Thu, 05 Oct 2000

Astra International begins paying debts

JAKARTA (JP): Publicly listed PT Astra International announced on Wednesday it had begun repaying its debt nearly three months ahead of the schedule stipulated in its 1999 debt restructuring agreement.

Astra corporate secretary Aminuddin also said in a statement nearly all of Astra's subsidiaries had completed the restructuring of their respective debts.

"We have made the first (payment) installment amounting to US$66.7 million and Rp 66.3 billion ($7.6 million) ahead of the December deadline, because our cash flow is quite robust," Aminuddin said.

He said 12 Astra subsidiaries had completely restructured their debts, while debt restructuring agreements for two other subsidiaries -- PT Tjahja Sakti Motor, the assembler and sole agent in the country for BMW cars, and heavy equipment company PT United Tractors, which have combined debts of $333.5 million and Rp 147 billion -- were being finalized.

The 12 Astra subsidiaries which have completed their debt restructuring are: the publicly listed PT Astra Graphia, PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya and PT Astra Otoparts, and PT Fuji Technica Indonesia, PT Traktor Nusantara, PT Federal International Finance, PT Berau Coal, PT United Tractors Pandu Engineering, PT Pamapersada Nusantara, PT Pandu Dayatama Patria and PT SAN Finance.

Aminuddin added that Himawan Surya resigned from Astra International's board of directors early last month, and his position had been assumed by Prijono Sugiarto, the current president of PT Multi France Motor and PT Tjahja Sakti Motor.

In a related development, the Automobile Industry Association reported that Astra International's sales of cars and trucks -- Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, BMW, Peugeot and Nissan -- totaled 91,504 units in the first eight months of the year, up 493 percent from the 18,562 units sold in the corresponding period the previous year. The company's vehicle exports, mainly Toyota and Daihatsu, in the same period reached 32,225 units, up from the 18,446 units exported over the same period in 1999.

The association added that Astra's motorcycle (Honda) sales in the period under review rose to 277,844 units, up 86 percent from the previous year.