TCRLA_Public/020731.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, July 31, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 150


A N T I G U A  &  B A R B U D A

LIAT: Inks Passenger-sharing Arrangement with Rival Carrier


DISCO AHOLD: Velox Default to Benefit Dutch Partner Royal Ahold
FARGO: Corporate Bonds Rated "D" by Local S&P
LA NACION: Citibank Argentina Wants to Swap Loans for Stake
PEREZ COMPANC: Sells Mine Stake to AngloGold
REPSOL YPF: Moody's Confirms Ratings, Keeps Negative Outlook
REPSOL YPF: Relieved of Argentine Oil Export Restrictions


APW LTD: Gets Court Plan Confirmation and $110M Exit Facility
FOSTER WHEELER: Awarded $75M SCR Order From Cinergy Corporation


BELL CANADA: Says It Can Likely Repay Debts, Investors
EMBRATEL: European Bank Fortis Grants Important Line of Credit
TEKA: Renegotiates Debt
VARIG: Issuing R$56M in Debentures To Improve Cash Position


AES GENER: Unit to Speed Up Debt Repayment
COEUR D'ALENE: Appoints New Director to Board
MADECO: Senior Executives Step Down
TELEFONICA CTC: Maintains EBITDA Despite Q2 Losses
TELEFONICA CTC: Union Workers End Strike


SEVEN SEAS: Announces Escuela 2 Update


ALESTRA: Hires Morgan Stanley as Adviser
GRUPO BITAL: First-half Profit 27% Short of Previous Level
GRUPO DINA: Western Star Lawsuit Win to Resuscitate Business
GRUPO IUSACELL: S&P Assigns 'B' Rating to Corporate Credit

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

A N T I G U A  &  B A R B U D A

LIAT: Inks Passenger-sharing Arrangement with Rival Carrier
Liat and BWIA, the two airlines serving the Caribbean islands,
recently forged code sharing agreements to afford passengers
seamless travel throughout the region, St Vincent Herald said

According to BWIA President and CEO, Conrad Aleong, the Alliance
brings together two Caribbean carriers that have 100 years
combined service to the region.

"Passengers on both carriers benefit here, BWIA recognized that
many passengers to the Caribbean were having difficulty making
smooth connections to their final destinations within the
Caribbean.  Through this initiative, connections between BWIA and
LIAT will be as seamless as if they were traveling on one
airline.  Additionally, LIAT's Caribbean passengers will be able
to easily access international service via the key BWIA hubs of
Trinidad, Barbados and Antigua," Mr. Aleong told the paper.

LIAT CEO Garry Cullen, for his part, said the importance of the
role played by stable and reliable air transport in the
development of the region could not be overstated.

"I see this alliance as a development of great significance,
leading to improved service levels and route development. The
entire region will benefit from the efficiencies that are being
created today," Mr. Cullen said.

Both carriers are scheduled to call a news conference next month
to provide details of the alliance and how it will impact
Caribbean tourism and infrastructural development.  At the
moment, the two envision better travel throughout the Caribbean,
from and to North America and the UK.


DISCO AHOLD: Velox Default to Benefit Dutch Partner Royal Ahold
Royal Ahold may be forced to shell out US$496.2 million in
financial guarantees if its Argentinean partner defaults on its
debts. However, it won't mind parting with the money because it
is getting far better in return.

According to South American Business Information, a default by
Velox group, Royal's partner in Disco Ahold International
Holding, will give the Dutch supermarket operator 100% control of
the venture as well as the Peruvian supermarket chain, Santa

Royal just recently reported a 14% sales increase in Peru from
January to June 2002.  It projects an 18% increase in turnover to
US$260 million by year's end.  Along with Santa Isabel, Royal
will also takeover Plaza Vea and Minisol flags, including chains
in Chile.

          Larrea 847, Piso 1
          1117 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-4964-8000
          Fax: +54-11-4964-8039
          Home Page:
          Eduardo R. Orteu, Chief Executive Officer
          Jose Sanch

FARGO: Corporate Bonds Rated "D" by Local S&P
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
has assigned a "D" rating to US$120 million worth of simple issue
corporate bonds of Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A.  The bonds
mature July 24, 2008.  The rating reflects the company's
financial position as of March 31, 2002.

Fargo filed for bankruptcy protection in June, seeking an
agreement with creditors to restructure its reported US$150
million in debt. The company, which employs 1,280 workers at five
plants, began to report losses earlier this year, following the
devaluation of the peso that sent prices of raw materials

Fargo is Argentina's leading packaged bread manufacturer with 54%
of the market, down from 62% last year.

To see Fargo's financial statements:

          Panamericana Y Marcos Sastre
          1617 General Pacheco
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: 541-14-736-6500
          Fax: 541-14-736-6540
          Carlos Barbero

LA NACION: Citibank Argentina Wants to Swap Loans for Stake
Newspaper publisher SA La Nacion may soon be owned by the
Argentinean unit of Citigroup Inc. if it fails to pay overdue
debts of US$100 million, says Buenos Aires daily, Economico.

The bank is currently negotiating to take a 58% controlling stake
in the influential publisher.  

Just last month, a La Nacion executive told Dow Jones Newswires
that his company and Citigroup were in debt repayment talks, but
denied any discussion about Citibank Argentina taking an equity
stake in the newspaper. The executive confirmed during that
interview that La Nacion owed US$120 million in dollar-
denominated debt to Citigroup and the BankBoston unit of
FleetFinancial Corp.
Both La Nacion and Citigroup did not comment on the report.

PEREZ COMPANC: Sells Mine Holdings to AngloGold
Pecom Energia, controlled by Argentina's energy group Perez
Companc (PCH) has sold its 46.25 percent stake in Cerro
Vanguardia SA to South Africa's AngloGold. Cerro Vanuardia is
engaged in gold and silver mining in Santa Cruz Argentina.

According to a statement made by Pecom, the sale worth US$90
million is expected to bring a profit of 110 million pesos (US$30
million) on an inflation-adjusted basis.   

The move was consistent with the company's plan to focus on its
core energy business, says Perez spokesman Mario Grandinetti.

The sale did not affect last week's Petrobras bid to acquire a
controlling 58.6% interest in Perez Companc S.A., said Reuters,
citing a Pecom spokesman.

Moody's has recently assigned a Ca rating for Pecom Energia
S.A.'s global bonds in response to Brazilian oil giant
Petrobras's announcement.

Pecom's Ca senior ratings reflect the constraints imposed
by Argentina's sovereign ceiling, and the impact of recession and
government actions, which have affected Perez Companc's ability
to recover its domestic costs, to generate cash flow to fund its
capital spending program, and to access external capital.

Perez Companc is a diversified company with investments in oil
and gas, refining and petrochemicals, electricity generation,
transmission and distribution, and agribusiness headquartered in
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

To see financial statements:

          Maipo 1 - Piso 22 - C1084ABA
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (54-11) 4344-6000
          Fax: (54-11) 4344-6315

REPSOL YPF: Moody's Confirms Ratings, Keeps Negative Outlook
Moody's Investors Service confirmed Monday the ratings of Repsol
YPF and Argentine unit YPF S.A., but maintained its negative
outlook for the two companies due to the unpredictable nature of
Argentina's economy.

Spanish parent Repsol currently bears a Baa2 senior unsecured
rating, Ba1 preferred stock grade and a Prime-2 short-term
rating.  YPF S.A., on the other hand, has a Baa3 local currency
issuer rating and B1 foreign currency debt rating.

In April, Moody's placed the various ratings of Repsol YPF,
including those of several subsidiaries, under review for
possible downgrade because of the dramatic deterioration of
Argentina's economy.  Concerns over the Argentine Government's
ability to come to an agreement with the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), and the growing likelihood that fiscal and currency
control measures could be applied to YPF as a source of tax and
hard currency revenues, also were cited as reason for the review.

"Since the review was initiated, the Argentine economy has
continued to languish but has not worsened materially, there has
been little by way of substantive development in the IMF talks
but, if ultimately successful, Moody's now believes that these
are more likely to exclude the more draconian measures that the
rating agency had feared could be applied to YPF," Moody's said.

"Moody's cautions, however, that the situation in Argentina
remains unpredictable and could change adversely for YPF at a
future stage, and consequently for the Repsol YPF group as a
whole, in view not only of group cash flows but also due to
potential cross-default. Taking this into consideration, the
agency has retained its negative outlook on the companies'
ratings," the agency said.

Moody's believes Repsol still has a good "cash flow stream that
will continue to provide adequate interest coverage."  Thus, it
is appropriate for the senior unsecured rating to be positioned
at the Baa2 level.

The agency also pointed out "that the actual reduction in Repsol
YPF group debt (excluding non-cash accounting adjustments for the
deconsolidation of Gas Natural and for exchange rate changes)
achieved in the first half of 2002 and expected during the
remainder of the year, gives Moody's comfort that Repsol YPF may
be bringing its debt problems under control."

"Thirdly, Moody's is cognizant of Repsol YPF's ongoing relatively
good liquidity which should in theory allow the company to
operate through this year and most of 2003 without recourse to
the capital markets or to its standby facilities (although
recourse to the latter is weakened by material adverse change
clauses and covenants) and of the expected tightening of the
company's financial policies which will require greater capex
discipline if it is to be achieved within its envisaged time-
scalem," Moody's said.

As regard YPF S.A.'s ratings, Moody's said its decision to
maintain the present grade is "based on its strong debt service
coverage measures and its ability to generate foreign exchange
through exports."  

Repsol YPF S.A., headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is one of the
world's largest publicly owned oil and gas companies in terms of
reserves and production. YPF S.A., headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, is an integrated oil company and a wholly owned
subsidiary of Repsol YPF. Repsol YPF owns 24% of Gas Natural,
headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, which is that country's
largest gas company.

REPSOL YPF: Relieved of Argentine Oil Export Restrictions
The Argentine government has formally scrapped a limit on oil
exports.  This will allow Spanish-Argentine group Repsol to
export 100 percent of the production in Argentina, which accounts
for two-thirds of Repsol's European production.

Repsol's Vice Chairman, Ramon Blanco considers this a great
relief for his company, El Pais reported.

As of June 14, Argentine government had allowed only up to 64
percent exportation of oil produce.

Moves toward the liberalization of gas prices in Argentina are
also underway, according to the report. The Argentine government
previously set a 36 percent limit on total oil production, to
secure local supply and keep prices stable.

Repsol YPF is the second largest exporter of LPG in Argentina,
with 18% of the country's overall production, which totals 1.5
million tons per year.

To see latest financial statements:

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

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


APW LTD: Gets Court Plan Confirmation and $110M Exit Facility
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
approved VERO Electronics, Inc. and APW Ltd.'s recent Disclosure
Statement. The Court ruled that the Debtors' Disclosure Statement
contains adequate information within the meaning of section 1125
of the Bankruptcy Code.

Following the approval of the Disclosure Statement, the Court
confirmed the Debtors' Amended and Restated Joint Plan of

"The Plan, Disclosure Statement, and Ballots, in support of the
confirmation of the Plan and notice of the Hearing were
transmitted and served in compliance with the Bankruptcy Rules,"
the Court stated.

Full-text copy of the Debtors' Amended and Plan is available for
a fee at:

The technical amendments to the Amended and Restated Plan do not
adversely affect or change the treatment of any Claims or Equity
Interests under the Plan.  In addition to Administrative Expense
Claims and Priority Tax Claims, which need not be designated, the
Amended Plan designates eight Classes of Claims and Equity
Interests (with two subclasses within Class 5, two subclasses
within Class 6, and three subclasses within Class 8).

To facilitate the Debtors' exit from chapter 11, the Court
authorized the Debtors to enter into an amendment to the DIP
Facility, which extends the maturity past the Effective Date, to
provide funding to the Reorganized Debtors after the consummation
of these Reorganized Cases. The Exit Financing Facility is in the
amount of $110,000,000, which will be used to fund obligations
under the Amended Plan.

APW, a publicly held Bermuda company operates as a holding
company whose principal assets are the shares of stock of its
worldwide operating subsidiaries. APW's operations consist solely
of providing financial, accounting and legal services to its
foreign and domestic direct and indirect subsidiaries. The
Company filed for chapter 11 protection on May 16, 2002 in the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Richard P. Krasnow, Esq. at Weil, Gotshal & Manges represents the
Debtors in their restructuring efforts. When the Company filed
for protection from its creditors, it listed $797,104,000 in
total assets and $899,751,000 in total debts.

FOSTER WHEELER: Awarded $75M SCR Order From Cinergy Corporation
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (NYSE:FWC) announced that its subsidiary
Foster Wheeler Power Group, Inc. has been awarded additional
business for Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) installations
under an existing business alliance with Cinergy Services, Inc.,
an affiliate of Cinergy Corp. of Cincinnati, Ohio. The value of
the order is approximately $75 million.

The awards are for the supply of SCR equipment for unit 5 and
construction of SCR equipment for unit 4 at the Gibson Station,
in Owensville, Indiana. The units at the Gibson Station have
Foster Wheeler's highly efficient nominal 650 MWe coal-fired
boilers, which use supercritical pressures and temperatures.
These boilers were originally supplied in the late 1970s.

The equipment deliveries for unit 5 will be completed this year
and construction at unit 4 is scheduled for completion by spring
of 2003. Under the same alliance agreement, Foster Wheeler has
recently provided the SCR equipment and construction for the
Gibson Station's units 2 and 3, the Miami Fort unit 8 in North
Bend, Ohio, and East Bend unit 2 in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, which
were valued in total at approximately $200 million. All of the
SCRs on these units are presently undergoing rigorous testing.

"SCR technology is playing an important role in enabling power
providers to meet 2004 NOx reduction regulations set by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency," said Raymond J. Milchovich,
Foster Wheeler's chairman, president and CEO. "With more than
half this country's electricity generated from coal, existing
power plants can choose this cost-effective environmental control
device to meet these new, tougher standards."

SCRs are control devices that reduce nitrogen oxide pollution, or
what is commonly called NOx. These NOx compounds are by-products
of the combustion process found in boiler and gas turbine flue

Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global company offering, through its
subsidiaries, a broad range of design, engineering, construction,
manufacturing, project development and management, research,
plant operation and environmental services. The corporation is
based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational headquarters are
in Clinton, N.J.

For more information about Foster Wheeler, visit our World Wide
Web     site at

         Phone: 908/730-4000


BELL CANADA: Says It Can Likely Repay Debts, Investors
Bell Canada International, which recently opted to wind up
operations, says it is very much on track with its plan to
complete the operation.

The company, which just shipped its Telecom Americas wireless
network in Brazil to Mexican counterpart, America Movil, for
CA$366 million, says it may even have enough cash to pay

Reuters says the company expects to get CA$220 million in March
next year when America Movil will pay the balance for the
Brazilian assets.  The Mexican telecom paid CA$146 million
initially to acquire the unit.

The company said it used the proceeds of the sale to fully repay
the US$174 million owed under a senior secured credit facility,
which has been cancelled.  BCI said it had US$100 million at the
bank as of June 30, but it will need about US$75 million more to
pay for interest and general expenses up until the end of 2003.
BCI plans to raise the money by selling Canbras and Axtel, which
carry debts of US$35 million and US$797 million, respectively.  
The company promises to give shareholders whatever is left of the
money once all of its obligations are paid.
BCI said its loss from continuing operations stood at US$468
million in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of
US$103.0 million in the previous year.  Revenues decreased to
US$94.9 million from US$108.3 million.

The company opted for liquidation after parent company BCE Inc.
said it would no longer support the money-losing unit.

EMBRATEL: European Bank Fortis Grants Important Line of Credit
European bank Fortis handed struggling Embratel Participacoes a
five-year credit lifeline worth US$25 million last week, reports
Agencia Estado.

The new credit adds to the US$305 million in loans taken this
year by the local affiliate of WorldCom Inc., the U.S. telecom
operator.  With the loan, Embratel's cash position is now
relatively stable at US$617 million, says the report.

Speaking in a conference call with analysts, Embratel President
Jorge Rodrigues said the funds would be used before mid-2003.  
Last week, Embratel reported second-quarter losses of R$152.2
million, a 292% increase from year-earlier figures.  In the first
half, losses totaled R$188.6 million, a 160% increase, the news
agency says.

TEKA: Renegotiates Debt
Teka Tecelagem Juehnrich, a Brazilian textile products
manufacturer, plans negotiations with debenture holders toward
the reduction of monthly amortizations of its R$25 million
(US$7.659 million) bonds issued in 1996, Gazeta Mercantil

The bond maturity was earlier moved from 2003 to 2005.

TEKA - Tecelagem Juehnrich S.A. is the largest manufacturer of
bed, table and bathroom textile products in Latin America.  The
Group's principal activities are: marketing and sale of table,
bath and bed linens, such as bedspreads, bed sets, dishcloths,
tablecloths, towels, bathrobes and other related products. The
Group has five factories located in Blumenau, Indaial, Sumare,
Artur Nogueira and Passos with a production capacity around 28
thousand tons per year. The Company exports its products to 40
countries including EU and the United States. Exportation
represents 32% of 2001 Group's revenues.

From 1987 on, Teka has invested more than US$ 187 million in
updating its technology.

CONTACT:  TEKA - Tecelagem Kuehnrich S.A.  
          Rua Paulo Kuehnrich, 68
          Itoupava Norte  89052-900 Blumenau - SC    
          Phone: +55 47 321-5000
          Home Page:
          Contact: Rolf Kuehnrich, Chairman
          Frederico Kuehnrich Neto, Vice Chairman
          Dieter G. Wachholz, Finance Director

VARIG: Issuing R$56M in Debentures To Improve Cash Position
As part of its R$1 billion re-capitalization plan, Brazilian
airline Varig will issue R$56 million worth of debentures, which
will be backed up by the carrier's income from ticket sales.

The amount will be deposited in the company's account in
BankBoston, says O Estado de Sao Paolo.  Varig is currently
negotiating with BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Economico e Social) the other debentures issuances of R$300


AES GENER: Unit to Speed Up Debt Repayment
Energy Trade & Finance Corp., a unit of Chile's electricity
generator, AES Gener SA, will ramp up repayment of part of a $40
million loan from ABN Amro Bank NV, Bloomberg reports.  The unit
will meet the obligation next July as demanded by the ABN Amro.

The unit will pay $16 million of the four-year loan obtained in
2000, by the end of July 2003 and the rest by January 2004, says

Fitch Ratings' has recently viewed Gener to have successfully
addressed its near term liquidity after it has reached agreement
in principal with ABN AMRO to avoid full payment on ABN's put

Terms of the agreement with ABN AMRO, according to reports will
include a US$16 million prepayment, a manageable quarterly
amortization schedule and possible limitations on dividends. The
final maturity of the ABN AMRO loan is January 2004.

The loan, according to Fitch, may also receive further prepayment
from a portion of the proceeds from the expected sale of certain
assets during the second half of the year.

AES Gener is the second largest electricity generation group in
Chile in terms of operating revenue and generating capacity with
an installed capacity of 1,757 MW composed of 1,512 MW of thermal
and 245 MW of hydro generating capacity. The company operates
most of the thermal electric power plants in the country. AES
Gener serves both the Central Interconnection System (SIC) and
Northern Interconnection System (SING) through various
subsidiaries and related companies. Gener is 98.65%-owned by AES.

AES has invested about $7 billion in Latin America, including its
purchase of AES Gener at end 2000.

AES Gener has about $1.5 billion in debt, according to ratings
company Moody's Investors Service.

          Mariano Sanchez Fontecilla 310 Piso 3
          Santiago de Chile
          Phone: (56-2) 6868900
          Fax: (56-2) 6868991
          Home Page:
          Robert Morgan, Chief Executive
          Laurence Golborne Riveros, Chief Financial Officer

COEUR D'ALENE: Appoints New Director to Board
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE) is pleased to announce
that J. Kenneth Thompson has been unanimously appointed to the
Company's Board of Directors, subject to shareholder approval.

Mr. Thompson will replace Joseph C. Bennett, who has retired from
Coeur's Board of Directors after serving the Company dutifully as
a director since 1981.

Mr. Thompson served over twenty-six years with ARCO where he held
several positions, including Executive Vice President of its
Asia-Pacific oil and gas operations and President of ARCO Alaska,
Inc. He currently sits on the Boards of Alaska Airlines and
Alaska Air Group, Inc. and is President and CEO of Pacific Rim
Leadership Development, an Anchorage, AK based consulting firm.

"We are delighted that Ken has chosen to join Coeur's Board of
Directors and we look forward to benefiting from his expertise.
We would also like to thank Joe Bennett for his years of
excellent service to the Company," said Dennis E. Wheeler,
Coeur's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the country's largest silver
producer, as well as a significant, low-cost producer of gold.
The Company has mining interests in Nevada, Idaho, Alaska,
Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

          Mitchell J. Krebs
          Phone: 208/769-8155

MADECO: Senior Executives Step Down
The senior management of copper cable company, Madeco S.A. (MAD),
have tendered their resignations effective September 30, says Dow
Jones citing a company press release.

Chief Executive Albert Cussen, and Santiago Edwards stepped down
to make way for a new set of officials who will lead the second
phase of the company's operational restructuring.

The company's board of directors has appointed Tiberio Dall'Olio
to replace Cussen and Jorge Tagle to replace Edwards.  The
appointment was followed by the installation of Julio Cordova as
Director of Operations.

Madeco restructured its operation beginning to 2002, following
the recession in Argentina where Madeco has major holdings. It
has hired Salomon Smith Barney Chile as adviser.

On July 10, the company had announced a capital increase of
CLP63.0 billion (US$90.3 million), which is scheduled to be
completed October 1, after the restructuring of Madeco's

Madeco shares have fluctuated strongly since the capital increase
was announced July 10.

Madeco SA (MAD) is a Chile-based manufacturer of finished and
semi-finished non-ferrous products based on copper, copper
alloys, and aluminum. At 1537 GMT, Madeco led decliners in
Chile's blue-chip IPSA index, falling 6.0% to CLP39.00, while the
IPSA was down 0.2%.

The new set of officers will take over October 1.

          Ureta Cox, 930
          San Miguel, Santiago, Chile
          Phone: 56-2 5201461
          Fax: 56-2 5516413
          Home Page:
          Investor Relations
          Phone: 56-2 5201380
          Fax:   56-2 5201545

          388 Greenwich St.
          New York, NY 10013
          Phone: 212-816-6000
          Fax: 212-793-9086
          Home Page:
          Michael A. Carpenter, Chairman and CEO
          Michael J. Day, EVP and Controller

TELEFONICA CTC: Maintains EBITDA Despite Q2 Losses
Compania de Telecomunicaciones de Chile SA bared net losses of
CLP902 million in the second quarter, but still managed to end up
just a million short of the first quarter EBITDA.

Second quarter EBITDA stood at CLP95.56 billion compared with
CLP96.96 billion in the first quarter.  The only difference is:
the company had net profits of CLP2.24 billion in the first

Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica SA owns close to half
of CTC's shares.

TELEFONICA CTC: Union Workers End Strike

The 29-day strike of Telefonica CTC union workers ended Monday,
with the employees' agreeing to extend their current contracts
for another 18 months, Bloomberg reported citing spokesman Daniel

The extension is in line with a provision in the Chilean labor
law that mandates workers to return to work at their present pay
should the two parties in a labor conflict fail to come up with a
new contract within one month after the strike broke out. As the
extension is under the current contract, wages will not be
adjusted to keep up with inflation.

Around 4,000 CTC workers demanded a 3% real pay raise, claiming
the company was trying to cut their wages by some 22%.  CTC
denied the allegations saying it wanted to reduce severance pay.  

Chile's telephone company is cutting severance pay as part of its
cost-cutting measures. Telefonica CTC has been downsizing its
workforce, reducing it by a quarter since government adjustments
in 1999 cuts the company's revenue on its local calls. The new
contract that CTC proposed would have cut wages by 2%, mainly by
reducing bonus plans, the company said.  

The strike brought in new expenses such as the CLP50 million
(US$71,500) worth of repair for telephone lines damaged during
the walkout, and the hiring of emergency staff to get on with

Spanish telecommunications giant, Telefonica SA (TEF) owns close
to half of CTC's shares.  As Chile's former telephone monopoly,
CTC controls nearly 80% of the country's fixed line
infrastructure. The company lost 902 million pesos ($1.3 million)
in the second quarter, from a 10 billion pesos loss a year
earlier. At 1710 GMT, CTC shares were up 1.1% at CLP1930.00,
underperforming the blue-chip IPSA index, which was up 1.7%.

Company Web site:


SEVEN SEAS: Releases Escuela 2 Update
Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. (Amex: SEV) announced Monday that the
Company has resumed drilling on the Escuela 2 exploration well.
The well is currently drilling at 18,808 feet in inter-bedded
sandstone and siltstone. Shortly after drilling in new formation
below the 7 5/8-inch liner, there was a gas show of 12 percent
with traces of heavier hydrocarbons (C2-C5) and an approximate
35-barrel influx of fluid. Initial analysis of the fluid entering
the wellbore indicates water with a skim of oil.

The Company believes that the geological information available
now is not conclusive enough to determine the exact stratigraphic
and structural position of the bottom of the wellbore. However,
Seven Seas believes it is likely that the Cambao fault has not
been encountered and the Escuela 2 is currently drilling in the
lower part of the Cretaceous Villeta formation. A review of
drilling samples and paleontological work is being carried out on
a continual basis to aid in the geological interpretation.

Seven Seas plans to continue drilling to a total depth of
approximately 19,500 feet, provided wellbore conditions permit.
When the well reaches total depth, the Company plans to run
electric logs for further evaluation.

Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. is an independent oil and gas
exploration and production company operating in Colombia, South
America. The Company's primary emphasis is on the development and
production of the Guaduas Oil Field and exploration of the
Subthrust Dindal Prospect, both of which are located in
Colombia's prolific Magdalena Basin.

CONTACT:  Daniel Drum, Investor Relations, Seven Seas Petroleum
          Phone: +1-713-622-8218


ALESTRA: Hires Morgan Stanley as Adviser
Alestra SA has hired Morgan Stanley to restructure $619 million
in debt, Bloomberg reports.

Mexico's third biggest phone company has $270 million in bonds
due in 2006 and $300 million in bonds maturing in 2009.  It also
has obligations to pay the remaining half of its debt with BNP
Paribas in three months. The company is scheduled to pay $35
million in interest for both bonds in mid-November after paying
the $12.5 million left on the bank loan in October.

Miranda Duff, spokeswoman for AT&T, one of Alestra's
shareholders, disclosed that the company is still considering
options, as a default of this kind has not happened for an AT&T
overseas holding.

In the first quarter, Alestra had cash flow of 174 million pesos,
falling short of interest expenses of 208 million pesos for the
three-month period. It had second-quarter cash flow of $18.5
million on sales of $107 million.

In order to conserve cash, the company reduced capital spending
from US$26 million to US$5 million in the first quarter. The
company is facing an oppressing competition with Telefonos de
Mexico SA, a formerly state-owned company that handles about 95
percent of local fixed-line service and 68 percent of long-
distance calls within Mexico.

AT&T Corp., the biggest U.S. telephone company, has a 49 percent
stake in Alestra, while Alfa and Grupo Financiero BBVA-Bancomer
SA, the country's largest bank, each own 25 percent. Bancomer,
controlled by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, values its
stake at 180 million pesos ($18.6 million).

Some analysts doubt the company's condition to meet the deadlines
after it defaulted on its US$25 million obligation to BNP Paribas
this month.

Alfonso Gonzalez Migoya, chief financial officer of Alfa SA,
refused to disclose whether Alfa would grant cash to Alestra;
while Jaime Adam, chief financial officer of Bancomer says the
bank is still thinking over its decision pending review of its

Juan Cruz, an analyst with DebtTraders Ltd., pointed out that
Alestra may not only need money to pay for interest expenses
basing on the low trading value of its bonds. Alestra's bonds
trade at about 28 cents on the dollar.

Morgan Stanley did not make a comment, while Alestra spokesman
Jose Chimal said it cannot say much as the company is still
drafting plans.

Alestra is conducting ``in-house'' projections as part of the
debt plan.  It hasn't contacted bondholders yet, Gonzalez said.

GRUPO BITAL: First-half Profit 27% Short of Previous Level
Mexico's financial services company, Grupo Financiero Bital, is
27% off its previous profit margin for the first half, said Dow
Jones Newswires.

The company blamed extraordinary charges related to changes in
shareholders structure for the poor performance.  The company
also increased its loan-loss reserves to 40%, leading it to carve
some 9% off its capital, which stood at MXN6.99 billion. Tier 1
capitalization ratio stood at 9.26%, the company said in a press

Net income stands at MXN130.8 million ($1=MXN9.67) for the first
six months of the year.  Net income at its flagship banking unit
Banco Internacional (E.BIL) dropped more than 37% to MXN49
million in the same comparative period.

The company's loan portfolio fell 0.1% from the first quarter to
MXN65.56 billion. Past-due loans rose 3.4% from the first quarter
and also increased 9.2% from the second half of 2001 to MXN4.79
billion, representing 7.3% of total assets, Dow Jones noted.

HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) is expected to soon launch a GBP638
million bid for control of Bital, according to U.K. media

GRUPO DINA: Western Star Lawsuit Win to Resuscitate Business
Troubled Mexican truck-maker Consorcio G Grupo Dina is confident
it will win in the US$123 million lawsuit against Canada's
Western Star Trucks, giving it a platform to stage a successful

The case pending in a Los Angeles court will go on trial in
October.  The Mexican firm believes the success of this suit for
breach of contract will help reverse its misfortunes.

Just three years ago, the company employed 3,250 workers in four
major plants that assemble trucks, motors, chassis and plastic
parts.  Today, the company maintains an administrative staff
consisting of only 25 individuals, said Reuters.  The four plants
have all been sold to pay off debts of almost US$1 billion.

Mauricio Mendoza, Dina's in-house legal counsel, claims Western
Star's unilateral withdrawal in July 2000 from a contract that
would have allowed his client to build 9,000 trucks spelled doom
for the Mexican truck-maker.  

The contract with Western Star would have lasted some 10 years
and involved the export of high-technology units for sale in
Canada, the United States and Australia, the lawyer told Reuters.  
He said it came at a time when Dina was already on shaky ground
and was barely holding its own, following the 1995 Mexican peso

"We are very confident that we can win.  We are sure that the law
is on our side.  We feel that we are protected by both Mexican
and international trade legislation," Mr. Mendoza told the news

He said the breach occurred when the Canadian company was
acquired by Freightliner LLC, a unit of Germany's
DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest truck-maker.  Officials at
Freightliner and DaimlerChrysler did not respond to interview

Mr. Mendoza says a win will provide the company a springboard for
re-launching its business.

"We could think about manufacturing urban buses... not the big
trucks, but normal trucks, like the ones you see on the streets
carrying soft drinks."
On July 19, the company began to buy back shares that had been
delisted from the Mexican stock exchange since August 2001 and
which were in the hands of minority shareholders.  The total cost
of the buy-back, which included the repurchase of American
Depositary Receipts (ADRs), stands at about US$2.6 million and
accounts for 45 percent of the company's total outstanding
shares.  Holders of ADRs have until August 14 to convert their
receipts to Mexican peso-denominated shares.

GRUPO IUSACELL: S&P Assigns 'B' Rating to Corporate Credit
Standard & Poor's Rating Services has lowered its foreign and
local currency corporate credit ratings on Mexico's wireless
cellular and PCS service provider Grupo Iusacell S.A. de C.V. and
on Grupo Iusacell Celular S.A. de C.V. to single-'B'-plus from
double-'B', with a negative outlook. The negative outlook
accounts for the deteriorating conditions of the company's most
important operations.  

According to S&P, the action is based on "further erosion of
Iusacell's market share and revenues, and uncertainties about the
timely execution of several turnaround measures" aimed to improve
the company's internal cash flow generation.

The rating agency is also concerned about the company's debt
service and refinancing ability considering the volatility of the
financial markets, particularly in the telecommunication
industry, says credit analyst Manuel Guerena.

Mr. Guerena also mentioned concerns regarding the availability of
financing in the near term from the company's main shareholders.

Without considering the sale and leaseback of towers to American
Tower Corp, and expensing handset subsidies, the company's EBITDA
was $83 million for the six months ended June 2002.  EBITDA last
year was $118 million.

Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (Iusacell, NYSE: CEL; BMV: CEL) is a
wireless cellular and PCS service provider in seven of Mexico's
nine regions, including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey,
Tijuana, Acapulco, Puebla, Leon and Merida. The Company's service
regions encompass a total of approximately 91 million POPs,
representing approximately 90% of the country's total population.
Iusacell is under the management and operating control of
subsidiaries of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

To see financial statements:

          Investor: Russell A. Olson, Chief Financial Officer
          Tel: +5255-5109-5751

          Carlos J. Moctezuma,
          Manager, Investor Relations
          Tel: +5255-5109-5780

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 and Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche, Editors.

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

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