TCRLA_Public/030225.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

           Tuesday, February 25, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 39

                           Headlines


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Immediate Financing Deficit Gets Critical
         

A R G E N T I N A

FOREIGN BANKS: Analysts See End to Argentine Exodus
METROVIAS: No Improvement, Category 3 Share Rating Remains
OIL COMPANIES: Lavagna Proposes Devastating Special Local Tax
REPSOL YPF: Investing Heavily in Loma de la Lata Gas Facilities
TELECOM ARGENTINA: SeCom Approves ISP Services Expansion


B A H A M A S

BAHAMASAIR: Announces New Appointments to Important Positions


B E R M U D A

TRENWICK GROUP: Receives NYSE Suspension, Delisting Notification
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: CalPERS Urges `Go Back To U.S.' Resolution
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Analysts Suggest Asset Sale


B O L I V I A

HUANUNI: Political Exodus Hampers Conflict Resolution
HUANUNI: Bolivia Awaits Dissolution of JV Contract


B R A Z I L

ACESITA: Better Sales, Higher Prices Prompt Analyst `Buy' Rating
BCP: Debt Load May Alter Oi Purchase Plans
CEMAR: Eletrobras May File Legal Suit Against US Parent
KLABIN: Asset Sales Seen Unavoidable to Fend Off Trouble
SANEPAR: Vivendi Retains A Seat On Board
VARIG/TAM: Gets Approval To Reduce Flights


C H I L E

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: S&P Lowers Ratings to 'BBB-'; Outlook Neg


C O L O M B I A

MINERCOL: Awaits Government Decree for Liquidation Specifics


M E X I C O

CFE: Technical Bids Received on El Cajon Project


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Reaffirms Commitment To Barbados
CARONI LTD.: Asset Freeze Remains in Effect Until March 6


U R U G U A Y

BANCO DE CREDITO: Talks With Moon Group May Collapse
* IMF and Uruguay Agree on Basis of an Economic Program for 2003



V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: To Appeal Rate Freeze Decision
CANTV: Cutting 2003 Investments by Two Thirds
PDVSA: Layoffs Escalate in Wake of Strike


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

LIAT: Immediate Financing Deficit Gets Critical
-----------------------------------------------
Troubled Eastern Caribbean regional carrier LIAT is in need of
fresh capital to stay alive, reports The Antigua Sun.

"LIAT needs $25 million (US$9 million) to stay in business,
however, if LIAT does not obtain this financing our suppliers
could reclaim the airline or we could foreclose," said LIAT chief
executive Gary Cullen. He added that Caricom heads are expected
to disclose the level of support they would give the ailing
airline this week.

Mr. Cullen said, in the present circumstances, LIAT has only
three choices, to obtain immediate financing from regional
government, merge, with BWIA, Air Jamaica, or Caribbean Sun, or
simply close down.

In an interview with the Antigua Sun, Mr. Cullen said that,
contrary to some reports, the leaders of Caricom countries were
very sympathetic with LIAT, during their meeting with LIAT's
board. According to him, the member governments recognized the
need for competition but also understood the importance of having
a regional carrier.

Caricom heads formed a special aviation committee tasked with
carrying out a preliminary review of the airline's business plan,
financial audit, and help member governments design proposals for
funding. Maurice Edwards, director of finance in St. Vincent &
the Grenadines, is chairman of the committee.

Mr. Cullen also revealed that former BWIA chairman Ken Gordon is
setting up a group to study a possible merger between LIAT, BWIA
and Air Jamaica.

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

         

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

FOREIGN BANKS: Analysts See End to Argentine Exodus
---------------------------------------------------
Local banking analysts expect that no more major foreign banks
will exit Argentina, as the country's economy begins showing
improvement. Business News Americas cited a local brokerage
saying all large foreign players have already recovered their
loses, adding that the banks' decision to voluntarily return
frozen assets is a sign of their commitment to stay.

Carina Lopez, from Standard and Poor's said, "We are not likely
to see any other dramatic exit like Scotiabank and Credit
Agricole."

Canadian bank Scotiabank sold its Argentine unit, Scotiabank
Quilmes, after liquidity problems made it decide to leave the
country. French bank Credit Agricole's three national banks were
taken over by federal bank Banco Nacion.

Italian group IntesaBci also announced last year that it will
leave Argentina, and sold Banco Sudameris Argentina. Spanish
group SCH, which owns Banco Rio in Argentina, was also rumored to
leave the country.

Citibank and BankBoston are among the foreign players in the
country that has started returning frozen time deposits to
clients.


METROVIAS: No Improvement, Category 3 Share Rating Remains
----------------------------------------------------------
Credit rating agency Fitch is maintaining its Category 3 rating
on the shares of Argentine public transport company Metrovias,
reports Business News Americas. Category 3 is for low liquidity
shares whose issuers have a good capacity to generate profits.

Fitch said that the rating reflects Metrovias' exclusive 24-year
concession that began in 1994 and improved service quality. The
Company's economic-financial imbalance and operative
deterioration due to adverse external factors was also taken into
consideration, Fitch added.

Fitch pointed out that a government-dictated fare freeze in face
of increasing costs and dollar-denominated supplies have created
pressure on Metrovias' cash flow, while the country's economic
situation has led to a drop in passengers. The rating agency also
highlights the sector's highly regulated service.

Metrovias, which operates capital Buenos Aires' subway system, is
a division of Argentine construction and transportation company
Compania Latinoamericana de Infraestructura & Servicios SA
(CLISA).

The Company recently revealed a ARS27.4 million (US$8.83mn) net
loss for 2002. The loss added to CLISA's financial woes, which
include a missed interest payment on US$100 million of guaranteed
senior notes in December.

Last month, CLISA offered to exchange the defaulted bonds with
new bonds. TCR-LA recalls that CLISA 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 February 25.

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

FINANCIAL ADVISOR:

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


OIL COMPANIES: Lavagna Proposes Devastating Special Local Tax
-------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna threatened to impose a
100-percent tax on extraordinary earnings, if local oil companies
sell oil at more than US$30 per barrel to the local market. A
report by Dow Jones Newswires said that the government official
believes that other Latin American countries would adopt the same
attitude.

Mr. Lavagna was reacting to oil companies' petition to
renegotiate domestic oil prices to compensate for high global
prices. He added that no negotiations between the government and
oil companies are underway, and that there is no reason for an
increase in domestic oil prices.

Under an agreement signed two months ago, oil companies are
required to sell oil at US$28.50 per barrel, to keep local oil
prices under control. In return, companies can continue selling
oil at US$28.50 per barrel, even if world oil prices have gone
down below that price. However, the agreement had a clause saying
that the agreement ends if world oil prices exceed US$35 per
barrel for more than 10 days.

Global oil prices went above the US$35 level last week. If the
prices remain extended, the agreement would expire by its terms
on Friday of this week.

Mr. Lavagna's statements were incongruent with Cabinet Chief
Alfredo Atanasof's, who said on Thursday, "We are permanently in
contact with the companies in the sector, precisely to avoid
there being increases in the domestic market. We will soon have
new suggestions, new ideas to study and also to resolve, and it's
clear that we don't have much time, given that on Monday the
timeframe that we put in place with the oil companies will
expire, so that before that you will surely have news about this
matter."

Last year, the country required oil companies to retain 30
percent of their export revenue in the country, coupled with a 20
percent tax on exports.


REPSOL YPF: Investing Heavily in Loma de la Lata Gas Facilities
---------------------------------------------------------------
Repsol-YPF Vice President for Exploration and Production Ramon
Gil said that the Spanish oil company would invest US$120 million
in Loma de la Lata gas block this year. Mr. Gil told Business
News Americas during operations start-up of the field's 11th
compression station on Thursday that the crisis has passed for
the Company. Last year, Argentina was hard hit by a sharp
currency devaluation, and economic crisis.

Business News Americas cited an unnamed source saying that two
more compression stations in Loma de la Lata are under
construction, and operations are to start later this year. The
source also said that the station opened Thursday is for re-
injection in 13 wells in the field, rather than leading to a
production increase seeks to improve efficiency.

Production in Argentina's Loma de la Lata is seasonal, recording
peaks of 54 million cubic meters/day during winter. This accounts
for about 31% of natural gas demand in the country.

The block, which has 145 wells and is in Neuquen province, also
supplies the Neuba I and II, Centro Oeste and Gasoducto del
Pacifico pipelines, the last of which exports to Chile, said the
report.

CONTACT: REPSOL YPF SA
         Head Office
         Paseo de la Castellana 278
         28046 Madrid
         Spain
         Phone:  +34 91 348 81 00
         Fax:  +34 91 348 28 21
         Telex:  48162 RESOLE
         Web Site:  http://www.repsol.com
         Contact:
         Alfonso Cortina de Alcocer, Chairman
         Jose Vilarasu Salat, Vice Chairman
         Antonio Hernandez, Vice Chairman


TELECOM ARGENTINA: SeCom Approves ISP Services Expansion
--------------------------------------------------------
Argentine fixed line operator Telecom Argentina obtained approval
from the country's telecoms regulator SeCom to expand Internet
services to more than 300 towns in the north of the country,
reports Business News Americas. The present extenstion adds areas
within 30-55km the operator's current coverage.

Telecom Argentina, majority owned by France Telecom SA and
Telecom Italia SpA, had the biggest corporate default in
Argentina after the government defaulted on US$95 billion of debt
and devalued the currency in January 2002.

The Company earlier proposed to buy back a portion of US$3.2
billion in defaulted debt. Under the proposal, Telecom Argentina
would use US$260 million in cash to buy back debt. The Company
would pay up to 50% of face value, and the plan may allow it to
cancel about US$700 million in debt.

However, reports have it that banks including BankBoston NA and
Citigroup Inc. that hold about US$1.2 billion in Telecom
Argentina SA's defaulted debt were dissatisfied with the proposal
and may call for a bankruptcy proceeding to set new repayment
terms.

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



=============
B A H A M A S
=============

BAHAMASAIR: Announces New Appointments to Important Positions
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bahamasair managing director Paul D. Major announced the
appointment of Captain Vincent Beneby to the position of Director
of Safety & Standards. The Nassau Guardian reports that Mr. Major
also appointed Willamae Kemp as manager of West Palm Beach
Airport and Milo B. Butler III as chief customer service officer.

A report from the Caribbean Investor enumerated the
responsibilities of the new appointees.

Effective on Jan. 13, 2003, Capt. Beneby's responsibilities would
include maintaining the flight Safety and Accident Prevention
Programme, and ensuring that the airline complies with the
mandatory and voluntary reporting systems.

Mrs. Kemp's tasks involves processing passengers traveling to
Marsh Harbous, complying with regulatory requirements, and
ensuring that passengers receive good quality service during
their travel experience with Bahamasair, starting on November 15
last year.

Starting February 10, Mr. Butler's duties will include leading
and inspiring all customer contact staff to provide the highest
possible quality service to all customers and to provide reliable
cargo service. He would also oversee the airline's Customer
Relations and Security Departments.

Last year, the airline was reprimanded by Bahamas Parliamentary
Secretary for the Ministry John Carey, for "using much of the
government's revenue while failing to satisfy expectations."

According to the Secretary, the airline, which received US$45
million from the Free National Movement Government, is becoming
an economic burden to the country's taxpayers, using
approximately US$125,000 per day. He added that employees are
continually complaining of the poor leadership in the management.

CONTACT:  Bahamasair Holdings Limited
          P.O.Box N 4881
          Nassau, Bahamas
          Phone: (242) 377-8451
          Fax: (242) 377-7409



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

TRENWICK GROUP: Receives NYSE Suspension, Delisting Notification
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trenwick Group Ltd.(NYSE: TWK) announced Sunday that it has been
notified by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that its common
stock could be subject to trading suspension and delisting within
the next six months.

Trenwick received this notification because the average share
price of its common stock for the previous 30 days has been below
$1.00. The NYSE's criteria for continued listing require that a
Company's common stock trade at a minimum average share price of
$1.00 over a 30-day period.

Under NYSE guidelines, Trenwick must return to compliance with
the NYSE's criteria for continued listing within six months
following receipt of the NYSE's notification. In the event that
the Company fails to return to compliance during this time
period, or the NYSE otherwise determines to institute delisting
proceedings, the common stock could be subject to trading
suspension and delisting.

The NYSE also notified Trenwick that it may review the continued
listing status of the Series A Perpetual Preferred Stock of
LaSalle Re Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:LSH_pa), Trenwick's Bermuda-based
subsidiary. Although it noted that LaSalle has not failed to meet
any specific financial listing criteria at this time, the NYSE
indicated that it may make determinations as to suitability for
continued listing based on other factors including the
performance of Trenwick and the ongoing scope of LaSalle's
operations.

Background Information

Trenwick is a Bermuda-based specialty insurance and reinsurance
underwriting organization with two principal businesses operating
through its subsidiaries located in the United States, the United
Kingdom and Bermuda. Trenwick's reinsurance business provides
treaty reinsurance to insurers of property and casualty risks
from offices in the United States and Bermuda. Trenwick's
operations at Lloyd's of London underwrite specialty insurance as
well as treaty and facultative reinsurance on a worldwide basis.
In 2002, Trenwick voluntarily placed into runoff its U.S.
specialty program business and its specialty London market
insurance company, Trenwick International Limited, and sold the
in-force business of LaSalle Re Limited.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: CalPERS Urges `Go Back To U.S.' Resolution
--------------------------------------------------------------
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)
issued a Shareowner Alert today, asking fellow shareowners to
join the System in voting for a resolution which urges the Tyco
board to bring its legal incorporation back to the United States
from Bermuda.

In a letter to the top 100 of Tyco's shareowners, CalPERS asked
for an affirmative vote on proposal number #7, sponsored by the
American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees
(AFSCME) pension plan. CalPERS owns more than 1.4 million shares
of Tyco common stock. Tyco is schedule to hold their annual
meeting in Bermuda on March 6, 2003.

Even though the Tyco Board has agreed to study this issue,
CalPERS believes it is critical to keep the company on task
through this resolution.

"America's recent corporate scandals demonstrate it is very
important that, in the event of legal violations by officers or
directors of a U.S.-domiciled company, that shareowners
everywhere have the ability to pursue legal recourse in the event
of mismanagement or illegal actions by a company," said Fred R.
Buenrostro, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of CalPERS.

"Offshore incorporations weaken shareholder protections and
severely limit shareowners' abilities to pursue their rightful
legal remedies if necessary.

"Shareowners lost a significant level of accountability when Tyco
reincorporated from Delaware to Bermuda," said Buenrostro in the
letter to fellow shareowners. "Bermuda incorporation makes it
more difficult for shareholders to hold companies, their officers
and directors legally accountable in the event of wrongdoing;
class actions are generally not available under Bermuda law; and
shareholders have extremely limited ability to sue officers and
directors derivatively on behalf of the corporation."

CalPERS is the nation's largest public pension fund with assets
totaling approximately $133 billion. The System provides
retirement and health benefits to 1.3 million State and local
public agency members and their families.

CONTACTS:  Brad Pacheco/Pat Macht
           Office of Public Affairs
           (916) 326-3991

http://www.calpers-governance.org/


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Analysts Suggest Asset Sale
-----------------------------------------------
Some Wall Street analysts said Tyco International, Ltd. is better
off selling its Fire and Security division, particularly ADT,
Ltd., according to a Reuters report. David Bleustein of UBS
Warburg said that Tyco may find the true value of the division by
selling it. He estimates that the Company will grow only 5
percent in the revenue in the fiscal year ending on September 30.

In a research report, MR. Bleustein wrote, "We have assumed a 2.5
times revenue multiple for Tyco's security (ADT) business. We
believe ADT represents one of Tyco's most readily marketable
assets given its potential attractiveness to strategic buyers."

Tyco's plastic unit is most likely to be sold, in the opinion of
Nick Heymann from Prudential Financial Research in New York.
Aside from the fact that the unit was put up for sale last year,
it is also vulnerable to the rising cost of oil, said Mr.
Heymann.

He added that the Company should sell ADT, too, because it will
"take time to sort out."

Tyco spokesperson Liz Mather said the Company is reviewing which
units it might sell but declined to comment on the analysts'
statements.

Tyco CEO Edward Breen reportedly wants to fix the said division,
after it presented disappointing figures in the fiscal first
quarter ended on December 31. Mr. Breen and the Company's Chief
Finance Officer David Fitzpatrick would spend a significant
amount of time resolving the division's bad debt, while reducing
costs.

The Company doesn't break out sales for ADT, but its fire and
security business had $11 billion in sales last year, said the
report.

But investors are wary of Tyco's debt, which stands at US$24
billion as of the end of December last year. As of this month,
Mr. Breen has secured US$4.5 billion in financing to cover a
US$3.6 billion shortfall by the end of the year.

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)
         Phone: +1-212-424-1314
                 or
         Kathy Manning (Investors)
         Phone: +1-603-778-9700



=============
B O L I V I A
=============

HUANUNI: Political Exodus Hampers Conflict Resolution
-----------------------------------------------------
The Bolivian government and the unemployed miners, who are
requesting to exploit the Posokini tin deposit at the Huanuni
mine, nearly reached a lasting solution to their conflict,
Business News Americas indicates. Talks between the two parties
had just finalized when the entire cabinet of President Gonzalo
Sanchez de Lozada resigned on February 18, leaving all documents
linked to the negotiations unsigned.

"We had just finished negotiations with the Huanuni cooperative
and the documents were awaiting the signature [of the economic
development minister]. Now the question is, what line is the new
cabinet going to take?" asked Rolando Delaunde, mining and
metallurgy director of the department.

According to the official, state mining corporation Comibol has
also been in contact with the workers and cooperative members in
Huanuni.

At present the unemployed miners have access to level 120 of
Posokoni, and are asking for access to the lower levels to
exploit more of the mine, one of Bolivia's most important tin
deposits with 948,599t of reserves that, with production of
200t/d, would have a useful life of 16 years.


HUANUNI: Bolivia Awaits Dissolution of JV Contract
--------------------------------------------------
Bolivia is yet to see a solution to its conflict with UK-based
RBG over the control of the Huanuni mine, Business News Americas
reports, citing a spokesperson for the country's mines
department.

"We are awaiting a judgment for the dissolution of that
contract," Rolando Delaunde, mining and metallurgy director of
the department.

Allied Deals, as RBG was known at the time, took over Huanuni,
under the joint venture contract with state mining authority
Comibol, in April 2000. The same company bought the Vinto tin
smelter, which is supplied by the mine, from Comibol for US$14.7
million and a pledge to invest US$14 million.

But RBG has since gone bankrupt after becoming embroiled in a
US$600-million fraud scandal. The court-appointed liquidator
obliged it to sell Vinto to Bolivian mining company Comsur and
the UK government's Commonwealth Development Corporation in June
last year for US$6 million.

Comsur, a company connected to President Sanchez de Lozada, also
wanted to take RBG's place in the joint venture for Huanuni with
Comibol, but backed down after protests from miners.



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

ACESITA: Better Sales, Higher Prices Prompt Analyst `Buy' Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Katia Brollo, a steel analyst for Unibanco investment bank,
recommends investors buy up shares of Brazilian stainless
steelmaker Acesita. Ms. Brollo's forecasts Acesita's shares will
appreciate 40% to a target price of BRL1.60. The steelmaker's
share price closed at BRL1.14 on Friday.

According to a Business News Americas report, Ms. Brollo also
expects a 38% increase in Acesita's sales this year, to 434,800t
of stainless steel, compared to 2002.

The analyst believes that exports will push up the Company's
sales and account for 60% of the total.

"It is worth noting that in 2002, stainless steel accounted for
39% of the company's sales in the first half, and then increased
to 54% in 2H02," she said.

Acesita's output and sales last year were hurt by an accident at
its No. 2 blast furnace. Complete recovery of the blast furnace
will not be verified until the steelmaker undertakes a
maintenance check of the equipment in November this year.

Mr. Brollo says Acesita's learning curve in stainless steelmaking
is coming to a close and that lost sales resulting from the
accident will gradually be recovered. Due to the incident, sales
of Acesita's other two products, silicon and carbon steel, fell
10% and 40%, respectively, between 3Q02 and 4Q02.

Demand from Asia and Europe is seen keeping average prices up
this year compared to 2002.

"For 2004, we forecast a 1% increase in prices in dollars and for
2005 we are assuming that dollar prices will remain the same,"
the analyst said.

The price of stainless steel is around US$1,200/t, much higher
than the price of slabs, which currently change hands for
US$235/t.

"It [stainless steel] is the most value-added steel product on
the market," she added.

Mr. Brollo forecasts Acesita's net sales will rise 52% to BRL2.58
billion in 2003 compared to last year; EBITDA will jump 70% to
BRL729 million; and net profit will reach BRL441 million versus
the BRL290-million loss reported for 2002.

Belo Horizonte-based Acesita, controlled by Luxembourg-based
steel group Arcelor, is Latin America's sole producer of
stainless and silicon steel with installed capacity of
800,000t/y.

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


BCP: Debt Load May Alter Oi Purchase Plans
------------------------------------------
Brazilian PCS operator Oi, the mobile unit of Rio de Janeiro-
based incumbent telco Telemar, is looking to buy Sao Paulo-based
mobile operator BCP as part of its expansion efforts, local
broadsheet Jornal do Comercio reports, citing an Oi executive.

"We are negotiating the purchase of BCP. This is part of our
expansion strategy," Oi COO Paulo Goncalves said at the 3GSM
World Congress in Cannes, France.

According to Bear Stearns analyst Alex Constantini, Oi's purchase
of BCP could be good for the buyer as it would gain BCP's 1.7
million subscribers and "excellent operation." The analyst also
noted that the Sao Paulo operator's end-3Q02 blended ARPU of
BRL51 (US$14) is the market's highest.

However, BCP's BRL7-billion debt load could pose a big problem
for Oi.

"No one will buy BCP today without debt renegotiations,"
Constantini said.

BCP controlling shareholders BellSouth and local group Safra
defaulted on a US$375-million debt payment nearly a year ago, and
have since been squabbling over how to dump BCP.

Meanwhile, according to an earlier report by the TCR-LA, BCP is
reportedly nearing a deal with creditors. The report suggested
that the agreement would essentially leave creditor banks in
control of the Company, as they would accept a debt-for-equity
swap.

CONTACT:  BCP S.A.
          Rua Fl>rida, 1970 4o andar
          Sao Paulo - SP
          Tel: 55 11 5509-6428
          Fax: 55 11 5509-6257
          Home Page: http://www.bcp.com.br

          BELLSOUTH CORPORATION
          1155 Peachtree St. NE
          Atlanta, GA 30309-3610
          Phone: 404-249-2000
          Fax: 404-249-5599
          Home Page: http://www.bellsouth.com/
          Contacts:
          Investor Relations
          Phone (US):    800.241.3419
          Fax: 404.249.2060
          E-mail: investor@bellsouth.com


CEMAR: Eletrobras May File Legal Suit Against US Parent
-------------------------------------------------------
US-based PPL Global may face legal problems in connection with
the debts accumulated by its unit in Brazil, the Maranhao state
power company Cemar. According to a Business News Americas
report, Brazil's federal power company Eletrobras is examining
whether it can make PPL pay for the BRL350 million (US$96mn) in
debts Cemar owed to Eletrobras.

Eletrobras executives were scheduled to travel to Maranhao on
Wednesday to discuss the issue with Sinval Zaidan, appointed by
Aneel, Brazil's power regulator, to run Cemar.

PPL acquired Cemar at privatization in 2001, but decided to sell
its share in the Company because, the Pennsylvania-based company
claims, the operations were not viable. PPL tried to sell Cemar
to an investment group, Franklin, but creditors blocked the move.

Cemar then filed for bankruptcy and Aneel stepped in to run the
Company and try to sell it.

Aneel was supposed to conclude its intervention in Cemar last
February 17, but the regulator extended the intervention for 180
days to allow more time to resolve Cemar's financial
difficulties.

CONTACT:  COMPANHIA ENERGETICA DO MARANHAO
          Av. Colares Moreira, 477
          65075-441 - Sao Luiz- MA
          PHONE: (98) 217-2119
          FAX: (98) 235-3024
          WEBSITE: http://www.cemar.com.br/

CREDITORS:  CENTRAIS ELETRICAS BRASILEIRAS S.A. - ELETROBRAS
            Avenida Presidente Vargas 409, 13 Andar
            20071-003 Rio de Janeiro Brazil
            Phone: (21) 2514-5151
            Fax: +55-21-2242-2697
            Home Page: http://www.eletrobras.gov.br
            Contacts:
            Cladio da Silva avila, President
            Jose Alexandre Nogueira de Resende, Director of
                                  Financial and Market Relations

            Investor Relations Division
            Phone: (0XX21) 2514-6207 / 2514-6333
            Av. Presidente Vargas, 409 - 9  andar
            20071-003 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
            Email: arlindo@eletrobras.gov.br

            CENTRAIS ELETRICAS DO NORTH DO BRAZIL - ELETRONORTE
            Av. Presidente Vargas, 489 -13  andar.
            20071-003- Rio do Janeiro RJ
            Phone: + (55+61) 429 5139
            Fax: +(55+61) 328 1373
            E-mail: elnweb@eln.gov.br
            Home Page: http://www.eln.gov.br/
            Contact:
            Mr. Arlindo Soares Castanheira, Investor Relations
            Phone: 55 21 2514.6331
                   55 21 2514.6333
            Fax: 55 21 2242.2694
            E-mail: arlindo@eletrobras.gov.br

            FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL CORP.
            100 Federal Street
            Boston, MA 02110
            Phone: (617) 434-2200
            Fax: (617) 434-6943
            URL: http://www.fleet.com/home.asp


KLABIN: Asset Sales Seen Unavoidable to Fend Off Trouble
--------------------------------------------------------
Market speculation abounds that Klabin, Brazil's biggest paper
and pulp company, is close to selling some key assets. Most
likely to be sold are its Riocell pulp plant and its stake in a
local joint venture with U.S. paper-product giant Kimberly-Clark
Corp..

"These rumors have been heard before, but they're picking up
steam now," said Monica Araujo, a paper and pulp analyst at
Espirito Santo Securities in Rio de Janeiro. "If they're true,
it's very positive because the company is in a very delicate
financial situation and needs to reduce its debt load."

A spokesman for Klabin declined to comment, but the Company said
late last year that it was planning to raise US$300 million with
the sale of assets in a bid to improve its cash flow. Klabin had
BRL3.1 billion ($863 million) of debt as of the end of September,
almost a third of which is owed in foreign currency.

According to a report by Jornal do Brasil, the Klabin hired Uniao
de Bancos Brasileiros SA to help it sell the assets. But Klabin
denied the report, saying it hadn't hired a bank to assess the
transaction.

Rumors about the possible sale kicked Klabin's shares 18 centavos
or 14% higher, to BRL1.44 at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, the
biggest single-day gain since May 1999, and the highest closing
price since February 2001.

CONTACT:  Klabin SA
          Rua Formosa, 367 - 12o Andar
          Centro
          01075-900 Sao Paulo - SP
          Brazil
          Tel  +55 11 3225-4000
          Fax  +55 11 3225-4241
          Web  http://www.klabin.com.br
          Contact:
          Pedro Franco Piva, Chairman


SANEPAR: Vivendi Retains A Seat On Board
----------------------------------------
Roberto Requiao, governor of Brazil's Parana state, met with
Olivier Orsini, a representative from Vivendi Environnement SA,
on Tuesday to discuss control of state water utility Cia. de
Saneamento do Parana (Sanepar).

Domino Holding SA, a conglomerate whose members include Vivendi
Water, Andrade & Gutierrez and Banco Opportunity, holds just 40%
of Sanepar. But even so, a deal with the previous governor gave
them power over staffing, loans, deals with shareholders and
final say over tariffs.

That deal was terminated by Requiao less than two weeks ago
following complaints about both poor water quality and under-
investment. But in order to ease relations with the world's
largest water company, Requiao said Vivendi may remain involved
in the management of Sanepar.

Sanepar will hold a general shareholders assembly March 10 to
vote on new directors and board members, Requiao said.

Sanepar serves 7.5 million customers in 623 municipalities.


VARIG/TAM: Gets Approval To Reduce Flights
---------------------------------------------
Brazil's two biggest airlines, Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense SA
(Varig) and TAM Linhas Aereas SA, obtained authorization from the
Civil Aviation Department to cut 22 out of 69 flights between Sao
Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The flight reductions are aimed at cutting costs. The plan is
part of the airlines' recent agreement to combine their
businesses to avoid bankruptcy after failing to get government
aid to pay maturing debt and aircraft leases and to purchase
fuel.

According to a Valor Economico newspaper, the airlines aren't
expected to implement any cuts before the Carnival celebrations
in early March.

CONTACT:      VARIG (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S.A.)
              Rua 18 de Novembro No. 800, Sao Joao
              90240-040 Porto Alegre,
              Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
              Phone: (51) 358-7039/7040
                     (51) 358-7010/7042
              Fax: +55-51-358-7001
              Home Page: www.varig.com.br/english/
              Contacts:
              Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance and CFO
              E-mail: dorival.schultz@varig.com.br

              Investor Relations:
              Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha,
              n  365-Bloco "B" - s/458 / Centro
              Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

              KPMG Brazil
              Belo Horizonte
              Rua Paraba, 1122
              13th Floor
              30130-918 Belo Horizonte MG
              Telephone 55 (31) 3261 5444
              Telefax 55 (31) 3261 5151
                       or
              Brasilia
              SBS Quadra 2 BL A N 1
              Edificio Casa de Sao Paulo SL 502
              70078-900 Braslia - DF
              Telephone 55 (61) 223 2024
              Telefax 55 (61) 224 0473

              BAIN & CO
              Primary Contact: Wendy Miller
              Two Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116
              USA
              Phone: +1-617-572-2000
              Fax: +1-617-572-2461
              Email: miles.cook@bain.com
              URL: http://www.bain.com

              TAM
              Daniel Mandelli Martin, President
              Buenos Aires
              Tel. (54) (11) 4816-0001
              URL: www.tam.com.br



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

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: S&P Lowers Ratings to 'BBB-'; Outlook Neg
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered Friday its long-term
corporate credit and debt ratings on Chile-based electricity
provider Enersis S.A. (Enersis) and on its 60%-owned subsidiary,
Chilean power generator, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A.
(Endesa Chile) to 'BBB-' from 'BBB'. The outlook remains
negative.

"The rating action is based on concerns about the companies'
refinancing risk stemming from difficult market conditions that
have caused delays in completing the rollover of their high
short-term debt maturities. The downgrade also reflects limited
support from parent Endesa Spain and the relative weakness of
projected financial ratios for the rating category," said credit
analyst Sergio Fuentes.

As of Dec. 31, 2002, consolidated debt reached US$8.9 billion,
including a US$1.4 billion loan from Enersis' major shareholder,
Endesa S.A. (A/Negative/A-1). About US$700 million in bonds and
US$1.5 billion in bank debt mature during 2003. Enersis and
Endesa are currently working on the refinancing of these
maturities and on a financial strengthening plan that involves
the sale of Rio Maipo and Canutillar, which Standard & Poor's
expects will be completed by March 2003, other asset sales, the
capitalization of the loan from Endesa S.A., and other measures.
Standard & Poor's expects Enersis and Endesa to complete the
refinancing before the end of April. After the process is
completed, Enersis and Endesa Chile will not face major
maturities until 2006 except for the bond maturities mentioned
above.

The negative outlook reflects the uncertainties related to the
refinancing and the negative effect it could have on the
companies' financial flexibility going forward. Standard & Poor's
does not expect Endesa S.A. to provide support in excess of the
capitalization of the loan and a US$150 million asset purchase as
announced in 2002. Rating stability would require a successful
refinancing and meaningful improvement of the companies' cash
flow generation measures to levels more in line with the rating
category.

"Both Enersis' and Endesa Chile's financial situations are
constrained by the high level of debt and interest payments
combined with high debt maturities coming due in 2003 and 2004,"
Fuentes said. "In addition, Endesa Chile also needs to face
relatively high capital expenditures in 2003 related to the
construction of Ralco. This power plant is projected to start
generating cash flow by mid 2004."

Enersis and Endesa Chile present solid business positions in
Chile, partly offset by the deterioration of their investments in
Argentina and Brazil, and their aggressive financial profiles.
Enersis has a dominant position in electricity distribution and
also in power generation in Chile - the latter through its 60%
equity stake in Endesa Chile. This represents more than 11,000
gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year of electricity distributed to
around 1.6 million customers, and approximately 16,000 GWh of
annual power generated by around 4,000 megawatts of installed
capacity in Chile.

Enersis' consolidated financial ratios slightly weakened in 2002
in spite of Endesa Chile's slight improvement. Funds from
operations (FFO) interest coverage and FFO-to-total average debt
reached 2.4x and 12% in fiscal 2002, respectively, compared to
2.8x and 16% in fiscal 2001. This was partly due to the weaker
results at the level of its distribution companies, mainly in
Argentina and Brazil. Endesa Chile's consolidated financials
slightly improved during 2002 when FFO interest coverage and FFO-
to-average total debt reached 2.5x and 10.6%, respectively,
compared to 2.3x and 10.0% the previous year. Standard & Poor's
expects ratios to weaken in 2003 slowly recovering afterwards.
Enersis and Endesa Chile should show consolidated FFO interest
coverage in excess of 2.8x and 2.6X and FFO-to-total debt over
15% and 13% in 2004.

ANALYSTS:  Sergio Fuentes, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2131
           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128
           Luciano Gremone, Buenos Aires (54) 11-4891-2143



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

MINERCOL: Awaits Government Decree for Liquidation Specifics
------------------------------------------------------------
Minercol president Hector Piedrahita announced that the Colombian
government has decided to liquidate the state mining company,
relates Business News Americas.

"The decision will be made official when a decree is published by
the President of the Republic [Alvaro Uribe], who ordered the
company's liquidation. In the meantime, Minercol keeps going,"
Piedrahita said.

The decree is expected to be published by the end of this month
or early March, he said.

Following Minercol's dissolution, a new smaller agency will be
set up to carry out the duties of both Minercol and state coal
company Carbocol, which is also being liquidated.

CONTACTS:  MINERCOL
           Hector Piedrahita, President
           Carrera 7 #31-10 Piso 5
           Bogot  D.C.
           Tel:+57 (1) 350 3111 / 9111
           Fax:+57(1) 350 3569 / 2380
           www.minercol.gov.co



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

CFE: Technical Bids Received on El Cajon Project
------------------------------------------------
Mexican state power company, CFE, received technical bids from
three consortia by the February 19, deadline, reports Business
News Americas. The Company said it will announce a winner for the
construction of the 750MW El Cajon hydro project on March 14.

The US$812 million project will be developed on the Santiago
river in the Mexican state of Nayarit. It is projected to
generate an average of 1,228GWh/year.

According to the report, of Brazil's Andrade Gutierrez, the
Construcoes e Comercio Camargo Correa subsidiary of Brazil's
Camargo Correa and the Mexican unit of the US' General Electric
made up the first consortium.

The second consortium consists of Mexican companies Constructora
Cota, Tradeco Infraestructura, Compania Contratista Nacional and
Consorcio Aristos.

The third consortium includes Constructora Internacional de
Infraestructura, Promotora Inversora Visa, Ingenieros Civiles
Asociados, La Peninsular Compania Constructora, and Russia's
Energomachexport Power Machines.

Meanwhile, the CFE said it would open economic bids by March 7.

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
          Web Site: 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: Reaffirms Commitment To Barbados
--------------------------------------
"Barbados is very strategic to BWIA's operations. Trinidad is the
home-base but our commercial headquarters are right here in
Barbados," declared Conrad Aleong, chief executive of cash-
strapped Trinidad and Tobago flag carrier, British West Indies
Airways (BWIA), in Barbados.

Mr. Aleong made the statement after meeting with Barbados'
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Noel Lynch, and
other officials of the Barbados Tourism Council, recalls the
Trinidad Express.  

Mr. Aleong confirmed BWIA's commitment to Barbados. The airline
did not reduce flights to the said country, after restructuring.
Only one of the 617 workers retrenched last month was from
Barbados.

BWIA brings in about 25 percent of all its traffic to Barbados.

"Despite what you have been hearing in the news, we are now
cleared for take-off," said Mr. Aleong.

Mr. Lynch said that his country has not made any cash commitments
to the airline.

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.: Asset Freeze Remains in Effect Until March 6
---------------------------------------------------------
Justice Amrika Tiwary-Reddy ruled that an injuction preventing
Trinidad and Tobago state sugar company, Caroni (175), Ltd., from
disposing or transferring its assets, is to remain in effect
until March 6, when the next hearing takes place.

The decision comes after Caroni filed a request to Justice
Tiwary-Reddy in the Civil Chamber Court for a speedy
determination of the issues surrounding an injunction that
prevents the Company from disposing or transferring its assets.

Reginald Armour, who filed the request in behalf of the Company,
said that he, and fellow Caroni legal counsels, Senior Counsel
Allan Alexander and Kerwyn Garcia, would need some time to take
instructions from their client.

Former Caroni employees, Eric Roberts and Edul Muhammed filed the
application for the injunction through Senior Counsel Seenath
Jairam, who led Henley Wooding, Gillian Lucky and Derek Ali,
according to a report from the Trinidad Express on Thursday.
Members of the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers' Trade
Union, led by their president Rudranath Indarsingh, also attended
the hearing on Wednesday.

An injunction granted by Justice David Myers on February 15
prevents Caroni, from selling or transferring specific assets,
the Trinidad Express recalls.

In the meantime, the Company is only allowed to dispose of its
stock in trade, and sell its sugar and rum products. Sale of
lands, and other like assets is strictly forbidden.

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



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

BANCO DE CREDITO: Talks With Moon Group May Collapse
----------------------------------------------------
St. George Co., an investment company of the South Korean Moon
group, is about to break off talks with the Uruguayan government
over the acquisition of local bank Banco de Credito. The Moon
group holds a minority stake in Banco de Credito.

Earlier, St George proposed to capitalize Banco de Credito with
its own funds and 20-30% of the bank's frozen deposits in
exchange for a majority stake. St George and depositors would
then become the new owners.

Recent media reports however, suggested that the group is about
to withdraw from the talks. The government is yet to confirm on
the reports.

Banco de Credito, along with Banco Comerical, Montevideo and Caja
Obrera, were intervened and suspended between July and August
last year due to capital and liquidity problems.


* IMF and Uruguay Agree on Basis of an Economic Program for 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Anoop Singh, Director of Western Hemisphere Department of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in Washington, D.C. today:

"As announced on February 17, an IMF mission returned from
Montevideo earlier this week and discussions with the authorities
have continued in Washington. We have reached agreement with the
Uruguayan authorities on the basis of an economic program for
2003. This program defines a fiscal and financing framework to
pave the way for medium-term economic sustainability and growth.
The program will also carry forward bank reforms aimed at
strengthening the domestic banking system. The authorities are
finalizing a letter of intent which they expect to complete in
the coming days. We are confident that the envisaged economic
program will be supported by the international community and
build a strong foundation for Uruguay to return to sustained
growth. We plan for Board consideration of the program in mid
March."

IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Public Affairs: 202-623-7300 - Fax: 202-623-6278
Media Relations: 202-623-7100 - Fax: 202-623-6772



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

CANTV: To Appeal Rate Freeze Decision
-------------------------------------
Venezuela's largest telco Cantv said it plans to file an appeal
over a recent decision by the government to freeze local service
rates, Business News Americas reports, citing CEO Gustavo Roosen.
Venezuela froze domestic residential rates for the Company last
week as part of setting prices for basic foodstuffs and services.

"This decision is in conflict with the nation's
telecommunications law," Roosen said.

"It means a change of the agreement we had negotiated with the
telecommunications regulator Conatel," he said, adding that he
believes the government may yet reconsider its decision because
it has acknowledged that certain legal clauses may have been
overlooked.

National Telefonos is 28.5% owned by Verizon Communications Inc.,
6.9% by Spain's Telefonica SA, 6.6% by the government, and 12% by
employees. The rest, or about 46%, is traded.


CANTV: Cutting 2003 Investments by Two Thirds
---------------------------------------------
Cantv will reduce this year's investments to US$100 million from
US$360 million last year, reports Business News Americas, citing
CFO Armando Yanes. Speaking at a conference call to explain the
Company's financial results, Mr. Yanes said the figure may go up
if the economy improves.

Capex was also higher last year because the Company spent US$150
million toward upgrading the CDMA network of mobile subsidiary
Movilnet to CDMA2000 1X.

Meanwhile, exchange controls imposed by the government in the
wake of the country's devastating two-month general strike in
December and January are likely to hamper Cantv's efforts in
making dividend payments

Business News Americas recalls that on December 10, 2002, Cantv's
shareholders approved the payment of a portion of the ordinary
dividend for 2003 of VEB140/share (VEB980 /ADS), which was
subsequently paid on January 15.

The Company now seeks to pay out the remaining VEB71/share
(VEB497 /ADS) portion of that ordinary dividend for 2003.

The dividend is subject to shareholders approval at the Annual
Shareholders' meeting to be held on March 28, 2003, and the
payment of this dividend would be effected on April 23, 2003 to
shareholders of record on April 9, 2003.


PDVSA: Layoffs Escalate in Wake of Strike
-----------------------------------------
The total number of firings at Venezuela's state oil company
Petroleos de Venezuela SA has reached 14,948, or 45% of the
Company's pre-strike workforce of 33,000, reports Bloomberg.
Recently, the Company fired 1,785 more employees in a bid to
break a protracted strike that has reduced its operations and
slashed exports. According to PdVSA officials, those dismissed
had reportedly worked in the western part of the country.

Labor unions, business leaders and former oil executives
organized the national work stoppage to pressure President Hugo
Chavez to step down and hold elections. The strike ended February
1. But reports have it that opposition leaders could call a
strike anew after the arrest of one of the strike leaders late
Wednesday by the secret police.

Carlos Fernandez, the leader of the private business sector
chamber Fedecamaras, was detained following a judge's order, and
was charged with treason and instigating violence, in addition to
other charges.

PdVSA workers have said they won't be joining the strike, if one
were re-introduced.

"There's absolutely no chance oil workers will heed a possible
strike call," Rafael Gomez told Dow Jones Newswires early
Thursday. "We can guarantee normal operations and supply in the
case a strike were to happen," Gomez said.

"What happened to Fernandez is what should and will happen to
PdVSA executives who called for the strike in December," Gomez
added.



               ***********


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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
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or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


* * * End of Transmission * * *