TCRLA_Public/030129.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, January 29, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 20

                           Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

APSA: Standard & Poor's Rates ARS85 Billion Bond `raCCC+'
ARGENTINE UTILITIES: Rates Decree To Be Signed This Week
CABLEVISION: Corporate Bonds Rated `raD' by Standard & Poor's
COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: S&P Argentina Rates Bonds `raD'
COMPANIA DE INVERSIONES: Bonds Get `raD' from S&P

DISCO S.A.: Fitch Argentina Rates Corporate Bonds `BBB(arg)'
ECIPSA: Financial Trust Rated `D'
ECIPSA: Financial Trust Rated `C'
EUROMAYOR: Evaluadora Rates Corporate Bonds `C'


B E R M U D A

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Board Unwilling To Relocate To US


B R A Z I L

AES CORP.: Charges Off $2.7B Based On Electricity Market Changes
LIGHT SERVICOS: Parent Sending Execs To Brazil To Resolve Woes


C H I L E

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: To Shortlist Potential Buyers This Week
TELEFONICA CTC: Back In The Red Due To 4Q02 Restructuring Costs


C O L O M B I A

PAZ DEL RIO: University Submitting Productivity Report This Week


J A M A I C A

BOJ: Reports Improved Results On Foreign Exchange Gains
JUTC: To Decide On Workers' Fate Wednesday


M E X I C O

GRUPO MEXICO: Striking Workers Stand Firm Despite New Offers
PEMEX: Seeks Greater Efficiency Through Job Cuts


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Minister Defends 1995 Privatization
BWIA: Denies Reaching Agreement With Union


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: To Restart El Palito Refinery This Week


   - - - - - - - - - - -

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

APSA: Standard & Poor's Rates ARS85 Billion Bond `raCCC+'
---------------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds of Alto Palermo S.A. were rated `raCCC+' by the
Argentine division of international ratings agency, Standard &
Poor's, according to the country's National Securities
Commission. The rating, issued last Thursday, covers the
financial period ending on Sept 30 last year. According to
definitions given at S&P's website, an obligation rated 'raCCC'
is currently vulnerable to non-payment. The rating is also
dependent upon favorable business and financial conditions for
the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

The bonds, described by the ratings agency as "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples no convertibles en acciones ", are due in
April 2005, and are worth a total of ARS85 million.

The Company, audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is involved in
developing, administering and locating productive commercial
centers and residential complexes. The Financial Times said APSA
functions as a developer of bound/join residential complexes at
the commercial centers they operate or develop.

CONTACT:  Alto Palermo S.A. (APSA)
          476 Hipolito Yrigoyen
          Buenos Aires
          ARGENTINA
          Phone: +54 11 4344 4600
          Home Page: http://www.altopalermo.com.ar
          Contacts:
          Eduardo Sergio Elsztain, Chairman
          Aaron Gabriel Juejati, Vice Chairman
          Marcos Marcelo Mindlin, Vice Chairman


ARGENTINE UTILITIES: Rates Decree To Be Signed This Week
--------------------------------------------------------
President Eduardo Duhalde, whose government is struggling to get
a loan package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is
expected to sign a decree this week that will allow a 9% and 7.2%
increase in electricity and gas rates respectively, reports La
Nacion.

The decree, which has already been signed by Argentine economy
minister Roberto Lavagna, is one of the conditions the IMF has
set as a part of its approval on a loan package for Argentina.
However, the decree is likely, once again, to meet opposition
from consumer groups, and a national administrative court could
block the decree a third time.

La Nacion recalls that the court suspended previous emergency
rates increases in early December, after ruling in October and
November that public meetings on rates increases violated the
constitution.

The government is trying to get around the problem this time by
circumventing clause 25.561 of the constitution, which forbids
emergency rates increases without the formal renegotiation of
contracts with private companies.

On January 24, the government published a decree paving the way
for rates increases even while the process of renegotiating
contracts is not complete, by allowing for "revisions or
adjustments of rates of those contracts that are necessary to
guarantee users continuity, security and quality of service."

This decree is designed to act as a "legal umbrella" which will
enable the government to increase rates not only for gas and
electricity, but also for other public utilities with private
contracts still in the process of renegotiation, says La Nacion.

But, Ariel Caplan, a spokesperson for a consumer group opposed to
the rates increases, called the decree "illegal and
unconstitutional" because no law can be modified to suit the
whims of the government.


CABLEVISION: Corporate Bonds Rated `raD' by Standard & Poor's
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine affiliate of Standard & Poor's International
Ratings, Ltd. gave a rating of `raD' to US$1.5 billion of
corporate bonds of Cablevision S.A. last Thursday, Argentina's
National Securities Commission reported.

The rating reflects the Company's financial position as of
September 30, 2002. The bond described as "obligaciones
negociables simples" did not indicate a maturity date.

S&P gives a rating of 'raD' when an obligation is in payment
default, or the obligor has filed for bankruptcy. The 'raD'
rating is used when interest or principal payments are not made
on the date due, even if the applicable grace period has not
expired, unless Standard & Poor's believes that such payments
will be made during such grace period.

In September last year, the Company hired Merill Lynch & Co. to
assist it in restructuring debt.

Cablevision, owned by U.S. buyout fund Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst
Inc. and VLG Acquisition Corp., posted a ARS2.99 billion (US$839
million) for the first three quarters of last year. The sharp
decline in the local currency resulted to an increase in the
Company's debt, which was at ARS2.97billion as of September 30,
2002.

CONTACT:  Cablevision Systems Corp
          Head Office
          1111 Stewart Avenue
          Bethpage
          NEW YORK
          United States
          11714
          Tel  +1 516 803-2300
          Fax  +1 516 803-2273
          Web site:  http://www.cablevision.com
          Contacts:
          Charles F. Dolan, Chairman
          William J. Bell, Vice Chairman
          James L. Dolan, President & Chief Executive
          Robert S. Lemle, Vice Chairman & Secretary

          MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC.
          World Financial Center,
          North Tower, 250 Vesey St.
          New York, NY 10281
          Phone: 212-449-1000
          Toll Free: 800-637-7455
          Home Page: http://www.merrilllynch.com
          Contact:
          David H. Komansky, Chairman and CEO
          E. Stanley O'Neal, President, COO, and Director
          Thomas H. Patrick, EVP and CFO


COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: S&P Argentina Rates Bonds `raD'
------------------------------------------------------
A posting in Argentina's National Securities Commission indicated
that corporate bonds of Compania de Alimentos Fargo were assigned
an `raD' rating by the Argentine branch of ratings agency
Standard & Poor's. the rating reflects the Company's financial
position as of the end of September 2002.

The rating, given last Monday, affects US$120 million worth of
bonds. A rating of `raD' is given when interest or principal
payments are not made on the date due, even if the applicable
grace period has not expired, according to the definitions given
in S&P's web site.

The rating agency described the bonds as "Obligaciones
negociables Simples". The said bonds will expire in June 2008.


COMPANIA DE INVERSIONES: Bonds Get `raD' from S&P
-------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds worth US$220 million issued by Compania de
Inversiones de Energia S.A. received a rating of `raD' from the
Argentine branch of Standard & Poor's International Ratings,
Ltd., according to Argentina's National Securities Commission of
the said country.

The rating, given last Monday, means an obligation is in payment
default, or the obligor has filed for bankruptcy, according to
S&P's rating standards. The 'raD' rating is used when interest or
principal payments are not made on the date due, even if the
applicable grace period has not expired. The rating reflects the
Company's financial status as of September 30, 2002.

The bonds, due on April 22 last year, were described by the
rating agency as "obligaciones negociables autorizadas por AGE de
fecha 13.12.96."


DISCO S.A.: Fitch Argentina Rates Corporate Bonds `BBB(arg)'
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. rated corporate bonds
of supermarket chain Disco S.A. `BBB(arg)', according to the
National Securities Commission of Argentina. The rating was given
on January 15, and affects US$350 million worth of bonds called
"Obligaciones Negociables."

A rating of 'BBB(arg)' denotes an adequate credit risk relative
to other issuers or issues in Argentina. However, according to
the definitions given by Fitch, changes in circumstances or
economic conditions are more likely to affect the capacity for
timely repayment of these financial commitments than for
financial commitments denoted by a higher rated category.

Disco S.A. has more than 235 stores in Argentina. According to
the company's profile posted in Hoover's Disco is owned by
supermarket giant Royal Ahold following the termination of its
joint venture -- Disco-Ahold International Holdings (DAIH) --
with Velox Retail Holdings.

Disco's supermarket chains include DISCO, Super Vea, Americanos,
and Ekonos (a chain of ten food stores acquired from Distribuci˘n
y Servicio D&S). The company also operates convenience stores
under the Mini Sol name and makes private-label products (Bell's
and Vea), said Hoover's.

CONTACT:  DISCO S.A.
          Larrea 847, Piso 1
          1117 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-4964-8000
          Fax: +54-11-4964-8076
          Web site: http://www.disco.com.ar


ECIPSA: Financial Trust Rated `D'
---------------------------------
Local ratings agency Evaluadora Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora
de Riesgo gave a rating of `D' to a Ecipsa MS 1 Fideicomiso
Financiero's US$1.05 million worth of financial trust last
Monday. Argentina's National Securities Commission classified the
trust as a "participation certificate", with a description of
"Certificados de Participacion Clase B, subordinados."

Concurrently, the rating agency issued the same `D' rating to
US$0.615 million of Ecipsa's financial trust coming due in
November 2011. This trust has the same description as the one
mentioned above.


ECIPSA: Financial Trust Rated `C'
---------------------------------
Ecipsa MS 1 Fideicomiso Financiero's financial trust worth US$4.2
million dollars, described as "Certificados de Participacion
Clase A, de renta", was given a rating of `C' by Evaluadora
Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora de Riesgo. The rating, posted
in the official website of Argentina's National Securities
Commission, was issued last Monday.

The same rating was issued to US$3.5 million of "Certificados de
Participacion Clase A, de renta" coming due in November 2011.
The posting did not indicate the reasons for the ratings.


EUROMAYOR: Evaluadora Rates Corporate Bonds `C'
-----------------------------------------------
About US$7.5 million of corporate bonds issued by Euromayor S.A.
de Inversiones was rated `C' by rating agency Evaluadora
Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora de Riesgo.

The bonds, according to the information on Argentina's National
Securities Commission, is described as "obligaciones de
negociables simples serie 2."

The rating was given last Tuesday and was based on the Company's
financial status as of the end of October 2002. No further
details accompanied the posting.



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

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Board Unwilling To Relocate To US
-----------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of the legally embattled Tyco International are to
consider at their next annual meeting, due to be held in Bermuda
in March, whether to vote to move the Company to the United
States from Bermuda, the Financial Times reveals.

Tyco, which has its main operating headquarters in New Hampshire,
moved to Bermuda when it merged with Bermuda-registered security
firm ADT. The US Government saw the move as part of an effort to
avoid tax and regulatory obligations.

Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco's former chief executive along with former
chief financial officer Mark Swartz are accused of looting more
than $170 million from the group. The scandal has increased
pressure on Tyco's new management and directors to reconsider the
Bermuda registration.

"Incorporation in Bermuda makes it more difficult for
shareholders to hold companies, their officers and directors
legally accountable in the event of wrongdoing," the pension plan
for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees wrote in support of its resolution.

Tyco's board, although it still has not evaluated whether a move
would be worthwhile, has recommended that shareholders vote
against the motion.

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
===========

AES CORP.: Charges Off $2.7B Based On Electricity Market Changes
----------------------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Monday that it will
recognize charges associated with asset and goodwill impairments
during the fourth quarter of 2002 aggregating $2.7 billion, or
($4.96) per share primarily related to its investments in
operating businesses in the UK and Brazil as well as projects
under construction in the US that will be sold or terminated.

Paul Hanrahan, CEO, stated, "These charges reflect the impacts of
changes in electricity markets and economic conditions in the UK
and US, and weak currency and economic conditions in Brazil
during 2002. These non-cash charges will not impact AES's parent
company liquidity position or violate any covenants in our
corporate financing agreements, or those of AES's other operating
subsidiaries. Following on from the successful completion of
AES's corporate refinancing last month, we continue to move
forward in our efforts to strengthen our balance sheet and
improve the performance of our businesses around the world."

United Kingdom

The financial distress of certain TXU Europe companies during the
fourth quarter of 2002, which has resulted in the issuance of an
administration order for TXU Europe Energy Trading and TXU Europe
Group plc, led to the termination of the long-term electricity
sales hedging arrangement at AES Drax (a 4,000 MW coal-fired
plant), and a tolling agreement at AES Barry (a 230 MW gas-fired
combined cycle plant), both in the UK.

As a result of these terminations, the Company will incur an
asset impairment charge for these two facilities in the amount of
$1.0 billion after income taxes.

Brazil

In conjunction with the Company's annual goodwill impairment
review and as a result of the unfavorable economic and regulatory
environment in Brazil, AES will also incur goodwill and other
asset impairment charges, after income taxes, related to its
investment in Eletropaulo (an electric distribution company in
Sao Paulo) of approximately $706 million, and an impairment
charge of $587 million to reflect the write-down to fair value of
the Company's equity method investment and a related deferred tax
asset in Cemig (an integrated utility in Minas Gerais).

Other

As part of AES's efforts to strengthen its balance sheet by
restructuring certain businesses, reducing discretionary capital
spending, and selling or terminating the construction or
operations of several businesses, the Company announced
additional charges, primarily in the US.

The most significant of these are related to Mountainview, a
1,182 MW gas-fired business in California and Lake Worth, a 205
MW gas-fired plant under construction in Florida. These actions
result in estimated losses on sale and termination totaling $398
million after income taxes.

2002 Parent Operating Cash Flow and Earnings

AES announced that Parent Operating Cash Flow ("POCF", as
previously defined in AES's Exchange Act reports) for 2002 was
$1.095 billion for the year ended December 31, 2002.

Additionally, the Company expects to report income from recurring
operations for 2002 of approximately $0.78, reflecting the fourth
quarter impacts of the loss of the TXU contracts at two
businesses in the UK and continued slower recovery of electricity
demand to pre-rationing levels in Brazil.

Income from recurring operations excludes asset and goodwill
impairments and losses from discontinued operations ($6.06), the
cumulative effect of losses from accounting changes ($0.65),
South America foreign currency transaction losses ($0.66) and
marked to market gains from FAS No. 133 of $0.08.

As a result, the Company currently expects to report a fully
diluted loss per share of approximately ($6.51) for 2002. AES
also announced that it will hold a conference call on February
13, 2003 at 9:00 am (eastern) to discuss its plans and
expectations for 2003 as well as to present complete financial
results for 2002.

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
          URL: www.aes.com
          Email: investing@aes.com


LIGHT SERVICOS: Parent Sending Execs To Brazil To Resolve Woes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Francois Roussely, the chief executive of Electricite de France,
said that the French utility would send an official to Brazil in
mid-February to discuss with the Brazilian government solutions
for the troubles of its local unit in the country, reports Dow
Jones.

Light continues to report huge losses. In the third quarter
alone, Light had a net loss of BRL358.9 million, compared with a
loss of BRL322.6 million in the same period in 2001. The unit's
operational result was a loss of BRL371.2 million, from a loss of
BRL601.2 million in the third quarter of 2001.

At the time, analysts said Light's electricity consumption data
came in 15% lower than expected and 10% lower than figures
registered in the second quarter of 2002.  Moreover, Light is
facing a threat of a strike by workers who oppose the unit's
planned layoffs.

The unions want a clause saying the unit could not layoff more
than 2% of its workforce per annum to remain this year. But Light
is seeking to be allowed to layoff up to 8% of its workers,
roughly 350 employees. The unit also has a program encouraging
retirement.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, Roussely said he was confident Light would forge a
good relationship with the new government. He also said EDF and
Light are concerned about the problems in Brazil's electricity
sectors but that the companies have a social responsibility in
its concession area.

After hearing a speech by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva at the Forum, Roussely said, "We are ready to discuss all
issues but we remain committed to contributing to the goals that
President Lula presented here. We are very confident in the Lula
administration and in Brazil," Roussely said.

CONTACT:  LIGHT SERVICOS DE ELETRICIDADE S.A.
          Avenida Marechal Floriano, 168
          20080-002 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
          Phone: +55-21-2211-2794
          Fax:   +55-21-2211-2993
          Home Page: http://www.lightrio.com.br
          Contact:
          Bo Gosta Kallstrand, Chairman
          Michel Gaillard, President and CEO
          Joel Nicolas, Executive Director, Operation
          Paulo Roberto Ribeiro Pinto, Executive Director,
                                 Investor Relations and CFO



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

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: To Shortlist Potential Buyers This Week
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chilean electricity holding company Enersis SA and its unit
Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA issued a joint release Monday
saying they have received 13 nonbinding bids for the two units
they want to sell as part of a major debt-reduction plan, relates
Down Jones.

The companies didn't disclose the names of the interested
parties, but according to them, these include domestic and
foreign power companies and investment holdings, as well as
institutional investors.

As previously stated, the Companies hope to complete the
shortlist by the end of this week. Once the final shortlist has
been completed, the potential buyers will undertake a detailed
due-diligence analysis during the coming weeks.

"The objective of both companies is to conclude the entire
process by the end of next March," the release said.

The two units being sold are Rio Maipo, in which Enersis owns
98.74%, and Canutillar, which is 100%-owned by Endesa Chile.

Enersis, a unit of Spanish utility Endesa SA, is looking to cut
its debt by some US$2.6 billion in the coming year, while Endesa
Chile expects to raise US$600 million to US$700 million to cut
debt.

CONTACT:  ENERSIS
          Investor Relations:
          Ricardo Alvial
          Chief Investments & Risks Officer of Enersis
          Email: ram@e.enersis.cl
          Phone: (562) 353-4682
          Contacts:
          Susana Rey, srm@e.enersis.cl
          Ximena Rivas, mxra@e.enersis.cl
          Pablo Lanyi-Grunfeldt, pll@e.enersis.cl


TELEFONICA CTC: Back In The Red Due To 4Q02 Restructuring Costs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Telefonica CTC Chile, the country's biggest telephone company, is
showing negative signs again as restructuring charges in the
fourth-quarter of 2002 and the sale of its stake in Terra Lycos
take their toll on earnings.

According to an end of year financial statement sent to the local
securities regulator, the Company, a unit of Spain's Telefonica
SA, posted a CLP17.7-billion (US$24mn) net loss for 2002,
compared to the previous year's CLP4.2-billion profit,

The country's incumbent telco blamed the loss on a CLP15.2-
billion restructuring charge in the fourth-quarter of 2002 that
led to the termination of around 1,100 workers, and a CLP7.57-
billion hit from the decline in the value of its stake in
international ISP and content provider Terra Lycos.

CTC sold its residential Internet business to Terra Lycos, a
fellow member of the Telefonica Group, in 1999.

Revenue from local telephone service, which accounts for 47% of
overall sales, fell 1.2% to CLP99.2 billion from CLP100.4
billion. Long-distance revenue also dropped, while mobile phone
sales and revenue from corporate telephone services increased in
the fourth quarter, the company said.

In terms of overall operating performance, Ebitda was relatively
flat at CLP397 billion for 2002, from CLP392 billion in 2001,
with its Ebitda margin climbing to 45.4% from 43.1%.

Barbara Angerstein, an analyst at brokerage Celfin SA, said the
former state-run monopoly may have a profit this year, though it
will be smaller than its CLP178 billion of losses since 1999.

CONTACT:  TELEFONICA CTC
          Avenida Providencia 111, Piso 2
          Santiago, Chile
          Phone: +56-2-691-2020
          Fax: +56-2-691-2392
          Homepage: http://www.ctc.cl
          Contacts:
          Mr. Bruno Philippi, President
          Mr. Jacinto D­az, Vice President
          Gisela Escobar, Head of Investor Relations



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

PAZ DEL RIO: University Submitting Productivity Report This Week
----------------------------------------------------------------
Colombian steelmaker Acerias Paz del Rio awaits a Technical
report from a Colombian university this week that will help it
decide on an industrial reconversion plan, which is aimed at
cutting costs by an estimated US$32/t and doubling output to
500,000t/y within seven years.

Citing Paz del Rio president Edgar Plazas, Business News Americas
reports that three companies - a group from Antioquia department
and two US investors - have expressed interest in financing the
plan.

"Once we have the final study from the National University of
Colombia, we will begin with the task of seeing which one is best
for us," said.

The university was called in to produce the report after
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe suggested that academics lend a
hand, "something that gave us greater confidence that what we're
doing is clear, precise and transparent," Plazas said.

Previously, a Paz del Rio director said that if new machinery
were used for the reconversion project, it would require US$44.7
million in total.

There are three options being considered to pay the investors.

One would be for the investor to provide all the money in the
form of a loan, on which principal payments would not start for
two years when the project would partly come on stream. Interest
payments would start in the first year.

Second would be for the investor to put up the cash and be paid
in the form of part of the additional production.

Under the third option, the investor would decide what equipment
to install, would install it and own it for seven years, while
Paz del Rio would pay using some of the extra production. After
seven years, when the equipment is paid for, the machinery would
be transferred to the steel company.

CONTACT:  ACERIAS PAZ DEL RIO S.A.
          Carrera 8 # 13-31, Pisos 7 al 11
          Bogota, D.C.
          Phone: (091) 282-8111
          Fax: (091) 282-6268 282-3480
          E-mail: apdr@multi.net.co


EMCALI: Restructuring Failed; Liquidation Ordered
-------------------------------------------------
After efforts to rescue Cali-based utility Emcali proved to be
futile, the government ordered public services regulator
Superservicios to liquidate the Company. The government believes
that Emcali, the water, power and telecom utility for the Valle
del Cauca department in the country's southwest, is no longer
viable after chalking up cash flow deficit of COP560 billion
(US$188 million).

In October, the government attempted to rescue Emcali, drafting a
rescue plan that included a possible capitalization of the
Company. National planning director Santiago Montenegro at that
time said that the government was willing to inject COL700
billion (some US$246 million) it has secured from international
banks to help the Company deal with its debts. The official also
warned then that the rescue plan would only be feasible if the
other parties concerned - such as users, the municipality and
unions - do their part.

URL: http://www.emcali.com.co/



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

BOJ: Reports Improved Results On Foreign Exchange Gains
-------------------------------------------------------
Foreign exchange gains helped Bank of Jamaica to improve its
balance sheet. Citing a spokesman from the Central Bank, Radio
Jamaica.com reports that BoJ realized a $1.1-billion profit
during the first two weeks of this month.

The report notes that BoJ's foreign assets have increased during
the recent movements in the value of the Jamaican dollar to its
US counterpart.

The BoJ spokesman expects the Central Bank to gradually lessen
its losses in the short-term. The Bank has implemented a program
that should eliminate losses by 2006, but according to the
spokesman, the Central Bank is ahead of that target.

As at January 8, the Bank of Jamaica's total assets amounted to
$149 billion.

To see financial statements: http://bankrupt.com/misc/BoJ.xls

CONTACT:  Nethersole Place
          PO Box 621
          Kingston
          Jamaica, West Indies
          Tel: (876) 922-0750
          Fax: (876) 922-0854
          Cable: 'RESERVE' KINGSTON
          Telex: 2165/2167/2173
          Email: info@boj.org.jm


JUTC: To Decide On Workers' Fate Wednesday
------------------------------------------
Technically insolvent Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) was
due to announce its final decision Wednesday when to implement a
plan to layoff nearly 300 employees, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.

The implementation was originally expected to take place mid-
January, but the Company decided to delay the action to
accommodate demands from the unions for discussions on the
matter.

The unions are requesting that the workers will just be made
redundant. They are concern that if these workers will be laid
off, they will not be paid any money at the time of departure.
But the Company, apparently restrained by its cash flow problems,
is sticking out for lay-offs.

Under the law, if the workers are laid off, they will receive no
money from the Company since there is no pension scheme at JUTC
and they are not entitled to notice pay without redundancy. Their
only course would be to wait out 120 days, after which they can
apply to the company for redundancy payment.

The law, however, gives the management the right to lay off the
workers for 120 days without the unions' agreement, after which
the workers can apply for redundancy.

The state-owned bus company was declared technically insolvent in
a review done by KPMG Peat Marwick, the management consulting
firm, in July 2002.



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

GRUPO MEXICO: Striking Workers Stand Firm Despite New Offers
------------------------------------------------------------
A strike by workers at Grupo Mexico SA's Cananea mine entered its
second week Monday after the local branch of the National Mine
and Metalworkers Union refused to accept the Company's latest
offer on production bonuses.

In its annual assembly held on Saturday, the union decided to
reject the term of three months set by Grupo Mexico to pay the
productivity bonus of 32.58% of salaries to workers.

In a statement, the firm said the workers expressed their "total
lack of confidence" in Grupo Mexico to fulfill its commitments,
which include the payment of a 5.25% salary hike and the
productivity bonus.

Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, secretary general of the union, made a
written request for Labor Secretary Carlos Abascal Carranza to
intercede in the conflict to force the Company to pay the 5% for
the operating price for the purchase-sale of Minera de Cananea,
which has been pending since 1990.

The request calls on the government to intervene in the mining
company, handing it over to another company or the workers
themselves in order to prevent its closure.

The union is also demanding the payment of 50% of salaries during
the strike called over violations of the firm's collective
contract and contractual revision for August 2001-August 2003.

The strike, which began Jan. 20, is affecting 1,150 unionized
workers, and 500 non-unionized workers at Cananea, located in
northwestern Sonora state about 60 miles from the Arizona border.

Grupo Mexico, which has had to renegotiate its debt after being
hit in recent years by low world copper prices, threatened to
close Cananea down in mid-2002 during a strike, but that dispute
was settled with a 5.75% increase in wages and benefits.

CONTACT:  GRUPO MEXICO S.A. DE C.V.
          Avenida Baja California 200,
          Colonia Roma Sur
          06760 M,xico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5264-7775
          Fax: +52-55-5264-7769
          Home Page: http://www.gmexico.com
          Contacts:
          Germ n Larrea Mota-Velasco, Chairman and CEO
          Xavier Garca de Quevedo Topete, President and COO
          Alfredo Casar P,rez, COO, Ferrocarril Mexicano
          Daniel Ch vez Carre n, COO, Industrial Minera M,xico
          Daniel Tellechea Salido, VP and Administration and
                                      Finance  President


PEMEX: Seeks Greater Efficiency Through Job Cuts
------------------------------------------------
Mexico's state oil company Pemex, after recording US$3.5 billion
in losses last year due to corruption and inefficiency, cut 3,700
jobs between December 2000 and December 2002 through dismissals
or retirement, Business News Americas reports, citing the
country's union of appointed oil sector workers. The union said
that majority of those who were dismissed were appointed rather
than hired in competitive selection processes. Pemex defends the
cuts saying they lead to greater efficiency.

Pemex General Director Raul Munoz Leos earlier warned that the
state-controlled oil company must embark on a major restructuring
and seek tens of billions of dollars in investment in order to
stave off an impending collapse.

CONTACT:  PETROLEOS MEXICANOS
          Marina Nacional 329, Colonia Huasteca
          11311 M,xico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5531-6061
          Fax: +52-55-5531-6321
          http://www.pemex.com
          OFFICERS:
             Raul Munoz Leos, General Director
             Jose A. Ceballos Soberanis, Director Corporate
                                         Operations
             Jose Juan Suarez Coppel, Director Corporate Finance



=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================

BWIA: Minister Defends 1995 Privatization
-----------------------------------------
Contrary to one trade union's contention, the 1995 privatization
of cash-strapped BWIA has been a "resounding success," says Trade
and Industry Minister Kenneth Valley. In a report released by the
Trinidad Guardian, the minister said that in the last seven
years, "Government has not had to put in over $100 million a
year" as it once had to when BWIA was a state enterprise.

The State owns 33.5% of BWIA which now has a share value of about
$2.25 a share. BWIA must begin saving US$1.4 million a month by
Thursday if it is to receive US$13.5 million loan from the State.

Prior to its privatization, BWIA received several State loans.
Only in 1998, after 58 years of losses, did BWIA turn a profit
but within the last two years it has lost millions of dollars.

Those losses were attributed to the aftermath of the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and the US
Federal Aviation Administration downgrade of T&T to Category Two
status.

But Aviation and Communications Allied Workers Union president
general Christopher Abraham, in an earlier report released by the
Trinidad Guardian, blamed those losses to the privatization. He
is now calling for full State control of the airline to be
restored.

The government can better run BWIA, said Abraham. He said it is
high time for the government to regain full control of the
airline, which he regards as "too important a national
development to leave in the hands of the private sector."

Shareholders, he claimed, share the union's view.

CONTACT:  BRITISH WEST INDIES AIRWAYS
          Phone: + 868 627 2942
          E-mail: mailto:mail@bwee.com
          Home Page: http://www.bwee.com/
          Contacts:
          Conrad Aleong, President and CEO (Trinidad)
          Beatrix Carrington, VP Marketing and Sales (Barbados)
          Paul Schutz, CFO (Trinidad)


BWIA: Denies Reaching Agreement With Union
------------------------------------------
Financially battered BWIA denied that a labor concession
agreement has been signed between its executives and trade union,
says the Trinidad Guardian. The airline issued a statement
following a declaration by the Trinidad and Tobago Pilots
Association on Thursday that BWIA management has agreed to its
original October 31, 2002 labor concession proposal.

TALPA, in a statement, said its concessions would include "new
parameters for crew meals, computation of vacation and overtime,
reduced pay for being called out on offdays and a postponement of
an earlier agreement to pay a productivity increase."

But BWIA corporate communications director Clint Williams called
TALPA's announcement misleading. "We have a draft MOU but we
don't have a final agreement to any concessions with any union,"
Williams said.



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

PDVSA: To Restart El Palito Refinery This Week
----------------------------------------------
Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela will restart
this week the El Palito refinery, which has production capacity
of about 130,000 barrels/day of leaded and unleaded gasoline,
reports Bloomberg.

But according to refinery chief Roberto Capriles, El Palito will
produce only about 40,000 barrels a day during its initial
operations.

PDVSA is counting on El Palito to help produce gasoline that has
been in short supply, leading to long lines outside service
stations, since crude output was curtailed by a nationwide strike
against President Hugo Chavez that began Dec. 2.

El Palito will also take delivery of 440,000 barrels of gasoline
and heating oil from the tanker Four Brig, coming from the U.S.,
refinery officials said.



               ***********


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 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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