TCRLA_Public/020306.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, March 6, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 46

                           Headlines


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Planned Cutbacks May Not Displace Workers Entirely


A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINE CORPORATES: Fitch Ratings Reflect Increased Defaults
BANCO GALICIA: Now Has Four Suitors In The Running
HSBC ARGENTINA: May Pull Out of Argentina Altogether
REPSOL YPF: S&P Cuts Ratings On Argentine Concerns
TELECOM ARGENTINA: S&P Cuts Local Currency; Outlook Negative
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Earnings Down 72% In 2001


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Berman DeValerio Class Action Sues Executives


B R A Z I L

ENRON: Commission Unveils Questionable Brazilian Operations
GLOBO CABO: Shares Up On Expected Release Of Results This Week


M E X I C O

CINTRA: May Split Assets In Order To Carry Out Sale
GRUPO ALFA: Goldman Sachs Analyst Cuts To "Market Perform"
GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Lowers Ratings on Two Note Issues
MINERA AUTLAN: Sinks Into The Red On Weaker Markets


P A N A M A

BLADEX: Appoints New Chief Operating Officer
PYCSA PANAMA: Moody's Downgrades Ratings On US$130M Debt


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: To Lay Off 140 Employees In Bid To Control Costs
BWIA: Two New Aircraft Expected To Cost TT$1 Bln


V E N E Z U E L A

AES: Fitch Reviews Latin American Subsidiaries' Performance


     - - - - - - - - - -


=================================
A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A
=================================

LIAT: Planned Cutbacks May Not Displace Workers Entirely
--------------------------------------------------------
David Stuart, director of marketing at regional carrier LIAT,
revealed that the airline is examining "creative ways" of
reducing its current staff compliment of approximately 770 to
around 600, reports The Barbados Advocate.

Stuart said the downsizing would not place employees on the
breadline as LIAT is pursuing a joint venture initiative in
Antigua, through which about 150 employees will be moved from
directly under the airline and over to another company in which
LIAT will have shares.

Stuart said that the regional carrier has in place a voluntary
redundancy program for staff members. According to him, the money
has been secured and the separation package for these employees
will be paid from an EC$30 million loan stemming from a bond
issue.


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

ARGENTINE CORPORATES: Fitch Ratings Reflect Increased Defaults
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings expects additional corporate debt defaults as the
current operating environment is unsustainable for many Argentine
public service (electricity, water, and natural gas) companies
without some form of financial relief. The public utility sector
of Argentina has been under tremendous financial pressure since
the Argentine government implemented its emergency measures in
January 2002. Almost immediately, affected companies sought to
lessen the impact through renegotiation of concession contracts
and/or tariff increases, but there was no governmental authority
with which to negotiate until recently.

The government decree 370, dated Feb. 22, 2002, established the
commission responsible for concession contract renegotiations
with the utilities. While the creation of the commission provides
a central authority, the timetable for negotiations and
recommendations will not improve the financial situation of the
electric, gas, and water sectors anytime soon. The commission,
presided by the Ministry of Economy, will have until mid-June to
present the recommendations to the government. This extended time
frame will not allow companies to receive much needed relief in
the near term, likely prompting additional defaults.

In addition, the Argentine President announced a proposal to
introduce a new windfall tax on corporates with strong earnings
during the last few years, with the goal of collecting US$2
billion for social assistance. While such taxes may receive
populist support, they are likely not sufficient to provide the
level of social assistance required and will not address the
country's acute liquidity shortage and fiscal problems. In
addition, adding another new tax will not compensate for
Argentina's chronic under collection of existing taxes; Fitch
estimates this tax leakage to be as high as 40%. Regardless,
Fitch does not believe the corporate sector is able to viably
absorb these potential new taxes given the negative impact of the
emergency measures in the corporates cash flow and the already
precarious financial position of many of the companies.

Prior to the windfall tax, the emergency measures implemented by
the Argentine government include: a floating exchange rate,
prohibition of price and/or tariff adjustments based on foreign
currency indexation; and granting the Executive authority to
regulate prices of 'critical inputs, goods and services'.
According to prevailing regulations, interest payments can be
transferred abroad following the established procedures. However,
in the cases of offshore principal payments, authorization of the
Central Bank is required until May 9th, but the formal procedures
have yet to be defined. Exceptions to this are principal payments
to multilateral credit agencies and international organizations,
which do not require authorization. These emergency measures have
been detrimental to the financial flexibility and credit profiles
of companies operating in the electricity, natural gas, and water
sectors.

The financial impact of the peso's devaluation has been
significant. Most of Argentina's electricity companies have
balance sheets loaded with external debt denominated in foreign
currencies, principally US dollars. To service its external debt,
electricity companies have to convert pesos into dollars at the
floating rate, which has been floating at around two Argentine
pesos per dollar. As a result, the peso's adjustment immediately
increased corporate debt burden, increasing financial costs and
pressuring the free cash flow generation ability of many of the
segment's participants. This combination has eliminated the
prospect of distributing dividends and formally closed external
financing options for most of the industry's players.

The result of these actions has been payment defaults on a select
basis in part due to transferability restrictions and also due to
lower cash flow in dollar terms. Further peso devaluation, power
price controls, restricted local market refinancing options,
difficulty in transferability, and the sector's vulnerability to
additional political intervention will likely impair the capacity
of these companies to service even scheduled interest payments in
a timely manner. Without some type of compensation, additional
payment defaults and a restructuring of most power companies
related debt will be unavoidable.

Many of Argentina's power players are owned and supported by
large multinationals. While the possibility exists of receiving
financial support from these parent entities, the Duhalde
administration's actions have generated sufficient uncertainties
to question the prudence of doing so in the absence of specific
constructive sector policy recommendations. Argentine authorities
have breached the spirit of the market-oriented reforms
implemented during the last decade and have shaken international
investor confidence. Companies with sizable investments who have
a regional strategy and common creditors, both at the parent and
local subsidiary level, may be more compelled to accommodate
creditors to ensure future access to international bank and
capital markets. However, if the Argentine government continues
to expropriate value from these investments, parent companies may
decide it is strategically better to delay financial support and
may eventually walk away from these investments should the
expected value reach zero.

CONTACTS:  Fitch Ratings
           Jason T. Todd, 1-312-368-3217 (Chicago)
           Giovanny Grosso, 1-312-368-2074 (Chicago)
           Ana Paula Ares or
           Cecilia Minguillon, +54 11 4327-2444, (Buenos Aires)
           James Jockle, 1-212-908-0547 (New York, Media
                                          Relations)


BANCO GALICIA: Now Has Four Suitors In The Running
--------------------------------------------------
Embattled Argentine bank Banco de Galicia, the largest private
bank in the country, has seen its number of suitors double in
recent days, according to a report by Business News Americas.

Besides the previously reported UK-based HSBC and Argentine bank
Banco Hipotecario, Brazil's Unibanco and another Argentine bank
Banco Velox have also shown interest in taking control of
Galicia.

Galicia is being beset with liquidity problems due to the massive
deposit outflow it experienced before a partial deposit freeze
was imposed in December last year. The bank's owners are under
serious pressure as the Argentine government slowly eases the
deposit freeze in order to restart the economy and calm an
outraged public.

According to market observers, the Argentine public has much more
confidence in the international banks operating in Argentina and
the public banks, and that Galicia's lack of a strong
international backer makes it a natural target for a deposit run
once the public can withdraw money on a larger scale.

Galicia and Goldman Sachs executives are on a road show in the US
and Europe to convince international creditors to swap debt for
shares with Galicia's owners - three Argentine families. Galicia
spokespeople have indicated that the controlling families are
willing to give up control in order to save the bank from
bankruptcy.

CONTACTS:  BANCO DE GALICIA Y BUENOS AIRES
           Teniente General Juan D. Peron 456, Piso 3
           1038 Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: +54-11-4343-7528

           BANCO HIPOTECARIO SOCIEDAD ANONIMA
           151 Reconquista
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: +54 011 4347 5546
           http://www.hipotecario.com.ar

           HSBC PRIVATE EQUITY (ASIA), LTD.
           68 Upper Thames Street
           London EC4V 3BJ
           Phone:(44) 20 7336 9955/(44) 20 7336 9961
           www.ib.hsbc.com/PrivateEquity

           GOLDMAN SACHS
           85 Broad Street
           New York, New York 10004
           Phone:(212) 902-1000(P)
           www.gs.com


HSBC ARGENTINA: May Pull Out of Argentina Altogether
----------------------------------------------------
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's largest bank by market value saw its
full-year profits dented by $1 billion on provisions against
loans in Argentina. As a result, its chairman, Sir John Bond,
announced the bank is prepared to exit the beleaguered country.

"The situation (in Argentina) changes from hour to hour. We may
have to reassess our policy," Sir John said. Bad debt provisions
in total, at US$2 billion, were double the previous year's
figure.

HSBC's pre-tax profits plunged 14 percent to US$8.8 billion
compared with US$10.9 billion the previous year. The figure was
accentuated by a US$520-million foreign currency trading loss
after the Argentine Government's decision to introduce a
punishing foreign exchange regime for banks. HSBC also made a
general US$600 million provision against other loans in the
country.

HSBC had US$4.9 billion of Argentine exposure as of June 30 last
year.


REPSOL YPF: S&P Cuts Ratings On Argentine Concerns
--------------------------------------------------
Repsol-YPF SA had its long-term corporate credit rating
downgraded by Standard & Poor's Corp (S&P) to `BBB' from `BBB+'
due to concerns about Argentina. Furthermore, S&P also lowered
the Company's short-term corporate credit rating to A-3 from A-2.
According to the ratings agency, the ratings outlook is negative.

The downgrades follow the release of fourth quarter results on
March 1 and "reflect Standard & Poor's view that the Argentinean
economic and fiscal environment is deteriorating faster than
expected and remains unpredictable, bearing on the company's
business profile locally and leading to lower 2002 credit
measures than required at previous rating levels," S&P said.

S&P said it now estimates Repsol's 2002 ratios of funds from
operations to debt, and EBITDA to interest, in the 25-30 percent
and 5.5-6 times ranges, compared with the 30 percent and 6 times
respective minimum levels expected for a `BBB+' rating.

The downgrade also reflects continuing uncertainty over the
negotiations with the Argentine government on local natural gas
and refined product prices and on additional taxes, with the
export duty starting with effect from March 1, S&P said.

S&P noted that depreciation of the Argentine peso, potentially
beyond its current level, "adds to cash-flow unpredictability."

According to Emmanuel Dubois-Pelerin, an S&P credit analyst, S&P
currently sees the `BBB' rating as "a floor, even under very
stressful circumstances", and the negative outlook "purely
reflects the remaining possibility of additional sharply negative
actions from the Argentinean government."


TELECOM ARGENTINA: S&P Cuts Local Currency; Outlook Negative
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's said Monday it lowered its local currency
corporate credit rating on Telecom Argentina STET-France Telecom
S.A. (TECO), an Argentine-based integrated telecom provider, to
double-'C' from triple-'C'-plus based on its increased
refinancing risk within the context of very high uncertainty for
the telecom industry in Argentina. The outlook is negative.

The foreign currency rating remains 'SD' (selective default),
given that exchange controls are preventing most Argentine
companies from making payments on foreign indebtedness in a
timely manner.

As of September 2001, TECO had US$298 million in cash and short-
term investments (at a Argentine peso 1:US$1 exchange rate) and
US$3.4 billion in total debt.

"TECO faces considerable challenges to successfully refinance its
significant maturities in 2002. The challenges derive from the
uncertainty about the future evolution of the exchange rate and
its potential effect on inflation, economic activity, and
collection; and, most importantly, the future renegotiation of
contracts poses additional concerns," commented Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Marta Castelli.

TECO faces significant debt maturities of about US$1.2 billion in
2002, including a Euro 250 million bond in July 2002. In
addition, the pricing mechanisms for tariffs included in TECO's
license (dollar denomination and U.S.-inflation adjustment
clauses) were abolished at the beginning of 2002.

The government has established a period of 120 days for the
renegotiation of the contract that appears too long considering
the significant uncertainties regarding the future of the
industry after tariffs were frozen earlier this year. Further
complicating TECO's financial position is the fact that its debt
is mostly denominated in foreign currency, thus the freeze and
pesification of the tariffs creates a dramatic cash flow mismatch
for the company.

TECO is one of two incumbents telephone companies in Argentina,
holding about 46% of total lines in service and 31% of total
mobile subscribers. TECO provides integrated basic
telecommunications services (local telephony as well as national
and international long-distance service, mobile communications,
and data transmission) throughout the country.

The important investments carried out by TECO since privatization
have allowed the company to consolidate its business position and
diversify its revenue mix.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Earnings Down 72% In 2001
--------------------------------------------
For the first time since its privatization, Telecom Argentina
reported a decrease in its earnings during the full year 2001.
Telecom Argentina was split into the two companies, Telecom and
Telefonica, when it was privatized.

According to the Company, its net earnings during the period
dropped 72 percent to ARS47 million (US$23.5 million) from the
amount it posted in 2000.

The Company's earnings dipped due to a decrease in usage prompted
by the economic crisis, market analysts said.

In a report issued to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Telecom
reported losses of ARS17 million (US$8.5 million) during the last
quarter of 2001. During the first three quarters of 2001, Telecom
registered accumulated earnings of ARS64 million (US$32 million).
Its net income in 2000 was ARS166 million (US$83 million).

Telefonica Argentina on Thursday from Madrid also reported losses
of ARS35 million (US$17.5 million) for the fourth quarter.

The social capital of Telecom Argentina, a company equally owned
by France Telecom and Telecom Italia, is ARS984 million (US$492
million) with non-appropriated earnings of ARS414 million (US$207
million) and stockholders' equity of ARS2.37 billion (US$1.185
billion).



=============
B E R M U D A
=============

GLOBAL CROSSING: Berman DeValerio Class Action Sues Executives
--------------------------------------------------------------
A securities class action is pending against several top officers
of Global Crossing Ltd. (NYSE: GX) (OTC Bulletin Board: GBLXQ)
who allegedly released false and misleading financial statements
to investors, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo said
today.

The class action was filed February 11, 2002 in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York and seeks damages for
violations of federal securities laws on behalf of all investors
who bought Global Crossing stock from January 2, 2001 through
October 4, 2001 (the "Class Period"). Berman DeValerio has
represented investors in class actions for 20 years. To review
the complaint and learn more about becoming a lead plaintiff,
visit the firm's Website at www.bermanesq.com.

The complaint charges five top Global Crossing managers with
artificially inflating earnings by improperly recording and
reporting cash and revenue from certain long-term lease contracts
for the rights to use the company's fiber optic cable network.
Simultaneously, the complaint says, Global Crossing entered into
substantially similar agreements with the same companies to
purchase bandwidth capacity from them in a different area. In
essence, the complaint alleges that these swap transactions were
improperly recorded to artificially inflate the company's
financial results.

At the same time, the company was carrying an increasingly heavy
debt burden that was exacerbated by an ever-shrinking market for
bandwidth. This forced the company to drastically lower its
prices. The company was unable to offset the declining demand for
bandwidth capacity with the sale of customized provider services
because, unknown to investors, the defendants had no viable plan
for establishing Global Crossing as a provider of these services,
the complaint says.

Also during the Class Period, the complaint says, the individual
defendants and other Global Crossing insiders generated more that
$149 million from insider stock sales.

The full extent of Global Crossing's financial crisis began to
emerge on October 4, 2001 when the company announced that its
third quarter 2001 cash revenues were $400 million below
expectations and that it was selling off its desktop trading
systems division. The complaint says that investors were also
stunned by the announcement that the company's expected recurring
adjusted EBITDA would fall almost $300 million less than analyst
expectation. In reaction to these statements, Global Crossing
stock plunged 49% to $1.07 per share.

CONTACTS:  BERMAN DEVALERIO PEASE TABACCO BURT & PUCILLO
           Patrick T. Egan, Esq.
           1-800-516-9926

           Jeffrey C. Block, Esq.
           Patrick T. Egan, Esq.
           One Liberty Square
           Boston, MA 02109
           (800) 516-9926
           law@bermanesq.com



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

ENRON: Commission Unveils Questionable Brazilian Operations
-----------------------------------------------------------
In Brazil, Enron used LJM, an investment company belonging to
Enron's ex-finance director, to artificially reduce its share of
the EPE energy company, and thus avoid having to report losses
suffered by EPE. A report of the special commission investigating
the financial activities of Enron recently revealed the
information. The report explained that the process came about by
selling Enron's 13 percent share in EPE to LJM for BRL11.3
million.

Enron then repurchased the share for US$14.4 million, even though
the assets of EPE in the Cuiaba thermoelectric plant had probably
lost market value due to technical and environmental problems.

This operation is being cited by the commission as just one
example of how Enron's foreign assets were often evaluated above
their true market value.

Enron filed for bankruptcy protection early December 2001 in the
largest Chapter 11 case ever after Dynegy Inc. abandoned its
US$23 billion takeover of the Houston-based energy trader.

CONTACTS:  Mark Palmer of Enron Corp., +1-713-853-4738
           Enron Corp.
           Investor Relations Dept.
           P.O. Box 1188, Suite 4926B
           Houston, TX 77251-1188
           (713) 853-3956
           Email: investor-relations@enron.com

           Enron Corp.
           Public Relations Dept.
           P.O. Box 1188, Suite 4712
           Houston, TX 77251-1188
           (713) 853-5670


GLOBO CABO: Shares Up On Expected Release Of Results This Week
--------------------------------------------------------------
Globo Cabo SA, which is restructuring its debt-saddled business
in a sluggish economy, saw its preferred shares rise 2.8 percent
to BRL0.74 as it is expected to release fourth-quarter results
this week, says Bloomberg.

The cable television company's results are affected by the
currency fluctuations since most of its debt is dollar
denominated. In the last three months of the year, the real
gained 16 percent, reducing Globo Cabo's financing costs.

Carolina Gava, analyst with BES Securities is forecasting Globo
Cabo to post BRL28 million net loss in the quarter, compared with
implied consolidated net losses of BRL161.8 million in the same
period a year ago.

Globo Cabo is the biggest decliner this year among the 57 stocks
on the Bovespa index, losing 22 percent, compared to a 6.1
percent decline by the Bovespa. The drop in share value reflects
the Company's losses in cable TV and Internet subscribers,
amplified by the general economic downturn affecting its bottom
line.

CONTACT:  GLOBO CABO S.A.
          INVESTORS:
          Luis Henrique Martinez, 5511-5186-2684,
          lmartinez@globocabo.com.br,

          Marcio Minoru, 5511-5186-2811,
          minoru@globocabo.com.br,



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

CINTRA: May Split Assets In Order To Carry Out Sale
---------------------------------------------------
Corporativo Internacional de Transporte A‚reo (Cintra), which
controls the airlines Aerom‚xico and Mexicana, will have to split
its assets in order to carry out its sale.

According to a report in Mexico City daily el Economista, the
division could occur during an ordinary shareholders assembly to
be held March 19, where a restructuring program will be proposed
for approval.

Director general of the Mexico City International Airport,
Enrique Gonz lez, called on the Transport and Communications
Secretariat (SCT) to define the situation with Cintra as soon as
possible.

"This is an important issue which the country is looking at
within aviation policy, and I prefer that the head of the SCT
make a statement on the matter," Gonzalez said.

Also in the assembly, Cintra will designate the special delegates
to ensure the fulfillment of the resolutions adopted by the
assembly.

Meanwhile, Jes£s Orozco, president of the Chamber of Deputies
Communications Commission, urged the Federal Competition
Commission (CFC) to reconsider a decision to split Cintra when it
is sold.

Orozco said the airline industry has done a complete about-face
since that decision was made, and now may not be the best time to
sell the company.

"We should wait and see how 2002 develops to make the most
sensible decision, considering alternatives to the sale, such as
injecting funds and restructuring Cintra," Orozco said.

CONTACTS:  CINTRA
           Jaime Corredor Esnaola, Chairman
           Juan Dez-Canedo Ruiz, CEO
           Rodrigo Ocejo Rojo, CFO

           Xola 535, Piso 16, Col. del Valle
           03100 M,xico, D.F., Mexico
           Phone: +52-5-448-8050
           Fax: +52-5-448-8055

           OR
           C.P. Francisco Cuevas Feliu, Investor Relations
           Xola 535, Piso 16
           Col. del Valle
           03100 M,xico, D.F.
           Tel. (52) 5 448 80 50
           Fax (52) 5 448 80 55
           infocintra@cintra.com.mx

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

           MEXICANA DE AVIACION
           Jenny Jenks, Marketing Director, International
           Division of Mexicana Airlines, +1-210-491-9764, or
           ennyjenks@mexicana.com


GRUPO ALFA: Goldman Sachs Analyst Cuts To "Market Perform"
----------------------------------------------------------
Gordon Lee, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., downgraded steel
and industrial conglomerate Alfa S.A. to "market perform" from
"market outperform," reports Bloomberg, without giving further
details.

Recent reports suggest that Alfa's steel unit and its creditor
banks expect to announce a final debt restructuring plan by the
end of this month.

Already, Hylsamex's creditor banks have agreed to the Company's
proposal to pay off its debts in two broad loans: a US$362-
million sum to be paid back over seven years with a two-year
grace period, and a US$265-million loan to be paid back over
eight years with a four-year grace period. Both would be subject
to an interest rate of LIBOR plus 400 basis points.

Alfa will back US$78 million of Hylsamex's debt through direct
credit and corporate guarantees.

Hylsamex's creditor banks include Banamex-Citibank, BBVA
Bancomer, Bayerische Hypo-Vereins Bank and JP Morgan Chase.

CREDITOR BANKS:  BAYERISCHE HYPO- UND VEREINSBANK AG
                 Am Tucherpark 14
                 D-80538 Mnchen
                 Aktion,rs-Hotline*: 00800 - 378 000 00
                 (*kostenfrei und nur aus D, A, CH)
                 Tel: +49 (89) 3 78 - 2 52 76
                 Fax: +49 (89) 3 78 - 2 40 83
                 Email: ir@hvbgroup.com
                 http://www.hypovereinsbank.de
                 Contacts:
                 Christian Becker-Hussong
                 Phone: +49 (89) 3 78 - 2 82 35
                 Email: Christian.Becker-Hussong@hvbgroup.com

                 Susan Eckenberg
                 Phone: +49 (89) 3 78 - 2 91 85
                 Email: Susan.Eckenberg@hvbgroup.com

                 JP MORGAN CHASE
                 60 Wall Street
                 New York, NY 10260
                 Phone: (212) 483-2323/648-5545
                 http://www.jpmorgan.com

                 BBVA BANCOMER
                 Av. Universidad 1200,
                 Col. Xoco, M,xico, D.F.
                 Phone: (52) (55) 5621-7912
                 http://www.bancomer.com.mx/
                 Contacts:
                 David S nchez-Tembleque
                 Tel: (52) (55) 5621-4938
                 Email:investor.relations@bbva.bancomer.com

                 Jos, de Jesœs G›mez Dorantes
                 Tel: (52) (55) 5621-4718

                 Araceli Espinosa Elguea
                 Tel: (52) (55) 5621-2718


GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Lowers Ratings on Two Note Issues
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's lowered its ratings on Grupo Mexico Export
Master Trust No. 1's secured export notes series B-1, C, and D to
triple-'C'-plus from double-'B'-minus. These ratings remain on
CreditWatch, where they were placed on Nov. 9, 2001. In addition,
ratings on the Grupo Minero Mexico S.A. de C.V. (GMM) guaranteed
senior notes (series A and B), were also lowered to triple-'C'-
plus from double-'B'-minus and remain on CreditWatch. The triple-
'A' rating on the Grupo Mexico Export Master Trust No. 1's series
E notes, insured by MBIA Insurance Corp. (MBIA; triple-'A'
financial enhancement rating) was affirmed.

The downgrade of the uninsured series of the Grupo Mexico Export
Master Trust No. 1, as well as the GMM senior notes, stems
directly from the reduction in GMM's corporate credit rating to
triple-'C'-plus from double-'B'- minus. As is the case with most
future flow transactions, Standard & Poor's views the corporate
credit rating of GMM (the originator of the securitized assets)
as the best proxy for the likelihood that this entity will
continue operating and exporting the securitized products. The
rating on the structured finance transaction cannot, therefore,
be any higher than the corporate credit rating of the issuing
entity. The affirmed triple-'A' rating of the series E notes of
the Grupo Mexico Export Master Trust No. 1 secured export notes
program is based on the full financial guarantee provided by
MBIA.

The Grupo Mexico Export Master Trust No. 1 notes entered into
early amortization in September 2001. Upon the occurrence of the
accelerated amortization event, all collections from export sales
committed to the payment of the secured export notes were trapped
in the collection account. Initially, certificateholders waived
the early amortization event until Jan. 9, 2002. After that date,
proceeds from export sales were trapped in the collection
account. On Feb. 15, 2002, the certificateholders again waived
the early amortization event until March 28, 2002. Therefore,
export sales are not currently trapped into the collection
account.

GMM is a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Grupo Mexico),
the world's third largest copper producer, as well as a producer
of other base metals such as zinc, silver, lead, and gold. Grupo
Mexico is also the majority owner of GMM, ASARCO Inc., and
Southern Peru Copper Co. The reduction in the corporate rating of
GMM reflects the continued financial flexibility deterioration
both at GMM and ASARCO. (See related press release on Grupo
Minero Mexico S.A. de C.V., published on March 1, 2002.)

CONTACT:  STANDARD & POOR'S, Mexico City
          Juan J. Flores, +52-55-5279-2020
          Federico Mora, +52-55-5279-2036


MINERA AUTLAN: Sinks Into The Red On Weaker Markets
---------------------------------------------------
Mexican manganese producer Cia Minera Autlan registered a loss of
US$22.7 million (MXN207 million) in 2001, compared to a MXN17.8-
million profit in 2000, due to shrinking markets.

In 2001, Autlan, which mines and process manganese ore at several
points in central and western Mexico, reduced its production by
13 percent compared to 2000, and also temporarily shutdown some
of its operations in order to offset weaker demand.

In a bid for fresh capital, Autlan hired France's Paribas bank in
the second half of 2001 to help it search for a strategic
investor, but has so far found no takers. It also announced plans
to offload non-core assets, including a stable of properties
throughout Mexico.

Last month, Autlan's directors met with representatives from its
creditor banks to present a plan for restructuring US$186 million
in debt. The creditor banks are led by ABN Amro, BBVA Bancomer
and Bank of Montreal. While a full plan is yet to be approved,
the initial results of the meetings have been favorable.

CREDITOR BANKS:  BANK OF MONTREAL
                 100 King Street West
                 1 First Canadian Place, 18th Floor
                 Toronto, ON  M5X 1A1
                 Tel: 416-867-6656
                 Fax: 416-867-3367
                 Email: investor.relations@bmo.com
                 URL: www.bmo.com

                 GRUPO FINANCIERO BBVA BANCOMER
                 Av. Universidad 1200,
                 Col. Xoco, M,xico, D.F.
                 Tel: (52) (55) 5621-4938
                      (52) (55) 5621-4966
                 Fax: (52) (55) 5621-7912
                 Email: investor.relations@bbva.bancomer.com
                 Contacts: David S nchez-Tembleque

                 ABN AMRO
                 Investor Relations(HQ1191)
                 Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
                 PO Box 283
                 1000 EA Amsterdam
                 The Netherlands
                 Tel. +31 (0) 20 628 78 35
                 Tel. +31 (0) 20 628 78 37
                 Email: investorrelations@nl.abnamro.com



===========
P A N A M A
===========

BLADEX: Appoints New Chief Operating Officer
--------------------------------------------
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE: BLX) (BLADEX)
announced Monday the appointment of Jaime Rivera as Chief
Operating Officer, effective March 11, 2002.

Mr. Rivera, 48, joins BLADEX from Bank of America where he spent
nearly 25 years in a commercial and investment banking career
focusing on Latin America, with postings in the United States,
Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Guatemala. His
assignments afforded him direct responsibility for corporate and
financial institutions business development, risk management,
transaction structuring, country management and information
technology.

In his latest position with Bank of America, Mr. Rivera led the
institution's highly reputed Miami-based Financial Institutions
team, focusing on expanding the scope of the traditional
correspondent banking functions to include capital raising,
advisory and electronic banking solutions to a client set that
included the most important banks in more than 25 countries in
the Latin American region. Prior to his assignment in Miami, Mr.
Rivera was posted in New York as a Managing Director of the Latin
America Corporate Finance team.

Jose Castaneda, Chief Executive Officer of BLADEX, said, "After a
long search to fill this unique opportunity at BLADEX, we are
extremely pleased to have found an individual whose professional
experience and skills so closely match the strategic long-term
needs of this organization. Jaime Rivera has a demonstrated
record of leadership, creativity, relationship-building skills
and intimate familiarity with the region. His customer-focused
orientation to the business we are engaged in, combined with his
motivational skills, extensive product knowledge and personal
integrity, will be important for BLADEX's future success."

Mr. Rivera commented: "I am extraordinarily pleased to be joining
BLADEX, an institution with unquestionable expertise and
commitment to supporting the growth of Latin America and its
clients. The evolving financial services needs of banks and
corporations operating in the region offer BLADEX a unique
opportunity to further diversify and strengthen the quality and
stability of its earnings, while adding significant shareholder
value to its owners. I am looking forward to making a significant
and immediate contribution to this effort."

Born and raised in Guatemala City, Mr. Rivera holds an M.B.A.
degree from Cornell University and an M.S. from Northwestern
University.

BLADEX, with approximately $5.9 billion in assets, is a
specialized multinational bank established to finance trade in
the Latin American and Caribbean region. Its shareholders include
central banks from 23 countries in the region and 159 commercial
banks (from the region, as well as outside the region) and
private investors. Its mission is to channel funds for the
development of Latin America and the Caribbean, and to provide
integrated solutions for the promotion of the region's exports.
BLADEX is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

CONTACTS:

    Carlos Yap S.
    Vice President, Finance and Performance Management
    BANCO LATINOAMERICANO DE EXPORTACIONES S.A.
    Head Office
    Calle 50 y Aquilino de la Guardia
    Apartado 6-1497 El Dorado
    Panama City, Republic of Panama
    Tel No. (507) 210-8581
    Fax No. (507) 269 6333
    E-mail Internet address: cyap@blx.com

    or

    William W. Galvin
    The Galvin Partnership
    67 Mason Street
    Greenwich, CT 06830
    U.S.A.
    Tel No. (203) 618-9800
    Fax No. (203) 618-1010
    E-mail Internet address: wwg@galvinpartners.com


PYCSA PANAMA: Moody's Downgrades Ratings On US$130M Debt
--------------------------------------------------------
PYCSA Panama SA, which has been in default since June 2001, saw
the rating on its roughly US$130 million in debt downgraded by
Moody's to `Ca' from `Caa3.'

The cut in the rating reflects the Company's inability to meet
debt service, unsuccessful attempts to restructure the debt and
concerns about their ability to maintain the concession.

Though in default since June 2001, it made partial payments in
September and December of the same year. Based on current road
usage projections of roughly 2 percent per year and assuming no
construction of extensions to the existing concession,
bondholders could expect to see roughly 74 percent of their
expected principal and interest. However, project reserve funds
are reportedly exhausted.

Moody's is also concerned over the vague language in the
concession contract regarding the rights of the government to
void the concession in the event of bankruptcy or the
concessionaire's financial or technical ability to meet the
concession requirements. It is the latter that is particularly
worrisome absent a restructuring.

CONTACTS:

PYCSA Proyecto y Control S.A.
Vel zquez 31, 2¦ Planta
28001 -  Madrid   Espa¤a
Phone: +34914313403
Fax: +34915779705
E-mail: pycsam@lander.es

BONDHOLDERS:

1. CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON - NEW YORK
Eleven Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 1 212 325 2000
www.csfb.com
Contacts: Richard E. Thornburgh, CFO
          John J. Mack, CEO

CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON - LONDON
One Cabot Square
London E14 4QJ
United Kingdom
Tel: 011 44 20 7888 8888
Fax: 011 44 20 7888 1600


2. JOHN HANCOCK FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
Investor Relations Dept.
Post Office Box 111
Boston, MA 02117
Phone: 617-572-7353
Fax: 617-572-9799
http://www.jhancock.com


3. LOOMIS SAYLES & CO. - BOSTON (HEADQUARTERS)
One Financial Center
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: (617) 482-2450
Fax: (617) 357-6158
http://www.loomissayles.com

LOOMIS SAYLES & CO. - NEW YORK
1251 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 703-2600
Fax: (212) 703-2639
http://www.loomissayles.com



=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================

BWIA: To Lay Off 140 Employees In Bid To Control Costs
------------------------------------------------------
BWIA West Indies Airways announced it would lay off 140 employees
in Trinidad and Tobago in an attempt to keep costs down as a
result of the turbulence in the airline industry following the
September 11 terrorist attack in the US.

Frank Simpson, Vice-president of Employee Service, revealed among
those to be laid off are pilots, management staff (executive,
middle and supervisory), general administrative staff and
maintenance workers. Flight attendants will not be affected, he
said.

Sampson said these latest changes follow a post-September 11
review of BWIA. He said the positions to be terminated are those
considered redundant.

"We have now determined in which positions and in what numbers we
have a surplus to the organizational requirement," he explained.

Sampson said discussions have been held with trade unions, which
represent BWIA employees. The unions have been reportedly
notified about the redundancies within the classifications
contained in the collective agreements.

A voluntary separation of employment package will be offered to
persons in positions considered redundant. He said deadline for
this package will be on Friday after which an assessment will be
made on which VSEP applications will be accepted.

However, the Aviation Communication and Allied Workers Union
criticized the planned job cuts.

"We're sure that the intention to lay off the workers is not
justified," said union president, Christopher Abraham, adding
that the union had not yet had time to study the plan.

Additionally, about 31 employees who work outside Trinidad and
Tobago, will also be affected by the lay offs. Sampson said
discussions will be held with the unions representing these
employees before any decision is made.

BWIA first reacted to decline in the travel market by reducing
flights by 10 percent, and subsequently cut travel agents'
commission to 6 percent from 9 percent.

Last October, BWIA carried 10,000 fewer passengers on its routes
through the Caribbean, eastern United States, Toronto and England
compared with the same period in 2000. Travel on the airline
plummeted by 25,000 in November when compared to November 2000.

Airline President Conrad Aleong estimates that if the decline in
travel keeps up, the airline could lose $30 million of its
average $260 million in annual revenue.


BWIA: Two New Aircraft Expected To Cost TT$1 Bln
--------------------------------------------------
Conrad Aleong, BWIA chief executive officer, announced the
arrival of two new aircraft that could cost the company TT$1
billion, according to a report released by The Trinidad Guardian.

In response, the Aviation, Communication & Allied Workers Union
said that the purchase of any new aircraft at this time would be
premature and unnecessary.

Last month, BWIA strongly denied a January report by the
International Lease Finance Corporation on its Web site that the
airline had purchased any A340-300s.

BWIA, at the time, would only admit that the airline was actively
pursuing the acquisition of new aircraft to replace its ageing
Lockheed L1011-500 Tristars. The airline also intends to retire
its McDonnell-Douglas MD 83s.

However, in a March 1 release to staff, Aleong announced they
will be taking delivery of one A340-300 in June and a second in
December.



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

AES: Fitch Reviews Latin American Subsidiaries' Performance
-----------------------------------------------------------
Despite investor concerns over AES' exposure to Latin America,
its subsidiaries continue to operate normally and have not been
affected by the credit pressures on AES. Fitch Ratings recently
reduced ratings on AES' debt, citing concerns about high parent
debt leverage and tight liquidity position. Fitch's analysis also
pointed out AES' concentrated exposure to Latin America and the
volatility inherent in these markets. The rating action
incorporated Fitch's detailed evaluation of AES' largest Latin
American subsidiaries and their expected cash flow. Particular
emphasis is placed on Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. In
an effort to add clarity to the picture of AES' investments in
Latin America, Fitch is providing a brief update of the credit
quality of these companies.

Fitch provides international credit ratings on a number of AES
larger investment in Latin America. Those AES subsidiaries rated
by Fitch, their countries and current ratings are as follows:

Company/Locale                 Currency Rating/
                               Foreign Currency Rating

-Eletropaulo Metropolitana (Brazil)  'BBB-'/'BB-'

-AES Tiete (Brazil)                  'BBB-'
                                      Rating Watch Negative/'BB-

-C.A. La Electricidad de Caracas
  (Venezuela)                        'BB+'/'B+'

-AES Gener (Chile)                   'BBB'/'BBB'

-AES Clesa (El Salvador)             'BBB-'/BB+

-AES Panama (Panama)                 'BBB-'/'BBB-'

The ratings of AES' Latin American subsidiaries are based on the
stand-alone credit quality of each company and reflect the non-
recourse nature to AES of their respective debt obligations.
Thus, the credit ratings have not been affected by the recent
downgrade of the senior unsecured rating of AES to 'BB' from
'BB+'. The ratings generally reflect the dominant positions of
these companies in their respective countries, as well as their
efficient, low cost operations. Further factored into the ratings
are the exposure of these companies to currency, political,
regulatory and economic risks in Latin America, and these
companies' positive track record in responding to these risks.

The ratings of the subsidiaries also take into consideration the
ring-fencing and insulation these companies enjoy through local
laws and regulations, which significantly limit the ability of
any foreign proceedings to attach assets domiciled abroad.
Additionally, in some cases, such as in Brazil where the company
has acquired a concession, regulations generally prevent the
impairment of credit quality for the sake of increased equity
distributions.

The structural insulation of these companies is supportive in
assigning a stand-alone credit rating to AES' subsidiaries, and
limits the AES' flexibility to receive extraordinary cash flows
from subsidiaries. Importantly, Fitch's current ratings of AES
incorporate these issues and have not changed since the rating
action on Feb. 15, 2002.

In Venezuela, Electricidad de Caracas (EDC) has been recently
affected by the devaluation of the Bolivar, which has fallen 30%-
40% since year-end 2001. While the electricity law calls for
semi-annual tariff adjustments that reflect changes in the
exchange rate and inflation and monthly fuel prices, it may be
difficult for EDC to realize the full increase in 2002 given the
political impact of such an action. In lieu of direct tariff
increases, other forms of compensation are possible, and may be
more likely. Additionally, EDC has already identified some
expense and capital expenditure reductions to help offset the
impact of the devaluation. EDC's local currency rating is
supported by solid credit-protection measures, which can absorb
the effects of a devaluation and/or a lack of full increase in
tariffs and continue servicing debt. Nevertheless, without some
sort of tariff adjustment or other compensation, earnings and
cash flow for 2002 would be reduced, which may pressure credit
quality. Dividends to AES a re based on retained earnings from
the previous periods, which Fitch estimates should approximate
$100-$135 million for all of 2002. The ownership by AES has added
benefits by its implementation of best practices that has and
should continue to improve EDC's efficiency and cash flow. EDC's
foreign currency rating was recently downgraded following Fitch's
downgrade of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's long-term
foreign currency debt rating to 'B+' from 'BB-'.

In Brazil, Eletropaulo and Tiete should benefit from an end to
rationing and the government's constructive resolution to restore
lost revenue related to the rationing program. Eletropaulo will
receive the cash component of its margin recovery of revenues
lost from the rationing program (booked in 2001 for accounting
purposes). The end of rationing and an expected tariff adjustment
in July should stabilize the company's revenues and cash flow.
Eletropaulo's rating remains on Negative Rating Outlook primarily
due to the company's sizable debt refinancings. However, the
company continues to exhibit good access to the local capital
markets and local and international bank markets. Holding company
debt with BNDES at AES ELPA and AES Transgas is expected to be
refinanced upon maturity, as dividends from Eletropaulo should
flow unencumbered up to AES. These investments could require
additional financial contribution from AES if the BNDES debt can
not be refinanced.

For AES Tiete, the end of rationing means a return to normal
operations, with revenues collected based on its take-or-pay
supply contracts and electricity supply supported by the total
amount of electricity produced by the hydroelectric system. Debt
service is manageable with operating cash flow. The Rating Watch
status is expected to be resolved in the near term following a
review of the financial condition from 2001 and reflecting an end
to rationing.

The credit quality of Gener, AES' Chilean investment, is
supported by the company's strong position in the Chilean
electricity market, its portfolio of thermal generating plants,
its strategy of focusing on core electricity generation in Chile,
conservative financial policies and experienced management. The
credit rating also factors in the soundly administered regulatory
system in Chile, as well as an economically strong and growing
service area. The pending sale of Itabo, a power plant in the
Dominican Republic, should be completed during the first quarter
of 2002. Current credit protection measures are low for the
rating category but are expected to improve to the levels
reflective of the 'BBB' rating in the near term as a result of
the restructuring.

In Argentina, the financial impact of peso's devaluation impact
on AES' investments has been significant. Most of Argentina's
electricity companies have balance sheets loaded with external
debt denominated in foreign currencies, principally US dollars.
As a result, the peso's adjustment immediately increased
corporate debt burden, reduced value from corporate entities,
increased financial costs and pressured the free cash flow
generation ability of many of the segment's participants. This
combination has formally closed external financing options, as
well as the desire for new investments. Fitch expects that AES
and its subsidiaries will try to negotiate long-term plans to
recapture some of the lost economic value of their enterprises.
However, given the established timetable for negotiations of
concessions and tariffs, any improvement in earnings and equity
values will likely be delayed for at least four to six more
months. While AES is not expected to contribute additional funds
to the country, dividend flows from Argentine investments should
not be expected.

Located in the Republic of Panama, AES Panama is primarily a
hydroelectric generation company. Its credit rating reflects the
company's portfolio of existing assets and strong project
economics and financial position. Credit risks that constrain the
rating are AES Panama's exposure to hydrological conditions,
commodity price risks, a relatively new and untested regulatory
framework, and competitive pressures for new supply contracts.
The rating of AES Panama does not rely on additional financial
contribution from AES.

In El Salvador, AES Clesa's credit quality (as well as that of
CAESS, EEO, and Deusem) is supported by an operating environment
similar to the other Latin American countries in which AES
operates. As an electricity distributor in El Salvador, AES Clesa
benefits from a constructive regulatory framework that provides
for regulated tariffs for distributors. The company has a
manageable debt service schedule and credit protection measures,
while pressured recently, are expected to remain acceptable for
the current rating. Strong sector fundamentals and continued
demand growth should support revenues and cash flow for AES Clesa
over the medium to long term.

Additional details on each of the Fitch-rated AES subsidiaries is
available on the Fitch Ratings web site at '
www.fitchratings.com'.

CONTACTS:  FITCH RATINGS
           Jason T. Todd, 1-312-368-3217
           Daniel R. Kastholm, 1-312-368-2070
           Mona Yee, 1-212-908-0557
           Ellen Lapson, 1-212-908-0504
           James Jockle, 1-212-908-0547 (Media Relations)




               ***********


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 Fe Ong Va¤o, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  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 240/629-3300.


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