TCRAP_Public/021101.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, November 1, 2002, Vol. 5, No. 217

                         Headlines

A U S T R A L I A

COLES MYER: Majority of Directors Back CEO John Fletcher


C H I N A   &   H O N G  K O N G

KONKA GROUP: Strong Mobile Phone Sales Boost 3Q Figures


I N D O N E S I A

BANK NEGARA: Planned Bond Issue Now Only $75 Million


J A P A N

FUJITSU LTD.: Wants 7,100 Less Workers by March 2003
FUJITSU LTD: Works with STMicroelectronics on Smart Card IC
NISSEKI HOUSE: Files for Bankruptcy Along with Top Investor


K O R E A

CHOHUNG BANK: Korea First Joins Fray Contrary to Earlier Stand
CHOHUNG BANK: Korea First Excluded from Qualified Bidders List
HYUNDAI MERCHANT: Commission Conspired to Keep Loan Under Wraps


M A L A Y S I A

BERJAYA SPORTS: Subsidiary Buys 100,000 ICULS for RM283,500
MYCOM BERHAD: Subsidiary Settles Row with Judgment Creditor
PICA (M) CORPORATION: Asks for Extension to Improve Finances
RHB SAKURA: Malaya High Court Approves Scheme of Arrangement
RHB SAKURA: Final Dividend to be Paid by December 19

SJA BERHAD: Sued by Bank Utama for Defaulting on RM5M Loan


P H I L I P P I N E S

BAYAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS: AIF Uses Option, Demands Money Back
PHILIPPINE LONG: Observers Say Mobile Unit to Keep 3Q in Black
UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT: First Pacific Wants Bank, Transit Project


S I N G A P O R E

NATSTEEL LTD.: Ong Beng Seng Only Wants Majority, Not 100%
ST ASSEMBLY: Posts Seventh Red Quarter, But Losses Now Small
ST ASSEMBLY: Thanks to Strong Sales Jobs Remain

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


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


COLES MYER: Majority of Directors Back CEO John Fletcher
--------------------------------------------------------
Seven directors of Coles Myer Limited yesterday made a personal
statement expressing their unqualified support for CEO John
Fletcher.  Their joint statement read as follows:

"We believe that John is doing an outstanding job in leading the
rebuild of Coles Myer.  Under John's stewardship, good progress
has already been made in the first year of a five-year program
to restore the company as Australia's number one retailer in all
its brands.  
"Three non-food brands were not performing when John became CEO.  
Target and Kmart are now on the recovery path.  John has
recruited an outstanding retailer to turn around Myer Grace.  

"In selecting John to lead Coles Myer, the Board of Directors
deliberately sought a leader of leaders - someone who could
bring about transformational change.

"We now have outstanding retailers running each of our brands
who have had experience in successfully running billion dollar
retail businesses.

"What John brings to the leadership position is the skills and
experience to extract maximum shareholder value by leveraging
opportunities across the group and creating a new culture.

"We believe that the company's shareholders have a right to be
informed of all directors' views about Board composition,
including those of John Fletcher, before the Annual General
Meeting.  Further, we believe his views on his tenure as CEO
following the Annual General Meeting are
material to the company's shareholders and other stakeholders.

"We note that on 16 September 2002 Mr. David Knott, the Chairman
of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, stated
that in order for shareholders to make important decisions at
the Annual General Meeting affecting Board composition and the
future direction of the company they needed to be fully informed
of the contested issues and of any differences in strategic
direction being advocated for the company by directors.  Mr.
Knott also emphasized the importance of restoring long-term
stability to Coles Myer Limited's governance structure.

"In our view, John's continuing leadership at Coles Myer is
vitally important to the future of the company."

Signed October 30, 2002 by:

Rick Allert
Bill Gurry
Helen Lynch
Patty Akopiantz
Martyn Myer
Stan Wallis
Ric Charlton



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


KONKA GROUP: Strong Mobile Phone Sales Boost 3Q Figures
-------------------------------------------------------
Television maker Konka Group Co Ltd has climbed back into the
black after focusing on selling more mobile phones in the third
quarter and avoiding a price war in its core appliance business,
Reuters said Tuesday.

Konka, fresh from its first full-year loss in 20 years in 2001,
has said it planned to avoid a margin-punishing industry war by
focusing on mobile phones, high-tech televisions and sideline
businesses such as property.

Konka's 000016 unaudited results, published in the official
Securities Times newspaper, showed a net profit of 5.6 million
yuan ($676,500) for July to September of 2002, after a net loss
of 253.5 million yuan in the same period of last year.



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


BANK NEGARA: Planned Bond Issue Now Only $75 Million
----------------------------------------------------
Bank Negara Indonesia has cut further its planned bond issue to
$75 million from $100 million due to a drop in investor interest
in the wake of the Bali bomb blasts, the IndoExchange said
Tuesday.

"We have to look at the conditions in our country. But the
schedule remains even though the market has been affected (by
the blasts). Roadshows are scheduled for this week in Asia and
Europe," BNI president Saifuddien Hasan told Reuters.

BNI said the decrease in the bond size would not have a
significant impact on the bank's financial position because the
proceeds were intended to strengthen the bank's capital.

Earlier this month BNI filed an application to list a $100
million subordinated bond issue on the Singapore Stock Exchange,
the second dollar bond to be issued by an Indonesian bank since
the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. It has mandated JP
Morgan to lead manage the issue.



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


FUJITSU LTD.: Wants 7,100 Less Workers by March 2003
----------------------------------------------------
Some 7,100 jobs at Fujitsu Ltd. will have been axed by March
next year, says the company, which expects negative annual
results amid the current protracted electronics and IT slump.

"The communications equipment market has once more fallen into a
slump and domestic IT spending will likely be restrained until
the end of the business year," Fujitsu chief financial officer
Takashi Takaya told a news briefing recently.

Fujitsu, Japan's fifth-largest chipmaker, posted a net loss for
the July-September quarter of 91.01 billion yen, compared with a
loss of 119.28 billion yen a year earlier.  It forecasts a 110
billion yen net loss for the full year to March, giving up on
its prior target of breaking even and extending last year's
record 382.5 billion yen in red ink, Reuters said.

Fujitsu is aiming to recast itself as a computer services
company similar to International Business Machines Corp and has
shed or shrunk a number of its communications and electronics
operations.


FUJITSU LTD: Works with STMicroelectronics on Smart Card IC
-----------------------------------------------------------
STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in smart card
integrated circuits, and Fujitsu Limited, a world leader in the
development and production of FRAM (Ferroelectric RAM), today
announced that they have teamed up to develop the ST19ZR01, the
first contactless smart card IC with FRAM and ROM, but no
standard RAM.

A demonstrator product, which includes an on-board library of
certified cryptographic algorithms, will be marketed through ST
starting Q4 2002.

The newly developed product combines the unrivaled security and
market acceptance of ST's ST19 smart card platform with the high
speed and lower power consumption benefits of Fujitsu's FRAM
technology, making it particularly attractive in applications
such as transport ticketing and personal ID cards.

The ST19ZR01 provides all of the security benefits of ST's ST19
platform, which was the first in the world to be certified under
the recently developed ISO15408 standard (also known as the
Common Criteria). These include a hardware DES accelerator for
fast cryptographic operations and built-in security firewalls
for the on-chip memories and DES accelerator. In addition, the
ST19ZR01 is also fully compliant with the ISO 14443 Type B
contactless standard, offering a data transfer capability up to
424 Kbps.

FRAM technology exhibits major benefits of very fast read and
write times (less than 200ns) and extremely low standby current
(a few microamps), thereby achieving lower power consumption and
faster write times than the traditional EEPROM technology.

The ST19ZR01 incorporates 1.5KBytes of FRAM memory, which also
provides very high data retention reliability in excess of 10
years. The FRAM cell structure currently used in the ST19ZR01
consists of two transistors and two ferroelectric film
capacitors. In the near future, a new cell design featuring one
transistor and one capacitor will be introduced, enabling a
significant reduction in die size and cost.

"The proven ST19 platform, based upon successive generations of
ST's proprietary EEPROM technology, has been widely used over a
number of years in GSM, Banking, Health and in many other
applications. The addition of FRAM, which offers many advantages
for contactless applications such as mass transit, will open up
new perspectives and opportunities," said Maurizio Felici, Group
Vice President and General Manager of ST's Smartcard Division.

"Fujitsu has been developing FRAM technology since 1996 and was
the very first semiconductor manufacturer to establish an
embedded FRAM process. With three years of experience in mass
production since 1999, we have proven that FRAM can bring
revolutionary benefits to the contactless smart card and other
key markets," said Dr. Hidetoshi Nishi, General Manager of the
FRAM Division of Fujitsu's Electronic Devices Group.

"The ST19ZR01, the result of a fruitful collaboration between ST
and Fujitsu, constitutes clear proof of the acceptance of FRAM
technology by ST, a world-leading provider of smart card ICs.
This success will open a broaden field of applications to which
FRAM will add significant value," confirmed Amane Inoue,
Managing Director of Fujitsu's FRAM Center, located in Paris.

This product will be exhibited at both ST's and Fujitsu's booths
at Europe's largest smart card exhibition, Cartes 2002 in Paris.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics, the world's third largest semiconductor
company, is a global leader in developing and delivering
semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics
applications. An unrivaled combination of silicon and system
expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP)
portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the
forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products
play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The
Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on
Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2001, the
Company's net revenues were $6.36 billion and net earnings were
$257.1 million. Further information on ST can be found at
www.st.com.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and
communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-
setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and
telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems
and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash
the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its
customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited
(TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen
(about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.
For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/

Note:

(1) FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory): A non-volatile
    memory device, using ferroelectric materials that is able to
    retain data even when the power is removed. FRAM may be
    written at high speeds and rewritten numerous times with
    very low power consumption.

(2) FRAM is a registered trademark of Ramtron International
    Corporation.


For more information, contact:

             STMicroelectronics:
             Technical Press:
             Richard Stockdill, +33-4-50-40-25-58
             richard.stockdill@st.com
              or
             Media Relations Corporate:
             Maria Grazia Prestini, +41-2-29-29-69-45
             mariagrazia.prestini@st.com
              or
             Media Relations USA:
             Michael Markowitz, 212/821-8959
             michael.markowitz@st.com
              or
             Investor Relations USA:
             Stan March, 212/821-8939
             stan.march@st.com
              or
             Investor Relations Europe:
             Benoit de Leusse, +33-4-50-40-24-30
             benoit.de-leusse@st.com
              or
             Fujitsu:
             Press Contact:
             Fujitsu Limited, Public & Investor Relations
             Nancy Ikehara/Chiaki Kuwahara, +81-3-3215-5259   
             (Tokyo)
             Fax: 81-3-3216-9365
             http://pr.fujitsu.com/en/news/pressinquiries.html
              or
             Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe:
             Customer & Technical Contact:
             FRAM Centre
             Jedidi Kamouaa, +33-1-5521-0040
             Fax: +33-1-5521-0041
             E-mail: fram@fme.fujitsu.com
              or
             Electronic Devices Fujitsu Limited:
             Secure Products & Solutions Dept.
             Marketing & Sales Group
             Naoki Mimura, +81-3-5322-3383 (Tokyo)
             Fax: +81-3-5322-3386
             E-mail: edevice@fujitsu.com


NISSEKI HOUSE: Files for Bankruptcy Along with Top Investor
-----------------------------------------------------------
Debt-laded midsize house maker Nisseki House Industry Co. sought
protection from creditors Wednesday, along with its top
shareholder Kotobuki Industry Co., which holds a 17% stake in
the venture, Japan Times reported yesterday.

The company filed its petition for temporary relief from paying
obligations before the Tokyo District Court.  Nisseki House's
liabilities stood at 17.5 billion yen as of September 30.
Teikoku Databank Ltd., a credit research agency, said the
combined debts of Nisseki House and Kotobuki came to 36.1
billion yen, the paper said.

The house maker has drawn scrutiny since six years ago, when its
founder and then-president disappeared.  He remains listed as
missing.  The company, listed on the first section of the Tokyo
Stock Exchange, said it filed for protection with the Tokyo
District Court under the fast-track civil rehabilitation law
because it could not make payments to creditors that are due at
the end of this month.

The report says Kotobuki is a construction material seller
listed on the second section of the Osaka Securities Exchange.
It developed a negative net worth of 4.4 billion yen as of March
31.

Nisseki House is the second listed house builder to file for
protection under the same law this year, the paper said.
Shokusan Jutaku Sogo Co., a builder of custom-made houses,
invoked the law on January 13 with unconsolidated debts of 13.5
billion yen.

Officials of the steel-frame prefabricated-house builder told
Japan Times that the company incurred massive debts from
aggressive capital investments into its plants, which turned
sour amid the housing slump.

Mizuho Corporate Bank, one of the two cores of Mizuho Holdings
Inc. and the main bank of the two troubled firms, severed credit
lines to the two, which have taken a pounding from the
decelerating economy, the paper said.

Nisseki House said its operations would be sold to a Nagoya-
based company, with the details of the deal yet to be ironed
out.



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


CHOHUNG BANK: Korea First Joins Fray Contrary to Earlier Stand
--------------------------------------------------------------
Contrary to its earlier pronouncements to stay away from any
merger deal with domestic banks, Korea First Bank announced
Wednesday that it is joining the race to acquire Chohung Bank,
The Korea Herald said.

KFB Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Cohen told reporters
during a news briefing that it had submitted a bid to the
government to buy more than 51 percent of Korea's fourth-largest
lender.

"We have offered the Korean government to buy Chohung Bank at a
premium to the bank's stock price," said Mr. Cohen.  He added
Newbridge Capital, KFB's largest shareholder with a 51 percent
stake, also supports the bank's plan.

The Korean government has received bids from interested
investors to sell at least 10-20 percent of the bank in the
latest block sale, but will sell a greater stake if bidders
offer favorable terms, the paper said.   State-run Korea Deposit
Insurance Corp. owns 80 percent of Chohung Bank.

The government has already short-listed four banks as qualified
bidders.  They are now conducting due diligence and are expected
to meet the government's deadline of an end-of-November pact
signing.

The four bidders include Fubon Financial Holdings of Taiwan,
U.S.-based Ripplewood Holdings LLC., Shinsei Bank Ltd. of Japan
and a consortium-led by Shinhan Financial Group.

"If we are off the selected bidders list, we may form a
consortium with other investors," Mr. Cohen said.

He revealed that he has contacted arrangers for the sale, and
submitted a letter of intent to the government last week.  It
still needs to receive the government's approval to conduct due
diligence.

Mr. Cohen says his bank is aiming at securing assets of more
than 40 trillion won and return on equity of 25 percent by 2004.

"To that end, acquiring Chohung would be a great help to our
bank," he said.

When asked about the funding plan for the acquisition, Mr. Cohen
said KFB and its majority shareholder Newbridge Capital would
finance the deal.  The listing of the merged bank could be one
of the options to finance the deal, he said.


CHOHUNG BANK: Korea First Excluded from Qualified Bidders List
--------------------------------------------------------------
An official of the Ministry of Finance and Economy denied
Wednesday it will allow Korea First Bank to conduct due
diligence on Chohung Bank.

The unidentified official told Korea Times that the government
has only authorized four financial institutions to view the
books of Chohung Bank, and Korea First Bank is not one of them.

"We've already chosen four out of the eight domestic and foreign
financial institutions that have presented letters of intent for
investment in Chohung," he said.

Korea First Bank Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Cohen told
reporters on Wednesday that KFB has been awaiting an answer from
the government.   

The finance official did not say whether KFB will be inserted in
the current list of qualified bidders.


HYUNDAI MERCHANT: Commission Conspired to Keep Loan Under Wraps
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Fair Trade Commission admitted on Wednesday that it had
deliberately turned a blind eye over the 400 billion won loan
that Hyundai Merchant Marine failed to include in its 2000
annual report.

HMM is suspected of having channeled the loan to North Korea
before the first inter-Korean summit in June 2000.  Korea
Development Bank, which lent the money, is also suspected of
coughing up the loan under pressure from Cheong Wa Dae, The
Korea Herald said yesterday.

The commission earlier confirmed that HMM had failed to record
its taking out of the KDB overdraft in its documents presented
to the panel in 2000 in connection with the panel's
investigation into illegal inter-unit transactions, the paper
said.   On Wednesday, the panel confirmed that HMM did not set
down the KDB loan in its documents presented for this year's
investigation either.

"The panel's confirmation implied that it had known about HMM's
loan from KDB since 2000 but turned a blind eye to the firm's
failure to report on it when it investigated the shipping firm
in 2000 and this year," the report said.

An unidentified commission official, however, said the panel did
not look into HMM's omission of its KDB loan because it was not
related to the panel's investigation of illegal transactions
between HMM and its sister firms.

"Our focus is on illicit deals between a company and its sister
or subsidiary firms, not on the loans the company has taken
out," the official told The Korea Herald.  "Yet we are studying
whether HMM's behavior constitutes submission of fabricated
documents, which is subject to fines of up to 100 million won."



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


BERJAYA SPORTS: Subsidiary Buys 100,000 ICULS for RM283,500
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad wishes to
inform that its wholly owned subsidiary, FEAB Properties Sdn Bhd
has purchased ICULS in BToto as follows:

(1) Date of Purchase: 30 October 2002

(2) Number of ICULS Purchased: 100,000

(3) Minimum price paid for each ICULS: RM2.82

(4) Maximum price paid for each ICULS: RM2.84

(5) Total consideration paid: RM283,500.64

(6) Total number of ICULS held to-date: 4,910,000

(7) Cumulative consideration: RM13,880,188.16
    paid to-date


The Company has obtained the necessary approvals for the above
purchase of ICULS up to an amount not exceeding RM1.2 billion.
Details on the ICULS purchase were disclosed in the Company's
Circular to Shareholders dated 5th April 2002 and the Abridged
Prospectus relating to the Rights Issue of ICULS dated 20th June
2002.


MYCOM BERHAD: Subsidiary Settles Row with Judgment Creditor
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Mycom Berhad wishes to announce that its 51% owned
subsidiary, Pacific Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (PFI) entered into
a Settlement Agreement on 30 October 2002 with Norsechem (Sabah)
Sdn Bhd (NSSB), a company incorporated in Malaysia and having
its office at Mile 3 1/2, Jalan Batu Sapi, WDT 408,90009,
Sandakan, Sabah for full and final compromise settlement of the
sum of RM711,988.60, pursuant to the Consent Judgment dated 14
June 2001 against PFI.

Background Information

NSSB as judgment creditor had obtained Consent Judgment of the
High Court in Sabah and Sarawak at Tawau under Suit No. T (22)
28 of 1999 on 14 June 2001 against PFI as judgment debtor for
the balance of the price of goods sold and delivered to the
principal sum of RM534,428.35 and interest of RM134,805.93 and
statutory interest on the principal sum at the rate of 8% per
annum from 1 June 2001 until full settlement. NSSB has also
entered Prohibitory Orders against landed property of PFI held
under and comprised in Tawau Country Lease Nos. 105312463,
105331075, 105105379, 105346469 and registered with the Central
Land Office on 7 December 2001.

Terms of the Settlement Agreement

The Settlement Agreement provided for a total agreed sum of
RM711,988.60 only as at 31 May 2002 to be settled by way of an
issue of 356,000 new ordinary shares of RM1.00 each in Mycom,
credited as fully paid up to be issued pursuant to the Proposed
Restructuring Scheme of Mycom. The completion of the settlement
is dependent on the completion of the Scheme on or before 30
June 2003 subject to any agreement for extension of time granted
by the judgment creditor.

Financial Effects

The proposed settlement is not expected to have any material
effect on the earnings per share of the Mycom group for the
financial year ended 30 June 2002.

Rationale

The proposed settlement under the Agreement is in line with the
Proposed Settlement which forms part of the Proposed
Restructuring Scheme of Mycom as first approved by all the
regulatory authorities including the Securities Commission on 8
March 2002.

Directors' and Substantial Shareholders' Interest

None of the Directors and substantial shareholders and persons
connected with the Directors and substantial shareholders have
any interest, direct and indirect, in the proposed settlement.

Document available for inspection

The Settlement Agreement is available for inspection at the
Registered Office at Level 23, Menara Olympia, Jalan Raja
Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur during office hours Mondays to
Fridays (excluding Public Holidays) from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm for
a period of three (3) months from the date of this announcement.


PICA (M) CORPORATION: Asks for Extension to Improve Finances
------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Pica (M) Corporation Berhad wishes to
make the following announcement for public release:

Further to the Company's announcement on Practice Note 4, the
Company has through its merchant banker CIMB request for an
extension of two months from Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange to make
the requisite announcement.  The Company has obtained approval
in principal from majority of the creditors to participate in
the Scheme.  While attempting to obtain further approval from
the rest of the creditors, the Company shall also finalise and
resolve all conditions imposed by the Creditors soonest possible
to facilitate the signing of the Debt Restructuring Agreement.


RHB SAKURA: Malaya High Court Approves Scheme of Arrangement
------------------------------------------------------------
We refer to our announcements dated March 20 2002, July 24, 2002
and October 10, 2002 and the Explanatory Statement cum Circular
to shareholders of RHB Sakura dated September 18, 2002 (ES cum
Circular) in relation to the SOA.  As stated in the ES cum
Circular, the SOA entails the shareholders of RHB Sakura, other
than RHB Capital Berhad, receiving RM4.00 cash for every RHB
Sakura share cancelled and the payment of the Final Dividend to
all shareholders of RHB Sakura.

On behalf of RHB Sakura, AmMerchant Bank Berhad (formerly known
as Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Berhad) (AmMerchant Bank) is
pleased to announce that the High Court of Malaya (High Court)
has, at a court hearing held on Wednesday, granted an order
sanctioning the SOA and confirming the resolution of the
shareholders of RHB Sakura passed on October 10, 2002 for the
SOA pursuant to Petition No. : D1-26-70-02 in accordance with
sections 64, 176 and 178 of the Act.

With the sanction of the High Court, the SOA is now
unconditional.

Accordingly, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Record of
Depositors of RHB Sakura will be closed at 5.00 p.m. on
Wednesday, 20 November 2002 (Entitlement Date) for the purpose
of determining -

     (i) shareholders of RHB Sakura, other than RHB Capital, who
         are entitled to the payment of RM4.00 cash; and

    (ii) shareholders of RHB Sakura who will be entitled to the    
         payment of the Final Dividend.

The above mentioned payments shall be made to shareholders of
RHB Sakura whose names appear in the Record of Depositors of RHB
Sakura on Wednesday, 20 November 2002. A shareholder of RHB
Sakura shall qualify for entitlement to the payment of the Final
Dividend and, other than RHB Capital, to the payment of RM4.00
cash only in respect to:

(a) RHB Sakura Shares transferred into the relevant
    shareholder's securities accounts before 12.30 p.m. on
    Wednesday, 20 November 2002 in respect of ordinary
    transfers; and

(b) RHB Sakura Shares bought on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange
    (KLSE) on a cum entitlement basis in accordance with the
    rules of the KLSE.

To facilitate the recalling and cancellation of the RHB Sakura
Shares, trading of the RHB Sakura Shares will be suspended with
effect from 9.00 a.m. on Thursday, 14 November 2002, which is
three (3) clear market days prior to the Entitlement Date.
Accordingly, the last day of trading of RHB Sakura Shares shall
be on Wednesday, 13 November 2002.

Shareholders of RHB Sakura are not required to take any action
to effect the cancellation of RHB Sakura shares. A circular on
the said recalling and cancellation of RHB Sakura Shares
pursuant to the SOA will be dispatched to shareholders of RHB
Sakura on 31 October 2002.

The above mentioned payments shall be made by 19 December 2002
which is -

     (i) within 28 days after the effective date of the SOA on
         21 November 2002 (which is the day immediately after
         the Entitlement Date), in respect of the payment of
         RM4.00 cash; and

    (ii) within one month of the books closure date, in respect
         of payment of the Final Dividend, subject to
         shareholders approval at the forthcoming annual general
         meeting of RHB Sakura.

Further announcements on the actual dates of the above mentioned
payments will be made in due course. Shareholders may receive
the above-mentioned payments on different dates.

Any inquiries concerning the above notice of books closure
should be made or addressed to RHB Sakura's share registrar at:

Malaysian Share Registration Services Sdn Bhd
7th Floor, Exchange Square
Bukit Kewangan
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03 - 20268099
Fax : 03 - 20263736


RHB SAKURA: Final Dividend to be Paid by December 19
----------------------------------------------------
(1) A final dividend of 7.5% per share less 28% income tax.

(2) Scheme of arrangement pursuant to Sections 176 and 178 of
    the Companies Act, 1965 whereby RHB Capital Berhad (RHB
    Capital) will acquire the remaining 165,888,605 ordinary
    shares of RM1.00 each (not held by RHB Capital) representing
    49% equity interest in RHB Sakura Merchant Bankers Berhad
    (RHB Sakura) for a cash consideration of RM4.00 per RHB
    Sakura share (SOA).

Kindly be advised:

(1) The above Company's securities will be traded and quoted [Ex
    - Dividend] as from: [18 November 2002]

(2) The last date of lodgement: [20 November 2002]

REMARKS:

The payment date for the proposed final dividend will be
announced in due course. In any event, the said final dividend
shall be paid by December 19, 2002, which is within one month of
books closing date.

The date for the payment of RM4.00 cash per RHB Sakura share
will be announced in due course. In any event, the payment shall
be paid by December 19, 2002, which is within 28 days after the
effective date of the SOA of November 21, 2002 (being the day
immediately after the entitlement date).


SJA BERHAD: Sued by Bank Utama for Defaulting on RM5M Loan
----------------------------------------------------------
This is to inform the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange that the
company had received a winding-up petition on 29th October 2002
presented by Messrs Anad & Noraini on behalf of Bank Utama
(Malaysia) Berhad (Penang High Court Companies (Winding-up)
No.28-102-2002).

The petitioner had claimed against the company for the sum of
RM5,195,185.14 as at 31/3/2001 with interests accruing at 2.5%
p.a. plus 1% p.a. above the Plaintiff's Base Lending Rate until
date of full and final settlement.

The claim was in respect of banking facilities granted to the
company secured on a subsidiary company's landed properties and
the company had defaulted in the service of the loan.



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


BAYAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS: AIF Uses Option, Demands Money Back
-------------------------------------------------------------
Debt-laden Bayan Telecommunications Holdings Corp. informed the
Philippine Stock Exchange recently that Asian Infrastructure
Fund has demanded payment for its option shares in the company.

Corporate Secretary Enrique Quiason said the company was
notified on October 25 by AIF, the regional investment arm of
the AIG Group, that it is exercising the option to require
Benpres to acquire or buy back class A shares held by AIF in
BayanTel, which is 47.32-percent owned by Benpres.

The Benpres Holdings Corporation is the parent company of
BayanTel, one of the most debt-laden units in the group.

According to The Philippine Star, under a shareholders agreement
(SA) entered by Benpres with certain shareholders or option
holders of BayanTel, the shareholders have the option to require
the repurchase of their shares, under certain conditions, "upon
the occurrence of certain events specified in the SA or in 2002,
whichever comes first."

It was stipulated that the value of the option shares will be
determined only when the shareholders exercise their option in
October 2002.  Benpres said it was their position that the price
should not be more than $52 million (inclusive of subsequent
relevant equity calls plus interest) although the option holders
have indicated that the value of the option is higher.

Mr. Quiason said Benpres has now put the cap on the price of the
option shares at $45.5 million, equivalent to a six percent
stake in BayanTel, although "AIF is claiming a higher number of
shares and a higher purchase price."

Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific previously said that the
company is working on a plan to restructure some $477 million in
debts this year.   Last year, the company sought a write-off of
25 percent of its unsecured debts and 18 months worth of
interest charges starting January 19, 2001.  Some $226 million
of the company's debts are unsecured.


PHILIPPINE LONG: Observers Say Mobile Unit to Keep 3Q in Black
--------------------------------------------------------------
Analysts expect Philippine Long Distance Co. to announce next
week higher third quarter net income despite the ownership row
that brewed and sent stocks plunging to an 11-year low during
the quarter.

In separate interviews with The Philippine Star, the market
observers said their positive forecast is based on the continued
revenue growth of PLDT's key cellular unit Smart Communications,
which contributes more than 40 percent of total recurring
income.  They did not provide specific figures, other than to
say that Tuesday's results would be in black.

Analysts said the public feud that ensued between two of Asia's
prominent families and PLDT management was unlikely to have
caused material impact on third quarter earnings.  They,
however, cautioned that a prolong row over the same or similar
matter could have negative impact.

In early June, First Pacific Co. Ltd., the Hong Kong
conglomerate controlled by Indonesia's Salim family, said it was
seeking to sell its controlling 24.4 percent stake in PLDT to
the Manila-based Gokongwei family, which owns a rival telecom
firm.

The deal fell through at the end of September after management
officials blocked it, arguing it was not in the best interest of
all shareholders.

"The ownership row has not had any impact on earnings but it has
hurt the stock price. However, at some point it will hurt the
operational performance. If it drags for a year or so it might
impact the future refinancing of debt," Philippine Equity
Partners research head Jojo Gonzales told The Philippine Star in
an interview.

The stock price in the quarter plunged 25.3 percent to 11-year
lows as the verbal and legal sparring by the two sides hit
investor confidence in the company.

PLDT posted consolidated first-half net income before preferred
dividends of P2.75 billion ($51.8 million) after recording 1.3
billion in the first quarter.  In the nine months to September
2001, it posted net income of P2.4 billion. No third-quarter
breakdown was provided by PLDT but analysts have estimated it at
about P1 billion.

The consensus forecast in the Multex Global Estimates Directory
is for 2002 net income of 4.23 billion with earnings per share
of P25.06, The Philippine Star said.

In 2001, the company posted net income of P3.41 billion.


UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT: First Pacific Wants Bank, Transit Project
---------------------------------------------------------------
Troubled Unitrust Development Bank is actively being pursued by
First Federal Banking Corp., which has again re-affirmed its
interest in taking over the bank and a transit project, says the
Business World.

In a letter addressed to Unitrust Chairman Francis Yuseco, First
Federal associate director Alice Te said the group repeated its
"continued interest" in Unitrust and the Philtrak Bus Rapid
Transit project.  According to the paper, First Federal is
offering PHP1 billion for Unitrust and Philtrak.

"We will work out some special financial arrangement for the
capitalization of our bank or related investment arm with a view
to taking over (Unitrust) and for the investment in Philtrak,"
First Federal said in its letter.

The Philtrak project is an alternative transportation line
approved during the Ramos administration, which will allow buses
seating an estimated 210 passengers to travel along Taguig to
Novaliches and vice-versa via C5.  The project was temporarily
shelved during the Estrada administration.  Mr. Yuseco said he
plans to revive the project.

First Federal proposes to invest in both Philtrak and Unitrust,
Business World said.

"The investment in Philtrak is in conjunction with our
acquisition of (Unitrust).  We will not invest in (the bank) if
we cannot be in control of the Philtrak project," First Federal
said.

First Federal was established in the early 1990s and is based in
Palau, Papua New Guinea.  It has branches in the United States,
Taiwan, China, and in Europe.  It is engaged in banking and
foreign exchange trading.

Mr. Yuseco and his partners, lawyer Leopoldo Valcarcel and
businessman Pedro Montanez, control 60% of Unitrust.  Mr. Yuseco
said his group is still open to talks with Citystate Savings
Bank but he said the latter has not submitted a concrete
proposal on Unitrust's rehabilitation.

In a previous report, TCR-Asia Pacific said the Philippine
Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) is considering liquidating
the bank after Citystate Saving, the sole proponent for the
rehabilitation of the closed bank, was unable to meet its
requirements.  A restraining order is all that prevents the
deposit insurer from carrying out its plan.



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


NATSTEEL LTD.: Ong Beng Seng Only Wants Majority, Not 100%
----------------------------------------------------------
Ong Beng Seng, who is bidding for NatSteel Ltd, does not intend
to take 100 percent control of the steel maker, a top aide told
The Business Times Wednesday.

"We are happy with 50 plus one per cent. That's our condition,"
David Ban, director of Mr. Ong's investment vehicle 98 Holdings,
told the paper.

Mr. Ban said in a telephone interview that 98 Holdings was not
looking to take NatSteel private, and therefore would not be
looking for a minimum 90 percent acceptance for its offer.

Recently, NatSteel announced that corporate raider Oei Hong
Leong has raised his stake in the company to more than 12
percent. Mr. Oei bought 5.37 million shares in the open market
on Tuesday at prices ranging from $2.00 to $2.05.

Analysts see the move by Mr. Oei, who has forked out about $91
million so far to become the largest single shareholder in
NatSteel, as a tactic to force 98 Holdings to revise its offer
price of $2.00 again, having upped it from $1.93 just last week,
the paper said.

Mr. Ban did not comment on the speculation.

Singapore-based Mr. Oei, the son of the founder of Indonesia's
Sinar Mar Group, Oei Ek Tjong, which controls debt-laden Asia
Pulp & Paper, has not made an offer for NatSteel but said his
purchases were "an opportunity to invest in Singapore."

NatSteel, which has three profitable steel milling operations in
China, also has a management buyout deal on the table, which
values the company at $1.90 a share, the paper said.


ST ASSEMBLY: Posts Seventh Red Quarter, But Losses Now Small
------------------------------------------------------------
Third quarter losses of ST Assembly Test Services has narrowed
on account of improved sales, but this did not prevent the
company from posting its seventh consecutive quarter of losses,
The Business Times said yesterday.

For its third quarter ended September, the microchip test and
assembly firm racked up a net loss of US$17.6 million on sales
of US$63 million.  This is better than the estimated average
US$27 million net loss on revenues of US$54 million cited in a
Bloomberg poll, the paper said.

Compared to its financials a year ago, the chip tester's 3Q
showing demonstrated a sharp turnaround.  The firm posted a
record loss of US$134 million for FY2001.

Net revenues advanced from 3Q01, up 23 percent sequentially over
2Q02.  In the same period, the company pared its net loss from
US$32 million a year ago and reduced it by US$4 million, or 18.5
per cent, from its 2Q02 loss, the paper said.

The firm's latest results bring its net losses to US$66 million
for the nine months ended September, compared to a net loss of
US$87 million in the same period last year, the paper added.


ST ASSEMBLY: Thanks to Strong Sales Jobs Remain
-----------------------------------------------
There will be no retrenchment in ST Assembly Test Services even
if the company recently posted its seventh consecutive quarter
of loss, says The Business Times.

The company said strong sales momentum in the past four quarters
has kept its 2,500-strong workforce busy.  

In an interview with The Business Times, Tan Lay Koon, president
and chief executive officer, said: "We have no plans for any
headcount reduction. I'm seeing a lot more activity today than
in the past several quarters. You don't grow 20 percent quarter-
on-quarter on revenue without having to do a lot more in terms
of unit."

Loss-making Stats is majority owned by the Singapore
Technologies group.  Its ST stablemates, ST Kinetics and
Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, made the headlines this
month after they laid off 760 people altogether.

Mr. Tan said Stats has kept a tight lid on its costs by better
managing its asset depreciation, as well as material and payroll
costs.  Senior management at Stats took a pay cut in May last
year, but no additional wage cuts have been made since then, Mr.
Tan added.

Stats posted a net loss of US$17.6 million for 3Q02.




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,
Salve M. Mordeno, Maria Cristina Pernites-Lao, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  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
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                 *** End of Transmission ***