TCRAP_Public/990917.MBX    T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                      A S I A   P A C I F I C

        Friday, September 17, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 181


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CHI CHEUNG INVESTMENT: Creditor files winding-up petition

* I N D O N E S I A *

BANK BALI: Gov't asks auditor not to reveal key findings

* J A P A N *

KOFUKU BANK: 3 former execs arrested for loan dealings
ORIENT CORP.: Moody's downgrades senior debt

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO GROUP: Asks foreign creditors for loan freeze
DAEWOO GROUP: FSC official promotes affiliate stability
KOREA LIFE: Sues FSC over insolvency declaration

* M A L A Y S I A *

CARPETS INT'L MALAYSIA: Posts first-half loss
PARK PLAZA KEMAYAN: Posts annual loss
RENONG BHD: Bonds deal to help restructuring

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

UNIWIDE HOLDINGS: Landbank seeks to continue foreclosure
VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: PSE reverses delisting decision

* S I N G A P O R E *

AZTECH SYSTEMS: Posts first-half loss
NOEL GIFTS INT'L: Posts annual loss

* T H A I L A N D *

NEP REALTY & INDUSTRY: Posts 2nd quarter loss
PANTIP PARK CO.: Parent guarantees debt-repayment loan
RADANASIN BANK: UOB accidentally revealed as winning bidder
THAI DURABLE TEXTILE: To appoint new advisor for rehab

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

CHI CHEUNG INVESTMENT: Creditor files winding-up petition
Chi Cheung Investment's board of directors has received a
wind-up petition from a financial creditor.

The latest move follows the collapse of Chinese Estates'
rescue bid for the financially troubled company after
preconditions were not met by an August 30 deadline.  The
petition, filed by Fair Eagle Finance, is scheduled for a
court hearing on December 15.

Chi Cheung said if it was unable to restructure its
indebtedness with its bankers and creditors or secure new
equity financing, it would continue to have a negative
asset value and would be insolvent.  In a separate move,
the company said Mahabir Mohindar had resigned as an
independent non-executive director.  (South China Morning
Post  16-Sep-1999)


BANK BALI: Gov't asks auditor not to reveal key findings
Indonesia asked PricewaterhouseCoopers, which investigated
the Bank Bali corruption scandal, to not make public key
findings in the case, including where the money went, the
auditor said.  In revelations that are sure to further
damage the credibility of the Indonesian government,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PWCJ said it was ordered to
prepare a short version of its report on the case to
present to parliament, leaving out its critical findings.

"You have asked that we do not disclose in this abbreviated
report the details of the parties who received funds," the
auditors wrote in a document submitted to the state audit
body on Sept 8, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg

The scandal, which has led international donors to suspend
much-needed aid, centers on a 546 billion rupiah ($70
million) fee paid to the vice treasurer of the ruling
Golkar party to help recover loans at banks shut by the
government, The money was allegedly intended to bribe
delegates to vote for B.J, Habibie in the November
selection of the president.

Allegations that Habibie was involved in the case surfaced
for the first time officially on Tuesday when Glenn Yusuf,
head of the country's bank rescue agency, said he was asked
by one of the president's closest advisers to cover up the

PwC wrote that it was hampered in its probe by the central
bank which "prevented it from accessing particular banks
and accounts of particular persons."  Despite these
constraints, PwC said it "uncovered numerous indicators of
fraud, non-compliance, irregularity, misappropriation,
undue preferential treatment, concealment, bribery and

The Bank Bali scandal has far-reaching implications for
Indonesia as The International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank and the Asian Development Bank are withholding funds
until the government comes clean on the case. Indonesia,
uhose economy contracted 13.7 percent last year, is
dependent on $49 billion in IMF loans

Since the Bank Bali scandal broke in early August, the
rupiah has weakened 15 percent against the US dollar, while
the benchmark stock index has fallen by 3 percent.  The
full version of the PwC report, running into 200 pages, has
been kept secret by the state audit body. Satrio Joedono,
head of the State Audit Body and a longtime Habibie
associate, says disclosure would violate banking secrecy
laws as well as carry penalties, with fines of up to $25
million and jail sentences of up to four years.

"Moreover, should this report be made public, PwC would
immediately be the subject of law suits made by
personalities mentioned by the report," Joedono said in a
written statement.

The information has been submitted to the police, he said.
The State Audit Body "is trying to cover up because it's
chairman thinks if he reveals everything, then Habibie
uould come tumbling doun," said Eki Syachrudin, a member of
the parliamentary commission investigating the case.

The scandal has undermined confidence in the $76 billion
bank recapitalization program that's the centerpiece of the
government's economic recovery strategy.  Yesterday, Yusuf,
who heads the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, said at
a parliamentary hearing that A.A. Baramuli - head of the
Supreme Advisory Council and another longtime Habibie
confidante - threatened to fire him if he didn't cooperate
with efforts to suppress the scandal, according to a
transcript of the hearing obtained by Bloomberg News.

"If we don't, (Minister of State Enterprises) Tanri Abeng
will be exposed, I'll be exposed, and Habibie will also be
exposed," Yusuf quoted Baramuli as saying.  (Bloomberg,
Business Day  16-Sep-1999)


KOFUKU BANK: 3 former execs arrested for loan dealings
Police arrested three former senior executives of failed
Kofuku Bank and one of its affiliates Thursday on suspicion
of arranging unauthorized loans to the affiliate.

The three suspects were identified as former Kofuku
President Tokusuke Egawa, 71, his son and former managing
director Tokuaki Egawa, 44, and Shigekatsu Kuki, 65, a
former president of real estate affiliate Sogo Housing.
Police and prosecutors have also obtained an arrest warrant
for Benji  Egawa, 70, a brother of Tokusuke Egawa, on the
same charges.

Benji Egawa, a former vice president of the bank, was
admitted to an Osaka hospital Wednesday, and police plan to
arrest him upon recovery.  Investigators say the four
damaged the Osaka-based bank by having it lend 2.5 billion
yen to the affiliate without proper collateral in August

The three Egawas are believed to have known there was
little hope of retrieving the money, the investigators
said, adding Kuki did not expect his company could repay
the bank.  The real estate company borrowed the money to
help repay more than 3 billion yen it owed a Tokyo
financial company, which is an affiliate of a "jusen"
housing loan company, they said.

Police raided Tokusuke Egawa's home in Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Prefecture, as well as the head offices of the bank and the
affiliate in Osaka.  Kofuku, a second-tier regional bank,
had reportedly lent some 30 affiliated companies a total of
140 billion yen -- equivalent to 10% of the bank's bad
loans -- as of last September.

Tokusuke Egawa and other bank executives are believed to
have approved the loans without proper screening.  Kofuku
Bank, formerly run by the Egawa family, was declared
insolvent in May by the government's Financial
Reconstruction Commission. It has since been put under
temporary state control.

Meanwhile, receivers of Kofuku Bank filed criminal
complaints Thursday against Tokusuke Egawa, Benji Egawa and
Tokuaki Egawa with Osaka prefectural police and Osaka
public prosecutors on the same charges.  (NewsHound  16-

ORIENT CORP.: Moody's downgrades senior debt
Moody's Investors Service lowered Orient Corporation's
senior debt rating to B1 from Ba3. The rating remain under
review for further possible downgrade.

The rating action reflects the substantially deteriorated
economic capitalisation of the company as well as the
increased level of uncertainty associated with the
stability of the firm's large bank borrowings. The review
will focus on the additional scale of embedded losses in
its non-operating asset portfolio, and the possible future
support from its bank lenders, particularly main lenders.

While previous Ba3 rating has incorporated the large
potential losses embedded in its non-operating assets
portfolio, Moody's views that the recognition of huge
accounting losses at this moment by the firm would lead to
the limited room of accounting forbearance.  (Asia Pulse


DAEWOO GROUP: Asks foreign creditors for loan freeze
The embattled Daewoo Group has asked foreign creditors to
freeze withdrawal of their loans until March next year, a
group spokesman said yesterday.

The group also told foreign creditors that they would be
able to share, in accordance with their exposure, four
trillion won of the 10 trillion won that Daewoo offered to
local creditors in collateral.  Daewoo's local creditors
Monday agreed to put up the four trillion won for the
group's foreign creditors.

Daewoo owes $5.05 billion, about 10 percent of its total
debt of 60 trillion won, to foreign creditors, of which
$2.95 billion is due by the end of this year.  Daewoo has
also asked foreign creditors to refrain from legal action
against it, a group official said.  He added that the group
proposed forming a coordination committee with local and
foreign creditors and the Corporate Restructuring
Coordination Committee, which includes local creditors,
scholars and financial consultants, to further discuss
Daewoo's restructuring and debt rescheduling.  The official
said the group was waiting for foreign creditors' response
to its requests.  (Korea Herald  17-Sep-1999)

DAEWOO GROUP: FSC official promotes affiliate stability
The nation's top financial regulator said yesterday that
affiliates of the ailing Daewoo Group will become far more
stable through debt rescheduling and debt-equity swaps,
once the valuation of assets and liabilities is completed.
Subsequently, he said, capital alliances and sales of
affiliates will gather momentum.

Lee Hun-jai, chairman of the Financial Supervisory
Commission (FSC), a government agency spearheading
corporate and financial reform, met with local businessmen
yesterday morning.

"The Daewoo issue has fully surfaced and it will take time
to resolve it, given that a new system emphasizing
transparent and responsible corporate management begins to

Dealing with the problem at Samsung Motors will also take
time because loss-sharing by other profitable Samsung units
is impossible due to strengthened minority shareholders'
rights and stricter management responsibilities, and the
same applies to Daewoo, he said.

"Daewoo's subsidiaries, except for the conglomerate's car-
making operation, will be spun off to go their own way to
restructuring, led by their respective creditor banks that
have effectively taken over Daewoo's stake holdings in the
units," he said.  "Despite its huge size and enormous
debts, Daewoo affiliates are basically under the same
workout programs as undertaken by smaller companies.
Therefore, they will look far more stable through debt
rescheduling or debt-to-equity swaps, following the
completion of due diligence on their assets and
liabilities," he noted.

Regarding the ownership structure of commercial banks, Lee
stressed that responsible management does not necessarily
mean management by owners.

"Banks without owners failed because of irresponsible
management, while banks with owners fell victim to owners'
greed and immorality," he said. "What matters is how to
manage it, not who owns it."

Calling the idea of bank ownership "dangerous," he
emphasized the importance of a system, under which
shareholders hold the management responsible, neutral
outside directors with expert knowledge check-up on the
bank president, and the executives take charge of
operations, gaining rewards based on their performance.

He also said the government plans to consider allowing
local financial institutions to forge business tie-ups
among themselves in none-core business areas.  He promised
a "negative system" under which anything that is not
specifically banned under laws and regulations will be

Lee also dismissed recent market concerns of a possible
financial market crisis in November due to an expected rush
of cash calls on bond-type beneficiary certificates.
He said the government has been taking measures to cope
with a possible flood of redemptions of bond-linked
beneficiary certificates, and, as a result, there should be
no danger of financial market troubles in November.
(Korea Herald  17-Sep-1999)

KOREA LIFE: Sues FSC over insolvency declaration
Even from behind bars, Korea Life Insurance chair Choi
Soon-young is proving his ability to be a thorn in the side
of Korean financial authorities, filing a lawsuit against
the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) for the second
time. Choi's latest suit was filed at the Seoul
Administrative Court Thursday afternoon, under the claim
that the FSC's official declaration of his company as an
insolvent financial institution and its order that Korea
Life reduce its capital to nil is unlawful. The court has
until Tuesday to decide whether the FSC measure is legal or

Choi, who is currently serving a 5-year term for
misappropriating company funds, had won an earlier round at
the courts against the FSC. After the court ruled that the
FSC had failed to follow proper procedure in issuing an
identical order earlier, the government watchdog had to
start from scratch and reissued the order September 14.

Meanwhile, Korea Life employees issued a statement the same
day expressing their anger over Choi's actions, which they
say jeopardize the very existence of the company. They are
demanding that Choi cancel the lawsuit and abide by the
government's decision.  (Digital ChosunIlbo  16-Sep-1999)


CARPETS INT'L MALAYSIA: Posts first-half loss
Carpets International Malaysia Bhd registered a pre-tax
loss of RM2.13mil for the half year to June 30 compared
with a loss of RM3.1mil in the same period of 1998.
Group turnover, however, increased to RM12.1mil from
RM8.9mil. At company level, pre-tax loss stood at RM2.07mil
compared with RM2.89mil previously, while turnover rose 43%
to RM9.7mil from RM6.8mil.  (Star Online  16-Sep-1999)

PARK PLAZA KEMAYAN: Posts annual loss
Listed hotel and tourism company Park Plaza Kemayan (PPK),
in which the Kemayan Corp of Malaysia has a stake of about
25 per cent, has declared a loss for the year to June 1999
of A$7.7 million (S$8.46 million).

PPK was originally known as Kemayan Hotels and Leisure Ltd
(KHL) and was 51-per-cent owned by Kemayan Corp.  However,
Kemayan reduced its stake in the company to about 25 per
cent in July last year, selling to the US-based Park Plaza
group, which upped its holding in the company from 10 per
cent to 45 per cent. It also changed the name of the
company from KHL to PPK.

PPK last year declared a net profit of A$464,000 and has
attributed this year's losses to the Asian financial crisis
which it said had bitten into its asset values and trading
performance. Managing director of PPK, Simon Wan, was
quoted in the Australian Financial Review yesterday as
saying that "like many companies exposed to Asia, the
financial crisis did not really bite until this financial

PPK declared a pre-tax, pre-abnormal loss of A$4.8 million
and took a A$2.9 million abnormal hit on the write-down of
assets in the Philippines and Malaysia.  Its net tangible
assets slipped from 44.49 Australian cents to 34.94
Australian cents. The company's shares closed unchanged at
30 Australian cents yesterday.  Accumulated losses at June
30 totalled A$8 million.

The company runs 16 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region and
has interests in travel agencies and golf courses.  Seven
of its 16 hotels were in countries hit badly by the Asian
economic crisis -- five in Malaysia, one in Indonesia and
one in the Philippines. The AFR report quoted Mr Wan as
saying that "the suddenness of the downturn and the degree
of the downturn hit everybody severely". He added that the
company had "adjusted costs quite substantially and the
savings will be reflected in the current year".  (Business
Times  16-Sep-1999)

RENONG BHD: Bonds deal to help restructuring
Renong Bhd expects to be in a better position in the
current financial year ending June 30, 2000, due to the
various steps it has taken to settle its outstanding debts,
streamline its operations and move into profitable
businesses.  Renong director Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman said
pieces of the company's restructuring plan were being put
together to enable it to maximise its resources and

Talib said the signing of the RM8.41bil Projek Lebuhraya
Utara Selatan Bhd (PLUS) bonds yesterday was a good sign,
as they were fully subscribed.  This would help Renong to
gather pace and get into the black again, Talib told a
press conference after the Renong EGM in Kuala Lumpur

For the first half period of the previous financial year
ended Dec 31, 1998, Renong reported a pre-tax loss of
RM1.26bil against a loss of RM336.71mil over the
corresponding period in 1997.  Group turnover fell 57% to
RM221.70mil in the corresponding period from RM519.84mil in

Last month, Renong obtained its shareholders' nod on its
proposed restructuring with the main part of the
restructuring involving the issuance of RM8.41 billion
worth of seven-year zero coupon PLUS bonds to repay all the
outstanding debts of Renong and UEM.  (Star Online  16-Sep-


UNIWIDE HOLDINGS: Landbank seeks to continue foreclosure
Sources say state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines
(Landbank) will seek the intervention of the High Tribunal
so it can continue foreclosure proceedings against Uniwide
Holdings, Inc. (UHI) and its subsidiaries despite an
existing debt moratorium.

Landbank is prepared to pit the strength of its charter
against that of the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) on the issue of foreclosures as it sets to appeal its
case before the Supreme Court "within the month."  The bank
holds 588 million Philippine pesos (PhP) (US$14.7 million
at PhP39.935:US$1) in secured loans to Uniwide.  UHI and
its subsidiaries have a total of PhP11.1 billion (US$278
million) in debts, of which PhP6.95 billion (US$174
million) is owed to banks.

The SEC earlier granted the Uniwide group an extended debt
payment reprieve, which is set to lapse on October 10. It
also recently stopped Landbank's foreclosure moves, saying
the debt moratorium is still in effect.

"Landbank will appeal to the Supreme Court. (It will ask
the court) to mandate the SEC to allow it to foreclose and
exercise the provision on its charter," bank sources said.

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of Landbank will set a
precedent as this is the first time the government bank
will put the effectivity of its charter to a test, the
sources said.

"The Supreme Court will determine which law is superior.
This has not happened before," the sources added.
Under its charter, Landbank -- as a government financial
institution -- is exempted from a debt payment suspension,
a source pointed out.

Section 86-b states that foreclosure of mortgage
collaterals to loans may be made either judicially or
extrajudicially. "The bank may, with the approval of the
court, deputize any member of its legal staff to act as
special sheriff in foreclosure cases, in the sale or
attachment of debtor's properties and in the enforcement of
court writs and processes in cases involving the bank. The
... court shall treat such actions as if it were an act of
its own sheriffs in all respect."

The charter further states that "the provisions of any law
to the contrary notwithstanding, securities on loans and/
or other credit accommodations granted by the bank shall
not be subject to attachment, execution to any other court
process, nor shall they be included in the property of
insolvent persons or institutions, unless all debts and
obligations of the debtors to the bank have been paid,
including accrued interest, penalties, collection expenses
and other charges."

The SEC, on the other hand, has asserted that it has sole
jurisdiction over any and all rehabilitation proceedings.
It did not exempt Landbank from the existing debt
moratorium as this covers all of the Uniwide group's
creditors.  The commission added that it "could not allow
Landbank to get its share ahead, leaving the rest of the
creditors to wait for the outcome of the rehabilitation

"SEC is saying Landbank is covered (by its rules). Its
powers are higher than the powers vested in Landbank.
Landbank is saying no. SEC cannot take precedence over
Landbank's charter," the sources said.  "SEC has its own
law creating its existence and has its own rules as far as
suspension of payments are concerned. But Landbank also has
its own charter which was passed by the congress. Both are
government entities," the sources added.

Meanwhile, the cash-strapped Uniwide Group of Companies has
one more claimant to contend with as one more supplier
yesterday asked the corporate court to acknowledge claims
against the retail and property firm.  In a petition filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nestl‚,
Philippines, Inc. (NPI) said its PhP111.18-million (US$2.8
million) claim against Uniwide member companies -- Uniwide
Sales Warehouse Club, Inc. (USWCI) and First Paragon
Corporation (FPC) -- should be considered in the
deliberation of the firm's petition for rehabilitation.

NPI said they have been supplying USWCI and FPC various
grocery, confectionery, ice cream and chilled products on
credit. NPI's claims were not included in the schedule of
payments earlier submitted by the Gow-owned firm.  Uniwide
filed for suspension of payment and rehabilitation last
June 25 as a result of the company's over-expansion in the
property sector. The over-expansion "drained the company's
cash resources which led to the lack of liquidity,
resulting in the accumulation of past due accounts and
drastically reducing inventory levels and credit limits,"
Uniwide said earlier.

Several other suppliers have also asked the SEC to clarify
claims made against the debt-ridden group. Alaska Milk
Corp., Zesto Corp., Del Monte Corp., Virginia Food, Inc.
and Philippine General Merchandising Corp. are among the
suppliers who filed claims amounting to over PhP26.92
million (US$674,000).

The SEC has given Uniwide's interim receiver body --
chaired by former Petron chairman Monico U. Jacob -- until
October 10 to draft a rehabilitation plan acceptable to the
creditors.  First half results of the debt-ridden group
reflected a dismal picture of the company's finances with a
net loss of PhP410.99 million (US$10.3 million) against a
net income of PhP127.55 million (US$3.2 million).

The deterioration of the company's operations was also due
to significant interest payments and drop in sales, Uniwide
said.  (Business World  16-Sep-1999)

VICTORIAS MILLING CO.: PSE reverses delisting decision
To give way to the rehabilitation of cash-strapped
Victorias Milling Co. (VMC), the Philippine Stock Exchange
(PSE) reconsidered its earlier decision to initiate
delisting proceedings against the sugar miller. In a letter
to VMC president Manuel Ma¤alac, PSE president Jose Luis U.
Yulo, Jr. said PSE's listing committee is set to withdraw
the petition for delisting of VMC's securities earlier
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The suspension of trading of VMC shares will however
continue "until an order from the SEC lifting the same is
received by the Exchange," Mr. Yulo said.  (Business World


AZTECH SYSTEMS: Posts first-half loss
Sesdaq-listed information technology firm, Aztech Systems
Ltd, yesterday turned in a $4.6 million loss for its half-
year ended June 30.

The group, one of Singapore's biggest personal computer
sound card makers and a rival of Creative Technology, said
its cost-cutting and restructuring efforts helped it report
a smaller loss than the $11.1 million loss it made in the
first half of 1998.  Turnover for the period fell 6 per
cent to $82 million as Aztech's multimedia products were
hit by "price erosion".

The group's turnover declined despite a higher volume of
shipments of multi-media products from its plants. Aztech's
losses per share stood at 1.2 cents, down from 2.8 cents in
H1 1998, while its net tangible assets per share fell 9.1
per cent, or 2.25 cents, to 22.41 cents.

The group blamed its poor showing on price erosion and
added that it managed to stem the flow of red ink through
cost-cutting measures and restructuring exercises. Looking
ahead, Aztech said it expects to post a better performance
in the second half as its business would be buoyed by
"seasonal factors" and expected growth in revenue from its
multimedia business unit and contract manufacturing
business unit.

Aztech added it will continue to invest in its Internet
business and new technology products. "However, the
directors remain cautious about the competitive pressures
in the computer industry," it said. No interim dividend was
declared. Aztech shares yesterday ended unchanged at 50
cents.  (Business Times, Straits Times  16-Sep-1999)

NOEL GIFTS INT'L: Posts annual loss
Noel Gifts International said yesterday that it had trimmed
its net loss for the year ended June 30 to $635,000,
compared with a loss of $1.7 million previously. Turnover
was up 8.7 per cent to $22.4 million. Loss per share
improved from 2.5 cents to 0.94 cent, while net tangible
assets per share slipped from 25.7 cents to 24.6 cents. As
before, no dividend was recommended.  (Business Times,
Straits Times  16-Sep-1999)


NEP REALTY & INDUSTRY: Posts 2nd quarter loss
NEP Realty & Industry Plc attributed its net loss in the
second quarter to a total of Bt47.361 million in losses
incurred by its subsidiaries and affiliates as well as a
provision of Bt12.252 million for the deterioration of its
investments.  The second-quarter net loss was Bt47.81
million, compared to Bt13.96 million net profit for the
same period last year.  (The Nation  16-Sep-1999)

PANTIP PARK CO.: Parent guarantees debt-repayment loan
Pacific Assets Plc's board has approved a guarantee
agreement between the company and Bangkok Bank in
connection with its 90 per cent owned Pantip Park Co Ltd.
The Jumbhot-Pantip Foundation holds the balance of 10 per

The company will provide loans totalling a maximum of Bt369
million to Pantip Park Co for partially repayment of its
debt and accrued interest to Bangkok Bank under a
restructuring agreement.  Pantip Park still owes Bt747.30
million to the bank and Pacific Assets Plc is the guarantor
of the debt-restructuring agreement.

The loan restructuring will strengthen the financial
position of Pantip Park Co which will start repaying its
parent after it has fully repaid the Bangkok Bank. Pantip
Park Co owns and operates the Pantip Court serviced
apartment located in Soi Atthakarnprasit, Sathorn road.
(The Nation  16-Sep-1999)

RADANASIN BANK: UOB accidentally revealed as winning bidder
A slip of the tongue by a senior Thai central bank official
yesterday revealed Singapore's United Overseas Bank as the
winning bidder for nationalised Radanasin Bank plc.

Asked who would manage an asset management company to be
set up by Radanasin after its sale, assistant central bank
governor Chaktip Nitibhon said: "UOB, I mean the bank which
buys Radanasin will do the job."

Mr Chaktip is manager of the Financial Institutions
Development Fund, a central bank unit which owns almost all
of Radanasin's stake after it was taken over by the
authorities in August 1998.  Central bank officials said
this week that government legal experts were vetting the
wording of Radanasin's sale agreements. They had declined
to identify its buyer and said the central bank would
likely announce the successful bidder late this week or
early next week.

Reporters have seen UOB representatives visiting the office
of the Bank of Thailand every day this week.  A Bank of
Thailand panel is due to meet today to discuss the wining
bid, but it is believed that a formal announcement on the
winner would be made tomorrow. A Thai newspaper yesterday
said UOB is likely to pay between 7 billion and 10 billion
baht (S$300-$428 million) for 75 per cent of Radanasin.

The Krungthep Thurakit reported, citing unidentified source
at the Bank of Thailand, UOB will spend less than half of
the US$600 million (S$1 billion) which it was reported to
be offering, due to Radanasin's high proportion of bad
loans amounting to 88 per cent of its total credit.  Rival
bidders in the past had included Standard Chartered Bank,
Citibank and US hedge fund New Bridge for a controlling
stake in the 64-branch bank.

Radanasin, formerly Laem Thong Bank plc, was nationalised
in August 1998 along with a few other banks after several
months of unsuccessful attempts to recruit a foreign
strategic partner. Banking sources told Reuters that
Stanchart stopped becoming a serious contender for
Radanasin after it won its separate bid last week for a 75
per cent interest in 67-branch Nakornthon Bank plc ,
agreeing to pay about US$320 million for it.

"I would be very surprised if UOB does not win in the
auction," said a foreign banking source who was involved in
the bidding late last week.

UOB officials were not immediately available for comment.
Another banking source said Citibank had decided to pull
out of the race about two months ago after it conducted an
initial due diligence on Radanasin's books. He did not
elaborate.  Industry sources said Citibank still had its
eyes set on another nationalised bank, Siam City Bank plc,
which would likely be sold off by the authorities later
this year.  Central bank officials said buyers of
Radanasin, Nakornthon and two other state-controlled banks
would need to hold their 75 per cent stakes for at least
five years.  (Reuters, Bloomberg; Business Day  16-Sep-

THAI DURABLE TEXTILE: To appoint new advisor for rehab
Thai Durable Textile Plc said it would appoint a new
finance adviser for its rehabilitation plan by October
after ABN AMRO Asia Securities Trading Plc pulled out of
the deal.  (The Nation  16-Sep-1999)

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 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN: 1520-9482.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale
or publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding,
electronic re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly
prohibited without prior written permission of the
publishers.  Information contained herein is obtained from
sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR -- Asia Pacific subscription rate is $575 for 6
months delivered via e-mail. Additional e-mail
subscriptions for members of the same firm for the term of
the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.
For subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at

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