TCRAP_Public/991112.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, November 12, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 221


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CARGOCELL INT'L FORWARDERS: Facing winding up petition
SHUN WING KNITTING FACTORY: Facing winding up petition
SPEEDY BEST DEVELOPMENT: Facing winding up petition
TSE SUI LUEN JEWELLERY: SFC orders general offer for firm
VERTEX SOURCE INVEST.: Facing winding up petition

* I N D O N E S I A *

PT INDOCEMENT TUNGGAL PARKARSA: Seeks foreign help on rehab
PT TIMOR PUTRA NASIONAL: Gov't converts debt into equity

* J A P A N *

MIZUNO: First-half loss less than projected
RENOWN INC.: Releases austere rehab plan

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO SECURITIES: Overseas ops, real estate to be sold off
KOREA LIFE INSUR.: Gov't to prop up 3-4 years before sale
KOREAN AIR: Chairman admits tax evasion
SSANGYONG CEMENT: Sells subsidiary stake to reduce debts

* M A L A Y S I A *

TONGKAH HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss

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

UNIWIDE GROUP: Rejects buy offer on retail subsidiary

* T H A I L A N D *

INT'L ENGINEERING: "Execs should take more responsibility"
MDX PLC: Posts annual loss
QUALITY HOUSES PLC: New share sales for debt reduction

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

CARGOCELL INT'L FORWARDERS: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
January 5, 2000 on the petition of Au Chau Lien for the
winding up of Cargocell International Forwarders (H.K.)
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before January 4.

SHUN WING KNITTING FACTORY: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
January 5, 2000 on the petition of Hsu Wei Hsin for the
winding up of Shun Wing Knitting Factory Limited. A notice
of legal appearance must be filed on or before January 4.

SPEEDY BEST DEVELOPMENT: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
January 12, 2000 on the petition of Ngai Shek Yau for the
winding up of Speedy Best Development Limited. A notice of
legal appearance must be filed on or before January 11.

TSE SUI LUEN JEWELLERY: SFC orders general offer for firm
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) yesterday
refused a petition by a company attempting to rescue
troubled Tse Sui Luen Jewellery (TSL) to be granted a
waiver on the requirement to make a general offer.

The regulator said Cobra Technologies has to make a general
offer for the firm, a decision that could significantly
affect the deal.  Cobra Technologies had earlier applied to
be granted a waiver from the requirement but the SFC had
refused. The company then applied for a review.

The regulatory body said Cobra has to make a general offer
for "not less than 32 cents per share" for all shares it
still does not own. The SFC decision follows an application
by Cobra on 5 November for a review.

TSL said in a statement yesterday that Cobra was seeking
legal advice and assessing whether to appeal against the
ruling.  Tse Sui-luen, the founder and chairman of TSL, has
been facing financial difficulties. He had charged all of
his 49.6 per cent stake in TSL to UBS, a Swiss banking
group, as security to get a $150 million loan. Mr Tse has
also been unable to repay debts of at least $120 million,
according to the SFC.

On 24 September, UBS filed a petition for bankruptcy
against Mr Tse and the hearing for the petition has been
scheduled for 5 January 2000, meaning that Mr Tse is
allowed to avoid the winding up by resolving the matter by
that day.  On 14 October, Cobra came to rescue Mr Tse by
agreeing to acquire from UBS the share charges of the 49.6
per cent shares in TSL at a cost of $62.14 million, as well
as the rights, title and interest of UBS's credit to Mr
Tse. Cobra also agreed to purchase a 10.25 per cent stake
in TSL from a branch and the funds of UBS at a
consideration of $12.86 million.

In addition Cobra agreed to extend the repayment date of
the loan to 15 October 2001. Upon all these proposed
acquisitions, Cobra became entitled to exercise 59.85 per
cent of the voting rights of TSL. Cobra therefore exceeded
the 35 per cent threshold and incurred a mandatory general
offer obligation under the Code on Takeovers and Mergers,
said the SFC.  (Hong Kong Standard  11-Nov-1999)

VERTEX SOURCE INVEST.: Facing winding up petition
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR has scheduled a hearing for
December 15 on the petition of Lee Chi Yuen.Joe for the
winding up of Vertex Source Investment Limited. A notice of
legal appearance must be filed on or before December 14.


PT INDOCEMENT TUNGGAL PARKARSA: Seeks foreign help on rehab
Cement maker PT Indocement Tunggal Parkarsa (JSX:INTP) said
it was serious in seeking cooperation with Heidelberger
Zemen (HZ), a cement company from Germany, to help it
strengthen capital and restructure its debt.  It said it
also hoped through the cooperation to expand sales to
international market.

"INTP is serious and hopes that HZ could become its
strategic partner as soon as possible," I Ketut Mardjana,
an INTP commissioner, said.

HZ already had talks with PT Mekar Perkasa and PT Kaolin
Indah Utama, the shareholders of INTP and expressed
interest in investing capital directly or indirectly in
INTP after the Indonesian company restructures its debt.
Mardjana said INTP wants to open access to the export
market in Europe, especially given a decline in demand for
cement on the domestic market. In addition, INTP's market
share in the country dropped to 30% in the first half of
this year from 33% normally.

He said it would not be easy to expand sales to
international market at present as the world market has
long been dominated by world class producers.  "Therefore a
strategic partner would be necessary to penetrate the
global market," he said.

INTP plans to export 2 million tons of its annual
production of 8 million tons this year. The company said it
has succeeded in securing agreement from its creditors
to extend the repayment period for part of its debts of Rp8
trillion (US$ 1 billion) by 8 years. Part of the debt is to
fall due by the end of this year under its original
schedule.  (Asia Pulse  11-Nov-1999)

PT TIMOR PUTRA NASIONAL: Gov't converts debt into equity
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) said it
would convert into shares the debt of auto maker PT Timor
Putra Nasional (TPN) to the government.

The company, owned by Hutomo Mandala Putra, better known as
Tommy, the youngest son of former President Suharto, was
reported to have a debt of Rp3.1 trillion (US$ 430 million)
to the government in import duty and luxurious sales tax.

"Under the debt to equity swap, the government would become
a shareholder in the company," Eko S. Budianto, an IBRA
deputy chairman said.

PT TPN is one of 200 bad debtors under the control of IBRA.
Eko said as a shareholder the government could replace the
present management.  IBRA chairman Glenn Yusuf said
restructuring of PT TPN's debt is a priority for IBRA as
part of the government's program to revive the real sector.
(Asia Pulse  10-Nov-1999)


MIZUNO: First-half loss less than projected
Mizuno, Japan's largest sporting-goods maker, said it lost
less money than expected in the first half as a change in
accounting rules helped offset an extraordinary charge
related to its sports facilities business.

The Osaka-based company said it had a parent net loss of
960M yen in the six months to September 30, from a profit
of 681M yen, or 5.13 yen a share, in the same period a year
earlier.  That's better than the company's forecast,
revised in September, of a 1.9B yen loss.  Sales fell 4.2%
to 76.8B yen, below the company's projection of 80.2B yen.

RENOWN INC.: Releases austere rehab plan
Renown Inc. (TSE:8021) announced Tuesday a drastic
restructuring plan centering around the closure of seven
distribution centers and the reduction of 200 employees.

In the past several years, the company failed to come up
with highly popular apparel products and posted red ink.
Even though it expects to turn a profit this fiscal year,
the company sees the needs to restructure further because
of sluggish consumer spending.

Under the latest plan, Renown will close its Akishima plant
in Tokyo in late January 2000, and the remaining six plants
at the end of July. Because Renown outsources its
production to other manufacturers, the plants are now being
used as distribution bases. Currently, there are a total of
320 workers on the payroll at the seven locations. The
company is aiming to cut expenses by closing these centers
and consolidating its distribution functions in its
logistics center in Chiba Prefecture.

Renown will shed 200 workers at the end of March through
its early retirement program. The number represents more
than 9% of the total work force, and the company expects to
save 1.4 billion yen in annual personnel expenses.
Retirement bonuses of some 1.4 billion yen will be booked
as an extraordinary loss.  Renown will also close 10 sales
offices throughout the nation at the end of January. And
the firm will sell the lands where the plants and the sales
offices are located.  (Asia Pulse  10-Nov-1999)


DAEWOO SECURITIES: Overseas ops, real estate to be sold off
Daewoo Securities will sell its overseas operations, as
well as real estate properties, to improve its financial
structure, the company said yesterday.

The brokerage house, whose management is now in the hands
of its creditors, will sell Daewoo banks in Romania and
Uzbekistan, which rely heavily on transactions with Daewoo
affiliates.  It may opt to keep a Daewoo bank in Hungary as
it has little dependence on the troubled Daewoo Group.
Daewoo Securities will also sell its headquarters building
and other properties valued at 350 billion won and take
over Seoul Investment Trust and Management to strengthen
its investment and trust business.  (Korea Herald  12-Nov-

KOREA LIFE INSUR.: Gov't to prop up 3-4 years before sale
The government plans to postpone the sale of Korea Life
Insurance Co. for three to four years in order to focus on
turning around the insolvent insurer, a high-ranking
financial regulator said yesterday.

"The sale of Korea Life Insurance may be considered after
at least three years, when it will be listed on the
domestic bourse," the official at the Financial Supervisory
Commission (FSC) said. "For that purpose, the government is
pushing for allowing the listing of life insurers."

Presently, local life insurance companies are banned from
being listed on the stock market by law.  The government
originally intended to sell off Korea Life Insurance after
injecting public funds into the nation's third largest life
insurer, which is saddled with huge debts.  The planned
postponement is in line with a government judgement that
efforts should be made to turn Korea Life Insurance around
prior to any negotiations on its sale, the FSC official

Concerning the amount of public funds, he said that at
least 2 trillion won may be put into the life insurer to
put it back on track within three years.  The government
has recently declared Korea Life Insurance insolvent
according to its plan to nationalize the insurer, whose
liabilities exceed assets by more than 2.9 trillion won.

In the run-up for the nationalization, the FSC has also
replaced Korea Life's directors, appointed by its former
chairman Choi Soon-young, with its own appointees. Choi is
now serving a five-year jail term on charges of taking
dollars out of the country illegally.  (Korea Herald  12-
Nov-1999, Digital ChosunIlbo  11-Nov-1999)

KOREAN AIR: Chairman admits tax evasion
South Korean prosecutors yesterday said Korean Air chief
Cho Yang-Ho had admitted to tax evasion during questioning
into alleged business wrongdoings at the huge family
business empire.

"Chairman Cho generally admits to the tax-evasion alleged
by the tax authorities," said Cha Jong-Min, spokesman of
the prosecutor general's office in Seoul, after three days
of questioning the key players in the family business.
"But he is still denying other wrongdoing, including his
alleged embezzlement of corporate funds."

The spokesman refused to elaborate on whether Cho would be
arrested on charges of tax evasion and embezzlement but
Seoul's Yonhap News Agency reported the prosecution was
expected to seek an arrest warrant Thursday.  Cho is
accused of creating slush funds by diverting the rebates
the company received from airplane manufacturers and
embezzling 168.5 billion won (US$142 million), Yonhap said.

South Korean prosecutors have stepped up an investigation
into the alleged tax evasion and embezzlement of Korean Air
and its sister company Hanjin Shipping since Monday.  Cho's
father, Cho Choong-Hoon, the patriarch and founder of
Korean Air and honorary chairman of South Korea's sixth
largest conglomerate Hanjin Group, Korean Air's parent, was
questioned yesterday but refused to respond to journalists
at the prosecutor general's office in Seoul.

The 79-year-old business tycoon, walking with a cane and
being helped by aides, was called in for questioning after
two of his sons were grilled over the allegations
surrounding the beleaguered family firm.  His sons - Cho
Yang-Ho and Cho Soo-Ho, the airline's vice president and
president of Hanjin Shipping -- were summoned on Monday and
Tuesday as the five-month-old investigation appeared to

Local newspapers said Cho Choong-Hoon and Cho Soo-Ho will
likely be indicted for tax evasion and embezzlement without
physical detention, but prosecutors refused to confirm the
reports.  A prosecutor said Tuesday that Cho Soo-Ho had
"generally admitted" charges of embezzling 3.6 billion won
in company funds.

Korean Air and Hanjin Shipping are the major subsidiaries
of the family-run Hanjin Group which controls 19 units.
The prosecution's probe into the Cho family is widely seen
here as a move by the government to intensify pressure on
Korean Air to force the family to relinquish management

Government officials have blasted the group's autocratic
corporate culture for contributing to the airline's poor
safety record highlighted by a string of accidents.  The
reformist government of President Kim Dae-Jung has called
for a clean-up of the unwieldy and debt-ridden corporate
sector, indicating that professional managers should run

Hanjin Shipping is the nation's second largest shipping
company, with sales last year estimated at 4.1 trillion
won.  Korean Air was hit by government sanctions last week
after pilot error was blamed for a Boeing 747-300 crash
that claimed 228 lives in Guam in 1997.  The probe into the
Cho family follows a five-month tax audit of the Hanjin
Group, prompted by a Korean Air MD-11 cargo plane crash in
Shanghai in April in which eight people died.  (Business
Day  12-Nov-1999)

SSANGYONG CEMENT: Sells subsidiary stake to reduce debts
Ssangyong Cement Co. said yesterday that it sold its 28.4
percent stake in Ssangyong Oil Refining Co. along with
managerial rights to foreign investors for 900 billion won
-- W100 billion in cash and W800 billion applied against
Ssangyong Cement debt.

Ssangyong Cement's equity was sold to Aramco, the national
oil firm of Saudi Arabia, while its managerial rights in
the oil refiner were transferred to Aramco, Banque Paribas
of France and other investors, Ssangyong Cement said.  In
the wake of the equity sale, the debt-to-equity ratio of
Ssangyong Cement will be cut to 210 percent from 714
percent at the end of last year, he said.

The official also said that the cement maker is likely to
post a net income of 500 billion won this year.  In a bid
to reduce its debt-to-equity ratio below 200 percent,
Ssangyong Cement will spin off Yongpyong Ski Resort in
Kangwon Province, he added.  The equity sale in Ssangyong
Oil Refining will cap Ssangyong Group's 2-year efforts to
restructure its operations, the official said, adding that
the group will focus on such sectors as construction,
trading and communication, he said.

With the signing of the deal, Ssangyong group's W18
trillion in expected turnover for this year will likely
come to only W12 trillion. Ssangyong had already sold off
three other subsidiaries earlier this year, Ssangyong
Paper, Ssangyong Investment and Securities and Ssangyong
Motors. Besides a number of minor subsidiaries, the deal
leaves the group with just the three core subsidiaries of
Ssangyong Corp., Ssangyong Fire & Marine and Ssangyong
Cement. Ssangyong had ranked 6th among the nation's
chaebols in terms of asset holdings, but with the sell off
of its oil unit, its has fallen one level to the 7th spot.
(Digital ChosunIlbo  11-Nov-1999, Korea Herald  12-Nov-


TONGKAH HOLDINGS: Posts annual loss
Tongkah Holdings Bhd expects positive growth in the next
three months after incurring a group loss of RM72.6mil for
the year ending June 30, 1999, due to the downturn.

Its executive chairman Mokhzani Mahathir told reporters
after the company AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that
manufacturing would remain its core business besides
finance and healthcare.  On the group's merger and
acquisition plans, Mokhzani said its subsidiary Tongkah
Electronics Sdn Bhd would soon be merging with two foreign
firms to build a stronger and larger market base.  He said
the group hoped to list the merged entity on the US stock
market within the next 12 months.  (Star Online  11-Nov-


UNIWIDE GROUP: Rejects buy offer on retail subsidiary
Uniwide owner Jimmy Gow has just turned down what could
have been a "most attractive" proposal offered to him by
the creditor to save one of his ailing retail companies. An
official of Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club, Inc. (USWCI), who
requested anonymity, told BusinessWorld that the Gow family
rejected the offer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. to
acquire USWCI to pay off its 1.341-billion-peso (US$33.3
million at PhP40.237:US$1) debt to the bank.

USWCI is the retail arm of the Uniwide Group of Companies
which is owned and managed by the Gow family.  The source
said Mr. Gow did not agree with the offer terms,
particularly on the RCBC-proposed valuation. The bank
valued the company at book value while the businessman
insisted on an "enterprise value" which the source declined
to disclose.

BusinessWorld sources, however, said the Yuchengcos' RCBC
and holding firm House of Investments (HI) offered about
PhP1.8 billion ($44.7 million) to PhP2 billion ($50
million) for USWCI. Of the proposed amount, between PhP1
billion ($24.8 million) and PhP1.2 billion ($30 million)
will be in cash, while the rest will be in the form of a
debt write-off.

Based on documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), as of May 31, RCBC has PhP1.341 billion
in total loan exposure to the Gows' various companies.
RCBC will not submit another bid for USWCI, the sources

"We appreciate the bid of RCBC but there are certain
conditions which appear to be non-negotiable for both
sides. It's more of the valuation. If it's based on book,
it's negative. But Mr. Gow is willing to dilute his
holdings given the right price," the USWCI official said.

RCBC was the only creditor which was able to submit a
proposal during a bid process set by Uniwide for creditors
and interested investors last month.  Debts of the Uniwide
Group of Companies have piled up to PhP11.1 billion ($275.8
million), PhP6.95 billion ($172.7 million) of which are
owed to 13 creditor banks. Loans from the banks have
maturities ranging from 1998 up to 2003.

USWCI has PhP169.179 million ($4.2 million) in outstanding
debt to RCBC. The loan is secured by a commercial complex
in Cabuyao, Laguna which is owned by Uniwide Sales Realty &
Resources Corp. (USRRC), including machineries and
equipment. The loan is also secured by USWCI shares of
stock.  Uniwide Sales, Inc. (USI) owes RCBC PhP872.224-
million ($21.7 million), secured by a USRRC land in
Ternate, Cavite; commercial lots in Cabuyao, Laguna;
Uniwide Holdings, Inc. (UHI) shares of stock; and Asia
Amalgamated shares of stock.

UHI, on the other hand, has a PhP300-million ($7.45
million) debt to the listed bank. The debt is part of an
PhP860-million ($21.4 million) loan syndicate for the
construction of the Coastal Mall in Para¤aque.  The mall
being constructed was put up as security to the syndicated
loan under a mortgage trust indenture (MTI), a single
document which consolidates assets to be used as
collateral. An MTI facilitates foreclosure in the event of
nonpayment of loans.

Under the proposed rehabilitation plan submitted to the SEC
last June, financial adviser Buenaventura, Filamor and
Echauz (BFE) said the loans of the Gow family's retail
businesses -- USI, USWCI and First Paragon Corp. (FPC) --
will be paid partially through a dacion en pago or debt-
for-asset swap arrangement and through a sale of some of
its assets.

The balance will be converted into a term loan, which will
have a repayment term of 10 years and a fixed interest rate
of 10%. The group was also proposing a two-year grace
period on interest payments and a four-year grace period on
principal payments. The SEC has allowed the Uniwide Group a
moratorium on its debt payments until December 9.

The source admitted that the Gow family found the offer
"attractive" given that the Group was desperate to finalize
a cash infusion by November.

"When we had the bid process, our intention was to be able
to reach an agreement which will allow an immediate
infusion of cash for us to take advantage of the Christmas
season. But given certain conditions in RCBC's proposal, we
thought that it is not likely that we will get the money
upfront," the company official said.

The source, however, said the Uniwide Group is not closing
its door to a revised proposal from RCBC. But with the
failure of both parties to reach an agreement, Uniwide has
once again started discussions with other interested
investors.  The USWCI official disclosed there are at least
seven to eight local and foreign investors who have
indicated interest in Uniwide's retail and realty

"Now we want to give chance to others who were not able to
submit their proposals last month due to time constraints,"
the source said.

One of those interested to infuse cash into the cash-
strapped retail group is religious group El Shaddai headed
by Mike Velarde.  Mr. Velarde earlier disclosed that he is
keen on acquiring a 53% interest in the Group's warehouse
stores. The deal's estimated worth was placed at PhP900
million ($22.37 million). There are also talks that the
Uniwide Group is back on the negotiating table with US-
based retail giant Wal-Mart Stores. (Business World  11-


INT'L ENGINEERING: "Execs should take more responsibility"
Executives of International Engineering Plc must take
greater responsibility for past management actions that
have damaged the company, the Securities and Exchange
Commission said yesterday.

Prasarn Trairatvorakul, SEC deputy secretary-general, said
directors had yet to take clear action in the case. An
independent investigation found that IEC management had
approved a loan guarantee for Manager Group, a major
shareholder, without proper shareholder approval.

IEC has been sued by Krung Thai Bank for payment of 1.7
billion baht in debt, which IEC could be forced to pay due
to the guaranteeThe Stock Exchange of Thailand has ordered
IEC to seek shareholders' approval for the transaction. IEC
has scheduled a meeting on December 23.  (Bangkok Post  11-

MDX PLC: Posts annual loss
MDX Plc reported its audited, consolidated net loss soared
to Bt1.139 billion in the fiscal year ending Dec 31,
compared with a Bt842 million net loss in the previous
fiscal year.  (The Nation 11-Nov-1999)

QUALITY HOUSES PLC: New share sales for debt reduction
Quality Houses Plc informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand
that funds raised from the sale of 12.24 million new shares
to CitiBank and Kay Thai Co Ltd, totalling Bt88.065
million, has been used to repay debts incurred from a
residential project located on Pinklao Road and to service
debts to its trade creditors amounting to Bt26.22 million
and Bt61.84 million respectively.

The repayment was completed on Oct 22.  The sold shares are
part of a 150.44 million share issuance to increase capital
according to the company's debt restructuring plan.  (The
Nation  11-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

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

                        *** End of Transmission ***