TCRLA_Public/030205.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, February 5, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 25

                           Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINE BANKS: Two State Banks Refuse To Follow Govt. Request
CTG: Gives Bondholders More Time To Study Exchange Offer
MULTICANAL: Announces Bond Exchange Offer


B E R M U D A

ESG RE: Delisted by Nasdaq Due to Missed 10-Q Deadline
GLOBAL CROSSING: Investors Wary of Planned Stock Offering
ROA: S&P Revises Ratings to 'R'
TRENWICK GROUP: AM Best Cuts Financial Strength, Debt Ratings
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Former Legal Counsel Faces Lawsuit


B R A Z I L

AES CORP.: Default Further Constrains ELPA - Fitch
ACESITA: Sells CST Stake For $227M
VESPER: Warns Anatel's Decision Puts Financial Health In Peril


C H I L E

AES GENER: Feller Rate Cuts Ratings On Failure To Divest Assets
DISPUTADA: New Owner Restructures Miner
GASATACAMA: Posts 13% Income Rise, But Profits Stay Low


E C U A D O R

VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Oil Interests in Ecuador
VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Redemption of 9% Senior Sub. Notes Due 2005


M E X I C O

CFE: To Carry Out Hydro Feasibility Studies For Spanish Firm


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Expects New Model to Generate Profits This Year
BWIA: Retrenchment Not In Line With 2002 Prospectus
BWIA: NAR Blames T&T Government For Lay-offs

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

ARGENTINE BANKS: Two State Banks Refuse To Follow Govt. Request
---------------------------------------------------------------
The three Argentine banks - Banco de la Provincia de Buenos
Aires, Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires and Banco de la Nacion
- were asked to hire a consultant to improve their efficiency, as
part of the government's commitment to the International Monetary
Fund, reports Bloomberg, citing El Cronista.

However, only Banco de la Nacion, the country's largest bank,
agreed to the commitment, while the two rejected the plan,
despite a declaration by Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna that
the agreement with the IMF is not a preparatory stage for the
sale of the banks.

Lavagna and the IMF said on numerous occasions that Banco de la
Provincia, which is owned by the government of Buenos Aires
province, Banco de la Ciudad, owned the Buenos Aires
municipality, and state-owned Banco de la Nacion need to make
their accounting standards more rigorous.

Standard & Poor's deems Argentina's entire financial system to be
insolvent as the country has defaulted on US$95 billion of bonds
and devalued the peso.

CONTACTS:  BANCO DE LA PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES
           San Martin 137
           Capital Federal, 1597
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: 011-43312561/2569/3584
           Fax: 011-4334-7509
           URL: http://www.bpba.com.ar/
           Email: info@bpba.com

           BANCO DE LA CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES
           Florida 302
           Capital Federal, 1313
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: 011-4325-5881
           Fax: 011-4329-8729
           URL: http://www.bancociudad.com.ar/
           Email: bciudad@bancociudad.com.ar

           BANCO DE LA NACION DE ARGENTINA
           Bartolome Mitre 326
           Capital Federal, 1036
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone: 011-4347-6000
           Fax: 011-4342-2991
           URL: http://www.bna.com.ar
           Email: telemarketing@bna.com.a



CTG: Gives Bondholders More Time To Study Exchange Offer
--------------------------------------------------------
Holders of US$54 million in bonds issued by Argentine thermo
generator Guemes (CTG) in September 2000, due in 2010, now have
until February 14 to peruse the Company's debt swap offer, says
Business News Americas.

The offer was originally scheduled to expire January 31. But, the
Company, in a statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange, said
it extended the offer because bondholders requested more time to
study their options.

Guemes, which owns and operates a 245MW thermoelectric plant in
Argentina's Salta province, is offering holders two options for
the exchange.

Option one is to exchange the US$54 million debentures for
US$32.4 million in debentures due 2013, plus a maximum of 24.8
million Class D ordinary shares priced at one peso each. For each
US$1,000 of existing debenture capital offered for exchange,
Guemes would issue US$600 of new debentures plus 460 ordinary
shares.

Option two is to exchange the US$54 million existing debentures
for US$54 million worth of new debentures due 2013. Guemes would
issue US$1,000 of new debentures for each US$1,000 of existing
debenture capital offered for exchange.

Bondholders can choose either option or a combination of the two,
and for every US$1,000 of capital they offer for exchange, will
receive a US$7.50 payment.

The Bank of New York is managing the exchange offer for Guemes.

CONTACT:  Central Termica Guemes S.A.
          Avenida Leandro N Alam 822
          Piso 12
          Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires C1001AAQ
          ARGENTINA
          Tel. +54 4311-6064/6065/6066


MULTICANAL: Announces Bond Exchange Offer
-----------------------------------------
Multicanal SA, Argentina's second largest cable television
operator, offered to pay 30 cents on the dollar to holders of
US$100 million of defaulted bonds, reports Bloomberg.

In a statement to the Buenos Aires bourse, the Company, which is
majority owned by Argentina's largest media group Clarin SA,
offered to exchange the bonds for cash without paying accrued and
unpaid interest on its debt.

"The profound decline in economic activity and the lack of
financing alternatives has affected our ability to service our
debt," Multicanal said in the letter. The Company said its
outstanding debt in September was US$524.8 million.

Multicanal offered to exchange its 9 1/4 bond that was due last
year, 10 1/2 bond due 2007, 13 1/8 bond due 2009, 10 1/2 bond due
2018 and a floating rate bond due this year.

The Company hired J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. as adviser for the
exchange, according to a report by Standard & Poor's in
Argentina. The offer will expire March 3, 2003.

CONTACT:  MULTICANAL S.A.
          Avalos 2057
          C1431DPM Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Tel: 54 11 4524-4700
          Fax: 54 11 4370-5162
          Contact: Fabian Melnitzky
          E-mail: fmelnitz@redarg.com.ar



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

ESG RE: Delisted by Nasdaq Due to Missed 10-Q Deadline
------------------------------------------------------
ESG Re Limited (Nasdaq: ESREE) announced today that they have
been informed by the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel that the
Company's securities will be delisted from The Nasdaq Stock
Market effective with the opening of business on Tuesday,
February 4, 2003. The decision is based on the Company's failure
to timely file its quarterly report Form 10-Q for the quarter
ended September 30, 2002.

In addition, the Panel cited the Company's failure to file any of
the amendments to previously filed reports under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for any of the anticipated
restatements of certain information in its financial statements.
The Company continues to work with its auditors, BDO
International, to complete and file the quarterly report on Form
10-Q and any required restatements to its previously filed
reports.

A Current Form 8-K Report will be filed as soon as practicable
regarding NASDAQ's decision to delist the Company's securities.

CONTACT: ESG Re Limited
         Alasdair Davis
         Chief Executive Officer
         Tel:  +353 1 6750200
         E-mail: alasdair.davis@esg-world.com

             Or

         ESG Re Limited
         Alice Russell
         Investor Relations
         Tel:  +353 86 819 2945
         E-mail:  alice.russell@esre.ie


GLOBAL CROSSING: Investors Wary of Planned Stock Offering
---------------------------------------------------------
Bermuda-based network operator Global is set to emerge from
bankruptcy. Reuters reports that the Company may file a public
stock offering soon.

But news of the planned offering did not receive much enthusiasm
from investors.

"That brand is so tainted that no one will go near it again,"
said Eric Cowan an attorney with Akin Gump's communications
practice in Virginia.

Analyst Ethan Buyon, from Crossroads LLC said, "If I'm a
portfolio manager, am I going to go to my boss and put my
reputation on the line to buy Global Crossing 2? That is a very
tough sale."

"Until we see some of these companies actually leave the market
completely, or there's some form of consolidation, I don't think
I'd be interested in looking at any of these emerging names,"
according to Principal Global Investors analyst Jean Schlatter,
referring to telecoms firms, Williams Communications,
360networks, Teligent Inc., Covad Communications and Flag Telecom
Holdings Ltd. All of them have emerged or will emerge from
bankruptcy soon.

Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection last year. A debt
of US$12.4 billion, declining prices and a glut of high-speed
network capacity pushed the Company into bankruptcy.

But the Company has whittled its debt down to US$200 million, and
capital expenses from US$3.2 billion in 2001 to US$200 million.
It has also reduced its workforce to about 5,000 from 16,000 and
closing a number of offices.

The Company's Chief Executive, John Lagere, told Reuters that the
Company has "right-sized" its cost structure to fit demands. He
added that the Company's recurring services revenues, which were
US$3.1 billion in 2001, will be less than 10 percent down from
that for 2002.

According to him, "We've built a structure now if the capacity
sales don't come back, it doesn't matter."

CONTACT:  GLOBAL CROSSING
          Press:
          Becky Yeamans, +1-974-410-5857,
          Email: Rebecca.Yeamans@globalcrossing.com

          Tisha Kresler, +1-973-410-8666
          Email: Tisha.Kresler@globalcrossing.com

          Analysts/Investors:
          Ken Simril, +1-310-385-5200
          Email: investors@globalcrossing.com


ROA: S&P Revises Ratings to 'R'
-------------------------------
Standard and Poor's Ratings Services said Monday that it revised
its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on
Reciprocal of America (ROA) to 'R' from 'Bpi' after The State
Corporation Commission of Virginia (SCC) was named as receiver of
ROA by the circuit court of the City Of Richmond.

After an examination, ROA and its attorney-in-fact--The
Reciprocal Group (ROG)--were found to be in hazardous financial
condition. ROA recently experienced financial difficulties
because of poor claims experience and the inability of its
Bermuda-based reinsurer, First Virginia Reinsurance Ltd., to
honor its reinsurance obligations.

ROA is a reciprocal insurance company that provides workers'
compensation and other liability coverages for health systems,
hospitals, health professionals, managed care organizations, and
other health care providers. Based in Richmond, Va., the company
is licensed in 42 states and operates in 18 states and the
District of Columbia. In 2001, the company assumed the assets and
liabilities of Coastal Insurance Enterprise, Coastal Insurance
Exchange, and Alabama Hospital Association and Healthcare
Workers' Compensation Trust Fund. "On Nov. 21, 2002, Standard &
Poor's lowered its counterparty credit and financial strength
ratings on ROA to 'Bpi' from 'BBBpi' based on deteriorating
operating performance and profitability and weak surplus," noted
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Darryl Brooks.

An insurer rated "R" is under regulatory supervision owing to its
financial condition. During the pendency of the regulatory
supervision, the regulators may have the power to favor one class
of obligations over others or pa some obligations and not others.
The rating does not apply to insurers subject only to
nonfinancial actions such as market conduct violations.

CONTACT:          Standard & Poor's
                  Bart Bertero, New York, 212/438-7169
                  Darryl P Brooks, New York, 212/438-6458


TRENWICK GROUP: AM Best Cuts Financial Strength, Debt Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------------
A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength ratings to C
(Weak) of Trenwick Group Ltd.'s (NYSE: TWK) (Bermuda) ongoing
operating subsidiaries and has withdrawn the financial strength
ratings of Trenwick's operating companies--which are now in
runoff--and assigned each a NR-3 rating (Rating Procedure
Inapplicable).

Prior to the withdrawal of these ratings, A.M. Best had
downgraded the financial strength ratings of the runoff companies
to C (Weak). Concurrent with these actions, all debt ratings
relating to securities issued by Trenwick's various holding
companies have also been downgraded and assigned debt ratings of
"c". All ratings remain under review with negative implications.

These rating actions follow the company's announcement that it
has strengthened loss reserves by $107 million in fourth quarter
2002. That action follows Trenwick's $90.7 million strengthening
in third quarter 2002 and further depletes the low levels of
surplus still remaining within the operating companies and
elevates operating leverages to unacceptable levels.

Additionally, Trenwick has no capacity to settle and is in
renegotiation discussions with its creditors related to its $75
million senior note obligations, which are due April 1, 2003.
Failure to renegotiate this note by March 1 will put Trenwick in
default of its Letter of Credit (LOC) facility, which is
necessary to support its Lloyd's operations. If the LOC facility
goes into default, A.M. Best believes that this may impede the
group's ability to sustain its remaining underwriting operations
over the long term, which includes its Lloyd's facility and a
fronting arrangement between Trenwick America Corporation and
Chubb Re. These ongoing businesses are Trenwick's only operations
potentially capable of generating revenue and improving the
group's weak financial position.

A.M. Best will continue to monitor Trenwick's ability to meet
near-term debt obligations, adequacy of the company's loss
reserves as well as any further operating issues, which may
arise. Due to the considerable uncertainties all ongoing ratings
remain under review with negative implications.

For a complete listing of Trenwick's financial strength and debt
ratings, visit http://www.ambest.com/press/020303trenwick.pdf.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and
most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For
more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at www.ambest.com.

CONTACT: A.M. Best Co.
         Public Relations
         Jim Peavy, 908/439-2200 ext. 5644
         james.peavy@ambest.com
         Rachelle Striegel, 908/439-2200 ext. 5378
         rachelle.striegel@ambest.com
                 or
         Analyst
         Keith Lennox, 908/439-2200 ext. 5062
         keith.lennox@ambest.com


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Former Legal Counsel Faces Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------
Another lawsuit was filed against Mark Belnick, former chief
counsel for Tyco International Ltd., according to the Associated
Press. The case accused Mr. Belnick of making false
representations of the Company's financial condition.

Mr. Belnick is facing charges of falsifying paperwork to receive
US$14 million from Tyco.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau disclosed an
indictment charging Mark Belnick, 56, with first-degree grand
larceny, falsifying business records and scheming to defraud,
according to the report.

Conviction would mean a maximum of 25 years in prison for Mr.
Belnick.

Mr. Belnick allegedly failed to disclose that he has received
US$14.5 million in interest-free loans from Tyco, other special
bonuses. He also reportedly failed to acknowledge getting US$25
million from selling company stocks.

He entered a plea of not guilty, and was released after under
conditions of a US$1 million bail package.

Reid Weingarten, Belnick's legal counsel said, "We are
disappointed and somewhat puzzled by these charges."

Mr. Morgenthau said that Belnick was paid US$12 million for his
part in persuading the Securities and Exchange Commission to cut
short an investigation into Tyco's accounting practices.
According to the charges, Mr. Belnick received US$2 million in
cash and 200, 000 shares of Tyco stock.

Mr. Belnick is also accused of failing to make a public
disclosure on US$2.5 million paid to Lord Michael Ashcroft, for
the Company's purchase of a home, belonging to Ashcroft's family,
in Florida.

Tyco spokesperson Liz Mather did not comment of the charges, but
she confirmed that the Company would be closely cooperating with
the prosecutors.

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.: Default Further Constrains ELPA - Fitch
--------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings international and Brazilian national scale credit
ratings of Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de Sao Paulo
S.A.'s (Eletropaulo) remain unchanged at 'DDD' following the
default by its holding company, AES ELPA S.A. (ELPA), on US$85
million due to Brazil's National Bank for Economic and Social
Development (BNDES). The schedule payment, previously deferred
from Oct. 15, 2002 until Jan. 31, 2003, is part of the financing
arrangement employed by ELPA to acquire the common shares of
Eletropaulo.

As a result of a the default by ELPA and cross default provision
in the BNDES loan agreement with Eletropaulo, BNDES also now has
the right to call due approximately US$231 million loaned to
Eletropaulo related to the rationing recovery program. Fitch
believes it is unlikely that BNDES will call the loan at
Eletropaulo as other lenders would be prompted to do the same,
potentially resulting in an Eletropaulo bankruptcy; a bankruptcy
could result in Eletropaulo losing the electricity distribution
concession which would impair potential recovery rates.

Eletropaulo remains in payment default on US$18.7 million of
remaining Euro commercial paper that was due in December 2002 and
was in technical default on a number of its bank loans related to
violation of financial covenants, although no loans have been
accelerated, at the moment. Fitch does not expect Eletropaulo to
be able to meet its upcoming debt maturities absent a
restructuring of its other bank loans under similar terms of its
JP Morgan syndicated loan. The company has said its intention is
to honor 100% of its obligations, but Eletropaulo's refinancing
options are currently limited to rolling over a significant
portion existing local and international bank transactions and
commercial paper given the company's liquidity and AES
management's intention to not invest additional funds into
Brazil.

Combined debt at ELPA and AES Transgas - Eletropaulo's other
holding company - which totals US$1.16 billion is secured by the
respective common and preferred shares of Eletropaulo and could
result in The AES Corporation (AES) losing control of the
Brazilian distributor. Although no restructured financing
arrangement or extension has been reached with BNDES and its new
management, it is unlikely BNDES would want to or be able to
liquidate its collateral position.

Eletropaulo is the largest electricity distributor in Latin
America in terms of revenues, with a sales volume of 32,563 GWh
in 2001. Since privatization on April 15, 1998, Eletropaulo has
been owned by LightGas, now known as AES ELPA S.A. (ELPA). ELPA
is 88.21% owned and controlled by AES. Also, ELPA owns 77.81% of
Eletropaulo's voting shares and 30.97% of total capital.

CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings
          Jason Todd, 1-312-368-3217
          Daniel Kastholm, CFA,  1-312-368-2070
          Jayme Bartling, 5511-287-3177
          James Jockle, 1-212-908-0547 (Media Relations)


ACESITA: Sells CST Stake For $227M
----------------------------------
Acesita SA, Brazil's largest stainless steel producer, agreed to
sell an 18.7% stake in steelmaker Cia. Siderurgica de Tubarao
(CST) to Cia. Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), the world's largest
producer of iron ore, and Luxembourg- based Arcelor, the world's
largest steelmaker.

According to Bloomberg, the value of the operation is US$227
million. CVRD and Arcelor will pay US$22.66 per 1,000 shares, 5%
more than they offered in December, to increase their stakes in
CST.

Acesita will use sale proceeds to pay down its US$1.3-billion
debt and free funds for investment that would have been used to
pay interest, analysts said.

"The most important thing is that the deal will solve Acesita's
main problem, which is its debt," said Roseli Machado, who helps
manage about BRL1.5 billion ($428 million) for Fator
Administracao de Recursos, an asset management company in Sao
Paulo.

The news about the sale agreement helped boost Acesita's stock.
Bloomberg says that the stock rose 5 centavos, or 5.7%, to 93
centavos at the close of trading in Sao Paulo on Monday.

Meanwhile, CST's shares rose 50 centavos, 1.4%, to BRL37.50. CVRD
rose BRL1.16, or 1.2%, to BRL93.06. Arcelor shares rose 49 cents,
or 4.9%, to EUR10.52 euros in Paris.

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


VESPER: Warns Anatel's Decision Puts Financial Health In Peril
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian local exchange carrier Vesper is urging telecoms
regulator Anatel to overturn last week's decision to prevent the
operator from using three new PCS licenses over its 1900MHz band
network. Otherwise, the Company's financial health would suffer.

Business News Americas recalls that in September 2002, Anatel
gave 1900MHz spectrum holders authority to use that band for
fixed wireless, but not mobile services. Vesper already operates
a WLL network on the 1900Mhz band and can technically, though not
legally, use that network for its PCS licenses.

In December, Vesper's PCS unit Vesper SMP, along with sister
subsidiary Brazzaville, requested Anatel to lift the restriction.
Vesper executives claimed that the regulator lacked a good
argument in denying the Company the right to use its existing
fixed wireless network for mobile services.

"The decision affects the entire telecoms sector in the country,
discouraging new investment and limiting the availability of
alternative technologies to operators and consumers, by
underutilizing the rare and scarce resource of radiomagnetic
spectrum," Vesper said.

However, Anatel maintained its position.



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

AES GENER: Feller Rate Cuts Ratings On Failure To Divest Assets
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chilean generator AES Gener's failure to divest assets outside of
Chile pushed local credit ratings agency Feller Rate to downgrade
the ratings of the Company's solvency and bonds from A- to BBB-,
reports Business News Americas.

Failure to divest the assets means that AES Gener will have a
hard time paying interest coming due this year and restructuring
US$700 million of debt due in 2005-2006.

Feller Rate, an affiliate of Standard & Poor's, also attributed
the downgrade to the financial woes of AES Gener's US-based
parent, AES Corporation.

AES Gener's assets outside of Chile include Itabo in the
Dominican Republic, the TermoAndes generator and InterAndes
transmission company in Argentina, and Colombian hydro generator
Chivor.

Among these assets, Itabo is the only one AES Gener could likely
divest in the short-term, as Argentina's financial situation
makes it a bad moment to sell either TermoAndes or InterAndes,
and Chivor is subject to a US Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

CONTACT:  AES GENER S.A
          Head Office
          3rd Floor
          Mariano Sanchez Fontecilla
          310
          Santiago
          Chile
          Tel  +56 2 686 8900
          Fax  +56 2 686 8991
          Web  http://www.gener.cl
          Contact:
          Robert Morgan, Chief Executive

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


DISPUTADA: New Owner Restructures Miner
---------------------------------------
About 130 workers or 6% of the 2,350 total workforce of Chile's
Disputada de Las Condes were fired following a recently completed
restructuring plan by the mining company's new owner, London-
based Anglo American Ltd.

Restructuring was completed after three months of analysis and
internal reorganization following Anglo's purchase of Disputada.

The plan also called for a new structure at Anglo, consisting the
creation of a Shared Services Department for all its operational
sites in Chile, which include the Mantos Blancos and Manto Verde
copper mines and the Disputada de Las Condes's assets: the Los
Bronces and El Soldado mines and the Chagres smelting plant.

Anglo American also decided to eliminate the Disputada de Las
Condes name and treat the assets as separate operations.

Furthermore, the restructuring also included a management
shakeup. The new executives structure is as follows:

- Patrick Esnouf, the new president of the board of directors;

- Logan Kruger, executive president and CEO;

- Alejandro Mena, in charge of the Human Resources vice-
presidency;
- John Dyer, new Chief Financial Officer; and

- Martin Urritia, to act as new Chief Operation Manager.

Anglo completed the purchase of Disputada from Exxon Mobil
Corporation in November 2002 in an operation worth US$1.3 billion
plus possible future copper price participation of up to US$120
million.

CONTACT:  Cia. Minera Disputada de las Condes S.A.
          Av. Pedro de Valdivia 291
          Providencia
          Santiago
          Chile
          Phone: (56 2) 230 6000
          Fax: (56 2) 230 6280


GASATACAMA: Posts 13% Income Rise, But Profits Stay Low
-------------------------------------------------------
Chilean power generator GasAtacama reports a 13% rise in its
consolidated income to US$135 million. According to South
American Business Information, the increase was mainly due to the
supply contracts signed with power distributor Emel and the
mining company Minera Escondida.

Although the Company's 2002 Ebitda was more than US$40 million,
provisions made to cover its Argentine operations negatively
affected the company's profits. Last year's profit was only
US$2.5 million, after US$35 million was set aside for operations
in Argentina.

This year, the Company expects Ebitda to reach US$61 million and
sales of US$184 million, as new contracts will be incorporated,
said the report.

The Company intends to reach an Ebitda of US$100 million in 2006.

GasAtacama, the second largest power supplier in Northern Chile,
also increased its share in the interconnected power system,
SING, to 18% from 15%.



=============
E C U A D O R
=============

VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Oil Interests in Ecuador
-------------------------------------------------
Vintage Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: VPI) announced Monday that it has
closed the previously announced sale of its wholly owned
subsidiary, Vintage Oil Ecuador, S.A. ("VOE") to EnCana
Corporation for approximately US $137.4 million cash, subject to
normal post- closing adjustments and expenses. VOE holds all of
Vintage's properties in Ecuador and had an estimated working
capital of approximately $24 million at January 31, 2003. At
year-end 2001, Vintage disclosed estimated proved reserves in
Ecuador of 50.4 million barrels of oil.

Proceeds from the sale of its Ecuador interests, coupled with
proceeds received from non-core property sales earlier in 2002
and the application of cash flow in excess of capital
expenditures in 2002, allowed Vintage to achieve its previously
announced goal to reduce debt by $200 million. At year-end 2001,
Vintage had long-term debt of $1,011 million and estimates its
year-end 2002 debt would be reduced to $811 million or less,
proforma for the application of the proceeds from the Ecuador
sale. "We are pleased to announce that with the sale of our
holdings in Ecuador we have fulfilled our commitment to reduce
debt by $200 million," said S. Craig George, CEO. "Further, we
are considering additional debt reduction in 2003 to continue
progress toward lower debt levels. Currently, it is anticipated
that such deleveraging would be funded primarily by other non-
strategic asset sales," added Mr. George.

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

CONTACT:  Vintage Petroleum, Inc.
          Robert E. Phaneuf, VP - Corporate Development
          +1-918-592-0101
          URL: http://www.vintagepetroleum.com


VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Redemption of 9% Senior Sub. Notes Due 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
Vintage Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: VPI) announced Monday that it has
called for redemption of all the remaining $50 million of the
company's outstanding 9% senior subordinated notes due 2005. The
notes will be redeemed on March 5, 2003, at a redemption price of
101.5 percent of the principal amount of the notes, plus accrued
interest to March 5, 2003.

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



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

CFE: To Carry Out Hydro Feasibility Studies For Spanish Firm
------------------------------------------------------------
HydroCopalar Midamericas awarded Mexico's state power company CFE
a contract to carry out technical and financial feasibility
studies for the 650MW Copalar hydro project in Nicaragua, relates
Business News Americas.

Under the contract, the CFE will go over existing studies, bring
the budget estimates up to date and prepare a presentation to
banks that could finance the project.

According to HydroCopalar legal representative Eddie Rodriguez
Feliu, the technical and financial weight that the CFE's
involvement brings the project, greatly increases the chances of
the Copalar project being made feasible.

CONTACT:  COMISION FEDERAL DE ELECTRICIDAD
          Rio Rodano 14, Col. Cuauhtemoc
          06598 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5229-4400
          Fax: +52-55-5310-4614
          http://www.cfe.gob.mx
          Contacts:
          Alfredo Elias Ayub, General Director
          Arturo Hernandez Alvarez, Director of Operations
          Francisco J. Santoyo Vargas, Director of Finance



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

BWIA: Expects New Model to Generate Profits This Year
-----------------------------------------------------
After losing US$28.9 million last year, BWIA plans to take on a
new business model designed to help it recover losses. The
Trinidad Guardian reports that BWIA will adapt the concept of a
low-cost airline.

BWIA expects profits this year, after retrenching 617 employees,
coupled with outsourcing and consolidation initiatives. Its
frequent flyer program was also canceled. The airline also plans
to increase its EPS with its new routes to Cuba, Costa Rica and
the Dominican Republic by the end of April.

BWIA Chairman Lawrence Duprey and the airline's Chief Executive
Conrad Aleong revealed the plan on a live telecast from the
Chamber of Commerce building, Westmoorings.

The plan's primary aim is to raise earnings per share, as its
investors haven't received anything for their investments yet.
Last year, the airline's EPS was negative US$0.609. This year,
the goal is to make EPS reach US$0.10, and reach up to US$0.80 by
the fiscal year's end, assuming an eight times multiple. This
would then set the base for regaining the issue price of US$1.25
in 2004.

BWIA wants to re-establish itself, and regain its 1998 condition.
During that year, the airline was at its most profitable form,
posting profits of US$9.037 million.

One of the plan's targets is to lower operating expenses to
US$0.08 per seat mile. Executives believe that this would make it
easier for the airline to generate profits.

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: Retrenchment Not In Line With 2002 Prospectus
---------------------------------------------------
The Trinidad Guardian quoted parts of the airline's 2002
Prospectus, which emphasized on investing in its staff.

On page 33, the prospectus said:

"The Company's management recognises that in order to continue to
motivate the work force and fully transform the Company into a
high performing, customer driven airline there must be continuous
investment in its human capital.

"External training in specialised skills and in-house education
are among the highest corporate priorities.

"Pilots receive initial flight training directly from the
manufacturer in addition to refresher simulator training every
six months.

"In-flight crew are trained at the Company's Piarco base.
Maintenance and engineering staff receive specialist training as
the various authorisation licenses are required by the DCA
(Director of Civil Aviation) Training in all other areas is
continually reviewed and the necessary training is provided as
required both with respect to the technical and customer service
aspects of the job."

Airline Superintendents Association President Theo Oliver said
that BWIA should be held accountable to all its shareholders,
including retrenched employees, quoted the Trinidad Guardian.

Mr. Oliver revealed that employees represent about 15.5 percent
shareholdings in BWIA. The airline's new business plan involved
the retrenchment of 617 employees, in the hopes of improving
shareholder value.

The airline wants to reduce operating costs to US$0.80 per seat
mile. To achieve this, the staff needs to be reduced.

According to the business plan, "This low-cost target is best
achieved by operating the fleet at a higher daily utilisation,
and handling more passengers, cargo and aircraft with fewer human
resources."


BWIA: NAR Blames T&T Government For Lay-offs
--------------------------------------------
The National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) says the
government of Trinidad and Tobago is at fault for the layoffs at
troubled airline, BWIA, according to the Trinidad Guardian. NAR
political leader Lennox Sankersingh said that NAR "cannot see how
a responsible government will allow more than 600 workers to lose
their jobs in one day."

Basing its views on the government's actions towards BWIA, the
union said that the layoffs, if absolutely necessary, could have
been staggered over a period of time.

"We do not accept the Government's statement that BWIA is a
private company and they are not responsible for what took
place," said Mr. Sankersingh at a news briefing at NAR's
headquarters in Victoria Square, Port-of-Spain.

BWIA sent home 617 workers last week in an effort to reduce
operating costs. The airline is offering its new business model
to the public, and hopes to generate profits this year.



               ***********


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.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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