TCRAP_Public/040204.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                   A S I A   P A C I F I C

         Wednesday, February 4, 2004, Vol. 7, No. 23

                         Headlines
A U S T R A L I A

AUSTRALIAN GAS: Unveils Long-Term Incentive Plan
CARTER HOLT: Newbridge Withdraws Bid
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: Bank Chief Quits With $14M
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: New CEO Outlines Survival Strategy


C H I N A  & H O N G K O N G

GOLDMOR INTERNATIONAL: Faces Winding up Petition
GRANDFAIR CORPORATION: Winding Up Hearing Set February 18
HONG KONG CAPITAL: Faces Winding Up Petition
XL MACHINE: Hong Court Sets Winding Up Hearing February 25


I N D O N E S I A

BANK MANDIRI: Government Plans to Raise Sales to 20%
BANK PERMATA: Foreign Investors Shows Takeover Interest


J A P A N

KANEBO LIMITED: S&P Places Kao on CreditWatch Negative
MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Likely to Receive US$1.9B Capital Injection
MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Shares Up 9.5% on Sale Report
SAMPEI KIKAKU: Files for Special Liquidation Proceedings
UBE INDUSTRIES: JCR Affirms BBB-/J-2 Ratings


K O R E A

SK CORPORATION: Wellington Buys 5% Stake
SK CORPORATION: Launches Panel to Recommend Director Candidates
SSANGYONG MOTOR: Creditors Threaten to Cut Off Funds


M A L A Y S I A

BUKIT KATIL: Releases Update on Loan Facilities
PILECON ENGINEERING: SC Rejects Restructuring Proposal
PILECON ENGINEERING: Issues Default Status Update


P H I L I P P I N E S

HIJOS DE: Vivant Clarifies Restraining Order Report
NATIONAL STEEL: Steel Plant Reopens Tuesday
PARAGON MINING: Sets Capital Restructuring Plan
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Launches Las Vegas Service March 16


S I N G A P O R E

ASIA EAST: Issues Preferential Dividend Notice
BLUEFIN FINE: Issues Winding Up Order Notice
IMAGINIA PTE: Petition to Wind Up Pending
MOUTH KITCHEN: Petition to Wind Up Pending
SPPM PTE: Creditors Must Submit Claims by March 2


T H A I L A N D

NEP REALTY: Issues Debt Status Update
SINO-THAI: Releases Tender Offer Update   

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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


AUSTRALIAN GAS: Unveils Long-Term Incentive Plan
------------------------------------------------
The Australian Gas Light Company applies for the quotation of
additional securities as part of its long-term incentive plan.

To view full copy of this press release, click
http://bankrupt.com/misc/australian_gas.pdf


CARTER HOLT: Newbridge Withdraws Bid
------------------------------------
A San Francisco private equity fund, Newbridge Capital, withdrew
from the bidding for Carter Holt Harvey's paper tissue business
because it found the $630 million valuation too high, reports
the Sydney Morning Herald.

Newbridge is a joint venture between Richard Blum's Blum Capital
Partners and David Bonderman's Texas Pacific Group. Weijian
Shan, Newbridge managing director, declined to comment.

The withdrawal leaves Svenska Cellulosa, Europe's biggest tissue
maker, and three private investment firms as bidders.

But high hopes remain to the bidders, JPMorgan Partners,
Catalyst Investment Managers and Pacific Equity Partners.

"Svenska is the most likely buyer," said Mr. Montgomery, who
manages the equivalent of $US100 million ($131 million).

Carter Holt is half-owned by Connecticut's International Paper
Co, the world's biggest paper and timber producer.

Private equity firms buy companies mostly with borrowed money,
bidding to turn around the business and generate returns, often
through a public share sale.

Carter Holt's tissue business is the biggest seller of toilet
paper, tissues, napkins and paper towels in Australia and New
Zealand. Its Experko division is the sole napkin supplier to
McDonald's, Burger King, Hungry Jack's and KFC fast-food
restaurants in the region.

Svenska chief executive Jan Aastroem said last November the
company had a "clear interest" in buying the tissues subsidiary.

The two companies operate a venture that makes and sells
products under the Libra brand.

However, Deutsche Bank has advised Svenska on its bid.

Credit Suisse First Boston and first Capital NZ advised Carter
Holt chief executive Peter Springford said that the tissue
business might be sold privately or through a public share
offer.

Carnegie Wylie advised Newbridge, while Catalyst Investment is
being advised by Macquarie Bank and Georgica Associates is
working with JPMorgan Capital.

Catalyst associate director John Story was not available for
comment. Carnegie Wylie, Pacific Equity Partners and Georgica
Associates officials were also not available.

Newbridge bought 51 percent of Korea First Bank in 2000. In its
latest South Korean investment, Newbridge, together with
American International Group, won shareholder approval in
October to buy control of Hanaro Telecom, Korea's second-largest
high-speed internet provider, for $US500 million.


NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: Bank Chief Quits With $14M
----------------------------------------------
National Australia Bank chief executive Frank Cicutto has
resigned following the $360 million foreign exchange trading
scandal and walked away with a $14 million payout.

His replacement, Mr. John Stewart, a Scotsman is a "good friend"
of Cicutto and has worked with the National for only six months
with limited banking experience to Great Britain.

According to The Age, Mr. Stewart promised to restore pride and
morale to the battered bank.

In the National Australia Bank's 146-year history, Stewart
becomes the first non-Australian Chief Executive.

Mr. Cicutto's resignation made the investors happy and pushed
shares 46 cents higher to $31.02 the highest share trade since
October.

However, some bank's largest shareholders are worried about the
new CEO's banking experience. They said that several directors
including chairman, Charles Allen should leave as well.

Mr. Allen decline to comment on the matter. Rather, he defended
the board's banking expertise that several National directors
had experience "of one kind or another" with the foreign
exchange options that caused the dilemma.

Prime Minister John Howard said Mr. Cicutto's resignation was a
matter for NAB, its board and shareholders.

"He's obviously decided that that is the correct thing to do and
I certainly wouldn't criticize it," Mr. Howard said.

Labor said the resignation was welcome news for the bank's
shareholders and employees.

However, the party will move to amend corporate law to give
shareholders a say on the size of "golden handshakes" to rein in
executive payouts.

Opposition finance spokesman Bob McMullan said Labor would also
look at ways to stop the full tax deductibility of the
"excessive" payments.

"It is a payout beyond the dreams of most people and I am sure
they would be shocked to think that 30 percent of it is tax
deductible for the National Australia Bank and they are
effectively subsiding this payment," Mr. McMullan said.

The outspoken managing director of fund manager 452 Capital,
Peter Morgan, said he remained concerned about financial
services companies that had "independent directors on boards
that have no or no apparent experience in banking or
sophisticated investment devices such as derivatives".

Deutsche Asset Management fund manager Shawn Burns said: "I
think the board needs to be shaken up. It is a bit of a soft
touch."

Argo Investments managing director Robert Patterson said: "We
wouldn't be surprised to see changes to the board".

Mr. Allen said Mr. Cicutto made his decision to resign last
Friday, three weeks into the controversy that began when the
bank discovered four of its dealers had, without authorization,
traded foreign exchange options covering 22,000 contracts. The
traders, who remain suspended with full pay, are also alleged to
have created fake trades to cover up the losses.

Mr. Allen said the National's board accepted Mr. Cicutto's
resignation on Friday and appointed Mr. Stewart as his
replacement the next day.

Mr. Stewart arrived in Australia Monday morning.

He described Mr. Cicutto as one of the finest bankers in
Australia, who loved the National so much that he felt it was
his duty to resign once investors had lost confidence in his
ability.

Despite their friendship, Mr. Stewart yesterday criticized the
timing of Mr. Cicutto's resignation. "Frank loved this company
and I say that in the present tense and not in the past tense,"
Mr. Stewart said.

"(However) I think that even though he felt that way, I don't
think his timing was right."


NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: New CEO Outlines Survival Strategy
------------------------------------------------------
Hours after flying into Melbourne from his home in Scotland,
National Australia Bank (NAB)'s new Chief Executive officer
(CEO) John Stewart provided a mordant blast at the bank's
condition.

"I think it's fair to say it hasn't been fulfilling its
potential," he said.

Market analysts said Mr. Stewart's appointment, as Frank
Cicutto's replacement was a badly needed circuit breaker for
NAB's share price.

Macquarie Research Equities described him as "the logical
internal candidate and obvious replacement".

"All the key risks built into NAB's share price are now gone,"
an analyst said in a research note.

"Principally, the two major factors were NAB's acquisitive
nature and low credibility of management, principally that of
Frank Cicutto whom the market has decry for some time, rightly
or wrongly."

Mr. Stewart outlined a broad strategy to revive the bank's
fortunes after the great fiasco.

He indicated the plan would extend the strategy he had
masterminded since August as NAB's boss in Britain where he had
encountered similar problems.

"The biggest thing ... I have to do is to restore confidence,
get the pride back in the organization and get clear direction
for what we're going to do," Mr. Stewart said.

He said NAB "rightly should be one of Australia's finest
institutions" of which "all of the stakeholders should be justly
proud".

"By stakeholders I mean its owners - the shareholders -
customers, the staff and the community.

"I think clearly and sadly this is not the case at present."

Mr. Stewart said before he unveiled "any grand strategies" he
would spend an unspecified period of time listening to those
stakeholders' concerns.

While he did not reveal how long he would serve at NAB's helm he
indicated he was there to fix the bank's problems. "I'm here for
the war, not for the peace," he said.

"I came here firstly to stabilize the ship. Once the ship is
stabilized we have to listen and devise a strategy for long-term
profit."

In an indication of how unprepared the NAB board was for Mr.
Cicutto's resignation, Mr. Stewart said he had no idea how much
he would be paid.

"What's happened was I was asked by the board to come and do a
job," Mr. Stewart said.

He said the bank's problems ran deeper than the bank's latest
misfortune - losing at least $360 million through allegedly
unauthorized foreign exchange options deals.

"When I look at the reaction in this country over the last few
weeks it's not just about a forex scandal, is it?" he said.
"This is about confidence in the bank."


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


GOLDMOR INTERNATIONAL: Faces Winding up Petition
------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong will hear on March 17, 2004 at 9:30
in the morning the petition seeking the winding up of Goldmore
International Investment Limited.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited at 14th Floor, Bank of China
Tower, No. 1 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong filed the petition
on January 9, 2004. Chow, Griffiths & Chan represents the
petitioner.

Creditors and other interested parties are encouraged to attend
the hearing.  They only need to notify in writing Chow,
Griffiths & Chan at Rooms 1902-4, 19th Floor Hang Seng Building,
77 Des Voeux Road Central Hong Kong.


GRANDFAIR CORPORATION: Winding Up Hearing Set February 18
---------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong will hear on February 18, 2004 at
9:30 A.M. the petition seeking the winding up of Grandfair
Corporation Limited.

Hollywood Palace Company Limited whose principal place of
business is situated at Top Floor, Chinachem Golden Plaza, 77
Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong filed the
petition on December 9, 2003. Ford Kwan & Company represents the
petitioner.

Creditors and other interested parties are encouraged to attend
the hearing.  They only need to notify in writing Ford Kwan &
Company at Rooms 1202-1206, 12th Floor, Wheelock House, Central
Hong Kong.


HONG KONG CAPITAL: Faces Winding Up Petition
--------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong will hear on March 10, 2004 at 9:30
in the morning the petition seeking the winding up of Hong Kong
Capital Strategies Limited.

Neweast Development Limited whose principal place of business is
situated at Top Floor, Chinachem Golden Plaza, 77 Mody Road,
Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong filed the petition on
December 30, 2003. Ford Kwan & Company represents the
petitioner.

Creditors and other interested parties are encouraged to attend
the hearing.  They only need to notify in writing Ford Kwan &
Company at Rooms 1202-1206, 12th Floor, Wheelock House, Central
Hong Kong.


XL MACHINE: Hong Court Sets Winding Up Hearing February 25
----------------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong will hear on February 25, 2004 at
9:30 A.M. the petition seeking the winding up of XL Machine
Limited.

Hollywood Palace Company Limited whose principal place of
business is situated at Top Floor, Chinachem Golden Plaza, 77
Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong filed the
petition on December 16, 2003. Ford Kwan & Company represents
the petitioner.

Creditors and other interested parties are encouraged to attend
the hearing.  They only need to notify in writing Ford Kwan &
ompany at Rooms 1202-1206, 12th Floor, Wheelock House, Central
Hong Kong.


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


BANK MANDIRI: Government Plans to Raise Sales to 20%
----------------------------------------------------
The Indonesian government plans to increase the size of its
stake sale in PT Bank Mandiri to 20 percent instead of 10
percent via private placement later this year, reports the
IndoExchange. The government said it has invited eight
securities companies to submit underwriting proposals.

The country's largest lender is one of several companies the
government plans to sell this year to raise 5 trillion rupiah
for the state budget. Earlier this year, the government said it
was planning to sell a 10 percent stake in Bank Mandiri.
However, last year they sold a 20 percent stake in Bank Mandiri
through an initial public offering.


BANK PERMATA: Foreign Investors Shows Takeover Interest
-------------------------------------------------------
Many Singaporean and Hong Kong investors as well as local
commercial banks have shown interest in acquiring PT Bank
Permata, Dow Jones reports.

According to the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA),
they hope to sell a 71 percent stake in Bank Permata by the end
of the June.

The government created Bank Permata in September 2002 through
merging five failed banks, including PT Bank Bali. The
government owns a 97.17% stake in the bank, while public
investors hold the remaining share.

Bank Permata is the final large bank left on IBRA's books. The
government set up IBRA after the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis
to help bail out the banking system, but the agency is set to
formally close at the end of this month.

The government is likely to take over the sale of Bank Permata
after IBRA closes.


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


KANEBO LIMITED: S&P Places Kao on CreditWatch Negative
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has placed its 'AA' credit
rating on Kao Corporation on CreditWatch with negative
implications, following the Company's decision to fully acquire
the cosmetics division of Kanebo Limited.

In October 2003, the firms agreed to consolidate their
respective cosmetics businesses. Initially, Kanebo planned to
spin off its cosmetics divisions into a new company, in which
Kao would purchase a 49 percent equity stake and transfer its
cosmetics divisions by March 2007. On January 31, 2004, however,
the companies announced that Kao would take full ownership of
the cosmetics unit.  

In resolving the CreditWatch status, Standard & Poor's will
analyze the financial impact of the acquisition price and
financing strategy on Kao's credit quality as details emerge.  
In the long term, Standard & Poor's expects the acquisition to
have positive effects on Kao's business franchise, as it stands
to benefit from Kanebo's stronger cosmetics brand recognition
and distribution network in Japan and abroad.   

Given Kao's ample liquidity and high operating efficiency,
underpinned by 22 consecutive years of profit growth, Standard &
Poor's expects that any potential rating downgrade will be
within one notch.


MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Likely to Receive US$1.9B Capital Injection
--------------------------------------------------------------
Struggling automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will
likely receive a 200 billion yen (US$1.9 billion) capital
injection from its biggest shareholder German-U.S.
DaimlerChrysler and the Mitsubishi group companies, Channel News
Asia reports. The capital infusion will take place by March 31
in exchange for newly issued preferred shares.

DaimlerChrysler is expected to provide about 70 billion yen,
with Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy and Bank of Tokyo-
Mitsubishi collectively providing another 70 billion yen. The
remaining capital would come from other Mitsubishi group firms.
Mitsubishi corporate group members, including Mitsubishi
Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Bank of Tokyo-
Mitsubishi, will become involved in all facets of the
automaker's operations in the hope of revitalizing the company.


MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Shares Up 9.5% on Sale Report
------------------------------------------------
Shares of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation increased 9.5 percent on
Monday after reports that it will sell 200 billion yen (US$1.89
billion) of preferred shares to Mitsubishi group companies and
DaimlerChrysler AG by the end of March, Bloomberg News reports.
Mitsubishi Heavy will send Managing Director Yoichiro Okazaki to
Mitsubishi Motors as Chairman, while Mitsubishi Corporation will
dispatch an executive to be Executive Vice President, the report
said.


SAMPEI KIKAKU: Files for Special Liquidation Proceedings
--------------------------------------------------------
Sampei Kikaku Co. Ltd. filed an application for commencement of
special liquidation proceedings with the Tokyo court, reports
the Tokyo Shoko Research. The real estate firm, which is located
at Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan has 11.8 billion yen in liabilities
against a capital of 25 million yen.


UBE INDUSTRIES: JCR Affirms BBB-/J-2 Ratings
--------------------------------------------
Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) has affirmed the preliminary
BBB- and the J-2 ratings on the shelf registration, bonds and CP
program of Ube Industries Ltd., respectively.

Shelf Registration:
Maximum: Y25 billion
Valid: two years effective from April 4, 2002

Issues Amount (billion) Issue Date Due Date Coupon

Bonds no.1 Y5 Feb. 21, 2000 Feb. 21, 2005 2.41%
Bonds no.3 Y7 Apr. 28, 2000 Apr. 28, 2006 2.66%
Bonds no.4 Y7 Apr. 28, 2000 Apr. 28, 2005 2.35%
Bonds no.5 Y7 Sept. 4, 2001 Sept. 4, 2006 1.43% convertible
Bonds
No.3 Y20 Sept. 5, 1996 Sept. 30, 2005 1.25% convertible Bonds
No.4 Y20 Sept. 5, 1996 Sept. 30, 2008 1.40%

CP:
Maximum: Y30 billion
Backup Line: 0%

RATIONALE:

Ube Industries is a large chemical firm with lactam and nylon
being primary products. It is also engaged in business areas
other than chemicals such as cement. The financial targets in
the mid-term management plan will be attained through sell-offs
of assets. Ube Industries gives priority to obtaining sufficient
cash flows according to the mid-term management plan ending
fiscal 2003. However, earnings targets are expected to be
unattainable due in part to delay in growing business.

Although the financial structure improved with the interest-
bearing debt being reduced due to restructuring and cutback on
assets, the debt level remains high. Improvement in the
financial structure will be the largest issue to be addressed
continually. JCR will pay attention to the future developments
as to how Ube Industries can push forward improvement in
earnings structure as well as that in financial structure.


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


SK CORPORATION: Wellington Buys 5% Stake
----------------------------------------
U.S. investor Wellington Management Co. has bought 5.03 percent
of SK Corporation, apparently part of coordinated efforts to
unseat the South Korean management of the nation's largest oil
refiner, Yonhap News reports. Another U.S. investment firm
Templeton Asset Management also reported last week that it
bought more shares to claim a 5.04 percent stake in the firm.


SK CORPORATION: Launches Panel to Recommend Director Candidates
---------------------------------------------------------------
SK Corporation has launched an advisory panel to recommend
candidates for outside directors to be nominated at its
shareholders meeting next month, Yonhap News said on Tuesday.

The panel consists of five members, including Lee Seung-yoon, a
former prime minister, Yang Mahn-ki, chairman of the Korea
Investment Trust Companies Association, and Choi Do-soung, a
Seoul National University professor, said SK Corporation, the de
facto holding company of the nation's third largest
conglomerate, SK Group.


SSANGYONG MOTOR: Creditors Threaten to Cut Off Funds
----------------------------------------------------  
Creditors of Ssaangyong Motor Co. are threatening to suspend
their financial support to the ailing automaker union members
block the Company's sale to China National Bluestar Group
Corporation. Suspension of the workout program would mean
cutting all available credit lines to the Company.


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


BUKIT KATIL: Releases Update on Loan Facilities
-----------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Bukit Katil Resources Berhad posted an
update on its loan facilities as follows:

BUMIPUTRA-COMMERCE BANK BERHAD

Hearing for summary judgment has been fixed on 4 March 2004.

The Company's efforts to procure alternative financing to fully
settle the defaulted sums are still pending a successful
outcome.

OCBC BANK (MALAYSIA) BERHAD

OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad has obtained an order for sale on 14
November 2003 on Omega Bricks Sdn Bhd land held under Grant Reg
No. 31, Lot No 5058 Mukim Gunung Semanggol, Daerah Krian, Negeri
Perak. The company has filed a Notice of Appeal against the said
Order for Sale.

OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad has also obtained a winding-up
petition under Section 218(2) of the Companies Act, 1965 on 6
October 2003 and was served on the company on 14 November 2003.
The winding-up petition, which came for hearing on 28 January
2004, has been postponed to 21 April 2004. The company is still
actively negotiating with other financial institutions to
refinance the outstanding sums.

ALLIANCE MERCHANT BANK BERHAD

The company is still in the process of seeking alternative
financing from other financial institutions for the repayment of
the defaulted sums.

The Board of Directors of BKATIL would like to further provide
an update on the details of all facilities currently in default
in compliance with Section 3.1 of Practice Note 1/2001.

Borrowings in default as at 31 December 2003 with Bumiputra-
Commerce Bank Berhad, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad and Alliance
Merchant Bank Berhad are shown below:

To view full copy of this press release, click
http://bankrupt.com/misc/bukitkatil0203.htm


PILECON ENGINEERING: SC Rejects Restructuring Proposal
------------------------------------------------------
Alliance Merchant Bank Berhad on behalf of the Board of Pilecon
Engineering Bhd announced that the Securities Commission (SC),
via its letter dated 29 January 2004, rejected the Company's
restructuring proposals, based on the following factors:

(i) The proposed acquisition of a piece of freehold land known
as Bandar Bukit Bayu mixed housing and commercial development
project at Lot Nos. 11156 and 1570, Mukim of Plentong, District
of Johor Bahru, Johor Darul Takzim from Mahabudi Development Sdn
Bhd (Mahabudi Land) does not comply with the requirements
stipulated under Paragraph 13.06 and 13.07 of the SC's Policies
& Guidelines on Issue/Offer of Securities ("SC's Guidelines").
The SC had noted that Alliance, on behalf of the Board of
Pilecon, had in the application to the SC dated 29 August 2003
sought an exemption from having to comply with the above said
requirements of the SC's Guidelines; and

(ii) Viability of the development project to be undertaken on
the Mahabudi Land as:

- The project has been abandoned by Pilecon in 2001 as Pilecon
did not have sufficient funds to fund the development project;
and

- The existence of other larger and more established development
by other parties in the vicinity of the Mahabudi Land.

The Board of Pilecon shall deliberate on the next course of
action and an announcement in relation to the same would be made
in due course.

Collectively referred to as the "Proposals" are:

- Proposed Two-Call Rights Issue;
- Proposed Acquisition of Mahabudi Land;
- Proposed Debt Restructuring Scheme, involving:
- Proposed Cash Settlement;
- Proposed Debt-to-Equity Conversion;
- Proposed Issuance of RCSLS-A; and
- Proposed Issuance of ICULS


PILECON ENGINEERING: Issues Default Status Update
-------------------------------------------------
Pilecon Engineering Berhad announced that there have not been
any changes to the status of default since December 31, 2003.

The Securities Commission has vide their letter dated 29 January
2004 rejected the Proposed Scheme of Arrangement of the Company.
The Board shall therefore deliberate on the next course of
action and announcement in relation thereto shall be made in due
course.


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


HIJOS DE: Vivant Clarifies Restraining Order Report
---------------------------------------------------
Vivant Corporation (VVT) clarifies the news article entitled
"Vivant obtains TRO on Hijos liquidation" published in the
February 3, 2004 issue of the Manila Times.

The article reported that: "Listed firm Vivant Corporation and
the prominent Garcia group of Cebu City have secured a temporary
restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals (CA) against
the earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City on
the partial liquidation of private holding firm Hijos de F.
Ecano Inc. and the creation of a management committee to
supervise the operations of the Company. The TRO, which was
granted on January 30, would be effective for 60 days."

Vivant Corporation (VVT), in its letter dated February 3, 2004,
stated that:

"We confirm the veracity of the news article contained in your
attached news article. A temporary restraining order (TRO) was
issued by the Fifteenth Division of the Court of Appeals last
January 30, 2004, 'enjoining respondents and everyone acting for
and in their behalf from implementing the Decision of respondent
court date January 8, 2004 in SRC Case No. 045-CEB." The said
TRO is effective for sixty days from the date of issuance.

Moreover, the Court of Appeals set the hearing on Vivant
Corporation and its co-petitioners' application for the issuance
of the writ of preliminary injunction on February 18, 2004 at 2
P.M. at the Court of Appeals in Manila.

For a copy of the resolution granting the TRO, go to
http://www.pse.org.ph/html/disclosure/pdf/dc2004_579_VVT.pdf


NATIONAL STEEL: Steel Plant Reopens Tuesday
-------------------------------------------
The National Steel Corporation (NSC) reopened on Tuesday after
closing down in 1999, the Philippine Star reports. The reopening
of the Iligan-based steel plant follows the formal signing on
Thursday of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between NSC's
creditor banks and Indian's Global Infrastructure Holdings Ltd.,
which will lead the rehabilitation of the mothballed plant.

With its reopening, the steel plant is expected to contribute
about 4 billion pesos to the country's gross domestic product,
130 million pesos to Iligan City in the form of a real estate
taxes, 27 million pesos in local taxes and 1 billion pesos in
taxes to the national government.


PARAGON MINING: Sets Capital Restructuring Plan
-----------------------------------------------
United Paragon Mining Corporation has come up with a capital
restructuring plan to address its negative stockholders equity
and avoid delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange, AFX Asia
reports. The Company plans to reduce its subscribed and paid-up
capital stock by 50 percent, increase its authorized capital
stock by way of conversion of existing liabilities to affiliates
into common shares and issue new common shares.

The reduction in subscribed and paid-up capital stock will
reduce its deficit by 460 million pesos. As of end-October 2003,
the deficit stood at 1.4 billion pesos.
      

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Launches Las Vegas Service March 16
--------------------------------------------------------
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will launch a new route to Las Vegas
via Vancouver on 16 March 2004, kicking into high gear the flag
carrier's recovery effort while laying the groundwork for
further forays into new markets, a Company statement said.

The new service means the current four-times-weekly service
between Manila and Vancouver will be revamped.  From 16 March
2004, departure from Manila will be moved to an earlier time to
accommodate the extension leg to Las Vegas.

Flight PR 106 will now depart Manila every Tuesday, Thursday,
Saturday and Sunday at 4:40 P.M.  Arrival in Vancouver is 12:45
P.M. the same day.  The service continues on to Las Vegas at
2:15 P.M., arriving there at 4:40 P.M.

The return service, PR107, departs Las Vegas at 6:40 P.M. on the
same days, arriving Vancouver at 9:15 P.M. It departs the
Canadian city at 10:45 p.m. and arrives in Manila at 5:20 a.m.
two calendar days later.

PAL has full traffic rights between Vancouver and Las Vegas.  
Airbus A340-300 aircraft will be deployed on the same-plane
route to the North American points.

Las Vegas will be PAL's fifth US destination (after Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam) and 24th internationally.  It
also flies to 18 points in the Philippines.

"We are thrilled to be adding to our network such an exciting
destination as Las Vegas, in tandem with Vancouver.  This
underscores our commitment to serve our customers in this
important aviation sector in North America," said PAL president
Avelino L. Zapanta.

The new service kicks off the summer travel season, one of the
busiest periods in the Philippine travel calendar and a crucial
test of PAL's resolve to regain lost ground after SARS and other
crises hit it hard last year.

The airline was battered by the outbreak of the Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome virus that gutted its markets in Asia, as
well as by security, terrorism, military mutiny and other
worries that gripped the Philippines throughout 2003.

This led to a sharp drop in revenue and PAL projects a net loss
of between 700 million pesos and 800 million pesos at the close
of its fiscal year on 31 March 2004.

But with passenger traffic showing impressive gains in recent
months, PAL is methodically putting in place the elements for
recovery.  Last 21 December 2003, the airline took delivery of
its fifth Boeing 747-400 and 30th aircraft overall.  The jet
alternates on the busy trans-Pacific and premium Japan routes.

"The opening of the Las Vegas route provides a new income stream
for PAL," said Zapanta.  "The service is aimed mainly at the
high-yield leisure market out of Vancouver and Western Canada
for whom the gaming tables and nightlife of Las Vegas is a major
attraction."

Some incremental traffic from Manila is also expected,
particularly balikbayans or Filipino-Americans living in the
Rocky Mountain states of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

The Las Vegas launch presages a planned enlargement of the PAL
network as the flag carrier bids to stake out new ground away
from its traditional bastions of the US West Coast and Northeast
Asia.

"New destinations in Europe, India and China are being eyed and
PAL has commissioned in-depth studies on these markets.  A
decision on whether to introduce service to these points is
expected in the 2004-2005 fiscal year starting 01 April,"
Zapanta added.

The upshot of all these efforts is to turn the airline around
and put it back on track to sustained profitability.  Since
entering a government-supervised rehabilitation program in 1999,
PAL has booked profits in three out of five fiscal years.

The exceptions are 2001-2002, a period which covered the events
and aftermath of September 11, 2001, and the current 2002-2003
fiscal year.
   

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


ASIA EAST: Issues Preferential Dividend Notice
----------------------------------------------
Asia East International Pte Ltd. issued a notice of intended
preferential dividend as follows:

Address of Registered Office: Formerly of 1 Marine Parade,
Central #12-08/09 Singapore 449408.

Court: Supreme Court, Singapore.

Number of Matter: Companies Winding Up No. 169 of 1994.

Last Day for Receiving Proofs: 13th February 2004.

Name & Address of Liquidator: The Official Receiver
The URA Centre (East Wing)
45 Maxwell Road #06-11
Singapore 069118.

Dated: 30th January 2004.

SUNARI BIN KATENI
Assistant Official Receiver.


BLUEFIN FINE: Issues Winding Up Order Notice
--------------------------------------------
Bluefin Fine Seafoods Pte Ltd. issued a winding up order notice
made on January 16, 2004.

Name and Address of Liquidators: Mr Tay Swee Sze
Messrs Tay Swee Sze & Associates
30 Robinson Road
#04-01 Robinson Towers
Singapore 048546.

WONG TAN & MOLLY LIM LLC
Solicitors for the Petitioner.


IMAGINIA PTE: Petition to Wind Up Pending
-----------------------------------------
The petition to wind up Imaginia Pte Ltd. is set for hearing
before the High Court of the Republic of Singapore on February
13, 2004 at 10 o'clock in the morning. Hitachi Credit Singapore
Pte Ltd., a creditor, whose address is situated at 11-01,
Singapore 238856, filed the petition with the court on January
20, 2004.

The Petitioner's Solicitors are Messrs Guan Teck & Lim of 139
Cecil Street, #03-02 Cecil House, Singapore 069539. Any person
who intends to appear on the hearing of the petition must serve
on or send by post to Messrs Guan Teck & Lim a notice in writing
not later than twelve o'clock noon of the 12th day of February
2004 (the day before the day appointed for the hearing of the
petition).


MOUTH KITCHEN: Petition to Wind Up Pending
------------------------------------------
The petition to wind up Mouth Kitchen (Paya Lebar) Pte Ltd. is
set for hearing before the High Court of the Republic of
Singapore on February 13, 2004 at 10 o'clock in the morning.
Multi Food Industries Pte Ltd., a creditor, whose address is
situated at 25 Harper Road, #03-00 Hup Huat Food Industrial
Building, Singapore 369683, filed the petition with the court on
January 19, 2004.

The Petitioner's Solicitors are Messrs W. K. Fong & Company of
No. 133 New Bridge Road, #09-01 Chinatown Point, Singapore
059413. Any person who intends to appear on the hearing of the
petition must serve on or send by post to Messrs W. K. Fong &
Company a notice in writing not later than twelve o'clock noon
of the 12th day of February 2004 (the day before the day
appointed for the hearing of the petition).


SPPM PTE: Creditors Must Submit Claims by March 2
-------------------------------------------------
Notice is hereby given that the creditors of SPPM Pte Ltd. (In
Members' Voluntary Liquidation), whose debts or claims have not
already been admitted, are required on or before 2nd March 2004
to submit particulars of their debts or claims and any security
held by them to me.

In default of complying with this notice they will be excluded
from the benefit of any distribution made before their debts or
claims are proved or their priority is established and from
objecting to the distribution.

Dated this 30th day of January 2004.

LIM SAY WAN
Liquidator.
c/o 6 Shenton Way
#32-00 DBS Building Tower Two
Singapore 068809.


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


NEP REALTY: Issues Debt Status Update
-------------------------------------
NEP Realty and Industry Public Company Limited announced the
following:  

The Company has outstanding debts with NFS Asset Management
Company Limited (AMC-NFS) as per the following details:

Debts of Outstanding Principal that have to be paid according to
the Compromise Agreement on 4th July 2001:

Debt of 1st Part Principal 319.88million Baht
Debt of 2nd Part Principal 39.57million Baht
Debt of 1st Part Interest 145.66million Baht
Total 1st Part Debts 505.11million Baht
Debt of 2nd Part Interest, which will be forgiven upon paying
the 1st Part of Debts completely 100.40 million Baht

Total Debts of Outstanding
Principal and Interest 605.51 million Baht

Remarks:

1.The 1st part principal amount to pay interests for Year 1-4 is
equal to 4, 5, 6, and 7 percent per annum, for Year 5-8 is equal
to MLR.

2.The 2nd part principal amount to pay interests for Year 1-4 is
equal to 2 percent per annum, for Year 5-8 is equal to MLR.

3.The 3rd part principal amount will not have interest.

To view a full copy of this press release click on
http://bankrupt.com/misc/neprealty0203.htm


SINO-THAI: Releases Tender Offer Update   
----------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Sino-Thai Resources Development Public
Company Limited agreed that the offering price of the Company's
10 Baht was appropriate. The independent financial advisor
agreed that the share value of the Company should be suitably
assessed by the book value method and the adjusted book value
method.  Therefore the share value of the companies under both
methods is between 3.39-5.23 Baht per share. The offering prices
higher than the assessed value so the financial advisor believes
that the tender offer was appropriate but the shareholders may
choose to accept or reject the tender offer on their judgment
and may look into the opinion of the independent financial
advisor to support their decision.
  
Please be informed accordingly.

Sincerely yours,
Vitoon Somboon
Assistant Managing Director

To view full copy of this press release, click
http://bankrupt.com/misc/sino-thai0203.htm







                  *********


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., Frederick, Maryland USA. Lyndsey
Resnick, Ma. Cristina Pernites-Lao, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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