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

            Thursday, May 3, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 87

                           Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

EDENOR: French Government OK's EDF Purchase of Edenor, S.A.


B R A Z I L

FURNAS: Government Wants Privatization 1Q02
INEPAR: Restructuring Energy Operations, May Sell Assets
INEPAR: DecisionLink and Inepar Join Forces With Iridium
LIGHT: To Sell Cold Air
MOULINEX-BRANDT: Denies Rumors Of Plant Shutdown
RHODIA-STER: Reports R$20.57M Net Loss In 1Q01
VESPER: No Substantial Changes In The Next Months, Says BCI


C O L O M B I A

BANCAFE: Gets US$110.77M Injection From Government
PAZ DEL RIO: To Receive Assets Worth 5B Pesos


M E X I C O

AHMSA: Kicks Off Process To Get Out Of Temporary Receivership
BANCRECER: Banorte Eyes Bank Acquisition
CYDSA: Announces Sale Of Property For US$108M


V E N E Z U E L A

AVENSA: Future Still Unclear
DIGITEL: To Restructure US$200M Debt
EDC: Planned Sale Of Foreign Bonds Suffers Setback
MAVESA: Polar To Implement Integration Plan In Three Months
SIVENSA: CVG Reiterates Intention To Rescue Orinoco


     - - - - - - - - - - -


=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================

EDENOR: French Government OK's EDF Purchase of Edenor, S.A.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Euro 494 million capital gain for ENDESA.

The French government has authorized the sale contract signed
last March 30th by ENDESA Internacional and Repsol-YPF/ASTRA
C.A.P.S.A. with EDF for the sale of all their direct and indirect
interests in the Argentinean distributor Empresa Distribuidora y
Comercializadora Norte Sociedad Anonima (Edenor, S.A.), which
operates in northern Buenos Aires and vicinity. Endesa
Internacional's interest was 40.19% of the company's share
capital.

Endesa Internacional is 100 percent owned by Endesa (NYSE: ELE).

The transaction's contract is subject to authorization by the
Argentinean government.

This transaction has resulted in a capital gain for Endesa of
Euro 494 million (US$ 436 million).

After this disposal, Endesa continues to maintain a significant
presence in the Argentinean electricity distribution market
through its controlling stake in Edesur, electricity distributor
in southern Buenos Aires, with 2.1 million customers.

Edenor is the largest electric distribution company in Argentina
in terms of customers served and sales volume. The company has
had a 95-year exclusive concession since September 1992 to
distribute electricity in the northwestern half of the greater
Buenos Aires area and the northern portion of the city of Buenos
Aires.



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

FURNAS: Government Wants Privatization 1Q02
-------------------------------------------
Chief of staff for Brazil's president Pedro Parente, last week
disclosed government's plans to privatize electricity company
Furnas Centrais Eletricas by the first quarter of 2002, reported
O Globo-Brazil. According to Parente, the sale plan has already
been drawn up and only a few details needed to be finalized, such
as the breaking up of the company and the payment of its R$700-
million debt with the Energy Wholesale Market (MAE).

Meanwhile, Eletrobras Chairman Claudio Avila said that the
company would no longer take responsibility for the payment of
the said debt.


INEPAR: Restructuring Energy Operations, May Sell Assets
--------------------------------------------------------
Inepar group is to restructure its operations in the energy
sector and might also sell off interests in hydroelectric power
facilities, according to a report by South American Business
Information released Monday. The decision comes in the wake of
the failed attempt to increase capital by 30 percent and for
Italian company Enel Power to gain a stake in Inepar.

Enel Power, a subsidiary of Italian state-owned power company
Enel, reached an agreement to buy 30 percent of Inepar Energia
for US$83.7 million last July. However, in February, the
companies announced that the other partners of Inepar- Brazil's
state bank BNDES and retirement funds Centrus, Petros, Aerus and
FPS - had not approved of the transaction. Subsequently, the
Italian firm could not acquire a stake in the Brazilian company.

Inepar also aims to solve its lack of working capital and
indebtedness through the issuance of debentures and sale of
assets. The company recently acquired authorization from CVM
(Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios) to issue debentures worth
R$270mil.


INEPAR: DecisionLink and Inepar Join Forces With Iridium
--------------------------------------------------------
DecisionLink, Inc. (OTCBB:DLNK), announced today that it has
formed a new joint-venture company with Inepar S.A. of Brazil to
market DecisionLink's wide range of end-to-end monitoring
solutions for the global industrial, commercial and environmental
industries utilizing the Iridium Satellite service.

The new company, named Inepar DecisionLink Corp. (IDL), has
entered into an agreement with Iridium Satellite LLC and has
become a Global Top-Tier Service Provider for the new Iridium
group. IDL is owned 51% by DecisionLink, Inc. and is to be
headquartered in DecisionLink's Carrollton, Texas facilities.

Inepar is one of the owners of Iridium Satellite LLC. Inepar was
a licensee of the old Iridium in South America. Inepar is
contributing its substantial infrastructure and existing business
for the South American Iridium market as assets to the joint
venture. This will allow IDL to produce immediate cash flow to
the company. Inepar and DecisionLink have a previous agreement to
market Orbcomm satellite services in parts of South America and
that business will also be transferred to the joint venture and
expanded to include all of South America. DecisionLink will
contribute its technology, monitoring and reporting applications
and technical resources to IDL.

Dan Colussy, Chairman of Iridium, said, "Iridium has a very
targeted focus on industrial and government markets with
operations in remote areas, and recognizes the need to secure
experienced distributors to reach these customers. IDL is
actively involved with providing satellite services, and will be
an integral and important member of our distribution channel."

Geoff Hewitt, Chairman and CEO of DecisionLink, said, "This is a
very significant development for the Company. It dramatically
expands our reach and allows us to offer global solutions to
global enterprises. We have aligned ourselves with whom we
believe to be key players in the global development of satellite
telemetry and have positioned ourselves to play a key role in its
development."

Peter Lagergren, President of IDL, said, "We see that by
combining Iridium's service with our products it will take us
into global market areas with very large installed bases. Markets
include monitoring and control of storage tanks, compressors and
pipelines, vendor managed inventories, environmental monitoring
and private voice networks for global industries such as oil and
gas and petrochemicals. We expect that the combination of our
proven data transfer products and the new marketing emphasis of
Iridium with its superior service provider support, its
commitment to customer service and its lower cost structure, will
allow us to see significant market penetration."

Helcio Gaertner, Director of Inepar S.A., said, "Inepar's
projects, services and experience in developing countries,
combined with DecisionLink's cutting edge technology made
possible the creation of a company capable of offering efficient
and quick 'Truly Mobile, Truly Global' solutions for private
network systems, environmental control and remote monitoring. Our
ongoing projects are very exciting."

David Peachey, President of DecisionLink, Inc., said, "The
Iridium service is complementary to our Orbcomm capabilities and
gives us global coverage for both data and voice for large
industrial customers. I am particularly excited that we can offer
those customers secure and private communications from anywhere
in the world through our Satellite Data Control Center and the
Internet."

IDL will supply secure private satellite networks for data and
voice for large multinational and regional industrial or
commercial customers. DecisionLink has developed a Satellite Data
Control Center for IDL. It is designed for installation at a
customer's local or regional office at a cost that is
substantially below normal earth station installations. It
integrates IDL's real-time asset monitoring with Iridium
satellite telephone services without having to be routed through
a public telephone network.

For data collection and machine control IDL's clients will have
independent global access to field or mobile installations. The
IDL Satellite Data Control Centers ("SatDacc(SM)") provide an IP
portal so that customers can connect through the Internet to
assets anywhere in the world without the need for existing ground
infrastructure. IDL's software allows our clients to dynamically
configure and operate their remote assets and Web pages
regardless of location.

IDL is introducing a variety of inexpensive Iridium based
products that form the "front end" of our LeoLink(TM) data
gathering and machine control system. The SatDacc(SM) also
provides our customers with the ability to easily and
inexpensively field a private voice network on a global basis.
This voice capability is seamlessly integrated with the clients
existing telephony networks and provides global roaming
capabilities to field personnel.


LIGHT: To Sell Cold Air
-----------------------
Rio-de-Janeiro based electric utility Light has discovered a new
system, which replaces traditional air-conditioning equipment,
South American Business Information said Monday. "Cold air," as
the new system is called, will be sold to major clients.  
According to the report, the system can readily be implemented in
condominiums in the Rio de Janeiro state but for now, the company
has a major project in the Rio Office Park commercial complex
along with its 20 year contract.

Light has R$500 million in obligations coming due this year. At
the end of last year, its consolidated debt stood at R$4.95
billion, 63 percent of which comprised dollar-denominated
financial obligations.


MOULINEX-BRANDT: Denies Rumors Of Plant Shutdown
------------------------------------------------
There's no truth to the rumors that Moulinex-Brandt, a Franco-
Italian domestic appliances group, will shutdown its Brazilian
subsidiary and will dismiss employees, South American Business
Information said Monday. Moulinex Chairman Johnni Janosh, who
expressed astonishment over the rumors, denied the reports saying
that the company continues with projects for the development of
its production line and does not intend to quit operations in the
country.

On the back of continuing losses at the newly merged company,
Moulinex-Brandt announced last week, a restructuring plan that
would see the loss of 4,000 jobs. However, unions and local
politicians have described the redundancy plan as "intolerable"
and "unacceptable".

According to the restructuring plan the books will not be
balanced before 2003, and the group's profit margin will not
reach the sector average before 2005.


RHODIA-STER: Reports R$20.57M Net Loss In 1Q01
----------------------------------------------
Brazilian large-scale PET producer Rhodia-Ster reported a
R$20.57-million net loss in the first quarter of 2001, as
compared to a R$4.98-million profit in the same period last year,
according to a South American Business Information report
published Monday. Rhodia-Ster Manager Antonio Sartori attributed
negative performance to the exchange devaluation, which
represented a loss of R$48.4 million. Currency issues have harmed
the company due to its indebtedness, which is linked to the US
currency. According to Sartori, the company would have registered
a profit of R$28 million had it not been for the devaluation.
Rhodia-ster's debts stood at US$208 million by late 2001 first
quarter, 80 percent of which is in US dollars. The company's
EBITDA increased by 44 percent reaching R$47.87 million. Its net
income totaled R$172.9 million, as compared to R$135.30 million
in the same period in 2000.


VESPER: No Substantial Changes In The Next Months, Says BCI
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian WLL fixed telephone services company Vesper will not
make any substantial changes over the next months until it adopts
a faster communications technology, informed Robert Bouchard, CEO
of Bell Canada International (BCI) in a South American Business
Information report published Monday. BCI owns a 34.4-percent
stake in Vesper, which is currently undergoing a restructuring,
slashing one-third of its total labor staff of 4,000 workers. BCI
intends to divest of Vesper, as it intends to focus on cellular
mobile communications through Telecom Americas. Its first sell-
off attempt fell through when VeloCom failed to produce the
agreed amount of US$875 million. VeloCom is also a major
shareholder in Vesper with 49.4 percent stake.



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

BANCAFE: Gets US$110.77M Injection From Government
--------------------------------------------------
On Friday the Colombian government injected a sum of US$110.77
million (C$259.88 million) into state-run bank Bancafe, Business
News Americas reported Tuesday. According to the bank's
president, Pedro Nel Ospina Santa Maria, the new injection
significantly improves the bank's financial foundation, and will
draw more interest among potential buyers. Investment banks BNP
Paribas and Corfivalle will have the financial valuation of the
bank ready in the middle of this month. A council of ministers is
expected to determine the minimum bid price by month's end.
Bancafe, the country's second largest bank with US$2.3 billion in
assets and 280 branches, is to be auctioned off in September.


PAZ DEL RIO: To Receive Assets Worth 5B Pesos
---------------------------------------------
Colombian steel company Acerias Paz del Rio, currently
restructuring in accordance with Law 550 of 1999 to avoid closing
down, is to receive (raw material) assets worth 5 billion pesos
from the national railways debts fund if the ministry of
employment's project is approved, South American Business
Information reported Tuesday. However, according to the ministry,
which would acquire shares in Paz del Rio in return, the `scrap'
will only mean something if it finds its way into the company's
production systems.

The steel company, which posted net losses of P$49.819mil in
2000, is presently seeking partnership with a foreign investor to
help emerge from the financial troubles it has suffered over the
last year.



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

AHMSA: Kicks Off Process To Get Out Of Temporary Receivership
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mexico's largest former state-owned steelmaker Altos Hornos de
Mexico (Ahmsa), which has debts of over US$1.8 billion, is likely
to end its temporary receivership soon, South American Business
Information said Tuesday. Accordingly, Mexican state banking
entity Banobras has committed itself to a debt-restructuring
plan, joining others within the AHMSA-specific banking committee
led by Bank of America. The process is expected to take at least
three months.


BANCRECER: Banorte Eyes Bank Acquisition
----------------------------------------
Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte, which owns the country's
fifth-largest bank, is hoping to set up a strategic alliance or
even a merger with a foreign entity in a bid to acquire
government-intervened bank Bancrecer, according to a South
American Business Information report Tuesday edition. Scotiabank
has recently declared itself interested in merging with Banorte.
Mexican bank bailout agency IPAB is expected to make a bid call
in mid-May for the sale of Bancrecer.


CYDSA: Announces Sale Of Property For US$108M
---------------------------------------------
Mexican textiles and industrial-packaging firm Cydsa announced
the sale of a property in a transaction valued at US$108 million
and said it would use the resources generated from the sale to
reduce its bank debt, El Universal reported April 17. The
property sold formerly served as its corporate headquarters.
According to Cydsa Chairman and CEO Tomas Gonzalez Sada, the
effects of the slump in the U.S. economy - combined with higher
energy costs, overvaluation of the Mexican peso and high real
interest rates - had propelled the company to implement a three-
pronged strategy: a reduction of fixed costs, cuts in working
capital, and the sale of non-strategic assets.



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

AVENSA: Future Still Unclear
----------------------------
Venezuelan airline Avensa, which has been battling financially in
the last two years, is still trying to set up a domestic alliance
with a foreign airline active in the country, South American
Business Information said Monday. Avensa is looking for a company
to take charge of the onward-bound flight for the foreign
visitors on the allied airline. Reports has it that American
Airlines is interested, however it will have to undergo talks
with Avensa's rival Aeropostal first to weigh its options.


DIGITEL: To Restructure US$200M Debt
------------------------------------
Digitel, a subsidiary of TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), has
formally brought on to its board the directors of TIM, and has
proceeded to ask banking creditors to restructure its US$200-
million debt, South American Business Information related
Tuesday. Digitel, is the third largest mobile telephone company
in Venezuela, with 300 customer services employees at present. It
serves the central and western parts of the oil-exporting
country. Digitel is looking to transform its obligations into one
single debt with one bank or with a banking association.

Digitel is also currently negotiating new loans worth US$300
million for its 2001 investment plans. Telecom Italia Mobile has
a 57-percent stake in Digitel. Other shareholders include Banco
Santander Central Hispano , Citigroup and a local group
Veneconsult.


EDC: Planned Sale Of Foreign Bonds Suffers Setback
--------------------------------------------------
CA Electricidad de Caracas, Venezuela's No. 1 publicly traded
power company, was due to sell up to 150 million euros ($135
million) in five-year bonds in early April, Bloomberg reported
Tuesday. However, concerns over Argentina and world stock market
declines continue to delay its planned sale.

"We're trying to assess the general investment environment to see
when their will be significant interest in that kind of offer,"
Electricidad Chairman Richard A. Bulger said. "Right now the
problems in Argentina are having a significant impact on the
timing of that," he added.

EDC's effort to sell bonds in June was also delayed after AES
took control in a $1.6 billion hostile takeover.


MAVESA: Polar To Implement Integration Plan In Three Months
------------------------------------------------------------
Empresas Polar of Venezuela disclosed it would take three months
to implement a plan to integrate its newly-acquired Mavesa S.A.,
one of the leading Venezuelan food products manufacturers, into
its operations, South American Business Information reported
Tuesday. Mavesa already has a new executive board in place, and
now the strategic integration committee will go into action with
a 90-day brief and a 14 specialist teams break-down. The aim is
to find a new model along the lines of which Mavesa (and
Alimentos Primor) will function within Polar's food division.
Polar is famous as a brewery.


SIVENSA: CVG Reiterates Intention To Rescue Orinoco
---------------------------------------------------
CVG (Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana) has reiterated its
intention of keeping the Orinoco Iron project alive despite the
withdrawal of Australia's BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary),
according to a report published by South American Business
Information Tuesday. CVG affirms that BHP, owner of 50 percent of
the Orinoco Iron plant, has yet to break away technically or
legally. The plant presented some problems at start-up, which CVG
attributes to world prices.




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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