For well-connected Jakarta taxi company Steady Safe, the downfall of Peregrine could be a financial bonanza, analysts tracking the company say. A loan of US$260 million from Peregrine to allow Steady Safe to refinance old debts and continue expansion plans lies at the centre of the Hong Kong firm's collapse. 'Already people here are thinking Steady Safe could be in the clear with that money, that once Peregrine goes they won't have to pay it back for a long, long time . . . if ever,' one analyst said yesterday. Certainly at the moment, Steady Safe could struggle to repay with recent share slides leaving it with a stock market capitalisation of an estimated $3.9 million and theoretically bankrupt if the loan was called in tomorrow. Steady Safe's president and director, well-known Jakarta entrepreneur Jopie Widjaja, was yesterday in Singapore and could not be contacted for comment. Analysts said Mr Widjaja was known as highly ambitious with 'big ideas' but often lost focus of his core businesses. He was on the verge of creating Indonesia's first leading transport conglomerate and had rapidly expanded throughout 1996 when the rupiah started to crash. From taxis and buses in Jakarta, the firm was spreading into ferries, ports and railways - all lucrative businesses given Indonesia's inadequate infrastructure. Its 1996 annual report describes government growth targets of 7 per cent for the next 25 years and plans to make Indonesia 'one of the robust and dynamic economies in the world'. Several of the company's plans listed in that report are now on hold. The expansion was initially funded with a syndicated loan arranged by Hong-kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation but as Mr Widjaja eyed other interests he needed money not bound by strict HSBC regulations. Instead, he turned to Peregrine and by August last year had started acquiring an estimated 21 per cent of another listed company controlled by President Suharto's eldest daughter Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, or Tutut. 'This is the one we couldn't understand,' one analyst said. 'He seemed to be stretching himself here.' HSBC has its money back and is now no longer involved, sources said. Ms Rukmana in turn became a commissioner - a non-executive chairman - of Steady Safe soon after, and brought on board some highly regarded management - not to mention connections should her father remain in power. Company officials confirmed yesterday that Ms Rukmana remains in the job, but her exact day-to-day involvement is still the subject of considerable speculation. Ms Rukmana's publicly listed Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada runs a $184,000-a-day toll-road operation thought to be a large chunk of a personal worth estimated as high as $2 billion. Steady Safe became the subject of controversy last year when, as highlighted in a briefing note issued by Peregrine in June, an anonymous letter was sent to Indonesia's Capital Market Supervisory Board and some securities houses accusing Mr Widjaja of using company funds for personal reasons. The note said he later denied all of the allegations and he pointed out that Steady Safe's financial statements were audited by a local accounting firm in conjunction with Arthur Andersen. 'We believe that the general concern regarding Mr Widjaja's actual commitment and ultimate objectives is largely mitigated by Steady Safe's past performance and future prospects,' the note said.