Yaohan International Holdings, which has collapsed under the weight of $500 million in debt, has almost all its assets pledged to banks, according to its provisional liquidators. KPMG Peat Marwick partner Gabriel Tam Chi-kok said yesterday the investment-holding company had such assets as equity interests in listed companies in Hong Kong and mainland department stores. 'Most of the assets are held by banks, which we are seeking to quantify,' Mr Tam said. The court called in Mr Tam along with a KPMG partner, Alan Tang Chung-wah, and Malcolm Butterfield of KPMG Bermuda to handle the wind-up of Yaohan after a wholly owned subsidiary applied on Wednesday to have it liquidated. The proposed liquidation came as Yaohan failed to settle $500 million in debts owed to the subsidiary, known as Hidomi Holdings. Mr Tam said the provisional liquidators were pursuing 'a last-minute rescue' by discussing with creditors parties who had expressed interest in acquiring part or all of Yaohan's assets. The assets include a 24.47 per cent stake in indoor-amusement centre Whimsy Entertainment, a 7 per cent stake in restaurant-operator Hong Kong Catering Management, a 36 per cent stake in the Yaohan department store in Shanghai and a 30 per cent stake in a supermarket chain in Wuxi. Mr Tam said Yaohan directors had been holding talks to offload certain assets since profit generator and retailing chain Yaohan Department Store (HK) went into liquidation last November. Mr Tam said it was too early to ascertain Yaohan's outstanding debts and the latest value of the assets.