TCRLA_Public/030130.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

           Thursday, January 30, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 21

                           Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINE BANKS: Deposit Freeze May Be Totally Lifted By May
CLISA: Launches Bond Swap to Restructure Debts
COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: Fitch Assigns `D(arg)' To $120M In Bonds
EDENOR: Fitch Rates $600M Corporate Bonds `D(arg)'
GAS ARGENTINO: Corporate Bonds Rated `D(arg)' by Fitch Argentina

INTERANDES: Fitch Rates $50M Corporate Bonds `BBB(arg)'
IRSA: Corporate Bonds Assigned `B(arg)' Rating by Fitch
METROGAS: Fitch Rates `D(arg)' on $600M Of Corporate Bonds
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Corporate Bonds Rated `D(arg)' by Fitch
TERMOANDES: $250M of Bonds Rated `BBB(arg)-' by Fitch

TGN: S&P Cuts CRIBs Financial Trust I Risk-Insured Bonds Rating
* World Bank Approves $600M Loan for Lower Income Families


B E R M U D A

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Dow Corning To Acquire Electronics Division


B R A Z I L

AES CORP.: Fitch Rates Secured Debt 'BB'; Affirms Ratings
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: AES Transgas Defers Equity Payment
LIGHT: Ratings Lowered to'CCC+'; Off Watch
LIGHT: Outlines New Three-Year Crisis Plan


C H I L E

COEUR D'ALENE: Reports Additional $25M Reduction in Debt
ENERSIS: Rio Maipo Sale To Generate $300M


M E X I C O

GMM: To Complete Debt Restructuring By March 2003


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Cost Cutting Effort Leads to 600 LayOffs
CARONI LTD.: Restarts Usine Grinding Operations


V E N E Z U E L A

DVSA: To Slash Costs By 51% To Compensate For Losses


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

ARGENTINE BANKS: Deposit Freeze May Be Totally Lifted By May
------------------------------------------------------------
The halt on transfers of time deposits in Argentina is likely to
be completely lifted by May, before the President Eduardo Duhalde
leaves office. The country's economy minister Roberto Lavagna
announced the forecast in an interview with a local radio on
Saturday.

Business News Americas recalls that the government of former
President Fernando de la Rua froze all deposits in December 2001
to halt a massive run on banks. Subsequent governments have
gradually loosened the freeze on demand deposits, but there are
still ARS14 bilion (US$4.3bn) worth of time deposits trapped in
banks.

Analysts and bankers in Buenos Aires deem Lavagna's declaration
as political. On the other hand, they also believe it is feasible
considering that the liquidity situation of the country's banks
has improved in the last 12 months.

Duhalde and Lavagna are very concerned about "leaving a legacy"
of ending the highly unpopular deposit freeze and saving the
economy, an executive from one of Argentina's largest banks said.
Presidential elections are expected in April and Duhalde will not
run for a second term.


CLISA: Launches Bond Swap to Restructure Debts
----------------------------------------------
Argentine construction and transportation company Compania
Latinoamericana de Infraestructura & Servicios SA offered to
exchange new bonds for those it defaulted on last month, reports
Bloomberg. In a statement to the Buenos Aires bourse, CLISA SA,
as the Company is known, offered to exchange US$100 million of 11
5/8% bonds that mature in 2004 for new 6% bonds that mature in
2012. The exchange offer is open until Feb. 25.

"A high percentage of investors will accept the new bonds, but
there is significant loss in value," said Marta Castelli, an
analyst at Standard & Poor's in Buenos Aires.

The privately held company, which is majority-owned by Argentine
holding company Benito Roggio, is one of few issuers seeking to
resume payments in the wake of the country's US$95-billion debt
default and a devaluation that caused the economy to contract
about 12% last year, its largest drop in a century.

As of September 2002, the Company's total debt was US$147
million, including the US$100 million notes. About 18% of total
debt matures before September 2003.

CONTACT:  CLISA
          Adalberto Campana
          +1-54-11-4959-6857

FINANCIAAL ADVISOR:

          BANC OF AMERICA SECURITIES LLC
          Jonah Hirsch
          +1-888-292-0070 or,
          +1-704-388-4807 from outside the US


COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: Fitch Assigns `D(arg)' To $120M In Bonds
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned last
Thursday a `D(arg)' on Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A.'s
corporate bonds worth US$120 million, according to a posting on
Argentina's National Securities Commission.

Based on the definitions given in Fitch's web site, a rating of
`D(arg)', is given to financial obligations currently in default.
The rating reflects the Company's position as of the end of
September last year.

The bonds, due in July 2008, are classified under `Simple Issue',
and described in the posting as "Obligaciones negociables
Simples."

The reasons for the rating were not indicated in the posting.


EDENOR: Fitch Rates $600M Corporate Bonds `D(arg)'
--------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a `D(arg)'
rating to US$600 million worth of corporate bonds issued by
Argentine electric distributor, Edenor S.A., last Thursday.

According to the official website of the National Securities
Commission of Argentina, the bonds were called "obligaciones
negociables." The rating was based on the Company's financial
status as of September 30, 2002.

The rating "D(arg)' is given to financial commitments that are in
default.

Edenor has been suffering from low energy rates, which have been
frozen at their January 2002 levels, despite the significant
devaluation of the Argentine real against the US dollar.

Edenor is an electricity distribution company serving the
northwestern half of the greater Buenos Aires area and the
northern portion of the Federal Capital -- within the city of
Buenos Aires -- under the exclusive 95-year concession granted by
the Argentine government. EASA, Edenor's controlling shareholder
(51%), is a holding company controlled by EDF International
(100%).

CONTACT:  EDENOR S.A.
          Azopardo Building
          Azopardo 1025 (1107) Capital Federal
          Phone: (54-11) 4346-5000
          Fax: (54-11) 4346-5300
          E-mai: to ofitel@edenor.com.ar
          Home Page: http://www.edenor.com.ar


GAS ARGENTINO: Corporate Bonds Rated `D(arg)' by Fitch Argentina
----------------------------------------------------------------
A posting in the official web site of the National Securities
Commission of Argentina indicated that Fitch Argentina
Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. rated Gas Argentina's corporate bonds
`D(arg)' last Thursday.

The bonds were worth US$130 million and described as
"Obligaciones negociables simples por U$S 130.000.000." The said
bonds were classified under `simple issue' and were due on June
7, 2000.

The rating of `D(arg)' reflects that the Company defaulted on the
obligation. The rating agency issued the rating based on the
Company's performance as of September 30, 2002.


INTERANDES: Fitch Rates $50M Corporate Bonds `BBB(arg)'
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A., the Argentine
division of Fitch, Inc., issued a `BBB(arg)-' to US$50 million
worth of corporate bonds of Interandes S.A., said the National
Securities Commission of Argentina. The rating reflects the
Company's financial position as of September 30, 2002.

The commission described the bonds as "obligaciones negociables",
but did not indicate the maturity date.

The `BBB(arg)-' rating denotes an adequate credit risk relative
to other issuers or issues in Argentina. But 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, said Fitch. The `-' sign denotes a negative
implication.


IRSA: Corporate Bonds Assigned `B(arg)' Rating by Fitch
-------------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds of Argentine real estate company IRSA Inversiones
y Representaciones S.A. were rated `B(arg)-' by the local
affiliate of Fitch Ratings agency, Fitch Argentina Calificadora
de Riesgo S.A. last Thursday.

A posting on the web site of the National Securities Commission
of Argentina showed that the bonds were worth US$250 million, and
described as "Programa Global de Obligaciones Negociables."

The rating was based on the Company's financial position as of
September 30, 2002.

According to definitions given by Fitch, the rating denotes a
significantly weak credit risk relative to other issuers or
issues in Argentina Financial commitments are currently being met
but a limited margin of safety remains and capacity for continued
timely payments is contingent upon a sustained, favorable
business and economic environment, said Fitch.

Meanwhile, the rating agency gave a rating of `2' to the
Company's stocks.

IRSA is Argentina's leading property development firm with major
holdings in downtown Buenos Aires and a controlling interest in
leading shopping center developer Alto Palermo S.A.

CONTACT:  Irsa Inversiones y Representaciones SA
          Head Office
          Piso1
          Bolivar 108
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina C1066AAD
          Tel  +54 11 4323 7555
          Fax  +54 11 4323 7597
          Web  http://www.irsa.com.ar/
          Contacts:
          Eduardo Sergio Elsztain, Executive Chairman
          M. Marcelo Mindlin, Executive Vice Chairman
          Atty Saul Zang, Vice Chairman


METROGAS: Fitch Rates `D(arg)' on $600M Of Corporate Bonds
----------------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds of Argentine natural gas distribution company
received a rating of `D(arg)' from Fitch Argentina Calificadora
de Riesgo S.A. last week, according to Argentina's National
Securities Commission.

The bonds, worth US$600 million, were described as "obligaciones
negociables simples" by the commission. The maturity date was not
disclosed.

The given rating means that the Company has defaulted on the
financial obligation and  reflects the Company's position as of
September 30, 2002.

In related news, the Company's stocks were given a rating of `3'
by Fitch.

For the first three quarters of 2002, the Company posted a net
loss of ARS543.7 million (US$152.7 million).

The Company defaulted on a loan worth EUR110 million due Sept 27
last year, although it was able to make interest payments after
the currency devaluation.

CONTACT: METROGAS
         Alberto Alfredo Alvarez, President
         William Harvey Adamson, First VP
         Gen. Director Enrique Barruti, HR Director
         Fernando Aceiro New Bus. Director
         Luis Domenech Admin. and Fin. Director

         Their Address:
         G. Araoz de Lamadrid 1360
         1267 Buenos Aires, Argentina
         Phone: (800) 422-2066
         Fax: (201) 262-2541
         Email: info@metrogas.com.ar
         URL: http://www.metrogas.com.ar


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Corporate Bonds Rated `D(arg)' by Fitch
----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. rated four different
corporate bonds of Telecom Argentina Stet-France Telecom S.A.
`D(arg)' last week. The rating denotes that the Company is
defaulting on the financial obligation, based on the definition
given by Fitch.

According to the National Securities Commission of Argentina,
different series of the bonds described as "emitada bajo el
Programa Global de Obligaciones Negocibles vencido en agoto de
1999" received the junk rating. The said bonds are the following:

-- Series C, worth US$126 million due on November 1, 2002

-- Series E, worth US$100 million, coming due in May 2005

-- Series H, worth ITL40 billion, due on March 3, 2008

-- Series K, worth EU2.5 billion, due on July 1, 2002

The ratings reflect the Company's financial position as of the
end of September 2002. However, the reasons behind the ratings
were not revealed in the posting.

The Company's main activities involve the provision of
telecommunication and related services such as infrastructure,
consultancy and security services; Internet access; and marketing
of equipment, according to the Financial Times.

CONTACT:  Telecom Argentina Stet France Telecom SA
          Head Office
          10th Floor
          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina
          1107
          Tel  +54 11 4968 4000
          Fax  +54 11 4313 5842
          Web Site  http://www.telecom.com.ar
          Contacts:
          Juan Carlos Masjoan,  Chairman
          Christian Chauvin, Vice Chairman
          Franco Bertone, Vice Chairman
          Susana Malcorra, Chief Executive


TERMOANDES: $250M of Bonds Rated `BBB(arg)-' by Fitch
-----------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds worth US$250 million issued by Salta generator
Termoandes S.A. were rated `BBB(arg)-' by Fitch Argentina
Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. according to the National Securities
Commission of Argentina.

The rating denotes an adequate credit risk relative to other
issuers or issues in the country. It was based on the Company's
financial position as of September 30, 2002.

The bonds, described as "obligaciones negociables", come due in
January 2009.

Termoandes is owned by Chilean generator AES Gener, which is the
second largest electricity generation group in Chile in terms of
operating revenue and generating capacity with an installed
capacity of 1,757 MW composed of 1,512 MW of thermal and 245 MW
of hydro generating capacity. The Company operates most of the
thermal electric power plants in the country. AES Gener serves
both the Central Interconnection System (SIC) and Northern
Interconnection System (SING) through various subsidiaries and
related companies.

CONTACT:  TERMOANDES S.A.
          Av. Libertador 602 Piso 13
          (C1001ABT), Buenos Aires.
          Tel.: 4816-1502
          Fax: 4816-6605
          E-mail: infoandes@aesc.com


TGN: S&P Cuts CRIBs Financial Trust I Risk-Insured Bonds Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered Tuesday its rating on
TGN CRIBs Financial Trust I's (TGN CRIBs) convertibility risk-
insured bonds to 'D' from 'CC' after the underlying obligor,
Transportadora de Gas del Norte (TGN), did not fully comply with
the semiannual US$9.5 million interest payment that was due Jan.
25, 2003. TGN made only a partial interest payment of US$1.9
million, which is the interest accrued from the last interest
payment date until Oct. 31, 2002, with an interim cap on the
interest rate of 3.5%.

The underlying corporate credit ratings on TGN were lowered to
'D' on Feb. 25, 2002, following missed payments on the TGN IFC
Trust I and TGN IFC Trust II transactions. The company has since
suspended principal payments and made partial interest payments
on all of its outstanding debt due to the negative effect that
the pesification of tariffs, the unsettling peso devaluation, and
the government measures have had on the company's cash flow and
ability to transfer funds abroad.

The TGN CRIBs transaction has a transferability and
convertibility insurance policy issued by Overseas Private
Investment Corp. The TGN CRIBs bonds were issued on July 26,
2000, for US$175 million. The outstanding amount of the bonds is
US$175 million. These bonds are due to mature in July 2012. The
transaction's liquidity reserve was depleted on July 25, 2002.

ANALYSTS:  Juan Pablo De Mollein, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2113
           Felicitas Del Cioppo, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2120
           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128
           Diane Audino, New York (1) 212-438-2388


* World Bank Approves $600M Loan for Lower Income Families
----------------------------------------------------------
The World Bank approved Tuesday a US$600 million loan to finance
the "Heads of Household" program in Argentina in order to support
the establishment of a social protection network for poor
households.

The "Heads of Household" program (Plan Jefes de Hogar) gives
financial assistance to poor unemployed workers,  providing $150
Argentine pesos (about US$45) per month for the head of a
household with children under the age of 18 or with disabled
persons of any age.  In exchange, beneficiaries must engage in a
work or training activity.  The number of beneficiaries is
estimated to be about 1.85 million people, a figure that will
decline over the two-year duration of the project.

"Since the beginning of the crisis,  we have been deeply
concerned about the impact on the poorest sector of society of
the dramatic increases in poverty and unemployment which have
taken place in Argentina. This loan, which provides immediate
support to poor households, provides much needed short term
assistance while Argentina presses forward with other longer term
challenges." said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Director for
Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. "Throughout 2002 we have
reallocated significant resources to relieve the social
emergency, including to health, education and feeding programs
for children. Today we continue these efforts to limit the impact
of the crisis among the most vulnerable sectors."

The kinds of work activities eligible under the Program include
small infrastructure and community services projects designed to
improve the basic social and economic conditions of the poor
neighborhoods where they are implemented.  In this context,
US$100 million under the loan will be directed to small
municipalities, particularly those with large numbers of very
poor, to help cover the costs of the needed materials and other
inputs necessary for these projects.

"We expect to have the support of the various parties involved to
ensure full execution of the budget in 2003, which will be
critical to maximizing the Program's impact. In addition, we are
introducing a new tool called the Social Monitor [1] that
provides for the participation of civil society organizations in
the monitoring of the program, thus ensuring additional
independent sources of evaluation of program implementation,
creating greater incentives for transparency and efficiency in
the execution of this program -to ensure that the help gets to
those who need it most," added van Trotsenburg.

After four years of recession in Argentina, unemployment reached
21.5 percent in May 2002, a percentage that is nearly twice as
high in the case of poor households.  In this context, the "Heads
of Households" program is an important tool with immediate
effects, but does not replace medium- and long-term efforts that
will stimulate the creation of new jobs.

The US$600 million loan from the International Bank of
Reconstruction and Development is a LIBOR-based, fixed-spread
loan, repayable in 15 years, and has a five-year grace period.

World Bank Support for the Social Emergency Program

Up to this point, the World Bank has provided support for the
Social Emergency Program in two phases. During the first phase,
in March 2002, it reallocated US$100 million to the areas of
health, education and community kitchens. The second phase, in
October 2002, included the reallocation of US$140 million in
funds for health and education. Today, a US$600 million loan for
a social protection program is being announced, and assistance
would continue to be provided for social protection and economic
reform in Argentina.

[1] Social Monitor - The principal objective of the Social
Monitor is to create capabilities within civil society to monitor
the use of public resources in the social emergency programs
financed by the World Bank, the IDB and the Government of
Argentina. The Social Monitor seeks to improve transparency and
efficiency in the management of assistance programs and to
increase the quality of those programs.



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

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Dow Corning To Acquire Electronics Division
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dow Corning Corp., which is looking to expand its share of the
fabricated thermal interface materials market, signed a
definitive agreement to acquire the Raychem Power Materials
Business Unit of Tyco Electronics.  The value of the deal was not
disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dow Corning will obtain the
Power Materials Business Unit's fabricated thermal interface
materials (TIMs), electromagnetic-interference (EMI) and radio-
frequency-interference (RFI) shielding products, as well as
certain connector sealing products that have been sold under the
trademarks GELTEK, HEATPATH and DBSEAL. Sales of these products
in 2002 totaled approximately $9 million.

Along with the Tyco Electronics Power Materials Unit's three
product lines, Dow Corning will acquire its intellectual property
rights, including patents associated with the product lines. The
products will continue to be manufactured at the facility
currently used for production in Menlo Park, Calif. All of the
Tyco Electronics Power Materials Unit employees will become
employees of Dow Corning Corporation.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the
first quarter of 2003, said Dow Corning, the Midland-based maker
of silicone products.

Tyco Electronics is part of troubled manufacturing conglomerate
Tyco International Ltd.

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.: Fitch Rates Secured Debt 'BB'; Affirms Ratings
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BB' rating to The AES Corp's (AES)
recently completed secured debt refinancing (secured debt)
comprised of a multi-tranche $1.62 billion senior secured credit
facility and $258 million of secured notes. Fitch has also
affirmed the existing ratings of AES and those of its
subsidiaries, IPALCO Enterprises (IPALCO) and Indianapolis Power
and Light (IP&L). AES, IPALCO, and IP&L's ratings are removed
from Rating Watch Negative. The Rating Outlook is Negative.
CILCORP and Central Illinois Light Company's (CILCO) ratings
remain on Rating Watch Evolving pending completion of their
committed sale to Ameren Corporation. The CILCORP sale is now
awaiting final SEC approval.

The newly assigned rating of AES's secured debt reflects the
strong asset coverage, net of AES subsidiaries' individual debts,
afforded by the security package and the stringent terms and
conditions that govern the bank credit agreement and secured
notes indenture. The ratings of the various secured debt
instruments do not differentiate among the various tranches that
enjoy varying baskets of collateral since in Fitch's view all
have reasonably strong recovery prospects. All secured
debtholders benefit from a fixed amortization schedule that
requires AES to pay down 50% of the secured credit facility and
40% of the secured notes by November 2004. They are also
advantaged by a cash sweep mechanism that requires AES to use a
significant portion of proceeds from asset sales to pay down the
secured debt. Fitch projects a breakeven liquidity scenario in
which AES meets the fixed amortization schedule with proceeds
from the CILCORP sale, a slightly reduced forecast of parent
operating cash flow (POCF) relative to that of 2002, and a much
reduced capital investment schedule. Any additional funding,
either via asset sales or access to capital markets, would
improve AES's liquidity position and allow the company to pay
down debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

AES' affirmed ratings already reflect the effective subordination
of AES' senior unsecured debt and the explicit subordination of
more junior debt and preferred classes as a result of the
creation of a secured debt category. The ratings also consider
the relatively thin residual asset coverage, afforded to the
existing unsecured and subordinate debt classes after the
expected repayment of the senior secured debt. The ratings are
also influenced by the current high degree of debt leverage, as
indicated by the ratio of Parent Debt to POCF ratio expected to
be in the 7.5-8.0 times (x) range and POCF to Parent-Interest
ratio around 1.5x.

The Negative Outlook takes into consideration the continuing
uncertainties AES faces. The company still encounters a difficult
business environment in its key geographic regions such as the
US, UK and Latin America. Fitch's current forecasts do not
anticipate that AES will receive much of any contribution of POCF
in the next two years from Brazil, Venezuela, and the UK. AES
must manage it's portfolio of businesses in these as well as
other regions for optimal operations as well as to ensure its
compliance with its corporate debt covenants. Furthermore, AES'
ability to pay down debt beyond the required debt maturities and
improve its credit metrics will depend on the timing and
execution of its asset sale program. In addition, if AES is able
to issue equity or equity-related instruments, it will be
relieved from the pressure to sell assets and preserve future
cash flow foregone from asset sales. Barring any further
unforeseen deterioration in AES businesses worldwide, the
company's credit metrics could stabilize and see potential for
slight improvement in late 2003 or early 2004.

The following ratings are affirmed and removed from Rating Watch
Negative:

AES
--Senior secured credit facility 'BB';
--Senior secured notes 'BB';
--Senior unsecured debt 'B';
--Senior and junior subordinated debt 'B-';
--Trust preferred convertibles (AES Trust III and AES Trust VII)
'CCC+';
--Senior unsecured bank facility withdrawn;
--Rating Outlook Negative.

IPALCO
--Senior unsecured debt 'BB';
--Rating Outlook Negative.

IP&L
--First mortgage bonds and secured pollution control revenue
bonds 'BBB-';
--Senior unsecured debt 'BB+';
--Preferred stock 'BB+';
--Rating Outlook Negative.
The following ratings remain on Rating Watch Evolving:

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

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

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

CONTACT:  Mona Yee, CFA 1-212-908-0557, New York
          Ellen Lapson, CFA 1-212-908-0504, New York

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


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: AES Transgas Defers Equity Payment
-------------------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Tuesday that the Brazil
National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and
other former holders of preferred shares of Eletropaulo
Metropolitana Eletricidade de Sao Paulo S.A., the electric
distribution company for Sao Paulo, Brazil (Eletropaulo) accepted
from its subsidiary AES Transgas Empreendimentos Ltda. (Transgas)
an offer to defer until February 28, 2003, approximately $336
million due by Transgas in connection with the purchase of such
shares.

AES also stated that another AES subsidiary, AES ELPA S.A., had
previously deferred until January 30, 2003 approximately $85
million due to BNDES related to its acquisition of common shares
of Eletropaulo. AES stated that there can be no assurance that an
agreement with BNDES will be reached relating to this payment or
that this debt will be rescheduled.

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: Ratings Lowered to'CCC+'; Off Watch
------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered Tuesday its global
scale ratings on Brazil-based electric utility Light ServiĜos de
Eletricidade S.A. (Light) to 'CCC+' from 'B', in both local and
foreign currencies. The rating on US$150 million senior unsecured
medium-term notes issued by the affiliate LIR Energy Ltd. was
also lowered to 'CCC+' from 'B'. The ratings have been removed
from CreditWatch where they were placed on Oct. 23, 2002. The
outlook on the ratings is negative.

The rating action reflects both the continuous uncertainty about
Light's strategy to refinance significant maturities in the short
run and the ongoing deterioration of Light's financial
performance. In 2003 and 2004, Light will face BrR1 billion
(about US$288 million) of debt maturities in each year, and the
company's main source of liquidity comes from its parent company,
France-based electric utility Eletricit, de France (EDF;
AA/Negative/A-1+). EDF made significant capital contributions to
Light during 2002, but Standard & Poor's understands that the
parent company's willingness to provide additional support has
reduced and is mainly dependant on Light's capacity to improve
efficiency and on the result of the tariff revision during 2003.

During 2002, EDF contributed approximately US$1.2 billion to
Light, of which US$1.0 billion was infused as capital (US$600
million converting existing intercompany loans and US$400 million
of new money) and US$200 million as intercompany loans. However,
the entire electric sector in Brazil has been suffering due to an
incomplete regulatory framework, problems with the wholesale
market (MAE), and cost increases. Thus, despite the contributions
made last year, Standard & Poor's believes that additional funds
from EDF now are limited due to the many troubles afflicting
Brazil's electric utility sector and Light's inability to improve
its operating efficiency. EDF has recently made significant
changes to Light's organizational structure in order to reduce
costs and tackle the subsidiary's operating inefficiencies, such
as high energy losses. However, the success of this undertaking
is uncertain and doubts remain if Brazil or Light is still a
strategic investment for EDF. As parent support is Light's main
source of liquidity, Standard & Poor's has growing concerns about
Light's ability to find a timely solution to refinance debt.

The company has been negatively affected by the high level of
energy losses, coupled with the increase in the dollar-
denominated cost of energy from Itaipœ, resulting in reduced cash
generation. Under this perspective, it is expected that Light's
cash generation in 2003 will be insufficient to cover debt
service, presenting EBITDA/interest coverage ratio of about
0.75x. The uncertainties in the electric sector model, together
with this weakened financial position, and a BrR3.8 billion debt
burden, net of positive results from hedging transactions, have
hurt Light's access to the credit market. Moreover, general
credit availability has not been restored yet since the credit
crunch experienced in Brazil during the second semester of 2002,
which imposes extra difficulties on Light to refinance debt.

The negative outlook highlights the company's lack of strategy
regarding its maturity amortization schedule for 2003 and the
uncertainties about the sector regulatory environment and its
potential negative effect on the company's level of cash
generation. The ratings will be lowered further if it becomes
clear that EDF is not supporting Light. In addition, if important
issues, such as the tariff revision rules and procedures and the
commercialization environment, are not properly regulated and put
into place to improve the electric energy sector's performance,
the financial performance of Light could deteriorate further,
thus affecting ratings.

ANALYST:  Marcelo Costa, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8955; Milena
Zaniboni, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8945


LIGHT: Outlines New Three-Year Crisis Plan
------------------------------------------
Brazil's Rio de Janeiro distributor Light will cut costs by
BRL100 million (US$27mn) a year up to 2005, lay off staff and
sell the corporate headquarters in Flamengo, in the southern zone
of Rio de Janeiro, reports Business News Americas. The measures
are all part of a three-year Crisis Plan launched by the Company
in December in order to see a profit or at least balance the
books, by 2005.

Under the plan, Light will also reduce power losses to 15% from
21.6% and reduce the level of non-payment from 45.8% of total
billing to 2.5%, both by 2005.

Light has been battling with successive losses since 1999. In the
first nine months of 2002, the Company lost BRL407 million.

Adding more to its woes is its conflict with employees, who
oppose plans for significant layoffs. The Company is now reported
to be examining ways to reduce benefits to its employees instead.

Francois Roussely, the chief executive of Electricite de France,
earlier said that the French parent 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.

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
=========

COEUR D'ALENE: Reports Additional $25M Reduction in Debt
--------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE) announced Tuesday
continued significant reductions in its outstanding long-term
convertible debt. Coeur's remaining convertible indebtedness now
stands at $54.5 million, consisting of $10.6 million of 13.375%
Senior Convertible Notes due December 2003, $32.3 million of
6.375% Convertible Debentures due January 2004, and $11.7 million
of 7.25% Convertible Debentures due October 2005. This remaining
indebtedness represents nearly a 50% reduction since the end of
the third quarter 2002. Coeur began 2002 with $145.5 million of
indebtedness. This remaining balance represents approximately 20%
of Coeur's current total market capitalization.

Dennis E. Wheeler, Coeur's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
remarked, "Coeur is now nearing completion of its debt reduction
program. Our strengthened balance sheet is now providing us with
the flexibility to aggressively pursue internal and external
growth opportunities to create further value for shareholders.
Combined with higher metal prices, continued success at our new
low-cost South American operations, and a growing cash balance,
we believe that Coeur is poised for an excellent 2003."

Over the past six weeks, Coeur exchanged 13.8 million shares of
common stock for $22.9 million principal amount of its 6.375%
Convertible Debentures due January 2004 in several privately
negotiated transactions. This decline represents a 51% decrease
from the $65.5 million of outstanding 6.375% Convertible
Debentures at the end of the third quarter of 2002. In addition,
the Company has seen $2.1 million of its 13.375% Senior
Convertible Notes voluntarily convert into common equity in 2003
based on the security's existing terms. Because these Convertible
Notes have a conversion price of $1.35 per share, representing a
27% discount to Coeur's current share price, the Company believes
that holders of the remaining balance of $10.6 million will
likely voluntarily convert into common stock by the end of the
year.

After taking these exchanges and conversions into account, Coeur
now has approximately 134 million shares outstanding.

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

CONTACT:  Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation
          Mitchell J. Krebs, 208/769-8155


ENERSIS: Rio Maipo Sale To Generate $300M
-----------------------------------------
The sale of Chilean electric power distribution subsidiary Rio
Maipo is expected to bring in approximately US$300 million to its
parent company, Enersis, says the Santiago Times. Enersis, the
primary Latin American subsidiary of the Spanish giant Endesa
Spain, is selling the asset as part of a restructuring plan. The
company intends to reduce the holding's debt by US$2.6 billion.
Enersis' debt until the second half of 2002 totaled US$9.2
billion.

The restructuring plan also includes recovering US$500 million in
loans to its subsidiaries, a capital increase of US$1.5 billion,
and the sale of assets totaling between US$900 million and US$1
billion. Assets for sale include the Manso de Velasco real estate
company, the Infraestructura 2000 highways operator, the
Canutillar hydroelectric power generator and some electric
transmission lines.

The sale of Rio Maipo is now in the advanced stages, as Enersis'
board of directors is expected to evaluate the offers for the
asset at the end of this week.

Groups which have expressed interest in buying Rio Maipo are the
General Electric Company, Emel electric power distributor, the
Chilquinta electric company and some investment funds.

Rio Maipo is the fourth largest electric power distributor in the
country, having 293,000 clients and representing 5.2 percent of
the total consumption at the Central Interconnected System power
grid (SIC).

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



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

GMM: To Complete Debt Restructuring By March 2003
-------------------------------------------------
Analysts from financial services group ING expects Grupo Minero
Mexico (GMM), the mining wing of Grupo Mexico, to complete a debt
restructuring by the end of February, reports Business News
Americas. The restructuring, which covers a bond issue, includes
a capital injection of US$110 million backed by an affiliated
railroad borrowing, ING said in a report. It will involve a two-
year grace period, the report added.

Once secure, ING said it expects to upgrade GMM's credit rating,
which currently stands at Ca/CC. The Company's financial risks
will then be relatively low until 2007, when US$586 million of
bonds and bank debts mature, it added.

The report also said that the expected recovery in the global
economy this year and in 2004 will boost the prices of copper,
leading to "drastic improvements" in GMM's credit ratios.

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



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

BWIA: Cost Cutting Effort Leads to 600 LayOffs
----------------------------------------------
About 617 workers of BWIA West Indies Airways Ltd. were sent home
Tuesday as part of the ailing carrier's plan to cut costs as it
seeks to obtain a $13-million loan package from the Trinidad
government. The government, which owns a one-third stake in BWIA,
agreed in November to lend the Company $13 million to help it
restructure. To get the federal loan, the Company must adopt a
plan by Saturday to achieve monthly cost savings of $1.4 million.

According to Aviation and Communications Allied Workers Union
president general Christopher Abraham, the layoffs are effective
immediately, but the Company will pay the workers for another 45
days.

The airline is also working to reduce its fleet as part of its
cost-saving efforts. It has also laid off about 40 pilots because
of the changes and will contract out maintenance work to save
money, BWIA said.

BWIA has blamed the Company's losses on the worldwide economic
slowdown and the drop in air passengers following the Sep. 11,
2001 terror attacks on the United States.

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)


CARONI LTD.: Restarts Usine Grinding Operations
-----------------------------------------------
Grinding operations at Caroni (1975) Limited's Usine Ste
Madeleine factory started once again on Tuesday, a couple of
weeks after the official start of the 2003 sugar cane harvest,
reports the Trinidad Express. Along with the resumption of the
factory's operations was the reassignment of former manager Ayoub
Ali, who replaced Raphael O'Neal under the terms agreed upon in a
memorandum of understanding signed between staff unions and
management last week. The signed agreement brought an end to
industrial action taken by staff workers. The action had brought
operations at the factory to come to a virtual standstill.

Lallan Rajaram, public relations officer of the Trinidad
Islandwide Cane Farmers Association (TICFA), said although
grinding operations had begun, the union had advised farmers not
to burn large amounts of cane.

"We are advising farmers that, until everything returns to
normal, they should exercise caution about the amount of cane
they burn and cut. They should allow the company to salvage canes
that are already on the ground," he said.

Rajaram said once operations run smoothly, things should return
to normal by weekend.

CONTACT:  Caroni Limited
          Old Southern Main Road, Caroni,
          Trinidad & Tobago
          Phone: (868) 663-1781 or 662-0879
          Fax: (868) 663-1404



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

PDVSA: To Slash Costs By 51% To Compensate For Losses
-----------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's government will lower by 51% the operating costs at
state oil company PDVSA to VEB3.7 trillion (US$1.92bn) from
VEB7.5 billion in an effort to offset the Company's losses. PDVSA
is suffering from diminished sales as a result of the ongoing
general strike. According to the government's estimates, PDVSA is
losing US$520 million a month due to lower revenues.

PDVSA chairman Ali Rodriguez told government news agency Venpres
this week that 5,111 company employees have been fired since a
nationwide oil strike that crippled the country began eight weeks
ago.

As for the Company's western division, 1,300 workers have already
been dismissed, division manager Felix Rodriguez said, adding
that 1,000 more are expected to get sacked this week.

An additional 593 layoffs have also been reported at the Carabobo
and Lara state units of PDVSA, according to press reports quoting
the temporary head of the El Palito refinery, Roberto Capriles.

Before the strike, PDVSA planned to put US$16.5 billion of its
own resources to the 2002-2007 exploration and production
business plan, with private capital providing a further US$8.8
billion.

Now, it will almost certainly rely even more on private sector
partners to help finance projects: two of these are already under
way (Deltana Platform and Mariscal Sucre natural gas projects)
and one is under evaluation (Tomoporo oil discovery, estimated to
hold 2 billion barrels of light crude in the Lake Maracaibo
area), and San Tome.



               ***********


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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