TCRLA_Public/020522.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                   L A T I N   A M E R I C A

            Wednesday, May 22, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 100



BANCO RIO: To Issue US$135 Million In Short-Term Debt This Week
BISEL/SUQUIA/BERSA: Minister Calls Nacion Takeover Temporary
SCOTIABANK QUILMES: To Remain Closed For Another 30 Days
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Analysts See Possible Takeover By Creditors


GLOBAL CROSSING: Responds To Recent New York Times Report
GLOBAL CROSSING: Asian Breakup Fee Hinges on Tuesday Deadline
GLOBAL CROSSING: Fiber Optek Unveils US$7.3B Reorg Proposal


EMBRAER: Shows Willingness To Bury Dispute With Bombardier
EMBRATEL: Industry Difficulties May Hinder Parent's Sale Plans
EMBRATEL: WorldCom Gets US$1.5B Loan Deal With Banks; Shares Up
FURUKAWA ELECTRIC: Brazil Among Plants That May Be Sold
NSC (GLOBO CABO): Expects Programming To Be 30% Of Sales May `03
GLOBOPAR: Moody's Places Ratings Under Review For Possible Cut
COPEL: Formally Applies To List On Latibex


GASATACAMA: To Issue Up To $300 Mln In Bonds To Refinance Debt


KAISER ALUMINUM: Net Loss Swells in 1Q02 Financial Results


AHMSA: Finalizing New Debt-Restructuring Proposal
BITAL: To Straighten Out BSCH Conflict Outside Courts
GRUPO MEXICO: Discounts Effects Of Stymied Merger

     - - - - - - - - - -


BANCO RIO: To Issue US$135 Million In Short-Term Debt This Week
In order to roll over existing financing lines of credit, the
Argentine unit of Spain's Santander Central Hispano SA, Banco Rio
de la Plata SA, is placing US$135 million in new short-term

According to a report by Dow Jones, half or US$67.5 million was
scheduled to be sold to U.S. investors Tuesday, while the balance
will be sold Friday. Both issues will mature August 30, Dow Jones
says, citing Sergio Lew, the bank's director of international

According to Lew, Banco Rio's new debt will be backed by an
existing letter of credit issued by the U.S. unit of HSBC
Holdings PLC (HBC).

Banco Rio is one of Argentina's largest banking companies. The
bank, according to Lew, has US$1.4 billion in total debt; about
US$605 million of which matures by May 2003 and another US$250
million matures by May 2004.

Officials from its Spanish parent have already said that Banco
Rio had just three months' worth of capital left, and that
Santander would not send new money to Argentina until the Duhalde
administration stabilized the country's finances and strengthened
the weakened banking system.

          Plaza de Canalejas,1
          28014 Madrid, Spain
          Phone: +34-91-558-10-31
          Fax: +34-91-552-66-70
          Home Page:
          Ana P. Bot­n, Chairman, Banesto
          Emilio Bot­n-Sanz, Chairman
          Francisco G. Rold n, Financial Division General Manager

          Investor Relations:
          Phone: + 34.91.558.13.69
                 + 34.91.558.10.05
          Fax: + 34.91. 558.14.53
               + 34.91.522.66.70

          Bartolome Mitre 480
          1036 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-14-341-1081-1580
          Fax: +54-14-341-1074-1084
          Home Page:
          Ana Patricia B. S. de Sautuola y O'Shea, Chairman
          Jose L. E. Cristofani, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO
          Pablo Caride, Corporate Finance

BISEL/SUQUIA/BERSA: Minister Calls Nacion Takeover Temporary
State-owned Banco de la Nacion's recent assumption of control
over three small banks is only a temporary move to help them
survive the country's financial crisis, said Argentina's Economy
Minister Roberto Lavanga in an AP report.

"La Nacion made the decision to take charge of these banks in a
transitional way, and the word is important," Lavanga said.

He said a "definitive solution" to the three banks' problems
would see them return to the private sector.

On Sunday, the Central Bank in Buenos Aires announced it was
taking over operations of Banco Bisel, Banco del Suquia and Banco
de Entre Rios (BERSA), three provincial banks owned by France's
Credit Agricole.

The French bank said it would stop backing its Argentine units,
which sustained serious losses after the government devalued its
currency and turned U.S. dollar-denominated loans into pesos.

The three banks reportedly need around ARS200 million (US$61.5
million) to stay afloat.

          Bartolome Mitre, 326
          1036 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-4347-6000
          Fax: +54-11-4347-8078
          Home Page:
          Enrique Olivera, President
          Adolfo Martin Prudencio Canitrot, Deputy VP

          91-93 Pasteur Boulevard
          75710 - Paris Cedex 15 - France
          Phone:  +33 01 43 23 52 02
          Fax:  +33 01 30 44 68 88
          Home Page:
          Marc Bue, Chairman
          Jean Laurent, Chief Executive Officer
          Patrice Vincent, Head of the service Synthesis &
                           Financial Info.

          Monte Caseros 128
          3100 Entre Rios
          Phone: 0343-4201200
          Fax: 0343-4213869
          Contact: Alberto Roque Ferrero, Vice-President

          BANCO BISEL S.A.
          Mitre 602 Rosario
          2000 Santa Fe
          Phone: 0341-4200300
          Home Page:
          Guillermo Harteneck, President
          Jean Luc Perron, Vice President
          Bernard Brousse, Vice President

          BANCO SUQUIA S.A
          25 de Mayo 160 Cordoba
          5000 Cordoba
          Phone: 0351-422-2048
          Fax: 0351-420-0279
          Home Page:
          Bernard Pierre Jean Brousse, Vice-President
          Nestor Jose Belgrano, Director

SCOTIABANK QUILMES: To Remain Closed For Another 30 Days
Scotiabank Quilmes, which was suspended on April 18 by the
Argentine Central Bank due to liquidity problems, will remain
shut for another 30 days, a Central Bank official confirmed late

Scotiabank Quilmes was the first foreign-controlled bank to be
suspended from operating due to a massive deposit exodus that
threatened to topple Argentina's fragile banking system.

Scotiabank Quilmes hasn't reported its assets and liabilities
since December, when one peso still equaled one U.S. dollar. The
most recent figures show ARS2.74 billion of assets and ARS2.56
billion of liabilities, including ARS1.66 billion of deposits and
ARS223 million of bonds and international credit lines.

Since the April suspension, Scotiabank's parent, Bank of Nova
Scotia, Canada's fourth-largest bank, has been studying various
options to deal with the unit, including selling it.

           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

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Analysts See Possible Takeover By Creditors
Telecommunications industry analysts view Argentina's leading
telephone company, Telecom Argentina, as the first major firm at
risk of a creditor takeover since the devaluation of the peso
weakened its ability to pay its debts. Most the Company's income
is in Argentine pesos, which have tumbled 70 percent in value
against the dollar since January.

The analysts cited in a Reuters report, said that the firm has a
very narrow chance of making good on its US$3.4-billion dollar-
denominated debt. Telecom Argentina is 54.7-percent controlled by
a holding company owned by France Telecom and Telecom Italia.

"They can't pay their debt," said Ben Laidler, Argentine equity
strategist at UBS Warburg. "What we may see here is the Company
surviving but ending up owned by its debtholders, since its
majority shareholders are unlikely to keep putting money into a
bottomless pit."

Meanwhile, recent reports suggested that Mexico's leading
telephone company, Telmex, may have already agreed to buy Telecom
in returning for assuming its debt. However, with Telecom's debt
estimated to be several times its net worth, analysts said such a
deal was very unlikely.

Instead, foreign and local analysts consulted by Reuters agreed
unanimously that Telecom's hefty debt made it a likely candidate
to be the first major firm to be usurped by its creditors.

"Telecom is totally adrift because that debt is unpayable," said
Hernan Fardi, an analyst for local Maxinver consultancy. "We'll
have to see what happens with their creditors, but they could
very well end up with control of the Company."

Telecom's controlling stakeholders are seen as highly unlikely to
provide fresh cash to keep it afloat. The Company's net worth is
now a fraction of its US$2.37 billion year-end-2001, pre-peso-
devaluation figure.

Conventional wisdom says earnings will be far worse at Telecom,
which is yet to post its first quarter results. With losses
expected, analysts say that any attempt to restructure its debt
could be futile. One analyst said such talks "could last just 30

Under such a scenario, creditors would exercise their right to
take control of Telecom, converting their assets from relatively
worthless debt to a company described as still operationally

"Creditors are going to look for a way to recover their
investment without totally destroying the Company. Taking control
is logical," said Rafael Ber, an analyst for local Argentine
Research consultancy.

Creditors could then leave the Company untouched, free to
generate income, or eventually begin a sell-off of assets.

          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Repoblica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page:
          Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109

          TELEFONOS DE MEXICO, S.A. DE C.V. (Telmex)
          Parque Via 190, Colonia Cuauhtemoc
          06599 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5703-3990
          Fax: +52-55-5545-5550
          Home Page:
          Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman
          Jaime Chico Pardo, CEO and Director
          Adolfo Cerezo Perez, Director Finance and


GLOBAL CROSSING: Responds To Recent New York Times Report
Global Crossing issued Monday a statement responding to a report
in The New York Times May 19, 2002 edition regarding a
transaction among Global Crossing, Enron and Reliant
Resources.  Global Crossing stated that, contrary to assertions
in the Times article, the transaction in question did not
increase Adjusted EBITDA, and was properly recorded as a
liability on the balance sheet.

Global Crossing confirmed that it entered into the transaction,
which included an agreement to purchase approximately $17 million
of network services from Enron to be paid over eight years, and
an agreement to sell $17 million of network services to Enron, to
be paid immediately upon completion of the transaction.  Global
Crossing recorded the $17 million owed to Enron as a
liability.  The $17 million of services sold to Enron was being
recognized by Global Crossing as revenue over the life of the
contract, and the cash received was not recorded as either Cash
Revenue or Adjusted EBITDA.

On January 28, 2002, Global Crossing and certain of its
affiliates (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.  On the same date, the Bermuda
Court granted an order appointing joint provisional liquidators
with the power to oversee the continuation and reorganization of
the Bermuda-incorporated companies' businesses under the control
of their boards of directors and under the supervision of the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Supreme Court of Bermuda.  On April
23, 2002, Global Crossing commenced a Chapter 11 case in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York for its affiliate, GT UK, Ltd.

          Press Contact
          Cynthia Artin
          +1 973-410-8820

          Becky Yeamans
          + 1 973-410-5857

          Analysts/Investors Contact
          Ken Simril+ 1 310-385-3838

GLOBAL CROSSING: Asian Breakup Fee Hinges on Tuesday Deadline
Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies
Telemedia had until Tuesday to formally make a combined offer for
bankruptcy Global Crossing Ltd.

According to Cynthia Artin, a spokeswoman for Global Crossing,
should the Asian firms miss the deadline, they could still make
the offer at a later date. However, by missing the deadline, they
would forfeit their right to a breakup fee if they failed to
eventually acquire Global Crossing.

Creditors are pushing the Asian firms to increase the US$750
million cash injection they proposed as part of Global Crossing's
filing for bankruptcy protection in January.

Hutchison Whampoa and STT want 79 percent of the Bermuda-based
telecom. Creditors, who are owed billions, would receive the
remaining 21 percent and US$300 million from Hutchison Whampoa
and STT.

More than 60 potential bidders have expressed interest in
acquiring a piece or all of Global Crossing's 100,000-mile
network since the company filed for bankruptcy in Jan. 28.

But under bankruptcy law, they are not allowed to formalize a bid
until a 120-day exclusivity period expires, during which time
Global Crossing can formulate its own restructuring plan without
worrying about competing plans from outsiders.

Last week, the Company asked a bankruptcy court judge to extend
the exclusivity period by another 125 days. The judge is expected
to rule on the motion next month.

GLOBAL CROSSING: Fiber Optek Unveils US$7.3B Reorg Proposal
Fiber Optek made public Monday a plan of reorganization for
Global Crossing Ltd., which it intends to sponsor.

According to Michael S. Pascazi, president and chief executive
officer of Fiber Optek, its plan provides a sizeable current cash
payment, a significant ownership position to the creditors as
well as a meaningful equity position for existing Global Crossing

Highlights of the plan follow:

--  The name "Global Crossing" will be changed to "Fiber Optek
Networks Ltd." since "Global Crossing" has become a negative

--  It is projected that the restructured company will have a
book value of approximately $9.7 billion.

--  It is also projected that the per share common stock price
will rise approximately 10,000 percent from the current level
($0.05 to $5.00) after the restructuring.

--  Secured creditors will receive $250 million in cash,
assignment of $500 million in accounts receivable,
approximately 28 percent equity and zero cost warrants
convertible to approximately 8 percent additional equity in
the reorganized company.

--  Unsecured creditors will receive $50 million in cash and zero
cost warrants convertible to approximately 3 percent equity in
the reorganized company.

--  Existing shareholders will retain approximately 25 percent
equity and will be allowed to purchase warrants convertible to
an additional approximate 25 percent of the equity in the
reorganized company.

Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules, Global Crossing's management
has an exclusive right for 120 days to submit a formal plan or
reorganization. Pascazi asserted that as soon as that period of
exclusivity ends, now expected to be in late June, Fiber Optek
intends to submit its competing plan to the bankruptcy court.
Fiber Optek also intends to appoint Pascazi as chairman and CEO
and Frank P. Zarzeka Jr. as COO of the reorganized company. Both
men are entrepreneurs with 20 years experience in the fiber optic
telecommunications industry and have no prior relationship with
Global Crossing.

Both men were with IBM before founding Fiber Optek, a leading
developer and installer of fiber optic telecommunications

Pascazi is of the opinion that the existing management of Global
Crossing no longer commands the respect and confidence of the
investing public or its clients, and he has pledged to all
parties that he will take all steps necessary to restore that
confidence should Fiber Optek's plan come to fruition.

Fiber Optek is currently seeking creditor and stockholder support
for its plan.

The information contained herein does not, and is not, intended
to constitute a formal plan or reorganization for the debtor
Global Crossing Ltd. It is intended to stimulate the free
exchange of information and ideas among like-minded persons.

A formal plan may not and will not be submitted to the court
until such time as the debtor's exclusivity rights under section
1(2) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code expire.

          Michael Pascazi, 845/462-6357


EMBRAER: Shows Willingness To Bury Dispute With Bombardier
Canada's Bombardier and Brazil's Embraer are "studying the
possibility" of jointly bidding for a US$1.4-billion order from
US Airways Group, reports the National Post, citing two Brazilian
newspapers. Bombardier and Embraer have been locked up in a
battle over plane subsidies at the World Trade Organization since

Some analysts don't see the two long-time rivals cooperating,
however, according to the Brazilian newspapers, local sources are
insisting otherwise, suggesting that the move indicates Embraer
wants to end the bitter dispute over government financial

The two firms, which also sell business jets, have been striving
to sell as many regional jets as possible, but markets have
slowed since September 11.

Earnings at Embraer have suffered from the effects of that event,
with first quarter net income down by 19 percent to BRL176.4
million (US$70 million), or 25 centavos a share, from BRL218.7
million, or 40 centavos, in the same period a year earlier.

Accounts receivable continued to increase, a sign that the
Company still is struggling to turn orders into income. Accounts
receivable in the first quarter jumped to BRL1.77 billion from
BRL1.56 billion at the end of the fourth quarter. Since
September, Embraer has been assisting some clients to finance
aircraft orders.

Net revenue during the first quarter also fell 13 percent to
BRL1.33 billion from BRL1.52 billion in the same period a year
earlier, the Company revealed.

However, Embraer saw an improvement in its net cash at the end of
the first quarter. At March 31, net cash position was at BRL89.4
million, compared with negative BRL52.9 million at December 31.

Nonetheless, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization, (EBITDA) -- a measure of Embraer's ability to
generate cash -- fell to BRL302 million from BRL465.3 million a
year earlier.

           Press office:
           Phone +55 12 3927 1311
           Fax + 55 12 3927 2411
           Press office mgr. Bob Sharp
           Press officer Wagner Gonzalez

EMBRATEL: Industry Difficulties May Hinder Parent's Sale Plans
Some analysts believe that WorldCom, now short on cash, may have
a hard time selling its assets in Latin America because of
problems at the Company and in the industry, according to an
article released by The New York Times. One of the assets in the
region under consideration for a sale is Brazilian long-distance
carrier Embratel.

Embratel was acquired by MCI, a unit of WorldCom, for US$2.3
billion in the privatization of Brazil's telecommunications
system in 1997. The Company was once the jewel of WorldCom's
international properties. But, like other long-distance carriers
around the world, Embratel has suffered from a decline in revenue
as competitors gnawed at its once monopolistic domination of the

In the most recent quarter, Embratel's international long-
distance revenue declined 22 percent from the period a year
earlier because of price cuts and a sharp drop in calling between
Argentina, which is mired in an economic crisis, and Brazil. The
company lost US$16 million in the quarter, or 5 cents a share.

WorldCom's controlling stake in Embratel is now estimated to be
worth only US$200 million to $300 million, according to analysts,
in light of the Brazilian company's stock plunge of 60 percent
the last year. But WorldCom would be fortunate to get even that
amount for transferring control of Embratel to another company,
said Tucker Grinnan, director of Latin American
telecommunications research at Deutsche Bank.

For one thing, Brazilian regulations designed to avert the
concentration of power in telecommunications among a few
companies prevent WorldCom from selling its stake in Embratel
until next year. So any deal would probably have to wait until
mid-2003, or long after WorldCom's most pressing cash
requirements need to be resolved.

Only three companies with large local telephone operations in
Brazil - Telef˘nica of Spain, Telemar Norte Leste and Brasil
Telecom - are thought to be interested in buying Embratel. Of
those three, Telemar, because of a relatively high debt burden,
and Brasil Telecom, which has shown interest in acquiring
Intelig, an Embratel competitor, are thought to be out of the

That could leave Telef˘nica with the upper hand in negotiating a
deal with WorldCom.

"Embratel is basically doomed in its current form," said Mr.
Grinnan, the analyst at Deutsche Bank.

WorldCom, of course, may have already come to the same
conclusion. Last year, the company maneuvered to remove Embratel
from its financial results by transferring the rights to
dividends and distributions of some of its Embratel stock to a
Brazilian nonprofit educational institution called Institute
Embratel 21.

To see Embratel's latest financial statements:

          Investor Relations
          Silvia Pereira
          Tel. (55 21) 2519-9662
          Fax: (55 21) 2519-6388
          Press Relations:
          Helena Duncan/Mariana Palmeira
          Tel: (55 21) 2519-3653/3654
          Fax: (55 21) 2519-8010

EMBRATEL: WorldCom Gets US$1.5B Loan Deal With Banks; Shares Up
Embratel Participacoes SA saw is preferred shares rise 5.4
percent to BRL4.50, the biggest gain on the Bovespa, following a
loan agreement reached between its controlling shareholder
WorldCom Inc. and its banks.

According to a report by the Financial Times, WorldCom has
reached an agreement with its banks on a revised US$1.5-billion
loan program, clearing a key hurdle in its efforts to secure
long-term financing.

The report suggests that it is also likely that the company will
win support for a new US$5 billion credit facility, which it
needs to restructure its business and bolster liquidity.

WorldCom's financial situation was thrown into question after its
debt was downgraded to junk status by the major rating agencies
earlier this month. The downgrade puts at risk a US$2 billion
securitization program under which WorldCom raises cash by
selling on its short-term receivables. The facility had a
'trigger' that required that its debt remain investment grade.

The company's bankers have agreed to rework the receivables
agreement, replacing the US$2-billion program with a US$1.5-
billion facility.

They are planning to present the US$5-billion loan package in the
next week or two as a three-part loan program, says the Financial

        270 Park Avenue
        New York, NY 10017
        Phone: (212) 270-6000
        Fax: (212) 270-1648
        Home Page:
        William Harrison, Jr., Chairman/Chief Executive Officer
        Dina Dublon, Chief Financial Officer
        Geoffrey Boisi, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank

        399 Park Ave.
        New York, NY 10043
        Phone: 212-559-1000
        Fax: 212-793-3946
        Home Page:
        Sanford I. (Sandy) Weill, Chairman and CEO
        Todd S. Thomson, EVP-Finance and Investments/CFO

        Bank of America Corporate Ctr.
        100 North Tryon St., 18th Fl.
        Charlotte, NC 28255
        Phone: (800) 299-2265
        Fax: (704) 386-8486
        Home Page:
        Hugh L. McColl Jr., Chairman Emeritus
        Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman, President, and CEO
        James H. Hance Jr., Vice Chairman and CFO

FURUKAWA ELECTRIC: Brazil Among Plants That May Be Sold
The Furukawa Electric Company, Japan's top maker of fiber optic
parts, may close or sell 5 of the 10 optical fiber plants it
bought last autumn from U.S. firm Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU)
for JPY280 billion.

According to a Dow Jones report, the five plants under review are
located in Brazil, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and Japan.

Furukawa may either sell or close the plants because they caused
the firm to post a fiscal 2001 group net loss, with capacity
utilization rates remaining low amid the global
telecommunications slump.

On Monday, Furukawa announced a net loss of JPY3.4 billion in the
year ended March 31, compared with a net profit of JPY167.4
billion in the previous year. Sales dropped 7 percent to JPY771.4
billion and operating profit plunged 82 percent to JPY10.7

With a sharp decline in optical fiber demand, capacity
utilization rates of the 10 plants purchased from Lucent remained
at about 20 percent and the division's operating loss hit JPY10.5

          Central & South America Representative Office
          Rua Afonso Bras, 413 Caixa Postal, 176 Vila Nova
          Conceicao Cep 04511-900 Sao Paulo SP, Brazil
          Fax: 55-11-828-4848

          Furukawa Industrial S.A. Produtos Eletricos (FISA)
          Av. Afonso Bras, 413
          Vila Nova Concei‡ao
          04511-900 - Sao Paulo/SP
          Phone: (55) 11 5501-5748
                 (55) 11 5501-5753
          Home Page:

NSC (GLOBO CABO): Expects Programming To Be 30% Of Sales May `03
Leonardo Pereira, CFO of Net Servicos de Comunicacao (NSC),
formerly known as Globo Cabo, announced that the Brazilian cable
TV and data services provider aims to derive 30 percent of sales
from programming by May 2003, relates Business News Americas.

Subscription services currently account for about 85 percent of
total sales, followed by pay-per-view services with 4.3 percent.

To date, NSC's broadband business is the most profitable and
"very close to breakeven," Pereira said. Broadband sales totaled
US$3.7 million in the first quarter of 2002, up 21.3 percent
compared to 4Q01.

Just recently, NSC posted US$120.1 million in net revenues for
1Q02, a 5.7-percent increase compared to US$113.6 million in

EBITDA reached US$31.4 million in 1Q02, a 13.9-percent increase
from US$27.5 million in the previous quarter.

Net debt reached US$651.1 million in the quarter, remaining
fairly stable, with a slight decrease of 4.3 percent compared to
the US$680 million of 4Q01. The subtle Real devaluation of 0.14
percent compared to the dollar and the lack of significant
amortizations or loans account for such stability.

Net loss totaled US$23.7 million in the quarter, a 12.5-percent
decrease from US$27 million in 4Q01.

NSC is preparing for a BRL1.0-billion (US$1=BRL2.5) equity
offering intended to pay down debt. However, the Company's weak
first-quarter 2002 financial results are likely to negatively
impact the pricing of its upcoming share offering.

But analysts say Globo Cabo is too large for either the Brazilian
government or parent company Organizacoes Globo to walk away from
the deal. Brazil's national development bank BNDES has firmly
committed to backstopping the transaction, and Globo has said it
will participate in its unit's offering.

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

          Marcio Minoru, Investor Relations
          Phone: +5511-5186-2811,
          Home Page:

GLOBOPAR: Moody's Places Ratings Under Review For Possible Cut
Moody's Investors Service may downgrade the ratings of Brazil's
Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes SA ("Globopar"), the holding
company for Latin America's largest media group.

The ratings agency is now reviewing the following ratings for a
possible downgrade:

- US$1.3 billion of Euro Medium Term Notes rated B1,

- Globopar's B1 senior unsecured issuer rating, and

- The company's B1 senior implied rating.

The review is based on several factors:

- Concerns regarding the impact of the increasingly weak
advertising sector (14% contraction in 2001) on Globopar's most
important subsidiary, TV Globo;

- The devaluation of the Real on the Company's ability to service
its sizable foreign debt burden; and

- The investment requirements of Globopar's other subsidiaries,
as the holding company relies almost exclusively on TV Globo for

"Globopar's credit profile appears unacceptably weak relative to
its current ratings" and isn't likely to improve because of
Brazil's economic slowdown, Moody's said. Revenue at Globopar and
other Brazilian media companies such as Radio e Televisao
Bandeirantes Ltda. has dropped in past quarters as businesses
canceled or scaled back advertising campaigns.

A downgrade may increase borrowing costs for Globopar, the
financial arm for Organizacoes Globo's investments excluding
broadcast and print media, which is seeking to raise funds to pay
about US$273 million in debt due this year. Brazil's Marinho
family, which controls Globopar, provided US$135 million in extra
capital this month to boost cash at the unit and help meet debt

Globopar's consolidated revenue fell 6.6 percent to US$2 billion
in 2001 from US$2.14 billion a year earlier. The holding company
had a net loss of US$650 million last year compared with net
profit of US$238 million in 2000.

          Rua Afranio de Melo Franco
          135/4  andar- Leblon
          Rio de Janeiro - RJ
          CEP: 22430-060
          Phone: (21) 240.2000
          Fax: (21) 259.6586
          Home Page:
          Mr. Roberto Marinho, President - Board of Directors
          Mauro Molchansky, Executive Director
          Marcos Carneiro, Director - Corporate Relations

COPEL: Formally Applies To List On Latibex
Brazilian electric utility Cia. Paranaense de Energia (Copel) has
formally applied to list on Latibex, the Madrid stock exchange's
new euro-denominated market for Latin American stocks, reports
Dow Jones, citing market authorities.

Following Copel's incorporation, the Latibex market will be made
up of a total of 18 stocks from six Latin American countries and
have total capitalization of EUR90 billion.

No date was set for the start of trading.

Copel's shares are traded on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange and the
New York Stock Exchange.

During the first quarter of the year, the Company increased its
net income to BRL72 million (US$29 million) from BRL30 million a
year earlier.

Copel, controlled by the Brazilian state of Parana, benefited
from a stable currency in the quarter that eliminated most
foreign exchange losses on dollar-denominated debts a year
earlier. Copel has BRL1.4 billion in debt, 62 percent of which is
denominated in U.S. dollars.

The Company also had BRL7.2 million in income from cash
management compared with a loss of BRL11 million a year earlier.

Copel has 17 hydroelectric plants and one thermoelectric plant
with a total capacity of over 4,500 megawatts.

CONTACTS:  Ingo Henrique Hobert, Chief Executive Officer
           Deni Lineu Schwartz, Chief Government Relatins Officer
           Ferdinando schauenburg, CFO


GASATACAMA: To Issue Up To $300 Mln In Bonds To Refinance Debt
Chilean power generator and gas transport company, GasAtacama
will issue bonds worth between US$200 million and US$300 million
in a move to restructure its US$450 million debt. The Company is
counting on its 2001 results and its several mine energy deals to
make a successful new bond issue.

Gasatacama has agreements to supply energy to Punta Lobos salt
project, the phase IV expansion at BHP Billiton's Escondida
copper mine and expansions at the Collahuasi and Quebrada Blanca
copper mines. It also has a contract to supply power to Denver-
based Apex Silver Mines' San Cristobal silver-zinc project across
the border in Bolivia.

The Chilean utility is also hoping to acquire the deal to export
Bolivian gas to North America.

GasAtacama is controlled by Endesa Chile and the US CMS Energy.
Endesa Chile owns a 50-percent stake in the Gas Atacama project,
which transports natural gas from Northern Argentina to the coast
of Northern Chile, near Antofagasta.

CONTACT:  Gasoducto Atacama Y Cia. Ltda.
          Isodora Goyenechea 3365 Piso 8§
          Santiago, Chile
          Phone: 3663800
          Fax: 3663802
          Rudolf Araneda, Chief Executive Officer


KAISER ALUMINUM: Net Loss Swells in 1Q02 Financial Results
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation reported Monday a net loss of $64.1
million, or $.79 per share, for the first quarter of 2002,
compared to net income of $119.6 million, or $1.50 per share, for
the first quarter of 2001. The year-ago period included a number
of special items and adjustments (as detailed in a table
accompanying this press release); excluding those items, the
company had a net loss of $9.1 million, or $.12 per share, for
the first quarter of 2001.

Net sales in the first quarter of 2002 were $370.6 million,
compared to $480.3 million in the year-ago period.

Commenting on the company's first-quarter performance, Kaiser
President and Chief Executive Officer Jack A. Hockema said,
"Excluding non-recurring items and adjustments from both periods,
our results were below those of the year-ago quarter due largely
to sharply higher costs for pension funding, postretirement
medical benefits, and other benefit costs -- and a 50% decline in
shipments of flat-rolled products, which reflected weak demand
for aerospace and general engineering products. Additional
factors in the quarterly operating results were lower realized
prices and shipments in our primary aluminum business unit.
Partially offsetting these unfavorable factors were improved cost
performance at the Gramercy, Louisiana, alumina refinery and the
49%-owned Kaiser Jamaica Bauxite Company; improved results in the
Engineered Products segment; and amortization of deferred income
from metal hedging contracts closed during the quarter."

"We were pleased to see clear signs of improvement in our
Engineered Products and Bauxite & Alumina business units," said
Hockema. "Our Engineered Products business unit reported its best
segment operating income since the third quarter of 2000; in
particular, operating income increased by 18% relative to the
year-ago period as a result of reduced energy and overhead costs
even though shipments declined modestly. Separately, the Bauxite
& Alumina business unit reported a significant reduction in its
operating loss in relation to that of the year-ago period due
largely to planned reductions in operating costs at Gramercy,
which now is consistently operating at just below 100% of its new
annual rated capacity of 1.25 million metric tonnes and is
steadily progressing toward its efficiency targets.

"The company continues to focus on meeting the needs of its
customers and in making continuous improvement in its operational
performance," said Hockema. "While our Chapter 11 case proceeds
as expected -- with routine Court hearings and committee meetings
-- it has had virtually no effect on our operations. Moreover,
Kaiser Aluminum's liquidity remains strong. As of April 30, 2002,
the company had approximately $140 million of cash and cash
equivalents -- with no borrowings and only $41 million of letters
of credit outstanding under its Debtor-in-Possession credit

Kaiser Aluminum Corporation is a leading producer of alumina,
primary aluminum, and fabricated aluminum products.

To see financial statements:

          Scott Lamb, 713/267-3826


AHMSA: Finalizing New Debt-Restructuring Proposal
Mexican steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) on Thursday
revealed it was preparing a new debt restructuring proposal for
its creditors after three years of negotiations, reports Reuters.

However, according to a company official who requested anonymity,
the proposal won't be made public until June, after AHMSA
releases quarterly results.

"At this time, AHMSA is working on forming a restructuring
proposal that involves all of its creditors, including the more
than 6,800 identified bondholders," AHMSA said in a statement.

The Company, which ran into trouble following a drop in world
steel prices resulting from the 1998 Asian crisis, suspended debt
payments in 1999, and for three years has been in negotiations
with lenders regarding debt restructuring.

Last year, AHMSA signed an agreement with creditors - led by
BBVA-Bancomer, Banamex-Citibank and Banorte - to restructure the
Company's $1.8 billion in debt. Creditors were to get a 40
percent stake in AHMSA in return for a capital injection of some
US$540 million and AHMSA was to sell non-key assets.

However, the agreement was not executed because it depended on a
lifting of the suspension of debt payments that was still being

CONTACTS:  Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres.&CEO
           Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
           Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer

           Their Address:
           Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
           Monclova , Coahuila 25770
           Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
           Fax: +52 86 33 65 66

                 Montes Urales 424,
                 Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
                 11000 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
                 Phone: +52-55-5201-2000
                 Fax: +52-55-5201-2313
                 Home Page:
                 Ricardo Guajardo Touche, Chairman
                 Vitalino M. Nafria Aznar, CEO

                 CITIGROUP INC.
                 399 Park Ave.
                 New York, NY 10043
                 Phone: 212-559-1000
                 Fax: 212-793-3946
                 Home Page:
                 Sanford I. (Sandy) Weill, Chairman and CEO
                 Todd S. Thomson, EVP-Finance and Investments/CFO

                 CITIGROUP IN MEXICO:
                 Avenida Paseo De La Reforma
                 No. 390, Col. Juarez
                 Mexico City 6695
                 Jose Ortiz-Izquierdo
                 Phone: 52-5225-5136

                 Zaragoza 920 Sur
                 64000 Monterrey, Mexico
                 Phone: +52-81-8831-9720
                 Fax: +52-81-8831-9727
                 Home Page:
                 Roberto Gonzalez Barrera, Chairman
                 Othon Ruiz Montemayor, Chief Executive Officer
                 Federico Valenzuela Ochoa, General Dir. Finances

BITAL: To Straighten Out BSCH Conflict Outside Courts
Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH) and Grupo Financiero Bital
are moving to settle a dispute following various disagreements
that have landed the two companies in court this year.

According to a Mexico City daily el Economista report, the two
banks have now begun to try and stimulate a more "cordial"
relationship, or at least one that is slightly less hostile.

Both banks deny that they are seeking an alliance or a purchase
contract. BSCH says it does not want to extend links with Bital,
but at the same time, it has increased its shareholding to 26.6
percent with 30.0 percent of the voting rights in the Mexican

Bital, for its part, does not rule out tightening the
relationship with the Spanish bank, but rejected a capital
injection during the first stage of capitalization in the first

The move irked BSCH and led it to sue Bital.

BSCH said that Bital had stopped it from exercising its right to
take part in the underwriting of shares carried out by all Bital
stockholders and through which some US$107 million was injected
into the bank.

Bital, which has traditionally been one of the most poorly
capitalized Mexican banks, said it completed the first phase of
its US$400-million capitalization program in the first quarter.
Part of the plan included selling a 17.5 percent stake in the
group in mid-March to Dutch Insurance giant ING for US$200
million. The ING transaction is expected to be finalized by the
end of this month.

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

          Plaza de Canalejas,1
          28014 Madrid, Spain
          Phone: +34-91-558-10-31
          Fax: +34-91-552-66-70
          Home Page:
          Ana P. Botn, Chairman, Banesto
          Emilio Botn-Sanz, Chairman
          Francisco G. Rold n, Financial Division General Manager

          Investor Relations:
          Phone: + 34.91.558.13.69
                 + 34.91.558.10.05
          Fax: + 34.91. 558.14.53
               + 34.91.522.66.70

GRUPO MEXICO: Discounts Effects Of Stymied Merger
Grupo Mexico, which is in the process of renegotiating debt due
at the end of last year, denied it needed the extra revenue a
recently-blocked merger would have provided to meet its debt

"Grupo Mexico has very many resources and it has a value. Our
strategy on refinancing is independent of the decision on the
merger," said the world's third largest copper producer.

On Thursday, the Mexican Federal Competition Commission ruled
against a proposed merger between railway companies Ferromex,
controlled by Grupo Mexico, and Ferrosur, controlled by the
conglomerate Grupo Carso SA, arguing that such a merger would
have violated Mexico's competition regulations.

Reports suggested that the ruling has complicated the financing
plans of the world's third largest copper producer. The proposed
merger was expected to play a key role in Grupo Mexico's plans to
raise the money it needed to satisfy its mining subsidiaries'

Late last year, Grupo Mexico's subsidiaries Grupo Minero Mexico
and the U.S. mining company Asarco Inc. violated their agreements
on US$660 million of secured export debt and a US$450-million
loan, respectively. Creditors have been negotiating ever since
with Grupo Mexico over how they will get paid. If the
negotiations fail within the coming months, creditors might
exercise their right to demand immediate payments and thus
trigger default on Grupo Minero's US$1.3 billion in debt.

Grupo Mexico has indicated it may fight the ruling and has 30
days to appeal. The Company's spokesman Hector Garcia said Grupo
Mexico's board is now deciding whether to do so.

"Considering the political implications on the eve of the final
stage for the privatization of the sector, we would be surprised"
to see Grupo Mexico succeed in an appeal, JP Morgan's equity
analysts said in a research note.

           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

           ASARCO, INC.
           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


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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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
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