Thu, 06 Jan 2000

Hashim fires back at IBRA over bankruptcy action

JAKARTA (JP): The president of trading firm PT Tirtamas Comexindo, Hashim S. Djojohadikusumo, expressed on Wednesday regret over the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency's (IBRA) bankruptcy suit against the company, calling it a "precipitous action".

Hashim called on IBRA to withdraw the suit, noting his company was very much willing to resolve the matter.

"It is the express intention of PT Tirtamas Comexindo that a comprehensive settlement be concluded with IBRA and that IBRA would therefore see fit to withdraw the lawsuit," he said in a statement.

He said the company had not expected a bankruptcy suit would be filed since IBRA had stated in its initial directive that a cooperative settlement with Tirtamas Comexindo should be completed by the end of January 2000.

Hashim added that Tirtamas had been preparing a mutually agreeable solution based on IBRA's initial directive.

IBRA filed a bankruptcy suit against Tirtamas with the Jakarta Commercial Court on Dec. 30, 1999.

The suit was filed on behalf of closed down Bank Tamara, which had claims against Tirtamas amounting to Rp 38 billion (US$5.42 million), including unpaid interest payments and penalties.

The loans matured in August last year.

Head of IBRA's legal division Agustus Sani Nugroho earlier said Tirtamas's debts to Bank Tamara were only a portion of the firm's bad debts to several banks currently under the control of IBRA.

Nugroho said Tirtamas had bad debts totaling $95.7 million and Rp 69.7 billion.

Tirtamas was uncooperative toward efforts to settle the debts, he said.

Nugroho added that the value of assets recovered from Tirtamas might be much less than the firm's debts because IBRA had mostly obtained only personal guarantees from Hashim.

One guarantee is nine million shares of PT Semen Cibinong, which belong to Hashim's Tirtamas Group. (cst)