TCRAP_Public/991011.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, October 11, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 197

                            Headlines


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CATHAY INTERNATIONAL: S&P puts on credit watch status
SPARKLING PARK: Facing petition for winding up
TIM PO SECURITIES: Disciplined for improprieties
YOK HONG CONSTRUCTION: Facing petition for winding up


* I N D O N E S I A *

CHANDRA ASRI: IBRA says company must convert debt to equity


* K O R E A *

SAMSUNG GROUP: Inter-subsidiary loans uncovered
SAMSUNG GROUP: NTS to investigate possible tax evasion


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

KEPPEL PHILIPPINES GROUP: Completes restructuring
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: SEC approves debt payment
UNIWIDE GROUP: Asks SEC for extension of moratorium


* S I N G A P O R E *

CHARTERED SEMICONDUCTOR: Posts 3rd quarter loss
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK: Acquisition lifts risk rating


* T H A I L A N D *

BANGKOK METROPOLITAN BANK: For sale by year-end
BANKTHAI: For sale just after year-end
CHAROEN POKPHAND: Debenture float as part of restructuring
KRUNG THAI BANK: PWC gives audit report to gov't
NTS STEEL GROUP: Creditor management possible in rehab plan
SIAM CEMENT: To speed up debenture issuance
SIAM CITY BANK: For sale by year-end
SIAM CITY BANK: 12 former execs facing criminal charges
SRITHAI SUPERWARE: Court approves rehab plan delay
THAI FILM INDUSTRIES: Share purchase part of debt rehab
THAI GYPSUM PRODUCTS: State banks hold up restructure
THAI OIL CO.: Better restructure terms to go for vote


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

CATHAY INTERNATIONAL: S&P puts on credit watch status
-----------------------------------------------------
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has decided to
put Cathay International's ratings on Credit Watch "with
developing implications" to highlight considerable
uncertainties about its financial stability and regulatory
issues.

S&P says it is unable to gauge whether Cathay International
can pay interest for its senior notes due next Friday.
Cathay International, founded in Hong Kong in 1991, is an
investment firm with infrastructure and utility investment
on the mainland.

S&P said it Cathay has failed to make a timely interest
payment six months ago due to the delays in getting
approval for foreign exchange remittance from the State
Administration for Foreign Exchange.  S&P added it has
tried to assess the possible impact regarding this
regulatory issue as well as the reason why Cathay
International experienced such delays but no conclusion was
reached because it could not talk with Chinese officials.

S&P has also asked Cathay International to give more
information on its financial and operating performance of
its infrastructure projects, but so far, only little
information has been submitted to S&P.  It was only known
that its Zhongshan Power project in Guangdong has suffered
from oversupply and hence some concessions were made which
may erode its cashflow in the short term.

S&P also noted Cathay International has redeemed about
US$142.7 million (HK$1.1 billion) of the face value of the
senior notes in the first half of this year and its
interest should drop 40 per cent.  (Hong Kong Standard  09-
Oct-1999)

SPARKLING PARK: Facing petition for winding up
----------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
December 15 on the petition of Tong Yuen Sui for the
winding up of Sparkling Park Limited. A notice of legal
appearance must be filed on or before December 14.

TIM PO SECURITIES: Disciplined for improprieties
------------------------------------------------
The stock exchange has penalised Tim Po Securities for
failing to enforce internal controls and to inform the
securities regulator about a shareholding change.  The
exchange's disciplinary committee resolved after hearings
last month to have Tim Po publicly censured and imposed a
fine of $120,000.

The committee said it had taken into account previous
punishment imposed on Tim Po when it considered the
penalties. Regulators found Tim Po had failed for the nine
months to February 31, 1996, to demonstrate control of
client accounts or to mail statements to clients.  A stock
exchange spokesman said: "Basically, Tim Po was found to
have mixed up two client accounts."

In the first two months of 1996, Tim Po had been found
guilty of changing its shareholder base, increasing its
authorised share capital from $5 million to $20 million and
shifting allotment of shares without first seeking the
stock exchange's approval. Two shareholders, holding 51 per
cent and 49 per cent of Tim Po, were found to have
transferred their stakes in the company to a corporation
without prior written approval of the stock exchange.
(South China Morning Post  08-Oct-1999)

YOK HONG CONSTRUCTION: Facing petition for winding up
-----------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
December 8 on the petition of Gurung Chij Bahadur for the
winding up of Yok Hong Construction Company Limited. A
notice of legal appearance must be filed on or before
December 7.


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

CHANDRA ASRI: IBRA says company must convert debt to equity
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency Ibra, said Chandra
Asri, the country 's ethylene maker, must convert at least
40% of its US 1.1 billion debt into equity to stay afloat.

"We are here to save the company, not the owners. If we
want Chandra Asri to survive, we have to relieve the
company of its financial burden, especially , in interest
expenses," said Eko Budianto, Ibra deputy chairman.

After the debt-for -equity swap, Ibra plans to list the
shares on the Surabaya stock exchange. Ibra-the body
charged with rebuilding the nation's collapsed banking
industry-says local banks lent about US$350million to
Chandra Asri. The company also borrowed about US$700
million from Japan's Marubeni Corp, which owns 25% of the
company. The remaining 75% is owned by Indonesian interests
headed by Barito Pacific Timber Group's director Prajogo
Pangestu.

Chandra Asri 's debt restructuring is seen as a test of
Ibra's ability to do its job, while preserving what it
views as an "economically strategic project." Indonesia is
experiencing a surge in demand for petrochemicals. Ethylene
demand in a country of about 211 million people is
estimated at between 1.2 million and 1.5 million tonnes a
year. As Chandra Asri can only meet about half that
requirement, Indonesia has to import the rest.

Chandra Asri's plant which cost about US$2 billion to
build, can produce 540,000 tonnes of ethylene and 280,000
tonnes of propylene a year. Ethylene is the raw material
for making plastics and food wrappings, while propylene is
a resin used to make plastic bottles. Ibra , Chandra Asri
executives and potential investors are at odds over how to
resolve the company's debt problem.


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

SAMSUNG GROUP: Inter-subsidiary loans uncovered
-----------------------------------------------
Samsung Life Insurance Co., the life insurance arm of the
Samsung Group, was found to have lent 320 billion won ($266
million) to its sister automaker in an irregular manner,
the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday.

Samsung Life Insurance's loan to the now-bankrupt Samsung
Motors Inc. was extended in violation of the insurer's
internal loan-screening standards, the financial watchdog
said.  The nation's largest life insurer provided a total
of 540 billion won to the unit without receiving any
collateral, running counter to its loan-screening rules,
the watchdog said.

Samsung Motors' credit rating was the seventh lowest under
Samsung Life Insurance's nine-point credit scale and the
insurance company should have secured collateral for 60
percent of its loan, it added.  As of the end of June this
year, Samsung Motors had a negative capital figure of 464.2
billion won.

Collapsing under debts of more than 4 trillion won, the
automaker applied for court receivership June 30 this year,
pledging Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee's 3.5 million shares
in Samsung Life Insurance as collateral for 2.8 trillion
won in debts to creditor banks.  (Korea Herald  09-Oct-
1999)

SAMSUNG GROUP: NTS to investigate possible tax evasion
------------------------------------------------------
The National Tax Service said yesterday that it will
investigate allegations of tax evasion involving Samsung
Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, Sejong Securities Chairman Kim
Hyung-jin, Samsung SDS and Hyundai Electronics Industries,
if it detects evidence of tax dodging from the related
documents compiled by the prosecution.

"We haven't yet received the documents from the
prosecution. But as soon as we get them, we will examine
them to decide whether to launch tax probes or not," an
official said. "If the documents show traces of tax
evasion, the probes will start immediately." The
allegations were put forward by lawmakers during the
ongoing parliamentary inspection of the administration
branch.

Samsung Chairman Lee and his son, Jae-yong, are suspected
of having purchased Samsung Life Insurance stocks from
Samsung executives at 9,000 won per share early this year,
an unreasonably low price given that the insurance company
recently estimated the per-share value of its stock at
700,000 won.

Lawmakers suspected that the stocks Lee and his son
purchased were either Lee's assets disguised under the
executives' names, or concealed inheritances from Lee's
late father, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul.  In either
case, if the allegations prove true, Lee and his son would
be charged with tax evasion.

Sejong Securities Chairman Kim is suspected of having
gained 53 billion won through illegal transactions of
corporate bonds valued at 1.7 trillion won since the
foreign exchange crisis broke out in late 1997. With the
illegally earned profit, he purchased Dong Ah Securities,
which was renamed as Sejong Securities.

Samsung SDS has been criticized for selling bonds with
warrants to Lee's four children, including Jae-yong, at
deep discounts, allowing them to gain windfall profits.
The tax authorities will also examine the outcome of the
prosecution's investigation of Hyundai Group executives
suspected of having manipulated the price of Hyundai
Electronics Industries stock.  (Korea Herald  09-Oct-1999)


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

KEPPEL PHILIPPINES GROUP: Completes restructuring
-------------------------------------------------
The Keppel Philippines group, which is part of the Keppel
group, has completed the restructuring of Keppel
Philippines Properties Inc (KPPI).  When the exercise
involving share swaps is completed, KPPI will be 48 per
cent and 41 per cent owned by Keppel Land and Keppel
Philippines Holdings Inc respectively.  The exercise is
part of the Keppel Philippines group's plan to grow its
property investment, development and management business.
(Straits Times  08-Oct-1999)

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: SEC approves debt payment
----------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave its go
signal to the outright settlement by Philippine Airlines,
Inc.'s (PAL) of its obligations to its trade creditors with
outstanding balances of $25,000 or less.

A review conducted by PAL showed that trade creditor claims
with outstanding balances of $25,000 and below total about
$3.5 million or 7% of the total outstanding claims of PAL's
trade creditors.  The Commission's approval followed
recommendation by PAL's rehabilitation committee to do away
with the 60 monthly installment plan outlined in the
rehabilitation plan.

Since June 7 or the start of the implementation of the
rehabilitation plan, PAL has already made three out of the
60 monthly payments to its 1,136 trade creditors.  In a
letter to the SEC, PAL rehabilitation receiver, chaired by
Renato Francisco, said the outright settlement of the
claims "will not only ease PAL of the administrative
burden, but will also save PAL an aggregate amount of $1
million in various expenses -- interest, logistical cost."

The rehabilitation committee said the outright settlement
was approved by 63.59% of PAL's creditors.  The Commission
also approved the terminations of finance leases of two
A340-300 aircraft, now in the possession of the European
Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). The proposed termination
will reduce PAL's debt by about $170 million and the total
residual claim of about $31.5 million will be converted
into a loan payable on the twelfth year, improving PAL's
cash flow, the rehabilitation committee said.

The SEC also approved seven sale transactions earlier
proposed by the cash-strapped flag carrier concerning some
of PAL's excess assets.  Earlier, the PAL management sought
the Commission's approval for the disposal of assets worth
over 256.98 million Philippine pesos (PhP) (US$6.39 million
at PhP40.247:US$1).

"The purpose of the sale is to avoid monthly maintenance
and preservation costs and to generate additional revenue
out of excess, idle assets," PAL said.

To reduce land lease charges spent on PAL's MBC junkyard
and to generate additional revenue out of excess, idle
assets, the debt-laden airliner will also sell units of
assorted unserviceable and junked vehicles and equipment to
various winning bidders.  (Business World  08-Oct-1999)

UNIWIDE GROUP: Asks SEC for extension of moratorium
---------------------------------------------------
Cash-strapped Uniwide Group of Companies asked the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend for
another 60 days the moratorium on their debt payments set
to lapse on October 10.

In a motion filed before the corporate watchdog, the
Uniwide group said the extension is necessary for the SEC
to secure the comments of the creditors on the
rehabilitation plan recently completed by the interim
receiver.

"The motion is not intended to delay the proceedings, it
was brought about by the fact that the interim receiver
required an audit of the financial records of the companies
and appraisal of its assets" as well as discussion with
creditors on some aspects of the rehabilitation plan,
Uniwide said.

Included in the plan is the proposed sale of Uniwide
subsidiary First Paragon Corp., which operates 39
convenience stores.  However, interim receiver and former
Petron Corp. chairman Monico U. Jacob could not be reached
for other details of the group's rehabilitation plan.
Earlier, the SEC granted Uniwide an extension of its debt
moratorium- up to October 10 to give the then newly
appointed interim receiver more time to complete a
rehabilitation plan for the ailing group. Uniwide's interim
receiver is set to file the proposed rehabilitation plan
with the SEC on Monday.

Meanwhile, creditor Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank)
asked the SEC en banc -- the commission's highest decision-
making body -- to reconsider the hearing panel's earlier
order denying the creditor bank's petition to be excluded
from the suspension order of the Uniwide group.  The
hearing panel earlier ruled that in order "to pursue its
(SEC) mandate under Presidential Decree 902-A and to have a
free hand in evaluating the Uniwide group -- if they could
still be rehabilitated -- all parties should desist from
making any move to disrupt the process."

Earlier, Landbank said as a government financial
institution (GFI), it should be excluded from the
suspension of payment order as "no such order may be
effected against them ... PD 385 mandates the bank to
foreclose the collateral for any loan."

Landbank also argued that under its charter, Uniwide should
be considered an "insolvent debtor" and as such, properties
constituted as security with Landbank "may no longer be
considered as properties of the group...unless all debts
have been paid."  (Business World  08-Oct-1999)


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

CHARTERED SEMICONDUCTOR: Posts 3rd quarter loss
----------------------------------------------
Chip foundry Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (CSM)
officials reportedly told analysts that the company was not
profitable in the third quarter, but that they expected a
US$5 million (S$8.4 million) profit in the fourth quarter.
For the first half, Chartered made a net loss of US$48.5
million.

The company made its profit guidance at a lunchtime meeting
with 200 analysts and fund managers, organised by
international lead manager and sole book-running manager
Salomon Smith Barney.  The company also yesterday issued
its preliminary prospectus in Singapore. In a statement,
Chartered said it had applied both to the SES and to the US
Securities and Exchange Commission for a listing.

Chartered will issue a total of 225 million ordinary
shares, or their equivalents in American depository
receipts (ADRs), in an international offering with 150
million sold in the US and Canada and 75 million elsewhere.
A separate retail offering of 25 million shares will take
place in Singapore.

The ordinary shares will be listed on the SES, while the
ADRs will be quoted on Nasdaq in the US, Chartered said.
Chartered expects to sell the ADRs, which are tradable
titles to the ordinary shares, at between US$16 and US$18
each (each equals ten shares). The ordinary shares will be
sold for between S$2.71 and S$3.05.

The price of the shares will only be fixed on Oct 29 after
a book-building exercise, in which interested buyers will
bid for shares at their desired price.  Sources said
yesterday that institutional investors in Singapore and
elsewhere will be able to bid for shares in the global
offering.

"The 25 million-share tranche in Singapore is more to
satisfy the retail investors," said a source.

Overseas Union Bank is the lead manager for this offering,
with Citicorp Investment Bank as co-lead manager.  As the
share sale is done through a book-building exercise, there
will be no application for shares through ATMs. Interested
investors can indicate their interest in the shares through
their brokers from today until Oct 28. An applicant has
only two choices -- 1,000 shares or 5,000 shares.

On Oct 29 in Singapore (Oct 28 in the US), the price will
be fixed and broking houses here allocated shares, which
they will offer to customers willing to pay the final
price, between 4pm and 9:30pm Singapore time.  The shares
will start trading on Oct 29 on Nasdaq at 9:30pm Singapore
time (9:30am New York time), and in Singapore on Nov 1 on a
"conditional" basis. Trading on a "ready" basis will start
Nov 5.

Analysts here yesterday said the offering should generate
strong interest.  "The chip market is recovering, and there
isn't a better time to do it even though they're losing
money," said one analyst, who expects Chartered to be
profitable for the full year next year.  "Let's not kid
ourselves, this is the only semiconductor foundry listing
you'll get for some time," said another. "This is a good
avenue to be exposed to the semiconductor cycle."
(Business Times  08-Oct-1999)

UNITED OVERSEAS BANK: Acquisition lifts risk rating
---------------------------------------------------
Rating agency Moody's Investors Service said yesterday that
United Overseas Bank's (UOB) planned acquisition of a
Philippine bank would increase the Singapore bank's risk
profile.

It also warned that any further UOB acquisitions might need
to be accompanied by capital-raising if the bank wished to
maintain its long-term deposit rating at the Aa2 level.
UOB, which this week acquired Thailand's Radanasin Bank,
had announced in July plans to take a 60 per cent stake in
Westmont Bank, a Philippine bank with total assets of about
$900 million.

The bank had signed a memorandum of understanding with
Westmont Bank, a subsidiary of Malaysia's Westmont
Holdings, to buy the stake for more than $132 million.
Moody's said in a statement yesterday that "the planned
acquisition would somewhat increase UOB's risk profile,
while at the same time decreasing slightly its capital
adequacy and profitability ratios".  However, it "did not
believe the changes would be material" and added that
"creditors would continue to be well protected by UOB's
ample capital, resilient earnings and strong liquidity".

UOB is Singapore's third-largest commercial bank with total
assets of $53 billion.  Like other Singapore banks, it is
expanding in the region to ride on the anticipated economic
growth.  The agency noted that UOB's acquisition of a 75
per cent stake in Radanasin would not have a negative
impact on the Singapore bank's credit-worthiness and that
its rating outlook remained stable.  (Straits Times  09-
Oct-1999)


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

BANGKOK METROPOLITAN BANK: For sale by year-end
BANKTHAI: For sale just after year-end
SIAM CITY BANK: For sale by year-end
-----------------------------------------------
Foreign banks that lost out in the bidding for the choicest
of Thai banks are now competing to take over the leftovers
-- the last three crippled banks that are being sold cheap
and in a hurry by the government, analysts said.

HSBC has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire the
nationalised Bangkok Metropolitan Bank, while Citibank and
GE Capital are neck and neck in competition to buy Siam
City Bank. The government has said it will select the
winning bids for the two banks by Oct 31, and approve the
winning bids by Dec 31. Meanwhile, BankThai (formerly known
as Union Bank of Bangkok, and now merged with Krung Thai
Thanakit Finance and Securities) will be sold next year.
Bidding has not opened as yet.

HSBC is well placed to acquire Bangkok Metropolitan Bank as
it has close contacts with it for more than a year. It has
also performed due diligence on the bank. HSBC recently
said it wanted to buy either Bangkok Metropolitan Bank or
Siam City Bank. Others in the running for Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank are Bank of Nova Scotia, and GE Capital.
Suitors for Siam City Bank are GE Capital, investment fund
New Bridge and Citibank.

It might be second time lucky for some of the bidders. For
instance, Citibank was in the running for Radanasin Bank,
which was bought by United Overseas Bank. And, Bank of Nova
Scotia and Stanchart were competing for Nakornthon Bank,
which was taken over by the latter.

Richard Henderson, director of research at Kim Eng
Securities, Thailand, said: "The remaining banks (Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank and Siam City Bank) are possibly less
attractive than the earlier ones because they are larger,
and in this case size can be seen as a liability."

For Radanasin and Nakornthon Bank, the government has
imposed restrictions on closing branches and on reducing
staff numbers for three years, analysts said. For larger
banks such as Bangkok Metropolitan and Siam City the risks
of carrying large overheads would be greater.

Siam City is the bigger of the two with assets worth 234
billion baht (S$9.9 billion). Bangkok Metropolitan Bank
assets were worth 192 billion baht. Siam City's non-
performing loans are about 73 per cent, while those of
Bangkok Metropolitan Bank are 78 per cent. "There's a more
of a genuine loan portfolio at Siam City than Bangkok
Metropolitan Bank," an analyst said.

Sriyan Pietersz, head of research, SG Research, said: "The
government is under pressure to sell these banks quickly
and clear the decks as that would be seen as raising
confidence in government measures. If they want to present
that picture, they will have to forgo getting a better
deal."

"It seems to me that the banks are being valued entirely on
the value of their assets, rather than any franchise value.
The government is selling them cheap," he said.

All eyes were on United Overseas Bank's (UOB) purchase of a
75 per cent stake in Radanasin Bank, announced on
Wednesday. It appeared that UOB had got a better price than
what Standard Chartered Bank had paid for a similar stake
in Nakornthon Bank last month.  According to calculations
by James Moss, an analyst at Nava Vickers Ballas, Stanchart
paid 32 cents to the dollar for Nakornthon Bank. This is
arrived at by dividing the total value of investment of
16.5 billion baht for the 100 per cent stake by the net
assets of 51 billion baht. Radanasin's assets, after full
provisions, would be 36 billion baht, so effectively, the
payment of 6.5 billion baht works out to 18 cents to the
dollar.  (Business Times  08-Oct-1999)

CHAROEN POKPHAND: Debenture float as part of restructuring
----------------------------------------------------------
Charoen Pokphand, the country's leading conglomerate, will
float debentures of up to Bt4 billion to refinance some of
its foreign-currency debts and further invest in its
subsidiaries and affiliates.

A source at Bangkok Bank, which is acting as underwriter
for the issue, predicted that the coupon rate of the five-
year debentures would be one per cent on top of the minimum
lending rate.  The debentures will be sold through private
placement to local investors.  (The Nation  08-Oct-1999)

KRUNG THAI BANK: PWC gives audit report to gov't
------------------------------------------------
The full auditing report of Krung Thai Bank by
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been handed over to the
Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda
said yesterday.

The report was submitted by the independent committee
chaired by former central bank governor Kamchorn
Sathirakul.  The independent committee was tasked to find
out if the report, disclosed to the public by a Senate
committee, is genuine and if the contents are accurate. In
the report, PricewaterhouseCoopers cited that 84 per cent
of large borrowers of the bank were unlikely to pay up,
meaning the loans were non-performing, and it also
criticised the bank's past management and lending
practices.

PwC was hired by the bank to review its operations and
advise it on its handling of massive non-performing loans
(NPLs).  The bank itself said its NPLs are only 59 per cent
of outstanding loans as of June.   Meanwhile, Singh
Tantasawas, president of the state-owned bank, told Reuters
in an interview that the report contained "some truth but
not the whole truth" because it had been based on only a
partial survey of the bank.

He said accountability and governance were improving in the
bank, although the process of reform would take time and be
"tough."

"We will definitely turnaround next year, unless there are
some unforeseen elements we don't yet know of.
Accountability is improving. But it is a big task ...
Things have improved, but it takes time."

He said the bank is beginning to overcome its problems and
grapple with its massive NPLs.  KTB officials attending the
interview with Reuters said NPLs had begun to fall for the
first time in July 1999 and there had been an overall
reduction by some Bt12 billion during that month in the
NPLs carried by its core business and that of First Bangkok
City Bank.

They did not give a figure for total NPLs at the end of
July but the bank has previously said its own NPLs at the
end of June totalled Bt393 billion.  Together with the NPLs
of FBCB, total NPLs came to some Bt630 billion at end-June.
Dusit Tengniyom, senior executive vice president of the
bank, told that KTB should restructure more than Bt100
billion of problem loans at the end of this year. During
March and August, Bt68 billion of problem loans had been
restructured and it is about to sign debt restructuring
agreements with more debtors owing totally Bt24 billion to
the bank.

"Debt restructuring should speed up due to supportive
measures, recovering economy and low interest rates," he
said.

He said that when deposit rates were as high as 15 per
cent, some debtors deposited their cashflow at banks
instead of repaying loans. However, while the rates are
low, they also fear higher penalty if they do not wrap up
the debt restructuring agreements with debtors.

"Only a few billions will return to non-performing again,"
he said.

Despite the large amount of restructured loans, KTB
executive Phongsathorn Siriyothin noted that KTB would
probably remain in the red in the third quarter but the
operating losses should be smaller than in the second
quarter due to lower interest expenses and lower NPLs.

"KTB will not set aside additional provisions in the third
quarter. The provisions will be made only when we have
finalised details on the establishment of an asset
management company, as then we will know the exact figures
of NPLs. In the fourth quarter, we'll set aside the
provisions to meet the central bank's requirement," he
said, noting that KTB is financially able to follow the
requirement following the Bt108-billion injection from the
Financial Institutions Development Fund.

At year-end, the central bank requires all banks to set
aside 60 per cent of full provisioning requirements. Banks
will need to set aside 80 per cent provisions against NPLs
at the end of June.  Singh noted that if KTB will need to
set aside full provisions to cover the NPLs of FBCB, the
bank needs an additional Bt150 billion and he expected the
government will handle this burden after the bank's AMC is
established.

As of June, the bank's provisions stood at Bt119 billion or
47.73 per cent of full provisions.  Phongsathorn noted that
after most NPLs are transferred to the AMC, KTB will be
left with some NPLs which will be easier to restructure.

"The draft agreement for the AMC establishment is completed
but the FIDF and the bank are finalising the category of
loans which will be transferred to the AMC," Phongsathorn
said.  (The Nation, Reuters  09-Ot-1999)

NTS STEEL GROUP: Creditor management possible in rehab plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
NTS Steel Group Plc, responding to a local newspaper report
that its majority shareholder and founder -- Sawasdi
Horrungruang -- would open the way for creditors to manage
the company, stated that such a course was just one option
in the proposed debt-restructuring plan.  However, the plan
has not yet been finalised.  (The Nation  08-Oct-1999)

SIAM CEMENT: To speed up debenture issuance
-------------------------------------------
Following a recent decision to postpone a capital-increase
plan, Siam Cement Plc (SCC) has decided to speed up its
fund raising through domestic debentures which will
refinance its existing debts.

Thailand's flagship industrial group informed the Stock
Exchange of Thailand yesterday that bonds worth Bt12
billion, the last batch of its planned Bt50 billion bond
issue, will be available for subscription between Oct 20
and 29.

"The new batch is to accommodate the continuing public
demand for the company's debentures after the first two
batches were oversubscribed," said SCC vice president
Aviruth Wongbuddhapitak.

With a fixed interest rate, the 12 billion senior
debentures would be divided into two tranches. The first
one would mature in 2003 and the other in 2004. Minimum
investment is Bt10 million.  SCC has joined forces with
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to open a counter at its
branches nationwide for trading the debentures.

"Like the first two lots, this batch of debentures can be
traded at all branches of SCB nationwide. Investors can
rest assured that they will enjoy a similar degree of
liquidity in the market," said Aviruth.

Subscriptions are available at the SCB, Thai Farmers Bank,
Thai Military Bank, Deutsche Bank, Siam City Bank and
National Finance Plc.   Earlier, SCC announced that it will
not proceed with its Bt25-billion plan to raise capital
after the book-building process conducted during its
international roadshow on Sept 24 showed unfavourable share
prices in the midst of poor market conditions in general.
Goldman Sachs is the lead underwriter for SCC's first new
share offering in 20 years.

The new debt issuance came earlier than previously
expected. During the launch of the second batch, SCC
executives indicated that the company does not plan to
issue the third batch before the end of this year.
However, an SCC spokeswoman said the speed-up on the last
batch has no connection with the recent decision to delay a
capital increase.

"The objectives are different. We issue the debentures to
refinance short-term debts, while proceeds from equity
offering would improve our balance sheet and help business
expansion," she said.  "Also we have seen a lot of interest
among debenture investors."

Bonds of premium companies are of high interest especially
when deposit rates at banks are historically low.  SCC has
more than US$4 billion in debts.  (The Nation  08-Oct-1999)

SIAM CITY BANK: 12 former execs facing criminal charges
-------------------------------------------------------
Thailand's central bank yesterday brought criminal
negligence charges against 12 former executives of Siam
City Bank, which was nationalised last year to prevent its
collapse.

The central bank identified only one of those charged under
Thailand's Banking Act. Each faces up to 10 years in jail
if convicted, the central bank said. Their assets were also
frozen. The former executive named was Mr Kiatchai
Sophastienphong, the central bank's director of financial
institutions policy, the unit whose task, among other
things, was to sell Siam City to private investors. He was
suspended from his job with effect from yesterday.

The central bank alleges that the executives -- some of
them board members of Thailand's seventh-largest bank --
approved loans to companies in which they were controlling
shareholders and bought property from companies owned by
executives and their families at inflated prices.

"Siam City management didn't act in the interest of the
bank; there were no negotiations and appraisals," assistant
governor Rathakorn Nimwatana told a press conference.

He did not give a total for the transactions in question,
though they were at least 922 million baht (S$38.7 million)
based on several land sales. All the transactions were made
between June 1995 and June 1996.  Siam City had assets of
270 billion baht at Aug 31. The bank was nationalised in
February last year after it missed a series of deadlines to
meet capital standards.

The bankers join a growing list of finance industry
executives charged with negligence or fraud in the past two
years. Thailand has shuttered or seized more than two-
thirds of its lenders since late 1997.  They are the third
group from a commercial bank to be charged, after Bangkok
Bank of Commerce and Laem Thong Bank managers.  (Bloomberg
News, Straits Times  08-Oct-1999)

SRITHAI SUPERWARE: Court approves rehab plan delay
--------------------------------------------------
Srithai Superware Plc advised that the court had approved
the company's request to postpone submission of its
rehabilitation plan from Oct 1 to Nov 1.

Srithai had asked for the deferral due mainly to a delay in
finalising the technical details of the plan. Its planning
adviser SGV-Na Thalang and Co Ltd expected, however, that
the plan would be submitted to the official receiver before
the court's extended dateline.  (The Nation  08-Oct-1999)

THAI FILM INDUSTRIES: Share purchase part of debt rehab
-------------------------------------------------------
Bangkok Bank said it had bought 30 million new shares, or
29.4 per cent, in Thai Film Industries Plc, as part of the
film production company's debt-restructuring plan. The
shares were purchased at the par value of Bt10.  Thai Film
Industries increased its registered capital to Bt1.02
billion from Bt720 million by issuing the shares to Bangkok
Bank.  (The Nation  09-Oct-1999)

THAI GYPSUM PRODUCTS: State banks hold up restructure
-----------------------------------------------------
Thai Gypsum Product Plc said the indecisiveness of state-
owned bank managers was delaying its Bt5.3 billion debt-
restructuring plan which had already won support from
private institutions holding more than half of the total
liabilities.

Managing director Krisda Kampanatsaenyakorn said the
company had won support from more than 50 per cent of its
creditors for its rehabilitation plan. However, under the
Bankruptcy Law, three-quarters of the votes are needed to
pass the proposal.  Krisda said the major obstacle was a
lack of support from the state-owned banks, despite the
government's policy of speeding up corporate debt
restructuring as state banks were reluctant to reduce
debts.

"The management of state banks are avoiding responsibility
to trim some debts because of fears they will be entangled
personally," said Krisda.

Thai Gypsum Product submitted its rehabilitation plan to a
court receiver on Sept 20 in accordance with a legal
process under which the first meeting was to be held on Nov
4.  Krisda claimed some private financial institutions had
reaffirmed their support through written statements.  The
company negotiated with creditors on the plan for two years
but had failed to reach an agreement. It later filed the
rehabilitation plan with the Bankruptcy Court with the
proposed cuts to some debts as a crucial factor.

Krisda said that though the company was in the debt-
restructuring process, it remained in production and could
expand its export market.  The company said a leading
international gypsum producer was still interested in
acquiring a stake in the company once debt-restructuring
was approved.  He added that the proposed rehabilitation
plan could be a win-win solution for all parties because
the banks would get a quick pay back in cash from the firm
after the conclusion of the debt-restructuring
negotiations.

The company would raise its registered capital and gain
huge fresh capital from the strategic partner for the debt
payments.   British Plaster Board which earlier bought Thai
Gypsum's majority interest in a China-based gypsum board
manufacturing venture was understood to be the potential
strategic partner for the company. Thai Gypsum's sole
domestic competitor, Cementhai Gypsum Co, was also seeking
a foreign strategic partner. Excess capacity was a major
cause of the crisis for Thai Gypsum Product and other Asian
gypsum board producers.  (The Nation, Bangkok Post  08-Oct-
1999)

THAI OIL CO.: Better restructure terms to go for vote
-----------------------------------------------------
The 124 creditors of Thai Oil Co are due to meet on October
15 to vote on the US$2.17 billion restructuring plan for
Thailand's largest oil refinery, said Industry Minister
Suwat Liptapanlop.

Speaking after a discussion with Petroleum of Thailand
(PTT) executives, Suwat said Thaioil was expected to
receive better restructuring terms than were planned for
and approved by the cabinet earlier.  The creditors'
steering committee had already agreed in principle to
extend the repayment period of the Thaioil's debts to 14
years, compared with the 10-12 years envisaged in the
cabinet-approved plan, he added.

"Thaioil's debt restructuring plan is now awaiting the
final stage of negotiations." Suwat said. "Only the issue
of the interest rate for the first 3-4 years of the renewed
term has yet to be resolved."

PTT is trying to convince Thaioil's creditors to cut the
interest charges during the initial years by another 0.2-
0.3 per cent as the refining industry has not fully
recovered.

"According to the reports I have received from PTT and
Thaioil executives, it is likely that all creditors will
approve the Thaioil plan on Oct 15 because the creditors
are now confident that the Thai government is sincere in
its resolve to solve the problems," said Suwat.

He confirmed an earlier report that PTT would be required
to inject not more than $300 million to assist in the debt-
restructuring programme, instead of the $350 million
earmarked earlier.  State-owned PTT has a 49 per cent stake
in Thaioil. The other shareholders, which include Shell,
Caltex, the Crown Property Bureau and the Chowkwanyun
group, have declined to help recapitalise the refinery.

Thaioil's low capital base of only Bt20 million has been
one of the major causes of its downfall as the July 97 de-
facto devaluation of the baht translated into higher debts
for the company.   A senior executive at PTT added said
$250 million of the capital injection would go towards
recapitalisation and $50 million would be used for working
capital.

After the restructuring, the total debt would be cut to
US$1.1-1.3 billion due to the new capital injection by PTT,
the debt-to-equity conversion by the creditors and a debt
reduction (hair cut).  Proceeds from the capital increase
would be used to retire the debts of those creditors who
had agreed to the hair cut.

Thaioil is also expected to get at least US$50 million from
the sale of its shares in Thai Oil Power Co and Thai Carbon
Product Co (TCP). Tokai of Japan which currently has a 25
per cent in TCP will buy the Thaioil shares.  (The Nation
08-Oct-1999)


S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

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