TCRLA_Public/011219.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

            Wednesday, December 19, 2001, Vol. 2, Issue 247

                           Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

ACINDAR: Spilling Red Ink for Last Three Years
THE ARGENTINA FUND: Successfully Reorganizes With Scudder Int'l.


B O L I V I A

COTEL: Must Increase Efforts To Outdo Entel


B R A Z I L

EMBRAER: Resale Shelf Registration Statement Now Effective
EMBRAER: Brazil's Airforce Extends Deadline For New Jets
EMBRATEL: Shares Fall On High Interest Rate Concerns
FURNAS: Eletrobras To Grant Loan To Aid In Investment Program
GLOBO CABO: JPMorgan Announces ADR Program
TRANSBRASIL: To Face 16 `Extrajudicial Enforcement' Lawsuits
VARIG: Shares Down By 66.67% This Year Reflecting Industry Woes


C H I L E

BANCO DEL ESTADO: Moody's Ups BFSR To Positive from Stable
EDELNOR: Manages to Make US$4.7M Debt Payment
EDELNOR: Titanium Nearly Doubles Takeover Offer


C O L O M B I A

CHIVOR: US$203M Bond Sale Scratched; Failed to Reach Minimum Bid
SEVEN SEAS: Closes Rights Offering
TABLEMAC: Gets Nod From Creditors On Debt-restructuring Program


M E X I C O

AEROMEXICO: Local Carriers To Seek Damages from U.S. Gov't
AVSC: Mexican Operations To Continue Despite Bankruptcy Filing
GRUPO MEXICO: SPCC To Issue $100M Bonds To Help Roll Over Debt
GRUPO MEXICO: Investor Reaction Mixed On SPCC's Bond Issue
GRUPO MEXICO: To Cancel $400M Credit Line


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

ACINDAR: Spilling Red Ink for Last Three Years
----------------------------------------------
Argentine steel company Acindar Industria Argentina de Aceros SA
has been in the red since the beginning of the country's
recession in 1998, according to an El Cronista report.

Its latest balance published in June showed a loss of US$115
million, equivalent to 23.9 percent of its annual turnover.

The Company's debt currently stands at US$357 million -- US$100
million in the short term, owed mainly to local banks; US$48
million to the suppliers; US$107 million in the long term, owed
to corporations like IFC (International Finance Corporation); and
US$100 million committed to a bond which expires in 2004.

Acindar pays abound US$65 million annually servicing debt.
Just recently, the company revealed it is using 100 percent of
its money to pay debts, and that if the economy does not improve
it will survive only another year and a half.


THE ARGENTINA FUND: Successfully Reorganizes With Scudder Int'l.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentina Fund, Inc. (NYSE: AF) and Scudder International
Fund, Inc. announced Monday the successful reorganization of The
Argentina Fund, Inc. and Scudder Latin America Fund, a series of
Scudder International Fund, Inc., which was recently approved by
stockholders of The Argentina Fund, Inc.

In the reorganization, Scudder Latin America Fund acquired all of
the assets and liabilities of The Argentina Fund, Inc. in
exchange for newly issued Class M shares of Scudder Latin America
Fund common stock. Scudder International Fund, Inc., an open-end
mutual fund company, is not listed on the New York Stock
Exchange, and The Argentina Fund, Inc. has ceased to trade on the
New York Stock Exchange following the reorganization.

The ratio of shares of The Argentina Fund, Inc. given for shares
of Scudder Latin America Fund is 1: 0.43092348285.

The Argentina Fund, Inc. also announced that the amount of the
dividend to be paid in connection with the reorganization will be
$0.27 per share from net investment income payable on December
20, 2001 to stockholders of record on December 14, 2001. The
dividend will be paid solely in cash, even to participants in the
Fund's Dividend Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan.

The Investment Manager, Zurich Scudder Investments, thanks all
investors for their patience during the transaction. We look
forward to serving you in the future in the Scudder Latin America
Fund. For information on the new class M shares, please call toll
free 1-800-621-1048.

About Zurich Scudder Investments

Zurich Scudder Investments, Inc., a leading global investment
management firm, is a member of the Zurich Financial Services
Group. Zurich Scudder Investments is one of the largest and most
experienced investment management organizations in the world,
managing more than USD 345 billion in assets for corporate
clients, retirement and pension plans, insurance companies,
mutual fund investors, and individuals worldwide. Headquartered
in New York, Zurich Scudder Investments offers a full range of
investment counsel and asset management capabilities, based on a
combination of proprietary research and disciplined, long-term
investment strategies.

CONTACT:  Zurich Scudder Investments
          Media Inquiries
          Wendy Shapiro, 212/326-6638
          or
          Investor Inquiries
          James M. Beale, 800/349-4281



=============
B O L I V I A
=============

COTEL: Must Increase Efforts To Outdo Entel
-------------------------------------------
Bolivian telephone operator Cotel, which was intervened by the
country's telecoms regulator Sittel last year in August after
service was jeopardized by a nine-day strike by employees
protesting corruption and staff cuts, has 160,000 clients in La
Paz at present, reveals a report by La Razon.

However, Cotel still needs to increase its competitiveness in
order to battle market rival Entel, which provides telephone
services in La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Tarija, Potosi
and Oruro.

Cotel recently finished the first phase of its telephone
expansion plan that started last May, consisting of monthly
payment for its telephone lines.

During the first phase, Cotel installed 2,500 lines in La Paz, El
Alto and Viacha.

Cotel has also started a new campaign to attract new clients.



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

EMBRAER: Resale Shelf Registration Statement Now Effective
----------------------------------------------------------
In connection with the issuance of BNDES's 6-1/2% Exchangeable
Notes due 2006, Embraer's registration statement on Form F-3,
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 17,
2001, was declared effective at 4:00 p.m. EST on December 14,
2001. The registration statement relates to the offering and sale
by certain selling shareholders from time to time of ADSs, each
ADS representing four Embraer preferred shares, which are
deliverable by BNDES upon exchange of its notes.

To see company's latest financial statements:
http://www.bankrupt.com/misc/Embraer.pdf

CONTACT:  Investor Relations Department
          Phone: 55-12-3945-1216
          e-mail: mercapit@embraer.com.br
          or
    Milene Petrelluzzi of Embraer
    +55-12-3945-3054


EMBRAER: Brazil's Airforce Extends Deadline For New Jets
--------------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian air force decided to extend the mid-December
deadline to April 2002 the tenders for the supply of between 12
and 24 fighter jets due to the slow progress of the bureaucratic
process, informs Jornal de Commercio.

Embraer/Dassaul is one of the five companies struggling for the
contract valued at $700 million. Other companies vying for the
contract include Lockheed-Martin, RAC MIG, Rosoboronexport and
Gripen International.

The intention of the government is to close the process of
selection by June 2002, with the planes beginning to arrive
within 2 to 4 years.

Selection will be based on technical, logistical and commercial
criteria.


EMBRATEL: Shares Fall On High Interest Rate Concerns
----------------------------------------------------
Embratel Participacoes SA, the biggest long-distance phone
service provider in the country, lost 2.2 percent to 9.29 reais
on concern high interest rates will stifle growth, says
Bloomberg.

Economists are predicting that Brazil's central bank is likely to
hold interest rates at their current 20-month high as
accelerating inflation keeps it from taking advantage of a
stronger currency to lower borrowing costs.

Inflation in the first 11 months of the year was 6.98 percent,
higher than the government's goal of 6 percent or under. The
Brazilian real rose for the first time in three days, gaining 0.9
percent to 2.3550 per U.S. dollar.

Embratel, which is controlled by WorldCom Inc., has a net debt of
$1.2 billion.

According to previous reports, the Company's shares are likely to
be among the poorest performers on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange's
benchmark Bovespa for the second year running. Embratel is set to
repeat last year's weak performance due to factors such as
increased debt costs and a weak economy.

According to Ricardo Ventrilho, an analyst at Itau brokerage,
Embratel has had to face a tough macroeconomic scenario this year
given the sharp depreciation of the Brazilian real, and an
increase in nonpaying accounts only made worse by problems with
the Company's debt collection system.

Embratel recently said it would take a 605 million reais charge
(US$256 million) attributed to equity revaluation and provisions
for bad debts.

To see company's financial statements:
http://www.bankrupt.com/misc/Embratel.pdf

CONTACT:  Embratel Participacoes S.A.
          Investor Relations
          Silvia M.R. Pereira, (55 21) 2519-9662
          fax: (55 21) 2519-6388
          invest@embratel.com.br
          or
          Press Relations
          Wallace Borges Grecco, (55 21) 2519-7282
          fax: (55 21) 2519-8010
          cmsocial@embratel.net.br


FURNAS: Eletrobras To Grant Loan To Aid In Investment Program
-------------------------------------------------------------
Furnas Centrais Eletricas will have to borrow some $600 million
despite having recorded a R$520-million net profit between
January and September this year, reports Gazeta Mercantil.

The money is needed in order to compensate for the difficulties
it has encountered in the operations at MAE (Mercado Atacadista
de Energia)

Eletrobras, which has the authority to issue debentures in the
international money market, will extend a loan next year. The
funds will be destinated mainly to help Furnas meet its
investment program estimated at R$1.6 billion.

The program calls for the modernization of three thermal electric
power plants based at Rio de Janeiro. It also includes three 800
km power transmission lines and two substations.


GLOBO CABO: JPMorgan Announces ADR Program
------------------------------------------
JPMorgan announced Monday its appointment as successor depositary
bank for Globo Cabo S.A. (GLCBY), Brazil's largest cable
television operator. Globo Cabo's American Depositary Receipts
(ADRs) trade on Nasdaq.

Globo Cabo operates under the brand name NET in Brazil's major
metropolitan areas, including operations in Brazil's three
largest cities, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
Globo Cabo also offers broadband internet access services under
the brand name Virtua and data communication and multimedia
services for corporate networks through VICOM. With more than 1.4
million connected subscribers, Globo Cabo's NET cable network
extends over 35,000 kilometers and passes through approximately
6.5 million homes.

For the fiscal year ended December 2000, revenues totaled $579
million. The company's market capitalization is approximately
$922 million.

Each Globo Cabo ADR (CUSIP 37957X102) represents 10 preferred
shares traded on BOVESPA.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services
firm with assets of $799 billion and operations in more than 50
countries. With relationships with over 99% of the Fortune 1000
companies, the firm is a leader in investment banking, asset
management, private banking, private equity, custody and
transaction services, retail and middle market financial
services, and e-finance. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial
Average, JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York and serves
more than 30 million consumer customers and the world's most
prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. For
more information, visit jpmorganchase.com and JPMorgan's adr.com,
the central source for information on ADRs and international
equities.

To see company's financial statement: http://media.corporate-
ir.net/media_files/nsd/glcby/reports/3Q01_financials_Eng.pdf

CONTACT:  investors, Luis Henrique Martinez, 5511-5186-2684,
          or lmartinez@globocabo.com.br,
          or Marcio Minoru, 5511-5186-2811, or
          minoru@globocabo.com.br,
          both of Globo Cabo S.A.
          or
          Augusto Rocha, 5511-5186-2681
          or
          JPMorgan Service Center (shareholders), 781-575-4328
          or
          ADR Operations (brokers), 302-552-0230
          or
          Julio Lugo (sales/trading), 212-648-7484
          or
          Seth Petok (media), 212-648-3142


TRANSBRASIL: To Face 16 `Extrajudicial Enforcement' Lawsuits
------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian airline Transbrasil is being bombarded with legal
actions by its creditors again.

According to an O Globo report, 16 actions of an "extrajudicial
enforcement' type are underway. These actions move through the
legal system more quickly to seek compensation for debts.

The actions by members of the GE group stand out amongst the
group of filings.

The Aerfi Leasing USA II Inc. company is seeking repayment of
US$5.3 million related to the leasing of aircraft. Furthermore,
two GE companies, Aviation Financial Services and Alcyone FSC
Corporation, are seeking repayment of US$1.22 million and US$2.53
million, respectively.

Transbrasil is disputing the values in these cases. GE lost
several legal actions against Transbrasil earlier this year.


VARIG: Shares Down By 66.67% This Year Reflecting Industry Woes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred shares in Varig have lost 66.67 percent of their value
this year reflecting the difficulties currently being experienced
by the airline sector, reveals Estado de Sao Paulo in a report.

Accordingly, the Company has been suffering operational losses,
and analysts expect it to reduce the number of employees in order
to overcome losses, which amounted to R$608.3 million during the
January-September period.

A small improvement in the sector is predicted due to the drop in
the value of the dollar, but for next year, much depends on the
performance of the US economy.

CONTACT:  VARIG Brazilian Airlines, Miami
          Jeff Kriendler, 305/866-2115
          email: jkriendler@aol.com



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

BANCO DEL ESTADO: Moody's Ups BFSR To Positive from Stable
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook for Banco del
Estado de Chile's C bank financial strength rating (BFSR) to
positive from stable.

According to the ratings agency, the change in the outlook was
based on the bank's improving performance and competitive
position, as well as the revenue enhancements and cost savings
expected from the reengineering and repositioning of its
operations.

Moody's cited the bank's evolving brand image from that of a
state bank to that of a more market-oriented institution,
particularly given the bank's increasing emphasis on new products
and alternative distribution channels, as well as client
relationship building. This change in strategy and business
philosophy should allow Banco del Estado to become a more nimble
competitor to the private sector and benefit more significantly
from the divestitures and customer movements expected to result
from large bank mergers.

Among the challenges facing Banco del Estado, are the maintenance
of asset quality improvements in a still weak economic
environment, as well as the bank's lower margins and efficiency
levels relative to its private sector peers, which could restrict
its pricing power in the context of increasing competition,
suggested Moody's.

New York
Gregory W. Bauer
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service

New York
Jeanne Del Casino
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service


EDELNOR: Manages to Make US$4.7M Debt Payment
---------------------------------------------
Cash-strapped energy generator Chile's Empresa Electrica del
Norte Grande SA (Edelnor) said it made a debt payment of $4.7
million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Edelnor made the interest payment Friday on a 10 1/2 percent loan
participation certificate maturing in 2005, said Edelnor Chief
Financial Officer Charles Rawlins.

Edelnor sold $90 million of the debt in 1998.

In August, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Edelnor's debt on
concern that the Company will probably fail to meet its debt
payments by end March.

The ratings agency reduced its rating in August on $340 million
of debt to "Ca" from "Caa1," one-notch above its lowest non-
investment grade rating or junk.


EDELNOR: Titanium Nearly Doubles Takeover Offer
-----------------------------------------------
Chilean investment firm Inversiones y Asesorias Titanium Limitada
raised its offer to take over Edelnor, the loss-making Chilean
unit of U.S. power firm Mirant Corp., reports Reuters.

Titanium, a Chilean investment company controlled by Rodrigo
Danus, informed Chile's securities regulator that it offered
US$4.5 million to acquire Mirant's 82.3 percent share in Edelnor,
up from a previous offer of US$2.5 million.

Titanium's offer would beat a US$4.5 million offer by Chilean
investment company Choros Power & Gas SA on Dec. 11.

In October, Mirant announced it was seeking buyers of its Chilean
business after U.S. power giant AES Corp. and Chile's
Electroandina withdrew competing tender offers for the Company.

Mirant has written off its investment in Edelnor and said earlier
this year that it does not plan to sink any more money into the
debt-strapped firm.

Titanium's offer is valid for 13 working days as of Friday.

As part of the offer, Mirant would have the option to sell 1
percent of its unit, Energia del Pacifico, for US$500,000.

If the offer is successful, Titanium said it would retain at
least a 66 percent stake in Edelnor and implement a 12-month
business plan aimed at restoring the firm's financial health.



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

CHIVOR: US$203M Bond Sale Scratched; Failed to Reach Minimum Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Colombia's hydroelectric plant Chivor, which is owned by power
plant operator AES Corp., ditched a plan to sell seven-year bonds
worth 470 billion pesos (US$203 million) in the local market
because the issue failed to gather enough bids to go through with
the sale, reports Bloomberg.

Sandra Reyes, a bond manager at Corporacion Financiera del Valle
SA, which was handling the sale, revealed that pension funds and
other institutional investors placed less than the minimum bid of
$150 million for the bond.

"They have a load of dollar debt to be repaid in the short-term
and it put us on hold," said Jaime Erazo, vice president of
investments at Colfondos SA, the country's second-largest pension
fund. "We didn't want to risk too much."

The company has $326 million in debt due in the next six months,
analysts estimate.

Chivor was one of several Colombian companies trying to sell
peso-denominated debt this year to take advantage of central bank
measures that have lowered borrowing costs and strengthened the
peso currency.

The company wanted to raise money to swap short-term dollar-
denominated debt for local currency debt.

The Andean Development Corp., a regional lender, guaranteed $50
million of the bond, which obtained a ``AAA'' rating from Duff &
Phelps, the highest investment grade, said CAF, as the lender is
known for its Spanish Acronym.

Chivor General Manager Eduardo Damian recently said that
replacing part of dollar-debt with peso-debt would help the
company lower debt-servicing costs while improving its cash
position.


SEVEN SEAS: Closes Rights Offering
----------------------------------
Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. (Amex: SEV) announced that the rights
offering to shareholders closed on Friday, December 14, 2001.
Shareholders purchased approximately $2 million of Series A
senior secured notes with warrants to purchase approximately 1.1
million shares at an exercise price of $1.78. The Company used
the rights offering proceeds to redeem approximately $2 million
of the Series B senior secured notes that it issued in July 2001.
The remaining $20.5 million of Series B notes were exchanged for
a like amount of Series A notes with warrants to purchase
approximately 11.5 million shares of the Company's common stock
at an exercise price of $1.78. The rights offering was the final
step of a three- part financing in which the Company raised $45
million to fund its 2001 - 2002 development and exploration plan.

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.

CONTACT:  Bryan Sanchez
          Investor Relations
          Seven Seas Petroleum Inc.
          +1-713-622-8218


TABLEMAC: Gets Nod From Creditors On Debt-restructuring Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Colombian wood products manufacturer Tablemac and its creditors
have reached an agreement under the umbrella of Law 550,
breathing new life and liquidity into the troubled enterprise.

According to Portafolio, the agreement was finalized following a
creditors meeting on December 7.

Law 550, which was passed in 1999, is currently the governing
statute relative to debt-restructuring programs in Colombia.  It
provides a "quick-fix" process for profitable enterprises.

The law also provides the possibility of capitalizing company
debts and governmental aid through Instituto de Fomento
Industrial and Fondo Nacional de GarantĦas, among others.

Tablemac recorded a US$32.9 million debt in the middle of this
year.  The company's assets are just over US$53 million.



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

AEROMEXICO: Local Carriers To Seek Damages from U.S. Gov't
----------------------------------------------------------
Mexican carriers are going to demand damages from the U.S.
government for the losses they incurred when it extended aid to
its airline sector following the September 11 incident.

Aeromexico CEO Alfonso Pasquel says local carriers will begin a
"process to demand payment for corresponding damages and costs"
that resulted from unfair pricing as an upshot to the aid.

Mr. Pesquel, however, failed to specify what the process will be
or how it will be instituted.

The National Chamber of Air Transport (Canaero), however, hinted
that the process might be hinged upon "signed bilateral
agreements."

Government aid following the September 11 attack on the U.S.
allowed Delta Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines to
lower their prices by as much as 25 percent below those of
Mexico's carriers.

CONTACT:  AEROMEXICO
          Mayte Sera Weitzman of AeroMexico, +1-713-744-8446, or
          mweitzman@aeromexico.com


AVSC: Mexican Operations To Continue Despite Bankruptcy Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Audio Visual Services Corporation(TM) (OTC Bulletin Board: AVSV)
announced Monday that the Company has reached an agreement with
the lenders under its current credit facilities, pursuant to
which those lenders will convert approximately US$288 million of
existing debt into 100% of the common stock of the Company,
subject to dilution for certain issuances of common stock to the
Company's directors and management.

The Company further announced that it and its domestic
subsidiaries have filed a voluntary petition for reorganization
under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York, to implement the pre-negotiated plan of reorganization to
reduce the Company's outstanding indebtedness. The Company
expects that it will emerge from the reorganization process by
April 2002.

Robert Ellis, Chairman and CEO of the Company commented: "The
Company has been and continues to struggle with its current level
of debt which built up as a consequence of the acquisition
strategy pursued in the late 1990's. Over the last 18 months, the
Company's new management team managed the business to increase
profitability to a point where the Company's outstanding
indebtedness could be successfully refinanced. However the
general economic downturn that started at the beginning of 2001
and the events of September 11th have had a direct impact on the
Company. The Company's business divisions experienced an
increasing decline in same-store hotel site revenues through the
year as the number and size of business meetings were reduced in
response to the economic downturn. In the immediate aftermath of
the events of September 11, many business meetings were cancelled
or postponed. While we have seen some recovery since early
October, we believe that events of September 11 will continue to
contribute to the decline in the number and size of business
meetings being held in the medium term. The agreement reached
with our lenders provides for a more appropriate capital
structure, sufficient cash to fund operations and the ability to
access capital to fund new growth initiatives. Most importantly,
the terms of this agreement do not affect our operations,
customers, suppliers or employees."

The Company also announced that it has received $20 million in
debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from a syndicate of
financial institutions led by JP Morgan Chase, which the Court
has approved, subject to a final confirmatory hearing. The DIP
facility will provide the Company with additional liquidity to
fund operations during the restructuring process, enabling the
Company to continue purchasing goods and services in the ordinary
course and facilitating the Company's provision of new audio
visual equipment for its customers and clients.

The Company's operations will continue without interruption and
vendors and employees will be paid in the ordinary course of
business. In addition, the Company has obtained authorization
from the Court to pay all amounts owed to employees and vendors
before and after the petition date, so that there will be no
interruption in the Company's operations or in the fulfillment of
any obligations to employees and vendors. The Company will
maintain its commitment to providing the highest quality
audiovisual equipment and related services to its customers and
clients. Vendors will be paid for all goods furnished and
services provided. The Company's international operations are not
included in the Chapter 11 filing and will continue to conduct
business as usual.

AVSC is a leading provider of audiovisual equipment rentals,
staging services and related technical support services to
hotels, event production companies, trade associations,
convention centers and corporations in the United States. In
addition to its United States operations, the Company has
operations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and
the Caribbean. AVSC is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board and
trades under the symbol AVSV.

CONTACT:  Digby J. Davies, President and COO of AVSC
          +1-562-366-0136
          or
          Mike Smargiassi of Brainerd Communicators, Inc.
          +1-212-986-6667, for AVSC
          (AVSV)


GRUPO MEXICO: SPCC To Issue $100M Bonds To Help Roll Over Debt
--------------------------------------------------------------
Peruvian leading copper miner Southern Peru Copper Corp. (SPCC)
plans to sell up to US$100 million in 10-year bonds Wednesday to
help roll over debt and finance a planned expansion, reports
Bloomberg.

The interest rate on the dollar-denominated debt will be
determined through an auction on Wednesday, according to SPCC.
The interest rate will be variable and set based on the London
interbank offered rate, the Company added.

Wednesday's auction will be jointly handled by Credibolsa, BBVA
Continental and Wiese Sudameris brokerages.

The Company announced plans to issue bonds to roll over debt
after obtaining authorities' approval to boost an earlier
approved US$200 million bond sale to as much as $750 million.
Southern Peru already issued US$50 million in bonds last year
under the initial program.

The planned debt issue follows a Nov. 9 downgrade on its credit
rating by S&P to "BB-" from "BB+" because of weak copper prices.
S&P took the action after a similar cut for Mexico's Grupo Mexico
SA and its U.S.-based unit, Asarco, Inc., which owns Southern
Peru.

Aside from the debt restructuring plans, the Company is also
considering US$600 million in spending within the next five years
to increase its smelter capacity and control pollution to meet
government regulations.


GRUPO MEXICO: Investor Reaction Mixed On SPCC's Bond Issue
----------------------------------------------------------
The looming $100-million bond issue this week from copper
producer Southern Peru Copper Corp. has drawn mixed investor
reactions, reports Reuters.

Some investors are enthusiastic about new debt from a top
Peruvian firm, but others are concerned about low copper prices
and interest rates.

"This issue is very important because the issuer... is one of
Peru's biggest companies. Companies like that are attractive for
investment funds like ours," said Mariano Alvarez, investment
officer at pension fund AFP Union Vida.

Some fund managers said they were worried by a crisis in metals
prices, like copper, and credit concerns about Grupo Mexico SA,
which owns 54.2 percent of Southern.

"They are aiming for a rate of LIBOR (London Interbank Offered
Rate) plus 2.5 percent, but we think the issue will draw LIBOR
plus 3 percent," said one fund manager who requested anonymity,
adding it would be an "interesting" issue.

On Monday, three-month LIBOR was an average of 1.90 percent.

"We see complications from Grupo Mexico, and would like to see
how talks with their creditors come out. Low copper prices are
also a factor," the fund manager said. On Monday, three-month
copper was trading at $1,488 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange
(LME).

Grupo Mexico, the world's No. 3 copper producer which also has
railroad interests, said in November it could have trouble
meeting an $84 million mandatory pre-payment on a revolving
credit that matures on Nov. 10, 2002 because of falling copper
prices.

"The issue is the rates. The demand and liquidity exists," said
another fund manager who asked for anonymity.


GRUPO MEXICO: To Cancel $400M Credit Line
-----------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico was planning to cancel on December 17 a syndicated
line of credit for $400 million that it took out in March 2001,
says Mexican financial daily El Economista.

In a statement to the Mexican Stock Exchange, the Company
revealed that the loan was contracted in 1997 to finance its
expansion projects

Analysts are currently concerned by Grupo Mexico's credit crisis
and ongoing low metal 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
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Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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