TCRAP_Public/990308.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, March 8, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 46

                    Headlines


* C H I N A   &   H O N G   K O N G *

CHOY KEE TAILOR & FASHION: Winding-up petition
CONCORDIA PAPER LIMITED: Winding-up petition
FEILONG INDUSTRY: Feilong and guarantor sued for default
FOUR SEAS TRAVEL: Gaware chairman sued over $26.2m
GAWARE HOLDINGS: Chairman sued over $26.2m

GRACEFUL WELL INDUSTRY LIMITED: Winding-up petition
GRANDCHINA COMPUTER SYSTEM: Winding-up petition
GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: Suspends principal payments
MARCAM CHINA LIMITED: In members' voluntary liquidation
SHANGHAI AGRICULTURE: SAIC can't repay loans

SHEEFFUL LIMITED: Winding-up petition
WHIMSY ENTERTAINMENT: Whimsy boss steps down
WING HANG: Net profit plunges 42%, NPLs sharply up
YUEN TUNG TRADING LIMITED: Winding-up petition


* J A P A N *

DAI-ICHI SECURITIES: Closes units in Japan, overseas
HITACHI ZOSEN: Expected pretax loss
TOYO TYRE AND RUBBER: To cut jobs and sell assets


* I N D O N E S I A *

BAKRIE GROUP: Reaches debt agreement


* K O R E A *

DOO-YANG METAL: Starts liquidation
HYUNDAI: Starts structural reorganization


* M A L A Y S I A *

INTRIA: Intria rescue plan may hit shareholders
RENONG BHD: Rescue plan details to be released next week


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

PILIPINO TELEPHONE: Creditors told to have perspective


* S I N G A P O R E *

HONGKONG & SHANGHAI HOTELS: Loses HK$1.8b
INCHCAPE MARKETING: Profit slumps 30%


* T H A I L A N D *

ALPHATEC: Shaves off '98 losses with forex gains
SOMBOON GROUP: Somboon to sell equity
UNITED COMMUNICATIONS: TAC parent seeks foreign partner


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

CHOY KEE TAILOR & FASHION: Winding-up petition
----------------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of Choy Kee Tailor & Fashion
Company Limited was presented to the High Court on  Jan 7
by To King Bun of Room 12054, 12th Floor, Block 23, Tung
Tau Estate, Kowloon, and the said petition is directed to
be heard before the court at 9:30 a.m. on  Mar 17, and any
creditor or contributory of the said company desirous to
support or oppose the making of an order on the said
petition may appear at the time of hearing by himself or
his counsel for that purpose, and a copy of the petition
will be furnished to any creditor or contributory of the
said company requiring the same by Tam Lee Po Lin, Nina for
Director of Legal Aid, 27th Floor, Queensway Government
Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, on payment of the
regulated charges for the same.


CONCORDIA PAPER LIMITED: Winding-up petition
--------------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of Concordia Paper Limited
was presented to the High Court on Jan 13 by   Wong Yan Sum
of 153 Tung Tau Tsuen, Shap Pat Heung, Yuen Long, New
Territories, and the said petition is directed to be heard
before the court at 9:30 a.m. on Mar 24, and any creditor
or contributory of the said company desirous to support or
oppose the making of an order on the said petition may
appear at the time of hearing by himself or his counsel for
that purpose, and a copy of the petition will be furnished
to any creditor or contributory of the said company
requiring the same by Tam Lee Po Lin, Nina for Director of
Legal Aid, 27th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66
Queensway, Hong Kong, on payment of the regulated charges
for the same.


FEILONG INDUSTRY: Feilong and guarantor sued for default
--------------------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reported that Hunan
Securities is suing Feilong Industrial Company and its
guarantor over defaulted short-term bonds.  Feiland sold 19
million yuan nine-month corporate notes in 1997 to
replenish its working capital.  Feiland, a cement maker
headquartered in the Hunan province, has only repaid about
half of the borrowed funds.  

China Economic Development Trust & Investment Corporation,
which until last month was a owned by the Chinese
government's Ministry of Finance, guaranteed these bonds
and has also reportedly been named it the suit.  


FOUR SEAS TRAVEL: Gaware chairman sued over $26.2m
--------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Century Mark
Assets has filed a writ at the High Court seeking the sum
of $26.24 million owed by Gaware Holdings as borrower and
Four Seas Travel chairman Leung Yeung Lai-ling as
guarantor. Also named as guarantors are Ms Leung's husband
Leung Hoi and Cheerpower Development.


GAWARE HOLDINGS: Chairman sued over $26.2m
------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Century Mark
Assets has filed a writ at the High Court seeking the sum
of $26.24 million owed by Gaware Holdings as borrower and
Four Seas Travel chairman Leung Yeung Lai-ling as
guarantor. Also named as guarantors are Ms Leung's husband
Leung Hoi and Cheerpower Development.


GRACEFUL WELL INDUSTRY LIMITED: Winding-up petition
---------------------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of  Graceful Well Industry
Limited was presented to the High Court on  Feb 1 by Cheung
Yiu Ming Dave of Room B, 11th Floor, 2 Nassau Street, Mei
Foo Sun Chuen, Kowloon, and the said petition is directed
to be heard before the court at 9:30 a.m. on April 7, and
any creditor or contributory of the said company desirous
to support or oppose the making of an order on the said
petition may appear at the time of hearing by himself or
his counsel for that purpose, and a copy of the petition
will be furnished to any creditor or contributory of the
said company requiring the same by Tam Lee Po Lin, Nina for
Director of Legal Aid, 27th Floor, Queensway Government
Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, on payment of the
regulated charges for the same.


GRANDCHINA COMPUTER SYSTEM: Winding-up petition
-----------------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of Grandchina Computer System
(International) Limited was presented to the High Court on
Jan 12 by Wang On Shopping Centre Management Limited whose
registered office is situate at Suite 1808, Concordia
Plaza, 1 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon,
and the said petition is directed to be heard before the
court at 9:30 a.m. on Mar 24, and any creditor or
contributory of the said company desirous to support or
oppose the making of an order on the said petition may
appear at the time of hearing by himself or his counsel for
that purpose, and a copy of the petition will be furnished
to any creditor or contributory of the said company
requiring the same by the Solicitors for the Petitioner,
Finley & Co of Suite 2003, Tower One, Lippo Centre, 89
Queensway, Hong Kong on payment of the regulated charges
for the same.


GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: Suspends principal payments
-------------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Guangdong
Investment (GDI) said yesterday it would suspend loan
principal repayments but would continue to pay interest
with effect from Wednesday this week.

At a meeting of financial creditors, which include banks
and holders of notes and bonds, the group declined to
promise there would not be cut in loan principal
repayments.

Some banks said the non-committal stance remained a
substantial concern as it was not known if GDI's assets,
mostly properties, could actually be sold to cover all
creditor's claims.

Others took comfort in the positive net asset position of
GDI, as opposed to its insolvent parent GDE and GDE listed
arm Guangnan (Holdings).

A source close to GDI said GDI's cash on hand and projected
cash flow was enough to meet interest payments for the year
although the firm did not expect the debt standstill to
last that long.

The source said GDI expected only a few banks to cut access
to trade finance and it did not think this would have a
major adverse effect on its operations.

It also said GDE was hampered by continuing uncertainties
over the asset restructuring plan of its parent Guangdong
Enterprises (Holdings) (GDE).

GDI and its subsidiaries Guangdong Building Industries and
Guangdong Tannery, which all posted losses for the nine
months to Sept 30, were included in the plan. The losses
triggered technical defaults on certain loans, prompting
the companies to call for a standstill agreement enabling
them to suspend loan principal repayments.

Subsidiary Guangdong Brewery made profit and was not
covered by the proposed standstill agreement.

GDI and its financial advisers KPMG and ICEA told creditors
there would not be material adverse changes in GDI's
financial position in Dec.


MARCAM CHINA LIMITED: In members' voluntary liquidation
-------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Marcam China Limited, which is being
voluntarily wound up, are required on or before April 7 to
send in their names, addresses and particulars of their
debts or claims to the Liquidator(s) of the said company,
and if so required by notice in writing from the
liquidator(s), are personally or by their solicitors to
come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and
place specified in such notice, or in default thereof, they
will be excluded from the benefit of any distribution
before such debts are proved. Liquidator: Stephen Man
Cheung.


SHANGHAI AGRICULTURE: SAIC can't repay loans
--------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reported that the Shanghai
Agriculture Industrial Commerce (SAIC) Group is unable to
make payments on a series of loans.  This government
company, formed out of the Shanghai Farm Bureau, borrowed
more than one billion yuan from the Shanghai Pudong
Development Bank and is now unable to repay.


SHEEFFUL LIMITED: Winding-up petition
-------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of Sheefful Limited was
presented to the High Court on Jan 11 by Ho Yiu Faat of
Flat A, 9th Floor, Chiap Lee Building, 178-182 Sai Yeung
Choi Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, and the said petition is
directed to be heard before the court at 11:00 am on Mar
17, and any creditor or contributory of the said company
desirous to support or oppose the making of an order on the
said petition may appear at the time of hearing by himself
or his counsel for that purpose, and a copy of the petition
will be furnished to any creditor or contributory of the
said company requiring the same by Tam Lee Po Lin, Nina for
Director of Legal Aid, 27th Floor, Queensway Government
Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, on payment of the
regulated charges for the same.


WHIMSY ENTERTAINMENT: Whimsy boss steps down
--------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, troubled Whimsy
Entertainment said yesterday its chairman, Wu Xiaolan
resigned from its board of directors effective Feb 13. The
company's subsidiary Whimsyland has been embroiled in
financial difficulties and moves to liquidate the chain
were started earlier in the week.


WING HANG: Net profit plunges 42%, NPLs sharply up
--------------------------------------------------
Wing Hang Bank Ltd, in which Singapore Technologies        
Group has a 5 per cent stake, said yesterday that its net        
profit had plunged 42 per cent and its non-performing loans
(NPLs) had surged to 4.37 per cent of the bank's total
loans as at the end of 1998.

NPLs of HK$1.396 billion (S$312.3 billion) compared with
NPLs of HK$220 million, or 0.7 per cent of total loans in
1997, it said in a statement.

Provision for bad and doubtful loans in 1998 rose to HK$512
million from HK$167 million the previous year.

This pushed Wing Hang's 1998 net profit down 42.3 per cent
to HK$503.16 million from HK$871.29 million a year earlier.
(Reuters and Singapore Business Times 05-Mar-1999)


YUEN TUNG TRADING LIMITED: Winding-up petition
----------------------------------------------
A petition for the winding up of  Yuen Tung Trading Limited
was presented to the High Court on  Jan 8 by  Chan Lai
Cheung  of  Room 1113, Pine House, Kwong Yuen Estate,
Shatin, New Territories, and the said petition is directed
to be heard before the court at 9:30 a.m. on  Mar 17, and
any creditor or contributory of the said company desirous
to support or oppose the making of an order on the said
petition may appear at the time of hearing by himself or
his counsel for that purpose, and a copy of the petition
will be furnished to any creditor or contributory of the
said company requiring the same by Tam Lee Po Lin, Nina for
Director of Legal Aid, 27th Floor, Queensway Government
Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, on payment of the
regulated charges for the same.


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

BAKRIE GROUP: Reaches debt agreement
------------------------------------
Bakrie Group conglomerate is among 10 Indonesian companies
which reached agreements with creditors on debt
restructuring, the head of government's debt restructuring
advisory body said yesterday.

"Ten companies, which include Bakrie Group, have concluded
debt restructuring worth US$1.5 billion," said Jusuf Anwar,
head of the Jakarta Initiative.

A source with Bakrie Group said agreement had been reached
in principle with creditors, but the group was still
working to settle some legal matters before the deal     
could be signed. (South China Morning Post 05-Mar-1999)


=========
J A P A N  
=========

DAI-ICHI SECURITIES: Closes units in Japan, overseas
----------------------------------------------------
Dai-ichi Securities Co. has closed two subsidiaries
in Japan and will pull out of the overseas market by
shutting down its units in London and Hong Kong, the
midsize brokerage said Friday.

The Tokyo-based brokerage, partially owned by the
nationalized Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (LTCB), closed
the two Japanese subsidiaries by having them file for
bankruptcy with the Tokyo District Court on Friday.

Their combined liabilities are estimated at 45 billion yen,
according to Tokyo Shoko Research, a private credit
research firm.

Dai-ichi Securities said it expects an extraordinary loss
of 7.9 billion yen for the year through March 31, as a
result of the closures of the four units.

Bankruptcy was declared by Daiichi Capital Corp., which
provided capital for emerging companies, and Dai-ichi
Building Co., a real estate firm.

Both, based in Tokyo and majority-owned by the Dai-ichi
Securities group, had been restructuring with the help of
LTCB and Dai-ichi Securities but decided to give it up
since the bank effectively collapsed and came under state
control late last year.

Dai-ichi Securities has also opted for their early
liquidation, which it estimates to require some 5.7 billion
yen in costs.

In the first three quarters of fiscal 1998, which finishes
at the end of this month, Dai-ichi Securities posted 2.3
billion yen in unconsolidated pretax loss.

The company said after the liquidation of these
subsidiaries, its capital adequacy ratio will be above what
is considered a healthy 200% and its operations will not be
adversely affected.

In July 1998, the company increased its capital by issuing
8 billion yen in shares to select investors.

The company is searching for new shareholders that would
take the place of LTCB and its group companies, which
together own a major stake in the securities house. LTCB
itself owns 4.9% of Dai-ichi Securities.
(Kyodo News 05-Mar-1999)


HITACHI ZOSEN: Expected pretax loss
-----------------------------------
Hitachi Zosen Corp. said Friday it expects an
unconsolidated pretax loss of 17.5 billion yen for fiscal
1998 to March 31, revising its earlier forecast of 8
billion yen in profit.

Hitachi Zozen, a heavy machinery and engineering company
based in Osaka, also expects an unconsolidated net loss of
25 billion yen on sales of 390 billion yen, compared with a
profit of 4 billion yen and sales of 450 billion yen in  
the original forecast last October.
(Kyodo 05-Mar-1999)


TOYO TYRE AND RUBBER: To cut jobs and sell assets
-------------------------------------------------
Toyo Tyre and Rubber, the Japanese tyre and car components
group, will today warn that profits this year will be
sharply lower than previously forecast because of the
unexpected strength of the yen in the second half.

The country's fourth largest tyre maker will announce a
restructuring, including job cuts and asset sales, aimed at
returning it to profit in 1999.

Parent pretax losses are expected to be Y1.4bn on sales of
Y184bn compared with profits of Y2.1bn on turnover of
Y188bn forecast last October. Net losses are expected to be
Y30bn, the fourth loss in the past six years. In the year
ended March 1998, Toyo recorded group net losses of Y586m
on sales of Y261.24bn. (The Financial Times 05-Mar-1999)


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

DOO-YANG METAL: Starts liquidation
----------------------------------
The Taechon District Court advertised in the Korean
language Maeil Kyungje that the Doo-yang Metal company
started its liquidation procedure. The creditors have until
March 27th, 1999 to file their claims. The company's
address is 145-3 Paemee-dong, Asan-shi and the president is
Mr. Shin Kwang-shik.


HYUNDAI: Starts structural reorganization
-----------------------------------------
With Chung Se-yung finally relinquishing control of Hyundai
Motors Friday, the Hyundai group, Korea's biggest
conglomerate appears to have commenced a massive structural
reorganization, spinning off of so-called satellite
industries to form a loose federation. Two forms of groups
are emerging; one comprising of the brothers of Hyundai
founder and honorary group chairman, Chung Ju-yung; and the
second made up of Chung's sons.

Accordingly Chung In-yung now heads up Halla group; Soon-
yung runs Sunwoo; Sang-yung, KCC; and Se-yung, Hyundai
Industrial Development.

Additionally, it is expected that Chung's sister, Hee-yung
will spin off her Hankook Flange & Pipes into a satellite
group in the near future.

The second set of groups comprise of seventh son Chung
Mong-yoon at the helm of Hyundai Maritime & Fire Insurance,
which was the first satellite group formed at the end of
last year; third son Mong-keun who is in the process of
removing six subsidiaries, including the Kumgang
Development Industry, from Hyundai to form a mini-group;
and nephew Chung Mong-hyok who is shortly to separate
Hyundai petrochemicals and Hyundai Refineries from the
parent group.

The core of the Hyundai group will now be run by Mong-ku in
charge of Hyundai & Kia Motors, Inchon Steel and Hyundai
Precision Engineering; Mong-hun at Hyundai Construction,
Hyundai Electronics, Hyundai Comprehensive Training,
Hyundai Shipping and Assan; and Rep. Mong-jun running
Hyundai Heavy Industry. Management of Hyundai Securities
and the soon to be created Hyundai Life are still as yet
undecided. (Digital ChosunIlbo 06-Mar-1999)


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

INTRIA: Intria rescue plan may hit shareholders
-----------------------------------------------
According to the South China Morning Post, Intria may put
in place a "capital reduction" plan to reflect the decline
in its investments and to account for losses from them as a
first step toward restructuring its debt. Such a plan, if
carried out, would effectively shrink shareholders'
investments.

Intria may sell assets including its stake in Britain's
biggest construction firm, Costain, to avert a default on
M$718 million in debt.

Costain is 7.6 per cent owned by Shanska, Sweden's largest
construction firm, which has the option to raise that to 40
per cent by buying Intria's Costain shares. That option
might now come at a fire-sale price for Skanska. Based on
Costain's recent share price, Intria's stake was worth 21
million pounds, far less than the 90.6 million pounds it
has invested in the British company since 1996.

Unlikely to get help from Renong, which is itself
struggling to pay debts of M$20 billion, Intria might have
to sell its most cherished assets, a 37.2 per cent
controlling stake in Costain. Other assets that might also
go include an 18 per cent stake in ACP Industries, a 23 per
cent stake in Metacorp and control of toll-road operator
Penang Bridge.

Intria is controlled by Mekar Idaman, a private business of
Renong's chairman, Halim Saad, and his lawyer, Abdul Rashid
Manaf.

Mekar was put into receivership last year after it
defaulted on M$570 million in loans.

The receivers' plan, due to be completed mid March, may
force Intria to reduce its capital by collapsing every four
of its shares into one share, said a Renong executive.

It has 778.27 million shares issued at present.

Analysts said that would mean Intria shareholders like Mr
Halim, who is listed in Intria's 1998 annual report as
holding 382.54 million shares, or 49.15 per cent of the
company, would take a haircut.

The capital reduction is likely to be the first step in a
series of moves to bring the company back to health.
Following this might be calls for fresh capital, inviting
new shareholders and selling assets.


RENONG BHD: Rescue plan details to be released next week
--------------------------------------------------------
The Asian Wall Street Journal reported Bank Negara Malaysia
said that the Malaysian conglomerate Renong Bhd.'s revised
plan to restructure debts will be released next Monday.  
This new plan is reportedly being hammered out with
Malaysia's Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee, a new
agency set up to restructure Malaysian corporate debt.  

Earlier accounts stated that this new plan reportedly
features the group's lucrative toll-road operator, Projek
Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Bhd. or PLUS (the PLUS toll road
that runs north and south along Malaysia's west coast).  
Reports are that PLUS will issue 8.5 billion ringgit in
bonds, and creditors will receive a combination of cash and
new bonds to cover immediate commitments. Plus will repay
the bonds using its revenue and money that would otherwise
be paid in taxes to the government.  It does not involve
any government guaranteed bonds.

An earlier original plan from Renong was opposed by
creditors because they faced receiving as little as half of
their money back, and the plan did not impose any penalty
on Renong's management.  This plan was to have 10.5 billion
rinngit of the Renong group's debt be replaced by  
government guaranteed bonds.  The bonds would be paid off
partly by revenue from PLUS and partly from tax payments
that PLUS would otherwise make to the government.  This
first plan also called for the government to take a stake
in some other Renong public works projects, and the  
unlisted shares of PLUS will be pledged as security.  

Last October Renong defaulted on interest payments and
guarantee fees worth 421.4 million ringgit of revolving
facilities, and a $147 million transferable loan
certificate.  Renong owes local and foreign creditors
more than 28 billion ringgit in commercial debt, a number
that represents roughly 5 percent of all the loans in the
Malaysian banking system.


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

PILIPINO TELEPHONE: Creditors told to have perspective
------------------------------------------------------
Creditor banks of cash-strapped cellular company Pilipino
Telephone Corp. (Piltel) are asked to look at the "long-
term perspective" of the situation, instead of merely
focusing on the company's rehabilitation and repayment
scheme for its 34.9-billion-peso debts.

In a phone interview, Philippine Long Distance Telephone
Co. (PLDT) senior vice-president Antonio R. Samson said the
creditor banks should instead realize "potential synergies"
in the company strategies for the year. He pointed at the  
eventual merger of cellular company Smart Communications,
Inc. with PLDT and the search for a foreign partner.

This, in the event of banks asking PLDT to secure the 34.9-
billion-peso debt of Piltel with the cellular company's
assets. BusinessWorld yesterday reported banks are calling
on PLDT to execute a mortgage trust indenture, a document  
which consolidates all the company's assets to be used as
collateral for remaining debts. (BusinessWorld 05-Mar-1999)


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

HONGKONG & SHANGHAI HOTELS: Loses HK$1.8b
-----------------------------------------
Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd, which owns the city's      
landmark Peninsula Hotel, said yesterday that it lost a net      
HK$1.8 billion (S$403 million) in 1998 as its provisions
quadrupled because of a drop in value in its hotel
properties and investments overseas.

It lost HK$1.57 per share, compared with earnings per share
of 10 HK cents a year before. A forecast by 19 analysts
polled by IBES International Inc expected earnings per
share of 37.3 HK cents.

HK&S set aside HK$2.64 billion one-time losses in 1998,
four times higher than the HK$565 million it set aside the
previous year, when it earned a net HK$114 million.

The company said it made a provision of HK$1.88 billion for
a drop in value in its hotel properties and the remaining
amount was provisions for "existing investments and ongoing
projects" in Sydney, Beijing and Jakarta.

The hotel group operates the Peninsula Hotel and the
Kowloon Hotel in Hongkong, and Peninsula Hotels in China,
the Philippines, New York, Beverly Hills and Bangkok. In
Beijing, it operates a Palace Hotel.

Overall, operating profit from the ownership and operation
of hotels fell 57 per cent to HK$237 million. Operating
profit from property rose one per cent to HK$470 million.

Total 1998 sales were HK$2.14 billion, compared with
HK$2.78 billion the year before. (Bloomberg and Singapore
Business Times 05-Mar-1999)


INCHCAPE MARKETING: Profit slumps 30%
-------------------------------------
Inchcape Marketing Services (IMS), the target of an ongoing     
controversial takeover, yesterday posted a 30 per cent
slide in net earnings for FY98 to December to $5.6 million.

Turnover fell 17 per cent to $231.8 million, with all its
business divisions and locations registering lower sales.

Earnings per share fell to 3.4 cents from 4.9 cents, while
net tangible assets per share rose slightly to 1.8 cents
from 1.78 cents a year ago.

Trading company Li & Fung Distribution is making a takeover
offer for IMS with the intention of delisting it.

IMS directors did not propose a dividend for the year.
(Singapore Business Times 05-Mar-1999)


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

ALPHATEC: Shaves off '98 losses with forex gains
------------------------------------------------
Ailing Alphatec Electronics (ATEC) yesterday reported a net
loss of 1.88 billion baht in 1998, down 88 percent from the
same period a year earlier.

Net loss per share was 50.9 baht against a loss of 416.56
baht per share in the previous year.

In 1997, ATEC's net loss was reported at around 15.4
billion baht.

An analyst at a foreign brokerage house said the reduced
loss mostly came from the company's foreign exchange gain
as the baht last year rallied against the dollar.

"ATEC should post a better performance due to the forex
gain. However, such a reported loss is likely a result of
declining orders in a time when there's an unclear picture
of its rehabilitation plan," he said.

ATEC's rehabilitation plan was approved by a majority of
its 1,074 creditors early last month. The plan prepared by
a unit of Price Waterhouse included the restructure of its
10 billion baht of debt.

The analyst said that $40 million capital from ATEC's new
partners, comprising American International Group and
Investor AB, would be made available to ATEC within this
month.

The company is in a process of transferring assets to the
new corporate entity, Alphatec Semiconductor Packaging.

The new company will be 80 percent-owned by the new
investors, while the previous shareholders of ATEC, led by
its founder and former Chief Executive Officer, Charn
Uswachoke, will lose their interests entirely.
(Business Day [Thailand] 05-Mar-1999)


SOMBOON GROUP: Somboon to sell equity
-------------------------------------
To keep its business going, Somboon Group, a Thai-owned
auto parts producer, will sell 49 per cent of four of its
companies to interested investors to raise funds to
restructure its debts with creditors led by Bangkok Bank.

Late last year, the group sold majority holdings in nine
joint ventures to its Japanese partners, with an agreement
to buy back the shares in the next four to five years,
according to Verayut Kitapanich, a senior executive.

These units were joint ventures with Japanese partners who
acquired majority control on condition that they could sell
back the additional shares in the next four to five years
at a pre-determined price.

In addition, Verayut, president of Bangkok Spring
Industrial Co, a unit of the group whose sales last year
plunged to Bt750 million from 1997's Bt1.3 billion, said
the group will also reduce its 100 per cent holdings in
another four companies to 51 per cent to raise proceeds for
a debt-restructuring exercise with creditors.

Among these are Bangkok Spring Industrial, Somboon Advanced
Technology, Somboon Industrial Autoparts and Somboon
Malleable Iron Industry Co Ltd.

The group has hired Pricewaterhouse to study plans for debt
restructuring after it stopped paying interest to creditors
in November last year. The company's debt is about Bt1
billion and interest is Bt20 million per month. The plan is
expected to be completed in the middle of this year.
Verayut said that options are reduction of some debts,
extending the payback period, converting debt into equity
and finding joint-venture partners. The four-companies'
assets are valued at Bt3 billion. (The Nation 05-Mar-1999)


UNITED COMMUNICATIONS: TAC parent seeks foreign partner
-------------------------------------------------------
Thai telecom group United Communication Industry plc,      
parent of Total Access Communication, said yesterday it      
was actively seeking a big foreign partner to take an
equity stake in the company and hoped to agree on a deal
within the next year.

Chief executive officer Boonchai Bencharongkul told Reuters
that Ucom wanted to survive in an industry which was
consolidating rapidly and in which competition was fierce.

He was speaking after signing a restructuring deal with 28
creditors covering US$573 million (S$994 million) of debt
which followed 18 months of protracted negotiations.

Ucom, a telecom group holding 70 per cent of Thai cellular
firm Total Access Communication plc (TAC) and stakes in
cable and broadcasting companies, is heavily indebted and
suffered badly from the devaluation of the Thai baht in
1997.

The new restructuring agreement will involve the founding
Bencharongkul family cutting its stake in Ucom to 26 per
cent from 45 per cent, and British investment company
Somers Ltd increasing its stake to 36 per cent, from about
13 per cent.

Mr Boonchai said the deal would allow Ucom "to begin its
life again" and let it concentrate on finding an equity
partner that would allow it to develop into an integrated
telecom company. (Reuters and Singapore Business Times
05-Mar-1999)


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