TCRLA_Public/021223.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, December 23, 2002, Vol. 3, Issue 253

                           Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

AES: Keeping Argentine Businesses To Recoup Investments
REPSOL YPF: Presents Its First Social Report
TGS: Negotiaties 90-Day Extension For A $100M FRN
* Leaders, Lenders Urge IMF To Agree To Argentine Accord


B E R M U D A

ANNUITY AND LIFE: Caldwell & Associates Files Class Action Suit
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex Outside Director Pleads Guilty of Fraud


B R A Z I L

ACESITA: Sells BRL400 Mln In Debentures
CSN: To Expand In US Thru Acquisition of Hot-Rolling Mill
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Defers Payment of $85M
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Exchange Offer Falls Short Total OK
NET SERVICOS: Elects To Default On $6M In Interest Payments
NEXTEL: To Expand To Rio Next Year


C H I L E

AGF ALLIANZ: Unloading Cash-Strapped Life Insurance Unit
RADIO CHILE: Claxson Renegotiates Syndicated Debt


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

TRICOM: Hires Bear, Stearns For Exchange Offer, Constent Deal


J A M A I C A

S&P Revises Outlook on Jamaica to Negative


M E X I C O

DESC: Fitch Lowers Ratings to 'BB+', Credit Strength Disappoints
DESC: S&P Lowers Corporate Credit Rating to 'BB'
GRUPO TMM: Resates Net Profit For 3Q, Nine Months Ended Sep 30
GRUPO TMM: Closes Additional $35M Receivables Securitization
ROHN: Announces Majority Stockholder's Consent to Asset Sales
VITRO: Fitch Assigns 'BB' Ratings


P A R A G U A Y

* Lack of Budge Cuts Thwarts IMF Discussion


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Japanese Lenders Dubious About Extending Loans
PDVSA FINANCE: Fitch Maintains 'BBB' Despite Continued Turmoil
SIDOR: Resumes Production As Gas Supplies Returned To Normal


     - - - - - - - - - - - -


=================

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

AES: Keeping Argentine Businesses To Recoup Investments
-------------------------------------------------------
AES Corporation has decided to keep its Argentinian presence in
an effort to recover US$1 billion in investments made since 1993,
reports local financial daily El Cronista. The report added that
AES' Latin American assets would be handled by AES Andes. The
assets on which AES confirmed its position were the power plants
San Nicolas and AES Parana, the power distributors Edelap, Eden,
and Edes, which were estimated at US$376 million last year.

However, AES decision not to pull out from Argentina does not
prevent the Company from filing charges in the international
settlement court, Ciadi against the government of Argentina. The
case would be aimed at protecting AES' investments against sudden
changes in the prices policy in the country.

In other news, AES' plant in Salta province, TermoAndes had
received authorization to connect to the power transportation
network. As of the moment, TermoAndes is running 50 percent of
its capacity and is exporting power to Chile.

CONTACT:  AES CORP
          Investor Relations
          Kenneth R. Woodcock
          Tel: 703/522-1315
          Homepage: www.investing@aes.com

          AES ARGENTINA SECTION
          Talcahuano 141
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Tel./Fax +5411 4 375 0116
          E-mail: mailto:.argentina@aes.org
          Contacts:
          Maria Mercedes Onorato, Chairman
          Andres Mayo, Vice Chairman


REPSOL YPF: Presents Its First Social Report
--------------------------------------------
Alfonso Cortina, Chairman and CEO of Repsol YPF, presented
Thursday the first Social Report to be published by Repsol YPF,
in which are described the ethical framework to governance and
the activities undertaken in the company's relations with
employees and the society in general.

The presentation was attended by Justo Villafa e, Professor of
Audiovisual Communications and Advertising at the Complutense
University, and Felipe Oriol, President of the Fundaci>n Empresa
y Sociedad.

During his speech, Alfonso Cortina pointed out that this new
publication is in response to the company's commitment to
transparency, materialised in several publications and reports,
including the Annual and Environmental Reports, and other
undertakings.

The Chairman and CEO of Repsol YPF declared that business culture
is changing greatly and that, apart from generating profit,
"business may contribute to meeting social and environmental
goals, integrating social responsibility in corporate strategy,
management tools and activities."

The Repsol YPF Social Report is divided into a series of chapters
referring to social responsibility in issues such as human
capital, social activities, education, culture and sports, and
underlines the activities carried out by the Group Foundations,
which are important tools for managing resources allotted to many
of these areas.

It mentions the activities conducted by the Instituto Superior de
la Energ-a (Higher Energy Institute), through which grants are
awarded to the best postgraduate students from Spain, Latin
America and North Africa, and the organisation of the Formentor
Forum, and the Repsol YPF-Harvard Seminar.

Furthermore, this publication includes the Repsol YPF Mission and
Vision and Corporate Governance directives, for the company has
always been at the forefront in the fulfilment of good governance
practices.  The next steps to be taken are also outlined, so that
social activities may be aligned with the company's strategic
priorities, and there is a definition of lines of action in the
medium term in relation to dialogue with the stakeholders.

Regarding Human Capital, the new management model RYS XXI is
mentioned, explaining that this has been synonymous of a change
in corporate culture, placing the emphasis on customer service;
and there is an analysis of the Repsol YPF labour force, and
workers' professional development, specially focusing on
training, which has received an investment of 16.5 million
euros.  Repsol YPF human resources policy is guided by the
Principles of Excellence set out on the Quality Norms,
internationally known as EFQM and FUNDIBEQ.  This section also
describes the labour negotiations, health and retirement
coverage, in-house communications, and there is a whole chapter
on health and safety.

In relation to the company's social activities, new ventures are
identified as a starting point for the preparation of a
management system which guarantees the efficient use of human,
technical and financial resources.

To this end, Repsol YPF has for many years worked on several
projects for community relations, education, professional
training and employment, health and cooperation with employees.  
One of the most recent of these has been the Volunteer Programme
in Argentina, under which members of the company presented
numerous proposals on how to meet specific needs in their
particular areas of residence.

In Education, Culture and Sport, the Report lists several
projects of this nature in the company's area of influence.  
Repsol YPF sponsorship and support is given in fields such as
research, the plastic arts, music and the restoration of the
historical and artistic heritage.

In his conclusion when presenting this Social Report, Mr. Cortina
emphasised that, "Social responsibility is a priority value in
our culture and structure, integrated in the company's strategy,
for which the horizon is inspired on the principles of
sustainable development."


TGS: Negotiaties 90-Day Extension For A $100M FRN
-------------------------------------------------
Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. (TGS) announced Wednesday that
it had reached an agreement with its creditors related to its
US$100 million series 3 floating rate notes, originally due on
December 18, 2002, by which the maturity is extended until March
18, 2003, but the coupon is increased, thus compensating
creditors for the extended period. The company complied with the
US$1.4 million interest payment, also due on December 18. The
notes had been issued under the company's US$500 million Euro
Medium-Term Note Program.

ANALYSTS:  Luciano Gremone, Buenos Aires (54) 11-4891-2143
           Pablo Lutereau, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2125


* Leaders, Lenders Urge IMF To Agree To Argentine Accord
--------------------------------------------------------
Inter-American Development Bank president Enrique Iglesias and
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar are urging the
International Monetary Fund to come to a new loan accord with
Argentina.

According to a report from Bloomberg News, an IADB official who
asked to remain anonymous revealed that Iglesias flew to Buenos
Aires on Wednesday to help the two parties reach an agreement.

Aznar discussed IMF Managing Director Horst Koehler the
importance of granting aid to the cash-strapped country, said the
report, citing embassy spokesman Florentino Sotomayor.

According to the World Bank, the two parties would need to make a
"great push" in order for them to come to terms.

However, the IMF said on Thursday that no new aid to Argentina is
imminent. The lender had cut off Argentina's credit line after
the country defaulted on US$95 billion of debt last year.

Meanwhile, a team from the IMF is in Buenos Aired to continue
negotiations.

"I don't expect anything imminent at this point to announce," IMF
spokesman Thomas Dawson told reporters. "But it certainly is good
that we continue to discuss."

The country faced a severe economic slump, and unemployment rose
to a record 22 percent. The economy had shrunk by more than 13
percent since the country's default last December, according to
the report.

IADB and World Bank stakes had risen weeks in recent weeks after
Argentina defaulted on a total of US$1.8 billion of debt.

Meanwhile, Argentine officials have turned to the United States
and Europe for help with the IMF. Argentina seeks to roll over
the US$8billion it owes to Washington lenders.

Argentina's ambassador to the U.S. said that IMF officials lack
the political awareness to forge an accord with the country. In
the past, Argentine officials had complained about the lender's
tough tactics.



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

ANNUITY AND LIFE: Caldwell & Associates Files Class Action Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Caldwell & Associates LLC announced Thursday that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, District
of Connecticut against Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.
(NYSE: ANR) ("Annuity and Life" or "the Company"), and certain of
its Officers and Directors, on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of Annuity and Life during the period
from February 12, 2001 through November 19, 2002, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements and/or concealing material adverse facts
throughout the Class Period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of the Company's securities. Throughout the Class Period,
the Company reported strong revenue growth and stable projected
earnings. The Complaint alleges, however, that defendants 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 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 value 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, the
Company announced that it would be restating its financial
results for 2000, 2001 and the first and second quarters of 2002
due to the Company having improperly accounted for embedded
derivatives contained it its annuity reinsurance contracts during
those years. The Company's stock plummeted 44% upon this
revelation.

If you are a member of the class described above, you may move
the Court to serve as lead plaintiff no later than Monday,
February 3, 2003. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that
acts on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation. Any member of the purported class may move the Court
to serve as lead plaintiff through Caldwell & Associates LLC or
through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and
remain an absent class member. In order to be appointed lead
plaintiff, you must meet certain legal requirements.

If you have any questions concerning this notice or your rights,
or if you wish to discuss this action, please contact:

     Ann M. Caldwell
     CALDWELL & ASSOCIATES LLC
     159 Old Belmont Avenue
     Bala Cynwyd, PA
     19004
     Phone: (888) 255-5455 or (610) 668-8600
     E-mail: acaldwell@classactlaw.com


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex Outside Director Pleads Guilty of Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
A former outside director of Bermuda-based Tyco Internatinal Ltd.
entered a guilty plea on charges of committing fraud regarding a
company acquisition, reports Times of India. The report also
indicated that this is the first time an outside director has
been charged for malfeasance, said Manhattan District Attorney
Robert Mortgenthau.

Aside from his guilty plea, Frank E. Walsh, Jr. had agreed to pat
US$22.5 million in restitution and fines. Walsh had admitted to
having arranged a Tyco acquisition and not disclosing his
earnings of about US$20 million to fellow board members.

Walsh had also settled civil charges filed by the Securities and
Exchange Commission, which had effectively barred him from
serving as officer or director of a public company, ever,
according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In June last year, Walsh had paid a total of US$2.25 million to
the state of New York and New York City in lieu of fines. On top
of that, he paid the Manhattan District Attorney's office
US$250,000 to cover costs of his prosecution.

However, Walsh was released without prison time, in accordance
with a recommendation from the lead prosecutor in the Tyco
investigation, Assistant District Attorney John Moscow.

Walsh is the fourth person to be charged in connection with
Morganthau's investigation of Tyco. The others are former chief
executive Denis Kozlowski and ex-finance chief Mark Swartz, both
facing charges of enterprise corruption and grand larceny, while
Tyco's former legal counsel Mark Belnick was charged for
allegedly covering up illegal loans to himself.

CONTACT: TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD.
         Corporate Office
         The Zurich Centre, Second Floor
         90 Pitts Bay Road
         Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda
         Phone: 441-292-8674
         Home Page: http://www.tyco.com
         Contacts:
         Gary Holmes (Media)
         Tel +1-212-424-1314
                 or
         Kathy Manning (Investors)
         Tel +1-603-778-9700



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

ACESITA: Sells BRL400 Mln In Debentures
---------------------------------------
Brazilian stainless steelmaker Acesita successfully sold half of
the BRL800-million debenture issue in an offer scheduled to end
Friday [December 20], says Business News Americas.

The debentures - the Company's fifth issue of its type - were
made available December 9 and according to CFO Fabio Schettino,
the minimum 50% threshold was achieved December 13.

A total of 80,000 non-convertible debentures were put on sale at
BRL10,000 each and will be adjusted by the IGP-M (Indice Geral de
Precos - Mercado) inflation index with a four-year bullet
maturity, yielding a maximum spread of up to 12.0% annually.

"We decided on this mechanism to give investors more space,"
Schettino said, declining to give the names of the investors
concerned.

As a result of the issuance, 78% of the Company's debt will be
long term, according to the reports, and Acesita will have 180
days to issue more debentures. Fitch rated the issue BBB-.

The proceeds of the issue will be used to roll over upcoming
maturities, including BRL300 million in debentures and US$237
million in export and import financing.

At the end of September 2002, Acesita's total gross debt was
BRL2.8 billion while cash and marketable securities totaled BRL31
million. Approximately 58% or BRL1.6 billion of the total debt
was short-term debt.

Acesita, whose owners include Luxembourg-based steel group
Arcelor, is is Latin America's sole integrated producer of flat-
rolled stainless and silicon steels with an annual production
capacity of 850,000 tons of liquid steel. Depending on market
demand, Acesita has the flexibility to use its plant's entire
capacity for stainless steel production. With 800,000 tons of
stainless steel capacity, Acesita would rank among the top 10
flat stainless steel producers, representing approximately 4.7%
of world flat stainless steel production. Arcelor's total
stainless steel production capacity of about 2.6 million tons
represents approximately 15% of world stainless steel production.
In 2001, Acesita sold 704,000 tons of steel, of which 17% was
exported, primarily to Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

CONTACT:  Acesita SA
          Registered Office
          Av Joao Pinheiro, 580
          Centro
          30130-180 Belo Horizonte - MG
          Brazil
          Tel  +55 31 3235-4211
          Fax  +55 31 3235-4300
          Web  http://www.acesita.com.br
          Contacts:
          Valmir Marques Camilo, Chairman
          Bruno Le Forestier, Vice Chairman  


CSN: To Expand In US Thru Acquisition of Hot-Rolling Mill
---------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian flat steelmaker CSN is betting on the acquisition of a
hot-rolling mill to increase margins at its North American
operations and expand production at its current plant, a cold-
rolling mill in Terre Haute, Indiana, Business News Americas
indicates.

The Rio de Janeiro-based steelmaker has been bidding for hot-
rolling mills in the US but has not yet managed to snap one up.

"We do not have a specific budget to acquire a mill. The price we
would be willing to pay depends on factors including the type of
asset, age and location," said Elton de Campos Passaro,
administrative and finance director of the company's sole plant
in the United States, CSN-LLC.

"It would be better if we could buy an existing mill rather than
have to construct one from scratch, which would cost some
US$200mn," Passaro said.

Currently, the CSN must export slabs from its mill in Brazil to
be processed into hot bands (hot-rolled coils) at sub-contracted
plants in the US. Passaro said the idea would be for CSN to
export hot-bands directly to the US, but trade barriers prohibit
this option.

"The US imposes a minimum price on Brazilian hot-bands that makes
their entrance into the market impossible," he said.

About half of CSN-LLC's steel inputs (hot bands) derive from CSN
slabs that are rolled in the US with the other half purchased on
the local market.

"The goal is to use 100% of our slabs in production," Passaro
said.

If CSN had its own hot-rolling mill in the US, the steelmaker
could insure product control and supplies to its cold-rolling
mill. According to Passaro and Kevin Young, operations director
at CSN-LLC, the target would be a plant with installed capacity
of 2.7-3.2Mt.

Such capacity would be more than enough to satisfy the needs of
the cold-rolling mill and excess output not used at CSN-LLC could
be sold on the local market. With insured supply of its own hot-
bands, output at the Terre Haute plant could be expanded.

"CSN-LLC has room for another galvanizing line," Passaro said.

CONTACT:  Luciana Paulo Ferreira, CSN - Investor Relations
          Tel. 021 2586 1442
          luferreira@csn.com.br
          www.csn.com.br


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Defers Payment of $85M
-------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Thursday that the Brazil
National Bank for Economic Development (BNDES) had agreed to
defer until January 30, 2003 an $85 million payment due by an AES
subsidiary related to the acquisition of common shares of
Eletropaulo Metropolitana Electricidade de Sao Paulo S.A., the
electricity distribution company serving Sao Paulo, Brazil.

As previously announced, AES has been in discussions with BNDES
to reschedule payments due by its subsidiaries in respect of
Eletropaulo common and preferred shares. In connection with the
deferral, BNDES has proposed terms and conditions for that
rescheduling, which BNDES has stated must be accepted not later
than January 30, 2003 and fulfilled by April 15, 2003 in order to
avoid acceleration.

AES is reviewing the feasibility of the terms and conditions and
whether acceptance would be in the best interests of AES and its
subsidiaries. On similar terms and conditions, BNDES also agreed
to defer interest payments in respect of the Eletropaulo
preferred shares. There can be no assurance that an agreement
will be reached with respect to the rescheduling.

As previously reported, Eletropaulo is also in discussions with
its lenders to restructure its debt.

AES is a leading global power company comprised of contract
generation, competitive supply, large utilities and growth
distribution businesses.

The company's generating assets include interests in 176
facilities totaling over 60 gigawatts of capacity, in 33
countries. AES's electricity distribution network sells 108,000
gigawatt hours per year to over 16 million end-use customers.

CONTACT:  AES Corporation
          Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315
          investing@aes.com


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Exchange Offer Falls Short Total OK
--------------------------------------------------------------
Eletropaulo Metropolitana, which missed payments on US$100
million on a tranche of euro commercial papers that matured
December 4, made three exchange offers to extend the payment.

However, Wednesday's deadline saw only 81% of the euro paper
owners accepting the offers, all of which would pay about 15% of
the principal up front and reschedule the remaining 85% to be
paid back in 2003 and 2004. In a statement, the Company said that
within the next few days, it would begin making preliminary
payments and issuing new notes to those creditors, in line with
the exchange offer.

As for those holders of the debt that did not accept the three
existing proposals by the deadline, Eletropaulo is still
evaluating what it can offer to them.

"The company is evaluating the alternatives to resolve the
situation of the creditors of the commercial papers that did not
accept the exchange offer, and in the meantime, they will not be
receiving partial payment and the issue of new notes for the
exchange," Eletropaulo CFO Andrea Ruschmann said in the
statement.

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


NET SERVICOS: Elects To Default On $6M In Interest Payments
-----------------------------------------------------------
Debt-ridden Brazilian pay TV and broadband services provider Net
Servicos de Comunicacao opted to miss BRL23.5 million (US$6mn) in
interest payments maturing this month, reports Business News
Americas, citing local daily Agencia Estado. The notes were
issued in 1996 by cable TV operator Multicanal, before it was
taken over by Globo Cabo, now Net Servicos de Comunicacao.

Net Servicos recently had its ratings downgraded by both Standard
& Poor's and Moody's Investors Service due to mounting liquidity
crisis. As of September 2002, the Company has a total outstanding
debt of US$354 million. Early this month, Net Servicos announced
that it expects to present a new debt-restructuring proposal to
creditors during the second half of January 2003.

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

CONTACTS: Marcio Minoru Miyakava
          (5511) 5186-2811
          minoru@netservicos.com.br

          Lu Yuan Fang
          (5511) 5186-2637
          lfang@netservicos.com.br


NEXTEL: To Expand To Rio Next Year
----------------------------------
Nextel Brazil country manager Milton Longobardi said that his
company plans to start expanding coverage and network capacity in
Rio de Janeiro next month, reports local daily Agencia Estado,
adding that the dompany would probably invest another BRL10
million in the market next year.

The move is part of the plans of NII Holding's Brazilian arm to
fend off increasing competition from mobile operators. Nextel
Brazil's client base fell to 420,000 this year, down by 30,000.

Longobardi was quoted by Business News Americas saying, "Some
'rebels' left us, but they will return." He added that other
mobile operators cannot compete with Nextel's special services
like one-button dialing or dialing up multiple users.

According to Longobardi, the Company's mostly corporate clients
generate monthly ARPU of BRL90 reais, while the best ARPU among
mobile operators is BRL51 reais, at Sao Paulo-based BellSouth
(NYSE: BLS) subsidiary BCP.

Longobardi had declined to divulge the investment figures for the
Company's expansion in Rio.

CONTACT:  NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS INC
          Head Office
          2001 Edmund Halley Drive
          Reston
          VIRGINIA
          United States 20191
          Tel  +1 703 433-4000
          Fax  +1 703 433-4343
          Web  http://www.nextel.com/
          Contacts:
          William E. Conway Jr., Chairman
          Timothy M. Donahue, President and CEO   
          Morgan E. O'Brien, Vice Chairman   

          NII HOLDINGS, INC.
          10700 Parkridge Blvd., Ste. 600
          Reston, VA 20191    
          Phone: 703-390-5100
          Fax: 703-390-5149
          Homepage: http://www.nextelinternational.com



=========
C H I L E
=========

AGF ALLIANZ: Unloading Cash-Strapped Life Insurance Unit
---------------------------------------------------------
AGF Allianz Chile is considering divesting its money-losing life
insurance unit but is awaiting a final decision from its
employees. The employees were due to make a decision Friday [Dec.
20].

The company wants to get rid of AGF Allianz Vida, which has
accumulated losses over the last few years, and is looking at
Bice Vida as the most likely buyer given the two firms' 1993-1999
affiliation.

For this year, AGF Allianz is expected to post an operating loss
of CLP3.3 billion owing to poor returns on its annuity business,
which concentrates 97% of AGF Allianz Vida's life insurance
portfolio.

This year, the German parent fired the Chilean subsidiary's
senior executives except the sales director, who eventually left
the Company. The dismissals were rumored to be as punishment for
AGF Allianz Chile's poor financial results.

The company's general insurance business, AFG Allianz Generales,
is also making losses. At the end of the third quarter, the unit
recorded losses of CLP702 million but even so, AFG Allianz is
keeping the unit.


RADIO CHILE: Claxson Renegotiates Syndicated Debt
-------------------------------------------------
Claxson Interactive Group Inc. ("Claxson" or the "Company")
announced Thursday it has completed negotiations with a syndicate
of Chilean banks under its Chilean syndicated credit facility
("Syndicated Credit Facility.") As of this date, the long-term
portion of this debt will no longer be classified as short-term
debt on Claxson's balance sheet.

On October 26, 2000, Iberoamerican Radio Holdings Uno Chile S.A.
("Radio Chile"), a Claxson subsidiary, obtained the Syndicated
Credit Facility for a total amount of US$35.0 million,
denominated in Chilean Pesos, of which US$18.2 million was
outstanding as of September 30, 2002. As of the first quarter of
2002, Radio Chile was not in compliance with certain financial
ratios required under the Syndicated Credit Facility, primarily
due to the decrease in the value of the Chilean Peso against the
U.S. Dollar in 2001.

The amended terms for the Syndicated Credit Facility include (i)
modification of financial covenant ratios, (ii) extension of the
term of the loan by one year to mature on May 5th 2006 and, as a
result, a reduction of the quarterly amortization, (iii) increase
in the interest rate by 25 basis points to the Tasa Activa
Bancaria ("TAB" -- the local Prime Rate) plus 2.75%. In addition,
Claxson will be required to maintain a US$1.5 million deposit in
a Chilean bank, and Chilevision, Claxson's broadcast television
operation in Chile, will guarantee the Syndicated Credit
Facility.

"This negotiation is one more step in meeting our commitment to
improve Claxson's financial position. Back in early November, we
completed the exchange offer and consent solicitation related to
Imagen Satelital's Senior Notes, and today [Thursday] we regained
compliance and negotiated new terms for our Chilean debt," said
Jose Antonio Ituarte, Chief Financial Officer, Claxson. "These
steps are certainly in the right direction and we could have not
achieved them without the support Radio Chile had from its bank
syndicate."

About Claxson

Claxson Interactive Group Inc. is a multimedia company providing
branded entertainment content targeted to Spanish and Portuguese
speakers around the world. Claxson has a portfolio of popular
entertainment brands that are distributed over multiple platforms
through its assets in pay television, broadcast television, radio
and the Internet. Claxson was formed on September 21, 2001 in a
merger transaction, which combined El Sitio, Inc. and other media
assets contributed by funds affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate &
Furst Inc. and members of the Cisneros Group of Companies.
Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Miami Beach,
Florida, Claxson has a presence in all key Ibero-American
countries, including without limitation, Argentina, Mexico,
Chile, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

CONTACT:  CLAXSON INTERACTIVE GROUP INC.
          Media - Alfredo Richard, SVP, Communications
          +1-305-894-3588

          Investors - Jose Antonio Ituarte, CFO
          +5411-4339-3700



===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

TRICOM: Hires Bear, Stearns For Exchange Offer, Constent Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
TRICOM (NYSE: TDR), a regional integrated telecommunications
provider in the U.S., Caribbean and Central America, announced
Thursday that it has appointed Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to act as
dealer manager for the proposed exchange offer and consent
solicitation with respect to the $200 million aggregate
outstanding principal amount of its 11-3/8% Senior Notes due
2004. A registration statement relating to the exchange offer and
consent solicitation has been filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, but has not yet become effective.

Questions regarding the exchange offer can be directed to Bear,
Stearns & Co. Inc., at (877) 696-BEAR (2327) toll free in the
United States or internationally at (212) 272-5112.

This press release is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of
an offer to buy any of the securities to be issued in the
exchange offer described above. The company expects to commence
the exchange offer promptly after the registration statement is
declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About TRICOM

TRICOM, S.A. is a regional integrated telecommunications provider
in the U.S., Caribbean and Central America. In the Dominican
Republic we offer local, long distance, cable television
entertainment, mobile telephony, as well as broadband data
transmission services. Through TRICOM USA, we own switching
facilities in New York, Miami and Puerto Rico, providing us with
end-to-end connectivity, and are one of the few Latin American
long distance carriers that have a United States licensed
subsidiary. Through TCN Dominicana, we are the largest cable
television operator in the Dominican Republic based on our number
of subscribers and homes passed. TRICOM is deploying the first
integrated digital wireless communication network based on
iDEN(R) technology across Central America. For more information
about TRICOM, please visit http://www.tricom.net

CONTACT:  TRICOM, S.A.
          Miguel Guerrero of Tricom Investor Relations
          +1-809-476-4044
          +1-809-476-4012
          investor.relations@tricom.net
          URL: http://www.tricom.net



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

S&P Revises Outlook on Jamaica to Negative
------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Service said Thursday that it has
lowered the outlook assigned to Jamaica's 'BB-' long-term local
and 'B+' long-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings to
negative from stable. Standard & Poor's also affirmed Jamaica's
'B' short-term local and foreign currency sovereign credit
ratings.

The negative outlooks reflect the deterioration of Jamaica's
financial position for fiscal year (FY) 2002 (ending March 31,
2003) and the government's continued fiscal inflexibility, which
will make trimming the deficit and lowering the high debt levels
difficult going forward.

"Jamaica's projected fiscal deficit is about 8% of GDP for
FY2002, which greatly exceeds the 4.5% budgeted deficit," said
Sovereign Analyst Jane Eddy. "This slippage occurred during a
parliamentary election year, when the government eased its
traditional tight fiscal control, but also stemmed from some
external shocks, such as a drop in revenue due to a fall in
tourism receipts and to unforeseen expenditure associated with
several episodes of flooding," she added.

Ms. Eddy explained that, as a result, the general government's
heavy debt burden will climb to an estimated 139% of GDP for
FY2002, reversing the recent gradual downward trend. "Legislation
adopted by the Parliament this month, which includes some tax and
fee hikes as well as expenditure cuts, could, combined with an
expected mild economic recovery, allow for a modest fiscal
adjustment going forward," she noted. "However, these measures
may prove insufficient to lower the government's significant debt
level over the medium term, thus tilting the risks to the rating
to the downside," Ms. Eddy concluded.

ANALYSTS:  Jane Eddy, New York (1) 212-438-7996
           Richard Francis, New York (1)-212-438-7348



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

DESC: Fitch Lowers Ratings to 'BB+', Credit Strength Disappoints
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded its senior unsecured foreign and
local currency ratings of Desc S.A. de C.V. (Desc) to 'BB+' from
'BBB-'. Fitch has also downgraded Desc's national scale ratings
to 'AA-'(mex) from 'AA'(mex). The ratings remain on Negative
Outlook.

The prolonged delay in the recovery of the U.S. and Mexican
economies has impaired the improvement of Desc's credit
protection measures, which are weak for the prior rating
category. Although Desc has made important efforts to repay debt
and reduce costs, Total Debt to EBITDA has deteriorated to 3.9x
at September 30, 2002 from 3.5x for the year ended December 31,
2001. For the nine months ended September 30, 2002, the ratio of
EBITDA to Interest Expense reached 3.3x compared to 2.8x for the
prior comparable period, as a result of the refinancing in 2002
of short term debt at lower interest costs.

Desc's operating environment remains extremely challenging, with
the revenue base under continued global demand pressure. For the
first nine months of 2002, total sales declined by 10% from the
first nine months of 2001 and EBITDA also declined by 10%.
Automobile production in the U.S. remains weak. The closure in
August 2002 of the DaimlerChrysler plant in Mexico City
represented approximately US$130 million of annual loss contracts
for Desc that would only be partially compensated by new
contracts from Dana Corp. The chemical business is also affected
by weak demand, volatile fuel prices, lower worldwide capacity
utilization rates, and inability to transfer higher raw material
costs to sale prices. Low capacity utilization rates have also
hurt profit margins at the automotive parts and chemical
business, which together account for approximately 80% of total
revenues and 87% of EBITDA at Desc.

The ratings are supported by Desc's diversified revenue stream,
strong business position in the autoparts and chemical sectors,
joint ventures and strategic alliances with international
industry leaders and the generation of a majority of revenues in
U.S. dollars or U.S. dollar-indexed terms.

Desc is a diversified holding company and one of Mexico's largest
industrial conglomerates, with operations in the automotive
parts, chemical, food and real state businesses.

CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings
          Giovanna Caccialanza, 212/908-0898, New York
          Guido A. Chamorro, 312/368-5473, Chicago
          Victor Villarreal, 528-18-335-7239, Monterrey, Mexico
          Media Relations:
          James Jockle, 212/908-0547, New York


DESC: S&P Lowers Corporate Credit Rating to 'BB'
------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday it lowered its
local and foreign currency corporate credit ratings on Desc S.A.
de C.V. to 'BB' from 'BBB-'. Desc is a Mexico-based diversified
holding company whose subsidiaries operate in the autoparts,
chemical, food, and real estate sectors.

At the same time, the local and foreign currency corporate credit
ratings of its subsidiary Unik S.A. de C.V., were lowered to 'BB'
from 'BBB' and BBB-, respectively. The rating on Dine S.A. de
C.V.'s 8.75% notes due in 2007, which are now a direct obligation
of Desc, was lowered to 'B+' from 'BB+' and reflects the
structural subordination of the issue. All ratings were placed on
CreditWatch with negative implications.

"The downgrade and CreditWatch placement follow Desc's
announcement that it will post an operating loss during the
fourth quarter as the company's autoparts business has suffered a
significant fall in sales during the period," stated Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Jose Coballasi.

The rating actions also reflect the challenges faced by Desc to
recover the revenues and profitability lost in recent quarters
given the general weakness in its core businesses, particularly
autoparts. The company's performance during the year reflects the
impact of lower sales in the Mexican replacement market and the
loss of market share experienced by the Big Three auto original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Additionally, the company's
chemical, real estate and food business segments remain
negatively affected by low demand and consequently low prices.
The ratings on Unik have been equalized with those assigned to
Desc given the consolidation of administrative and cash
management functions at the parent company.

Standard & Poor's estimates that Desc's liquidity is sufficient
to meet its operating and capital expenditure needs over the next
six months. The company has around $75 million in debt maturities
and its interest expenses should be about $40 million during the
aforementioned period. As of the third quarter, the company held
around $167 million in cash, and had about $226 million available
under uncommitted lines of credit.
Nevertheless, continued weakness at the operating level could
reduce the company's financial flexibility.

The CreditWatch listing will be resolved upon an evaluation of
Desc's operating performance and a review of its plans to bolster
its financial flexibility.

ANALYSTS:  Jose Coballasi, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2014
           Manuel Guerena, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2011


GRUPO TMM: Resates Net Profit For 3Q, Nine Months Ended Sep 30
--------------------------------------------------------------
Restatement Has No Effect On Grupo TMM's Cash Flow or Liquidity

In light of the potential additional judicial processes created
by the upper chamber of the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and
Administrative Justice's (the "Fiscal Court's") December 6, 2002,
decision, which may extend the timing of the value added tax
("VAT") recovery, and in accordance with International Accounting
Standards (IAS), Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE: TMM and BMV: TMM A) has
restated the company's unaudited, interim financial statements
for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2002,
reversing the previously recorded receivable from the government
related to the VAT refund.

As previously reported, on September 25, 2002, the Mexican
Magistrates Court of the First District (the "Federal Court")
issued its judgment in favor of TFM on a VAT claim, which has
been pending in the Mexican courts since 1997. The claim arose
out of the Mexican Treasury's delivery of a VAT certificate to a
Mexican governmental agency, rather than to TFM.

By a unanimous decision, the Federal Court vacated a prior
judgment of the Fiscal Court and remanded the case to the Fiscal
Court with specific instructions to enter a new decision
consistent with the guidance provided by the Federal Court's
ruling. The Federal Court's ruling requires the fiscal
authorities to issue the VAT credit certificate only in the name
of the beneficiary (TFM in this case). On December 6, 2002, the
upper chamber of the Fiscal Court voted in the same manner as its
earlier ruling against TFM.

TFM has not yet been served with the written decision of the
Fiscal Court and therefore, has based its analysis on the oral
decision of the Fiscal Court announced on December 6, 2002. The
Fiscal Court's new decision may be challenged by either of the
parties if such party believes that the new ruling does not
comply with the order of the Federal Court. TFM intends to
challenge the ruling of the Fiscal Court through all appropriate
legal means and remains confident that it will prevail.

The face value of the VAT certificate at issue is approximately
2,111 million pesos ($206 million based on exchange rates in
effect at September 30, 2002), and any recovery will reflect
adjustments for inflation and accruals of interest at statutory
rates since 1997, in accordance with the legal codes applicable
from time to time since that date.

Based upon the September 25, 2002, decision of the Federal Court,
which in the opinion from TFM's legal counsel is a judged matter,
Grupo TFM's unaudited, interim financial statements for the
quarter ended September 30, 2002, reflected a $534.4 million
after tax gain related to the VAT refund, and recorded a net
account receivable of $822 million.

In light of the potential additional judicial processes created
by the Fiscal Court's December 6, 2002, decision, which may
extend the timing of the recovery, and in accordance with
International Accounting Standards (IAS), Grupo TMM has
determined to restate its unaudited, interim financial statements
for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2002,
to reverse the previously recorded receivable from the government
related to the VAT refund. TFM will continue to evaluate future
developments in this case to determine when it would be
appropriate to recognize the VAT refund.

The effect of the restatement is to reduce Grupo TMM's net profit
for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2002,
from a net profit of $167.4 million and $175.7 million,
respectively, to a net loss of $42.1 million and $33.7 million,
respectively. Earnings per share for the periods were restated
from $2.94 and $3.08 dollars per share, respectively, to ($0.74)
and ($0.59) dollar per share, respectively. The restatement has
no effect on TMM's cash flow or liquidity position.

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM is Latin America's
largest multimodal transportation company. Through its branch
offices and network of subsidiary companies, Grupo TMM provides a
dynamic combination of ocean and land transportation services.
Grupo TMM also has a significant interest in TFM, which operates
Mexico's Northeast railway and carries over 40 percent of the
country's rail cargo. Visit Grupo TMM's web site at
www.grupotmm.com and TFM's web site at www.tfm.com.mx. Both sites
offer Spanish/English language options.

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

CONTACT:  Grupo TMM
          Jacinto Marina, 011-525-55-629-8790
          jacinto.marina@tmm.com.mx

          Brad Skinner (IR), 011-525-55-629-8725
          brad.skinner@tmm.com.mx

          Luis Calvillo (MR), 011-525-55-629-8758
          luis.calvillo@tmm.com.mx

          Dresner Corporate Services
          Kristine Walczak (MR, IR), 312/726-3600
          kwalczak@dresnerco.com


GRUPO TMM: Closes Additional $35M Receivables Securitization
------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE: TMM)), the largest Latin American multi-
modal transportation and logistics company and owner of the
controlling interest in Mexico's busiest railway, TFM, announced
the closing of an additional $35 million under its receivables
securitization program and expects the transaction to be funded
early next week. The net balance under the facility now amounts
to $78.8 million. The proceeds from the funding will be primarily
used by the Company to repay outstanding Euro Commercial Paper.

Additionally, consistent with its announcement on August 29,
2002, Grupo TMM intends to offer to exchange new debt securities
for all of the outstanding 9 1/2 percent Senior Notes due 2003
and 10 1/4 percent Senior Notes due 2006. The company expects to
commence the offers as soon as practical after the registration
statement is declared effective and it has obtained the necessary
authorizations.

THE FOREGOING DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL SECURITIES OR
THE SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY SECURITIES.


ROHN: Announces Majority Stockholder's Consent to Asset Sales
-------------------------------------------------------------
ROHN Industries (Nasdaq: ROHN), a provider of infrastructure
equipment for the telecommunications industry, announced Thursday
that its majority stockholder, the UNR Asbestos-Disease Claims
Trust, has executed a written consent to the previously announced
sale of substantially all of the Company's assets to an affiliate
of Platinum Equity LLC, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm.
The Trust's consent is subject to the satisfaction of various
conditions, including the execution of documentation providing
for the payment to ROHN's stockholders of an aggregate of $3.5
million, or approximately 8 cents per share, of the proceeds from
the sale of assets to Platinum Equity and the tax refund the
Company expects to receive as a result of the transaction.
Although the Company expects that this condition, as well as the
other conditions to the Trust's consent, will be satisfied, there
can be no assurance that the transaction will be consummated.
Even if the transaction is consummated, there can be no assurance
as to the total amount and timing of any payments to the
Company's stockholders. There are ongoing discussions among the
Company, the Trust and the Company's bank lenders regarding these
matters.

ROHN also announced Thursday that it has entered into an
amendment to its bank credit facility. Under this amendment, the
bank lenders have increased the availability under the revolving
portion of the credit facility from $18 million to $21 million
for the period from December 17, 2002 through December 31, 2002.
In addition, the bank lenders have agreed to permit $750,000 of
the proceeds from the expected sale of the Company's facilities
located in Casa Grande, Arizona to be used to repay outstanding
revolving loans rather than term loans, which will have the
effect of preserving that amount of availability under the
revolving portion of the credit facility. The bank lenders have
also agreed to defer until December 31, 2002 a $1.5 million
principal payment that would have been due on December 1, 2002.

ROHN Industries, Inc. is a manufacturer and installer of
telecommunications infrastructure equipment for the wireless
industry. Its products are used in cellular, PCS, radio and
television broadcast markets. The company's products and services
include towers, design and construction, poles and antennae
mounts. ROHN has ongoing manufacturing locations in Peoria,
Illinois and Frankfort, Indiana along with a sales office in
Mexico City, Mexico.

CONTACT:  ROHN INDUSTRIES, INC.
          Al Dix, Chief Financial Officer
          +1-309-633-6809
          al--dix@rohnnet.com


VITRO: Fitch Assigns 'BB' Ratings
---------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned senior unsecured foreign currency and
local currency ratings of 'BB' to Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (Vitro).
The Outlook for both ratings is Stable. Fitch Ratings has also
affirmed Vitro's national scale rating at 'AA-(mex)'.

Vitro's ratings reflect its strong business position as the
leading producer of glass in Mexico. The company's glass business
is well diversified between flat glass (47% of total revenues for
the first nine months of 2002), glass containers (42%), and
glassware (11%). The company exports glass products to more than
70 countries, which generates approximately 26% of revenues. In
addition, Vitro has foreign subsidiaries located in the U.S.,
Spain, Central America and Bolivia that represent approximately
27% of consolidated revenues. Vitro generates approximately 75%
of revenues in either U.S. dollars or U.S. dollar-indexed terms,
which provide a natural hedge to its dollar-denominated debt.

Vitro's debt levels are high, but are gradually improving. Since
2001, Vitro has renewed its focus on its core glass businesses,
i.e. flat glass, glass containers and glassware, and has begun to
divest non-strategic assets and use cash proceeds to repay debt.
Year to date, the company has reduced debt by approximately
US$210 million, primarily from the sale of its 51% stake in
Vitromatic, a home appliances manufacturer, and of its 51% stake
in Ampolletas, S.A., a manufacturer of tubing glass packaging for
the pharmaceutical industry. Total net sales proceeds were
US$161.7 million. The investments were sold to Vitro's respective
partners in each joint venture. Vitro has indicated that it
intends to sell its aluminum cans and plastic containers
businesses and use proceeds to repay debt.

Vitro's liquidity and debt maturity profile have recently
improved. In May, 2002, the company was able to meet a US$175
million bullet maturity and subsequently accessed the local bond
market with a US$36 million peso-equivalent bond issue due 2008
to refinance short-term debt. Vitro continues to seek to
refinance short-term debt to lengthen the maturity profile and
reduce the average cost of debt. Vitro has also lowered its
dividend payout and reduced capital expenditures from historical
annual levels to support debt repayment goals with cash
preservation measures. At September 30, 2002 Vitro had
approximately $132 million in cash and marketable securities and
total debt was $1.37 billion, of which 72% was dollar-denominated
and 36% was classified as short-term.

Vitro's profitability has been under pressure since 2001 due to
weak demand from domestic and U.S. construction and automotive
sectors, pricing pressures from OEMs, a strong local currency,
and increased competition from Asian imports of glassware and
flat glass. These pressures have been partially offset by cost-
cutting measures, corporate downsizing and debt reduction, which
have helped sustain credit protection measures despite lower
EBITDA generation. For the nine-month period ended September 30,
2002, the ratio of EBITDA to interest expense improved to 2.9x
from 2.5x for the comparable period in 2001 and the ratio of Net
Debt to EBITDA also improved to 3.0x from 3.2x for the comparable
period in 2001. The near-term outlook remains challenging, due to
economic weakness in the U.S. and Mexico. However, in the medium
to longer term, Vitro is well positioned for growth opportunities
in both the domestic and foreign markets because of its
competitive advantages in the production of glass, its leading
market position in Mexico, and its manufacturing and distribution
assets abroad.

Vitro is the leading producer of flat glass, glass containers and
glassware in Mexico. The company is an exporter of glass products
to more than 70 countries for the construction, automotive,
beverage, retail and service industries. In 2001, Vitro had sales
of US$3.0 billion, EBITDA of US$513 million, exports of US$801
million and foreign sales by subsidiaries of US$619 million.
Vitro is headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico.

CONTACT: Giovanna Caccialanza 1-212-908-0898, New York, Guido
Chamorro 1-312-368-5473, Chicago, or Victor Villarreal 52-818-
335-7239, Monterrey, Mexico.

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



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

* Lack of Budge Cuts Thwarts IMF Discussion
-------------------------------------------
Paraguay had shelved negotiations with the International Monetary
Fund after its legislature failed to make the required budget
cuts.

A report from Bloomberg News said that the country was seeking a
loan of over US$200 million from the lender to help revive its
economy. Economy Minister Alcides Gimenez halted the
negotiations, but palns to review the attempt next month,
according to Marcial Bobadilla, charge d'affairs at the
Paraguayan Embassy in Washington.

The country also failed to meet other requirements from the IMF
including a streamlining of the banking industry and reductions
in this year's budget deficit.

Last month, Economy Minister James Spalding and central bank
governor Raul Vera resigned, after failing attain the congress'
approval to approve the IMF's demands. Gimenez then succeeded
Spalding.

The local currency, the guarani, had lost 52 percent of its value
against the dollar this year, largely due to Argentina's default
on US$95 million of debt last year, said the report.

Paraguay president Luiz Gonzales Macchi, facing five charges of
corruption, was impeached by a unanimous vote from congress last
December 5.

The report indicated that lawmakers allege that Macchi diverted
to a bank account in Miami US$16 million collected by the central
bank from the sale of two insolvent banks.

Presidential elections will be on April, and a new presidential
term begins in August.

Paraguay is among the South American countries whose economic
growth is stunted by political strife, like Venezuela and
Argentina. Efforts to aid recovery are futile despite leaders'
attempts to secure capital from private and international
lenders.

Because of this, the IMF had projected that Latin America's
regional economy will contract this year, for the first time in
two decades.

According to the IMF, the country's economy shrank by 4.5 percent
this year largely due to the economic slump in neighboring
Argentina and Brazil. The lender added that Paraguay's economy
may further shrink by 1 percent next year.

Meanwhile, the IMF continues to offer advice on management to the
Paraguayan government, when asked, said Jeffery Franks, head of
the IMF mission to Paraguay.

``The IMF is learning that unhealthy politics make it very hard
for some Latin American countries to implement the terms of IMF
aid,'' said Peter Hakim, president of Inter-American Dialogue, a
Washington research organization.



=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================

PDVSA: Japanese Lenders Dubious About Extending Loans
-----------------------------------------------------
Japanese lenders are beginning to show signs of apprehension
regarding extending loan assistance to Petroleos de Venezuela due
to the uncertainty ongoing national strike and because of
management changes at the state oil company, sector sources
indicated to Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional. According to the
sources, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and
another Japanese bank decided to freeze a package of US$6 billion
financing for PDVSA.

The loans were for the Anaco, east-west interconnection, the ICO
east-west interconnection, the WCC cryogenic project and Monagas
nitrogen injection gas projects. PDVSA has earmarked US$2.9
billion for Anaco, US$430 million for ICO, and US$700 million for
the WCC cryogenic project. Investment in the nitrogen injection
project in Monagas state is estimated at US$2 billion. These
projects were scheduled for preliminary signing by year-end, with
first disbursements due in 2003.


PDVSA FINANCE: Fitch Maintains 'BBB' Despite Continued Turmoil
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch does not perceive the current disruptions in oil exports
caused by the general strike in Venezuela to significantly
increase the risks to PDVSA Finance. Therefore, Fitch maintains
its 'BBB' rating on the company's $3.5 billion oil export future
flow securitization. The securitization's resiliency to the
current crisis is based on its historically strong debt service
coverage levels and the belief that the interruption to oil
exports is unlikely to last for an extended period of time.

While Fitch believes a prolonged strike might trigger a0 breach
in PDVSA Finance's financial covenants, Fitch believes the
transaction benefits from adequate amounts of liquidity to
sufficiently protect investors during this stressed period. The
transaction benefits from export receipts already collected in
the collection account sufficient to make the debt service
payment in February 2003, a three-month debt service reserve
account which can be used for an additional debt service payment,
and excess collections which have historically exceeded 12 times.
While a lag in collections will occur, Fitch estimates once
exports resume, the excess coverage levels will contribute to
additional collections to meet debt service payments. Fitch views
the various potential outcomes to the crisis - including a
resignation by President Chavez coupled with new elections, or a
militarization of oil related assets coupled with an increased
potential for civil unrest - as scenarios for which the
securitization is relatively well protected. Each of the likely
scenarios contemplates the resumption of production and export of
oil, in which case the legal structure of the securitization
should allow for payments on debt service to continue
unencumbered.

Given the importance of oil exports to Venezuela, Fitch expects
at least partial resolution to the general strike to occur in a
relatively short period. Approximately $50 million in export
revenue is lost per day as a result of the strike, and Venezuela
relies on oil exports for about 50% of its total revenue.

The greatest challenge to the short-term credit profile of the
securitization is not the direct effect of production
interruptions. The concern is the indirect consequence of
deterioration in the government's ability and willingness to meet
its own obligations. A prolonged strike could lead to a downgrade
of the sovereign ratings. A downgrade in the sovereign rating
would imply a less stable legal and political environment and
consequently increased potential for attempts by the sovereign to
interfere with the securitization. This in turn could result in a
downgrade to the securitization.

CONTACT: Gregory Kabance 1-312-368-2052, Chicago or Alejandro
Bertuol 1-212-908-0543, New York.
Media Relations: James Jockle 1-212-908-0547, New York.


SIDOR: Resumes Production As Gas Supplies Returned To Normal
------------------------------------------------------------
Gas supplies to Venezuelan steelmaker Siderurgica del Orinoco
have resumed normal levels, or some 200 million cubic feet a day,
reports Business News Americas. While restoration of the gas
supply will allow some production to resume, the Ciudad Guyana
plant won't be able to operate at capacity as it requires some
300 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.

Sidor, as the Company is known, was forced to curtail operations
after state oil company PDVSA cut supplies to just 3 million
cubic feet last Monday, or 1.5% of the normal level, because of
the country's general strike. The protest, which is now on its
third week, is aimed at toppling the leader of the oil-rich
nation, President Hugo Chavez.

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.

CONTACT:  SIDERURGICA DEL ORINOCO, C.A. (SIDOR)
          Edificio General, Piso 9
          Avda. La Estancia
          Chuao, Caracas 1060
          Venezuela
          Tel: (582) 902 3800/3917/3955
          Fax: (582) 993 2930
          Home Page: www.sidor.com.ve/




               ***********


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.

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


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