TCRAP_Public/980313.MBX T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R     
  
             A S I A   P A C I F I C      

      Friday, March 13, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 18

                    Headlines

C H I N A

BANK OF CHINA: S&P Cuts Ratings
BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS: S&P Cuts Ratings
CHINA GENERAL AVIATION: Takeover by China Eastern
CHINA INTERNATIONAL TRUST: S&P Cuts Ratings
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK: S&P Cuts Ratings



H O N G   K O N G  

CATHAY PACIFIC: Financial Overview
CATHAY PACIFIC: Profits Cut by 55%
MILLENNIUM GROUP LTD: Announces Results



I N D O N E S I A

ASIA PULP & PAPER CO. LTD.: Placed on CreditWatch
BARITO PACIFIC TIMBER (PT): Placed on CreditWatch
DAYA GUNA SAMUDERA (PT): Placed on CreditWatch
INDAH KIAT PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
LONTAR PAPYRUS PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
PABRIK KERTA: Placed on CreditWatch
PINDO DELI PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
SATELIT PALAPA: Placed on CreditWatch



J A P A N  

AOKI INTERNATIONAL: Debt Rating Cut
CHUO TRUST AND BANKING: Approval for Funds
DAI-ICHI KANGYO BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
HITACHI CONSTRUCTION: Will Report Lower Profits
JAPAN FOUNDATION: Cuts Pretax Profits
KAYABA INDUSTRY: Will Report Lower Profits
LONG-TERM CREDIT BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
MAZDA MOTOR: Downgraded to 'Below Average'
MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Shares Fall on Losses
NATIONAL HOUSE INDUSTRIAL: Shares Fall on Losses
NIPPON CREDIT BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Japan Asia to Purchase



K O R E A

HANBO STEEL: Final Debt Obligations Tallied
HITACHI CONSTRUCTION: Anticipates Lower Profits
KIA MOTORS: Anxiously Watching Ford/Samsung Deal
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Ford Denies Deal



M A L A Y S I A

MALAYSIA MINING: Unaware of PNB Proposal
SIME BANK: Details of KUB Malaysia Deal
SIME DARBY: Expects RM246m Loss from Sime Bank



P H I L I P P I N E S

DUTY FREE FIRST: Granted Relief from Creditors
NEC PHILIPPINES: More Retrenchment in Store



S I N G A P O R E



T H A I L A N D

ALPHATEC: May Test New Bankruptcy Laws
THAI DURABLE TEXTILE: Tries to Avoid Delisting




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


BANK OF CHINA: S&P Cuts Ratings
----------------------------
Standard & Poor's yesterday cut the foreign
currency ratings outlook for four of china's
biggest financial institutions, citing an
expected weakening in the economy and the impact
on state-owned enterprises. S&P said it would
reduce outlook ratings from stable to negative
for the Bank of China, Bank of Communications,
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China
International Trust and Investment Corp.

The move follows a broader downgrading of the
outlook on China's foreign currency ceilings by
Moody's and underlines increased concerns about
the economy and the country's banking sector.
(Financial Times 12-Mar-1998)


BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS: S&P Cuts Ratings
----------------------------
Standard & Poor's yesterday cut the foreign
currency ratings outlook for four of china's
biggest financial institutions, citing an
expected weakening in the economy and the impact
on state-owned enterprises. S&P said it would
reduce outlook ratings from stable to negative
for the Bank of China, Bank of Communications,
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China
International Trust and Investment Corp.

The move follows a broader downgrading of the
outlook on China's foreign currency ceilings by
Moody's and underlines increased concerns about
the economy and the country's banking sector.
(Financial Times 12-Mar-1998)


CHINA GENERAL AVIATION: Takeover by China Eastern
---------------------------
H share China Eastern Airlines (CEA) hopes to
have completed a takeover of China General
Aviation Corp in northern Shanxi province in the
second half of this year. The takeover, delayed
last year, is being conducted in two stages. The
first will see CEA's parent, Eastern Air Group,
acquire China General Aviation and separate the
airline's government functions from business
operations.

CEA deputy chief accountant Xia Yi said this
would be completed by mid-year. The second stage
will entail CEA acquiring from its parent China
General's commercial aviation operations. Mr Xia
said progress had been stalled due to the
complicated restructuring of China General's
assets, human resources and debts.

The mainland's aviation industry is gearing up
for a shake-up, as Beijing encourages the
establishment of three or four aviation giants,
including CEA, by 2000 through a series of
mergers and acquisitions.

This policy has made debt-ridden and loss-making
China General an attractive takeover target.
China General will help expand CEA's market from
its eastern base, primarily in Shanghai.
(South China Morning Post 11-Mar-1998)


CHINA INTERNATIONAL TRUST: S&P Cuts Ratings
----------------------------
Standard & Poor's yesterday cut the foreign
currency ratings outlook for four of china's
biggest financial institutions, citing an
expected weakening in the economy and the impact
on state-owned enterprises. S&P said it would
reduce outlook ratings from stable to negative
for the Bank of China, Bank of Communications,
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China
International Trust and Investment Corp.

The move follows a broader downgrading of the
outlook on China's foreign currency ceilings by
Moody's and underlines increased concerns about
the economy and the country's banking sector.
(Financial Times 12-Mar-1998)


INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK: S&P Cuts Ratings
----------------------------
Standard & Poor's yesterday cut the foreign
currency ratings outlook for four of china's
biggest financial institutions, citing an
expected weakening in the economy and the impact
on state-owned enterprises. S&P said it would
reduce outlook ratings from stable to negative
for the Bank of China, Bank of Communications,
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China
International Trust and Investment Corp.

The move follows a broader downgrading of the
outlook on China's foreign currency ceilings by
Moody's and underlines increased concerns about
the economy and the country's banking sector.
(Financial Times 12-Mar-1998)



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

CATHAY PACIFIC: Financial Overview
----------------------------
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited announced on
11/3/98:

   (stock code: 293)
    Year end date: 31/12/97
    Currency: HK$
                             Last             
                     Current       Corresponding
                     Period        Period
                     from 1/1/97   from 1/1/96
                     to 31/12/97   to 31/12/96
                     ($'Million)  ($'Million)

Turnover:              30,647           31,567
Profit-Continuing
  Operations
  - Operating Profit:   2,066            3,406
  - Exceptional Items:   (347)             541
  - Discontinued
    Operations:          N/A              N/A
Total Operating Profit: 1,719            3,947
Share of Profit of
  Associated Companies:   306              363
Profit after Tax & MI:  1,694            3,809
% Change over Last
  Period:               -55.5 %
EPS-Basic:              49.5 cents    119.6 cents
  -Fully diluted:       N/A              N/A
Extraordinary (ETD)
  Gain/(Loss):          N/A              N/A
Profit after ETD Items: 1,694            3,809
Final Dividend
  per Share:            17.5 cents   41.5 cents
(Specify if with
  other options):       N/A              N/A
B/C Dates for
  Final Dividend:       5/5/98 to 13/5/98 bdi.
Payable Date:           29/5/98
B/C Dates for (-)
  General Meeting:      N/A
Other Distribution for
  Current Period:       N/A
B/C Dates for Other
  Distribution:         N/A
(SEHK 12-Mar-1998)


CATHAY PACIFIC: Profits Cut by 55%
----------------------------
Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong-based airline,
yesterday warned of a "very tough" 1998 as it
announced net profits of HK$1.69bn (US$218m) for
last year, a fall of 55 percent.

The economic downturn in the region was just one
of several factors behind the sharp fall in
profits. Forest fires and haze in south-east Asia
badly affected tourist travel, as did a "bird-
flu" outbreak in Hong Kong. As a result, the
annual average passenger load factor fell from 74
percent in 1996 to 68.2 percent. Net profits were
also hit by an exceptional charge of HK$347m
resulting from 760 redundancies that were
announced in January this year. Excluding
exceptional items, profits fell by 37.5 percent
to HK$2.04bn.

Reflecting the downturn, and the warning of
further difficulties in 1998, the final dividend
was cut from 41.5 cents to 17.5 cents, giving a
total for the year of 29 cents, compared with 53
cents in 1996.
(Financial Times 12-Mar-1998)


MILLENNIUM GROUP LTD: Announces Results
----------------------------
This announcement is made at the request of The
Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited to provide
information of the recent financial position of
Millennium Group Limited (the "Company", together
with its subsidiaries the "Group") after the
recent economic development in the Asian
financial market to the shareholders of the
Company.

The board (the "Board") of directors (the
"Directors") of the Company announce that due to
the recent crisis in the financial markets in
South East Asia, the performance of the Group's
short-term marketable securities trading
operation has been materially adversely affected
by the stock market crash in Hong Kong. The Group
is engaged principally in the manufacturing and
distribution of chemicals and in the provision of
transportation services predominantly in the PRC,
as well as investment and financial activities in
Hong Kong, including investments in listed
stocks in Hong Kong.

For the six months ended 30th June, 1997, the
Company recorded unaudited profit attributable to
shareholders of approximately HK$81.5 million.
However, as a result of the stock market crash in
Hong Kong during the fourth quarter of 1997,
based on the unaudited consolidated management
accounts for the eleven months ended 30th
November 1997, the Group recorded a realised loss
of approximately HK$75.6 million in its short-
term marketable securities trading operation and
a provision of HK$163.9 million for the
diminution in value of its short-term marketable
securities portfolio.

Based on the preliminary discussion with the
auditors, the Directors expect that the Group
incurred substantial loss for the year ended 31st
December 1997, subject to audit. The Directors
expect that the audited results of the Group for
the year ended 31st December, 1997 will be
announced in late April to early May, 1998. In
the meantime, shareholders and investors are
advised to exercise caution when dealing in the
securities of the Company.

Save as disclosed above, the Directors are not
aware of any material adverse changes in the
financial or operational position of the Group
since 31st December, 1996, the date to which the
latest published audited accounts of the Group
were made up. In view of the Group's current
financial position, the Directors believe that
the Group has sufficient working capital to meet
its present requirement.

By Order of the Board
Shing Mei Fong
Secretary

Hong Kong, 10th March, 1998



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

ASIA PULP & PAPER CO. LTD.: Placed on CreditWatch
-----------------------------
Asia Pulp & Paper Co. Ltd.
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


BARITO PACIFIC TIMBER (PT): Placed on CreditWatch
----------------------------
Barito Pacific Timber (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


DAYA GUNA SAMUDERA (PT): Placed on CreditWatch
------------------------------
Daya Guna Samudera (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


INDAH KIAT PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
-----------------------------
Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Corp. (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


LONTAR PAPYRUS PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
--------------------------
Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industry (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


PABRIK KERTA: Placed on CreditWatch
-------------------------------
Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


PINDO DELI PULP: Placed on CreditWatch
------------------------------
Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


SATELIT PALAPA: Placed on CreditWatch
--------------------------------
Satelit Palapa Indonesia (PT)
Corporate credit rating
- Local currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--
- Foreign currency B-/Watch Neg/-- B-/WatchDev/--

The ratings on the Indonesian corporates have
been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications in conjunction with the downgrade of
the foreign and local currency ratings of the      
Republic of Indonesia. The sovereign action
reflects uncertainties over Indonesia's economic
policies, which threaten to deepen further the
acute systemic problems that characterize the
nation's financial system. Resolution of the
CreditWatch Negative in the next few months is
dependent on a resolution of the CreditWatch on
the Republic's foreign and local currency
ratings.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)



=========
J A P A N  
=========


AOKI INTERNATIONAL: Debt Rating Cut
------------------------
Aoki International Co. (8214 JP ) fell 8 yen to
922. The senior unsecured debt rating of the
men's apparel maker was cut to junk status by
Moody's Investors Service, which said slow sales
in the company's main menswear market would lead
to lower profits.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


CHUO TRUST AND BANKING: Approval for Funds
---------------------------------------------
Japan has approved rescue funding for four banks
under a government scheme to prop up their weak
capital, officials said Wednesday. The four are
among major 21 banks applying to the panel for
more than two trillion yen (16 billion dollars)
in public funds.

The Deposit Insurance Corp. (DIC), the nation's
deposit safety net, approved requests by Dai-Ichi
Kangyo Bank Ltd. (DKB) and Chuo Trust and Banking
Co. Ltd. to raise 99 billion yen and 60 billion
yen respectively, the officials said. DKB sought
99 billion yen through issuance of preference
shares and Chuo Trust asked for 32 billion yen in
preference shares and 28 billion yen in
subordinated bonds.

The 17 other banks are also expected to receive
approval as early as Thursday, followed by a
cabinet approval on Friday, the officials said.
All the banks can ask for additional funds
through March 31, 2001, the officials said. The
request by the banks is based on the granting of
public money under a government scheme to inject
up to 30 trillion yen to restore trust in Japan's
financial system.
(Agence France-Presse 11-Mar-1998)


DAI-ICHI KANGYO BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
---------------------------------------------
Japan has approved rescue funding for four banks
under a government scheme to prop up their weak
capital, officials said Wednesday. The four are
among major 21 banks applying to the panel for
more than two trillion yen (16 billion dollars)
in public funds.

The Deposit Insurance Corp. (DIC), the nation's
deposit safety net, approved requests by Dai-Ichi
Kangyo Bank Ltd. (DKB) and Chuo Trust and Banking
Co. Ltd. to raise 99 billion yen and 60 billion
yen respectively, the officials said.

DKB sought 99 billion yen through issuance of
preference shares and Chuo Trust asked for 32
billion yen in preference shares and 28 billion
yen in subordinated bonds.

The 17 other banks are also expected to receive
approval as early as Thursday, followed by a
cabinet approval on Friday, the officials said.
All the banks can ask for additional funds
through March 31, 2001, the officials said. The
request by the banks is based on the granting of
public money under a government scheme to inject
up to 30 trillion yen to restore trust in Japan's
financial system.
(Agence France-Presse 11-Mar-1998)                        


HITACHI CONSTRUCTION: Will Report Lower Profits
----------------------------
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. (6305 JP )
fell 18 yen to 515. The Tokyo-based company is
likely to report current, or pretax, profit of 5
billion yen ($38.7 million) for the year through
March 1999, down 14 percent from its expected
current profit for this year, the Nihon Keizai
newspaper reported today, without citing sources.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


JAPAN FOUNDATION: Cuts Pretax Profits
-------------------------
Japan Foundation Engineering Co. (1914 JP ) fell
10 yen to 1,000. The general contractor cut its
pretax profit forecast 11.1 percent to 4 billion
yen for the year ending March 31. That's 3.9
percent more than the most recent forecast by
Toyo Keizai Inc., a financial information
company.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


KAYABA INDUSTRY: Will Report Lower Profits
-----------------------------
Kayaba Industry Co. (7242 JP ) was unchanged at
271 yen. The Japanese industrial machinery maker
is likely to report a group net profit of 3.8
billion yen ($29.4 million) for the year ending
March 31, down 32 percent on the year, the Nihon
Keizai newspaper reported today, without citing a
source.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


LONG-TERM CREDIT BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
---------------------------------------------
Japan has approved rescue funding for four banks
under a government scheme to prop up their weak
capital, officials said Wednesday. The four are
among major 21 banks applying to the panel for
more than two trillion yen (16 billion dollars)
in public funds.

For the Long-Term Credit Bank Ltd., the DIC's
committee, which examines each case of
application for public fund use, decided to buy
only 46.6 billion yen of the bank's subordinated
bonds despite its request for 70 billion yen.

The 17 other banks are also expected to receive
approval as early as Thursday, followed by a
cabinet approval on Friday, the officials said.
All the banks can ask for additional funds
through March 31, 2001, the officials said. The
request by the banks is based on the granting of
public money under a government scheme to inject
up to 30 trillion yen to restore trust in Japan's
financial system.
(Agence France-Presse 11-Mar-1998)


MAZDA MOTOR: Downgraded to 'Below Average'
-----------------------------
Mazda Motor Corp. (7261 JP ) fell 1 yen to 359.
The automaker was downgraded to "below average"
from "above average" by analysts Noriyuki
Matsushima and Tsuyoshi Mochimaru at Nikko
Research Center.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


MITSUBISHI MOTORS: Shares Fall on Losses
---------------------------
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211 JP ) fell 22 yen to
383. The automaker's shares plunged 13.8 percent
yesterday after the company said it will post a
group net loss of 110 billion yen for the year
ending March 31, almost triple its earlier
estimated loss. The company was also downgraded
to "underperform" from "below average" by
analysts Noriyuki Matsushima and Tsuyoshi
Mochimaru at Nikko Research Center.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


NATIONAL HOUSE INDUSTRIAL: Shares Fall on Losses
-------------------------------
National House Industrial Co. (1924 JP ) fell 120
yen to 1,070. The housing material maker cut its
parent pretax profit forecast 38.8 percent to
10.1 billion yen for the year ending March 31.
That's 36.9 percent less than the most recent
forecast by Toyo Keizai. The company also cut its
group pretax profit forecast 45.3 percent to 9.3
billion yen for same period. That's 41.9 percent
less than the most recent forecast by Toyo
Keizai.
(Bloomberg Japan Equity Movers 12-Mar-1998)


NIPPON CREDIT BANK LTD.: Approval for Funds
---------------------------------------------
Japan has approved rescue funding for four banks
under a government scheme to prop up their weak
capital, officials said Wednesday. The four are
among major 21 banks applying to the panel for
more than two trillion yen (16 billion dollars)
in public funds.

But the widely-expected decision granted only a
portion of the funds asked for by the Nippon
Credit Bank Ltd. (NCB), one of the banks worst
hit by its collapsing capital. NCB originally
planned to raise 230 billion yen (1.9 billion
dollars) via subordinated bonds, but the Deposit
Insurance Corp. (DIC), the nation's deposit
safety net, only approved 60 billion yen to be
raised by preference shares, the
officials said.

The 17 other banks are also expected to receive
approval as early as Thursday, followed by a
cabinet approval on Friday, the officials said.
All the banks can ask for additional funds
through March 31, 2001, the officials said. The
request by the banks is based on the granting of
public money under a government scheme to inject
up to 30 trillion yen to restore trust in Japan's
financial system.
(Agence France-Presse 11-Mar-1998)


YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Japan Asia to Purchase
----------------------------
Japan Asia Investment Co Ltd (JAIC) said
yesterday it would buy all of the outstanding
shares of Yamaichi Asia Venture Capital, a
Singapore-based member company of the failed
Yamaichi Securities Co Ltd. JAIC said it
would buy nine million shares of Yamaichi Asia
Venture Capital from the Yamaichi group at a
total cost of S$7.7 million.
(Singapore BusinessTimes 12-Mar-1998)

Yamaichi Asia Venture Capital was founded in 1994
and capitalized at 9 million Singapore dollars to
invest in businesses and conduct M&A operations,
mainly in Southeast Asia. The company was
previously owned 50% by Yamaichi Finance
Co., and 25% each by Yamaichi Securities Co. and
Yamaichi Merchantbank (Singapore) Ltd.  YAVC will
be renamed JAIC Asia Capital Ltd. and continue
operations with its current staff of eight, the
officials said.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


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

HANBO STEEL: Final Debt Obligations Tallied
--------------------------
South Korea's failed Hanbo Steel's final debt
obligations totalled Won7.92trn ($5.2bn). A
company official said the amount included
principal debt of Won6.09trn, interest payments
of Won1.83trn and other expenses. The company
reported its debt total in a court filing. Hanbo,
the nation's second biggest steelmaker, was
declared insolvent in January under debts that at
the time totalled Won6trn. The company is still
operating but is under court receivership and
seeks a third party to take it over.
(Lloyd's List International 18-Feb-1998)


HITACHI CONSTRUCTION: Anticipates Lower Profits
--------------------------
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. anticipates
pretax profit of 5 billion yen in the year
through March 1999, down 14% from its estimate of
profit in the current fiscal year, company
officials said. The decline reflects primarily
weaker sales of its mainline hydraulic shovels on
both domestic and overseas markets.

With cost-cutting efforts failing to offset lower
revenues, fiscal 1998 is likely to be the firm's
second straight year of lower profit, they added.
The Hitachi Ltd. subsidiary sees sales in the
upcoming term falling 4% to 260 billion yen,
eroded by a 10% fall in sales of hydraulic
shovels to 13,100.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


KIA MOTORS: Anxiously Watching Ford/Samsung Deal
-----------------------------
South Korea's auto firms are anxiously watching
the next moves by the Ford-Samsung Motors
alliance, which they fear will have a
considerable impact on their operations.

Especially keen is Kia Motors, which has Ford as
its majority shareholder. The company has been
pursuing a cooperative arrangement with Ford in
such areas as parts, technology, products and
capital. Kia has been trying to uncover the
extent of the report's truth, especially the
impact on its relations with Ford.

Kia, in particular, has been displeased at the
news since the Ford-Samsung alliance could be
aimed at taking over Kia, and its management has
been studying various countermeasures.

A Kia executive said, "We at Kia don't see why
Samsung is trying to butt in as we have been
trying to forge a cooperative arrangement with
Ford in a number of key areas including capital,
and joint marketing with Ford for its B-3      
model, a follow-up model to the compact car
Avella."
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


SAMSUNG MOTORS: Ford Denies Deal
--------------------------
An executive of Ford Motor Co. denied Samsung
Motor's announcement that the two had agreed to
manufacture Ford's World Cars in the latter's
plant in Pusan, sources at Kia Motors said
Thursday.

A Kia spokemsan said Paul Dranco, who is in
charge of Asia-Pacific affairs at Ford, faxed a
letter to Kia President Park Jae-hyuk, clarifying
that it was true Samsung and Ford have been
engaged in negotiations, but they are yet to
reach a conclusion on anything. Ford is presently
the largest shareholder of Kia.

The reports regarding the Ford-Samsung agreement
are incorrect and premature, Dranco said in his
letter, stressing that the reports were
unilaterally made by Samsung.  Samsung,
meanwhile, blamed the press for reporting as if
details of negotiations (between Samsung and
Ford) were contents of an actual agreement.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


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


MALAYSIA MINING: Unaware of PNB Proposal
------------------------------
Malaysia Mining Corporation Bhd (MMC) said it has
not been informed of a proposal for the disposal
of its shares by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), a
government-owned investment fund, to diversified
KUB Bhd.

"To date our substantial shareholder, PNB, has
not officially advised us of any such proposal,"
the company said Wednesday. MMC was replying to a
query by the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE)
concerning a report saying that KUB was
negotiating with the government for a stake in
MMC.

"The company is seeking more information from
PNB," added the statement. PNB was said to own
more than 50 percent interest in MMC.
     
Quoting government officials and bankers, the
report said KUB would acquire a 30 percent
interest in MMC on "favourable term" to
compensate for losses KUB might incur as a result
of Sime Bank Bhd's rescue.
   
The rescue involves the disposal of Sime Bank,
minus its subsidiaries to financial house, Rashid
Hussain Bhd for RM852 million (US$221.3 million)
(US$1:RM3.85). KUB owns 30.1 percent stake in
ailing Sime Bank while conglomerate Sime Darby
Bhd held 60.35 percent.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


SIME BANK: Details of KUB Malaysia Deal
-------------------------------
Rashid Hussain Bhd's acquisition of Sime Darby
Bhd's 60.35 per cent stake and KUB Malaysia
Bhd's 30 per cent stake in Sime Bank Bhd will be
carried out via the issue of new RHB Holdings Bhd
shares at 2.50 Malaysian ringgit each, Sime Darby
said in a statement to the Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange. Sime Darby said RHB Holdings is a
company to be created for RHB Sakura Merchant
Bankers Bhd under a scheme of arrangement. RHB
Bank will acquire 451.796 million shares or a
90.36 per cent stake in Sime Bank for RM770
million (S$321.5 million), it added.
(Singapore BusinessTimes 12-Mar-1998)


SIME DARBY: Expects RM246m Loss from Sime Bank
-------------------------------
Sime Darby Group expects to book a RM246 million
(US$64 million) (US$1:RM3.85) loss from the
proposed disposal of its 60.35 percent stake in
financially troubled Sime Bank Bhd if the sale is
completed by June 30 this year.

Amanah Merchant Bank said in a statement, issued
on behalf of Sime Darby, that based on the
unaudited consolidated net tangible assets of
Sime Darby as at Dec 31, 1997, the proposed
disposal would result in the reduction of Sime
Darby's net tangible asset value per share to
RM2.33 from RM2.43 per share.
     
Sime Darby has proposed to sell its stake in Sime
Bank held by Sime Darby Financial Services
Holdings Sdn Bhd (SDFS) to RHB Bank Bhd.
At the same time, KUB Malaysia Bhd will also sell
its 30.01 percent share in Sime Bank to RHB Bank.

Amanah Merchant Bank said the proposed disposal
would enable the Sime Darby Group to reduce its
exposure in the banking industry and would ensure
the full repayment of the subordinated loans
extended by SDFS to the Sime Bank amounting
to RM450 million.

The disposal would also enable Sime Darby to have
an investment in RHB Holdings, which would
control the second largest commercial bank in the
country.

On Tuesday, Sime Darby through SDFS entered into
an agreement with RHB Bank Bhd, Rashid Hussain
Berhad and KUB Malaysia for the disposal of the
stake.

SDFS's holding of 301,753,355 ordinary shares of
RM1.00 in Sime Bank will be sold to RHB Bank. The
sale would be satisfied by the issuance of new
ordinary shares of RM1.00 each at an issue price
of RM2.50 per share in RHB Holdings Bhd.

Under the main terms of the agreement, RHB Bank
would acquire an aggregate of 451,796,455 Sime
Bank ordinary shares representing about 90.36
percent of its issued and paid-up share capital
from SDFS and KUB for RM770 million.

The purchase consideration was based on the
adjusted net tangible asset value of the Sime
Bank Group of RM852.24 million.

Under the terms, RHB Bank would undertake to
repay SDFS the RM450 million worth of
subordinated advances made to Sime Bank
and its subsidiaries within three months from the
date of the sale of shares agreement.
(Asia Pulse 12-Mar-1998)


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


DUTY FREE FIRST: Granted Relief from Creditors
----------------------------
Duty Free First Superstore, Inc. (DFFSI) has been
granted by the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) a 30-day relief from its creditors. The SEC
ruled that "all actions, claims and proceedings
against ... (the firm) pending before any court,
tribunal, office, board, body and/or commission,
are deemed suspended within a period of 30 days
until otherwise ordered by the commission."

The company's total obligations amount to 335
million Philippine pesos (PhP). Within the 30-day
period, the SEC will schedule hearings on the
case to determine whether it will grant the firm
a permanent suspension of payments and appoint a
rehabilitation committee to oversee the firm's
operations.

The SEC set the hearing for the DFFSI's proposed
rehabilitation plan on March 25. DFFSI filed a
petition before the SEC seeking the suspension of
its debt payment after it found itself in a
financial bind. DFFSI's duty-free store is
located in a 7,500-square meter property inside
the Clark special economic zone in Pampanga.
(BusinessWorld 12-Mar-1998)


NEC PHILIPPINES: More Retrenchment in Store
--------------------------
NEC Phils., Inc., one of the country's major
importers of computer and telecommunication
products, has implemented the second wave of its
retrenchment program to survive continuous losses
mainly due to the ongoing economic crisis. In a
letter to the Department of Labor and Employment,
Cary Paras, assistant manager for human
resources, said the firm had to undergo another
series of organizational changes to sustain heavy
losses "brought about by the negative effect of
the declining (Philippine) peso (PhP)." During
its initial retrenchment, the company had laid
off 10 people from its technical, sales and
administrative departments. This time, the firm
is letting go of a total of 16 employees from
various departments and whose terminations will
all take effect next month.
(BusinessWorld 12-Mar-1998)



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



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


ALPHATEC: May Test New Bankruptcy Laws
---------------------------
Alphatec Electronics may be the first Thai
business to use new bankruptcy laws if creditors
fail to agree to a restructuring plan, according
to chairman Thamnu Wanglee. Last month a bitter
row erupted over which auditors to appoint, in
what was in effect a dispute over how much
financial punishment shareholders should
shoulder.

In July, Alphatec was discovered to have recorded
phantom profits of 10 billion baht (about HK$1.76
billion) and to have transferred four billion
baht outside the firm without the board's
approval. The company's main creditors are trying
to implement a restructuring plan to deal with
US$330 million debts. The Stock Exchange of
Thailand has given Alphatec until next month to
find new auditors, although Mr Thamnu said he had
asked for this to be extended to May.

The new bankruptcy law will allow debt-crippled
firms to work their way out of trouble. But
creditors to the firm argue that their scheme -
which is understood to involve debt-for-equity
swaps and virtually zero write-downs for
shareholders - is the only viable option.
Analysts said the longer the restructuring plan
dragged on, the more difficult it would be for
Alphatec to maintain its chip-making business.
(South China Morning Post 12-Mar-1998)


THAI DURABLE TEXTILE: Tries to Avoid Delisting
----------------------------
Thai  Durable  Textile  Plc  complied  with  
Notification  Clause 30/4 specified  by the SET
in order to eliminate causes leading to delisting
as follows:

     1.  To  appoint  financial  adviser in
conjunction with the company to compile  the  
restructuring  plan  which  will  be propose to
shareholders meeting by Jul 2, 1998.

     2.  The  company  and  financial  adviser  
(stated  in  1) will hold a presentation at least
7 days ahead of shareholders meeting.

     3. The company and financial adviser will
report on progress of the plan  once every 3
months.
(SET 12-Mar-1998)


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., Princeton, NJ USA, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC USA.  Debra
Brennan and Lexy Mueller, Editors.

Copyright 1998.  All rights reserved.  This
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