TCREUR_Public/040715.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

            Thursday, July 15, 2004, Vol. 5, No. 139

                            Headlines

C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C

CESKA SPORITELNA: Moody's Ups Strength Rating from D+ to C-
UNION BANKA: Files Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition vs. Invesmart


F R A N C E

ALSTOM SA: Launches EUR2.2 Billion Capital Increase
BULL SA: Recapitalization Receives Overwhelming Support
BULL SA: ADEF Rating Cut to 'T4' Following Debt-for-equity Swap
CRISTALLERIE ROYALE: 338-year-old Glassmaker Has New Owner
VALIANCE: Unit Likely to File for Bankruptcy by Month's End

VIDEOLAB: Nanterre Court Orders Liquidation
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Sells Babelsberg Studios in Germany for EUR1
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: VU Games Shakes up Worldwide Operation


G E R M A N Y

ALLIANZ AG: Offer for EUR25 Mln Bearer Bonds Expires Today
DRESDNER BANK: Allianz Mum on Plans for Bank; Keeps Options Open
VEREINIGTE DEUTSCHE: Sets Emergency Meeting as Stocks Slip 50%


I R E L A N D

AER RIANTA: Proposed Break-up to Trigger Default, Director Says


I T A L Y

PARMALAT FINANZIARIA: Parliament Forms Committee to Probe Banks


L U X E M B O U R G

STOLT OFFSHORE: Half-year Results Show Turnaround Progress


N E T H E R L A N D S

ROYAL SHELL: Hires Citigroup, Rothschild as Financial Advisors
ROYAL SHELL: Adjusts First-quarter Income by US$226 Million


P O L A N D

MILLENNIUM COMMUNICATIONS: Lenders Apply for Bankruptcy
POLSKA TELEFONIA: Earns Investment Grade Rating


R U S S I A

ALEKSANDRINO: Deadline for Proofs of Claim August 17
BEKON: Bankruptcy Proceedings Begin
GORBACHEVSKY MIX: Tula Court Commences Bankruptcy Procedure
ISHEEVSKY FACTORY: Declared Insolvent
MELIORATIVNO-FIRE: Proofs of Claim Deadline Expires August 17

NEFTE-GAZ-COMPLEKT: Sets Deadline for Proofs of Claim
RESURS: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Expires Next Month
SYSOLSKOYE ROAD: Insolvent Status Confirmed
VODOKANAL: Vladimir Court Commences Bankruptcy Proceedings
YARTSEVO-AGRO-PROM-ENERGO: Succumbs to Insolvency

YUKOS OIL: Russia Plans to Control Oil Distribution, Source Says
YUKOS OIL: Faces US$235 Mln Charge for Missing Tax Bill Deadline
YUKOS OIL: Jailed Shareholder Refused Leave for Medical Checkup
YUKOS OIL: Authorities Sequester Stake in Sibneft


S P A I N

IZAR: Needs More Government Aid to Stay Afloat


S W I T Z E R L A N D

ASCOM: Thomas Casata Appointed New Chief Financial Officer
SWISS INTERNATIONAL: First-half Seat Load Factor Improves


U K R A I N E

DOMOSTROJ GROUP: Declared Insolvent
ELEKTRON-GAZ: Public Auction of Assets July 27
ENERGOPROMINVEST: Kyiv Court Appoints Liquidator
GALICHINA +: Bankruptcy Proceedings Begin
HERSON' MECHANIZED: Declared Insolvent

KYIVSTAR GSM: 'B' Ratings Affirmed, May Soon be Upgraded
UKRAINIAN MARKETING: Insolvency Affirmed
UKR-NAFTO-GAZ: Under Bankruptcy Supervision


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

ABBEY NATIONAL: Bares Results of With Profits Funds Review
ALECTA REAL: Hires PricewaterhouseCoopers Liquidator
ALGROVE ASSOCIATES: Special Winding up Resolution Passed
ARROW MAILING: Hires Kroll Limited Administrator
BAR-NATION LIMITED: Names Mazars Administrator

BEXPEV LIMITED: Sets General Meeting August 11
BIRR MEAT: Court Orders Meat Firms to Wind Up
BRAND FIXING: Creditors Meeting Set July 26
BURTJAKE 123: Appoints BDO Stoy Hayward LLP Liquidator
BYWORD CONSTRUCTION: Sets Meeting July 23

CAREMEASURE LIMITED: Special Winding up Resolution Passed
COLT TELECOM: Selects OpenPages to Reduce Internal Control Costs
EGG PLC: To Leave Disastrous Card Venture in France
EMI GROUP: Sees Positive Trend in Recorded Music Market
EMMENS TRANSPORT: Appoints F A Simms & Partners Administrator

FLEET MOTOR: Sets Members Final Meeting August 13
FLOR DE LUTO: Final Meeting Set August 10
FREEDAW & CO.: Hires Receivers from Four The Chandlery
FULLERTON LIMITED: Members Final Meeting Set August 16
GAM STAR: Suspends Share to Prepare for Liquidation

GARHILL BEWDLEY: Sets Members General Meeting August 10
GLOBAL WASTECARE: Winding up Resolution Passed
JARVIS PLC: Bankers Advised to Support Restructuring Effort
MARKS & SPENCER: Revival Gets Support for Proposed Due Diligence
MARKS & SPENCER: CreditWatch Direction Revised to Negative

MARKS & SPENCER: Ratings on Related CMBS Deal Downgraded
MARKS & SPENCER: Philip Green Offering GBP1.6 Bln of Own Cash
MMS SPACE: Names Ernst & Young Liquidator
NOVATION ELECTRONIC: Names Receivers from Numerica
OXFORD INVESTMENT: Names Grant Thornton Administrator

P D Z EUROPA: Appoints Grant Thornton Administrator
PLACEWARE LIMITED: Appoints Liquidator from Numerica
PRESTIGE AUTO: Creditors Meeting Set Today
ROBERTS PARTNERS: Lloyds TSB Bank Appoints KPMG Receiver
SOLUTIONS RMC: Freeman Lands in Jail for Alleged GBP1 Mln Fraud

SWIFT TECHNICAL: Hires Richard Long & Co Liquidator
THORNTONS PLC: Sales for Last 52 Weeks Up 6.9%
WHITBY DAVISON: Hires Liquidators from BDO Stoy Hayward
W PROLF: Appoints Liquidators from Tenon Recovery


                            *********


===========================
C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C
===========================


CESKA SPORITELNA: Moody's Ups Strength Rating from D+ to C-
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the financial strength
rating of Czech savings bank Ceska sporitelna to C- from D+ with
a stable outlook, CTK reports.

Ceska sporitelna's A2/Prime-1 long and short-term deposit
ratings remained unchanged, based on expected support from its
strategic shareholder Erste Bank of Austria, said Moody's.

The upgrade mirrors Ceska sporitelna's success in its business
expansion and enhanced risk management.  Ceska sporitelna has
been focusing on strengthening its franchise while other
competitors have been more active on restructuring cost
structure.  The bank started its strong business expansion in
2003, particularly on the lending side.  This is now starting to
make a positive impact on the bank's revenue generation
capacity.

Moody's expects the bank's growth to be further driven by retail
lending, especially mortgages.  The rating agency notes Ceska
sporitelna's enhanced risk management, allowing it to increase
lending capacity.

Moody's said: "The sale of the bad bank portfolio in 2003 also
resulted in an improvement in Ceska sporitelna's asset quality
as non-performing loans decreased to 2% at the end of 2003 from
almost 8% in 2002."

"Any further improvement in the financial strength rating will
be linked to the sustainability of Ceska sporitelna's good asset
quality as well as enhancement in the bank's core profitability
measures, which remain modest as result of lagging cost
efficiency," CTK said, citing the rating agency.

                            *   *   *

Ceska sporitelna traces its roots to 1825, when the Sporitelna
ceska, the oldest predecessor of Ceska sporitelna, began
operating.  This tradition of a Czech savings institution was
continued in 1992 by Ceska sporitelna as a joint-stock company.
The almost five and a half million clients of Ceska sporitelna
today clearly show its strong position on the Czech market.

In 2000, Ceska sporitelna became a member of Erste Bank, a
powerful Central European financial group with 11.6 million
clients.  Within the next eighteen months, Ceska sporitelna
successfully completed its transformation -- a transformation
that aimed to the improvement of all key areas of the bank.
Now, the bank is stabilized and it fully concentrates to the
further improvement of its products for all client segments.

Key figures as of March 31, 2004:

Total Assets                          CZK620 billion
Number of Clients                     5,392,885
Number of direct banking clients      792,184
Number of Branches                    663
Number of ATMs                        1,071

CONTACT:  Ceska sporitelna, a.s.
          Olbrachtova 1929/62
          140 00 Praha 4
          IC: 45244782
          Phone: 261071111
          Help Desk: 800207207
          Telex: 121010 spdb c, 121624 spdb c, 121605 spdb c

          E-mail: csas@csas.cz
          Web site: http://www.csas.cz


UNION BANKA: Files Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition vs. Invesmart
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bankrupt Union Banka has sought the declaration of bankruptcy on
Dutch investment adviser Invesmart B.V., Europe Intelligence
Wire reports.

Citing CTK, the newswire says Czech bank has hired a local law
office in Netherlands to file the petition.  Receiver Michaela
Huserova did not identify the law firm.  He said Invesmart owes
the Union Banka CZK3 billion, making it the largest debtor of
the bank.

"The petition for bankruptcy has been filed after the one-year
efforts of the bankruptcy team to have this biggest debtor pay
the debts were in vain," CTK quoted Union Banka spokesman
Oldrich Babicky.

"Invesmart has not been communicating with the receiver since
the declaration of bankruptcy and all attempts to exact the
claims have been futile," Mr. Babicky added.

Aside from Invesmart, Mr. Huserova has also sought a similar
declaration on the Union Group, the bank's No.2 debtor.
Communication with Union Group has also been very difficult, he
said.


===========
F R A N C E
===========


ALSTOM SA: Launches EUR2.2 Billion Capital Increase
---------------------------------------------------
Alstom launched two capital increases decided by the
Extraordinary General Meeting held on 9 July 2004:

(a) One with preferential subscription rights of a maximum
    amount of approximately EUR1,565 million, to be subscribed
    to either in cash or by conversion of debt.  Shareholders
    can subscribe to 14 new shares with 5 shares held.  They
    will also be able to subscribe to a higher number of shares
    on a reducible basis.  The subscription price for the new
    shares has been set at EUR0.40 if paid for in cash.  It has
    been set at EUR0.50 if paid for by conversion of debt due
    and payable.  The subscription period will last 9 working
    days, starting Tuesday 20 July 2004 to Friday 30 July 2004
    inclusive.  At the end of this period, non-exercised
    preferential subscription rights will be cancelled and
    de-listed.  Shareholders may choose to sell their rights on
    the market if they do not wish to participate in this
    operation.

(b) The other reserved for certain Alstom creditors for a total
    maximum amount of EUR635 million to be subscribed to only by
    conversion of Alstom's debt.  The subscription price of the
    new shares has been set at EUR0.50 per share.  The
    subscription period will also close on Friday 30 July 2004.

                            *   *   *

This document cannot be distributed or published in the United
States, Canada, Australia or Japan.

CONTACT:  ALSTOM S.A.
          Press Relations:
          S. Gagneraud
          G. Tourvieille
          Phone: +33 1 47 55 25 87
          E-mail: internet.press@chq.alstom.com

          Investor Relations:
          E. Chatelain
          Phone: +33 1 47 55 25 33
          E-mail: investor.relations@chq.alstom.com


BULL SA: Recapitalization Receives Overwhelming Support
-------------------------------------------------------
Bull's Board of Directors, which met 12 July 2004, took note of
the results of the new share-capital increase and public
exchange offer for Oceanes bondholders, which respectively
closed 30 June and 2 July 2004.

Capital Increase Results

About 94.4% of the minority shareholders subscribed to the
capital increase by exercising their Preferential Subscription
Rights (53 million exercised).  This subscription will give rise
to the issue of 137,975,084 new shares.

Bull's Board of Directors then decided, in accordance with the
plan presented in the offering memorandum, to allocate the
shares remaining, i.e. 304,542,043 shares, to be subscribed to
investors who had committed themselves guaranteeing the share
capital increase in November 2003.

                    Number of shares allocated
NEC                          68,717,224
France Telecom                68,717,224
Axa Private Equity               64,136,075
Artemis                      18,324,593
Debeka                      27,486,889
Bull Managers                49,029,968
Bondholders Oceanes           8,130,070
TOTAL                           304,542,043

Public Exchange Offer Results

On a total of 11,495,396 Oceanes bonds, 10,974,037 (95.46%) were
brought to the public exchange offer:

(a) 201,451 Oceanes bonds were brought to the 1st branch (1 bond
    in exchange for 20 new shares) and will give rise to the
    issue of 4,029,020 new shares.

(b) 10,772,786 Oceanes bonds, i.e. 98% of the exchanged bonds,
    were brought to the 2nd branch (1 bond in exchange for 16
    new shares with warrants attached - ABSA) and will give rise
    to the issue of 172,361,376 shares with warrants -- ABSA.
    The warrants (BSA) will be detached and quoted, giving
    rights from 15 July until 15  December 2004 to subscribe
    to one Bull share at the price of EUR0.10 per share.

The Board of Directors decided to carry out the share capital
increase of the company in accordance with the resolutions
approved by the Shareholders Meeting of 25 May 2004.  The
closing of these operations marks an essential step in Bull's
recapitalization process, such as was defined on 20 November
2003 under the chairmanship of Pierre Bonelli and put into
operation on 31 March 2004.

Bull's recapitalization will be definitively completed as soon
as the State loan processing, as described in the various
memorandums, will be effective, after the approval of the
European Commission.

Following the Board meeting, Gervais Pellissier, acting Chairman
of the Board and Managing Director, stated: "Bull's Board of
Directors was pleased with the success of the public exchange
offer and the share capital increase of the company, the results
of which testify to the confidence of its shareholders and
Oceanes bondholders in the strategy and future of the company."

CONTACT:  BULL S.A.
          Marie-Claude Bessis
          Phone: + 33 1 39 66 70 55
          E-mail: marie-claude.bessis@bull.net


BULL SA: ADEF Rating Cut to 'T4' Following Debt-for-equity Swap
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Tuesday lowered its ADEF
short-term rating on French IT company Groupe Bull to 'T4' from
'T3', reflecting the exchange of 95.5% of the group's bonds into
equity.

"The rating action reflects the fact that the transaction is
tantamount to a default, since the exchange was based on an
economic value, which is 90% below the nominal, as approved by
bondholders in December 2003," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Patrice Cochelin.

With 2003 revenues and EBIT of EUR1.265 billion and EUR41
million, respectively, Bull is a supplier of IT products (46% of
2003 revenues), in particular servers, with the balance of
revenues deriving from related maintenance and services.  The
company expects revenues and EBIT of EUR570 million (-8%) and
EUR17 million (-15%), respectively, in first-half 2004.

The bond exchange is part of a complete financial restructuring
of Bull's balance sheet, which also includes a EUR491 million
loan from the French state.  The French state has notified E.U.
antitrust authorities of its intention to grant restructuring
aid to Bull by January 1, 2005, at the latest.  Capitalized
interest will have brought the loan balance to about EUR517
million by then.

The state is confident that it will obtain the necessary
approval from the E.U. in the coming months, following which
Bull will be in a position to redeem the loan.  The state will
also benefit from an earn-out mechanism ("clause de retour a
meilleure fortune") of 23.5% of Bull's ordinary pre-tax income
(above EUR10 million) for eight years starting on the 2005
results.  In an intermediary step, the loan was converted on
March 31, 2004 into subordinated debt maturing in 2033.

The financial restructuring also entails a EUR44.3 million
equity injection by a group of existing shareholders and new
investors, which is expected to be finalized in July 2004.  In
addition, a large proportion of bondholders have opted for the
offer's second option, which includes warrants in addition to
shares.

Following the financial restructuring of its balance sheet, Bull
will have limited financial debt (essentially a receivables
securitization program, maturing in December 2005, of which
EUR54 million was used at year-end 2003 and EUR9.6 million of
bonds not tendered to the offer), and debt-like obligations
(EUR86 million unfunded post-retirement benefit obligations and
about EUR65 million as present value of property lease
commitments).  Bull's financial flexibility is limited, as the
group does not have available medium-term committed bank lines.
Cash and cash equivalents were EUR65 million and EUR99 million,
respectively, at year-end 2003.

Bull's liquidity will improve following the equity injection and
could be further enhanced with the exercise of warrants attached
to the exchanged bonds (which could represent a value of up to
EUR17.2 million to be received by December 15, 2004).  In
addition, Bull still owns close to 6% of French IT services firm
Steria (a stake currently worth EUR25-EUR30 million).

Standard & Poor's will reassess its rating on Bull once the E.U.
has made a decision regarding the restructuring aid.


CRISTALLERIE ROYALE: 338-year-old Glassmaker Has New Owner
----------------------------------------------------------
The new head of glassmaker Cristallerie Royale de Champagne will
relaunch the company after a year in receivership, Les Echos
reports.

Patrice Gabus, who bought the company from Luxembourg-based
group Regalux Investment, said he would soon sign an agreement
with a famous Paris sculptor who will become the new artistic
director of the group.  He will also reduce the company's
current catalogue, which contains 1,500 pieces, and launch a new
brand, Cristal de Bayel, to appeal to a larger public.

Established in 1666, Cristallerie Royale saw its turnover drop
from EUR6.2 million in 2000 to EUR3 million last year.  Swiss
investors and local partners backed Mr. Gabus' acquisition of
the glassmaker.


VALIANCE: Unit Likely to File for Bankruptcy by Month's End
-----------------------------------------------------------
French fund transportation group Valiance has failed to find a
new buyer for Valiance Fiduciaire, making it increasingly
difficult to save the subsidiary from bankruptcy.

According to Les Echos, Oberthur, one of Valiance's creditors,
has decided against an acquisition due to a conflict of
interest.  Another interested buyer, Group 4 Falck of Sweden,
made the same decision in April after an in-depth audit.

Union representatives say it is unlikely that Valiance
Fiduciaire, the group's fund transportation division, will
escape bankruptcy by the end of July.  The union has been on
strike since last week.  They oppose a redundancy plan that will
see 1,100 of the 3,200 employees go.  They claim the severance
package management has offered is inadequate.

Valiance's debt is estimated to be EUR200 million.

CONTACT:  Direction Commerciale France
          Phone: 04 72 19 24 60
          E-mail: valiance@valiance.fr

          Direction de la communication Groupe
          Phone: 04 72 19 22 49
          Web site: http://www.valiance.fr/index4.php


VIDEOLAB: Nanterre Court Orders Liquidation
-------------------------------------------
The Nanterre commercial court has put videocassette-duplication
specialist Videolab into liquidation, Les Echos reports.

Videolab is a subsidiary of French postproduction services group

Even Video Broadcast.  Even Video Chairman Henri Cegerra had
hoped to stabilize Videolab's production at 200,000 duplications
per month, from the previous volume of 400,000, but the rapid
replacement of cassettes with DVDs proved fatal for the
business.  Videolab's production has gone down to 70,000 a month
lately.

It did not help that French hypermarket Carrefour, for instance,
decided to completely remove videos from its product line, Mr.
Cegerra lamented.  Videolab's closure leaves 37 jobless.

CONTACT:  Even Video Broadcast
          41-43 bis rue de Cronstadt
          75015 Paris
          Annick Massip
          Phone: 01 56 56 88 00
          Fax: 01 42 50 99 52
          E-mail: amassip.even@wanadoo.fr


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Sells Babelsberg Studios in Germany for EUR1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vivendi Universal has reached a deal with a group of German
investors led by Carl Woebcken and Christoph Fisser regarding
the sale of the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, Germany.

Vivendi Universal is disposing of the Studios for the symbolic
amount of EUR1 and has agreed to reimburse EUR18 million worth
of debt.  This asset disposal is part of the group's loss
elimination policy.

Projects currently being shot at the Studios will not be
affected by the change in shareholding.  In the long term and in
parallel to the existing business, the buyers intend to develop
the studio activities in the field of television production.

CONTACT:  VIVENDI UNIVERSAL S.A.
          42 Avenue de Friedland
          75380 Paris Cedex 08, France
          Phone: +33 1 71 71 70 00
          Fax:   +33 1 71 71 10 01
          Web site: http://www.vivendiuniversal.com

          Media
          Paris
          Antoine Lefort
          Phone: +33 (0) 1 71 71 11 80

          Agnes Vetillart
          Phone: +33 (0) 1 71 71 30 82

          Alain Delrieu
          Phone: +33 (0) 1 71 71 10 86

          New York
          Flavie Lemarchand
          Phone: +(212) 572 1118

          Investor Relations
          Paris
          Daniel Scolan
          Phone: +33 (0) 1 71 71 32 91

          Laurence Daniel
          Phone: +33 (0) 1 71 71 12 33

          New York
          Eileen McLaughlin
          Phone: +(1) 212 572 8961


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: VU Games Shakes up Worldwide Operation
---------------------------------------------------------
Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) on Tuesday announced a new
organization of its international operations.  Asia-Pacific and
Europe will now operate as separate businesses, creating a
stronger focus on these key regions.

VU Games will have regional presidents lead the company's
operations in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe.  Hubert
Larenaudie has been named President, Asia-Pacific effective
immediately.  Philip W. O'Neil was named President, North
America in May 2004.  Jean-Francois Grollemund, Chief Financial
Officer, will assume the additional role of President, Europe
effective August 1.  The three regional presidents will report
to Bruce Hack, CEO of VU Games.

The former President and COO International, Christophe Ramboz,
will leave to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Ramboz will remain
with the company to assist with the transition through July 31,
2004.

About Vivendi Universal Games

Headquartered in Los Angeles, VU Games is a leading global
developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform
interactive entertainment.  Its development studios and
publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra
Entertainment, Fox Interactive and Massive Entertainment.  VU
Games' library of over 700 titles features multi-million unit
selling properties such as Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo from
Blizzard; Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Ground Control,
Tribes and Leisure Suit Larry.

CONTACT:  VIVENDI UNIVERSAL
          U.S. Media
          Leslie Hollingshead
          Phone: +1-310-431-4533,
          E-mail: leslie.hollingshead@vugames.com

          Asia-Pacific Media
          Kim Watt
          Phone: +(65) 6725-9813
          E-mail: kim.watt@vugames.com.sg

          Vivendi Universal Games or European Media
          Antoine Lefort of Vivendi Universal (Headquarters)
          Phone: +33 (1) 71-71-11-80
          E-mail: antoine.lefort@groupvu.com


=============
G E R M A N Y
=============


ALLIANZ AG: Offer for EUR25 Mln Bearer Bonds Expires Today
----------------------------------------------------------
The offer period for WestLB's reverse convertible on shares of
Allianz AG ends on July 15, 2004.  The bearer bond, reverse
convertible at the issuer's option, pays an interest rate of 5%
p.a.  The total volume of the issue is EUR25 million and it is
available in denominations of EUR5,000.  The initial offer price
of the reverse convertible is 100%.  Payment date is July 22,
2004.

The bearer bond will be redeemed on January 28, 2005 either at
par (scenario A) or by delivery of shares of Allianz AG at a
strike price still to be fixed (scenario B).  The number of
shares to be delivered and the reference will be fixed on July
16, 2004 at 4:30 p.m. CET.  The bearer bond will be listed on
the Frankfurt (Freiverkehr) and Stuttgart (EUWAX) Stock
Exchanges (Freiverkehr).

CONTACT:  ALLIANZ GROUP
          Koniginstrasse 28
          D-80802 Munich, Germany
          Phone: +49 89 3800 0
          Fax:   +49 89 3800 3425
          Web site: http://www.allianz.com


DRESDNER BANK: Allianz Mum on Plans for Bank; Keeps Options Open
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allianz AG is keeping its option open for investment banking
unit Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW).  It may float the
division or find a partner for it in case it needed extra funds.
But as long as the company earns it keep, maintain a low-risk
profile, and meets profit requirement, it would not think of
divesting it.

A spokesman said the issue is not in the agenda now despite a
call for clear strategy on the unit as the deadline for its
review draws near.  Allianz previously said it would re-examine
DrKW's situation in mid-2005.  The low morale in the group has
given rivals such as Credit Suisse First Boston to snatch up top
bankers from the unit.

Paul Achleitner, the Allianz board member in charge of
divestments, is keen not to pin himself on any specific strategy
for divesting DrKW to have a leeway in future negotiations.

Allianz has dumped EUR2.4 billion (US$3.0 billion) into DrKW
since the insurance company acquired Dresdner Bank in 2001.  A
spokesperson for DrKW said the firm has only spent only EUR1.8
billion so far.  Unlike Dresdner, DrKW continues to turn in a
profit.

Analysts at Merck Finck & Co reiterate their "buy" rating on
Allianz after rumors of a change in Allianz's strategy towards
DrKW emerged.  According to New Ratings, the analysts believe
that the company would divide Dresdner Bank into two units, a
retail and private banking unit and a corporate banking unit.
The corporate banking segment may or may not include DrKW, Merck
Finck & Co says.


VEREINIGTE DEUTSCHE: Sets Emergency Meeting as Stocks Slip 50%
--------------------------------------------------------------
German holding company Vereinigte Deutsche Nickel-Werke AG (VDN)
has lost more than 50% of its capital stock and is set to hold
an extraordinary general meeting on August 18, Borsen Zeitung
says.

VDN has managed to avoid insolvency through the help of its
creditor banks in June.  The company has not disclosed the
extent of its debts.  Before the company avoided insolvency, its
share price had dived to EUR0.65.  Monday's trading saw VDN
shares priced at EUR1.50.

                            *   *   *

Vereinigte Deutsche Nickel-Werke AG (VDN) operates four key
business units: Metal semis/parts (producing metal strip, wire,
rods, cups, pins and anodes); Payment instruments/Eurocoin AG
(producing coins and medals); Precious metals (recovering
precious metals including gold, silver and palladium from waste
materials); Trading/Services (Trading in giftware and licensed
goods, and IT services).

CONTACT:  VEREINIGTE DEUTSCHE NICKEL-WERKE AG
          Rosenweg 15 58239 Schwerte, Germany
          Phone: +49 23 04 108-0
                 +49 23 04 108-434
          Web site: http://www.deutsche-nickel.de/


=============
I R E L A N D
=============


AER RIANTA: Proposed Break-up to Trigger Default, Director Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
A director of Aer Rianta, who is also a member of union SIPTU,
will not hesitate to go to court to protect the future of the
airline, Businessworld reports.

Peter Dunne says most legal experts opine a breakup of the state
airports operator would trigger an early repayment of EUR250
million of its EUR484 million debt.

The government is currently pushing for the State Airports Bill,
2004, which will split up Aer Rianta into three individual
companies.  Mr. Dune said he is obliged to act in the best
interests of the company and its assets.  He will take an
injunction against the minister implementing the legislation to
uphold this principle.

Aer Rianta has issued EUR250 million in bonds due 2011.
Deutsche Bank acts as trustee for the bondholders.  It is
thought a restructuring could constitute a breach, or "default",
of the terms and conditions of the loan, triggering an early
repayment.


=========
I T A L Y
=========


PARMALAT FINANZIARIA: Parliament Forms Committee to Probe Banks
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Italian parliament Tuesday passed an amendment that allows
an inquiry into Italian banks connected with the Parmalat fraud
case, Xinhua News reports.  Passed with a 235-202 vote, the
amendment will lead to the creation of a parliamentary committee
of inquiry into the Parmalat affair.

The Parmalat scandal erupted in December after the food company
announced its US$5 billion account in the Bank of America was a
lie.  The company applied for bankruptcy protection and an audit
of its account saw a debt of US$18 billion.  The scandal
agitated financial and political establishments in Italy and in
other countries.  Parmalat operates businesses from Brazil to
the U.S. and its bonds were traded in Italy and on the Wall
Street.


===================
L U X E M B O U R G
===================


STOLT OFFSHORE: Half-year Results Show Turnaround Progress
----------------------------------------------------------
Stolt Offshore S.A. (NasdaqNM: SOSA; Oslo Stock Exchange: STO)
announced unaudited results for the second-quarter and six
months ended on May 31, 2004.

Second Quarter Highlights

(a) Group-wide operating performance continues in line with the
    recovery plan announced in July 2003

    (i) Market refocus and new organization delivering good
        commercial progress

   (ii) Year on year strong reduction in net losses

(b) Contract awards in the first half totaled over US$1.2
    billion

    (i) Revenue shift from legacy contracts to new projects
        underway

(c) Balance sheet restructuring completed

    (i) Subsequent issue raised US$65 million new equity and was
        66% oversubscribed

   (ii) US$40 million in further asset disposal proceeds

  (iii) Gross debt reduced to US$297 million

(d) Election of two new independent directors to Stolt Offshore
    board

Tom Ehret, Chief Executive Officer, Stolt Offshore S.A., said:
"Stolt Offshore's turnaround is now well advanced.  The Group
now has the financial resources to compete effectively in its
chosen markets thanks to a much-improved balance between equity
and debt.  Furthermore, 45 project wins, with a total value of
US$1.2 billion in the first half of 2004 underlines that Stolt
Offshore not only has made strong progress in winning profitable
contracts but is transforming its earnings base and moving on
from the period dominated by legacy projects.

"Looking ahead, the management team is focused on delivering
sustainable profits.  This will be achieved through the
combination of sound project management to grow margins across
the Group and further project wins in its target market
segments."

Backlog

Commercial activities in all areas have been sustained and a
steady stream of successes has been seen in the NAMEX and NEC
regions.  At quarter end the backlog stood at US$1,748 million
of which US$579 million is for execution in 2004.  In addition
to this backlog, we have received US$267 million in signed
letters of intent during the second quarter.

Operating Review

Projects throughout the Group performed well in the first half,
with a particularly strong financial performance in the NEC
region.  The only exceptions were the Sanha and Bonga projects
where problems discussed in the first quarter earnings release
have continued to lead to downgrades in the second quarter.

Regarding the completion of Sanha, an agreement was signed May
19, 2004 with Chevron Texaco improving the operating conditions
in the field and providing upside potential through performance.
To date, execution has met or exceeded the targets set for May
and June.  Completion is scheduled for September.

Since the quarter end, an agreement has been initiated with
SNEPCO, and awaits final signature, regarding the contract terms
for the completion of the Bonga project.  This would limit Stolt
Offshore's downside risk for the remainder of the project, and
provide upside subject to performance.  Operations resume
imminently with completion scheduled for year-end.

Financial Review

The progressive elimination of legacy contracts and the
consequent reduction of major AFMED projects is chiefly
responsible for revenue during the quarter being US$89.5 million
lower than the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2003.

Several significant gains and losses affected overall
profitability during the quarter.  Downgrades on the Sanha and
Bonga projects accounted for losses of US$39.4 million in the
quarter and US$68.2 million for the first half.  Sales, general
and administrative costs continue to reflect restructuring and
refinancing costs associated with the turnaround.  Offsetting
these impacts, the result for the quarter includes US$26.3
million in respect of gains on the sale of assets and
businesses, principally in relation to Serimer Dasa.

Financial Restructuring

Stolt Offshore has now successfully completed the financial
restructuring program.  During the first-half year the Company
raised a total of US$165 million in new equity before costs in
addition to the US$50 million subordinated debt conversion to
equity.  As a result of the increased equity, Stolt Offshore's
free float on the Nasdaq and Oslo exchanges has increased from
37% in January 2004 to 58% today.

An after tax gain of US$20 million was recorded on the disposal
of Serimer Dasa, our welding services subsidiary.  The asset
sales program has achieved gross proceeds of US$91 million so
far, with certain small disposals still outstanding.  Following
a review, the management team has concluded that there is an
attractive business case for retaining the survey business
within the Group.

The gross debt position was reduced by US$48 million during the
quarter to US$297 million.  The company is holding cash balances
of US$262 million at the quarter end.  Options to optimize the
company's capital structure continue to be reviewed through the
ordinary course of treasury management.

Outlook & Current Trading

West Africa continues to generate the highest level of future
activity and opportunity, and whilst there have been few major
awards recently, it is anticipated that a number of tendered
projects will be awarded within the second half of the year.

Elsewhere, demand remains at a steady level with some
interesting longer-term prospects starting to be visible in the
Far East.  Furthermore, there are a number of significant
projects, both within SURF and Conventional markets, which have
been discussed with the operators for sometime, but now look set
to finally come into the market as formal invitations to tender.
Again the majority of these will be for execution in West
Africa.

We are pleased to see that the volume of awards of smaller
projects continues at a steady pace.  We believe that we are
currently securing our expected market share of these projects.
These smaller projects are equally as important as large
projects as they underpin the business going forward with
respect to asset utilization.

The Stolt Offshore management remains confident of achieving its
target of reaching breakeven for the full year following the
material progress made towards this goal during the second
quarter.

                            *   *   *

Stolt Offshore is a leading offshore contractor to the oil and
gas industry, specializing in technologically sophisticated
deepwater engineering, flowline and pipeline lay, construction,
inspection and maintenance services.  The company operates in
Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, Asia Pacific, and the
Americas

CONTACT:  STOLT OFFSHORE S.A.
          Julian Thomson
          Fiona Harris
          Phone: (U.K.) +44 1224 718436
          Phone: (U.S.) +1 877 603 0267 (toll free)
          E-mail: julian.thomson@stoltoffshore.com

          BRUNSWICK GROUP
          Patrick Handley (UK)
          Tim Payne (US)
          Phone: (U.K.) +44 207 404 5959
          Phone: (U.S.) +1 212 333 3810
          E-mails: phandley@brunswickgroup.com
                   tpayne@brunswickgroup.com

          REGISTERED OFFICES
          26, rue Louvigny, Luxembourg

          PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICES
          Stolt Offshore M.S. Ltd.
          Dolphin House, Windmill Road,
          Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex
          TW16 7HT England
          Phone: (+44) (0)1932-773-700
          Web site: http://www.stoltoffshore.com


=====================
N E T H E R L A N D S
=====================


ROYAL SHELL: Hires Citigroup, Rothschild as Financial Advisors
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies appointed Citigroup and
Rothschild as financial advisors to the Steering Committee,
chaired by Lord Kerr, reviewing Shell's structure and
governance.

On 17 June 2004, Shell confirmed that the Review, first
announced on 5 March 2004, included possible simplification of
the management structures of the Boards and the Group;
improvements to decision-making processes and accountability and
enhancing effective leadership for the Group as a whole.

Membership of the Steering Committee is drawn from the Boards of
the two parent companies, the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and
The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c. The Committee
is assisted by a Working Group of senior Shell executives and
external legal advisers, details of which were announced on 17
June 2004.

Since the Annual General Meetings of the Royal Dutch Petroleum
Company and The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c.,
on 28 June 2004, Lord Kerr and his Steering Committee colleagues
have been in discussions with major investors.  These
discussions continue.  The selection of financial advisers
enables the Steering Committee to deepen its analysis of key
options.

Shell has indicated its intention to publish the results of the
review of governance and structure in November 2004 in order to
present resolutions to shareholders by its Annual General
Meetings in April 2005.


ROYAL SHELL: Adjusts First-quarter Income by US$226 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies placed on its Web site
a quarterly breakdown of previously disclosed financial
restatements for the four quarters of 2003 and the first quarter
of 2004.

Shell published the information to give investors further
clarity with respect to the quarterly effects of the 2003 annual
restatement that was disclosed in May and in recent regulatory
filings.

For the first quarter 2004, the change in accounting principle
for inventories increased previously reported net income by
US$226 million to US$4.7 billion.  Future quarterly results will
incorporate the changes to the accounting policies announced in
the regulatory release on 24 May 2004.  Earnings on a Current
Cost of Supplies (CCS) basis will continue to be advised.

The quarterly restatements for 2003 are consistent with the 2003
annual reports and accounts and 2003 Form 20-F and reflect the
financial impact of the proved reserves restatement, the change
in accounting principle for inventories, the change in treatment
of exploration costs and the change in treatment of certain gas
contracts.

As previously disclosed in the 2003 annual report and accounts
and 2003 Form 20-F, the restatement reduced 2003 net income by
US$203 million.

The schedule also includes updated quarterly production figures.
As per the 2003 annual reports and accounts and 2003 Form 20-F,
production figures were restated to eliminate certain cash paid
royalties in Canada, with the effect reduction in production of
9 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2003.  Oil sands
production is shown separately on the schedule.

The schedule can be downloaded in excel format at
http://www.shell.com/results

As previously advised, Shell's second-quarter results will be
announced on 29 July 2004.


===========
P O L A N D
===========


MILLENNIUM COMMUNICATIONS: Lenders Apply for Bankruptcy
-------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Millennium Telecom are seeking bankruptcy for
telecom and IT service provider to recover over PLN30 million in
loans, Warsaw Business Journal reports.

Telecom operators Netia and Netia-controlled El-Net have
submitted two motions to declare the company bankrupt at the
Warsaw district court.  Netia attempted to take over operations
of Millennium years ago.  The transaction did not push through
despite Netia already providing it with a PLN11 million loan.

Millennium has PLN58 million total debt and only PLN36 million
in fixed assets.


POLSKA TELEFONIA: Earns Investment Grade Rating
-----------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term
corporate credit and bank loan ratings on Poland-based mobile
telecommunications operator Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa Sp. z o.o.
(PTC) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+', primarily reflecting the company's
improved financial profile and continued strong operating
performance.  The outlook is stable.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's raised its subordinated debt
ratings on guaranteed subsidiary PTC International Finance II
S.A. to 'BB+' from 'BB-'.

"The upgrade of PTC to the investment-grade category reflects
the company's continued strong financial performance and strong
visibility with regard to cash flow generation," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Michael O'Brien.  "This has been assisted
by the company's strategic and financial flexibility, which has
enabled PTC to maintain its leading mobile telephony market
position in Poland, in terms of both market value and
subscribers."

PTC is expected to maintain its credit profile by sustaining its
market position, maintaining operating margins, generating
sustainable free operating cash flow, and controlling future
investment expenditures.  In particular, capital and commercial
spending linked to the launch of third-generation mobile
telephony services are expected to be managed prudently, in
order to maintain a positive, sustained level of free cash over
the period of deployment.  At the same time, it is expected that
any future potential dividend payments will be at a level that
will not affect the credit quality of the company.


===========
R U S S I A
===========


ALEKSANDRINO: Deadline for Proofs of Claim August 17
----------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Smolensk region declared Plemennoy
state farm Aleksandrino insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings.  The case is docketed as A62-538-H/2003.  Mr. D.
Kuzmenkov has been appointed insolvency manager.  Creditors have
until August 17, 2004 to submit their proofs of claim to the
insolvency manager at 215010, Russia, Smolensk region, Gagarin,
Krasnoarmeyskaya Str. 73.

CONTACT:  ALEKSANDRINO
          215221, Russia,
          Smolensk Region,
          Novoduginsky Region, Torbeevo
          Phone/Fax: (08135) 4-55-50

          Mr. D. Kuzmenkov
          Insolvency Manager
          215010, Russia,
          Smolensk region, Gagarin,
          Krasnoarmeyskaya Str. 73


BEKON: Bankruptcy Proceedings Begin
-----------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Yamoalo-Nenetsky autonomous region
declared municipal industrial trade enterprise Bekon insolvent
and introduced bankruptcy proceedings.  The case is docketed as
A2844-/4427B-03.  Ms. T. Shneider has been appointed insolvency
manager.   Creditors are asked to submit their proofs of claim
to the insolvency manager at 629806, Russia, Yamoalo-Nenetsky
autonomous region, Noyabrsk, Lenina Str. 29.

CONTACT:  BEKON
          Russia, Yamoalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region,
          Noyabrsk, Lenina Str. 29

          Ms. T. Shneider
          Insolvency Manager
          629806, Russia,
          Yamoalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region,
          Noyabrsk, Lenina Str. 29


GORBACHEVSKY MIX: Tula Court Commences Bankruptcy Procedure
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Tula region declared OJSC Gorbachevsky
Mix Fodder Factory insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings.  The case is docketed as A68-82/B-03.  Mr. D.
Altukhov has been appointed insolvency manager.  Creditors are
asked to submit their proofs of claim to 300026, Russia, Tula,
Ryazanskay Str. 1, office 601, Post User Box 1451.

CONTACT:  GORBACHEVSKY MIX FODDER FACTORY
          Russia, Tula Region,
          Plavsky Region, Gorbachevo

          Mr. D. Altukhov
          Insolvency Manager
          300026, Russia,
          Tula, Ryazanskay Str. 1,
          Office 601, Post User Box 1451


ISHEEVSKY FACTORY: Declared Insolvent
-------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Ulyanovsk region declared CJSC
Isheevsky Factory for the Repair of Fuel Equipment insolvent and
introduced bankruptcy proceedings.  The case is docketed as A72-
2823-/03-X3-B.  Mr. A. Pavlov has been appointed insolvency
manager.  Creditors are asked to submit their proofs of claim to
432071, Russia, Ulyanovsk, Krymova Str. 47.

CONTACT:  Isheevsky Factory On The Repair Of Fuel Equipment
          Russia, Ulyanovsk Region,
          Ulyanovsk Region, Isheevka,
          Gagrina Str. 12.

          Mr. A. Pavlov
          Insolvency Manager
          432071, Russia,
          Ulyanovsk, Krymova Str. 47


MELIORATIVNO-FIRE: Proofs of Claim Deadline Expires August 17
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Bryansk region declared federal state
unitary enterprise navlinskaya wood Meliorativno-Fire Station
insolvent and introduced bankruptcy proceedings.  The case is
docketed as A09-9869/03-27.  Mr. A. Sherbak has been appointed
insolvency manager.  Creditors have until August 17, 2004 to
submit their proofs of claim to the insolvency manager at
241037, Russia, Bryansk-37, Post User Box 42.

CONTACT:  MELIORATIVNO-FIRE STATION
          242130, Russia, Bryansk Region,
          Novlya, Promyshlennaya Str. 6

          Mr. A. Sherbak
          Insolvency Manager
          241037, Russia, Bryansk-37,
          Post User Box 42
          Phone: (0832) 62-28-59


NEFTE-GAZ-COMPLEKT: Sets Deadline for Proofs of Claim
-----------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Yamoalo-Nenetsky autonomous region
declared oil-gas corporation CJSC Nefte-Gaz-Complekt insolvent
and introduced bankruptcy proceedings.  The case is docketed as
A81-2831/1203-03.  Ms. K. Merkulova has been appointed
insolvency manager.  Creditors have until August 17, 2004 to
submit their proofs of claim to Russia, Yamoalo-Nenetsky
autonomous region, Gubkinsky, 5th location 5, Apartment 20.

CONTACT:  NEFTE-GAZ-COMPLEKT
          Russia, Yamoalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region,
          Gubkinsky, 4th location 7

          Ms. K. Merkulova
          Insolvency Manager
          Russia, Yamoalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region
          Gubkinsky, 5th location 5


RESURS: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Expires Next Month
-------------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Komi republic declared Industrial
Combine Resurs insolvent and introduced bankruptcy proceedings.
The case is docketed as A29-6265/03-3B.  Mr. A. Rumyantsev has
been appointed insolvency manager.  Creditors have until August
17, 2004 to submit their proofs of claim to 167031, Russia, Komi
Republic, Syktyvkar, Engelsa Str. 134.

CONTACT:  INDUSTRIAL COMBINE RESURS
          169901, Russia, Komi Republic,
          Vorkuta, Gornyakov Str. 14A

          Mr. A. Rumyantsev
          Insolvency Manager
          167031, Russia,
          Komi Republic, Syktyvkar,
          Engelsa Str. 134

          The Arbitration Court of Komi Republic
          Russia, Komi Republic,
          Syktyvkar, Ordzhonikidze Str. 49A


SYSOLSKOYE ROAD: Insolvent Status Confirmed
-------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Komi republic declared LLC Sysolskoye
Road Industrial Enterprise insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings.  The case is docketed as A29-6963/03-3B.  Ms. N.
Vaneeva has been appointed insolvency manager.  Creditors have
until August 17, 2004 to submit their proofs of claim to the
insolvency manager at 453300, Russia, Komi republic, Syktyvkar,
Kolkhoznaya Str. 3A.

CONTACT:  SYSOLSKOYE ROAD INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISE
          170000, Russia, Komi Republic

          Ms. N. Vaneeva
          Insolvency Manager
          453300, Russia, Komi Republic,
          Syktyvkar, Kolkhoznaya Str. 3A


VODOKANAL: Vladimir Court Commences Bankruptcy Proceedings
----------------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Vladimir region declared municipal
unitary enterprise Vodokanal insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings.  The case is docketed as A11-2884/2004-K1-27B.  Ms.
S. Nikitina has been appointed insolvency manager.  Creditors
have until August 17, 2004 to submit their proofs of claim to
600035, Russia, Vladimir, Bezymenskogo Str. 18, Apartment 7.

CONTACT:  VODOKANAL
          Russia, Vladimir Region,
          Ulyanovsk Region, Isheevka,
          Gagrina Str. 12

          Ms. S. Nikitina
          Insolvency Manager
          600035, Russia, Vladimir,
          Bezymenskogo Str. 18, Apartment 7


YARTSEVO-AGRO-PROM-ENERGO: Succumbs to Insolvency
-------------------------------------------------
The Arbitration Court of Smolensk region declared CJSC Yartsevo-
Agro-Prom-Energo insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings.  The case is docketed as A62-5355-H/2003.  Mr. A.
Okuntsev has been appointed insolvency manager.

Creditors have until August 17, 2004 to submit their proofs of
claim to:

(a) YARTSEVO-AGRO-PROM-ENERGO
    215810, Russia, Smolensk region,
    Yartsevo, Pobedy Str. 1

(b) Insolvency Manager
    214000, Russia, Smolensk,
    Dzerzhinskogo Str. 18/2, Room 7;

(c) Arbitration Court of Smolensk Region
    214018, Russia, Smolensk,
    Gagarina Str. 46.


YUKOS OIL: Russia Plans to Control Oil Distribution, Source Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
The government appears to have found the best way for it to
benefit from the assets of oil company Yukos, The Telegraph
reports.  The future of the world's second-largest oil producer
is under threat after it missed a deadline to pay a staggering
US$3.4 billion tax to the government.

An executive close to the Russian government revealed the
government is planning to seize control of group's oil.  The
plan is thought to have been drawn up by Igor Sechin, the first
deputy in president Putin's administration.  It involves
diverting the firm's oil from its current distributor to oil
trader Gennay Timchenko, a close associate of Russia's
President, Vladimir Putin.

"[Mr.] Sechin's plan has been competing with the plans of other
groups in the Kremlin," the executive close to the government
said.  "But it now looks like [Mr.] Sechin's has the upper
hand."

The source said the plan was drawn up for months, and is now
waiting for the president's enactment.

"It is an illegal move because the law of Russia does not allow
that production of oil should be seized by bailiffs," a
spokesman for Yukos said.  "The law allows the arrest of
accounts, the arrest of assets, and the sale of those assets.
But it does not allow the arrest of production."

Under the plan, Mr. Timchenko will takeover distribution of
Yukos' oil.  He is thought to have approached Transneft, Yukos
distribution network.  "It is all pre-planned," the source said.

Many believe the pressure was Kremlin-inspired.  The company's
founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was a supporter of President
Putin's political opponent.


YUKOS OIL: Faces US$235 Mln Charge for Missing Tax Bill Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bailiffs are demanding a fine against Yukos on top of the multi-
billon tax bill the oil company failed to pay more than a week
ago, BBC News reports.

They want the company to pay a 7% charge for non-compliance on
an order for the company to pay US$3.4 billion in taxes for 2000
by July 7.  The demand would put an additional US$235 million
burden to the company.  Yukos intends to fight the motion.

Yukos has repeatedly said it does not have the funds to pay the
amount.  Authorities, in an effort to force the firm to pay up,
seized computers and raided its registrar's office where lists
of Yukos shareholders are kept.  Tax officials also conducted a
thorough search of its 20-story headquarters.

The company's tax bill has risen to US$7 billion after it was
fined the same amount for 2001.  It stands to balloon once
audits of its 2002 and 2003 accounts are finished.

After a period of silence, the government is reportedly
considering a proposal by Yukos to pay US$8 billion in back
taxes over a three-year period.  Jailed founder Mikhail
Khodorkovsky previously offered to settle the tax claim by
turning over 44% of his Yukos' stock, but the government has not
responded to the proposal.  Yukos accounts for 4% of Russia's
economy.


YUKOS OIL: Jailed Shareholder Refused Leave for Medical Checkup
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Moscow court on Monday refused a request by lawyers of Platon
Lebedev to postpone the hearing of his case in relation to Yukos
for health reasons.

Mr. Lebedev, a major shareholder in the oil company, is being
tried together with former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky on
charges of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion.  He was arrested
in July last year, three months before that of Mr. Khodorkovsky.

Their trial is being heard together.  On Monday, his lawyer
requested for a deferral of the trial until he was examined
about his liver illness.  But the court refused the request, as
well as the proposal that he be freed on bail during the
examination.

Mr. Lebedev is the former Chief Executive of Group Menatop, a
44% shareholder of Yukos.  He and Mr. Khodorkovsky's trial is in
relation to the 1994 privatization of a big, state-owned
fertilizer plant.  They face 10 years in prison if convicted.


YUKOS OIL: Authorities Sequester Stake in Sibneft
-------------------------------------------------
A court in Russia's Chukotka region seized part of Yukos' stake
in rival oil company Sibneft as payment for the firm's tax
arrears.

Yukos lawyer Dmitry Gololobov said in comments aired on Moscow
Echo radio the court went on to confiscate its 15% stake in
Sibneft despite a promise to pay the bill in cash.  According to
the lawyer, Yukos was then trying to raise money -- mostly
through company oil sales -- to settle a more than US$8 billion
bill for 2000-2003 back-taxes.

Mr. Gololobov said court bailiffs should sell the 20% stake
which remained of its 35% shareholding in Sibneft.  The total
stake is worth US$4.5 billion.  It is among the assets frozen in
relation to an investigation of fraud and tax evasion against
the company.

Yukos produces 20% of Russia's total oil output.  It is the
world's second-largest oil producer in the world.


=========
S P A I N
=========


IZAR: Needs More Government Aid to Stay Afloat
----------------------------------------------
Local trade unions have asked the European Commission to allow
the government to increase its assistance to troubled Spanish
shipbuilder Izar, Expansion reports.

The unions liken Izar's plight to that of French engineering
giant Alstom, which recently got between EUR1.5 billion and
EUR2.2 billion in public funding in exchange for selling various
plants, among other concessions.

The government-owned shipbuilder is currently drafting a
'viability plan', according to the report.  It posted losses of
EUR30 million in 2003, and is expected to lose another EUR200
million this year.  Without additional government funding, the
company will be forced into bankruptcy, the unions claim.

                            *   *   *

Created in December 2000 following the merger of Astilleros
Espanoles S.A. (AESA) and Empresa Nacional Bazan, IZAR is
Spain's leading company in the field of civil and military
shipbuilding.  By size and turnover it takes second place in
Europe and is the world's ninth largest shipbuilding company.
The company's industrial activity is organized in four business
lines:

(a) Shipbuilding

(b) Propulsion and Energy

(c) Ship repairs and Conversions

(d) Control and Weapons Systems

CONTACT:  IZAR
          Velazquez Street, 132. 28006 Madrid, Spain.
          Phone: +34 91 335 84 00
          Fax: +34 91 335 86 52
          E-mail: izar@izar.es
          Web site: http://www.izar.es/


=====================
S W I T Z E R L A N D
=====================


ASCOM: Thomas Casata Appointed New Chief Financial Officer
----------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Ascom Holding Ltd. appointed a
financial manager with extensive experience as its new Chief
Financial Officer.  Thomas Casata will take up his position as
Ascom CFO on 15 July 2004, moving from his post as CFO of ESEC,
a leading company in the semiconductor equipment industry.  He
succeeds Rudolf Hadorn, who was appointed Chief Executive
Officer of Ascom on 1 June 2004.

Ascom has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer.  The Board of
Directors of Ascom Holding Ltd. has appointed as its new CFO a
financial manager with many years of experience as CFO of a
company listed on the stock exchange.  He will take up his
position on 15 July 2004, taking over fully from Rudolf Hadorn,
the current acting CFO (interim).

Thomas Casata has many years of experience as CFO of the ESEC
Group in Cham, Switzerland, where he was responsible for finance
in a highly cyclical market.  He also has know-how in the field
of purchasing, which he acquired during his time as Head of
Purchasing at Bally.  Prior to this he was with the Boston
Consulting Group in Germany.

Thomas Casata was born on 16 March 1965.  He obtained a degree
in Technical Business Administration from the University of
Stuttgart, Germany between 1985 and 1990.  He worked as
Consultant/Project Manager for Boston Consulting Group, Munich,
Germany in 1991-1994.  He was Head of Purchasing in Bally,
Switzerland in 1994-1998, and CFO of ESEC Group, Cham,
Switzerland in 1998-2004.

About Ascom

Ascom is an international solution supplier with comprehensive
technology know-how.  With its wealth of experience in
implementing complex projects for discerning customers, the
company has established itself in key markets in the fields of
Transport Revenue (revenue collection, toll collection and
parking systems), Security Solutions (applications for security,
communications, automation and control systems for
infrastructure operators, public security institutions and the
army), Network Integration (network solutions in the data/voice
convergence market) and Wireless Solutions (high quality on-site
communications solutions).

Ascom's offerings range from analysis and consulting to system
design and system integration, project management, engineering
and implementation, right through to maintenance and support.
The company has subsidiaries in 23 countries and a workforce of
some 5,000 employees worldwide.  Ascom registered shares (ASCN)
are quoted on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich.

                            *   *   *

Through a series of divestments and restructuring measures, the
company succeeded in reducing the share of non-core Divisions on
total revenues to roughly 15% at the end of 2003.  It also
streamlined the product and service offering according to
plans.  Ascom ends the financial year with a significantly
reduced Group net loss of -CHF68 million (previous year -CHF281
million.  Net debt was completely eliminated in the year under
review.  Cash and cash equivalents exceeded interest-bearing
debt to the tune of CHF55 million.  The equity ratio was
strengthened considerably, and is now at 18%.

CONTACT:  ASCOM
          Corporate Media Office
          CH-3000 Bern 14
          Belpstrasse 37
          Daniel Lack
          General Secretary and Press Officer
          Web site: http://www.ascom.com
          E-mail: media@ascom.com
          Phone: +41 31 999 20 22
          Fax    +41 31 999 45 27

          Ascom Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
          Belpstrasse 37
          CH-3000 Bern 14
          Rudolf Hadorn
          CEO
          Phone: +41 31 999 43 44
          Fax: +41 31 999 21 17
          E-mail: investor@ascom.com
          Web site: http://www.ascom.com


SWISS INTERNATIONAL: First-half Seat Load Factor Improves
---------------------------------------------------------
Swiss International Air Lines carried a total of 4.6 million
passengers in the first half of 2004.  Cumulative seat load
factor for the period amounted to 73.4%, a 4.7-percentage-point
improvement on the prior-year result.  Seat load factors were
increased on both the intercontinental and the European network.
The best monthly seat load factor performance during the period
was April's, with 77.2 percent.  Seat load factor for the second
quarter of the year stood at 75.4%, 4.9 points up on its 2003
equivalent.

Swiss's modifications to its route network had a positive impact
on its seat load factor results in the first half of 2004.
Average seat load factor for the period amounted to 73.4%, an
improvement of 4.7 percentage points on the same period in 2003.

The company carried some 4.56 million passengers in the first
six months.  A year-on-year comparison of actual passenger
numbers is not meaningful, however, in view of the sizeable
capacity reductions, which resulted from network modifications
in the intervening months.  Swiss's total capacity for the first
half of 2004 was 20.1% less than for the same period last year.
But the associated decline in demand was limited to 14.6%, with
a corresponding improvement in load factor results.

Some 3.44 million passengers were carried on Swiss's European
network in the first half of 2004, generating an average seat
load factor of 60.3%, a 5.6-point improvement on the prior-year
result. The increases were encouragingly strong in the key
European markets, some of which saw their results improve by
more than 10%.  Total capacity on Swiss's European network was
24.2% down on January-to-June 2003; but demand declined by a far
smaller 16.5%.

Swiss carried a total of 1.12 million passengers on its
intercontinental network in the first six months of the year.
The average seat load factor of 79.1% was 3.8 points up on the
same period in 2003.  While demand declined slightly in the
first two months, load factors since March have been
consistently above their prior-year equivalents.  Swiss's first-
half intercontinental production was 18.2% lower than in the
previous year, while the decline in demand over the same period
was limited to 14.0%.

Second-quarter results

Swiss carried some 2.41 million passengers in the second quarter
of 2004.  The corresponding seat load factor of 75.4% was a 5.9-
point improvement on the prior-year period.  Seat load factor on
European services amounted to 65.0%, 4.1 points up on its 2003
equivalent; and the 80.0% seat load factor recorded on
intercontinental services was a 6.7-point improvement on the
same period last year.

Swiss WorldCargo

Swiss WorldCargo, SWISS' airfreight division, posted an overall
load factor of 85.4% for the first half of 2004, more than two
percentage points up on its prior-year equivalent.  The division
transported a total of 567,663 revenue ton-kilometers of cargo
during the period -- a volume which, given the interim
reductions in airfreight capacity, was also a slight improvement
on its prior-year performance.  Encouragingly, the improvements
were due in no small part to the division's adopted strategy of
putting a stronger focus on niche products and markets.

Key Swiss scheduled services results for the first half of 2004

Total passengers carried                  4,564,979
Total flights performed                   71,985

Available seat-kilometers (million)       13,958
Revenue seat-kilometers (million)         10,250
Seat load factor                          73.4%

For Swiss's full traffic statistics and further comments on the
company's June results, please visit the http://www.swiss.com
Web site ("About SWISS" > "Our Company" > "Investor Relations" >
"Presentations").

CONTACT:  SWISS INTERNATIONAL
          Corporate Communications
          P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel
          Phone: +41 848 773 773
          Fax:   +41 61 582 3554
          E-mail: communications@swiss.com
          Web site: http://www.swiss.com


=============
U K R A I N E
=============


DOMOSTROJ GROUP: Declared Insolvent
-----------------------------------
The Economic Court of Kyiv region declared CJSC Domostroj Group
(code EDRPOU 30675317) insolvent and introduced bankruptcy
proceedings on March 2, 2004.  The case is docketed as 23/741-B.
Arbitral manager Mr. Sherban O. (License Number AA 047812
approved on October 19, 2001) has been appointed
liquidator/insolvency manager.

Domostroj Group holds account number 26001300000170 at
Ukrsocbank, Kyiv city branch, MFO 322012, and account number
26005301211 at JSCB Forum, MFO 322948.

CONTACT:  DOMOSTROJ GROUP
          01014, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          Zvirinska Str. 72

          Mr. Sherban O.
          Liquidator/Insolvency Manager
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv-30, a/b 157

          ECONOMIC COURT OF KYIV
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          B. Hmelnitskij Boulevard, 44-B


ELEKTRON-GAZ: Public Auction of Assets July 27
----------------------------------------------
Dnipropetrovsk regional authorities have set for public auction
the properties of OJSC Elektron-Gaz on July 27, 2004, 11:00 a.m.
at Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk, Komsomolska str. 48, room 3.

The assets for sale are buildings and constructions.  The
starting price is UAH161,788.58 inclusive of VAT.  The auction
conditions are:

(a) Absence of creditor' indebtedness to Elektron-Gaz;

(b) Registration of buying-selling agreement is made at the
    expense of buyer;

(c) Redrafting of right of usage of land areas, those are
    adjoined to the buildings and constructions, which are for
    sale and made at the expense of buyer;

(d) Obligations of buyer concerning monthly compensation to
    Elektron-Gaz of expenses on service of land areas that
    are adjoined to the buildings and constructions, which are
    for sale, from the day of determination of winner of
    auction until the moment of redrafting of right of usage of
    land areas on buyer.

To participate, bidders must deposit an amount equivalent to 5%
of the value of the property being sold and pay a registration
fee of UAH17 until July 22, 2004.  The amount must be deposited
to account number 26006351680200 at JSPPB Aval, Dnipropetrovsk
branch, MFO 305653, EDRPOU 26252710.

Participants must submit competitive propositions on or before
July 22, 2004 to 49000, Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk, Komsomolska
Str. 48, room 3.  For more information, call (056) 744-19-31 or
(05652) 2-40-01.

CONTACT:  ELEKTRON-GAZ
          Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk region,
          Zhovti Vodi, Gagarin Str. 40

          Auction committee
          54017, Ukraine, Mikolaiv region,
          Moskovska Str. 54-a
     Phone: 8 (0512) 47-34-63, 47-34-64


ENERGOPROMINVEST: Kyiv Court Appoints Liquidator
------------------------------------------------
The Economic Court of Kyiv region declared LLC Gaz Company
Energoprominvest (code EDRPOU 30523010) insolvent and introduced
bankruptcy proceedings on May 17, 2004.  The case is docketed as
23/714-B.  Arbitral manager Mr. Sherban O. (License Number AA
047812 approved on October 19, 2001) has been appointed
liquidator/insolvency manager.

Gaz Company Energoprominvest holds account number 260021282 at
JSC Ukrgazbank.

CONTACT:  GAZ COMPANY ENERGOPROMINVEST
          Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          Vasilkivska Str. 1

          Mr. Sherban O.
          Liquidator/Insolvency Manager
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv-30, a/b 157

          ECONOMIC COURT OF KYIV
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          B. Hmelnitskij Boulevard, 44-B


GALICHINA +: Bankruptcy Proceedings Begin
-----------------------------------------
The Economic Court of Kyiv region declared LLC Galichina + (code
EDRPOU 32361859) insolvent and introduced bankruptcy proceedings
on May 25, 2004.  The case is docketed as 15/209-B.  Arbitral
manager Mrs. Dorohova T. (License Number AA 668331 approved on
October 22, 2003) has been appointed liquidator/insolvency
manager.  Galichina + holds account number 260021367 at JSPPB
Aval, Third Kyiv branch, MFO 322960.

CONTACT:  GALICHINA +
          04212, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          Timoshenko Str. 4/35

          Mrs. Dorohova T.
          Liquidator/Insolvency Manager
          Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          Ahmatova Str. 11/180
          Phone: (044) 570-31-60, (044) 238-20-62
          Fax: (044) 238-20-62

          ECONOMIC COURT OF KYIV
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          B. Hmelnitskij Boulevard, 44-B


HERSON' MECHANIZED: Declared Insolvent
--------------------------------------
The Economic Court of Herson region declared OJSC Energo
Building Company Herson' Mechanized Pillar 17 (code EDRPOU
00132581) insolvent and introduced bankruptcy proceedings on
June 15, 2004.  The case is docketed as 5/12-B.  Arbitral
manager Mr. Kosenko Sergij (License Number AA 249849 approved on
October 22, 2001) has been appointed liquidator/insolvency
manager.

CONTACT:  ENERGO BUILDING COMPANY HERSON' MECHANIZED PILLAR 17
          73036, Ukraine, Herson region,
          Perekopska Str. 178

          Mr. Kosenko Sergij
          Liquidator/Insolvency Manager
          73000, Ukraine, Herson region,
          Vijskovij driveway, 6, 2nd floor
          Phone: 8 (0552) 22-31-17

          ECONOMIC COURT OF HERSON REGION
          73000, Ukraine, Herson region, Gorkij Str. 18


KYIVSTAR GSM: 'B' Ratings Affirmed, May Soon be Upgraded
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Ukraine-based mobile telecommunications operator CJSC Kyivstar
GSM to positive from stable, reflecting Standard & Poor's
expectation that a ratings increase is possible in the medium
term, should the company successfully defend its strong market
position and maintain solid profitability margins.

At the same time Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'B' long-term
corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Kyivstar,
and assigned its 'B' senior unsecured debt rating to the
company's estimated US$285 million proposed loan participation
notes to be issued by Dresdner Bank AG (A/Negative/A-1), for the
sole purpose of funding an intended loan of similar amount to
Kyivstar.  The company's total lease-adjusted debt at March 31,
2004, pro forma for the repayment of outstanding notes and
issuance of new notes was US$349 million compared with the
company's reported figure of US$224 million (or US$171 million
when unadjusted).

"The affirmation of the ratings reflects the company's strong
position in the Ukrainian market and its ability to cope with
strong growth in demand for mobile telephony services, which has
led to high capital requirements, and increasing competition and
subsequent pricing pressure," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Michael O'Brien. "The affirmation also reflects
Kyivstar's ability to increase its debt burden to fund network
investments without threatening its long-term credit quality."

"The ratings on Kyivstar could be raised in the medium term
should the company successfully defend its strong market
position and maintain solid profitability margins, as
competition and penetration rates increase," added Mr. O'Brien.
"A steady and controlled pace of network deployment as well as
the maintenance of a sound balance sheet structure will also
constitute major rating drivers."

Any possible raising of the ratings would also reflect the fact
that Kyivstar's achievement of sustainable free cash flow
generation would be only temporarily delayed following
additional network investments -- which is a parameter Standard
& Poor's will mostly focus on over the medium term.  It is
expected that any future dividend payments will not put a strain
on liquidity and debt repayment.  Any upward movement in the
sovereign rating of Ukraine (B/Positive/B) would not
automatically translate into an upgrade for Kyivstar, although
the possibility would remain because the company would benefit
from the better macroeconomic environment in the country.

Ratings information is available to subscribers of
RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit analysis
system, at http://www.ratingsdirect.com. It can also be found
on Standard & Poor's public Web site at
http://www.standardandpoors.com. Alternatively, call one of the
following Standard & Poor's numbers: London Ratings Desk (44)
20-7176-7400; London Press Office Hotline (44) 20-7176-3605;
Paris (33) 1-4420-6708; Frankfurt (49) 69-33-999-225; Stockholm
(46) 8-440-5916; or Moscow (7) 095-783-4017.  Members of the
media may also contact the European Press Office via e-mail:
media_europe@standardandpoors.com.

CONTACT:  STANDARD AND POOR'S RATING SERVICES
          Analyst E-mail Addresses
          michael_obrien@standardandpoors.com
          pavel_kochanov@standardandpoors.com
          CorporateFinanceEurope@standardandpoors.com


UKRAINIAN MARKETING: Insolvency Affirmed
----------------------------------------
The Economic Court of Kyiv region declared JSCCT Ukrainian
Marketing Group (code EDRPOU 23733633) insolvent and introduced
bankruptcy proceedings on February 17, 2004.  The case is
docketed as 23/564-B.  Arbitral manager Mr. Sherban O. (License
Number AA 047812 approved on October 19, 2001) has been
appointed liquidator/insolvency manager.

Ukrainian Marketing Group holds account number 2600003431 at JSB
Ukrgazbank, MFO 320843.

CONTACT:  UKRAINIAN MARKETING GROUP
          Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          Promislova Str. 1

          Mr. Sherban O.
          Liquidator/Insolvency Manager
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv-30,
          a/b 157

          ECONOMIC COURT OF KYIV REGION
          01030, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
          B. Hmelnitskij Boulevard, 44-B


UKR-NAFTO-GAZ: Under Bankruptcy Supervision
-------------------------------------------
The Economic Court of Kyiv region commenced bankruptcy
supervision procedure on CJSC Ukr-Nafto-Gaz-Tehnologiya (code
EDRPOU 24942422).  The case is docketed as 23/245-B.  Arbitral
manager Mr. Lohtarin Ivan (License Number AA 485249 approved on
April 2, 2003) has been appointed temporary insolvency manager.

Creditors have until July 25, 2004 to submit their proofs of
claim to:

(a) UKR-NAFTO-GAZ-TEHNOLOGIYA
    Ukraine, Kyiv region,
    Elektrikiv Str. 26

(b) ECONOMIC COURT OF KYIV REGION
    01030, Ukraine, Kyiv region,
    B. Hmelnitskij Boulevard, 44-B

Ukr-Nafto-Gaz-Tehnologiya holds account number 26005301002811 at
JSB Mriya, Kyiv branch, MFO 321767.


===========================
U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
===========================


ABBEY NATIONAL: Bares Results of With Profits Funds Review
----------------------------------------------------------
Abbey completed its review of the capital requirements and the
ongoing management of the closed With Profits Funds of Scottish
Provident (SP) and Scottish Mutual Assurance (SMA), which
includes with profits business written by Abbey National Life.

Following the measures taken in light of the review, both with
profits funds are calculated as being in balance on a realistic
basis as at 31 May 2004.  The company statutory solvency margins
for SMA and SP were 170% and 250% respectively and substantial
hedge protection is in place in the with profits funds against
adverse market risk on guarantee liabilities.

The outcome of the review, which has been agreed with the
F.S.A., encompassed the new Realistic Balance Sheet (RBS)
reporting and capital requirements as well as the management of
risk exposure to business written in the With Profits Funds.

Scope of the review

The work in relation to the RBS has been part of a wider
internal review of the closed With Profits Funds, and has
provided increased clarity on the financial position of the
business and impacts on shareholders and policyholders.

Capital and profit impact

There is no incremental capital need or adverse charge to
profits, over and above that which has been previously reported
in Abbey's life businesses, as a result of this review.  At the
same time, the capital structure of the life businesses has been
reorganized, allowing the contingent loans to be repaid.
Significant unallocated capital remains at present in the
businesses.

Abbey has made a substantial non-refundable contribution to the
Scottish Mutual fund, funded out of past Life company
provisions.  Additionally, part of the capital being held by
Abbey in its life companies, is being earmarked as part of the
Risk-Based Capital (RBC) support required in the new regulatory
environment to protect against the risk of future realistic
deficits 1.

Customers

As a result of the conclusion of the review, Abbey's customers
will benefit from greater clarity on the management of the
funds.  Existing contractual guarantees on policies remain and
the with profits funds are not presently applying any explicit
future charges against policy values for guarantees.  The
Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM) first
published in April this year have been updated in light of the
review and will be published by Abbey.

Like most other life offices, Abbey had already adjusted
terminal bonuses on its policies to partially or wholly reflect
past market declines.  For the vast majority of policyholders no
further terminal bonus adjustments will be made as a result of
the review 2.

The target asset mix of the with profits funds, excluding the
hedge asset, is also being changed, increasing the equity
component to 35%, which is broadly in line with industry
averages.  The prospect for future bonuses and Market Value
Reductions (MVRs) remains subject to net investment performance
and market trends.

If positive returns are made on the with profits funds'
investments, at present Abbey's goal for both traditional and
unitized with profits will be to direct net investment returns
towards increasing surrender values and terminal bonus levels
and, where applicable, reducing MVRs, in priority to declaring
annual bonuses.  These practices will be kept under review and
are subject to change in light of circumstances.

Today Abbey adjusted the MVRs applying on its with profits
policies with just under half being improved and the remainder
being held at previous levels.

SMA customers with Select With Profit Bond or With Profit
Investment Bond can switch from the With Profits Fund into the
Smoothed Investment or the Multi Manager funds.  The switch will
be subject to any MVR applying at that time, but no surrender
penalty will apply to the switch.

CONTACT:  ABBEY NATIONAL
          Investor Relations:
          Jon Burgess
          Head of Investor Relations
          Phone: 020 7756 4182

          Rohith Chandra-Rajan
          Abbey Investor Relations
          Phone: 020 7756 4184

          Israel Santos
          Abbey Investor Relations
          Phone: 020 7756 4181

          Media Contacts:
          Christina Mills
          Head of Media Relations
          Phone: 020 7756 4212


ALECTA REAL: Hires PricewaterhouseCoopers Liquidator
----------------------------------------------------
Name of Companies:
Alecta Real Estate (European Holdings) Limited
Knightsbridge Commercial Developments Limited
Knightsbridge Estates Developments Limited
London & Edinburgh Trust Limited

Members of these companies will have Final Meetings on August
20, 2004 at 10:00 a.m. and a 15-minute interval thereafter.  It
will be held at the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,
Plumtree Court, London EC4A 4HT.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.  Proxies must be lodged with PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP, Plumtree Court, London EC4A 4HT not later than 12:00 noon,
August 19, 2004.

CONTACT:  PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
          Plumtree Court,
          London EC4A 4HT
          Liquidator:
          R Setchim


ALGROVE ASSOCIATES: Special Winding up Resolution Passed
--------------------------------------------------------
At a General Meeting of the Members of Algrove Associates
Limited Company the Special Resolution to wind up the company
was passed.  Philip John Gorman of Windsor House, Barnett Way,
Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3RT has been appointed as Liquidator
for the purpose of such winding-up.


ARROW MAILING: Hires Kroll Limited Administrator
------------------------------------------------
The Arrow Mailing Limited Company has appointed Michael Joseph
Moore and Neil Andrew Brackenbury as joint administrative
receivers.  The appointment was made July 5, 2004.

The company is engaged in mailing and courier services.  Its
registered office address is c/o Kroll, 5th Floor, Airedale
House, 77 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AP.

CONTACT:  KROLL LIMITED
          5th Floor, Airedale House,
          77 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AP
          Receivers:
          Michael Joseph Moore
          Neil Andrew Brackenbury
          (IP Nos 5562, 8269)


BAR-NATION LIMITED: Names Mazars Administrator
----------------------------------------------
Paul Charlton and Timothy Askham of Mazars have been appointed
joint administrative receives for Bar-Nation Limited Company.
The appointment was made July 5, 2004.

CONTACT:  MAZARS
          Gelderd Road,
          Gildersome,
          Leeds LS27 7JN
          Receivers:
          Paul Charlton
          Timothy Askham
          (IP Nos 5838, 7905)


BEXPEV LIMITED: Sets General Meeting August 11
----------------------------------------------
Members of Bexpev Limited Company (formerly Mantisflow Limited)
will have a General Meeting on August 11, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.  It
will be held at No 1 Riding House Street, London W1A 3AS.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.


BIRR MEAT: Court Orders Meat Firms to Wind Up
---------------------------------------------
Related meat firms Birr Meat Processors Limited and Prue and
David Rudd and Family Limited are winding up after being unable
to pay up their debts, Europe Intelligence Wire says.

Birr Meat Processors Limited has incurred around GBP700,000
worth of debts while Prue and David Rudd and Family Limited owed
around GBP328,000.  The decision to wind up the meat companies
was handed by Justice Caroll of the High Court.  Both companies
were said to be insolvent.

Meanwhile, the court also dismissed as unfounded a number of
allegations made against Ken Fennell, in relation to his conduct
as provisional liquidator.  Directors of Birr Meat wanted Mr.
Fennel assigned as liquidator.  However, Mr. Peter O'Connor of
O'Connor Meats and Mr Joe Hayes of Garbally Manufacturing
opposed his appointment.  Both O'Connor Meats and Garbally
Manufacturing were portrayed as substantial creditors of the
company.

In an affidavit, Mr. O'Connor has alleged Birr Meats had
continued to trade while insolvent.  He also asked for Mr.
Fennel's replacement to sell the company as a going concern.
However, the companies and Mr. Fennell represented by Mr Lyndon
MacCann SC and Mr. Eamon Marray, refuted.  They said the
allegations made about his conduct of the liquidation were
"scurrilous" and totally untrue and Mr. Kennel was acting
properly at all times.

After attempts to save the two meat companies failed, Birr Meats
had initiated proceedings earlier this year to wind up both
itself and Rudds.  Mr Fennell was appointed on April as
provisional liquidator.


BRAND FIXING: Creditors Meeting Set July 26
-------------------------------------------
Name of Companies:
Brand Fixing Services Limited
C Brand & Company (Est'd 1868) Limited

Creditors of these companies will have a Meeting on July 26,
2004 at 10:00 a.m.  It will be held at Ernst & Young LLP, 14
King Street, Leeds LS1 2JN.

Creditors who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.  Proxy forms must be submitted together with written
debt claims to Ernst & Young LLP, 14 King Street, Leeds LS1 2JN
not later than 12:00 noon, July 23, 2004.

CONTACT:  ERNST & YOUNG LLP
          14 King Street,
          Leeds LS1 2JN
          Joint Administrative Receiver:
          C G J King


BURTJAKE 123: Appoints BDO Stoy Hayward LLP Liquidator
------------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Burtjake 123 Ltd
Company on July 2, 2004 held at 15 Brook Road, Brook Road
Industrial Estate, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7XL, the subjoined
Special Resolution to wind up the company was passed.  Geoffrey
Stuart Kinlan and Anthony Sanderson of BDO Stoy Hayward LLP,
Prospect Place, 85 Great North Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9
5BS have been appointed Joint Liquidators for the purpose of
such winding-up.

CONTACT:  BDO STOY HAYWARD LLP
          Prospect Place, 85 Great North Road
          Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5BS
          Liquidators:
          Geoffrey Kinlan
          Anthony Sanderson


BYWORD CONSTRUCTION: Sets Meeting July 23
-----------------------------------------
The unsecured Creditors of Byword Construction Limited Company
will have a Meeting on July 23, 2004 at 11:00 a.m.  It will be
held at The Avon Gorge Hotel, Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol.

Creditors who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.  Proxy forms must be submitted together with written
debt claims to Mazars, Clifton Down House, Beaufort Buildings,
Clifton Down, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AN not later than 12:00,
July 22, 2004.

CONTACT:  MAZARS
          Clifton Down House,
          Beaufort Buildings,
          Clifton Down, Clifton,
          Bristol BS8 4AN
          Joint Administrative Receiver:
          T C H Ball


CAREMEASURE LIMITED: Special Winding up Resolution Passed
---------------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Caremeasure Limited
Company on July 5, 2004 held at Kings Wharf, 20-30 Kings Road,
Reading, Berkshire RG1 3EX, the subjoined Special Resolution to
wind up the company was passed.  Martha Hanora Thompson of BDO
Stoy Hayward LLP, Kings Wharf, 20-30 Kings Road, Reading,
Berkshire RG1 3EX has been appointed Liquidator for the purpose
of such winding-up.

CONTACT: BDO STOY HAYWARD LLP
         Kings Wharf
         20-30 Kings Road, Reading,
         Berkshire RG1 3EX
         Liquidator:
         Martha Hanora Thompson


COLT TELECOM: Selects OpenPages to Reduce Internal Control Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------
COLT Telecom Group (NASDAQ: COLT) selected OpenPages Sarbanes-
Oxley Express (SOX Express) for use in its Section 302 and 404
compliance initiatives.

Headquartered in London, COLT Telecom Group is a leading pan-
European provider of business communications services and
solutions.  The company operates an integrated 20,000 km.
network that connects 10,000 buildings across 32 major cities in
13 countries with an additional 42 points of presence across
Europe and 11 Internet Solution Centers.  COLT supplies
customers across the full spectrum of industry, service and
government sectors with unrivalled end-to-end network security,
reliability and service.

COLT will deploy SOX Express to streamline its internal control
documentation process across all of its locations.  It will
enable the collection of information regarding ongoing business
controls deployment and monitoring, resulting in a reduction of
compliance costs.  By combining a strong document repository
with powerful compliance automation capabilities, SOX Express
will facilitate both project management and compliance, using
web-based tools to get users up to speed quickly.

"OpenPages has strong functionality for compliance and a simple
interface for end users," said Gerry Small, international
finance director at COLT Telecom Group.  "We felt that OpenPages
demonstrated a clear enterprise compliance vision, and backed it
up with a commitment to product quality and customer
satisfaction."

OpenPages' SOX Express is an enterprise compliance management
solution that reduces the time and resource costs associated
with ongoing compliance for Sections 302 and 404.  SOX Express
is a focused enterprise application that combines powerful
document and business process management with flexible reporting
capabilities in an extremely easy-to-use environment that
enables CEOs, CFOs and financial management officers to enforce
internal controls.

SOX Express helps corporations automate significant aspects of
their internal controls framework to significantly reduce the
overall cost of compliance.  Its dashboards can be used by
project managers, documentation team members, internal auditors
and external auditors to plan, document and test the internal
controls of the company, and eventually to attest to the
financial statements.

For more information on OpenPages' line of enterprise governance
and compliance management solutions or to register for a weekly
webinar, please call 781-647-3800 or visit
http://www.openpages.com.

About OpenPages

Founded in 1996, OpenPages develops enterprise governance, risk
and compliance management solutions that streamline knowledge-
intensive processes to improve corporate accountability, reduce
disclosure process cost, enhance internal controls management
productivity, and increase investor confidence.  The company's
portfolio of solutions includes Sarbanes-Oxley Express (SOX
Express), the market-leading enterprise application for
automating the corporate financial reporting and disclosure
compliance requirements of Sections 404 and 302 of the 2002
Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

OpenPages is a trademark of OpenPages, Inc. All other trademarks
contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

                            *   *   *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said this month its ratings
and outlook on U.K.-based telecommunications operator COLT
Telecom Group PLC (B-/Stable/--) were unaffected by the
company's adverse trading update.

COLT reiterated that market conditions continued to be
challenging and that its margins are now under pressure, as a
result of the disappointing growth of higher margin products.
EBITDA for 2003 was GBP163.4 million (US$298.4 million) with a
margin of 14%.

CONTACT:  COLT TELECOM GROUP PLC
          Beaufort House, 15 St. Botolph St.
          London
          EC3A 7QN, United Kingdom
          Phone: +44 207 863 5000
          Fax:   +44 207 390 3701
          Web site: http://www.colt.net

          OPENPAGES
          Ed Thomas
          Phone: 781-647-3800 ext. 241
          E-mail: ed_thomas@openpages.com

          LOIS PAUL & PARTNERS
          Mike Antonellis
          Phone: 781-782-5832
          E-mail: mike_antonellis@lpp.com


EGG PLC: To Leave Disastrous Card Venture in France
---------------------------------------------------
The Board of Egg plc will begin to take the necessary steps to
withdraw from the French market.

In October 2003, we announced that our French management team
had developed a revised business plan, which we considered to be
a strong, value-creating plan, but which required a level of
investment greater than Egg was prepared to take on a stand-
alone basis.  We also announced therefore that we were in
negotiations with potential partners that may have led to a
joint venture or similar transaction.

The search for a strategic partner was then superseded by
Prudential announcing in January 2004 that it was considering
proposals for its approximately 79% shareholding in Egg.
Prudential is announcing separately that this process is
ongoing.  Prudential has also advised Egg that the process has
progressed to a stage at which it has become clear that no
potential purchaser has the appetite for the investment required
to deliver the French business plan, and accordingly, the Board
of Egg intends to begin to take the necessary steps to close its
business in France.

We expect the cost of closing Egg France to be approximately
EUR170 million (GBP113 million).  While it is likely that the
business will continue for a significant period of time to
effect a smooth closure, a provision for the full estimate of
exit costs and asset impairment write-downs will be booked in
the consolidated Egg accounts in July 2004 and this provision
will be revised in line with actual experience, as our
consultations progress.

The French management team, led by Chief Executive of Egg France
Marc Luet, will begin consultation with the French Works Council
and other necessary regulatory bodies to discuss its plan to
withdraw from the French market.  These bodies have been kept
informed of Egg's situation over previous months and Egg will
continue to work closely and co-operatively with them to ensure
that our people in Tours and Paris are treated fairly and
helpfully.  Particular attention will be given to helping our
people secure alternative employment.

We have the commitment and support of the French senior team to
ensure this process is effected as sensitively, respectfully and
efficiently as possible for our people, our customers and our
shareholders.  We will be confirming to our customers in France
that all our contractual commitments to them will be honored,
and that sufficient time will be given for them to make
alternative arrangements.  In the meantime, customers can
continue to operate their accounts as normal.

Paul Gratton, Egg's Chief Executive, said: "Following the slow
start we experienced in France, we have been clear that Egg is
not prepared to make the level of investment on a stand-alone
basis that our revised plan shows the business needs for it to
be successful.  We have a great team of people who have been
very patient and loyal during this period of uncertainty and we
will be making every effort to assist in their redeployment."

                            *   *   *


Prudential plc's statement regarding Egg France: "Prudential plc
notes and supports Egg's announcement that it is taking the
necessary steps to withdraw from the French market.

"Prudential remains in discussions regarding a possible
transaction with respect to its approximately 79% shareholding
in Egg.  A further announcement with respect to the conclusion
of this transaction will be made, as appropriate, in due
course."

CONTACT:  EGG PLC
          Media:
          Emma Byrne
          Phone: 0207 526 2600 / 07775 657 241

          Investors / Analysts:
          Kieran Coleman
          Phone: 0207 526 2648 / 07711 717358

          EGG PLC - France
          Media
          Investors/Analysts
          Geraldine Davies
          Phone: 020 7548 3911

          Rebecca Burrows
          Phone: 020 7548 3537
          Mob: 07718 637 264

          Clare Staley
          Phone: 020 7548 3719

          Marina Lee-Steere
          Phone: 020 7548 3511


EMI GROUP: Sees Positive Trend in Recorded Music Market
-------------------------------------------------------
Speaking at EMI Group Annual General Meeting, Eric Nicoli,
Chairman, said: "On a global basis, the recorded music market
has shown encouraging trends in the first few months of our
financial year.  The U.S. market has now enjoyed ten consecutive
months of growth and the next two largest markets, Japan and the
U.K., have also seen positive trends.  The markets of
Continental Europe, however, remain difficult.  Digital music
continues to develop, with the recent successful launch of new
legitimate services in several countries.

"In our recorded music division, EMI Music, the implementation
of both the outsourcing of manufacturing in Continental Europe
and the U.S. and the restructuring of selected labels is on
schedule.

"Our release schedule so far has featured major new albums from
the Beastie Boys and Lenny Kravitz.  During this financial year,
we have also seen good ongoing sales worldwide from a number of
artists including Utada Hikaru and Norah Jones.  In addition,
Joss Stone's Soul Sessions and Keith Urban's Golden Road have
each surpassed two million units in sales and Yellowcard's Ocean
Avenue has reached more than one million.

"Our release schedule for the remainder of the year is strong,
particularly in the second half, with new releases from artists
including Chemical Brothers, Chingy, Coldplay, Glay, Gorillaz,
Helmut Lotti, Joss Stone, The Thrills, Keith Urban and Robbie
Williams.

"In this financial year EMI Music Publishing has continued to
enjoy strong chart positions especially in the U.S., U.K.,
Germany and France, with releases from a range of songwriters
including Jamie Cullum, Kelis, Alicia Keys, Scissor Sisters,
Usher and Mario Winans.

"We have finalized new synchronization licenses with many
companies including American Express, Target and Jaguar.  In
April, we also completed our purchase of the final 20% stake in
Jobete, the Motown song catalogue.

"As we highlighted in May, given the phasing of both our
recorded music release schedule and the savings from our
restructuring program, we expect the second half to account for
a higher proportion of sales and profits than it has in prior
years.  With this strong release schedule and the progress we
are making in both of our businesses, we remain confident that
we will achieve our financial targets for the full year.'

CONTACT:  EMI GROUP PLC
          27 Wright Ln.
          London
          W8 5SW, United Kingdom
          Phone: +44 20 7795 7000
          Fax:   +44 20 7795 7296
          Web site: http://www.emigroup.com

          Amanda Conroy
          Corporate Communications
          Phone: +44 20 7795 7529

          Claudia Palmer
          Investor Relations
          Phone: +44 20 7795 7635

          Susie Bell
          Phone: +44 20 7795 7971

          BRUNSWICK GROUP LLP
          Patrick Handley
          Phone: +44 20 7404 5959


EMMENS TRANSPORT: Appoints F A Simms & Partners Administrator
-------------------------------------------------------------
A R Limb and R F Simms of F A Simms & Partners Plc have been
appointed joint administrative receivers for Emmens Transport
Group Limited.  The appointment was made June 30, 2004.

The company is engaged in road haulage.  Its registered office
address is c/o F A Simms & Partners Plc, Insol House, 39 Station
Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4AP.

CONTACT:  F A SIMMS & PARTNERS PLC
          Insol House,
          39 Station Road, Lutterworth,
          Leicestershire LE17 4AP
          Receivers:
          A R Limb
          R F Simms
          (IP Nos 8955, 9252)


FLEET MOTOR: Sets Members Final Meeting August 13
-------------------------------------------------
The Members of Fleet Motor Management Limited Company will have
a Final Meeting on August 13, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.  It will be
held at the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Benson House,
33 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4JP.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.  Proxies must be lodged with PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP, Benson House, 33 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4JP not later
than August 12, 2004.

CONTACT:  PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
          Benson House,
          33 Wellington Street,
          Leeds LS1 4JP
          Joint Liquidator:
          T Walsh


FLOR DE LUTO: Final Meeting Set August 10
-----------------------------------------
The Flor De Luto Limited Company will have a Final Meeting on
August 10, 2004 at 10:30 a.m.  It will be held at Gilderthorps,
22 Paul Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 5LA.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.


FREEDAW & CO.: Hires Receivers from Four The Chandlery
------------------------------------------------------
The Freedaw & Co. Ltd has appointed Paul H Finn and Peter A Finn
as joint administrative receivers.  The appointment was made
July 7, 2004.

The company is engaged in building refurbishment and damp
proofing treatment.  Its registered office address is located at
197 Desborough Avenue, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2TW.

CONTACT:  FOUR THE CHANDLERY
          40 Gowers Walk,
          London E1 8BH
          Receivers:
          Paul H Finn
          Peter A Finn
          (IP Nos 005367, 008098)


FULLERTON LIMITED: Members Final Meeting Set August 16
------------------------------------------------------
The Final Meeting of the Members of Fullerton Limited Company
will be on August 16, 2004 at 11:00 a.m.  It will be held at
Hazlewoods, Windsor House, Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4
3RT.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.  Proxies must be lodged with Hazlewoods, Windsor House,
Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3RT not later than 12:00
noon, August 13, 2004.

CONTACT:  HAZLEWOODS
          Windsor House
          Barnett Way, Barnwood,
          Gloucester GL4 3RT
          Liquidator:
          P J Gorman


GAM STAR: Suspends Share to Prepare for Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------
After consultation with the Co-Investment Manager, the Directors
of GAM Star Fund p.l.c. wish to announce that the Fund is to be
closed on 26 July 2004.  They believe that the closure of the
Fund is in the best interests of shareholders since its net
asset value has fallen to a level at which it is not efficient
or cost-effective to manage and operate.

Consequently, on 12 July 2004, the Directors passed a resolution
to effect the closure of the Fund in accordance with Article
17(2)(a)(i) of the Articles of Association.  To allow the Co-
Investment Manager to undertake an orderly liquidation of the
Fund's assets and to ensure that all shareholders are treated
equally, the Directors have decided to suspend both
subscriptions into and redemptions from the Fund, with effect
from the close of dealing on 12 July 2004.  This suspension is
in accordance with Article 21(a)(ii) of the Articles of
Association.  The period of suspension will last until 23 July
2004.

The Fund's final Dealing Day will be the business day
immediately following the lifting of the suspension, 26 July
2004.  Shares will be redeemed on the final Dealing Day, and it
is expected that the majority of redemption proceeds will be
distributed at this point.  Given the nature of the markets in
which the portfolio is invested, shareholders will receive the
full value of their redemption monies by means of two, or
potentially three, separate payments, thereby allowing both for
the finalization of the liabilities associated with the Fund's
closure and the repatriation of the liquidation proceeds.  Any
costs associated with the closure will be borne by GAM Fund
Management Limited.

Shareholders may choose to reinvest their redemption proceeds,
free of charge, in the Ordinary classes of other funds within
the GAM Star Fund range.  Any reinvestment will be made within
the provisions of the GAM Star Fund p.l.c. prospectus.

The Fund will be de-listed following the redemption of all of
its shares.

CONTACT:  GAM STAR
          Dillon Eustace
          Tara O'Callaghan
          Phone: +353 1 667 0022


GARHILL BEWDLEY: Sets Members General Meeting August 10
-------------------------------------------------------
Members of Garhill Bewdley Limited Company will have a General
Meeting on August 10, 2004 at 10:30 a.m.  It will be held at 1st
Floor, Gibraltar House, Crown Square, First Avenue, Burton-on-
Trent DE14 2WE.

The purpose of the Meeting is to lay before the Members the
account how the winding up of the company has been conducted.
Members who want to be represented at the Meeting may appoint
proxies.


GLOBAL WASTECARE: Winding up Resolution Passed
----------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the Global
Wastecare Limited Company on June 29, 2004 held at Russell
Cooke, 2 Snow Hill, Putney, London SW15 6AB, the Special
Resolution to wind up the company was passed.


JARVIS PLC: Bankers Advised to Support Restructuring Effort
-----------------------------------------------------------
Deloitte & Touche is thought to have advised Jarvis Plc's banks
to continue supporting the PFI contractor while it draws out a
restructuring plan, Independent News reports.

Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) hired the accountancy
firm to review Jarvis prospects last month after it breached
loan covenants.  Barclays and RBS agreed to the waiver of
Jarvis' banking covenants until the end of this month.
Deloitte, at a presentation of its review, is thought to have
said the banks should continue the waiver.

Jarvis revealed two weeks ago it has debts of GBP230 million,
and is facing write-offs of GBP156 million.  Its restructuring
may involve debt-for-equity swap, reports say.

CONTACT:  JARVIS PLC
          Paul Ravenscroft
          Phone: + 44 20 7462 4639

          Andrew Honnor
          Tulchan
          Phone: + 44 20 7353 4200


MARKS & SPENCER: Revival Gets Support for Proposed Due Diligence
----------------------------------------------------------------
Further to its announcement of July 9, 2004, Revival announces
that M&S shareholders who, in aggregate, currently own or have
investment control over 132,825,072 ordinary shares of M&S,
representing approximately 5.8% of the issued ordinary share
capital of M&S, and holders of outstanding derivative contracts
in respect of, in aggregate, 188,258,036 ordinary shares of M&S,
representing approximately 8.3% of the issued ordinary share
capital of M&S (a combined total of 14.1%) (the relevant
holders), have confirmed to Revival that they believe that the
board of M&S should allow Revival access to its requested due
diligence on the basis of the proposal set out by Revival in its
announcement dated July 7, 2004.

Relevant holders holding derivative contracts may have no
contractual rights to call for the delivery of the underlying
M&S ordinary shares or to direct how the votes attaching to such
shares are cast.  Relevant holders remain free to dispose of
their interests and there can be no certainty that this
indicated level of support will be maintained.  If the combined
total of 14.1% referred to above decreases or increases by one
percentage point, an announcement of the new figure will be made
by 12 noon the following business day.

On July 7, 2004, Revival announced that Brandes Investment
Partners, LLC has provided an irrevocable undertaking in respect
of 266,300,000 ordinary shares of M&S, representing
approximately 11.7% of the issued ordinary share capital of M&S,
subject to the conditions set out in that announcement and, on
July 8, 2004, Revival announced that it has received a non-
binding letter of intention from Schroder Investment Management
Limited in respect of 27,148,657 ordinary shares of M&S,
representing approximately 1.2% of the issued ordinary share
capital of M&S, subject to the conditions set out in that
announcement.

                            *  *  *

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN, INTO OR FROM
AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR THE UNITED STATES

CONTACT:  MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC
          Michael House, Baker St.
          London
          W1U 8EP, United Kingdom
          Phone: + 44 20 7935 4422
          Fax:   + 44 20 7487 2679
          Web site: http://www.marksandspencer.com

          FINSBURY
          Phone: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801
          Rupert Younger


MARKS & SPENCER: CreditWatch Direction Revised to Negative
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services revised the implication of its
CreditWatch placement on the bonds and notes issued by Marks &
Spencer Financial Services PLC, the group's financial services
arm, to developing from negative.  The CreditWatch placement
reflects the potential for the ratings of the bonds and notes
issued by Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC to be raised,
lowered, or maintained.

The rating action follows Standard & Poor's discussions with
HSBC Group upon Marks & Spencer PLC's (BBB/Watch Neg/A-2)
announcement on July 12, 2004, to divest its financial services
arm to the former for GBP762 million (US$1.4 billion), in
addition to assuming or repaying net debt, which stood at about
GBP1.24 billion as at April 3, 2004.

If the sale of Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC proceeds
as planned, its bonds would be assumed or guaranteed by the HSBC
Group, which would be credit positive.  Conversely, ratings
could be lowered if Revival Acquisition Ltd. acquires Marks &
Spencer PLC (BBB/Watch Neg/A-2) in a highly leveraged
transaction and the new owners do not proceed with the sale to
HSBC of Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC.  The ratings of
Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC's debt issues could also
be lowered, as all other debt issues by the Marks & Spencer's
Group PLC, if the latter's financial policy became more
aggressive than is factored into its current 'BBB/A-2' ratings.

These are the Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC issues
issued under the GBP3 billion EMTN Program being affected:

EUR20 million notes due July 23, 2004
USD50 million notes due December 8, 2004
JPY2 billion notes due December 15, 2004
JPY3 billion notes due January 26, 2005
USD35 million notes due January 28, 2005
JPY1.5 billion notes due February 7, 2005
GBP20 million notes due May 23, 2005
EUR50 million notes due June 10, 2005
EUR55 million notes due June 16, 2005
GBP25 million notes due June 27, 2005
GBP15.6 million notes due June 30, 2005
GBP30 million notes due July 18, 2005
GBP50 million notes due July 22, 2005
EUR20 million notes due August 5, 2005
EUR30 million notes due January 16, 2006
GBP10 million notes due March 21, 2006
HKD124 million notes due May 9, 2006
EUR12.5 million notes due May 12, 2006
GBP10 million notes due June 19, 2006
EUR85 million notes due January 29, 2007
GBP10 million notes due January 19, 2009
GBP14 million notes due February 4, 2009

Ratings information is available to subscribers of
RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit analysis
system, at http://www.ratingsdirect.com. It can also be found
on Standard & Poor's public Web site at
http://www.standardandpoors.com. Alternatively, call one of the
following Standard & Poor's numbers: London Ratings Desk (44)
20-7176-7400; London Press Office Hotline (44) 20-7176-3605;
Paris (33) 1-4420-6708; Frankfurt (49) 69-33-999-225; Stockholm
(46) 8-440-5916; or Moscow (7) 095-783-4017.  Members of the
media may also contact the European Press Office via e-mail:
media_europe@standardandpoors.com.


MARKS & SPENCER: Ratings on Related CMBS Deal Downgraded
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its credit ratings on
the notes issued by Amethyst Finance PLC, an SPE, to 'BBB/Watch
Neg' from 'A/Watch Neg'.

The downgrade follows the lowering of the ratings on U.K.-based
retailer Marks & Spencer PLC (M&S) to 'BBB/Watch Neg/A-2' from
'A/Watch Neg/A-1'.

The notes issued by Amethyst Finance, which are credit-linked to
M&S, are backed by a security interest in lease cash flows
generated by M&S retail properties throughout the U.K.  The
ratings on the Amethyst Finance notes are based on the payment
of principal and interest due on the notes from the proceeds of
the contracted rental obligations of M&S.  Any change in the
rating on M&S will be mirrored in the ratings on the Amethyst
Finance notes.

The downgrade of M&S primarily reflects the retailer's shift to
a significantly more aggressive financial policy after the group
announced its intention to return about GBP2.3 billion to
shareholders.

The notes issued by Amethyst Finance were placed on CreditWatch
on May 28, 2004, reflecting the placement of the long-term
corporate credit rating on M&S on CreditWatch with negative
implications.  This followed a potential bid from Revival
Acquisition Ltd. (a company owned by retail entrepreneur Philip
Green).

The ratings on M&S, and therefore on the Amethyst Finance notes,
remain on CreditWatch, reflecting the effect of both the
potential bid and the possibility that M&S' financial policy
might be more aggressive than is factored into the current
'BBB/A-2' ratings, as demonstrated by the group's intention to
use future surplus cash flows to pursue a share buyback program.

The related media release on M&S, titled "Marks & Spencer
Downgraded to 'BBB' on GBP2.3 billion Return of Capital News;
Still on Watch Neg" and dated July 12, 2004, is available to
subscribers of RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit
analysis system, at http://www.ratingsdirect.com. The release
is also available on Standard & Poor's Web site at
http://www.standardandpoors.com. Alternatively, call one of
Standard & Poor's Ratings Desks: London (44) 20-7176-7400; Paris
(33) 1-4420-6705; Frankfurt (49) 69 33-999-223; Stockholm (46)
8-440-5916; or Moscow (7) 095-783-4017.  Members of the media
may contact the Press Office Hotline on (44) 20-7176-3605 or via
e-mail: media_europe@standardandpoors.com.

RATINGS LIST

Class             Rating
           To               From

Amethyst Finance PLC
GBP331 Million Secured Floating-Rate Notes

Ratings Downgraded
A1         BBB/Watch Neg    A/Watch Neg
A2         BBB/Watch Neg    A/Watch Neg

CONTACT:  STANDARD AND POOR'S RATING SERVICES
          Analyst E-mail Addresses
          stuart_nelson@standardandpoors.com
          david_beale@standardandpoors.com
          StructuredFinanceEurope@standardandpoors.comA


MARKS & SPENCER: Philip Green Offering GBP1.6 Bln of Own Cash
-------------------------------------------------------------
As announced earlier, having seen the presentation delivered by
the board of Marks & Spencer (M&S) on Tuesday, Revival convened
a call at 6:00 p.m. (London time) on the same day to urge all
M&S shareholders who believe it is in their best interests for
Revival's proposed offer to proceed to ask the board of M&S to
allow Revival access to its requested due diligence on the basis
of the proposal set out by Revival in its announcement dated
July 7, 2004.

Revival confirms that it has arranged funding, subject to the
completion of documentation, of up to GBP11.1 billion, as set
out below, in order to provide the cash consideration required
under the proposed offer set out in that announcement and to
refinance M&S' existing debt.

Philip Green and his family will provide up to GBP1.6 billion of
the equity funding of such proposed offer.  Additional equity
funding in the amount of GBP1.4 billion will be provided by
HBOS, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital.  Barclays Capital,
Goldman Sachs, Halifax, Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland
will provide debt financing in the amount of GBP8.1 billion.

With respect to any regulatory clearances required, Revival is
confident that it shall be in a position to satisfy all relevant
regulatory bodies through making the appropriate commitments, as
necessary.

Revival also continues to be willing to meet with the Trustees
of the M&S pension schemes at their earliest convenience.

Revival believes that its desktop due diligence review could be
completed within seven to ten days.

CONTACT:  MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC
          Michael House, Baker St.
          London
          W1U 8EP, United Kingdom
          Phone: + 44 20 7935 4422
          Fax:   + 44 20 7487 2679
          Web site: http://www.marksandspencer.com

          FINSBURY
          Rupert Younger
          Phone: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801


MMS SPACE: Names Ernst & Young Liquidator
-----------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the MMS Space Systems
Limited Company on June 23, 2004 held at Gunnels Wood Road,
Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AS, the Special Resolution to wind
up the company was passed.  Patrick J Brazzill and Alan Lovett
of Ernst & Young LLP, 1 More London Place, London SE1 2AF have
been appointed Joint Liquidators for the purposes of such
winding-up.

CONTACT:  ERNST & YOUNG LLP
          1 More London Place,
          London SE1 2AF
          Liquidators:
          Patrick J Brazzill
          Alan Lovett


NOVATION ELECTRONIC: Names Receivers from Numerica
--------------------------------------------------
Frank Wessely and Peter Hughes-Holland of Numerica have been
appointed joint administrative receivers for Novation Electronic
Music Systems Limited Company.  The appointment was made June
30, 2004.  The company manufactures and distributes digital
audio synthesizers.

CONTACT:  NUMERICA
          81 Station Road, Marlow,
          Buckinghamshire SL7 1SX
          Receivers:
          Frank Wessely
          Peter Hughes-Holland
          (IP Nos 7788, 1700)


OXFORD INVESTMENT: Names Grant Thornton Administrator
-----------------------------------------------------
Martin Gilbert Ellis and Andrew Lawrence Hosking of Grant
Thornton have been appointed joint administrative receivers for
The Oxford Investment & Consulting Group PLC.  The appointment
was made June 24, 2004.  The company is engaged in other special
trades construction.

CONTACT:  GRANT THORNTON
          Grant Thornton House,
          22 Melton Street, Euston Square,
          London NW1 2EP
          Receivers:
          Martin Gilbert Ellis
          Andrew Lawrence Hosking
          (IP Nos 8687, 9009)


P D Z EUROPA: Appoints Grant Thornton Administrator
---------------------------------------------------
The P D Z Europa Limited Company has appointed Leslie Ross and
Sean Kenneth Croston of Grant Thornton as joint administrative
receivers.  The appointment was made July 6, 2004.  The company
manufactures measuring instruments.

CONTACT:  GRANT THORNTON UK LLP
          Heron House,
          Albert Square,
          Manchester M60 8GT
          Receivers:
          Leslie Ross
          Sean Kenneth Croston
          (IP Nos 7244, 8930)

                            *   *   *

Since 1985, the scientists and engineers of PDZ Europa have
pioneered the commercial development of continuous flow
techniques for stable isotope analysis.  Today, laboratories
using our automated stable isotope analysers have boosted their
productivity enabling them to accelerate their studies and open
up new fields of research.  PDZ Europa is the world leader in
providing innovative stable isotope instrumentation for
environmental, earth science, nutrition and diagnostic research.
The company offers a complete service for researchers using
stable isotopes including instrument systems, spares,
consumables and analytical services.


PLACEWARE LIMITED: Appoints Liquidator from Numerica
----------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Placeware UK Limited
Company on June 28, 2004 held at Redmond, Washington, USA, the
Special, Ordinary and Extraordinary Resolutions to wind up the
company were passed.  Colin Ian Vickers and Nicholas Hugh
O'Reilly of Numerica, Southfield House, 11 Liverpool Gardens,
Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1RY and Numerica, 66 Wigmore Street,
London respectively have been appointed Joint Liquidators for
the purpose of the voluntary winding-up.

CONTACT:  NUMERICA
          Southfield House,
          11 Liverpool Gardens,
          Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1RY
          Liquidator:
          Colin Ian Vickers

          NUMERICA
          66 Wigmore Street,
          London
          Liquidator:
          Nicholas Hugh O'Reilly


PRESTIGE AUTO: Creditors Meeting Set Today
------------------------------------------
            IN THE MATTER OF THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1986

                             and

           IN THE MATTER OF Prestige Auto Express Ltd

Notice is hereby given, pursuant to section 98 of the Insolvency
Act 1986, that a meeting of Creditors of the Prestige Auto
Express Ltd company will be held at Rifsons House 63-64 Charles
Lane London NW8 7SB, today, at 12:30 p.m. for the purpose of
having a full statement of the position of the Company's
affairs, together with a list of the Creditors of the Company
and the estimated amount of their claims, laid before them, and
for the purpose, if thought fit, of nominating a Liquidator and
of appointing a Liquidation Committee. (Sections 99-101 of the
said Act)

In accordance with section 98 (2) Insolvency Act 1986, a list of
Creditors' names and addresses will be available for inspection,
free of charge, at Rifsons, Rifsons House 63-64 Charles Lane
London NW8 7SB on two business days next before the meeting.

By Order of the Board.

R Choudhury, Director
June 3, 2004

CONTACT:  RIFSONS
          Rifsons House
          63-64 Charles Lane
          London NW8 7SB
          Phone: 0207 586 7032, 0207 586 9831
          Fax: 0207 586 9834
          E-mail: rifsons@wol.net.pk
          Web site: http://www.rifsons.com


ROBERTS PARTNERS: Lloyds TSB Bank Appoints KPMG Receiver
--------------------------------------------------------
Lloyds TSB Bank Plc called in Richard John Hill and David John
Crawshaw of KPMG as receivers for Engineers Roberts & Partners
(U.K.) Limited Company (Reg No 01810184, Trade Classification:
7420).  The application was filed July 7, 2004.

CONTACT:  KPMG
          Corporate Recovery
          Arlington Business Park
          Theale, Reading RG7 4SD
          Receivers:
          Richard John Hill
          David John Crawshaw
          (Office Holder Nos 8027, 8814)


SOLUTIONS RMC: Freeman Lands in Jail for Alleged GBP1 Mln Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The head of fund-raising company Solutions RMC, Tony Freeman has
been arrested and is facing a GBP1 million fraud charge, Europe
intelligence Wire reports.

Mr. Freeman was arrested in Glasgow after flying in from Cyprus
and was charged with embezzlement and contravention of the
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  He is accused of taking a sum of
over GBP719,000 between July 2002 and May 2003 while serving as
director of Solutions RMC.  He is also accused of removing
'criminal property' from Scotland worth GBP450,337 on May 30,
2003.  He allegedly transferred the amount to the Federal Bank
of the Middle East's branch in Nicosia, Cyprus.  He made no plea
when he appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court and remained in
custody.

Solutions RMC raised funds for Dundee-based Breast Cancer
Research and Manchester-based Breast Cancer Relief.  The
Paisley-based firm went into liquidation after the Scottish
Charities Office investigated both charities.


SWIFT TECHNICAL: Hires Richard Long & Co Liquidator
---------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Swift Technical
Services Limited Company on July 1, 2004 held at 3 Cecil Court,
49-55 London Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 6DE, the Special and
Extraordinary Resolutions to wind up the company were passed.
Richard William James Long of Richard Long & Co, Castlegate
House, 36 Castle Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1HH has
been appointed Liquidator of the Company for the purpose of such
winding-up.

CONTACT:  RICHARD LONG & CO
          Castlegate House
          36 Castle Street, Hertford
          Hertfordshire SG14 1HH
          Liquidator:
          Richard William James Long


THORNTONS PLC: Sales for Last 52 Weeks Up 6.9%
----------------------------------------------
Thorntons PLC, the manufacturer, retailer and distributor of
high quality confectionery and other sweet foods, is reporting
sales figures for the 52 weeks ended 26 June 2004.

(a) Total company sales in the 52 weeks to 26 June 2004 were up
    6.9% at GBP178.7 million compared with GBP167.1 million last
    year.

(b) Own shop sales rose by 2.2% to GBP136.8 million (GBP133.8
    million).  During the year, we opened 3 stores and closed
    14.  The like-for-like sales for the full year rose by 2.6%
    and by 2.9% in the second half.

(c) Franchise sales increased by 4.9% to GBP12.9 million with
    outlets up by 5 to 203.

(d) Private label commercial sales rose by 8.7% to GBP13.7
    million driven by new lines and closer working
    relationships.

(e) Thorntons branded product sales into other retailers,
    increased from GBP3.1 million in 2003 to GBP10.0 million in
    2004.  New listings and improved sales within existing
    partnerships helped achieve this growth.

(f) Gift Delivery Service sales were unchanged at GBP5.3
    million.

Christopher Burnett, Chairman, commented: "This encouraging
sales performance should mean that our profits are in line with
market expectations when preliminary results for the full year
to 26 June are announced on Tuesday, 7 September 2004."

CONTACT:  THORNTONS PLC
          Thornton Park, Somercotes
          Alfreton
          Derbyshire DE55 4XJ, United Kingdom
          Phone: +44 1773 540 550
          Fax:   +44 1773 540 757
          Web site: http://www.thorntons.co.uk

          Christopher Burnett
          Executive Chairman
          Phone: 01773 540550

          Peter Burdon
          Chief Executive
          Phone: 01773 540550

          Martin Allen
          Finance Director
          Phone: 01773 540550

          BUCHANAN COMMUNICATIONS
          Charles Ryland
          Phone: 020 7466 5000

          Catherine Miles
          Phone: 020 7466 5000


WHITBY DAVISON: Hires Liquidators from BDO Stoy Hayward
-------------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Whitby Davison
Production Ltd Company on July 1, 2004 held at 79 Hampton Park,
Bristol BS6 6LQ, the subjoined Special Resolution to wind up the
company was passed.  Anthony Sanderson and Geoffrey Stuart
Kinlan of BDO Stoy Hayward LLP, Prospect Place, 85 Great North
Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5BS have been appointed Joint
Liquidators for the purpose of such winding-up.

CONTACT:  BDO STOY HAYWARD LLP
          Prospect Place
          85 Great North Road, Hatfield,
          Hertfordshire AL9 5BS
          Liquidators:
          Anthony Sanderson
          Geooffrey Stuart Kinlan


W PROLF: Appoints Liquidators from Tenon Recovery
-------------------------------------------------
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the W
Prolf Properties Limited Company on July 2, 2004 held at IMG
Monaco SAM, Est-Ouest, 24 Boulevard Princesse, Charlotte, Monte
Carlo, 98000, Monaco, the Special Resolution to wind up the
company was passed.  Simon Robert Thomas and Trevor John Binyon
of Tenon Recovery, Sherlock House, 73 Baker Street, London W1U
6RD have been appointed Joint Liquidators for the purpose of
winding-up the Company.

CONTACT:  TENON RECOVERY
          Sherlock House
          73 Baker Street,
          London W1U 6RD
          Liquidators:
          Simon Robert Thomas
          Trevor John Binyon


                            *********


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 -- Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Larri-Nil Veloso, Ma. Cristina Canson,
Liv Arcipe, and Julybien Atadero, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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