TCRLA_Public/021007.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

           Monday, October 7, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 198



AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Obtains Additional $210M SEPI Payment
PEREZ COMPANC: Brazil's PT Questions Stake Price
PEREZ COMPANC: Pecom Issues US$598.3M In Debentures
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Presenting New Info On Debt Restructuring Soon


ANECO: Creditors Get Payout


ACESITA: Fitch Assigns BBB To Corporate, Debenture Debts
AES CORP: Launches Exchange Offer for Notes Maturing `02 & `03
AES CORP.: Fitch Lowers Notes' Rating To 'B', Watch Negative
BRAZILIAN CORPORATIONS: Fitch Says Election Will Affect Ratings
TELESP CELULAR: Shares Rise 7.2%

VARIG: Pilots Meet To Vote On Strike


ENAMI: Seeks New Sulfide Minerals Suppliers
PLANETVIAJE: Parent Shutters Site


BBVA BANCO GANADERO: Fitch Downgrades Ratings

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

EDENORTE/EDESUR: Likely To Confront Courtroom Battle


INTERBANK/BANCAFE/BAMER/BANIC: Government Announces Asset Sale  

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: CEO Bares Restructuring Plan
BWIA: Possible Bankruptcy Creates Concern On Industry
BWIA: New Rival Poses `No Threat'


AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Obtains Additional $210M SEPI Payment
Spanish state holding company SEPI paid its formerly owned
Argentine airline Aerolineas Argentinas SA an additional US$210
million in order to meet the terms of the sale agreement,
according to Cinco Dias newspaper.

SEPI sold Aerolineas Argentinas to Air Comet for the assumption
of US$615 million in debt. The Spanish government holding company
kept the other half of the airline's US$1.2 billion debt.

The US$210-million payment was a "transfer balance" payment based
on debts that surfaced after the sale agreement was signed and on
the write- offs of losses, the newspaper reports, adding, Sepi
had already given the airline $548 million.

Air Comet said the agreement requires Sepi to pay another US$213
million. Sepi said it has met its commitments, but recognizes it
might be legally forced to pay more.

          Torre Bouchard 547, 1106 Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
          Phone: (54-11) 4310-3000
          Fax: (54-11) 4310-3585
          Home Page:
          Patricio Zabalia Lagos, President

          AIR COMET
          Baha de Pollensa, 21-23
          Edificio Airplus
          28042 Madrid
          Phone: 913 993 674
          Fax:  913 291 146
          Antonio Mata, presidente de Air Comet

PEREZ COMPANC: Brazil's PT Questions Stake Price
Brazil's Workers Party (PT) is concerned about the amount that
federal energy company Petrobras is paying for the control of
Argentina's Perez Companc.

In a Business News Americas report, PT energy advisor Luiz
Pinguelli revealed that if the party wins the presidential
election, it will review the price.

"We support the international expansion of Petrobras. But the
value [being paid for Perez Companc] is very high, and we'll have
to analyze it," Pinguelli said.

"Petrobras is paying US$1 billion for Perez Companc, which has
interests all across Latin America, but its crude oil production
is less than that of one of Petrobras' platforms," Pinguelli

The PT's presidential candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,
currently leads in polls ahead of Sunday's first round vote. If
Lula does not secure more than half the valid votes he will move
into a second round run off against the second-placed candidate,
probably the government's man, Jose Serra.

Petrobras has agreed to purchase a controlling 58.6% stake in
Perez Companc for about US$1.1 billion. The Argentine company has
debts of about US$2 billion, and controls energy company Pecom

Brazil's government owns a controlling share in Petrobras.

The PT may arrive too late to halt the deal; Petrobras and Perez
Companc expect to close the deal within days, and Pinguelli would
not clarify exactly what the party proposes if the deal is done
by the time Lula would take over on January 1.

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

PEREZ COMPANC: Pecom Issues US$598.3M In Debentures
Argentine energy company Pecom Energia, a unit of Perez Companc,
was due to issue Friday US$598.3 million in debentures, part of
the US$2.5 billion in debentures it had sought regulatory
approval for the week before.

The issuance will include a J class series of US$75.7 million,
US$286.4 million of K class, US$55.6 million of L class, and
US$180.6 million of M class bonds. The J class commercial paper's
interest rate was set at 5.52%, the K and L class at 5.77%, and
the M class debt was set at 6.52% interest.

Pecom's debt renegotiation, which included a US$845.2-million
debt swap in August, is crucial to finalizing the deal between
Perez Companc and Brazil's federal energy giant Petrobras, which
agreed in July to buy 58.6% of the group for US$1.1 billion.

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Presenting New Info On Debt Restructuring Soon
Telecom Argentina Stet-France Telecom SA is expected to present
new information about its US$3.2-billion debt restructuring plan
to the public this week or maybe in the "next few" days, Dow
Jones Newswires reports, citing a spokeswoman at one of the
Company's foreign parents, Telecom Italia SpA.

Telecom Argentina first announced its restructuring plan last
spring but only kicked off talks with creditors in mid-September.
Last week, the Company held a meeting with local and foreign bank
creditors. People involved in that meeting declined to comment on
the events due to confidentiality agreements.

Morgan Stanley has sat for many months on its mandate to handle
the restructuring deal but recently began doing serious work on
it, according to a source familiar with the matter. Telecom
Argentina hasn't announced anything that would imply any time
constraints the Company has for making decisions about the debt
restructuring right now.

Still, market talk has it that Mexican telecommunications giant
Telefonos de Mexico SA, or Telmex, offered to buy Telecom
Argentina only on condition that the Company first restructure
its debt. The Mexican operator, however, said several months ago
that no acquisition of Telecom Argentina is in the works.

Also, just recently, Jose Luis Manzano, who served as a minister
under former Argentine President Carlos Menem, offered US$300
million to buy a stake in Telecom Argentina. Buenos Aires-based
investors would also participate in the deal.

To see financial statements and accompanying notes:

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


ANECO: Creditors Get Payout
Creditors of Aneco Reinsurance will finally recover part of their
funds more than a decade after the Bermuda-based company was put
into liquidation, reports the Royal Gazette.

Aneco has about 200 creditors and total liabilities of US$100

According to the Company's liquidators, PriceWaterhouseCoopers,
creditors are to get a 70% pay out, in accordance with the June
creditors' arrangement.

Earlier, Aneco was awarded more than US$51 million, after the
House of the Lords decided that Johnson & Higgins should pay
Aneco Re all loses suffered from failed reinsurance contract.

Aneco shareholders received the welcome news after years of legal
battles, including between the Company's former controlling
director Mark Hardy and liquidators.

In a press statement, liquidators said, "Whilst the timescale has
been protracted and frustrating, the 70 percent pay out should be
regarded as significant and great credit must be given to the
creditors committee for their patience, perseverance and

But Hardy contests the finding that the Company is insolvent. He
added that this could result in "a very long war". Hardy plans to
continue the legal battle against the liquidators.

CONTACTS: PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLD
          1301 Avenue of the Americas
          New York NY 10019
          Tel. No. 6464714000
          Fax: 646-394-1301
          Andrew Ratcliffe - Global Chairman
          Samuel A. DiPiazza - Global CEO  
          Geoffrey E. Johnson - Global CFO


ACESITA: Fitch Assigns BBB To Corporate, Debenture Debts
Fitch assigned a BBB rating to the Brazilian stainless steel
maker Acesita's corporate and debenture debt with a negative
ratings watch.

According to Fitch, Acesita's main credit risks include its high
level of indebtedness especially in foreign currency, risks in
short-term refinancing and exposure to the cyclical nature of the
world's inox steel market. In the last quarter of this year,
Acesita will have to pay down BRL175 million (currently US$49mn)
in local debentures that mature this December.

Acesita's ratings are positively affected by its dominant
position in the Brazilian market and significant barriers for
competition, Fitch said. Having the largest steel maker in the
world as its parent company - Luxembourg-based Arcelor - also
improves Acesita's debt ratings.

Besides providing operational and technical support, Arcelor
assists its Brazilian subsidiary by lending it its marketing
network outside of the Mercosur region.

Fitch believes there is a lot of market potential in Brazil where
per capita consumption of stainless steel stood at 1kg in 2001
compared to 7-9kg in developed market economies.

Acesita is also expected to increase exports to 40-50% of its
stainless steel production. Last year, the company exported
264,000t of inox steel, or 37% of its total sales.

Acesita's net losses ballooned 114% to BRL239 million (US$80
million) for the first half of this year compared to the same
period last year.  Its heavy debts stem from a round of
investments totaling US$780 million starting in 1992 and ending
in the first half of 2002. The Company expects its results to
improve in the second half of the year.

          Avenida Joao Pinheiro, 580
          30130-180 Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
          Phone: +55-31-3235-4200
          Fax: +55-31-3235-4294
          Luiz A. de Lima Fernandes, President
          Bernardo C. Marie Del Litto, Industrial Director
          Guilherme Amado, Financial Superintendent

AES CORP: Launches Exchange Offer for Notes Maturing `02 & `03
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a major provider of electricity
in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America, based in Arlington, Va.,
announced Thursday that it had commenced an offer to exchange a
combination of cash and new senior secured securities for up to
$500 million of senior notes due in 2002 and 2003.

The offer affects $300,000,000 aggregate principal amount
outstanding of its 8.75% Senior Notes due 2002 ("2002 Notes") and
$200,000,000 aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 7.375%
Remarketable and Redeemable Securities due 2013, which are
puttable in 2003 ("ROARs"). Pursuant to the exchange offer, AES
is offering the following: (1) for each $1,000 principal amount
of its 2002 Notes, $500 in cash and $500 principal amount of a
new issue of its 10% senior secured notes due 2005 and (2) for
each $1,000 principal amount of its ROARs, $1,000 principal
amount of its new 10% senior secured notes due 2005. In addition,
holders that tender prior to October 25, 2002 and do not withdraw
such securities will, if the exchange offer is consummated, be
entitled to an early tender bonus payment in the amount of $15
for each $1,000 principal amount of 2002 Notes tendered and $5
for each $1,000 principal amount of ROARS tendered.

Consummation of the exchange offer is subject to a number of
significant conditions, including, without limitation, that (1)
valid and unwithdrawn tenders are received representing at least
75% in aggregate outstanding principal amount of the 2002 Notes
and the ROARs on a combined basis, (2) AES' concurrent entry into
the new senior secured credit facility (described below), (3) the
valid amendment of certain documentation executed in connection
with the issuance of the ROARS in order to permit the
consummation of the exchange offer and (4) the absence of certain
adverse legal and market developments.

The exchange offer will terminate at 5:00 p.m. on November 8,
2002 unless extended (the "Expiration Date"). Tenders of the 2002
Notes and the ROARs may be withdrawn at any time prior to the
later of October 25, 2002 and the time AES announces that it has
received valid and unwithdrawn tenders representing at least 75%
in aggregate principal amount of the 2002 Notes and the ROARs on
a combined basis but in no event later than the Expiration Date.

The new senior secured notes will be secured equally and ratably
with all debt outstanding under the new senior secured credit
facilities, by first-priority liens, subject to certain
exceptions and permitted liens, on (i) all of the capital stock
of domestic subsidiaries owned directly by AES and 65% of the
capital stock of certain foreign subsidiaries owned directly by
AES and (ii) certain intercompany receivables, intercompany notes
and intercompany tax sharing agreements owed to AES by its
subsidiaries. In addition, the new senior secured notes will be
subject to a mandatory offer to repurchase with a portion of the
net cash proceeds received from certain asset sales by AES.

The offering of the new senior secured notes in the exchange
offer is being made only to "qualified institutional buyers" and
"persons other than a U.S. person" located outside the United
States, as such terms are defined in accordance with Rule 144A
and Regulation S of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

The new senior secured notes will not be registered under the
Securities Act of 1933, or any state securities laws. Therefore,
the new senior secured notes may not be offered or sold in the
United States absent an exemption from the registration
requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and any applicable
state securities laws. This announcement is neither an offer to
sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy the new notes.

Concurrently, AES is also launching a new multi-tranche $1.6
billion senior secured credit facility, which will be secured
equally and ratably with the new senior secured notes. The
proposed bank facility will replace the following existing
facilities: the $850 million revolver due March 2003, the $425
million term loan due August 2003, the $262.5 million term loan
to AES subsidiary AES EDC Funding II L.L.C. due July 2003, and
the (pound) 52.3 million letter of credit facility. Consummation
of the new senior secured facility is subject to a number of
conditions, including the completion of the aforementioned
exchange offer for the bonds and participation of all of its
existing lenders.

CONTACT: AES Corp. Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315

AES CORP.: Fitch Lowers Notes' Rating To 'B', Watch Negative
Fitch Ratings has lowered the ratings of The AES Corp.'s senior
unsecured notes to 'B' from 'BB-' in response to Thursday's
announced launch of a $1.6 billion multi-tranche three-year
senior secured credit facility (senior credit facility) and offer
to exchange up to $500 million of senior notes with a combination
of cash and secured notes. Fitch also lowered the ratings of
AES's senior subordinated notes to 'B-' from 'B' and convertible
junior debentures and trust preferred convertible preferred
securities to 'CCC+' from 'B-' while leaving the ratings of its
senior subordinated and junior subordinated notes unchanged at
'B-'. AES's ratings remain on Rating Watch Negative. Due to
Fitch's policy regarding the linkage of ratings of subsidiaries
with those of a lower-rated parent, Fitch has also lowered the
ratings of AES's subsidiary IPALCO Enterprises and but left
unchanged the ratings of Indianapolis Power and Light (IP&L), as
shown in the table below. These ratings are also placed on Rating
Watch Negative, reflecting the companies' ongoing exposure to
AES. The ratings of CILCORP and Central Illinois Light Company
(CILCO) remain unchanged and on Rating Watch Evolving pending
completion of their committed sale to Ameren Corporation, subject
to certain regulatory approvals.

Fitch views the proposed transactions as a positive step for AES
Corp. with the prospect to eliminate grave refinancing risks that
currently overshadow the corporate credit. If the bank
refinancing and exchange offer are successful, AES will have
minimal debt maturities until the fourth quarter of 2005.
Assuming that AES is successful in closing the senior credit
facility and the exchange offer, Fitch expects to rate the senior
secured bank facility and the senior notes 'BB-', remove the
Negative Rating Watch. The Rating Outlook would then be Stable on
the senior notes and bank facility. On the other hand, if these
transactions fail, the newly assigned 'B' senior unsecured rating
may be further reduced to reflect the company's imminent
liquidity crisis and refinancing risk.

Proceeds from the senior bank facility will be used to replace
the following existing facilities: $850 million revolver due
March 2003, $425 million term loan due August 2003, $262.5
million term loan to AES subsidiary AES EDC Funding II L.L.C.
with a current effective maturity date of July 2003, and the
EUR$52.3 million letter of credit facility. AES is making two
exchange offers - firstly to exchange its $300 million 8.75%
senior notes due December 2002 with an offer combining 50% cash
redemption at par and 50% secured notes due 2005 and secondly an
offer to exchange its $200 million 7.375% remarkable and
redeemable securities due 2013 with its first remarketing date in
June 2003 with $200 million of secured notes due 2005. Both the
senior secured bank facility and the secured notes will be
secured equally and ratably by all of the capital stock of each
of the first tier domestic subsidiaries, which act as
intermediate holding companies for AES' operating companies, and
65% of the capital stock of each material first tier foreign
subsidiaries. While the revolver maintains exclusive upstream
guarantees from certain subsidiaries of AES, the new senior
secured notes and the new senior secured bank facility will be
subject to mandatory prepayment from asset sales.

AES's ratings reflect Fitch's notching policy and the relatively
thin residual equity coverage expected to be afforded to the
existing debt classes after paying off the senior secured
noteholders and senior credit facility lenders. In the next two
years, relieved from the burden of heavy debt maturities, the
company plans to pay down the restructured debt using excess
parent operating cash flow and proceeds from more asset sales.
Barring any further unforeseen deterioration in AES' businesses
worldwide, the company's credit metrics are expected to stabilize
and see potential for improvement in late 2003/early 2004. (For
details on AES's credit profile and recent press releases, please
visit the Fitch Ratings web site at '').

The revised ratings of IPALCO are:

--Senior unsecured debt lowered to 'BB' from 'BB+';
--Rating remains on Rating Watch Negative.
Ratings of the following subsidiaries remain unchanged :
--First mortgage bonds and secured pollution control revenue
bonds 'BBB-';
--Senior unsecured debt 'BB+';
--Preferred stock 'BB+';
--Ratings remain on Rating Watch Negative.

--Senior unsecured debt 'BBB-';
--Rating remains on Rating Watch Evolving pending consummation of
sale of CILCORP to Ameren.

--First mortgage bonds and secured pollution control revenue
bonds 'BBB';
--Senior unsecured debt 'BBB-';
--Preferred stock 'BBB-';
--Commercial paper 'F2';
--Ratings remain on Rating Watch Evolving.

The AES Corp., founded in 1981, is among the world's largest
power developers. It generates and distributes electricity and is
also a retail marketer of heat and electricity. AES owns or has
an interest in 182 plants, with more than 63,000 megawatts, in 31
countries and also distributes electricity in 11 countries
through 21 distribution companies.

Contact: Mona Yee, CFA 1-212-908-0557 or Ellen Lapson, CFA 1-212-
908-0504, New York.

Media Relations: James Jockle 1-212-908-0547, New York.

BRAZILIAN CORPORATIONS: Fitch Says Election Will Affect Ratings
Capital markets have reacted negatively to the possibility of
Luiz Inacio da Silva winning the Brazilian presidential election
and should the results of the election fail to return investor
confidence to Brazil in the near term, Fitch Ratings will likely
take negative rating action on several corporates according to a
new report.

Fitch has analyzed all debt obligations of companies involved in
the debt capital markets to determine which corporates are likely
to face liquidity issues after the election, should the credit
environment remain tight. Over the next 12 months the companies
have $9 billion of debt coming due with (26%) trade finance,
(13%) euro/yankees, (13%) BNDES and (9%) import finance.

'From a credit perspective, Fitch Ratings has always positively
factored into its ratings of exporters the availability of
working capital finance via international trade finance lines,'
said Joseph Bormann, Senior Director, Fitch Ratings. 'Should the
international banks discontinue trade finance for an extending
period of time after the upcoming election, it is likely that
Fitch will downgrade some corporate ratings.'

The report analyzes which corporates have prepared for a crisis
in Brazil and ranks them according to the preparation. An
important factor is how much cash these companies hold outside of
Brazil. Petrobas, Aracruz, AmBev and Alcoa Aluminio are noted as
having the highest liquidity while Acesita, BSE and Eletropaulo
are among the companies with the lowest liquidity.

Contact: Joseph Bormann, CFA, 1-312-368-3349, Chicago.

Media Relations: James Jockle 1-212-908-0547, New York.

TELESP CELULAR: Shares Rise 7.2%
Telesp Celular Participacoes SA saw its preferred shares rise 20
centavos, or 7.2%, to BRL2.98, relates Bloomberg.

"I think current share price of Telesp Celular doesn't justify
its fundamentals," said John Carioba, a director of Banco
Indusval SA in Sao Paulo. "The Company reduced dramatically its
debt with the rights offer concluded last month."

Brazil's largest wireless telephone company raised about BRL2.4
billion in a share sale and said it plans to use the proceeds to
reduce debt. Prior to the share sale, Telesp Celular had around
BRL2.8 billion in debt, around 15% of which was unhedged.

Telesp Celular saw its losses balloon to BRL394 million (US$124
million) in the second-quarter of 2002, nearly tripling the
BRL133-million loss in the same quarter last year. Net losses
grew larger due to the volatile real mixed with a high volume of
foreign currency debts.

Telesp Celular is a Brazilian holding company that owns 100% of
Telesp Celular S.A., the leading mobile operator in the state of
Sao Paulo in Brazil, and an 83% indirect economic interest in
Global Telecom S.A., a B-band mobile operator in the Brazilian
states of Santa Catarina and Parana.

          Investor Relations:
          Edson Alves Menini
          Phone: (55 11) 3059-7531

VARIG: Pilots Meet To Vote On Strike
Pilots of Brazil's Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense SA (Varig), Latin
America's biggest airline, were scheduled to meet Friday to vote
on a strike to protest firings, according to a Bloomberg report.

Varig has 1,400 pilots, 92% or 1,300 of which are members of the
Varig pilots' association. According to the association's legal
adviser, Alexandre Moraes, the pilots approved the meeting after
Varig suspended talks over the firing of 60 pilots and a decision
to put another 60 pilots on unpaid leave.

Under Brazilian law, pilots can halt flights only 72 hours later
after a strike is approved and after they have formally notified
management of their decision allowed the Company to respond.

A strike at Varig would cripple flights by Brazil's biggest
carrier and add to losses at the airline, which hasn't posted a
profit since 1997. Varig is under pressure from creditors to cut
costs and raise cash to reduce about US$900 million in debt.

"Depending on how many pilots adhere to the strike and the extent
of the stoppage, it will be very bad for the Company," said
Carlos Albano, an airline industry analyst at Uniao de Bancos
Brasileiros SA in Sao Paulo.

Varig is owned by its employees through Fundacao Ruben Berta,
which controls 87% of the airline's voting shares. Rubem Berta
contracted KPMG to assist in the restructuring of the cash-
strapped airline.

Critics believe that the nonprofit Rubem Berta foundation has
hampered management at the airline. A pilots' union proposal to
restructure the Company would reduce the stake of the foundation
to 10% and remove company executives from the foundation's board.

CONTACT:  VARIG (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S.A.)
          Rua 18 de Novembro No. 800, Sao Joao
          90240-040 Porto Alegre,
          Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
          Phone: (51) 358-7039/7040
                 (51) 358-7010/7042
          Fax: +55-51-358-7001
          Home Page:
          Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance and CFO

          Investor Relations:
          Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha,
          n  365-Bloco "B" - s/458 / Centro
          Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

          KPMG Brazil
          Belo Horizonte
          Rua Paraba, 1122
          13th Floor
          30130-918 Belo Horizonte MG
          Telephone 55 (31) 3261 5444
          Telefax 55 (31) 3261 5151
          SBS Quadra 2 BL A N 1
          Edificio Casa de Sao Paulo SL 502
          70078-900 Braslia - DF
          Telephone 55 (61) 223 2024
          Telefax 55 (61) 224 0473


ENAMI: Seeks New Sulfide Minerals Suppliers
Chilean state minerals company Enami is now on the lookout for
new suppliers of sulfide minerals to its Matta plant after
Chilean mid-sized copper miner Punta del Cobre (Pucobre)
suspended its deliveries beginning October 2.

In January 2001, Pucobre and Enami signed a contract in which the
former agreed to supply Enami's Matta concentrator with 1.65Mt of
mineral over four years. Under the contract, Pucobre said it is
entitled to halt deliveries of the material if the price of
copper remains below US$0.70/lb for three months, as is the case
at present. If the price rises above US$0.70/lb for three months
it can restart the deliveries.

The January contract followed arbitration that put an end to a
two-year long dispute between the two companies.

Meanwhile, according to an earlier edition of the TCR-LA, the
government of Chile is actively negotiating with the creditor
banks of Enami to offer them guarantees on the US$490-million
debt of the state owned mining company, most of which is coming
due and payable within the next months.

The board of Enami has renewed its pledge for private investors
to join some of the projects it has in the portfolio to be
developed in 2003.
CONTACT:  ENAMI (Empresa Nacional de Mineria)
          MacIver 459,
          Santiago, Chile
          Phone: 637 52 78
                 637 50 00
          Fax:   637 54 52
          Home Page:
          Jorge Rodriguez Grossi, President

PLANETVIAJE: Parent Shutters Site
Chilean Internet holding company Ilatin Holdings ILH
( pulled the plug on Planetaviaje
( two years after launching the regional
travel portal in October 2000, reports Business News Americas.

The move was attributed to poor Internet penetration in Latin
America and a lack of trust in online purchasing, which hampered
its ability to meet sales and profit expectations.

The site's closure is in stark contrast to ILH executive VP
Patricio Millas' comment in August that a group of ILH board
members and shareholders expected to acquire 50% of Planetaviaje
that same month.

The demise of Planetaviaje is even more surprising since the
company's Chile country manager Carlos Bambach said in August
2001 the site would be profitable by end-2001.


BBVA BANCO GANADERO: Fitch Downgrades Ratings
Fitch Ratings has downgraded its Support rating for Colombia's
BBVA Banco Ganadero to '4T' from '3T' and downgraded its Long-
term Local Currency rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'. At the same
time, the bank's Long and Short-term Foreign Currency ratings of
'BB' and 'B', as well as its Individual rating of 'D' have been
affirmed. The change in the Support rating to '4T', signifying
that in our view, support from the bank's shareholder, Spain's
Banco Bilbao Vizcaraya Argentaria (BBVA), is likely but not
certain, reflects the tightening of Fitch's methodology based on
recent experience with bank support, particularly in emerging
markets. (For additional information, see Fitch Ratings' Bank
Support Ratings Definitions Revised -- July 19, 2002).

While we continue to factor the bank's strong ownership, which
provides managerial expertise, higher uncertainty in the bank's
operating environment, which may force shareholders to reassess
the value of further investment in the bank, prompted the change
in its Support rating. In turn, the bank's Long-term Local
Currency rating was downgraded to reflect the bank's continued
weak financial performance in the context of the challenging
operating environment and the evolution of our view on
shareholder support. The outlook on the Long-term Foreign
Currency rating remains negative, in line with that of the
sovereign's ratings, while the outlook on the Long-term Local
Currency rating is stable.

Ganadero is Colombia's fourth largest bank with 246 branches and
a 6.8% deposit market share at end-June 2002. Originally
established by the government in 1956 to finance the agricultural
and livestock sectors, it now provides a wide range of commercial
banking and financial services. Ganadero was fully privatized in
1992, and in 1996 Spain's BBVA, acquired a 34.7% stake and
assumed management control. Since then, BBVA has progressively
increased its stake to 95.2%, where it stood at end-2001. The
remaining shares are widely held.

CONTACT: Fitch Ratings, New York
         Ricardo Chaves, 212/908-0606
         Linda Hammel, 212/908-0303
         Peter Shaw, 212/908-0553
         Media Relations: James Jockle, 212/908-0547

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

EDENORTE/EDESUR: Likely To Confront Courtroom Battle
Union Fenosa companies Edenorte and Edesur could find themselves
locked in a court battle with power generator Itabo.

Kevin Manning, Itabo's general manager, warned that the power
generation company is considering commencing legal proceedings
against Edenorte and Edesur due to a US$12-million debt that the
companies owe to Itabo.

Manning also revealed that that Union Fenosa distributors owe the
other major generation company, Generadora Haina, more than US$24


INTERBANK/BANCAFE/BAMER/BANIC: Government Announces Asset Sale  
The bidding rules for a contract to manage the auction of four
intervened Nicaraguan banks, El Banco Intercontinental
(Interbank), Banco del Cafe (Bancafe), Banco Mercantil (Bamer) y
el Banco Nicaraguense de Industria y Comercio (Banic), are now
available. Business News Americas reports that the bidding rules,
which cost US$70, will be on sale until October 11.

Interested foreign firms must have a registered local
representative in Nicaragua and must submit their bid in Spanish
in a closed envelope before November 6 at 15:30 (local time). The
bidders that qualify to bid must also deposit a US$70,000
guarantee at the central bank before they can participate in the

The central bank will open the envelopes on November 6 and
declare a winner. The central bank reserves the right to extend
the November 6 date for receiving the bids.

The winner of the contest will have a period of five months to
sell off the banks' loan portfolios, loans in judicial process
and other assets, such as offices, cars and equipment. The five-
month period can be extended by one month on mutual agreement
between the firm and the central bank.

Firms interested in buying the bidding rules should contact the
central bank's administrative manager Eduard Zeledon, phone (+
505 265 0747), fax (+ 505 265 1816), e-mail (

The four banks were intervened in 2000 and 2001 for breaking
local regulations. The banks' assets carry a book value of US$360

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: CEO Bares Restructuring Plan
BWIA Chief Executive Officer Conrad Aleong outlined Tuesday the
airline's restructuring plan, aim at saving US$12 million in 12
months. He also said that if the plan does not work, the airline
could go bankrupt within a month, according to the Caribbean
Investor Tuesday.

Aided by a slide presentation, Aleong detailed four areas for
cost cutting:

24% - US$28.8 million will be saved in catering costs. Aleong
reiterated that the airline has no intention to cease its meal
services to passengers.
4% - US$4.8 million in Airport Fees.
20% - US$36 million in computer reservations charges.
21% - US$25.2 million in general across the board cuts. In house
teams are organized to formulate cost efficient methods of
31% - US$37.2 million in employee costs. Aleong stated that they
need the cooperation of their employees in order to continue
operations. An agreement with the airline's 2300 employees must
be done by Oct 31.

The plan also involves rationalizing the fleet and routes. The
airline's Airbus A340s and Boeing 737s will be reduced from 5 to
2. The Dash 8 will be taken out of service; jets and Liat will
then serve its routes.

At least forty pilots will have to stay aground. There are plans
of retaining and retraining some of them.

While Aleong admitted that the airline's troubles are not caused
by significant debt, he said that the airline's ability to
continue operations depends heavily on the employees consent to
the proposals before end of October.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that BWIA might halt
flights to any of its 22 destinations as it reduces expenses.

The carrier, based in Trinidad, and 33 percent government-owned,
earns annual revenues of US$260 million.

CONTACTS:  BWIA West Indies Airways
           Phone: + 868 627 2942
           Home Page:
           Conrad Aleong, President and CEO (Trinidad)
           Beatrix Carrington, VP Marketing and Sales (Barbados)
           Paul Schutz, Chief Financial Officer (Trinidad)

BWIA: Possible Bankruptcy Creates Concern On Industry
Conrad Aleong, BWIA's president and chief executive officer said
Thursday that airline must strike a deal with its workers to
reduce costs; otherwise, the Company would be bankrupt within a

Aleong said that the airline must cut US$1 million monthly, and
that the concession with the employees has to be done by October

Barbados' tourism industry was shocked. Oliver Jordan, President
of the Barbados Tourism Authority said BWIA is a direct concern
for his country, as the airline has the most frequent flights
into the island, making the country's tourism industry heavily
dependent on BWIA.

BWIA has eight flights from major tourist markets and the
Caribbean to Barbados daily. If scaled down, the country's
tourism industry would suffer deeply.

However, BWIA's vice president of marketing and sales, Beatrix
Carrington, said that the company had financial problems, but
wouldn't collapse by the end of October.

BWIA: New Rival Poses `No Threat'
Caribbean Star Airlines flight CSA#780 made its first inaugural
trip from Trinidad to Tobago on Thursday. It carried 27
representatives from the media, tourism and trade industries.

According to a report by The Trinidad Express, CSA Chief
Executive Officer Paul Moreira explained that the airline does
not aim to compete, or make things difficult for BWIA.

"We don't see Tobago Express as a competitor. We see them as a
partner. We believe that Caricom carriers should do their best
for Caricom people," said Moreira.

He added that his company will not merge with any other airline
to avoid the possibility of price setting.

CSA flies between Trinidad and Tobago, initially with two flights
daily, then with four by December. The airline will also acquire
two more planes within the next four months.


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
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