CP Pokphand Co, whose shares have been savaged in recent sessions as the firm talks to creditors to reschedule its debts, saw its stock stabilise yesterday in very heavy trade. Analysts said the Hong Kong arm of the Thai-based conglomerate, which is a major investor in the mainland, might owe Hongkong Bank about $500 million. Indosuez WI Carr Securities banking analyst Anthony Lok said Pokphand's future was uncertain. 'Basically, it is probably too highly geared for the current environment,' Mr Lok said. He estimated Hongkong Bank's exposure to the company at $500 million. 'It's a big bank but I rather doubt that Pokphand is the only thing out there that Hongkong Bank is having problems with,' he said. Hongkong Bank officials declined to comment, while Pokphand representatives would confirm only that talks with creditors were still under way. Yesterday, Pokphand shares bucked a falling market to gain 6.17 per cent to 43 cents, paring some of the massive losses that came after the firm said last week it risked default on a floating-rate note issue. A total of 75.92 million shares changed hands, more than 60 times the daily average this year. It was the day's ninth most active issue by volume. Hongkong Bank has made provisions of $7.8 billion for bad or doubtful loans this year. Pokphand has asked holders of US$92.8 million of five-year notes due in 2000 not to redeem the paper early as it is facing cash-flow problems and could default if the put options were exercised. A meeting with bondholders is set for May 29. Analysts said that figuring the exact extent of the company's liabilities was difficult because there could be substantial off-balance obligations held by subsidiaries in which it had an equity interest of less than 50 per cent. At yesterday's close, the company, which has interests in mainland agri-business and motorcycle manufacturing, had a market capitalisation of HK$928.15 million, compared with $2.33 billion at the end of last month.