TCRAP_Public/010319.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, March 19, 2001, Vol. 50, No. 54



                           Headlines


A U S T R A L I A

HIH INSURANCE: Inks $130 Million Deal with NRMA
HIH INSURANCE: Appoints Provisional Liquidator
HIH INSURANCE: NRMA Confirms Transaction To Proceed
HIH INSURANCE:Premier's Claims "Alarmist, Inflammatory"
HIH INSURANCE: QBE Confirms Talks with Provisional Liquidator
HIH INSURANCE: S&P Withdraws Ratings on Insurer
HIH INSURANCE: S&P Affirms QBE Rating After Joint Venture Plan
HIH INSURANCE: S&P Lowers, Withdraws Ratings on HIH Asia
CENTAUR MINING: Names Administrators; ASX Halts Trading
CENTAUR MINING: HRR Can End Agreement on 90 Days' Notice
CENTAUR MINING: Owes Macmahon $3.5 Million


C H I N A   &   H O N G  K O N G

SMARTONE TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Increased Costs,Losses Add Up  


I N D O N E S I A

BUKAKA GROUP: Court Declares Fadel Bankrupt


J A P A N

CHIYODA CORPORATION: Revamps 5-Year Restructuring Plan
NIKO NIKO: Delays Planned Issuance Of Preferred Shares
SAKURA BANK: Fitch Downgrades; On Rating Watch Negative


K O R E A

SAEHAN INDUSTRIES: Creditors Swap Debt For Equity


M A L A Y S I A

MECHMAR CORP: Winding-Up Petition Hearing Postponed
JASATERA BERHAD: SC Regs Reject Recapitalization Plan


P H I L I P P I N E S

JADE PROGRESSIVE: PDIC Starts To Settle Deposit Claims
SHEMBERG BIOTECH: Schedules Allocations For Creditors


S I N G A P O R E

ASIA PULP: Rating Slipped to DD, Says Fitch


T H A I L A N D

ITALIAN-THAI: Hands Over Stakes In Hotels To Karnasutas
RAIMON LAND: Reports Progress of Rehabilitation
EMC PUBLIC: Announces Schedule For Creditors' Meeting
SAFARI WORLD: Founder, Four Others Face Bankruptcy Suit


     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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



HIH INSURANCE: Inks $130 Million Deal with NRMA
-----------------------------------------------
HIH Insurance Limited announced Wednesday that NRMA Insurance
Group Limited had agreed to take on HIH's Australian workers
compensation business (HIHWC).

NRMA Insurance would pay HIH up to $130 million over the next 2
years under the terms of the deal. Subject to fulfillment of a
number of conditions (including regulatory approvals), completion
of the transaction was expected to take place on March 31.

The HIHWC portfolio includes:

     - the non-risk portfolio in NSW, Victoria and South
Australia. NRMA Insurance will acquire shares in HIH subsidiaries
that conduct this business.

     - the new and renewal portfolio for the risk States and
Territories of WA, ACT, Tasmania and NT. NRMA Insurance will,
under the agreement, get the opportunity to underwrite policies
in the portfolio as they come up for renewal.

In addition, NRMA Insurance will manage the existing liabilities
(tails) of HIHWC for a commercial arms-length fee, and will have
the right to make an offer, or match any offer made by a third
party, for the tails for 2 years following completion of the
transaction.

NRMA Insurance is not acquiring the existing liabilities of HIHWC
in the risk States and Territories under this deal.

The price would be paid as follows:

     - $100 million in cash will be paid on completion of the
transaction.
     - An additional $15 million to be released gradually under
an "earn-out" mechanism linked to portfolio renewals.
     - $15 million which will be placed on interest-bearing
deposit as warranty-retention, and be paid progressively until
the end of the 2 year warranty period.

HIH Insurance chief executive Randolph Wein said the deal
provided further tangible realization of value for shareholders
from the company's Australian franchises.

"HIH has also signed with QBE a definitive joint venture
shareholders' agreement in relation to corporate insurance
products in Australia and New Zealand. I would like to formally
recognize the assistance and co-operation provided by QBE in
facilitating this additional transaction."

"Through NRMA, the transaction is also ensuring that the sizeable
HIH Australian workers compensation portfolio is going to a major
Australian insurer with a long-term commitment to the Australian
market, to long-tail insurance and to Australian workers
compensation business in particular."

"It is also gratifying to note that the combined efforts of three
Australian insurers have made possible these complex transactions
which have provided secure outcomes and stable market conditions
for Australian corporate insurance," Wein said.


HIH INSURANCE: Appoints Provisional Liquidator
----------------------------------------------
HIH Insurance Limited announced on Thursday March 15, 2001, that
it had received approval from the NSW Supreme Court to place the
company into provisional liquidation.

The approval followed a resolution by the Board, enabling KPMG to
be appointed to HIH and its 18 controlled entities.

The announcement followed a Board-commissioned review of
operations by KPMG, which had indicated a loss of approximately
$800 million.

Losses from discontinued HIH United Kingdom and United States
business, as well as other discontinued international business
written from Australia could no longer be sustained by the sound
Australian operations.

KPMG Partner Tony McGrath said that HIH would be managing its
existing liabilities and claims, but would not be writing new
business. The balance sheet now would facilitate an orderly run-
off but is not capable of supporting ongoing insurance business.

McGrath said, "While it is too early to be talking about
potential outcomes following the initial review process, KPMG
will be working with HIH management to continue the process of
retaining as much value as possible in the company for the
benefit of policyholders, creditors and shareholders. KPMG will
also be continuing its review of the HIH operations."

HIH's interim results process had been delayed because of the
complete financial review initiated by the new Chief Executive,
Randolph Wein, who had upon his appointment committed to
undertaking a thorough financial situation analysis. Wein's
analysis, supported by expert external advice and further Board
review, has led to some tough decisions in respect of the ongoing
operations of HIH.

Wein said, thus: "Today's decision was difficult for the Board,
but prudent and necessary given present indications about the
extent of the losses for the first half and their impact on the
balance sheet. In addition, what has come to light through the
business restructuring process are further contingent liabilities
that an already weakened balance sheet could not sustain.

"The recent sales of Australian and New Zealand businesses have
captured substantial value for shareholders. The transactions
with Allianz, QBE and NRMA have all delivered very positive
financial outcomes from valuable franchises that were being
significantly eroded in the marketplace. Those companies have
committed to take on the vast majority of HIH employees involved
in the respective operations.

"Today's decision is in the best interests of all stakeholders.
The management of HIH will now be working closely with KPMG to
ensure the best outcome is achieved."

An information line will be established today, March 19, 2001, to
update shareholders and policyholders on developments.


HIH INSURANCE: NRMA Confirms Transaction To Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------
On Friday, NRMA Insurance Group Limited confirmed that the
transaction agreed to on March 14, 2001, in which the HIH
Insurance Limited (HIH) will take on HIH's Australian Workers
compensation business (HIHWC) will proceed.

While HIH has appointed a provisional liquidator, the agreement
reached between the two companies will stand. Provisional
liquidator, KPMG Partner Tony McGrath, has confirmed the
transaction.

NRMA Insurance Managing Director and CEO Eric
Dodd said, "We are confident that this circumstance will not
affect the value of the transaction and we are expediting
completion of the transaction."

NRMA Insurance confirmed that existing workers' compensation
policyholders and claimants are fully covered by funds under the
control of relevant authorities. Underwriting arrangements for
these policies and policyholders stand.

New and renewal business will be underwritten by NRMA Insurance
Group.

"We are currently contacting insurance brokers to confirm our
commitment to this business," said Dodd.


HIH INSURANCE:Premier's Claims "Alarmist, Inflammatory"
-------------------------------------------------------
HIH Insurance Limited said that comments made by Queensland
Premier Peter Beattie regarding the appointment of a provisional
liquidator (KPMG) to HIH Insurance were "alarmist and
inflammatory."

HIH said it had not "collapsed" and, as disclosed earlier on
Friday in the NSW Supreme Court, there are substantial reserves
available to meet policyholders' claims.

It was regrettable that the Premier's statements, which he made
without any consultation with HIH and KPMG, have caused so much
unnecessary alarm to policyholders, HIH said, adding that
policyholders remain a high priority to KPMG and HIH.

KPMG made it clear in its statement that it would manage the HIH
balance sheet to facilitate an orderly run-off of existing
liabilities and claims, HIH said.  KPMG and HIH are in continuing
consultations with the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority
(APRA) concerning the protection of HIH policyholders.



HIH INSURANCE: QBE Confirms Talks with Provisional Liquidator
-------------------------------------------------------------
QBE Corporate Insurance said on Friday that they had had
discussions with the provisional liquidator of HIH. It had been
agreed that the transaction previously announced would continue
as planned, subject to the approval of the regulators.

QBE confirmed to all major brokers that they were in a position
to offer coverage to policyholders of HIH that were proposed to
be renewed into the new joint venture company, QBE Corporate
Insurance Limited ("QCI"). The coverage would be initially
offered in the name of QBE's wholly owned subsidiary, QBE
Insurance (Australia) Limited.

QBE Group CEO Frank O'Halloran said, "QBE has a team of
underwriters ready to offer coverage as from today.
Corporate clients of HIH should contact their broker if they wish
to insure with QBE from now (on) ."

O'Halloran added, "HIH New Zealand is not in provisional
liquidation. Clients of HIH New Zealand (except FAI run-off and
certain trade credit policies) should note that QCI will be
assuming the unexpired portion of policies in force and past
claim liabilities as soon as QCI commences business."

QBE would be having further discussions with the provisional
liquidator regarding the proposed 40 percent shareholding of HIH
in QBE Corporate Insurance Limited.


HIH INSURANCE: S&P Withdraws Ratings on Insurer
-----------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's downgraded the insurer's financial
strength ratings Thursday on the core operating entities of HIH
Insurance Limited (HIH -- comprising HIH Casualty and General
Insurance Ltd., CIC Insurance Ltd. [including New Zealand
branch], FAI General Insurance Co. Ltd., HIH Insurance [Asia]
Ltd., and HIH WorkAble Limited) to 'B' from 'BBB-', and the
counterparty credit ratings to 'B/Negative/--' from 'BBB-/Watch
Neg/--'.

This follows Standard & Poor's ratings actions in November 2000
and February 2001, lowering the ratings and placing them on
CreditWatch negative, warning of the potential for further
diminution in financial strength.


HIH INSURANCE: S&P Affirms QBE Rating After Joint Venture Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's on March 6, 2001 affirmed its single-'A'-plus
insurer financial strength and counter-party credit ratings on
various underwriting entities of QBE Insurance Group Limited.
This followed the announcement that it had agreed in principle to
the formation of a joint-venture company with HIH Insurance Ltd.

The joint venture, QBE Corporate Insurances Ltd., will offer to
renew corporate insurances such as workers' compensation and
professional liability written through major brokers in Australia
and New Zealand, and 60 percent of which will be owned by QBE and
40 percent by HIH. The rating outlook remains stable.

The affirmation was based on the assessment that QBE has the
financial flexibility to fund its share of the proposed $300
million initial shareholders' funds of the joint venture, and
maintain appropriate solvency levels for the proposed net premium
income of A$700 million.

"While a material business development and capital investment,
especially in the context of the Australian market, the joint
venture will only represent less than 15 percent of the QBE
group's capital base and net premium levels on a global basis,"
commented Michael Vine, director, Financial Services Ratings.

In addition, QBE will have no exposure to past or existing
liabilities of HIH as the joint venture will only write new or
renewal business. Although there are risks of successfully
assimilating an acquisition or joint-venture arrangement, QBE has
a demonstrated history of successfully acquiring and integrating
operations, and in this instance, has the benefit of strong
market knowledge, experienced technical skills, and full
management control.

Standard & Poor's anticipated that the joint venture would have
the business profile, appropriate capital structure, and support
of QBE, which will enable it to achieve a rating in the single-
'A' category.

The establishment of the joint venture and its proposed rating,
however, remain subject to regulatory approvals and other
conditions being met. Standard & Poor's will continue to monitor
these developments in the establishment of the joint venture.

The ratings on the Australian operating entities of HIH remain at
triple-'B'-minus/CreditWatch Negative' pending finalization of
the amount and composition of HIH's half-year result, the outcome
of the strategic review currently underway, and the extent to
which the strategic review results in a supportive capital
position, Standard & Poor's said.


HIH INSURANCE: S&P Lowers, Withdraws Ratings on HIH Asia
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's on downgraded the insurer financial strength
and counterparty credit ratings Thursday on HIH Insurance Asia
Limited to single-'B' from triple-'B'-minus. The outlook on the
counterparty credit rating is negative. At the same time, the
ratings are withdrawn at the request of the management of the
parent, HIH Insurance Ltd.

The rating action followed the downgrade action on Australia-
based HIH Insurance Ltd, which provides explicit support for HIH  
Insurance Asia.

In November 2000 and February 2001, Standard & Poor's downgraded
the ratings on the core operating entities of HIH Insurance Ltd.
and placed them on CreditWatch negative, warning of potential for
further diminution in financial strength.

The ratings on HIH Insurance Ltd. and HIH Insurance Asia are
withdrawn and removed from CreditWatch. Consequently, the
companies are no longer subject to continuous surveillance by
Standard & Poor's.


CENTAUR MINING: Names Administrators; ASX Halts Trading
-------------------------------------------------------
Centaur Mining & Exploration Limited announced the appointments
of Lindsay Philip Maxsted and Stephen Andrew Hawke, Chartered
Accountants of KPMG, as administrators on Wednesday, March 14.

The Australian Stock Exchange said that Centaur's securities
would be suspended from official quotation from the start of
trading on Thursday, March 15, following the appointment of the
administrators.  

The ASX had announced earlier that Centaur's securities would be
placed in pre-open, pending the release of an announcement by the
company.

The securities were to remain in pre-open until the start of
normal trading on Friday, March 16, or when the announcement
would be released to the market.


CENTAUR MINING: HRR Can End Agreement on 90 Days' Notice
--------------------------------------------------------
Heron Resources Limited (Heron) released an announcement
Thursday, March 15,saying that the appointment of administrators
to Centaur Mining & Exploration entitles Heron to terminate the
Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) on 90 days' written notice.

Heron has advised the administrators that it is presently
considering its position as to whether or not it will terminate
the SAA.

Under the SAA, Centaur Nickel Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary
of CME, has the right to complete a Bankable Feasibility Study
(BFS) in order to secure toll mining entitlements in relation to
certain Heron exploration projects (known as Goongarrie, Ghost
Rocks and Kalpini) on or before August 19, 2001. Heron has made
written inquiry of the administrators as to the ability of
Centaur to complete the BFS in the manner contemplated by the
SAA.

Heron will further advise Australian Stock Exchange Limited as to
its intended course of action after considering the response from
the administrators.


CENTAUR MINING: Owes Macmahon $3.5 Million
------------------------------------------
Macmahon Holdings Limited announced on Thursday last week that
its wholly owned subsidiary Macmahon Contractors (WA) Pty Ltd is
the principal mining contractor at Centaur Mining and Exploration
Limited's nickel mine at Cawse, Western Australia.

Macmahon is in discussions with both PricewaterhouseCoopers the
receiver manager appointed to Centaur Mining on March 15, 2001,
and the voluntary administrator to Centaur Mining, KPMG,
appointed on March 14, 2001 to establish Macmahon's position.

Macmahon's current contract was scheduled to be completed
Thursday. It is estimated that the amount owing to Macmahon by
Centaur Mining,net of provisions, is approximately $3.5 million.


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C H I N A   &   H O N G  K O N G
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SMARTONE TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Increased Costs,Losses Add Up  
----------------------------------------------------------
The high cost of attracting new subscribers coupled with  
unprofitable broadband services have pushed SmarTone
Telecommunications Holdings into the red for the second year
running.

The company announced another interim loss of $113 million for
the six months to December 31, 2000.  The result was a 71 percent
improvement from the $393.59 million loss recorded a year ago on
a mere 0.6 percent increase in turnover to $1.48 billion.  

Cost for sales and services increased 22.1 percent to $644.42
million, while the broadband business, which is still in its
start-up phase, lost $105 million during the period.

SmarTone's chief executive officer Ian Stone said the group had
adopted an aggressive approach in expanding its customer base
with the aim of achieving a scalable business size, which is
critical for future development and growth.  "In the six month
period under review, we focused on and succeeded in our customer
acquisition drive according to plan, against a backdrop of fierce
competition that was largely brought about by the industry's cut-
throat tariff promotions," Mr. Stone said.  

However, he believes SmarTone is likely to become profitable in
the next couple of years.  "SmarTone remains confident about its
long-term growth prospects.  With a solid customer base of over
one million and a cash reserve of $2.68 million, the strength of
its balance sheet will enable the group both to continue to fund
the ongoing needs of the business and at the same time to take
advantage of opportunities to move into 3G as they arise."


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


BUKAKA GROUP: Court Declares Fadel Bankrupt
-------------------------------------------
Tuesday The Jakarta Commercial Court declared businessman Fadel
Muhammad bankrupt. The court's decision was made as his creditor
bank junked his proposal to restructure his personal debt of
R33.5 billion, the Jakarta Post said.

Fadel is the former senior executive of the Bukaka business group
and deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (Kadin). In February he was summoned to the bankruptcy
court after Bank IFI filed charges against him for failing to
repay his personal debts.

The court has appointed a receiver to calculate Fadel's personal
wealth to repay his debt. Fadel is worth about R50 billion, an
amount of wealth tied up in nine companies.


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


CHIYODA CORPORATION: Revamps 5-Year Restructuring Plan
------------------------------------------------------
The engineering company, Chiyoda Corporation announced that its
five-year restructuring plan has already undergone revision,
which would reduce its debt waiver request as it aimed to hike up
its new share issuance, ASWJ reported.

The debt waiver reduction was made upon the recommendation of the
company's creditors, which would include its main lender, Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi Limited, and Mitsubishi Corporation. The
revision has cut Y3.6 billion from the original Y26.2 billion ,
"as anticipated levels of bad debt for the year ending this month
are likely to be below the company's initial expectations," ASWJ
reported as explained by a Chiyoda spokesman.

Expected outcome of the debt-waiver reduction would be a
shortfall in the extraordinary profit, and a group net loss of Y6
billion yen for this year, as opposed to an earlier projection of
a net loss of Y4.5 billion, it was explained.


NIKO NIKO: Delays Planned Issuance Of Preferred Shares
--------------------------------------------------------
According to sources close to Supermarket operator Niko Niko Do
Company (NND), NND might shelve its plan to issue preferred
shares until April, Jiji Press reported. The shares amount to Y6
billion. On March 1, 2000 the company's shareholders approved the
plan.

The company expected to face negative net worth in the business
year ending March 31 should it fail to push through with its
share placement by month's end.

NND is currently searching for ideas on how to rehabilitate
business. Even with the support of Daiei Incorporated, the
company is having difficulties in getting concessions on the
share issue plan from its creditors, including the main bank
Fukuoka City Bank.

NND recorded consolidated debt in excess of Y4,061 million at the
end of September, 2000. It is predicted this figure will mount to
about Y5.5 billion by March 31.


SAKURA BANK: Fitch Downgrades; On Rating Watch Negative
-------------------------------------------------------
International rating agency, Fitch on Wednesday last week
downgraded the individual ratings of 19 Japanese banks on Rating
Watch Negative, citing growing concern over the impact of falling
share prices and lingering asset quality problems on the banks'
capital quality, performance and prospects.  

The long-term ratings were unaffected and are generally stable in
view of strong government support, Fitch said.

Fitch's individual ratings assess how a bank would be viewed if
it were entirely independent and could not rely on external
support. These ratings are not debt ratings but rather an
assessment of the intrinsic strength of a bank.  

The review affected the individual ratings of the following
banks:

     - Asahi Bank ('D')
     - Ashikaga ('D/E')
     - Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi ('C/D')
     - Bank of Yokohama ('D')
     - Chiba Bank ('D')
     - Chuo Mitsui Trust & Banking ('D/E')
     - Hokuriku Bank ('D/E')
     - Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Corporation ('D')
     - Mizuho Holdings ('D')
     - Dai-ichi Kangyo Bank ('D')
     - Fuji Bank ('D')
     - Industrial Bank of Japan ('D')
     - Yasuda Trust & Banking Co. Ltd ('D/E')
     - Sakura Bank ('D')
     - Sanwa Bank ('D')
     - Sumitomo Bank ('C/D')
     - Sumitomo Trust & Banking ('D')
     - Tokai Bank ('D')
     - Toyo Trust & Banking ('D/E').

The review will focus on the impact on capital and performance
from falling share prices and each bank's capacity to write off
problem assets in the face of a weakening economy and suggestions
of a more aggressive stance being taken by regulators, Fitch
said.

Fitch expressed concern that the final resolution of the banks'
severe asset quality problems will be further delayed unless
there will some form of government intervention or dramatic
improvement in their operating environment.


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


SAEHAN INDUSTRIES: Creditors Swap Debt For Equity
-------------------------------------------------
Creditor banks of Saehan Industries opted for a debt-to-equity
swap to settle the company's debts, the Korea Herald reported.

Hanvit, Hana and KorAm banks converted loans amounting to W47.82
billion into equity in the insolvent company. After the swap,
each bank is holding a 14.13 percent stake in Saehan Industries,
making them the three largest shareholders of Saehan.

Saehan has issued convertible bonds valued at W217.8 billion,
which meant that the company was able to restructure its debts
totaling W265.62 billion.


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


MECHMAR CORP: Winding-Up Petition Hearing Postponed
---------------------------------------------------
Mechmar Corporation (Malaysia) Berhad announced to the Kuala
Lumpur Stock Exchange that the hearing before the court for the
petition to wind up the company filed by Bonus Point Investment
Limited had been postponed to June 15, 2001.


JASATERA BERHAD: SC Regs Reject Recapitalization Plan
-----------------------------------------------------
The Securities Commission (SC) regulators voted against Jasatera
Berhad's plan to recapitalize within the six-month period, as
covered by a debt settlement pact the company has with its
creditors, said a report in Business Times. The company has
started negotiating with creditors to be granted another 12
months to get the SC's approval, and is hoping to tender a new
proposal to the commission within the next six months.

In the current proposal, the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE)
second board construction company proposed a capital reduction
from RM19.98 million equivalent to 19.98 million shares to RM4.0
million of 19.98 million shares at 20 sen each. The reduced
capital, with the same number of shares, would be consolidated
into 4 million RM1 shares in the proportion of 5 20-sen shares
into one share of RM1.

To offset the company's accumulated losses, at RM114.07 million
(as of January 31, 2001), the company would use RM15.98 million
credit from the capital reduction scheme.

Jasatera has been at the negotiating table to create a joint
venture on a huge mixed property project in southern China.
Observers believe it is unlikely that this project, along with
other overseas ventures, will not be affected by the setback
encountered by Jasatera's recapitalization plans.


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


JADE PROGRESSIVE: PDIC Starts To Settle Deposit Claims
------------------------------------------------------
Jade Progressive Savings and Mortgage Bank's depositors have
started to settle their initial deposit claims with the
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), the Business
World reported.

PDIC has also released a statement, as reported in the World,
urging depositors of the closed bank's head office in Divisoria,
Manila, and those in branches in Muntinlupa and Las Pinas to file
claims at the bank's main office in Binondo Manila.

To file for claims, depositors will be required to submit
evidence of deposits such as passbooks, original certificates of
time deposit and latest identification cards with the depositor's
specimen signature. Last day for filing claims is on June 12,
2002. Those filed after will not be honored.

Jade Bank has been under receivership since December 2000,
following the policy-making Monetary Board's resolution
prohibiting the bank to do business in the country.


SHEMBERG BIOTECH: Schedules Allocations For Creditors
-----------------------------------------------------
Shemberg Biotech Corporation (SBC) has allocated P14.8 million to
be paid to its creditor banks, the Asia Pulse reported. Apart
from this, there has been scheduled allocation of P9.6 million
each in the months of July, September and December as debt
payments, said SBC president and CEO Benson Dakay, but only if
orders from Colgate Palmolive worldwide stabilize during the
year.

Last year, Colgate reduced its carrageenan purchase from the
Cebu-based SBC to almost half of the maximum 500 metric tons
purchased in the prior years of 1994-1999. But despite the lower
volume ordered by Colgate, the company was still able to cover
its debt servicing.

SBC, as of February, has paid the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
P2.9 million, CDC Capital Partners P2.9 million, DEG-German
Investment and Development P3.8 million, Bank of the Philippine
Islands P1.01 million, Urban Bank P1.2 million, Standard
Chartered Bank P2.2 million, and United Coconut Planters Bank
P609,250.

SBC's gross profit ratio according to unaudited financial
statements, as of December 31, had grown to 30 percent last year
up from 28 percent in 1999. It generated a profit of P109 million
from foreign exchange transactions, which offset the P100 million
interest accruals for the year.

Last year's recorded net loss amounted to P159 million, as sales
dropped 30 percent to P221 million. In addition, its gross margin
mark plunged 25 percent to P67 million.


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


ASIA PULP: Rating Slipped to DD, Says Fitch
-------------------------------------------
Fitch, the international rating agency, has downgraded the Senior
Unsecured debt rating of Asia Pulp & Paper Limited (APP) to 'DD'
from 'C'. This follows the official announcement by the company
that it intends to cease payment of interest and principal on all
holding company debt and on debt issued by its subsidiaries and
affiliates, the obligations of which are funded by such
subsidiaries.

The rating indicates that the company and its affiliates are
undergoing a debt restructuring process.


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


ITALIAN-THAI: Hands Over Stakes In Hotels To Karnasutas
-------------------------------------------------------
Italian-Thai Development (ITD) has shifted its stakes in both the
Oriental and Amari Watergate hotels to the Karnasuta family, The
Nation reported. Sources say the move was an attempt by the
company to dodge pressure from its creditors to liquidate its
shares for debt repayments. The liquidation of the stakes in the
two hotels was part of the bid for the company's debt
rehabilitation program.

The company's rehabilitation plan proposes rescheduling of
repayments for a fraction of its total debts for another period
of seven years. Another solution might be a debt-equity swap,
which would eventually dilute the Karnasuta family's stake from
86 percent to 51 percent, the Nation continued.

The country's biggest builder holds 3.13 percent and 12 percent
stakes in the Oriental Hotel and the Amari Watergate,
respectively. It has debt obligations amounting to 20 billion
baht.  

For the company to ease its cash flow and to bid for more
construction contracts, ITD would have to jack up its resources
with the infusion of fresh capital estimated at 1 billion baht.

Being considered for liquidation are ITD's non-core assets, the
creditors propose. These would include a major stake in the
Bangkok Mass Transit System, the Ital-Thai Tower, shares in the
Oriental and Amari Watergate hotels and a number of real
properties.

ITD has reported a net loss of 3.96 billion baht for the year
2000, after a net loss of 1.45 billion baht in 1999.


RAIMON LAND: Reports Progress of Rehabilitation
-----------------------------------------------
Raimon Land PLC has released to the Stock Exchange of Thailand
(SET) its progress report of its measures to rehabilitate the
company.

Raimon informed the SET that the rehabilitation plan prepared by
Raimon Land Planner Company, Limited was submitted to the
Bankruptcy Court on March 7, 2001. Creditors have been scheduled
to vote on the plan on April 2, 2001.

Raimon Land PLC made a request to the Bankruptcy Court for
rehabilitation on October 9, 2000. On November 6, 2000, the court
gave Raimon Land PLC leave to carry out the rehabilitation under
the supervision of Raimon Land Planner Co., Ltd.

"The company will continue to advise SET of the progress of the
rehabilitation," said Nigel J. Cornick, director of Raimon Land.


EMC PUBLIC: Announces Schedule For Creditors' Meeting
-----------------------------------------------------
EMC Public Company Limited announced to the Stock Exchange of
Thailand the schedule of the creditors' meeting for consideration
of the company's rehabilitation plan. The meeting will be held on
March 26, 2001, at 9:30 AM, Room no. 1105, 11th floor Bangkok
Insurance building, 25 Sathorn Tai Road, Sub-district of Thung
maha mek, District of Sathorn, Bangkok.

EMC Public Company Limited's planner had submitted the petition
for rehabilitation plan to the bankruptcy court.


SAFARI WORLD: Founder, Four Others Face Bankruptcy Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
The founder of Safari World and four others are now facing a
bankruptcy suit filed against them by Krung Thai Bank, the
Bangkok Post reported.

Safari World Plc is a listed company on the Stock Exchange of
Thailand.

The five individuals, sued for failing to repay loans amounting
to 830 million baht, are Safari World Plc founder Pin Kiewpaisal,
Arpa Tejaratanachai, Voravit Suthitavil, Saroj Simsarp, and
Rachai Charn-niti.

Krung Thai Bank's case against the five is an offshoot of a suit
against the now-defunct First Trust Finance and Securities and
the five debtors.

In that earlier case in 1991, First Trust and the five debtors  
ordered by the civil court to repay the bank 244.3 million baht
at 16.5 percent interest. That decision was confirmed by an
appeal court two years after, and again by the Supreme Court in
1995 as the amount grew to 325 million baht.

The five ignored the courts' orders.

Pin is facing another case filed by the Asia Recovery Fund, a
subsidiary of Kiatnakin Finance Plc, for an alleged attempt to
auction Safari World shares bought by the Fund from the Financial
Sector Restructuring Authority (FRA).

The case against the five defendants demands a repayment of the
outstanding principal and interest that has reached 829.5 million
baht, as of February 2001.


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. Lyndsey Resnick,
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Copyright 2000.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

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