TCRLA_Public/010302.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, March 2, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 43

                           Headlines



B R A Z I L

CRT: Trading In Bovespa Suspended Until Thursday


C H I L E

EQUS: Creditors Meet To Analyze Debt Management Plan
GENER: Restructuring Plan Will Dismiss 261 Workers


C O L O M B I A

TRANSTEL S.A.: Taps Rothschild Group In Debt Restructuring


M E X I C O

AHMSA: Operating Profits Down By 4.1 Percent In 2000
BITAL: Large Deposit Base Attracts Investors
CINTRA: Sale Guidelines To Be Released November
GRUPO DINA: Needs Agreement With Bondholders Immediately
GRUPO SIDEK: Unable To Close Purchase Of Grupo Simec
ICA: Posts 1.55-Billion Net Loss In 2000
SERFIN: Expects To Regain Status In Five Years Time
TRIBASA: Martinez To Oversee Negotiations With Tax Authorities


P E R U

AUSTRAL GROUP: Board Approves $16.6M Debt For Equity Swap


V E N E Z U E L A

SIVENSA: Informs Bolsa Of Financial Results In 2000
SUDAMTEX: Posted Losses Totaling Bs$3.49B Second Semester 2000


     - - - - - - - - -


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B R A Z I L
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CRT: Trading In Bovespa Suspended Until Thursday
------------------------------------------------
Trading in Brazilian mobile carrier CRT Celular shares at the Sao
Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa) was halted earlier Wednesday,
Brazil Financial Wire reported. The suspension follows an
announcement from Telefonica Moviles that it will bid for shares
it does not already own in CRT. Suspension will last until
Thursday, awaiting the release of the terms of Telefonica Moviles
buy offer.



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C H I L E
=========

EQUS: Creditors Meet To Analyze Debt Management Plan
----------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Equs, a household appliances distribution and sales
company, expect to meet soon to analyze a plan elaborated by the
company to escape bankruptcy, according to a South American
Business Information report Wednesday. Currently, the company has
debts reaching 3.3 billion pesos, mainly with suppliers Compania
Tecnoindustrial (CTI) and Sindelen. According to the company's
debt management plan, it will pay 45 percent of its debts in 6
monthly installments and the remaining amount in 7 annual
installments as of December 2005. BCI will reportedly structure
the plan.


GENER: Restructuring Plan Will Dismiss 261 Workers
--------------------------------------------------
The restructuring plan at power company Gener implemented by AES
will see 216 workers lose their jobs, South American Business
Information said Wednesday. Of those on their way out, 135 are
employed at Gener and 81 at the subsidiary Servicios de
Asistencia Tecnica (SAT). According to market sources, the amount
spent to lay off those employees working at Gener could reach 4
billion pesos. SAT reportedly will be sold to its directors, who
will rehire the dismissed employees.


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C O L O M B I A
===============

TRANSTEL S.A.: Taps Rothschild Group In Debt Restructuring
----------------------------------------------------------
The two principal shareholders of Transtel, S.A., the largest
privately-owned land-based telephone company in Colombia, who
have been in discussions during the past few weeks over certain
management issues, have agreed that Guillermo Lopez, the current
Chief Executive Officer (as well as one of the two principal
shareholders), will continue to serve as Transtel's Chief
Executive Officer.

Transtel, which has been in default on US$150 million issue of
publicly-registered 12.5% Senior Bonds since November 1, 2000,
has agreed at the suggestion of the bondholders committee to
retain the Rothschild Group to analyze the availability of cash
from operations to cover the Bond default and determine
Transtel's ability to meet its future obligations. Transtel has
also indicated its intention to make monthly payments on its
Bonds out of operating cash flow until the default is covered.
Since the Bonds went into default, Transtel has paid a total of
US$5.5 million to the Bondholders in partial payments of overdue
interest and still owes approximately US$4 million in overdue
interest. Transtel and has committed to make two additional
payments of US$500,000 each on March 2nd and March 9th, 2001.
After such payments are made Transtel will owe approximately
US$3,000,000 in overdue interest. The next scheduled interest
payment is May 1, 2001.




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

AHMSA: Operating Profits Down By 4.1 Percent In 2000
----------------------------------------------------
Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA), Mexico's largest steelmaker,
announced year-2000 operating profits of 12.54 billion pesos, a
4.1 percent decrease from 1999, according to an Infolatina report
Wednesday. The formerly government-run enterprise cited the slump
in international steel prices, high energy costs, the relative
strength of the Mexican peso and a slowdown in U.S. economic
activity as reasons for the deterioration in its annual financial
results. The company, in a statement sent to the Mexican Stock
Exchange, reported that it has already taken steps to remedy the
effects from the range of unfavorable factors by which it was
impacted last year. AHMSA said it expects more-intensive
exploitation of the coal and associated methane gas reserves of
subsidiaries Micare and Mimosa to provide the company's sales
with a major boost during the current year.


BITAL: Large Deposit Base Attracts Investors
--------------------------------------------
U.S.-based investment bank Bear Sterns sees Mexican bank Bital as
an attractive acquisition target this year due to its large
deposit base, Bear Sterns Latin American banking analyst Jason
Molin said in a BNamericas.com report published Tuesday. However,
local or foreign banks looking at Bital may not make a bid unless
the bank deals with its capitalization problem and concludes
negotiations with IPAB, Mexico's Bank Savings Protection
Institute, regarding IPAB-controlled Banco Atlantico. Although it
has already reached an agreement with IPAB to acquire Atlantico,
the terms of the deal is still not clear. It is still not known
as to how much Bital is willing to pay for the bank.

Laurence Madsen, a UBS Warburg senior Latin American banking
analyst, sees selling the bank or raising capital on the market
as the only two viable alternatives for Bital, in order for it to
move forward. Madsen said it would be expensive for Bital to seek
capital on the open market since investors would demand a risk
premium due to the bank's capitalization situation.


CINTRA: Sale Guidelines To Be Released November
-----------------------------------------------
Guidelines for the sale of the assets of airline holding company
Cintra will not be published publicly until November. This was
revealed by Communications and Transport ministry senior official
Aaron Dychter in a Reforma/Infolatina report Wednesday edition.

"The (sale) process is underway and IPAB (Mexico's bank bailout
and deposits insurance agency, which owns 51 percent of Cintra)
has hired Merrill Lynch brokerage as the sale agent," Dychter
said.

"A working group has been formed to prepare the final decision on
Cintra. It includes representatives of the Communications and
Transport ministry, IPAB and the Finance ministry," he said.


GRUPO DINA: Needs Agreement With Bondholders Immediately
--------------------------------------------------------
Struggling Mexican heavy-vehicle maker Grupo Dina, which missed
payment on a $6.5-million interest earlier this month, must reach
an agreement with bondholders immediately. This was stressed by
Bursametrica's Javier Jimenez Rocha in an Infolatina report
Wednesday. According to Rocha, unless Dina reaches an agreement
with bondholders quickly, the financial situation could become
impossible. Company workers on Tuesday modified a pending wage
claim and pushed back a strike deadline, originally set for
Wednesday, by 20 days. Union representatives said workers now
would be willing to accept a 20-percent wage increase rather than
the 40-percent increase they originally demanded.


GRUPO SIDEK: Unable To Close Purchase Of Grupo Simec
----------------------------------------------------
Grupo Sidek, S.A. de C.V. (OTC-GPSAY and OTC-GPSBY) ("Sidek")
announced that it did not close the purchase of a controlling
interest of its subsidiary Grupo Simec, S.A. de C.V., agreed with
Industrias C.H., S.A. de C.V., to be closed today in accordance
with the respective purchase agreement, due to differences
between the parties. Grupo Sidek, S. A. de C.V. also informed
that Industrias C.H. , S.A. de C.V., has expressed its interest
in continuing to negotiate the terms and conditions of such
transaction. Grupo Sidek, S.A. de C.V. is currently analyzing its
alternatives under the purchase agreement, including the
termination of such agreement, and therefore it can not assure
that this transaction will be completed.


ICA: Posts 1.55-Billion Net Loss In 2000
----------------------------------------
Mexican construction company Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA)
announced in an Infolatina report that net losses in year 2000
reached 1.55 billion pesos. In the previous year, the company
registered net losses of 1.66 billion pesos. Operating losses in
the year 2000 amounted to 280 million pesos, on the back of a 967
million peso operating loss in the previous year. Meanwhile,
EBITDA for the year was 765 million pesos, up from 77 million
pesos in 1999.

In the fourth quarter of year 2000, net profit was 37 million
pesos, reversing a net loss of 127 million pesos in the year-ago
period. Sales for the same period were down by 4.5 percent from
the year ago period, to 2.81 billion pesos.


SERFIN: Expects To Regain Status In Five Years Time
---------------------------------------------------
Mexico's Serfin bank expects to be back to its former position as
the country's third-largest bank in five years time, according to
Serfin top official Adolfo Lagos in an Infolatina report released
Wednesday. Serfin was acquired in May 2000 by the local
subsidiary of Spain's Banco Santander Centro Hispano (BSCH) from
IPAB, the country's bailout agency. According to Lagos, Santander
and Serfin banks will keep their operations separate for an
indefinite period of time, in line with BSCH's strategy in
Mexico.


TRIBASA: Martinez To Oversee Negotiations With Tax Authorities
--------------------------------------------------------------
Arturo Martinez de la Mora, Mexican Finance ministry official,
has been appointed to oversee tax authorities' negotiations with
the financially-strapped construction firm Tribasa,
Reforma/Infolatina reported Wednesday. Tribasa currently has an
80-million-dollar tax debt. It is trying to make arrangements to
pay this debt in kind - by returning several licenses to operate
highways to the government. The appointment of Martinez is
expected to bring about progress in the on-going negotiations
between the company and its creditors over a financial-
restructuring deal which has dragged on for several months now.


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P E R U
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AUSTRAL GROUP: Board Approves $16.6M Debt For Equity Swap
---------------------------------------------------------
In an effort to bring financial stability into the company, the
board of Peru's Austral Group SA fishery agreed to convert $16.6
million worth of bonds and other debt into equity, Bloomberg said
Wednesday. The move marks the second stage of an eight-year
program to convert as much as $60 million worth of debt into
equity. In a filing to the Lima Stock Exchange, the company said
that the new swap brings the total debt exchanged for equity to
$38.9 million. Previously $22.3 million was converted into equity
in December.

Austral agreed with a majority of its creditors in November to
work out a program to help it repay its mounting debt, which was
estimated at $230 million last year. Bondholders were asked to
turn part of their debt into equity and accept new, delayed
maturity dates.

Crisis at Austral began in 1998 during the El Nino phenomenon.



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

SIVENSA: Informs Bolsa Of Financial Results In 2000
---------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan Steelmaker Siderurgica Venezolana Sivensa S.A.
(Sivensa) informed Bolsa de Caracas of the financial results for
the year 2000, South American Business Information reported
Wednesday.

   Consolidated Sales - US$532 million
   Operating Losses - US$25 million
   Net Losses - US$98 million

In the middle of the year, it sold four Procesa car division
plants while limited production at the Orinoco Iron plant
restricted Sivensa's output. The losses posted for the year
included those incurred by Sivensa subsidiary Danaven.


SUDAMTEX: Posted Losses Totaling Bs$3.49B Second Semester 2000
--------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan textile group Sudamtex, currently restructuring
financial debt of nearly $50 million, lost Bs$3.49 billion in the
second half of the year 2000, according to a South American
Business Information report Wednesday edition. In the same period
in 1999, it registered losses amounting to Bs$2.17 billion. Total
sales for July-December 2000 reached Bs$24.36 billion compared to
Bs$26.13 billion in the second half of 1999 while gross profits
fell to Bs$3.16 billion from Bs$3.24 billion.

Sudamtex, which makes glass-fiber products for industry, is one
of only ten listed companies to have filed their annual reports
for 2000 with the Bolsa de Caracas by mid-February 2001.
According to reports, the company employs 700 workers.




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.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
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or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.


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