TCRLA_Public/010223.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

         Friday, February 23, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 38

                           Headlines


B R A Z I L

BANCO INTERUNION: Former Banker Takes Over Control
BOMPRECO: Posts Profits Of $3.573M Ending 2000
CAEMI: Mitsui's Pre-emptive Right Threatens BHP's Bid
CESP: Completes Eurobond Deal Worth 200M Euros
COBRA COMPUTADORES: Registers Profits In 2000
COPENE: Sellers Yet To Agree On Price Reduction
CVRD: Suzano Likely To Acquire Pulp and Paper Subsidiary
MULTIBRAS: Registers Profits Of R$115M In 2000


G U A T E M A L A

BANCO EMPRESARIAL: Liquidation Looms Ahead


H O N D U R A S

HONDUTEL: Struggles To Get Ready For New Privatization Process


M E X I C O

CINTRA: Merrill Lynch Tapped As Agent But No Guidelines Yet
GRUPO VITRO: Unaudited Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2000 Results
PEMEX: New Board Expected To Meet In The Next Several Days
UNEFON: Sees 163-Percent Increase In Subscriber Base In 4Q00


P A R A G U A Y

CORPOSANA: Resumes Privatization Process


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

THA: New Chief Secretary Seeks Comprehensive Audit


     - - - - - - - - - -


===========
B R A Z I L
===========

BANCO INTERUNION: Former Banker Takes Over Control
--------------------------------------------------
Artur Falk, a former banker, took over control of Banco
Interunion this week, which was liquidated on December 30, 1996,
Gazeta Mercantil reported Wednesday. Falk promised to pay all the
creditors of the bank.

A Rio de Janeiro court granted a preliminary injunction to
suspend the process for 180 days so that Falk can take over the
bank and pay off its R$70-million debt. The Central Bank is
reportedly Interunion's main creditor.


BOMPRECO: Posts Profits Of $3.573M Ending 2000
----------------------------------------------
Brazilian food retailer Bompreco S/A Supermercados do Nordeste
posted profits of $3.573 million ending 2000 against losses of
R$19.1 million in the previous year, South American Business
Information said Tuesday. According to the company, good
performance was brought about by an increase in the gross
earnings from $304.967 million to R$377.483 million. Net income
increased by 14.3 percent from R$1.499 billion to R$1.657 billion
in 2000. Operating expenses were reduced by 2.6 percent from
R$427.022 million to R$416.292 million.

Among the controlled companies, Bompreco Bahia was the only one
to report losses of R$2.734 million against profits of R$9.2
million in 1999.

Bompreco S/A is the 5th largest supermarket chain operating in
eight Brazilian Northern states with 106 units. Last year, the
Dutch Royal Ahold, which held 50 percent of Bompreco, acquired
the remaining 50 percent, becoming the sole holder of the group.


CAEMI: Mitsui's Pre-emptive Right Threatens BHP's Bid
-----------------------------------------------------
Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co., which owns 40 percent of
the total voting shares in the Brazilian mining company, might
exercise its first right of refusal over Caemi, according to a
Bloomberg report Wednesday. This move by Mitsui could be seen as
a stumbling block for Australia's largest resources company BHP
Ltd. plan to grab control of 60 per cent of equity and 60 per
cent of voting rights in the Brazilian group. Mitsui has less
than 50 days to decide whether to use its pre-emptive right to an
equity position in Caemi. BHP, earlier this month, bid $332
million for 20 percent of Caemi to take majority control.

According to reports, Hiroshi Tada, chief operating officer of
Mitsui's iron and steel raw materials group, said that the
company would prefer Caemi as its Brazilian partner, as there are
government and environmental issues involved.


CESP: Completes Eurobond Deal Worth 200M Euros
----------------------------------------------
Brazilian power utility Companhia Energ,tica de Sao Paulo (Cesp)
has completed a three-year Eurobond deal worth 200 million euros.
The placement was announced by Finantia in a Brazil Financial
Wire report Tuesday. Finantia, together with WestLB, managed the
deal. The bonds, carrying a 9.75 percent coupon, were priced to
yield 9.91 percent a year.

"The company expected to raise up to 150 million euros, but in
the face of investor demand it upped the deal to 200 million
euros," said M rcio Pepino, Finantia's representative in Brazil.
Proceeds will serve to honor Cesp's mark-denominated debt, which
matures in May, Pepino added.

CESP is Brazil's and Latin America's third-largest electricity
generator, providing electricity to the four main distribution
companies serving the key state of Sao Paulo. It is likely to go
back on the auction block in the first half of the current year
after a failed attempt to sell in December.


COBRA COMPUTADORES: Registers Profits In 2000
---------------------------------------------
The Brazilian computers and auxiliary equipment producer Cobra
Computadores, which has been battered with losses over the last
20 years, ended 2000 with an income of R$297 million and profits
of R$15 million. It expects a turnover of R$450 million in 2001.

Between 1992 and 1996, the company almost filed for bankruptcy.
However, Banco do Brasil exchanged debt worth US$25 million into
risk capital to help it avoid bankruptcy, taking over 99-percent
of the company's equity. Cobra went through a deep restructuring
process and reduced its staff from 751 to the current 452.


COPENE: Sellers Yet To Agree On Price Reduction
-----------------------------------------------
The data room of Copene is set to be reopened by late February,
and, according to a South American Business Information report
Tuesday, sellers Odebrecht, Mariani and Conepar (arm of
Economico) of Norquisa (holding of Copene), are expected to
publish a minimum price in the petrochemicals bid notice. The
boards of Odebrecht, Mariani and Conepar have yet to come up with
an agreement to reduce the price of Copene carrying a 9.75
percent coupon, which on December 2000 was at R$1.05 billion,


CVRD: Suzano Likely To Acquire Pulp and Paper Subsidiary
--------------------------------------------------------
Pulp and paper producer Companhia Suzano de Papel e Celulose
admitted it is currently in talks with mining group Companhia
Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), with which it is already a partner, over
a possible deal to control Suzan's paper and pulp subsidiary,
Bahia Sul. However, according to Suzano chairman chief executive
Adhemar Magon in a Gazeta Mercantil report published Wednesday,
both companies are still far from reaching any agreement.

The terms of the shareholders' agreement stipulate that Suzano
has a period of 60 days to reach an agreement with CVRD. If no
accord is reached, other companies may submit bids. However, the
market expects the sale to be made with Suzano within the 60-day
deadline.

Bahia Sul, in which CVRD holds a 50 percent interest, is one of
the four pulp and paper companies that CVRD is selling. The other
three are Celmar, Cenibra and Floresta do Rio Doce.


MULTIBRAS: Registers Profits Of R$115M In 2000
----------------------------------------------
Multibras posted profits of R$115 million in 2000 reversing
losses of R$35 million in the previous year, according to a South
American Business Information report Wednesday. Multibras owns
brands Brastemp and Consul and is controlled by U.S. Whirlpool
group.

The company attributed positive results to the good performance
of Whirlpool in Chile and Argentina where it has 100 percent
ownership, and Embraco, which is 53-percent controlled by
Multibras. The company reportedly developed a restructuring
program and settled its US$100 million debts with banks and
BNDES.

In a recent report, Multibras will postpone phasing out its Sao
Bernardo do Campo-based unit (Sao Paulo) scheduled for late July
2001 to give in to a request made by the State government
representatives, Sao Bernardo do Campo city hall and the labor
union. The company intended to lay off 1,050 employees and to
transfer the production of refrigerators and freezers to
Joinville (Santa Catarina).



=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================

BANCO EMPRESARIAL: Liquidation Looms Ahead
------------------------------------------
Barquin Duran, the country's deputy banking superintendent,
revealed in a Business News Americas report Wednesday the
possibility of Banco Empresarial facing liquidation. The
Guatemalan Monetary Council is yet to decide on this matter
during a scheduled March 31 meeting.

The superintendence intervened the bank earlier this month
because of its financial troubles and its dubious lending
practices. In addition, it also sued the bank's administrators
for irresponsible management. Empresarial is now under the
administration of a specially-formed intervention committee,
which is expected to present its recommendations to the Monetary
Council at the March 31 meeting. Should the Council decide to
liquidate Empresarial, the expected two-year process would begin
in April, Duran continued, during which time authorities would
sell off assets and undertake judicial processes to recover other
assets.



===============
H O N D U R A S
===============

HONDUTEL: Struggles To Get Ready For New Privatization Process
--------------------------------------------------------------
Honduran state-run telco Empresa Hondurena de Telecomunicaciones
(Hondutel) is struggling to dismiss 20 percent of its staff. The
move is being made in preparation for a new privatization process
in late March, privatization committee member David Rivera
related in a Business News Americas report Tuesday. According to
Rivera, the company has to reduce its total workforce by 20
percent in order to make itself more attractive to potential
investors. However, the move would not affect the company's
technical staff, Rivera confirmed, adding that the company
already has sufficient reserves to cover severance pay.



===========
M E X I C O
===========

CINTRA: Merrill Lynch Tapped As Agent But No Guidelines Yet
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Mexican bank bailout agency IPAB recently declared Merrill
Lynch as agent, which will handle the imminent sale of airline
holding company Cintra. Meanwhile, a range of government agencies
and departments are still working to determine general guidelines
for the sale, according to a Reforma/Infolatina report Tuesday.

Mexico's antitrust commission, the Federal Competition Commission
(CFC), late last year ruled that the company, which controls more
than 70 percent of Mexico's air transport market, should be
broken up and sold.

However, U.S.-based United Airlines believes the holding company
would attract more interest from potential buyers were it to be
sold as a package rather than broken up into its constituent
assets as planned by authorities have.

According to Jose Meza, a United Airlines' top executive in
Mexico, the company is very interested in the future of Mexicana
and Cintra as a whole but it plans to wait until Merrill Lynch
outlines details of the sale before expressing interest. He added
that United would be following developments in the Cintra sale
process very closely.


GRUPO VITRO: Unaudited Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2000 Results
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:VTO; BMV:Vitro A) today announced
unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and year-ended
December 31, 2000.

-   Fiscal 2000 sales increased 8.7% versus 1999 in dollar terms
-   Sales increased in the Flat Glass, Glassware and Acros
Whirlpool businesses for both the Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2000
-   Exports for the year rose 3.7% in dollar terms
- EBIT and EBITDA declined 11.5% and 4.8%, respectively, in
dollar terms mainly as a consequence of the increase in
natural gas prices and appreciation of the peso

IVQ'00 Unaudited Highlights:

Sales
Sales during fourth quarter of 2000 reached US$734 million, an
increase of 5.6 percent in dollar terms compared with US$696
million for the fourth quarter of 1999, but registered a decrease
of 1.7 percent in peso terms with the comparable quarter in 1999.

Exports
Exports during the fourth quarter of 2000 reached US$180 million,
a decrease of 5.1 percent in dollar terms, compared with US$190
million of the fourth quarter of 1999.

EBIT
EBIT during fourth quarter of 2000, reached US$80 million, a
decrease of 18.5 percent compared with the US$98 million
registered in the same period of 1999 as a result of price
increases in natural gas, the impact of a strong peso on the
exports sales margins, as well as the business units most exposed
to the dollar, increases in the cost of certain packaging
materials, and of additional SG&A from the integration of
administrative structure of Harding Glass.

Net Majority Income
Lower EBIT and higher non-recurring expenses, resulted in net
income for the quarter of Ps$53 million, or US$6 million. Net
income for fourth quarter of 1999 was of Ps$313 million or US$31
million.

Fiscal 2000 Unaudited Highlights:

Sales
Consolidated net sales for fiscal year 2000 were US$2,857
million, an increase of 8.7 percent compared with US$2,627
million of 1999 and flat when compared in pesos, with
consolidated sales of Ps$28,000 million in 2000, compared with
Ps$27,906 in 1999. Main drivers of sales were within our core
businesses of Flat Glass, Acros Whirlpool and Crisa.

Exports
Exports during the year 2000, reached US$776 million, an increase
of 3.7 percent against US$749 million registered in 1999.

EBIT/EBITDA
For the year, the Company posted consolidated EBIT of Ps$3,394
million and EBITDA of Ps$5,477 million, representing a year-over-
year 19.2 percent and 13.3 percent decline, respectively. In U.S.
dollars, consolidated EBIT and EBITDA for fiscal 2000 were US$345
million and US$558 million, respectively, a decline of 11.5
percent and 4.8 percent when compared with the previous year.
External factors such as the year-over-year increase in energy
costs and the strengthening of the peso during 2000 contributed
to the decline in operating and EBITDA margins.

Total Financing Cost
The weighted average interest cost for fiscal year 2000 was 10.3
percent, which favorably compares with 11.5 percent for 1999.
Total financing cost for year 2000 reached US$114 million, an
increase compared with US$30 million for 1999 period. In peso
terms, total financing cost for year 2000 was of Ps$1,153
million, an increase when compared with Ps$319 of 1999, due to
non cash items, such as foreign exchange rate loss and lower gain
from monetary position.

Net Majority Income
For fiscal year 2000, the year over year decline in EBIT, the
rise in financing cost offset the decline in taxes and
extraordinary charges, resulting in a decline in net majority
income for the full year to US$36 million, or Ps$342 million,
compared with US$62 million, or Ps$700 million for 1999.

All figures given herein are in accordance with Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles in Mexico. All figures are
unaudited and are presented in constant pesos as of December 31,
2000. Dollar figures reported herein are in nominal dollars
resulting from dividing each month's nominal pesos by that
month's ending exchange rate, except as indicated. The quarter
ended December 31, 2000.

Consolidated Results

Sales
Sales increases during the quarter were driven by the Company's
three core businesses. In Flat Glass the improvement in sales was
the result of additional sales at Harding Glass (around 30% of
the company's YoY increase in US$) and strong volumes, especially
in the construction segment. Acros Whirlpool enjoyed market share
expansion as a result of an improvement in sales in terms of
volume, which outpaced that of the entire sector, and in
Glassware, sales improved mostly in the domestic market. As for
the rest of the non core businesses, results at the Glass
Container unit were impacted by the decline in demand in the wine
and food segments resulting from
non-recurring events when comparing sales YoY, and the vertical
integration of one of the beer segment customers, discussed in
Vitro's IIQ'00 earnings release. The YoY comparison for Diverse
Industries reflected the sale of the silicates operations at the
end of 1999, which represented 10.7% of the diverse industries'
net sales.

EBIT
For IVQ'00, EBIT decreased by Ps$252 mill. or 24.7% in peso terms
and 18.5% in US$. This change was the result of an increase in
the cost of natural gas (YoY increase of around 91%) and of
certain packaging materials, continued price competition,
especially from low priced imports as a result of a strong peso
and the same impact on export sales (in 2000 the average FX rate
appreciated by 0.9% compared with YoY inflation of 9.0%). Close
to 70% of Vitro's sales are directly or indirectly linked to the
dollar, with the Flat Glass and Diverse Industry businesses
having the largest exposure. Additionally, SG&A were higher YoY,
mainly due to the consolidation of Harding Glass' administrative
structure. EBITDA for IVQ'00 decreased by 14.1% in Ps$ or 7.0% in
US$. To date, Vitro has hedged 90% of its natural gas needs
through the month of March '01 for an amount of US$4.03/mill. BTU
and is currently looking at several alternatives to lower its
total cost of energy. YoY, the company estimates that the
annualized effect of the increase in gas price on the cost of
goods sold was approximately 90 basis points.

Total Financing Cost
The decrease in interest expense for the quarter was due to lower
interest rates on peso denominated debt (18.7% for IVQ'00 vs.
21.2% for IVQ'99). The weighted average interest cost for IVQ'00
declined to 10.2%, from 10.5% for IVQ'99. The weighted average
interest cost for IIIQ'00 was 10.4%, 10.2% for IIQ'00 and 10.3%
for IQ'00. The weighted average interest cost for fiscal 2000 was
10.3%, which favorably compared with 11.5% for 1999. Due to the
1.7% devaluation of the peso in IVQ'00, the company recorded an
exchange loss for the period, resulting in a total financing cost
of Ps$397 mill (US$41 mil).
It's worth noticing that for fiscal year 2000, the major events
that produced the increase in the total financing cost were non-
cash related.

Taxes
Taxes for the quarter decreased as a result of the funding of the
pension plan and the corporate reorganization of a series of
companies within the Glass Containers and Flat Glass business
units to improve service to customers and reduce administrative
costs. Profit sharing for employees went up as a result of the
cancellation of certain reserves in connection with the mentioned
reorganizations, without representing any cash flow. For the
year, taxes declined as result of the above mentioned
reorganizations, the funding of the subsidiaries' pension plans
and the implementation of the guidelines of the bulletin D-4.

Net Majority Income
Net loss of majority interest for the quarter was Ps$64 mill.
(US$6 mill.), compared with a net majority income for IVQ'99 of
Ps$116 mill. (US$12 mill.), mainly as a result of the decline in
EBIT and other non-recurrent charges for Ps$210 (US$22) which
included non-cash losses in the sale of certain assets and write
offs of other non-operating assets. For fiscal 2000, the year
over year decline in EBIT and the rise in financing cost offset
the decline in taxes and extraordinary charges, resulting in a
decline in net majority income for the full year to Ps$339 mill.,
or US$36 mill., compared with Ps$700 mill. or US$62 mill. for
1999.

Capital Expenditures
CAPEX for IVQ'00 was US$44 million. For 2000, CAPEX amounted to
US$110 mill. or US$141 mill. including the Harding acquisition.
Both figures were below the budgeted CAPEX level of between
US$160 and US$170 mill. for the year.

Financial Position
Year over year debt increased by US$46 mill. (a 4.3% decrease in
Ps$ terms). Total debt as of December 31st, 2000 increased by
US$56 mill. during the fourth quarter, mainly as a result of the
pension plan funding, the share buy back that took place during
October, as discussed in Vitro's IIIQ'00 earnings results, and
the Christmas bonus payment, which is mandated by Mexican law,
and for which a reserve is set during the course of the year.

Debt Profile as of December 31, 2000

-   74% of debt is long term.
-   Average life of debt is 3.1 years.
-   80% of debt maturing within the period January'01 -
December'01 is related to trade finance and to foreign
subsidiaries.
-   Next public debt maturities include US$70 million on May'01
in the domestic markets and US$175 million on May'02 in the
international markets.
-   Debt composition: Fixed rate = 31%; Floating base and Fixed
spread
    = 42%; Market Conditions = 27%.

Cash Flow
Year over year, a lower interest expense, a lower CAPEX
(including the Harding acquisition), a better working capital
management (supported by a factoring transaction) and sound tax
strategy along with a tax reimbursement, resulted in a better Net
Free Cash Flow generation that offset a lower EBITDA. Net free
cash flow for the quarter declined as a result of the year over
year decline in EBITDA and increase in CAPEX, as well as a
dividend paid in October, which last year was paid during April.
On the positive side, quarterly expectations of a negative Net
Free Cash Flow as a result of the above mentioned factors, were
beat by a lower interest expense, a better working capital
management (12.6% over sales for IVQ'00 vs. 14.1% for IVQ'99),
lesser CAPEX than expected and an effective fiscal strategy.

Flat Glass
(35% of Sales)

Sales
Revenues for the quarter at the Flat Glass unit increased YoY by
6.3% in peso terms or 13.3% in US$, mainly as a result of
increased volumes in the domestic construction and auto sectors,
and the incorporation of Harding Glass, which represented nearly
75% of the YoY US$ increase (and close to 60% of the accumulated
sales for the year). Additional sales from Harding were
consolidated at the VVP America level, as it was reflected in the
sales growth at the foreign subsidiary level. Foreign sales (VVP
America plus exports) accounted for 69.6% of total flat glass
sales for the quarter. The decrease in exports, mostly in the
auto segment, was due for the most part to the difficult weather
conditions, which affected retail sales through our distribution
channels in the U.S., and the slowdown of the U.S. economy on the
OEM segment. Construction volumes increased YoY by 3.5% and auto
volumes decreased by 0.4% as a result of, as already mentioned,
lower sales in the export market. For fiscal year 2000 volumes
increased by 6.6%; 6.2% in the construction market and 8.4% in
auto.

EBIT
EBIT decreased YoY by 23.2% in peso terms and 17.0% YoY in US$.
The year over year comparison of margins for the quarter was
affected by the additional SG&A from the Harding Acquisition and
some severance payments made during the quarter as part of the
plan to integrate Harding into VVP America. Additionally, margins
were impacted by the increase in natural gas prices and by the
strength of the peso that made imports more competitive as prices
for nearly 91% of the products of this business are closely
linked to the US$, while the peso drives costs. During the
quarter, the management team of the Flat Glass business continued
to work on cost reduction and productivity improvements, such as
the joining of two tempered glass facilities, which took place
during the IVQ'00, the rise in productivity shown by the volume
increases, and the initiatives to improve the sales mix by
expanding into more profitable market segments.

Glass Containers
(26% of Sales)

Sales
Consolidated sales in the Glass Container business declined by
13.9% YoY in peso terms or by 8.0% in US$. The decline, mostly in
the domestic sector, was mainly due to an inventory management
change at one of the company's wine customers and additional
inventory for the IVQ'99 of one of the company's food clients as
a precaution for Y2K which affected comparisons YoY. Other
factors included some losses in the beer segment because of
overcapacity at one of the company's main vertically integrated
customers, product substitution and a strong peso that promoted
imports in the pharmaceutical line, However, decreases in terms
of volume in the domestic segment were partially offset in the
wine, soft drink and cosmetics exports segments.

EBIT
Margins rose quarter over quarter by 40 basis points despite
certain cost increases. Significant price increases in natural
gas and the cost of certain packaging materials, which represent
two of the most important components in the cost of the final
product of the glass making process were partially offset by the
initiatives taken by management during the quarter to reduce
costs and expenses. Continuing introduction of plastic added
further pressure on prices on the domestic sector. Management
continues to work, as an ongoing commitment, on operational
adjustments as means to improve productivity in this business and
reduce further its fixed cost.

Acros Whirlpool
(20 % of Sales)

Sales
Consolidated net sales were up by 5.6% in peso terms or by 15.0%
in US$. During the quarter, domestic demand kept on growing,
although at slower pace than in IIIQ'00, while the export market
improved YoY, in US$, by 6.9%, reversing the 15.9% decline, also
in US$, of IIIQ'00. Overall, the business enjoyed an 11.3% year
over year growth in volumes with the domestic segment growing
16.6% and accounting for around 77% of total sales in volume
terms. For the year, market share was recovered as the industry
grew by nearly 14%, outpaced by the approximately 17% growth at
Acros Whirlpool, reverting the losses to Asian imports that
started coming in the market at the beginning of the year and
affected the first semester's results.

EBIT
EBIT showed an increase YoY of 3.0% in peso terms or 13.8%
increase in US$. Profitability recovered quarter over quarter
with an increase of 180 basis points in Ps$ terms. Pricing
pressure, mostly from Korean imports, eased at least partially
during the quarter. Cost reduction efforts continued to take
place, as the business started to benefit from the divestiture of
the plastics operation and overall downsizing efforts.
Additionally, the year over year improvement in EBIT was the
result of a more profitable product mix in the domestic market.

Diverse Industries
(11 % of Sales)

Sales
The decline in consolidated net sales of the business continued
to be attributable for the most part to the high proportion of
US$ related revenues of this unit (around 75%), the divestiture
of the Silicates operation in December '99, which represented
approximately 11.5% of Diverse Industries net sales for IVQ'99,
and the substantial reduction of sales at FAMA due to the CAPEX
reduction program of Vitro's subsidiaries. This decline in sales
was partially offset by the improvement in sales at the
borosilicate glass business (ENBOSA), the soda ash operation
(Alcali) which benefited from the cold weather in the U.S. during
the quarter, and the aluminum business (VANCAN), which
represented approximately 10%, 23% and 20%, respectively, of the
business unit net sales.

EBIT
EBIT decreased YoY by 16.9% in peso terms as a result of the
negative impact of a stronger peso on the unit's large US$
denominated revenue base and the increase in natural gas prices
and resins, which respectively affected Alcali's and the plastic
operations results. In IVQ'99, the Silicates operation
represented close to 10.3% of the business unit EBIT, and its
divestiture accounted for close to 9 percentage points of the YoY
decrease in EBIT. The FX effect was particularly noticeable in
the businesses of capital goods (FAMA) and commodities such as
soda ash (Alcali). Management at Diverse
Industries continued to work on opportunities to increase sales
at Fama to non-glass related customers, increase sales volume of
plastics, aluminum cans and borosilicate glass products, and
lower overall costs of all the different businesses.

Glassware
(8 % of Vitro's Sales)

Sales
Consolidated net sales increased slightly by 0.9% in peso terms,
as a result of the improved sales mix and pricing within the
domestic market, which increased YoY by 6.0% in peso terms,
although remaining practically flat in volume terms. Export sales
to the US were affected during the quarter by lower than expected
demand in the retail business. Volumes for 2000 increased year
over year around 7%; close to 10% in the industrial segment and
5% in the retail segment.

EBIT
EBIT decreased YoY by 17.0%, mostly as a result of higher natural
gas costs and increases in the costs of certain packaging
materials, as well as some cost and expenses related with an
infrastructure improvement in the distribution network. EBIT
margins for IVQ'00 returned to the levels of IIQ'00 despite the
higher energy and raw materials costs (IIIQ'00 results benefited
from some premium sales in connection with the Olympic games).
Management continued to seek opportunities to reduce general
costs and expenses, as part of an ongoing commitment.

Key Developments

DIVESTITURE PLAN UPDATE
As a part of the divestiture plan, real estate for US$6 million
was sold during IVQ'00, bringing the total divestiture program to
US$38.5 million from December 1999 till December 2000.

FUNDING OF THE PENSION PLAN

As previously discussed in Vitro's IIIQ'00 earnings release, the
Board of Directors of the company authorized to partially fund
the Pension Plan of its subsidiaries to allow them to eventually
cover the liability accumulated for such concept.

The Board of Directors authorized, subject to all applicable
regulations, that part of the shares held in Treasury at that
time, as well as part of the shares then held in the Stock Option
Plan, gradually be destined to that end, with an investment limit
of up to 20% of the capital stock of the company. As of December
31, 2000, the pension plan was funded with a breakdown of 70%
securities (39,150,000 shares for an approximate amount of US$35
million) and 30% cash or government instruments (close to US$15
million), as required by Mexican law. As for the Stock Option
Plan Trust and the treasury, each held 1,779,020 and 25,620,000
shares respectively as of December 31, 2000.

The funding of the pension plans allowed the company to receive
tax and financial benefits, and also guarantees the return of the
shares to the market over the long term in an orderly fashion.

INVESTMENTS IN NEW BUSINESSES

In addition to focusing on our three core businesses, Vitro is
constantly looking into new opportunities with high growth
potential, lower capital intensiveness and attractive margins. In
line with such part of our strategy, the company has identified
the environmental market in Mexico and Latin America as one of
these opportunities.


PEMEX: New Board Expected To Meet In The Next Several Days
----------------------------------------------------------
The four leading Mexican businessmen who were recently named to
the board of state-owned energy conglomerate Petroleos Mexicanos
(Pemex) by Mexican President Vicente Fox are expected to meet at
some point in the next several days. Cementos Mexicanos (Cemex)
Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Zambrano revealed the news in a
Reforma/Infolatina report Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting
is to brief them on the current state of affairs at Pemex,
Zambrano stressed, saying he had not been informed of the
meeting's agenda.

Zambrano also expressed astonishment towards criticisms over
Fox's decision to appoint top business leaders. "When all is said
and done, Pemex belongs to all Mexicans and it's essential to do
everything possible to make it efficient. We're talking about
bettering a state-owned enterprise for the benefit of all," he
commented.


UNEFON: Sees 163-Percent Increase In Subscriber Base In 4Q00
------------------------------------------------------------
Mexican mobile operator Unefon, which in 2000 registered net
losses amounting to US$24.7 million. The results stem from fixed
and variable costs of US$57.7 million against earnings of US$35.1
million. The company saw its subscriber base grow 163 percent to
156,000 in the fourth quarter. Currently, the company has 250,000
subscribers and an average of 12,000 new users signing up each
week. CEO Adrian Steckel said that Unefon expects to break even
once it reaches 450,000. According to Unefon investor relations
director Angelina Aguilar, the company also expects to sell its
current installed capacity by the first quarter of this year and
therefore does not risk over-selling, especially as build out
continues.

Unefon, which operates in 12 cities, is scheduled to receive a
second tranche of US$210 million in vendor financing from
Canadian equipment supplier Nortel Networks, subject to payment
of the final US$81 million due on the US$408 million first
tranche.



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

CORPOSANA: Resumes Privatization Process
----------------------------------------
The plan to incorporate private capital into Paraguay's state
water utility Corposana has been reactivated following last
week's meetings between the State Reform Secretariat (SNRE) and a
World Bank (WB) mission, Business News Americas reported
Wednesday. This week, the World Bank is expected approve inviting
investment banks to prepare bids for a contract to define the
privatization, according to Cesar Pastore, a waterworks
consultant with the country's State Reform Secretariat. Upon
invitation, the investment banks will have five weeks to prepare
technical and economic bids. The technical bids will be reviewed
before the economic offers are opened and the contract awarded,
Pastore said.

In addition, during last week's meeting, several changes were
made to the bidding rules. For one, six investment banks can now
participate in the bid for a contract, instead of allowing only
three. Corposana had three previous pre-qualifiers: US-based
Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MSDW) and
UK's NM Rothschild. Names of the three other firms to added will
be known once the WB gives its go-ahead.

The rules were revised in order to avoid going through the same
situation as Antelco wherein the winning consortium of Morgan
Stanley Dean Witter (MSDW) and AB Consultores did not sign the
contract after a split between the two.



=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================

THA: New Chief Secretary Seeks Comprehensive Audit
-----------------------------------------------------
Orville London, new Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of
Assembly (THA), wants to look carefully into the financial
affairs of the administrative operations, citing a huge amount of
debt, which continues to grow. In a Caribbean News Agency report
Monday, London requested a comprehensive audit in order to
protect what is left of the financial assets of the THA.

According to him, when he took up office, the initial debt stood
at 75 million Trinidad and Tobago dollars (US$11.90 million). But
last week, he said the debt had nearly doubled to TT$135 million
(US$21.42 million) and counting.

"In the strictest sense of the word, the THA is a bankrupt
institution," London said last week while addressing the
Assembly.

"This audit will scrutinize and assess the management of the
finances of the THA and make those recommendations necessary to
ensure that our financial management is impervious to the will of
fiscally irresponsible politicians and be comparable to the best
practices anywhere in the world," London explained.

"Everywhere you turn, in every department, you find evidence of
financial mismanagement and recklessness," London commented.

London said the audit will look in particular at contracts signed
by the THA and the controversial multi-million dollar Millennium
Ringbang concert produced by Barbados-based musician and producer
Eddy Grant.




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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