TCRAP_Public/991221.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

            Tuesday, December 21, 1999, Vol. 2, No. 248


* C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G *

CHINA MERCHANTS HOLDINGS: Gets International refinancing
GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Gov't, foreign creditors reach rehab
GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Smaller creditors want full picture
GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Banks see silver lining in rehab
GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: Shares dumped on news of restructure
GUANGNAN HOLDINGS: Shares dumped on news of restructure
WELBACK HOLDINGS: Changing focus after posting loss

* I N D O N E S I A *

BANK BALI: Bank Bali plunges on StanChart pullout
BANK MANDIRI: Overseas operations face closure
BANK PUTERA: IBRA gives funds to quell depositor rush

* J A P A N *

KOBE STEEL: To sell paint robot division to Kawasaki Heavy
KOKUMIN BANK: Yachiyo Bank set to take over

* K O R E A *

DAEWOO GROUP: No foreign debt rescheduling this year
DAEWOO MOTOR: Hyundai joins hunt for troubled motor co.
DAEWOO MOTOR: Union opposition arises to GM takeover
KOREA FIRST BANK: Final sale agreement signing next week
KOREA MINTING SECUR. PRINTING: Strike scandal probe over

* M A L A Y S I A *

MCSB SYSTEMS: Warrant extension rejection to bring cash
PRECAST PRODUCTS SDN: Facing a winding up petition
VALLEY CITY SDN: Facing winding up petition

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

BANCO DE ORO: PBCom merger talks bog down
MONDRAGON INT'L PHILIPPINES: Creditors in settlement mood

* T H A I L A N D *

ONPA INTERNATIONAL PLC: ONPA delays signing debt deal
PACIFIC RESORT CO. LTD.: To sell shares in two affiliates
SINO-THAI ENGINEERING: Seeks bankruptcy court protection
THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Creditors okay equity raising
TRI PETCH ISUZU: Recapitalizes for debt reduction

C H I N A  &  H O N G  K O N G

CHINA MERCHANTS HOLDINGS: Gets International refinancing
Mainland-controlled China Merchants Holdings yesterday
announced it has raised US$100 million on the international
debt market, reflecting foreign banks' renewed confidence
in mainland companies.

The financing deal came one day after the Guangdong
provincial government and creditors of effectively bankrupt
Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) reported a major
breakthrough in the restructuring of nearly US$6 billion of

China Merchants Holdings, the parent of listed China
Merchant Holdings (International), yesterday signed a deal
to issue five-year private placement notes of US$100
million to Credit Agricole Financial Products Bank and
Centre Solutions (Bermuda).

Frank Fan Di, the company's chief financial officer, said
the money would be used to reduce the firm's short-term
debt and bring its debt level to 30 per cent from 46 per
cent by the end of this month.

Mr Fan also said China Merchant Holdings was expected to
sell non-core assets worth HK$4 billion over the next three
years but did not provide details. He said the company had
more than five billion yuan (about HK$4.66 billion) in
cash.  (South China Morning Post  18-Dec-1999)

GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Gov't, foreign creditors reach rehab
Hong Kong Ending a yearlong deadlock, the Guangdong
government and a group of foreign creditors reached a
preliminary agreement to restructure a troubled investment
company that had come to symbolize the woes of lending to
China's debt-bloated state firms.

Under the plan, Guangdong Enterprises, or GDE, will swap
its liabilities in return for new bonds, equity and cash.
The deal, if approved in a January meeting, gives creditors
a 19% stake in a new water company and HK$14 billion
(US$1.8 billion) in new debt issued by that company. The
provincial government has also pledged 600 million shares
in a key subsidiary, Guangdong Investment, as well as
interest in other units.

Those involved in crafting the pact said its outcome should
help remove a mountain of debt from GDE ranging between
US$3.5 billion and US$4.5 billion and minimize losses for

"What we have today is better deal than at one stage seemed
possible," said Mervyn Davies, chief executive of Standard
Chartered Bank, the liaison bank in the creditors' Sterling
Committee. "Looking back, December 1998 was a very bad
month for banks."

For Guangdong, the prognosis is also brighter. A year ago,
it faced not only the massive task of restructuring GDE,
but also the bankruptcy of its lending arm, Guangdong
International Trust and Investment Corp., or Gitic.
Combined the two owed nearly US$10 billion. The central
government's decision to shut down Gitic while bringing in
U.S. investment firm Goldman Sachs to revamp GDE battered
investor confidence, tightened lending to China and caused
foreign banks to boost provisions for bad debts.

Officials at both companies came under criminal
investigations for untraceable loans and shady investments.
Guangdong's problems were mirrored in other parts of the
country as China's state companies sought to pay mounting
debts and nervous creditors reeled in loans. Vice Governor
Wang Qishan expressed hope Thursday that the GDE deal would
help restore confidence of foreign investors.

He said it showed that Chinese companies could resolve
their debt troubles in a market-oriented way. Yet Mr.
Wang's own leading role in the deal-making process
underlined how essential the government still is in
cleaning up major financial messes.  Indeed, Mr. Wang said
the province would be getting a huge cash loan from China's
central government to address its financial problems.
Beijing agreed to extend 35 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) to
provide backing for the deposits of "ordinary people" in
rural credit cooperatives, provincial trust companies and
securities firms that had suffered losses, he said.

Despite the loan, Mr. Wang predicted that about 14 of those
companies face imminent closure. Mr. Wang said the loan
would be paid back within nine years. "We think this money
is sufficient," he added.

Analysts said the central-government loan and the GDE
restructuring highlights the push on the part of China's
leaders to repair trouble spots in the economy before it
embarks on a new path of opening up.  The agreement China
signed last month with the U.S. to enter the World Trade
Organization has boosted short-term sentiment, but raised
questions about how crippled state firms in troubled parts
of the country can expect to compete.  Still China's
richest province, Guangdong's economy has been struggling
to get back on its feet.  (The Asian Wall Street Journal  

GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Smaller creditors want full picture
Minor creditors of Guangdong Enterprises (GDE),
representing the majority, yesterday said they wanted to
see more details and work out how much the repayment
package was worth to them before deciding whether to follow
major creditors lead on agreeing with the restructuring

"It appears to be a better deal and the steering committee
is very happy," said a manager of one European bank. "But
it is hard to do a risk analysis when we do not have the
full picture yet."

Bank of China chief executive for Hong Kong and Macau, Liu
Jinbao, yesterday said the steering committee _ composed of
17 creditor banks, including the Bank of China _ would
early next month start to convince the other 109 creditors
to accept the restructuring plan and avoid winding up GDE.
Mr Liu said he was confident a majority of creditors would
accept the restructuring proposal.

Analysts said the fact that creditors would have the right
to participate in the management of GDE was a key factor
leading to the major creditors' endorsement of the
restructuring plan. The major breakthrough for creditors in
the revised plan was the removal of the preference shares

"The future funding of businesses would have to be approved
by the creditors," said Kang Dian, chairman of Guangnan,
the group's supermarket arm.

Mr Liu said the improved deal would enable the Bank of
China to write off some of its 35 per cent of the

"We (Bank of China and its sister banks) said earlier this
year that we have basically attributed about 20-35 per cent
of the group's provisions on GDE, varying with each bank,"
he said. "If the provisions on GDE are about 35 per cent,
and the debt restructuring agreement gets the company on
its feet, then we may write back part of the 35 per cent

This would take years, provided that GDE improved its
operation and management.  There might eventually be no
need for provisions if GDE strengthened its operations and
management.  Guangnan and GDI, an investment arm of GDE,
topped the stocks with greatest loss yesterday, down 17.6
per cent and 17.3 per cent respectively, closing at 42
cents and $1.29.

Mr Kang said the plummeting of Guangnan shares was due to
the proposed 17-for-two right issue which would dilute the
share value.  It could also be a "buy on rumour and sell on
news" effect, according to Herbert Lau, Celestial
Securities associate director. Guangnan shares had risen
more than 24 per cent so far this month to Wednesday's
close of 51 cents, before the suspension for the Thursday
agreement announcement.GDI shares rose 69 per cent in the
period, to $1.56 on Wednesday. (Hong Kong Standard  18-Dec-

GUANGDONG ENTERPRISES: Banks see silver lining in rehab
Banks might be able to write back some of their loan-loss
provisions against their exposure to Guangdong Enterprises
(Holdings) (GDE), according to the Hong Kong Association of

HKAB chairman Liu Jinbao said the in-principle agreement on
GDE's restructuring reached on Thursday was much better
than creditor banks originally expected.  The Guangdong
provincial government's commitment to conclude the
arrangement by the end of this month and generous
concessions increased the chance all creditor banks would
give it the go-ahead, Mr Liu said.

"We now see that Guangdong's government has put GDE
restructuring in a very high priority," he added. "We see
the operating environment of GDE and other international
trust and investment corps much improved from before."

Mr Liu said GDE now had "a bright future".  Banks might not
need to make such heavy provisions, he said.  The amount a
bank could write back would depend on the extent of
provisions already made, the nature of its exposure and the
amount of collateral under its control.  The Hong Kong
Monetary Authority's provisions policy, states the longer
the repayment of interest and loan principal had lapsed,
the bigger the provisions a bank needed to make.
Still, the HKMA has allowed banks more flexibility.

"It would be up to individual banks to decide how to make
provisions on GDE loans based on the currently available
information," HKMA chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong
said.  "The HKMA will follow the usual approach to discuss
with banks . . . their provision policies related to GDE
loans on a case-by-case basis," he said after attending a
seminar held by the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary

Speaking as the Bank of China Group's Hong Kong and Macau
chief executive, Mr Liu said most of its 12 member banks
had already made provisions ranging from 25 to 30 cents in
a dollar against their GDE exposure.  Bank of China, a
group member, has the highest exposure to GDE among
creditor banks.

"The crucial point here is the management of GDE as a
business concern after the agreement," Mr Liu said.
"If it performs properly and repays the loans as scheduled,
we might not even need to provide a penny."

Mr Liu said the write-backs could be included in the banks'
accounts for this year as post-balance sheet date entries.
The latest restructuring plan was signed by Guangdong
executive vice-governor Wang Qishan and the working group
of nine creditor banks.  It needs to be approved by the
rest of the 110 creditor banks.  Mr Liu said the
restructuring experience would become a landmark case for
restructuring of other mainland enterprises.

"The GDE restructuring experience highlights the need to
reform our credit culture," Mr Liu said.  "We should not
rely too much on the borrowers' government backing. We
should concentrate on their cash-flow situations and future

Mr Yam was even more optimistic.  The agreement would help
restore the confidence of SAR banks to lend to the mainland
enterprises, the HKMA chief said.

"The credit crunch faced by the mainland enterprises and
the red chips will be over soon," Mr Yam said.  "Banks
should feel more comfortable to lend to the mainland
enterprises after the agreement."  (South China Morning
Post  18-Dec-1999)

GUANGDONG INVESTMENT: Shares dumped on news of restructure
GUANGNAN HOLDINGS: Shares dumped on news of restructure
Guangdong Investment (GDI) and Guangnan (Holdings) both
tumbled more than 17 per cent yesterday, as investors
dumped shares on news of a fresh debt-restructuring accord
for parent Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) (GDE).

GDI's shares lost 27 cents to HK$1.29 after reaching a
day's low of HK$1.28, as investors assessed the new plan's
impact on GDE's SAR-listed flagship.  An announcement by
GDI that its per-share earnings would be enhanced from the
injection of a water project, which earned HK$1.9 billion
last year, failed to help sentiment.

Share prices of GDE subsidiary, Guangnan, fell nine cents
to close at 42 cents.  GDE said on Thursday an in-principle
agreement had been reached between the Guangdong provincial
government and a working group of its creditor banks on a
US$5.59 billion restructuring plan.

Under the plan, GDI would issue 2.3 billion new shares at
about HK$1.30 apiece in exchange for 81 per cent interest
of the Dongshen Water Project from the provincial
government.  The project supplies about three-quarters of
Hong Kong's water.  As for Guangnan, it would raise HK$755
million in new equity through a 17-for-two rights issue as
well as moving substantially all its non-core business to
an asset-management company.

Brokers said the significant dilution effect resulting from
the issue of new shares by both companies had contributed
to the sharp fall of their share prices.  Kang Dian,
director and vice-president of GDE, defended the dilution
from the issue of new shares.  

"Guangnan has a HK$1.3 billion shortfall in net asset, it
is obvious that creditors will have a bigger say," he said.

Meanwhile, Beijing would continue its drive to push through
the restructurings of the embattled international trust and
investment companies (Itics) next year, a People's Bank of
China official said.   Details would be announced by
central bank governor Dai Xianglong during a meeting with
the press next month, the official said.

The meeting, which would unveil the central bank's yearly
goals and working plan for the new year, would also touch
on other lesser-regulated parts of the financial system, he
said. Issues involving domestic small to medium-sized non-
bank financial institutions would be included, he said.

Guangdong executive vice-governor Wang Qishan said the
province would shut down 14 Guangdong-based Itics after
paying off depositors with 38 billion yuan (about HK$35.48
billion) worth of borrowings from the central government.
The effort is continuing in Hainan Island, where central
bank officials are to meet in Haikou to help finalise plans
to restructure the island's troubled non-bank financial
institutions.  (South China Morning Post  18-Dec-1999)

WELBACK HOLDINGS: Changing focus after posting loss
Troubled electronics-maker Welback Holdings is shifting its
long-term focus to interactive toys from liquid-crystal-
display video games after sustaining its biggest loss last

In the year to June 30, the company had a net loss of $27
million, compared with a net profit of $13.9 million the
previous year.  Turnover was halved to $258 million in the
period due to a failure to develop new products fast enough
to meet market demand.

Inventory grew to $56.99 million from $50.91 million in the
previous year. The company has hired Xu Yangsheng, a
mechanical and automation engineering professor at Chinese
University to help develop the "intelligent" toys, and
plans to recruit other mainland talent.

Managing director Fong Wing-seng said the company had
developed two prototypes, and was aiming to introduce eight
interactive toys to the market by 2001.  Welback has also
developed original design and manufactured electronic
products, including digital voice recorders and digital
cameras, which hopefully will put it back into the black
this financial year.  (South China Morning Post  18-Dec-


BANK BALI: Bank Bali plunges on StanChart pullout
PT Bank Bali's shares plunged 47 percent Friday after
Standard Chartered PLC pulled out of an agreement to take
over the Indonesian lender.

Standard Chartered's withdrawal, a blow to Jakarta's
efforts to rejuvenate its banking industry, came after a
government corruption scandal involving Bank Bali as well
as massive protests against the British bank by the
Indonesian bank's staff. Bank Bali's shares closed 225
rupiah lower at 250 (35 cents).

Standard Chartered's withdrawal Wednesday came only weeks
before the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency is to seek
formal shareholder support for a rights offer to raise 4.04
trillion rupiah to recapitalize Bank Bali.  Although
Standard Chartered said it was still interested in buying
Bank Bali shares from the restructuring agency after the
rights issue, officials and dealers said the saga would
send a chill through foreign investors.

"It's a setback," said Laksono Widodo, head of research at
ING Barings Securities. "Foreign investors will now think
twice before investing their money here and it is also
quite a major setback to the whole bank restructuring

The investment and state enterprises minister, Laksamana
Sukardi, also said Friday that Standard Chartered's
decision was likely to harm the investment climate in

"If there are more cases like this, where investors move in
and then pull out again, people will question our legal
certainty," he said.

But the deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, Subarjo
Djoyosumarto, said he saw no significant impact on the
investment climate following the collapse of the deal.
(International Herald Tribune  (18-Dec-1999)

BANK MANDIRI: Overseas operations face closure
State-owned Bank Mandiri is in danger of losing its
overseas operations if its financial status does not
improve in the near future, Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor
Subardjo Joyosumarto said on Friday.

Subarjo said monetary authorities in the United States,
Hong Kong, Singapore and Cayman Islands had threatened to
close down Bank Mandiri's branches in their respective

"If the branches are closed, it will destroy our banking
image in the international market. That's why we have to
recapitalize Bank Mandiri by the end of December," Subardjo
was quoted by Antara as saying.

He said Bank Indonesia had informed the relevant overseas
monetary authorities about the government's plan to
recapitalize the bank so that they would not close down its
branches.  The government and the House of Representatives
agreed on Thursday night to proceed with the costly
recapitalization by the end of this month to turn the bank
into the black.

The cost of the delayed recapitalization of Bank Mandiri
will rise to between Rp 178 trillion and Rp 180 trillion,
from the initial estimate of Rp 137.8 trillion, according
to a recent audit by Arthur Anderson.  The costly
recapitalization aims to raise Bank Mandiri's capital
adequacy ratio to the government-established 4 percent

Bank Indonesia's senior deputy governor Anwar Nasution
revealed the rising cost of Bank Mandiri's recapitalization
was as a result of the delay in its implementation,
initially planned for July.  The delay itself, Anwar said,
was precipitated by the complication of merging four former
state banks -- Bank Bumi Daya, Bank Ekspor Impor, Bank
Pembangunan Indonesia and Bank Dagang Negara -- into Bank
Mandiri, and the lack of coordination between governmental

Coordinating Minister of Economy and Finance Kwik Kian Gie
said the government was committed to recapitalizing Bank
Mandiri, despite the rising cost.  The government issued Rp
103 trillion worth of bonds for the first tranche of the
recapitalization fund for Bank Mandiri on Oct. 13.  The
government plans to issue new bonds to fill in the gaps in
the bank's books by the end of December. Otherwise, the
cost will rise further.

Subardjo said Bank Indonesia is ready to transfer all the
needed funds to Bank Mandiri once the finance minister
signs the government bonds to recapitalize the bank. Bank
Mandiri president Robby Djohan said the cost to
recapitalize Bank Mandiri would still be lower than the
cost of liquidating it.  If the government liquidates the
bank, he said, it has to provide Rp 170.5 trillion in
rupiah funding and $8 billion in foreign exchange to pay
the bank's obligations.

In addition, the government has to pay legal costs, asset
depreciation and severance payments for the bank's 17,000
employees.  Bank Mandiri is expected to control a domestic
market share of 30 percent. (The Jakarta Post  18-Dec-1999)

BANK PUTERA: IBRA gives funds to quell depositor rush
The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) has
announced that Rp1.00 trillion (US$ 136.05 million) have
been earmarked in ancitipation of a possible "rush" by Bank
Putera (BP) customers. IBRA spokesman Franklin Richard told
the press here yesterday the funds had been placed in an
escrow account at BCA.

The Rp1.00 trillion liquidity reserve fund does not include
BP's interbank claims of around Rp500 billion. The
guarantee fund, according to Franklin, could be used by BP
to pay out its customers, but he hoped the whole amount
would not be used up.  The bank's interbank claims cannot
yet be released by IBRA, becuase it is awaiting the results
of verification studies.

Bank Putera third party funds currently amount to Rp1.8
trillion. According to BP president Mashud Ali, the rush on
the bank has reached Rp400 million.  The verification
carried out by IBRA is designed to ascertain whether the
funds were withdrawn by customers or by certain parties
related to the bank.  In addition, IBRA also appointed an
independent auditor to verify the bank's actual condition.

If the audit report reveals no violation, then BP may
operate again.  Franklin did not elaborate on the measures
to be taken if BP has committed a violation.  (Asia Pulse  


KOBE STEEL: To sell paint robot division to Kawasaki Heavy
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (7012) will buy the paint
robot division of Kobe Steel Ltd. (5406) by next April,
company sources said Thursday. The deal will be formally
announced on Friday.

Kawasaki Heavy will take over the supply of robots to major
clients like Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co.
(7267). It will also take on 40 development, sales and
maintenance staff at its Akashi plant in Hyogo Prefecture,
hoping to improve its lineup of robot paint systems.
The agreement reflects Kobe Steel's desire to concentrate
on its mainstay steel and aluminum operations.

Kobe Steel commands a 30% share of the domestic paint robot
market, ringing up annual sales of about 3 billion yen. The
steelmaker develops and tests robots at its Takasago
factory in Hyogo Prefecture, but outsources production,
meaning no manufacturing plant is involved in the paint
robot division sale.

Kawasaki Heavy, Japan's fifth largest maker of welding and
assembling robots, has been weak in the paint robot sector.
With the purchase, the heavy machinery company plans to
double sales of industrial robots to about 50 billion yen
in four to five years from fiscal 1998, in an effort to
keep pace with the top robot makers, including Fanuc Ltd.
(6954) and Yaskawa Electric Corp. (6506).  (The Nihon
Keizai Shimbun  17-Dec-1999)

KOKUMIN BANK: Yachiyo Bank set to take over
The Financial Reconstruction Commission and administrators
dispatched to oversee failed Kokumin Bank are expected to
choose Yachiyo Bank, a Tokyo-based second-tier regional
bank, to take over the insolvent lender, sources said.

Until recently, there were three more candidates to acquire
Kokumin Bank -- Orix Corp. (8591), discount air ticket
seller H.I.S. Co. and Goldman Sachs & Co. H.I.S. and
Goldman Sachs subsequently dropped out as they couldn't
offer acquisition terms that satisfy the Kokumin Bank side.
The commission and administrators are expected to make a
final decision by the end of the year.

If Yachiyo Bank is selected, the amount of public funds
needed to dispose of Kokumin Bank will likely exceed 100
billion yen, including funds to be injected into Yachiyo to
prevent its capital from shrinking as a result of its
takeover of the collapsed bank, the sources said. Kokumin
Bank, also a Tokyo-based second-tier regional lender, was
declared insolvent by the commission in April. (The Nihon
Keizai Shimbun 15-Dec-1999)


DAEWOO GROUP: No foreign debt rescheduling this year
Despite the optimism of Korea's top financial regulators
that Daewoo's foreign debt rescheduling will be resolved
before the end of this year, the overseas banking community
in Seoul sees no chance for early settlement.  Most foreign
bankers as well as other financial experts share the view
that debt rescheduling will not result in any compromise
within 1999 and negotiations will continue well into 2000.

"There is hardly any chance for improvement in the
situation over rescheduling Daewoo's $5 billion foreign
debt before the end of 1999," said a foreign financial
expert in Korea. "The two sides are not agreeing at all as
far as the loss, or haircut, ratio goes. Besides, trust has
been lost between the two sides, Korea's financial
regulators and Daewoo's foreign creditors."

The Korean government still stands firm with its loss ratio
of 76.7 percent imposed on Daewoo's foreign debts.  That
is, the financial authorities will repay 23.3 percent of
Daewoo's foreign liabilities in cash should foreign banks
agree to take the 76.7 percent haircut for Daewoo's four
major business units.

The highest loss ratio of 82 percent is assigned to Daewoo
Corp. debt while 35 percent is imposed on Daewoo Heavy
Industries' liability.  The ratios for Daewoo Electronics
and Daewoo Motor are 66 and 67 percent respectively.
The Seoul administration believes this is the structure
that Daewoo's foreign creditors have demanded in order to
claim cash back for their non-performing loans.

The Korean government said that Seoul will not scrap the
equality principle, whereby both domestic and foreign
creditors would assume the same loss ratio of over 75
percent.  Foreign banks on the other hand offered their
official position last week during a meeting with Daewoo's
financial advisors in New York, saying their losses will
not exceed 20 percent.

Simply put foreign creditors want the Korean side repay 80
percent of their credits in Daewoo, a figure much higher
than expected.  At the same time, overseas lenders argue
that there should be no difference in losses between their
loans in Daewoo Corp. and Daewoo Heavy Industries, for
example, as the group is considered "a single economic

The foreign lenders have argued that since Daewoo had acted
as a group when borrowing money from overseas, the same
haircut should be imposed on all foreign debt.  They claim
that an 82 percent loss of Daewoo Corp. debt, in
particular, is much higher than the ratios imposed on
others and is unacceptable.

"To me, the foreign banks' argument seem reasonable. No one
can deny that Daewoo is a single business entity. Under
this circumstance, all foreign loans of Daewoo should
receive the same treatment," said a top securities expert
in Seoul.

The equality principle of the government also does not
convince Daewoo's foreign creditors because there is no
such thing as real equality in the Korean government's

"Now, when it comes to imposing losses, the Seoul
administration relies on an equality framework between
local and foreign banks. Ironically those government
officials who treated foreign banks so unfairly for the
last few months now call for the equality principle," said
a foreign creditor.

The foreign banker added that they would not accept the
policy, which imposes inaccurate loss ratios on both
domestic and foreign creditors.

"We cannot accept the loss ratios imposed on domestic
banks, to begin with. The figures are derived from
inadequate studies. For foreign banks it is not the matter
of equality but rather a question of accuracy," he said.
(Korea Herald  20-Dec-1999, Korea Times  19-Dec-1999)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Hyundai joins hunt for troubled motor co.
In what appears to be an official announcement to join in
the race to take over the ailing Daewoo Motor, a high-
ranking Hyundai official said Sunday that the largest
Korean chaebol is interested in acquiring Daewoo Motor's
production plant in Poland.

Lee Kye-an, president of Hyundai Motor, revealed that, if
the government and the creditor group of Daewoo Motor agree
to sell Daewoo Motor in parts, Hyundai is interested in
taking over Daewoo's Poland plant. Lee, however, remained
taciturn whether Hyundai intends to take over the entire
Daewoo Motor operations.

Lee justified the Hyundai move by citing a global
automobile industry trend, in which car export takes the
shape of production as well as marketing within the
importing nations. Industry observers said that Hyundai's
announcement to take over Daewoo Motor will heat up since
Hyundai is due to compete against General Motors and Ford,
which have been pressing on with the acquisition bid.

Lee expressed his doubt over the 'efficiency' of the plan
to sell Daewoo Motor to GM, asserting that the sell-off to
the giant automaker can undermine the Korean auto industry.
The Hyundai president also refuted Hyundai Motor's chance
of getting a monopoly in the auto industry if the top two
Korean auto companies merge by saying a monopoly might
enhance the nation's economic competitiveness.  (Digital
ChosunIlbo  19-Dec-1999)

DAEWOO MOTOR: Union opposition arises to GM takeover
General Motors Corp.'s controversial takeover bid for
Daewoo Motor Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co. will have to
overcome stubborn resistance from Korea's business circles
and academia if it is to succeed.  The latest show of
opposition came in the form of Daewoo Motor's labor
unionists who threatened a walk out over the weekend in the
event of a "unilateral" decision to sell the company to the
U.S. automaker.

Unionists at Ssangyong Motor had also vowed to strike
should there be any attempt to sell the sports utility
vehicle maker to GM.  In a similar vein, the Federation of
Korean Industries (FKI), the nation's largest chaebol trade
association, came out against Daewoo's sale to GM, warning
that selling the Korean automaker to a foreign firm would
herald the decline of the nation's auto industry. A growing
number of domestic scholars and economists are also lining
up in opposition.

"Dispute with management and the government cannot be
avoided if they proceed with the sale of the company to
General Motors as in the present situation," said Chung
Jong-seung, a Daewoo Motor union leader. "The labor union's
stance is that the government and creditors should first
turn Daewoo Motor into a public corporation so that company
operations can return to normal."

Reflecting the mounting anxiety, Kim Dae-ho, a Daewoo Motor
employee, said in a letter to the Hankyoreh newspaper that
GM's acquisition will transform Daewoo into a domestic
market-oriented automaker, stripped of vast overseas
production bases, export capabilities and a network of R&D
and technological infrastructures.

"Worse yet, GM has a bad track record as far as job
security is concerned. The notorious layoffs of 200,000 GM
workers in 1980s were followed by similar job cuts
affecting 5,200 employees between 1992 and 1996," Kim said,
adding that an annual average of 300 to 400 Daewoo Motor
workers were laid off during its 15-year alliance with GM
until 1992.

In its letter of intent presented to the Korean government,
GM offered to buy Daewoo Motor for between 6 trillion and 7
trillion won, but refused to assume any of Daewoo's 18.6
trillion won debt. In addition, the Detroit firm rejected
the proposal to take on Daewoo Motor's operations at home
and abroad as a whole and its stance toward job security
was considered unclear.

"A quick resolution to the Daewoo Motor issue is unlikely
because of the resistance from local industrial
associations, professors and even government officials,"
said Richard Samuelson, head of research at SBC Warburg
Dillon Read in Korea.

Goldman Sachs & Co. also said in a report that the
possibility of GM's takeover of Daewoo Motor is becoming
increasingly remote.  (Korea Herald  20-Dec-1999)

KOREA FIRST BANK: Final sale agreement signing next week
The government and Newbridge Capital Ltd., a U.S. private
investment fund, are likely to sign a formal deal on the
sale of Korea First Bank (KFB) next week, a KFB official
said yesterday.  The official also said that Newbridge is
likely to appoint a Japanese-American new president of KFB
as soon as the formal contract is signed.

"It is certain that both sides will conclude their
negotiations on the sale of KFB and sign an official
contract around next Thursday at the earliest," the KFB
official said.

The signing of the formal contract will wrap up the
government's efforts to sell the nationalized bank,
considered a litmus test for Korea's economic reform.
On Sept. 17 this year, the two sides signed a temporary
agreement under which the U.S. investment fund will take
over a 51 percent stake in KFB for 600 billion won ($531

In addition, Newbridge agreed to invest an additional 200
billion won over the next two years in the troubled bank,
which collapsed in the wake of Hanbo Iron and Steel Co.'s
bankruptcy in early 1997.  The KFB official also said that
Jerry Horry, a Japanese-American who owns a commercial bank
in the United States, may take the helm of KFB.

"Jerry Horry is one of the strongest candidates for the KFB
presidency but nothing has been decided yet," he quoted
Weijian Shan, Newbridge's managing director, as saying.

If appointed as KFB's new head, the Japanese-American will
become the youngest bank president in the nation.
Meanwhile, KFB's board of directors yesterday decided to
reduce its capital to 980.6 billion won from 4.34 trillion
won. Currently, the Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. owns a
controlling 96.9 percent stake in the nationalized bank.
KFB, which has a staff of 4,816 and 336 branches across the
nation, posted a loss of 2.1 trillion won in the first nine
months of fiscal year 1999.  (Korea Herald  18-Dec-1999)

KOREA MINTING SECUR. PRINTING: Strike scandal probe over
The independent counsel investigating the "strike-rigging"
scandal officially wound up its 60-day probe yesterday,
concluding that a former head of the state minting firm was
the main force in fomenting a labor strike at the company
last year.

Independent Counsel Kang Won-il announced the result of the
investigation after reporting its findings to the President
and the National Assembly.  According to the special
prosecutor's findings, Kang Hi-bock, former head of the
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation, induced
the firm's union to strike by proposing an unacceptable
compromise to the union.

Kang, who was arrested last Saturday on charges of
obstructing corporate business, pushed ahead with a merger
of the firm's two minting plants last year, two years
earlier than originally scheduled.  The special
prosecutor's team said Kang's behavior was motivated by his
ambition to receive credit for effectively restructuring
his company.

The independent counsel's findings run counter to the
result of a prosecution investigation of the scandal in
July. The prosecution had seen the inducement of the strike
as a former senior prosecutor's one-man plot to earn credit
as head of the public security department at the Supreme
Public Prosecutor's Office.  The independent counsel
concluded that Kang was the main force behind the strike
and the former prosecutor only an accessory.

However, the independent counsel concurred with prosecutors
that neither the prosecution nor other government agencies
had been involved in rigging the strike.  Such suspicions
of government authorities' organized involvement in the
scandal has been growing, following the recent disclosure
of a prosecution report that contains suggestions on how to
deal with labor disputes at the minting firm.

Despite activists' claims that the report is clear evidence
of the prosecution's organized involvement, the independent
counsel has concluded that the report is not sufficient
proof for accusing the entire prosecution.  Instead,
Independent Counsel Kang requested that the prosecution
investigate the two prosecutors and two regional labor
administration officials who drew up the report on charges
of violating labor laws.

Meanwhile, another independent counsel, who has been
looking into the "furgate" scandal, is scheduled to
announce the outcome of his investigation Monday.  (Korea
Herald  18-Dec-1999)


MCSB SYSTEMS: Warrant extension rejection to bring cash
MCSB shareholders did not object to the bondholders'
decision on Monday to reject the extension of the 1995/2000
warrants due to expire on April 30 next year. Chairman and
chief executive officer Paul Lim Koon Chow reports that
with the rejection of the extension of the warrant period,
the company is expecting a cashflow of RM28.5mil from the
conversion of all its 11.7 million warrants.

"We will use part of the money to pay off RM10mil to our
bondholders and utilise the rest for working capital. We
will then have recovered financially and be debt free," he

He also said the company was looking at a possible
injection of RM14mil from the conversion of its other
series of warrants due to expire in 2004.  Lim said MCSB
bondholders did not give their reasons for rejecting the
1995/2000 warrants' extension period as they were
represented by proxies.  He said Malaysia's economy had now
recovered and that uncertainties over the country had been
removed after the recent general election.

"My guess is that the bondholders are in an investing mood
and wanted the money. Although the scope of the computer
systems outsourcing business is quite wide, we plan to
concentrate on four areas," Lim said without disclosing

IT-based MCSB Systems (M) Bhd expects RM100mil turnover
from its new computer systems outsourcing and e-business
services to be launched in the region next year.  Its aid
the computer systems outsourcing concept was new in the
region although it had been around in the United States for
some time.  In the computer systems outsourcing business,
IT companies offer services from maintenance, upgrading,
repairing to even programing of their clients' equipment.

Lim said the computer systems outsourcing business was
worth US$100bil a year in the United States. Citing an
example, Lim said General Motors Corp had a 10-year
computer outsourcing contract worth US$5.6bil with
Electronic Data Systems.   MCSB, which would launch its new
services in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and
China, also plans to expand the service to other
neighbouring countries.

The company recorded a pre-tax loss of RM9.5mil on a
turnover of RM87mil for the 15 months to June 30, 1999.
For its financial year ended March 31, 1998, the company
recorded a pre-tax loss of RM14mil on a turnover of
RM57mil.  (Star Online  19-Dec-1999)

PRECAST PRODUCTS SDN: Facing a winding up petition
Hume Industries Bhd unit Precast Products Sdn Bhd has been
served a winding-up petition by Arab-Malaysian Bank Bhd
arising from a default in the repayment of loan and
interest totalling RM3.3mil.

Hume said in a statement to the KLSE that Precast failed to
settle its loan repayments due to the depressed economic
conditions which adversely affected the construction
industry.  Hume has fully written-off its investment in
Precast in June this year, it said.

"The winding-up petition has no significant or material
financial implication on Hume, as Hume has not given any
guarantee for Precast's credit facilities," it added.  
(Star Online  18-Dec-1999)

VALLEY CITY SDN: Facing winding up petition
IGB Corporation Bhd announced yesterday a winding up
petition has been presented against its subsidiary Mid
Valley City Sdn Bhd, and was advertised on Dec 10, 1999.

However, Messrs V Siva & Partners, solicitors for Mid
Valley, had on Dec 14 filed an urgent application to strike
out the petition as an abuse of process. The company said
this in a statement to the KLSE, which was released
yesterday. IGB said no date had been fixed for hearing
although the application was accompanied by a certificate
of urgency.  

According to IGB, the petition was founded on a judgment
made on May 11, 1999, and that Mid Valley had filed an
appeal to the Court of Appeal.  No date had been fixed for
the hearing of the appeal, it said.  In the meantime, Mid
Valley has provided a bank guarantee to secure the judgment
debt pending the disposal of the appeal to the Court of

The petitioning creditor's solicitors had rejected the bank
guarantee, IGB said.  It said Mid Valley City's solicitors
were taking steps to expedite the hearing of the
application to strike off the petition.  (Star Online  18-


BANCO DE ORO: PBCom merger talks bog down
Banco De Oro Universal Bank, the banking arm of retail
magnate Henry Sy, has dropped its bid to acquire Philippine
Bank of Communications, banking sources said yesterday.
The sources said the merger deal being hatched by the two
banks did not push through because of failure to thresh out
certain valuation issues.

"The merger won't push through anymore. They didn't agree
on the pricing issue," the source said.

The two banks were expected to be able to strike a deal
before the year's end.  Instead, the sources said PBCom,
whose earlier merger discussions with Asian Banking Corp.
also fizzled out, would simply pursue its original plan to
downgrade its status into a regular commercial bank.

But other sources said that since Banco de Oro was only one
of the banks which had laid a proposal on the PBCom's
table, it would still have the flexibility to evaluate and
accept other offers.  Publicly listed PBCom has an expanded
commercial bank license. A downgrade means that it will
have to give up the right to engage in certain non-allied
undertakings like stock brokerage, real estate development
and industrial ventures.

Sources said BDO also has a lot of other options,
especially since its stockholder, retail tycoon Henry Sy,
has sufficient war chest to fund the expansion of his
empire.  The taipan is likewise still keen on consolidating
his banking interests.  Sy, who owns 100 percent of BDO
through various corporations, also has around a 20-percent
stake in China Banking. On the other hand, he recently
unloaded his stake in Far East Bank and Trust Co.

BDO was planning to list at least 10 percent of its shares
to the public by next year as part of the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas requirements for it to expand into a universal
bank.  PBCom earlier entered into a merger discussion with
Asian Banking Corp. but this likewise did not push through.
Asian Bank was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Bank
and Trust Co. for its subsidiary Global Business Bank.
A BDO-PBCom merger would have brought about a bank with a
combined capital base of at least P9 billion and a
nationwide network of 155 branches.

BDO is a profitable bank with a capital base of P4.7
billion as of the end of the first quarter. As of the same
period, it had total deposits of P28.3 billion and a total
loan portfolio of over P23 billion.   BDO has total
resources amounting to P42.8 billion and a total of 110
branches as against PBCom's 45 nationwide. (Philippine
Daily Inquirer  18-Dec-1999)

MONDRAGON INT'L PHILIPPINES: Creditors in settlement mood
Creditors of Mondragon International Philippines said they
were open to an amicable settlement with the management of
the leisure and gaming firm to avoid a protracted dispute.
Their decision followed the Securities and Exchange
Commission's order to Mondragon and its creditors to settle
their dispute amicably.

Mondragon chairman Jose Antonio Gonzales and creditor banks
Asian Banking Corp., United Coconut Planters Bank, and Far
East Bank and Trust Co. are fighting for control of the
hotel and casino operator. Gonzales has deposited as
collateral to the banks 369.44 million Mondragon shares in
exchange for their loans under an omnibus loan and security

The deal entitles the banks to voting rights over the
Mondragon shares, representing 54.21 percent of the total
outstanding shares of the company, in case of default.
The banks have told the SEC they are willing to settle with
Mondragon as long as the terms are reasonable. They said
they were willing to renegotiate Mondragon's major
contracts-especially those with the Clark Development Corp.
and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.-to attract
investors into the company.

The banks are also asking the SEC to reconsider an order
stopping them from exercising their right as stockholders
and officers of the leisure and gaming firm. They said
Mondragon's default now entitled them to call meetings and
nominate or remove board directors.  Mondragon used the
bank loans to build a casino, bungalows, and a hotel within
the Mimosa Leisure Estate at the Clark Special Economic
Zone for its subsidiary Mondragon Leisure and Resort Corp.

Mondragon International has had difficulties repaying its
creditor banks since Clark Development took over the Mimosa
leisure estate early this year and the Philippine
Amusements and Gaming Corp. closed the casino after
Mondragon failed to pay the rent.  Mondragon International
reclaimed Mimosa a few months ago, but its casino permit
has been cancelled. It agreed to pay its P375-million
obligations to Clark Development in installments up to June
30, 2000.  (Manila Times  20-Dec-1999)


ONPA INTERNATIONAL PLC: ONPA delays signing debt deal
Onpa International Plc has delayed the signing of its debt
restructuring deal with creditors from yesterday until
sometime next week.  

The signing was postponed a week because the documents were
incomplete, said Onpa's financial adviser, Prinyar
Prinyarnussorn, senior vice president of Seamico Securities

"There is no serious problem. It's just a matter of
incomplete documents. Details of the agreement remain the
same, and there will be no changes. Although the actual
date has yet to be fixed, the signing will be some time
next week," he explained.

The company has Bt780 million worth of debt that is not
backed by collateral. In addition, it has about Bt326
million in debt that is backed by collateral.  From the
Bt780 million worth of unsecured debt, creditors will take
a Bt270 million haircut; Bt310 million will be repaid
immediately; and about Bt200 million will be repaid over
seven years.

Recently, the company's shareholders approved raising its
registered capital from Bt750 million to Bt3.23 billion by
issuing new common shares.   A majority of the new shares
will be offered to Broadcasting Network Thailand Ltd (BNT).
After the capital increase and restructure, BNT could own
as much as 76.78 per cent in Onpa and existing shareholders
could see their stake diluted to just 23.22 per cent.  (The
Nation  18-Dec-1999)

PACIFIC RESORT CO. LTD.: To sell shares in two affiliates
Pacific Assets Plc (PA) gave approval on Wednesday to its
affiliate Pacific Resort Co Ltd to sell off shares in two
of its unproductive companies.

Pacific Restaurant Co Ltd and Pacific Travel Management Co
Ltd will be sold so PA can concentrate on its core-business
areas, a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand stated.
PA would sell its interest in the Pacific Restaurant to
Krua Baan Puen Ltd for Bt2 million, while Pacific Travel
Management would go to BDF Ltd at a price of Bt500,000.
The transaction will be completed by Dec 28, 1999.

As of September 1999, Pacific Restaurant posted an
accumulated loss of Bt3.9 million, while Pacific Travel
Management's losses stood at Bt5.2 million.  Janinthorn
Wongse-Thonge, corporate communications manager of PA, said
the sale of the shares would be in line with the company's
policy to pull out of non-core businesses and focus on core
areas that include hotels, office buildings and serviced
apartments. The moves were made in order to enter into a
debt restructuring agreement.

By unloading the companies Pacific Resort would help ease
the debt burden of the parent company, said Janinthorn.
Meanwhile, PA's board also approved Praewa Co Ltd's
proposal to transfer its lease rights to PA for a debt
payment of Bt107.047 million. The assets include a 6.5-year
lease of a 479-square metre office space in the Nai Lert
Building, and a 15-year lease of a 1,860-square metre
office space in the Silom Centre Building. The lease rights
are appraised at Bt400 million and Bt500 million

Under the agreement, Praewa has the option to buy back the
lease rights.  The two also agreed to waive all accrued
interest charges (both charged to and charged from). The
calculation of the debt settlement will be based on
principal loan amounts between the two companies.  (The
Nation  18-Dec-1999)

SINO-THAI ENGINEERING: Seeks bankruptcy court protection
Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (Stecon) and its
creditors yesterday jointly sought protection from the
Central Bankruptcy Court for a plan to restructure the
company's 6.38 billion baht in debts owed to 1,245

The listed construction company told the court that its
business had been affected by the economic crisis and
foreign exchange losses.  It said that it would be able to
recover once the economic crisis eased and the currency
stabilised. The restructuring plan, jointly worked out with
creditors, had been approved by more than 75% of the
creditors, it said.

The company has proposed Anuthin Charvirakul and Udomsak
Chakriyavanich as joint planners. The court had scheduled
the first hearing for Jan 17.  (Bangkok Post  18-Dec-1999)

THAI PETROCHEMICAL INDUS.: Creditors okay equity raising
In an abrupt about-face, the creditor steering committee of
Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc has endorsed the firm's
proposal to raise an additional US$1 billion equity next
year as part of its debt-restructuring plan.

The committee with 68 per cent of TPI's total debt of $3.5
billion rejected the equity-raising proposal on Dec 7,
arguing that it represents a principal change of the debt
workout plan agreed to by the two sides in February this
year. Some of the creditors had also threatened to take the
firm to court if TPI failed to abide by the original plan
before Jan 17.

With the endorsement now by the creditors' steering
committee (on the equity proposal), Prachai Leopairatana,
the major shareholder and chief executive of TPI, appears
to have struck a compromise with creditors. It was reported
that MR Chatu Mongol Sonakul, governor of the Bank of
Thailand and chairman of the Corporate Debt Restructuring
Advisory Committee, had intervened after Prachai's plan to
raise the massive equity was stonewalled by the creditors'
steering committee.

In the original plan, the amount of equity raising was not
specified, while the timetable was not as early as next
year.  Prachai has cited the upturn of petrochemical prices
and improved capital market sentiment as the reasons for a
big equity-augmentation plan next year. By resorting to
raising equity, the bargaining power of the Leopairatana
family will be enhanced, though the family will see its
holdings diluted to 30 per cent from the current 60 per

On Dec 7, some creditors said in a statement that they were
frustrated by the recapitalisation proposed by Prachai and
accused the embattled CEO of resorting to more tricks to
further delay the completion of debt workout and signing of
the deal.  In the original deal agreed to in February this
year, the creditors will become major shareholders through
a debt-to-equity swap. International Finance Corp alone
will convert its portion of loan into about 20 per cent
equity, thus increasing the power of creditors in running
the company.

TPI executive vice president and group chief financial
officer Wachirapunthu Promprasert said that despite the
steering committee's approval, the signing of debt
restructuring contract is still subject to approval from
the company's board and shareholders, so signing the new
deal is not possible within this week.

TPI has scheduled the meetings for its board on Dec 30, and
shareholders in February.  To enable the deal to be closed
earlier, the company will issue a letter to ensure that
there will not be any further changes to the debt reform
plan while the creditors will also have to issue a separate
letter stating that they endorse the capital increase plan,
he said.

As per TPI's plan, it will offer the Bt1-billion newly
issued shares through private placement, diluting the
Leophairatana family's shareholding by half from 60 per
cent to 30 per cent. The fund-raising plan is expected to
take place in the third quarter of next year.  The proceeds
will be used to reduce loans, bringing down its debts to
US$2.5 billion, in which US$400 million will be converted
into equity. For the rest, the first US$500 million will be
paid in five years and another US$500 million will be
serviced in the following two years.

He dismissed the allegation that TPI's recapitalisation was
another trick to delay debt workout after nearly two years
of talks with creditors.  Wachipapunthu said that TPI's new
debt reform plan had progressed because of Chatu Mongol's

Meanwhile, a source at Bangkok Bank, one of TPI's major
creditors, expressed lack of confidence for the agreement
to be sealed soon because Prachai had requested the bank to
change a few conditions.  The revised plan has also not
been submitted to creditors outside the steering committee,
the source pointed out.

On IFC's threat to file a bankruptcy suit against TPI
unless the contract earlier agreed upon is signed within
this week, he said: "Prachai has tried to buy time while
IFC has compromised over the past two years. If IFC filed a
lawsuit against TPI, other creditors including Bangkok Bank
will have to follow suit to protect our rights."

TPI is one of the country's largest corporate debtors with
US$3.2 billion debts owed to 148 foreign and local
creditors. Apart from IFC and BBL, Krung Thai Bank, Bank of
America, KFW, Korea Exim Bank and US Export-Import Bank are
also the major creditors.  (The Nation  20-Dec-1999)

TRI PETCH ISUZU: Recapitalizes for debt reduction
Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, the local distributor of Isuzu
vehicles, yesterday said it had recently completed a 40-
fold recapitalisation with funds injected by its parent
firm Mitsubishi Corp.

On Thursday, Mitsubishi said in a statement from Tokyo that
it had boosted its stake in Tri Petch to 98.68 per cent
from 45 per cent.   According a statement from Tri Petch,
its new registered capital of Bt8.3 billion has been paid-
up fully since Dec 15.  Previously, Thailand's second
largest auto company's registered capital was Bt200

Tri Petch did not provide details of its new shareholding
structure and only said that the stake of individual Thai
shareholders, as well Isuzu Motors Ltd (Japan), had
decreased as a result of the capital increase.  But due to
the huge capital injection, it is obvious that the
shareholding percentage of other shareholders would be
virtually wiped out.

Before the recapitalisation, Tri Petch was owned 19 per
cent by Isuzu; 31 per cent by four leading Thai families
(18 per cent by Boonsoong, 6 per cent by Sarasin, 6 per
cent by Sansue and 1 per cent by Krisdakorn); and 5 per
cent by BTM Finance.  Earlier, Tri Petch said the
recapitalisation funds would be used to repay Bt6 billion
borrowed from Mitsubishi in October 1998.

The statement did not explain why the amount of new capital
injection went up by Bt8.1 billion. Tri Petch did not
return a call made by The Nation.  

"This capital increase is mainly aimed at strengthening the
equity-ratio balance as well as to reduce the financial-
cost burden with strong support from Mitsubishi Corp
(Japan). However, the company's management structure
remains unchanged with the same board members and business
management system," Tri Petch said.  (The Nation  18-Dec-

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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