TCRLA_Public/010130.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                  L A T I N   A M E R I C A

         Tuesday, January 30, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 21

                           Headlines




B R A Z I L

CAEMI: BHP Offers More Than $300M For 60 Percent Stake
COPENE: 2000 Net Profit Best Results In 10 Years
CRT: Fitch Withdraws Ratings After Consolidation
ELETROBRAS: Gives Up Attempt To Resolve Energy Market Debt


M E X I C O

BUFETE: Deal With Serbo Could Hasten Pemex's "Akal L" Project
SITUR: Steadfast Acquires Hotel For $260M


P A R A G U A Y

ANTELCO: Morgan Stanley To Manage Privatization Process
CORPOSANA: WB Mission To Check On Privatization Progress


P E R U

BANCO WIESE: To De-list Shares Traded In NYSE


V E N E Z U E L A

CERAMICA CARABOBO: To Sell Part Of Its Refractories Division
ENELVEN: FIV Likely To Open Bids By Mid-March
SEMDA: To Proceed With Sale Process


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B R A Z I L
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CAEMI: BHP Offers More Than $300M For 60 Percent Stake
------------------------------------------------------
BHP Ltd. offered to pay more than $300 million for the 60-percent
stake Caemi Mineracao e Metalurgica SA currently owned by the
Frering brothers, Bloomberg reported Monday. The offer is said to
have surpassed Cia. Vale do Rio Doce's bid of $300 million.
Bidding for the majority equity position closed January 16.
According to reports, the successful bidder will be named in
April when Mitsui & Co., which owns the remaining 40 percent,
decides whether to use its right to buy the Caemi shares it
doesn't already own.

Other interested bidders are Anglo American Plc and Sweden's
LKAB, which reportedly have visited Caemi's data room, although
both have decided not to make an offer. The Rio Tinto Group and
Billiton Plc were also reported to be interested in Caemi.


COPENE: 2000 Net Profit Best Results In 10 Years
------------------------------------------------
Copene, Brazil's petrochemicals giant, declared a net profit of
R$228 million (up 37 percent from 1999) in the year 2000,
accounting for the best results in the last ten years, according
to a Brazil Financial Wire report released Friday. With the
increased profitability, the company will be able to set aside
R$199 million in dividends in 2000, R$90 million of which have
already been handed out. Copene also reported exports last year
totaling R$280 million ($154 million). This year, the company
expects to invest R$311 million to boost its ethylene output
capacity and complete construction of naphtha inventory
facilities.

The petrochemical maker is slated to go back on the auction block
in March. The Company's first attempt in mid-December collapsed
when prospective bidders failed to make satisfactory offers.


CRT: Fitch Withdraws Ratings After Consolidation
------------------------------------------------
Fitch has withdrawn its ratings for Companhia Riograndense de
Telecomunicacoes (CRT).

CRT was recently acquired outright by Brasil Telecom S.A. and
will be fully consolidated as a Brasil Telecom operating
subsidiary. The ratings withdrawal does not imply a change in the
credit quality of CRT or its parent Brasil Telecom S.A. Fitch had
assigned international scale foreign currency and international
scale local currency ratings for CRT of 'BB-' and 'BBB-',
respectively.


ELETROBRAS: Gives Up Attempt To Resolve Energy Market Debt
-----------------------------------------------------------
Eletrobras, in a Gazeta Mercantil report released Monday,
admitted it is ready to give up on finding a solution for its
R$578-million debt with the wholesale energy market (MAE).
According to Chairman Firmino Sampaio, the difficulty in reaching
an agreement with creditors prompted him to resort to government
intervention.

"If we have not signed an agreement by January 31, we will ask
(sector regulator) Aneel to set a solution," said Sampaio.

The MAE serves as a clearing house for all power transactions
among its members.



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M E X I C O
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BUFETE: Deal With Serbo Could Hasten Pemex's "Akal L" Project
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bufete could proceed with the construction of Petroleos
Mexicanos' offshore oil-drilling-platform project called "Akal L"
soon, Reforma/Infolatina said Friday. Bufete was awarded the
contract for Akal L in 1998, but severe financial difficulties at
the company caused it to delay launching the construction
project. However, with the Bufete-Bolanos deal nearing
completion, the massive undertaking could soon materialize.
Bufete expects to receive an injection of 400 million dollars in
fresh capital from Grupo Serbo's Bolanos.


SITUR: Steadfast Acquires Hotel For $260M
-----------------------------------------
GM's Steadfast announced it has concluded the acquisition of a
package of nine Mexican hotel properties owned by local company
Situr, Reforma/Infolatina reported Friday. Steadfast reportedly
paid $260 million for these properties, which include hotels
operating under the Radisson, Plaza Las Glorias and Continental
brands. Steadfast is searching for a company to operate the
hotels. It has already held talks with Mexico's largest hotel
company Grupo Posadas but, unfortunately, didn't come up with an
acceptable agreement.



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P A R A G U A Y
===============


ANTELCO: Morgan Stanley To Manage Privatization Process
-------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley has been provisionally awarded the contract to
manage the privatization of state telecom operator Antelco by
Paraguay's National Reform Secretariat (SNRE), Oscar Stark,
Director of Antelco, said in a BNamericas.com report published
Friday. The investment bank will be responsible for recommending
the privatization strategy to be employed, a sale or
capitalization, and the subsequent road show to drum up investor
support. Morgan Stanley, in its financial offer, stipulated a
US$1.5 million fee in addition to a commission equivalent to 1
percent of Antelco's ultimate sale price. The World Bank, which
is funding Paraguay's privatization program with a US$12.5
million loan, must give its "no objection" to Morgan Stanley's
selection.

Morgan Stanley has 10 days from January 25 to sign the contract
with the SNRE. "If Morgan Stanley does not sign the contract the
(privatization) process will be delayed two or three months,"
Stark said, adding the search for an investment bank would have
to begin from scratch.


CORPOSANA: WB Mission To Check On Privatization Progress
--------------------------------------------------------
Paraguay's State Reform Secretariat (SRS) water specialist Cesar
Pastore told BNamericas.com in a report released Friday that a
World Bank (WB) mission will come to Paraguay early next month to
check on the progress of the privatization of Corposana, the
state water utility. A private consultant was also hired by the
secretariat to present a study detailing investment needed to
increase drinking water and sewerage coverage in the urban areas
currently under Corposana's jurisdiction.

The sale of Corposana has been delayed for some time, Pastore
said, adding that the SRS hopes the mission would help speed up
the process, as the secretariat still aims to complete the
auction before the end of 2001.

The SRS is still waiting for the approval of WB to invite three
pre-qualified investment banks to prepare offers for the contract
to define the Corposana privatization mechanism and organize the
international auction.



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P E R U
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BANCO WIESE: To De-list Shares Traded In NYSE
---------------------------------------------
Banco Wiese Sudameris announced that the bank's board has already
given permission to officials to de-list the share from the New
York Stock Exchange. In a letter sent to the local stock
authorities the board also authorized cancellation of its U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission Registry.

"The board decided that the small liquidity of the ADR doesn't
justify maintaining such a program," said investor relations
manager Alfredo Dancourt in a Bloomberg report published Friday.
He added that only 14,000 of the 5.2 million American depositary
receipts traded daily on New York market.

Dancourt said the de-listing process would take several months to
complete. He also informed that the decision would not affect
Wiese Sudameris' Lima-traded shares.

Banco Wiese Sudameris SA is Peru's second-largest bank.



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V E N E Z U E L A
=================


CERAMICA CARABOBO: To Sell Part Of Its Refractories Division
------------------------------------------------------------
In an effort to recover loses of 2.34 billion bolivars ($3.3
million) in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, Ceramica
Carabobo SACA announced it will likely sell part of its
refractories division, Bloomberg reported Friday. According to  
company president, Jacobo Salas Romer, they have already hired
Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano SA to manage the sale,
which is scheduled to begin in March. Romer declined to reveal
the exact percentage of the division it is planning to sell.

"Several groups from Austria, Germany, Italy and France are
interested," he said, adding, "it's not a sale, but we're looking
for an association that will allow us to increase the strength of
the operation with the latest technology." Refractories are heat-
resistant bricks used for insulation in
high-temperature manufacturing operations such as steel mills.

Ceramica, Venezuela's largest publicly traded ceramics maker,
last year, was buffeted by an economic recession in Venezuela, an
overvalued bolivar, and rising financial costs for its dollar-
denominated debt causing it to lose twice as much as the amount
it lost in the same year-ago period.


ENELVEN: FIV Likely To Open Bids By Mid-March
---------------------------------------------
A source from Venezuela's privatization committee FIV revealed in
a BNamericas.com report released Monday that FIV will likely move
the opening of economic bids for the 51 percent stake in state-
owned integrated utility Enelven to mid-March. It was originally
scheduled for end-January or February but interested companies
asked for an extension. The pre-qualified bidders for the utility
are US-based Enron, CMS, PSEG and AES, Spain's Union Fenosa and
Iberdrola, Argentina's Perez Companc and Venezuela's Enerzul.


SEMDA: To Proceed With Sale Process
-----------------------------------
An FIV source told BNamericas.com in a report published Friday
that Sistema Electrico de Monagas y Delta Amacuro (Semda) would
be pushing through with the sale process. No exact date has been
set yet for the presentation of bids but the FIV is tentatively
considering the sale for mid-2001.

Semda, a subsidiary of Cadafe, is an electric company serving the
eastern states of Monagas and Delta Amacuro.




S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter Latin American is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ,
and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC. John D. Resnick, Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche and Janice Mendoza, Editors.

Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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