Cash-strapped Firstone International Holdings' says it will use the proceeds of recent fund raising exercises to ease the burden of a $195.55 million short-term loan due this year. The company has already conducted two share placements worth about $40 million and received approval from shareholders at a special general meeting yesterday for a $158 million rights issue. Executive director Timothy Cheung Man-yau said the company would use at least $117 million of the $200 million raised to reduce debt. Firstone, which makes capacitors and distributes Shaoxing wine, was forced to raise cash after losses at its electronic division pushed the company from a $2.1 million attributable profit in 1995 to a net loss of $87.37 million last year. Mr Cheung said the company was a victim of revised lending practices by banks. 'Due to huge provisions they incurred by lending to some debt-ridden electronic stocks, they are now more cautious in granting loans, asking us to repay the loan in a shorter period,' he said. Firstone has reshuffled its board with chairman Wan Sitt-kam and four executive directors stepping down, leaving six board members. Newly elected managing director Jong Soebakti Harsono said the reshuffle would streamline management. 'Some of the directors, including Mr Wan, have taken up a management role at our electronic subsidiaries,' he said. 'We just want them to concentrate on the area in which they specialise.'