TCRLA_Public/010709.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

            Monday, July 9, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 132

                           Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Pays Back Salaries To Workers
MULTICANAL: 'B' Long-Term Affirmed; Short-Term Lowered to 'C'


B R A Z I L

CVRD: EU Commission Launches Four-Month Probe On Caemi Purchase


C H I L E

ENAMI: Anticipates Net Loss Of US$25M This Year


C O L O M B I A

SEVEN SEAS: Financing Delay May Threaten $6.9M Interest Payment
SEVEN SEAS: Updates Production, Drilling Results; Dumps Contract


E C U A D O R

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: Central Banks Prepares For December Sale


M E X I C O

ATLANTICO: Bital Making Slow Progress Toward Acquisition
BANCRECER: Five Firms Meet Deadline To Formally Express Intent
BUFETE: Petrochemicals Complex Construction Means 20k New Jobs
GRUPO ALFA: AEP, ALFA Sell Enertek Cogen Plant To Iberdrola
GRUPO BITAL: Sells 20% In French Glassmaker's Mexican Subsidiary
DESC: Reports Lower Preliminary 2Q01 Results
GRUPO PULSAR: Company Sources Deny Offshore Finance Accusations
GRUPO TELEVISA: To Fund Either Inova Or Cablevision; Not Both
TMM: Workers Threaten Strike At Subsidiary Over Wage Demands
MAXCOM TELECOMMUNICACIONES: New CEO Cleans-Up Books, Personnel
MAXCOM TELECOMUNICACIONES: Launches Speedi Max ADSL Product
MEXICANA: Nears Deal With French Consortium Over Airbus Jets


V E N E Z U E L A

BANESCO INMUEBLES: Wants Firm Dissolved, Shares Delisted


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Pays Back Salaries To Workers
----------------------------------------------------
Aerolineas Argentinas, the struggling flagship Argentine airline,
is expected to pay Wednesday its workers salaries outstanding
from the end of May. Salaries of under $800 were paid back on
June 5th but workers earning between $800 and $1,500 only
received half their outstanding pay at the time.

Debt-ridden Aerolineas Argentinas, which recently filed a
petition with a Buenos Aires court for protection from its
creditors, is out of cash and is running out of time in its quest
for a new owner to keep it airborne.


MULTICANAL: 'B' Long-Term Affirmed; Short-Term Lowered to 'C'
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's affirmed Thursday its single-'B' long-term
foreign and local currency corporate credit ratings on Multicanal
S.A. At the same time, Standard & Poor's lowered the short-term
corporate credit ratings to single-'C' from single-'B', the same
level as the Republic of Argentina (single-'B' long-term foreign
and local currency rating/Negative/single-'C' short-term foreign
and local currency rating). The outlook is negative.

Multicanal faces about $320 million in maturities in the next
eight months. Although financial flexibility is restricted by the
current market conditions, Standard & Poor's expects Multicanal
to continue to receive shareholder support in this refinancing
process. Multicanal is 100% directly and indirectly owned by
Grupo Clarin. In addition, the current rating incorporates, based
on the group's good banking relationships in Argentina, the
successful refinancing of the balance. Standard & Poor's expects
the process to be completed within the next six to eight weeks.
Nevertheless, given Multicanal's significant short-term
maturities and continued financial flexibility concerns for
Argentine corporates, Standard & Poor's does not believe the
short-term rating should be higher than that of the Republic of
Argentina.

The ratings on Multicanal, one of the two largest cable-
television providers in Argentina, with about 1.35 million
subscribers as of March 2001, reflect the company's aggressive
financial profile, deteriorated cash flow protection measures,
and its dependence on the level of economic activity in the
country. However, the ratings also incorporate the company's
strong market position and parent-supported operations.

OUTLOOK: NEGATIVE

The outlook on Multicanal reflects the outlook on the ratings of
the Republic of Argentina. The outlook is based on Standard &
Poor's persistent concern that the absence of an economic
recovery and the long-lasting high interest rate environment
could continue to affect financial flexibility and heighten
refinancing risk. In addition, the depressed economic activity
hinders production and revenue growth and contributes to higher
demand volatility, Standard & Poor's said.



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

CVRD: EU Commission Launches Four-Month Probe On Caemi Purchase
---------------------------------------------------------------
The European Commission on Tuesday, launched a thorough four-
month anti-trust probe into Companhia Vale do Rio Doce's (CVRD's)
purchase of Caemi Mineracao e Metalurgia, the Brazilian mining
company, O Globo - Brazil revealed in a report. CVRD's purchase
of Caemi, which was done through the Japanese group Mitsui & Co.,
would bring together CVRD, the world's largest iron ore producer,
with Caemi, the world's fourth largest iron ore miner, in an
operation that may have negative effects on steel makers, the
Commission said in a statement. Under the terms of the deal,
Mitsui, which already holds a 40 percent stake in Caemi, and CVRD
would buy the other 60 per cent stake in the company and then
share the equity equally between them.



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

ENAMI: Anticipates Net Loss Of US$25M This Year
-----------------------------------------------
Enami, Chile's state-owned minerals processing and mining
company, expects to register a net loss of US$25 million this
year, Business News Americas reported Thursday. The loss would
represent approximately US$10 million more than originally
forecast at the start of 2001. According to Chief Executive Jaime
Perez, the discrepancy is a consequence of lower copper prices,
as the company has based its forecasts on the metal trading at
US$0.88/lb this year.

The mining group is saddled with debts amounting to US$470
million. Enami anticipates a non-operational loss of US$30
million this year, Perez said. Last year, Enami posted a loss of
US$29.3 million, up from US$24.3 million in 1999.



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

SEVEN SEAS: Financing Delay May Threaten $6.9M Interest Payment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. (Amex: SEV) announced today that
although it previously anticipated completing a financing by the
end of May 2001, unforeseen obstacles and complications have
delayed the process.  The Company now projects securing a
financing within the next 45-days.  However, no assurances can be
made that a financing will be secured in this timeframe.

If additional delays occur, the Company may be unable to meet its
current obligations, including a $6.9 million interest payment on
its $110 million senior notes and commitments under its Colombian
association contracts and with its Guaduas Oil Field partners.

Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. is an independent oil and gas
exploration and production company operating in Colombia, South
America.  The Company's primary emphasis is on further
exploration, development and production of the Guaduas Oil Field,
located in Colombia's prolific Magdalena Basin.


SEVEN SEAS: Updates Production, Drilling Results; Dumps Contract
----------------------------------------------------------------
Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. (Amex: SEV) announced that during a 24-
hour preliminary test and clean up, the El Segundo 5-S
development well produced oil and load water at rates between
1,500 and 2,000 barrels per day.  Immediately prior to being
temporarily shut-in to demobilize the drilling rig, the well was
producing 90% oil and 10% drilling and completion fluids.  More
definitive production testing will resume within the next week.

The Company further reported that it has commenced the drilling
of the Tres Pasos 5-W well, the second of a planned nine-well
development program for the Guaduas Oil Field.  This well will be
drilled from the same surface location as the El Segundo 5-S and
has a projected bottom hole location approximately 1.1 kilometers
northwest of the El Segundo 5-S bottom hole location.

Seven Seas also announced that it reassigned its interest in the
Tapir Association Contract to the operator, relieving the Company
of a potential $2.1 million obligation.  The Company attributed
no oil and gas reserves to this contract area.



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E C U A D O R
=============

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: Central Banks Prepares For December Sale
------------------------------------------------------------
Ecuador's Central Bank chairman Jose Luis Icaza announced that
the Central Bank expects to have Banco del Pacifico ready to be
sold in December of this year, Business News Americas reported
Thursday. The CB will hire an outside firm to prepare a detailed
audit of Pacifico's financial status. Subsequently, its
administration will be transferred to Spanish consultancy
Interdin & Ahead.

The Central Bank recently took over the control of Pacifico SA.
The move came after it injected bonds worth $98.9 million to
recapitalize Pacifico. Recapitalization follows the Ecuadorean
court's ruling that $89 million in bonds issued by the Finance
Ministry and injected into the bank by the government deposit
guarantee agency was illegal. Pacifico was subsequently
instructed to return the bonds to the Finance Ministry.



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

ATLANTICO: Bital Making Slow Progress Toward Acquisition
------------------------------------------------------
Mexico's Grupo Financiero Bital is seems to be taking baby steps  
toward a complete acquisition of government-intervened bank Banco
del Atlantico, Mexico City daily Reforma revealed Thursday. So
far, it has not yet concluded work on drawing up the terms, under
which its management of Atlantico over the past two years is to
be evaluated by financial regulation authorities. Bital took its
first steps to acquire Atlantico more than two years ago, and it
must allow an audit of its management of the bank to date in
order for it to conclude the bank's acquisition. Mexican bank
bailout agency IPAB reportedly is looking to hire a firm to
conduct the audit. An official choice for auditor is likely to be
named shortly.


BANCRECER: Five Firms Meet Deadline To Formally Express Intent
--------------------------------------------------------------
Five companies met Thursday's deadline to formally express an
interest in buying the defunct Mexican bank Bancrecer, the last
of the country's major banks to be put on the auction block by
the government, Reuters revealed in a report. The five banks, as
announced by the country's bank deposit guarantee agency IPAB
late on Thursday, included Mexico's No. 5 bank Grupo Financiero
Banorte, the Mexican unit of Dutch financial giant ING, Canadian-
owned Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat, Spain's Banco
Sabadell, and Mexico's Corporativo Mexicano Oconahua.

The agency has moved the deadline for bidding documents back one
day to July 13. In order to participate in the auction for
Bancrecer, bidders must demonstrate financial, legal and
operative ability to complete the purchase.

Bancrecer, with about 800 branches and about 4 billion pesos
($442 million) in capital, was one of the banks bailed out by
Mexico's government as part a $100 billion bank rescue that
followed the 1994-95 peso crisis.


BUFETE: Petrochemicals Complex Construction Means 20k New Jobs
--------------------------------------------------------------
Corporacion Serbo plans to use its newly acquired debt-laden
Mexican construction company Bufete Industrial in the
construction of a petrochemical production complex. The project
is located in the port city of Altamira, in the northeastern
state of Tamaulipas, according to a COMTEX report Wednesday.
Construction of the complex will provide a massive stimulus for
economic activity in the area, directly and indirectly providing
jobs for 20,000 workers at various stages of the project. The
Altamira complex is to produce chemicals products that currently
are imported.


GRUPO ALFA: AEP, ALFA Sell Enertek Cogen Plant To Iberdrola
-----------------------------------------------------------
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and ALFA, S.A. de C.V. have
closed a deal to sell the Enertek Cogeneration Facility located
in Altamira, Tamaulipas, Mexico to Iberdrola of Madrid, Spain.  
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

The sale was finalized June 30, 2001.

AEP (through its subsidiary CSW International) and ALFA each
owned 50 percent of the Enertek plant, a 120-megawatt natural
gas-fired simple-cycle cogeneration plant built primarily to
serve the Altamira industrial complex.

The plant provides steam -- 820,000 pounds per hour -- and
electricity requirements for the complex.  Electricity is also
sold to end users as far away as Monterrey, and other parts of
central Mexico.

When it began commercial operation in 1998, Enertek was the first
large cogeneration facility in Mexico with long-term gas supply
and transmission services contracts.

Dwayne L. Hart, AEP Energy Services vice president, says that,
"AEP is pleased to have been partners with ALFA in pioneering the
development of cogeneration projects in Mexico.  The sale of
Enertek is consistent with our strategy of maximizing the value
of our asset portfolio through acquisitions, divestitures, and
potential joint ventures.  The Enertek sale is part of this value
creation process."

AEP will use cash from the sale to buy down debt.  The sale
represents a one-time gain of approximately three cents per
share.


GRUPO BITAL: Sells 20% In French Glassmaker's Mexican Subsidiary
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mexico's Grupo Financiero Bital has sold its 20-percent stake in
French glass maker Saint Gobain's local subsidiary, Saint Gobain
Mexico, in a transaction valued at $32 million, Mexico City daily
Reforma reported Thursday. The proceeds of the sale will be used
in Bital's capitalization efforts. According to the report, the
buyer of the stake was Saint Gobain's Spanish subsidiary, Saint
Gobain Cristaleria.


DESC: Reports Lower Preliminary 2Q01 Results
--------------------------------------------
Mexican industrial holding company DESC SA de CV reported
preliminary second quarter results on Thursday, according to a
report in Reuters. The company posted revenues of US$543 million
during the period, slightly below the US$608 million posted in
the same year-ago period. Operating profit for the quarter was at
US$48 million, down from US$70 million registered in the same
period in the previous year. Operating margin during the quarter
fell to 8.8 percent compared to 11.6 percent. EBITDA (earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) during the
period came in at US$79 million, compared to the same-year ago
period of US$98 million.


GRUPO PULSAR: Company Sources Deny Offshore Finance Accusations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Monterrey-based Mexican conglomerate Grupo Pulsar did not use
offshore subsidiaries to issue securities in its main
subsidiaries, which include agro-biotechnology holding company
Savia, unidentified company sources said Wednesday in a Mexico
City daily Reforma report. According to them, the securities had
been issued by Pulsar subsidiary Pulsar International. They said
that Mexican financial regulator the National Banking and
Securities Commission (CNBV), in the course of an ongoing
investigation into the company's activities, would find that
Pulsar has not violated any of the country's financial
regulations. Indeed, so far, an ongoing investigation conducted
by the CNBV into the activities of Grupo Pulsar has shown no
evidence of any illegal activity.


GRUPO TELEVISA: To Fund Either Inova Or Cablevision; Not Both
-------------------------------------------------------------
An analysis by UBS Warburg revealed that Mexican media group
Televisa may eventually be forced to choose between investing in
cable-TV provider Cablevision and Inova Mexico, according to a
Mexico City daily Reforma Thursday edition. Televisa owns a 51-
percent stake in Cablevision, and a 60-percent stake in Inova,
which controls SKY Entertainment. A possible merger between
satellite-TV providers SKY and DirecTV would require Televisa to
furnish approximately $150 million in cash. However, the
company's current financial pressure would make coming up with
the necessary cash to properly fund both deals dificult.


TMM: Workers Threaten Strike At Subsidiary Over Wage Demands
------------------------------------------------------------
Mexican No. 2 rail transport company Transportacion Ferroviaria
Mexicana (TFM), a subsidiary of transport multi-modal
conglomerate Transportacion Maritima Mexicana, faces the threat
of rolling strikes from its workers if it refuses to increase a
7.5-percent wage-increase offer, Mexican financial daily El
Economista reported Thursday. TFM, which employs around 5,000
workers, is offering well below average annual wage increases
awarded so far this year by other Mexican firms. The transport
company expects to reach an amicable agreement with the union by
Friday.


MAXCOM TELECOMMUNICACIONES: New CEO Cleans-Up Books, Personnel
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fulvio del Valle, who took office at facilities-based
telecommunications provider (CLEC) Maxcom just two months ago has
already managed a thorough clean-up of the company, Mexico City
daily Reforma revealed Thursday. After leaving the post of CEO at
Mexican No. 2 mobile carrier Iusacell, the first step taken by
Del Valle was to have a due-diligence audit conducted with
respect to the activities of his predecessor, Alejandro Martinez.  
Under Martinez's leadership Maxcom's results were less than
impressive. Del Valle fired BDO as Maxcom's external auditor and
hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He also fired Maxcom's senior
Procurement executive.

After the corporate restructure is complete and the new
management team is formed, Maxcom will begin to invest a total of
$100 million it has available, Del Valle said. According to the
CEO, the company was looking to double or triple its subscriber
base by the end of the current year. Maxcom currently has a total
of 30,000 subscribers.


MAXCOM TELECOMUNICACIONES: Launches Speedi Max ADSL Product
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mexican fixed-line operator Maxcom Telecomunicaciones SA launched
its Speedi Max product, offering high-speed ADSL Internet access,
South American Business Information reported Thursday. The new
produce maximizes the potential of existing phone-line networks
in the country. It can be accessed 24 hours a day since the
service pays a monthly fixed rate, and is only a click, not a
dial-up away. In order to use the service, the client only needs
a computer and a Maxcom phone line. The use of the Internet
doesn't block the phone line either. Maxcom, with Cisco and
Lucent as technological partners, boasts of enormous time savings
also on downloading.

The fixed-line operator is looking to triple its customers over
the next months, saying it needs that rate of growth to pay debts
next year. According to Chief executive Fulvio Del Valle, in a
previous TCR-LA report, the company must increase its line total
to 110,000 from 30,000 to make a $21 million bond payment due
next October. At the current installation rate of 1,300 lines a
week, it will reach that goal by the end of August 2002.

Maxcom has lost money since it began selling lines in May 1999.
The company is rushing to add more lines to generate profit in
time to make payments on its $275 million debt and to persuade
investors to put up more money for further expansion.


MEXICANA: Nears Deal With French Consortium Over Airbus Jets
------------------------------------------------------------
Fernando Flores, CEO of Mexican No. 2 airline Mexicana, revealed
that the company is close to signing a long-term leasing
agreement on seven new Airbus passenger planes valued at more
than $50 million each, Mexico City daily Reforma reported
Tuesday. The leasing agreement will be signed directly with the
French aircraft-manufacturing consortium. The seven new Airbus
planes would be used to replace aging planes rather than to
expand its fleet.

Flores said replacement of old aircraft could see Mexicana cut
its operating costs by up to 25 percent. The forthcoming deal
with Airbus will allow the airline to offload seven Boeing 727
aircraft, all of which are more than 20 years old. A further 20
Boeing 727 planes likely will be replaced or decommissioned by
Mexicana by December 2002. At the same time, Mexicana reportedly
plans to reduce its total fleet by three aircraft.

Mexicana is controlled by airline holding company Cintra, which
is majority-owned by the Mexican government.



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

BANESCO INMUEBLES: Wants Firm Dissolved, Shares Delisted
--------------------------------------------------------
Banesco Inmuebles y Valores de Venezuela (BIVCA) will propose to
shareholders the dissolution of the firm, South American Business
Information reported Thursday. Should the proposal be approved,
the banking firm will proceed to delist shares, which were
suspended since April this year, from the Bolsa de Caracas on
July 27, 2001. These are all shares in Unibanca, the bank, which
was formed when Banesco merged with Banco Union and Caja Familia
in early 2001.

Meanwhile, Banesco Banco Universal has paid out dividends and
increased capital at the same time - an increase of Bs$1.75
billion via 17.5 million shares and a dividend pay-out of Bs$21.6
per share via the issue of 52.5 million shares.




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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.


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