TCRAP_Public/980430.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      

      Thursday, April 30, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 49

                    Headlines


C H I N A   &   H O N G   K O N G

GUANGZHOU INV: 1997 Results Announcement
HYSAN DEVELOPMENT: May Sell Properties to Reduce Debt
MARIA'S BAKERY: Informs Employees of Immediate Closures
SUN HUNG KAI: No Plans to Arrange a Secure Loan
TAI PING CARPET: 1997 Results Announcement
YOSHIYA INT'L: 1997 Results Announcement


P H I L I P P I N E S

BENGUET CORP: Reports Steep Losses
VICTORIAS MILLING: Reveals Rehabilitation Plan
VICTORIAS MILLING: Two Creditors Oppose Miller's Rehab Plan
YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Philippines Unit Finds Buyer


S I N G A P O R E

MICROPOLIS: Property up for Sale


T H A I L A N D

SAHAVIRIYA STEEL: Seeks Fresh Funds
UNION BANK: Recapitalisation Deal Almost Finalised


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C H I N A   &   H O N G   K O N G
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GUANGZHOU INV: 1997 Results Announcement
----------------------------------------
For the period January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997,
Guangzhou Investment Company Limited reports a profit of
HK$319,282,000 on turnover of HK$2,393,481,000. This
compares to a profit of HK$438,008,000 on turnover of
HK$2,620,844 for the corresponding 1996 period.
(SEHK 28-Apr-1998)


HYSAN DEVELOPMENT: May Sell Properties to Reduce Debt
-----------------------------------------------------
Hysan Development may unload investment properties and
equity holdings to reduce bank borrowings and interest
expenses, chairman Lee Hon-chiu says. After its annual
general meeting yesterday, Mr Lee said the interest burden
had increased, and the priority was to reduce debt. The
company recently sold six units at Broadwood Park in Happy
Valley for more than $100 million. Apart from Broadwood
Park, the company would consider disposing of other
properties if a reasonable offer were received. Another
alternative was to sell its securities holdings, he said.

The company held 1 per cent in China Telecom (Hong Kong),
which could be traded in the open market after October 28,
he said. The China Telecom shares were bought by Hysan at
the mainland firm's listing last year. The shares could not
be re-sold within one year of their purchase, he said.

Last year's annual report said Hysan's short-term
borrowings - repayable within a year - were $3.92 billion,
sharply up from $22 million a year earlier. Borrowings as
of December 31 reached $9.83 billion, 112.6 per cent higher
than $4.62 billion a year ago. The company's debt to equity
ratio is 19.6 per cent.

The company attributed the rise in debt largely to the
acquisition of Entertainment Building in Central,
construction of The Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay and
purchase of the 1 per cent China Telecom stake.
(South China Morning Post 29-Apr-1998)


MARIA'S BAKERY: Informs Employees of Immediate Closures
-------------------------------------------------------
Senior staff of Maria's Bakery told all 400 employees late
last night they were not needed at work this morning, as
all outlets would be closed from today. Maria's founder and
owner, Maria Lee Tsang Chiu-kwan, 70, better known as the     
Queen of Cakes, could not be contacted at her Kadoorie
Avenue home early today. The closure of Maria's will leave
thousands of people wanting to redeem pre-paid vouchers
distributed by couples ahead of their weddings. Mrs Lee
opened her first cakeshop on December 11, 1966, and her
business prospered into more than 100 outlets in Hong Kong,
Taiwan, in Canada and the US. Close friends said last night
that her health had deteriorated in recent years and she     
had handed operation of her businesses to a relative.

In May 1984 when there were unfounded rumours that Maria's
was in financial difficulties, customers jammed the chain's
47 outlets, leaving with armfuls of cakes. In November last
year thousands of customers besieged St Honore Cake Shop
outlets desperate to claim boxes of cakes with vouchers
after rumours that the company was in trouble. At that
time, Mrs Lee called on her experience in 1984 to tell the
South China Morning Post that the best thing to do was to
tell the public that all vouchers would be honoured.
(South China Morning Post 29-Apr-1998)


SUN HUNG KAI: No Plans to Arrange a Secure Loan
-----------------------------------------------
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) says the company is in a
sound financial condition, and has no plans to arrange a
secured loan. The developer issued the statement in
response to a report that it was considering pledging
properties as collateral for a $500 million loan in order
to secure lower borrowing rates. SHKP denied the report,
saying it had never contemplated a secured loan nor had it
received any secured loan proposals put forward by banks.
The group said its policy to borrow on an unsecured basis
was unchanged.

It said it had sold more than $12 billion worth of
properties over the past six months and had substantial
committed credit facilities for foreseeable business needs.
Analysts said developers were finding it more difficult to
secure cheap loans in the harsh conditions prevailing at
present.
(South China Morning Post 29-Apr-1998)


TAI PING CARPET: 1997 Results Announcement
------------------------------------------
For the period January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997, Tai
Ping Carpets International Limited reports a HK$57,438,000
loss on turnover of HK$323,717,000. This compares to a loss
of HK$31,486,000 on turnover of HK$296,750,000 for the
corresponding 1996 period. The Provisions made in 1996 were
as a result of the restructuring and rationalisation of the
companies within the Group during the year. Included in the
exceptional items for the year ended 31st December, 1996    
were profits on disposals of investment properties of
HK$35,466,000 and profits on disposals of listed
investments of HK$11,258,000 previously treated as
extraordinary items. Following a change of the Group's    
accounting policy on the recognition of extraordinary and
exceptional items to be in line with Hong Kong Statements
of Standard Accounting Practice No. 2 "Extraordinary items
and prior period adjustments" ("SSAP 2"), the above items
were now disclosed as exceptional items.
(SEHK 28-Apr-1998)


YOSHIYA INT'L: 1997 Results Announcement
----------------------------------------
For the period August 1, 1997 to January 31, 1998, Yoshiya
International Corporation, Ltd. reports a profit of
HK$1,050,000 on turnover of HK$57,736,000. This compares
with a profit of HK$38,889,000 on turnover of
HK$104,075,000 for the corresponding 1996-97 period. For
the six months ended 31st January, 1998, the exceptional
item represents the provision for diminution in value of
marketable securities. For the last corresponding period,
the exceptional item represents the gain on disposal of
investment properties. Since the resultant figure on fully
diluted earnings per share is in excess of the basic
earnings per share, the former is not disclosed. The
earnings per share for the last corresponding period has
been adjusted for the effects of the rights issue of 1 for
2 which took place in March 1997.
(SEHK 28-Apr-1998)


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

BENGUET CORP: Reports Steep Losses
----------------------------------
Benguet losses reach PhP2 billion Benguet Corp. yesterday
reported its consolidated net losses ballooned to 1.987
billion Philippine pesos (PhP) last year from a negative
income of only PhP165.1 million in 1996. In a disclosure to
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Benguet said
the loss was due to an "extraordinary provision" it
made for its mining operations amounting to some PhP857.7
million.

If the company had not made the provision, Benguet said its
consolidated net loss for 1997 would have only amounted to
PhP1.129 billion. Also, the company said the negative
income can be traced to trading losses from its dollar
forward contracts resulting from the peso's depreciation
against the dollar. The company also reported its operating
revenues fell 46% to PhP1.38 billion from PhP2.56 billion
the previous year due to a decline in the average composite
metal prices in 1997.
(BusinessWorld 29-Apr-1998)


VICTORIAS MILLING: Reveals Rehabilitation Plan
----------------------------------------------
Sugar producer Victorias Milling Corporation (VMC) bared
its rehabilitation plan after experiencing financial
problems a few months back as a result of the price glut in
sugar in the international market. Isidro C. Alcantara,
chairman of the management committee and executive vice
president of Philippine International Commercial Bank
(PCIB), said in a report to the Philippine Stock Exchange
(PSE) that the rehabilitation plan was in accordance with
the mandate of the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC).

The proposed plan would require major contribution and even  
sacrifices by creditors and stockholders by capital
infusion of P2.0 billion to allow creditor banks to convert
a minimum of P1.5 billion worth of debt to preferred shares
equivalent to 51 percent ownership through public bidding.
Under the financial plan, the company was also tasked to  
undergo a 15-year restructuring of bank debts, after debt
equity conversion estimated at a total of P4,127.8 million,  
inclusive of accrued interests.

While liabilities of non-bank creditors which have been  
computed at approximately P252.0 million and additional  
liabilities arising from sugar inventory shortage estimated
at P332.0 million shall be paid as follows: 25 percent in
crop year 1997-1998; 37.5 percent in crop year 1998-1999;
and 37.5 percent in crop year 1999-2000.
(Asia Pulse 29-Apr-1998)


VICTORIAS MILLING: Two Creditors Oppose Miller's Rehab Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Efforts to start  the rehabilitation of cash-strapped
Victorias Milling Co., Inc. just hit a snag. Bank of the
Philippine Islands (BPI) and Dao Heng Bank, two of the
creditor banks of Victorias, opposed moves to adopt the
rehabilitation plan proposed by Victorias' management
committee. They said  debates relating to the refined sugar
delivery orders (RSDO) issued by the North Negros Marketing
Co. (Nonemarco), Victorias' marketing arm, must be settled
first.

Victorias refused to honor the RSDOs issued to BPI, Dao
Heng as well as AsianBank, Land Bank of the Philippine and
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) after a due
diligence audit conducted by auditors Joaquin Cunanan & Co.
uncovered irregularities in Nonemarco's issuance of the
RSDOs.

Representatives of both BPI and Dao Heng formally submitted
their protest concerning the proposed rehabilitation plan
during a hearing yesterday at the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), said  hearing officer Manolito Soller.
However, unlike BPI and Dao Heng,  Mr. Soller said  "almost
all of the creditors" just asked to have more time to file
their comment on the rehabilitation plan. He said the SEC
gave the creditors 15 days to submit their comment on the
plan.
(BusinessWorld 29-Apr-1998)


YAMAICHI SECURITIES: Philippines Unit Finds Buyer
-------------------------------------------------
A buyer of the remnants of Yamaichi Securities
(Philippines), Inc. has emerged, fast-tracking the rebirth  
of the Japanese brokerage house's affiliate after it folded
up last March. RCBC Retirement Fund, a fund managed by the
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), bought Yamaichi's
Philippine operations lock, stock and barrel, BusinessWorld
learned. The agreement covering the sale was signed by the
two parties last February 27 but the actual transfer of
ownership is being delayed by some paper requirements with
the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Recently, Yamaichi informed the Philippine Stock Exchange
(PSE) of the impending change in the firm's ownership but
it advised the PSE that the transfer process is still not
finished. Yamaichi Philippines closed shop last March,
three months after it suspended its trading operations to
prevent a contagion from the financial woes of its Tokyo
head office.
(BusinessWorld 29-Apr-1998)


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

MICROPOLIS: Property up for Sale
--------------------------------
Singapore Technologies' liquidated disk drive-making
subsidiary Micropolis has put on sale its light industrial
building in Serangoon North Avenue 5. The five-storey
building on a 192,999 sq ft site was valued at $45 million
in December by liquidators Coopers & Lybrand. The property
has a book value of $70 million.

Commenting on the progress of Micropolis' liquidation, Mr
Chan said "hopefully by end of the year, we will be ready
to pay off creditors". The ill-fated company was placed
under provisional liquidation in November last year with
$630 million in debts, just 19 months after it was acquired
by Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd from US-based Micropolis
Corp.

Mr Chan said all Micropolis' trade inventory had been sold
for US$12 million (S$18 million). Its equipment and
machinery will be auctioned by US-based Dove Brothers in
early June.
(The Straits Times 29-Apr-1998)


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T H A I L A N D
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SAHAVIRIYA STEEL: Seeks Fresh Funds
-----------------------------------
Troubled Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) will offer 505
million new shares at the rock-bottom price of 3.5 baht
each (10-baht par) in a bid to woo buyer interest and
provide 1,767.5 million baht in fresh funds. With the slump
in SSI's share prices beyond expectations, chairman Vit
Viriyapraphaikij conceded yesterday it would be difficult
to raise four billion baht from the new shares as expected
earlier. SSI shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand
closed yesterday at 3.5 baht.

"We have no choice but to offer a low price as we need the
funds to revive our liquidity," he told reporters, noting
the financial problems facing SSI were not unique in the
local steel industry. SSI shares have traded lately between
a low of 80 satang and a high of 4.40 baht. Mr Vit said the
company would prefer to have Thai partners rather than
foreigners. However, with the economic problems in Thailand
at present, he said it may be difficult for Thais to invest
in SSI.

The Viriyapraphaikij family directly and indirectly owns
41.01% of SSI, with the Bank of Ayudhaya holding 9.28% and
Siam Commercial Bank 4.24%. SSI plans two more share issues
over the next two months. The three issues are intended to
help boost the company's registered capital from 5.1
billion to 15.68 billion baht. According to SSI, 255
million of the initial 505 million shares will be offered
to existing shareholders and the remaining 250 million will
be sold through public placement. The second involves 48
million shares to support the Euro convertible bonds that
the company sold in 1995. The company plans a third share
issue, involving 250 million shares, if the first and
second issues do not raise the funds expected.

As part of SSI's financial restructuring plan, the company
is seeking approval from Siam Commercial Bank and Bank of
Ayudhya to roll over US$100 million in short-term loans due
in 1998-99, to 2002 or beyond.
(Bangkok Post 29-Apr-1998)


UNION BANK: Recapitalisation Deal Almost Finalised
--------------------------------------------------
Union Bank says its capital adequacy ratio has fallen under
the minimum standard, but that a recapitalisation deal with
new foreign investors is close to being finalised.
President Piyabutr Cholvijarn said talks with prospective
partners were in the "final stages". He said the bank's
capital-to-risk assets ratio was 7%, based on a six-month
definition for non-performing loans. The ratio had dropped
because the bank had increased provisions. Non-performing
loans account for 24.8% of the bank's total outstanding
credit, using the definition of six months or more of
unpaid interest.

The Bank of Thailand requires commercial banks to maintain
a ratio of at least 8.5%. By mid-year, financial
institutions will be required to classify non-performing
loans based on three months, a change that has pushed banks
to set aside new loan-loss provisions and seek new equity
partners.

Mr Piyabutr said the bank sought to complete its capital
increase as quickly as possible. A new share issue would be
placed among several investors, although he declined to
provide details.

The bank reported first-quarter losses of 541.88 million
baht, attributed to declining revenues and the need to set
aside provisions. In the first quarter of 1997, it had a
profit of 60.59 million baht.
(Bangkok Post 29-Apr-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
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