Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Citibank likely to get
Sia’s Singapore home

By Peter Wagner


A $4.5 million Singapore residence belonging to Indonesian businessman Sukamto Sia will likely be recovered by Citibank N.A. Hong Kong, not a trustee looking for assets to liquidate in Sia's bankruptcy.

Guido Giacometti, the court-appointed trustee in Sia's Chapter 7 case in Honolulu, last week dropped opposition to the bank's effort to claim the property, still under the jurisdiction of U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

But even if U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King frees the property, the bank still must seek clearance from a Singapore court also claiming jurisdiction over Sia's Singapore property.

The unoccupied residence, at 16 Bishopsgate, is one of two Singapore properties shown among Sia's assets in his November bankruptcy filing. The case, which began as a Chapter 11 reorganization before being converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation last week, shows Sia with $9.3 million in assets and $296.4 million in debts. The second property, at 5 Balmoral Road, is valued at about $800,000.

The more valuable property, held by Citibank as collateral of $7 million in loans to Sia, contributes nothing to his assets because Sia has no equity in the property, the bank says.

Among Sia's biggest properties in Hawaii are the Bank of Honolulu and Executive Centre Hotel. Sia holds 76 percent of shares in the bank, pledged to two foreign banks: Commerzbank and Societe Generale. Sia resigned his role as chairman of Bank of Honolulu shortly before filing his personal bankruptcy late last year.

Executive Centre, meanwhile, is the subject of two foreclosure lawsuits.

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