billion loan with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).  

Citing a source the World also reported that RCBC was determined
to "look at its alternatives" after the Fubon Group of Taiwan and
local conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc were considered top
choices to buy Equitable PCI.

Four local banks are now interested in Urban Bank, said
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) president
Norberto Nazareno, as the Bank of Commerce shied away from the
negotiating table.

Parties interested in Urban Bank will have until the end of March
to give their detailed rehabilitation plans. PDIC and financial
adviser KPMG Laya Mananghaya will evaluate the plans.


=================
S I N G A P O R E
=================


PANPAC MEDIA.COM: To Stop Operations of Portal
----------------------------------------------
Panpac Media.com Limited announced to the Singapore Stock
Exchange that it intended to cease operations of its financial
portal AsiaStockWatch.com in Singapore and Malaysia on Monday
evening, March 19, 2001. This will happen if efforts to sell the
business as an ongoing concern fail to materialize.

In arriving at the decision, the board of directors of the
company had taken into account the following factors:
- given its high operating cost and slow revenue growth, the
business would take a much longer period to achieve profitability
than expected,
- the substantial further investments that the company would have
to make to attain viability, and the impact it would have on the
company's financial resources should it proceed with the
investments, and
- the prevailing weak and uncertain general outlook of the stock
markets and the internet industry.

In the event that AsiaStockWatch.com would cease operation,
remaining or unused subscription fees paid by priority members
will be refunded.

The cessation of AsiaStockWatch.com will result in a one-time
restructuring cost in the current financial year ending March 31,
2001 of $4.6 million. This comprises mainly a full provision for
write off of all fixed assets relating to the business. This will
effectively reduce the company's net tangible assets by 2.3 cents
per share.

With the cessation of operations of AsiaStockWatch.com, the
company will focus its resources on its core magazine publishing
and exhibitions business and its internet-powered travel portal,
ZingAsia.com.

ZingAsia.com as a regional or global play in the travel sector
business has shown greater promise than AsiaStockWatch.com, which
is dependent on the domestic markets in Singapore and Malaysia.


ASIA PULP: Announces Default Of Debt Payments
---------------------------------------------
Singapore-based Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), largely controlled by
Indonesia's Widjaja family, has announced that the company and
all its subsidiaries would default on payments of interest and
principal of all its debts, according to the Asian Wall Street
Journal report. This is to prioritize the payments of what the
company owed to its suppliers so that its plants can continue
operations and production.

The announcement of a standstill, effective immediately, came
with APP, facing a growing number of lawsuits, filed by APP
creditors to pressure the company for payments of claims.

Writs of summons have also been filed by two suppliers in the
high court of Singapore, claims amounting to over $4 million. The
biggest claim, however, comes from ABN Amro NV, a Dutch banking
company, totaling $31 million. The banking company filed three
writs last week against APP and three of its operating
subsidiaries.

APP owes a total of $12 billion in liabilities. Over $1.5
billion,  which would fall under a long-term plan, will come due
this year.

This full debt standstill according to APP Chief Financial
Officer Hendrik Tee, was made upon recommendation of Credit
Suisse First Boston, the company's appointed financial adviser
for restructuring.

APP has American depositary shares listed on the New York Stock
Exchange, where its shares, in midday trading Monday, dropped 17
percent.


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


SIAM YAMATO: To Raise Capital; Restructure US$40M Debt
------------------------------------------------------
Siam Yamato Steel (SYS) aims to hike its paid-up capital by as
much as Bt400 million this year, the Nation reported. The
expected revenues will be directed to paying off its debt
amounting to $40 million, reduced from $120 million.

Apart from capital generation, SYS also intended to refinance a
fraction of the remaining debt, Damri said in the report.

"We foresee no change of shareholding structure after the coming
recapitalisation, as our business has been stable. However, it
will likely take another three to five years to rebound to the
pre-crisis level," said Damri Tunshevavong, SSY Managing
Director.  Siam Cement Group owns 46 percent of the company,
while Japan-based Yamato holds 40 percent of stakes. The rest is
divided between Mitsui and Sumitomo, both of Japan.

According to Damri, SYS accumulated a loss of Bt3 billion last
year. Its manufacturing plant in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate,
Rayong, is producing only 300,000 ton a year, 75-80 percent of
which goes to the export market.


WONGPAITOON GROUP: Reports Progress Of Debt Restructuring Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wongpaitoon Group Public Company reported to the Stock Exchange
of Thailand, on Wednesday, the progress of its debt restructuring
plan, which has been submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court of
Thailand.

Credit Agricole Indosuez submitted its objection to the plan, on
December 20, 2000, to the court. The court has considered the
plan, the illustration from both official receiver and planner,
and objection from petitioner, approved the original plan
according to the Bankruptcy Act.


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