TCRLA_Public/010726.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

            Thursday, July 26, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 145

                           Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: SEPI Takes Eurnekian/Air Europa's Offer
CORMINE: Billiton Informs Authorities Of Interest In Looming Sale
HIPARSA: Bidding Awaits Provincial Legislative Authorization


B R A Z I L

BANCO ECONOMICO: Aranha's Planned Copene Bid Raises Doubts
BANCO ECONOMICO: Central Bank Preps `Plan B' In Case Of Failure
BANCO ECONOMICO: Injunction Issued Based On Odebrecht's Rights
EMBRATEL: Worldcom May Dump The Ailing Carrier
EMBRATEL: Reports 2Q01 Results; Blames Real For $15.7M Net Loss
UNIMED SP: Doctors Approve Recovery Plan


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

SKYTEL: Quits DR Operations


E C U A D O R

FILANBANCO: 13-15 Banks Expected To Join Management Trust


M E X I C O

AHMSA: Postpones Board Meeting As Autrey Dodges Arrest Warrant
CINTRA: Transport Minister Presents Air Transport Policy Draft
CORPORACION GEO: S&P Assigns BB Rating; Outlook Stable
GRUPO TMM: Posts 55% Decline In 1H01 Net Profit
PROTEL: Successfully Concludes US$85M Debt-Refinancing
VITRO: Libbey's Looming Acquisition Threatens Existing Alliance


     - - - - - - - - - - -



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

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: SEPI Takes Eurnekian/Air Europa's Offer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spanish state holding company SEPI has accepted an offer led by
Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 SA chairman Eduardo Eurnekian and
Spanish carrier Air Europa to buy Argentina's ailing flagship
carrier Aerolineas Argentinas for an undisclosed amount, AFX
Europe revealed Tuesday. The new owners, who could take over
before the next Aerolineas shareholders meeting on Aug 17, will
seek 2,000 voluntary redundancies as well as immediately resuming
daily flights to a European destination, probably Amsterdam.
Daily flights to New York via Miami will subsequently resume.

Guillermo Francos, Eurnekian representative, and Air Europa have
been reportedly negotiating the definitive terms of the takeover
agreement since Monday.


CORMINE: Billiton Informs Authorities Of Interest In Looming Sale
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Martin Palacios, the mining director of the Argentine province of
Neuquen, said that London-based mineral house Billiton has
notified provincial authorities of his interest in the sale of
mining corporation Minera de Neuquen (Cormine), Business News
Americas reported Tuesday.

"They have shown interest in getting all the details," said
Palacios. Before the bidding rules are created, provincial
officials want to make all the information available to
interested companies. "If we need to arrange field trips, we'll
do so. We want to show everything we've got," he added.

The Cormine liquidation and asset sale involves three steps:

1. The authorization, which was contained in a law passed by the
provincial legislature last month.

2. The question of finding new jobs in other state organizations
for the company's employees must be resolved.

3. Devising a mechanism to sell the company's assets - some 107
mineral properties - through the appointment of a liquidator, who
will be Palacios himself. The liquidator will be responsible to
the executive and legislature.

The consultancy handling the legal side of the process, Mabromata
& Asociados, must evaluate Cormine's assets and transfer both the
mineral properties and other assets to the new owners.

A technical research team will determine which mines or deposits
will be put out to public tender and which can be sold off via an
auction, with the highest bidder winning. Other properties may
not be subject to an auction at all, Palacios said, and could be
sold directly.

"The important thing is to make these [mineral properties] open
to private capital. There are companies that have already asked
Cormine for permission to send in consultants or geologists to
assess available information. All we ask is that they fill in an
application form and they will have all the information they
need," he said.


HIPARSA: Bidding Awaits Provincial Legislative Authorization
------------------------------------------------------------
According to a Hiparsa spokesperson, bidding rules on the
international auction for a concession to operate the company's
briquette plant and iron ore mine still awaits authorization from
Rio Negro's provincial legislature since Hiparsa belongs to this
Argentine province, Business News Americas reported Tuesday.

"[The provincial legislators] are not going to discuss the
bidding rules, but rather a bill to authorize publication of the
rules for the tender, and this is what we are waiting for," the
spokesperson said.

"The government has stretched out the process, taking into
consideration the country's risk rating," he added. Legislators
returned from the winter vacation yesterday, and a Hiparsa board
meeting is due to deal with the issue this week or next.

Hiparsa is currently surviving on around US$60,000 a month from
the Rio Negro government, and from the sale of some 1,500tpm
scrap metal and iron pre-concentrate to petrochemicals company
Comodoro Rivadavia for hardening cement, at a price of US$18pt.

The tender being handled by PricewaterhouseCoopers together with
AIMSA, is for a concession to operate the Hiparsa mining complex
and a separate contract to operate Punta Colorada mining pier, so
this is not monopolized by only one company in the area. The
bidding rules will cost US$40,000.



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B R A Z I L
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BANCO ECONOMICO: Aranha's Planned Copene Bid Raises Doubts
----------------------------------------------------------
The plan of Monteiro Aranha group to bid for a majority stake in
Copene, as well as the clearance from the Brazilian central bank
for it to pursue its plans, caused a turnaround the day before
Wednesday's scheduled sale, AE-Brazil reported Tuesday.

Copene, a petrochemical company, was indirectly auctioned by the
government Wednesday for a minimum asking price of R$785 million.
The company is controlled by three groups (Conepar, Mariani and
Odebrecht) through a consortium called Norquisa, which owns 58.4
percent of the company's voting stock.

In reality, two-thirds of Esae, a subsidiary of failed bank
Econ"mico, will be on sale. Esae has a 26 percent stake in
Norquisa.

At Odebrecht, the Monteiro Aranha move is perceived as benign for
the rival Ultra group, which is allegedly using the newcomer as a
proxy to buy a stake in Copene. Monteiro Aranha has a 23.11-
percent shareholding in Oxiteno, another Brazilian petrochemical
concern. Ultra owns 65.39 percent of Oxiteno, clear evidence of
their Ultra and Arnaha's business ties.

However, Carlos Eduardo de Freitas, director of public finance at
the central bank, said that Monteiro Aranha's decision to bid for
Copene does not have a hidden agenda. According to him, "the move
only increases the competition and will help the auction to
succeed."


BANCO ECONOMICO: Central Bank Preps `Plan B' In Case Of Failure
---------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Eduardo de Freitas, director of public finance at the
central bank, disclosed that the central bank has decided to
prepare a plan B if Copene's auction were to fail again,
according to a report in AFX Europe released Tuesday. The
alternative plan will see the central bank closing an out-of-
court sale of Economico, while transferring to the tribunals the
assets that it would have failed to sell, including Copene.
However, according to Freitas, before resorting to the said plan,
the central bank will first try to reach an agreement with the
two companies interested in bidding for Copene, Odebrecht and the
Ultra group.

Central bank's previous two attempts to sell off Copene failed
because the asking price was too high. An auction scheduled for
June 12 was postponed due to differences of opinion between the
Ultra group and Odebrecht.


BANCO ECONOMICO: Injunction Issued Based On Odebrecht's Rights
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Rio de Janeiro federal court has issued an injunction
recognizing that Grupo Odebrecht has preemption rights in the
auction of Copene, but it does not prevent the sale from
proceeding on Wednesday, AFX Europe reported Tuesday. The
injunction only obliges the other parties involved in the sale to
recognize Odebrecht's preemptive rights. According to the office
of the judge, the preemptive rights do not exclude any bidder
from the sale but only recognize the possibility of exercising or
not such rights.


EMBRATEL: Worldcom May Dump The Ailing Carrier
----------------------------------------------
The Brazilian phone Embratel faces an uncertain future as rumors
abound that Worldcom, its 19-percent controlling shareholder, may
be contemplating its sale, Valor Economico disclosed last
Thursday. Support for the idea was stimulated by Worldcom's
recent actions including an announcement early this month that it
is ceasing to include the financial figures for Embratel in its
own financial reports. Analysts see this as a precursor to
Embratel's sale.

However, the Brazilian phone company's management insisted that
the move was strictly a bookkeeping measure, given the
expectations of a loss by Embratel this year and the fall in the
share price of US telecommunication companies, including
WorldCom. There is speculation that Telecom Italia would be a
possible buyer of Embratel. The company decided not to compete
for cell phone licenses and is facing challenges from defaults of
its clients, currently at 8.7 percent of its net income, and a
drop in its data transmission division.


EMBRATEL: Reports 2Q01 Results; Blames Real For $15.7M Net Loss
---------------------------------------------------------------
Embratel Participacoes S.A. (Embratel Participacoes or the
"Company") (NYSE:EMT; BOVESPA: EBTP3, EBTP4), the Company that
holds 98.8 percent of Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes S.A.
("Embratel"), on Tuesday announced highlights of results for the
quarter ending June 30, 2001. (All financial figures are in Reais
and based on consolidated financial statements in "Legislacao
Societaria").

Embratel Participacoes' second quarter 2001 net revenues were
R$1.9 billion as a result of strong growth in voice revenues and
corporate data services. EBITDA reached R$402 million. The net
loss for the quarter was R$39 million arising primarily from the
continued devaluation of the Real. On a year-to-date basis, net
revenues and net loss were, respectively, R$3.7 billion and R$73
million.

Data and Internet Services

Second quarter data revenues rose 9 percent to R$435 million
compared to the same quarter of 2000. Lower data growth was
mainly the result of the non-renewal of short-term wholesale
leases to carriers. The devaluation of the Real, the slowdown of
the economy and additional price reductions also impacted growth.

Wholesale leases represented 7 percent of total data revenues in
the second quarter of 2001 compared to 15 percent in the same
prior year quarter. We expect revenues from current contracts to
decline throughout the year. The entrance of new
telecommunications players next year could compensate some of
these reductions.

Corporate data services revenue which includes corporate
networks, frame relay services and Internet grew 21 percent when
compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Core data
services such as frame relay continue to show revenue growth and
demand for data transmission by satellite remains strong.
Internet revenues, which currently represent 30 percent of data
revenues, grew more than 70 percent on an year-over-year basis.
Data revenue growth has been pressured by price competition on
broadband services to corporations in the busiest traffic routes
of the country.

On an accumulated basis, data revenues reached R$894 million
representing a 20 percent growth from R$748 million in the first
half of 2000. Data now represents 24 percent of our net revenues.

Due to the decline in wholesale revenues, pricing pressures and
the economic uncertainties associated with the energy crisis and
the currency devaluation on the Brazilian economy, we now expect
data growth to be within the 15-20 percent range.

Domestic Long Distance Voice Services

Domestic long distance revenues rose to R$1.1 billion in the
second quarter of 2001 compared to R$855 million in the second
quarter of 2000, representing a strong 32 percent growth year-
over-year. Growth in domestic long distance traffic, traffic mix,
the discontinuation of some promotions and new alternative
calling plans, which contributed to the increase in the average
revenue per minute, were responsible for the increase.

Year-to-date, domestic long distance revenues were R$2.2 billion,
corresponding to a 27 percent increase when compared to the first
half of 2000.

International Long Distance Voice Services

International long distance revenues were R$236 million, a 14
percent decrease compared to R$274 million in the second quarter
of 2000, primarily caused by lower outbound pricing in a more
competitive market. Compared to the first quarter of 2001,
revenues rose 7 percent as a result of the discontinuation of
promotional pricing in the first quarter. International long
distance revenues continue to be subject to price pressure and
competition from illegal services.

On an accumulated basis, international long distance revenues
were R$456 million compared to R$493 million in the first half of
2000.

EBITDA

EBITDA reached R$402 million compared to R$443 million in the
second quarter of 2000. EBITDA margin was 22 percent this quarter
compared to 28 percent in the second quarter of 2000. In 2001,
the Company absorbed the new regulatory taxes for
universalization of services (FUST and FUNTTEL - approximately
1.5 percent of revenues) which were responsible for the increase
in other cost of services and SG&A (excluding bad debt) to 22
percent of net revenues in the second quarter of 2001 from 21
percent in the equivalent quarter of the prior year. Cost control
efforts enabled the Company to absorb these new taxes without
raising these expenses in the same proportion. Provision for
doubtful accounts was R$160 million, representing 8.6 percent of
net revenues (or 6.3 percent of gross revenues).

Year-to-date EBITDA was R$824 million compared to R$875 million
in the same period a year ago. This decrease was mainly caused by
additional taxes and increases in provision for doubtful
accounts.

Net Income

The net loss for the second quarter of 2001 was R$39 million. The
loss was created by the effect of the devaluation of the Real
vis-a-vis the US dollar (6.6 percent in the quarter) on the
Company's foreign currency debt (see Financial Position below).

On an accumulated basis, the net loss reached R$73 million in the
first half of 2001 compared to a net income of R$273 million in
the first half of 2000.

Excluding the effect of the devaluation of the Real and the
foreign exchange losses (net of tax benefit), the net income for
the second quarter would have been R$28 million rather than a net
loss of R$ 39 million.

Financial Position

Embratel Participacoes ended the quarter with a cash position of
R$398 million. Total debt outstanding as of June 30, 2001 was
R$3.2 billion. R$1.3 billion corresponded to short term debt and
current portion of long term debt. At the end of the quarter
approximately R$1.2 billion (notional amount) was hedged to the
Real. These hedging transactions cover approximately 70 percent
of the debt maturing in one year. The Company's policy is to
hedge all new debt with maturity of less than three years. There
was no change in the currency profile of the Company's debt
during the quarter. The average interest on this debt is US
dollar plus 9.3 percent p.a.. On June 30, 2001, Embratel's
debt/equity ratio was 0.53.

Pre-tax negative foreign exchange variation on the Company's
foreign exchange exposure was R$160 million. This was offset by
R$58 million of gains from hedging transactions. Principal and
interest maturing in the quarter was of approximately R$201
million.

Since the beginning of 2001, of the total of R$287 million (net
of the hedge gains) of exchange variation losses arising from the
devaluation of the currency R$51 million was related to short-
term debt and current portions of long-term debt. The remaining
R$236 million is related to long-term debt. Principal and
interest paid in the past six months were R$320 million.

Accounts Receivables

The Company's net receivable position on June 30, 2001 was R$2.6
billion. Gross receivables were R$3.4 billion in the second
quarter of 2001 compared to R$3.2 billion in the first quarter of
2001. Accumulated provision for doubtful accounts was R$825
million at the end of the second quarter of 2001.

Several actions taken by the Company to curb customer delinquency
were delayed. Some, of the most effective measures, like sending
non-payer names to credit scoring agencies, had to be halted due
to unfavorable court decisions and reactions from, consumer
protection agencies and the regulator. As a result, the Company
does not expect to reduce the level of provisioning as fast as
planned. Provisions for doubtful accounts will continue to remain
at current levels for the remainder of the year. Embratel is
following consumer behavior closely in order to detect whether
current worsening of economic conditions may further impact
delinquency levels.

The Company continues to pursue initiatives to improve the
collections process.

Capital Expenditures

During the second quarter, capital expenditures were R$340
million. The breakout of this expenditure is the following: local
infrastructure and access - 40 percent; data and Internet
services - 19 percent; network infrastructure - 13 percent and
others - 29 percent. The Company is monitoring capital
expenditures closely to maintain capital expenditures within the
planned amount of R$ 1.5 billion despite the devaluation of the
currency.

Prices

On June 25, 2001, tariff readjustments were authorized by Anatel.
Domestic long distance tariffs rose 7 percent on average.


UNIMED SP: Doctors Approve Recovery Plan
----------------------------------------
In a bid to see an improvement in Unimed SP's financial
situation, an assembly of doctors affiliated with the Brazilian
company approved a plan to renegotiate debt with creditors and
possibly to sell some assets, South American Business Information
reported Tuesday. In addition to their agreement, the 2,200
doctors also decided to donate R$300 each month to aid the
organization. Unimed, which currently owes creditors some R$67
million, has 160,000 subscribers. The organization is currently
under the investigation of the Agencia Nacional de Saude
Suplementar, which could approve the plan or order the company's
closure.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

SKYTEL: Quits DR Operations
---------------------------
Skytel, which began operations in the Dominican Republic five
years ago, is closing its doors in the country on the 31st of
this month, DR1 Daily News reported Tuesday. The company was
forced to take the move after failing to compete with the
widespread mobile phone technologies. Skytel was reportedly
unable to match rates of competing companies. The entrance of
Orange and Centennial into the market affected the company
forcing the decision to cut growing losses by pulling out
entirely.



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E C U A D O R
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FILANBANCO: 13-15 Banks Expected To Join Management Trust
---------------------------------------------------------
Between 13 to 15 Ecuadorian banks are expected to join a
government-sponsored trust that will manage the assets of defunct
bank Filanbanco, according to Miguel Davila, Ecuador's banking
regulator, in a Business News Americas report published Tuesday.
Local banks such as Pichincha, Produbanco, Bolivariano and
Guayaquil reached an agreement with the government to set up a
trust containing Filanbanco's best loans (valued at US$216
million), current and savings accounts, and all fixed-term
deposits up to US$10,000.

The account holders of the defunct bank will be informed about
their new account managers once the government knows how many
banks will participate in the trust, Davila said. Members of
Ecuador's Association of Private Banks (ABPE) are scheduled to
study the government initiative today.

A group of consulting firms led by PricewaterhouseCoopers began
Monday an appraisal of Filanbanco's loan portfolio. Results will
be ready by August 13.



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M E X I C O
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AHMSA: Postpones Board Meeting As Autrey Dodges Arrest Warrant
--------------------------------------------------------------
The board meeting of steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico SA (Ahmsa)
scheduled for July 25 has been postponed until Aug. 22 and the
company won't be able to report second-quarter earnings until the
board meets next to approve them, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
According to Ahmsa spokesman Francisco Orduna, the board can't
meet to review second-quarter results because Xavier Autrey,
chairman of the board, is trying to avoid an arrest warrant.

Last week, a federal judge issued an arrest order for Autrey,
also chairman of GAN, and Jorge Ancira, also a member of the
steelmaker's board, on charges they used false information to
obtain an $11-million loan from the Mexican bank Banco del Bajio
in 1998. The two executives are accused of listing Grupo Acerero
del Norte SA's (GAN) assets that no longer belonged to the
company on a credit application. GAN is the holding company that
controls Ahmsa.

The Ahmsa board meeting "was suspended because they represent
more than 50 percent of the shares," the spokesman said. Autrey
controls 50 percent of Ahmsa's shares, while Ancira, who is a
brother of Ahmsa Chief Executive Alonso Ancira, owns about 7
percent, Orduna disclosed.

Ahmsa and GAN sought court protection from creditors in May 1999
after slumping steel profits forced the companies to default on
debt. Ahmsa recently signed an agreement with bankers to
restructure its $1.85 billion in bank debt and bonds and has said
it expects to lift the suspension of payments by the end of this
year. GAN's negotiation with creditors continue.


CINTRA: Transport Minister Presents Air Transport Policy Draft
--------------------------------------------------------------
Transport Minister Pedro Cerisola late last week, presented a
draft blueprint for national long-term air transport policy, a
step toward auctioning off Mexicana and Aeromexico, which are
controlled by government-owned Cintra, Reuters said in a report.
The draft aviation policy contemplates regulations to avoid price
wars, which could make the Mexican airlines less competitive
globally, while also protecting against monopolistic practices,
Cerisola said. The objective is to boost competition and quality,
keep the companies financially healthy and give more Mexicans
access to airline travel, he added.

Meanwhile, the Mexican airline pilots union ASPA plans to request
that the administration of President Vicente Fox state clearly
whether it intends for effective control of the country's
airlines to remain in Mexican hands or whether it also will
require that airline companies remain majority-owned by Mexicans.

ASPA representative Gilberto Lopez Meyer said the document
released by the Communications and Transport ministry was unclear
with respect to the distinction. As it has been outlined, it's
not possible to determine the objective: whether they're going to
leave in place the current scheme or whether they plan to
increase the percentage-stake foreign companies may own (in
Mexican airlines), independently of whether effective control of
the airline companies remains in Mexican hands, Lopez said.


CORPORACION GEO: S&P Assigns BB Rating; Outlook Stable
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's on July 18 assigned its double-'B' local and
foreign currency corporate credit ratings to Corporacion Geo S.A.
de C.V. (Geo).

The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The rating reflects Geo's position as the largest low-income
homebuilder in Mexico, with a competitive cost profile derived
from its vertical integration and its participation in a growing
industry. Geo's position is supported mainly by the housing
deficit of nearly 7 million homes prevailing in Mexico, along
with the company's more prudent use of commercial paper and
short-term liabilities, which reduces its risk profile.

Nevertheless, the company is subject to the mortgage granting by
Infonavit and Fovi (the main government housing organizations),
exposing the company to the cyclicality that is inherent to this
industry, although these organizations have increased its
mortgage auctions in the past five years and this trend is
expected to continue, supported by the recent initiatives from
the Mexican government.

Moreover, the rating considers the emergence of new small and
medium competitors in the industry that generally lack the
required financial resources and the economies of scale of the
larger players, along with the high reliance of the sector in
short-term external financing to cover its working capital needs
and investments in land for future developments.

With more than 25 years of experience, Geo has built about
140,000 houses. Currently, the company operates in 19 Mexican
states, which represent 70% of the country's population, and in
Chile. In Mexico, it is expected that the Fovi and Infonavit
initiatives, in particular the "Compromiso por la Vivienda" (a
signed agreement between the most important national home
builders and the government, toward decreasing the current
housing deficit in the country), will continue benefiting Geo.
Outside of Mexico, the company has benefited from the "Programa
Extraodinario de Vivienda" (Housing Extraordinary Program) in
Chile; nevertheless, the contribution of this operation will
remain marginal.

As of the first quarter of 2001, the company had a territorial
reserve equivalent to 91,500 units (of which 39,000 are in owned
reserves, 32,000 under the outsourcing scheme, and 20,500 under
agreements with the option to buy the land), a reserve of 29,515
mortgage commitments with the main government housing organisms,
and 24,000 commitments through the saving program GEOFACIL.

Despite the growth opportunities in the industry, the timely
collection and the effective management of the working capital
are fundamental factors in the feasibility of Geo and the rest of
the players in this industry. Geo does not provide mortgages to
its clients and it does not start any project without having both
the correspondent mortgages, and the required financial funding
for the construction, which reduces significantly its business
risk.

Geo's profitability has decreased in terms of its operative
margin; however, the company's consolidation strategy
(particularly the emphasis in the decrease of accounts receivable
as a percentage of sales and the land outsourcing), allowed the
company to report positive free cash flow for the first time in
five years.

Nevertheless, EBITDA interest coverage (considering capitalized
interests in the cost of sales as interest expense) and total
debt to EBITDA have been stable and not shown an improvement
during the last three years, a fact that debilitates the
company's financial risk profile.

OUTLOOK: STABLE

Standard & Poor's expects that Geo's consolidation strategy
should result in adequate cash generation to internally finance a
greater percentage of its working capital requirements, and reach
financial ratios more in line with its current rating category
and its strong business profile.

Moreover, the outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that
the company will be successful in refinancing its $50 million
eurobond due in May 2002.


GRUPO TMM: Posts 55% Decline In 1H01 Net Profit
-----------------------------------------------
Mexican transport conglomerate Transportacion Maritima Mexicana
reported a 54.5-percent decline in its first-half net profit, to
63.8 million pesos, compared to the same period last year, Mexico
City daily Reforma affirmed Tuesday in a report. First-half sales
were up 188.7 percent, to 4.5 billion pesos. First-half operating
profit was up 432.3 percent, to 832.5 million pesos. Integrated
financial costs for the first six months of the year were up
124.2 percent, to 569.4 million pesos.


PROTEL: Successfully Concludes US$85M Debt-Refinancing
------------------------------------------------------
Protel, the No. 4 long-distance telephone carrier in Mexico, has
successfully refinanced approximately US$85 million dollars in
debt, Mexico City daily Reforma reported Tuesday. Vartec, the
company's U.S-based partner, reportedly assumed its liabilities
of US$65 million in return for a boost in its stake in Protel
from 35 percent to 47 percent.

Protel has seen its sales revenue increased steadily over the
past several years, from around US$10 million in 1997 to US$116
million last year. This year, the company is projecting sales of
around $200 million. After four years in operation, Protel
operates a 2,000-kilometer fiber optic network and has 75,000
long-distance clients. However, long-distance sales reportedly
account for just 10 percent of total sales. Public telephone,
rural services and prepaid telephone card sales account for the
remainder of the company's total sales.


VITRO: Libbey's Looming Acquisition Threatens Existing Alliance
---------------------------------------------------------------
The future of an existing strategic alliance between U.S. glass
maker Libbey Inc. and Mexico's largest glass maker Grupo Vitro
may be put in question due to the Libbey's forthcoming
acquisition of Anchor Hocking, a unit of Newell Rubbermaid,
COMTEX revealed Tuesday. On June 18, 2001, Libbey announced a
definitive agreement to acquire the Anchor Hocking glassware
operations of Newell Rubbermaid. The transaction valued at $332
million is to be paid in cash.

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission has requested additional
information regarding Libbey's proposed acquisition of Newell's
Anchor Hocking glassware operations. This request will extend the
waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement
Act. Libbey reportedly intends to respond to the request as
quickly as practicable, and anticipates closing the transaction
in the fourth quarter of this year.




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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