TCRLA_Public/020322.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 22, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 58



ARGENTINE CORPORATES: S&P To Revise Local, Foreign Ratings To SD
REPSOL YPF: May Have To Sell More Assets To Reduce Debt
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Parent Denies Sale Talk Rumors


GLOBAL CROSSING: Johnson & Perkinson Files Class Action Suit
GLOBAL CROSSING: Schoengold & Sporn Commence Fraud Class Action
GLOBAL CROSSING: KAB Seeks Details On Relationships, Bidders
GLOBAL CROSSING: SEC Probes Into Deal With Adviser's Affiliate


GLOBO CABO: Shares Continue To Slide As Concern Mounts


MADECO: Announces Effects Of The Argentine Crisis On Results


OLEODUCTO DE CRUDOS: S&P Lowers to 'BBB' on Repsol Concerns


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Approves US$300 Mln DIP Financing


ALFA SA: Shares Down 2.5% Following Hylsamex Default Rating
ANDERSEN: BDO In Talks To Buy Mexican Units
GRUPO BITAL: Concludes US$400-Mln Capitalization Plan, Stage One
GRUPO BITAL: BBVA Upgrades Stock to "Buy" Recommendation
GRUPO MEXICO: Strike Continues, Workers At Two Units Refuse Deal

GRUPO MEXICO: To Confront US$26 Mln Debt Payment Next Week
LASON INC.: Bankruptcy Judge Approves Disclosure Statement
LASON INC.: Company Profile


AES CORP: Venezuelan Unit To Pay Special US$59.4 Mln Dividend
AES CORP: Remaining 5% CANTV Stake Sold to Undisclosed Buyer

     - - - - - - - - - -


ARGENTINE CORPORATES: S&P To Revise Local, Foreign Ratings To SD
Following an issue on March 13 of regulation A 3507 by the
Central Bank of Argentina, Standard & Poor's Corp will be
revising over the next few days the local and foreign currency
ratings of all the Argentine entities that are mandated to pesify
their financial obligations to SD (selective default), says AFX.

Subsequently, S&P will assign a new issuer rating to each entity
according to the impact the pesification could have on its
financial profile.

The March 13 issue clarifies the application of Article 3 of
Decree 214 of February 3, 2002, which established the mandatory
payment in pesos of financial obligations originally contracted
in foreign currency in the Argentine financial system.

According to S&P, the pesification of local debt in US dollars
with the Argentine banking system, mandated by the new central
bank regulation, is considered a local and foreign currency
selective default.

"Although companies with substantial amounts of pesified debt
might benefit initially, this intended benefit might be short-
lived if inflation soars, because of the new CPI-type indexation
mechanism for pesified debt, and if the new proposed tax on
companies now indebted in pesos is implemented," said S&P credit
analyst Lidia Polakovic.

"For most Argentine corporates, S&P will consider this mandated
pesification as a local and foreign currency selective default,
as it implies a material change in the original terms of the
financing," said S&P credit analyst Marta Castelli.

By requiring the private sector to convert dollar obligations to
peso obligations at a 1:1 exchange rate, compared with the
current market rate of approximately 2.5 pesos per US dollar, the
government is mandating debtors into what S&P considers a
coercive debt exchange for 40 pct of the original principal in US
dollar terms.

While the pesification of domestic dollar loans intends to
benefit Argentine companies' ability to meet their financial
obligations, depending on their degree of exposure to the local
financial system, among other things, S&P considers that this
intended benefit will be eroded by the same government
regulations that created it.

If inflation soars and companies are not able to pass through
these increases to prices -- specially regulated entities -- at
the same pace that obligations are adjusted by the CER, then the
potential benefits of pesification will vanish.

REPSOL YPF: May Have To Sell More Assets To Reduce Debt
Repsol-YPF Chief Executive Officer Alfonso Cortina has already
cut earnings and debt-reduction targets. The latest word is he
may have to sell more assets in order to offset the company's
plunging profit and to reduce the debt mountain, said analysts.

Cortina took advantage of the lowest oil prices in a decade to
buy Argentina's YPF for US$15 billion in 1999, assuring investors
that the purchase would boost earnings and that Repsol would soon
pay off the debt. But three years later, Europe's fifth-largest
oil company is the most indebted of all major oil producers.

Repsol is the worst performer in the 12-member European Oil and
Gas Producers Index this year, trading at a 20 percent discount
since the time when Cortina bought YPF.

Earlier, Commerzbank analyst Doug Leggate expressed optimism that
the Spanish oil company has significant prospects for recovery in
2002 despite a 57.8-percent drop in profits in 2001.

Repsol-YPF completed EUR1.23 billion (US$1 billion) in
divestitures last year, including part of its stake in the Edenor
pipeline business in southern Argentina for some EUR200 million.
Crucially, Repsol retains access to the pipeline.

Commerzbank does not believe Repsol-YPF needs to sell core
assets, because it does not perceive the company has a liquidity
problem. They don't foresee any major budget cuts in the future
either, unless the Argentine government takes the "unlikely" step
of freezing oil prices, Leggate said.

           Alfonso Cortina De Alcocer, Chairman & CEO
           Ramon Blanco Balin, Vice Chairman
           Carmelo De Las Morenas Lopez, CFO

           Their Address:
           Paseo de la Castellana 278
           28046 Madrid, Spain
           Phone   +34 91 348 81 00
           Home Page:
           Av. Roque S enz Pe a, 777.
           C.P 1364. Buenos Aires

           60261 Frankfurt am Main
           Tel. (+49) 69 / 1362 0
           Fax. (+49) 69 / 285389
           Contacts: Doug Leggate, Analyst

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Parent Denies Sale Talk Rumors
Telecom Italia SpA denied reports that it is negotiating the sale
of its stake in Telecom Argentina Stet-France Telecom SA to
Telefonos de Mexico SA, saying the reports are unfounded, relates

Telecom Argentina is on the verge of collapsing and analysts are
expecting the company to accomplish some targeted financial
wrangling to avoid bankruptcy this year.

Telecom Argentina, the country's largest corporate debtor, has
been hard hit by the currency devaluation after being pegged to
the dollar for a decade and is now in a precarious financial

The Company's depositary receipts trade on the New York Stock
Exchange and it also has bonds outstanding, making it a highly
visible victim of the Argentine collapse. Last month, the Company
quietly engaged Morgan Stanley as a restructuring adviser.

Telecom Argentina must make about US$1.2 billion in debt payments
this year - virtually all of it denominated in foreign currencies
and owned by foreign banks or bond investors.

Last year, the Company managed to postpone payment on a chunk of
its US$3.3 billion in outstanding debt. But since January's
default and devaluation, analysts say foreign banks are less
willing to roll over debt, even for well-regarded companies such
as Telecom Argentina. Bond investors seem even less likely to
refinance payments of US$345 million this year.

In Telecom Argentina's case, the bonds are not guaranteed by the
parent companies, and analysts do not expect Telecom Italia or
France Telecom to rescue their troubled unit.

Among the most important issues determining the fate of Telecom
Argentina will be the renegotiation of its charges with the

Regulators must let it raise rates by enough to prevent
bankruptcy, but avoid inflicting large price increases,
especially as it fears fueling already-rising inflation.

The government kicked off that process this week but a deal could
be at least six months away. Worse for the Company, the cash-
strapped government is considering slapping a "windfall tax" on
the privatized utilities to pay for new social programs.

          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50
          Buenos Aires 1107
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page:
          Juan Carlos Masjoan, Chairman

          1585 Broadway
          New York, New York 10036
          United States
          Phone: +1 212 761-4000
          Home Page
          Philip J. Purcell, Chairman & Chief Executive
          Robert G. Scott, President & Chief Operating Officer


GLOBAL CROSSING: Johnson & Perkinson Files Class Action Suit
Notice is hereby given that Johnson & Perkinson ("J&P") have
filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all acquirers of
Global Crossing Ltd. ("Global") (NYSE: GX - news; OTC BB: GBLXQ -
news) common stock during the period from February 1, 1999
through October 4, 2001, including a subclass of those who
acquired Global stock in the September 28, 1999 merger between
Frontier Corp. and Global.

The Complaint asserts claims against Global officers and
directors and Arthur Andersen LLP for violations of Sections
10(b), 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 and 14a-9 promulgated thereunder by the Securities
and Exchange Commission and Sections 11 and 15(a) of the
Securities Act, failure to disclose material adverse information
and by artificially inflating the Company's reported results on
its financial statements published during the Class Period,
thereby causing plaintiff and other members of the Class to
purchase or acquire Global common stock at artificially inflated

J&P has been retained by two families having collective losses of
approximately $11 million. J&P notify others who suffered similar
substantial losses by acquiring Global common stock pursuant to
the merger which closed on September 28, 1999 between Global and
Frontier, or through the purchase of Global common stock between
February 1, 1999 and October 4, 2001, inclusive, that they may,
no later than April 5, 2002, request the Court appoint them as
lead plaintiff. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that
acts on behalf of other class members in directing the

J&P is a litigation boutique dedicated to maximizing
shareholders' returns and keeping the lead plaintiffs apprized of
the occurrences in the litigation. Attorneys Johnson and
Perkinson are both former employees of the Securities and
Exchange Commission ("SEC"). In particular, Mr. Johnson was an
attorney with the enforcement division of the SEC from 1980-1985
and since that time, has primarily prosecuted complex class
actions on behalf of plaintiffs in the areas of securities and
consumer fraud. Based in South Burlington, Vermont, the firm has
prosecuted leading actions on behalf of defrauded investors in
numerous public companies resulting in the recovery of many
millions of dollars.

           Dennis J. Johnson, Esquire
           Jacob B. Perkinson, Esquire
           1690 Williston Road
           South Burlington, Vermont 05403

GLOBAL CROSSING: Schoengold & Sporn Commence Fraud Class Action
Schoengold & Sporn, P.C., specialists in securities class and
shareholder derivative actions, has filed a securities fraud
class action on behalf of all persons or institutions who
acquired common shares of Global Crossing, Ltd. (NASDAQ: GBLXQ) -
(news; "Global Crossing" or the "Company") between September 28,
1999 through and including October 4, 2001 (the "Class Period")
at artificially inflated prices due to the defendants' materially
false and misleading statements concerning its net income and

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Global Crossing common stock.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Global Crossing issued a
series of statements concerning their businesses, financial
results and operations which failed to disclose (i) that Global
Crossing was experiencing declining demand for bandwidth; (ii)
its operating performance was artificially inflated through
erroneous accounting with other telecom companies; (iii) its
managed network outsourcing services were declining; (iv) the
company was operating at levels well below company- sponsored
expectations, such that revenue projections were overstated and
costs and expenses were understated; (v) individual defendants
and certain Global Crossing insiders sold their personally held
Global Crossing common stock generating more than $1.5 billion in
proceeds; and (vi) the Company raised over $7 billion in debt and
equity offerings. The Company issued announcements on October 4,
2001 overstating cash revenues and expected recurring adjusted
EBITDA to be "less than $100 million," compared to forecasts of
$400 million. As a result, Global Crossing's shares plummeted to
$1.07 per share, a decline of 49%.

The action is pending in the Western District of New York.

           Jay P. Saltzman, Esq
           Ashley Kim, Esq.
           19 Fulton Street, Suite 406
           New York, New York 10038

GLOBAL CROSSING: KAB Seeks Details On Relationships, Bidders
KAB Group, LLC, advisor to The Global Crossing Ltd. shareholders
group that has bid for the company, served demands Wednesday in
the company's bankruptcy case that Global Crossing provide within
30 days all it knows about any past or present relationships
between company officers and directors and anybody associated
with Hutchinson Whampoa Limited and Singapore Technologies
Telemedia Pte. Ltd., the company's preferred bidders.

Kennon A. Brennen, the managing partner of the KAB Group,
commented: "We believe the shareholders who have built this
company have been excluded from due consideration of their bid to
get the company back on track. And we want to know why.
Shareholders want and need an equal playing field and want the
same opportunities afforded the preferred bidders."

Among the demands made by KAB Group was that Global Crossing list
"all individuals with knowledge of how HWL (Hutchinson Whampoa)
and STT (Singapore Technologies Telemedia) were chosen to bid for
the assets" of Global Crossing and "all documents relating to"
the choice of HWL and STT. In addition, KAB asked for all
documents on any other negotiations with potential investors.

The shareholders' group has standing to request the documents and
other information because KAB Group is one of only a few parties
in the matter that filed timely objections to the company's
proposed bidding procedures.

In its initial objections, filed February 22, KAB Group asked
Judge Robert E. Gerber to determine it to be a "qualified
investor," allowing it to participate in the court's debtor's
auction for the assets of Global Crossing. The group proposes
warrant offerings totaling as much as $5.5 billion over three
years to recapitalize the company and make creditors whole.

Mr. Brennen noted that more than 20% of Global Crossing's 30,000
shareholders have already visited the Web site containing the
shareholder group's filings and other information -- -- and that shareholders representing
millions of shares have joined the shareholders' group, with no
financial obligation to themselves and no obligation to
participate in any offering.

           Mark Perlgut
           Tel. 212-888-0044 Exts. 41 & 11

           Stan Froelich
           Tel. 212-888-0044 Exts. 41 & 11

           THE KAB GROUP, LLC
           331 West 57th Street
           Suite 148
           New York, NY 10019
           General Information
           Fax: (212) 956-7829

GLOBAL CROSSING: SEC Probes Into Deal With Adviser's Affiliate
The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating a
deal involving Global Crossing Ltd., and an affiliate of its
bankruptcy adviser Blackstone Group.

According to an article released by The New York Times, Global
Crossing failed to disclose a complex communications capacity
deal reached with a Blackstone affiliate several months before it
filed for bankruptcy in January.

Failure to disclose the earlier transaction raises questions
about Global Crossing executives' intricate dealings and its
business partners around the world as the Company headed toward
bankruptcy, says The Times.

Blackstone denied it had done anything wrong, while a Global
Crossing spokeswoman said its relationship with Blackstone had
focused only on its financial restructuring efforts.

Blackstone originally got involved with Global Crossing last
April through wireless communications company Centennial
Communications Corp. Blackstone now controls 30 percent of

Blackstone's directors on Centennial's board voted for the
capacity deal between Global Crossing and Centennial, according
to a person close to the agreement.

In a January filing with the SEC, Centennial said it had recently
restructured its deal with Global Crossing.

Global Crossing has yet to file its description of the
transaction with the SEC, so it isn't clear how it characterized
the restructured deal. However, the Company, in its May and
August statements, said that it had entered into a multiyear
agreement to sell US$150 million worth of capacity to Centennial.

           Press Contacts:
           Cynthia Artin
           +1 973 410-8421

           Becky Yeamans
           +1 973 410-8421

           Analysts/Investors Contact
           Ken Simril
           +1 310 385-5200

           345 Park Avenue
           New York, NY 10154
           Phone: (212) 583-5000
           Fax:   (212) 583-5712
           Home Page:
           Peter G. Peterson, Chairman
           Stephen A. Schwarzman, President/CEO
           Michael Puglisi, Chief Financial Officer


GLOBO CABO: Shares Continue To Slide As Concern Mounts
Globo Cabo, a leading local cable television operator, succumbed
to more selling pressure following last week's announcement of a
plan to issue stock to shareholders to help pay off debts and
fund investments.

The stock dropped 3.8 percent to BRL0.51, leaving it 37 percent
weaker than where it began the year, as concerns about a planned
US$430 million capital injection haunted the shares.

Earlier this week, a Senate commission said it would call the
president of Brazil's state-owned National Economic and Social
Development Bank (BNDES), a Globo Cabo shareholder, to explain
its role in the Globo Cabo deal.

The BNDES commitment of BRL284 million has attracted questions on
why a state-owned bank is helping bail out a media company ahead
of elections.

Traders have also been concerned by the conspicuously absent
position of Microsoft, which owns 7.5 percent of Globo Cabo. So
far, the company has not taken a position in the deal.

Globo Cabo stock was among the worst performers of 2001 in
percentage terms, tanking 62 percent as Brazil's economic
slowdown robbed it of clients and its debt costs were magnified
by the real's 16 percent depreciation over the 12 months.

To see financial statements:

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

          Marcio Minoru, +5511-5186-2811,

          Main Office
          Av. Republica do Chile,
          100 Rio de Janeiro - RJ
          Phone: (021) 2277-7447/6978
          Home Page:

          Contacts: Enterprise Information Center
          Main Office
          Av. Republica do Chile,
          100 - 13  andar - Sala 1301
          Tel.: (21)2277-8888
          Fax: (21) 2220-2615


MADECO: Announces Effects Of The Argentine Crisis On Results
In an official company announcement, Madeco S.A. said that the
difficult economic and political situation in Argentina has
negatively impacted the Company, both financially and
economically, as well as in equity terms.  The losses arising
from the Company's Argentine operations will be recognized in
Madeco's individual and consolidated financial statements for the
period ended December 31, 2001, and amounts to approximately Ch$
17,780 million.

The detail of the Argentine crisis' impact on the Company's
consolidated results is as follows:

DESCRIPTION                                       APPROXIMATE
                                                   (Ch$ MM)

Translation losses from the Argentine subsidiaries    660
Severance payments and other restructuring expenses   4,660
Provision for valuation adjustments of fixed assets   11,100
Provision for valuation adjustments of other assets   1,360
Total additional charges for the fiscal year 2001     17,780

Madeco says it has recognized the extraordinary Ch$ 12,460
million valuation adjustment provisions for Argentine assets with
the objective of reflecting the best estimate to date of the
potential effects on the Company's assets to be derived from that
country's financial crisis.  Nevertheless, given the severity of
the aforementioned situation, the Company's Argentine
subsidiaries could have future effects in the value of its
assets, its liabilities and its operations, in addition to those
that have already been provisioned.

           Investor Relations
           Ureta Cox 930, Santiago-Chile
           Voice: 56-2 5201380
           Fax: 56-2 5201545


           Oscar Ruiz-tagle Humeres, Chairman
           Albert Cussen Mackenna, CEO
           Santiago Edwards Morice, CFO
           Enrique S. Arangua, General Counsel

           Their Address:
           Ureta Cox 930
           Santiago Chile
           Phone   +56 2 520 1000
           Home Page

           Subsidiary in Argentina:
           Av. Juan XXIII 3630 (1832) Llavallol,
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: 54-11-4003-0000
           Fax:   54-11-4283-0282


OLEODUCTO DE CRUDOS: S&P Lowers to 'BBB' on Repsol Concerns
On March 19, 2002, Standard & Poor's lowered the rating on
Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) and its wholly owned
subsidiary, Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados Ecuador S.A.'s (OCP SA)
$900 million senior bank loan.

The rating action followed the downgrade and credit deterioration
of one of the largest sponsors of the consortium, Repsol-YPF,
which has been lowered twice (from 'A-' to 'BBB+' on Nov. 15,
2001, and to 'BBB' on March 4, 2002). The outlook on Repsol-YPF
is negative, implying that further credit deterioration is
possible. The sponsors' creditworthiness is key to the OCP
rating, because the project rating is based on several (but not
joint) performance guarantees of the sponsors.

The rating reflects the following risks:

-- The risk of building and operating a project in Ecuador
(CCC/Negative/C). Because of the political turmoil in Ecuador,
the project's creditworthiness relies on the willingness and
ability of the sponsors to satisfy their contractual payments
under initial shipper transportation agreements (ISTA) and the
related performance guarantee agreements.

-- The risk that the debt maturity will come due after
concessions on oil fields currently in production end. If future
oil exploration in Ecuador proves to be disappointing, the
economic incentive for the sponsors to honor its contractual
obligations in later years could be substantially reduced.
Notwithstanding, the probability of the sponsors not honoring its
contractual obligation is reflected in the 'BBB' rating.

These risks are mitigated by the following credit strengths:

-- Substantially all of the operating and sovereign risks have
been assumed by the sponsors through their several performance
guarantee agreements. The sponsors are required to make ship-or-
pay payments or advance tariff payments, even if the pipeline is
never completed or is expropriated by the Ecuadorian government
or the economic incentives decrease.

-- The credit strength of the sponsors. All of the sponsors are
rated 'BBB' or above, or are of solid investment-grade caliber,
or have credit support for their obligation. In the case of Pecom
EnergĄa S.A. (Pecom) of Argentina, which is rated CCC+/Negative/-
-, two standby LOCs have been obtained to support its financial
commitment to the project from banks that are rated 'AA-' or

-- The financial strength of the project. Debt service coverage
ratios based on the sponsors' ship-or-pay performance guarantees
are strong, with minimum and average coverage of 1.65 times (x)
and 1.68x, respectively. The project is resilient under stress
scenarios, whereby coverage is at least 1.08x in a scenario where
one of the three major sponsors defaults.

The three major sponsors are Alberta Energy Co., BBB+/Watch Pos/-
-, guaranteeing 28.95%; Repsol-YPF, BBB/Negative/--, guaranteeing
26.81%; and Perez Companc whose LOCs guarantee 21.45%. The three
smaller sponsors (Occidental Petroleum, BBB/Stable/--; Agip, not
rated; and Kerr McGee, BBB/Positive/--) could default
simultaneously, and average coverage would still be acceptable at

-- The importance of the project to the sponsors. The existing
pipeline's capacity is constrained, and this project is necessary
to monetize the sponsors' oil reserves.

-- The sponsors are restricted from transferring their shipping
interest and their requirements for providing guarantees to
entities rated lower than 'BBB+' unless a ratings affirmation is
obtained or they prepay their respective percentage of debt. So
long as Pecom is not rated investment grade by Standard & Poor's,
Pecom's commitment to maintain credit support in the form of LOCs
issued by a bank that is rated at least 'A+', a guarantor with a
rating of at least 'BBB+', or a rating affirmation is obtained
for the use of a performance bond.


The outlook reflects the current creditworthiness of the
sponsors. Further deterioration of one of the major sponsors'
creditworthiness could lead to a downgrade of OCP.

Project Details

The recent delays in construction due to the partial revocation
of the environmental permits and the public demonstrations have
no direct impact on the rating, because of the sponsors'
obligation to make ship-or-pay payments. It is expected that
damage restitution be completed by the start of summer, after the
raining season is over, so that the Ministry may lift the
temporary license suspension. The environmentalist demonstrations
are expected to continue even after the environmental license is
re-established and the project is complying with all Ecuadorian
Regulations. Kerr McGee's intention to sell its 4% interest on
the consortium should not affect the rating because of the
sponsors' obligation to maintain its guarantee or make advanced
tariff payments in the event that the buyer is of a lesser

Analyst: Santiago Carniado, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2013;
Jeffrey Wolinsky, CFA, New York (1) 212-438-2117


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Approves US$300 Mln DIP Financing
Kaiser Aluminum said Tuesday it has received final approval from
the Bankruptcy Court for its US$300 million Debtor-in-Possession
(DIP) financing.

"The final approval of the DIP facility continues the momentum in
Kaiser's restructuring process," said Jack A. Hockema, Kaiser's
president and chief executive officer.

"The addition of a committed credit line availability to our
strong invested cash position will provide continued financial
flexibility to address the needs of our customers, suppliers and
employees as we move forward. Our focus is to deliver best-in-
class products and services and to build a better company for all
our constituencies," Hockema added.

As of March 14, 2002, the Company had no cash borrowings and
approximately US$51 million of letters of credit outstanding
under the DIP facility.

Earlier, a committee representing Kaiser Aluminum's unsecured
creditors and U.S. Bank National Association, which serves as a
trustee for US$397 million in senior notes issued by Kaiser unit
Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., filed limited objections to
some of the terms of the US$300-million debtor-in-possession

The issues in question were the amount of fees related to the
loan with Bank of America N.A., along with guarantees that would
be provided by two Kaiser affiliates that aren't in bankruptcy.

Both objections questioned guarantees that would be provided to
the DIP lenders by Kaiser affiliates Alpart Jamaica Inc. and
Kaiser Jamaica Corp., which aren't in Chapter 11.

When Kaiser filed for Chapter 11 on February 12, it asked the
court to prohibit its noteholders from enforcing their guarantees
against the Jamaican subsidiaries. Kaiser said moves against the
Jamaican units, including a possible involuntary bankruptcy
filing, could prevent the Company from getting materials it
needed to meet customer needs.

Kaiser Aluminum is a leading producer of alumina, primary
aluminum and fabricated aluminum products. Its Chapter 11 filing
listed assets of US$3.3 billion and debts of US$3.1 billion.

To see Kaiser's financial statements:

CONTACT:  Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, Houston
          Scott Lamb, 713/267-3826
          Richard Tauberman, 713/267-3630
          Jamie Schwartz, 713/267-3630


ALFA SA: Shares Down 2.5% Following Hylsamex Default Rating
Shares of Alfa SA, an industrial group with subsidiaries in auto
parts, petrochemicals and steel plunged MXN0.37, or 2.5 percent,
to MXN14.33.

Standard & Poor's rating agency lowered the corporate credit
rating of Alfa's steelmaker unit Hylsamex to "default" from
"selective default" after it failed to make a $13.9 million
coupon payment last week on its Eurobond amid low steel prices
and sluggish U.S. demand.

Hylsamex, Mexico's second-largest industrial group, has a 30-day
grace period to make the US$13.9 million payment before it falls
into default on the Eurobonds.

"The Company doesn't have enough cash flow to make the payment,"
said Ricardo Sada, Hylsamex's treasurer.

Hylsamex is expected to send a consent solicitation to holders of
the Eurobonds sometime this week seeking to extend the maturity
by three years to 2010 with a higher interest rate, Sada said
without giving further details on the proposed terms.

Bondholders holding at least US$1 more than US$150 million of the
debt must agree to the proposal for it to be approved, Sada said.
Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. is managing the request.

The Company will be able to tap a US$40-million revolving bank
loan and US$25 million of new capital from its parent Alfa SA if
bondholders accept the agreement. In that event, they could make
interest payments and move forward on an agreement reached with
banks to stretch out payments on US$627 million in bank loans.

           New York-Headquarters
           11 Madison Ave.
           New York, NY 10010
           Phone: 212-325-2000
           Fax: 212-325-8249
           Home Page:
           Joe L. Roby, Senior Advisor
           John J. Mack, Vice Chairman and CEO
           Richard E. Thornburgh, Vice Chairman,
                Executive Board, CFO and Head of Support

ANDERSEN: BDO In Talks To Buy Mexican Units
Chicago-based BDO Seidman revealed it was in talks over possibly
buying some U.S. operations of tainted rival Andersen while
another BDO arm has met with Andersen over its Mexican units,
reports Reuters.

BDO Seidman is the U.S. unit of global accounting group BDO
International, which had $2.2 billion in revenues last year and
also ranks sixth among accounting companies worldwide.

BDO Seidman posted revenues of US$420 million last year and
provides tax, assurance, financial advisory and consultant

Andersen, also based in Chicago, is in talks with another
accounting firm, KPMG, about selling its non-U.S. operations, in
an attempt to break up the firm on its own terms. Another
accountant group, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, reportedly is
interested in buying Andersen's U.S. non-audit operations.

Andersen is fighting for survival after it was indicted for
allegedly obstructing justice by shredding documents related to
its audit of collapsed energy trader Enron, which went bankrupt
after using shadowy off-balance sheet deals to allegedly hide

The accounting firm pleaded "not guilty" in a court hearing on
Wednesday to the charges.

Andersen, the world's No. 5 accounting house, faces fines of up
to US$500,000 and up to five years of probation if convicted of
the felony charge, filed on March 14.

GRUPO BITAL: Concludes US$400-Mln Capitalization Plan, Stage One
Shareholders of Grupo Financiero Bital have approved a MXN974-
million (US$107 million) capital increase, marking the completion
of the first phase of the Mexican financial group's multi-tiered
US$400 million capitalization plan.

The approval will allow the bank to meet capitalization
requirements related to its acquisition of intervened local bank
Banco del Atlantico in March 2001, said Bital in a statement.

According to Lehman Brothers banking analyst Juan Partida, the
outlook for Bital completing its US$400 million capitalization
program should be viewed as much more positive than what
international credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has

Partida said that the completion of the first round of the
group's capitalization program and the ING deal bring a lot of
life into an already strong franchise.

The capital increase follows last week's events in which Dutch
bank ING agreed to inject US$200 million into Bital in exchange
for a 17.5 percent non-controlling stake in the Mexican bank. The
US$107 million capital increase and the ING deal means that Bital
needs only US$100 million to complete its capitalization program.

Reports released last week suggested that Bital raising the
remaining US$100 million was a long shot. S&P Mexico banking
analyst Ursula Wilhem said that international funding has dried
up for emerging market players such as Bital in the aftermath of
the Enron accounting scandal.

Bital, like many Mexican banks, was overwhelmed by debt after a
catastrophic peso crash in 1994-95 caused interest rates to
skyrocket and millions to default on their loans. Analysts
estimate Bital has been undercapitalized by US$200 million to
US$500 million.

GRUPO BITAL: BBVA Upgrades Stock to "Buy" Recommendation
Expectations that Grupo Financiero Bital will complete its
recapitalization program by mid-year drove BBVA Securities to
upgrade its recommendation on Mexico's No. 5 financial group to
`buy' from `hold.'

Analyst Gustavo Turan, in his report, said: "We believe that, in
the coming months, Bital will undergo what will become one of the
most interesting Latin American financial sector investment
turnarounds of the past couple of years."

Turan said although low liquidity was a barrier for new investors
to buy the stock, Bital management has identified several ways to
increase the stock's liquidity in the months to come.

GRUPO MEXICO: Strike Continues, Workers At Two Units Refuse Deal
Grupo Mexico SA, the world's third-largest copper producer,
reached an agreement with miners to boost wages, ending a two-
week strike that threatened to exacerbate the Company's financial

More than 4,000 workers at four units of Grupo Mexico walked out
March 5, demanding that the Company raise its offer of a 5
percent salary increase to between 8 percent and 10 percent.

Union officials said the strike shut down operations at the four
units, including a copper mining, smelting and refining facility
at La Caridad, Sonora, and zinc and other operations in
Zacatecas, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi states.

However, Consuelo Aguilar, spokeswoman for the National Mining
and Metallurgic Union of the Mexican Republic, revealed that only
workers at the plants in Coahuila and in San Luis Potosi agreed
on a salary hike of 5.25 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively,
and would return to work.

Grupo Mexico had also agreed to pay the workers 50 percent of
their salaries for the 16 days they were on strike, she said.

Workers at the La Caridad plant decided to stay on strike while
those at the Zacatecas plant had not yet taken a decision on
continuing their strike action, Aguilar added. Workers at both
plants rejected the company's pay offer.

           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

GRUPO MEXICO: To Confront US$26 Mln Debt Payment Next Week
Grupo Mexico, which is struggling to meet debt payments amid low
prices for its base metals, faces a US$26-million debt payment
next week. Grupo Mexico's outlook has worsened after a plunge in
copper prices last year strained its finances and raised doubts
over whether it would be able to meet its debt payments.

Despite the negative conditions and challenges, the Company thus
far, has managed to make all of its interest and principal
payments. However, concern is growing that it will continue to
avert serious financial trouble.

Grupo Mexico has held talks since November with 16 banks to
renegotiate a US$450 million loan taken out by its U.S. mining
unit Asarco Inc. The bank loan became subject to early repayment
after a decline in the value of assets linked to copper prices
that backed the debt.

The group also had to obtain two waivers in past months from note
holders to free up its export revenue, which was put into a trust
after certain covenants on the notes became effective when its
credit rating was downgraded in November.

           2575 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 500
           Phoenix, AZ 85016
           Phone: 602-977-6500
           Fax: 602-977-6701
           Home Page:
           German Larea Mota-Velasco, Chairman & CEO
           Genaro Larrea Mota-Velasco, President
           Daniel Tellechea Salido, VP & CFO

LASON INC.: Bankruptcy Judge Approves Disclosure Statement
Lason, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: LSONQ) announced today that the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware (the "Court")
has approved its Disclosure Statement. The Court also authorized
the Company to transmit its Disclosure Statement and Plan of
Reorganization (the "Plan") and solicit votes from its creditors
regarding such Plan. Ballots to vote on the Plan are expected to
be mailed out to the Company's creditors, eligible for voting on
its Plan, within the next week. The deadline for submitting such
ballots has been set for 4:00 p.m. (EST) on April 15, 2002. The
Company's Plan Confirmation Hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
(EST) on April 30, 2002.

"The approval of our Disclosure Statement is a tremendous
achievement," stated Ronald D. Risher, president and chief
executive officer. "We have continued to work through this
process as quickly as possible, and this approval allows us to
continue along our anticipated timeline. We worked very hard in
negotiating our pre-arranged agreement regarding a plan of
reorganization with our senior secured lenders and are proud of
what we have accomplished thus far. We look forward to the Plan
Confirmation Hearing."

About the Company

Lason, headquartered in Troy, Michigan, is a leading provider of
integrated information management services, transforming data
into effective business communication, through capturing,
transforming and activating critical documents. Lason has
operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and the
Caribbean. The Company currently has over 85 multi- functional
imaging centers and operates over 60 facility management sites
located on customers' premises. More information about Lason is
available on its Web site at

CONTACT:  Douglas S. Kearney of Lason, Inc., +1-248-597-5800

LASON INC.: Company Profile
       1305 Stephenson Hwy.
       Troy, MI 48083

PHONE: 248.597.5800

FAX: 248.597.5810



     William Brooks, Chairman of the Board
     Ronald Risher, President & Chief Executive Officer
     Douglas Kearney, (Conway MacKenzie & Dunleavy) Interim CFO
     Michael Riley, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer
     Kenneth Shaw, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

     William Brooks, Chairman Of The Board
     Ronald Risher, President & CEO,Lason, Inc.
     Alan Nesbitt, Member


     Mr. Douglas S. Kearney
     Interim Chief Financial Officer
     Phone: 248.597.5800
     Fax: 248.597.5810

TYPE OF BUSINESS:  The company offers a number of outsourced
document and data management services, including on-site
operation of copy centers, filing systems, and mailrooms, as well
as database management, electronic document conversions, and
print-on demand services. The company operates in the US, Canada,
the Caribbean, and Mexico (it sold its UK operations in 2001). In
addition, it maintains on-site operations at about 60 locations.

SIC: Diversified Services - Miscellaneous Business Services

EMPLOYEES: 10,300 (last reported count)

ASSETS: $150.83 million (Q ended Sept. 30, 2001)

SALES: $550.2M (as of February 5, 2002)

DEBTS: $364.77 million (Q ended Sept. 30, 2001)

PUBLIC SECURITIES: 19,995,570 Shares Of Common Stock, $.01 Par
                   Value Were Outstanding As Of November 16, 2001

     50 Royall St. Canton MA 02021
     Phone: 781-575-3150
     Fax:   781-575-2816

     525 Washington Boulevard
     Jersey City, NJ 07310
     Phone: (201) 222-4293
     Fax:   (201) 222-4309


AES CORP: Venezuelan Unit To Pay Special US$59.4 Mln Dividend
CA Electricidad de Caracas, AES Corp.'s Venezuelan unit, will pay
a special US$59.4 million dividend, or US$0.019 (VEB17.50) a
share, following approval by its shareholders, reports Bloomberg.

The move is seen to help defray AES Corp.'s cost of buying the
power provider in a US$1.66-billion hostile takeover two years

"The date of record will be set by the board," Electricidad
spokesman Juan Azpurua said. The U.S. power company, which owns
87 percent of Electricidad, will receive US$51.7 million from the

AES continues to use special dividends to recover its cost of
purchasing Electricidad last year. Since its takeover,
Electricidad has agreed to pay about US$500 million in dividends.

CONTACTS:  AES Corporation
           Kenneth R. Woodcock
           Roger W. Sant, Chairman
           Dennis W. Bakke, President, CEO, and Director
           Barry J. Sharp, EVP Large Utilities, CFO, and COO

           THEIR ADDRESS:
           AES Corp.
           1001 N. 19th St.
           Arlington, VA 22209
           Phone: 703-522-1315
           Fax: 703-528-4510

AES CORP: Remaining 5% CANTV Stake Sold to Undisclosed Buyer
AES Corp. said it sold for US$91.5 million its stake of slightly
more than 5 percent in Venezuela's leading telecommunications
company CANTV. According to AES's Venezuelan unit, it sold nearly
7.2 million ADSs of CANTV in a single transaction, at a price of
US$12.75 per ADS, for a total of US$91.5 million.

The name of the buyer was not disclosed.

"AES needed and wanted the money," said Alex Dalmady, managing
director of research firm InvestAnalysis. "They were fed up" with
CANTV's management as well.

AES had complained that current CANTV management was not
producing value for shareholders given the company's

The sale comes just months after AES dropped its bid for CANTV
after the Venezuelan company countered with a higher competing
bid to shareholders.

"We continue to have a small residual holding," CA Electricidad
de Caracas spokesman Juan Azpurua said.

AES acquired its stake in CANTV in 2000 when it acquired CA
Electricidad in a US$1.66 billion hostile takeover bid.
Electricidad acquired its shares in CANTV in 1991 for about
US$300 million for a 6.4 percent stake.

That stake was reduced last year during CANTV's share repurchase

"EDC (and AES) got about $150 million back for their initial
investment," Dalmady said. "It wasn't the best investment ever


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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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.

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