TCRLA_Public/030310.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                   L A T I N   A M E R I C A

           Monday, March 10, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 48



DISCO SA: Three Investors Vying For Control
SIDERAR: Inks $473.3M Restructuring Deal With Creditors
SIDERAR: Returns To Profitability

* Argentine Supreme Court Rules on Redollarization
* Debt Negotiator Explains Why IFIs Have Privileged Lender Status


GLOBAL CROSSING: Announces 2002 Milestones, 2003 Outlook
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Reports Annual Meeting Results


BSE: America Movil Announces Acquisition Deal
VARIG: US Justice Dept. Seizes Aircraft At Lender's Behest


MADECO: Fitch Ups Bond Ratings To BB After Debt Repayment
MANQUEHUE NET: Plans To Boost Local Broadband Market Share
SAESA: Issuing New Shares To Boost Capital


EMCALI: Duff & Phelps Issues CCC Rating on $33.8M of Bonds


ALESTRA: Reports Wider Loss For 2002 On Rising Financial Costs
BURLINGTON INDUSTRIES: Begins Sale Process to Speed Recovery
DIRECTV MEXICO: Not For Sale, Says Parent
GRUPO TMM: Announces Effectiveness Of Registration Statement
PEMEX REFINACION: Awaits Board's Approval of Power Cogen Plan

UNEFON: PricewaterhouseCoopers Raises Going Concern Doubts


BANCO DE CREDITO: Employees Move To Avert Liquidation


EDC: Plans Short-Term Debt Sale

* Latin American Banks' Performance Tied to National Economics

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


DISCO SA: Three Investors Vying For Control
The Carrefour group and two Argentine businessmen are setting
their eyes on Disco, an Argentine supermarket chain owned by
Dutch company Royal Ahold, according to rumors in Paris and

Carrefour, however, has yet to confirm the rumors.

Ahold is in the middle of a financial scandal. Investigations
into bookkeeping irregularities were opened by the Department of
Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission after Ahold
informed the institutions of accounting trouble in the United
States and at its Disco subsidiary.

At the same time, Judge Pablo Eguren, a Uruguayan judge who
specializes in criminal prosecutions, is also investigating what
happened to the US$492 million the Dutch company paid in August
last year for 100% control of Disco-Ahold International, its
joint venture with Velox Retail Holdings (VRH), a company run by
the Peirano family.

As part of his investigation, Judge Eguren said he intended to
enlist Interpol to bring former Ahold executives Cees van der
Hoeven and Michael Meurs to Uruguay to answer questions related
to the deal. Summons will be formally made this week, Judge
Eguren added.

Ahold was forced to buy out VRH when its South American partner
defaulted on debt repayments.

However Sobi, the independent Dutch corporate watchdog, claims
the US$492-million should have gone to Banco Montevideo, a
Uruguay bank, and not VRH. That is because the shares were
pledged to the bank as security for loans to VRH.

Banco Montevideo, also owned by the Peirano family, was placed
under the control of the Uruguay central bank on June 22, as a
result of a liquidity crisis.

Judge Eguren said: "We are trying to get to the bottom of the
movement of the Peirano Group in relation to Disco-Ahold and its
participation in Ahold and what happened to the sale of the

Velox Retail Holdings was part of Velox Group, which also owned
banks in Paraguay, Argentina and the Cayman Islands. The judge
has already questioned Eduardo Orteu, who -until his recent
resignation - was chief executive of Disco-Ahold.

Ahold said it was aware of the matter but had no comment.

SIDERAR: Inks $473.3M Restructuring Deal With Creditors
Argentine steelmaker Siderar S.A. reached an agreement with
creditors to restructure the terms and conditions of US$473.3
million in debt, Dow Jones reports, citing a company

Under the agreement, Siderar will make a down payment of US$85
million, equivalent to 17.95% of the restructured debt, with the
remaining US$388.3 million extended to a maturity of 5.25 years
to be canceled in eleven installments.

Quarterly interest payments will be calculated on three-month
LIBOR plus five percentage points, Siderar said.

CONTACT:  Leonardo Stazi
          Siderar S.A.I.C.
          Phone: 54 (11) 4018-2308/2249
          Home Page:

SIDERAR: Returns To Profitability
Siderar, part of the Techint group, posted a net profit of
ARS99.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2002, reversing a net
loss of ARS183 million in the same period a year earlier.

The fourth-quarter profit figure amounted to quarterly earnings
per share and per ADS of ARS0.2870 and ARS2.296, respectively.
Each ADS represents eight class A shares.

Net profit for the full year 2002 was ARS117.1 million, against a
loss of ARS273.9 million in 2001.

Net sales for the quarter came to ARS714.1 million, compared with
ARS324.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2001, the Company said,
attributing the increase to the effects of "converting foreign
currency sales to Argentine pesos." The peso lost 70% of its
value in 2002 after its one-to-one peg to the dollar was
abandoned in early January of that year.

Siderar said sales were also helped by higher export shipments,
and higher average selling prices. Domestic shipments were also
higher, it said. The increased sales came even after the impact
of a 5% export tax and a 50% reduction in tax rebates on export

Total shipments were 528,000 tons in the quarter, the Company
said, up 39% from the first quarter of 2001. Domestic shipments
were up 18% to 199,000 tons while export shipments were up 56% to
329,000 tons.

* Argentine Supreme Court Rules on Redollarization
The Argentine Supreme Court has ruled to redollarize the deposits
from the province of San Luis in Banco Naci¢n. The ruling does
not apply to individual depositors, and therefore has no
immediate effect on the financial system as a whole or on
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' ratings on Argentine banks,
which are all currently 'SD'.

It is, however, a precedent and a clear sign of what can be
expected when the Supreme Court rules in the case of individual
depositors, although this is an event that will probably have to
be faced by the new administration, expected to take over in May.
Immediately, legal injunctions allowing individual depositors to
withdraw funds at the free exchange rate are expected to
increase, which could jeopardize the improved liquidity situation
banks have been enjoying. The deposits subject to an eventual
redollarization are those trapped in the "corralon," which amount
to Argentine pesos 18 billion, which originally were
approximately $9 billion. Nevertheless, the potential Supreme
Court ruling could also benefit depositors who held balances at
the time of the freeze a year ago. That is, depending on the date
chosen for compensation, the cost of redollarization could go as
high as $35 billion.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the redollarization of
individuals' deposits, depositors can only expect to receive a
dollar-bond, either issued by the government or by the banks,
because banks don't have the funds to give deposits back in the
original currency. Nevertheless, a government bond is a more
likely outcome than a note issued by banks. In any case, if banks
are forced to face the redollarized obligations, they would have
incentives to claim judicially for the redollarization of their
assets, that is, of debts, which would introduce renewed
uncertainties and jeopardize the incipient economic recovery.

ANALYST: Carina Lopez, Buenos Aires (54) 11-4891-2118

* Debt Negotiator Explains Why IFIs Have Privileged Lender Status
Argentine Finance Secretary Guillermo Nielsen, the country's debt
negotiator, did his best to explain why the IMF and some local
debt holders would get special treatment in the country's bond
restructuring, reports Reuters.

Fourteen months ago, Argentina was forced to halt payments on $95
billion in debt due to economic crisis. Disgruntled holders of
Argentine bonds, left high and dry following the default, would
like the International Monetary Fund and other international
lenders to share the financial losses incurred during the debt
renegotiation process.

Nielsen argued, saying that multilateral lenders play a key role
in the country's economic development, thus, they will not be
treated the same way as private investors.

"International financial institutions have privileged lender
status because those are the institutions that foot the bill when
nobody else does," Nielsen told Reuters after meeting with U.S.-
based lenders in New York's financial district.

"Creditors are loudly questioning this, and I understand their
view, but IFIs have a senior claim," he said, adding, "they are
an essential part of rebuilding the economy."

Locally held bonds issued after the sovereign default will also
be exempt from the "haircut" or debt forgiveness expected from
global bondholders, analysts who participated in the meeting

"He said only the external global bond holders will be part of
the (restructuring) process," said Lacey Gallagher, Credit Suisse
First Boston director for Latin American economics.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Announces 2002 Milestones, 2003 Outlook
Global Crossing announced Thursday that it reached several
significant corporate milestones in 2002 and is poised to capture
market share as it finalizes its restructuring and emerges as a
revitalized, healthy business. Global Crossing reported achieving
key financial, operational, network, customer and service
milestones, while offering an outlook for 2003.

"We've dramatically streamlined the business, while keeping the
capabilities and reach of the network, our customer base and our
management team intact -- all in the midst of a turbulent telecom
industry and economy," said John Legere, Global Crossing's chief
executive officer. "Due to the efforts of the entire Global
Crossing team, Global Crossing is positioned today as a strong
competitor in the telecom marketplace."

Financial Results and Operational Streamlining

Global Crossing's makeover has been marked by a greatly improved
financial performance in a difficult environment. Global Crossing
met performance targets in 2002 for cash in bank accounts,
Service Revenue, Service EBITDA and maintenance and operating
expenses. The performance targets were established for Global
Crossing (excluding Asia Global Crossing) in the operating plan
presented to its creditors in March 2002. These financial results
are preliminary and unaudited.

Achievements include:

-  A healthy cash position throughout 2002. Global Crossing ended
the year with $782 million of cash in bank accounts, well above
the $611 million targeted in its operating plan. Approximately
$393 million of the December 2002 cash in bank accounts was
unrestricted cash.

- Service Revenue of $2,878 million in 2002, $160 million over
the operating plan.

- Service EBITDA for 2002 at $(243) million, an improvement of
$12 million on the operating plan.

- Operating expenses, including third-party maintenance costs, of
$1,074 million for the year, an improvement of $8 million
relative to operating plan targets.

"Since commencing with our streamlining initiatives in late 2001,
we have made marked progress in instituting greater financial
discipline to strengthen our business model," noted John Legere.
"We significantly reduced capital and operating expenses and
increased Service EBITDA, while maintaining our Service

Other key financial and operational milestones include:

- A significant reduction in operating expenses, excluding third
party maintenance, from an estimated $1.5 billion in 2001 to $916
million in 2002.

- An even more dramatic reduction in cash paid for capital
expenses, from approximately $3.2 billion spent in 2001 to an
estimated $89 million for new commitments in 2002.

- Workforce reductions in 2002 that saved Global Crossing an
estimated $215 million in payroll. Global Crossing ended the year
with approximately 4,300 employees, compared to approximately
8,000 employees in January 2002.

- Closure and consolidation of 279 facilities during the year,
shedding more than four million square feet for an annualized
cost savings of $130 million.

Network Achievements
"Our global, IP-based network, connecting 200 cities in 27
countries, truly differentiates us in the telecommunications
landscape," said John Legere. "Even as we reduced operating and
capital expenditures throughout our organization, we successfully
increased the performance of our network to operate at peak
levels, carrying record levels of traffic and setting speed

Key 2002 network milestones include:

- Network availability remained at 99.999 percent, the highest
industry standard.

- Global Crossing's VoIP (Voice over IP) platform, considered the
largest in the world, steadily broke its own records, carrying a
total of 8.2 billion minutes for the year.

- The amount of traffic running over Global Crossing's IP
network, excluding VoIP, grew 200 percent for the year.

- IP traffic volume increased from 10 Gbps to 30 Gbps.

- Global Crossing helped set a new Internet speed record by
transferring 625 Mbps of data 7,800 miles in 13 seconds -- 7,000
times fast than dial-up -- in May 2002.

- Global Crossing's advanced network enables customers in Europe,
Asia and North America to implement IPv6, the next generation of
IP protocol.

- Global Crossing was ranked among the industry's most innovative
IT users by InformationWeek magazine.

Global Crossing focused on customer retention throughout 2002,
while bringing new customers onto the network. In 2002, Global
Crossing served more than 75,000 customers worldwide, including
approximately 40 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies, and the
majority of the world's largest telecommunications carriers. Six
thousand of those customers engaged Global Crossing for IP

2002 customer milestones include:

- More than 2,000 new and renewal customer contracts were signed
in 2002 totaling nearly $1 billion of total revenue over the
lives of the contracts. These sales results helped to stabilize
revenues at near-2001 levels.

- Mean satisfaction scores improved steadily throughout the year
in an ongoing independent survey of enterprise customers.

- Global Crossing signed contracts with a wide range of carrier
and enterprise customers, including TMC Communications, DSCI
Corporation, Premier Sourcing Partners, Spartan Equities,
Serpronet and Virgin Trains.

- Global Crossing launched a program uniquely targeted to the
needs of research and educational networks, resulting in
significant customer wins such as FAPESP, DANTE, SurfNET and

- Global Crossing's European enterprise division, geared towards
business customers, achieved a revenue growth rate of 15 percent,
signing contracts totaling more than $450 million over the lives
of the contracts.

- Global Crossing's Latin American enterprise segment grew
recurring revenues more than six fold from January 2002 to
January 2003 and held the customer attrition rate to zero in
2002. The region's carrier segment experienced a growth rate of
approximately 70 percent in service revenue in 2002 over 2001.

Products and Services
Throughout 2002, Global Crossing continued to offer new products
and services designed to support businesses' critical
communications needs over its advanced IP infrastructure.

New products, services and milestones include:

-  The launch of Videoconferencing over IP, which leverages the
SmartRoute IP VPNr for fast, reliable video transmission.

- Market-leading Ready-Accessr audio conferencing service was
enhanced to enable recording of automated audio conferences on

- The introduction of Global Crossing's globally available Remote
Access Service (RAS) for its IP VPN service, and global roaming
capabilities on Internet Dial service to support RAS.

- Layer-2 IP VPN as an option for Global Crossing's IP VPN
service offering.

- The introduction of Direct Dial Services to seamlessly connect
businesses around the globe with high-quality international and
national long distance capabilities.

- Diversity and Customer Specified Routing (DACSR), a Private
Line (PL) service option that enables customers to select PL
routing for enhanced network resiliency.

2003 Outlook
Having successfully met many challenges in 2002, Global Crossing
is now firmly focused on emerging from bankruptcy, growing its
business and increasing revenues while sticking to its newly
streamlined cost structure, and continuing to leverage its next-
generation global network. Upon emergence, Global Crossing will
have a substantially reduced long-term debt load.

"This is the new Global Crossing -- a company that is committed
to growing its business and reaching its goals in a strategic
manner," said John Legere. "We're defining our future and
dedicating our energies to gaining market share in the
telecommunications industry. We believe our enhanced service
offerings and streamlined cost structure will enable us to
actively compete on a global landscape."

Some major goals for Global Crossing in 2003 include:

- Build on Global Crossing's proven track record as a leading
provider of voice and data services in the wholesale market,
while pursuing opportunities for growth and expansion to further
solidify this market position.

- Continue to leverage the state-of-the-art, facilities-based,
IP/data network -- unique in the industry for its global scale
and reach -- to deliver simplified and highly reliable solutions
to enterprise customers, increasing Global Crossing's market
share in this customer segment.

- Realize the differentiated efficiencies of Global Crossing's
streamlined operating model in delivering unrivaled value to

- Maintain an unyielding focus on customer retention, redoubling
the effort to increase customer satisfaction across all

- Significantly increase the rate of new customer acquisitions,
growing the sales force by approximately 150 sales professionals
by the end of April, for a total projected sales force of more
than 900 (carrier, enterprise, and conferencing).

- Continue to develop innovative voice and data/IP services,
ensuring that customers can migrate onto the highest performing
and most cost-effective solutions.

- Pursue further growth in VoIP traffic, by utilizing Global
Crossing's leading-edge network, increasing the proportion of
VoIP traffic to 25 percent of total traffic by year-end 2003,
compared to 15 percent of total traffic running over the VoIP
platform in December 2002.

- Sustain triple-digit rate of growth in IP network traffic,
targeting an increase of more than 100 percent during 2003.

Definitions and Notes
"Service Revenue" refers to US GAAP revenue less (i) any revenue
recognized immediately for circuit activations that qualified as
sales-type leases and (ii) revenue recognized due to the
amortization of IRUs sold in prior periods and not recognized as
sales-type leases.

"Service EBITDA" refers to EBITDA (earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation, and amortization) but excludes the
contribution of any revenue included in US GAAP revenue, but
excluded from Service Revenue.

The results for Global Crossing discussed in the "Financial
Results and Operational Streamlining" section of this release
have been prepared on a basis consistent with targets presented
to the creditors of Global Crossing in March 2002. These
operating results exclude Asia Global Crossing (which is in
bankruptcy proceedings separate from those of Global Crossing and
which was deconsolidated by Global Crossing effective November
18, 2002), exclude Global Marine (which is a discontinued
operation), exclude any revenue contribution of sales of capacity
in the form of IRUs, and reflect certain eliminations and
adjustments not detailed in the Monthly Operating Reports (MORs).
Cash balances reported in this section are bank balances, not
reflecting the estimated impact of outstanding checks and other
adjustments as required by US GAAP.

The financial information contained in this press release is
qualified in its entirety by reference to the MORs for the months
of February through December, including the footnotes to the
financial statements contained therein, copies of which are
available through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York and on Global Crossing's Web site at
These MORs have been prepared pursuant to the requirements of the
Bankruptcy Code and the unaudited consolidated financial
statements contained in these MORs do not include all footnotes
and certain financial presentations normally required under GAAP.
In addition, any revenues, expenses, realized gains and losses,
and provisions resulting from the reorganization and
restructuring of Global Crossing are reported separately as
reorganization items in these MORs.

As discussed more fully in the footnotes to the financial
statements contained in the MORs, Global Crossing has not yet
filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December
31, 2001. On November 25, 2002, the United States Trustee
appointed Martin E. Cooperman, a partner of Grant Thornton LLP,
as the Examiner in Global Crossing's bankruptcy proceedings. In
general, the Examiner's role is limited to reviewing the
financial statements of the Global Crossing companies in
bankruptcy for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2001 and 2002
and earlier periods if any restatement of those periods is
necessary. As part of his role, the Examiner, with the assistance
of Grant Thornton LLP, will audit any revised financial
statements and issue a report as to such financial statements.
Separately, on January 8, 2003, Grant Thornton was appointed as
independent auditors of Global Crossing effective as of November
25, 2002. The Examiner's first interim report to the Bankruptcy
Court was filed on February 24, 2003.

Certain matters relating to Global Crossing's accounting for, and
disclosure of, concurrent transactions for the purchase and sale
of telecommunications capacity between Global Crossing and its
carrier customers are being investigated by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) and other governmental authorities. In
addition, the U.S. Department of Labor is conducting an
investigation into the administration of Global Crossing's
benefit plans. These and other investigations are described more
fully in footnote one to the financial statements contained in
the December MOR.

Any changes to the financial statements resulting from any
governmental investigations and adjustments arising out of the
2001 financial statement audit could materially affect the
unaudited consolidated financial statements contained in the MORs
and the information presented in this press release.

On October 21, 2002, Global Crossing announced that it would
restate certain financial statements previously filed with the
SEC. These restatements, which are more fully described in
footnote one to the financial statements contained in the
December MOR, will record exchanges between carriers of leases of
telecommunications capacity at historical carryover basis,
resulting in no recognition of revenue.

As previously announced, Global Crossing's net loss for the three
months ended December 31, 2001, which has not yet been reported
pending the completion of the audit of financial statements for
2001, is expected to reflect the write-off of the remaining
goodwill and other intangible assets, which total approximately
$8 billion. Furthermore, as previously disclosed, Global Crossing
has determined that it will write down its tangible assets in
light of the terms contained in the previously announced
agreement with Hutchison Telecommunications and Singapore
Technologies Telemedia, and the bankruptcy filings of Asia Global
Crossing and its subsidiary, Pacific Crossing Ltd. Global
Crossing is in the process of evaluating its cash flow forecasts
and other pertinent data to determine the amount of the
impairment of its long-lived tangible assets.

The restatement of certain financial statements, the write-off of
the intangible assets and the write-downs of tangible assets are
described more fully in the December MOR and in the press release
titled "Global Crossing Releases Operating Results" dated March
5, 2003.


Global Crossing provides telecommunications solutions over the
world's first integrated global IP-based network, which reaches
27 countries and more than 200 major cities around the globe.
Global Crossing serves many of the world's largest corporations,
providing a full range of managed data and voice products and

Commencing January 28, 2002, Global Crossing Ltd. and certain of
its subsidiaries (excluding Asia Global Crossing and its
subsidiaries) instituted consolidated Chapter 11 cases in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York (Bankruptcy Court) and coordinated proceedings in the
Supreme Court of Bermuda (Bermuda Court). The Bermuda Court has
appointed joint provisional liquidators with the power to oversee
the continuation and reorganization of the Bermuda-incorporated
companies' businesses under the control of their boards of
directors and under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court and
the Bermuda Court. Global Crossing's Plan of Reorganization,
which was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 26, 2002,
includes a capital structure in which existing common and
preferred equity will retain no value. Global Crossing expects to
emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2003.

On November 18, 2002, Asia Global Crossing Ltd., a majority-owned
subsidiary of Global Crossing, and its subsidiary, Asia Global
Crossing Development Co., commenced Chapter 11 cases in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda,
both of which are separate from the cases of Global Crossing.
Asia Global Crossing has announced that no recovery is expected
for Asia Global Crossing's shareholders.

Please visit for more information about
Global Crossing.

          Press Contacts

          Tisha Kresler
          +1 973-410-8666

          Catherine Berthier
          +1 212-412-4666

          Kendra Langlie
          Latin America
          +1 305-808-5912

          Mish Desmidt
          +44 (0) 118 908 6788

          Analysts/Investors Contact
          Ken Simril
          +1 310-385-3838

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Reports Annual Meeting Results
Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE - TYC, BSX - TYC, LSE - TYI)
reported Thursday the results of the Company's Annual General
Meeting of shareholders at which a new ten-member Board was
elected and a number of shareholder proposals were voted upon.

Chairman and CEO Ed Breen said, "I am extremely pleased with the
quality of Tyco's newly constituted Board.  This Board is
composed of world-class business leaders who are strategic
thinkers and people of integrity.  They represent the brighter
future that lies ahead for Tyco -- a future built on integrity,
credibility and a commitment to delivering shareholder value."

Mr. Breen continued, "Among the priority issues that will be
reviewed by the Board over the next year is the question of
whether Tyco should be reincorporated in the U.S.  I am gratified
that the majority of Tyco shareholders voted with management's
recommendations that the new Board be given the time and
responsibility to study this question seriously.  The Board is
committed to looking closely at Tyco's jurisdiction of
incorporation, and we will make a decision based on what is best
for overall shareholder value."

Mr. Breen added:  "We understand the concerns behind the vote in
support of the shareholder proposal to limit severance
agreements, and we agree with the spirit of the proposal. In the
year ahead, the new Board will carefully consider implementing a
new severance policy as part of its review of Tyco's governance

Board of Directors

Tyco's ten-member Board includes Mr. Breen, five existing
directors who were named to the Board since Mr. Breen's
appointment last July, and four new members who previously had
not served on the Board.

The four new members are:

-- Dennis C. Blair, Retired Commander-in-Chief of the U.S.
Pacific Command;

-- H. Carl McCall, Former Comptroller of the State of New York;

-- Brendan R. O'Neill, Chief Executive of Imperial Chemical
Industries PLC;

-- Sandra S. Wijnberg, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer at Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

In addition to Mr. Breen, the other Board members are:

-- John A. Krol, Lead Director of Tyco and Former Chairman and
CEO of E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company;

-- George W. Buckley, Chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corporation;

-- Bruce S. Gordon, President of Retail Markets at Verizon

-- Mackey J. McDonald, Chairman, President and CEO of VF

-- Jerome B. York, Chairman, President and CEO of Micro
Warehouse, Inc.

Voting Results

Approximately 87% of the company's outstanding common shares were
present, either in person or by proxy.  The results of the votes
cast at Thursday'S Annual General Meeting are as follows (all
percentages are approximate):

-- Proposal Number One: To elect the nominated slate of
candidates to the Board of Directors.  Each of the directors
nominated for election was elected and received more than 94% of
the votes cast.

-- Proposal Number Two:  To appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as
Tyco's independent auditors and authorize the Audit Committee of
the Board of Directors to set the auditors' remuneration.
For:  77.0%
Against:  23.0%

-- Proposal Number Three:  To increase the number of authorized
common shares from 2,500,000,000 to 4,000,000,000 and to amend
Tyco's bye-laws to reflect such increase.
For:  86.5%
Against:  13.5%

-- Proposal Number Four:  To institute a policy that would
require Tyco to phase out production of PVC-containing and
phthalate-containing medical products.
For:  2.9%
Against:  97.1%

-- Proposal Number Five:  To require certain future severance
agreements for executives to be approved by shareholder vote.
For:  57.7%
Against:  42.3%

-- Proposal Number Six:  To require executive compensation stock
options be linked to an industry peer group stock performance
For:  11.1%
Against:  88.9%

-- Proposal Number Seven:  To require a change in Tyco's
jurisdiction of incorporation from Bermuda to Delaware.
For:  26.4%
Against:  73.6%

-- Proposal Number Eight:  To amend the bye-laws to require that
an independent director who has not served as chief executive
officer of the company shall serve as Chairman of the Board of
For:  33.1%
Against:  66.9%

-- Proposal Number Nine:  To adopt a policy that in the future
Tyco's independent accountants will only supply audit services
and not supply any other services.
For:  10.3%
Against:  89.7%

About Tyco International Ltd.
Tyco International Ltd. is a diversified manufacturing and
service company.  Tyco is the world's largest manufacturer and
servicer of electrical and electronic components; the world's
largest designer, manufacturer, installer and servicer of
undersea telecommunications systems; the world's largest
manufacturer, installer and provider of fire protection systems
and electronic security services and the world's largest
manufacturer of specialty valves.  Tyco also holds strong
leadership positions in medical device products, and plastics and
adhesives.  Tyco operates in more than 100 countries and had
fiscal 2002 revenues from continuing operations of approximately
$36 billion.

CONTACT:  Gary Holmes (Media)

          Kathy Manning (Investors)

          Web site:


BSE: America Movil Announces Acquisition Deal
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that Am‚rica Movil S.A.
de C.V.'s (AMX; local currency: BBB+/Stable/--; foreign currency;
BBB-/Stable/--) announcement that it has entered into an
agreement with BellSouth Corp. and Verbier to acquire an
approximately 95% interest in Brazilian wireless company BSE
S.A., has no impact on the rating or outlook of AMX.

In Standard & Poor's opinion, the size of transaction, valued at
US$180 million, will not have a significant effect on AMX's
financial profile and will allow the company to increase its
footprint in Brazil to 82% of the country's population, and to
reaffirm its position as the second-largest provider of wireless
services in the country in terms of subscribers.

With approximately 1 million subscribers, BSE operates in the
Northeastern region of Brazil, covering the states of Rio Grande
do Norte, Piau¡, Para¡ba, Cear , Alagoas, and Pernambuco,
reaching a population of 29.5 million people.

ANALYST: Patricia Calvo, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2073

Brazil's national development bank BNDES is now poised to take
over US power giant AES Corp.'s most important asset in the
country, Eletropaulo Metropolitana SA, Dow Jones indicated in a

This, after BNDES refused AES's proposal to extend its debt
maturities to as late as 2012 in exchange for AES Sul, a small
power distributor in the south of Brazil, and thermoelectric
plant Uruguaiana.

AES, which has pumped US$4 billion into Brazil since 1998, had
been in negotiations with BNDES to settle the U.S.-based power
giant's US$1.2 billion debt since the company missed an US$85
million payment last month.

BNDES decided last Friday that it would take control of certain
AES assets as stipulated in a 1998 loan contract. But a final
decision hinges on the government's willingness to strip a
concession from a leading foreign investor.

According to talk in Brasilia, the government is prepared to give
the green light for the renationalization of Eletropaulo
Metropolitana SA, which serves the country's industrial hub of
Sao Paulo. However, sources note, the newly installed
administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is trying
to find a way to minimize potential fallout from such a decision.

Analysts say Eletropaulo's case isn't just about a company in
financial trouble, but has broader political implications. If the
government strips AES of the control of Eletropaulo, other
investors who owe debt to BNDES could feel threatened, which
might shake investor confidence in Brazil.

          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations

          AES Corp., Arlington
          Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315
          Web site
          Investor relations:

VARIG: US Justice Dept. Seizes Aircraft At Lender's Behest
Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense SA (Varig) had one of its airliners
seized on behalf of a lender, according to a representative from
Brazil's largest airline.

The U.S. Justice Department officials seized a Boeing Co. 767 in
Miami Thursday at the request of leasing company General Electric
Aviation Services (Gecas). Reasons for the seizure are still
unknown but the representative said the Company is in contact
with Gecas to determine why the aircraft was seized.

This is the second time this year Varig had an airplane seized.

In January, a division of insurance giant American International
Group repossessed a Boeing 777 from Varig at Paris' Charles de
Gaulle airport due to lack of payments.

Varig is struggling under more than US$746 million in debt.
Brazilian regulators have asked the Company to restate financial
results for 2001 and the first half of 2002, after officials
found US$359 million in accounting errors.

Last month, the airline announced it would merge with another
Brazilian airline, TAM Linhas Aereas to avoid defaulting on its

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:
              Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance and CFO

              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
              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
              Phone: +1-617-572-2000
              Fax: +1-617-572-2461

              Daniel Mandelli Martin, President
              Buenos Aires
              Tel. (54) (11) 4816-0001


MADECO: Fitch Ups Bond Ratings To BB After Debt Repayment
Chilean copper and aluminum products manufacturer Madeco had its
bond ratings upgraded to BB from B by Fitch Ratings, reports
Business News Americas.

The upgrade came after Madeco repaid 30% of the US$120 million in
debt that it is renegotiating with creditors. The Company also
obtained a seven-year extension for the repayment of the
remaining US$84 million debt balance, and subject to a three-year
grace period.

Madeco's successful restructuring came after its controlling
shareholders, the Luksic group's Quinenco holding company, signed
up to its US$70-million portion of a roughly US$130-million
equity issue. Of the amount, US$36 million was used to pay the

The bank debt restructuring was agreed in December last year but
depended on the success of the equity issue.

Madeco's first attempt at an equity issue last September,
designed to raise US$90 million, failed after only Quinenco and
its subsidiaries, which hold about 56% of the company, took up
the offer, and that portion was not enough to complete the

Chile's pension fund managers (AFPs), which own about 11.5% of
the company, declined the offer, but are expected to chip in this
time around. Madeco has total debts of some US$325 million, of
which about US$100 million is in the form of long-term bonds.

In addition to cables, Madeco makes finished and semi-finished
non-ferrous products based on copper, aluminum, related alloys
and optical fiber, as well as flexible packaging products for use
in the mass consumer market for food, snacks and cosmetics

          Ureta Cox, 930
          San Miguel, Santiago, Chile
          Phone: 56-2 5201461
          Fax: 56-2 5516413
          Home Page:
          Oscar Ruiz-Tagle Humeres, Chairman
          Albert Cussen Mackenna, Chief Executive Officer

          Investor Relations
          Phone: 56-2 5201380
          Fax:   56-2 5201545

MANQUEHUE NET: Plans To Boost Local Broadband Market Share
Chilean competitive local exchange carrier Manquehue Net only has
a 3% share in the local broadband market, reports Business News
Americas. However, with its second-generation 100% IP platform,
the Company seeks to increase its foothold in the market to 16%.

Manquehue sales manager Ricardo Covacevich revealed the plan
without explaining calculations behind the figure or when the
goal would be reached.

"We have a robust broadband network with available capacity," he
said, adding that the platform is readily adaptable to
incorporate future technologies.

Fitch Ratings upgraded Manquehue's debt rating last month to BB
from B-with a stable outlook reflecting a positive trend in the
Company's operating cash flow.

The upgrade came after the Company successfully restructured a
US$23.4-million syndicated loan through a new development plan,
obtaining two years grace for repayment. Additionally, under the
new schedule, repayment will now be disbursed over five years,
starting in September 2004.

The loan was taken out in May 2001 with Corpbanca, BCI, BICE,
Dresdner Bank and Banco Security.

The development plan now requires liability to exceed EBITDA by a
factor no greater than 5.5 from June 2006 onwards, compared to a
factor of 9.5 in June 2003. Additionally, total assets are to be
no less than 4.6mn UF (Chile's inflation-indexed currency),
compared to the current minimum of 6.1mn UF (101.7bn pesos, or

Manquehue is now generating annual EBITDA of CLP6.5 billion,
covering financial expenses by a factor of 1.5. The Company ended
3Q02 with total debt of CLP56 billion.

The Company also got a shot in the arm after shareholders
Metrogas and Inversiones el Roble made a capital injection to the
tune of CLP2 billion. The new development plan reinforces the
Company's efforts to target the high-income sector.

Another positive factor, Business News Americas recalls, is the
November 2002 arrival of Capital Trust, a new shareholder, which
took a 19.4% stake as its share of a 30% stake divested by UK-
based power company National Grid. Existing Manquehue
shareholders Williams Communications and investment company Xycom
took the rest of National Grid's stake to raise theirs to 23.5%
and 12 .7%, respectively. Local shareholders, the Rabat Group and
gas company Metrogas, hold 19.13% and 25.54% stakes in the
Company, respectively.

          Av. Condor 796, Enterprise City,
          Huechuraba Santiago Chile
          Phone: 00 562 243 8800
          Fax: 00 562 248 7292
          EMAIL: info@manquehue.netl
          Home Page:
          Mr. Miller Williams, President
          Sr.Jos, Luis Rabat Vilaplana, Vice President

SAESA: Issuing New Shares To Boost Capital
Chilean distributor Saesa will issue 37 million new shares as
part of a CLP1.76-billion (US$2.33mn) capital increase.

This, after the Company's shareholders gave their approval on the

Citing a Saesa statement to the country's securities regulator
SVS, Business News Americas reports that the shares will be
issued at a price of CLP47.5 each and must be paid for in cash by
September 5.

Saesa, which operates in Regions IX and X in the south of Chile,
is 99.83% owned by US power company PSEG through the Inversiones
PSEG Chile Holding

PSEG will subscribe to an equal proportion of the capital

          Gerencia y Administracion Zonal de Osorno
          Bulnes 441, Osorno
          Telefono: (64) 206400
          Fax: (64) 206209 - Casilla: 21 -0


EMCALI: Duff & Phelps Issues CCC Rating on $33.8M of Bonds
International ratings agency Duff & Phelps reported that it has
issued a CCC, high-risk rating to a COP100-billion (US$33.8mn)
bond issued in 1997 by Cali-based utility Emcali, relates
Business News Americas.

The rating reflects the agency's concern that Emcali might not be
able to meet shareholder responsibilities due to its pending
liquidation. In its report, the agency also noted that Emcali
will need CLP1.3 trillion to continue operations over the next
four years.

Speculation surrounds Emcali's chance for survival, as Colombia
will liquidate the utility this semester if it cannot resolve its
financial mess, which includes cash flow deficits in excess of
COP560 billion. The national government, however, is open to
capitalizing Emcali to avoid its liquidation.

The utility's "structural" deficiencies may also impede its
ability to fulfill bond agreements by December 2004, reads the
report. Workforce and managerial inefficiencies plague the
Company, according to government observers.

Emcali provides water, power and telecom services in the Valle
del Cauca department in Colombia's southwest.



ALESTRA: Reports Wider Loss For 2002 On Rising Financial Costs
Mexican long distance operator Alestra's losses in 2002 ballooned
to more than MXN1.4 billion, compared to the previous year's loss
of MXN667 million, reports Business News Americas.

In its annual earnings statement, the Company blamed the almost
six-fold increase in financial costs - from MXN240 million in
2001 to MXN1.2 billion last year - for the wider loss.

The operator reported total revenues of MXN4.4 billion last year,
6.5% up compared to 2001, with international long distance
revenues up 39% year on year at MXN2.1 billion.

ILD volume increased as a result of "organic growth in the
overall market for southbound US-Mexico international voice
traffic and successful efforts to capture a higher share of
traffic from other services such as collect calls, calling card
calls and other international services."

Alestra also believes there was an increase in traffic flowing
through the international settlements system, replacing traffic
that was previously routed through illegal bypass operations.

International long distance revenues represented 46.8% of total
revenues during 2002, compared to 35.8% the year before.

Data transmission revenues grew 33% to reach MXN786 million.
Local telephony revenues from corporate clients reached MXN132
million, compared to MXN32 million in 2001.

However, domestic long distance revenues decreased 30% to MXN1.44
billion. Contributing to this decline was a 10% reduction in
lines in service to 683,374 at year-end.

Ebitda was MXN777 million compared to MXN605 million in 2001.
Ebitda margin was 17.5%.

Alestra operates under the brand name AT&T since US-based AT&T
Corp has a 49% stake in the Company. Mexican consortium Onexa - a
50:50 joint venture between local bank BBVA Bancomer and
industrial group Alfa - owns the other 51%.

          Investor Relations:
          Alberto Guajardo
          Phone: (52-818) 625-2219

BURLINGTON INDUSTRIES: Begins Sale Process to Speed Recovery
Burlington Industries, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BRLG) said that,
in accordance with a Bankruptcy Court ruling yesterday,
Burlington has initiated a process to solicit proposals from
qualified bidders for the sale of the Company. Burlington's
objective is to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings
by this summer.

Potential qualified bidders are encouraged to contact Charles
Peters, Burlington's Chief Financial Officer, at (888) 318-7649.

With operations in the United States, Mexico and India and a
global manufacturing and product development network based in
Hong Kong, Burlington Industries is one of the world's most
diversified marketers and manufacturers of softgoods for apparel
and interior furnishings.

DIRECTV MEXICO: Not For Sale, Says Parent
Hughes Electronics Corp. denied reports by Mexican media that top
local broadcaster Grupo Televisa SA is looking to acquire the
subscriber base of its Mexican asset DirecTV Mexico, according to
a report by Dow Jones. According to Hughes, a unit of General
Motors Corp., it is not selling any assets of DirecTV Mexico.

Rumors about the potential takeover in Mexico came to light
following financial difficulties at Hughes' DirecTV Latin America
LLC venture.

DirecTV Latin America has said it contemplates a potential
bankruptcy filing if costs aren't lowered through contract
renegotiations with suppliers. The Company has been hammered by
economic turmoil in three key markets: Argentina, Venezuela and

"With DirecTV Latin America in dire straits, we would not be
surprised to see a deal cut ahead of potential bankruptcy
proceedings," Merrill Lynch said in a research note earlier this

But Hughes said there haven't even been conversations between the
company and Televisa.

"Hughes will continue backing the growth and expansion of DirecTV
Mexico services and has no plans to shut down its Mexican
operations," said Vice President Eddy Hartenstein.

DirecTV Mexico is controlled by Grupo Galaxy Mexicana, which is
51% owned by local broadcaster Grupo MVS. Hughes controls the
remaining 49%. It has 315,000 subscribers.

GRUPO TMM: Announces Effectiveness Of Registration Statement
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE:TMM and BMV:TMM A) announced Thursday that
its new registration statement amending the terms of its
previously announced exchange offers and consent solicitations
for its 9«% senior notes due 2003 ("2003 notes") and 10¬% senior
notes due 2006 ("2006 notes") was declared effective yesterday by
the Securities and Exchange Commission. The exchange offers and
consent solicitations will now expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City
time, on March 20, 2003.

The exchange offers and consent solicitations have been amended
to include warrants to purchase American Depositary Shares of
Grupo TMM as part of the consideration being offered to holders
of 2003 notes whose 2003 notes are tendered and accepted in the
exchange offer; to offer all holders of 2003 notes whose notes
are tendered and accepted the consent fee of $5.00 per $1,000
principal amount of 2003 notes; and to reduce the minimum tender
condition for the 2003 notes from 85% of the 2003 notes to 80% of
the 2003 notes. All other terms and conditions of the exchange
offers and the consent solicitations remain the same.

As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on March 5, 2003,
approximately 31.76% of the outstanding 2003 notes, or
$56,180,000 principal amount, had been tendered and not
withdrawn, and 76.12% of the outstanding 2006 notes, or
$152,242,000 principal amount, representing a majority of the
2006 notes, had been tendered and not withdrawn.

Salomon Smith Barney Inc. is acting as the dealer manager for the
exchange offers and consent solicitations.

The exchange offers and consent solicitations are made solely by
the prospectus dated March 5, 2003, and any amendments or
supplements thereto. Copies of the prospectus and transmittal
materials can be obtained from Mellon Investor Services LLC the
information agent for the exchange offers and consent
solicitations, at:

Mellon Investor Services
44 Wall Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(888) 689-1607 (toll free)
(917) 320-6286 (banks and brokers).

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM is Latin America's
largest multimodal transportation company. Through its branch
offices and network of subsidiary companies, Grupo TMM provides a
dynamic combination of ocean and land transportation services.
Grupo TMM also has a significant interest in TFM, which operates
Mexico's Northeast railway and carries over 40 percent of the
country's rail cargo. Grupo TMM's web site address is and TFM's web site is Grupo
TMM's ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol "TMM" and its Series A Shares are listed on Mexico's Bolsa
Mexicana de Valores under the symbol "TMM A."

PEMEX REFINACION: Awaits Board's Approval of Power Cogen Plan
Pemex Refinacion said it would seek private sector partners
should the Company's board approve a power cogeneration plan that
would generate 5,400MW, Business News Americas reports, citing
Pemex Refinacion head Juan Bueno Torio.

Pemex Refinacion is the refining division of Mexico's state oil
company Pemex.

According to Torio, heat and steam are available for power
generation at the refineries, and could replace natural gas for
power generation.

"If, as a country, we could associate [with private partners] in
Mexico, as we do in Houston with Shell [at the Deer Park
refinery], it would be great because we'd make the investment
here, but constitutionally this is not possible and so what is
being presented to President Fox are reforms to open the energy
area to private investment," Bueno said. "The future caught up
with us," he added.

The proposals also include allowing the private sector to own up
to 70% of pipelines.

Bueno said he has never liked the Pidiregas private investment
scheme because it represents long-term public debt, while he
considers direct investment a better alternative "to [avoid]
getting the country into debt."

Pemex Refinacion lacks resources to fund its own investments.
Last year, it made a MXN34-billion loss (US$3.04bn at today's
exchange rate); it owes Pemex MXN52bn pesos and has assets worth
MXN100 billion, Bueno said.

UNEFON: PricewaterhouseCoopers Raises Going Concern Doubts
Unefon S.A.'s conflict with its main technology supplier and
financial creditor piqued doubts from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC
about the Mexican mobile telephony operator's ability to continue
as a going concern, reports Dow Jones.

Unefon, a unit of Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca, has been locked
in a battle with Nortel Networks Corp. since last year. The
battle began when Unefon filed a US$900-million suit against
Nortel accusing the latter of failing to syndicate portions of
promised financing in a timely manner. Unefon also said Nortel
failed to supply digital equipment within a negotiated time

In retaliation, Nortel filed an insolvency proceeding against
Unefon to collect more than US$400 million in vendor financing
and to protect assets backing the obligations.

This dispute, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers in a filing
made Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
"could significantly affect the company's operations and its
ability to repay its debt."

Unefon reported in February that its net loss last year narrowed
22% to US$93.5 million from US$107 million in 2001.

In its report, the Company revealed it has non-restricted cash
amounting to US$15 million and this year has short-term debt on
the order of US$30 million - US$40 million coming due, as well as
deferred advertising obligations and other payments to TV Azteca
worth US$18 million - US$20 million.

CONTACT:  Unefon S.A. De CV
          Head Office
          Puriferico Sur 4119 Fuentes del
          Mexico 14141
          Tel: +52 8582 50000
          Fax: +52 8582 5052
          Web site:
          Engr Moises M. Saba, Chairman
          Pedro L. Padilla, Vice Chairman

          Nortel Networks Corp.
          Head Office
          Suite 100
          8200 Dixie Road
          L6T 5P6
          Tel  +1 905 863-0000
          Fax  +1 905 863-8423
          Lynton R. Wilson, Chairman
          Frank A. Dunn, President & Chief Executive


BANCO DE CREDITO: Employees Move To Avert Liquidation
Employees at Uruguayan bank Banco de Credito refuse to yield to
the government's Feb. 28 decision to liquidate the bank, Business
News Americas indicates.

The government intervened and suspended Banco de Credito and four
other banks in July and August last year due to capital and
liquidity problems. It then negotiated with minority shareholder
St George to re-open the bank. However, the talks were called off
after St. George, an investment company that belongs to the
controversial South Korean Moon group, rejected a proposal to buy
back a majority stake in the ailing bank, forcing the central
bank to liquidate Banco de Credito.

Employees, who feared the eventual loss of their jobs, occupied
Banco de Credito offices to pressure the government into a
favorable settlement. But according to a central bank
spokesperson, the government will still sell Banco de Credito's
assets to other banks once it ends the standoff.

Economy Minister Alejandro Atchugarry was quoted by local daily
El Pais as saying that the government's intention is to sell
Banco de Credito's best assets through an open auction as soon as

The government wants to speed the liquidation of Banco de Credito
in order to return deposits to the bank's former clients.

At the same time, the government is also in talks with St George
over how the former minority shareholder will pay its liabilities
with Banco de Credito, the spokesperson said. According to
Atchugarry, St George's debt totals some US$27mn.


EDC: Plans Short-Term Debt Sale
Venezuelan power company, CA Electricidad de Caracas said it is
planning to sell short-term debt, relates Bloomberg. The
operation will be managed by Provincial Casa de Bolsa CA.

EDC has total debt of approximately US$792 million, approximately
US$140 million of which matures this year, including

EDC provides electric generation, transmission and distribution
services in Venezuela. EDC serves 1.2 million customers in
metropolitan Caracas and Guarenas, situated in Venezuela's
strongest and most diverse economic region. AES Corp. (AES)
acquired 87% of EDC in June 2000 through a public tender offer.

          Avenida Rio de Janeiro
          Qta. Tres Pinos
          Chuao, VE-1061 Caracas, Venezuela
          Phone: +58 14 929 2552
          Fax: +58 2 9937296
          Contact: Elmar Leal, Chairman
          Juan Font, Vice Chairman

          AES CORP
          Investor Relations
          Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315


* Latin American Banks' Performance Tied to National Economics
It is generally difficult for banking systems to differentiate
themselves from trends in the overall environment in which they
operate, according to a recent report analyzing the performance
of Latin American banking systems from Fitch Ratings. This
dependence seems to matter more than size as there is no clear
connection between the size of a banking system and its

'Throughout Latin America, in 2002, banking systems in Argentina,
Colombia, Peru, and throughout Central America generally
reflected the state of their recessionary or stagnant economies,
while the Chilean and Mexican systems reflected relatively better
performing economies,' says Ricardo Chaves, Director, at Fitch
Ratings. 'In Venezuela and Brazil, on the other hand, the banking
systems have to date weathered economic volatility more
successfully. While the Brazilian banks operate in a more adverse
operating environment, a high level of income diversification,
sophisticated management teams and proven operational flexibility
have culminated in a system that is highly resilient to stressful
economic scenarios.'

The Venezuelan banking system has been the most profitable in the
region reporting annualized returns on assets in excess of 2%
over the past few years. Comparatively, the Colombian banking
system, returned to profitability in 2001, following three
consecutive years of losses.

'In light of the recent political events in Venezuela, banking
sector profitability will most likely weaken going forward as a
result of a high level of exposure to the sovereign, government
intervention in the form of exchange controls and the likelihood
of loan quality deterioration following the damage to the
country's economy in the wake of the two-month strike. In
Colombia, system profitability continues to be negatively
affected by high provisioning costs as banks strive to boost
reserve coverage on problematic loans to more conservative
levels; operating platforms that are too large for current
business volumes also weigh on profitability,' said Chaves.


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
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

* * * End of Transmission * * *