TCRAP_Public/980216.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, February 16, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 4

                        Headlines

C H I N A

JINGWEI TEXTILE: Shares Tumble as Sales Projected to Decline
THEME INTERNATIONAL: Considering Liquidity Increase Options

H O N G   K O N G  

PEREGRINE INVESTMENTS: Santander Submits Bid to Liquidators
PEREGRINE INVESTMENTS: Provisional Liquidators Overwhelmed

I N D O N E S I A

CITRA MARGA: Ability to Make Interest Payments Questioned
INTI INDORAYON: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C
POLYSINDO EKA: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C
POLYSINDO INTERNATIONAL: DCR Downgrades Gtd. Sec. Notes
TRANS-PACIFIC PETROCHEMICAL: Facing Funding Woes
TRI POLYTA: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C

J A P A N  

BANK OF TOKYO: Moody's Reviews for Possible Downgrade
CHUO PAPERBOARD: Three Competitors to the Rescue
DAI-ICHI KANGYO: Moody's Reviews for Possible Downgrade
DAIWA BANK: Downgraded to Lowest Rating by Moody's
ENIX CORP.: Record On-Day Decline on Tokyo Stock Exchange
LONG-TERM CREDIT: Plans to Cut 700 Jobs to Stem Losses
YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Merrill Lynch Picks Up Some Pieces

K O R E A

HALLA GROUP: ITT, Lucas & Sachs Kicking Mando's Tires
HALLA GROUP: Offering More and More for Sale
HALLA GROUP: Singapore Shipyards Denounce Interest in Halla
HANWHA GROUP: Banks to Extend $285 Million Emergency Loans
KIA MOTORS: Samsung Chairman Refuses to Discuss Rumors
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Releases Additional Restructuring Plans
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Chrysler Chairman Indicates Interest
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Ford in Active Negotiations
SHIN WON: Creditor Banks Extend US$125 Million New Financing
SSANGYONG MOTOR: Stock Continues to Decline

M A L A Y S I A

ASEAMLEASE GROUP: Rating Agency Malaysia Reaffirms P2 Rating
REKAPACIFIC BHD: Posts RM35mil interim loss

P H I L I P P I N E S

GRAND AIR: Cutting Costs to Survive Asian Currency Crisis
ORIENT COMMERICAL: Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee Bank's Sale

S I N G A P O R E

CAM INTERNATIONAL: Paving Way for Trading to Resume
SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES: SKT Travel to be Liquidated

T H A I L A N D

FIRST BANGKOK: Citibank Suspends Audit



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


JINGWEI TEXTILE: Shares Tumble as Sales Projected to Decline
------------------------------------------------------------
Shares in Jingwei Textile Machinery Co tumbled 12.8% last
week after the mainland firm revealed sales would drop by
200 million yuan this year under Beijing's policy of
suppressing demand for spindles.  The H-share company ended
10 cents down to 68 cents, while the Hang Seng China
Enterprises Index, which tracks the performance of H shares,
edged down only 4.72 points to 674.37.

Jingwei, the mainland's largest textile machinery-maker,
estimated that it would reduce supply of 1,500 units of
cotton spinning frames to domestic buyers this year, which
would hurt its sales by 200 million yuan.  According to an
earlier forecast by Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia,
Jingwei would have sales of 630 million yuan this year.    
The cut means a reduction of about one-third of the
company's sales.  

"The company will benefit from the textile sector reform in
two to three years, when the textile industry is back on
growth track, despite the short-term pain," a Jingwei
official told the South China Morning Post.  Under Beijing's
policy, 10 million obsolete spindles, compared with existing
42 million, will be disposed of by 2000, in a bid to rectify
the sector's loss-making situation.  Permits will be
required for the production and purchase of cotton spinning
frames and Jingwei has ceased the supply of products to
domestic customers since December.  

"We used to sell 2,000 units a year. With the policy, we
expect to sell only 500 now," the official said.  He said
Jingwei planned to boost exports to compensate for the
shortfall.  Exports accounted for about 10 per cent of
sales, he said.  However, analysts are sceptical of of this,
saying it takes time to establish in the overseas market and
that Jingwei's products are low-end.  (South China Morning
Post 12-Feb-1998)


THEME INTERNATIONAL: Considering Liquidity Increase Options
-----------------------------------------------------------
Retailer Theme International Holdings has proposed issuing
convertible bonds and off-loading property assets to help
solve its cash flow problems, sources say.  After a board
meeting Wednesday, Theme directors decided the two fund-
raising exercises were feasible ways to boost liquidity, the
sources said.  

The company, which is 20 per cent owned by mainland-backed
China Everbright-IHD Pacific, has liabilities of about $460
million.  It is seeking about $100 million in cash to
alleviate liquidity problems which occurred after two
foreign banks withdrew credit lines two months ago.

A spokesman said the company would make an announcement in
the next few days which would detail the restructuring
proposals.  The proposal is also expected to include a
revamp of Theme's board of directors.  China Everbright
chairman Zhu Xiaohua said earlier the mainland-backed
company would prefer it if Theme issued convertible bonds
rather than injecting cash into Theme by raising its stake.

China Everbright sold its loss-making retailing arm Emporium
to Theme about seven months ago in exchange for 20 per cent
of the company.  

While the pricing of the convertible bonds was still under
negotiation, the proposed sale of Theme headquarters in Kwai
Chung was a priority, sources said.  Theme would sell a
third of its existing office space and might sell the
remainder if prices were attractive, they said.  The
spokesman said the floor area was redundant after the
company sacked about 60 staff two months ago.  The lay-offs
were part of a cost-reduction programme aimed at minimising
spending in the second half, she said.  

The programme was prompted by a loss-making first-half and a
recent downturn in the retail sector.  Theme made a $19.8
million net loss for the six months to last September
against a $51.03 million net profit in the previous
corresponding period.

Sources said Theme expected a net loss of "tens of millions"
for the year to March as its second-half performance was
unlikely to offset the losses in the first half.  (South
China Morning Post 13-Feb-1998).



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


PEREGRINE INVESTMENTS: Santander Submits Bid to Liquidators
-----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Santander is understood to have submitted a US$20 to
US$23 million bid to the provisional liquidators appointed
by the High Court in Hong Kong to clean-up the collapse of
Peregrine Investments.  The Santander Bid covers Peregrine's
stockbrokering staff (located in Asia, New York and Europe)
rights and other assets not bid on by Banque Nationale de
Paris.  Any final sale is subject to approval by the High
Court and other regulatory agencies.  (The Financial Times
09-Feb-1998, et seq.)


PEREGRINE INVESTMENTS: Provisional Liquidators Overwhelmed
----------------------------------------------------------
Price Waterhouse said last week that it is overwhelmed in
its review of more than 2,000 trades involving over 300
counterparties as it sifts through more than US$1 billion in
bonds and swap contracts underwritten by failed Peregrine
Investments Hooldings, Ltd. and Peregrine Fixed Income, Ltd.  
Price Waterhouse was appointed as provisional liquidator for
Peregrine by the High Court in Hong Kong last month.  (The
Asian Wall Street Journal 09-Feb-1998).

Since the first of the month, certain counterparties have
attempted to attach Peregrine assets located in New York and
Bermuda.  The provisional liquidators have appeared in each
of those jurisdictions to obtain court orders directing that
all claims against Peregrine's be resolved centrally before
the Hong Kong court.



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


CITRA MARGA: Ability to Make Interest Payments Questioned
---------------------------------------------------------
In the wake of the collapse of Peregrine Investments
Holdings, Ltd., Pefindo downgraded its credit rating for PT
Citra Marga Nusaphala Persad.  Pefindo questions Citra's
ability to make interest payments due on the firm's US$175
million of floating-rate notes due in 1998 and US$125
million on other debt securities due in 2002.  Citra was
party to swap contracts with Peregrine Fixed Income Ltd.,
and suspects that those swap agreements are invalid.  (The
Asian Wall Street Journal 09-Feb-1998).


INTI INDORAYON: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C
---------0---------------------------------------------
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. announced Friday that it
downgraded Senior Notes issued by Inti Indorayon Utama from
Single-B-Minus to Triple-C reflecting, among other things,
the deteriorating creditworthiness of the Republic of
Indonesia and the implications this holds for private-sector
entities in the country.


POLYSINDO EKA: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C
------------------------------------------------------
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. announced Friday that it
downgraded Senior Notes issued by P.T. Polysindo Eka Perkasa
from Single-B-Minus to Triple-C reflecting, among other
things, the deteriorating creditworthiness of the Republic
of Indonesia and the implications this holds for private-
sector entities in the country.


POLYSINDO INTERNATIONAL: DCR Downgrades Gtd. Sec. Notes
-------------------------------------------------------
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. announced Friday that it
downgraded Guaranteed Secured Notes issued by P.T. Polysindo
International Finance from Single-B-Minus to Triple-C
reflecting, among other things, the deteriorating
creditworthiness of the Republic of Indonesia and the
implications this holds for private-sector entities in the
country.


TRANS-PACIFIC PETROCHEMICAL: Facing Funding Woes
------------------------------------------------
Construction has nearly halted on a US$2.5 billion
petrochemical complex being built in Indonesia.  The
international consortium constructing the PT Trans-Pacific
Petrochemical Indotama project in East Java is running out
of money.  Things are so tight that the project, led by
Hashim Djojohadikusumo, and Indonesian businessman, is ready
to halt virtually all work next month until it can get more
financing, say people familiar with the venture.  It is
about 40% complete and the shareholders have spent about
US$1 billion so far.  In April, the group said seven banks
had agreed to arrange US$950 million in financing.  But that
arrangement was put on hold as the region's financial
systems crumbled.  (The Wall Street Journal 13-Feb-1998)


TRI POLYTA: DCR Downgrades Senior Notes to Triple-C
---------------------------------------------------
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. announced Friday that it
downgraded Senior Notes issued by Tri Polyta Finance B.V.
from Single-B-Minus to Triple-C reflecting, among other
things, the deteriorating creditworthiness of the Republic
of Indonesia and the implications this holds for private-
sector entities in the country.



=========
J A P A N  
=========


BANK OF TOKYO: Moody's Reviews for Possible Downgrade
-----------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service Inc. placed the credit rating of
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi on review for possible
downgrade.  In trading Friday, shares in Bank of Tokyo-
Mitsubishi Ltd. fell 70 yen to 1,850.  (Bloomberg News 13-
Feb-1998)


CHUO PAPERBOARD: Three Competitors to the Rescue
------------------------------------------------
Shares in Chuo Paperboard Co. rose 2 yen to 135 in trading
Friday, before trading in the company's stock was suspended
in response to a report three other companies will buy
stakes in the financially troubled paper maker.

Paper makers Oji Paper Co., Rengo Co. and trading company
Itochu Corp. will each buy a stake in Chuo Paperboard to
help it return to solvency, Nikkei English News reported. On
that news, shares in Oji Paper fell 50 yen to 630, Rengo
fell 2 yen to 339, and Itochu fell 16 yen to 365.  
(Bloomberg News 13-Feb-1998)


DAI-ICHI KANGYO: Moody's Reviews for Possible Downgrade
-------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service Inc. placed the credit rating      
of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd. on review for a possible
downgrade.  The market reacted negatively Friday, pushing
shares in Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd. down 20 yen to 1,080
yen.  (Bloomberg News 13-Feb-1998)


DAIWA BANK: Downgraded to Lowest Rating by Moody's
--------------------------------------------------
In trading Friday in Tokyo, shares in Daiwa Bank Ltd. fell
20 yen to 372. Banking shares fell generally after a Moody's
Investors Service Inc. report said Japan's financial
institutions are likely to remain weak despite government
efforts to help them.  Daiwa took a hard hit Friday,
however, as Moody's downgraded Daiwa Bank's financial
strength rating to its lowest ranking of "E" from "D."  
(Bloomberg News 13-Feb-1998)  

Daiwa Bank had unconsolidated assets of 16.2 trillion yen
(US$132 billion) as of September 30, 1997.  (Agence France-
Presse 13-Feb-1998)

Daiwa faces "significant risks" from some large borrowers,
particularly troubled construction companies and real estate
developers, Moody's said.  "The main bank relationship with
such borrowers may result in material future credit costs,"
it added.  "Daiwa's economic capital is problematic and
vulnerable to stock market volatility.  "Moody's is
concerned that the bank's business franchise will be
challenged by on-going deregulation and this could lead to a
further contraction of profit margins in its banking
business."  (Moody's 12-Feb-1998)

The downgrade of Daiwa Bank means six of Japan's 19 "top
banks," the flagship institutions which it was understood
the government would not allow to fail, now have some of the
worst ratings in terms of financial strength under Moody's
system.  Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan Ltd., Mitsui Trust
and Banking Co. Ltd. and Nippon Trust Bank Ltd. all have a
financial strength rating of "E-plus."  Daiwa Bank now joins
Nippon Credit Bank Ltd. and Yasuda Trust and Banking Co.
Ltd. at the "E" rating level.  (Agence France-Presse 13-Feb-
1998)


ENIX CORP.: Record On-Day Decline on Tokyo Stock Exchange
---------------------------------------------------------
Enix Corp. (9684 JP ) fell 500 yen to 2,600.  That was the
maximum one-day decline allowed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The electric appliance maker Tuesday cut its pretax profit
forecast 50% to 2 billion yen for the year ending March 31.
That's 50 percent less than the most recent forecast by Toyo
Keizai.  (Bloomberg News 12-Feb-1998)


LONG-TERM CREDIT: Plans to Cut 700 Jobs to Stem Losses
------------------------------------------------------
The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan plans to cut about 700
jobs -- 20% of its staff -- within two years, and to revamp
its salary system in an effort to cut costs and streamline
management, sources within the bank said Saturday.  Citing
an expected pretax loss for fiscal 1997, the bank also plans
to cut some employees' salaries, the sources said.  With the
leaner management and cost-cutting efforts, officials hope
to give the bank, one of the nation's three long-term credit
institutions, a faster decision-making process and stronger
financial performances, the sources said.  

The bank's overall restructuring scheme, to be announced
Monday, will also help implement a strategic alliance signed
in September with Swiss Bank Corp., the souces said.  The
two banks agreed in July to jointly establish three
subsidiaries--a securities company, an asset-management
company and a private banking firm.  Under the bank's plan
to improve its management, it would reduce the number of
employees from 3,500 to 2,800 by the end of March 2000
through consolidation of functions of domestic branches and
by setting up subsidiaries to which some operations will be
transferred.

In the Tokyo area, loan operations would be concentrated in
the head office and core branches.  The remaining branches
in the area would specialize in selling discount bonds, the
sources said.  The bank's loan functions in Europe and Asia
would be concentrated in its London, Hong Kong and Singapore
branches.  Overseas loan operations outside the United
States will also be scaled back, the sources said.
The bank's investment banking functions, including
underwriting foreign bonds, will be handed over to Swiss
Bank's securities department.  Three subsidiaries in London,
Switzerland and the United States will be closed this year,
according to the plan.  The bank expects to reduce salary
and other expenses by 25%, to about 70 billion yen, within
two years, the sources said.  The bank also plans cut the
size of its 28-member board of directors to fewer than 10.
The remainder of the current board members would be made
officers, who would take the lead in implementing strategies
set at the board meetings.  

Meanwhile, the bank will eliminate the post of adviser and
significantly cut the number of counselors -- positions
traditionally assumed by former chairmen and presidents of
the bank. The bank has currently two advisers and 15
counselors.  The bank said it would also consider limiting
terms for those positions, which currently have no
retirement ages.  In April, the bank will introduce a system
in which the salaries of general managerial employees will
be based on performance rather than seniority.  (The Daily
Yomiuri 14-Feb-1998)


YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Merrill Lynch Picks Up Some Pieces
-------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. announced a commitment to lease
approximately 30 branches of Yamaichi Securities Ltd and
hire up to 700 of the failed securities firm's brokers.  
Merrill Lynch made it clear that is not buying any legal
entity and not accepting any Yamaichi litigation risk.  
(Standard & Poor's 12-Feb-1998)

Failed Yamaichi Securities was Friday's most heavily traded
issue on the stock exchange in Tokyo.  (UPI 13-Feb-1998)



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


HALLA GROUP: ITT, Lucas & Sachs Kicking Mando's Tires
-----------------------------------------------------
South Korea's bankrupt Halla conglomerate is negotiating to
sell all or part of its auto parts operations -- Mando
Machinery Corp. -- to American, British and German
companies.  Reportedly, ITT Corp. of the United States,
British auto parts maker Lucas Industries PLC, and Sachs of
Germany are interested in buying all or part of Mando's
steering, brake and shock absorber plants.  (Detroit News &
Financial Times 11-Feb-1998)


HALLA GROUP: Offering More and More for Sale
--------------------------------------------
Halla Group, accordingly to various published accounts, is
reported to be:

   (a) courting Bosch of Germany to buy its car parts joint
       venture interests in Kamco;

   (b) talking to Dutch, Norwegian and Singaporean companies
       about investments in Halla's shipping operations;

   (c) taking bids for its five non-core subsidiaries:
       Halla Investment, Halla Concrete, Maister, Marco Polo  
       Hotel and KAM;

   (d) shopping property and securities valued at Won1,000
       billion (US$642 million); and

   (e) continuing discussions with Bowater of the U.S. with
       a view toward Bowater's purchase of a more than 50%
       interest in Halla's pulp and paper unit.


HALLA GROUP: Singapore Shipyards Denounce Interest in Halla
-----------------------------------------------------------
Singapore shipyards last week poured cold water on reports
that a government-linked agency in the republic was in
rescue talks with Halla, the failed South Korean shipyard.  
A report appearing in Lloyds List International earlier
quoted a Halla official as saying a Singapore state agency
was very interested in a partnership with the yard. But
government-linked shipyard companies in Singapore reacted
with dismay to the report.  Both Keppel and Sembawang,
Singapore's giant marine based government-linked
conglomerates, said they had never had any dealings with
Halla Group or spoken to Halla's receivers about rescue
partnerships.

Analysts also cast doubt on the report, noting that
Singapore's government-linked companies were also facing
financial pressures due to the Asian economic crisis.  It is
almost unbelievable that the government would encourage
Keppel or Sembawang to get involved in such a high profile,
difficult case as Halla, said one analyst who did not wish
to be named. Singapore private investors and the Singapore
government investment agencies have no track record in
Korean investments, he added.  However, other industry
observers pointed out that a stake in Halla shipyard, a
brand new facility at Samho, western Korea, could be a good
move if a partnership deal was carefully structured.  It is
one of the newest shipbuilding facilities in the world and
it already has a track record of building good ships on
time, an observer said.  Other Singapore yards contacted by
Lloyd's List yesterday also denied involvement or knowledge
of talks with Halla or its receivers.  Both Jurong Shipyard
and Singapore Technologies Shipbuilding and Engineering,
both groups with strong government links, said they were not
talking to Halla. (LLoyd's List International 13-Feb-1998)


HANWHA GROUP: Banks to Extend $285 Million Emergency Loans
----------------------------------------------------------
Creditor banks for the Hanwha Group have decided to extend
442 billion won (US$285 million) in emergency loans to the
cash-starved group.  About 10 creditor banks, including
Hanil, Commercial and Korea Exchange banks, agreed to extend
the special loan.  About 242 billion won (US$156 million) of
the loan would be disbursed to Hanwha Energy to pay for
imports of crude oil, and 100 billion won (US$64.5 million)
each will be provided to Hanwha Corp. and Hanwha Chemical
for their restructuring efforts.  The group had already
borrowed 300 billion won (US$193 million) in emergency loans
from the same 10 banks last year-end, and it managed to
borrow another lump sum in loans barely a month later.  
(Asia Pulse 11-Feb-1998)

In trading Wednesday, Hanhwa Group shares gained ground
after creditor banks decided to extend emergency credit.
Hanhwa Corp. closed up 180 at 3,620 won and Hanhwa Chemical
closed up 140 at 3,540 won.  (Agence France Presse 11-Feb-
1998)


KIA MOTORS: Samsung Chairman Refuses to Discuss Rumors
------------------------------------------------------
Samsung Motors chairman Im Kyung-Choon refused to comment
Wednesday's at a press conference in Seoul on the rumored
possibility of Samsung taking over South Korea's insolvent
Kia Motors Corp.  This controversial issue which has spurred
bitter criticism by other South Korean car producers.  "I do
not want to talk about Kia.  We have already been dogged by
such rumours," Im said.  (Agence France-Presse 11-Feb-1998)

In trading Thursday, shares in Kia Motors Corp were up 470
at 6,370 won.  (Agence France-Presse 12-Feb-1998)


SAMSUNG MOTORS: Releases Additional Restructuring Plans
-------------------------------------------------------
Samsung Motors Corp. said Wednesday it would invite more
foreign partners into its fledgling business, shrugging off
a lingering controversy over the viability of its entry into
South Korea's bloated auto industry.  "Because of the
rapidly changing environment at home and abroad, we have
changed an earlier strategy to acquire a foreign auto maker.
Instead, we are trying to tie up with foreign firms,"
Samsung Motors chairman Im Kyung-Choon told reporters.  Im
said his company was "negotiating with several foreign
companies."  But he declined to reveal names, saying only
that he would announce the results of negotiations at an
appropriate time.  Ford, Chrysler, and BMW are likely
candidates alliances with Samsung Motors, analysts told
Bloomberg News.  

Goldman Sachs head Jon Corzin held business talks with
Samsung group chief Lee Kun-Hee last Friday, prompting
speculation that the group was seeking to obtain funds from
the US investment firm.  But Samsung officials denied
newspaper reports Wednesday that Samsung was seeking a two-
billion-dollar deal with Goldman Sachs to finance its auto
and other projects.  "Negotiations are under way to borrow
two billion dollars from Goldman Sachs, with half of the
money to be used for Samsung Motors' second round of
investment," an unnamed Samsung official was quoted as
telling the Naewae Economic Daily.

Like other conglomerates, Samsung has been it by the
country's foreign exchange crisis, which has sent a record
number of debt-stricken South Korean firms into insolvency.  
In January, the group unveiled a restructuring program to
meet IMF demands for massive reforms. But it was criticized
by observers as "cosmetic."  The group also said it would
concentrate on a few business lines, including
semiconductors and finance as its core businesses, and
eliminate cross-loan guarantees between its subsidiaries by
the end of next year.  (Agence France-Presse 11-Feb-1998)


SAMSUNG MOTORS: Chrysler Chairman Indicates Interest
----------------------------------------------------
Addressing the Economic Club in Detroit, Michigan, earlier
this week, Chrysler Chairman Robert Eaton said the third-
largest U.S. automaker is interested in buying all or part
of another car company as it tries to boost international
sales, according to a report published in the Times Union,
quoting Eaton as saying, "obviously, we're looking around.
And if the right thing materializes, we'll be a player."  
(Times Union 12-Feb-1998)


SAMSUNG MOTORS: Ford in Active Negotiations
-------------------------------------------
South Korea's fledgling Samsung Motors Inc. said Thursday it
was locked in negotiations with Ford Motor Co. either to
open a partnership or draw capital from the US company.  
"Ford is the strongest candidate to draw foreign capital
into our auto business," a Samsung Motors spokesman told
AFP.  "If realized, Samsung's partnership deal with Ford
will bolster our financial footing," he said, indicating
Samsung hopes to draw Ford's capital.

That news spurred speculation about a three-way alliance
among Samsung, Ford and South Korea's ailing Kia Motors
Corp., which went belly-up last year under heavy debts.  
Ford, the biggest shareholder of Kia with 17 percent of the
company including shares owned by its Japanese partner
Mazda, has competed with rival General Motors to strengthen
its footing in South Korea's troubled car market.  Kia
immediately rejected the three-way partnership through Ford,
but its shares were trading at a premium Monday.

Analysts welcomed any cooperation between Samsung and Kia as
the best option for Kia's survival.  They also said Ford
would be able to strenghten its access to the Asian market.  
"It will not be negative for Kia to push for cooperation or
a joint venture with Ford and Samsung now," KLB Securities
analyst Yang Young-shik told AFX, an AFP-affiliated
financial news service.  But he said an obstacle in the way
of any Kia-Samsung-Ford alliance was Kia's heavy cross-
payment guarantees on its unprofitable subsidiaries. (Agence
France-Presse 12-Feb-1998)

Insiders at Samsung said that the company is most keen on
striking a relationship with Ford.  "We are discussing not
only production and sales, but also stake participation," an
official close to the situation said.  A successful deal
with Ford will raise the conglomerate's credibility and also
help the group's efforts to draw foreign funds via U.S.
investment bank Goldman Sachs.  (Asia Pulse 12-Feb-1998)

But, a Samsung spokesman declined to identify any potential
partners in an interview with a reporter for the Detroit
News.  (Detroit News 12-Feb-1998).  

The total debt of Kia Motors' parent group, Kia, as of May
31 last year stood at six billion dollars owed to banks and
4.9 billion dollars owed to non-banking financial
institutions.  Kia Motors' share of the burden is some 9.3
billion dollars, including debts guaranteed for other Kia
subsidiaries.  


SHIN WON: Creditor Banks Extend US$125 Million New Financing
------------------------------------------------------------
A group of ten Korean creditor banks decided to extend a
syndicated loan of 200 billion won (US$125 million) to cash-
strapped Shin Won Group. To receive the loan, Shin Won
earlier submitted to creditor banks a self-rescue plan
calling for the sales of properties, sales and mergers of
affiliates and downsizing.  A source at major creditor Korea
Exchange Bank said: "We decided to extend the lending
because the group is judged to have a good chance of
surmounting the hardship as exports make up a heavy share of
its total sales."  (Asia Pulse 12-Feb-1998)


SSANGYONG MOTOR: Stock Continues to Decline
-------------------------------------------
In trading Thursday, shares in Ssangyong Motor slpiied 350
points to 4,140 won, reflecting investors' negative feelings
about the Company's earnings prospects.  (Agence France-
Presse 12-Feb-1998)



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


ASEAMLEASE GROUP: Rating Agency Malaysia Reaffirms P2 Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Rating Agency Malaysia Bhd reaffirmed this week the short-
term rating of P2 for Aseamlease Group's RM30mil revolving
notes issuance facility (1994/1999) and RM70mil syndicated
notes issuance facility (1996/2001).

RAM said in a statement that the rating was backed by
Aseamlease Group's continued low ratio of non-performing
loans, prudent provisioning policy and highly favourable
support from its immediate and ultimate holding companies,
Aseambankers Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.  The ratings
agency noted that as of Dec 31, 1997, the group's gross non-
performing loans ratio on a three-month classification basis
was 1.67%.  Balanced against this, RAM said, was Aseamlease
Group's fairly large lending to the risky construction
sector and for share financing, coupled with the relatively
high exposure to a few borrowers which exposed the group to
higher market and default risks.

Should the trend exhibit increasing likelihood of
deteriorating asset quality, particularly in the riskier
sectors, the current credit rating may not be sustainable,
the agency added.  (The Star Online 13-Feb-1998)


REKAPACIFIC BHD: Posts RM35mil interim loss
-------------------------------------------
RekaPacific Bhd has recorded a pre-tax loss of RM35.2
million for the six months ended Oct 31, 1997, compared to a
pre-tax profit of RM80.4 million in the previous
corresponding period.  In releasing its unaudited results
this week, RekaPacific said that group turnover had slipped
by 80% to RM209.2mil from RM1.04bil previously.

At company level, pre-tax profit eased by 72% to RM2.5mil
against RM9.06mil previously, while turnover dropped by 87%
to RM360,000 from RM2.8mil.

RekaPacific said the deterioration of the group's
performance was due mainly to the stock market slide during
the period in review. It added that unless the situation
improved, the group's performance for the second half of the
current financial year was not expected to be better.  (The
Star Online 12-Feb-1998)



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


GRAND AIR: Cutting Costs to Survive Asian Currency Crisis
---------------------------------------------------------
"The name of the game is now survival, says Grand Air, the
Philippines second-largest international air carrier, ". . .
the forecast is not favorable in the next few months."  To
surive the current Asian currency crisis, Gran Air proposes
to suspend international flights servicing Hong Kong and
Taipei.  Grand Air proposes to offset those revenue losses
by adding a new domestic route and cutting domestic fares.  
(Financial Times 12-Feb-1998)


ORIENT COMMERICAL: Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee Bank's Sale
----------------------------------------------------------
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the  
Philippines) yesterday formed an ad hoc committee to  
oversee the sale of Orient Commercial Banking Corp., a  
medium-sized bank which recently experienced a spate of  
deposit withdrawals.  BusinessWorld sources at the central
bank said the Bangko Sentral had already "approached" three
local universal banks regarding the possible acquisition of
Orient Bank.  These banks were identified as Urban Bank,
Equitable Banking Corp. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.   
The one-year-old Orient Bank, owned by retailer and real
estate developer Jose Go of the Ever Gotesco Group, will be
the first commercial bank the Bangko Sentral will have to
rescue after the currency crisis swept the country last
July.  In fact, the central bank had already advanced an
emergency loan to the commercial bank at the height of a run
in its Binondo branch, BusinessWorld sources at  the central
bank said.

The sources, however, refused to say the exact amount of  
the emergency assistance, but said the bailout effectively  
"prevented the bank's collapse." The emergency funding  
reportedly has an interest rate "close to (current) Treasury  
bill rates" of 17.345%.   Bangko Sentral deputy governor for
supervision Alberto  Reyes and some members of the Monetary
Board, the central bank's policy-making body, spent the
entire morning of yesterday studying the bids of the three  
unibanks and hammering out details of a possible sale, a  
senior Bangko Sentral official told BusinessWorld.

Officials of the Bangko Sentral, the Philippine Deposit  
Insurance Corp., and Orient Bank declined to give "official"
statements.   Sought out by BusinessWorld last Wednesday
before  leaving for a central bankers' meeting in Indonesia,
Bangko Sentral Gov. Gabriel Singson neither confirmed nor
denied the report and simply said, "We're not yet  prepared
to issue a statement."  PDIC president Ernest Leung, who
attended the other day's economic summit at the Philippine
International Convention Center, gave this comment: "The
entire banking system went through a stress situation as a
result of the currency crisis and is therefore unfair to
solely identify any particular bank."

The three unibanks separately submitted their bids for  
Orient Bank late last week. This was confirmed early this  
week by two senior officials of two of the three unibanks.  
Two foreign groups have also "expressed interest" yesterday,
a senior central bank official said.  A decision on the
winning bid is expected to be announced next week "at the
latest," an official of PDIC said.  

Sources at Orient Bank said their shareholders have adopted
a "hands-off policy" on the negotiations for the bank's sale
and have decided to "leave it all up to the Bangko Sentral."  
The Bangko Sentral reportedly instructed officials of the  
three unibanks not to divulge details of the planned sale of  
Orient Bank.   "We were told this is an extremely
confidential transaction," one of the officials, requesting
strict anonymity, told BusinessWorld.  However, he said "it
was the Bangko Sentral" that first "approached" the
unibanks, "thinking we're in the best financial and
strategic position" to immediately service the five-billion
Philppine peso deposits of Orient Bank in the case of
heavier withdrawals.  Another official privy to the talks
said the central bank did not lay down the terms nor set
guidelines for the sale.  The unibanks were merely given the
"basic balance sheet  information" on Orient Bank, he said.
"There was no minimum bid," the official said, adding the  
bank will go to the one that made the "best offer."  

Another official of one of the three banks said the central
bank is approaching the sale more on the "liquidity side" of
the issue than "the actual acquisition price."  The Bangko
Sentral's main concern in selling Orient Bank is "to protect
depositors," another official said.   The banks all said
they regarded Orient Bank as an "attractive buy" because of
its huge branch network. It has 52 branches nationwide and
even announced plans of expanding in the countryside with 18
more branches.  It has 600 employees.  However, Orient Bank
is also experiencing a "funding problem" as some of its
loans have turned sour due to the  high interest rates and
the volatile foreign exchange rate, an official who had seen
the bank's balance sheet  yesterday said.  The bank has
about PhP3 billion in total loans and a capital base of
PhP1.6 billion.  Orient Bank sources said depositors, mostly  
Chinese-Filipinos, withdrew their money in reaction to  
reports that its majority owner, Mr. Go, has been
experiencing difficulty paying off his companies'
obligations with banks.  The bank's level of deposits has
reportedly gone down to about PhP5 billion from PhP6.4
billion before the July crisis.  (BusinessWorld 13-Feb-1998)



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


CAM INTERNATIONAL: Paving Way for Trading to Resume
---------------------------------------------------
Long-suffering shareholders of CAM International Holdings
could be able to resume trading in their shares in the next
few months, if the company is able to get its 1997 accounts
audited and approved., according to a report appearing in
Business Times Online.  The company, which released its
audited 1996 annual report on Wednesday, hopes to send out
unaudited financial statements for the year ended September
1997 before its annual general meeting (AGM) on Feb 27.
Shareholders will be asked to approve the 1996 accounts at
the AGM as well as vote on various issues, including the
approval of directors' fees of $50,000.

But a source close to the company told BT that another AGM
would be called after the 1997 accounts are audited,
hopefully within weeks of the Feb 27 AGM. This would then
pave the way for CAM to apply to the Stock Exchange of
Singapore for the suspension of its shares to be lifted.  In
November, Finance Minister Richard Hu told Parliament that
CAM would only be allowed to resume trading after its full-
year audited 1996 results and its interim results ended
March 1997 were finalised and reported. He added that CAM
would also have to show it had enough working capital.

On Tuesday, CAM announced a $25.4 million loss for 1996.
Included in the results were provisions and write-offs of
$10.7 million for questionable transactions and material
irregularities.  Loss per share was 6.2 cents. The results
also showed net current liabilities of $5.1 million.  

CAM also warned that its unaudited 1997 financial statements
would incorporate further provisions and write-offs for
questionable transactions that occurred last year.  
(Business Times Online 13-Feb-1998).


SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES: SKT Travel to be Liquidated
---------------------------------------------------
The travel agency unit of Singapore Technologies          
Industrial Corporation will be closing next month and
yesterday, it gave all but seven of its staff marching
orders.  STIC said yesterday that SKT Travel would cease
operations on March 2, after which liquidators would be
called in to dispose of the company's assets.  It added that
the remaining seven staff would be redeployed to other
companies in the group. Those who were handed termination
letters would receive retrenchment benefits.

Business Times Online reports that SKT Travel had
accumulated losses totalling some $1.7 million since it
began operations in June 1994.  SKT Travel is a unit of
STIC's leisure and lifestyle subsidiary, Safe Enterprises.
It is located at the ST group's headquarters in Lim Teck Kim
Road.  Its shareholders are Safe, with a 51% stake; Kinki
Nippon Tourist, 29%; and KNT subsidiary Kintetsu
International Express, 20%.  The shareholders have
undertaken to discharge all the company's business and
financial commitments in full.  (Business Times Online
14-Feb-1998)



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


FIRST BANGKOK: Citibank Suspends Audit
--------------------------------------
Citibank made the announcement three months after signaling
that it was looking into buying a majority stake in the
bank. "We have suspended the due diligence," a Citibank
spokeswoman told Reuters, adding that the decision was
related to the Thailand central bank's de facto takeover of
First Bangkok City Bank on Friday. Analysts and depositors
have been concerned about First Bangkok's loan quality.  
(Investor's Business Daily 11-Feb-1998)



S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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