TCRLA_Public/020315.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, March 15, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 53


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Endeavors To Strengthen Caribbean Business


ACINDAR: Losses Widen On Gloomy Construction Sector Outlook
BHN: Fitch Lowers BHN III, BHN IV, BACS I To 'D'
TRANSENER: Peso Devaluation Turns Prior Profits to Losses


GLOBAL CROSSING: Reinhardt, Anderson Sues Officers, Auditors
GLOBAL CROSSING: Bidding Hearing Delayed To March 19
GLOBAL CROSSING: Another House Panel Plans Inquiry
GLOBAL CROSSING: Rejecting Woodcliff Lease, Consolidating Ops


ACESITA: Sells Heavily-Indebted Autoparts Maker To MTP
GLOBO CABO: Reports Fourth Quarter 2001 Financial Results


EDELNOR: Sets Up New Unit As Part Of Restructuring Plan


FILANBANCO: Discussions With Thesis Underway


GRUPO BITAL: ING Capital Injection Boosts Shares
GRUPO MEXICO: Negotions Fail to Yield Satisfactory Agreement
MEXICAN BANKS: Quadrum's Downfall Sparks Closer Examination


CORPOSANA: 13 Groups Buy Pre-qualification Guidelines


BANCO COMERCIAL: Fitch Cuts Rating, Changes Outlook

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Endeavors To Strengthen Caribbean Business
Antigua-based LIAT is stepping up efforts to boost its business
in the Caribbean market. According to a report released by The
Jamaica Gleaner, the 45-year-old airline is considering a
purchase of two new Dash-8 300 airplanes to increase its ability
to service the routes.

David Stuart, LIAT's vice president for marketing, said the
airline would float an Eastern Caribbean $30 million (US$11.1
million) bond issue with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
(CIBC) to purchase the planes. If all goes as planned, Stuart
expects the 50-seaters will be up in the air by May.

Additionally, the airline would soon be offering 30 percent
reductions in airfares for a limited time. It also plans a lower
fare structure for those traveling less than two weeks.

CONTACTS:  Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
           199 Bay Street, Commerce Court West
           Toronto, Ontario M5L 1A2, Canada
           Phone: (416) 980-2211
           Fax:   (416) 980-5028
                  (416) 980-5026
           Web site:
           Corporate Secretary
           Phone: (416) 980-3096
           Fax:   (416) 980-7012

           Investor Relations
           Phone: (416) 980-6657
           Fax:   (416) 980-5028


ACINDAR: Losses Widen On Gloomy Construction Sector Outlook
Argentine integrated steelmaker Acindar, controlled by the
Acevedo family and Brazil's long products steelmaker, Belgo-
Mineira, posted a net loss of US$85.8 million for the six months
ending December 31, 2001, reports Business News Americas.

The figure more than doubled the US$41 million the Company
reported in the same period just one year ago.

In the second half of 2001, the Company's first fiscal half-year,
Acindar's net sales dropped 26.2 percent to US$192 million from
the same period in 2000. Exports also dropped 33.1 percent over
two periods to US$53.7 million.

Struggling amid a slump in Argentina's construction sector,
Acindar defaulted on interest payments on its senior unsecured
notes on February 15. The Company announced in December last year
it was postponing principal and interest payments on debt of some
US$356 million.

The Company has hired Credit Suisse First Boston investment bank
to help it renegotiate its debts, which now stand at US$550
million, as indicated in Acindar's latest financial results.

BHN: Fitch Lowers BHN III, BHN IV, BACS I To 'D'
Fitch Ratings has downgraded the ratings on the BHN III, BHN IV
and BACS I transactions to 'D' from 'CCC' indicating default with
a potential for recovery below 50%. The rating actions are due to
the pesification of the senior notes under Decree 214/2002. While
this law was passed in early February, its specific application
to these transactions has only recently been clarified. Under
this decree, dollar-denominated debt pursuant to Argentine law is
pesified at a 1:1 rate. Recent legal opinions have confirmed that
this pesification will apply to these certificates as they have
been issued out of an Argentine Trust. The direct effects of this
change have occurred on the most recent interest payment date.

Previously, the Argentine government had pesified only the terms
of the mortgage assets, creating a situation whereby collateral
immediately deteriorated due to the severe devaluation. While
this loss in collateral severely affected the trust's ability to
repay the certificates, the trust continued to make timely debt
service payments. Decree 214/2002 and the pesification of the
trusts liabilities has reduced the actual dollar amounts due from
the trustee to the senior bondholders.

With the economic and political environment in Argentina
continually developing, the possibility exists that future
changes in law may further impact the performance of the
transactions. As these changes occur, Fitch will evaluate their
potential impact and make rating changes accordingly.

Contact:  Mia Koo 1-212-908-0651, New York
          Greg Kabance 1-312-368-2052, Chicago
          Eduardo D'Orazio +5411 4327-2444, Argentina
          Walter Chiarvesio +5411 4327-2444, Argentina

Media Relations: James Jockle 1-212-908-0547, New York.

TRANSENER: Peso Devaluation Turns Prior Profits to Losses
The devaluation of the Argentine peso has taken its toll on the
Buenos Aires-based Transener's financial performance.

In 2001, when one peso was equivalent to one dollar, the
Argentine transmission company reported ARS32.4 million in
profits. But since the devaluation of the Argentine currency,
Transener has posted losses of up to ARS494 million (US$213
million at today's exchange rate). Transener said these losses
will be accounted for in future balances, in line with the
procedures established by the securities regulator.

The impact of the devaluation is mainly due to a dollar-
denominated debt of almost US$270 million, which relates to the
1,290km Cuarta Linea (Fourth Line) transmission project linking
the south with the center of the country. Transener charges
access rights for the line in pesos.

This loan "was not taken out by Transener for financial
initiatives, but to invest in the Cuarta Linea, for which, in
accordance with the concession, it would receive royalties that
are now in pesos, but the Company's debt is in dollars and with
devaluation this leaves an enormous margin of loss," a company
source revealed.

Transener has 14,200km in transmission lines, including 5,500km
of the network of its subsidiary Transba. Transener is 65-percent
controlled by the Citelec consortium, formed by the UK's National
Grid (42.9 percent), Argentina's Perez Companc (42.9 percent),
and investment funds The Argentine Investment Co. and IRHE
Holdings, with 7.5 percent each.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Reinhardt, Anderson Sues Officers, Auditors
Reinhardt & Anderson filed a securities class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of investors who acquired shares of Global
Crossing Ltd. ("Global Crossing" or the "Company) (Nasdaq:GX)
between August 13, 1998 and January 28, 2002 (the "Class Period")
against individual directors and officers of Global Crossing, as
well as Global Crossing's auditors, Arthur Andersen LLP ("Arthur

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. In particular, the Individual Defendants
caused Global Crossing to book as revenue the future receipts
from contracts to sell rights to use its fiber optic cable
network to other companies, known as indefeasible rights of use
("IRU"), while entering into similar agreements with those same
companies to purchase capacity from them. In essence, the
transactions were improperly treated as if there were separate
sale and purchase transactions. Moreover, global Crossing's
purchase transactions were treated as a capital expense, thus
inflating Global Crossing's assets on its balance sheet. Global
Crossing's statement of its revenue and earnings, therefore, were
inflated, and its financial statements were thus materially
misleading in violation of the federal securities laws. Defendant
Arthur Andersen violated federal securities laws by issuing
unqualified opinions on Global Crossing's materially misleading
financial statements and allowing those opinions to be published.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all class members
and are represented by the law firm of Reinhardt and Anderson.
Reinhardt & Anderson practices in securities, antitrust and
consumer class actions and has recovered hundreds of millions of
dollars on behalf of defrauded investors and consumers in class
actions throughout the United States.

CONTACT:  Reinhardt & Anderson, St. Paul
          Garrett D. Blanchfield, 888/253-5139 or 651-227-9990
          Fax: 651-297-6543

GLOBAL CROSSING: Bidding Hearing Delayed To March 19
A Global Crossing bankruptcy hearing on Wednesday at the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was
rescheduled for March 19. Lawyers for the Debtors and various
parties in interest are still negotiating over a bidding process.

Paul Basta, a Global Crossing lawyer, and lawyers for Global
Crossing's creditors told Judge Robert B. Gerber they may have an
agreement on a bidding procedure when they return to court March
19. Among the issues being negotiated is a bidding timeline.

Basta did not name potential suitors nor discuss details of the
bidding process and Global Crossing's plan to emerge from
bankruptcy protection during Wednesday's hearing. The hearing,
according to Basta, was supposed to map out the bidding
procedures, and determine a so-called "stalking horse" bidder --
which essentially sets a floor for other competing offers to top.

The only firm offer for Global Crossing so far is from Hutchison
Whampoa of Hong Kong and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, which
together offered US$750 million for a 79 percent stake in the
fiber-optic network operator.

In their offer, Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies also
seek a break-up fee of about US$40 million, the lawyer said.
Creditors have objected to the fee saying it is too high and
discourages other bids.

The hearing was reset because the Company, creditors and investor
have not agreed on procedures, or the compensation fee that a
"stalking horse" bidder would get if it failed to win Global
Crossing's hand, the lawyer said.

Meanwhile, Jay Goffman, a lawyer for the Los-Angeles based Gores
Technology Group, said in court that his client is interested in
bidding and believes it "can provide more value to the estate"
than the Hutchison Whampoa proposal.

Global Crossing, headquartered in Bermuda, filed the fourth-
largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case in history Jan.
28, listing US$12.4 billion in debts.

The company, based in Bermuda but run out of offices in Beverly
Hills, Calif., spent US$15 billion over five years building a
100,000-mile fiber-optic network. Its fortunes declined last year
amid weak demand for bandwidth and investors' concerns about the
company's debts.

CONTACTS:  Paul M. Basta (Global Crossing)
           New York, New York
           New York Office
           Phone: (212) 310-8772

           Jay Goffman, Esq. (Gores Technology)
           300 South Grand Avenue
           Los Angeles, CA 90071-3144
           Phone: 212-735-3000

GLOBAL CROSSING: Another House Panel Plans Inquiry
Following this week's investigation by the House Energy and
Commerce Committee into the accounting practices and executives'
sales of company stock at Global Crossing, another house panel
plans to start an inquiry.

The House Financial Services subcommittee will hold a March 21
hearing on the bankruptcy, Peggy Peterson, a committee
spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"It was a huge bankruptcy that has gotten scant congressional
attention," Peterson said.

Global Crossing faces accusations that it used sham transactions
to increase revenue and that it misled investors about its
financial health.

The Company is already facing investigations by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange
Commission, in addition to shareholder lawsuits. Its stock, which
by February 2000 had soared above US$60, giving the Company a
value close to US$50 billion, now trades at about 15 cents a

The Energy and Commerce Committee gave Global Crossing two weeks
to respond to 22 questions about its accounting; its relationship
with its auditor, Arthur Andersen; and profits made by executives
from stock sales.

          33 W. Monroe St.
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Phone: 312-580-0033
          Fax: 312-507-6748
          Home Page:
          Joseph Berardino, Managing Partner and CEO
          Barbara J. Duganier, Managing Partner and CFO

          P.O. Box HM 1553
          Hamilton HMFX
          Phone: 1 441 295 0001
          Fax:   1 441 292 1142

GLOBAL CROSSING: Rejecting Woodcliff Lease, Consolidating Ops
Global Crossing announced Wednesday that it has notified
Widewaters Woodcliff VI Co. that it will not be moving into the
Woodcliff Office Park in Perinton, N.Y., as previously announced.
Global Crossing, which announced in November 2001 that it would
lease the Woodcliff Office Park as part of its plan to
consolidate its Rochester operations, decided instead to utilize
area facilities it already occupies. Global Crossing will be
filing a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of N.Y. to reject the Woodcliff Office Park lease. No
filing date has been announced.

Since Global Crossing did not yet occupy the building, no
employees, operations or customers are affected by this decision.

"We re-evaluated the situation and determined that it would be
more cost-effective for Global Crossing to move in a different
direction," said David Carey, senior vice president, Global
Crossing. "We took into consideration the cost of preparing the
facility for our use, and determined that we could eliminate
millions of dollars in capital expenditures by utilizing
facilities we already occupy.

"The consolidation that is taking place in Rochester, as well as
that which we have previously announced in Beverly Hills, is part
of a larger effort to vacate more than 70 sites and save an
estimated $72 million in real estate costs," Carey added. "This
is a critical step towards helping Global Crossing achieve its
goal of becoming a leaner operation as we continue to work
through the restructuring process."

Global Crossing plans to reduce the number of offices leased in
Rochester from 10 to three by the end of the second quarter.
However, Carey noted that the Rochester community would continue
to be central to operations.

"We want to emphasize that we are not leaving Rochester -- we
continue to have a substantial presence in the community," said
John Legere, chief executive officer of Global Crossing.

Global Crossing announced recently that it is planning to reduce
its workforce by approximately 1,600 by the end of March.
However, Global Crossing has not released information on the
specific impact of any geographic region. "That is all still
under consideration," stated Legere.


Global Crossing provides telecommunications solutions over the
world's first integrated global IP-based network, which reaches
27 countries and more than 200 major cities around the globe.
Global Crossing serves many of the world's largest corporations,
providing a full range of managed data and voice products and
services. Global Crossing operates throughout the Americas and
Europe, and provides services in Asia through its subsidiary,
Asia Global Crossing.

On January 28, 2002, certain companies in the Global Crossing
Group (excluding Asia Global Crossing and its subsidiaries)
commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of New York and coordinated proceedings
in the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

          Press: John Schmidt, +1-973-410-8466,

          Tisha Kresler, +1-973-410-8666,

          Ken Simril, +1-310-385-5200,


ACESITA: Sells Heavily-Indebted Autoparts Maker To MTP
Brazilian stainless steel producer Acesita sold off its autoparts
maker Sifco as part of a decision to focus on the stainless steel
market and its 34-percent owned CST (Companhia Siderurgica de

According to a report by the Gazeta Mercantil, Acesita divested
Sifco, which has debts greater than its market value, to MTP
(Metalurgica de Tubos de Precisao). MTP reportedly assumed BRL110
million from a total debt of BRL200 million, and paid BRL10.00
for 99.88 percent of the company's shares. Acesita will hold
remaining BRL90 million, to be reduced to BRL20 million.

Acesita invested a total of US$626 million between 1992 and 1998
and earmarked other US$100 million to be spent in in 2001/2002.

Acesita was acquired by Usinor in 1998. Since then, the Company
has undergone a process of technological, operational and
financial restructuring. The process appears to have produced
better overall results to the Company.

To see financial statements:

          AvÝ. Joao Pinheiro, 580 - Centro
          Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
          CEP - 30130-180
          Phone: 55 - 31 - 3235-4200
          Fax: 55 - 31 - 3235-4294

GLOBO CABO: Reports Fourth Quarter 2001 Financial Results
Globo Cabo S.A. (Nasdaq: GLCBY) (Bovespa: PLIM4 and PLIM3)
(Latibex: XGLCP), one of the largest Pay-TV multi-service
operators in Latin America, provider of bi-directional broadband
Internet access and multimedia and data communication services
for corporate networks, announced its earnings results for the
fourth quarter of 2001 (4Q01) and the 2001 consolidated results

* Net Revenue for the 4Q01 was US$113.6 million compared to US$
115.6 million in the 3Q01, a reduction of 1.7%.  This was
primarily due to a slightly lower ARPU in US dollars because of
the seasonal drop of PPV sales in the period and the 1.4%
contraction in the subscriber base over the previous quarter.

* EBITDA reached US$27.5 million in the 4Q01, a 14% reduction
from the US$32.1 million in the 3Q01. EBITDA margin for the
quarter was down to 24.2% from third quarter's 27.8% figure. In
2001, influenced by the devaluation of the Real, EBITDA reached
US$121.4 million, a 2.9% decrease compared to US$125.1 million
for the year 2000.

* Net Debt reached US$680.0 million at the year-end, representing
an increase of 9.7% compared to the September 30, 2001 result.
The impetus behind this increase was the 13.1% appreciation of
the Brazilian Real in the quarter, which caused an increase in
the real-denominated debt.

* Net loss totaled US$27.0 million in the quarter, 77.3% below
the US$118.9 million in the 3Q01. This result is primarily due to
the local currency appreciation in the quarter, compared to the
15.9% depreciation registered during the 3Q01.

* Pay-TV ARPU reached US$28.61 in the quarter, remaining stable
compared to US$28.73 in the 3Q01. The slight 0.4% drop is a
result of lower PPV revenues due to the product seasonality.

To see financial statements:

          Investor Relations:
          Luis Henrique Martinez, +5511-5186-2684,

          Marcio Minoru, +5511-5186-2811,


EDELNOR: Sets Up New Unit As Part Of Restructuring Plan
Chilean power generator, Edelnor, informed the country's
securities regulator that it has set up a new subsidiary, Edelnor
International, in the Caiman Islands, as part of a plan to
restructure its debts, which have reached US$340 million.

The idea, according to a Business News Americas report, is to
negotiate with holders of bonds issued by two banks on the basis
of two lines of credit extended to Edelnor: one for US$250
million authorized by Swiss bank UBS in 1996, and the other for
US$90 million authorized by Bank of America in 1998. The plan
involves acquiring at least 95 percent of the bonds.

The most important part of the restructuring plan is for
Tractebel Andino (a subsidiary of Belgium's Tractebel), or
whomever it authorizes, to express its intention to exercise the
purchase option on 82.3 percent of the shares in Edelnor
belonging to current controller FS Inversiones, in accordance
with the purchase option contract.

The deadline of this contract between FS and Tractebel Andino is
March 31 for Tractebel Andino to acquire the 82.3 percent of
Edelnor that FS bought for US$4.5 million last December. It also
acquired 1 percent of the shares that former owner Mirant held in
Enerpac for US$500,000.

The agreement states that Tractebel will pay FS US$6 million for
82.3 percent of Edelnor shares and 1 percent of Enerpac.

According to Edelnor, last year's agreement also committed
Tractebel to supporting FS in these negotiations to finance and
carry through reconstruction.

In the event that Tractebel cannot exercise its purchase option
on Edelnor by March 31, it must pay a month-by-month option
renewal fee of FS US$89,000.

CONTACT:  Empresa Electrica Del Norte Grande SA (EDELNOR)
          Avenida Grecia 750
          Antofagsta, Chile
          Phone: +56 55 248500
                 +56 55 248094
          Contact: Fernando del Sol, Chairman


FILANBANCO: Discussions With Thesis Underway
Salvador Aguirre, the government-appointed manager of Filanbanco,
revealed that the Ecuadorian government-run bank is in talks to
hire international asset-recovery firm, Thesis, to collect its
US$600-million loan portfolio, reports Business News Americas.

According to Aguirre, the move will not cost the government a
thing because the firm charges a commission on the assets it
recovers. Aguirre also said that 50 percent of the loan portfolio
could be subject to restructuring agreements with debtors.

Thesis has a strong track record in asset recovery because it
helped the Mexican government recover funds from defunct banks
after the Tequila crisis in 1994-1995, Aguirre related.

Filanbanco was taken over by the government in the wake of the
1998-1999 financial crisis, and is now in liquidation, after
closing its doors July 18 last year.

          Av. 9 of 203 October and Pichincha
          Guayaquil, Ecuador
          Phone: 322780 ext. 2885
          Fax: 329451
          Home Page:
          International Business Division
          Germania Narv ez Brandon

          Legal Divison (Guayaquil)
          Marks Arteaga Valenzuela, Departmental Manager


GRUPO BITAL: ING Capital Injection Boosts Shares
The recent announcement that Dutch insurance giant, ING, agreed
to inject US$200 million in capital into Grupo Financiero Bital
prompted a sharp rise in the Mexican banking group shares.

Bital's "L" series shares gained 14.29 percent to MXN7.20 per
share on volume of 553,700 shares, while its "O" series were up
8.07 percent to MXN8.70 per share, on slight volume of just 8,500

Analysts said the rise in both series was a positive reaction to
Bital securing a partner.

"It took us by surprise as some people did not expect Bital to
find a partner so quickly. We were expecting something around
August," said Alejandro Gonzalez, banking analyst with brokerage
Bursametrica Management.

In return for the cash injection, ING will get a 17.5-percent
stake in Bital. The deal with ING is expected to close in the
second quarter, which Bital said would allow it to fulfill the
agreement it made with the Bank Savings Protection Institute
(IPAB) when it finalized its purchase last year of failed Banco
del Atlantico.

"Some traders are buying into Bital because ING could raise its
stake in the short-term, not just holding onto the 17.5 percent,"
said Mr. Gonzalez.

          Joyce Hulst, Corporate Communications,
          + 31 20 541 5469

          ING AMERICAS
          Dianne Bernez, Corporate Communications,
          + 1 770 618 3910

          Adriana Jaramillo, Edelman Public Relations - Mexico,
          +525 566 2822 ext.244, for ING Group

GRUPO MEXICO: Negotions Fail to Yield Satisfactory Agreement
There are no indications that the week-old strike lodged by
workers at four units of mining company Grupo Mexico, one of the
world's largest copper producers, will end any time soon.

Talks between officials of the National Mining and Metallurgical
Union and Grupo Mexico management, held Tuesday at Mexico's labor
ministry in Mexico City failed to lead to an accord.

More than 4,000 workers at four units of Grupo Mexico in four
different states walked out last week March 5, demanding that
Grupo Mexico up its offer of a 5-percent salary increase to
between 8 percent and 10 percent.

According to union officials, the strike has shut down operations
at the four units, including a copper mining, smelting and
refining facility at La Caridad, Sonora, and zinc operations in
Zacatecas, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi, among others.

Struggling with a debt load of US$2.5 billion and a decline in
its earnings, Grupo Mexico has adopted strict cost-cutting
measures in recent months, including mine closures and extensive

The Company's operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2001
were down 125 percent compared to the same period a year ago, and
down 64 percent for the last fiscal year.

           Avenida Baja California 200,
           Colonia Roma Sur
           06760 Mexico, D.F.
           Phone: +52-55-5264-7775
           Fax: +52-55-5264-7769
           German Larrea Mota-Velasco, Chairman & CEO
           Xavier Garcia de Quevedo Topete, President & COO

MEXICAN BANKS: Quadrum's Downfall Sparks Closer Examination
The recent demise of Banca Quadrum has led Mexico's banking and
securities regulator, CNBV, to scrutinize the country's banking
industry more closely, Business News Americas reports.

Among the local banks that the CNBV has put under "special"
revision are Bansi, Interacciones and Mifel. The regulator is
clearing up certain points with Bansi, while Interacciones is
adjusting its capital structure to have a more solid short-term
position, and Mifel is restructuring its capital structure.

According to the most recent statistics published in September of
last year by the CNBV, Bansi reported accumulated profits of
MXN39.7 million (US$4.38 million), along with assets and
liabilities of MXN697 million and MXN228 million, respectively.

Interacciones is working toward compliance with new
capitalization rules, and is building up its reserves against
non-performing loans (NPLs). Reserves amounted to 56 percent of
NPLs at the end of the year, and the bank intends to add MXN90
million this year, to bring the coverage to 140 percent, revealed
Interacciones president, Hank Gonzalez.

According to the CNBV, Interacciones' net losses rose from
MXN29.5 million in the third quarter of 2000 to MXN101 million in
the third quarter of 2001. As of September 2001, the bank had
assets of MXN6.53 billion and liabilities of MXN6.86 billion.

The September 2001 statistics for the third bank, Bansi, reveals
assets of MXN1.7 billion and liabilities of MXN1.29 billion.


CORPOSANA: 13 Groups Buy Pre-qualification Guidelines
A spokesperson for Paraguay's state reform agency, SNRE, revealed
that 13 companies bought pre-qualification guidelines by Monday's
deadline, reports Business News Americas.

The 13 companies are:

  1  - Anglian (UK)
  2  - International Water (UK)
  3  - Canal de Isabel II (Spain)
  4  - Aguas del Bilbao (Spain)
  5  - Proactiva Medio Ambiente (Vivendi-FCC) (France)
  6  - Ondeo (France)
  7  - A consortium made up of Uruguay's state water utility OSE
       and Spain's Aguas de Valencia
  8  - Compania Internacional de Aguas (Paraguay)
  9  - Consorcio EMSA-ECOMIPA (Paraguay)
  10 - Fluoder (Paraguay)
  11 - Consorcio EDB (Paraguay)
  12 - Acea (Italy)
  13 - A consortium made up of Corposana workers

Business News Americas adds that questions regarding the
guidelines will be accepted until March 15. Company background
information is due March 25. Pre-qualification results will be
known April 5, and offers will be opened June 27.

Chicago-based firm, Baker & McKenzie, is the sale's legal
adviser. Spanish banking group, Santander Central Hispano, is the
financial consultant. Spanish investment bank, Nmas1, is managing
the sale process.

           Baker & McKenzie
           Latin America Regional Council
           c/o Eduardo de Cerqueira Leite - Chairman
           Av. Dr. Chucri Zaidan 920, 8th floor
           Market Place Tower I
           04583-904 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
           Tel: (55-11) 3048-6800
           Fax: (55-11) 5506-3455
           Marketing Manager: Ellen Van-Waveren

           Baker & McKenzie Headquarters:
           1 Prudential Plaza, 130 E. Randolph Dr., Ste. 2500
           Chicago, IL 60601
           Phone: 312-861-8800
           Fax: 312-861-2899

           Banco Santander Central Hispano
           Plaza de Canalejas,1
           28014 Madrid, Spain
           Phone: +34-91-558-10-31
           Fax: +34-91-552-66-70

           Emilio Botn-Sanz, Chairman
           Angel Corc>stegui Guraya, First Vice-Chairman and CEO
           Jose, Luis del Valle, EVP Finance


BANCO COMERCIAL: Fitch Cuts Rating, Changes Outlook
Following the recent action taken by Fitch Ratings in downgrading
Uruguay's sovereign rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-' (Negative
Outlook), Fitch has downgraded the long term debt rating of Banco
Comercial (BC) to 'BB' from 'BB+'; the outlook for the bank's
rating was also changed from Rating Watch Negative to Rating
Watch Evolving.

As was highlighted in our rating update of Feb. 1, 2002, Banco
Comercial's substantial exposure to Argentine public and private
sector borrowers, as well as the negative repercussions for the
bank following fraud allegations in Argentina aimed at two of the
bank's board members, led to a previous downgrade of the bank's

Since that time, Uruguay's government announced that its Central
Bank will take a substantial non-voting participation in the
bank's capital in return for a capitalization of US$33 million.
Also, the bank's strong foreign shareholders (JPMorgan Chase,
Credit Suisse First Boston, and Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika) have
committed US$100 million to further bolster the bank's equity
base to maintain their joint control of the bank. Details of the
proposed recapitalization have not yet been made public, but
these announcements have helped stem the loss of confidence in
the bank that led to some pressure on its deposit base earlier in
the year.

Without details of the recapitalization of the bank or of the
actions the bank will take to address its substantial Argentine
exposure, Fitch cannot fully judge the sufficiency of these
impending actions. We continue to believe, however, that BC's
importance to the Uruguayan banking system will assure any
official support that may be necessary to allow its continued
operation. With doubts about the timing and form of BC's
recapitalization and about the actions that the bank will take to
reserve for its Argentine exposure, Fitch feels that BC's rating
should fall below that of Uruguay's sovereign rating, and has
therefore made the above noted adjustment to BC's rating, and
placed this rating on Rating Watch Evolving until further details
of the plans of the bank and of its shareholders are available.

Contact:  FITCH RATINGS (New York)
          Peter Shaw
          Ricardo Chaves

          FITCH RATINGS (Buenos Aires)
          Lorna Martin
          Ana Gavuzzo

Media Relations: James Jockle 1-212-908-0547, New York


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 Ma. Cristina Canson, 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.

                   * * * End of Transmission * * *