TCRAP_Public/991124.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

          Wednesday, November 24, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 229

                                       Headlines


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

AUTO RICH LIMITED: Facing winding up petition
RICH PLEACE LIMITED: Facing winding up petition
TS TELECOM TECHNOLOGIES: Pays dividend to parent for debt


* J A P A N *

NISSAN MOTOR CO.: Posts huge 6-month loss


* K O R E A *

HAITAI BEVERAGE: To be sold to Japanese consortium


* M A L A Y S I A *

FABER GROUP BHD: Creditors approve restructure plans


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

NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: Gov't favoring consortium solution


* T H A I L A N D *

BANGKOK COMMERCE PLC: To wind up business, settle debts
NATURAL PARK PLC: Facing bankruptcy suit over debt claim


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

AUTO RICH LIMITED: Facing winding up petition
---------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for December 15 on the petition of
Chuk Ying Wan for the winding up of Auto Rich Limited. A
notice of legal appearance must be filed on or before
December 14.

RICH PLEACE LIMITED: Facing winding up petition
-----------------------------------------------
The High Court of Hong Kong SAR, Court of First Instance,
has scheduled a hearing for January 19, 2000, on the
petition of Tse Yin Hing for the winding up of Rich Pleace
Limited. A notice of legal appearance must be filed on or
before January 18.

TS TELECOM TECHNOLOGIES: Pays dividend to parent for debt
---------------------------------------------------------
Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) listing candidate TS Telecom
Technologies has paid a $17 million dividend to its
Canadian-based parent to cancel a debt.

The dividend, which comes ahead of TS Telecom's listing on
December 2, compares with a net profit of $13.03 million
for the five months to August 31.  Byron Tan, senior
manager of corporate finance at TS Telecom's listing
sponsor Dao Heng Securities, said the dividend would help
"clean up" the company's balance sheet and give new
shareholders a clearer picture of the company's financial
status.

TS Telecom did not pay dividends in the two previous
financial years, and does not intend to make any further
payout this financial year.  The company suffered a 26.3
per cent decline in net profit to $11.11 million in the
year to March 31. Turnover dropped 24 per cent to $107.62
million.

Chief financial officer Randy Hung said the fall was due to
a reduction in equipment investment by mainland
telecommunication companies amid a reorganisation of the
Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications.  However, the
company has forecast pretax profit of $36 million for this
financial year. The strong growth forecast takes into
account the start of operations in March at the company's
equipment-assembling business and an expected recovery in
orders from mainland customers.

The company is expected to raise net proceeds of $106.8
million from its GEM listing.  The money will be used
mainly as working capital and to fund research and
marketing activities.  (South China Morning Post  23-Nov-
1999)


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

NISSAN MOTOR CO.: Posts huge 6-month loss
-----------------------------------------
Japan's Nissan Motor yesterday announced a huge group loss
of 323.5 billion yen (US$3.1 billion) for the six months to
September as it grappled with restructuring and pension
costs.

That compared with a 105.4-billion-yen loss in the same
period last year, French-controlled Nissan said, as it
unveiled consolidated earnings figures for the first time.
Group sales, hit partly by a stronger Japanese yen, fell
9.9 percent year-on-year to 3.05 trillion yen.  France's
Renault agreed in March to pay 643 billion yen for a
controlling 36.8 percent stake in Nissan.

Nissan chief operating officer Carlos Ghosn, who was sent
over by Renault to lead the restructure, announced a hard-
hitting revival plan last month which involves shedding
21,000 jobs and shutting five plants.

"We have to report this extra loss because of our
retirement payments and costs for the Nissan revival plan,"
said Nissan vice president Kanemitsu Anraku.  "The net loss
is actually huge but by getting rid of the burden now we
can see a hopeful future with an alliance with Renault."

Anraku pointed to strong sales in the United States which
was the only Nissan market to show an improvement over the
six months, of 2.7 percent, while adding the home market
was "expected to remain severe." Under the Nissan
restructure, debt is scheduled to be cut in half to 700
billion yen by March 2003.

Fourteen percent of the total workforce is to go by March
2002, through job cuts and early retirement.  Renault said
in a statement that the massive losses at Nissan were a
one-off and would not affect its own bottom line.

"This loss is not attributable to operations but to
exceptional items, primarily due to changes in accounting
standards for the cost of pensions and warranties and also
includes restructuring charges," it said.  "This loss will
have no additional impact on Renault's financial results"
other than those already announced in March and last month,
when the revival plan was released.

Takaki Nakanishi, an auto analyst at Merrill Lynch, noted
that Nissan was expecting a net loss for the full year of
590 billion yen on forecast sales of 6.2 trillion yen.

"This shows they're taking aggressive action to deal with
their problems," he said.  "This is an important point to
grasp as Nissan needs to restructure to survive."

Ghosn's plan is not everything and there some more specific
problems to solve, but management is very keen to get back
to the black next year.  "Nissan needs to make this kind of
huge loss now, putting money into the restructuring and
pension-accounting changes, in order to have a future," he
said.  (Business Day  23-Nov-1999)


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

HAITAI BEVERAGE: To be sold to Japanese consortium
--------------------------------------------------
Chohung Bank, the major creditor bank of the ailing Haitai
Beverage, will sign a contract to sell the Haitai Beverage
subsidiary to a consortium comprised of the Lotte Group and
four Japanese firms.

The bank said the final sales amount has been set at W308.5
billion and the main contract will be signed on Friday.
Lotte Hotel has a 19% stake in the consortium, Japanese
printing group Hikari holds 51%, with the remainder held by
three other Japanese firms. Local beverage makers have been
expressing concern that Lotte, the current leader in the
nation's beverage industry, may monopolize the beverage
industry through the purchase.  (Digital ChosunIlbo  23-
Nov-1999)


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

FABER GROUP BHD: Creditors approve restructure plans
----------------------------------------------------
Faber Group Bhd's unsecured and secured creditors have
unanimously agreed to the company's debt restructuring
plans, creditor Commerce International Merchant Bankers had
said.  Unsecured creditors of FaberHotels Holdings Sdn Bhd
and Subang Jaya Hotel Development Sdn Bhd, both wholly
owned units of Faber Group, also unanimously approved the
plans.  (Star Online  23-Nov-1999)


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

NATIONAL STEEL CORP.: Gov't favoring consortium solution
--------------------------------------------------------
The government will facilitate the formation of a
consortium composed of downstream steel industry
participants to take over debt-ridden National Steel Corp.
(NSC).

Palace officials yesterday said the government's economic
managers told President Estrada the plan is meant to
prevent the total closure of NSC.  Both presidential
spokesperson Fernando T. Barican and presidential adviser
on political affairs Angelito T. Banayo assured there will
be no government bailout for NSC.

"There will be no government takeover or bailout of the
NSC. At best, the government's participation will be
limited to assisting a consortium of all industry players
to rescue the NSC," Mr. Barican said.

He added the creation of a consortium is part of the
government's "rescue" effort to resuscitate the steel
company which is a major employer in Iligan.

"If the local steel industry does not (come to its rescue)
there may be a problem because we may have a closure of the
business and we may find that so many people in the NSC
will lose their jobs. In fact, the NSC is a major employer
in parts of Mindanao and its effect on the local economy
will be adverse," Mr. Barican added.

However, no formal talks have been initiated with potential
members of the consortium, as well as how much money is
involved. NSC temporarily stopped its operations last Nov.
7 after it reportedly ran out of raw materials. At the same
time, it is saddled with some 15 billion Philippine pesos
(US$369.149 million at PhP40.634=US$1) in debt and its only
chance of survival is a new investor prepared to infuse the
$130-million capital needed to restart operations.

Mr. Banayo also told reporters Trade and Industry Secretary
Jose T. Pardo and Finance Secretary Edgardo B. Espiritu are
taking a direct hand in the formation of the consortium,
although the government's role is limited to that of a
"facilitator."

"It was just told to us by Secretary Espiritu that there is
a plan to gather together the different companies engaged
in steel fabrication, the downstream industries. We'll try
to find out if it's possible for them to form a consortium
to buy or to manage NSC," Mr. Banayo told reporters in
Malaca¤ang.

He said Mr. Espiritu made the report at yesterday morning's
meeting of the presidential crisis committee of which Mr.
Banayo is also a member. The meeting, attended by other
Cabinet officials, was held at the presidential residence.
Mr. Banayo stressed the formation of a consortium will be
to the advantage of the industry.

"Ang mangyayari ay sila rin ang bibili do'n sa (What will
happen is that they will be the ones to acquire) NSC and
they will also buy the products of NSC," he said.

He expressed doubts presidential adviser on the iron and
steel industry John Ng can afford to take over NSC on his
own. "The money needed is huge," he said in the vernacular.
It has been reported that Mr. Ng's Cathay Pacific Steel
Corp. is interested in NSC.  Malaca¤ang also denied that
Mr. Ng has resigned from his post as presidential adviser.
But Mr. Banayo said the talks with potential investors
could take long since the amount involved is "tremendous."

He also said new investors will have to talk to NSC's
creditor banks, which have gotten the court's go-signal to
auction off some PhP30 billion ($738.298 million) to PhP35
billion ($861.35 million) worth of NSC assets.  Mr. Pardo
said they intend to meet with Malaysian government
officials later this week to inform them of what will be
done to the steel firm, controlled by Malaysian firm
Hottick Investments Ltd.

He told reporters the special meeting will be held at the
sidelines of the Third Informal ASEAN (Association of
Southeast Asian Nations) Summit to be held in Manila this
week.  It was not clear why Manila has to go out of its way
to keep Kuala Lumpur abreast of developments in NSC.
But Mr. Pardo said the Philippine government has to talk to
Malaysian officials due to the "sensitivity" of Hottick's
investments in Asia's oldest steel firm.

"Hindi puede basta na lang iipitan 'yan (You can't just put
it on a spot)," he said, referring to the foreclosure
proceedings which he labelled as "not viable."

He said it would not be ideal for Manila to inconsiderately
dump spoiled foreign investments while it intensifies
efforts at attracting more foreign businesses to locate
here.  Besides, Hottick owes four Malaysian banks about
$720 million when it bought 82.5% of the steel firm in
1997, he said. He added this lends the NSC plight a degree
of sensitivity because about half of the $30-billion
Miyazawa Fund of Japan has been lent to banking sectors in
the region including Malaysia. He did not explain.

NSC used to be controlled by the Philippine government, but
it sold shares to Wing Tiek Holdings Berhad of Malaysia in
1995. Wing Tiek later sold controlling shares to Hottick.
(Business World  23-Nov-1999)


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

BANGKOK COMMERCE PLC: To wind up business, settle debts
-------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Bangkok Commerce Plc. (BCL), the former
Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC), decided yesterday to
officially wind-up its business and settle debts amounting
to 120 billion baht with its creditors, BCL Chairman
Samrong Vanijyananda told Business Day yesterday.

Samrong said the official closure of the company would mean
that the former BBC is facing a bankruptcy indictment
because its present assets are worth only 60 billion baht,
while its total debts total 120 billion baht.  According to
Samrong, the major creditors of the former BBC are Krung
Thai Bank which is owed 79 billion baht, and the Financial
Institutions Development Fund which has outstanding debts
of 39 billion baht owed by the former BBC.

There was a heated debate during the meeting with some
shareholders expressing their disagreement with the
proposed winding-up of BCL, but the majority of
shareholders voted to close the company down.  The former
BBC, before it transferred its good assets to Krung Thai
Bank, reported a 9-month loss of 10.84 billion baht for
1998.

Samrong said the BBC had transferred its performing assets
to the Krung Thai Bank and its non-performing assets to
Bangkok Commercial Asset Management - BAM in accordance
with the August 14, 1998 government measure in dealing with
ailing financial institutions.  BCL will now start clearing
its books and settling its debts with creditors. The
company has employed Edison, an accounting company under
the SGV Na Thalang Group, to carry out the exercise.
(Bangkok Post  23-Nov-1999)

NATURAL PARK PLC: Facing bankruptcy suit over debt claim
--------------------------------------------------------
Listed property developer Natural Park Plc faces a
bankruptcy suit filed by advertising agency Dentsu Young &
Rubicam for failing to pay 37.65 million baht in fees.

Dentsu told the court that Natural Park and Chatnarong Co,
a subsidiary, had employed Dentsu to handle advertising and
public relations for the Natural Home Rangsit and Natural
Place Sweet Phaholyothin projects in October 1993. However,
after Dentsu finished its work on the two projects, the two
companies did not pay the fees despite several requests.

The Central Bankruptcy Court has scheduled the first
hearing in the case for May 15 next year. Natural Park,
currently listed in the Companies Under Rehabilitation
(Rehabco) sector, reported a third-quarter loss of 5.65
billion baht (14.95 baht a share). This was because the
value of its assets fell by 4.91 billion baht.

Its liabilities as of September 30 totalled 22.6 billion
baht, consisting of 11.02 billion baht in loans borrowed
from financial institutions, 2.5 billion baht in
debentures; 6.36 billion baht in overdue accrued interest,
and the rest in other forms.

The company is required to complete a rehabilitation plan
by the end of this year, or it will be delisted. Natural
Park's major shareholders are Tarakarn Protpakorn (15.68%),
Thosapong Jaruthavee (15.06%) and Suwan Thanombooncharoen
(7.99%).  Mr Thosapong, the managing director of the
company, was not available for comment yesterday.  (Bangkok
Post  23-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
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