TCRLA_Public/011207.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, December 7, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 239



EMBRATEL: Bad Debt Provision Announcement Drops Stock Price
ENRON CORPORATION: Petrobras Wants More Time To Study Buy Terms
ENRON CORPORATION: Brazil Won't Interfere In Affiliates' Woes
ENRON CORPORATION: Shareholders, Employees Plan Class Action
TRANSBRASIL: Passengers Behind Order Freezing Money For Fuel


ENERSIS SA: Huge Debt Casts Doubt On Ability To Spend More
LAN CHILE: Looking To Invest In Cargo Concessionaires In Uruguay


GRUPO SIDEK: To Proceed  With Second Auction On January 22
MEXICO: Agency Records Sharp Increase In Bankruptcy Filing


SIDERPERU: Recovery Plan Calls for US$100M Financing For 7 Years

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EMBRATEL: Bad Debt Provision Announcement Drops Stock Price
Shares of struggling Brazilian telephone operator Embratel slid
by 15 percent in Wednesday's trading, ending a short-lived 11
percent rally over the last three days, reports Bloomberg.

According to analysts, the recent dive was expected after the
company announced it will set aside US$252 million in fourth
quarter provisions to cover unpaid bills and write-offs.

"The news was very negative, not only for the amount of this
extraordinary provision but mainly because the company said it
will not reduce the bad debt provisions in the first half 2002,"
said Carolina Gava, analyst at BES Securities.

"We were expecting some reduction in this number in the first
half 2002," Ms. Gava said.

Compared to other industry cohorts, Embratel's provision is
considerably high, said Ms. Gava.  This, plus the fact that it
will maintain the provisions until the first half next year, was
the reason for the reaction in the stock price.

Embratel has already lost 67 percent of share value this year,
making it the worst performing stock on the Bovespa index in

Of the total provision, US$216 million will be used to cover
doubtful accounts, while the US$35 million will represent the
write off for obsolete equipment.

ENRON CORPORATION: Petrobras Wants More Time To Study Buy Terms
Apprehensions that Enron Corporation's stakes in two Brazilian
power companies are currently used as collateral for its bonds
have prompted Petrobras to postpone its planned acquisition of
said stakes.

According to the state-controlled oil company, it is proceeding
with caution in this deal, as it might not be able to take over
the assets immediately.

The transaction, which was agreed in April and has already gained
approval from Brazil's electricity regulator Aneel, is worth
about US$240 million, Valor Economico said.

The purchase would involve Enron's 25.4 percent and 33.8 percent
stakes in Cia. Distribuidora de Gas do Rio de Janeiro and its
sister company CEG-Rio, respectively.

Valor Economico says Petrobras is carefully examining the terms
of the purchase to ensure said assets are free from any

ENRON CORPORATION: Brazil Won't Interfere In Affiliates' Woes
The Brazilian government is adopting a hands-off policy in regard
to Enron Corporation's woes, leaving the local market to decide
its fate, says Reuters.

Mining and Energy Minister Jose Jorge de Vasconcellos said the
government is not inclined to intervene, despite the fact that
Enron's investment in Brazil represents a huge portion of its
assets in Latin America.

Enron's subsidiary, Elektro, is one of Brazil's biggest power
generating companies.  Conventional wisdom assumes it will be
liquidated or sold to raise cash for the parent company.

"The greater possibility is that a market solution would be found
(for Enron's Brazilian assets)," says Mr. Vasconcellos.

The lion's share of Enron's Latin American assets are in Brazil,
but it also has varied gas and other utility holdings in
Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

ENRON CORPORATION: Shareholders, Employees Plan Class Action
Executives presiding over the fall of Enron Corporation will have
to fend off a torrent of plaintiffs as well as creditors,
according to Class Action Law Monitor.

Enron employees filed class actions on charges that Enron
executives, who should have known of Enron's financial frailties,
encouraged them to invest retirement savings in Enron stock.

To make matters worse, Enron allegedly "froze" out employees from
changing their retirement plan investments from Oct. 17 to Nov.
19, during which time Enron shares continued spiral downward.

Shareholders had already lined up to sue Enron over tumbling
share prices on the heels of Enron's nearly $600 million downward
restatement of 1997 through 2000 earnings.

"Enron will spend a lot of time in court with shareholder and
employee class actions and suits over the Dynegy debacle, all
piling on with their bankruptcy proceedings," said Jennifer
Vaughan, Esq., Executive Editor of Class Action Law Monitor.

TRANSBRASIL: Passengers Behind Order Freezing Money For Fuel
A group of passengers from Recife, Pernambuco caused Transbrasil
SA Linhas Aereas to default on its payment to Royal Dutch/Shell,
causing it halt operations temporarily this week.

According to financial daily Valor Economico, citing an unnamed
fuel supplier, the group obtained the court order that froze the
carrier's account at Banco Itau.  The frozen account is the one
in which the carrier holds funds to pay its fuel suppliers.

The report did not indicate the group's reason for freezing the
account.  The carrier claims the disruption is only temporary,
claiming that flights will resume soon.


ENERSIS SA: Huge Debt Casts Doubt On Ability To Spend More
Analysts doubt that energy holding company Enersis SA still has
the money to go on a spending spree next year as it had earlier
announced, reports El Diario and Estrategia.

They say the company's US$9.6 billion debt incurred when it
embarked on a similar spending binge in the 1990s makes this
proposition highly unlikely.

Deputy CEO Juan Ignacio Dominguez earlier disclosed that Enersis,
a division of Spanish firm Endesa SA, plans to invest a total of
US$700 million next year across Latin America.  

According to Mr. Dominguez, at least US$450 million will be
invested in energy distribution infrastructure next year, which
will include the completion of a hydroelectric plant in southern
Chile and a transmission line to carry power between Brazil and

Mr. Dominguez said the company is also prepared to borrow US$500
million to US$1 billion in the next 12 to 18 months to finance
its plan to buy companies in the region.

LAN CHILE: Looking To Invest In Cargo Concessionaires In Uruguay
After recently inking a new deal with its pilot union, Chilean
carrier Lan Chile is now focusing on its business with renewed

According to Info Latina, the carrier is considering acquiring
stakes in cargo company Aerolineas Brasileiras and Vimalcor S.A,
both concessionaires of the cargo terminal in Montevideo City,

Lan Chile plans to acquire 73.3% of the shares of ABSA and 50% of
Vimalcor. At the moment, 50% of the shares of Vimalcor is already
owned by Chilean investors and the other 50% by Uruguayan


GRUPO SIDEK: To Proceed  With Second Auction On January 22
The auction of Grupo Sidek's other assets originally set for
yesterday has been moved to January 22 to afford buyers more time
to obtain approval from Mexico's Federal Competition Commission.

The auction will involve the remainder of the company's 29
properties, which was not included in the last auction.  A total
of 18 tourism assets changed hands in the latest transaction that
grossed US$183.5 million.

Whether the eight hotel assets of Grupo Sidek will be included in
the next auction remains unclear at this point.  AMX Resort
currently has a pending objection filed in a U.S. court, which is
expected to rule this week.

The company's assets include golf courses, marinas, condominiums
and land, among others.

For more information, contact Arturo Perez Courtade, Legal
Director, or Alejandro Giordano Trejo, Deputy Director, both of
Grupo Sidek, S.A. de C.V. by Phone: 011-523-678-5911

MEXICO: Agency Records Sharp Increase In Bankruptcy Filing
The number of Mexican companies filing for bankruptcy has
increased significantly over the past six months, jumping from 12
to 42, reports Mexico City daily Reforma.

A total of 1,360 creditors are said to be involved in these
bankruptcy proceedings and are owed roughly US$1.5 billion.

According to Bankruptcy agency Ifecon President Luis Manuel
Mejan, these proceedings could use up a full year before any
company is declared bankrupt.  

Under the new Mexican bankruptcy law, creditors and companies are
given a year to reach an agreement on the company's debts. Only
when an agreement is not reached that the company is declared

Ifecon provides specialists to arbitrate between companies and
creditors in the process.


SIDERPERU: Recovery Plan Calls for US$100M Financing For 7 Years
The debt-refinancing program for insolvent Peruvian integrated
steel maker Siderperu is reportedly going to cost US$100 million
over seven years, reports Lima business daily Gestion.

The proposal, which will be presented to shareholders on Monday,
would be a mix of fixed and variable payments and largely
dependent on the country's performance, according to company

These variable payments would be mainly to financial
institutions, the report said.

The officials also disclosed that taking in a strategic partner
is not currently contemplated, although it is not being ruled

Shareholders on Monday will also need to decide whether or not to
maintain its revolving credit facilities of up to US$10 million
to sustain the company's ongoing development.

Since August, the company has been under a form of bankruptcy
protection to completely refinance itself.  SidePeru is blaming
the global steel crisis and market "confusion" for the company's

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 and Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche, 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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or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 301/951-6400.

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