TCRAP_Public/080519.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, May 19, 2008, Vol. 11, No. 98

                            Headlines

A U S T R A L I A

ACN 007 665 778: Placed Under Voluntary Liquidation
AXNO PTY: Appoints Michael Edward Slaven as Liquidator
BAY VISTA: Appoints R. D. Pomery as Liquidator
BUSHLANDS: Schedules General Meeting on May 22
FUTURE INVESTMENTS: Placed Under Voluntary Liquidation

MICHAEL FARAONIO: Liquidator Presents Winding-up Report
MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class D Securities on Watch Neg.
MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class E Notes on Watch Negative
MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class F Notes on Watch Negative
MORONEY INVESTMENTS: Appoints Barry Hamilton as Liquidator

OPES PRIME: US Firm Agrees to Fund Class Action
PARK AVENUE: Liquidator Presents Wind-Up Report
PODS PTY: Liquidator Presents Winding-up Report
R. L. JONES: Supreme Court Enters Wind-Up Order
RAIL TRANSPORT: Appoints Anthony Matthews as Liquidator

ST. GEORGE: Fitch Puts B Individual Rating on Watch Positive
SUSSEX INLET: To Declare Dividend on May 22
ZINIFEX LTD: Finds Mineralisation in West Coast of Tasmania
ZINIFEX LTD: Fiscal 2008 Half Year Profit Increases by 74%


C H I N A

AES CORP: Moody's Puts B1 Rating on $600MM Sr. Unsecured Notes
CHESAPEAKE CORP: Obtains $250MM Replacement Facility from GECC
CHINA EASTERN: May Seal Stake Deal With Singapore Airlines
CY ORIENTAL: Gets Lender's Consent to File Records Until May 31
HAINAN AIR: Hires AirWorld Inc. as Sales Agent for North America

ZTE CORP: To Invest CNY100 Million in Handset Brand Promotion
* Fitch: Earthquake in China not an Immediate Issue for Insurers


H O N G  K O N G

ASCALADE COMM: Hong Kong Court OKs ACL's Scheme of Arrangement
CHI FUNG: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 4
ELITE RISE: Appoints New Liquidators
GLORYFIELD: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 25
HOI TAT: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 25

KWOK MAN: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 18
* HONG KONG: 1st Qtr 2008 Credit Card Lending Survey Results


I N D I A

AMERICAN AXLE: UAW Talks Stall Over Benefit Programs
CITY UNION BANK: Fitch Upgrades Individual Rating to 'D'
ICICI BANK: Offers to Lower EMIs; Increases Repayment Tenor
STATE BANK OF INDIA: Fitch Holds Individual Rating at C


I N D O N E S I A

* INDONESIA: GDP Grew 2.15% in First Quarter 2008


J A P A N

PIA CORP: To Reduce Workforce by One-Third
SHINGINKO TOKYO: FSA Resumes Probe on Lending Activities
TAKEFUJI CORP: FSA Eyes Penalty on Debt Collection


M A L A Y S I A

MAYBANK: CEO Says Bank to Focus on Organic Expansion
MAYBANK: S&P Revises Outlook to Stable from Positive


N E W  Z E A L A N D

CLEAR CHANNEL: Inks Settlement Pact with CC Media and Lenders
GLASS EARTH: Mr. Abramson Acquires 9,424,000 Company Shares
KIWI INCOME: Annual Profit Up 4.9% to NZ$123 Million
KIWI: Begins Construction of Car Park Building at Sylvia Park
NZ WINDFARMS: Hires Consultants to Review Leadership Structure


P H I L I P P I N E S

ASIATRUST DEV'T: Denies Report on Plans to Sell Company
DEL MONTE FOODS: May Sell StarKist Seafood Business
DEL MONTE FOODS: Fitch Says Ratings Unaffected by StarKist Plan
UNIVERSAL ROBINA: First Half FY 2008 Net Sales Up by 15.5%


T A I W A N

BLOCKBUSTER INC: Earns $45 Million in Quarter Ended April 6
S-TECH CORP: Fitch Rates 5-Year TW$200 Million Bonds at B(twn)


                         - - - - -


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

ACN 007 665 778: Placed Under Voluntary Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------
ACN 007 665 778 Pty Ltd's members agreed on March 20, 2008, to
voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  R. A. Ferguson
was appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          R. A. Ferguson
          Fergusons Chartered Accountants
          Level 8, 115 Grenfell Street
          Adelaide SA 5000


AXNO PTY: Appoints Michael Edward Slaven as Liquidator
------------------------------------------------------
Axno Pty Limited's members agreed on March 1, 2008, to
voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  Michael Edward
Slaven was appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.


The liquidator can be reached at:

          Michael Edward Slaven
          Chartered Accountant of Rangott Slaven
          Unit 12, Level 3,
          Engineering House, 11 National Circuit
          Barton ACT


BAY VISTA: Appoints R. D. Pomery as Liquidator
----------------------------------------------
Bay Vista Pty. Ltd's members agreed on March 28, 2008, to
voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  R. D. Pomery was
appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          R. D. Pomery
          23 Victoria Street
          Victor Harbor SA 5211


BUSHLANDS: Schedules General Meeting on May 22
----------------------------------------------
Bushlands Developments Pty Ltd will convene a general meeting
for its members on May 22, 2008, at 10:30 a.m., at the offices
of The Allan Hall Partnership, 126 / 117 Old Pittwater Road, in
Brookvale, New South Wales.

During the meeting, the company's liquidator, Robert B.
Buckingham, will provide the attendees with property disposal
and winding-up reports.

The company's liquidator can be reached at:

          Robert B. Buckingham
          The Allan Hall Partnership
          126 / 117 Old Pittwater Road
          Brookvale NSW 2100
          Australia


FUTURE INVESTMENTS: Placed Under Voluntary Liquidation
------------------------------------------------------
Future Investments Pty Ltd's members agreed on March 25, 2008,
to voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  Robert
Lanzilli was appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Robert Lanzilli
          MGI Caulfields
          212 Greenhill Road
          Eastwood SA 5063


MICHAEL FARAONIO: Liquidator Presents Winding-up Report
-------------------------------------------------------
A. C. Matthews, Michael Faraonio Constructions Pty Ltd's estate
liquidator, met with the company's members on May 1, 2008, and
provided them with property disposal and winding-up reports.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          A. C. Matthews
          Anthony Matthews & Associates
          Ground Floor, 46 Fullarton Road
          Norwood SA 5067
          Telephone: (08) 8363 9505
          Facsimile: (08) 8363 9506
          Email: info@matthewsassociates.com.au


MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class D Securities on Watch Neg.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions for the Mobius Financial
Services Pty Limited (Mobius) lease receivable asset-backed
securities transaction known as "Mobius ELR-01 Trust", as
follows:

   -- AU$119,700,000 Class A rated 'AAA' placed on Rating Watch
      Negative (RWN);

   -- AU$30,300,000 Class B rated 'BB+' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$3,500,000 Class C rated 'B/DR1' placed on RWN; and

   -- AU$3,700,000 Class D rated 'CCC/DR4' placed on RWN.

As of May 12, 2008, Mobius provided notice that they intend to
retire as Trust Manager and Master Servicer for Mobius ELR-01
Trust. A replacement Trust Manager and Master Servicer have not
yet been appointed and Mobius will continue in these roles until
such appointments have been made. The notes have been placed on
RWN due to the uncertainty regarding the replacement party, the
timing of their appointment and the impact of the transition
period from Mobius to the new parties.

The transaction is collateralised by a pool of lease receivables
that, at the end of March 2008, comprised 10,461 individual
lease receivables. The transaction has paid down from initial
outstanding notes of AUD163.3 million to a current stated amount
of AUD77.3m. To date, all principal receipts have reduced the
Class A notes to approximately 47.5% of their initial amount.

Fitch will conduct an on-site review of the replacement parties'
operations when appointed and will resolve the Rating Watch
status after the transition is complete, expected to be within 3
months.


MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class E Notes on Watch Negative
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions on the following notes
issued by J.P Morgan Trust Australia Limited as trustee of the
Mobius NCM-03 Trust ("the notes"), as follows:

   -- AU$385,000,000.00 Class A1 rated 'AAA' placed on Rating
      Watch Negative (RWN);

   -- AU$85,250,000.00 Class A2 rated 'AAA' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$45,100,000.00 Class B rated 'A' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$12,650,000.00 Class C rated 'BBB' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$12,100,000.00 Class D rated 'BB' placed on RWN; and

   -- AU$6,600,000.00 Class E rated 'CCC/DR3' placed on RWN.

As of May 12, 2008, Mobius Financial Services Pty Limited
(Mobius) provided notice that they intend to retire as Trust
Manager and Master Servicer for Mobius NCM-03 Trust. A
replacement Trust Manager and Master Servicer have not yet been
appointed and Mobius will continue in these roles until such
appointments have been made. The notes have been placed on RWN
due to the uncertainty regarding the replacement party, the
timing of their appointment and the impact of the transition
period from Mobius to the new parties

This transaction is collateralised by a pool of non-conforming
residential mortgages originated by Mobius. The transaction has
paid down from initial liabilities of AUD550 million to current
liabilities of approximately AUD149m. To date, all principal
receipts have paid down the Class A notes to approximately 14.8%
of their initial amount.

Fitch will conduct an on-site review of the replacement parties'
operations when appointed and will resolve the Rating Watch
status after the transition is complete, expected to be within
three months.


MOBIUS FINANCIAL: Fitch Puts Class F Notes on Watch Negative
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions on the following notes
issued by J.P Morgan Trust Australia Limited as trustee of the
Mobius NCM-04 Trust, as follows:

   -- AU$266,000,000 Class A1 rated 'AAA' placed on Rating Watch
      Negative (RWN);

   -- AU$93,600,000 Class A2 rated 'AAA' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$23,300,000 Class B rated 'AA' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$27,800,000 Class C rated 'A' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$18,900,000 Class D rated 'BBB' placed on RWN;

   -- AU$8,600,000 Class E rated 'B/DR2' placed on RWN; and

   -- AU$7,700,000 Class F rated 'CC/DR5' placed on RWN.

As of May 12, 2008, Mobius Financial Services Pty Limited
(Mobius) provided notice that they intend to retire as Trust
Manager and Master Servicer for Mobius NCM-04 Trust. A
replacement Trust Manager and Master Servicer have not yet been
appointed and Mobius will continue in these roles until such
appointments have been made. The notes have been placed on RWN
due to the uncertainty regarding the replacement party, the
timing of their appointment and the impact of the transition
period from Mobius to the new parties.

This transaction is collateralised by a pool of non-conforming
residential mortgages originated by Mobius. The transaction has
paid down from initial liabilities of AUD450 million to current
liabilities of approximately AUD246m. To date, all principal
receipts have paid down the Class A notes to approximately 43.3%
of their initial amount.

Fitch will conduct an on-site review of the replacement parties'
operations when appointed and will resolve the Rating Watch
status after the transition is complete, expected to be within 3
months.


MORONEY INVESTMENTS: Appoints Barry Hamilton as Liquidator
----------------------------------------------------------
Moroney Investments Pty Ltd's members agreed on March 4, 2008,
to voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  Barry Hamilton
was appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Barry Hamilton
         Chartered Accountant of BK Hamilton & Associates
         Level 2/171 Macquarie Street
         Hobart TAS 7000


OPES PRIME: US Firm Agrees to Fund Class Action
-----------------------------------------------
Commonwealth Legal Funding, a US-based litigation firm,
agreed to fund a class action which Opes Prime shareholders are
bringing against the failed stockbroker and the ANZ bank, ABC
News reports, citing Slater and Gordon lawyer James Higgins.

According to the report, Mr. Higgins said the legal proceedings
should begin within weeks.

"We've been contacted by in excess of 130 people with in excess
of AU$150 million worth of losses," Mr. Higgins told ABC Radio's
AM program.  "At least 80 of those have expressed an interest in
having their actions funded by the litigation funder, and we've
sent out funding agreements to those people from Commonwealth
Legal Funding in order for them to consider their position."

                      About Opes Prime

Opes Prime Group Ltd is an Australian unlisted public company
providing a range of financial services and products for high
net worth individuals, stockbrokers and financial advisors,
asset managers, banks and other firms, both for themselves and
their clients.  The Group conducts business via a number of
operating subsidiaries based in Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore:

   1) Opes Prime Stockbroking Limited is a full Market           
      Participant of the Australian Stock Exchange Ltd, and          
      holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (#247408)       
      which enables it to deal and advise in financial       
      services and products to retail and wholesale clients. The
      company was first registered on 10 March 1999, and started
      business with its current shareholders in 2005.  Opes      
      Prime Stockbroking is a specialist provider of          
      securities lending and equity financing services.  In      
      Singapore, the firm operates through Opes Prime Group's    
      wholly owned subsidiary, Opes Prime International Pte Ltd.
      In Australia, Opes Prime Stockbroking has granted          
      Authorized Representative status to Trader Dealer Pty Ltd,    
      an on-line non-advisory trading execution service for the
      semi-professional and professional trader.

   2) Opes Prime Structured Products Pty Ltd develops, manages
      and markets specialized leveraged products for the high
      net worth market, providing outstanding risk protection
      and return potential.

   3) Opes Prime Paradigm Pty Ltd, is a corporate finance and
      advisory firm specializing in small and mid cap stocks.

   4) In Singapore, Opes Prime Asset Management Pte Ltd provides
      specialist hedge fund incubation, advisory and trade   
      management services, and Five Pillars Associates Pte Ltd
      provides Islamic finance consultancy.

                          *     *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on April 1,
2008, that Opes Prime was placed under receivership after
directors became aware of a number of cash and stock movement
irregularities in relation to a small number of accounts.  
Ferrier Hodgson Partners John Lindholm, Peter McCluskey and
Adrian Brown have been appointed Administrators by the directors
of Opes Prime Group Limited and a number of its subsidiaries and
related entities including, Opes Prime Stockbroking Limited.  
Initial investigations indicate that the solvency of the
business was under pressure due to a number of major clients not
meeting significant margin calls.  The Administrators are
currently examining the Group's affairs to quantify the likely
liability to OPSL's clients.

At the same time, Sal Algeri and Chris Campbell from the
Deloitte Corporate Reorganisation Group were appointed by a
secured creditor, ANZ Banking Group Ltd., as Receivers and
Managers of Opes Prime Group Ltd, Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd,
Leveraged Capital Pty Ltd and Hawkswood Investments Pty Ltd.


PARK AVENUE: Liquidator Presents Wind-Up Report
-----------------------------------------------
Hugh Martin, Park Avenue The Hub Pty Limited's estate
liquidator, met with the company's members on April 30, 2008,
and provided them with property disposal and winding-up reports.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Hugh Martin
          Bernardi Martin
          Level 1, 195 Victoria Square
          Adelaide SA


PODS PTY: Liquidator Presents Winding-up Report
-----------------------------------------------
Danny Vrkic, Pods Pty Ltd's estate liquidator, met with the
company's members on May 15, 2008, and provided them with
property disposal and winding-up reports.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Danny Vrkic
          Jirsch Sutherland & Co Wollongong
          Level 1, 76 Market Street
          Wollongong NSW 2000
          Australia
          Telephone: (02) 4225 2545
          Facsimile: (02) 4225 2546


R. L. JONES: Supreme Court Enters Wind-Up Order
-----------------------------------------------

On March 18, 2008, the Supreme Court of Tasmania entered
an order to have R. L. Jones & Associates Pty Ltd's operations
wound up.  John William Woods was appointed as liquidator.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          John William Woods
          30 Davey Street
          Hobart TAS 7000
          Telephone: (03) 6223 4343
          E-mail: wwp@bigpond.net.au


RAIL TRANSPORT: Appoints Anthony Matthews as Liquidator
-------------------------------------------------------
Rail Transport Pty Ltd's members agreed on March 19, 2008, to
voluntarily liquidate the company's business.  Anthony Matthews
was appointed to facilitate the sale of its assets.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Anthony Matthews
         Anthony Matthews & Associates
         Ground Floor, 46 Fullarton Road
         Norwood SA


ST. GEORGE: Fitch Puts B Individual Rating on Watch Positive
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has placed the ratings of Australia's Westpac
Banking Corporation (Westpac) and St. George Bank Limited (SGB)
on Rating Watch Positive (RWP), following the announcement that
Westpac is considering an offer to acquire SGB using Westpac
shares as consideration. The RWP does not apply to Westpac's
Short-term IDR, which cannot be upgraded from its current 'F1+'
rating.  The ratings are:

   -- Westpac: Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'AA-'
      (AA minus), Short-term IDR at 'F1+', Individual Rating at
      'B', Support at '2' and Support Rating Floor at 'BBB+';
      and

   -- SGB: Long-term IDR at 'A+', Short-term IDR at 'F1',
      Individual Rating at 'B', Support at '3' and Support
      Rating Floor at 'BB+.

"A combined entity would command a strong presence in
Australia's retail banking and fund management markets. At the
same time, there appears to be reasonable scope for savings in
the back-office, particularly where duplication exists," noted
John Miles, Senior Director in Fitch's financial institutions
group. Integration issues are likely to be mitigated by the fact
that Gail Kelly, Westpac's newly appointed CEO, was previously
CEO of SGB.

While the credit crunch has increased the costs of wholesale
funding for all Australian banks, the impact has been
disproportionate, with the higher-rated major banks generally
faring better than the rest. From this perspective, SGB could
potentially derive savings on its wholesale funding costs as a
result of a merger. Westpac has continued to access global debt
markets, and while it is issuing shorter-dated paper the
proportion of short-term debt in the bank's wholesale funding
mix has not changed significantly since July 2007.

Credit crunch issues aside, both banks enter into these
negotiations in good shape. Impaired assets, though rising, are
still very low and material deterioration appears unlikely - as
at March 31, 2008, the ratio of impaired assets to gross loans
for Westpac and SGB, respectively, was 0.32% and 0.06%.
Financial performance for the six months to 31 March 2008 was
also solid, with both banks reporting returns on average equity
in excess of 20%.

Resolution of the Rating Watch will require additional
information on the terms of the offer and any likely impact on
capitalisation for the combined group.  However, initial
indications are that the acquisition would be funded by Westpac
shares, and as a result Fitch expects that the merged entity
would preserve prudent capital ratios.  Should SGB shareholders
agree to a proposal, regulatory approvals would be the final
hurdle.


SUSSEX INLET: To Declare Dividend on May 22
-------------------------------------------
Sussex Inlet Sailfish Club Ltd will declare dividend
on May 22, 2008.

Only creditors who were able to file their proofs of debt by
May 6, 2008, will be included in the company's dividend
distribution.

The company's liquidator is:

          Danny Vrkic
          Jirsch Sutherland & Co - Wollongong
          Chartered Accountants
          PO Box 573
          Wollongong NSW 2500
          Australia


ZINIFEX LTD: Finds Mineralisation in West Coast of Tasmania
-----------------------------------------------------------
Zinifex disclosed in a press statement Friday that diamond
drilling at the company's Jupiter prospect approximately five
kilometres south of Zinifex's Rosebery Mine on Tasmania's West
Coast had intersected significant mineralisation in three holes.

Assays for drill hole JP 353, the only hole received so far,
identified 23 metres at 5.6% zinc, 1.1% lead, 38 grams per tonne
of silver and 0.8 grams per tonne of gold from 61 metres depth,
including 9.5 metres at 9.5% zinc, 2% lead, 70 grams per tonne
of silver and 1.2 grams per tonne of gold.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Stewart Howe, Zinifex's
Chief Development Officer, said that this was an exciting new
discovery in an area previously thought to be unprospective.

"The discovery opens up a whole new area for exploration that is
only a short distance from our Rosebery operations.

"Importantly the mineralisation looks just like Rosebery style
mineralisation indicating that we may have intersected a new
Rosebery type deposit only five kilometres away from the
existing mine.  This has the potential to be a major new
discovery with the added attraction that it is close to surface.  
Work will be fast tracked to determine the extent of the find,"
he said.

The discovery is open at depth and along strike.  A section
showing the drill holes is attached.

Zinifex Rosebery Mine General Manager, Stuart Gula, said that
the discovery is potentially very significant, both in terms of
the expansion of Zinifex's operations on the West Coast but also
for the local region that this activity supports.

"While it is obviously early days, it has the potential to
significantly add to the mineral wealth of the West Coast of
Tasmania.

"This is good for the region driving investment and employment
growth locally, but also the State's economy more generally," he
said.

                      About Zinifex Ltd.

Zinifex Limited, one of the world's largest integrated zinc and
lead companies -- http://www.zinifex.com/-- is headquartered in
Melbourne, Australia.  The company owns and operates two mines
and four smelters.  The mines and two of the smelters are
located in Australia and supply the growing industrial markets
of the Asian-Pacific region, including China.  The company
also has a zinc smelter in the Netherlands and the United
States.  The company sells a range of zinc metal, lead metal,
and associated alloys in 20 countries.  More than 80% of the
company's products are distributed outside Australia,
particularly in Asia, which is experiencing significant growth
in construction activity and vehicle production.  Zinc is used
for steel galvanizing and die-casting and lead for lead acid
batteries used mainly in cars and other vehicles.

                         *     *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on
Dec. 18, 2007, that Fitch Ratings affirmed Zinifex Limited's
'BB+' long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR),
following the announcement of an all cash offer for Allegiance
Mining NL (Allegiance).  Fitch's Web site as of April 21, 2008,
says the rating outlook is positive.


ZINIFEX LTD: Fiscal 2008 Half Year Profit Increases by 74%
----------------------------------------------------------
Zinifex Ltd. delivered a record half-year profit of AU$1,309.7
million for the FY 2008 period ended December 31, 2007, a 74
percent increase over the profit for the corresponding half-
year.

The half-year profit result contained a number of one off
significant items including:

   * A net profit of AU$960.6 million on the sale of Zinifex’s
     zinc and lead smelting operations to Nyrstar;

   * A net profit of AU$67.9 million being the contribution of
     Zinifex’s zinc and lead smelting operations for the two
     months prior to their disposal to Nyrstar on August 31,
     2007; and

   * A net profit on the sale of an investment of
     AU$53.1 million.

After excluding these one off items, the profit from Zinifex’s
continuing operations, which consists of the Century and
Rosebery mines as well as the expanding exploration and
development activities, was AU$228.1 million.

Both Zinifex mines performed well increasing total zinc and lead
production when compared to the same period last year.  Year to
date zinc in concentrate output was 8 per cent ahead of the same
time last year while lead output was 12 per cent higher.

Increased production led to stronger sales volumes with zinc
concentrate sales being particularly strong increasing by 13 per
cent over the 2007 first half-year.

Despite the positive impact of higher sales, overall revenue
from continuing operations declined by 27 per cent to AU$788.6
million compared with the prior half-year.

Zinc prices declined sharply to average 22 per cent lower than
the previous half-year at USAU$2,944 per tonne.  However,
Zinifex’s concentrate sales are typically priced up to 3 months
after the sale was recorded.  This resulted in the realised zinc
price achieved for sales being lower than the average zinc price
for the half-year.  The combination of lower realised zinc
prices with a stronger Australian dollar against the US dollar,
were largely responsible for the fall in revenue.

Partially offsetting the effect of lower zinc prices were
substantially stronger lead prices which have more than doubled
since the same period last year to average AU$3,200 per tonne.

Royalty payments to governments fell in line with lower revenue.  
The higher production levels led to a volume related increase in
operating costs.  Higher activity levels, primarily related to
Zinifex’s strategy to increase its exploration and development
also added costs during the half-year.  Rate increases were
generally more modest than in preceding periods with the
exception of freight rates.  In particular, shipping costs have
risen strongly due to demand exceeding vessel availability.

Significant non-cash items for the continuing operations for the
period were higher depreciation and amortisation charges which
rose by approximately AU$27 million. Processing higher volumes
of ore at Century during the period as well as higher
amortisation rates were largely responsible.  Amortisation rates
rose reflecting higher costs to remove the remaining waste rock
to enable on going access to the Century ore body for mining.

As would be expected income tax expense reduced in line with the
lower earnings.

Zinifex’s cash reserves increased six fold to exceed AU$2.2
billion at 31 December 2007.  This extremely healthy cash
position was achieved with the contribution of AU$2.1 billion
during the half-year from the sale of investments, including
nearly AU$1.8 billion from the sale of the majority of Zinifex’s
interest in Nyrstar.

Net cash flow from operating activities declined by
approximately 57 per cent to AU$367.6 million largely due to
lower metal prices and higher operating and exploration costs.

Expenditure on the capital program of AU$201 million was 22 per
cent lower than the previous comparable half-year partially due
to the exit of the smelting business. The single largest item
was AU$128 million spent on the accelerated program of stripping
at Century.

Shareholders benefited from Zinifex’s strong cash position
receiving a fully franked dividend of AU$340.8 million announced
on August 27, 2007.

Previously the market was informed that the Board of Zinifex
intended to quarantine the proceeds from the Nyrstar sale for a
period while it examined opportunities to invest some or all of
the proceeds on behalf of shareholders.

The company's Board has resolved to pay a 35 cents per share,
fully franked, dividend to shareholders.

                            Strategy

Zinifex completed a major transformation from being an
integrated mining and smelting business to a focused mining
company during the period.  The substantial proceeds raised from
the sale of Zinifex’s smelting business provide Zinifex with
significant financial capacity to grow its mining business.

Zinifex strategy is to focus on copper, nickel and zinc and
related metals such as lead, silver and gold, which usually
occur in the same geological zones.  With the company's current
production heavily biased toward zinc, it is examining
opportunities to astutely invest some or all of the Nystrar
proceeds to increase presence in nickel and copper.

Zinifex made an all cash offer for Allegiance Mining NL.  
Allegiance owns the 8,500 tonne per annum Avebury nickel project
located in Tasmania nearby Zinifex’s Rosebery mine.

Zinifex believes nickel is an attractive long-term growth
business and Allegiance’s Avebury project is an excellent entry
point into nickel.  With nickel production due to commence in
the second quarter of 2008, this mine would rapidly expand
Zinifex’s revenue and profit profile.

Drilling at Rosebery mine over the last nine months continues to
deliver extremely promising results, significantly extending the
known mineralised zones.  The company expects a material
increase in resource at Rosebery when the new resource statement
is completed later this year.  With exploration continuing to
open up areas for further mineralisation the company now raised
its objective to increase mine life at Rosebery to beyond 2030
at present mining rates.  Given this encouraging outlook, work
has begun to assess what needs to be done both to rejuvenate and
expand the Rosebery operation.

Zinifex also has attractive growth opportunities in the
development pipeline including Dugald River, one of the world’s
largest and highest grade zinc lead silver deposits and the high
grade Izok Lake and High Lake copper and zinc deposits in
Nunavut, Canada.

The Dugald River feasibility study is on track to be delivered
towards the end of 2008.  It is examining options to build a
mine producing 200,000 tonnes of zinc, 40,000 tonnes of lead and
1.2 million ounces of silver each year for at least 16 years.  
It is pleasing that work so far on engineering design,
metallurgy, marketing and environmental studies indicates all
key measures, including costs, continue to be within expected
ranges.  In addition a copper model of the deposit is being
developed to determine the attractiveness of recovering copper
from the hanging wall and other zones of the Dugald River ore
body.

Drilling at the Silver King deposit, near Century, has more than
doubled the extent of mineralisation beyond the original
resource and it continues to grow.  The results have produced
some very high grade lead, silver and zinc intersections. Silver
King and other similar nearby vein style deposits are being
considered as supplementary feed sources for the Century mill.

                      Safety and Environment

Zinifex’s health, safety and environmental performance are high
priorities.

While safety performance continued to improve by 5 per cent over
the past year as measured by 12 month medical referred injury
frequency rate, the rate of improvement has decreased in recent
times.  To regain momentum Zinifex commissioned an external
review of its Safety and Health programs in 2007.  This review
identified a number of areas for Zinifex to enhance its Safety
and Health system. From this, a three year Safety Strategy will
be implemented across the business to deliver the vision
“Achieving Outcomes with Zero Harm”.

Zinifex had 8 reportable environmental incidents in the first
half of the financial year, 1 more than for the same period last
year.  These incidents had a low environmental impact.

                      Outlook on Profitability

According to the company, movements in zinc prices and the
A$/US$ exchange rate have the greatest impact on Zinifex’s
profitability.  Demand for zinc remains healthy driven by China.  
Supply is anticipated to increase during 2008 switching the
market balance from deficit to surplus.  The zinc market appears
to have already priced in the expectation of a large surplus
this year as evidenced by the substantial retreat in zinc price
since November 2006 despite the relatively low levels of LME
zinc stocks today.

The projected surplus for 2008 does not appear to have
adequately taken into consideration the possibility of supply
interruptions and commissioning delays.  If the surplus fails to
eventuate to the extent anticipated, then the company believes
there is potential for upside to current zinc prices.

Although negotiations between mines and smelters for 2008
treatment charge terms are on going, the company anticipates a
modest increase in treatment charges will result when
negotiations are finalised.  Treatment charges are the margin
paid by the mines to smelters for the conversion of concentrate
into metal.  Lead concentrates supplies have improved and lead
treatment charges are also anticipated to rise.

Zinifex noted that controlling costs will continue to be an
ongoing focus for the company.  While cost pressures remain an
unpleasant symptom of the resources boom, there is some evidence
to suggest that the rate of increase may be starting to slow.

                      About Zinifex Ltd.

Zinifex Limited, one of the world's largest integrated zinc and
lead companies -- http://www.zinifex.com/-- is headquartered in
Melbourne, Australia.  The company owns and operates two mines
and four smelters.  The mines and two of the smelters are
located in Australia and supply the growing industrial markets
of the Asian-Pacific region, including China.  The company
also has a zinc smelter in the Netherlands and the United
States.  The company sells a range of zinc metal, lead metal,
and associated alloys in 20 countries.  More than 80% of the
company's products are distributed outside Australia,
particularly in Asia, which is experiencing significant growth
in construction activity and vehicle production.  Zinc is used
for steel galvanizing and die-casting and lead for lead acid
batteries used mainly in cars and other vehicles.

                         *     *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on
Dec. 18, 2007, that Fitch Ratings affirmed Zinifex Limited's
'BB+' long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR),
following the announcement of an all cash offer for Allegiance
Mining NL (Allegiance).  Fitch's Web site as of April 21, 2008,
says the rating outlook is positive.



=========
C H I N A
=========

AES CORP: Moody's Puts B1 Rating on $600MM Sr. Unsecured Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B1 rating to The AES
Corporation's proposed issuance of $600 million senior unsecured
notes due 2020.  In addition, Moody's has affirmed the ratings
of AES, including the company's Corporate Family Rating at B1,
its Probability of Default Rating at B1, its senior secured
credit facilities at Ba1, its second priority senior secured
notes at Ba3, its senior unsecured notes at B1 and its trust
preferred securities at B3.  The rating outlook for AES is
stable.

The rating affirmation reflects an expectation that AES will use
the proceeds from the proposed offering to refinance a similar
amount of recourse debt.  The rating affirmation also takes into
account the company's concurrent effort to eliminate the
financial covenants contained in its second priority senior
secured notes.

AES's ratings consider the company's high leverage and the
structural subordination of its recourse debt to the significant
level of non-recourse debt in its consolidated capital
structure.  Structural constraints are somewhat mitigated by the
diversification provided by AES's large number of subsidiaries,
their wide geographic distribution and balanced fuel mix, and
the significant proportion of the company's cash flows that are
subject to stable regulation or long-term contracts.

Subsidiary distributions to AES are expected to be approximately
$1.1 billion in 2008, similar to 2007 results.  Recourse debt
however increased approximately 16% or $760 million to
$5.6 billion during 2007 as AES borrowed to finance growth.  
This increase in leverage constrains upward movement in AES's
current rating levels over the near-term.  The commercial
operation of various generating stations currently under
construction that are expected to achieve operation in the
2009/2010 timeframe is expected to improve the scale of
subsidiary distributions and financial metrics and may be a
trigger for upward ratings pressure.

Ratings affirmed/LGD assessments revised:

The AES Corporation

  -- Corporate Family Rating -- B1
  -- Probability of Default Rating -- B1
  -- Senior secured credit facilities -- Ba1 (LGD1, 5%) from
     (LGD1, 2%)

  -- Second priority senior secured note -- Ba3 (LGD3, 41%) from
     (LGD3, 38%)

  -- Senior unsecured notes -- B1 (LGD4, 56%) from (LGD4, 53%)

AES Trust III

  -- Convertible trust preferred securities -- B3 (LGD6, 95%)
     from (LGD6, 94%)

Rating assigned:

The AES Corporation

  -- $600 million of new senior unsecured notes, B1 (LGD4, 56%)

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, AES Corporation --
http://www.aes.com/-- a global power company,  
operates in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the
Caribbean countries.  Generating 44,000 megawatts of electricity
through 124 power facilities, the company delivers electricity
through 15 distribution companies.  Its consolidated revenues
totaled $13.6 billion during fiscal year 2007.  

AES has been in Eastern Europe for over ten years, since it
acquired three power plants in Hungary in 1996.  Currently, AES
has two distribution companies in Ukraine, which serve 1.2
million customers and generation plants in the Czech Republic
and Hungary.  AES is also the leading company in biomass
conversion in Hungary, generating 37% of the nation's total
renewable generation in 2004.

AES started developing projects in India and Pakistan in 1992
and entered China's market in 1994.  In 1996, AES joined with
Chinese partners to build Yangcheng, the country's first "coal
by wire" power plant, to help fuel China's rapid economic
expansion through affordable power.  In India, AES successfully
participated in the country's first and only generation
privatization.


CHESAPEAKE CORP: Obtains $250MM Replacement Facility from GECC
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chesapeake Corp. disclosed in its financial report for the first
quarter of 2008 that on May 2, 2008, the company entered into a
commitment letter with GE Commercial Finance Limited and General
Electric Capital Corporation to act as the lead arranger and
underwriter to provide a $250 million senior secured credit
facility to refinance outstanding borrowings under the company's
2004 senior revolving credit facility.

The 2004 senior revolving credit facility, as amended, matures
in February 2009.  The company can borrow up to $250 million
under the 2004 Credit Facility.

Amounts available under the 2004 Credit Facility are limited by
the amount currently borrowed and the amounts of outstanding
letters of credit.  The Credit Facility is collateralized by a
pledge of the inventory, receivables, intangible assets and
other assets of Chesapeake Corporation and certain U.S.
subsidiaries, and is guaranteed by Chesapeake Corporation, each
material U.S. subsidiary and each United Kingdom subsidiary
borrower, although most U.K. subsidiary borrowers only guarantee
borrowings made by U.K. subsidiaries.  Obligations of our U.K.
subsidiary borrowers under the Credit Facility are
collateralized by a pledge of the stock of our material U.K.
subsidiaries.  

On March 5, 2008, the company obtained agreement from a majority
of the lenders under the 2004 senior revolving credit facility
to amend the facility.  The amendment affects financial
maintenance covenants in all four quarters of fiscal 2008,
providing an increase in the total leverage ratios and a
decrease in the interest coverage ratios. In addition, interest
rates were increased to 450 basis points over LIBOR and basket
limitations were imposed for acquisitions, dispositions and
other indebtedness, among other changes.  

The amendment also stipulated that in the event that the senior
revolving credit facility was not fully refinanced prior to
March 31, 2008, the company would provide a security interest in
substantially all tangible assets of its European subsidiaries.
Activities are currently underway by the lenders under the
senior revolving credit facility to obtain security interests in
certain of the company's assets, primarily in the U.K. and
Ireland.

The company was in compliance with all of its debt covenants as
of the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2008. However, based
on current projections the company may not be in compliance with
the financial covenants under the senior revolving credit
facility at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2008. The
company expects to avoid compliance issues with these financial
covenants by improving cash flows, reducing outstanding
indebtedness, replacing or amending the senior revolving credit
facility or obtaining waivers from the lenders, but there can be
no assurance that these alternatives will be successfully
implemented.

Failure to comply with the financial covenants would be an event
of default under the senior revolving credit facility. If such
an event of default were to occur, the lenders under the senior
revolving credit facility could require immediate payment of all
amounts outstanding under the facility and terminate their
commitments to lend under the facility. Pursuant to cross-
default provisions in many of the instruments that govern the
company's other outstanding indebtedness, immediate payment of
much of the other outstanding indebtedness could be required,
all of which would have a material adverse effect on the
business, results of operations and financial condition.

Outstanding borrowings under the Credit Facility as of March 30,
2008 totaled $185.2 million.

                 $250-Mil. GECC Replacement Loan

The Company and its U.K. subsidiary, Chesapeake plc, entered
into a commitment letter with the GE Entities on May 2, 2008.  
The Facility will consists of a U.K. credit facility in an
aggregate amount up to $235 million and a U.S. credit facility
in an aggregate amount up to $15 million.  

The GE Credit Facilities will refinance and replace the
Company's Credit Facility which matures in February 2009.  The
GE Credit Facilities are expected to include revolving credit
and term loans secured, in the case of the U.K. credit facility,
by substantially all of the assets of Chesapeake plc and its
material operating subsidiaries in the U.K. and the Republic of
Ireland and in addition certain assets of its material operating
subsidiaries in Europe and, in the case of the U.S. credit
facility, certain assets of the Company and substantially all of
the assets of certain of its material U.S. operating
subsidiaries.

The commitment letter is subject to a number of conditions that
must be satisfied before the GE Credit Facilities documents are
finalized and the lenders' commitment is funded.  

While the Company anticipates it will close on the refinancing
before the end of June 2008, there can be no assurances that
such closing will occur.

The company believes that the current Credit Facility and the GE
Credit Facilities will give it adequate financial resources to
support the company's anticipated long-term and short-term
capital needs and commitments.

If the Company is unable to refinance the Credit Facility by
February 2009, all amounts outstanding under the Credit Facility
will become payable and, pursuant to cross-default provisions in
many of the instruments that govern the company's other
outstanding indebtedness, immediate payment of much of its other
outstanding indebtedness could be required, all of which would
have a material adverse effect on its business, results of
operations and financial condition.

                 About Chesapeake Corporation

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Chesapeake Corporation
(NYSE:CSK) -- http://www.cskcorp.com/-- is a supplier of    
specialty paperboard packaging products in Europe and an
international supplier of plastic packaging products to niche
end-use markets.  Chesapeake has 47 locations in France,
Ireland, United Kingdom, North America, China, HongKong, among
others and employs approximately 5,500 people.  

For the quarter ended March 30, 1008, the company reported
$1,225,100,000 in total assets and $948,100,000 in total
liabilities.


CHINA EASTERN: May Seal Stake Deal With Singapore Airlines
----------------------------------------------------------
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is still in talks to
sell a stake to Singapore Airlines and it is very likely the two
carriers will complete a deal, Fang Yan of Bloomberg reports,
citing Company Chairman Li Fenghua.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific on  
Jan. 10, 2008, nearly 78% of China Eastern shareholders earlier
rejected a bid by Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holding Pte
Limited to buy a minority stake in China Eastern after rival Air
China and its parent, China National Aviation Corp., pledged a
higher offer.  However, on Feb. 25, China Eastern rejected Air
China's proposal and pledged to instead continue seeking another
strategic investor.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Fenghua gave no specific timetable
for an equity deal but said it would have to take a back seat to
the more pressing priorities of relief efforts after this week's
devastating earthquake and Olympic Games preparations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fenghua told Reuters that the company is making
preparations to open an office in Taiwan in anticipation of the
opening of direct flights across the Taiwan strait.

                      About China Eastern

Headquartered in Shanghai, China, China Eastern Airlines
Corporation Limited's -- http://www.ce-air.com-- principal     
activity is operation of domestic and international commercial
air transportation.  The Group also is involved in the common
aircraft industry.  Other activities include general aviation,
air catering, advertisement, import and export, equipment
manufacturing, real estate, hotel business, finance and
training.  The fleet includes more than 60 large and medium size
airplanes, Airbus and Boeing mostly.  Its operation centering
from Shanghai to the whole People's Republic of China and
linking to Asia, Europe, America and Australia.

                          *     *     *

On April 28, 2006, Fitch Ratings downgraded China Eastern's
foreign currency and local currency issuer default ratings to B+
from BB-.  Fitch said the outlook on the IDRs is stable.

On November 16, 2005, Xinhua Far East China Ratings gave the
company a BB+ issuer credit rating with a stable outlook.

All ratings still hold as of May 17, 2008.


CY ORIENTAL: Gets Lender's Consent to File Records Until May 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
CY Oriental Holdings Ltd. obtained consents from Maple Trade
Finance Inc., the company's trade finance lender, to extend
filing of the company's audited financial statements until
May 30, 2008.

The company is also in the process of obtaining a similar
consent from its bank lender, HSBC, pursuant to the terms of the
company's lending facilities with these two lenders.

The company disclosed that it is necessary delay the filing to
provide additional time to gather and review documentation
relating to the company's purchase and sales transactions.

The company related that if necessary, it will request
additional consents from these lenders to further extend the
filing of the company's audited financial statements to June
2008.

The company expects that the review will be completed in June
2008 and expects that the audited year end financial statements
will be filed by June 30, 2008.

If the company fail to file the audited year end financial
statements by June 30, 2008, the Canadian Securities Regulators
may impose a cease trade order on all trading of the company's
shares until the financial statements are filed.

Also, the company's interim financial statements for the first
quarter period ended March 31, 2008, are expected to be filed
after the audited year end financial statement are filed and
therefore, such interim financial statements will not be filed
by May 30, 2008.

Additionally, the company disclosed that the company's insiders
are barred from trading CY Oriental shares until the company's
audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31,
2007, are filed, pursuant to the terms of the management cease
trade order issued by the British Columbia Securities
Commission.

                  About CY Oriental Holdings Ltd.

CY Oriental Holdings Ltd. -- http://www.cyoriental.com/-- (TSX-
V: CYO) is a Canadian incorporated, China-based manufacturer and
value-added supplier of apparel and fashion products to leading
international brands and retailers, including department stores.  
CY Oriental owns and operates a manufacturing facility in
Shanghai, China and in the city of Tengzhou, China.  The
company's ready-made products include quality garments,
including woven casual wear, woven formal wear, casual jeanswear
and sports outerwear.


HAINAN AIR: Hires AirWorld Inc. as Sales Agent for North America
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hainan Airlines Co. Limited has appointed AirWorld Inc. as its
general sales agent for North America.  In addition to the toll-
free reservation and information numbers, AirWorld will provide
reservations, sales and ticketing from convenient offices in New
York City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver,
B.C., to best serve passengers and travel agents.

On May 12, 2008, the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific,
citing People Daily Online, reported that Hainan Air will launch
its first direct air route between Beijing and Seattle on
June 9.

According to People Daily Online, the new route will be operated
by Airbus A330-200s on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and
Saturdays.  Hainan Airlines will use Boeing787s, on the route
after delivery next year, the report said.

                 About Hainan Airlines

Based in Haikou, Hainan Province, the People's Republic of
China, Hainan Airlines Co., Ltd. -- http://www.hnair.com/--  
founded in 1993, is the fourth-largest carrier in China and the
largest non-government-owned airline in China.  Hainan Airlines
is known for its award-winning customer service, impeccable
safety record and on-time performance.  Hainan Airlines carries
more than 14 million passengers annually.  Hainan Airlines
currently flies to more than 60 domestic and international
cities, including the capitals of every Chinese province.  
Hainan Airlines' international flights include Budapest,
Brussels, Osaka and St. Petersburg.

                      *      *      *

As of May 17, 2008, Hainan Air still holds Xinhua Far East China
Rating's "CC" issuer credit rating placed on October 31, 2005
with a negative outlook.


ZTE CORP: To Invest CNY100 Million in Handset Brand Promotion
-------------------------------------------------------------
ZTE Corporation plans to spend up to CNY100 million on marketing
of high-end mobiles this year, with the aim of presenting ZTE as
the leading 3G brand, Marbridge Daily News reports, citing a  
company employee.

According to the report, the company is adopting a four+one
approach to the handset sector:

* The 'four' refers to four mobile phone strands:

-- general models made to order for operators and sold at low
    prices;

-- stylish phones sold via traditional retail channels;

-- feature phones including GPS, TV and industry specific
    models; and

-- high-end models which will both be custom made for operators
    and also sold under ZTE's own brand.  

* '+One' is promotion of uptake of 3G mobile handsets.

                        About ZTE Corp

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, ZTE Corp's principal
activities are the production and sale of general system and
communication terminal equipments.  The group operates both in
the domestic and international market.

                         *    *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on April 24,
2008, that Fitch Ratings affirmed ZTE Corporation's Long-term
foreign currency and local currency Issuer Default Ratings at
'BB+'.  The rating Outlook remains Stable.

In December 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned ZTE Corp. Long-term
foreign and local currency Issuer Default ratings of 'BB+'.  The
rating Outlook is Stable.


* Fitch: Earthquake in China not an Immediate Issue for Insurers
----------------------------------------------------------------  
Fitch Ratings commented on Thursday that, based on preliminary
estimates, the earthquake in China is not expected to have a
material impact on the balance sheets of the Hong Kong-listed
Chinese insurance companies. That said, the agency believes that
the losses arising from the tragic event, coupled with the poor
performance of the A-share market in the first few months of
2008, will put pressure on the insurers' earnings for the year.
Fitch also believes that the tragic event is a timely reminder
of the perils facing the Chinese market and the importance of
establishing effective risk transfer mechanisms through
reinsurance and other alternative methods.

The massive earthquake that hit China's Sichuan Province on
Monday 12 May 2008 was the country's worst natural disaster in
over 30 years. According to official figures as of the time of
writing, the total death toll has risen to close to 15,000. The
magnitude-7.9 earthquake has also left almost 65,000 injured. As
the largest rescue effort in the Chinese army's history
continues, the ultimate death toll and injury count are set to
rise further.

While it is still premature to gauge the impact of insured
losses on individual insurance companies, risk modeling firms
AIR Worldwide and Risk Management Solutions have estimated the
economic losses from the tragedy to be in the range of USD10-20
billion. The insured losses, according to AIR Worldwide, are
estimated to be between USD300 million and USD1bn, as compared
to the USD41bn in insured losses arising from the hurricanes in
the U.S. in 2005.

As reflected in the low insured loss estimates relative to
expected economic losses, the epicenter of the earthquake is
located in a predominantly rural area, where insurance coverage
is minimal as compared to the coastal cities. More importantly,
earthquakes are generally not covered under residential property
and motor policies. The bulk of the non-life claims are,
therefore, expected to arise from larger-scale commercial
properties farther away from the earthquake's epicenter. The
Sichuanese provincial capital, Chengdu, is located some 55 miles
from the hardest hit area and has markedly higher concentration
of insured commercial and industrial risks.

In addition to commercial property and business interruption
claims, payouts on life insurance policies are also expected to
be sizable. The Sichuan province is home to 84m residents. In
Wenchuan county alone, China Life Insurance Co Ltd (China Life),
the country's largest life insurer, has over 110,000 life
insurance policies. China Life has received 150 claims so far,
amounting to USD19m. Fitch expects that it will take weeks, if
not months, before reliable figures on ultimate life and
accident benefit payments can be gathered.

If market shares in the affected areas are used as guidance, the
insured losses from the earthquake will likely be spread among
the largest companies in the market, namely: The People's
Insurance Co (Group) of China, China Life, Ping An Insurance
(Group) Co of China Ltd and China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co
Ltd. A large portion of the losses facing the direct insurance
market will likely be passed on to China Reinsurance (Group) Co,
the country's national reinsurer, depending on the structures of
the direct companies' reinsurance programmes.

In Fitch's rating universe, the agency expects China
International Reinsurance Co Ltd (China International Re,
Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) 'A-' (A minus)) to have
manageable exposure to the event, although the company has yet
to release figures publicly. Through the use of excess-of-loss
reinsurance, the company reported a net loss of HKD35m
(USD4.5m), or 1.6% of end-2007 capital from the snowstorms
earlier this year. The agency also does not expect any
significant impact on China International Re's sister company,
Tai Ping Life Insurance Co Ltd (IFS 'BBB+'), which has somewhat
lower exposure to the region as compared to its larger peers.

Fitch's current assessment on the earthquake's impact is based
on the most recent estimates released by official sources and
catastrophe modeling firms. The agency will continue to evaluate
the earthquake's impact as loss estimates are updated and
insured losses disclosed.



================
H O N G  K O N G
================

ASCALADE COMM: Hong Kong Court OKs ACL's Scheme of Arrangement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ascalade Communications Inc. disclosed that the High Court of
Hong Kong sanctioned the Scheme of Arrangement filed by Ascalade
Communications Limited under Section 166 of the Companies
Ordinance (Chapter 32) of Hong Kong, in connection with the on-
going legal proceedings filed by Ascalade and Ascalade
Technologies Inc. in Canada under the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act.

Ascalade Communications Limited is an indirect subsidiary of the
company and is a major operating company in the Ascalade group
of companies.
    
The Scheme of Arrangement was approved at a meeting of the
creditors of ACL held on May 2, 2008.  As an outcome of the
court sanctioning the Scheme, Deloitte & Touche Hong Kong have
been appointed Scheme Administrators and will oversee management
in the orderly wind-up of ACL and sale of the assets located in
the Peoples Republic of China.

In the Scheme, the Administrator has estimated that proven ACL
creditors will potentially receive a dividend of $0.37 for each
dollar filed in a claim, there are certain qualifications and
warnings which are associated with this realization; as ACL
has not yet realized upon its assets and all creditors' claims
have not yet been adjudicated.  It should be noted that the
companies have filed claims against ACL in the Scheme.
    
Subsequent to the sanctioning of the Scheme by the Hong Kong
High Court, the company will commence formal marketing of the
significant assets located in the PRC, namely the factory,
machinery and equipment and raw material inventory.  Progress in
these marketing efforts will be the subject of future updates.
    
Any recovery in the CCAA for creditors and other stakeholders of
the companies, including shareholders, is uncertain and is
highly dependent upon a number of factors, including the
recovery from the sale of the factory, equipment and inventory
in the PRC and the outcome of the Scheme in Hong Kong.
    
In addition, Ascalade is providing this update in accordance
with Ontario Securities Commission Policy 57-603 Defaults by
Reporting Issuers in Complying with Financial Statement Filing
Requirements.

In accordance with the OSC Policy, the company confirms that,
except as disclosed in press statements dated April 2, 2008,
April 9, 2008, and April 29, 2008, issued by the company since
its initial default statement dated March 31, 2008:

   (i) there is no material change to the information set out in
       its initial default statement filed pursuant to the OSC
       Policy;

  (ii) there has been no failure by the company to adhere to the
       Alternative Information Guidelines set out in the OSC
       Policy with respect to the financial statement filing
       default; and

(iii) there is no other material information concerning the
       affairs of the company that has not been generally
       disclosed.

                About Ascalade Communications Inc.

Based in Richmond, British Columbia, Ascalade Communications
Inc. (TSE:ACG) -- http://www.ascalade.com/ -- is an innovative  
product company that designs, develops and manufactures digital
wireless and communication products.  The company deliver
products by offering its partners and customers complete
vertical integration, from product design and development to
final production.  The company's products include digital
cordless phones, Voice over Internet Protocol phones, digital
wireless baby monitors and digital wireless conference phones.
Ascalade products have been distributed in more than 35
countries and under 80 regional brands.  Ascalade also has
facilities in Qingyuan, China, Hong Kong and a sales office in
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.

On April 29, 2008, Jervis Rodrigues, senior vice-president of
Deloitte & Touche Inc., filed separate petitions for protection
under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on behalf of
Ascalade Communications Inc. and its debtor-affiliate (Bankr.
N.D. Ill. Case Nos. 08-10612 and 08-10616).  Jeffrey G. Close,
Esq. at Chapman and Cutler LLP represents the Petitioner in the
Chapter 15 case.  Ascalade's financial condition as of September
2007 showed total assets of $99,630,000 and total debts of
$40,410,000.


CHI FUNG: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 4
-----------------------------------------------------
On March 27, 2008, Dah Sing Bank Limited, filed a petition to
have Chi Fung Trading Company Limited's operations wound up.

The High Court of Hong Kong will convene at 9:30 a.m. on
June 25, 2008, to hear the petition.

The petitioners' solicitors can be reached at:

          Wilkinson & Grist
          Prince's Building, 6th Floor
          10 Charter Road, Hong Kong


ELITE RISE: Appoints New Liquidators
------------------------------------
Members of Elite Rise Investment Limited appointed Messrs. Kong
Chi How Johnson and Lo Sui Ki as the company's liquidators.

The liquidators are:

          Messrs. Kong Chi How Johnson
          Lo Sui Ki
          Wing On Centre, 25th Floor
          111 Connaught Road, Central
          Hong Kong


GLORYFIELD: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 25
--------------------------------------------------------
On April 21, 2008, Bank of Cina (Hong Kong) Limited, filed a
petition to have Gloryfield Industrial Limited's operations
wound up.

The High Court of Hong Kong will convene at 9:30 a.m. on
June 25, 2008, to hear the petition.

The petitioners' solicitors can be reached at:

          Anthony Chiang & Partners
          3903 Tower 2, Lippo Centre
          89 Queensway, Central, Hong Kong


HOI TAT: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 25
-----------------------------------------------------
On April 21, 2008, Dah Sing Bank Limited, filed a petition to
have Hoi Tat Trading Company Limited's operations wound up.

The High Court of Hong Kong will convene at 9:30 a.m. on
June 25, 2008, to hear the petition.

The petitioners' solicitors can be reached at:

          Anthony Chiang & Partners
          3903 Tower 2, Lippo Centre
          89 Queensway, Central, Hong Kong


KWOK MAN: Court to Hear Wind-Up Proceedings on June 18
------------------------------------------------------
On April 14, 2008, Wang Xin, filed a petition to have Kwok Man
Travel Limited's operations wound up.

The High Court of Hong Kong will convene at 9:30 a.m. on
June 18, 2008, to hear the petition.

The petitioners' solicitor can be reached at:

          Chong Yan-tung Chris
          34th Floor, Hopewell Centre
          183 Queen's Road East
          Wanchai, Hong Kong


* HONG KONG: 1st Qtr 2008 Credit Card Lending Survey Results
------------------------------------------------------------
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced Thursday the results
of its survey on credit card lending for the first quarter of
2008.

Total card receivables decreased by 6.0% (or HK$4.6 billion) in
the first quarter after rising by 8.8% in the last quarter of
2007.  The decrease reflected the receding effect of the payment
of salaries tax by credit cards.  The transfer of HK$155 million
of rescheduled receivables outside the surveyed institutions’
credit card portfolios during the quarter also contributed to
the decrease.  The total number of credit card accounts reduced
by 0.1%.

The rollover amount, which reflects the amount of borrowing by
customers using their credit cards, reduced to HK$24.4 billion
from HK$24.6 billion as at the end of December 2007.

The charge-off amount decreased further in the first quarter to
HK$499 million or 0.67% of average receivables from HK$504
million at the end of 2007.  The quarterly annualised charge-off
ratio dropped further to 2.68% from 2.73% in the previous
quarter.

The delinquent amount decreased to HK$234 million at the end of
March 2008 compared with HK$269 million at the end of December
2007.  As a result, the delinquency ratio declined to a new
record low of 0.32%.  The combined delinquent and rescheduled
ratio (after taking into account the transfer) also declined to
a record low of 0.40%2 at the end of March, despite a slight
increase in the amount of rescheduled receivables to
HK$54 million.



=========
I N D I A
=========

AMERICAN AXLE: UAW Talks Stall Over Benefit Programs
----------------------------------------------------
The strike called by the International United Auto Workers union
at American Axle & Mnufacturing Holdings Inc.'s original U.S.
locations continues.  Approximately 3,650 associates are
represented by the International UAW at these five facilities in
Michigan and New York.

AAM and the International UAW bargained over the past weekend
and made progress on numerous issues.  There are very few
remaining issues separating the parties from reaching agreement.

Negotiations have stalled since late Sunday over two issues:
healthcare benefits for actively employed associates and
Supplemental Unemployment Benefits.

With respect to active healthcare benefits, the International
UAW would like to continue a comprehensive plan design that
would cost AAM approximately double the rate of its principal
UAW-represented competitor suppliers in the U.S.

SUB is a benefit not typically offered by automotive suppliers.
SUB consists of both direct wage payments and benefit
continuation for associates not working due to layoff.  None of
AAM's principal UAW-represented competitor suppliers have SUB in
their labor agreements negotiated with the International UAW.

SUB is a contract provision that is driving work out of AAM's
original U.S. locations.  Paying associates who are not working
is an uncompetitive burden that AAM cannot bear if it is to
compete successfully in the U.S. market and earn new or
replacement business.

Both of these benefit programs are major cost drivers that must
be addressed in order for AAM to attain a U.S. market
competitive labor agreement for the original U.S. locations.

AAM is not -- and never has been -- an original equipment
manufaturer, the company has indicated.  AAM is a Tier 1, Tier 2
and Tier 3 supplier to the automotive industry.  In addition to
SUB, the International UAW is requesting many other OEM-style
contract provisions for the original U.S. locations.  These
include a $5,000 signing bonus, buy-out incentives up to
$140,000 per associate and buydowns that are comparable to
agreements previously reached at Delphi and Magna New Process
Gear.

AAM desires to keep work in the original U.S. locations.  AAM is
prepared to invest up to $200 million in these facilities to
support future product program sourcing if a U.S. market
competitive labor agreement is attained with the International
UAW.

The recent and rapidly accelerating deterioration in the
domestic light truck market is having a most severe negative
impact on AAM's U.S. operations.  While this is unfortunate, it
is a market reality that AAM and the International UAW must
jointly address.  AAM stands ready to continue negotiating with
the International UAW to reach an agreement that ends this
terribly costly and disruptive strike so that the original U.S.
locations can begin earning new and replacement business to
sustain future operations.  

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, American Axle &
Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (NYSE:AXL) -- http://www.aam.com/--  
and its wholly owned subsidiary, American Axle & Manufacturing,
Inc., manufactures, engineers, designs and validates driveline
and drivetrain systems and related components and modules,
chassis systems and metal-formed products for light trucks,
sport utility vehicles and passenger cars.  In addition to
locations in the United States (in Michigan, New York and Ohio),
the company also has offices or facilities in Brazil, China,
Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, South Korea
and the United Kingdom.

                            *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 4, 2008,
Moody's Investors Service placed American Axle & Manufacturing
Holdings, Inc.'s Ba3 Corporate Family Rating under review for
downgrade.


CITY UNION BANK: Fitch Upgrades Individual Rating to 'D'
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has upgraded India-based City Union Bank's (CUB)
Individual rating to 'D' from 'D/E'. At the same time, Fitch has
affirmed the bank's National Long-term rating at 'A(ind)' and
the rating of its INR500m Lower Tier 2 Subordinated debt
programme at 'A(ind)'. The bank's Support rating has also been
affirmed at '5'. The Outlook for the National Long-term rating
is Stable.

The ratings reflect CUB's small regional franchise and average,
although improving, asset quality. The upgrade of the Individual
rating reflects the bank's improved capitalisation and sustained
profitability, which has remained above system medians.

CUB's preferential allotment of INR1.6bn of equity in 2007
improved its total capital ratio to 14% at December 2007 from
12.3% in FY06. With the equity infusion, CUB's solvency measured
in terms of net NPL/equity ratio improved to 8% at December 2007
from 28% in FY05; this is now comparable to the system median of
9.7% in FY07.

While CUB's net interest margin, 4% in FY07, remained wider than
the system median of 3.5% due to its higher proportion of small
and medium enterprise (SME) loans, the bank remains vulnerable
to any rise in the cost of deposits, as the proportion of its
'low cost' current and savings deposits has declined to 20% as
of December 2007 (24% in FY07) and is lower than the system
median of 31% in FY07.

Like other Indian banks, higher recoveries and write-offs from
delinquent accounts in a benign credit environment have led to
an improvement in the bank's asset quality ratios (Gross NPL
ratios decreased to 2.3% in December 2007 from 4.3% in FY06).
While the bank has invested in improving its risk management
systems, given its concentration of loans to regional SMEs and
higher exposure to the 'sensitive' commercial real estate sector
(8% of total loans), pressures on its asset quality cannot be
ruled out. The bank's loan loss reserve coverage (55% in FY07)
is lower than that of similar, 'old' private banks.

CUB was set up in 1904 in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The bank's shareholding is diversified and the bank is listed on
the local bourses. The bank lends primarily to SMEs through its
180 branches. About 78% of the bank's deposits and loans are
sourced from its home state.


ICICI BANK: Offers to Lower EMIs; Increases Repayment Tenor
-----------------------------------------------------------
The BusinessStandard reports that ICICI Bank Limited has offered
to lower the equated monthly installments (EMIs) for a large
number of its borrowers by enhancing the tenure of their home
loans.

A company letter to borrowers cited by the BusinessStandard
explained that the move was being made as a "customer-friendly
gesture".

According to the report, the bank had raised the benchmark
reference rate or the prime lending rate for floating rate
borrowers in February and March 2007, following which many
borrowers were asked to pay higher EMIs.

"Subsequently, we have received a lot of feedback from customers
that they would prefer to increase the tenure rather than
increasing the EMI," the letter cited in the report said.

                   About ICICI Bank Limited

Headquartered in Mumbai, India, ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) --
http://www.icicibank.com/-- is a private sector bank with  
consolidated total assets of US$121 billion as of March 31,
2008.  ICICI Bank’s subsidiaries include India’s leading private
sector insurance companies and among its largest securities
brokerage firms, mutual funds and private equity firms.  ICICI
Bank’s presence currently spans 19 countries, including India.

                          *     *     *

As of May 17, 2008,  ICICI Bank Limited continues to carry
Moody's Investors Service's "Ba2" Foreign Long Term Bank
Deposits rating, which was placed on Feb. 5, 2003.

In addition, the bank still carries a "BB" Subordinated
Debt rating placed by Fitch Ratings on Feb. 5, 2007.


STATE BANK OF INDIA: Fitch Holds Individual Rating at C
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of State Bank of India
(SBI) as follows:

   -- Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default rating (IDR): at
      'BBB-' (BBB minus);

   -- Short-term foreign currency IDR: at 'F3';

   -- National Long-term rating: at 'AAA(ind)';

   -- Individual: at 'C';

   -- Support: at '2';

   -- Support Rating Floor: at 'BBB-' (BBB minus);

   -- EUR100 million senior bonds: at 'BBB-' (BBB minus);

   -- USD500m senior bonds: at 'BBB-' (BBB minus);

   -- USD300m senior bonds: at 'BBB-' (BBB minus); and

   -- USD400m perpetual non-cumulative Tier 1 bonds: at 'BB'.

The Outlook is Stable. The INR25 billion Lower Tier 2
subordinated bonds rated 'AAA(ind)' have been paid off in full.

The ratings reflect SBI's strong financial condition among
Indian banks, together with its quasi-sovereign risk status as
India's largest bank, with very high systemic importance. The
Long-term foreign currency rating is driven by the Individual
rating and is at the Support Floor.

The timely infusion of INR167 billion equity in March 2008
helped SBI absorb the impact of tighter norms on pension
liabilities as well as the higher capital charge for operational
risk under the new Basel II guidelines. The improved Tier 1
ratio (9.14% at end-March 2008) will also help the bank to
somewhat better absorb the effects of any deterioration in the
credit cycle, evidences of which were increasingly visible in
FY08.

SBI's gross NPLs increased slightly during Q408, particularly in
agriculture, SME and consumer loans, reflecting the pressures of
rising costs on borrowers. While better loan monitoring could
help control delinquencies in consumer loans, NPL recovery could
be affected if property prices were to correct, while the bank's
relatively low loan loss reserves (42% of gross NPLs in FY08)
may need to be strengthened.

The investment in technology has enabled the bank to better
position its branches and exploit the increasing opportunities
in non-interest income, for example through remittance services
and distribution of third-party investment products. While
profitability was boosted in FY08 by increased fee income and
trading in equity and fixed income securities, this may be
difficult to sustain in FY09 if trading income falls off,
together with any pressure on NIM as well as possible increase
in loan loss provision and MTM provision on the government
securities portfolio.

With over 10,000 branches and 8,500 ATMs, SBI continues to
dominate the banking space in India.



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

* INDONESIA: GDP Grew 2.15% in First Quarter 2008
-------------------------------------------------
The Wall Street Journal reports that Central Statistics Agency
data showed
Indonesia's economy in the 2008 first quarter expanded 2.15%
from the fourth quarter and 6.28% from a year earlier.

According to WSJ, the increase marked the sixth consecutive
quarter of annual growth above 6%.  The data were in line with
economists' expectations for quarterly growth of 2.09% and
annual growth of 6.17%, the report says.

The consumer-price index rose 8.96% in April from a year
earlier, its fastest pace in 19 months, while this year's
inflation was revised to 8.5%-9% from 6.5%, the report relates.

The data cited by WSJ also says that exports propelled the
country's economy
as exports rose 5.7% from the previous quarter and 15% from a
year earlier.

Household consumption, WSJ adds, contracted 0.6% from the
previous quarter but rose 5.5% from a year earlier.



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

PIA CORP: To Reduce Workforce by One-Third
------------------------------------------
Jiji Press reports that Pia Corp. will cut 90 to 100 jobs, or
about one-third of its workforce, through a voluntary retirement
program offered to its regular employees aged 30 or older.

According to the report, the move comes as the company reported
a group net loss of JPY2.5 billion for fiscal 2007 that ended in
March due partly to a plunge in ticket sales following a
computer system glitch that hit the company.

Pia, the report relates, will book a special loss of about
JPY1.2 billion in fiscal 2008 due to payments of special
retirement allowances under the program and will also cut
remuneration for company executives as a step to revamp its
operations.

                         About Pia Corp.

Japan-based Pia Corp. sells tickets for entertainments such as
cinemas, theatres, music, sports and leisure through internet,
telephone and shops.  The firm also publishes entertainment
information magazines and offers information services.

                          *     *     *

As of May 17, 2008, Pia Corp. continues to carry a "CCC"
mortgage debt rating and a "CCC" senior debt rating placed by
Mikuni Credit Ratings on August 25, 2005.


SHINGINKO TOKYO: FSA Resumes Probe on Lending Activities
--------------------------------------------------------
Kyodo News reports that the Financial Services Agency has began
inspecting Shinginko Tokyo in the first examination of the
quality of its assets.

FSA inspectors will check the quality of the bank's outstanding
loans and its system for examining the creditworthiness of
borrowers, Kyodo News says citing sources.

The inspectors will also examine the bank's system for
supervising employees' lending activities as well as its
compliance system, sources told Kyodo News.

According to the report, the bank provided loans without
requiring borrowers to put up collateral or obliging them to
find guarantors.

The bank's lax examination of borrowers resulted in cumulative
losses of JPY101.6 billion at the end of March with its capital
adequacy ratio falling to around 16 percent from 21 percent in
September 2006, Kyodo News says.

Bloomberg News relates that in March 2008, the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government said it would provide JPY40 billion yen
(US$383 million) in new funds to the bank in order to shore up
its finances.

Reiji Yoshida of The Japan Times said in a report dated
March 25, 2008, that few experts believe the government's rescue
plan will solve the problems of the money-losing bank.

In an interview, Rikkyo University professor Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi
told The Japan Times that many expect that even with the
emergency capital injection, the bank will soon fall into
financial straits again and impose further burdens on the
taxpayers of the capital.

                        About Shinginko Tokyo

Shinginko Tokyo was founded in April 2005 by the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government at the initiative of Tokyo Governor
Shintaro Ishihara with
an investment of JPY100 billion.  The bank provides loans mainly
to struggling small firms based in Tokyo.  The bank was Mr.
Ishihara's promise during his 2003 gubernatorial election
campaign.

                            *     *     *

As of May 17, 2008, Shinginko Tokyo continues to carry a "BB+"
Subordinated Debt rating placed by Japan Credit Rating Agency on
March 28, 2008.


TAKEFUJI CORP: FSA Eyes Penalty on Debt Collection
--------------------------------------------------
Kyodo News reports that the Financial Services Agency
is moving to penalize Takefuji Corp. for engaging in
inappropriate debt collection activities.

According to the report, the revised law governing moneylenders,
enacted in 2006, added a clause empowering the FSA to order
unscrupulous moneylenders to improve their operations.

Takefuji is likely to become the first lender to be disciplined
under the 2006 clause, Kyodo News says.

The FSA is also looking to order Takefuji Corp. to improve the
management of its loan contracts records, Kyodo News says citing
sources.

The sources told Kyodo News that an in-house inspection by
Takefuji uncovered cases in which employees did not properly
produce records on contracts, including failing to write down
the dates when loan contracts were concluded or changes made to
the contracts.

In addition, Kyodo News' sources said Takefuji was also found to
have engaged in inappropriate debt collection practices.

Meanwhile, in a press release dated May 16, 2008, Takefuji said
it has received a business improvement order by the Kanto
Regional Finance Bureau, on the basis of Article 24, 6-3 of
Money Lending Business Law (No. 32 Law of 1983).

The company said "We take the business improvement order with
utmost seriousness and apologize unreservedly for any
inconvenience caused in this matter particularly to our
customers and also to all stakeholders."

"We have been striving to enhance internal control in order to
improve compliance system.  We have prepared the internal
regulation that focuses on compliance, through facilitating
internal rules, revising evaluation standards for operation
units, and have conducted organizational reform, such as
establishing a risk control committee and compliance committee."

"Each of the facts which caused the business improvement order
occurred between March 2006 and March 2007.  They include facts
detected by our internal inspection. We voluntarily conducted
response to customers, recurrence prevention measures and
internal actions immediately after the detection."

"In addition, . . . , we conducted severe actions including
punitive dismissal to employees in charge immediately after the
detection, as well as working on the improvement of internal
control system with all the might.  Currently, we have
established conditions to prevent the recurrence of similar
cases."

"We believe that these response and efforts are progressing
surely.  However, with this business improvement order in mind,
we will unify our efforts of the whole company to further
strengthen compliance and internal control system in order to
ensure that there is no recurrence and to recover the trust."

                     About Takefuji Corp.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Takefuji Corporation provides
consumer finance services through a network of outlets, unmanned
outlets, internet outlet and cash dispensers and ATM.  

                        *     *     *

As of May 17, 2008, Takefuji Corporation still carries a "BB"
Senior Debt rating placed my Mikuni Credit Ratings on
September 21, 2007.



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

MAYBANK: CEO Says Bank to Focus on Organic Expansion
----------------------------------------------------
TheStar Online reports that after announcing three acquisitions
recently, Malayan Banking Bhd is not in a hurry to pursue
another.

“We are so busy with these transactions that we're not looking
at anything else. Our priority is to complete these three
acquisitions,” president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri
Abdul Wahid Omar was cited by TheStar Online as saying.

According to the report, Mr. Wahid noted that Maybank would
continue to expand organically, such as adding more branches to
the two it had in Cambodia.

On May 5, 2008, Maybank disclosed that it signed an agreement
with Nishat Group to acquire up to 20% of the ordinary shares in
MCB Bank Limited from Nishat Group.

Maybank will initially acquire from Nishat Group 94,241,527
ordinary shares in MCB, representing a 15% stake in the Bank,
for a cash price of PKR470 per share.  The total consideration
to be paid will be approximately MYR2.17 billion (US$686
million).  Maybank will have the right to increase its stake to
20% after one year.

MCB is Pakistan’s fourth largest bank by assets having an asset
base of MYR20 billion (US$6.7 billion), and the largest by
market capitalization having a market capitalization of MYR13
billion (US$4.1 billion).

The stake in MCB will allow Maybank the right to appoint two
Directors to represent its interest on the Board of MCB.

Aseambankers and JPMorgan have been appointed as advisors to the
Maybank Group while Merrill Lynch has been appointed as advisor
to Nishat Group for the transaction.

On March 26, 2008, Maybank said it will now be the controlling
shareholder of Bank Internasional Indonesia after it entered
into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire up to
100% of Sorak Financial Holdings Pte Ltd for a cash
consideration of approximately USD1.5 billion (RM4.8 billion).

Sorak is 75%-owned by Financial Fullerton Financial Holdings
Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings
(Private) Limited, and 25%-owned by Kookmin Bank.  Sorak holds
about 56% equity interest in BII.

As a result of the transaction, Maybank will also be making a
tender offer for the remaining 44.3% shares held by remaining
shareholders of BII. The total amount involved for the tender
offer is approximately USD1.2 billion (RM3.8 billion), bringing
the total value of the potential acquisition to about RM8.6
billion.

BII is listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange and ranks as
Indonesia’s sixth largest bank in terms of assets.

Maybank has appointed Aseambankers and BNP Paribas as advisors
for the acquisition.

On March 21, 2008, Maybank signed an agreement with An Binh
Commercial Joint Stock Bank for the acquisition by Maybank of
15% of the charter capital of ABBank for a cash consideration of
approximately RM430 million.

Maybank said it may also take up an additional 5% equity in the
near future, pending approval by the Vietnam government.  
Current regulations in Vietnam allow foreign banks to own up to
15% equity in a Vietnamese bank with the possibility of
increasing the stake to 20% subject to approval by the
government.

Founded in 1993, ABBank is among the fastest growing joint stock
commercial banks in Vietnam with assets growing from USD42
million in December 2005 to more than USD700 million as at
December 31, 2007.

                          About Maybank

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Maybank --
http://www.maybank2u.com.my/-- is the largest bank in Malaysia  
with consolidated assets of RM264 billion (US$83 billion) at
end-2007.

Maybank was incorporated on May 31, 1960 and commenced
operations on September 12 , 1960.  The Group has over 450
offices in the 14 countries namely, Malaysia, Singapore,
Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia,
Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China,
Bahrain, Uzbekistan,  Pakistan, Great Britain and United States
of America.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific on
Mar. 31, 2008, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Malayan
Banking Berhad's (Maybank) deposit and debt ratings, which have
maintained stable outlooks.  At the same time, the bank's
financial strength rating (BFSR) of “C” has also been affirmed
but its outlook has been changed to negative from stable.


MAYBANK: S&P Revises Outlook to Stable from Positive
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised the outlook on
its counterparty credit ratings on Malayan Banking Bhd. and
Public Bank Bhd. to stable from positive.  At the same time,
Standard & Poor's affirmed the banks' counterparty credit
ratings at 'A-/A-2'.

The action followed a similar revision on the outlook for the
foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Malaysia (foreign
currency A-/Stable/A-2; local currency A+/Stable/A-1).  Standard
& Poor's continues to believe that the banks are systemically
important for Malaysia and hence their ratings qualify for a
one-notch uplift.  However, the current credit ratings on the
banks do not incorporate this factor and reflect their
standalone credit profiles.

                          About Maybank

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Maybank --
http://www.maybank2u.com.my/-- is the largest bank in Malaysia  
with consolidated assets of RM264 billion (US$83 billion) at
end-2007.

Maybank was incorporated on May 31, 1960 and commenced
operations on September 12 , 1960.  The Group has over 450
offices in the 14 countries namely, Malaysia, Singapore,
Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia,
Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China,
Bahrain, Uzbekistan,  Pakistan, Great Britain and United States
of America.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific on
Mar. 31, 2008, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Malayan
Banking Berhad's (Maybank) deposit and debt ratings, which have
maintained stable outlooks.  At the same time, the bank's
financial strength rating (BFSR) of “C” has also been affirmed
but its outlook has been changed to negative from stable.



====================
N E W  Z E A L A N D
====================

CLEAR CHANNEL: Inks Settlement Pact with CC Media and Lenders
-------------------------------------------------------------
Clear Channel Communications, Inc., entities sponsored by Bain
Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., and a
bank syndicate consisting of Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG,
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC
and Wachovia Corp., have entered into a settlement agreement in
connection with the lawsuits previously filed in the Supreme
Court of the State of New York and the State Court in Bexar
County, Texas.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, the parties
have agreed to enter into a third amendment to the merger
agreement.  Under the terms of the amended merger agreement, as
disclosed in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 14, 2008,
Clear Channel shareholders will receive $36.00 in cash for each
share they own.

As an alternative to receiving the $36.00 per share cash
consideration, Clear Channel's shareholders will again be
offered the opportunity on a purely voluntary basis to exchange
some or all of their shares of Clear Channel common stock on a
one-for-one basis for shares of Class A common stock in CC Media
Holdings, Inc., the new corporation sponsored by the private
equity group to acquire Clear Channel.  In limited
circumstances, shareholders electing to receive some or all cash
consideration, on a pro rata basis, will be issued shares of CC
Media Holdings Class A common stock in exchange for some of
their shares of Clear Channel stock, up to a cap of $1.00 per
share.

Shareholders who elected to receive the stock consideration
prior to the special meeting of shareholders held Sept. 25,
2007, will have their shares of Clear Channel stock returned to
them and will be required to make a new election prior to the
new special shareholders' meeting.  While the merger is expected
to close by the end of the third quarter 2008 pending
shareholder approval, the parties to the settlement agreement
have agreed to extend the outside date for completion of the
merger to Dec. 31, 2008.

As part of the settlement agreement, the banks in the syndicate
supporting the transaction have entered into fully-negotiated
and documented definitive agreements to provide long-term
financing to Clear Channel.  The banks, the private equity
investors, Clear Channel, certain shareholders, and Bank of New
York (serving as escrow agent) have entered into an Escrow
Agreement pursuant to which the private equity investors and the
banks have agreed to fund into escrow the total amount of their
respective equity and debt obligations, in a combination of cash
and letters of credit, within ten and seven business days,
respectively.  Certain shareholders also have agreed to deposit
into escrow securities of Clear Channel that these parties have
agreed to exchange for Class A common stock of CC Media
Holdings.  Following deposit of funds and other property into
escrow, each party to the merger related litigation pending in
New York and Texas will file all papers necessary to terminate
the litigation, with prejudice.

The board of directors of Clear Channel has unanimously approved
the amended merger agreement and recommends that the
shareholders approve the amended merger agreement and the
merger.  The board of directors of Clear Channel makes no
recommendation with respect to the voluntary stock election or
the Class A common stock of the new corporation.

The total number of Clear Channel shares that may elect to
receive shares in the new corporation will make up 30% of the
new corporation's equity and is expected to be roughly
30 million.  These shares would have a total value of about
$1.1 billion (at the $36.00 per share cash consideration) and
represent approximately 30% of the outstanding capital stock of
the new corporation immediately following the closing of the
merger.  The terms of the merger agreement, as amended, provide
that no shareholder will be allocated more than 11,111,112
shares representing an estimated 11% of the outstanding capital
stock of the new corporation immediately following the closing
of the merger.

If Clear Channel shareholders elect to receive more than the
allocated number of shares of the Class A common stock of the
new corporation, then the shares will be allocated to
shareholders who elect to receive them on a pro-rata basis.  
Those Clear Channel shareholders electing to receive shares of
the new corporation will receive $36.00 per share for any such
Clear Channel shares that are not exchanged in this manner.  The
election process will occur in connection with the shareholder
vote on the merger, and will be described fully in an updated
proxy statement and prospectus that will be mailed to Clear
Channel shareholders.

The merger agreement, as amended, which will require shareholder
approval, includes provisions limiting the fees payable to the
private equity group in the transaction, and requiring that the
board of directors of the new corporation at all times include
at least two independent directors.

The shares of CC Media Holdings to be issued to Clear Channel
shareholders who elect to receive them in exchange for their
existing shares will be registered with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, but will not be listed on any national
exchange.

Goldman Sachs & Co. served as financial advisor to Clear Channel
on the transaction, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
served as legal advisor to the company.

"We are very pleased to have reached this accord with our
sponsors and the banks funding the transaction," Mark P. Mays,
the Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel, said.  "This
revised agreement is a win for our shareholders because it
provides them with substantial value and certainty while
avoiding the delay and inherent risks associated with complex
litigation.  Our shareholders will receive a significant premium
over recent stock price levels and can elect to continue to
participate in our future upside.  Importantly, this agreement
greatly increases the certainty that the merger will close
because all debt and equity funds will be deposited in escrow
until the transaction closes.

"Clear Channel's business prospects will be enhanced further
through an improved capital structure that includes a lower debt
load.  We appreciate greatly the support of our shareholders as
well as the loyalty and hard work of our dedicated employees
over these many months.  We are eager to begin working with THL
and Bain Capital, the stellar team that will help us to fulfill
our considerable promise."

"We have been extremely pleased by our partnership with the
Clear Channel management team. We believe this agreement, and
the definitive long-term financing package the banks have agreed
to provide, offers clarity and confidence to Clear Channel's
customers, employees and partners," John P. Connaughton, a
Managing Director at Bain Capital, stated.  "We look forward to
supporting the continued global market leadership, growth and
success of the most innovative company in the radio broadcasting
and out-of-home media space."

"We are pleased to arrive at this resolution which enables us to
complete the acquisition of Clear Channel," Scott M. Sperling,
Co-President of THL Partners, said.  "We appreciate that the
banks have provided the company with the robust, long-term
financing that will allow Clear Channel to achieve its
outstanding operational and growth potential.  We would like to
thank all of the stakeholders who worked to achieve this
positive outcome, and we are looking forward to working closely
with our investment partners and with the entire Clear Channel
leadership team to execute on our plans to grow the company to
its full potential."

A representative of the bank group, Chad Leat, Chairman of the
Alternative Asset Group at Citi, said: "The Banks are very
pleased to have reached a constructive resolution of the matter.  
We look forward to an expeditious closing of the revised
transaction and want to express our appreciation to all those
who contributed to the solution.  We look forward to
participating with our partners in Clear Channel's continued
success."

In connection with its support of a settlement, Highfields
Capital Management LP, which manages funds that beneficially own
7.7% of Clear Channel's common stock, extended its Voting
Agreement with entities sponsored by the private equity group.  
Under the Agreement, Highfields has agreed to vote in favor of
the transaction and to retain up to $400 million in equity of CC
Media Holdings.  Additionally, the Agreement includes provisions
assuring public shareholders who elect to receive stock in the
surviving entity that they will receive equal treatment to the
private equity investors in dividends and other distributions,
representation on the Board of Directors of the surviving entity
and have certain other rights following completion of the
merger.

"As the largest shareholder in Clear Channel, we saw an
opportunity to bring all parties together to remove the risk and
uncertainty of litigation and we are glad that a constructive
and mutually beneficial business solution could be reached,
Jonathon S. Jacobson, Senior Managing Director of Highfields,
said.  "We fully support this revised transaction."

"Clear Channel can now accelerate the initiatives it has
underway to capitalize on the strength of its assets and drive
profitability," Richard L. Grubman, Senior Managing Director of
Highfields, added.  "We look forward to continuing to play a
meaningful role in ensuring the company is positioned to create
substantial long-term value."

Clear Channel will set a record date, time and place for a new
special meeting of shareholders after filing an updated joint
proxy statement or prospectus with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

Shareholders with questions about the merger or how to vote
their shares should call Clear Channel's proxy solicitor,
Innisfree M&A Incorporated, toll-free at (877) 456-3427.

A full-text copy of the Amended Agreement and Plan of Merger is
available for free at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?2c08

                        About Clear Channel

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Clear Channel Communications Inc.
(NYSE:CCU) -- http://www.clearchannel.com/-- is a media
and entertainment company specializing in "gone from home"
entertainment and information services for local communities and
premiere opportunities for advertisers.  The company's
businesses include radio, television and outdoor displays.
Outside U.S., the company operates in 11 countries -- Norway,
Denmark, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, the Czech
Republic, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico and
New Zealand.  As of Dec. 31, 2007, it owned 717 core radio
stations, 288 non-core radio stations which are being marketed
for sale and a leading national radio network operating in the
United States.

                            *     *     *

In March 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said its
ratings on Clear Channel Communications Inc., including the 'B+'
corporate credit rating, remain on CreditWatch with negative
implications.

Fitch Ratings stated that in line with previous guidance, Clear
Channel Communications' 'BB-' Issuer Default Rating and Senior
Unsecured Ratings would remain in place if the going-private
transaction is not completed.

Moody's stated that assuming the transaction is completed as
currently contemplated, Clear Channel will likely be assigned a
Corporate Family Rating of B2 and the rating on the existing
senior notes is likely to be notched down to Caa1 based on their
expected subordination to the new senior secured debt facilities
and the new senior notes.


GLASS EARTH: Mr. Abramson Acquires 9,424,000 Company Shares
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Herbert Abramson disclosed in a press release that he has
acquired, directly or indirectly, 9,424,000 common shares of
Glass Earth Gold Limited, representing 6.2% of the issued and
outstanding common shares, from St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. in a
private transaction at NZ$0.11 per share or a total of
approximately NZ$1.04 million.

Mr. Abramson now owns directly or indirectly 21,323,000 common
shares, representing approximately 14.0% of the issued and
outstanding common shares.

Mr. Abramson has acquired the securities of Glass Earth for
investment purposes.  Mr. Abramson reserves the right to acquire
further securities of Glass Earth depending on market conditions
and other relevant factors.

The common shares of Glass Earth trade on the TSX Venture
Exchange.

                    About Glass Earth

Glass Earth Ltd, now known as Glass Earth Gold Ltd --
http://www.glassearthlimited.com/-- and its subsidiaries'   
principal activity is the exploration for and mining of gold
deposits in New Zealand.  Glass Earth has established a large
portfolio of gold prospecting and exploration permits in New
Zealand, including advanced gold prospects in the Hauraki-Waihi
area; advanced and greenfields gold prospects at the
Mamaku-Muirs Reef area between Rotorua and Tauranga; Greenfield
gold prospects in the Central Volcanic Region between Rotorua
and Taupo, and advanced and greenfields gold prospects in the
Otago mesothermal gold fields, including priority over a
20,550km2 prospecting permit area which it believes is
prospective for Macraesstyle gold mineralisation.

All Glass Earth's business operations are owned and managed by
its New Zealand subsidiaries Glass Earth (New Zealand) Limited
and HPD New Zealand Limited.  As of December 27, 2006, St Andrew
Goldfields Ltd. held approximately 50.2% interest in the
company.

                    *     *     *

As of June 30, 2007, the company booked a deficit of
CND3,422,000, compared with a CND1,953,000 deficit as of
May 31, 2006.


KIWI INCOME: Annual Profit Up 4.9% to NZ$123 Million
----------------------------------------------------
Kiwi Income Property Trust Limited's 2007 net profit after tax
increased 4.9% to NZ$123 million (US$93.9 million) from NZ$59.2
million last year, attributed to higher rental returns, Reuters
reports.

Stuff.co.nz News relates that the trust's distributable profit
increased 4.9% to NZ$62.1 million from last year, with a final
cash distribution of 4.50 NZ cents per unit, plus an 0.18c
imputation credit.  That takes the full year distribution to 9.0
NZ cents, up 7.9% on the previous year, Stuff News says.

The trust is projecting a similar cash distribution of about 9c
per unit next year, depending on economic conditions.

The company's total assets, Stuff New says, increased by
NZ$144.9 million to NZ$2.1 billion, of which 27.3% or NZ$571
million was bank debt.  A recent restructuring of debt
arrangements has given the trust NZ$750 million of debt
facilities.

According to Stuff News, company net rental income rose 25% to
NZ$125.1 million, up 4% on a like for like basis.

The company declared a final dividend of 4.5 cents per share,
compared with 4.85 cents a share in 2007, Reuters relates.

Reuters says that Kiwi Income reported a NZ$65 million
revaluation gain for the financial year, taking its total
portfolio value to NZ$2.1 billion.

Moreover, Reuters says the company expected continued demand for
premium quality office and retail space, which would provide
rental growth despite the slowing economy.

                    About Kiwi Income

Auckland, New Zeland-based Kiwi Income Property Trust --
http://www.kipt.co.nz/n1.html-- is a unit trust. Kiwi Income   
Properties Limited is the manager of the Trust and New Zealand
Permanent Trustees Limited is the trustee.  The Trust focuses on
recycling capital, and investing in assets.  The Trust acquires,
manages ongoing development of office, retail and industrial
property assets throughout New Zealand, with a range of lease
maturities.

                     *     *     *   

The Troubled Company Reporter - Asia Pacific, on Nov. 20, 2007,
listed Kiwi Income Properties Ltd.'s 8.000% bond with a June 30,
2010 maturity date as distressed with a trading price of
NZ$1.03.


KIWI: Begins Construction of Car Park Building at Sylvia Park
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kiwi Income Property Trust has commenced on a multi-storey car
park building that will provide 750 additional spaces at Sylvia
Park Shopping Centre.

The works involve adding four levels to an existing two level
car parking building to create a six-storey structure that will
boost the total number of car parks at New Zealand's largest
shopping centre to 4,000 at a cost of NZ$14 million.

Chief Executive of the Manager of the Trust, Angus McNaughton,
said "this is a significant enhancement to Sylvia Park which
will provide car parking for future office buildings, as well as
the Centre's retail customers.  Sylvia Park continues to perform
strongly and the additional 750 car parks will be completed in
time for the busy Christmas trading period."

                    About Kiwi Income

Auckland, New Zeland-based Kiwi Income Property Trust --
http://www.kipt.co.nz/n1.html-- is a unit trust. Kiwi Income   
Properties Limited is the manager of the Trust and New Zealand
Permanent Trustees Limited is the trustee.  The Trust focuses on
recycling capital, and investing in assets.  The Trust acquires,
manages ongoing development of office, retail and industrial
property assets throughout New Zealand, with a range of lease
maturities.   

                      *     *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter - Asia Pacific, on Nov. 20, 2007,
listed Kiwi Income Properties Ltd.'s 8.000% bond with a June 30,
2010 maturity date as distressed with a trading price of
NZ$1.03.


NZ WINDFARMS: Hires Consultants to Review Leadership Structure
--------------------------------------------------------------
NZ Windfarms Limited had engaged external consultants to assist
in reviewing the company's future leadership structure.

Chairman Derek Walker said "the company had grown rapidly over
the last 18 months and had ambitious goals to develop multiple
small to medium sized wind farms throughout New Zealand over the
next five years.  This meant it was timely to undertake a review
and ensure it had the right leadership and resources in place to
achieve those goals."

Mr. Walker said the review was being undertaken with the support
of Chief Executive Chris Freear.

                     About NZ Windfarms

Christchurch, New Zealand-based NZ Windfarms Limited --
http://www.nzwindfarms.co.nz/-- is engaged in the development  
and operation of wind power generation assets for the purpose of
generating and selling electricity.  The company's Te Rere Hau
Wind Farm is a 48.5-megawatt wind farm situated on the Tararua
Ranges near Palmerston North.  The first stage of the Te Rere
Hau wind farm consists of five New Zealand-made Windflow 500
turbines (2.5 megawatts capacity).  NZ Windfarms has arranged a
connection to the local network for the first stage of the Te
Rere Hau wind farm.  The company offers a variety of services
associated with wind farm development and operation, such as new
wind farm site identification; wind resource surveying and
assessment; securing wind generation rights; obtaining resource
consents, developing wind farm infrastructure, such as roading,
and onsite and offsite electricity networking; procuring
appropriate wind turbines; providing ongoing support and
maintenance of the wind farm installation, and marketing the
electricity production.

                    *     *     *

The company reported consecutive net losses of NZ$397,999 and
NZ$118,594 for the years ending June 30, 2006, and 2005,
respectively.



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

ASIATRUST DEV'T: Denies Report on Plans to Sell Company
-------------------------------------------------------
Asiatrust Development Bank Inc. has commented on a news article
entitled "AsiaTrust, in need of fresh capital, is for sale"
published in the May 15, 2008 issue of the Business Mirror.

In that report, the Business Mirror said the bank's management
is in talks with potential buyers since last year, but no firm
commitments have so far evolved because a shareholder bloc which
owns more than a third of the lender's capital stock allegedly
wants a high premium.

Industry sources told Business Mirror that a number of "very
interested buyers" have expressed interest in acquiring the
bank.

Asiatrust said in a regulatory filing that it has not been in
talks with any potential buyers or any parties for the purpose
of selling the bank.

                        Quarterly Losses

The bank reported net losses for the last two quarters.  For the
quarter ended September 30, 2007, Asiatrust incurred a net loss
of Php21,409,873 compared to a net loss of Php 10,574,480 in the
quarter ended September 30, 2006.  For the quarter ended
December 31, 2007, the bank incurred a net loss of Php9,300,365
compared to a net income of Php7,305,873 for the quarter ended
December 31, 2006.

                         About Asiatrust

Headquartered in Quezon City, Philippines, Asiatrust Development
Bank, Inc. (PSE: ASIA) -- http://www.asiatrustbank.com/-- was  
incorporated on October 5, 1960 as a private development bank
under the name of Quezon City Development Bank, through the
support of the Development Bank of the Philippines.  The company
changed its corporate name to its present name in 1982 and
became a publicly listed company on October 8, 1996.  ASIA's
major institutional shareholders include the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) and Social Security System (SSS).

ASIA is dedicated to the accelerated growth of Filipino
entrepreneurs, facilitating smooth access to financing for
eligible SMEs to meet their financing needs as well as support
their business growth requirements.  ASIA has also worked to
expand its operations in accordance with the changing business
environment as part of its efforts to become a financial
institution capable of broadly meeting the diverse needs of
SMEs.  ASIA provides a comprehensive array of innovative and
customized services, which consist of deposits, cash management
solutions, lines of credit, secured loans and commercial real
estate loans, trust and investment services, government
securities and foreign currency trading, remittance and credit
card facilities to households and businesses.

At present, ASIA operates through its head office in Quezon City
and 28 branches throughout the major cities and neighboring
provinces, namely, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Isabela.


DEL MONTE FOODS: May Sell StarKist Seafood Business
---------------------------------------------------
In response to published reports, Del Monte Foods Company
confirmed that it is exploring strategic alternatives for the
company's seafood business, including a potential sale of the
business.

The company advises that there can be no assurance that the
exploration of strategic alternatives will result in a
transaction and that the Board of Directors has not approved a
transaction at this time.  

The company said it does not intend to disclose developments
with respect to the exploration of strategic alternatives unless
and until its Board of Directors deems it appropriate.

                       About Del Monte Foods

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Del Monte Foods
Company (NYSE: DLM) -- http://www.delmonte.com/-- produces,  
distributes and markets branded food and pet products for the
U.S. retail market, generating more than US$3.4 billion in net
sales in fiscal 2007.  Its portfolio of brands include: Del
Monte(R), StarKist(R), S&W(R), Contadina(R), College Inn(R),
Meow Mix(R), Kibbles 'n Bits(R), 9Lives(R), Milk-Bone(R), Pup-
Peroni(R), Meaty Bone(R), Snausages(R) and Pounce(R), Del Monte
products are found in nine out of ten U.S. households.  The
company also produces, distributes and markets private label
food and pet products.

In Asia, the company has affiliates in the Indian subcontinent
and The Philippines.


DEL MONTE FOODS: Fitch Says Ratings Unaffected by StarKist Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Del Monte Foods Company (Del Monte) said Friday that it is
exploring strategic alternatives for its StarKist tuna seafood
operations. Del Monte has not disclosed the timing of any sale
nor the amount or use of potential proceeds if a divestiture
were to occur. Fitch rates Del Monte Foods Company and Del Monte
Corporation as follows:

Del Monte Foods Company (Parent)
   -- Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) 'BB'.

Del Monte Corporation (Operating Subsidiary)
   -- Long-term IDR 'BB';
   -- Senior secured bank facility 'BB+';
   -- Senior subordinated notes 'BB-'.

At Jan. 27, 2008, Del Monte's debt totaled approximately $2.1
billion. All of Del Monte's debt was issued by Del Monte
Corporation and is guaranteed by Del Monte Foods Company. The
Rating Outlook is Stable.

StarKist generates approximately $500 million in annual sales
and, with over 35% market share, is the no. 1 brand in the $1.6
billion tuna category. However, a prolonged period of
unprecedentedly high raw tuna input costs along with the
inability to effectively hedge or offset the higher costs with
price increases, due to high price elasticity of demand, has
dramatically reduced the profitability of this business.

Given the lower margin commodity nature of the branded tuna
business and on-going input cost pressure, Fitch, nonetheless,
views a review of strategic options for this business
positively. The sale of StarKist could reduce working capital
requirements and lessen cash flow volatility. Depending on the
amount of any proceeds, using a substantial portion for debt
reduction could help strengthen Del Monte's ratings within the
rating category. Conversely, significant incremental share
repurchases or acquisitions could be negative for the rating.

For the latest 12 month period ended Jan. 27, 2008, Del Monte's
credit statistics were modestly weak for the rating category.
Total debt-to-operating earnings before interest taxes,
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was 4.7 times (x),
operating EBITDA-to-gross interest expense was 2.9x and funds
from operations (FFO) fixed charge coverage was 2.0x.

                       About Del Monte Foods

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Del Monte Foods
Company (NYSE: DLM) -- http://www.delmonte.com/-- produces,  
distributes and markets branded food and pet products for the
U.S. retail market, generating more than US$3.4 billion in net
sales in fiscal 2007.  Its portfolio of brands include: Del
Monte(R), StarKist(R), S&W(R), Contadina(R), College Inn(R),
Meow Mix(R), Kibbles 'n Bits(R), 9Lives(R), Milk-Bone(R), Pup-
Peroni(R), Meaty Bone(R), Snausages(R) and Pounce(R), Del Monte
products are found in nine out of ten U.S. households.  The
company also produces, distributes and markets private label
food and pet products.

In Asia, the company has affiliates in the Indian subcontinent
and The Philippines.


UNIVERSAL ROBINA: First Half FY 2008 Net Sales Up by 15.5%
----------------------------------------------------------
Universal Robina Corporation's unaudited consolidated net sales
and services for the first half of fiscal year 2008 (October
2007 to March 2008) amounted to Php21.15 billion, a hefty
15.5%growth from Php18.31 billion last year.

Net sales and services in URC's BCFG domestic and international
(excluding packaging) increased by Php2.20 billion, or 16.4%, to
Php15.66 billion in the first half of fiscal 2008.  The increase
was primarily due to an 18.9% increase in net sales from BCFG's
domestic operations which was largely driven by the strong
performance of its snackfoods and beverage businesses which
posted a 19.5% and 21.2% growth in sales value, respectively.  
The domestic business continued to benefit from the consumer
spending recovery and price increases implemented in some
categories.  Under snackfoods, all categories posted double
digit growth with bakery delivering the highest sales growth.  
Strong coffee sales underpinned the growth of beverage.

URC implemented another round of price increases particularly in
snacks, candies and beverage to temper the impact of higher raw
material price, the benefit of which will be felt in the
succeeding quarters.  BCFG International's sales increased by
9.7%, to Php4.14 billion, buoyed by revenue growth in all the
countries except Indonesia.  International sales registered a
hefty increase of 28.5% in US dollar terms to US$98.56 million.

Net sales in URC's packaging division went up to Php719 million
in the first half of fiscal 2008 or 33.3% from Php540 million
posted in the same period last year due to an increase in sales
volume.

Net sales in URC's Agro-Industrial Group (AIG) amounted to
Php2.80 billion in the first half of fiscal 2008, an increase of
5.1% from Php2.67 billion recorded in same period last year.

This was due to the farms business which grew 8.8% to Php111.54
billion on the back of the high prices of hogs, compensating for
lower volumes.  The feeds business was flat at Php111.26 billion
as price increases, to cover rising input costs such as feed
wheat and com, just compensated for weaker volumes.

Net sales in URC's Commodities Food Group (CFG) amounted to
Php111.98 billion in the first half of fiscal 2008 or up 20.0%
from Php111.65 billion reported in the same period last year.

Flour has been implementing numerous price increases to offset
higher wheat costs worldwide.

Sugar gross sales are also up by 13.8% in the period as the
company's PASSI acquisition has already begun milling sugar in
first half of this fiscal year.  This has tempered the lower
production volume in its two Negros mills caused by rainy
weather which has delayed the start of the milling season.

URC's operating profit improved to Php111.81 billion, a
significant increase of 12.1% compared to the same period last
year.  This was due to resilient revenue growth and price
increases for some key products, which offset the increase in
the cost of certain raw and packaging materials, higher freight
expenses arising from the increase in the cost of fuel and
increasing product volumes and higher depreciation.  Operating
EBITDA likewise improved by 8.6% to Php113.021 billion.

URC's unaudited core earnings, which is operating profit after
equity earnings, net finance and other charges for the first
half of fiscal year 2008 reached Php111.80 billion from
Php111.61 billion reported in the same period last year. URC's
unaudited net income for the period declined by 87.9% to
Php11497 million because of the absence of non-recurring gain
from sale ofRLC shares, foreign exchange translation losses due
to a stronger peso, mark to market losses in bond holdings
resulting from the general drop in bond prices worldwide, and
higher taxes.

As of the period, URC has a net debt of about Php111.48 billion
as it has already paid its matured US$110 million URC 2008 Notes
in February and URC has bought back a total of 40.55 million
shares for the buy back program as of March.

                          About URC

Headquartered in Pasig City, Philippines, Universal Robina
Corporation -- http://www.urc.com.ph/-- is a branded food   
product company with presence in other Asian markets.  It was
founded in 1954 when Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. established
Universal Corn Products, a cornstarch manufacturing plant, in
Pasig.  The Company has since expanded and is now involved in a
wide range of food businesses including the manufacture and
distribution of branded consumer foods, flour milling, as well
as, sugar milling and refining.  In addition, the Company
produces hogs and day-old chicks and manufactures animal and
fish feeds, glucose and veterinary compounds. These businesses
are operated through divisions and wholly or majority-owned
subsidiaries that are organized into three core business
segments, namely, branded consumer foods, agro-industrial
products and commodity food products.

The company is a core subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
(JGSHI), one of the largest business conglomerates listed in the
Philippine Stock Exchange.  JGSHI has substantial interests in
property development, hotel management, textiles, banking and
financial services, telecommunications, petrochemicals, air
transportation and power generation.  In addition, JGSHI has
significant interests in other sectors, including printing, and
packaging.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific on
May 15, 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'BB'
corporate credit rating on Philippines' Universal Robina Corp.
(URC) on CreditWatch with negative implications.  Standard &
Poor's also placed its 'BB' rating on the US$200 million senior
unsecured notes issued by URC's wholly owned subsidiary, URC
Philippines Ltd., on CreditWatch with negative implications.  
The action follows the CreditWatch placement on the 'B+'
ratings of JG Summit Holdings Inc., the majority shareholder of
the company.



===========
T A I W A N
===========

BLOCKBUSTER INC: Earns $45 Million in Quarter Ended April 6
-----------------------------------------------------------
Blockbuster Inc. reported net income of $45.4 million for the
first quarter ended April 6, 2008, an improvement of $94.4
million as compared with a net loss of $49.0 million for the
first quarter of 2007.

Total revenues decreased 5.4% to $1.39 billion for the first
quarter of 2008 from $1.47 billion for the first quarter of
2007, as a result of fewer company-operated stores.  

Domestic same-store revenues increased 2.9% as compared to the
first quarter of 2007, reflecting a 920 basis point improvement
over the first quarter of 2007.  This increase was driven by a
0.4% growth in same-store rental revenues and a 19.7% increase
in same-store merchandise sales.  

International same-store revenues decreased 1.5% from the same
period last year, reflecting a 0.9% increase in same-store
rental revenues and a 4.9% decline in same-store merchandise
sales.  Worldwide same-store revenues grew 1.4% from the same
period last year.

"The significant improvement in our first quarter results
demonstrates the underlying strength of our core rental and
emerging retail business," Jim Keyes, Blockbuster chairman and
CEO, said.  "BLOCKBUSTER Total Access(TM), our subscription
rental offering, is now profitable and positioned for growth."

"Additionally, our stores achieved positive growth in both sales
and margin," Mr. Keyes added.  "We are particularly pleased that
domestic same-store revenues showed an improvement for the first
time in five years primarily as a result of several initiatives
we have put in place, including an increased availability of top
new movies, improved store merchandising and more effective
pricing."

"Going forward, we are confident we can continue to grow our
core business, which will enable us to focus on aggressive
development of our digital offerings," Mr. Keyes continued.  
"Our ability to provide convenient access to both physical and
electronic media entertainment will provide Blockbuster a
meaningful competitive advantage and allow us to create enhanced
shareholder value over the long-term."

                Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of April 6, 2008, no balance was outstanding under the
company's revolving credit facility and $406.5 million was
outstanding under the term loan portions of its credit
facilities.  The available borrowing capacity under the
revolving credit facility, excluding the $150.0 million reserved
for issuance of letters of credit provided for Viacom Inc. at
Viacom's expense, and $52.7 million reserved to support other
letters of credit, totaled $222.3 million at April 6, 2008.

Net cash flows from financing activities increased $56.9 million
to $9.1 million of cash used for financing activities during the
first quarter of 2008 from $66.0 million of cash used for
financing activities during the first quarter of 2007.  This
change was due to a $56.3 million decrease in net debt
repayments.

At April 6, 2008, the company has cash and cash equivalents of
$137.7 million.  Working capital was $77.2 million as compared
to $30.7 million at Jan. 6, 2008.

At April 6, 2008, the company's balance sheet data showed total
assets of $2.6 billion, total liabilities of $1.9 billion and
total shareholders' equity of $706.5 million.

                   About Blockbuster Inc.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI,
BBI.B) -- http://www.blockbuster.com/-- is a leading global         
provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, with over
7,800 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and
Australia.  The company maintains operations in Brazil, Mexico,
Denmark, Italy, Taiwan, and Australia.

At Jan. 6, 2008, the company's total debt, including capital
lease obligations was US$757.8 million compared with US$984.2
million in Dec. 31, 2006.

                          *     *     *

In December 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Blockbuster Inc.'s
long-term Issuer Default Rating at 'CCC' and the senior
subordinated notes at 'CC/RR6'.  The rating outlook is stable.


S-TECH CORP: Fitch Rates 5-Year TW$200 Million Bonds at B(twn)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned Taiwan-based S-Tech Corp. (S-Tech) a
National Long-term rating of 'B+(twn)' and National Short-term
rating of 'B(twn)'. The Outlook on the Long-term rating is
Stable. At the same time, Fitch rated S-Tech's five-year TWD200
million senior unsecured convertible bond due June 2012 at
'B(twn)', with a recovery rating of 'RR5'.

"The National Long-term rating reflects S-Tech's much smaller
operating scale than its global peers, its high exposure to
volatile feedstock prices and industry cyclicality, as well as
its limited track record of maintaining a stable performance,"
said Kevin Chang, Associate Director of Fitch's Industrials team
in Asia-Pacific. "The extensive capital expenditure - partly in
a new business area - funded primarily by debt in 2008 and 2009
will also increase financial risk and generate significant
execution risk for the company."

The Stable Outlook is based on Fitch's expectation that the
large debt increase, as well as the lack of a track record in
the non-titanium business which S-Tech is going to expand in,
will limit the potential for a rating upgrade. Debt funding for
its large capex planned for 2008 and 2009 is likely to weaken
its current credit metrics. Moreover, the primary challenge for
the company in the short run is improving its significantly
deteriorated performance in the first quarter of 2008 (Q108).

Leading to a one-notch difference against the National Long-term
rating, the 'RR5' rating reflects below-average recovery
prospects in the event of default. Assuming no sufficient
conversion of the optional convertibles and no substantial
improvement in profitability, Fitch expects potential recovery
of the unsecured convertibles to be weakened by the significant
expected increase in secured debt, which has a higher priority
of repayment than the unsecured credits. According to the
agreements between S-Tech and a syndicated banking group, the
company must draw down a minimum of TWD440m in loans (secured
against fixed assets) additionally in the rest of 2008, leading
to a pro forma 74% share of secured funding in the debt
structure from 47% at end-Q108.

Fitch said S-Tech's strategy to expand product application,
diversify revenue mix and execute vertical integration would
gradually mitigate its risks of limited business scope over the
medium term. Potential support from its parent company, Gloria
Material Technology Corp. (GMT) - which injected cash into S-
Tech in 2006 and 2007 - also eased the agency's concerns over
the company's financial risks.

Although the only titanium alloy midstream producer in Taiwan,
S-Tech has significantly weaker operating efficiency and
bargaining power than integrated foreign competitors because the
company has no in-house supply of raw materials (which account
for around 70% of production costs). Besides, S-Tech's sales are
concentrated on major clients, with its top five customers
accounting for around 55% of revenues. It also has limited
capability to transfer the increase of raw material costs to
downstream clients because around 80% of its products are sold
through distributors.

Established in May 2002, S-Tech is 33.44%-owned by GMT. S-Tech's
profitability improved in 2007, with revenues of TWD983m and
operating EBITDAR of TWD158m. However, in Q108 its revenue fell
by 24.7% yoy on the back of a selling price decline amid the
industry downturn, leading to operating loss and negative
EBITDAR margin of -9.5% (minus 9.5%).

At end-Q108, S-Tech's TWD245m cash balance comfortably covers
its TWD32m debt due within one year. The company's liquidity
position is also supported by unused, albeit uncommitted, short-
term credit facilities of TWD525m at the end of March 2008.

                         *********

Tuesday's edition of the TCR-AP delivers a list of indicative
prices for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.
Prices are obtained by TCR-AP editors from a variety of outside
sources during the prior week we think are reliable.   Those
sources may not, however, be complete or accurate.  The Tuesday
Bond Pricing table is compiled on the Friday prior to
publication.  Prices reported are not intended to reflect actual
trades.  Prices for actual trades are probably different.  Our
objective is to share information, not make markets in publicly
traded securities.  Nothing in the TCR-AP constitutes an offer
or solicitation to buy or sell any security of any kind.  It is
likely that some entity affiliated with a TCR-AP editor holds
some position in the issuers' public debt and equity securities
about which we report.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the TCR-AP. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to
conferences@bankrupt.com

Friday's edition of the TCR-AP features a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets obtained by our editors based on the
latest balance sheets publicly available a day prior to
publication.  At first glance, this list may look like the
definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical
cost net of depreciation may understate the true value of a
firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance
sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at
which equity securities trade in public market are determined by
more than a balance sheet solvency test.


                            *********


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., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland, USA.  Rousel Elaine C. Tumanda, Valerie C. Udtuhan,
Marie Therese V. Profetana, Frauline S. Abangan, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.
   
This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding,
electronic re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited
without prior written permission of the publishers.
Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.
   
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thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information, contact
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