Fri, 29 Nov 2002



Astra to meet creditors Dec. 12

JAKARTA: PT Astra International, Indonesia's largest automotive company, said Thursday it plans to meet creditors Dec. 12 in Singapore to seek their approval for a US$800 million debt restructuring plan.

The company broke up a meeting earlier this week in Singapore due to insufficient attendance by its creditors.

Singapore's Cycle & Carriage Ltd. holds a 32 percent stake in Astra, which it bought after the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Astra has proposed a debt restructuring program which includes raising up to $150 million through a rights issue, and refinancing almost half its total borrowings.

The debt restructuring plan requires approval of at least two- thirds of Astra's creditors.

A company spokesperson said Astra has rescheduled an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to approve the plan to Dec. 20 from Dec. 16. --Dow Jones

BRI mulls $100m subdebt issue

JAKARTA: Indonesia's state-owned PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia, or BRI, is considering selling around US$100 million worth of subordinated debt next year to improve its capital base, the company said Thursday.

"We are looking into the possibility of issuing subdebt to maintain our capital adequacy ratio at 12 percent," BRI's Corporate Communication Manager Denny Adji told Dow Jones Newswires.

He declined to provide further details.

Earlier this month BRI's sister company, listed PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), issued $150 million of subordinated debt priced at 99.041 to yield 10.25 percent.

Bank Negara Indonesia's issue followed a $125 million issue by the country's largest state-owned bank by assets PT Bank Mandiri in July, which was priced at 99.148 to yield 10.625 percent.

BRI has the biggest network in Indonesia, with a total of 4,514 branches across the country.

Its assets totaled Rp 82.26 trillion as of Sept. 30, up from Rp 70.43 trillion a year earlier.

The bank recorded a pretax profit of Rp 1.32 trillion in the first nine months of the year, up from Rp 1.11 trillion a year ago.

BRI provides around 90 percent of its Rp 38.40 trillion in loans to small and medium size businesses.--Dow Jones

Final bids for Indosat on Dec. 13

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government Thursday said it will receive final bids for the sale of its 41.94 percent stake in PT Indonesian Satellite Corp. on Dec. 13.

"The winner of the bidding will be announced two or three days after," the State Enterprise Deputy Minister Mahmuddin Yasin told reporters.

He said the government and the bidders are now finalizing the sale and purchase agreement. "We will meet with the bidders next week for further negotiations on the agreement," he added.

He didn't elaborate further.

There are four bidders in the final round of bidding for the Indosat stake.

These are Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte. Ltd., Telekom Malaysia Bhd., Malaysian company Desa Mahir Sdn. Bhd. and a company of unknown origin, Gilbert Global Equity Capital Asia Ltd.

All four bidders were selected from a list of 14 investors who had made preliminary offers for the stake, the statement said.

The government has a 56.9 percent stake in Indosat. The sale of most of its stake is part of its effort to raise funds to reduce its budget deficit, expected to be around 2.5 percent of gross domestic product this year.

In May, the government sold a 8.1 percent stake in Indosat, raising Rp 1.1 trillion. --Dow Jones

Toyota eyes 10% of Chinese market

TOKYO: Japan's top-ranked carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it is aiming to win 10 percent of the Chinese market by selling up to 400,000 vehicles a year by 2008.

"In China we are banking on a market share in the order of 10 percent: 300,000 or 400,000 vehicles by around 2007-2008," Toyota president Fujio Cho told journalists.

"In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese market is going to grow. We think it will reach four million vehicles," he said.

A late entrant to the Chinese market, Toyota took a big step towards catching up with its rivals in August by announcing a tie-up with local giant First Automotive Works to manufacture mid to high end sedans, mini-cars or minivans and sports utility vehicles. --AFP