TCRLA_Public/030317.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 17, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 53



AHOLD: Deloitte Disclaims 2000, 2001 Accounting Opinions
ARGENTINE BANKS: Discuss Compensation With Supreme Court
CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Reports 4Q02, Annual Financial Results
DIRECTV LATAM: Hughes May Be Forced To Buy Back Clarin's Stake
DISCO SA: Requests Delay tt Release 4Q02 Financial Results

PECOM ENERGIA: Raises 2003 Capex In Bid To Boost Oil Production
PECOM ENERGIA: S&P's Comments On 2002 Earnings Release
* Argentine Senate Radifies Two IMF-Requested Tax Bills
* Japanese Bondholders Demand Sale of Argentine Lands


GLOBAL CROSSING: Asian Firms May Takeover Soon
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Shares Plunge After Firing Division Chief
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: New Jersey Offers Tax Break To Get 300 Jobs


AES CORP.: Names Charles Rossotti as New Director
AES CORP.: US Ambassador Emphasizes Need To Continue Talks
VARIG-TAM: Merger Plans In Peril Over Varig's Problems


ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: Fitch Comments On Ratings, Improvements
ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: S&P's Comments On Bank Debt Restructuring
ENDESA CHILE: Humphreys Cuts Bond Ratings
INVERLINK: Three Ex-Officials Detained On Judge's Orders


* World Bank Grants $100M Loan To Help Bogota


AIR JAMAICA: Sacks 29 Workers As Restructuring Continues


ALFA S.A.: Shareholder's Meeting Extols Improved Results
AZTECA HOLDINGS: Moody's Ratings Unchanged After Exchange Offer
EMPRESAS ICA: Consortium With Schlumberger Gets $500M Contract

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

CARONI LTD.: Union Says 1,000 Workers Applied For VSEP


* Market Sources Expect Yen Bond Payment Will Be Met


PDVSA: Technical Problems Delay La Isla Restart
* Alvarez & Marsal Launches Global Power and Utilities Group

     - - - - - - - - - -


AHOLD: Deloitte Disclaims 2000, 2001 Accounting Opinions
Koninklijke Ahold N.V. ("Ahold") received a letter in Dutch from
Deloitte & Touche Accountants ("Deloitte"), Ahold's independent
auditor, dated February 24, 2003 (the "D & T Letter") announcing
that Deloitte no longer maintains its auditors' opinions in
connection with the annual accounts of Ahold for 2000 and 2001
and it no longer permits publication of those opinions. Ahold has
filed the D & T letter with the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce in
the Netherlands and the Securities Exchange Commission in the
United States.

D & T's letter refers to Ahold's press release dated February 24,
2003 announcing that, among other things, the company will be
required to restate its fiscal years 2000 and 2001 financial

ARGENTINE BANKS: Discuss Compensation With Supreme Court
Abappra, the association of Argentina's private banks met with
Julio Nazareno, president of the country's Supreme Court on
Wednesday to determine the constitutionality of compensating
depositors for their dollar deposits that were converted into
pesos at below market rate. Argentine banks are asking the
government to issue bonds to make up for the difference between
the market rate and the exchange rate at which the deposits were

In January 2001, President Eduardo Duhalde ordered banks to
convert dollar deposits into pesos at a rate of ARS1.4 = US$1,
while the market rate around that time was about ARS1.7 = US$1,
said Business News Americas.

Carlos Heller, Abappra chairman, believes that the bond issue
would not be considered unconstitutional. However, the bond issue
would have its limits.

Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna said that the country would not
offer compensation for bad loans. Mr. Lavagna was scheduled to
meet with representatives from the banking sector on Friday.

In the meantime, different sectors in the government have not
agreed whether the public should shoulder the bill for the peso-
to-dollar conversion, which is estimated to cost about US$10

CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Reports 4Q02, Annual Financial Results
Despite Tough Economic Environment, the Company Consolidates
Operational Turnaround and Improves Its Financial Position

Claxson Interactive Group Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: XSON)
("Claxson" or the "Company") announced on Thursday financial
results for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31,

Financial Results

Operating income for the three-month period ended December 31,
2002 was $0.5 million, representing a $12.0 million improvement
from an operating loss of $11.5 million for the three month
period ended December 31, 2001. Operating loss for the twelve-
month period ended December 31, 2002 was $2.3 million
representing a $12.8 million improvement from operating loss of
$15.1 million for the same period of 2001, primarily attributed
to a $44.8 million reduction in operating expenses which offset
the $32.0 million decline in net revenues.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2002 were $19.6 million, a
30% decrease from net revenues of $27.9 million for the fourth
quarter of 2001. Net revenues for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2002 totaled $75.0 million compared to net revenues
of $107.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2001,
principally attributable to the economic crisis in Argentina and
the devaluation of the Argentine peso. Net revenues earned in
Argentina for the three months ended December 31, 2002 were 19%
of total net revenues compared to 45% for the same period in
2001. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2002, net revenues
in Argentina were 21% of total net revenues compared to 46% for
the same period in 2001. During the fourth quarter of 2002, the
average exchange rate of the Argentine peso as compared to the
U.S. dollar decreased 72%, versus the same period in 2001. For
the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2002, the average
decrease was 68%.

"We have completed a significant year in Claxson's operational
turnaround. Having made major progress in our financial and
operational restructuring, we closed the year in a much better
position to face future challenges," said Roberto Vivo, Chairman
and CEO, Claxson. "The fourth quarter was the second quarter in a
row where we saw operational profits despite the fall in our
revenues due to the continuing negative economic environment in
the region. Certainly, Claxson is a different company today than
what it was twelve months ago, thanks to the commitment and hard
work of our management team and employees who have put Claxson in
a better financial and operational position."

Vivo added: "During the fourth quarter we were able to conclude
several key transactions including the renegotiation of our 11%
Senior Notes and the Chilean syndicate credit facility, the
restructuring of our joint venture with Playboy Enterprises and
the renegotiating of our contract with DIRECTVT Latin America.
These efforts, together with a significant reduction in our
operating expenses year to year, put Claxson in a better cash
position to face its future operational needs, financial
obligations and fixed asset investments that the industry
requires to remain competitive."

Subscriber-based fees for the three-month period ended December
31, 2002 totaled $7.2 million, representing approximately 37% of
total net revenues and a 49% decrease from subscriber-based fees
of $14.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. The decrease is
primarily attributed to the impact of the devaluation of the
Argentine currency of $7.0 million and the decreased demand for
pay-per-view and premium services in the region. Subscriber-based
fees for the twelve months ended December 31, 2002 totaled $31.6
million compared to $60.1 million for the same period of 2001.
The decrease attributable to the devaluation of the Argentine
currency represents $28.1 million for the twelve-month period.

Advertising revenues for the three-month period ended December
31, 2002 were $9.5 million, representing approximately 48% of
Claxson's total net revenues and a 16% decrease from advertising
revenues of $11.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. This
decrease in advertising revenues was due primarily to a decrease
in pay television advertising of $1.4 million as a result of the
economic crisis in Argentina. Advertising revenues for the twelve
months ended December 31, 2002 totaled $30.5 million compared to
$37.9 million for the same period of 2001. This decrease in
advertising revenues was due primarily to a $6.0 million decrease
in pay television advertising.

Production services revenues for the three-month period ended
December 31, 2002 were $1.7 million, which represented a 55%
increase over the $1.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2001.
This increase was primarily due to increased revenues from the
operations of The Kitchen, Inc., Claxson's Miami-based broadcast
and dubbing facility and the services rendered by In Jaus,
Claxson's creative department, to non-affiliated third parties.
Production services revenues for the twelve months ended December
31, 2002 totaled $7.1 million compared to $2.5 million for the
same period of 2001, primarily due to the first full year of
operation of The Kitchen.

Other revenues for the three-month period ended December 31, 2002
were $1.2 million, unchanged from the $1.3 million for the fourth
quarter of 2001. Other revenues for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2002 totaled $5.8 million compared to $6.4 million
for the same period of 2001.

Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2002
were $19.1 million, a decrease of 52% from the $39.4 million in
the fourth quarter of 2001, due primarily to the rationalization
of programming, the restructuring of the Internet division,
management's continued efforts to rationalize operations, the
effect of the Argentine devaluation on the expenses of our
Argentine-based subsidiaries, and the discontinuance of the
amortization of goodwill and intangible assets in accordance with
the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142.
Operating expenses for the twelve months ended December 31, 2002
totaled $77.3 million compared to $122.1 million for the same
twelve months in 2001.

Net income for the three months ended December 31, 2002 was $24.0
million ($1.28 per common share), which includes $6.8 million in
foreign exchange gain primarily due to certain U.S. dollar
denominated debt held by Claxson's Argentine subsidiary and a
gain of $15.3 million resulting from the completion of the
exchange offer and consent solicitation related to the 11% Senior
Notes due 2005 of Imagen Satelital S.A. The fourth quarter net
income represented an increase of $86.9 million over the $62.9
million net loss for the same three months of 2001.

For the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2002 net loss was
$138.4 million, which includes a $74.8 million non-cash
impairment charge related to the adoption of Statement of
Financial Accounting Standards No. 142, and $61.3 million in
foreign exchange losses. Net loss for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2001 totaled $84.9 million. Amortization expense for
the three months, and twelve months ended December 31, 2001 was
$1.4 million, and $8.9 million, respectively.

As of December 31, 2002, Claxson had a balance of cash, cash
equivalents and investments of $8.1 million and $92.4 million in
debt, which includes $21.6 million in future interest payments as
dictated by accounting principles applicable to Claxson's debt

Fourth Quarter Highlights

Debt Renegotiation

On November 8, 2002, Claxson completed the exchange offer and
consent solicitation related to the $80.0 million 11% Senior
Notes due 2005 of its subsidiary, Imagen Satelital S.A. (Old
Notes). The Company received valid tenders from holders
representing $74.5 million of the principal amount of Old Notes,
which represents 93.1% of the issue. Pursuant to the exchange
offer, the Company issued $41.3 million of 8-3/4% Senior Notes
due 2010.

In addition, on December 19, 2002, Claxson announced it had
completed negotiations with a syndicate of Chilean banks under
its Chilean syndicated credit facility ("Syndicated Credit
Facility.") On October 26, 2000, Iberoamerican Radio Holdings Uno
Chile S.A. ("Radio Chile"), a Claxson subsidiary, had obtained
the Syndicated Credit Facility for a total amount of $35.0
million, denominated in Chilean Pesos.

The amended terms for the Syndicated Credit Facility included (i)
modification of financial covenant ratios, (ii) extension of the
term of the loan by one year to mature on May 5th 2006 and, as a
result, a reduction of the quarterly amortization, and (iii)
increase in the interest rate by 25 basis points to the Tasa
Activa Bancaria ("TAB" -- the local Prime Rate) plus 2.75%. In
addition, Claxson will be required to maintain a $1.5 million
deposit in a Chilean bank until certain ratios are met, and
Chilevision, Claxson's broadcast television operation in Chile,
will guarantee the Syndicated Credit Facility.

Playboy TV International (PTVI)

On December 26, 2002, Claxson and Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
(NYSE: PLA PLAA) (PEI) announced the completion of a new
agreement, which replaced their existing joint venture agreement
for Playboy TV International, LLC (PTVI). Under the terms of the
new agreement, Claxson was released from future library and
programming payments in return for increasing PEI's equity in the
venture's international networks and television distribution
outside of Latin America and Iberia to 100% from 19.9%. Claxson
and PEI will retain their existing 81%/19% respective ownership
splits in Playboy TV Latin America and Iberia (PTVLA).

PTVI was created in 1999 as a joint venture between an affiliate
of the Cisneros Group and PEI, which in 2001 combined with other
entities to become Claxson. Claxson owned 80.1% of the venture
while PEI owned 19.9% with the option to buy up to 50%. As part
of the original agreement, PEI was scheduled to receive from PTVI
$100 million primarily in international television programming
and trademark payments in exchange for rights to its then
existing library. Of the $100 million, $42.5 million had been
paid and $57.5 million remained outstanding at the time of
completion of the new deal.

In addition, under the new terms, Claxson obtained control over
PTVLA's management and will consolidate its operations into its
Pay TV division for financial reporting purposes as of January 1,
2003. PTVLA consists of the Playboy TV, Venus and Hot networks in
Latin America, Spain and Portugal. PEI will receive an annual
license fee in return for programming and trademark rights.

Nasdaq Delisting

On December 18, 2002, Claxson announced that a Nasdaq Listing
Qualifications Panel had denied Claxson's appeal of an October 8,
2002 Nasdaq Staff Determination to delist Claxson's Class A
Common Stock, par value $.01 per share, from The Nasdaq SmallCap
Market. Accordingly, Claxson's Class A Common Stock was delisted
from The Nasdaq SmallCap Market on December 18, 2002 and
currently trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the ticker

Other Highlights

During the fourth quarter, Claxson renegotiated its contract with
direct- to-home satellite television provider DIRECTVT Latin
America, reducing per subscriber rates and translating prices to
local currencies, in exchange for a two-year extension in the
contract's maturity and the grant of an option to launch a new

Accordingly, Claxson will launch a new pan regional channel
called Retro, featuring the best classic movies and television
series. Leveraging the success achieved in the Southern Cone by
its classic series channel Uniseries, Retro will launch on March
1st throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean
on DIRECTVT Latin America and on major cable operators in the
Southern Cone, to more than five million Latin American

Starting January 2003, Claxson decided to implement a new
organizational structure for its Pay TV Division to increase its
focus on the development of strategic content. A content bouquet
was implemented to represent three strategic genres managed as
"business units": Adult (Playboy TV / Venus), Movies (I.Sat,
Space and Retro), Music (MuchMusic, HTV); in addition to the
stand-alone FTV and Infinito channels.

As a consequence of this strategic restructuring, Affiliate Sales
was relocated under a newly created joint sales department
overseeing both Affiliate and Advertising Sales. Due to this new
structure, Mariano Varela, formerly SVP Advertising Sales and
Marketing was promoted to SVP Sales and Marketing, and Elisabet
Blanco, formerly EVP Affiliate Sales, left the company. Varela
will be responsible for all of Claxson's affiliate and
advertising sales efforts, as well as Claxson's Corporate
Marketing department, and as such will develop and implement
strategic sales strategies geared to synchronize and coordinate
sales plans on both fronts and efficiently achieve maximum

About Claxson

Claxson (XSON.OB) is a multimedia company providing branded
entertainment content targeted to Spanish and Portuguese speakers
around the world. Claxson has a portfolio of popular
entertainment brands that are distributed over multiple platforms
through its assets in pay television, broadcast television, radio
and the Internet. Claxson was formed on September 21, 2001 in a
merger transaction, which combined El Sitio, Inc. and other media
assets contributed by funds affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate &
Furst Inc. and members of the Cisneros Group of Companies.
Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Miami Beach,
Florida, Claxson has a presence in all key Ibero-American
countries, including without limitation, Argentina, Mexico,
Chile, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

To see financial statements:

CONTACT: Claxson Interactive Group Inc.
         Media: Alfredo Richard, SVP, Communications

         Jose Antonio Ituarte, Chief Financial Officer
         Web site:

DIRECTV LATAM: Hughes May Be Forced To Buy Back Clarin's Stake
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Hughes Electronics Corp., which
announced earlier that it may restructure its finances, may have
to pay Argentina's Grupo Clarin US$195 million to repurchase its
stake in DirecTV Latin America.

The likely scenario would be put in motion if Clarin, Argentina's
largest media company, decides to immediately exercise an option
to sell its 4% stake in DirecTV. Clarin would make the move in
order to protect its investment after the Hughes subsidiary said
it might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its

However, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, Hughes claims Clarin can't exercise the option until

DirecTV Latin America is in discussions with certain programmers,
suppliers, lenders and business associates to address the unit's
current financial and operational challenges. If discussions do
not result in a reasonable agreement in the near future, the unit
will consider other options, including restructuring under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy law.

DIRECTV Latin America is the leading direct-to-home satellite
television service in Latin America and the Caribbean.

DISCO SA: Requests Delay tt Release 4Q02 Financial Results
Argentine supermarket chain Disco S.A. asked the local bourse to
give it more time in posting its fourth-quarter 2002 results.
Citing a press release to the local bourse, Dow Jones reports
that the Company seeks to postpone the release of the financial
results until May 12 in order to carry out revision on its

The Argentine unit's new board ordered revision on the Company's
accounts following the accounting scandal that rocked its Dutch
parent, Ahold NV, and reports of irregularities at the Argentine
supermarket chain.

A spokesperson for Disco said the revision wouldn't involve any
fresh investigation into the Company's accounts.

Ahold gained complete control over Disco last July, after former
partner Velox Retail Holdings defaulted on debts to banks. Since
then, the Dutch company has repeatedly injected additional
capital into Disco.

In the first nine months of 2002, the Argentine business posted a
loss of ARS1.76 billion.

          Larrea 847, Piso 1
          1117 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-4964-8000
          Fax: +54-11-4964-8076
          Home Page:

PECOM ENERGIA: Raises 2003 Capex In Bid To Boost Oil Production
Executives from Pecom Energia revealed in a conference call
Thursday that the Argentine energy company will double its
capital expenditure plan from 2002 in peso terms to the
equivalent of US$300 million - US$400 million in 2003, reports
Business News Americas.

The increase is part of Pecom's effort to boost oil production in
2003, which the Company has targeted at an average of 165,000

Last year, the production target figure was 172,000b/d. This
year, target has decreased due to lower output in Venezuela where
the effects of the national strike will be felt, according to
exploration and production (E&P) business development and
planning manager Federico Irrgang.

          Maipo 1 - Piso 22 - C1084ABA
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (54-11) 4344-6000
          Fax: (54-11) 4344-6315
          Home Page:
          Jorge Gregorio C. Perez Companc, Chairman
          Oscar Anibal Vicente, Vice Chairman

PECOM ENERGIA: S&P's Comments On 2002 Earnings Release
In line with Standard & Poor's expectations, Pecom Energˇa S.A.
(Pecom; CCC/Negative/--) announced a net loss of Argentine Peso
(ArP) 1,2 billion for fiscal 2002 mainly because of the effect of
the currency devaluation in 2002 over its own assets and those of
its non-consolidated subsidiaries. These adjustments do not
represent cash outflows and Standard & Poor's scenario for the
current rating already incorporates this kind of accounting
correction. In addition, although Pecom's reported cash flow
generation is still below Standard & Poor's expectations, it is
consistent with the current rating category and therefore neither
the ratings nor the outlook is changed.

Standard & Poor's will closely monitor the company's progress,
its debt levels, and the sustainability of the company's growth
under the current debt burden.

ANALYSTS:  Pablo Lutereau, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2125
           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128

* Argentine Senate Radifies Two IMF-Requested Tax Bills
The Senate of Argentina passed into law two of the three tax
bills requested by the International Monetary Fund. Only the
signature of the country's president is needed to complete the

Dow Jones Newswires reports that the "competitiveness plans",
were scrapped by the lower house. The government under President
Fernando de la Rua gave special tax treatments to different
sectors, such as media groups and cultural organizations.

The second bill requires exporters to pay income tax on tax

The Chamber of Deputies passed the two bills on Wednesday. The
Senate sent back to the commission a third bill, which demands a
change in the fuel tax, from a fixed rate to an ad-valorem basis.

In January, Argentina obtained permission from the IMF to delay
payments on $6.8 billion in debt. Aside from the mentioned bills,
the lender also required the country to achieve a primary surplus
of 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product, increase government
revenue, restrain inflation, and curb both federal and provincial

* Japanese Bondholders Demand Sale of Argentine Lands
Japanese holders of Argentina's defaulted bonds are demanding
that Argentina sell real estate to repay its financial
obligations, after Argentine Finance Minister Guillermo Nielsen
told them that his country was not ready to present a
restructuring plan.

Local paper El Clarin reports that the Japanese' demands came
during a meeting between 1,300 Japanese bondholders and Mr.
Nielsen in Tokyo. Some 30,000 Japanese hold about 3 percent of
Argentina's sovereign bonds.

The report relates that the Japanese cited Russia's sale of
Alaska, as an example. Another suggestion was that Argentina
should sell jewels, as South Korea did to repay creditors.

Argentina has chosen French bank Lazard LLC as advisor for the
renegotiation of the US$95 billion in debt the country defaulted
on in December 2001.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Asian Firms May Takeover Soon
Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. and Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte
are expected to take over Bermuda-based Global Crossing, Ltd
before the end of April. The two Asian companies agreed to
purchase 61 percent of Global Crossing, Ltd. for US$250 million.

Global Crossing International President Jose Antonio Rios was
quoted by Business News Americas saying that Global Crossing is
fortunate to have to support of the new shareholders. He added
that new investments may come, but it will be up to the new

Last month, the Asian companies were asked to resubmit their bids
as the United States government wanted to make sure that the sale
would not jeopardize national security. The request came after
California Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher told U.S.
President George Bush that the Asian companies should be
prevented from acquiring fiber-optic networks in the country as
Hutchison owner, Hon Kong's richest man, Li Ka-Shing is reputed
to have ties with the Chinese government.

It was earlier reported that Global Crossing's network carries
data for the U.S. Justice Department, the CIA, and the FBI.

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Shares Plunge After Firing Division Chief
Shares of Bermuda-based Tyco International, Ltd. took a nose-dive
on Thursday after the Company dismissed the president of its fire
and security systems division, the Associated Press reports.
Shares fell 12 percent, or US$1.74, closing at US$12.29 an the
New York Stock Exchange.

"I've got a zero-tolerance policy," explained Tyco's new chief
Edward Breen, after dismissing division president Jerry Boggess,
who served the post since 1995. "If I find anything wrong,
they're out of here, heads are rolling. ... We're not putting up
with anything." he added.

Specifics on Mr. Bogess' dismissal were not discussed during the
executives' meeting on Thursday. Tyco commissioned David
Robinson, who was hired last fall from Motorola, as Mr. Bogess'

Tyco, hit by an accounting scandal involving its former top
executives, has been trying to regain investor confidence. But
the company's customer attrition rate rose to 13.8 percent from
13.2 percent in 2002, and 12.3 percent in the year before that.

Mark Schmitz, the fire and security division's new finance chief,
said the division is expected to grow despite the shake-up and
sluggish economy. Revenues are expected to top US$11 billion this
year, with operating profits in the range of US$1.1 billion, he
said. Last year, revenues reached US$10.6 billion, said the

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: New Jersey Offers Tax Break To Get 300 Jobs
The Economic Development Authority of New Jersey unanimously
approved a US$13.2 million tax break to Tyco International, Ltd.
in a bid to convince the Company to bring in 300 jobs to the
state. Authority spokesman Glenn Phillips said the deal was
approved under the state's Business Employment Incentive Program.
The deal would give Tyco a tax break for 10 years valued at 70
percent of the income tax paid by the 300 employees moved here,
he said.

Mr. Phillips said the offer to Tyco requires that no payment be
made until at least July 2005, and that the lawsuit must be
settled for the deal to go ahead. Tyco is facing a lawsuit filed
by the state to recover pension fund losses due to the sharp
decline in the Company's bonds. But New Jersey's Governor
McGreevey wants to suspend the offer, saying that the state
cannot afford the millions in annual cost.

Tyco, along with four other companies are accused of faulty
accounting practices, misleading investors, and in some cases,
fraud, said Knight Ridder Business News.

Jim Leonard, the chamber's vice president of government relations
countered the governor's argument saying the state's outlay on
the program is easily recouped through new jobs and the income
tax they bring.

"We would hope that the governor would find the continuation of
the BEIP program as important for all companies as is an
incentive for Tyco," he said, adding, "The offer shows how
important the program is to bringing new jobs to the state."

"We agree that the budget gap should be closed. But we don't
believe that it should be closed using a program like this, which
costs the taxpayer nothing and has such a large return for the
state's economy," said Mr. Leonard.

On Wednesday, the chamber announced a coalition of 50 companies,
trade associations, and individual supporters will seek the
Legislature not to support Mr. McGreevey's measure.


AES CORP.: Names Charles Rossotti as New Director
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Thursday another step in
reshaping its board to help meet the demands of the changing
energy sector. AES is continuing to add new board members with
strong business, financial, and governmental experience, while
also arranging for an orderly reduction in the board's size and a
process of succession to the board's chairmanship.

The newest addition to the AES board is Charles O. Rossotti, who
joins as an independent member. Mr. Rossotti served for five
years as the Commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service
(IRS). Earlier, he was Chairman of American Management Systems,
Inc. (AMS) an international business and information technology
consulting firm, which he helped found in 1970.

"Charles brings to AES extensive experience in government and in
the private sector. He has demonstrated his exceptional
leadership ability both at the IRS and as founder and leader of
AMS," said Roger Sant, Chairman of the Board of AES. "His
addition to our Board is part of our ongoing, purposeful
initiative to bring new leadership to the AES board that can best
direct the Company in the radically different energy sector in
which we now compete."

In the past year, three new board members have been named in
addition to Mr. Rossotti.

They are Paul Hanrahan, who was appointed President and Chief
Executive Officer of the company in June 2002; Sven Sandstrom, an
advisor and director at several European corporations and
institutions and formerly a Managing Director at the World Bank;
and Richard Darman, former Director of the Office of Management
and Budget and a Partner of the Carlyle Group, one of the world's
largest private equity firms.

Earlier, Mr. Darman was Managing Director of Shearson Lehman

As part of the continuing reshaping of the AES Board, Mr. Sant
said he expects to step down as Chairman of the Board following
the Company's annual meeting on May 1, 2003, with Mr. Darman
expected to be elected Chairman by his fellow Board members at
that time. Mr. Darman, who was elected Vice Chairman and Lead
Independent Director in December 2002, joined the AES board last

Mr. Sant is expected to continue on the Board as Chairman

Mr. Sant commented, "In today's energy industry, AES must focus
on execution of business fundamentals and improving its financial
strength as the best way to enhance shareholder value. Our Board
of Directors today, and under Dick Darman's leadership in the
future, is superbly suited to the challenges at hand."

Also, with the remaking of the Company's Board of Directors, four
current directors have decided not to stand for re-election, Mr.
Sant said. They include Dennis Bakke, Hazel O'Leary, Frank
Jungers, and Tom Unterberg. "We are extremely grateful for the
leadership and guidance these four exceptional individuals have
given AES over their terms on the Board," said Mr. Sant. "Without
their vision of AES as a global power company, AES could never
have grown as it did and achieved the successes that have marked
our company's first two decades."

Following the Board election at the May 1 board meeting, it is
expected that the AES Board will consist of nine members.
Additional candidates for the Board with strong business
experience are being considered, and one of those may be proposed
for election at the annual meeting, Mr. Sant said.

Mr. Rossotti said, "I have been watching AES respond to adverse
market conditions and now look forward to making a contribution
as the company strengthens both its balance sheet as well as its
portfolio of businesses around the globe."

AES is a leading global power company comprised of contract
generation, competitive supply, large utilities and growth
distribution businesses.

The company's generating assets include interests in 160
facilities totaling over 55 gigawatts of capacity, in 30
countries. AES's electricity distribution network sells 108,000
gigawatt hours per year to over 16 million end-use customers.

For more general information visit our web site at or
contact investor relations at

          Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315

AES CORP.: US Ambassador Emphasizes Need To Continue Talks
US power company AES Corp. must carry on discussions with
Brazil's national development bank BNDES in order to restructure
US$2.1 billion in debts it owed to the latter, according to Donna
Hrinak, the United States' ambassador to Brazil.

Business News Americas reports that Hrinak met with BNDES
president Carlos Lessa and development, industry and trade
minister Luiz Fernando Furlan last week.

"The only thing I asked for was dialogue. I think that it is
important for AES to talk," Mr. Hrinak said after the meeting. "I
think neither of the two sides can close the doors."

"Maintaining dialogue is our intention," Mr. Lessa confirmed.

Marc Grossman, the US state department political affairs sub-
secretary, has indicated that the US government would likely
support the AES in its discussions.

Meanwhile, BNDES is expected to post a loss this year because of
AES units' loan default and executives are apprehensive that this
could lead to a downgrade of its credit rating by agencies such
as Standard & Poor's or Moody's Investors Service.

An expected loss of BRL400 million ($117 million) this year from
a loan to AES ELPA SA is almost three-quarters of the bank's
BRL550-million net income in 2002. BNDES's results may also be
reduced because AES Transgas may delay paying on US$336 million
of debt.

VARIG-TAM: Merger Plans In Peril Over Varig's Problems
Analysts are getting more apprehensive that the Varig-Tam merger
plans will actually materialize, indicates Reuters. In February,
the two biggest airlines in Brazil announced plans to merge to
avert a collapse. However, analysts say that Varig's problems
could complicate negotiations with TAM and put the merger at

Last week, Varig returned 10 Boeing planes and promised to give
back three MD-11s by June, substantially reducing its
international fleet and in turn its access to revenue. That
followed two incidents in which its Boeing jets were seized by
creditors in Paris and Miami.

"Varig lost bargaining power with TAM after it returned the
airplanes," said Marcelo Ribeiro, an aviation sector analyst at
Pentagono brokerage in Rio de Janeiro. "I'm not even sure if the
merger will really take place. The market is very skeptical about

On the other hand, if Varig and TAM are able to agree, they would
still be left with Varig's debt problem.

"Joining the companies would solve their cost problems, but not
their debts. It only makes sense if they can find new capital,"
Leticia Costa, an analyst at Booz-Allen consultants in Sao Paulo,

An economic slump magnified its costs to service dollar-
denominated debt, lease aircraft and buy fuel in local terms. It
last posted a profit in 1998. Its net worth has shrunk to less
than US$15 million from US$375 million in 1997.

"Varig's revenues are bigger than TAM's, but if they continue to
return airplanes and reduce the number of flights they offer,
they could shrink to a size below TAM in all aspects," said
Alexandre Torrano, an analyst in Sao Paulo.

"Because it has the best-known brand, (Varig) will play an
important role, but it won't end up in charge, because TAM has a
lot less debt than Varig even though it too lost money in 2002,"
Torrano said.

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


ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: Fitch Comments On Ratings, Improvements
Fitch currently rates Enersis S.A.'s (Enersis) international
local and foreign currency obligations 'BBB+' and the national
scale rating is 'AA-'. Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A.'s
(Endesa-Chile) international local and foreign currency ratings
are 'BBB+' and national scale rating is 'AA'. All ratings are on
Rating Watch Negative.

Enersis and Endesa-Chile will remain on Rating Watch Negative
until the companies complete the measures being undertaken to
stabilize their credit profiles, including divesting assets,
refinancing and reducing debt, increasing the free cash flow, and
increasing equity, all currently in process. The companies have
made measurable progress on each of these fronts with more
concrete results expected within the next three to six weeks.
Fitch expects to complete its ongoing review by that time.

Enersis and Endesa-Chile recently announced an agreement on a
refinancing package with the four lead arrangers and that the
terms are now to be presented to the other banks involved for
their approval. Fitch believes Enersis and Endesa-Chile should be
able to refinance their bank loans, although at higher than its
current interest rates, and be able to adequately meet debt
service during 2003. Enersis and Endesa-Chile's credit quality
has been and will continue to be under pressure from its
subsidiaries located in Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil.
Based on prospective leverage measures and interest and debt
service coverages, the ratings of Enersis and Endesa-Chile are
likely to stabilize within the low investment grade category
following the debt refinancing, equity increase and anticipated
asset sales, if successfully completed according to Fitch's

Enersis is the largest private electricity distribution group in
Latin America. The company has varying ownership interests in
electric distribution companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia and Peru; electric generating companies in Argentina,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru; and electric utility-related
service companies. Enersis is 65%-owned by Endesa-Spain.

Endesa-Chile is the largest electricity generation company in
Chile and owns and operates approximately 48% of the country's
total generating capacity. Endesa-Spain is Spain's largest
electrical utility, which holds existing energy investments in
South America. All three companies have direct and indirect
stakes in companies located in Chile, Argentina, Colombia,
Brazil, and Peru.

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: S&P's Comments On Bank Debt Restructuring
Chile-based electricity provider Enersis S.A. (Enersis; BBB-
/Negative) and its 60%-owned subsidiary, Chilean power generator,
Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (Endesa Chile; BBB-
/Negative) announced Wednesday that they reached an agreement
with BBVA S.A., Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Salomon Smith
Barney, and Santander Central Hispano Investment Securities
regarding the terms and conditions to launch the refinancing of
their bank debt. The transaction will involve existing loans for
US$2.3 billion (US$1.6 billion at Enersis and US$700 million at
Endesa Chile) that are due in 2003 and 2004. These four banks,
which will be the lead arrangers for the refinancing process,
hold approximately US$1.1 billion, or almost 50%, of the bank
loans under negotiation. The proposed refinancing includes an
amortizing maturity schedule until final maturity in 2008 and the
removal of all the rating triggers that are outstanding on many
of the current outstanding bank loans. This new financing also
considers some guarantees provided by both Enersis and Endesa
Chile. The agreed upon terms will be submitted to the rest of the
banks that hold US$1.2 billion in bank debt for their
consideration and approval.

"We consider the agreement as a positive development in the
companies' financial strengthening plan. This is the first step
of a very challenging refinancing process whose evolution we will
closely follow," said credit analyst credit analyst Sergio
Fuentes. "There are still obstacles to overcome, as reflected by
the negative outlook on the ratings of both companies," continued
Mr. Fuentes.

In addition to closing the bank loans, Enersis and Endesa Chile
have to repay $701 million in bond maturities during 2003. In
Standard & Poor's opinion, the companies will be able to meet the
$170 million coming due in May with their own cash resources, but
asset sales or any other financing sources will be very important
to repay the $381 million coming due in July and the $150 million
that will mature in December.

Standard & Poor's believes that the rest of their banks will also
have incentives to roll over their loans based on the companies'
projected financial improvement as from 2004, mainly deriving
from the completion of Endesa Chile's Ralco 570MW hydro power
plant. Standard & Poor's will continue to closely monitor the
companies' refinancing risk. Once the final terms of the
refinancing are known, Standard & Poor's will evaluate the
effect, if any, on the ranking of the companies' remaining debt.

ANALYSTS:  Sergio Fuentes, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2131
           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128

ENDESA CHILE: Humphreys Cuts Bond Ratings
Chilean credit ratings agency Humphreys, an affiliate of Moody's
Investors Service, downgraded the ratings on the bonds issued by
generator Endesa Chile to A+ from AA, reports Business News

In a statement, Humphreys said the move reflects the grim
financial situation at Endesa Chile's parent Enersis and ultimate
parent, Endesa Spain. The problems at the parent will hamper its
financial support for Endesa Chile, which is struggling to stay
afloat amid a tough environment.

INVERLINK: Three Ex-Officials Detained On Judge's Orders
Three additional former Inverlink officials were arrested
Wednesday as the multi-million dollar Inverlink-CORFO fraud
scandal continues to unravel, reports the Santiago Times.

The former Inverlink officials - Ignacio Wulf, Inverlink
executive and major shareholder, Patricio Reyes, ex-Inverlink
accountant, and former Inverlink trader, Marcelo Munoz - were
arrested following an order by the prosecuting judge, Patricio

The three of them are expected to give pre-trial statements

Potential victims of the fraud have now launched their legal
battle to limit the damage they might incur. Fund administrators
at the Bank of Chile and BCI banks issued a joint appeal to
overturn a decision to confiscate all the stolen documents in
question and suspend all payments due. Attorney Carlos Balbontˇn,
who represents the banks, presented the appeal in writing to the
Judge Villarroel.

While the judge has refused to lift the suspension immediately,
he has asked CORFO officials to respond to the demands. Once
their reply has been received, he has three days to judge the
validity of the Bank of Chile's and BCI's claims and decide
whether CORFO should shoulder some of the financial burden of the

Adding to Inverlink's long chain of woes, the mayor of Vi¤a del
Mar slapped a new lawsuit against the Company for misuse of funds
and possible illegal associations. An identical course of action
was carried out by the mayor of Coronel Ren‚ Carvajal, who
accused Inverlink of defrauding his council of almost US$800
thousand, after they invested in Central Bank funds through the
now beleaguered holding company.

Meanwhile, the State Defense Council announced on Wednesday
afternoon that they will participate in the prosecution against


* World Bank Grants $100M Loan To Help Bogota
The World Bank approved Thursday a $100 million loan to help
improve urban infrastructure and services in the Colombian
capital of Bogot . The loan for the Bogot  Urban Services Project
is aimed at improving urban livability by increasing access,
coverage, quality, reliability and inter-agency coordination in
the provision of transport, water, sanitation and related basic
services, particularly for residents in low-income areas.  Among
the beneficiaries are about 600,000 low-income residents who live
in 14 of the city's poorest zones (Unidades de Planificaci˘n

"Modern public services are crucial to the quality of life among
the approximately 7 million residents of Bogot ," said Isabel
Guerrero, Director of the World Bank's program in Colombia and
Mexico. "Better infrastructure means that more of Bogot 's poor
will gain easier access to jobs, education, and social services."

Bogot 's city government has made great progress in improving
living conditions over the past decade.  Its solid record of
innovative policy-making and sound financial management have
provided a strong basis for an integrated approach to improving
the quality of life in this important urban area.  The Improved
Mobility, Urban Upgrading and Institutional Strengthening
components of the Bogot  Urban Services Project are consistent
with the District's short and long-term development plans (Plan
de Desarrollo and Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial).

"About half a million people displaced by Colombia's internal
armed conflict are now living in the poorest neighborhoods in the
Bogot  area, mostly in rapidly-growing informal settlements which
lack basic facilities such as paved roads, reliable water supply
and sewerage," said Thakoor Persaud, World Bank task manager of
the project. "The physical and social upgrading of the project
areas will allow displaced persons as well as other poor
residents to improve their living conditions and increase intra-
community as well as intra-city mobility and access to services,
aiding in improvement of their livelihood."

Among the subprojects to be supported by the Bank's loan is an
expansion of the Transmilenio bus system, which uses dedicated
bus lanes, as well as construction of  bicycle paths and
sidewalks, street paving, upgrading and repair of public parks
and community facilities.  The Institutional Strengthening
component is aimed at improving the performance of the
institutions in delivering urban services through activities
which will help to ensure the social, environmental and financial
sustainability of the works undertaken by the project.

"The fact that LAC is the most urbanized region in the Bank makes
this a particularly important project," explained Danny
Leipziger, Director of the Bank's Finance, Private Sector and
Infrastructure Department. "Colombia has been a very good partner
in our efforts to develop multi-sector projects such as these
which are becoming an indispensable tool in our efforts to
address urban poverty more effectively."

This fixed-spread loan, repayable in 17 years, includes a grace
period of five years and will be disbursed between 2003 and 2007.

The Bogot  Urban Services Project is being undertaken as part of
the World Bank Group's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for
Colombia. That strategy, approved in January 2003, supports
Colombia's efforts to achieve rapid and sustainable growth and to
give all Colombians a share in that growth and to build efficient
and transparent governance.  The CAS involves project and
investment loans of up to US$3.3 billion through June 2006.

CONTACTS:  Gabriela Aguilar (5255) 5480-4252

           Alejandra Viveros (202) 473-4306


AIR JAMAICA: Sacks 29 Workers As Restructuring Continues
Air Jamaica dismissed with immediate effect 29 employees as part
of the measures introduced by the airline to deal with the
deepening crisis in the airline industry. According to RJR News,
the 29 included 2 vice presidents; 7 departmental directors; 2
senior managers 14 other management staff and 4 clerical

The measures, which should generate annual savings of US$2.4
million, also include salary givebacks, renegotiation of aircraft
lease rates and modification of operating schedules. Employees
have been asked to give back between 3% and 10% of their salary
for three months, starting next month.

The Chief Executive Officer and Vice Presidents have volunteered
to take a 10% cut, and directors and general managers, a 6% cut.

Air Jamaica Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Zacca told RJR
News that the airline has reduced its capacity to lower its
operational costs and rationalize the number of flights in line
with reduced demand.

Zacca also didn't rule out the possibility of an additional
restructuring of the airline in case of a war and the state of
the industry worsens.


ALFA S.A.: Shareholder's Meeting Extols Improved Results
ALFA, S.A. de C.V. the leading Mexican company, held its annual
shareholders' meeting Wednesday, where results for 2002 were

Mr. Dionisio Garza, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive
Officer of ALFA, explained the audience that the company
substantially improved its results in 2002. It increased revenue,
boosted net income and generated EBITDA of US$817 million, 22
percent higher than last year. This was the result of the
company's ability to capitalize on market opportunities created
by the slight improvement of the Mexican and U.S. economies
during the year.

At the meeting, ALFA's shareholders authorized a cash dividend of
US$0.06, payable each of the 600 million shares outstanding. The
dividend will be paid in the local currency beginning March 20,
using the exchange rate published by the Bank of Mexico in the
government's official publication, "Diario Oficial de la
Federacion" on March 19 of the current year. In addition, the
Board of Directors was ratified.

Concerning the outlook for 2003, Mr. Garza commented that ALFA
will continue to concentrate in its key businesses, in order to
increase cash generation and return on assets.

Mr. Garza added that the prevailing economic uncertainty could
impact the performance of the Mexican economy by continuing focus
on profitability, productivity and operating efficiency to
carefully consider investments on fixed assets.

He concluded that it economic conditions are better that
expected, ALFA is ready to capitalize on the situation and
improve its results.

          Enrique Flores
          Phone: 521 81 8748 1207

AZTECA HOLDINGS: Moody's Ratings Unchanged After Exchange Offer
Azteca Holdings' announcement regarding an exchange offer will
not affect its ratings provided that the exchange offer is
executed as currently anticipated by the Company, Moody's
Investors Service said in a recent report. AH expects that more
than 70% of the bondholders of AH's outstanding 2003 notes will
accept the terms and conditions of this exchange. In addition,
bondholders who decide not to participate in the exchange offer
will receive the full payment of their capital at maturity.

Azteca Holdings announced it will offer to exchange its
outstanding 10 1/2% senior secured notes due 2003 for its new 10
3/4% senior secured amortizing notes due 2008. AH expects to
retire one-third of the principal amount of the new notes in July
2003 and repay the balance of the new notes in five equal annual

In addition, the Company is also soliciting consents from the
holders of its 10 1/2% notes for amendments to the terms and
conditions of the indenture governing these notes. The exchange
offer and consent solicitation is conditioned upon the receipt of
tenders of at least 70% of the outstanding aggregate principal
amount of the existing notes being validly tendered and not
properly withdrawn, which may be waived by Azteca Holdings in its
sole discretion.

CONTACT:  Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V.
          Investors: Bruno Rangel, +011-5255-3099-9167

          Rolando Villarreal, +011-5255-3099-0041

          Media: Tristan Canales, +011-5255-3099-5786

          Web site:

EMPRESAS ICA: Consortium With Schlumberger Gets $500M Contract
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday that the
announcement made by the consortium formed by Schlumberger
Oilfield Services (part of Schlumberger Ltd., A+/Negative/A-1)
and ICA-Fluor Daniel (a subsidiary of Empresas ICA Sociedad
Controladora S.A. de C.V., ICA; CCC/Negative/--) that it was
awarded a $500 million contract does not affect the ratings or
outlook of ICA and Schlumberger Ltd.

The impact of the contract on ICA's backlog was not disclosed.
Nevertheless, Standard & Poor's views the increase in the
company's backlog over the past few months, which should allow
ICA to maintain its revenue base, positively. The contract was
awarded by Pemex Exploracion y Prodcuccion (a subsidiary of
Petroleos Mexicanos, foreign currency: BBB-/Stable/--; local
currency: A-/Stable/--).

In addition, it is expected that the announcement of the winning
bid for the El Cajon hydroelectric power project in Mexico (worth
about $1 billion) will be announced tomorrow. ICA leads one of
the consortiums that is bidding for the 750 mega-watt project to
be awarded by Comision Federal de Electricidad (foreign currency:
BBB-/Stable/--; local currency: BBB+/Stable/--.)

ANALYSTS:  Jose Coballasi, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2014
           Daniel Volpi, New York (1) 212-438-7688
           Manuel Guerena, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2011

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

CARONI LTD.: Union Says 1,000 Workers Applied For VSEP
All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers' Trade Union president
Rudy Indarsingh announced that about 1,000 workers of state sugar
company Caroni (1975) Ltd. have applied for the Voluntary
Separation of Employment Program (VSEP) that the government
offered to about 10,000 workers. In a report, the Trinidad
Guardian quoted Mr. Indarsingh saying the applicants are from all
the bargaining units.

However, Caroni chairman Dr. Kusha Harracksingh did not confirm
the figures given by the union leader, and said that it makes to
sense revealing the number as of this time. He added that many of
the VSEP applications came with queries on such things as the
dates of their employment, and when they might qualify for

The deadline for VSEP applications is April 3, 2003, which makes
up the first part of Caroni's restructuring. The government plans
to close off one of its two factories, and reduce sugar

The government's plan to reduce employees at Caroni was met with
strong opposition from unions representing its workers. But the
government seems determined to push the restructuring through as
the Company's debt now stands at $3.2 billion, in just ten years
after $2.1 billion in debt was written off.

The VSEP will cost the government some $889.1 million, while the
Caroni pension plan would require $235 million, and the
government would honor the Company's legitimate debts to
creditors and banks.

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

          All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers' Trade Union
          Rienzi Complex
          Exchange Village
          Southern Main Road, Couva.
          President: Mr. Boysie Moore-Jones
          General Secretary: Mr. Rudranath Indarsingh
          Tel. 868-636-2354
          Fax. 868-636-3372


* Market Sources Expect Yen Bond Payment Will Be Met
Market sources are forecasting that Uruguay should be able to
make interest payments due March 14 on a yen bond, reports
Reuters. The market expressed its optimism despite Uruguay's
announcement on Tuesday that it was offering its creditors a
voluntary restructuring on a quarter of its debt to avoid an
Argentine-style debt default.

According to Reuters, Uruguay has one tranche of outstanding
Samurai bonds -- yen bonds issued in Japan by a foreign entity --
worth 30 billion yen (US$255.6 million) in 2.2% 5-year bonds. The
bond was issued in 2001 and matures on March 14, 2006.

An estimated 330 million yen in coupon payments was expected to
reach holders on Friday, the sources said.


PDVSA: Technical Problems Delay La Isla Restart
The restart of Petroleos de Venezuela's La Isla Refinery was
postponed due to problems with its catalytic cracker. The
refinery was originally scheduled to resume operations on
Saturday after having been shut down during the national strike
in the country.

"I can't put an exact date on it, but it will be about a week
longer than originally thought," a company spokeswoman told Dow
Jones Newswires.

The refinery has begun processing some 120,000 barrels per day at
the end of January, but troubles with the catalytic cracker is
preventing it from resuming normal levels of production. La Isla
has a nominal capacity of 320,000 barrels per day, but processes
between 180,000 barrels per day and 200,000 barrels per day on

A number of the Venezuelan state oil company's refineries are
beginning start-up procedure after being shut down during the
strike. Recent reports indicate that some of these refineries are
having problems restarting, and that over-all production level
has not reached pre-strike figures.

* Alvarez & Marsal Launches Global Power and Utilities Group
Leading Corporate Restructuring Firm Names Power Industry
Veterans Gerald K. Lindner, Alan R. Rosenberg and Gordon Travers
to Head New Group

With an increasing number of energy companies facing distressed
situations, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M), a premier worldwide corporate
restructuring, crisis management and creditor advisory firm,
announced it has launched a new Global Power and Utilities Group,
established to focus on serving the specific needs and interests
of this sector.

Headed by power industry veterans, Gerald K. Lindner, Alan R.
Rosenberg and Gordon Travers, all Managing Directors at A&M, the
group will provide workout, restructuring and bankruptcy advisory
and operating services to power companies, utilities, and
unregulated utility subsidiaries, as well as bank lenders,
bondholders and other stakeholders of companies in this area.

"The California energy crisis, the collapse of majors players
such as Enron, supply and demand imbalances and the liquidity
crisis facing independent power companies have caused the entire
industry to undergo a fundamental structural transformation,"
said Bryan Marsal, co-founder of A&M.  "With many companies
already involved in the restructuring process and more likely to
follow, there is an unprecedented demand for senior industry
expertise to help companies and creditors successfully navigate
these situations."

Gerald K. Linder has had a long and distinguished career in the
independent power industry, having previously held senior
executive management and operating positions at Fluor
Corporation, GE Power Systems and Hadson Power Systems/LG&E, a
leading developer and owner of independent power projects.   He
also has served as the general partner of LCRW, a power-focused,
private equity partnership formed by Chase and Westinghouse, and
on the Executive Committee and Board of the National Independent
Energy Producers Association, a leading independent power trade
association.   Prior to joining A&M, he was Senior Strategic
Advisor to AEP Resources, the independent power subsidiary of
American Electric Power Company, and also co-founded and headed
Opus Energy, which served as an investment platform and advisor
to a number of leading private equity firms in connection with
power-related investment activities in the US and offshore.

Alan Rosenberg's career spans 18 years at major money center
banks, most recently with Bank of America Securities, where he
served as Head of its European Power and Energy Group and Global
Head of Power Project Finance & Asset-Based Advisory Services. As
Head of the European Power and Energy Group, Mr. Rosenberg
developed an M&A team and expanded BofA's corporate finance
franchise for European and American energy and power clients
within local markets and on a trans-Atlantic basis.  As Global
Head of Power Project Finance, he had direct responsibility for
all origination and execution of BofA's structured advisory,
asset-based M&A and project lending businesses in the power
industry.  As one of the leading financial institutions in the
industry, his team of 45 professionals, located in North America,
Europe, Asia, and Latin America closed in excess of $10 billion
of transactions annually.

Gordon Travers joined A&M from Opus Energy, which he co-founded
with Gerald Lindner. Prior to that, he practiced finance and
energy law for over 20 years.  Over the course of his career,
Gordon has led many notable financing and restructurings for
power projects and utilities on behalf of leading money center
banks, including the bank debt restructurings of Consumers Power
Company, LILCO and Valero Energy Corporation, and new money
project financings for projects sponsored by such companies as
Duke, Transco (now Tractebel), El Paso Energy and AEP Resources.

A&M's Global Power & Utilities Group will also include Senior
Managing Director Joseph Bondi, currently serving as Chief
Restructuring advisor to PG&E's National Energy Group; Managing
Director Ray Dombrowski, who prior to joining the firm served as
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ogden
Corporation, a leading alternative energy and independent power
company; and Dean Swick, a Managing Director in the firm's
Houston office, who has extensive experience in the upstream,
midstream, downstream and oilfield service sectors of the energy

About Alvarez & Marsal

Founded in 1983, Alvarez & Marsal is one of the world's premier
corporate restructuring, crisis management and creditor advisory
firms. A&M's senior professionals are dedicated to solving
complex business, financial and operational problems in order to
unlock and realize maximum value for corporate owners and
stakeholders.  Through 12 offices and 170 employees worldwide,
A&M provides unparalleled financial and operational services to
troubled and under performing companies through its core services
which include, Turnaround Consulting, Crisis and Interim
Management, Creditor Advisory, Bondholder Advisory. Corporate
Finance and Performance Improvement.  For more information please
contact Rebecca Baker, Director of Global Marketing and
Communications at

           101 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

           Hannah Arnold, Maria Brown, 212-575-4545
           Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc. Public Relations


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.

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