TCRAP_Public/991111.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

            Thursday, November 11, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 220

                                         Headlines


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

BURLINGAME: Reaches restructure agmt with 8 creditors
LEON GARMENT FACTORY: Facing winding up petition


* J A P A N *

YAKULT HONSHA: Posts six-month loss
NIPPON TEL.& TEL.: Drafts restructuring plan with job cuts
NIPPON YAKIN KOGYO CO.: Posts first-half loss
NISSAN MOTOR CO.: To sell off share stake in its banks


* K O R E A *

HANBO IRON & STEEL: Sale could be imminent
KOREA FIRST BANK: Newbridge Capital takeover by month-end
KOREA FIRST BANK: Sells off U.S. subsidiary to smooth sale


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

C&P HOMES: Reduces 3 billion peso debt with asset swap
MONDRAGON INT'L PHILIPPINES: Wants creditor takeover barred
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Taiwan flights a "survival issue"
SHEMBERG CORP.: Debt-to-equity swap to give banks majority


* S I N G A P O R E *

L&M GROUP INVESTMENTS: Subsidiary listing without support


* T H A I L A N D *

EKKA HOLDING CO.: Bankruptcy Ct. reviewing rehab plan
NATURAL PARK PLC: Selling affiliate shares as part of rehab
OM-SIN AMNUAY SUB FUND: Narrows annual loss
SAHAVIRIYA STEEL INDUSTRY: Recapitalization part of rehab
SHIN SATELLITE: To issue debentures to reduce foreign debt
SIAM CONTAINER PIPE: Bankruptcy Ct. reviewing rehab plan
SINO-THAI ENG.& CONST.: To file bankruptcy petition in Nov.
VINYLTHAI PLC: To reschedule its debts


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

BURLINGAME: Reaches restructure agmt with 8 creditors
-----------------------------------------------------
On Friday, Burlingame entered into a financial-
restructuring agreement with potential investor Classic
Jestor Resources, whereby the latter will become its
controlling shareholder.  The proposed agreement involves
the restructuring of Burlingame's debt with seven local
banks and one mainland bank and the injection of $100M by
Classic Jestor for the subscription of Burlingame's shares.

Previously, Burlingame reported that the property slump has
caused the company's net losses to rise sixfold to $1B in
the year ended March 31.  Burlingame's key assets, most of
which were properties, lost more than 60% of their value
over the past year due to the recession.  Turnover plunged
78% to $241.23M.  The loss per share was $2.39, compared
with 39 cents in the previous year.  

LEON GARMENT FACTORY: Facing winding up petition
------------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kar SAR has scheduled a hearing for
January 5, 2000 on the petition of Wong Chi Choi for the
winding up of Leon Garment Factory Limited. A notice of
legal appearance must be filed on or before January 4.


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

YAKULT HONSHA: Posts six-month loss
-----------------------------------
Yakult Honsha said yesterday it incurred an extraordinary
loss of 8.19B yen in the six months to September 30, due to
losses on Princeton notes it holds.  US-based Princeton
Economics International is being investigated over a scheme
in which Japanese investors may have lost US$1B.  As a
result, Yakult said its parent net profit fell 94.2% to
321M yen in the April-September half, from 5.56B yen a year
earlier.

NIPPON TEL.& TEL.: Drafts restructuring plan with job cuts
----------------------------------------------------------
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) said it has
drafted a medium-term management restructuring plan which
includes some 20,000 job cuts on a consolidated basis by
the end of March 2003.

The planned personnel cut will bring NTT's workforce to
slightly over 200,000.  NTT had drafted the restructuring
plan ahead of the government's fifth sale of shares in the
company since it was partially privatised in 1985.  NTT,
however, did not disclose which NTT groups would be
affected by the job cuts.

In July, NTT was reorganised into two regional carriers--
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp (NTT East) and
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corp (NTT West)--and
long-distance telephone operator NTT Communications Inc.
By March 1999, the NTT group had 224,000 employees.  The
restructuring plan also calls for a reduction by some 300
billion yen in capital spending by the end of March 2003.

In the year to March 2000 it set aside 2.730 trillion yen
in capital spending.  NTT said it planned to work out more
details of the plan by year-end for submission to its
labour union.  (Star Online  10-Nov-1999)

NIPPON YAKIN KOGYO CO.: Posts first-half loss
---------------------------------------------
Nippon Yakin Kogyo Co. (TSE:5480) suffered a pretax loss of
2.1 billion yen in the first half ended Sept. 30, compared
with a loss of 3.9 billion yen one year earlier, the
company announced Monday.

Cost reductions were credited for most of the improvement.
Sales shrank 9% on a 6% drop in volume and a 7% decline in
prices of stainless steel plate. The specialist stainless
steel maker faced a surge in the price of nickel, an
important raw material, but offset this by laying off
workers at a plant in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture ahead
of schedule.  The operating loss was 1.1 billion yen.

The net loss shrank to one-third the level seen a year ago,
reflecting extraordinary profit of 1.4 billion yen on the
sale of shares in affiliated companies.  For the second
half, Nippon Yakin predicts 200 million yen in operating
profit. Higher sales prices will add 2 billion yen to the
operating balance.  Lower sales and administration costs
should lift operating profit by 600 million yen.

For the full year through March 2000, the company
anticipates pretax profit of 3 billion yen, compared with a
loss of 7.9 billion yen in fiscal 1998.  (Asia Pulse  09-
Nov-1999)

NISSAN MOTOR CO.: To sell off share stake in its banks     
------------------------------------------------------      
Nissan Motor and its two main banks, the Industrial Bank of
Japan and Fuji Bank, are to sell their large holdings of
shares in each other.  The move is part of Nissan's one
trillion yen (S$15.9 billion) restructuring plan, and is a
landmark example of the recent trend to unwind long-term
corporate relationships in Japan.  

The plan was designed by Mr Carlos Ghosn, the chief
operating officer seconded from the troubled car maker's
alliance partner, Renault.  It comes as Japan's banks look
to reduce their shareholdings in companies amid a rapid
consolidation of the country's financial sector.

Recently, IBJ and Fuji agreed on an alliance with Dai-Ichi
Kangyo Bank (DKB) to create the world's largest financial
group. The decision by these pillars of the Japanese
business community sent a strong signal to others. It
underlined the fact that the tradition of establishing
privileged relationships with a few business partners and
underpinning them with large reciprocal shareholdings was
no longer vital in Japan.  This tradition led to the
creation of large, powerful families of companies, known as
keiretsu.

Members of these groupings preferred to deal exclusively
with each other, often to the frustration of outside
competitors, especially non-Japanese ones.  Mr Ghosn has
indicated that Nissan needed to hold shares in only four
out of the nearly 1,400 companies whose stock it owned. The
company, which is 36.8 per cent owned by Renault, said it
hoped to sell the shares as quickly as possible.  The car
maker owns 1.7 per cent of Fuji and 1.4 per cent of IBJ.
This share worth about 134.75 billion yen in total at
Monday's share prices.

Analysts commented that the unwinding of the mutual
holdings would have a positive impact on the banking
sector.  This impact was enhanced by the injection of
public funds into the banks earlier this year.

"From the perspective of investing in the banks, this
improves their capital efficiency," said one analyst
yesterday.

IBJ and Fuji together own 8.7 per cent of the car maker's
shares. This amount to a total market value of about 141.68
billion yen at Monday's share prices.  IBJ said it would
not sell its entire 4.2 per cent stake.  It was not clear
whether the bank would sell shares in other Nissan group
companies.  These include Nissan Diesel, in which IBJ holds
a 2.6 per cent stake.

Fuji has indicated that it was re-assessing its
shareholdings partly as a result of its recent merger with
IBJ and DKB. It holds a 4.5 per cent stake in Nissan, or
114.96 million shares.  (Financial Times, Straits Times  
10-Nov-1999)


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

HANBO IRON & STEEL: Sale could be imminent
------------------------------------------
Following months of stalled talks, industry watchers
predict the sale of bankrupt Hanbo Iron and Steel Co. is
imminent.

The optimism follows renewed talks over contract terms by a
newly-arrived team of negotiators from the Nabors
Consortium, which has been given priority status in talks
to buy the steel maker.  Creditor bank sources said
yesterday that a negotiating team arrived here on Tuesday
and began talks about acquiring the bankrupt steel company.

The sources said that the pace of negotiations had
quickened due to the fact that the priority status given to
Nabors had already been extended from early October to the
end of this month.

"This visit represents the materialization of actual
negotiations," a creditor bank source said. "Through the
current round of negotiations focusing on a specific
contract, a sales price and other wide-ranging areas will
be dealt with."

Earlier, the Nabors Consortium received a site inspection
report of Hanbo's steel plant in central Korea by UEC, a
subsidiary of USX (U.S. Steel). The current round of
negotiations is based on the report.

"We cannot be too optimistic about the results of
negotiations, but we believe things will work out," the
creditor bank source said.

Nabors Consortium had sought the partnership of
Netherlands-based Hugo Vens, but its merger with British
Steel hampered such an alliance. Reportedly, Nabors has yet
to find a partner to operate the bankrupt steel company.
Since its bankruptcy in late 1997, public rounds of bidding
for Hanbo Iron and Steel were scrapped ten times and
subsequent bids have been riddled with complaints over
fairness.

It was not until August of this year that Nabors was given
priority status in talks to purchase Hanbo.  Originally,
creditors of the steel maker assessed the sale price at
around 4 trillion won, while Pohang Iron and Steel and
Dongkuk Steel Mill later offered to buy Hanbo for 2
trillion won. However, critics said a realistic sale price
would now be between 400 billion to 600 billion won.  
(Korea Herald  11-Nov-1999)

KOREA FIRST BANK: Newbridge Capital takeover by month-end
---------------------------------------------------------
Newbridge Capital's takeover of Korea First Bank (KFB) is
expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Wrapping up an 11-month negotiation, the U.S. investor set
Nov. 30 as the date for signing the final contract to
acquire the nation's leading commercial bank, a source said
yesterday.

"The target date is Nov. 30 on which Newbridge will close
the deal. The first ever takeover of a domestic bank by a
foreign investor is now imminent," he said, requesting
anonymity.

The conditions for Newbridge's takeover of a 51 percent
stake in KFB was completed on Sept. 17 with the U.S.
private equity firm and government signing a TOI (terms of
investment) for the 500 billion won ($416 million) deal.
But no specific date has been known until now for the
official closure of the deal.  Regarding the announcement
and naming of the new leaders of KFB, the source said it
will be confirmed shortly.

"Newbridge is believed to have offered a position to a
highly experienced senior banker in the international
community who knows both the Korean and Western business
culture," he said.  "However, since he has not fully
accepted the title, it is taking a while. It will shortly
be finalized."

Meanwhile, staff of Newbridge, KFB and a local PR agency
held a session at the bank's headquarters Tuesday,
discussing various strategies to improve the public's
perception of the deal.  The U.S. investor is still
seriously concerned that Korean people in general
understand Newbridge only as a short-term equity investor.

In an attempt to eliminate the speculations on Newbridge's
early transfer of KFB to a third party for short-term
profit-maximizing, the U.S, investor has stressed on many
occasions that it would keep its KFB shares much longer
than the public expects.  During the two-hour session, the
PR agency briefed others on how to improve public notions.
The recommendations included increasing the number of
advertisements in the media, assigning new spokespersons
and contributing articles to newspapers on behalf of
Newbridge.

Newbridge won the right to takeover the KFB in competition
with other major banking concerns on December 31, 1998.
KFB currently operates 339 branches across the nation, four
overseas offices and two international joint venture firms.
It has 4,829 employees, down from over 8,000 before the
November 1997 financial crisis, with a total of 4.5
trillion won in paid-in capital.

The U.S. private equity investor was established by two
leading investment firms, Texas Pacific Group and Richard
C. Blum & Associates.  Newbridge currently manages over $10
billion in commercial capital.  (Korea Times  10-Nov-1999)

KOREA FIRST BANK: Sells off U.S. subsidiary to smooth sale
----------------------------------------------------------
Korea First Bank's U.S. subsidiary, Korea First Bank of New
York, has been sold to a U.S. bank run by ethnic Korean
businessmen in Los Angeles, Korea Deposit Insurance Corp.
(KDIC) said yesterday.

KDIC said that it has concluded a final agreement with Nara
Bank on the sale of the subsidiary, which has three
branches in New York City - two in Queens and one in
Manhattan. The U.S. operation been a drag on the sell-off
of its parent Korea First Bank (KFB) to Newbridge Capital.

The Seoul government and Newbridge have signed a terms of
investment (TOI) on the sale of KFB. The disposition of the
bank's U.S. subsidiary is expected to accelerate the talks
between KDIC and Newbridge on KFB's sale.

Set up in 1989 Nara Bank is the second largest among banks
in California whose customers are mostly ethnic Koreans.
With a total asset of $340 million, it earned a net profit
of $3.2 million last year.  In a press release, Nara Bank
said it expects the acquisition to increase its earnings in
2000, partly due to the elimination of duplicative and
other non-interest expenses.

Nara's acquisition of KFB's New York subsidiary should be
completed in the first quarter of 2000, subject to the
approval of regulators and Nara shareholders.  (Korea
Herald  11-Nov-1999)


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

C&P HOMES: Reduces 3 billion peso debt with asset swap
------------------------------------------------------
A series of exchange of debt for real estate assets has
enabled the revitalizing giant homebuilder C&P Homes, Inc.
to reduce its total debt stock by 3 billion pesos to date.

The exchanges form part of an ongoing debt restructuring
program for the company's obligations to both local and
foreign creditors, according to Sulficio Tagud, Jr., C&P
Homes' Chairman.  He expressed confidence, the company
would be able to conclude more exchanges soon to further
reduce the company's domestic obligations.

With regard to C&P's dollar-denominated loans, the foreign
creditors have initially accepted the company's proposal
for a standstill in the payment of interests on its US$ 150
million floating rate notes (FRN), Tagud added.

"At the rate things are going, we'll be out of the woods
sooner than we expect," he observed.

The monetized assets consist of residual lots of completed
developments and non-core portions of C&P's landbank.  As
most of these assets are strategically located in already
developed master-planned projects, the banks apparently
hope to get a better yield than their tied-up exposure to
the company.

C&P Homes' creditors have been receptive to the company's
proposal for the revision of the original terms of its
credits due mainly to the viability of the accompanying
revised business plan that envisions positive cash flow
from operations over the next five years.  

Since the onset of the regional financial crisis in July
1997, the company has instituted drastic cost-cutting
measures and implemented a strategic shift in its marketing
focus.  And in order to cut risks by reducing dependence on
homebuyers relying on government financing, the company has
intensified its operations in the middle level of the
residential segment.

In what appears to be a clear reflection of the quality of
its leadership and marketing savvy, C&P Homes has assumed
dominance on the middle-income housing segment in just a
short span of time.  It still remains the biggest in the
socialized and low-income sectors in terms of completed
projects. A 3.2 billion pesos additional subscription from
existing stockholders and the sale of 632 million worth of
shares to a group of foreign investors boosted the
company's capital stock recently by 3.8 billion pesos as of
end October this year.  C&P Homes has an authorized capital
of 15 billion pesos.  (Asia Pulse  09-Nov-1999)

MONDRAGON INT'L PHILIPPINES: Wants creditor takeover barred
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mondragon International Philippines Inc. wants its
creditor-banks permanently barred from taking over the
leisure and gaming firm.

In a counter-motion presented to the Securities and
Exchange Commission, lawyers for the leisure and gaming
firm stressed the need for enjoining the banks from
claiming and voting the shares Mondragon pledged to them as
collateral "while ownership (of the company) still lies
with other persons registered in its corporate books."

"It is the pledgors or the registered owners of the shares
of stock in the corporate books who have the inherent and
exclusive right to vote on such shareholdings and be voted
upon to become members of the board of directors,"
Mondragon said in its counter-motion.

Mondragon's creditor-banks - Asian Banking Corp., United
Coconut Planters Bank and Far East Bank & Trust Co. - had
questioned an SEC order enjoining them from voting the
pledged shares. They claimed they are the rightful pledgees
of 369.44 million Mondragon shares registered under the
name of former Tourism Secretary Jose Antonio Gonzalez.

Under the pledgor-pledgee agreement, a default by Mondragon
in the payment of its debts signals the banks to exercise
their voting rights over 369.44 million Mondragon shares,
representing 54.21 percent of its total outstanding shares.
The banks claimed that because Mondragon had defaulted in
its payment, they could call a stockholders' meeting and
vote the Mondragon shares. They further said voting these
shares into action would constitute their so-called
property interests which they said were their basic rights.

They criticized the SEC's order as overreaching, adding
that Gonzalez never assailed their status as stockholders
of record of Mondragon and as pledgees of shares.  The
banks also asked the SEC to immediately dissolve the writ
of injunction before the November 15, 1999 stockholders'
meeting of Mondragon to enable them to vote the shares
pledged to them by the firm.

The SEC had stressed the need to issue an injunction order
because the creditor-banks, by calling a stockholders'
meeting and voting the pledged shares, created confusion
and chaos within the corporation, among its investors and
the public.  The case stemmed from the alleged illegal
meeting held by Mondragon's creditors last September 20
despite a duly acknowledged notice issued by the leisure
and gaming firm informing its stockholders of the
postponement of the meeting until November 15.

The Mondragon management deemed it best to resolve first
various issues affecting the company's continuing
operations. (Manila Times  10-Nov-1999)

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES: Taiwan flights a "survival issue"
------------------------------------------------------
Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) chairman Lucio Tan
yesterday said it will not ink any compromise deal with
Taiwanese airlines, particularly on the issuance of sixth
freedom rights, adding the financially beleaguered flag
carrier will not survive under this situation.

The Philippine-Taiwan bilateral air agreement is currently
suspended pending the resolution of the sixth freedom right
issue which, once granted, will allow Taiwanese carriers
China Airlines and Eva Airways Corp. to take in passengers
from Manila to fly to Taipei en route to the United States.
This drastically cuts PAL's international market.  Mr. Tan
said such a privilege is tantamount to poaching on PAL's
territory.

Despite the threat, unaudited figures presented by PAL
president Avelino Zapanta showed the flag carrier is slowly
recovering from its financial woes.  Mr. Zapanta said the
company expects to end the 1999 fiscal year in March with
earnings of as much as 100 million Philippine pesos (US$2.5
million at PhP40.071:US$1), contrary to earlier projections
that it may end up losing $60 million.  

Mr. Tan, however, is not as jubilant on the earnings
projection, saying PAL is "still in the ICU (intensive care
unit).  We are not that generous. We are not giving out our
routes. If you cannot give us back our sixth freedom, PAL
has no survival," Mr. Tan said in press conference.

He is, however, amenable to giving Taiwan carriers the
third and fourth freedom rights, which will allow the
airlines to travel between Manila and Taiwan and vice
versa, but not allow transitory flights to the United
States. PAL's bread and butter is the Manila-US and the
Middle East-US routes.

PAL officials would not give figures on how much the
company lost when the Taiwanese aircraft used to travel the
transitory flights.  In view of this, PAL has brought down
the rates for the Manila-Hong Kong route and vice versa to
$45 from $90 to help overseas Filipino workers who are
caught in the RP-Taiwan row.

When asked if he regrets buying PAL, Mr. Tan nodded and
smiled, saying "yes ... nagsisi ako (I regret buying PAL).
But I am also challenged. I hope these difficulties could
be converted into opportunities."

Taiwanese carriers EVA Airways Corp. and China Airlines
were barred from flying into the country last October 1
after the Civil Aeronautics Board withdrew recognition of
the air agreement the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
The 1996 pact only allowed third and fourth freedom
passengers -- or those travelling only from Manila to
Taiwan and vice versa. It did not include fifth and sixth
freedom passengers, or those coming in from another country
via Taiwan.

Taiwanese airlines charge cheaper rates for flights from
Manila to Los Angeles via Taiwan compared with direct
flight from Taiwan to Los Angeles.  They charge $490 for
the route, while PAL charges $800. PAL said it cannot
afford to bring down its rates further given its financial
woes.

In a related development, PAL has drawn out a plan for Air
Philippines to serve the untapped routes within the
country, confirming reports that PAL owner Mr. Tan has
acquired the other carrier.

"Air Philippines will complement the services of PAL, but
they cannot go international yet. There are routes which
they can serve such as Tuguegarao, Tandag, etc.," PAL
president Avelino Zapanta said during the sidelights of the
PAL's press conference on the RP-Taiwan air agreement
negotiations.

Mr. Tan was earlier reported to have acquired 70% of Air
Philippines from the Gatchalian group.  Reports have it Air
Philippines' acquisition was a form of payment-in-kind made
by the Gatchalian group for obligations from Allied Bank,
another Tan company. But the Gatchalian Group is quick to
deny such reports.

"Nothing has changed in the ownership structure of the
company," Air Philippines Corp.(APC) vice-president Sherwin
Gatchalian said in an earlier interview.

Mr. Gatchalian even outlined APC's plan to fly the
international route by the middle of next year. He said the
company has decided to hold back plans to go international
this year given the bearish mood of the market.  He added
the airline intends to initially fly the Asian route by the
middle of next year. The company earlier planned to fly to
Los Angeles and San Francisco, routes which have a high
concentration of overseas Filipino communities. Regional
flights are planned in Taiwan, Singapore, Kaoshiung
(Taiwan), Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.  (Business World  10-
Nov-1999)

SHEMBERG CORP.: Debt-to-equity swap to give banks majority
----------------------------------------------------------
Creditor banks will end up owning the controlling stake in
carageenin-processor Shemberg Corp. after the cash-strapped
firm has agreed to convert half of its 3.4-billion-peso
(US$84.8 million at PhP40.071:US$1) debt into equity.

In a telephone interview, Shemberg chief executive officer
Benson U. Dakay said creditors have already given their nod
on the restructuring terms to allow Shemberg to pay off
obligations.

"The banks have already agreed on the terms. They will be
doing it in three steps -- convert loan to equity, extend
the terms and reduce interest," the Shemberg official said.

Under the terms, a consortium of banks led by Philippine
Commercial International Bank, has agreed to convert 50% of
the company's total loans into equity which will result in
60% ownership in Shemberg.  The consortium is composed of
18 banks including Far East Bank & Trust Co., Land Bank of
the Philippines and Philippine National Bank.

Mr. Dakay, however, pointed out that there will be no
changes in the management of Shemberg although the banks
will be given a free hand in appointing individuals
qualified to run the company.

"Ever since, the banks have been indirectly involved in the
management. They have been controlling since March 1998.
But we don't expect any changes. I, myself, will be
retained as the chief executive officer although they have
the option to replace me," he said.

For their part, the creditors said they have agreed to the
debt-to-equity conversion believing that the company is
still viable and there is still a possibility of turning it
around.  A source from one of the banks said it will be a
"long and protracted resuscitation process" since they do
not expect returns to come in the short term.

As of the first nine months of the year, the company has
only generated some PhP28 million ($700,000) of earnings.
Shemberg is expecting to post PhP35 million ($873,400) in
income this year, still below the PhP55 million ($1.4
million) registered last year.  

Aside from the debt-equity conversion, Mr. Dakay disclosed
that another group of creditors led by Asian Development
Bank has agreed to extend the maturity date of the loans to
10 years. Moreover, the creditors are also considering a
substantial reduction in interest rate for the loans.
Shemberg is the country's largest exporter of processed
carageenin accounting for 40% of the Philippines' export
earnings. Carageenin is extracted from seaweeds and is used
in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and personal care
products.

The company incurred ballooning debts after failing to
pursue expansion plans in the US market. Meanwhile, Mr.
Dakay said interested investors are awaiting the completion
of the debt restructuring program by end-December before
they infuse cash into the company.  The Shemberg official
said the firm has already opened itself to all possible
investors willing to help in paying off its huge
obligations.

French pharmaceutical firm Rhone-Poulenc had asked Shemberg
not to entertain other interested parties since it is keen
on acquiring Shemberg's four subsidiaries.  Mr. Dakay said
all foreign investors who have expressed their interest,
including Rhone-Poulenc, are still in the process of
conducting due diligence study on Shemberg.  Once the
restructuring was completed, the management hopes to get at
least one strategic partner and one financial investor for
Shemberg.  (Business World  10-Nov-1999)


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

L&M GROUP INVESTMENTS: Subsidiary listing without support
---------------------------------------------------------
L&M Group Investments' plan to list a subsidiary to raise
much-needed funds is not going well.

The adviser to the company's independent directors said so
far, only five of L&M's 23 creditors have approved the
proposal to list L&M Geotechnic (LMG). Banque
Internationale A Luxembourg BIL (Asia) said their approval
is needed as LMG is the guarantor of various liabilities
owed by another subsidiary. The merchant bank is advising
directors on the group's plan to place out 30.7 million
shares to raise $18 million.

Should the placement go through, it will bring urgent
relief to the company but will not be a panacea for all its
troubles. Of the net proceeds of $18.6 million, half will
be used to pay off "long outstanding trade creditors".
The remaining half will be used to secure bank guarantee
facilities for new projects.

The group also is involved in no less than 32 cases of
litigation, a record of sorts for a listed company. The
cases listed in BIL's circular on the share placement
included multi-million dollar claims by the company against
other parties.  As of June 30, the group has total bank
loans of $112 million, outstanding bonds of $26 million and
shareholders' funds of about $40 million.

Although it is in talks to restructure these loans, a
completion this year is unlikely given the complexity of a
rescheduling involving 23 banks, BIL said.  Thus, the
placement to Jing Chui Ltd, which is owned and controlled
by Indonesia's Soeryadjaya family, is crucial.

BIL said "any loss of customer/supplier confidence due to
lack of working capital would seriously affect the group's
ability to bid for new projects".  (Business Times  10-Nov-
1999)


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

EKKA HOLDING CO.: Bankruptcy Ct. reviewing rehab plan
SIAM CONTAINER PIPE: Bankruptcy Ct. reviewing rehab plan
--------------------------------------------------------
The Central Bankruptcy Court recently accepted two more
business rehabilitation plans, with combined debts of more
than two billion baht, for consideration.

The first was requested by Siam Container Pipe Co which
owes 523.8 million baht to five creditors. The company,
manufacturing and marketing steel pipes for waterworks and
construction purposes, was adversely affected by the baht
devaluation. However, a study by Merill Lynch Phatra
Securities Co, its financial consultant, shows that the
company's operation is viable, so the company requested the
court approve its business rehabilitation plan.  The
company proposed Thai Mui & Associates as its planner.

The other case was filed by Ekka Holding Co, one of Eastern
Wire Plc's creditors, asking for court permission to
rehabilitate its debtor's business.  Eastern Wire Plc owes
1.6 billion baht to a number of creditors, comprising 26
financial institutions and other commercial creditors. The
company is the sole local manufacturer of wire for
strengthening automobile tyres as well as wire for general
construction.

The creditor told the court that the company's product
could substitute for about 55% of wire imports.  Moreover,
as the company is listed on the stock market, if it went
bankrupt, it would affect a large number of small
investors. Therefore, the creditor requested the court to
approve a business rehabilitation plan for the company.
The creditors have proposed Piraphan Palusuk as the
planner.  (Bangkok Post  10-Nov-1999)

NATURAL PARK PLC: Selling affiliate shares as part of rehab
-----------------------------------------------------------
Natural Park Plc reported that it will divest 235.52
million shares of its subsidiary and affiliate firms to DCH
Holding Co Ltd for Bt1 million. The disposal is part of the
company's business restructuring.  (The Nation  10-Nov-
1999)

OM-SIN AMNUAY SUB FUND: Narrows annual loss
-------------------------------------------
Om-Sin Amnuay Sub Fund, a unit trust traded on the stock
exchange, reported that its unaudited third quarter
financial result showed a Bt21.78 million net loss, a
significant improvement on its Bt323.23 million net loss
over the same period last year.  (The Nation  10-Nov-1999)

SAHAVIRIYA STEEL INDUSTRY: Recapitalization part of rehab
---------------------------------------------------------
Sahaviriya Steel Industry Plc reported that its board has
decided to increase its registered capital from Bt13.08
billion to Bt24.88 billion via the issue of 1.18 billion
new ordinary shares, to be sold to its wholly-owned
subsidiary West Coat Engineering Co Ltd at only Bt0.01
each.

After the recapitalisation has taken place, it will write
down its registered capital by reducing the value of only
those shares held by its subsidiary. The move is to write
off its accrued loss without affecting other shareholders.
The board decision is subject to endorsement by
shareholders, who are due to meet on Dec 8.

The capital increase and share allotment will also need
official approval from the Securities and Exchange
Commission of Thailand and the Ministry of Commerce. SSI
said the capital increase is part of a debt restructuring.
The move is also necessary to attract new investors and
partners, it said.  (The Nation  10-Nov-1999)

SHIN SATELLITE: To issue debentures to reduce foreign debt
----------------------------------------------------------
Next week, Shin Satellite plans to issue three billion baht
in senior debentures due in 2002, carrying an annual
interest rate of 8%, in order to reduce the amount of its
foreign debt.

Shin Satellite expects to pay all its debts within three
years and record strong profit growth from increasing
demand for telecommunications services including the
Internet.

Rated BBB+ by Thai Rating and Information Services, the
debenture issue is being arranged by Deutsche Bank and
Citicorp.  Half of the bonds will be placed with
institutional investors starting today. Retail investors
will have a chance to subscribe to the bonds between
tomorrow and Monday, with the minimum investment set at
100,000 baht.

Damrong Kasemset, Shin Satellite's executive chairman, said
the company would repay $106 million in foreign debt by the
end of this year using proceeds from the bond issue. This
would reduce the debt burden to five billion baht,
including $30 million in foreign-denominated liabilities.
The firm's debt-to-equity ratio was expected to fall to
1.4:1 from 1.6:1 by the end of this year, partly the result
of refinancing foreign loans with domestic borrowings.

Dr Damrong said Shin Satellite expected earnings of 137
million baht this year on revenue of 3.002 billion.
For 2000, the company expects profits to jump to 804
million baht on sales of 3.775 billion. In 2001, profits
are projected at 1.5 billion baht on sales of 4.7 billion,
with earnings reaching 1.548 billion on sales of 5.464
billion by 2002.

Shin Satellite, which operates three satellites, saw its
eight-year regulatory protection period expire in
September.  But Dr Damrong said no major domestic customers
have yet withdrawn from the company's services.  He said
Shin Satellite expected to remain strongly competitive
despite plans to liberalise the telecommunications sector.

As the first satellite operator in the market, Shin
Satellite believed it enjoyed an advantage over potential
new entrants, who would have to spend several years in
building up a new customer base and infrastructure.  Shin
Satellite operates 43 C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders,
primarily used for broadcasting and telecommunications
services.

Cable television firm UBC is the company's biggest client,
comprising 10% of Shin Satellite's customer base.  The
Indian government also leases seven transponders, while
Samart Corporation has three. Dr Damrong said most of Shin
Satellite's contracts were from three to 10 years. Although
the company believed the risk of customer shifts due to
market liberalisation was low, it projected it could lose
up to 500 million baht a year in revenue if major customers
transfer to competitors.

Analysts say the company offers strong value for investors
and has benefited from the weakened baht as its revenue is
mainly in dollars.  Shares of Shin Satellite yesterday
closed at 22.75 baht, up one baht, on turnover worth 6.53
million baht.  (Bangkok Post  10-Nov-1999)

SINO-THAI ENG.& CONST.: To file bankruptcy petition in Nov.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (Stecon),
Thailand's third largest construction firm, plans to file a
petition in the Central Bankruptcy Court late this month
over its Bt4.32 billion debt restructuring plan.

The move is to force Bangkok Bank, BankThai and Bank of
Ayudhya and some foreign financial institutions, which
account for 16 per cent of the Bt4.32 billion debts, to
accept the plan tentatively approved by a steering
committee comprising creditors who control 84 per cent of
the debts to be restructured.

In addition, the petition should protect the rights of the
company's creditors whose debts are not covered under the
debtor-credit agreement signed with the Corporate Debt
Restructuring Advisory Committee (CDRAC).  Those creditors
are foreign bank and trade creditors, Stecon president
Anutin Charnvirakul said.

Foreign bank creditors hold 30 per cent of the Bt4.32
billion in debts. Separately, the company owes about Bt1
billion to trade creditors.  Money owed to trade creditors
is not included in the Bt4.32 billion debt restructuring
plan because Stecon continues to pay off its trade
creditors, even though it stopped servicing loans from
banks in early 1998.  Anutin expected that the court would
give a green light to the petition within the first quarter
of next year.

"We are confident that the plan would be approved because
major creditors have already agreed to it," said Anutin.

The plan involves conversion of Bt1.064 billion in debt to
equity, disposal of non-core businesses and assets to repay
Bt1.186 billion, issuance of Bt350 million debentures and
extension of the repayment period for Bt1.7 billion in
debts for another six years at an interest rate of
Singapore Interbank Offering Rate (SIBOR) plus one per
cent.

He said that creditors would take a 30 per cent interest in
Stecon's registered capital following completion of the
equity swap while the shareholding of his family would be
diluted from 51 per cent to 25 per cent.  Despite the
dilution of the founding family's ownership, there was no
change in the company's management team, he said.

With regard to an option proposed by the company's
creditors to allow Stecon's shareholders to buy back shares
within six years, Anutin said that the shareholders would
exercise the buy-back right in an effort to return to be
the company's largest shareholders.  Anutin said that
Stecon would initially divest its whole stakes in Phoenix
Pulp and Paper Plc, Nakornthai Strip Mill Plc and the
luxury condominium Thana City project with a combined value
of Bt1.3 billion to settle outstanding debt.

In addition, the company will withdraw from other non-core
businesses given the chance to do so.  The convertible
debentures, maturing in seven years and carrying a coupon
rate as low as 0.5-0.75 per cent, will be converted into
common shares when the issuer fails to service its debts.
The plan envisages that shareholders' equity will promptly
return to positive territory from minus Bt800 million at
this time. The company's debt to equity ratio will be 10:1
but that will be reduced to 2:1 in the next five years, he
said.

To proceed according to the plan, Stecon has to obtain not
less than Bt5 billion per year, said Anutin.  The company
would achieve this target because a construction project
should contribute revenue within three years starting from
this year and it plans to join in a number of government
bids, he said.  In the first six months of this year, the
company posted a net loss of Bt168.02 million, compared to
a Bt344 million net loss in the same period a year ago.
(The Nation, Bangkok Post  10-Nov-1999)

VINYLTHAI PLC: To reschedule its debts
--------------------------------------
Vinylthai Plc, Thailand's second-largest PVC resin
producer, plans to reschedule its debt to lower costs and
fund production growth, according to new managing director
Jean-Paul Detournay.

He added that the company is in the process to engage a
financial consultant to conduct a study on the company's
financial structure to tidy up its liquidity situation.
After 4 years of having met with repayment schedules, the
company is now under a debt restructuring, seeking a 3-year
grace period from the creditors.


"We will reschedule our debt of US$230 million by extending
the repayment period which had only six to nine years to
run," he said.

Vinylthai has a repayment burden of $43 million a year for
the next six years. Vinylthai will get a boost from a deal
with Solvey SA, a Belgian partner, which needs 10% more PVC
than the Thai firm can produce in order to improve
economies of scale. Vinylthai's capacity is now 170,000
tonnes a year.

The expansion will cost between $3 million and $5 million.
PVC world prices have been increasing for some time and
domestic demand for PVC is rising, boosted by growth in the
construction industry and public infrastructure projects.
The world price of PVC stands at $800 per tonne and the
outlook is stable.  Mr Detournay said the planned capacity
expansion would make the company's PVC market more
lucrative.

At present, VNT has an annual production capacity of
170,000 tonnes of PVC, 120,000 tonnes of caustic soda,
180,000 tonnes of VCM (vinyl chrolide monomer).
Domestic consumption still dominates the supply with 80
percent, only 20 percent has been exported. However, the
supply still outstrips demand by 100,000 tonnes.

Vinylthai's financial standing remained sound and the
company had no cashflow problems, he said. Most of
Vinylthai's PVC output is used to make pipes. Vinylthai is
receiving 50 million baht in support from Solvey, which has
a 44.94% stake in the Thai company. Charoen Pokphand has
34% and small shareholders 21.06%.  (Bangkok Post, Business
Day  10-Nov-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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