TCRAP_Public/981207.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, December 7, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 201

                    Headlines


* C H I N A   &   H O N G   K O N G *

ASIA LTD: Claims-paying ability rated 'BBB-' by Fitch IBCA
HWA KAY THAI HOLDINGS: Yue leaves Hwa Kay post
KWONG ON BANK: Singapore Bank may revive talks on stake
SHANGHAI INDUSTRIAL: SIIH asset sale to cut gearing


* I N D O N E S I A *

ASTRA MICROTRONICS: Newbridge to purchase IC company
PT BANK NEGARA: S&P downgrades long-term ratings
PT BANK INTERNASIONAL: S&P downgrades long-term ratings


* J A P A N *

MIMASU SEMICONDUCTOR: Profit likely to fall 41% half year
RYOHIN KEIKAKU: To close HK and Singapore outlets
SHOWA DENKO: Expects 53% drop in '98 profit


* K O R E A *

DAEWOO: Banks choose affiliates for workout
HALLA CLIMATE CONTROL: Ford wins order on Mando's stake
HANBO STEEL: Details on international auction
HYUNDAI: Banks choose affiliates for workout
HYUNDAI GROUP: Plans to spin off auto division by 2000

LG: Banks choose affiliates for workout
LG SEMICONDUCTOR: 'Big Deal' negotiations stalemated
SK: Banks choose affiliates for workout
SAMSUNG: Banks choose affiliates for workout
SAMSUNG MOTORS: Top chaebols agree on Samsung-Daewoo swap


* M A L A Y S I A *

CROSSLINK ENGINEERING SDN BHD: Winding-up petition
HICOM HOLDINGS: Results announcement
JAYA JUSCO: Sells property to Kausar
KHONG GUAN HOLDINGS: Proposes to acquire Marco Corporation
MONARICH (M) SDN BHD: Winding-up petition

PERSUSAHAAN OTOMOBIL NASIONAL: Results announcement
RHB BANK: Moody lowers ratings
SIME BANK: Moody lowers ratings
SIME BANK: Once again, a delay on sale to RHB Bank
SUNDAY BEST (M) SDN BHD: Winding-up petition

SYARIKAT GEMBALASARI SDN BHD: Winding-up petition


* P H I L I P P I N E S *

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Cathay denies new PAL bid
PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE: PLDT-First Pacific accord rushed


* S I N G A P O R E *

CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES: Results announcement
PACIFIC CAN: Announces management reshuffle
TRANSMARCO: Results announcement


* T H A I L A N D *

THAI PETROCHEMICAL: Creditors vote on plan delayed
WONGPAITOON GROUP: Lower interest rates ease burden


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

ASIA LTD: Claims-paying ability rated 'BBB-' by Fitch IBCA
----------------------------------------------------------      
Fitch IBCA rates Asian Securitization & Infrastructure
Assurance (Pte) Ltd's (ASIA Ltd) claims-paying ability
'BBB-.' ASIA Ltd is a Singapore-based financial guarantor
that began operations in 1996, but stopped writing new
business early this year in conjunction with the onset of
Asia's economic crisis.

The company's owners are MBIA Inc., the Asian Development
Bank, Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia, American
International Assurance Co., Ltd., Korea Long Term Credit
Bank, DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und
Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Netherlands Development
Finance Co., and Government of Singapore Investment Corp.
Pte Ltd. ASIA Ltd's owners have no outstanding capital
commitments to the company.


HWA KAY THAI HOLDINGS: Yue leaves Hwa Kay post
----------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Hwa Kay Thai
Holdings has announced that managing director Ronald Yue
has resigned with effect from Jan. 1 next year but will
stay on as a non-executive director. Mr Yue would remain as
non-executive director until completion of a planned
subscription.


KWONG ON BANK: Singapore Bank may revive talks on stake
-------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Dao Heng Bank is
understood to have pulled out of talks to acquire the
controlling shareholding of Kwong On Bank, and the
Development Bank of Singapore is set to take its place,
according to a source. Dao Heng Bank last month confirmed
it was in preliminary talks to acquire Fuji Bank's 50.1 per
cent stake of Kwong On Bank, but the source said this had
been shelved.

The reason for the failure of talks is understood to be the
Leung family's refusal to give up management rights at the
bank. Kwong On Bank was founded by the Leung family in the
1940s and its controlling shareholding was sold to Fuji
Bank in 1973, leaving the family as the second-largest
shareholder.

A Kwong On Bank source said the Development Bank of
Singapore would be the most likely purchaser of the Fuji
Bank stake as it was willing to allow the Leung family to
run the business. Both Dao Heng and the Development Bank of
Singapore refused to comment on the deal.


SHANGHAI INDUSTRIAL: SIIH asset sale to cut gearing
---------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Shanghai
Industrial Investment (Holdings), the Hong Kong window
company of the Shanghai municipal government, is
considering selling assets as part of a wider plan to cut
gearing levels.

Company officials denied the proposed $1.47 billion sale of
two hotels to its listed arm Shanghai Industrial Holdings
was aimed at lowering the parent's gearing, saying the
financial position of the parent was good and improving.

Vice chairman of both firms, Chen Weishu said its net debt
to asset ration has been cut to 1.5 times from 1.76 times
last year while the proportion of short-term debt was
halved to 15 per cent. He said the group was taking
measures to further reduce its gearing ratio over the
next six to twleve months. He said the listed arm was
studying several proposals, including redevelopment, to
realise the potential of the two cinemas adjoining the
South Pacific Hotel it planned to buy from the parent. The
parent has about $1 billion cash and more than $3 billion
standby credit line.

The firm made an unaudited pre-tax profit of $3.5 million
in the 10 months to October -- far below the guaranteed
pretax profit of $44 million and $52.8 million for the
coming two years for the red chip under the purchase
agreement with its parent. This compared with a pretax
profit of $16.2 million, according to a circular on the
proposed transaction. Cai Laixing, chairman of both
companies, said the parent would make up the shortfall
should the hotel company fail to reach guaranteed earnings.


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

ASTRA MICROTRONICS: Newbridge to purchase IC company
----------------------------------------------------
Singapore Business Times reports in one of the biggest
cross-border merger-and-acquisition (M&A) deals done in
Indonesia since the Asian currency crisis, US-owned
investment fund Newbridge Capital Asia will buy Astra
Microtronics Technology (AMT) from listed Astra
International for US$90 million (S$148 million).

The deal for the IC assembly and testing company was signed
late Wednesday. CIBC World Markets, the investment banking
arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, acted as the
exclusive financial adviser to Astra in the transaction.
The sale is part of Astra's efforts to focus on its core
automotive business.

"Not only is it an excellent way of improving debt
repayment capacity, it will also facilitate the on-going
debt restructuring process," said Radius Prawiro, chairman
of Indonesia's Private Sector Debt Team which is looking
into the debt problems of Indonesian companies.

Newbridge, with funds over US$8 billion under management,
is owned by US firms Texas Pacific Group and Richard C Blum
Associates. The transaction was a difficult deal to close
and took longer than the six months originally expected
because of the social and economic situation in Indonesia.

"Fortunately, both sides possessed the patience and
understanding to work through the changing environment in
Indonesia and we were able to convince Newbridge of the
significant value underlying AMT's business fundamentals,"
said CIBC executive director Robert Chung.


PT BANK NEGARA: S&P downgrades long-term ratings
------------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reports Standard & Poor's
Ratings Group has cut the long-term local currency ratings
on two Indonesian banks. The local currency ratings were
downgraded from B- to CCC+ for both banks. The banks whose
ratings were cut are PT Bank Negara Indonesia, and
PT Bank Internasional Indonesia.

The article stated that these banks are expected to remain
weak, despite government plans to inject capital into the
banking system. The government of Indonesia has earlier
announced a re-capitalization program where it intends to
issue government bonds to cover the cost of re-capitalize
banks that have capital adequacy ratios of between minus 25
percent and positive 4 percent.


PT BANK INTERNASIONAL: S&P downgrades long-term ratings
-------------------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reports Standard & Poor's
Ratings Group has cut the long-term local currency ratings
on two Indonesian banks. The local currency ratings were
downgraded from B- to CCC+ for both banks. The banks whose
ratings were cut are PT Bank Negara Indonesia, and
PT Bank Internasional Indonesia.

The article stated that these banks are expected to remain
weak, despite government plans to inject capital into the
banking system. The government of Indonesia has earlier
announced a re-capitalization program where it intends to
issue government bonds to cover the cost of re-capitalize
banks that have capital adequacy ratios of between minus 25
percent and positive 4 percent.


=========
J A P A N  
=========

MIMASU SEMICONDUCTOR: Profit likely to fall 41% half year
---------------------------------------------------------
Nikkei English News reports Mimasu Semiconductor Industry
Co.'s pretax profit for the fiscal half year ended November
appears to have declined 41% to 1.1 billion yen, compared
with its initial projection of a 930 million yen profit,
company sources said. Prices of semiconductor wafer
processing services declined, but cost-cutting efforts
helped stem the earnings fall. Sales for the half year fell
18% to 12.6 billion yen. Sales of semiconductor wafer
recycling products were steady, but sales of its mainstay
products were sluggish. Operating profit slumped 48% to 1.1
billion yen. The company's pretax profit for the full year
through May 1999 is expected to fall 20% from the previous
year to 2.2 billion yen, on a 13% drop in sales to 25
billion yen.


RYOHIN KEIKAKU: To close HK and Singapore outlets
-------------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse says Ryohin Keikaku Co. will close its seven
outlets in Hong Kong and Singapore by the end of this
month, as part of a withdrawal from loss-making Southeast
Asian operations, company officials said Thursday.

The Seiyu Ltd. subsidiary will also dissolve Mujirushi
Ryohin Bermuda Ltd., its joint venture with Wing On D.S. of
Hong Kong, and the venture's Hong Kong and Singapore units.
The Tokyo-based retailer, which operates Mujirushi Ryohin  
stores, will concentrate its overseas operations on stores
in Europe. Ryohin Keikaku does not plan to change its
earnings forecast in the year through February because the  
extraordinary loss from the withdrawal will reach 300
million yen at most.


SHOWA DENKO: Expects 53% drop in '98 profit
-------------------------------------------
Nikkei English News reports Showa Denko KK will likely see
a 53% fall in pretax profit to 6.4 billion yen for the year
through December, company sources said. Sales are projected
to decline 10% to 395 billion yen. Despite 1 billion yen in
head office cost cuts, operating profit will likely fall
31% to 12 billion yen. The company will take an
extraordinary loss of 1.5 billion yen related to product
liability lawsuits over L-tryptophan, about half the loss
taken for the previous year. A transfer of assets in
connection with Showa Denko's establishment of a joint
venture with Montell Polyolefins, a Netherlands-based firm,
and Nippon Petrochemicals Co. will generate an evaluation
loss of several billion yen, which will be covered by
property sales.


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

DAEWOO: Banks choose affiliates for workout
-------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports creditor banks for Korea's top five
business groups have selected eight affiliates as workout
targets, but the selection is subject to fine-tuning by the
groups involved and the Financial Supervisory Commission
(FSC), according to financial sources Friday. The Korea
Exchange Bank selected steel pipe and petrochemical units
from the Hyundai Group, Hanil heavy industry and aerospace
units from Samsung, while Korea First Bank chose an
electronics affiliate from Daewoo, Commercial Bank of Korea
information and communications units from the LG Group and
Korea First Bank selected a chemical affiliate from the SK
Group.

The FSC, however, said that Hyundai's petrochemical unit  
and several others are unfit for the workout and raised  
attention to associated creditor banks to select others as  
replacements.

The prime workout targets which were chosen are those that  
have been judged ill equipped for international
competition, and laden with heavy debts.

The review will be completed by the weekend, and the list  
will be finalized at the meeting of economic ministers and
business group leaders scheduled for Monday at the  
Presidential office.


HALLA CLIMATE CONTROL: Ford wins order on Mando's stake
-------------------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports Ford Motor won a restraining order
banning Korean financial institutions from disposing of
Mando Machinery's stake in Halla Climate Control, a joint
venture with the US auto giant, according to Ford sources
Friday. Ford applied for an injunction for Mando's stake at
the Seoul District Court, saying that Korea Investment
Trust Co. failed to first consult with Ford when it
designated Mando's 35 percent stake in Halla Climate
Control as collateral for loans extended to other Halla
Group affiliates. Ford also owns a 35-percent stake in the
air conditioner-making company.

The Korean trust company planned to sell the stake through  
the stock market via trustees in Seoul and Hanil banks.
Ford charged that Korea Investment violated a joint-venture  
contract with Ford and Mando. The US automaker is currently
negotiating with Mando over acquiring the latter's share of
35 percent in Halla Climate.


HANBO STEEL: Details on international auction
---------------------------------------------
The Korea Herald reports officials at the Ministry of
Commerce, Industry and Energy and Bankers Trust Company
(BTC) of the United States, the final bidding for Hanbo
Iron and Steel Co. will be held around December 15. Hanbo,
like Kia Motors, will be put up for sale through an
international tender. BTC, which has played the role of a
lead manager to sell off the insolvent steelmaker since
June, has held individual discussions with the bidders over
the auction details.

Up to 10 domestic and foreign companies, including those
from China, Britain and Thailand, have expressed keen
interest in acquiring the steel company, sources said.
Analysts predict that Hanbo may be sold off either to a
single foreign bidder or a consortium of domestic and
foreign steelmakers. If there is no buyer to take over the
company as a whole, the government is considering selling
it in separate parts, too, a top official said.

The creditor banks had been in a position to sell off
Hanbo's two main plants as a package in principle. "The A
section of Hanbo's Tangjin Steelworks may be sold
separately from the B section," Minister of Commerce,
Industry and Energy Park Tae-young has recently told
reporters. "Prospective bidders have shown a keen interest
in the A section, but little interest in the B section."

The A section has a mill producing 1.8 million tons of
crude steel a year for the production of hot coils and a
steel rod mill producing 1 million tons annually. The
operation of the cold-rolled steel plate plant in A
district has been suspended since July this year. In the B
section, construction work on a 2.1-million-ton hot coil
mill and a 2-million-ton cold-rolled sheet plant has been
suspended since last year. Last year, Pohang Iron and Steel
Co. (POSCO) failed to acquire Hanbo's Tangjin plants after
offering 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion). Hanbo went bankrupt
in January 1997 with debts of more than 8 trillion won.


HYUNDAI: Banks choose affiliates for workout
--------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports creditor banks for Korea's top five
business groups have selected eight affiliates as workout
targets, but the selection is subject to fine-tuning by the
groups involved and the Financial Supervisory Commission
(FSC), according to financial sources Friday. The Korea
Exchange Bank selected steel pipe and petrochemical units
from the Hyundai Group, Hanil heavy industry and aerospace
units from Samsung, while Korea First Bank chose an
electronics affiliate from Daewoo, Commercial Bank of Korea
information and communications units from the LG Group and
Korea First Bank selected a chemical affiliate from the SK
Group.

The FSC, however, said that Hyundai's petrochemical unit  
and several others are unfit for the workout and raised  
attention to associated creditor banks to select others as  
replacements.

The prime workout targets which were chosen are those that  
have been judged ill equipped for international
competition, and laden with heavy debts.

The review will be completed by the weekend, and the list  
will be finalized at the meeting of economic ministers and
business group leaders scheduled for Monday at the  
Presidential office.


HYUNDAI GROUP: Plans to spin off auto division by 2000
------------------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports the Hyundai Group plans to spin off its
auto division, comprised of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors by
2000, at the earliest, according to a high-level official
at the group said Friday. The country's top family-run
conglomerate began a feasibility study on the possibility
of a spinoff for the automaking unit this month, he said.
Hyundai recently acquired stocks of Kia and Asia Motors.

"We plan to resolve the cross-payment guarantees within two  
to three years through a series of spinoffs," the Hyundai  
official added. Hyundai's automaking unit will be the third
to be separated from the parent group after Keumkang
Development Industrial and Hyundai Fire and Marine
Insurance, which will go solo from early next year.

Hyundai also plans to spin off electronics, construction,  
heavy chemical, financial, and services units as well to be  
better prepared in the global market.

Hyundai announced on Thursday that it will merge the  
group's automaking units into Hyundai Motor and it will
have Kia's four affiliates merged into Kia Motors. Hyundai
Motor and Kia Motors will be run as two standalone units.


LG: Banks choose affiliates for workout
---------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports creditor banks for Korea's top five
business groups have selected eight affiliates as workout
targets, but the selection is subject to fine-tuning by the
groups involved and the Financial Supervisory Commission
(FSC), according to financial sources Friday. The Korea
Exchange Bank selected steel pipe and petrochemical units
from the Hyundai Group, Hanil heavy industry and aerospace
units from Samsung, while Korea First Bank chose an
electronics affiliate from Daewoo, Commercial Bank of Korea
information and communications units from the LG Group and
Korea First Bank selected a chemical affiliate from the SK
Group.

The FSC, however, said that Hyundai's petrochemical unit  
and several others are unfit for the workout and raised  
attention to associated creditor banks to select others as  
replacements.

The prime workout targets which were chosen are those that  
have been judged ill equipped for international
competition, and laden with heavy debts.

The review will be completed by the weekend, and the list  
will be finalized at the meeting of economic ministers and
business group leaders scheduled for Monday at the  
Presidential office.


LG SEMICONDUCTOR: 'Big Deal' negotiations stalemated
----------------------------------------------------
The 'Big Deal' negotiations between LG and Hyundai on their
respective semiconductor businesses were at a stalemate
Friday despite the looming 'showdown' meeting with the
president and government officials on Monday.

The government and the Federation of Korean Industries
(FKI) had hoped to see a smooth transition and merger of
the two before the end of the year. LG and Hyundai have
selected Arthur D. Little (ADL) as a consultant to
arbitrate the merger, based on relative assets of the two.
In a statement ADL said that it could, once a contract has
been signed and should the government wish, select major
management positions before the end of the year.

An additional problem to the stalled negotiations is the
deteriorating financial condition of the two companies as
the government is insisting that the merged entity should
have no debts. As of the end of June, however, the total
debts of the two was an astounding W18.9 trillion, which
far exceeds the effective assets of W240 billion. In
addition there are undisclosed debts from overseas
subsidiaries and cross guarantees, pushing the total even
higher.

Another element causing friction is the rising price of
semiconductors, up from US$3/US$4 in the summer to
US$10/US$11, which is strengthening the anti 'Big Deal'
faction in business. The government is pressing the two,
stressing that it is a promise made to the administration
and the people, and will impose a workout solution if the
merge does not go ahead.


SK: Banks choose affiliates for workout
---------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports creditor banks for Korea's top five
business groups have selected eight affiliates as workout
targets, but the selection is subject to fine-tuning by the
groups involved and the Financial Supervisory Commission
(FSC), according to financial sources Friday. The Korea
Exchange Bank selected steel pipe and petrochemical units
from the Hyundai Group, Hanil heavy industry and aerospace
units from Samsung, while Korea First Bank chose an
electronics affiliate from Daewoo, Commercial Bank of Korea
information and communications units from the LG Group and
Korea First Bank selected a chemical affiliate from the SK
Group.

The FSC, however, said that Hyundai's petrochemical unit  
and several others are unfit for the workout and raised  
attention to associated creditor banks to select others as  
replacements.

The prime workout targets which were chosen are those that  
have been judged ill equipped for international
competition, and laden with heavy debts.

The review will be completed by the weekend, and the list  
will be finalized at the meeting of economic ministers and
business group leaders scheduled for Monday at the  
Presidential office.


SAMSUNG: Banks choose affiliates for workout
--------------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports creditor banks for Korea's top five
business groups have selected eight affiliates as workout
targets, but the selection is subject to fine-tuning by the
groups involved and the Financial Supervisory Commission
(FSC), according to financial sources Friday. The Korea
Exchange Bank selected steel pipe and petrochemical units
from the Hyundai Group, Hanil heavy industry and aerospace
units from Samsung, while Korea First Bank chose an
electronics affiliate from Daewoo, Commercial Bank of Korea
information and communications units from the LG Group and
Korea First Bank selected a chemical affiliate from the SK
Group.

The FSC, however, said that Hyundai's petrochemical unit  
and several others are unfit for the workout and raised  
attention to associated creditor banks to select others as  
replacements.

The prime workout targets which were chosen are those that  
have been judged ill equipped for international
competition, and laden with heavy debts.

The review will be completed by the weekend, and the list  
will be finalized at the meeting of economic ministers and
business group leaders scheduled for Monday at the  
Presidential office.


SAMSUNG MOTORS: Top chaebols agree on Samsung-Daewoo swap
---------------------------------------------------------
Digital ChosunIlbo reports the nation's five largest
business groups -- Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo, LG and SK --
have agreed in principle on the swapping of Samsung Motors
and Daewoo Electronics in a joint meeting Friday. The five
groups plan to work out measures and revise guidelines for
the realignment of seven major business sectors in order to
finalize restructuring plans for each group before their
planned meeting with President Kim Dae-jung Monday, sources
at the meeting said.


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

CROSSLINK ENGINEERING SDN BHD: Winding-up petition
--------------------------------------------------
Unity Sales & Services Sdn Bhd on 30/9/98 petitioned for
the winding-up of Crosslink Engineering Sdn Bhd. The
petition is directed to be heard on 8/1/99.


HICOM HOLDINGS: Results announcement
------------------------------------
Hicom Holdings Bhd reported a net interim loss of 139.36        
million Malaysian ringgit (S$60.3 million) compared with a        
profit of RM637.31 million last year, reports Singapore
Business Times. Hicom said the group's overall performance
was adversely affected by the unfavourable economic
climate.

Sales fell to RM711.35 million from RM1.58 billion
previously. The group pre-tax loss was RM104.20 million for
the half year ended Sept 30, 1998. In the corresponding
previous period, it made a group pre-tax profit of RM543.27
million.

At the company level, it made a pre-tax profit of RM41.73
million for the period under review compared to RM78.25
million previously.

No interim dividend has been recommended for the period
just ended while there was a four sen dividend previously.

Hicom said companies in the group involved in the
automotive business were badly affected by the marked drop
in sales of motor vehicles and the depreciation of the
ringgit against major currencies. The performance of the
property and construction sector was also affected because
of the slowdown in the construction industry and the
deferment of property development projects.


JAYA JUSCO: Sells property to Kausar
------------------------------------
Asia Pulse reports retail chain Jaya Jusco Stores Bhd has
agreed to sell a piece of leasehold land measuring 2,905 sq
metres (31,629 sq ft) together with the Wisma Jusco 12-
storey commercial/office block built on it at Wangsa Maju,
on the northern outskirt of here. In a statement, it said
Kausar Corporation Sdn Bhd would  purchase the property for
RM27 million ($US7.1 million) in  cash. The property is
worth RM28 million on the open market.

Jaya Jusco said the disposal of the property would enable  
the company to make an exceptional gain of RM10 million for  
the year ending Feb 28, 1999.


KHONG GUAN HOLDINGS: Proposes to acquire Marco Corporation
----------------------------------------------------------
Singapore Business Times reports Khong Guan Holdings Bhd
has proposed to acquire Marco Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd for
50 million Malaysian ringgit (S$21.6 million), it was
announced yesterday.

The company said that it had entered into a conditional
agreement for the proposed acquisition of 2.4 million
shares of RM1 each which represented the entire issued and
paid up capital of Marco Corporation. It said based on the
average of guaranteed pre-tax profit by the vendors of RM5
million for the next three future financial years and
estimated maintainable profit before taxation of about
RM5.417 million, the purchase consideration of RM50 million
is valued at a gross price earnings multiple of 9.32 times.

The company said the proposal is undertaken as a rescue
case to Khong Guan as the company has recorded continuous
losses for two consecutive financial years.

With the acquisition and the profit guarantee provided by
the vendors of Marco, it is expected that the future
earnings of Khong Guan will be improved and this will
enhance the shareholders' investment in Khong Guan.


MONARICH (M) SDN BHD: Winding-up petition
-----------------------------------------
Nam Holdings Sdn Bhd on 18/11/98 petitioned for the
winding-up of Monarich (M) Sdn Bhd. The petition is
directed to be heard on 24/2/99.


PERSUSAHAAN OTOMOBIL NASIONAL: Results announcement
---------------------------------------------------
Singapore Business Times reports car sales and the weaker
ringgit forced Malaysia's national car maker Perusahaan
Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) to report an interim loss
for the first time this decade.

Proton group posted a net loss of 122.92 million Malaysian
ringgit (S$53.2 million) for the first half ended Sept 30,
1998, compared with the previous year's interim net profit
of RM415.25 million.

This translates to a net loss per share of 22.7 sen for
this interim, compared with a 76.5 sen earnings per share
in the last interim.

Turnover for the group fell 55.3 per cent to RM1.69 billion
in the first half from RM3.78 billion in the last interim.
On the operating level, the group slipped into a loss of
RM162.77 million from an operating profit of RM528.98
million previously.

Proton said the depreciation of the ringgit against major
currencies resulted in component cost increases, which in
turn affected the car maker's margins.


RHB BANK: Moody lowers ratings
------------------------------
Moody's also lowered the long-term deposit ratings of the
RHB Bank Bhd. from Ba1 to Ba2.


SIME BANK: Moody lowers ratings
-------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reports Moody's Investor
Services Inc. has cut the financial strength rating of the
Sime Bank Bhd. from E+ to E, and lowered the long-term
deposit ratings of this bank from Ba1 to Ba2.


SIME BANK: Once again, a delay on sale to RHB Bank
--------------------------------------------------
Singapore Business Times reports Sime Darby Bhd said its
wholly-owned subsidiary, Sime Darby Financial Services
Holdings Sdn Bhd (SDFS), has agreed to a request made by
Rashid Hussain Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd on Monday to extend the
date of completion for the sale of Sime Bank shares to RHB
Bank. The extension is for 150 days from Nov 30, 1998 and
involves the proposed disposal by SDFS of its 60.35 per
cent stake in Sime Bank.

However, Sime Darby said it is subject to Sime Darby's
consideration and acceptance of certain proposed amendments
to the Sale of Shares Agreement requested by Rashid Hussain
and RHB Bank.

Sime Darby said the sale of shares agreement provided that
the approval of the relevant authorities and the respective
shareholders of the parties to the agreement are to be
obtained within 180 days from the date of the agreement or
such other date as may be agreed upon in writing between
the parties.

This is a second extension. On Sept 1, Sime Darby agreed to
push back the cut-off date to Nov 30, 1998.


SUNDAY BEST (M) SDN BHD: Winding-up petition
--------------------------------------------
Vasin Knitting Factory Sdn Bhd on 8/10/98 petitioned for
the winding-up of Sunday Best (M) Sdn Bhd. The petition is
directed to be heard on 5/1/99.


SYARIKAT GEMBALASARI SDN BHD: Winding-up petition
-------------------------------------------------
Gladwin Sdn Bhd on 5/11/98 petitioned for the winding-up of
Syarikat Gembalasari Sdn Bhd. The petition is directed to
be heard on 2/3/99.


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

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Cathay denies new PAL bid
----------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Cathay Pacific
Airways denied claims that Philippines President Joseph
Estrada made yesterday regarding a letter he has received
from Cathay opening the door to a resumption of takeover
negotiations. A Cathay spokesman said the company received
no official requests from PAL requesting a return to
negotiations yet, adding that Cathay saw no reason to
change its decision to abandon the takeover.

The airline's closure would be a huge political setback for
Mr Estrada, who has essentially been brokering a deal to
rescue PAL. Mr Estrada is waiting for PAL chairman Lucio
Tan's return to the country for talks, adding that he was
not going to give up.

According to the Hong Kong Standard, a Cathay spokesman
said a change in the company's stance is unlikely unless
there is a fundamental and very substantial change.

PAL said the carrier's shareholders would invest US$150
million after failed talks with Cathay and Northwest
Airlines.


PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE: PLDT-First Pacific accord rushed
----------------------------------------------------------
The purchase of a substantial stake by First Pacific Co.
Ltd. into Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) was
allegedly rushed to preempt the Marcoses from recovering
sequestered shares in the telecoms giant, reports
BusinessWorld.

In a privilege speech, Senator Francisco Tatad said former
PLDT chief executive officer Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco
hastened the sale of his controlling shares in PLDT in
anticipation of the Marcoses' recovery efforts. "The First
Pacific takeover represents not only a masterful
acquisition scheme by the foreign buyer but also a rush to
sell on the part of those holding Marcos's shares," he
said.

He added that US court decision in favor of the Marcoses,
as in the Golden Buddha case, have been interpreted by
Marcos dummies as a signal for them to unload and make
money on the shares. First Pacific managing director Manuel       
Pangilinan announced last week that the group acquired a
17.2% stake in PLDT for 29.7 billion Philippine pesos (PhP)
or $749 million or PhP1,420 per share. It also now holds a
27.4% voting interest in the local telephone giant. By
hurrying the sale of PTIC shares in PLDT, Mr. Tatad said
Mr. Cojuangco profited at the expense of the government
given that that part of the sold shares -- those claimed by
the Marcoses -- have been sequestered by the government.

Apart from the questionable circumstances on the hasty buy-
in deal, Tatad warned that First Pacific itself is heavy
with debt, casting doubt on PLDT's future with the company.


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

CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES: Results announcement
-----------------------------------------
Singapore Business Times reports Chemical Industries (Far
East) Ltd yesterday reported a loss of $3.21 million for
the six months ended Sept 30. Turnover fell 57 per cent to
$15.08 million. Loss per share stood at 8.1 cents, compared
to earnings per share of 2.7 cents previously. Net tangible
asset backing per ordinary share rose 16 cents to $2.54.

The group blamed the reduced turnover on lower rentals
resulting from the sale of two investment properties and
the termination of a lease in the UK. But the deals led to
an extraordinary gain of $7.6 million. The group expects to
be profitable once extraordinary gains from the disposal of
investment properties are factored in.


PACIFIC CAN: Announces management reshuffle
-------------------------------------------
Loss-making Pacific Can Investment Holdings yesterday       
announced a major reshuffle of senior management positions,
reports Singapore Business Times.

The can-maker said it terminated the services of Karl
Golden as group managing director and chief executive
officer. Ko Ching-Shuei, currently deputy chief executive
officer, will take over from Mr Golden. Non-executive
director Liu Chun-Fu has been appointed executive director
and a member of the executive committee, replacing Mr
Golden. The three-man committee includes Mr Ko and Low Hua
Kin as chairman.

Mr Liu will also replace Mr Golden as a member of the
senior executive remuneration committee. Other members are
Mr Low and Richard Chew. Mr Ko will join as an additional
member of the audit committee chaired by Philip Tan. Dr
Chew and Mr Low are also members of the committee.

Pacific Can has been in the red for four straight years.
Losses ballooned from $1.3 million in 1994 to $11.8 million
last year.

In October, chief financial officer Chee Sin Kong quit the
company.


TRANSMARCO: Results announcement
--------------------------------
Transmarco yesterday announced a $9.3 million interim net
loss, more than double the figure in the previous year,
according to Singapore Business Times.

For the half-year ended Sept 30, group turnover improved 20
per cent to $50.4 million, with the increase coming mostly
from its telecommunications subsidiary, Lanka Bell, which
has started initial operations. Lanka Bell's turnover is
due to an increasing subscribers' base as more base
stations are rolled-out, Transmarco said.

The Sri Lankan firm, however, continued to suffer losses,
which Transmarco said were within expectations. Interest
expense and exchange loss, mainly on suppliers' credits,
for Lanka Bell amounted to $7.2 million and accounted for
two-thirds of its losses.

Contributions from the retail and distribution businesses
of the group, despite a marginal increase in their
turnover, were reduced. This is due to gross margins eroded
by the economic crisis.

Transmarco also suffered a forex loss of $3.5 million,
compared with a previous gain of $150,000. Losses per share
rose to 34 cents from 15 cents in the previous
corresponding period. As before, no dividend was
recommended.

For the current financial year, Transmarco said its results
for the second half are expected to continue to be
adversely affected by Lanka Bell's anticipated losses.


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

THAI PETROCHEMICAL: Creditors vote on plan delayed
--------------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reports the vote by 140
creditors of the complex restructuring plan of the Thai
Petrochemical Industry PCL (TPI) to deal with its $3.2
billion debt has been postponed for two weeks.

The article states that some of the creditors were not
ready to cast votes as they had to submit the plan to their
respective boards of directors in different countries. The
results of the vote on the plan are now expected to be
known on December 17.  

Details of the plan released earlier include a provision to
first extending the maturities of all short-term loans
totaling $1.09 billion to five years, and converting up to
$400 million worth of loan interest repayment into equity.  
Some long-term loans will also have their terms reduced so
all loans will mature in five years. TPI will also commit
to raising $700 in new capital.

In October, TPI, and its unit TPI Polene PCL, began an
indefinite suspension of the repayment of the principal on
foreign currency loans, although they are still servicing
the interest. TPI is working with a 14-member Creditor
Steering Committee that represents 130 foreign and 12 Thai
creditors.


WONGPAITOON GROUP: Lower interest rates ease burden
---------------------------------------------------
The Bangkok Post reports falling local interest rates mean
Wongpaitoon Group Plc, the Thai manufacturer and
distributor of Reebok footwear and clothes, may change its
strategy in raising funds.

Earlier this year, the company used payments due for
exports as a means of raising cash from international
financial institutions. It planned to borrow US$100 million
(3.7 billion baht at current rates) through securitising
its receivables. So far, it has borrowed $15 million from
Daiwa Securities America Inc through this method.

Aside from the securitised loan, the group owes four
billion baht, including an international loan of $10
million (370 million baht). The baht's depreciation had
forced the group to resort to securitisation to pay between
40 million and 50 million baht a month in interest, he
said.


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.  ISSN: 1520-9482.  

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