TCRLA_Public/020423.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

            Tuesday, April 23, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 79



ARGENTINE BANKS: CB Declares Freeze On Banking, Forex
EDENOR: Seeks Tarriff Increase To Prevent Bankruptcy
REPSOL YPF: S&P Affirms YPF Ratings; Outlook Developing
SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Closure May Signal Impending Collapse
SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Canada's CB Governor Seeks Prompt Reopening
SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Fitch Ratings Affirms Parent's 'AA-' Ratings


FLAG TELECOM: Requests Appeal Hearing for NASDAQ Delisting
I.P.C. GROUP: A.M. Best Ceases Ratings At Company's Request


ACESITA: To Sign Distribution Agreement With Acos da Amazonia
BANCO ECONOMICO: Ciquine To Be Tendered May 8
BCP: Bellsouth Denies Reaching Agreement With Safra
CASA ANGLO: Former Head, Executives Face BRL600,000 Fine


AVIANCA: Sets Up Operating Alliance With Two Colombian Airlines


ENRON: Jamaican Unit To Be Sold By June


BUFETE INDUSTRIAL: Former President Sues Over Unpaid Salary
GRUPO BITAL: ING Still Finalizing Deal
GRUPO DINA: Drops SEC Registration; Delists From NYSE
ICONSA: Mexican Bourse Halts Trading Pending Bankruptcy Details


BLADEX: Shareholders Approve Board Expansion

     - - - - - - - - - -


ARGENTINE BANKS: CB Declares Freeze On Banking, Forex
Argentina's Central Bank announced it would suspend banking and
foreign exchange indefinitely beginning this week amid fears that
a shortage of cash could lead to a complete collapse in the
already floundering financial system, reports Reuters.

The country's near-bankrupt financial sector has hemorrhaged
around US$50 million a day since December's freeze after many
savers won lawsuits to overturn the ban on letting them have
their money.

The government now plans to return most depositors' savings as
10-year bonds, not cash, further angering the public. Legislators
are likely to support the plan, Congressional sources said.

Argentina has asked for at least US$9 billion in aid to avoid
defaulting on International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans,
says Reuters. International lenders have been demanding evidence
that provinces will stop the runaway spending that forced
Argentina to default on part of its US$140 billion debt load.

EDENOR: Seeks Tarriff Increase To Prevent Bankruptcy
Electricite de France (EdF) Argentine unit Edenor, electricity
distributor for the greater Buenos Aires region, is looking to
raise power tariffs to stave off an impending bankruptcy.
Moreover, the Company is urging the government to cut its tax
burden and ease criteria on standards and investments.

According to managing director Henri Ducre, Edenor is likely to
go bankrupt unless it is allowed to hike power tariffs to offset
the effects of inflation and the depreciation of the peso.

Electricity tariffs were pesified and frozen under emergency
legislation introduced after Argentina dropped its peso/dollar
peg, eliminating Edenor's 5 percent profit margin in one fell

"The pesification of tariffs destroyed the balance between
revenues and costs," Ducre said. "Around 70 percent of our costs
are in dollars, and these have already risen by 130 percent" due
to the peso's depreciation.

"Demand has fallen 10 percent and bad debts (among customers)
risen from ARS28 - 38 million in the past three months. As far as
our debt levels are concerned, the impact of the devaluation has
been greater than all the profits we have obtained during our
concession period."

In ten years of concession, Edenor made US$450 million in profits
on US$1.165 billion in investments. Its debt now totals US$515

Asked if EdF plans to exit Argentina, Durce replied: "No. We are
working on continuing to provide a service. Our concession
contract is for 95 years and we want to honor it."

          Azopardo Building
          Azopardo 1025 (1107) Capital Federal
          Phone: (54-11) 4346-5000
          Fax: (54-11) 4346-5300
          E-mai: to
          Home Page:
          Riuttort Marc, Treasurer
          Fax: (54 1) 348-2149

REPSOL YPF: S&P Affirms YPF Ratings; Outlook Developing
S&P's Rationale

On April 18, 2002, Standard & Poor's affirmed its ratings on YPF
Sociedad Anonima. The rating action followed the release of
financial statements by the company confirming Standard & Poor's
expectations of a significant debt reduction as of December 2001,
therefore lowering immediate refinancing risks.

The ratings on Argentina-based YPF reflect the challenges of
operating in the highly uncertain, challenging, and rapidly
changing Argentine economic environment. These challenges are
offset by YPF's moderate financial profile, its importance to
parent Repsol YPF S.A., and Repsol-YPF's economic incentives to
strongly support its Argentine operation. The ratings also
reflect its position as a major, integrated energy company that
operates in an industry with highly volatile international prices
while its reserves are geographically concentrated in Argentina.

The existence of cross-default clauses and the strong performance
of YPF's operations provide significant incentives for Repsol to
support its Argentine operations. The cross-default clauses
specify that Repsol would incur an event of default on its bonds
if any principal subsidiary, including YPF, defaulted on more
than US$20 million of debt obligations. Nevertheless, given
Repsol management's statements that it would not necessarily
support YPF in case of direct intervention by the Argentine
government, Standard & Poor's continues to maintain a significant
differential between the ratings on Repsol and YPF.

With sales of $8.1 billion for 2001, YPF is Argentina's largest
company and Latin America's fourth-largest integrated power
company. As of December 2001, YPF had 3.360 million boe of oil
and gas proven consolidated reserves, of which 90% was in
Argentina, 49.5% was oil, and 77% were developed reserves.

S&P's Outlook

Ratings could be raised if Standard & Poor's deems that Repsol-
YPF has sufficient economic incentives to support YPF therefore
mitigating direct sovereign risks, particularly an increase in
the current transfer and convertibility restrictions. Conversely,
ratings could be lowered if deepening sovereign stress leads to
increasing government intervention that hurts YPF's operations
and ability to service its debt.

Financial Details

Although YPF is an integrated producer, given the high share of
the exploration and production division in the operating income
of the company, its profitability is closely linked to
international oil prices. Because of unusually high crude oil
prices that persisted from early 2000 until late 2001, production
increases, and improvements in the cost structure, the company's
profitability has improved significantly. The rise in crude oil
prices led to YPF's improved capital structure, which remains
moderately leveraged with financial debt at less than 20% of
total capitalization as of December 2001. In addition, YPF also
showed excellent cash flow protection measures, with funds from
operations covering 180% of total financial debt in 2001.
Likewise, EBITDA interest coverage for the same period reached
11.7 times (x). Although these measures should decline in an
environment of more moderate crude oil prices, which is very
likely for 2002, and the "pesification" of YPF's substantial
local businesses such as oil refining and marketing and natural
gas sales, YPF's financial profile is expected to remain strong
for the rating category. Future financial performance will also
be conditioned by the effects of the currency devaluation and the
new economic environment in Argentina. The most important factors
affecting profitability are a 20% export duty on crude oil
exports and a 5% export duty on refined product exports; and the
pesification of natural gas tariffs. In addition, the threat of
potential retail price controls could lead to a deterioration of

Although the company has adequate financial flexibility given the
potential support of its parent and its strong operations and
exports, the recent introduction of foreign transfer-control
regulations in Argentina is a clear limitation. Nevertheless, oil
exporters still have the ability to leave up to 70% of export
proceeds outside the country. Despite the existence of transfer
restrictions, the company was able to meet the maturity of an
Italian liras 300,000 million bond on Dec. 18, 2001, and all
interest and other principal payments on timely basis. Moreover,
although recently introduced regulations from the Central Bank
authorized Argentine corporates to convert some financial
obligations to pesos from dollars at a 1 to 1 rate, YPF did not
take any advantage of such regulations and honored its
obligations without affecting their values.

Analyst: Pablo Lutereau, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2125; Marta
Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128; Emmanuel Dubois-
Pelerin, Paris (33) 1-4420-6673

SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Closure May Signal Impending Collapse
Argentina's move to force Scotiabank Quilmes, a unit of Canada's
Bank of Nova Scotia, to suspend operations for 30 days spurred
fears that the government may not be able to prevent the creaking
financial system from collapsing, says Reuters.

The closure of Scotiabank Quilmes is a high-risk strategy by the
Argentinean leaders effectively telling foreign banks to either
protect their local units with new cash or face closing them

"If they think it will be impossible to operate in Argentina, no
one will want to stay," one bank analyst said.

Of all foreign banks operating in Argentina, Scotiabank is the
first to clearly state it is not willing to shore up its local
unit until bank rules are clearer. Others have either said
nothing or are considering additional cash injections.

The Argentine Central Bank late Thursday said it had suspended
for 30 days most of the operations of Scotiabank Quilmes SA
because the Company had run short of funds.

Scotiabank blamed Argentina's peso devaluation, a lack of
assistance from the central bank and the government's February
decision to convert outstanding dollar bank loans into pesos at a
rate 30 percent less than dollar deposits were converted into
pesos for its cash shortage and its inability to continue

Argentina's central bank wants Scotiabank Quilmes to present a
recapitalization plan by May 18.

While most of Scotiabank's operations will be suspended, clients
can continue to use their credit cards, deposit and withdraw
their monthly paychecks or their pension payments, the central
bank said.

           Alan Macdonald
           Chief Executive Officer
           Phone: (54-11) 4338-8000
           Fax: (54-11) 4338-8033
           Mail: 6th Floor
           Gral. J.D. Peron 564
           (C1038AAL) Buenos Aires

           Roy D. Scott
           Vice-President and Managing Director, Latin America
           Phone: (54-11) 4394-8726
           Fax: (54-11) 4328-1901
           Mail: P.O. Box 3955
           C1000WBN Correo Central
           Buenos Aires, Argentina

           Av. Leandro N. Alem 1050, Piso 2
           C1001AAS-Buenos Aires, Argentina
           +54 (11) 4316 5700

           Buenos Aires Office
           Cerrito 268
           C1010AAF Buenos Aires
           Mail Address :
           Casilla de Correo Central 896
           C1010AAF Buenos Aires
           Telephone: [54] (11) 4370 6000, 4370 6700, 4370 6900
           Telecopier: [54] (11) 4370 6800, 4370 6339

           Cordoba Office
           Boulevard Chacabuco 492
           X5000IIR C>rdoba
           Telephone: [54] (351) 420 2300
           Telecopier: [54] (351) 420 2332

SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Canada's CB Governor Seeks Prompt Reopening
Canada's Central Bank Governor David Dodge is hoping that
Scotiabank Quilmes SA will be able to reopen after a bill is
passed Wednesday or Thursday, according to a report released by
Dow Jones.

"On the issue of how they (Argentina) move forward to establish
faith in the banking system, they face an extraordinary and
serious problem and they have a bill in front of the parliament
this week which should, if passed, provide a basis for the BNS to
resume operations," Dodge said.

However, Dodge was far from confident on the issue. He said there
were no assurances that a bill to restructure the banking system
would go through parliament.

"Presuming that it does pass and presuming that it is not altered
and that all Argentinean banks remain shut until such time, then
at least there is a basis for going forward. The Argentineans
have said that the banking system will remain closed until it can
be resolved and that it can be done by Wednesday or Thursday," he

SCOTIABANK QUILMES: Fitch Ratings Affirms Parent's 'AA-' Ratings
Fitch Ratings affirms its ratings for Bank of Nova Scotia (senior
'AA-', short-term 'F1+') following the suspension of operations
at its Argentine subsidiary, Scotiabank Quilmes. Previously, Bank
of Nova Scotia (BNS) had taken substantial reserves against its
exposure to Quilmes and to Argentina. In addition, BNS has
indicated on numerous occasions that given the unique
circumstances in Argentina, it is not inclined to invest further
funds into Quilmes. BNS's remaining exposure in Argentina is very
modest and quite manageable in the context of the bank's earnings
capacity. Scotiabank Quilmes is not rated by Fitch.

    Ratings Affirmed:
    Bank of Nova Scotia
    --  Senior Debt 'AA-';
    --  Subordinated Debt 'A+';
    --  Short-Term Debt 'F1+';
    --  Individual 'B';
    --  Support '2'.

          John Mackerey, 212/908-0366
          Sharon Haas, 212/908-0362
          James Jockle, 212/908-0547 (Media Relations)


FLAG TELECOM: Requests Appeal Hearing for NASDAQ Delisting
FLAG Telecom Holdings Ltd. announced Friday that on April 12,
2002, it received a notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. of
a determination that the Company's securities are subject to
delisting from The Nasdaq National Market.

This delisting would be effective at the opening of business on
April 22, 2002. However, under Nasdaq Marketplace Rules, the
Company has requested a hearing to appeal that determination. The
Nasdaq notice was prompted by the Company's recently announced
Chapter 11 filing as well as concerns about the ability to
sustain compliance with certain technical requirements for
continued listing under Nasdaq's Marketplace Rules.

The Company has requested an oral hearing before a Nasdaq Listing
Qualifications Panel to appeal the staff determination. No date
for a hearing has been set. This hearing request will stay the
delisting of the Company's stock pending a decision by the Panel.

In its notice, Nasdaq staff indicated that its decision was based
on Marketplace Rules 4330(a)(1) and 4450(f), which permit Nasdaq
to terminate the inclusion of a security of an issuer that files
for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws, and the failure
to comply with the minimum bid price requirement for continued
listing contained in Marketplace Rule 4450(a)(5). In addition,
Nasdaq's notice stated that the Company's 2002 annual Nasdaq
Issuer Quotation fee has not yet been paid and that, as a result,
the Company does not comply with Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(13).
Consistent with its obligations under the federal bankruptcy
laws, the Company has paid the pro-rata post-filing portion of
this annual fee for 2002. There can be no assurance that the
Panel will grant the Company's request for continued listing on
the Nasdaq National Market.

     David Morales
          Phone: +44 20 7317 0837
     Brunswick Group
     Jonathan Glass
          Phone:  +44 20 7404 5959

          Mike Buckley
          Phone: +1 212 333 3810
     Sloane & Company
     Charles Southworth
          Phone: +1 212 446 1892

I.P.C. GROUP: A.M. Best Ceases Ratings At Company's Request
A.M. Best Co. has changed the financial strength rating to NR-4
(Company Request) from C (Weak) of the I.P.C. Group, Bermuda.

I.P.C. includes Mutual Indemnity Ltd., Mutual Indemnity (Bermuda)
Ltd. and Mutual Indemnity (U.S.) Ltd., all of Bermuda, and Mutual
Indemnity (Barbados) Ltd. Additionally, the financial strength
rating of D (Poor) has been changed to NR-4 (Company Request) for
Mutual Indemnity (Dublin) Ltd., Ireland.

Management has requested that A.M. Best no longer rate the I.P.C.
Group and Mutual Indemnity (Dublin) Ltd.

CONTACT:  A.M. Best Co.
          Public Relations
          Jim Peavy, 908/439-2200, ext. 5644

          Rachelle Striegel, 908/439-2200, ext. 5378

          Ralph Cagnetta, 908/439-2200, ext. 5211


ACESITA: To Sign Distribution Agreement With Acos da Amazonia
Acesita, Latin America's largest stainless steel maker, planned
to sign a distribution agreement with Acos da Amazonia over the
weekend to supply steel to electronics and domestic appliance
manufacturers for the next two years, relates Business News
Americas. The Brazilian firm will reportedly acquire market share
from steelmakers in Asia and Europe that currently supply these

"It is time to boost the domestic market by creating mechanisms
that satisfy consumer needs in each region," Acesita's marketing
manager Mauro Patricio said.

Meanwhile, Acesita also plans to increase sales to the
construction sector by offering more technical assistance to
potential buyers.

Acesita ended 2001 with a BRL325-million loss, a 45-percent
increase from the amount posted in the previous year. The Company
attributed the widening loss to provisions for debt payments and
loss of assets with the sale of the heavily-indebted autoparts
company Sifco.

Since its privatization in 1992, the Company has divested itself
of assets outside of the steel sector and invested BRL720 million
in repositioning itself in the market, focusing on products of
higher added value.

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

BANCO ECONOMICO: Ciquine To Be Tendered May 8
Brazilian petrochemicals firm Ciquine, one of the last assets of
bankrupt bank Economico that are being sold off by Brazil's
Central Bank, will be tendered in May 8, says South American
Business Information.

The minimum price was fixed at BRL11.640 million and the
Company's data room is to be opened shortly. The two qualified
bidders, Elekeiroz of Brazil's Itausa group, and Petroquimica
Mogi das Cruzes (Petrom) are expected to pay a BRL60,000-fee for
the process.

The new auction was set following a failed attempt last year to
sell the Brazilian firm at a base price of BRL40.2 million (US$16
million). The two qualified bidders, Elekeiroz and Petrom, didn't
present bids thinking that the minimum price was too high.

          Rua Geraldo Flausino Gomes,
          61, 2§ Andar, Brooklin Novo,
          Sao Paulo, SP,
          Brazil 4575-060
          Fone: (0XX11) 5508-2980
          Fax: (0XX11) 55051630
          Home Page:

BCP: Bellsouth Denies Reaching Agreement With Safra
BellSouth Corp., the biggest local phone operator in nine southeastern
U.S. States, denied a Gazeta Mercantil report that it agreed to buy
out Brazil's banking family Safra in wireless company BCP
Telecomunicacoes SA., relates Bloomberg. BellSouth and Safra each own
44.5 percent in BCP.

"At this point in time, no agreement has been reached," BellSouth
spokesman Jeff Battcher said. "We're hopeful for a quick resolution."

According to Gazeta Mercantil, BellSouth agreed to pay about US$300
million for the stake owned by the family Safra in BCP, Brazil's
fifth-largest wireless operator, citing Carlos Alberto Vieira,
president of Banco Safra SA.

The daily further reported that BellSouth and Safra agreed as part of
the deal to make a US$400 million payment on a loan that BCP defaulted
on last month. The payment would include interest on US$375 million
due March 28.

BCP's default last month triggered acceleration on all of the
Company's US$1.6 billion in debt because of cross default clauses,
credit rating company Standard and Poor's said. Banks owed money
include Citigroup Inc.'s Citibank, ABN Amro Holding NV and FleetBoston
Financial Corp.

          1155 Peachtree St. NE
          Atlanta, GA 30309-3610
          Phone: 404-249-2000
          Fax: 404-249-5599
          Home Page:
          Investor Relations
          Phone (US): 800.241.3419
          Fax: 404.249.2060

          Rua Florida, 1970 4o andar
          Sao Paulo - SP
          Tel: 55 11 5509-6428
          Fax: 55 11 5509-6257
          Home Page:

          BANCO SAFRA
          Av. Paulista, 2100 - Sao Paulo
          Brazil - 01310-930
          Phone: (11) 3175-7575
          Home Page:
          Contact: Carlos Alberto Vieira, President

          100 Federal St.
          Boston, MA 02110
          Phone: 617-434-2200
          Fax: 617-434-6943
          Home Page:
          Investor Relations
          Phone: 617-434-2200

          Terrence Murray, Chairman
          Charles K. (Chad) Gifford, President, CEO, and Director
          Eugene M. McQuade, Vice Chairman and CFO

          Avenida Paulista, 1111
          13th floor - room 5
          Sao Paulo 01311- 920
          Home Page:
          Fernando Tafner
          Phone: 55-11-5576-2004

          Foppingadreef 22
          1102 BS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
          Phone: +31-20-628-9393
          Fax: +31-20-629-9111
          Home Page:
          Investor Relations(HQ1191)
          Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
          PO Box 283
          1000 EA Amsterdam
          The Netherlands
          Tel. +31 (0) 20 628 78 35
          Phone:  +31 (0) 20 628 78 37

CASA ANGLO: Former Head, Executives Face BRL600,000 Fine
The Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios, Brazil's securities
regulator, ordered Ricardo Mansur, former head of two bankrupt
department store chains, and four company managers, to pay
BRL600,000 (US$260,000) for withholding information from
investors, reports Bloomberg.

Mansur was ordered to pay a BRL500,000-fine for failing to file
quarterly financial statements after Sept. 30, 1998, misleading
investors about a bond sale, and other infractions related to the
1999 bankruptcy of Casa Anglo Brasileira SA, the parent of the
Mappin and Mesbla department store chains. Mr. Mansure was also
barred from running a public company for five years.

Company general manager and investor relations officer Paulo
Pasian was fined BRL20,000 and barred from serving as an investor
relations officer for five years.

Company executives Paulo de Tarso Midena Ramos and Leonel Pozzi
were each fined BRL30,000.

Two board members, Mailson Ferreira da Nobrega, a former
Brazilian finance minister, and Luis de Freitas Bueno, were
absolved, though an investigator recommended they be fined
BRL30,000 each.

Casa Anglo Brasileira is a holding company engaged in commercial
retailing (department stores) carrying a large variety of
merchandise such as electro-electronics, garments, furniture,
decoration, bed & bath, home appliances, etc. It also offers,
through its subsidiaries, financial services such as consumer
credit and banking. The chain consists of 16 stores.

          Av Brig Faria Lima, 1384 7 Andar
          Sao Paulo SP 01451-001
          Phone: +55 11 30399700
                 +55 11 30399720


AVIANCA: Sets Up Operating Alliance With Two Colombian Airlines
Colombia's three main airline companies - Avianca, Sam, and Aces
- formed an operating alliance called "Alianza Summa," which is
expected to initiate operations May 20, reports EFE.

The cooperation will be operational, with each firm maintaining
its respective administrative structure, according to the new
group's press release.

Alianza chief Juan Emilio Posada announced plans to consolidate
the initiative within two years, and forecasts it will take a
leading role in the region.

Avianca and Sam are owned by Valores Bavaria, the country's
largest investment group, while Aces belongs mainly to the
National Coffee Federation.

Avianca, which is one of the most high-profile firms in Valores
Bavaria's portfolio, secured a crucial financial lifeline late
last year when the government approved its proposed merger with
Aces. After the merger is completed, Avianca-Aces will have a
fleet of 56 aircraft and combined assets of US$700 million.

          No 7A-47 Calle 94
          Santafe de Bogota DC
          Phone: +57 1 600 2100
          Home Page:
          Javier Aguirre Nogues, Chairman
          Leonor Montoya Alvarez, President
          Victor Alberto Machado Perez, Secretary

          P.O. Box 151310
          Av. el Dorado no. 93-30
          Bogota, Colombia
          Phone: (1) 413 9511
                 (1) 295 8977

          Atahualpa Ave. 955 and Republica,
          Edificio Digicom, Office #204
          Phone: 253123
          Fax: 253131

          Society Aeronautica Of Medellin (S.A.M.)
          Street 53 No.45- 211
          Floor 21/Medellin,
          apdo.aereo 1085
          Phone: + 57(4) 251- 5544
          Fax: 251-0711
          Contact: Gustavo Lenis, President


ENRON: Jamaican Unit To Be Sold By June
Jamaican LPG company Industrial Gases Limited (IGL), previously
owned by US energy company Enron, is expected to be transferred
to its new owner by the end of May.

According to a report by Business News Americas, four companies
have pre-qualified to make bids for the Jamaican unit and
according to IGL financial controller Donald Hamilton, these
companies are currently carrying out due diligence.

The bidders include Trinidad and Tobago's Neal & Massy Group,
another Trinidadian company, a group of former Enron managers in
conjunction with Jamaican investors, and a Latin American

IGL distributes 15 million gallons of LPG a year, giving it 40
percent market control. According to industry sources, the
government would block any takeover of IGL by Shell in order to
avoid an LPG monopoly.

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. Enron
listed about US$40 billion of debt, including off-balance-sheet
project financing.

CONTACTS:  ENRON CORP., +1-713-853-4738
           Mark Palmer, Investor Relations Dept.
           P.O. Box 1188, Suite 4926B
           Houston, TX 77251-1188
           (713) 853-3956

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

           Rua Ary Antenor de Souza, 321
           Jd Nova America 13053-024 Campinas - SP
           Phone: +55 19 3726 1098
           Home Page:
           Orlando Rufo Gonzalez, Chairman
           Britaldo Pedrosa Soares, Finance Director


BUFETE INDUSTRIAL: Former President Sues Over Unpaid Salary
Jose Mendoza Fernandez has taken legal action against Mexican
construction company Bufete Industrial, in which he was formerly
a president, reports Mexico City daily el Economista. The suit,
which names 11 other subsidiaries forming "just one economic
unit" as defendants, relates to unpaid salary amounting to MXN27
million (US$2.9 million).

Although the companies are currently undergoing bankruptcy
proceedings, it is thought that the process will be concluded
relatively soon and unpaid salaries can be resolved after the
firms' assets are sold off.

Mendoza claimed that he formerly received MXN6.43 million
(US$701,000) annually, but his income was diminished gradually
until May 2000, when his salary remained unpaid as the Company
struggled to stay afloat amid overwhelming debts.

Bufete initiated pre-bankruptcy proceedings in late January this
year, listing debts of more than US$500 million, almost half of
which is owed to foreign companies.

CONTACTS:  Jose Fernandez, President
           Luis Escalante, Exec. VP - Business Development
           Ernesto Montero, Exec. VP - Operations
           Ramon Lignan, Sr. VP and Comptroller
           Arturo Anel, Sr. VP of Projects

           THEIR ADDRESS:
           Moras 850, Colonia del Valle
           03100 Mexico City, Mexico
           Phone: (525) 723-4728
           Fax: (525) 420-8903

GRUPO BITAL: ING Still Finalizing Deal
Glenn Hilliard, president and general director of ING Americas,
expects the company and Mexico's Grupo Financiero Bital to wrap
up a deal by the end of the month, reports Mexico City daily el

According to Hilliard, the firm is still ironing the legal
details of the transaction, which includes ING investing US$200
million in the Mexican group, representing an economic interest
of 17.5 percent in the retail bank.

"We have worked with Bital for years. We have been good partners
and right now we are negotiating this agreement because we are
seeking to become an even better partner," Hilliard said.

The executive said he had little comment to make on the efforts
of Spanish group Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH) to double
its share in Bital by acquiring 8.3 percent of the stock of Banco
de Comercio de Portugal, other than to say that it was "curious
that it is thought that [BSCH] could be capable of seeking more
[stock in Bital].

Since 1998, Amsterdam-based ING has owned a 49-percent
participation in a joint venture with Bital, which enables ING to
distribute insurance products through Bital's branches.

The co-operation between ING and Bital dates back to 1997, when
both companies established Afore Bital, one of the largest
pension funds in Mexico. In October 2000, ING acquired Bital's
interests in Afore Bital.

          Paseo De La Reforma
          No. 243, Cuauhtemoc,
          06500, Mexico ,D.F.
          Home Page:
          Investor Relations
          Act. Ricardo Garza Galindo Salazar

          Miguel Duarte

          Patrick Hughes or Paul Hebert
          +1 212-688-6840

          Plaza de Canalejas, 1
          28014 Madrid, Spain
          Phone: +34-91-558-10-31
          Fax: +34-91-552-66-70
          Home Page:
          Emilio Botin-Sanz, Chairman
          Ana Patricia Botin, Chairman, Banesto
          Alfredo Saenz, CEO, Chairman BSN, Banif,
                              Deputy Chairman SCH Investment
          Jose Luis del Valle, EVP Finance

          ING GROEP N.V.
          Strawinskylaan 2631
          1077 ZZ Amsterdam,
          The Netherlands
          Phone: +31-20-541-54-11
          Fax: +31-20-541-54-44
          Home Page:
          Ewald Kist, Chairman
          Cees Maas, Chief Financial Officer

GRUPO DINA: Drops SEC Registration; Delists From NYSE
Embattled Mexican truck maker Consorcio G Grupo Dina, Sa De C.V.
confirmed it has cancelled its registration with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the end of its
presence on Wall Street, relates Mexico City daily el Economista.

After nine years of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Dina
requested on December 21st 2001 to leave the market due to the
serious financial problems that finally led to its bankruptcy.

The truck maker is also going to leave the Mexico City Stock
Exchange (BMV) at the end of March. The bourse confirmed it has
already received Dina's request to begin the process of leaving
the market, and is waiting for approval from the National Banking
and Securities Commission (CNBV).

The Company has been facing a series of troubles -- first the
1995 crisis, then the cancellation of the West Star Trucks
contract, and the impossibility of paying the US$6.5 million in
current interest on a US$163-million bond due in 2004.

Failure to meet financial obligations led to a strike in the
Company's plant in Ciudad Sahagun, which ended in its sale. Some
560 workers are still waiting for MXN155 million (US$16.9
million) in back pay.

Dina is now bankrupt and doesn't have options to renegotiate its
liabilities due to the international crisis in the automotive

Nevertheless, Dina executives say all of these would have been
"bearable" if it were not for the worldwide economic slowdown and
the crisis in Argentina, which has dashed any hopes for recovery.

          Tlacoquemecatl de Valle
          No 41 Tlacoquemecatl
          Tel. +52 5 420 3900
               +52 5 420 3987
          Home Page:

ICONSA: Mexican Bourse Halts Trading Pending Bankruptcy Details
The Mexico City Stock Exchange last week halted trading in the
shares of Mexican engineering and construction company Grupo
Iconsa (Ingenieros Y Contratistas S.A. De C.V.) pending further
details of the Company's bankruptcy proceedings, reports Mexico
City daily el Economista.

However, the trading resumed right after the Company said that
information would be provided as soon as the legal requirements
were met.

Iconsa's Board of Directors decided to begin bankruptcy
proceedings under Mexico's version of the U.S. Chapter 11 due to
the Company's difficult financial condition.

Iconsa accumulated losses of MXN255 million (US$28 million) over
the past two years as infrastructure sales in Mexico decreased

In 2001, Iconsa recorded a MXN159.6 million net loss on sales of
MXN748.9 million. The company's total liabilities stood at
MXN675.9 million. Grupo Iconsa is a subsidiary of Mexican
construction Bufete Industrial.

          Calle Tres No. 53
          Naucalpan de Ju rez
          Edo. de M‚xico. C.P. 5356
          Phone: 52 5576-67-55
          Fax: 52 53-58-74-75
          Home Page:
          Andres Conesa Ruiz, Investor Relations
          Phone:  21-22-80-00
          Fax: 53-58-74-75


BLADEX: Shareholders Approve Board Expansion
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (BLADEX), a
specialized multinational bank established to finance trade in
the Latin American and Caribbean region, announced Friday that
shareholders had approved the four proposals presented at the
annual shareholders' meeting held on April 16, 2002.

Shareholders approved a proposal to amend Article 12 of the
Articles of Incorporation of the Bank, which increased the total
number of directors from nine to ten and increased the number of
directors who may be elected by the holders of the Class A shares
from two to three. As a result, Miguel Gomez of Banco de Comercio
Exterior de Colombia was elected the new Class A director with a
term expiring in 2005.

Shareholders also approved the election of the following four
directors to represent the indicated classes of the Bank's common
stock, each for a three- year term:

Class A: Guillermo Guemez, Banco de Mexico (re-elected); Class B:
Ernesto Bruggia, Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (re-
elected) Valentin Hernandez, Citibank, N.A. (USA) (re-elected);
and Class E: Mario Covo, Finaccess International, Inc. (USA) (re-

In a meeting of the new Board of Directors following the
shareholders' meeting, Gonzalo Menendez Duque of Banco de Chile
was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, replacing
Sebastiao Toledo Cunha, who remains a director.

Shareholders also approved the appointment of KPMG Peat Marwick
as independent auditors for the year ending December 31, 2002,
and approved the financial statements for the year ended December
31, 2001.

Contact:  Carlos Yap S.
          Vice President, Finance and Performance Management
          Head Office
          Calle 50 y Aquilino de la Guardia
          Apartado 6-1497 El Dorado
          Panama City, Republic of Panama
          Phone: (507) 210-8581
          Fax: (507) 269-6333
          William W. Galvin
          The Galvin Partnership
          76 Valley Road
          Greenwich, CT 06807
          Phone: (203) 618-9800
          Fax: (203) 618-1010


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
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