TCRLA_Public/021218.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

           Wednesday, December 18, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 250


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Exec Expects To See Recovery By March


BANCO RIO: S&P Rates Senior Notes 'D', New Notes 'CC'
IMPSA: Ex-President's Testimony Delayed on Technicality
REPSOL YPF: Still Awaiting Permit To Start Mendoza Project
* Argentina Missed Payments to World Bank, IADB


ANNUITY AND LIFE: Wechsler Harwood Announces Class Action Suit
GLOBAL CROSSING: October 2002 Operating Results Still On Track


BANESTES: Scandal Involving Top Execs Delays Privatization
EMBRATEL: Lazard In Advance Acquisition Talks With Parent


COEUR D' ALENE: Reduces Long-Term Debt by $23M
EMBONOR/BEPENSA: S&P Expects Contrasting Credit Trends


SEVEN SEAS: Updates Default Status on Senior Notes


VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Ecuadorian Interest; Reduces Debt


CABLE & WIRELESS: Exec Says Rival Overstated Market Share


AHMSA: CEO Expects Liquid Steel Output Up By 10% Next Year
MAXCOM TELECOMUNICACIONES: Investor Update November 2002


SIDOR: Ongoing National Strike Taking Its Toll

     - - - - - - - - - -

A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Exec Expects To See Recovery By March
LIAT chief Gary Cullen is confident that the airline will be able
to fly smoothly by the first quarter of next year, according to a
report from the Antigua Sun in its Monday edition. The story
quoted Cullen saying, "The successful conclusion of our
restructuring program in the first quarter of 2003, will finally
see an adequately financed and revitalized LIAT that will serve
the people and continue to carry the torch and live the vision of
its founder Sir Frank DeLisle had some 46 years ago."

LIAT was not spared the airline industry-wide slump after the
September 11 attacks in the United States. The allegedly
predatory pricing done by LIAT competitor Caribbean Star would
have driven LIAT out of business. Fares had gone down by 35
percent compared to prices two years ago.

Caribbean governments have taken action against predatory pricing
to ensure a level playing field for all airlines, according to
the report. Shareholder governments promised to inject some US$11
million to address LIAT's capitalization needs. A range of public
and private investments are also being considered for the

The report also revealed that a select committee of shareholder
governments would meet in St. Vincent on Thursday a to study
LIAT's three-year plan and come up with strategies for the

LIAT chairman Wilbur Harrigan said that the are going to make
sure that LIAT would be fixed properly this time, adding that the
airline is in the process of speaking to a "very serious"

"We are hoping that by March 2003 the predatory pricing, the
capital injection, the regulation by the respective authorities
in the Caribbean as well as the government for the first time
will fully recognise what LIAT needs to go forward and what their
contribution should be if LIAT is to be the true Caribbean
airline," he said.

CONTACT:  LIAT Corporate Headquarters
          V.C. Bird International Airport,
          P.O. Box 819,
          St. John's, Antigua West Indies
          Tel. 1 (268) 480-5600/1/2/3/4/5/6
          Fax: 1 (268) 480-5625
          Garry Cullen, Chief Executive Officer
          David Stuart, Vice President of Marketing


BANCO RIO: S&P Rates Senior Notes 'D', New Notes 'CC'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Monday that it lowered
its ratings on Banco RĄo de la Plata S.A.'s ('SD'; Banco Rio)
8.75% senior notes maturing in December 2003 (referred to in the
exchange as "existing notes"), which are subject to an exchange
offer that is considered to materially affect the value of the
bonds under their original terms and conditions, to 'D'. Given
the difficulties for banks in Argentina (Republic of) after the
devaluation of the peso, and system-wide pesification at the
beginning of 2002, all banks have been under pressure to
restructure their liabilities consistent with the lower value and
cash flow-generating ability of their assets.

Banco Rio was not able to escape the fate of the rest of the
Argentine financial system, despite the fact that it is a wholly
owned subsidiary of a strong foreign financial institution (Banco
Santander Central Hispano S.A., rated A/Stable/A-1), and has a
history of being more prudent than its peers. In this context,
the bank started a debt restructuring process, of which this
exchange offer is the most significant step. During the course of
the year, the bank also refinanced its short-term debt in the
U.S. CP market, but the transaction did not reduce the value to
the bondholders.

"The current exchange offer presents two alternatives to
bondholders. Both alternatives represent worse terms and
conditions than originally agreed upon with bearers of the
existing notes, prompting the placement of the securities in
'D'," said credit analyst Gabriel Caracciolo. The new securities
will be rated 'CC', because the difficulties that the bank will
face in complying with the terms and conditions of their
restructured liabilities could still lead to a future inability
to pay.

ANALYSTS:  Gabriel Caracciolo, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2100
           Carina Lopez, Buenos Aires (54) 11-4891-2118

IMPSA: Ex-President's Testimony Delayed on Technicality
The hearing of the testimony of former Philippine President
Joseph Estrada concerning alleged irregularities in the
government's contract with Argentine company Industrias
Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anonima (IMPSA) was postponed to
January 14 next year, reports AFX-Asia.

The report indicates that the Committee in Government
Corporations and Public Enterprises of the Philippine Senate had
reset the testimony after the police did not allow Estrada to
testify, saying that there was no court order.

Earlier, Manila police chief Reynaldo Velasco said that Estrada
could not be moved from his detention at the Veteran's Memorial
Medical Center in Quezon City without an order from the
Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

Committee Chairman John Osme¤a said that the Senate is yet to
receive formal notice of the Philippine National Police's
decision, adding that the committee would subpoena PNP chief
Hermogenes Ebdane to explain the PNP`s decision during the next

Estrada, who faces plunder and corruption charges, had been asked
by the Senate to testify any knowledge on the alleged pay-off
attempts concerning IMPSA.

An earlier report from local news firm ABS-CBN revealed that
Estrada claimed that Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez had offered to pay
him US$14 million to approve a contract with Impsa to
rehabilitate the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydroelectric complex
in Laguna. Estrada said he had refused the offer.

CONTACT:  (Latin America)
          Hern n Gui¤azŁ
          Carril RodrĄguez Pe¤a 2451 (M5503AHY)
          Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina.
          Tel: (+54-261) 4131374
          Fax.(+54-261) 4131429 - 4131423

          (Asia and South East Asia)
          Juan Carlos Fern ndez
          6-4 Level 6th Tower Block,
          Menara Milenium
          Jalan Damanlela,
          Pusat Bandar Damansara
          Damansara Heights
          50490 Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia
          Tel:  (+60-3)  252 3744
          Fax: (+60-3)  252 3743

REPSOL YPF: Still Awaiting Permit To Start Mendoza Project
Local reports suggesting that the Mendoza provincial government
could issue an environmental permit as early as this week in
order for Repsol YPF to start a project may be too optimistic, a
spokesperson from the Spanish oil company indicated to Business
News Americas.

"We have waited two years already and the way things are in this
country, you never know how long something like this will take,"
the spokesperson said.

Repsol plans to drill eight wells in the Llancanelo lagoon in the
Mendoza province but the project was blocked in 2000 due to
environmental concerns about the impact of drilling on the
lagoon's ecosystem. The Company can't see any reason why the
government of Mendoza is delaying the issuance of the permit when
it could stand to gain a lot from the project through royalties
on crude produced from the field.

Repsol YPF plans to spend ARS170 million (US$50 million) to
develop the first stage of the project, including ARS66 million
on drilling and ARS104 million on other development work in the

"The crude in Llancanelo lagoon is high density and difficult to
extract and transport, so the level of investment is relatively
high," the spokesperson added.

Depending on the success of the project's exploration stage,
Repsol could build a pipeline to transport the crude to a
treatment plant at Malargue, the spokesperson said.

Crude reserves in Llancanelo are estimated at 25 million barrels
according to a study carried out by the previous concessionaire
Alianza Petrolera Argentina.

         Head Office
         Paseo de la Castellana 278
         28046 Madrid
         Tel  +34 91 348 81 00
         Fax  +34 91 348 28 21
         Telex  48162 RESOLE
         Alfonso Cortina de Alcocer, Chairman
         Jose Vilarasu Salat, Vice Chairman
         Antonio Hernandez, Vice Chairman

* Argentina Missed Payments to World Bank, IADB
Argentina failed to make a total of US$930 million in payments to
the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

President Eduardo Duhalde said, "We don't like to default.
Defaulting is proof of a country's failure."

However, he added that, at the moment, paying (the debts due)
would put at risk the balance that is helping a recovery in
production. The country did not pay the World Bank for a US$250
million bond guarantee and a US$680 million payment to the Inter-
American Development Bank.

The IADB is now considering raising fees on US$46 billion in
lending to Latin American and Caribbean nations, while the World
Bank would no longer guarantee the bonds maturing next year and
the year after.

According to the report, the IADB has extended 18 percent of its
loans outstanding to Argentina. The US$680 million debt stems
from a US$2.5 billion loan, the bank's biggest ever. Argentina
this month also owes US$160 million on other IADB loans.

Before this year, the bank imposed a 50 basis-point charge, a
credit commission of 75 basis points on all outstanding loans to
a borrower, and a 1 percent up-front fee. A basis point is one
one-hundredth of a percentage point, said the report.

Earlier, ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded the two
US$250 million Argentine bonds next in the series of six bonds
guaranteed by the World Bank. It was the first time S&P ever
downgraded World Bank-backed bonds.

Meanwhile, the fee increase the IADB would impose would hurt
Latin American nations. According to the World Bank, private
investment in Latin America had declined by 64 percent this year.

The World Bank would also halt reimbursements ion a US$2 billion
loan to the country after it failed to pay US$830.7 million last
Sunday. Argentina would also be disqualified to receive several
hundred million dollars in installments on existing loans
intended to help the country combat hunger and emerge from

According to the report, about one-half of the country's
population is living in poverty and almost 20 percent have no

Last year, Argentina defaulted on a record US$95 billion in
private debt, cutting its credit line to the International
Monetary Fund. It had been negotiating for a new loan from the
IMF for the greater part of this year, without success. The
government said that it would be using the IMF loan to repay the
World Bank and other government-backed creditors.

According to Larry Hays, who follows Washington-based lenders for
S&P, Argentina's failure to pay would not cause a credit rating
cut for both the World Bank and the IADB.


ANNUITY AND LIFE: Wechsler Harwood Announces Class Action Suit
Wechsler Harwood LLP announced Monday that a securities class
action has been commenced on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. (NYSE:ANR) between
February 12, 2001 and November 19, 2002, inclusive (the "Class
Period"). A copy of the complaint filed in this action is
available from the Court, or can be viewed on Wechsler Harwood
web site at:

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut against defendant Annuity and Life Re
(Holdings), Ltd. and against Frederick S. Hammer, Lawrence S.
Doyle and John F. Burke.

The complaint charges Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. and
certain of its officers and directors with issuing false and
misleading statements concerning its business and financial
condition.. Specifically, the complaint alleges that throughout
the Class Period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants issued
numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with
the SEC which described the Company's increasing revenues and
financial performance.

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially
false and misleading because they failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others: (i)
that the Company had failed to properly account for embedded
derivatives contained in certain of its annuity reinsurance
contracts in 2001; (ii) that, since at least 2001, the Company
had understated a portion of its liabilities and expenses; (iii)
that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
therefore unable to ascertain the true financial condition of the
Company; and (iv) that as a result, the values of the Company's
balance sheet and financial results were materially overstated at
all relevant times.

On November 19, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, Annuity
and Life announced that it would restate its financial results
for years 2000, 2001 and the first and second quarters of 2002,
the period ending June 30, 2002. As detailed in the announcement,
the restatement was necessary because the Company had failed to
properly account for embedded derivatives contained in certain of
its annuity reinsurance contracts in 2001, and, that since at
least 2001, the Company had understated a portion of its
liabilities and expenses. Following this disclosure, shares of
Annuity and Life fell as much as 44%, culminating a 91% decline
in the price of the Company's common stock in the prior twelve

If you purchased securities during the Class Period, you may, no
later than February 3, 2002, move to be appointed as a lead
plaintiff in this class action. A lead plaintiff is a
representative party that acts on behalf of other class members
in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead
plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim
is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the
class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain
circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as
lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery is not,
however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a
lead plaintiff. You may retain Wechsler Harwood, or other counsel
of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

Wechsler Harwood has taken a leading role in many important
actions on behalf of defrauded shareholders. The Wechsler Harwood
website ( has more information about the firm and
detailed information regarding this matter. If you wish to
discuss this action with us, or have any questions concerning
this notice or your rights and interests with regard to the case,
please contact the following:

     Wechsler Harwood LLP
     488 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
     New York, New York 10022
     Toll Free Telephone: (877) 935-7400
     Craig Lowther,

Wechsler Harwood Shareholder Relations Department:

GLOBAL CROSSING: October 2002 Operating Results Still On Track
Global Crossing announced Monday that it continued to meet key
performance targets during October 2002. The performance targets
were established for Global Crossing (excluding Asia Global
Crossing) in the operating plan presented to its creditors in
March 2002. The Operating Results that compare to that plan are
described in the following section of this press release.

Consolidated results for the month of October that include Asia
Global Crossing and that are reported in the Monthly Operating
Report (MOR) filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern
District of New York are summarized later in this press release.

OPERATING RESULTS (excluding Asia Global Crossing)

"Our entire organization is committed to meeting our performance
objectives and restoring the financial health of Global
Crossing," said John Legere, CEO of Global Crossing. "Our
business continues to show signs of increasing stability, which
will prove advantageous as we emerge from Chapter 11 in early

For the past three months, Global Crossing's Service Revenue has
shown month-over-month gains. In October 2002, Global Crossing
reported Service Revenue of $242 million, $26 million above the
Service Revenue target set forth in the operating plan. This
compares to Service Revenue of $237 million in September and $236
million in August.

In October, Service EBITDA was reported at a loss of $6 million,
beating the operating plan by $1 million.

"For the third month in a row, our Service Revenues have shown
month-over-month gains, showing that customers are starting to
expand their business with Global Crossing," said Dan Cohrs,
Global Crossing's CFO. "We were able to achieve this growth while
stabilizing our operating expenses and other costs throughout the

Total cash in bank accounts exceeded targets set forth in the
operating plan, with $683 million as of October 31, 2002,
compared to a plan of $583 million. Operating expenses were $64
million in October, $4 million higher than the target in the
operating plan. However, third-party maintenance costs were
reported at $9 million in October, lower than plan by $6 million.

              OPERATING RESULTS (excluding Asia Global Crossing)
                         AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER 2002

October 2002     $242 mln     $64 mln     $(6) mln   $683 mln
September 2002   $237 mln     $64 mln     $0 mln     $724 mln
August 2002      $236 mln     $63 mln     $(5) mln   $744 mln

Monlthly Operating Results For October 2002

Global Crossing filed Monday a Monthly Operating Report (MOR) for
the month of October with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York, as required by its Chapter 11
reorganization process. The consolidated results in the MOR
include Asia Global Crossing and report revenue according to
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). GAAP revenue
includes revenue from sales of capacity in the form of
indefeasible rights of use ("IRUs") that occurred in prior
periods, recognized ratably over the lives of the relevant
contracts. Beginning on October 1, 2002, Global Crossing no
longer recognizes revenue from exchanges of leases of capacity.

Results reported in the October MOR include the following:

For continuing operations in October 2002, Global Crossing
reported consolidated revenue of approximately $256 million.
Consolidated operating expenses were $79 million, while access
and maintenance costs were reported at $193 million in October

In addition, Global Crossing reported a consolidated GAAP cash
balance of approximately $895 million as of October 31, 2002,
including $229 million of cash held by Asia Global Crossing.
Global Crossing's $666 million GAAP cash balance (excluding Asia)
is comprised of $272 million unrestricted cash, $332 million in
restricted cash and $62 million of cash held by Global Marine.

Global Crossing reported a consolidated net loss of $150 million
for October 2002. Consolidated EBITDA was reported at a loss of
$16 million.

                             MOR RESULTS

               REVENUE      OPERATING       EBITDA    NET LOSS
October 2002   $256 mln    $79 mln        $(16) mln   $150 mln
September 2002 $254 mln    $71 mln        $(6) mln    $157 mln
August 2002    $255 mln    $73 mln        $(14) mln   $138 mln

Definitions and Notes

"Service Revenue" refers to revenue less (i) any revenue
recognized immediately for circuit activations that qualified as
sales-type leases and (ii) revenue recognized due to the
amortization of IRUs sold in prior periods and not recognized as
sales-type leases.

"Service EBITDA" refers to EBITDA (earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation, and amortization) but excludes the
contribution of (i) any revenue recognized immediately for
circuit activations that qualified as sales-type leases and (ii)
revenue recognized due to the amortization of IRUs sold in prior
periods and not recognized as sales-type leases.

The results for Global Crossing (excluding Asia Global Crossing)
discussed in the "Operating Results (excluding Asia Global
Crossing)" section of this release have been prepared on a basis
consistent with targets presented to the creditors of Global
Crossing in March 2002. These operating results exclude Global
Marine (which is a discontinued operation), exclude any revenue
contribution of sales of capacity in the form of IRUs, and
reflect certain eliminations and adjustments not detailed in the
MORs. Cash balances reported in this section are bank balances,
not reflecting the estimated impact of outstanding checks and
other adjustments as required by GAAP.

The information contained in this press release is qualified in
its entirety by reference to the MORs for the months of February
through October, including the footnotes to the financial
statements contained therein, copies of which are available
through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of
New York and on Global Crossing's Web site. The October MOR is
available at
mor--oct.pdf. These MORs have been prepared pursuant to the
requirements of the Bankruptcy Code and the unaudited
consolidated financial statements contained in these MORs do not
include all footnotes and certain financial presentations
normally required under GAAP. In addition, any revenues,
expenses, realized gains and losses, and provisions resulting
from the reorganization and restructuring of Global Crossing are
reported separately as reorganization items in these MORs.

As discussed more fully in the footnotes to the financial
statements contained in the MORs, Global Crossing has not yet
filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December
31, 2001. By order dated November 20, 2002, the Bankruptcy Court
directed the appointment of an examiner. On November 25, 2002,
the United States Trustee appointed Martin E. Cooperman, a
partner of Grant Thornton LLP, as the Examiner. Mr. Cooperman and
the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Global Crossing
Ltd. are seeking to retain Grant Thornton LLP to assist the
Examiner. In general, the Examiner's role will be limited to
reviewing the financial statements of the Debtors for the fiscal
years ended December 31, 2001 and December 31, 2002 and earlier
periods if any restatement of those periods is necessary. As part
of his role, the Examiner, with the assistance of Grant Thornton
LLP, will audit any revised financial statements and issue a
report as to such financial statements. Separately, the Audit
Committee and the Board of Directors of the Company have
authorized the appointment of Grant Thornton LLP as the
independent public accountant of the Company, effective as of the
date indicated in an engagement letter to be executed on behalf
of the Audit Committee by its Chairman.

In addition, certain matters relating to Global Crossing's
accounting for, and disclosure of, concurrent transactions for
the purchase and sale of telecommunications capacity between
Global Crossing and its carrier customers are being investigated
by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S.
Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, the
House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and the
House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee. Global
Crossing is also cooperating with a similar inquiry being
conducted by the Denver office of the SEC regarding Qwest
Communications International, Inc., and has provided documents in
response to subpoenas it received from the New York Attorney
General's office relating to an investigation of Salomon Smith
Barney. The U.S. Department of Labor is conducting an
investigation into the administration of Global Crossing's
benefit plans. All of these investigations are described more
fully in footnote one to the financial statements contained in
the October MOR.

Any changes to the financial statements resulting from any of
these investigations and the completion of the 2001 financial
statement audit could materially affect the unaudited
consolidated financial statements contained in the MORs and the
information presented in this press release.

On October 21, 2002, Global Crossing announced that it will
restate certain financial statements contained filings previously
made with the SEC. These restatements, which are more fully
described in footnote one to the financial statements contained
in the October MOR, will record exchanges between carriers of
leases of telecommunications capacity at historical carryover
basis, resulting in no recognition of revenue for such exchanges.
Reflecting this accounting treatment, the October MOR excludes
from revenue amounts previously recognized as revenue over the
lives of the lease contracts governing these capacity exchanges.
However, since the detailed application of this accounting
treatment for exchanges of capacity and services is not complete,
the October MOR does not reflect the reduction to depreciation
expense that will result when such transactions are recorded at
carrying value rather than fair value. As reflected in greater
detail in the financial statements contained in the October MOR,
Global Crossing estimates that the reduction in depreciation
expense for the month of October would be approximately $2
million. The restatements have no impact on cash flow for the
month of October.

As previously announced, Global Crossing's net loss for the three
months ended December 31, 2001, which has not yet been reported,
pending the completion of the audit of financial statements for
2001, is expected to reflect the write-off of the remaining
goodwill and other intangible assets, which total approximately
$8 billion. Furthermore, as previously disclosed, Global Crossing
has determined that it will write down its tangible assets by at
least $10 billion in light of the terms contained in the
previously announced agreement with Hutchison Telecommunications
and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, the bankruptcy filings of
Asia Global Crossing and its subsidiary, Pacific Crossing Ltd.,
and the reduction in the carrying value of assets acquired in
exchange transactions by approximately $1.2 billion expected to
result from the restatement referred to in the immediately
preceding paragraph. The financial information included within
this press release and the MORs reflects the write-off of all of
the goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets of $8
billion, but does not reflect any write-down of tangible asset
value. Global Crossing is currently in the process of evaluating
its financial forecasts to determine the impairment of its long-
lived assets. Accordingly, the net loss of $150 million for the
month of October 2002 (reported above under MOR Results section)
includes $111 million of depreciation and amortization expense
recorded in October 2002. This October 2002 net loss would have
been reduced substantially if the financial statements in the
October MOR had reflected the tangible asset write down.

The write-off of the intangible assets, and the write-downs of
tangible assets are described more fully in the October MOR.


Global Crossing provides telecommunications solutions over the
world's first integrated global IP-based network, which reaches
27 countries and more than 200 major cities around the globe.
Global Crossing serves many of the world's largest corporations,
providing a full range of managed data and voice products and
services. Global Crossing operates throughout the Americas and
Europe, and provides services in Asia through its subsidiary,
Asia Global Crossing.

On January 28, 2002, Global Crossing Ltd. and certain of its
subsidiaries (excluding Asia Global Crossing and its
subsidiaries) commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
(Bankruptcy Court) and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme
Court of Bermuda (Bermuda Court). On the same date, the Bermuda
Court granted an order appointing joint provisional liquidators
with the power to oversee the continuation and reorganization of
the Bermuda-incorporated companies' businesses under the control
of their boards of directors and under the supervision of the
Bankruptcy Court and the Bermuda Court. Additional Global
Crossing subsidiaries commenced Chapter 11 cases on April 23,
August 4 and August 30, 2002, with the Bermuda incorporated
subsidiaries filing coordinated insolvency proceedings in the
Bermuda Court. The administration of all the cases filed
subsequent to Global Crossing's initial filing on January 28,
2002 has been consolidated with that of the cases commenced on
January 28, 2002. Global Crossing's Plan of Reorganization, which
it filed with the Bankruptcy Court on September 16, 2002, does
not include a capital structure in which existing common or
preferred equity would retain any value.

On November 18, 2002, Asia Global Crossing Ltd. and its
subsidiary, Asia Global Crossing Development Co., commenced
Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York and coordinated proceedings in the
Supreme Court of Bermuda. Asia Global Crossing's bankruptcy
proceedings are being administered separately from and are not
being consolidated with Global Crossing's proceedings. Asia
Global Crossing Ltd. is a majority-owned subsidiary of Global
Crossing. However, Asia Global Crossing has announced that no
recovery is expected for Asia Global Crossing's shareholders. As
a result, Global Crossing is currently evaluating its ongoing
requirement to consolidate the operating results and financial
positions of AGC and its subsidiaries.

     Press Contacts
     Tisha Kresler
     + 1 973-410-8666

     Kevin Burgoyne
     Latin America
     + 1 305-808-5947

     Mish Desmidt
     + 44 (0) 7771-668438

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


BANESTES: Scandal Involving Top Execs Delays Privatization
Brazil's Espiritu Santo state bank Banestes failed to carry out a
privatization process scheduled for December 10. The trouble
follows a corruption-related scandal involving the bank's
president and three other executives, reports local financial
paper Gazeta Mercantil.

Earlier this month, a federal court threw out Banestes president
Joao Luiz de Menezes Tovar and three other Banestes executives on
charges of taking BRL80,000 (US$22,150) in bribes from the
state's transport minister Jorge Helio Leal in exchange for their
support of the privatization process.

The court ordered the central bank to intervene Banestes, but a
final date for the federal takeover has yet to be set.

Banestes, which was supposed to be privatized at a minimum bid
price of BRL348 million, posted losses of BRL2.1 million for the
first half of this year and has debts of BRL576 million.

The only remaining pre-qualified bidder for the bank is the
country's largest private bank Bradesco. The scandal prompted
rivals Itau and Banco Safra to withdraw from the process.

Fitch Ratings lowered the local and foreign currency ratings and
Brazilian national scale rating of Eletropaulo Metropolitana
Eletricidade de Sao Paulo S.A.'s (Eletropaulo) to 'DDD' from 'C'
following the company's default on US$100 million of Euro
commercial paper due this week. The company had previously issued
three options for an exchange offer to the holders of the
commercial but has not received sufficient participation.
Eletropaulo has extended the offers to December 18, 2002.
Eletropaulo has received a waiver (until February 24, 2003) of
the cross-default provision of the local debenture issue.

Separately, Eletropaulo recently signed a definitive agreement
with the JP Morgan bank syndicate under which the company repaid
15% of the US$225 million loan and agreed to amortize the balance
over a 24 month period (with grace period of 11 months) at a
higher interest rate; Eletropaulo has the waiver of the non-
payment of the CP from JP Morgan as well. It is expected the
company will negotiate similar terms with its other lenders. The
company is currently in technical default (not payment default)
on a number of its bank loans related to violation of financial
covenants, although no loans have been accelerated. Fitch does
not expect Eletropaulo to be able to meet its upcoming debt
maturities absent a restructuring of its other bank loans under
similar terms of the JP Morgan loan. The company has said its
intention is to honor 100% of its obligations, but Eletropaulo's
refinancing options are currently limited to rolling over
existing local and international bank transactions and commercial
paper given the company's strained cash position and AES
management's intention to not invest additional funds into
Brazil. Positively, AES has successfully restructured US$2.1
billion of bank and bond debt, which should ease some concerns of
shareholder pressure on AES' Latin American subsidiaries, but
AES' commitment to its Brazilian assets is unchanged.

Should the company successfully restructure its debt as proposed,
which should better match debt maturities to cash flow, Fitch may
revise Eletropaulo's local currency rating upward to a level
equal to or near to the current sovereign rating of Brazil of

From an operational standpoint, Fitch believes Eletropaulo, the
operating company, to be a viable company with the ability to
generate cash flow to service debt in excess of US$500 million in
a stable environment. Significant short-term debt maturities
during 2002 in a volatile Brazilian marketplace exacerbated the
company's liquidity position, and devaluation of the real has
stressed free cash flow due to the currency mismatch between
revenues and debt service, ultimately leading to the current
situation. Eletropaulo's revenues have benefited from an annual
tariff increase of 14.2% in July 2002, which while positive, has
been partially offset by slower than expected demand growth and
overall demand lower than 2000 levels. Demand growth should
continue over the medium term and tariffs are expected to
continue to be adjusted by an inflation index. To preserve cash,
Eletropaulo has postponed the payment of its dividend that was
declared earlier this year. Future dividends will be limited due
to the use of cash at the operating company level to repay debt.

Beyond the operating company concerns, the company is facing
refinancing risk at its holding companies, AES ELPA (voting) and
TransGas (non-voting). AES is currently renegotiating terms on
these loans with BNDES. AES has pledged the shares of Uruguaiana
to BNDES in support of the US$521 million ELPA debt (principal
and interest) and has committed to applying dividends from
Eletropaulo to repay BNDES. TransGas has another US$336 million
due January 2003 and US$299 million in January 2004 (principal
and interest). Should the required payments not be made to BNDES,
shares and control could revert back to BNDES, which may affect
the rating depending on the stated intentions of the Brazilian
development bank. Given dividend restrictions at the Eletropaulo
level, it is uncertain from where the holding company will obtain
sufficient funds to repay BNDES or what type of agreement will be

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.

EMBRATEL: Lazard In Advance Acquisition Talks With Parent
Brazil's three fixed line incumbents - Telemar, Telesp and Brasil
Telecom - are making progress in their efforts to take control of
Embratel, the country's largest long distance operator. According
to local daily O Globo, investment bank Lazard Frere, which is
acting on behalf of the incumbents, is now in advanced talks with
bankrupt US-based carrier WorldCom to acquire its ailing local

The paper suggests that the fixed line operators hired local
consultant Roberto Mangabeira Unger and UK-based consultancy
Spectrum four months ago to perfect the plan, which they must
submit to Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel for approval.

Acquisition talks come amid contentions by Embratel that it is
not for sale and that it would be illegal for the telcos to set
up an offshore investment fund to buy Embratel.

Also, Anatel chairman Luiz Guilherme Schymura has previously
stated the acquisition of Embratel is not possible until July
2003, upon expiry of regulations that prevent a change of

In the event the three fixed line operators receive authorization
to carry out the takeover, they would split Embratel in two
companies; one providing voice and data services; and another
encompassing Embratel's satellite operations.

According to Mangabeira Unger, Embratel is not a viable concern,
implying that it needs new owners to become financially stable.

Embratel is battling with debts totaling BRL5.2 billion
(US$1.4bn), much of which is denominated in foreign currencies.

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


COEUR D' ALENE: Reduces Long-Term Debt by $23M
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE) announced Monday
further significant reductions in its outstanding long-term
convertible debt. Coeur's remaining convertible indebtedness now
stands at $79.5 million, down from $145.5 million at the
beginning of the year, which represents a 45% decline. Coeur
ended the third quarter of 2002 with $102.7 million in
convertible debt.

Dennis E. Wheeler, Coeur's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
remarked: "We have eliminated over $210 million of debt while
cutting our annual cash interest expense by approximately $16
million since embarking on our debt-reduction program in 1998.
These considerable interest savings, combined with significant
reductions in our operating costs, represent major elements of
our ongoing turnaround plan. We are pleased to now be in the
position of generating positive operating cash flow for our

Coeur recently exchanged 7.9 million shares of common stock for
$10.3 million principal amount of its 6.375% Convertible
Debentures due January 2004, reducing the remaining balance to
$55.1 million. In addition, the Company exchanged 2.1 million
shares of common stock for $2.7 million principal amount of its
7.25% Convertible Debentures due October 2005, reducing the
remaining balance to $11.7 million. Since September 30, 2002,
holders of $10.1 million of Coeur's Series I and II 13.375%
Convertible Notes due December 2003 have voluntarily converted
into 8.8 million common shares. As a result, the Series II
13.375% Convertible Notes have been fully retired.

After taking these exchanges and conversions into account, Coeur
now has 118.0 million shares outstanding.

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

          Mitchell J. Krebs, 208/769-8155

EMBONOR/BEPENSA: S&P Expects Contrasting Credit Trends
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Monday that as a result
of a Latin America bottling industry review, it put the 'BB'
rating on Mexican Coke bottler Bepensa S.A. de C.V. (Bepensa) on
CreditWatch with positive implications. Concurrently, the ratings
agency it put the 'BBB' ratings on Chilean Coke bottler Coca-Cola
Embonor S.A. (Embonor) on CreditWatch with negative implications.

"The macroeconomic environment has been negative along 2002 in
Latin America, but asymmetries between Mexico and the southern
region have been enough to result in contrasting credit trends,"
commented Standard & Poor's credit analyst Silvina Aldeco
Martinez. "In the case of Embonor, unfavorable macroeconomic
conditions in some territories and heightened competitive threats
in others are challenging the improvement of the already weak
financial performance for the rating category," she added.

"Yet, modest but sustainable growth in soft drinks consumption in
Mexico have allowed Bepensa to gradually strengthen its financial
profile in the last couple of years," Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Federico Mora commented.

In the case of Bepensa, the company ratings have been placed on
CreditWatch positive because of the improvement in the company's
financial profile over the last couple of years, resulting from a
considerable debt reduction, along with consistent EBITDA growth.
This financial strength is reflected in the company's last 12
months EBITDA interest coverage of 9.9x and a total debt to
capital ratio of 29.7%, from year-end 1999 figures of 4.6x and
56.1%, respectively. The CreditWatch positive listing will be
resolved as soon as Standard & Poor's evaluates Bepensa's 2002
full-year results along with the company's future expectations.

Embonor's CreditWatch negative placement reflects the fact that
in spite of the company's several cost cutting measures
implemented along 2001 and 2002, and the relative recent re-
franchising of the bottling licenses in the Peruvian market,
financial performance did not reflect substantial improvements.
In 2002, Embonor has increasingly suffered the heightened
competition of lower priced brands in some of its franchised
territories in Chile, as well as in Bolivia. Furthermore, the
company's exposure to more volatile economies than its home
country coupled with limited growth potential in its main
operation in Chile, questioned the entity's ability to improve
its cash generation in the short to medium term.


SEVEN SEAS: Updates Default Status on Senior Notes
Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. (Amex: SEV) announced that the Company
is in default under its 12 1/2% $110 Million Senior Subordinated
Notes ("Senior Notes") due to a failure to make the $6,875,000
semiannual interest payment on November 15, 2002. The full
principal plus accrued and unpaid interest will be due and
payable immediately upon notice by the Trustee or holders of 25%
of the Senior Notes.

As previously announced, the Company is currently in default
under its 12% Senior Secured $45 Million Notes ("$45 Million
Notes") as a result of cross-default provisions in the governing
documents relating to the Company's failure to meet the
obligations owed to the Senior Notes. On December 13, 2002,
Chesapeake Energy accelerated all amounts owing to Chesapeake
Energy, including principal, accrued interest, fees, costs, and
expenses, and as a result, such amounts are immediately due and
payable. Additionally, under the terms of the $22.5 million CHK
Note (one-half of the $45 Million Notes) the rate of interest has
been increased from 12% to a default rate of 13%.

Chesapeake, as collateral agent for the $45 Million Notes, has
exercised its rights to exclusive control over Seven Seas' bank
accounts, pursuant to deposit control agreements related to the
Note Purchase and Loan Agreement dated July 9, 2001. Seven Seas
cannot access its US bank accounts without prior approval from
the collateral agent. Most of Seven Seas' operating cash is held
in these accounts. Seven Seas has been advised by the collateral
agent that the collateral agent currently intends to approve
disbursements by the Company and its subsidiaries from these
accounts as necessary to prudently operate the Guaduas Oil Field
in the ordinary course of business.

Seven Seas Petroleum Inc. is an independent oil and gas
exploration and production company operating in Colombia, South

CONTACT:  Seven Seas Petroleum Inc.
          Daniel Drum, Investor Relations


VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Ecuadorian Interest; Reduces Debt
Vintage Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: VPI) announced Monday that it has
signed an agreement to sell its interests in Ecuador to a major
independent oil and gas company for $US 141.7 million. In the
agreement, Vintage commits to sell for cash all of the stock of
its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Vintage Oil Ecuador, S.A.
("VOE"). The transaction is scheduled to close January 31, 2003,
subject to normal conditions precedent to closing. VOE holds all
of Vintage's properties in Ecuador and had working capital of
approximately $25.7 million at June 30, 2002. At year-end 2001,
Vintage disclosed estimated proved reserves in Ecuador of 50.4
million barrels of oil.

Upon closing, the after-tax proceeds from the sale of its Ecuador
interests, coupled with proceeds received from non-core property
sales earlier in the year and the application of cash flow in
excess of capital expenditures, should allow Vintage to achieve
its previously announced goal to reduce debt by $200 million. At
year-end 2001, Vintage had long-term debt of $1,011 million and
estimates its year-end 2002 debt would be reduced to $811 million
or less, proforma for the application of the proceeds from the
Ecuador sale scheduled to be received in January 2003.

"We are pleased to announce that the sale of our holdings in
Ecuador should allow us to fulfill our 2002 commitment to reduce
debt by $200 million," said S. Craig George, CEO. "Our
exploration and exploitation success in Ecuador created
significant production potential, and the sale provides a means
for early harvest of the enhanced value. We will have taken an
important step in repositioning for future growth upon concluding
this transaction," added Mr. George. Vintage plans to continue to
review its portfolio for potential disposition of additional non-
strategic interests to aid in further lowering its leverage over

Vintage Petroleum, Inc. is an independent energy company engaged
in the acquisition, exploitation, exploration and development of
oil and gas properties and the marketing of natural gas and crude
oil. The company is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its
common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol VPI. For additional information, visit the company website

          Robert E. Phaneuf, Vice President - Corporate


CABLE & WIRELESS: Exec Says Rival Overstated Market Share
Telecom service provider Cable and Wireless Jamaica (C&WJ) said
that rival operator Digicel had grossly overstated its share of
the local cellular market, reported the Jamaica Observer.
Business News Americas reported that last week, Digicel marketing
manager Harry Smith told local press, "We have 65 percent of the

Earlier, Digicel chairman Denis O'Brien said that his company had
over 600,000 customers, and would reach 700,000 by the end of
this year. But C&WJ mobile division manager Patrick King said,
"Digicel has tried to mislead the public regarding its market
share. If they say that they have in excess of 600,000 customers
at 65%, then they are saying that the entire mobile market is a
little more than 900,000."

The Jamaican mobile market is in excess of 1.2 million, said
King. He added that C&WJ have in excess of 550,000 active
customers, so Digicel's 65 percent is a gross exagerration, he

C&WJ, the former monopoly operator in the country, expects to win
back the market share from Digicel.

According to King, C&WJ would be attacking Digicel on all areas
in which they have a comparative advantage. As of now, King said
that the Company could accommodate a few hundred thousand more

CONTACT:  Cable & Wireless PLC
          Head Office
          124 Theobalds Road
          WC1X 8RX
          Tel  +44 (0)20 7315 4000
          Fax  +44 (0)20 7315 5000
          Sir Ralph Robins, Non Executive Chairman
          Sir Winfried W. Bischoff, Non Executive Deputy Chairman
          Graham M. Wallace, Chief Executive
          Robert E. Lerwill, Executive Director Finance


AHMSA: CEO Expects Liquid Steel Output Up By 10% Next Year
Alonso Ancira, CEO of Mexican steelmaker AHMSA, is forecating a
10% increase in liquid steel output next year, reports Business
News Americas. However, the trend is merely in response to
expanding export demand, said Mr. Ancira. He noted that demand
from Nafta countries - Mexico, United States and Canada - has
picked up and that prices of some products such as wire rod and
rebars have gone up.

"Our technicians are working on igniting blast furnace number 3,
and restarting the long products area where AHMSA had halted
operations because of lower prices for rebars and wire rod, which
are now higher," Ancira said.

Originally, the Company had planned to restart the number 3
furnace in May next year, but now the aim is to have it working
early 2003. The furnace can produce 1,600t/d of pig iron.

AHMSA has four functioning blast furnaces, of which two, numbers
4 and 5, are used permanently while 2 and 3, with lower capacity,
are used as back-ups during maintenance periods or to boost

AHMSA, which stopped paying its US$1.85 billion debt more than
three years ago, recently submitted a restructuring proposal
offering banks a 40% stake in the Company to write off US$1.3
billion of the debt. The plan would reduce AHMSA's debt to US$500
million, as well as extend maturities to 15 years from 9 years.

            Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
            Monclova , Coahuila 25770
            Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
            Fax: +52 86 33 65 66
            Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres./CEO
            Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
            Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer

MAXCOM TELECOMUNICACIONES: Investor Update November 2002
Revenues of Maxcom Telecomunicaciones, S.A. de C.V. for the month
of November 2002 increased 3% to Ps$55.6 million, from Ps$54.1
million during October 2002. Voice revenues represented 90% of
total revenues, while data and wholesale revenues contributed to
total revenues with 3% and 7%, respectively.

EBITDA for the month of November 2002 was Ps$0.8 million, which
compared favorably to Ps$0.1 million during October 2002.

The number of lines in service at the end of November 2002
increased 4% to 123,677 lines, from 119,289 lines at the end of
October 2002. Residential lines at the end of November 2002 were
96,921, while 21,826 lines were business and 4,930 lines, or
4.0%, were wholesale.

Total customers grew 7% to 88,157 at the end of November 2002,
from 82,192 at the end of October 2002.

Additionally, as the economic outlook for 2003, both for emerging
economies as well as the telecom industry, continues to be
uncertain, Maxcom is pushing ahead with cost reduction measures
planned for next year. During the month of December 2002, the
Company will take a special charge of approximately Ps$22.0
million to reflect one-time restructuring costs.

Maxcom Telecomunicaciones, S.A. de C.V., headquartered in Mexico
City, Mexico, is a facilities-based telecommunications provider
using a "smart- build" approach to deliver last-mile connectivity
to micro, small and medium- sized businesses and residential
customers in the Mexican territory. Maxcom launched commercial
operations in May 1999 and is currently offering local, long
distance and data services in greater metropolitan Mexico City,
Puebla and Queretaro.

          Jose-Antonio Solbes (Mexico)

          Citigate Financial Intelligence
          Lucia Domville
          +1-212-419-4166, or



SIDOR: Ongoing National Strike Taking Its Toll
Venezuela's national strike, which is about to enter its third
week, has begun to affect the operations at the country's largest
integrated steelmaker Siderurgica del Orinoco, Business News
Americas indicates.

Sidor, Venezuela's biggest private sector exporter, had to
curtail operations after gas supplies dropped to 3 million cubic
feet a day, or 1.5% of the normal rate.

According to the Company, Sidor is gradually shutting down the
various plants at its steel making complex in the eastern city of
Ciudad Guayana.

"The problem arose yesterday [Sunday] when we were informed that
gas supplies from state oil and gas giant PDVSA would be reduced
to a trickle, making operations impossible," a company
spokesperson said.

PDVSA explained that the shortfall was due to "technical
problems" in the area, and said supplies would be restored

Under normal conditions PDVSA supplies Sidor with some 200
million cubic feet of gas a day.

But the spokesperson said that the Company's exports, shipped
along the Orinoco river to the Atlantic Ocean, have not been
significantly affected by the strike, although there have been
delays in the arrival of some vessels.

Sidor was privatized in 1990 when the Amazonia consortium - made
up of Mexico's Hylsamex, Argentina's Techint group (including its
Mexican unit Tamsa), Venezuela's Sivensa and Brazil's Usiminas -
acquired 70% of the company.

State heavy industry holding company CVG held on to 30% but its
stake is due to rise to 42% under a refinancing package announced
in August that involves capitalizing part of Sidor's debt.

          Edificio General, Piso 9
          Avda. La Estancia
          Chuao, Caracas 1060
          Tel: (582) 902 3800/3917/3955
          Fax: (582) 993 2930
          Home Page:


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 Oona G. Oyangoren, Editors.

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

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