TCRLA_Public/020531.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, May 31, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 107



IMPSA: Successfully Swaps Debt For New Bonds
SIDERAR: Exports Help Business Stay Afloat
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Fitch May Deem Exchange As Default


GLOBAL CROSSING: Cohen, Milstein Suit Fingers Grubman, SSB
GLOBAL CROSSING: Excludes Latin American Assets From Sell-off


BAND B OPERATORS: Regulations Deny Access To Shareholders' Funds
BCP: BellSouth Frustrates Creditor Banks on Revised Plan
COPENE: To Pay Off $132-Mln Eurobond Issue
EMBRATEL: Losing Luster Over Bill Collection Troubles
TELEGLOBE: Parent Rules Out More Funding For Latin American Ops


CMS ENERGY: Oil, Gas Exploration & Production Unit To Be Sold

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

SMITH-ENRON: Letter Shows U.S. Govermemt, Enron Ownership


EMELEC: Conelec To Hold Meeting To Decide Assets, Concession


AHMSA/HYLSAMEX: Taking Action Stem Upsurge Of EU Steel Imports
BOBS CANDIES: Unlikely To Rehire Mexican Workers
GRUPO BITAL: Government Role Crucial In Battle For Bank
NII HOLDINGS: Judge To Hear Retention Plan June 18

     - - - - - - - - - -


IMPSA: Successfully Swaps Debt For New Bonds
Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona SA, or IMPSA, became the first
company in Argentina to renegotiate its defaulted securities
since the government devalued the currency after it swapped debt
Wednesday for US$126.3 million in new bonds.

Citing Rodolfo Hearne, IMPSA's chief financial officer, Bloomberg
reports that investors exchanged US$124.6 million of 9.5 percent
bonds due this month for US$122.2 million of new 5.75 percent
bonds maturing in 2011 and US$4.1 million of 11.5 percent bonds
due in 2007.

The Company, Argentina's biggest overseas power plant builder,
stopped making debt payments in December but will increase its
5.75 percent coupon to 8.75 percent after two years.

"IMPSA had a serious viability problem," said Daniel Lerner, a
corporate bond analyst at Bear Stearns & Co, which holds IMPSA
debt. "If it didn't cure the default it may not have been viable
as a business. It depends on winning new contracts."

According to analysts, IMPSA's bond exchange and its plans to bid
on US$300 million in power projects during the second half of the
year underscore the benefits of moving fast in negotiating new
terms with creditors after default.

"No one would want to give a long-term contract to a company that
may go bankrupt in a year, and that's what default can lead to,"
Hearne said.

Owned by Argentine businessman Enrique Pescarmona, IMPSA operates
in 20 countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America and employs
as many as 6,000 workers worldwide. The Company makes products
from hydro-mechanical equipment to auto parts to wine. IMPSA also
sells auto parts to Ford Motor Co., Renault SA and Volkswagen AG.

In addition to building power plants, it generates electricity
and handles waste management. About 97 percent of IMPSA's revenue
comes from overseas operations.

          Rodriguez Pena 2451
          Godoy Cruz, Mendoza Argentina
          Phone: 54 1 315 2400
          Fax: 54 1 315 2388
          Home Page:
          Roberto Arancibia
          Tel: +54-261 4131300
          Fax. +54-261 4131416 - 4131423

SIDERAR: Exports Help Business Stay Afloat
Argentine steel maker Siderar SA, which has been in the red since
the country entered recession, managed to shore up its business
through strong exports, El Cronista reports.

According to Siderar Director Fredy Cameo, the devaluation of the
peso is has helped the Company, which is owned by Organizacion
Techint, to balance reductions in the internal market with

The firm reportedly has US$550 million in debts, of which, only
12 percent was converted into pesos.

Siderar posted US$19 million in losses in the first quarter of
2002. Domestic consumption used to concentrate 80 percent of its
production in flat steel. The drop in the automotive and
construction industries negatively affected the Company's
internal sales.

To see Siderar's latest financial statements:

           Guillermo Etchepareborda, Investor Relation Manager
           Avenida Leandro N. Alem 1067 (C1001AAF)
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Tel. (54-011) 4318-2514
           Fax: (54-011) 4313-6417
           Home Page:

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Fitch May Deem Exchange As Default
Telefonica de Argentina S.A.'s has recently announced an exchange
offer for its US$100 million issuance due July 1, 2002. The
exchange offer may include the payment of up to US$15 million and
an exchange of US$85 million in new bonds for the balance. The
new bonds would have similar terms as the original issuance,
including a 9.875% coupon; final terms have not been disclosed.

Depending on the final terms and conditions of the exchange
offer, Fitch Ratings will view the exchange offer as an event of
default to the extent that the replacement issue creates a loss
to the original holder of the note. An unsuccessful exchange
offer, forced or otherwise, would also likely lead to cross-
defaults not only at TAR but also at Compania Internacional de
Telecomunicaciones (Cointel) and at Telefonica Holding de
Argentina S.A. (Telefonica Holding). Any missed payments on
issuances of over US$20 million would trigger cross-defaults at
Cointel and at Telefonica Holding. Cointel holds a 64.8% stake in
TAR and Telefonica Holding controls 50% of Cointel. Telefonica
Holding's outstanding debt in the capital market was
substantially reduced to US$7.6 million in 2001 while Cointel has
two issuances due in 2004 - US$225 million and Argentine Peso
$175 million.

The company's refinancing difficulties reflect the deepening
Argentine recession, the effect of devaluation on TAR's debt
burden, the volatility associated with the peso exchange rate,
the suspension of tariff adjustments and the tariff's
'pesofication'. The aforementioned items have dramatically
affected the financial condition of TAR given the currency
mismatch between debt obligations and peso revenues. TAR is
renegotiating tariffs with the government but the timing for a
resolution is uncertain. Fitch does not believe the negotiations
will offset the combined effects of devaluation and pesofication
of tariffs. During 2001, Telefonica S.A. provided US$2.0 billion
of intercompany loans to its Argentine affiliates, which
demonstrated shareholder support. However, the heightened
sovereign and regulatory risks may hinder shareholder support
going forward.

At 3/30/2002, total debt was - Argentine Peso $5.5 billion -
(converted using the 2.85 prevailing exchange rate).
Approximately, 58% of TAR's debt was short-term and intercompany
loans with Telefonica Internacional represented 81% or US$898
million of short-term debt. TAR's cash balances were Argentine
Peso $164 million at 3/31/02. A successful exchange offer would
strengthen TAR's debt profile. Absent the US$100 million
maturity, TAR's next maturities in the capital market are a
US$300 million issuance due in 2004 and a US$368.5 million
issuance due in 2008.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Cohen, Milstein Suit Fingers Grubman, SSB
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has commenced a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Global
Crossing, Ltd. ("Global Crossing" or the "Company")
(OTCBB:GBLXE.OB) common stock between May 24, 1999, and Oct. 4,
2001, (the "Class Period"), inclusive, against Salomon Smith
Barney, Inc. ("Salomon") and its well known telecommunications
analyst Jack Grubman ("Grubman") for violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. is involved in five
similar suits against Merrill Lynch and its internet analyst
Henry Blodget, as well as a case against Salomon Smith Barney and
Jack Grubman on behalf of purchasers of WorldCom.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by the issurance of analyst reports
regarding Global Crossing which recommended the purchase of
Global Crossing common stock and which set price targets for
Global Crossing common stock without any reasonable factual
basis. When issuing their Global Crossing reports, defendants
failed to disclose significant, material conflicts of interest
which they had, in light of their use of Grubman's reputation and
his Global Crossing analyst reports, to obtain investment banking
business for Salomon.

Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on behalf of all those who
purchased shares of Global Crossing common stock during the Class
Period (the "Class"). Members of the Class, may wish to join in
the action to serve as lead plaintiff by requesting that the
Court appoint them as lead plaintiff. Such requests must be made
by July 23, 2002.

CONTACTS:  Steven J. Toll, Esq.,
           Robert Smits,
           1100 New York Avenue, NW
           West Tower, Suite 500
           Washington, DC 20005
           Telephone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600

GLOBAL CROSSING: Excludes Latin American Assets From Sell-off
Global Crossing ruled out putting its Latin America assets on the
block as part of the Company's sale of non-core assets.

In a Business News Americas report, Global Crossing International
president Juan Antonio Rios said that the Company views all of
its Latin American assets as core assets. Global Crossing serves
the region through its 18,000km South America Crossing (SAC) and
10,000km Pan American Crossing (PAC) fiber optic networks.

The announcement came after Global Crossing's creditors'
committee said in a statement on Tuesday they had broken off
negotiations to sell the Company to Hong Kong-based conglomerate
Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT). The
committee sees improving prospects for a successful
reorganization as a better option than Hutchison/STT's original

Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy on January 28 of this year.
Earlier this month, the company said it had met the targets
contained in the Chapter 11 business plan presented to creditors.
Cost cutting measures are expected to reduce operating expenses
by 42 percent to about US$900 million in 2002, as compared to
US$1.55 billion last year.

"At this point, all of the numbers strongly suggest that
creditors may maximize their recoveries by selling non-core
assets, retaining the company's global network, and
recapitalizing," Russell Belinsky, senior managing director of
Chanin Capital Partners, the committee's financial advisors,

          Press Contacts
          Cynthia Artin
          +1 973-410-8820

          Becky Yeamans
          + 1 973-410-5857

          Tisha Kresler
          + 1 973-410-8666

          Kevin Burgoyne
          Latin America
          + 1 305-808-5947

          Mish Desmidt
          +44 (0) 7771-668438

          Ken Simril
          + 1 310-385-3838


BAND B OPERATORS: Regulations Deny Access To Shareholders' Funds
Brazil's telecommunications regulations are preventing the
country's debt-ridden Band B cellular operators from gaining
access to funds set aside by their shareholders.

According to a Business News Americas report, the regulations
forbid any changes in the companies' shareholder structure until

For example, Latin American mobile and broadband provider Telecom
Americas, which controls four Band B operators, has earmarked
BRL1.66 billion (US$660 million) for its subsidiary ATL and
BRL534 million for Tess as funds for future capital injections.

Similarly, Maxitel has BRL954 million available but out of reach
in the form of loans from its principal shareholder Telecom

Band B operators added 1.4 million new subscribers in 2001, but
lost BRL7 billion while revenues grew 17.4 percent to BRL4.1
billion. Operator debt grew 13 percent during the year to BRL11.9

Three of Brazil's seven major Band B operators closed 2001 with
negative equity. Some operators have already begun renegotiating
their debts.

Americel reduced its BRL105-million debt with vendor Nortel
Networks by BRL52.4 million last December. ATL rolled over BRL361
million of debt that came due last year to October 30, 2005. Tess
and Telet are in the midst of debt renegotiations with Swedish
vendor Ericsson.

However, according to Business News Americas, regulations could
be changed this year as the new president of telecoms regulator
Anatel, Luiz Schymura de Oliveira, is said to be in favor of
industry consolidation.

BCP: BellSouth Frustrates Creditor Banks on Revised Plan
Some 30 percent of the creditor banks of BellSouth Corp.'s BCP
unit are expected to shun a meeting at BellSouth's headquarters
next week.

Citing a report by Valor Economico, AFX says that BCP's creditor
banks were infuriated by BellSouth's amended proposal seeking
forgiveness of a larger part of its Brazilian unit's debt than
initially planned under a refinancing program.

BellSouth is said to have called for US$194 million out of BCP's
US$1.7 billion debt to be written off, an increase of US$84
million from the previous draft.

Additionally, the BCP shareholder seeks to scrap a political risk
insurance cover, costing about US$20 million per year, which
would have to be assumed by each of the creditor banks.

Overall, forgiveness is being sought for liabilities totalling
US$315 million.

The banks are also angered to learn through the market that the
Safra brothers reached an agreement with BellSouth to sell their
stake in BCP at a discount that is now being extended to the
lending banks.

Bellsouth and Safra share control of BCP through respective 44.5
percent stakes. The two decided in late March to allow the
Brazilian operator to default on a US$375-million debt. The
default caused international credit rating agency Standard &
Poor's to lower BCP's credit rating from BrCC to brD.

The Safra brothers may also have accepted a 36-percent discount
on a credit of US460 million they granted to BCP.

The banks are studying the possibility, and the feasibility from
a legal point of view, of exercising the share options they own
as collateral securities. Some banks met with telecommunications
regulator Anatel Wednesday to discuss the issue.

          Rua Florida, 1970
          Sao Paulo, SP, Brasil
          CEP 04565-001
          Tel. 55-11-5509-6555
          Fax 55-11-5509-6257
          Home Page:

          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

          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/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

           ABN AMRO HOLDING N.V.
           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

COPENE: To Pay Off $132-Mln Eurobond Issue
Brazil's largest petrochemical company, Copene (Companhia
Petroquimica do Nordeste) decided to pay off a US$132-million
eurobond issue, which comes due at the end of June.

The move follows a decision by 90 percent of the investors in the
issue to opt out of continuing with the investment, the final
term of which extends to 2007. Speculation has it that Copene had
anticipated this outcome and has designated resources to make the
payment. In addition, Copene also has to pay off short-term loans
of BRL600 million this year.

Analysts are debating whether the Company will pay off other
debts coming due this year or will opt to roll over all or some
of it. Copene's gross debt on March 31, 2002 stood at BRL2.9
billion, or BRL2.6 billion on a consolidated basis.

In the first quarter of the year, Copene netted a loss of BRL45.6
million, against a net income of BRL2.6 million in the same
quarter of the previous year.

The loss was brought about by the difficulties in passing on the
year-over-year increases in the price of naphtha and the one-
month shutdown in March of Pyrolysis Unit 1 for the previously
announced expansion of the Company's ethylene capacity

COPENE produces and sells basic petrochemicals and utilities.
With ethylene production capacity of 1,200,000 tons per year, the
Company is Latin America's largest basic petrochemical producer
and ranks among the ten largest plants in the world. Most of
Copene's output is consumed by downstream companies located at
the Northeast Petrochemical Complex in Camacari, which produce
"second generation" petrochemicals.

Copene is listed on the Sao Paulo stock exchange and its ADRs
(American Depositary Receipts) are traded in the U.S. on the New
York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PNE. One ADR
represents 50 class A preferred shares. The Company's Depositary
Bank is Citibank, N.A. On March 31, 2002, COPENE had
1,792,416,435 shares outstanding.

To see financial statements:

          Carlos Augusto de Oliveira Freitas
          Tel: +55-71-632-5847
          Fax: +55-71-632-5047
          Breakstone & Ruth International
          Luca Biondolillo
          Tel: 646-536-7012
          Fax: 646-536-7100

EMBRATEL: Losing Luster Over Bill Collection Troubles
Embratel Participacoes SA, Brazil's No. 1 long-distance carrier,
is rapidly falling out of favor as the darling asset of its
embattled parent WorldCom Inc.. The Company is struggling to
collect phone bills from its customers.

Some 2.5 million customers are behind on their phone bills
causing Embratel, which has lost money for five straight
quarters, to write off BRL1.79 billion (US$710 million) as bad

The difficulties explain why the former state-owned monopoly may
fetch WorldCom only a tenth of the US$2.27 billion it paid for a
19 percent stake four years ago, investors said. Since then, the
Rio-based company's shares have fallen 69 percent.

According to these investors, WorldCom has about US$30 billion in
debt and US$3.4 billion in obligations to pay in the next 18
months. Selling Embratel may not provide much relief: the unit
has BRL3.75 billion in debt, aside from the mountain of
uncollected bills.

"It will be very hard finding a buyer for Embratel in a depressed
stock market for phone companies," said Deborah Morsch, who
manages BRL150 million in securities, including Embratel shares,
at Solidus brokerage in Porto Alegre. "The price for Embratel
would come down significantly if WorldCom had to sell it in a

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

TELEGLOBE: Parent Rules Out More Funding For Latin American Ops
Michael Sabia, BCE Inc.'s new chief executive, admitted that
buying Teleglobe Inc. was a mistake. According to a Reuters
report, Sabia went on to say that BCE, Canada's largest
communications group, stumbled when it bought Teleglobe just as
the overbuilt global telecom market was set to collapse.

"With the clear vision of hindsight, BCE should not have gone
down that path. But we did, and now reality obliges us to close
that chapter and to move on,"

Sabia, who took over the top post at BCE in April after Jean
Monty resigned, promised to "reduce the risks and uncertainties"
the Company is facing in the near term.

That means the firm will not put one penny more into its Latin
America wireless operations, grouped under unit Bell Canada
International Inc.

Now insolvent, Teleglobe is under bankruptcy protection in Canada
and is seeking that status for its U.S. unit as it tries to
restructure US$2.6 billion of debt and continue operating its
core voice business, after slashing its work force of 1,850 by
almost half.

Although BCE did not guarantee Teleglobe's debt, it expects to
write down the value of the unit by up to CAD8.5 billion in the
second quarter.

BCE has also come under attack from Teleglobe debt holders who
fear they will be offered only pennies on the dollar. Big
Canadian banks and financial institutions have already written
off hundreds of millions of dollars of Teleglobe debt.


             Carlos Pellegrini 1163 Piso 4
             Buenos Aires, Argentina C1009ABW
             Telephone: 54.11.6310.0100
             Facsimile: 54.11.6310.0101

             Rua Matias Aires, 402 9* Andar
             Sao Paulo, S.P. Brazil 01309-020

             World Trade Center
             Ave. Nueva Tajamar 481
             Torre Sur - Ofic. 1002 - Las Condes
             Santiago, Chile
             Telephone: 562.350.4260

             Calle 114 N*9-45 torre B, Of. 1008
             Teleport Business Park
             Santa Fe de Bogota
             Telephone: 571.657.9000
             Facsimile: 571.629.2897

             EL SALVADOR
             91 Ave Norte #626
             Colonia Escalon
             San Salvador, El Salvador
             Telephone: 503.263.4836
             Facsimile: 503.263.2466

             12 Calle / 1-25 / Zona 10
             Edificio Geminis 10
             Torre Norte - Oficina 611
             Guatemala City, Guatemala 01010
             Telephone: 502.335.3217
             Facsimile: 502.335.3221

             Blvd. Manuel A. Camacho 36, 21st floor
             Torre Esmeralda II
             Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
             11000 M,xico, D.F.
             Telephone: 52.55.5095.5900
             Facsimile: 52.55.5095.5928

             Edif. Plaza Obarrio - Of. 302
             Av. Samuel Lewis
             Panama City
             Telephone: 507.265.1329
             Facsimile: 507.265.7913


CMS ENERGY: Oil, Gas Exploration & Production Unit To Be Sold
Ailing finances are compelling CMS Energy Corporation to sell its
oil and gas exploration and production unit, CMS Oil and Gas
Company. The Company announced plans Wednesday to exit the
exploration and production business as it seeks to bolster its
balance sheet.

Under attack by an inquiry into its trading practices, CMS Energy
said it expects to conduct a competitive auction process for its
oil and gas company, and will provide details to interested
parties in the near future to begin the sale process. CMS has
engaged Randall & Dewey, Inc., a Houston-based oil and gas merger
and acquisition consulting firm, to advise it in connection with
the planned sale.

Proceeds from the sale will be additive to CMS Energy's current
total of US$2.4 billion of cash proceeds from asset sales,
securitization proceeds and LNG monetization toward its US$2.9
billion asset optimization goal by year-end 2002.

Regulators, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission, are looking into a round-trip trading in the
wholesale energy markets. CMS said earlier this month that the
trades, in which two companies swap the same amount of energy for
the same price, accounted for more than 70 percent of its
electricity-trading volume last year and almost 80 percent of its
volume in 2000.

CMS also said last week it would reissue its financial statements
for 2000 and 2001 to eliminate revenue reported from the trades.
The company had previously reclassified $4.2 billion in revenue
and expenses from the trades in 2001, including about $900
million in revenue from a previously undisclosed, incomplete
natural-gas trade. The company said it expects the restatements
to eliminate an additional $5 million in revenue from last year
and about $1 billion in revenue from 2000. The restatements
aren't expected to affect earnings and cash flow from either

CMS has received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office in
Manhattan and has said it expects another subpoena from the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Houston regarding the trades.

CMS Oil and Gas Co. is a developer of oil and natural gas
supplies in the Permian Basin of west Texas and internationally
in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Colombia, Eritrea, Tunisia
and Venezuela.

CMS Energy Corporation is an integrated energy company, which has
as its primary business operations an electric and natural gas
utility, natural gas pipeline systems, independent power
generation, oil and gas exploration and production, and energy
marketing, services and trading.

CONTACT:  CMS Energy Corporation
          Media Contacts:
          Kelly M. Farr, +1-313-436-9253
          John P. Barnett, +1-713-989-7556
          Daniel C. Bishop, +1-517-788-2395

          Investment Analyst Contact:
          CMS Energy Investor Relations, +1-517-788-2590

          Web site:

          RANDALL & DEWEY, INC.,
          16800 Greenspoint Park Drive Suite 380S,
          Houston, TX, USA, 77060
          Phone: (281) 774-2000
          Fax: (281) 774-2100
          Home Page:
          Jack Randall and Ken Dewey, Owner
          Warren Keyes, Marketing
          Phone: 281-774-2022
          Fax: 281-774-2050

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

SMITH-ENRON: Letter Shows U.S. Govermemt, Enron Ownership
The U.S. Maritime Administration revealed in a letter that the
U.S. government and Enron Corp. each own a stake in a cash-
strapped power plant in the Dominican Republic.

The federally guaranteed Smith Enron project in the Dominican
Republic has debts of US$27 million and has "significant
operational, profitability and debt service problems," wrote
Bruce J. Carlton, the acting deputy director of the

According to Carlton's letter dated May 22, the project near
Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic suffered from power plant
defects and from an unreliable payment history with its primary
customer, a government-owned utility.

The letter also revealed that there are two other Enron-related
projects with federally guaranteed loans through the Maritime
Administration located in Corinto, Nicaragua, and off the coast
of Guatemala.

All three projects involve power plants mounted on barges.

The facilities in Nicaragua and off Guatemala "appear to be in
good financial health from a debt perspective," Carlton stated.
All three projects are in technical default because of Enron's

The most expensive of the three federally guaranteed projects is
the plant operating off the coast of Guatemala, with a debt of
nearly US$67 million. The debt of the barge-mounted power plant
in Corinto is US$41 million.

Two other U.S. agencies provided Enron with US$1.2 billion in
government-backed loans.

The Overseas Private Investment Corp. still is owed US$453
million from Enron-related projects, and the Export-Import Bank
is due US$512 million.


EMELEC: Conelec To Hold Meeting To Decide Assets, Concession
The fate of the assets of former power distribution company
Emelec and the distribution concession for the city of Guayaquil
will be known next week after Ecuador's electricity regulator
Conelec holds its board meeting.

"The board meeting will be held late this week or early next so
we'll have a clearer position of which option Conelec will adopt
with respect to Emelec's assets and the awarding of the
concession," Conelec advisor Andres Chavez said.

Chavez said there were several reasons behind the auction's
failure, although he declined to mention any specifics. But the
head of Ecuador's national electricity council, Jorge Trujillo,
suggested that the base price of US$130 million may have been
very high.

In March 2001, Ecuadorian electricity council Conelec canceled
Emelec's concession to distribute electricity in Guayaquil after
the Company broke its contract with the state, having accumulated
US$97 million in debts and failing to maintain service standards.
Emelec owner, Fernando Aspiazu was arrested, and the then-
government decided to sell the Company to reimburse clients of
Banco del Progreso, also owned by Aspiazu, and which was declared

CONTACT:  Electrica del Ecuador (EMELEC)
          Tel,fonos: (593-4) 248000 - 248003
          Fax: (593-4) 248051


AHMSA/HYLSAMEX: Taking Action Stem Upsurge Of EU Steel Imports
European flat steel imports more than tripled to 162,502 metric
tons during the first four months of this year from 46,219 tons
during the same period last year, or 10 percent more than
European sales in Mexico for all of 2001, says Bloomberg.

As a result, Mexican steelmakers, such as Hylsamex SA and Altos
Hornos de Mexico SA (AHMSA), are expected to seek protective
measures in order to curtail the flow.

The surge of flat steel imports at lower prices comes more than
two months after the U.S. raised tariffs as much as 30 percent on
foreign steel. The move probably prompted European companies to
divert their sales to Mexico.

Mexico, which the U.S. excluded from higher tariffs, matched the
tariff increases to keep countries from switching steel sales to
Mexico, but exempted the European Union because of their 1999
free trade agreement.

"It's possible this is an effect of the U.S. market being
closed," said Eduviges Baro, trade manager for the National Steel
Chamber, which represents Mexican steelmakers.

Under the Mexican-European Union free trade accord, tariffs on
flat steel imports have fallen to 5 percent from 10 percent and
are scheduled to be eliminated in the second half of 2003, Baro

"We want to send a message for them not to come here and dump
massively," Baro said.

Hylsamex is currently trying to restructure a large part of its
US$1.3 billion debt load. In mid-April, the Company got the
majority consent needed to restructure its 2007 Eurobonds,
avoiding a formal default on the US$300 million debt. Hylsamex
had missed a US$13.8-million coupon payment on the bonds March
15. The steelmaker extended the maturity on the bonds by three
years, and also worked out a deal to restructure US$627 million
in bank debt.

AHMSA, on the other hand, is also scheduled to present to
creditors on June 30 a new restructuring plan involving some
US$1.85 billion in bank debts. AHMSA, 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

          Investor Relations
          Margarita Gutierrez

          Ricardo Sada
          Phone: (52) 81 8865 1224
                 (52) 81 8865 1201
          Munich 101,
          San Nicolas de los Garza N.L., 66452

          Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
          Monclova , Coahuila 25770

          Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
          Fax: +52 86 33 65 66
          Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres./CEO
          Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
          Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer

BOBS CANDIES: Unlikely To Rehire Mexican Workers
Bobs Candies, the Albany-based candy cane maker which shut down
earlier this month, reopened Tuesday to ship existing orders and
to prepare for a resumption of production, the AP reports.
Accordingly, the Company brought in a small number of shift and
production managers to plan for a larger reopening.

"We met with a skeleton supervisory crew to begin working toward
starting production on Monday," company Vice President Julie Roth

Reopening came a week after Security Bank, through its parent
company Synovus Financial, committed to refinance the US$15.2
million debt the 83-year-old candy maker owes to Bank of America.

Negotiations between the two banks are continuing, Roth said.

"We're proceeding and are optimistic about a positive outcome,"
she said.

About 350 workers in Albany and another 300 from the Company's
plant in Reynosa, Mexico, lost their jobs when Bobs closed May
10. Still unclear is how many workers would be re-employed, but
the Company is not expected to recall all of the laid-off

          1315 Oakridge Drive,
          P. O. Box 3170
          Georgia, USA
          Phone: 800-841-3602
          Fax:  912-430-8331
          Home Page:

          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

GRUPO BITAL: Government Role Crucial In Battle For Bank
Mexico plays a very critical role in the battle for Grupo
Financiero Bital, according to a report released by Mexico City
daily Mexico City daily el Economista.

The government must ensure that Bital fulfills its obligation to
strengthen itself financially, approve any movements within the
bank, as well as take the view of the owner who has to maintain
and raise the aggregated value of its investments in the group.

The government currently owns around 7 percent of the accountable
capital of the group, below the 8.3 percent that it held from the
privatization until the start of this year when it did not take
part in a US$107-million capitalization carried out by other
Bital shareholders.

Analysts say that the government's shareholding could be crucial
in negotiations between the controlling parties - currently the
Berrondo brothers, Esteve family, and Banco Santander Central
Hispano (BSCH) - for total control of the bank.

The government position becomes even more important when
considering that BSCH has still not carried out the share
purchase of Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP), which it announced
last year.

If the government approves this transaction, BSCH would raise its
share in Bital to 26.6 percent of the stock and 30.0 percent of
the voting rights.

BSCH was originally limited to a holding of 19 percent in Bital,
but that has increased with the capitalization and the purchase
of BCP.

          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

NII HOLDINGS: Judge To Hear Retention Plan June 18
A bankruptcy judge is to consider a motion filed by NII Holdings
Inc. seeking authority to implement a US$9.6-million retention
bonus plan to persuade employees to remain with the Company as it
reorganizes its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy cloak,
reports Dow Jones.

Judge Mary F. Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington
is to consider by June 18 the retention plan formulated by NII
Holdings with the aid of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, the
Company's financial adviser.

NII Holdings said that without the plan, the Company is likely to
lose its key employees to competitors. Such attrition would
decrease morale and make it harder for NII Holdings to

Under the terms of the proposed plan, 61 employees would be
eligible to receive retention bonuses. The employees are split
into four groups. Bonuses range from 50 percent of base salary
for 37 field workers to 75 percent of base salary for NII
Holdings' chief executive and president and chief operating
officer. The total cost of the proposed bonuses is projected to
be US$9.6 million.

The Company is also asking for authority to issue up to an
additional US$1 million in discretionary bonuses to employees who
aren't participants in the retention bonus plan. NII Holdings has
roughly 130 employees.

The Company, the international unit of the cell phone company
Nextel Communications, filed for bankruptcy court protection last
week listing assets of US$1.24 billion and liabilities of US$3.26
billion as of Dec. 31, 2001.

On Wednesday, the Nextel unit that provides services to Mexico,
Brazil and Argentina, won authority from Judge Walrath to
continue using its cash management system, hire Bankruptcy
Services Inc. as claims and noticing agent, and pay employee
wages and salaries due prior to its Chapter 11 filing.

The Company expects to file a disclosure statement and
reorganization plan within two weeks, said Daniel J.
DeFranceschi, an attorney with Richards Layton & Finger, the firm
representing NII Holdings.

CONTACT:  NII Holdings Inc.
          Claudia Restrepo
          Phone: +1-305-779-3086

          1930 Century Park West
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Phone: 310-553-8871
          Fax: 310-553-2173
          Home Page:
          Alan Fragen, Managing Director
          Phone: + 1 310 553 8871

          One Rodney Square
          P. O. Box 551
          Wilmington, Delaware 19899
          Phone: (302) 651-7700
          Fax: (302) 651-7701
          Home Page:
          Daniel J DeFranceschi
          Phone:  (302) 651-7816
          Fax:  (302) 784-7090


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

Troubled Company Reporter Latin American is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ,
and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC. John D. Resnick, Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche and Ma. Cristina Canson, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

* * * End of Transmission * * *