TCRAP_Public/990104.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, January 4, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 1
  
                          Headlines


* C H I N A   &   H O N G   K O N G *

DAIMARU DEPARTMENT: Nostalgic day for shoppers as Daimaru closes
GUANGDONG INTERNATIONAL: Gitic debt tally tops US$2.5b
HWA KAY: Losses Mount, Liquidation Threatened; Puma Pulls Back
KPS RETAIL STORES: Buyer eyes early finish for KPS move
MANDARIN RESOURCES: Liquidator stumped by Shareholder no-shows
THEME INTERNATIONAL: Landlords bring $11m claims against Theme

* I N D O N E S I A *

CITRA MARGA: Plans to Delay US$175 Million of Payments

* J A P A N *

NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Nippon Credit Dummy Companies Probed

* K O R E A *

HANBO STEEL: Banks Request Letters if Intent from Bidders
KIA MOTORS: Kia Restructures Before Hyundai Assumes Control
KOREA FIRST: FSC Inks Takeover Agreement with Newbridge Capital
LG SEMICON: LG Clients Concerned About Credit Cut Off

* M A L A Y S I A *

BZW CAPITAL: Voluntary Winding-up
CINYINE BINA: Winding-up petition
DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES: Half-Year Results Ending September 30
NASCENT MARKETING: Voluntary winding-up
OME SDN BHD: Voluntary winding-up
PENGKALEN HOLDINGS: Asks for Extension of Restraining Order
PROVALUE RESOURCES: Winding-up petition
PUSPANAGA SDN BHD: Voluntary Winding-up
RANCANG PRESTASI: Voluntary winding-up
RAYLEE READYWEAR: Winding-up petition
SUPERMET SDN BHD: Voluntary winding-up
TAIPING CONSOLIDATED: YTL Corporation to become largest owner
TENAGA NASIONAL: Tenaga puts 5 more power plants on sale
WEST-MALL CORPORATION: Winding-up petition

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

FINANCIERA MANILA: Cash-strapped firm wants 'one more chance'
SERG'S PRODUCTS: Creditors Ask SEC to Reconsider Sale Decision

* S I N G A P O R E *

ABR HOLDINGS: Rights issue to trim debt
GRP LTD.: In Loan Restructuring Talks

* T H A I L A N D *

DATAMAT PUBLIC: Requests More Time for Rehabilitation Plan
UNITED COMMUNICATION: Telecom giant clinches debt deal


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


DAIMARU DEPARTMENT: Nostalgic day for shoppers as Daimaru closes
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong
Standard, Daimaru, the oldest Japanese store in Hong Kong, closed
its doors for the last time at 10:30 pm yesterday, the day on
which hundreds of people rushed to make last-minute purchases and
to take snapshots of the stores.  The company made announcement
in June 1998 for its closure due to severe competition and the
recession.  It started to lay off its 400 staff in October.


GUANGDONG INTERNATIONAL: Gitic debt tally tops US$2.5b
------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong
Standard, Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp
(Gitic) had debts of more than US$2.5 billion when it was shut by
Beijing for its inability to pay debt.  Estimates had put the
company's debts at about $1.8 to $2 billion, though some foreign
analysts had said it could be higher.

In an article based on remarks made by Premier Zhu Rongji, the
magazine Banyue Tan said the the debts were over $2.5 billion.
The magazine is published twice-monthly by the official Xinhua
news agency.  The magazine said Gitic had large losses from
speculating in futures.

Analysts said the move to close Gitic was partly caused by
political tension between the central government and the often
independent-minded leaders of the province. Premier Zhu said the
closure of Gitic will not hurt the image of Guangdong but will
help it develop in a healthier manner.  He said there had been
problems with the province's economic development, including
smuggling and illegal foreign exchange dealings.


HWA KAY: Losses Mount, Liquidation Threatened; Puma Pulls Back
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to the Hong Kong Standard, Hwa Kay Thai Holdings said
yesterday it lost $141.92 million for the half year to September
30, a 67 per cent improvement on the $430.78 million loss
recorded over the same period last year.  Loss per share for the
period narrowed to 6.8 cents from an interim loss per share of
20.9 cents in 1997. Shareholders will not receive a dividend.
Total turnover fell 29 per cent to $222.62 million, while
operating losses increased 4 per cent to $49.15 million during
the interim period.

The company is now faced with threat of liquidation should a last
ditch rescue agreement with creditors and a new investor not
materialise by the middle of January.

The principal creditor is German sportswear designer Puma, which
terminated Hwa Kay Thai's exclusive license to retail its
products in Asia in July this year.

Total exceptional items amounted to $88.53 million. This included
an exceptional loss of $86.15 million resulting from Puma's
cancellation of its licensing agreement last July.


KPS RETAIL STORES: Buyer eyes early finish for KPS move
-------------------------------------------------------
According to the Hong Kong Standard, Blockbuster Entertainment, a
unit of Viacom, says it plans to complete the purchase of KPS
Retail Stores in January, at least two weeks later than planned.
Blockbuster signed an agreement on November 25 that gave it 30
days to buy some of the assets of the bankrupt video rental
chain.  Liquidators Ernst & Young said earlier this month that
KPS has total assets of $176 million and talks were still going
on, but declined to say why the talks had taken so long.  Before
closure, KPS had 38 shops with 430 staff and a customer base of
230,000.


MANDARIN RESOURCES: Liquidator stumped by Shareholder no-shows
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to the Hong Kong Standard, no shareholders of the
locally listed Mandarin Resources showed up for the annual
general meeting yesterday.

A petition for winding up the company was filed by the Securities
and Futures Commission in June 1996 and Mr Chiong and John Robert
Lees were appointed by the court as the joint and several
provisional liquidators for the company.  After that, the company
directors, including chairman Chim Kim-lun, a son of the jailed
former legislator Chim Pui-chung, were no longer to have any
power in managing its business.

A court hearing on the proposed liquidation of the company would
commence on Feb 8.


THEME INTERNATIONAL: Landlords bring $11m claims against Theme
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong
Standard, the shutting down of outlets by Theme International
Holdings has resulted in 10 writs from landlords claiming $11
million in unpaid rent, the financial controller of the company
Roger Lee Kwok-ming said. Mr Lee said Theme had been ordered by
the court to pay Plaza Hollywood $500,000 in unpaid rent and its
failure to settle the claim sparked the petition for Theme's
wholly-owned subsidiary The Shop Clothing.

Theme did not expect the petition to significantly affect its
financial position or operations as The Shop Clothing had ceased
all operations last month. Merchandise supplied to The Shop since
February remained Theme property.

The scmp reported that except for a Theme International guarantee
of The Shop's liabilities for an estimated $991,000, no other
company in the Theme group had given guarantees for The Shop's
liabilities.

Mr Lee said Theme recently raised $90 million by selling a 40 per
cent interest in pantyhose-maker Fitlady Investment Holdings. Of
this $35 million was spent repaying part of $48 million owed to
China Everbright and a further $35 million was used to settle
part of the interest on $304 million in bank loans, with the
remainder working capital.

Mr Lee said China Everbright was playing a key role in Theme's
recovery, dismissing speculation that it was cutting support.

Excutive director of Theme said the company had sufficient cash
to keep it afloat.

Theme last week said the Stock Exchange had reserved the right to
take action against the company in the wake of its failure to
comply with listing rules.

According to the Hong Kong Standard, the company said more
outlets will be closed if they are unprofitable. It said the
performance of its retail operation in Hong Kong is within
expectations.  At present, it has seven retail shops in Hong Kong
and three in Macau.  Two more outlets in Hong Kong are facing
closure today as major Japanese department store Daimaru closes.

The company said it now has about 70 retail outlets in the
mainland and 42 in Taiwan.

Mr Lee confirmed that the company received about 10 writs
demanding payment for $11 million worth of rent.  For the year
ended March 31, total bank loans and overdrafts amounted to
$288.9 million.



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

CITRA MARGA: Plans to Delay US$175 Million of Payments
------------------------------------------------------
According to the Hong Kong Standard, Citra Marga Nusaphala
Persada, an Indonesian toll road company controlled by a daughter
of former president Suharto, says it needs more time for
repayment of its debts and to devise a restructuring plan. The
company plans to ask creditors next month for approval to delay
by six months repayment of US$175 million. The floating rate
notes were due on December 16.


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

NIPPON CREDIT BANK: Nippon Credit Dummy Companies Probed
--------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, a report says that
Japan's failed Nippon Credit Bank transferred a third of its bad
loans to 76 dummy companies it set up since 1992 in an effort to
deal with the collapse of the investment boom.  The Yomiuri
Shimbun said that Tokyo metropolitan police are investigating the
case, which could constitute window-dressing and breach of trust
in violation of the commercial code.  

Government officials, Yomiuri relates, said Nippon Credit was
insolvent as early as March 1998 with liabilities of 94.4 billion
yen. Its problem loans totalled 3.75 trillion yen at the end of
March, of which 35 per cent or 1.30 trillion yen went to the
dummy companies, the daily said quoting sources close to the
government's financial supervisory agency.  The dummy companies
accounted for 60 per cent of 1.31 trillion yen worth of Nippon
Credit's outstanding loans categorised as those which bear
serious collection risks.  

Press reports say that the bank set up a scheme to enable dummy
companies to buy real estate, which was held as collateral for
bad loans, at auction at high prices, but its attempt to dispose
of the bad loans and the real estate collateral made little
progress and most of the loan claims have been frozen.


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


HANBO STEEL: Banks Request Letters if Intent from Bidders
---------------------------------------------------------
Yonhap and Asia Pulse report that local creditor banks and
Banker's Trust of the United States, the lead manager, have
requested 10 domestic and foreign firms, who have shown interest
in buying financially-troubled steelmaker, Hanbo Steel
(KSE:01920), to submit their letters of intention by January 12.
The creditor banks said they would start individual negotiations
for the sale of the bankrupt steelmaker after they received
letters of intention from the candidate companies.


KIA MOTORS: Kia Restructures Before Hyundai Assumes Control
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Korea Herald reported details of the steps that Kia Motors
Company and its sister bus and truck maker the Asia Motors
Company will take before they are completely taken over by
Hyundai Motors Company.  The steps will involve the reduction of
Kia's 37.8 billion won worth of capital by 90 percent prior to a
later capital injection that will raise the company's capital to
1.5 trillion won.   These moves will prepare Kia for Hyundai to
amass a 51 percent stake in the auto maker.  

According to sources in the Korea Stock exchange, old Kia shares
will be converted into new shares at a ratio of 10 to 1 (i.e.,
ten old shares will be equivalent to one new share).  Following
this, a consortium of five Hyundai affiliated companies will buy
153 million shares of Kia at a price of 5,500 won per share.  
This will give result in Hyundai having a 51 percent stake in the
company.  Creditor banks will also convert their debt into a
total of 120 million shares (at a rate of 15,000 won per share)
giving them 40 percent of the company.   

Hyundai Motors Company, Korea's largest automobile manufacturer,
was the winner of an international auction of the bankrupt Kia
Motors Company and the Asia Motors Company.

Kia Motors became insolvent last July.  Kia Motors and Asia
Motors were granted protection from creditors under court
receivership in October 1997.


KOREA FIRST: FSC Inks Takeover Agreement with Newbridge Capital
---------------------------------------------------------------
Financial Supervisory Commission spokesman Sand Park confirmed
that Newbridge Capital has signed a memorandum of understanding
agreeing to acquire a 51% stake in Korea First Bank.  The
acquisition price has not been disclosed.  

Newbridge Capital, an arm of the Texas Pacific Group that turned
around Continental Airlines, has partnerships with GE Capital,
BankAmerica, Merrill Lynch, and Metropolitan Life Insurance.  
Newbridge hopes to complete due diligence and formalize the
takeover in the first half of 1999.

"For months, the government has tried to sell the two banks to
foreign investors in a bid to restructure its outdated banking
sector and regain foreigners' confidence in the Korean economy,"
recalls the South China Morning Post.  "At the same time it
wanted to maintain a certain degree of ownership, expecting a
surge in their asset value in coming months," the Post said.


LG SEMICON: LG Clients Concerned About Credit Cut Off
-----------------------------------------------------
The Korea Herald reported that officials from LG Semicon have
admitted that some of their foreign buyers are worried about this
past Monday's decision by creditor banks to cut off fresh loans.  
According to the report, foreign buyers are delaying the
conclusion of long-term contracts and some of them are shifting
their business to Taiwanese sources.  The same article also cites
analysts as saying that investment timing is particularly
critical in the semiconductor chip industry, and the cut off in
credit could weaken the Korean industry if seriously interrupts
the investment plans of both Hyundai Electronics Industry Company
and LG Semicon.  

Under the urging from the government, LG and Hyundai had promised
to merge their respective semiconductor businesses, LG Semicon
Company and Hyundai Electronics Industry Company, into what would
be the world's second largest producer of dynamic random access
memory (DRAM) chips.  They also agreed to share equity in a new
merged firm based on a seven to three ratio.  However, which
group would get 70 percent, and which would get 30 percent has
been an issue of contention. To resolve this dispute, an outside
consultant, Arthur D. Little (ADL) of the USA, delivered a
management evaluation that named Hyundai as the best group to run
the new merged company.  

However, LG is disputing this finding and is refusing to
implement this merger which is strongly supported by the Korean
government.  LG's creditor banks have respondent to this stance
by announcing a halt to new loans to LG Semicon.

According to stock market data in Korean newspaper reports in
October, the Hyundai and LG semiconductor groups are estimated to
have debt-to-equity ratios of 935 percent and 617 percent,
respectively.


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


BZW CAPITAL: Voluntary Winding-up
---------------------------------
The members of BZW Capital (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd on 14/12/98
resolved to wind-up the company voluntarily.  Creditors are
requested to submit their claims before 21/1/99.


CINYINE BINA: Winding-up petition
---------------------------------
CSR Building Materials (M) Sdn Bhd on 2/11/98 petitioned for the
winding-up of Cinyine Bina Sdn Bhd.  The petition is directed to
be heard on 13/1/99.


DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES: Half-Year Results Ending September 30
------------------------------------------------------------
Diversified Resources Bhd on 30/9/98 reported a post-tax loss of
RM86.452mil for the 6months ended 30/9/98, compared to a post-tax
profit of RM128.535mil previously.  EPS fell 196% from 32.02sen
to a loss per share of 30.74sen during the same period.


NASCENT MARKETING: Voluntary winding-up
---------------------------------------
The members of Nascent Marketing Sdn Bhd on 26/12/98 resolved to
wind-up the company voluntarily.  Creditors are requested to
submit their claims before 30/1/99.


OME SDN BHD: Voluntary winding-up
---------------------------------
The members of OME Sdn Bhd on 29/12/98 resolved to wind-up the
company voluntarily.  Creditors are requested to submit their
claims before 31/1/99.


PENGKALEN HOLDINGS: Asks for Extension of Restraining Order
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pengkalen Holdings Bhd applied to the High Court for an extension
of its existing restraining order pursuant to Section 176 of the
Companies Act with regard to a scheme of arrangement.


PROVALUE RESOURCES: Winding-up petition
---------------------------------------
Aseam Credit Sdn Bhd on 14/10/98 petitioned for the winding-up of
Provalue Resources Sdn Bhd.  The petition is directed to be heard
on 2/4/99.


PUSPANAGA SDN BHD: Voluntary Winding-up
---------------------------------------
The members of Puspanaga Sdn Bhd on 26/12/98 resolved to wind-up
the company voluntarily.  Creditors are requested to submit their
claims before 30/1/99.


RANCANG PRESTASI: Voluntary winding-up
--------------------------------------
The members of Rancang Prestasi Sdn Bhd on 29/12/98 resolved to
wind-up the company voluntarily.  Creditors are requested to
submit their claims before 31/1/99.


RAYLEE READYWEAR: Winding-up petition
-------------------------------------
Bintangria Printers Sdn Bhd on 18/8/98 petitioned for the
winding-up of Raylee Readywear Sdn Bhd.  The petition is directed
to be heard on 4/2/99.


SUPERMET SDN BHD: Voluntary winding-up
--------------------------------------
The members of Supermet Sdn Bhd on 29/12/98 resolved to wind-up
the company voluntarily.  Creditors are requested to submit their
claims before 31/1/99.


TAIPING CONSOLIDATED: YTL Corporation to become largest owner
-------------------------------------------------------------
YTL Corporation will emerge as the largest stakeholder in Taiping
Consolidated following its restructuring exercise, Taiping
chairman Suleiman Abdul Manan said yesterday, according to a
report circulated by Bridge News and appearing in BusinessTimes.  

As part of the exercise, Taiping Consolidated will sell two prime
properties and a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with a combined worth of
323 million Malaysian ringgit (S$140.9 million), to YTL, Mr
Suleiman said.

The disposal was approved by shareholders at an extraordinary
general meeting convened last week.  Mr Suleiman said the
exercise is due to be completed in the first quarter of next
year.  Mr. Sleiman added that the association with YTL would
allow for the revival of Taiping Consolidated and the repayment
of its debts.  For the year which ended April 30, 1998, Taiping
Consolidated posted a loss of 41.13 million ringgit.


TENAGA NASIONAL: Tenaga puts 5 more power plants on sale
--------------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Tenaga plans to sell
five more power stations and two more power plants to raise about
M$4 billion and to focus on power transmission and distribution.
The stations are at Paka in Terengganu state, Prai in Penang
state, Pasir Gudang in Johor state, and one each at Serdang and
Connaught Bridge, both in Selangor state.

The move follows Tenaga's record loss of $3.09 billion in the
year to August, largely because of currency losses of $3.51
billion. It comes before the opening of Malaysia's power sector,
when energy producers will be allowed to sell power directly to
factories and other users.


WEST-MALL CORPORATION: Winding-up petition
------------------------------------------
Aseam Credit Sdn Bhd on 4/12/98 petitioned for the winding-up of
West-Mall Corporation Sdn Bhd.


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

FINANCIERA MANILA: Cash-strapped firm wants 'one more chance'
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cash-strapped Financiera Manila, Inc. is asking the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reconsider an earlier order
revoking the firm's license to operate as a financing company.
The commission, according to Business World, has ordered the
liquidation of the firm's assets after it ruled on shutting down
its operations for violations of the Revised Securities Act
(RSA). In ordering the firm's liquidation, the SEC effectively
rejected the firm's id for the temporary suspension of its debt
payments. If given this kind of reprieve the firm could have had
the chance to resume operations.

Last April, SEC ordered the liquidation of Financiera's assets
after it was found that the company issued over 700 million
Philippine peso (PhP) worth of unregistered commercial papers.
The probe was conducted by the SEC's money market operations
department (MMOD), which is in-charge of regulating financing
firms. In its motion, Financiera said "the conclusion reached by
the commission is inconsistent with the intent of corporate
rehabilitation and collides with precedents." The firm argued
that when it filed its debt relief petition, SEC should not have
proceeded with its investigation. This is in accordance with the
nature of the debt relief suspension order of the SEC, which
supposedly should stop all claims and proceedings against the
firm pending in all courts and offices. For its part, SEC said
although Financiera filed a petition for the suspension of its
debt payments, this did not exempt the company from facing
penalties for violations of the RSA.


SERG'S PRODUCTS: Creditors Ask SEC to Reconsider Sale Decision
--------------------------------------------------------------
Creditor-banks of Serg's Products, Inc. want the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) to recall an earlier order nullifying
the auction of some of the chocolate maker's properties to pay
off its debts, according to a report appearing in BusinessWorld.
PDCP Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Solid Bank,
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., and First Metro Investment Corp.
and another group comprising Philippine Commercial International
Bank (PCIBank) and PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc., filed separate
motions with the SEC, BusinessWorld reports.  The SEC issued the
order declaring as void Serg's sale of properties on December 8.  
The order was based on a motion from Serg's, saying the auction
was in violation of the debt moratorium granted by the
commission.  It added the sale "will greatly prejudice other
creditors."

Once a firm has been granted debt relief, its creditors are
automatically placed on equal footing regardless of whether the
loan is secured or not.  With this protection, creditors are also
prohibited from making claims on any property or asset of the
firm used to secure the loans.

In their respective motions, the banks said although the SEC is
empowered to hear and decide petitions for debt relief, it
doesn't have jurisdiction "to nullify or set aside any extra-
judicial foreclosure/auction sale."  This kind of power belongs
to the regular courts, the banks said, citing a provision in the
Land Registration Act which governs extra-judicial foreclosure of
real estate mortgages.  PCIBank and PCI Leasing said SEC "has
exceeded its statutory jurisdiction and powers" when it set aside
the auction.  Also, the banks noted that SEC issued the December
3 issuance based on an invalid order.  The banks cited the
October 30 SEC decision granting Serg's a 30-day moratorium on
debt payments.  They said the order is invalid because it only
bore the signature of only one of the three hearing officers
assigned to the case.

                        MISREPRESENTATIONS

PCIBank and PCI Leasing recently asked the SEC to dismiss Serg's
debt relief petition, saying the firm "has made several
misrepresentations" concerning its finances to convince the SEC
to approve its debt relief petition.  "Any false statement or
misrepresentation alleged in the petition . . . constitutes an
'automatic ground for the dismissal' of any action for
rehabilitation and declaration of suspension of payments pursuant
to . . . (the SEC's) policy on he procedure of suspension of
payments," the two said.  

For one, the two PCI firms said Serg's made misrepresentations in
declaring the value of its assets. In its pleadings with SEC,
Serg's said its assets were valued at 1.997 billion Philippine
pesos (PhP), consisting of real estate and plant facilities.   
PCIBank and PCI Leasing, however, said the declared value of
Serg's assets was "grossly misrepresented and overstated to the
extent of PhP24,967,250.99."  They said the firm does not have
this amount deposited in PCIBank's Pasig branch. As of September
30, they said Serg's only had PhP5,929.74 deposited in the bank.

The chocolate manufacturer was also not entirely truthful in its
declaration of its real estate properties, PCIBank and PCI
Leasing said.  For instance, they said the firm's Lipa property
valued at PhP32.447 million is not even in the name of Serg's
Products. The same goes for the firm's other real estate
properties, the two said.

                           DEBT RELIEF

Serg's filed its debt relief petition with the SEC last October
for debts totalling PhP1.898 billion.  In response, the SEC
granted the chocolate maker a temporary moratorium on debt
payments which ended last week.  The cash-strapped firm is now in
the process of drafting a rehabilitation plan. This early, Serg's
said it is planning on bringing in a foreign partner.  Already,
it said it is talking with three interested parties for the
infusion of fresh equity into the firm. Serg's is hoping the new
equity will come in within the next 12 months.  Serg's blamed its
liquidity problems on the economic crunch as well as the sharp
rise in sugar prices in recent years.  The firm's other creditors
include: Allied Bank, Dao Heng Bank, Equitable Banking Corp.,
United Coconut Planters Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., and
All AsiaCapital Corp.


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


ABR HOLDINGS: Rights issue to trim debt
---------------------------------------
Singapore food and beverage company ABR Holdings Ltd said
yesterday that proceeds from a rights issue next month would be
used largely to reduce its bank borrowings, according to reports
circulated by Reuters and BusinessTimes.  The company said in a
rights issue prospectus that about $10 million would be used to
repay bank borrowings, including loans DBS Bank.  ABR is offering
a two-for-one rights issue at 25 cents per share to raise $24
million. The issue is managed by DBS Bank.  The company said the
balance of the proceeds would be used to repay shareholder loans
and for working capital.


GRP LTD.: In Loan Restructuring Talks
-------------------------------------
The South China Morning Post reports that Singapore-based GRP,
Ltd., a maker of marine equipment, is in talks with the
Development Bank of Singapore to restructure debt and has not
defaulted on loans, its chairman Han Hai Kwang said. The
company's problems hinge on an unsecured loan of S$8.9 million
made by five banks, which carried a guarantee the company would
not pledge any assets before the loan was repaid. When GRP took
out a $3.5 million DBS loan in October, the banks recalled the
loan.

Bloomberg related that talk of a debt default hammered the
company's stock, which fell 13.9 per cent to 15.5 cents last
Monday, explaining that GRP's problems hinge on an unsecured loan
of S$8.9 million made by five banks, which carried a guarantee
that the company would not pledge any assets before the loan is
repaid.  When GRP took out a S$3.5 million DBS loan in October,
using a property as security, the five other banks cried foul and
recalled the loan.

"It was a technicality -- we are not defaulting on our loans," Mr
Han told BusinessTimes. He said GRP has no problem servicing its
loans, totalling S$34.6 million.  Debt talks will "take a couple
of weeks", Mr Han said, declining to comment further on the talks
between DBS and the five banks.

The five banks, according to Bloomberg, are Hongkong & Shanghai
Bank, Malayan Banking Bhd, Bank of Nova Scotia, United Overseas
Bank and ING Bank.  In the past week, GRP has made two statements
to the stock exchange, where its shares are quoted.  The first,
Thursday a week ago, admitted to a problem stemming from banks
recalling the $8.9 million loan in October.  On Wednesday came
another announcement, explaining why the news was kept from
investors for so long. GRP said it had kept quiet about its debt
restructuring "to protect the business interest of the group
since any adverse publicity concerning the loan restructuring
will affect the group's on-going businesses".

In the year ended June 30, Bloomberg and BusinessTimes said, GRP
lost $2.76 million compared to a profit of $1.21 million in the
previous year. Interest on borrowings soared to $2.27 million
from $635,000 as interest rates soared in Singapore.


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

DATAMAT PUBLIC: Requests More Time for Rehabilitation Plan
----------------------------------------------------------
DATAMAT PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED and ABN AMRO Asia Securities
Public Company Limited (AST) as a Financial Advisor tell the SET
that a preliminary debt-restructuring plan has been submitted to
the creditors  since September 1998.  In the meantime, the
company has been  negotiated and considered several conditions
with strategic investors.  The Company expects that the
negotiation will finish within the first quarter of the year
1999.  Then, the company and AST will prepare the debt-
restructuring plan, which includes the strategic investor in
order to negotiate with the creditors.

Therefore, the company and AST request a waiver from the SET
regarding an extension for another 6 months (within June 30,
1999) in developing the rehabilitation plan.


UNITED COMMUNICATION: Telecom giant clinches debt deal
------------------------------------------------------
The Nation reports that United Communication Industry Plc (Ucom),
one of Thailand's largest telecom conglomerates, has reached a
debt restructuring agreement with creditors in which payment of a
US$210 million loan, a Euro Convertible Debenture (ECD) of US$230
million and Bt3.69 billion in debentures will be extended by five
years.  

Pranithi Sangounpong, assistant vice-president for corporate
administration & legal affairs for Ucom, reported to the Stock
Exchange of Thailand that the extraordinary shareholders meeting
last week unanimously passed the resolution for the plan.  In the
plan, the company will extend the repayment of the loan, ECD and
baht debenture up to Dec 15, 2003.  In addition, the company will
allow ECD and baht debenture creditors to convert their
debentures into the company's common shares on condition that
such conversion shall not be less than US$110 million.  In having
the creditors convert their debentures, the company amended the
terms of ECDs and baht bondholders.  Registered capital will be
increased from Bt2.63 billion to Bt5.13 billion by issuing 250
million new ordinary shares at a par value of Bt10. A total of
170 million new ordinary shares will be reserved for conversion
of ECDs issued and offered for the entirety abroad which contains
a supplemental conversion right.  Another 80 million new ordinary
shares have been reserved for conversion of the convertible baht
debentures.

The Nation related that credit-rating agency S&P estimates that
conversion into equity of some of the indebtedness under the plan
will reduce Ucom's total debt-to-capital ratio to about 85 per
cent from the 91 per cent level prevailing on Sept 30 this year.  
S&P believes that, while Ucom's capital restructuring plan
doesn't have any immediate and significant economic implication
for Total Access Communications, the affiliate, it does resolve
some uncertainty surrounding the ultimate ownership structure of
TAC and opens the door for potential strategic partners to
consider injecting new equity into the affiliate.  Given TAC's
currently below-average cash-flow protection measures and large
foreign currency debt exposures, however, any near-term
improvement in the rating would require a significant equity
injection that would need to be used substantially towards
reducing debt, S&P said.  S&P's stable outlook reflects the
improved timing of Total Access' debt maturities, following
restructuring of US$537 million of its debt in September this
year, in light of weakened but reasonably stable cash-flow
generation.  S&P affirmed TAC's rating at BB-/B


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