TCRLA_Public/020823.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, August 23, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 167

                           Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

IMPSAT FIBER: New York Court Fixes September Claims Bar Date
PEREZ COMPANC: Tapping 65 Million-Barrel Reserve in Ecuador
REPSOL YPF: Improves Argentinian Gas Oil Sales' Profitability


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Awarded Contract by Aramco Overseas Company


B R A Z I L

CEMAR: Files for Debt Protection, Reorganization
COPENE: Fitch Issues Ratings Correction
COPENE: Releases 2Q02 Results
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Obtains BRL420M From BNDES
NET SERVICOS: Releases August Board Meeting Minutes

NII HOLDINGS: Saul Ewing Tapped as Bankruptcy Co-Counsel
NII HOLDINGS: Bondholders Balk at Motion to Hire Crossroads
STATE-RUN BANKS: Govternment Struggles To Close Sale


E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Takes Rating Actions
BANCO CUSCATLAN: Fitch Affirms Ratings, But Changes Outlook
BANCO DE COMERCIO: Fitch Changes Rating Outlook to Negative


M E X I C O

ALFA SA: Looks To Increase Spending Next Year
BANCO DEL SURESTE: Future Rests on Upcoming Board Meeting
BITAL: HSBC Agrees to Acquire 52 Percent Stake
BITAL: On S&P Affirms Ratings, CreditWatch Now Positive
BITAL: Moody's Puts Ratings Under Review For Upgrade

GRUPO MEXICO: Subsidiaries Sign Credit Agreement With Inbursa
GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Cuts Unit's Credit Rating to `SD'
GRUPO MIFEL: Current Talks With del Valle Ruiz Revealing Fate
SANLUIS: Reaches Agreement-in-Principle with Creditors


U R U G U A Y

BANCO COMERCIAL: Depositors Offer Help Stave Off Collapse
GALICIA URUGUAY: Clients Accept Deposit Return Scheme

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================

IMPSAT FIBER: New York Court Fixes September Claims Bar Date
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
fixed the date within which all creditors of Impsat Fiber
Networkers, Inc., holding or wishing to assert a claim against
the estates, are required to file a proof of claim or be forever
barred from asserting that claim. The Court set the Claims Bar
Date on September 17, 2002.

Excluded Claims are:

     i) Claims against the Debtors which are not listed as
        "disputed", "contingent" or "unliquidated" in the
        Debtors' Schedules; and

    ii) Claims already properly filed with this Court;

   iii) Claims previously allowed by this Court;

    iv) Holders of equity of interests in the Debtor;

   vii) Claims held by any direct or indirect non-Debtor
        subsidiary; and

  viii) Claims that are based solely on any holder's holding or
        ownership of the:

        a) 2003 Notes,
        b) 2005 Notes, or
        c) 2008 Notes.

All claims, to be deemed properly filed must be received not
later than 5:00 p.m. of the Bar Date by:

          Office of the Clerk of Court
          United States Bankruptcy Court for the
             Southern District of New York
          Re: In re Impsat Fiber Networks, Inc.,
             Case No. 02-1288
          One Bowling Green
          Room 534
          New York, NY 10004-1408

Impsat Fiber, a provider of broadband Internet, data, and voice
services in Latin America, filed for chapter 11 protection on
June 11, 2002. Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Esq., and Michael J.
Canning, Esq. at Arnold & Porter represent the Debtor in its
restructuring efforts. When the Company filed for protection from
its creditors, it listed $667,189,368 in total assets and
$1,334,732,793 in total debts.

CONTACT:   IMPSAT Fiber Networks, Inc.
           Home Page: http://www.impsat.com

           Hector Alonso
           Gonzalo Alende Serra
           Phone: 54.11.5170.3700

DEBTORS' COUNSEL: Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Esq.
                  Michael J. Canning, Esq.
                  Arnold & Porter
                  399 Park Avenue
                  New York, New York 10022
                  (212) 715-1315
                  Fax : (212) 715-1399


PEREZ COMPANC: Tapping 65 Million-Barrel Reserve in Ecuador
-----------------------------------------------------------
An international consortium, majority-owned by Perez Companc SA
(PC) will begin drilling in Ecuador's Palo Azul oil field in 15
days, reports Dow Jones, citing a government official.

The project is expected to produce 5,000 barrels of crude a day,
and to reach 20,000 barrels within three years, according to
Klever Pelaez, vice president of Petroproduccion, a unit of
state-owned Petroecuador.

Palo Azul is located in the Amazon region and holds an estimated
oil reserve of 65.8 million barrels. Drilling in the area
entitles the Ecuadorian government to some 30 to 50 percent
rights in the production, the terms of which depend on oil
prices.

The consortium, which led the exploration is 70 percent owned by
Perez Companc. Cayman International and Petromanabi control the
remaining 18% and 12% of the shares, respectively.

Pecom Energia S.A., controlled by Perez Companc S.A., is the
largest independently owned energy company in the Latin American
region. Its business activities include oil and gas production
and transportation, refining and petrochemicals, power
generation, transmission and distribution as well as forestry
activities. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, the Company has
operations throughout Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru
and Ecuador.

CONTACT:  PECOM ENERGIA S.A. DE PEREZ COMPANC S.A.
          Maipo 1 - Piso 22 - C1084ABA
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (54-11) 4344-6000
          Fax: (54-11) 4344-6315
          URL: http://www.pecom.com.ar


REPSOL YPF: Improves Argentinian Gas Oil Sales' Profitability
-------------------------------------------------------------
Repsol YPF has closed a new deal with Argentine cargo transport
business associations to supply gas oil, with a price increase of
0.25 cents per litre. Post agreement, the price will increase
from the current 0.75 peso per litre to about 1 peso per litre
for the gas oil sales to that sector.

The deal is part of an agreement that was reached last June
between oil companies and the Argentine Government in order to
settle on a stable framework for the sector. Certain measures
were defined, such as the reduction of export tax on liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG), as well as the total elimination of export
tax on gasolines and the limits on crude oil exports. An
agreement was also reached for maintenance of the free
circulation in the exterior of 70% of currency from hydrocarbon
exports.  The Government has not yet adopted measures for the
reduction of taxes on gas oil and approval of an increase in the
price of natural gas for industrial consumption.

To see financial statements: http://bankrupt.com/misc/Repsol.pdf

CONTACTS:  REPSOL YPF
           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: http://www.repsol.com
           or
           Av. Roque S enz Pe a, 777.
           C.P 1364. Buenos Aires
           Argentina



=============
B E R M U D A
=============

FOSTER WHEELER: Awarded Contract by Aramco Overseas Company
-----------------------------------------------------------
Refinery and power cogeneration plants, Saudi Arabia

Foster Wheeler Ltd. (NYSE:FWC) announced Wednesday that its
subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, has been awarded a
project management services contract for two distillate
hydrotreaters and power cogeneration plants by Aramco Overseas
Company.

Foster Wheeler's scope of work associated with the hydrotreaters
is to provide engineering and project management services for
facilities at Saudi Aramco's Riyadh and Yanbu refineries. This
work follows the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's plans to improve the
ambient air quality for the most populated cities, Riyadh, Jeddah
and Makkah, by switching to lower sulfur diesel fuel in 2006.

Foster Wheeler has been contracted to upgrade the mid-distillates
to low-sulfur diesel at both refineries. The facilities will
enable the refineries initially to produce 500 ppm and eventually
50 ppm sulfur content diesel.

Ian Bill, chairman and chief executive, Foster Wheeler Energy
Limited, said: "Foster Wheeler was awarded this contract due to
the quality of its work in past projects with Aramco Overseas
Company. This contract extends the company's relationship with
Saudi Aramco. For the past seven years, Foster Wheeler has been
contracted for projects spanning Rabigh, Haradh and Qatif. Such
past experience has reinforced our working relationship with
Aramco and has contributed to our understanding of how it
operates. Furthermore, we are particularly proud to assist Aramco
in achieving the clean fuels requirements of the Kingdom."

In addition, Foster Wheeler will provide engineering and project
management services for the power cogeneration plants, the first
of which will be at Berri, followed by other plants. All
facilities will provide combustion gas turbine generators with
heat recovery steam generators as well as high-voltage
substations, high-voltage transmission lines, and cooling
tower/fin fan coolers. Existing plant systems and utilities,
including the distributed control system, will be upgraded.

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 www.fwc.com.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/FOSTER_WHEELER.htm

CONTACT:  FOSTER WHEELER LTD.
          Phone: 908/730-4000



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B R A Z I L
===========

CEMAR: Files for Debt Protection, Reorganization
------------------------------------------------
On Wednesday, due to the recent denial of emergency rate relief
and the inability to obtain support from creditors for a proposed
sale, PPL Corporation's (NYSE: PPL) Brazilian electric
distribution company, Companhia Energetica do Maranhao (CEMAR),
filed a concordata preventiva, the Brazilian equivalent of a U.S.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with a state court in Brazil.

William Hecht, PPL's chairman, president and chief executive
officer, said that today's action is consistent with PPL's
previously announced plans to exit CEMAR.  "This action will have
no impact upon PPL's previously announced earnings guidance for
2002, of between $3.30 and $3.50 per share from core operations,"
said Hecht.

In January of this year, PPL announced that it intended to write
off its entire investment in CEMAR as the result of a prolonged
drought, electricity rationing, an uncertain regulatory climate
and a malfunctioning wholesale electricity market.  The company
wrote off $217 million in reporting its fourth quarter 2001
earnings and then the remaining $100 million in the first two
quarters of this year.  As a result, Hecht said, the company has
written down its investment in Brazil to zero.

In announcing the write-offs, the company said that it was
pursuing a workout plan, which included a possible sale of CEMAR,
but that this workout would not extend beyond the end of 2002.

The workout plan included a request for emergency tariff relief,
which was turned down by Brazil's National Electrical Energy
Agency (ANEEL), and a proposed sale of CEMAR.  "During the
concordata period, PPL will continue to explore the possible sale
of CEMAR," Hecht said.

Last month, PPL announced a proposal for the sale of its 90
percent interest in CEMAR to Franklin Park Energy LLC of McLean,
Va.

While that transaction still is under review by ANEEL, the
concordata filing has been precipitated by conditions imposed on
the sale by CEMAR's creditors, according to
Hecht.  "Unfortunately, these conditions have left CEMAR with no
choice but to pursue a concordata," said Hecht.

CEMAR provides electricity delivery service to more than 1
million customers in the northeastern Brazilian state of
Maranhao.  PPL's other Latin American electricity distribution
companies, located in Chile, Bolivia and El Salvador, are
unaffected by the situation in Brazil.

PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls nearly
11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States,
sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity to
customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.

Certain statements contained in this news release, including
statements with respect to future earnings, are "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the federal securities
laws.  Although PPL Corporation believes that the expectations
and assumptions reflected in these forward-looking statements are
reasonable, these statements involve a number of risks and
uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from the
results discussed in the statements.  The following are among the
important factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from the forward-looking statements: market demand and
prices for energy, capacity and fuel; weather variations
affecting customer energy usage; competition in retail and
wholesale power markets; the effect of any business or industry
restructuring; the profitability and liquidity of PPL Corporation
and its subsidiaries; new accounting requirements or new
interpretations or applications of existing requirements;
operating performance of plants and other facilities;
environmental conditions and requirements; system conditions and
operating costs; development of new projects, markets and
technologies; performance of new ventures; political, regulatory
or economic conditions in countries where PPL Corporation or its
subsidiaries conduct business; receipt of necessary governmental
approvals; capital market conditions; stock price performance;
foreign exchange rates; and the commitments and liabilities of
PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries.  Any such forward-looking
statements should be considered in light of such factors and in
conjunction with PPL Corporation's Form 10-K and other reports on
file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:  PPL CORPORATION
          Dan McCarthy, +1-610-774-5758
          Financial analysts: Tim Paukovits
          Phone: +1-610-774-4124
          Fax: +1-610-774-5281/
          Web site: http://www.pplweb.com


COPENE: Fitch Issues Ratings Correction
---------------------------------------
(Amended version of press release dated August 19, 2002.)

Fitch Ratings withdraw Wednesday the national scale rating of 'A-
(bra)' for Copene -- Petroquimica do Nordeste S.A, following the
creation of Braskem S.A. (Braskem). From this date as Braskem has
been effectively constituted, its advisory rating of 'A+(bra)'
will become the company's effective rating.

A corporate reorganization involving Copene, OPP PP, and the
special-purpose company 52.114 resulted in the creation of
Braskem. Copene is shareholder of Polialden Petroquimica S.A. and
Politeno S.A.; OPP PP is shareholder of OPP Quimica S.A., Trikem
S.A. and Copesul; and the special-purpose company 52.114 is
shareholder of Nitrocarbono S.A.

The Braskem project involves the combination of all petrochemical
interests held by the Odebrecht and Mariani groups. The entity
will be the South America's largest integrated petrochemical
company, encompassing first- and second-generation companies.
Braskem's production capacity will represent approximately 39% of
the region's (Southern Cone) polypropylene output, 51% of its PVC
and 31% of its polyethylene. Estimated revenues should exceed
BRL8.0 billion, and EBITDA shall reach BRL3.0 billion through
2004.

CONTACT:  FITCH RATINGS
          Alejandro Bertuol
          Phone: 212/908-0393
          Anabella Colombo
          Phone: 55-11-287-3177
          Rafael Guedes
          Phone: 55-11-287-3177


COPENE: Releases 2Q02 Results
------------------------------
COPENE Petroquimica do Nordeste S.A. (NYSE: PNE; BOVESPA: CPNE5)
announced Wednesday results for the three-month period ended June
30, 2002. All financial figures discussed in this announcement
are presented in accordance with Brazilian Corporate Law.

COPENE posted a net loss for the second quarter of 2002 of
R$289.5 million, compared to a net income of R$34.9 million for
the same quarter last year. This was mainly due to the extension
of the March, 2002 shutdown of Pyrolysis Unit One from the
originally scheduled 45 days to 73 days for the expansion of the
Company's ethylene capacity by 80 thousand tons per year, as well
as the steep 22.4 percent devaluation of the Real (R$) against
the U.S. dollar for the period. Additionally, it should be noted
that following the conclusion of the shutdown, Pyrolysis Unit One
took an additional 12 days before reaching full production
capacity due to start-up technical difficulties

Year-to-date, COPENE posted a net loss of R$335.1 million,
compared to a net income of R$37.5 million for the equivalent
six-month period of 2001. Consequently, during the second
quarter, the management of the Company did not submit to the
Administrative Council a proposal for distribution of interim
dividends, in light of the nonexistence of retained earnings or
revenue reserves available for such purpose.

Analysis of the Results

Net sales for the quarter were R$687.6 million, or R$766.4
million on a consolidated basis, representing a decline of 16.5
percent from R$823.0 million, or R$842.5 million on a
consolidated basis, for the second quarter of 2001. For the six-
month period, net sales were R$1,273.2 million, or R$1,416.9 on a
consolidated basis, representing a 20.1 percent decline from
R$1,593.2 million, or R$1,624.9 million on a consolidated basis,
for the same period last year.

Gross margin for the quarter was 13.5 percent, down from 16.9
percent for the second quarter of 2001, but flat quarter-over-
quarter. Gross margin for the six-month period was also 13.5
percent, compared with 15.7 percent for the same period of 2001.
The year-over-year decline in profitability for the three- and
six-month periods was mainly due to the decline over the
corresponding periods in sales volume and the continued
difficulties in passing increases in the cost of the raw material
through in full to downstream customers, since the price of the
products manufactured by COPENE is indexed to the U.S. dollar.

Domestic sales for the quarter were 89.6 percent of COPENE's net
sales for the period, compared with 88.3 percent for the second
quarter of last year and 94.0 percent for the first quarter of
this year. Export sales comprised the remaining 10.4 percent,
compared with 11.7 percent for the second quarter of last year
and 6.0 percent for the first quarter of this year. For the six-
month period, domestic and export sales were 91.6 percent and 8.4
percent, respectively, of COPENE's net sales for the period. This
compares with 90.4 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, for the
same period last year.

The participation of naphtha, in percentage terms, to COPENE's
cost of products sold for the quarter declined year-over-year as
a result of the inclusion, as of September 2001, of the cost of
raw materials for the production of PET resins, as well as the
lower volume of sales.

Naphtha is the main raw material employed by COPENE. During the
second quarter, the Company purchased approximately 80.0 percent
of its naphtha needs in the domestic market, where PETROBRAS is
the sole authorized supplier, and purchased the remaining 20.0
percent from the international markets. Starting in April of this
year, the price of naphtha purchased by COPENE in Brazil from
PETROBRAS was negotiated on the basis of new, more advantageous
terms that shall prevail through the end of 2002. COPENE imported
approximately 208 thousand tons of naphtha during the second
quarter and 486 thousand tons year-to-date, with better pricing
conditions, quality, and payment terms than in the equivalent
periods in 2001. COPENE's goal for 2002 is to import
approximately 30 percent of its naphtha needs, or 1.2 million
tons.

General and administrative expenses for the quarter were R$18.0
million, or R$21.9 million on a consolidated basis, reflecting a
48.0 percent year- over-year increase. Year-to-date, general and
administrative expenses rose year-over-year by 59.3 percent to
R$37.0 million, or R$52.5 million on a consolidated basis. The
year-over-year increases in general and administrative expenses
were mainly due to additional expenses incurred by the Company in
conjunction with the restructuring of the Polo do Nordeste
petrochemical complex started in July of 2001.

Financial expenses for the second quarter were R$465.1 million,
or R$449.3 million on a consolidated basis, compared with R$120.1
million, or R$118.2 million on a consolidated basis, for the
second quarter of last year. This result was mainly due to the
increase in the Company's debt in conjunction with the July 2001
acquisitions of the assets and liabilities [debt] associated with
Nova Camacari, Proppet and Intercapital. In addition, the
financial expenses line was affected by the steep year-over-year
devaluation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.
COPENE's financial performance for the first half of the year was
also negatively impacted by the devaluation of the Real against
the U.S. currency.

Financial revenues for the second quarter were R$64.4 million, or
R$75,4 million on a consolidated basis, reflecting a 22.7 percent
year-over-year increase from R$52.5 million, or R$49.8 million on
a consolidated basis, mainly due to the devaluation of the Real
vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar over the period. At the same time,
financial revenues from investments in Reais for the quarter
declined year-over-year, due to the reduction of cash
availability.

Goodwill amortization on June 30, 2002, was R$60.1 million. This
was the result of the above-mentioned acquisition of assets in
July 2001.

Non-operating expenses for the six-month period were R$47.2
million and included provisions for investment losses in
subsidiaries of: R$25.0 million for the Norcell S.A., due to the
lack of feasibility of the project for cellulose production of
its controlled company COPENE Florestal Ltda.; R$18.6 million in
conjunction with compulsory loans to Eletrobras (electricity
state-owned company); and, R$3.6 million for the Companhia de
Desenvolvimento Rio Verde - Codeverde . Non-operating expenses
for the same period last year were R$0,5 million. Norcell and
Codeverde are COPENE's jointly controlled companies.

EBITDA for the quarter declined year-over-year by 25.0 percent to
R$100.6 million, or R$139.3 million on a consolidated basis, from
R$134.1 million, or R$148.3 million on a consolidated basis. This
was mainly due decline in production and sales in conjunction
with the above-mentioned shutdown for ethylene capacity
expansion. Year-to-date, EBITDA declined year-over-year by 9.1
percent to R$224.0 million, or R$281.9 on a consolidated basis,
from R$246.4 million, or R$269.3 million on a consolidated basis.

Capital expenditures for the second quarter were R$39.8 million,
reflecting a 43.4 percent decline from R$70.3 million for the
same quarter of 2001. Year-over-year, expenses related to the
updating of equipment were down by 24.6 percent, as investments
were anticipated to previous quarters, while expenses related to
logistics declined by 93.7 percent, as works at the Aratu
maritime terminal ended in October 2001, and expenses related to
permanence declined by 88.1 percent. On the other hand, expenses
related to maintenance shutdowns rose year-over-year by 56.9
percent due to the above-mentioned shutdown of Pyrolysis Unit
One.

The project started in March for the expansion of ethylene
capacity ended in May of 2002. Even though the increase of 80
thousand tons/year in the capacity of the Pyrolysis Unit One is
nominal, the alterations made to the unit are expected to result
in a final improvement in capacity of 120 thousand tons/year, as
a result of incorporating a portion of the pre-existing capacity
that for technical reasons was never reached.

Year-to-date, capital expenditures were R$116.3 million, down
year-over-year by 12.9 percent.

For fiscal year 2002, COPENE currently expects to invest a total
of R$165.0 million.

On June 30, 2002, COPENE's consolidated gross debt was R$3.1
billion, (or R$3.3 billion on the parent company). This compares
to consolidated gross debt of R$1.4 billion on June 30, 2001, and
R$2.7 billion on December 31, 2001. On June 30, 2002, 63.3
percent of the Company's consolidated gross debt was indexed to
the U.S. dollar, compared with 92.0 percent on June 30, 2001, and
55.0 percent on December 31, 2001. Additionally, on June 30,
2002, COPENE's consolidated gross debt was composed of Eurobonds
(21.9 percent), export pre-payments (65.6 percent), import
financing (11.5 percent) and others (1.0 percent).

The portion of COPENE's consolidated gross debt denominated in
U.S. dollars on June 30, 2002, was US$684.8 million, only
slightly up from US$668.2 million on March 31, 2002. It should be
noted, however, that the devaluation of the Real against the U.S.
dollar during the quarter caused the equivalent of this amount in
Reais to increase to R$1.9 billion, from R$1.5 billion on March
31, 2002, and is therefore the main factor for the 15.6 percent
quarter-over-quarter increase of COPENE's total consolidated
gross debt in Reais.

COPENE's consolidated net debt on June 30, 2002, was R$2.5
billion, (or R$3.2 billion on the parent company), up by 8.4
percent quarter-over- quarter, but reflecting a 229.1 percent
increase from net consolidated debt on June 30, 2001. On June 30,
2002, cash and cash equivalents declined by 17.1 percent to
R$518.0 million, from R$625.2 million on June 30, 2001.

Export pre-payments have a natural hedge since they are tied to
exports that are carried out in U.S. Dollars. On a consolidated
basis, COPENE's short term financing denominated in U.S. Dollar,
whether or not related to exports, is hedged as follows: a
minimum of 60 percent for trade-related and 75 percent for non
trade-related.
Analysis of COPENE's results by products

Petrochemicals

The Pyrolysis Unit One shutdown resulted in year-over-year
declines of 28.3 percent in the production of olefins (ethylene,
propylene and butadiene), 15 percent in the production of
aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylenes) and of 32.1 percent in
MTBE. With respect to ethylene, COPENE's production of this
petrochemical declined year-over-year by 28.0 percent to 98
thousand tons, from 275 thousand tons. Year-to-date, COPENE's
production of ethylene declined year-over-year by 24.6 percent.
Consequently, sales volume of petrochemicals for the quarter
declined year-over-year by 21.7 percent to 544.5 thousand tons,
from 694.7 thousand tons for the second quarter of 2001. Year-to-
date, sales volume of petrochemicals declined year-over-year by
24.0 percent.

Net sales of petrochemicals for the quarter were R$541.4 million,
reflecting a 21.4 percent year-over-year decline from R$689.1
million. Year-to-date, net sales of petrochemicals declined year-
over-year by 26.9 percent.

Fuels

For the quarter, net sales of automotive gasoline were R$30.3
million, representing a 50.0 percent year-over-year decline. This
was mainly due to a 20.7 percent year-over-year decline in volume
of automotive gasoline sold to 74.8 million liters. For the six-
month period, net sales of automotive gasoline were R$53.8
million, or 144.7 million liters, representing a year-over-year
decline of 49.5 percent. LPG sales started in the fourth quarter
of 2001 and reached R$6.1 million for the second quarter, with
volume of 10.1 thousand tons. Year-to-date, net sales of LPG were
R$9.7 million, with volume of 17.2 thousand tons.

Due to the high quality of the automotive gasoline produced by
COPENE, exports to the U.S. started during the first quarter of
this year and reached 55.3 million liters for the second quarter,
compared with 10.1 million sold in Brazil.

Polyester

Net sales of resins for the quarter were R$41.4 million, up by
18.0 percent quarter-over-quarter from R$35.0 million. Year-to-
date, net sales of resins were R$76.4 million.

Sales of DMT and PET have remained stable at 18 and 14 thousand
tons, respectively, since the beginning of the production of
these products. COPENE started producing DMT and PET in September
2001, after Proppet was incorporated.

During the second quarter, COPENE sold 3.7 thousand tons of DMT
and 17.1 thousand tons of PET. Year-to-date, sales of DMT and PET
were 7.5 thousand tons 31.0 thousand tons, respectively.

Utilities - Electric Power and Steam

Net sales of utilities for the quarter were R$66.9 million,
representing a 9.7 percent year-over-year decline. Year-to-date,
COPENE sold electric power and steam for R$134.0 million,
representing a 0.8 percent year-over-year decline.

Due to the above-mentioned Pyrolysis Unit One shutdown, several
second-generation customers dependent on COPENE's ethylene
production were forced to reduce their own production of ethylene
derivates because of the decline in the supply of this raw
material, thus also reducing their consumption of utilities
produced by COPENE. Net sales of electric power in megawatts for
the second quarter, for example, declined year-over-year by 20.7
percent .

Formation of Braskem S.A.

Continuing the process of restructuring the Brazilian
Petrochemical Industry initiated on July 31,2001, the Company
announced on July 29, 2002, that the Administrative Council, by
unanimous deliberation, had convoked an Extraordinary General
Meeting, which was held on August 16, 2002, to deliberate (i) the
merger of the petrochemical and chemical assets belonging to
Odebrecht and Mariani Groups (the "Odebrecht/Mariani Assets"),
comprising OPP Produtos Quimicos S.A. (98.39% ownership) and
52.114 Participacoes S.A. (100% ownership), a holding company
which has a single investment of 92.29% of the total capital of
Nitrocarbono S.A.; (ii) the alteration of the Company's name to
Braskem S.A. and (iii) the modification of the by-laws to grant
tag-along rights to all common and preferred shareholders upon an
eventual sale of the Company's control.

Braskem S.A., after the merger of the "Odebrecht/Mariani Assets"
into the Company, had its equity and financial position
materially affected as from the merger date-base, May 31, 2002,
considering td other risks mentioned in Company documents filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission - SEC, and with the
Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios - CVM (Brazilian Securities
Commission).

            Highlights from the last four quarters - (Parent
company)

                          2Q02       1Q02       4Q01       3Q01
Balance Sheet Data
(thousands of R$)

    ASSETS:            5,690,139  5,365,425  5,452,104  6,002,921
     - Cash and
       cash equivalents   79,910    261,694    336,974    653,446
     - Property, plant
       and equipment   2,159,125  2,106,740  2,085,323  2,040,879
    LIABILITIES:       5,690,139  5,365,425  5,452,104  6,022,921
     - Short-term
       financing         717,125    599,197    425,360  1,856,114
     - Long-term
       financing       2,490,421  2,262,904  2,324,340  1,322,719
     - Shareholders'
       equity          1,813,480  2,102,567  2,159,545  2,279,736

Income Statement Data
    NET SALES            687,653    585,529    808,102    736,663
    COST OF SALES
      AND SERVICES      (594,246)  (506,827)  (673,993)
(652,663)
    GROSS PROFIT          93,407     78,702    134,109     84,000
    FINANCIAL EXPENSES  (465,126)   (89,303)  (208,763)
(40,791)
     - interest expense (409,240)   (16,861)  (129,262)
(58,653)
     - Exchange rate
       variation         (55,886)   (72,442)   (79,501)    17,862
    FINANCIAL INCOME      64,380     15,438     (8,514)    79,112
    OPERATING INCOME    (330,088)   (15,085)   (92,055)    65,885
    NET INCOME          (289,524)   (45,630)   (96,008)    33,858

    Other Financial Information
     (thousands of R$)
    EBITDA               100,650    123,349    162,359     81,169
    NET DEBT (last day
      of the quarter)  3,219,385  2,705,799  2,613,006  2,668,587
    CAPEX                 86,794     76,515     72,275  1,746,397

    Other operating information
     (1,000 t)
    PRODUCTION             544.3      555.4      686.5      615.2
    PETROCHEMICALS' SALES
      IN THE DOMESTIC
      MARKET               482.4      493.2      567.3      538.7
    EXPORTS                 61.9       51.9       90.5       67.4


BALANCE SHEET AS OF JUNE 30, 2002
IN ACCORDANCE WITH BRAZILIAN CORPORATE LAW
        (thousands of Reais)


           ASSETS                             LIABILITIES
              R$                                    R$
       CURRENT ASSETS                      CURRENT LIABILITIES

  Cash and banks            16,286      Suppliers       378,993
  Time Deposits             45,547      Bank Loans      675,600
  Notes and Marketable
    securities              18,077      Debentures       40,992
  Trade accounts
    receivables            278,702      Foreign notes
                                          payable           533
  Inventories              203,771      Taxes payable    52,429
  Notes receivable          24,208      Dividends           880
  Withholding Tax          145,213      Other payables   47,066
  Other receivables         22,689

  Total current assets        754,493   Total current
                                          liabilities  1,196,493

     LONG-TERM ASSETS                      LONG-TERM LIABILITIES

  Notes and Marketable
    securities                 85,044    Suppliers         44,243
  Recoverable taxes           122,855    Bank Loans     1,425,839
  Judicial deposits            10,196    Debentures       637,923
  Related parties             329,644    Foreign notes
                                           payable        426,660
  Deferred Income Taxes       136,319    Related parties   91,748
  Advance for capital
    increase                    4,849    Pension Plan      53,753
  Other                           957

  Total long-term assets      689,864    Total long-term
                                           liabilities  2,680,166


PERMANENT ASSETS                        SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

Investments:                          Updated capital
1,203,921
  Subsidiaries            1,509,488   Capital reserves
715,490
  Jointly controlled
    entities                134,018   Income reserves
97,684
  Associated companies       16,961   Shares held in
                                      treasury           (17,291)
                        1,660,467     Retained earnings
(186,324)
  Other investments        64,271
  Total                 1,724,738
Property, Plant and
  Equipment             2,159,124
Deferred Charges          361,920

Total permanent assets  4,245,782     Total shareholders'
                                        equity
1,813,480


TOTAL                   5,690,139     TOTAL
5,690,139


        INCOME STATEMENTS
        FOR THE THREE-MONTH PERIOD ENDED JUNE 30, 2002
        IN ACCORDANCE WITH BRAZILIAN CORPORATE LAW
        (thousands of Reais)

                                                       R$

SALES OF PRODUCTS
  Domestic Market                              1,497,780
  External Market                                107,501
  Total                                        1,605,281

TAXES ON SALES                                  (332,099)

NET SALES                                      1,273,182

COST OF SALES                                 (1,101,073)

GROSS PROFIT                                     172,109

OPERATING (EXPENSES) INCOME
  Selling                                        (29,871)
  General and administrative                    (37,056)
  Depreciation and amortization                 (19,021)
  Other operating income - net                   61,433
Total                                           (24,515)

OPERATING INCOME BEFORE
FINANCIAL RESULTS
  AND EQUITY IN SUBSIDIARIES
   AND AFFILIATES                               147,594

FINANCIAL EXPENSES                             (554,429)
FINANCIAL INCOME                                 79,819
                                               (474,610)

EQUITY IN SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES            41,984
AMORTIZATION OF GOODWILL, NET                   (60,141)

OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)                        (345,173)

NON-OPERATING INCOME (EXPENSES)
  Provision for probable losses
    with investments                            (47,230)
  Other                                              15
                                                (47,215)

INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE INCOME TAX                (392,388)

PROVISION FOR CURRENT INCOME TAX-EXEMPT            (404)

PROVISION FOR DEFERRED INCOME TAX                57,638

NET LOSS                                       (335,154)

CONTACT:  COPENE Petroquimica do Nordeste S.A.
          Carlos Augusto de Oliveira Freitas
          Tel: +55-71-632-5847
          Fax: +55-71-632-5047
          Email: caof@copene.com.br

          BREAKSTONE & RUTH INTERNATIONAL
          Luca Biondolillo
          Tel: +1-646-536-7012
          Fax - +1-646- 536-7100
          Email: Lbiondolillo@breakstoneruth.com
          URL: http://www.copene.com.br


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Obtains BRL420M From BNDES
-----------------------------------------------------
Eletropaulo Metropolitana, Brazil's largest electricity
distributor, which has been struggling to pay its maturing debts,
got a shot in the arm Wednesday when it received funds from
Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES), reveals Dow Jones.

BNDES granted the local unit of AES Corp. BRL402 million as part
of a deal between the government and electricity companies that
was concluded in December 2001, in which the government will
compensate power distributors for their losses due to a rationing
program amid the country's energy crisis last year. BNDES is the
financing agent in that deal.

The funds will help Eletropaulo meet a US$120 million payment of
commercial paper coming due the same day.

Eletropaulo is also facing another deadline for a US$225-million
loan from a syndicate of 11 banks arranged by J.P. Morgan Chase &
Co. The loan comes due on Aug. 26. The Company has around US$753
million in debt coming due during the rest of this year alone.

Eletropaulo is the largest electricity distributor in Latin
America in terms of revenues, with a sales volume of 32,563 GWh
in 2001. Since privatization on April 15, 1998, Eletropaulo has
been owned by LightGas, now known as AES ELPA. AES ELPA is 88.21%
owned and controlled by AES. AES ELPA owns 77.81% of
Eletropaulo's voting shares and 30.97% of total capital.

CONTACT:  ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA
          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Brazil
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          URL: http://www.eletropaulo.com.br
          Contacts:
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations

          J.P. MORGAN CHASE & CO.
          270 Park Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: (212) 270-6000
          Fax: (212) 270-1648
          Home Page: http://www.jpmorganchase.com/
          Contact:
          William Harrison, Jr., Chairman/Chief Executive Officer
          Dina Dublon, Chief Financial Officer
          Geoffrey Boisi, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank

          Investor Relations
          Phone: (1-212) 270-6000


NET SERVICOS: Releases August Board Meeting Minutes
---------------------------------------------------
1. VENUE, TIME AND DATE: At the Company headquarters, located at
1356 Verbo Divino Street, 1st floor, Sao Paulo, SP, at 18:00
(Brazilian time) on August 19, 2002.

2. ATTENDANCE: The members of the Board of Directors, whose
signatures are below in these minutes.

3. MEETING BOARD: Roberto Irineu Marinho, Chairman and R"mulo de
Mello Dias, Secretary.

4. AGENDA: to deliberate about (i) the verification of the
Company's capital increase through the issuance of 4,491,979
preferred shares, all being nominative and with no par value, at
the price of R$0.70 (seventy centavos of Real) per share, as a
result of the conversion, on August 9, 2002, of 24 debentures
from the Company's 2nd Public Offering of Debentures; (ii) the
Company's capital increase of R$532,478,758.00 (five hundred and
thirty-two million, four hundred and seventy-eight thousand,
seven hundred and fifty-eight Reais), within the authorized
limits, through a private issuance of 276,082,012 common shares
and 484,601,928 preferred shares, all being nominative and with
no par value; (iii) the settlement of the price of the shares to
be issued in the capital increase mentioned in item "ii" above;
(iv) the method of subscription and pay-up of the shares to be
issued in the capital increase mentioned in item "ii" above; (v)
the settlement of a 30 days period for the Company's shareholders
to exercise the pre-emptive rights to subscribe shares to be
issued in the Company's capital increase; and (vi) the
verification of the subscription and pay-up
of the shares issued in the capital increase by the signatories
of the Company's Recapitalization Protocol.

5. DECISIONS: The attending members of the Board of Directors
unanimously decided the following:

(a) To approve the verification of the Company's capital increase
in the amount of R$3,144,385.30 (three million, one hundred and
forty-four thousand, three hundred and eighty-five Reais and
thirty centavos), through the issuance of 4,491,979 preferred
shares, all being nominative and with no par value, at the price
of R$0.70 (seventy centavos of Real) per share, as a result of
the conversion, on August 9th, 2002, of 24 debentures from the
Company's 2nd Public Offering of Debentures, which increased the
Company's capital from R$2,187,900,524.71 (two billion, one
hundred and eighty-seven million, nine hundred thousand, five
hundred and twenty-four Reais and seventy-one centavos),
consisting of 552,289,144 common shares and 675,494,564 preferred
shares, to R$2,191,044,910.01 (two billion, one hundred and
ninety-one million, forty-four thousand, nine hundred and ten
Reais and one centavo), consisting of 552,289,144 common shares
and 679,986,543 preferred shares, all being nominative and with
no par value;

(b) To approve the Company's capital increase from
R$2,191,044,910.01 (two billion, one hundred and ninety-one
million, forty-four thousand, nine hundred and ten Reais and one
centavo) to R$2,723,523,668.01 (two billion, seven hundred and
twenty-three million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, six
hundred and sixty-eight Reais and one centavo), through the
issuance to a private subscription of 276,082,012 common shares
and 484,601,928 preferred shares, all being nominative and with
no par value; all funds resulting from this capital increase will
be incorporated to the Company's capital stock. The issued shares
will have the right to receive the total amount of dividends
related to the fiscal year of 2002;

(c) To approve an increase in the amount of the aforementioned
capital increase, within the authorized limits stated in the
Company's Bylaws, of up to R$162,844,770.34 (one hundred and
sixty-two million, eight hundred and forty-four thousand, seven
hundred and seventy Reais and thirty-four centavos), if such
increase is necessary to support the excess demand regarding the
preemptive rights exercise by the Company's shareholders, under
the terms of item "f" below;

(d) To settle the price of the shares to be issued in R$ 0.70 per
common share and R$ 0.70 per preferred share, as approved by the
Board of Directors at the meeting held on August 5, 2002, which
is the same issuance price settled in the public offering of
shares issued by the Company, approved at the Board of Director's
Meeting held on June 18, 2002, with the amendments approved on
the Board of Director's Meetings held on July 23, 2002 and July
31, 2002, which were settled under article 170, paragraph 1st,
from Law n. 6,404/76;
(e) To approve that the shares will be paid up upfront, at the
subscription date, in (i) Brazilian currency; or (ii) delivery of
debentures from the Company's 2nd Public Offering of Debentures;
or (iii) capitalization of credits owned by the Company's
shareholders in the form of advances for future capital increase
(AFAC);

(f) To settle a 30 days period, starting at the publication of
these Minutes, for the Company's shareholders to exercise their
pre-emptive rights, based on the amount of shares held as of the
market closing on August 20, 2002. The unsubscribed shares may be
divided among the shareholders that apply for reserves, based on
the proportion of their subscribed shares over the total amount
subscribed;

(g) As a result of the matter approved on item (b) above, the
Directors that were present verified that 276,082,012 common
shares and 484,601,928 preferred shares were subscribed and paid-
up, in a total amount of R$532,478,758.00 (five hundred and
thirty-two million, four hundred and seventy-eight thousand,
seven hundred and fifty-eight Reais), by the shareholders Distel
Holding S.A., Roma ParticipaĜoes Ltda., Globo ComunicaĜoes e
ParticipaĜoes S.A. and BNDES ParticipaĜoes S.A. - BNDESPAR,
through the delivery of debentures from the Company's 2nd Public
Offering of Debentures and the capitalization of credits owned by
the Company's shareholders in the form of advances for future
capital increase (AFAC), as described in the respective
subscription lists, filed with the Company's headquarters, in
order to comply with the firm commitment assumed by the
respective shareholders in the Recapitalization Protocol, as
previously approved by the Board of Directors on the meeting held
on August 5, 2002. As a result, the Directors acknowledge that
the commitments assumed by the Company's shareholders in the
Recapitalization Protocol were completely fulfilled, and the
Company's capital increase resulting from the public offering of
shares referred to in item (d) above, as well as the increase
resulting from the aforementioned private issuance of shares,
totalized an amount of R$1.129.974.518,40 (one billion, one
hundred and twenty-nine million, nine hundred and seventy-four
thousand, five hundred and eighteen Reais and forty centavos);

(h) In order to verify the Company's total capital increase, the
Directors acknowledge that the Company's capitalization mentioned
in item (g) above should be increased by the amount of
R$68,309,520.30 (sixty-eight million, three hundred and nine
thousand, five hundred and twenty Reais and thirty centavos),
corresponding to the Company's capital increase resulting from
the conversion of debentures from the 2nd Public Offering into
preferred shares, as acknowledged by the Directors in the Meeting
held on August 9, 2002, and in item (a) of these Minutes.

6. CLOSING: Having no further issues, the meeting was ended and
these minutes were drawn up, read and approved, signed by all
members of the Board of Directors who were present. Sao Paulo,
August 19, 2002. Signatures: Roberto Irineu Marinho - President;
R"mulo de Mello Dias - Secretary; Henri Philippe Reichstul -
Director; Mauro Murat›rio
Not - Director; R"mulo de Mello Dias - Director; Nelson Pacheco
Sirotsky - Director; Ronnie Vaz Moreira - Director; Stefan
Alexander - Director; Jorge Luiz de Barros N›brega - Director.

To see company's latest financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/globo_cabo.pdf

CONTACT:  NET SERVICOS DE COMUNICACAO S.A.
          CNPJ/MF n  00.108.786/0001-65
          NIRE n  35.300.177.240
          Companhia Aberta
          Rua Verbo Divino n  1.356 - 1 a, Sao Paulo-SP
          Contact:
          Leonardo P. Gomes Pereira
          Investor Relations and Chief Financial Officer
          URL: http://globocabo.globo.com/


NII HOLDINGS: Saul Ewing Tapped as Bankruptcy Co-Counsel
--------------------------------------------------------
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of NII Holdings,
Inc., asked for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Delaware's approval to retain Saul Ewing LLP as co-counsel, nunc
pro tunc to June 14, 2002.

Kilpatrick Stockton LLP and Saul Ewing will make every effort to
prevent any needless duplication of effort. As the members,
counsel, and associates of Kilpatrick Stockton are not Delaware
lawyers, the retention of Saul Ewing as Delaware counsel is
necessary, the Committee points out.

Saul Ewing will render services to the Debtors with their current
hourly rates:

          Mark Minuti           partner                $365
          Donald J. Detweiler   special counsel        $275
          Tara Lattomus         associate              $260
          Jeremy W. Ryan        associate              $250
          Rebecca Street        associate              $150
          Jason Kittinger       paralegal              $115
          Veronica Parker       case management clerk  $ 65

Saul Ewing will:

     (a) provide legal advice with respect to the Committee's
         rights, powers and duties in these cases;

     (b) prepare on behalf of the Committee all necessary
         applications, answers, responses, objections, forms of
         orders, reports and other legal papers;

     (c) represent the Committee in any and all matters
         involving contests with the Debtors, alleged secured
         creditors, and other third parties;

     (d) assist the Committee in its investigation and analysis
         of the Debtors and the operations of the Debtors'
         businesses; and

     (e) perform all other legal services for the Committee
         which may be necessary and proper in these proceedings.

NII Holdings, Inc., along with its wholly-owned non-debtor
subsidiaries, provides wireless communication services targeted
at meeting the needs of business customers in selected
international markets, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and
Peru. The Company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on
May 24, 2002. Daniel J. DeFranceschi, Esq., Michael Joseph
Merchant, Esq. and Paul Noble Heath, Esq. at Richards, Layton &
Finger represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts. When
the Company filed for protection from its creditors, it listed
$1,244,420,000 in total assets and $3,266,570,000 in total debts.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/NIIHOLDINGS.htm

CONTACT:  NII Holdings Inc.
          Claudia Restrepo
          Phone: +1-305-779-3086
          E-mail: claudia.restrepo@nextel.com

LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE:

          RICHARDS, LAYTON & FINGER, P.A.
          One Rodney Square
          P. O. Box 551
          Wilmington, Delaware 19899
          Phone: (302) 651-7700
          Fax: (302) 651-7701
          Home Page: http://www.rlf.com/welcome2.htm
          Contact:
          Daniel J DeFranceschi
          Phone:  (302) 651-7816
          Fax:  (302) 784-7090
          E-mail:  defranceschi@rlf.com

          KILPATRICK STOCKTON LLP
          1100 Peachtree St., Ste. 2800
          Atlanta, GA 30309-4530
          Phone: 404-815-6500
          Fax: 404-815-6555
          http://www.kilstock.com
          Contacts:
          William H. Brewster, Managing Partner
          Paul Bellows, COO
          Brooke Sey, Director of Finance

          SAUL EWING LLP
          Centre Square West
          1500 Market Street, 38th FLoor
          Philadelphia, PA 19102-2186


NII HOLDINGS: Bondholders Balk at Motion to Hire Crossroads
-----------------------------------------------------------
The informal committee of certain of the largest noteholders in
the chapter 11 cases of NII Holdings, Inc. objects to the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors' application to employ
Crossroads, LLC as financial advisor.

The Ad Hoc Bondholders Committee argues that:

     - Crossroads' services are unnecessary,

     - Crossroads is incapable of performing the types of
       restructuring services as outlined in the Retention
       Agreement, and

     - retention of a financial advisor will only delay the plan
       confirmation process to the detriment of the Debtors'
       estates and creditors.

The Ad Hoc Bondholders Committee relates that the Debtors have
negotiated with their major creditor constituencies to devise a
viable plan of reorganization that would be most beneficial to
the estates.  Because no new money could be obtained despite the
efforts, NCI, Motorola and certain noteholders have agreed to act
as "backstop funders" in the event that the rights offering
results in insufficient working capital to pay the trade debt.

It is apparent that no alternative sources of funds or plans of
reorganization exist that would provide the Debtors with a better
outcome because, if such alternatives existed, the companies'
creditors would be unwilling to infuse new equity and new money
in the midst of such financial uncertainty.

The Ad Hoc Bondholders Committee believes that the Creditors'
Committee is fully capable of discussing the merits of the
Proposed Restructuring, without the assistance and related
expense of Crossroads since it has been provided with all of the
documentation necessary.

NII Holdings, Inc., along with its wholly-owned non-debtor
subsidiaries, provides wireless communication services targeted
at meeting the needs of business customers in selected
international markets, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and
Peru. The Company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on
May 24, 2002. Daniel J. DeFranceschi, Esq., Michael Joseph
Merchant, Esq. and Paul Noble Heath, Esq. at Richards, Layton &
Finger represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts. When
the Company filed for protection from its creditors, it listed
$1,244,420,000 in total assets and $3,266,570,000 in total debts.


STATE-RUN BANKS: Govternment Struggles To Close Sale
----------------------------------------------------
The market is now apprehensive as to whether the Brazilian
government can conclude the process of selling off its last four
state-run banks before the end of its term this year. The
government has experienced a number of delays along the way.

The banks in question are Banco do Estado de Santa Catarina SA
(Besc), Banco do Estado do Maranhao (BEM), Banco do Estado Do
Piaui SA and Banco do Estado Do Ceara SA.

In a Dow Jones report, Carlos Eduardo de Freitas, the central
bank's public sector finance director revealed that the
government plans to sell these institutions between October and
November.

The government originally expected to conclude the auctions in
June this year. However, auctions were held up by a Federal Audit
Court order telling the central bank in June to reevaluate the
worth of all four remaining banks because previous valuations
were out of date.

Not only that, but October's presidential election process also
pushed the sales back to the latter part of that month. Observers
believe that no Brazilian government looking for reelection and
wanting to prove its nationalist credentials would risk selling
state assets on the eve of an election.

According to Dow Jones, the banks for sale are either fighting
off court injunctions brought forward by the unions or are behind
in their restructuring programs which are aimed at making them
more attractive to buyers. None of this bodes well for a
government trying to find bidders for poor-performing banks that
are burdensome on the public purse.

"If these auctions do take place, I believe that the premiums
will be low for the state banks of Ceara, Maranhao and Piaui,"
said Erivelto Rodrigues, president of Austin Assis, a Sao Paulo
banking consultancy.

"But I doubt that the Santa Catarina sale will happen this year
because of court action and the high price it will likely carry,"
he added, referring to the bank from the affluent southern state.

The sale of Besc faces two court actions. Already, the process
has been held up by its plans to deliver on a voluntary layoffs
program and a capitalization of its employee pension fund at a
total cost of more than BRL1 billion.

Besc is considered to be a jewel in the central bank's portfolio
and is valued by market analysts at more than BRL700 million
($1=BRR3.10).

Parties interested in bidding for Besc are ABN Amro Holding NV
(ABN) and Brazil's three largest local banks not controlled by
the government - Banco Bradesco SA (BBD), Banco Itau SA (ITU) and
Unibanco-Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA (UBB). A minimum price
hasn't yet been set.

Meanwhile, the sale of Banco do Estado do Maranhao remains
unlikely. In July 2001, the government tried to sell it at a
minimum price of BRL90 million. However, the sale failed due to
the absence of bidders. The government tried to auction the bank
again in June this year at a lesser price of BRL87.2 million, but
then again, the process got held up after the audit court order
delayed the auction. Now, the new price isn't known and its
timetable keeps being pushed back. In July, the bank auction was
rescheduled for September. Now it is expected the bank will sell
in October. Banco Bradesco and Itau are the interested parties.
The same banks are also prequalified to take part in the sale of
Banco do Estado Do Piaui SA.

Meanwhile, Banco do Estado Do Ceara SA sale is now expected in
the first two weeks of October. The central bank was hoping to
have sold the state bank by now after unveiling the details of
its sale and its minimum price of BRL324.5 million in late May. A
new price isn't yet known.



=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Takes Rating Actions
------------------------------------------
In a series of related announcements made Wednesday, Fitch
Ratings included Banco Agricola with these ratings actions:

   --Long-term foreign currency rating affirmed at 'BB+';
    --Short-term foreign currency affirmed at 'B';
    --Individual rating affirmed at 'D';
    --Support rating '5T';
    --Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable.


The actions follow a change in outlook of El Salvador's sovereign
long-term foreign currency rating of 'BB+' due to higher fiscal
pressures and concerns about the country's growth prospects.


BANCO CUSCATLAN: Fitch Affirms Ratings, But Changes Outlook
-----------------------------------------------------------
In a series of related announcements made Wednesday, Fitch
Ratings included Banco Cuscatlan with these ratings actions:

    --Long-term foreign currency rating affirmed at 'BB+';
    --Short-term foreign currency affirmed at 'B';
    --Individual rating affirmed at 'D';
    --Support rating '5T';
    --Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable.

The actions follow a change in outlook of El Salvador's sovereign
long-term foreign currency rating of 'BB+' due to higher fiscal
pressures and concerns about the country's growth prospects.


BANCO DE COMERCIO: Fitch Changes Rating Outlook to Negative
-----------------------------------------------------------
In a series of related announcements made Wednesday, Fitch
Ratings included Banco de Comercio de El Salvador with the
following actions on its ratings:

    --Long-term foreign currency rating affirmed at 'BB';
    --Short-term foreign currency affirmed at 'B';
    --Individual rating affirmed at 'D';
    --Support rating '5T';
    --Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable.

The actions follow a change in outlook of El Salvador's sovereign
long-term foreign currency rating of 'BB+' due to higher fiscal
pressures and concerns about the country's growth prospects.

FITCH NOTES:  Over the past year, El Salvador has been hit by
various shocks: two devastating earthquakes in 2001, a plunge in
the international coffee prices, and the slowdown in the U.S.
economy, which is the main recipient of the Salvadoran exports.
As a result, GDP growth has slowed, fiscal deficits have
increased and external debt has risen. On the other hand, the
authorities have implemented dollarization, which has contributed
to a decline in interest rates, although this has not yet
translated into higher growth.

El Salvador's ratings are supported by its conservative
macroeconomic stance, relatively good progress on structural
reforms including extensive trade liberalization, privatization
and pension reform, and a modest albeit increasing external debt
burden. On the other hand, the main credit weaknesses include
widening fiscal deficits, which in an environment of sluggish
growth are increasing the government's debt burden. Other
constraining factors include a narrow export base, poor social
and physical infrastructure, the low level of foreign direct
investment flows and high crime rates.

Fiscal pressures have increased over the past year due to the
reconstruction costs as well as the burgeoning costs related to
the social security reform. Including these costs, the fiscal
deficit rose to 4.4% of GDP in 2001 and is likely to remain high
in the coming two years. As a result, government debt has
continued to increase, reaching 35% of GDP in 2001 from 29% in
1999. The government has taken some steps to enhance revenues and
curb current expenditures. This has included freeze on nominal
wages in the public sector, merging of some ministries and
retrenchment in public sector employment. Additional revenues are
also expected from a number of administrative as well as tax
measures. In spite of these measures, Fitch believes that the
tax-to-GDP ratio remains quite low (expected to reach 12% of GDP
in 2002) in El Salvador and provides the government with little
maneuverability in face of external shocks. Additionally, the
country needs to expand its spending on education, in order to
improve its export competitiveness, but with such low tax intake,
this could prove to be challenging.

The government expects the tax-to-GDP ratio to rise from 11% of
GDP in 2001 to 12.5% by the end of 2005, from the above-mentioned
tax measures. Fitch believes that these forecasts could prove to
be optimistic as GDP growth could belie expectations and the
revenue projections from the various tax measures may be
overestimated. In the medium-term the government debt is likely
to reach over 40% of GDP, which is still within the range of
'BB'-rated sovereigns. But given the small size of the economy,
vulnerability to natural disasters, rigidity in public finances
and dollarization, the increase in government's indebtedness
needs to be contained. More importantly, the government has been
relying more heavily on international capital market financing, a
trend that is expected to continue, and will make El Salvador
more vulnerable to the volatility in the international capital
markets.

Fitch is also concerned about El Salvador's medium-term growth
prospects. El Salvador's growth rate has been on a decelerating
growth path since 1998 despite the structural reforms that the
country has implemented. This may be partly due to the various
shocks the country has endured over the last few years. The small
size of the economy constrains the ability of domestic demand to
drive growth, while a low exports-to-GDP ratio of under 30%
limits the stimulus from the external sector. With dollarization,
the country would have to strive harder in the areas of
structural reforms to maintain export competitiveness and improve
growth prospects. In this regard, it is encouraging to note that
the government is aggressively pursuing Free Trade Agreements
(FTAs) with a number of countries. FTAs have been reached with
Chile, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama, while the
country hopes to enter into such an agreement with Canada. El
Salvador has also taken a leadership role in promoting an FTA of
the Central American region with the U.S. Such an agreement could
prove to be positive for the country's exports and improve its
growth prospects, but these benefits would take longer to
materialize.

Given the dollarization of the economy, fiscal trends have become
the most important aspect of analyzing the direction of sovereign
creditworthiness. Fitch believes that there is a need for the
government to raise the tax intake to be able to consolidate
fiscal accounts further. Tougher decisions such as increasing the
retirement age or eliminating the provisions for retirement after
30 years of contribution are also required to ease the burden of
social security reform costs that are expected to peak at 2% of
GDP in 2005. On the other hand, fiscal consolidation comprising
measures to improve the tax-to-GDP ratio along with progress on
structural reforms, including privatization would be viewed
positively.

CONTACT:          Fitch Ratings
                  Shelly Shetty, 212/908-0324
                  Morgan Harting, 212/908-0820 (New York)
                  Richard Fox, +44 207-417-4357 (London)
                  Media Relations:
                  Matt Burkhard, 212/908-0540 (New York)



===========
M E X I C O
===========

ALFA SA: Looks To Increase Spending Next Year
---------------------------------------------
After years of reduced spending, Mexico's Alfa SA is planning to
increase investments as profits pick up.

Mexico's second-largest industrial group, which has cut on
expenses since 1998, is looking forward to spending US$250
million next year in expansion and maintenance, Bloomberg
reports.

About US$80 million of the budget is allotted for maintenance,
while US$120 million to US$170 million is prepared for expansion
projects, which will focus mainly on the company's auto parts
unit, Nemark SA.

The plan was disclosed to analyst in New York, says Bloomberg.

The Company also intends to lower debt next year. It had actually
reduced its debt from US2.57 during the second quarter of last
year to US$2.44 billion in the second quarter of this year.
Alfa's debt was US$2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2000.

Alfa also seeks to change its EBITDA from 3.5 to 2.5.

The increase in investment is driven up by increase in revenue,
attributed mainly to a rebound in steel prices and chemical sales
volume.

The new development is a breather for a company that has cut
investments to $48 million in the first half of the year and
spent only US147 million last year. Falling demand and volume for
steel and chemicals had prompted austerity in the company's
spending.

The Company's steel-making unit, Hylsamex SA, is currently
undergoing a restructuring of a US$1.3 billion debt.

Shares of Alfa rose 14 centavos, or 0.8 percent, to 17.4 pesos at
12:40 p.m. Mexican Stock Exchange trading.

CONTACT:  ALFA, S.A. de C.V.
          Ave. Gomez Morin 1111 Sur, Col. Carrizalejo
          Garza Garcia, N. L. Mexico C.P. 66254
          Tel: 52 8748-1111
          Fax: 52 8748-2552


BANCO DEL SURESTE: Future Rests on Upcoming Board Meeting
---------------------------------------------------------
Mexican bank Banco del Sureste, whose bankruptcy created a loss
of MXN1.4 billion (US$143 million) to the Treasury, could be
broken up and sold off.

According to a report by Mexico City daily el Economista, Alfredo
Vara, director general of Finances at the Bank Savings Protection
Institute (IPAB), said that the future of the bank will be known
by the end of the month when the next IPAB board meeting will be
held.

Banco del Sureste, the last of the intervened banks in the hands
of the government, has a three-business section: the bank, the
Bursamex brokerage operation and a fund administrator. IPAB will
decide which of the three business sections has the best future
and what will be the best way of selling it off in view of
reducing the liabilities of IPAB.


BITAL: HSBC Agrees to Acquire 52 Percent Stake
----------------------------------------------
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC)(NYSE:HBC) has agreed with Grupo
Financiero Bital S.A. de C.V. (GF Bital) and certain shareholders
who control at least 52 per cent of GF Bital to initiate a cash
tender offer for all of the company's shares.

The total consideration assuming tender of 100 per cent of the
shares would be US$1.14 billion. On a fully diluted basis the
offer price would be approximately US$1.20 per share.

The purchase is subject to certain conditions, including the
receipt of regulatory approvals and the tender of at least 52 per
cent of all outstanding shares of GF Bital and at least 57 per
cent of all outstanding Series "O" shares of GF Bital on a fully
diluted basis. The offer has been unanimously approved and
recommended by GF Bital's Board of Directors.

In addition, HSBC has entered into an agreement with the
controlling shareholders of GF Bital whereby these shareholders
have agreed to tender their shares in accordance with the terms
of the offer.

HSBC said on 17 July it had been granted permission to conduct a
process of due diligence with a view to considering whether to
make an offer to acquire a controlling interest in GF Bital.

HSBC expects to commence the tender offer and complete the
transaction during the fourth quarter of 2002.

HSBC Group Chief Executive Sir Keith Whitson said: "We are
excited at the prospect of GF Bital joining the HSBC Group. With
nearly 1,400 branches, 6 million customers and 15,400 staff, GF
Bital, with its primary subsidiary Banco Bital, is a major and
highly respected force in Mexico, a country with impressive
economic prospects. The acquisition is in line with our strategy
of increasing our presence in North America and will enable us to
become one of the few banks that can facilitate trade seamlessly
amongst the NAFTA countries."

Mr. Luis Berrondo, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Financiero
Bital, said: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with
HSBC. This transaction will allow Bital to become part of one of
the largest financial institutions in the world, which is in the
best interests of Grupo Financiero Bital's customers, employees
and shareholders. This transaction with HSBC is a clear and
positive sign of the confidence the international markets have in
our country."

Upon completion of the acquisition a senior management team will
be selected from both organisations. Mr. Luis Berrondo has kindly
consented to continue in a new capacity as Chairman, and the new
management team will be headed by Chief Executive Officer
Designate Alexander A. (Sandy) Flockhart, currently Senior
Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank USA.

With some 7,000 offices in 81 countries and territories and
assets of US$746 billion at 30 June, 2002, the HSBC Group is one
of the world's largest banking and financial services
organisations.

This press release is not an offer to purchase securities. Any
tender offer will be made through an offer to purchase and
related transmittal documents, which will be furnished by HSBC to
GF Bital shareholders. Shareholders of GF Bital should read these
documents if and when they become available because they will
contain important information.

CONTACT:  HSBC GROUP, London
          Richard Beck/Adrian Russell
          Phone: 44-20-7260-6757/8211
              or
          New York
          Linda Stryker-Luftig
          Phone: 212/525-3800
              or
          Hong Kong
          Gareth Hewett
          Phone: 852/2822-4929
             or
          GF Bital (Hill & Knowlton), Mexico City
          Jose Antonio Tamayo/Juan A Lozano
          Phone: 52/5729-4010


BITAL: On S&P Affirms Ratings, CreditWatch Now Positive
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Wednesday that it
affirmed its 'BBpi' rating on Bital S.A. At the same time,
Standard & Poor's said that it placed its long-term CaVal scale
'mxBBB+' rating on Bital on CreditWatch with positive
implications. The local scale short-term rating of 'mxA-2' was
affirmed. These rating actions follow the announcement of the
acquisition of 52% of Grupo Financiero Bital by London-based
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. (The) (HSBC; rated AA-
/Stable/A-1+).

The CreditWatch listing reflects Standard & Poor's expectations
that Bital's currently weak financial profile will be enhanced,
enabling it to maximize the opportunities arising from its
excellent business position and customer base. "The acquisition
brings more certainty that the solvency and financial standing of
Bital will be restored with HSBC as controlling shareholder. The
CreditWatch listing will be resolved once a decision is made
regarding the completion of the capitalization program agreed
upon with the Mexican authorities, and a decision is made related
to the overall prospective strength of Bital's financial
profile," said credit analyst David Olivares.

The importance of HSBC as a global bank with a proven track
record of good banking practices and performance should enhance
Bital's business prospects, improve its financial profile, and
strengthen its participation in the highly concentrated Mexican
banking system, taking advantage of Bital's strong retail
orientation and good distribution network. Bital is the fifth-
largest bank in Mexico, with more than US$12.8 billion in assets
and a 7.9% market share.


BITAL: Moody's Puts Ratings Under Review For Upgrade
----------------------------------------------------
Moody's placed some of Banco Internacional S.A.'s (Bital) Cayman
Islands' ratings on review for upgrade:

- Banco Internacional S.A. Cayman Islands: Baa2 for foreign
currency senior unsecured debt;
- Banco Internacional S.A.: E+ for bank financial strength

Simultaneously, the ratings agency also affirmed the following
ratings:

- Banco Internacional S.A.: Baa2 for long term foreign currency
deposits; P-2 for short-term foreign currency deposits;

- Banco Internacional S.A. Cayman Islands: P-2 for short-term
foreign currency deposits

The rating actions follow HSBC Holdings PLC's announcement that
it has agreed with Grupo Financiero Bital and other shareholders
to a cash purchase of all of their shares for US$1.14 billion.

Moody's believes that a forthcoming capital injection from HSBC
will be more than sufficient to address Bital's inadequate
capital base. Bital should also benefit from parental synergies
and management resources, as HSBC will take management control
once the acquisition is completed.

Moody's will continue its review for upgrade on Bital's bank
financial strength rating (BFSR) of E+. Moody's said on March 14,
2002 that it would review Bital's BFSR following the announcement
that ING had signed a memorandum of understanding to provide
Bital with US$200 million in capital in exchange for a 17.5%
stake. ING Groep NV announced Wednesday that it would not go
forward with the minority stake purchase in light of HSBC's
purchase offer.

Bital had total assets of US$14.7 billion and deposits of US$12.2
billion as of December 31, 2001. The bank has approximately 1,400
branches and offices and is the fourth largest Mexican bank in
terms of assets.


GRUPO MEXICO: Subsidiaries Sign Credit Agreement With Inbursa
-------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico, S.A. de C.V. announced that three of its
subsidiaries, Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano (GFM), GFM Servicios
Administrativos, S.A. de C.V., and Ferrocarril Mexicano, S.A. de
C.V., on Tuesday signed a credit agreement for $2.5 billion
Mexican pesos (equivalent to approximately $256 million U.S.
dollars) with Banco Inbursa, S.A.

Grupo Mexico confirmed that the objective of the credit agreement
is to support the restructuring process currently being
negotiated with creditors of its mining subsidiaries. The company
also stated that this financing represented a key step in the
restructuring of its mining division and should help the
restructuring reach a favorable conclusion in the very near
future.

CONTACTS:  GRUPO MEXICO S.A. DE C.V
           Avenida Baja California 200,
           Colonia Roma Sur
           06760 Mexico, D.F.
           Mexico
           Contact: Clay Allen
           Phone: 602/977-6515
           URL: http://www.gmexico.com


GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Cuts Unit's Credit Rating to `SD'
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's on Wednesday said, it lowered its corporate
credit rating on Grupo Minero Mexico S.A. de C.V. (GMM), one of
the three mining subsidiaries of Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V.
(GMexico), to 'SD' (selective default) from triple-'C'-plus based
on the company's recent public report that it did not make a
principal payment of about $26 million on its two syndicated
loans led by Bank of America.

The rating was also removed from CreditWatch. An 'SD' rating is
assigned when Standard & Poor's believes that the obligor has
selectively defaulted on a specific issue or class of obligations
but will continue to meet payment obligations on other issues or
classes of obligations in a timely manner.

At the same time, the corporate credit ratings on U.S.-based
ASARCO Inc. and Peru-based Southern Peru Copper Corp. (SPCC), the
other two mining subsidiaries of GMexico, were lowered to double-
'C' from triple-'C'-plus. These ratings remain on CreditWatch
negative, where they were placed Nov. 9, 2001.

Standard & Poor's said that although GMexico's subsidiaries have
complied with all interest payments, restructuring negotiations
with their creditors continue under a standstill agreement that
has halted the acceleration of several principal payments,
including those on the syndicated loans of GMM. The company
believes restructuring negotiations for about $744 million of a
total of $1.2 billion at GMM are in their final stages and
expects them to be concluded soon, supported by the credit
facility recently obtained by its railroad subsidiary for about
$250 million with Banco Inbursa.

"Under GMexico's current financial position, if principal
payments were required, the company's liquidity would not be
sufficient to honor its financial obligations," Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Federico Mora said. "Progress on restructuring
negotiations at ASARCO are highly dependant on the recent talks
with the U.S. Department of Justice, which are mainly focused on
the definition of levels of environmental liabilities."

"The CreditWatch listing reflects Standard & Poor's concerns with
the development of the restructuring negotiations," Mr. Mora
added.


GRUPO MIFEL: Current Talks With del Valle Ruiz Revealing Fate
-------------------------------------------------------------
Negotiations between Banca Mifel and shareholders headed by
Antonio del Valle Ruiz over the latter's purchase of the Mexican
bank are scheduled to end this week.

If no agreement is reached, the negotiations will meet their
definitive conclusion and the group of investors that left Bital
will look for other options in the financial sector, said Antonio
Del Valle. According to him, the differences with Mifel were not
based so much on price, as on the fate of the bank.

Although del Valle refused to discuss detailed figures, the del
Valle family is thought at first to have offered around MXN600
million (US$61.71 million) for 80% of Banca Mifel. The bank's
book value currently stands at approximately MXN484 million
(US$49.8 million).


SANLUIS: Reaches Agreement-in-Principle with Creditors
------------------------------------------------------
SANLUIS Corporacion, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: SANLUIS) ("SANLUIS"), a
Mexican industrial group engaged in the manufacture of auto
parts, announced Wednesday that it has completed talks with an ad
hoc steering committee representing direct SANLUIS creditors, and
has reached an agreement-in-principle with the committee on the
outlines of a plan to restructure substantially all of its
approximately US$291.3 million in outstanding debt.

The agreement-in-principle has also been approved by a steering
committee representing financial lenders to SANLUIS and its major
subsidiaries operating in the Suspension business. SANLUIS has
submitted the agreement-in-principle for approval to the full
group of these financial lenders.

As previously announced, SANLUIS and these major Suspension
business subsidiaries in March reached a separate agreement-in-
principle with financial lenders to Sanluis and such subsidiaries
relating to a total of US$234.3 million in principal amount of
outstanding debt.

SANLUIS's direct obligations comprise its 8.875% Notes due 2008,
notes issued under SANLUIS's Euro Commercial Paper program and
certain other financial indebtedness, for a total aggregate
principal amount outstanding of approximately US$291.3 million.
Combined with Sanluis's $234.3 million indirect obligations to
the lenders to the Suspension business subsidiaries, Sanluis now
has agreements-in-principle to restructure a total of $525.6
million in outstanding indebtedness.

SANLUIS Corporacion quotes at the Mexican Stock Exchange under
the board code MSE: SANLUIS. Its Auto-Part Division, SANLUIS
Rassini, manufactures suspension and brake components and
systems, and it is a leading company in suspensions in North
America and mercosur. Over 85% of SANLUIS Corporacion's
consolidated sales are made abroad and denominate in dollars.

CONTACT:  SANLUIS CORPORACION, S.A. DE C.V.
          Hector Amador, Investor Relations
          Phone: +5255-5-229-58-38
          Fax: +5255-5-202-66-04
          E-mail: hamador@sanluiscorp.com.mx
          Home Page: http://www.sanluiscorp.com



=============
U R U G U A Y
=============

BANCO COMERCIAL: Depositors Offer Help Stave Off Collapse
---------------------------------------------------------
Account holders of Uruguayan bank Banco Comercial SA are offering
the ailing bank a rescue plan. About half of the 10,000
depositors are willing to swap US$105 million of savings for
stock, Bloomberg reports citing Sergio Lamorte, leader of the
depositors' group and owner of Montevideo's Best Western
Palladium Hotel.

Analysts had warned that the bank would likely go bankrupt if
its international partners' and the Uruguayan bank's rescue plan
fails.

Although, Lamorte is confident the plan would improve the bank's
solvency and reduce its short-term cash needs, Fernando Lorenzo,
an economist and director of Cinve, a consulting firm in
Montevideo, believes it may not save the bank at all.

According to Lorenzo, ``The bank not only needs capital, but also
a cash injection of tremendous magnitude.''

Lorenzo also finds it unlikely for depositors to find a partner
for the bankrupt bank, which he said, "has to start over from
zero."

Milton Ferla, chief economist for the Uruguayan Banks
Association, on the other hand, believes the plan may work after
all, although the economist also believes there is really a need
for a new partner to help rescue the bank. Lamorte considers the
plan urgent since it was revealed last week that the government
did not release the US$33 million help it promised. The bank had
promised to provide the funds to help cover bond losses after
fraudulent bond purchases drained the bank some US$125 million.

Isaac Alfie, head of the Economy Ministry's Macroeconomic
Advisory Department, however said, the group hasn't yet presented
their proposal to the government.

Even the bank's staff is helping in the rescue by collecting
signatures at the bank's 64 branches. The staff may also
participate in the plan by converting salaries into stock, said
the Bloomberg report citing Juan Jose Ramos, head of the
Association of Uruguayan Bank Employees, a labor union.  Campaign
ads were also posted in Uruguayan and Argentine newspapers,
including Argentina's La Nacion, as well as in the bank's Web
site. The bank's financial manager, Juan Jose Baluga, also
confirmed that management approves the Plan.

Banco Comercial SA is the nation's largest non-government bank.
It is majority-owned by by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse
First Boston and Dresdner Bank AG. As of Sept 30, the bank has
assets of US$2.3 billion.


CONTACT:  BANCO COMERCIAL
          Cerrito No. 400,
          11100 Montevideo
          Phone: 960-394/97
          Fax: 963-569
          Home Page: www.bancocomercial.com.uy

          J.P. MORGAN CHASE & CO.
          270 Park Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: (212) 270-6000
          Fax: (212) 270-1648
          Home Page: http://www.jpmorganchase.com/
          Contact:
          William Harrison, Jr., Chairman and CEO
          Dina Dublon, Chief Financial Officer
          Geoffrey Boisi, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank

          Investor Relations
          Phone: (1-212) 270-6000

          DRESDNER BANK AG
          Jrgen-Ponto-Platz 1
          D-60301 Frankfurt/Main,
          Germany
          Phone: +49-(0) 69/2 63-0
          Fax: General enquiries
               +49-(0) 69/2 63-48 31
               +49-(0) 69/2 63-40 04
          Home Page: http://www.dresdner-bank.de/
          Contact:
          Dr. Jur. Henning Schulte-Noelle
          Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dresdner Bank AG

          Uwe Plucinski
          Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Boa

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


GALICIA URUGUAY: Clients Accept Deposit Return Scheme
-----------------------------------------------------
Depositors agreed to return 3% of deposits in cash and the rest
in securities to Banco Galicia Uruguay SA, Bloomberg reports
citing parent Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA.

The unit of Argentina's biggest publicly traded bank has been
shuttered since February, when withdrawals drained the Uruguayan
unit of cash.

Banco Galicia Uruguay was able to secure 78% approval from its
clients, says the report. The bank was required earlier by
Uruguayan courts to get a 75% agreement from its 13,000
depositors who are mostly Argentines.

The bank has about US$ billion of deposits, $1.67 billion in
assets and $231 million in shareholders equity as of Dec. 31.

CONTACT:  BANCO DE GALICIA Y BUENOS AIRES S.A., HEAD OFFICE
          Tte. Gral Juan D. Peron 407
          1038 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-6329-0000
          Fax: +54-11-6329-6100
          Home Page: http://www.bancogalicia.com.ar

          BANCO GALICIA URUGUAY S.A.
          World Trade Center
          Luis A. Herrera 1248 Piso 22 Montevideo
          Uruguay
          Tel.:(+598-2) 628-1230
          www.bancogalicia.com.uy



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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
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