Enron plans to trade out of trouble

After filing what was the biggest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US corporate history, Enron has surprised many in the market with plans to trade its way out of trouble.

Last month Enron revealed it had debts totalling around $US40 billion, which was lower than the $US50 billion initially feared.

The Enron restructuring plan centres on selling assets worth as much as $US6 billion and concentrating on its core operations of pipeline and power. The restructuring scheme would also include selling the company's prized trading operations.

Many commentators believe Enron's ability to sell assets could be limited by outside factors, including pending lawsuits.

As for the Australian operations, nine potential bidders are still in the running for the $5 million electricity derivatives portfolio of Enron Australia, according to the group's voluntary administrator.

However, analysts and industry players remain sceptical on how many firm bids will be lodged, arguing many counter-parties to derivatives contracts with Enron Australia either wanted their contracts closed out or had issued termination notices.