TCRLA_Public/010227.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, February 27, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 40



ALPARGATAS: To Get Financial Injection From Bank And Government
CESP: AES, Duke Energy Bids Depend Filling Of Dam
CSN: Preliminary Results Show Threefold Profit Increase
CVRD: BNDES May Exercise Tag-along Rights To Buy Bahia Sul
COPENE: Sellers Fix Minimum Sale Price Central Bank Executive
iG: Announces Plan To Restructure


GRUPO DINA: Analyst Says In "Virtual Bankruptcy"
GRUPO VITRO: Salomon Cuts Recommendation
SEMINIS INC.: Reports 2000 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results


CANTV: To Increase Charges On Several Services
CORIMON: Speculation Fuels Shares Up By 180 Percent

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ALPARGATAS: To Get Financial Injection From Bank And Government
Troubled Brazilian sportswear company Alpargatas is likely to get
at least temporary financial salvation from the National Bank of
Argentina and the government, which would each contribute $7
million in trade financing. Rafael Bulacio, Tucuman Province's
Minister of Production, revealed the plan in a Latin Trade
article released Friday. The government's contribution would be
channeled through the governors of the six provinces where the
company is located. According to the report, the $14 million will
be used to carry out orders for interest free merchandise with
payment of the products beginning in 2002.  

CESP: AES, Duke Energy Bids Depend Filling Of Dam
AES and Duke Energy confirmed that their bids for the
privatization of the electric power generating Cesp Parana
depends upon the filling of the dam of the Cesp-controlled
hydroelectric power plant Porto Primavera. South American
Business Information stated, adding that the filling is
conditioned by a judicial measure.

Early this month, the filling of the Sergio Motta plant
reservoir, also controlled by Cesp, began. The move was expected
to lure more investors to the imminent sale of the power
generator by increasing its power output.

Cesp reportedly has debts of US$40 million coming due May 2001,
that have been resolved by the issuance of US$500 million in
financing by the Sao Paulo state government.

CSN: Preliminary Results Show Threefold Profit Increase
Rio de Janeiro-based flat-steel producer Companhia Siderurgica
Nacional (CSN) announced record profits of R$1.57 billion for
2000 in a preliminary result released just recently, Business
News Americas said Friday. The result, considered to be the best
performance so far, is reportedly 373 percent higher than what
was recorded in 1999, which was R$332 million. The full, official
figures will be published after March 15 when its complex
disentangling of a share cross-ownership with mining-transport
giant CVRD should have been concluded.

Following its good performance, CSN is to distribute R$1.81
billion in dividends, R$330 million already paid by end 2000.
Vicunha group, as the majority shareholder in CSN will have its
cash flow reinforced, enabling it to acquire the shares from
Bradespar and Previ into CSN.

CVRD: BNDES May Exercise Tag-along Rights To Buy Bahia Sul
The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), a Bahia Sul shareholder,  
is planning to use its tag-along rights and buy Bahia Sul shares
for the same amount that Suzano paid to CVRD. News of the
purchase was revealed by market sources close to the US$320
million transaction in a Gazeta Mercantil report Friday. CVRD
announced last week it was selling its stake Bahia Sul Celulose
to Suzano de Papel e Celulose for US$320 million, as part of its
policy to offload pulp and paper assets to focus on its mining
and transport interests.

COPENE: Sellers Fix Minimum Sale Price Central Bank Executive
Representatives of the groups Odebrecht, Mariani and Conepar met
with Central Bank executive Carlos Freitas last week to fix the
minimum price for the sale of the petrochemical producer
Companhia Petroquimica do Nordeste (Copene), according to a
report in a Business News Americas Friday. The meeting resulted
in a decision to have the company sold under a "linking price"
model, by which sellers can accept an offer even if it is below
their asking price. The sellers agreed to reduce Copene's sale
price after a first attempt to sell failed in December, but they
have not been able to agree on the reduction percentage. Freitas
believes the minimum price can be below R$1.05 billion. Ultra
already offered US$822mil for the group in December 2000. The new
sale is expected to take place by the end of March.

iG: Announces Plan To Restructure
Internet access provider iG announced it is embarking on a
restructuring plan aimed at reducing costs and increasing
profits, South American Business Information reported Friday.
Part of the plan is the dismissal of 29 people or 10 percent of
its workforce. Last week, it sold its Internet data center to
Brazil's fixed-line telephone operator Telemar (TNLP4) in
exchange for 40 million reais (US$20 million).


GRUPO DINA: Analyst Says In "Virtual Bankruptcy"
Mexican heavy-vehicle maker Consorcio G Grupo Dina SA is in a
state of "virtual bankruptcy." Javier Jimenez, an analyst at
Mexico City consultants Bursametrica, used the term to describe
the company in a Reforma/Infolatina report Friday. According to
Jimenez, the company has little chance of extracting itself from
long-running financial difficulties and recommended that it
declare itself bankrupt. He also added that the skills and talent
of its management would determine the future of the bus and truck

Trading in shares of the bus and truck maker in the Mexican Stock
Exchange as well as in the New York Stock Exchange is still under
suspension. The action was taken after the company announced it
would not make a scheduled bond payment.

As of February 22, 2001 the following figures were available:

     Current Ratio (mrq) 1.57
     Debt/Equity (mrq) 1.48
     Total Cash (mrq) $5.66M

Further information about the company can be found at its

GRUPO VITRO: Salomon Cuts Recommendation
Investment bank Salomon Smith Barney downgraded its
recommendation for Mexican glassmaker Vitro SA (NYSE: VTO) to
underperform from neutral, Reuters reported Friday. The
announcement by Salomon came after the glassmaker announced it
would cut its 2001 investment by as much as $50 million, a news
that came on the heels of a fourth quarter report showing
operating profit at 768 million pesos, down from 1.020 billion in
the same 1999 period. According to Salmon, the firm should
intensify its financial situation by divesting non-core
businesses before it forges ahead with an announced plan to focus
on flat glass, glassware and household products.

Institutional investors reportedly hold 17% of Vitro's
outstanding float. Net Selling by Institutions was 9.24M shares,
an increase of 1295.41 percent prior quarter to latest quarter.
More information about the company, including recent financial
results, can be found at its corporate website:

SEMINIS INC.: Reports 2000 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results
Seminis, Inc. is one of the largest developers, producers, and
marketers of vegetable and fruit seeds in the world. During the
second half of 2000, Eugenio Najera Solorzano was named President
and Chief Operating Officer of Seminis (NASDAQ: SMNS), the
world's leading producer, developer and marketer of fruit and
vegetable seeds. Mr. Najera developed and initiated the
implementation of an operating optimization plan and
restructuring initiatives aimed at returning the company to
profitability. Results for the fourth quarter of 2000 show the
first signs of improvement as a result of these measures.
Excluding foreign exchange losses and the impact of divestitures
of non-core businesses, sales for that period increased 6.1
percent. Simultaneously, operating costs, excluding non-recurring
charges resulting from the restructuring, declined 12 percent.

Seminis' sales for the January-December 2000 period reached
US$481 million, a 13 percent decline over the same period of
1999. Operating loss amounted to US$39 million, compared with a
US$ 73 million operating income for 1999. The decline in sales
was mainly due to the divestiture of non-core assets, the
contraction in the North American fruit and vegetable seed market
and the devaluation of the Euro. As of December 31, 2000, Seminis
was not in compliance with certain financial covenants under its
US$317 million loan agreement. Seminis requested and obtained a
waiver with respect to these covenants that extends through April
30, 2001.


CANTV: To Increase Charges On Several Services
Venezuela's CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country's No.
1 telephone company, announced it has increased the average cost
of a local call minute by 2 percent, according to a report by
Bloomberg Sunday. Meanwhile, it has also increased the average
cost of the residential monthly service fee by 2.8 percent, as
well as public telephone tariffs by 14.1 percent. According to
the company, the increase is expected to be implemented between
March 9 and June 30. However, charges to national and
international long distance remain the same.

CANTV reported a loss of $0.95 per American depositary receipt in
2000, in part due to a fourth-quarter charge of $157.7 million to
cover a 34 percent reduction of the company's workforce.

CORIMON: Speculation Fuels Shares Up By 180 Percent
Paint specialist Corporacion Industrial Montana (Corimon) of
Venezuela, even though the company has been reporting losses in
the last two years, recent take-over rumors have fueled its share
price, up 180 percent so far in 2001, according to a South
American Business Information report Saturday. The company
attributed recent good performance to the recent sale of
Construcentro, the proximity of a solution for Pralca's financial
problems, last year's profits of Bs$1.5 billion and a projected
growth for the Montana stores chain.

Corimon is currently in talks with Pequiven for a possible sale
of a 26-percent stake in local alcohol producer Pralca.

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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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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