Debt-ridden Australian manufacturer Austrim Nylex has won a reprieve from its bankers until July 2002.

Following the news, share trading in the company, which was suspended on Wednesday, recommenced, with shares reaching a two week high of A$0.29 cents.

Austrim owes A$400 million to a five-bank consortium, including the National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking Corp and Westpac. Earlier this week Austrim's shares closed at a record low of 14 cents, responding to fears that the company could have been placed into voluntary administration if the banks had refused to rollover the debt.

Share price losses accelerated when a $269.2m full year loss was reported by the group on September 13. After writing down $279m, the company's net asset position was reduced to $218.75m, in breach of its bank covenants.

The breathing space granted by the bank consortium will enable Austrim to continue its restructuring, including selling off underperforming assets.

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