TCRLA_Public/030402.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Wednesday, April 2, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 65


* B E R M U D A *

FOSTER WHEELER: Narrows Losses as It Restructures

* B O L I V I A *


* B R A Z I L *

ACESITA: Sells CST Stake to CVRD for $59.7M
AES SUL: Posts BRL1.52 Bln Net Loss in 2002
CEMIG: Reports Fourth-Quarter 2002 Earnings
CEMIG: Iraq War, Financial Market Woes Hamper Refinancing Plans
CEMIG: Conflict With Mina Gerais Govt. to See Solution This Year
CIEN: Endesa Chile May Go to Court to Resolve Standoff
ELECTRICITY COMPANIES: Seek 45% Rate Hike, Compensation
ELETRONET: Files for Bankruptcy; May Be a Target for Acquisition
EMBRATEL: To Launch VoIP Services in May
NET SERVICOS: Announces Fourth Quarter 2002 Financial Results
TAM: Announces Plans to Dismiss 6% of Workforce
USIMINAS: Reports BRL325 Mln Net Loss in 2002

* C H I L E *

ENDESA CHILE: Shareholders Approve Canutillar Sale
ENERSIS: Parent Gets OK to Boost Stake
GUACOLDA: Moody's Lowers Sr. Secured Certificates to Ba1
MADECO: To Mature $10M Worth of Bonds

* C O L O M B I A *

CHEC: Has Three More Months to Raise Money to Pay Maturing Loan
SUMMA: Narrows Losses on Improved Sales, Cost-Cutting Measures

* J A M A I C A *

JUTC: UCASE VP Calls on Auditor General to Investigate Affairs

* M E X I C O *

AHMSA: To Restructure Debts Soon
PEMEX: Financing Delays Postpone Minatitlan Upgrade Tender
UNION FENOSA: Gets Money to Fund Mexican Projects

* P A R A G U A Y *

* IMF Approves $38M Disbursement

* T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O *

BWIA: Demands Retraction From Paper as Article Hurts Shares
BWIA: Caribbean Star Owner May Be Interested in Buying BWIA
CARONI LTD: 2 Managers Go on Pre-Retirement Leave Amid VSEP Woes
CARONI LTD: Opposition Refuses to Present Motion for Debate Again
CARONI LTD: Industrial Court Bans Promotion of VSEP to Workers
CARONI LTD: Official to Discuss VSEP During Conference

* U R U G U A Y *

* Uruguay Seeks to Reschedule Bond Payments

* V E N E Z U E L A *

PDVSA: Ready to Sell $625M to BCV, But Critics Raise Doubts
PDVSA: Analysts Warn of Third Oil Stoppage


FOSTER WHEELER: Narrows Losses as It Restructures
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (NYSE: FWC) reported results for the fourth
quarter 2002 and the year.

Results for both periods were dominated by restructuring and
special charges. Revenues for the fourth quarter 2002 totaled
$995.4 million. The company reported a net loss of $112.1
million, or $2.73 per share diluted, including pre-tax special
charges of $124.5 million. Approximately $90 million of the
special charges were non-cash. Excluding all special charges, net
income for the quarter was $5.4 million, or $0.13 per share
diluted. These results compare to revenues of $1,034.9 million in
the year-ago quarter, and a net loss of $343.1 million, or $8.39
per share diluted, including special pre-tax charges of $240.1
million. Excluding the charges, the net income for the fourth
quarter 2001 was $10.3 million, or $0.25 per share diluted.

"During 2002, we made significant progress with the restructuring
of Foster Wheeler. My management team inherited judgements and
estimates that were more optimistic than the ones we've chosen to
use. We've established a set of accounts and adopted an approach
to financial management that has resulted in a credible base from
which to plan and manage performance. This process, however, led
to a host of special charges that were predominantly non-cash. We
believe we have dealt with the root causes of these issues by
increasing the rigor of our financial and project controls,
improving our contracting standards, and establishing a strong
management team, both at the corporate level and in each of the
company's operations. We have reduced over $40 million from our
cost structure worldwide and through our focus on the generation
of cash, we have delivered our strongest year-end cash position
in 15 years," said Raymond J. Milchovich, chairman, president and
chief executive officer.

"The progress achieved operationally in 2002 has built the
foundation for a solid operating plan in 2003. We expect to
generate operating EBITDA in 2003 that would be approximately 30
percent higher than we have achieved over the last three years.
Through the first two months, we are tracking consistent with the
plan, suggesting that our initiatives are beginning to yield
results. As we move forward in 2003, a key goal will be to reduce
debt and improve the company's balance sheet."

Cash balances worldwide at year-end were $429 million, compared
to $224 million at year-end 2001. As of December 27, 2002, the
company's indebtedness was $1.1 billion, compared to $1.0 billion
at year-end 2001. During the third quarter of 2002, the company
replaced the off-balance sheet financing related to the company's
corporate headquarters building with an on-balance sheet
facility. In the fourth quarter 2002, the company entered into a
capital lease for an office building in Finland. These items
accounted for the increase in debt.

Cash flows generated from operations in 2002 were $160.4 million,
compared to cash outflows of $88.7 million during 2001, an
improvement of $249.1 million. In addition, the company sold
substantially all of the business of Foster Wheeler Environmental
Corporation in March 2003 and received cash proceeds of $80
million. During 2003, the company expects to receive an
additional $57 million in capital recovery proceeds from a
government project, which was not included in the sale.

For the year ended December 27, 2002, revenues were $3.6 billion,
a 6 percent increase over $3.4 billion in 2001. The increase is
attributable primarily to increased activity in the company's
European operations. Foster Wheeler's net loss for the year was
$525.2 million, or $12.82 per share diluted, including pre-tax
special charges of $545.9 million. In 2001, the company reported
a net loss of $336.4 million, or $8.23 per share diluted,
including pre-tax special charges of $254.3 million.

Bookings and Segment Performance

New orders booked during the fourth quarter 2002 were $567.6
million compared to $1,101.8 million in the fourth quarter of
last year. The company's backlog was $5.4 billion, compared to
$6.0 billion at year-end 2001.

Fourth-quarter revenues for the Engineering and Construction
Group (E&C) were $583.7 million, compared to $582.6 million
during the year-ago quarter. New bookings for the quarter were
$306.0 million, compared to $889.2 million in the fourth quarter
of 2001. The Group's backlog was $4.0 billion compared to $4.5
billion at year-end 2001. Excluding the effect of special charges
in both periods, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization (EBITDA) were $24.6 million this quarter,
compared to $17.0 million for the same period last year. The
increase was due to improved results in the UK engineering and
construction operations.

For the year, E&C bookings were $1.7 billion, down from $2.6
billion in 2001. Revenues for 2002 were $2,027.5 million, up 4
percent compared to $1,944.0 million last year. Excluding the
effect of special charges in both periods, EBITDA of $86.7
million for the year was essentially flat with $85.6 million last

Energy Group revenues for the quarter were $421.7 million, up 5
percent compared to $402.6 million in the same quarter of 2001.
New bookings during the fourth quarter were $264.8 million, up 30
percent, compared to $203.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The
increase was mainly due to a large domestic power project order
recorded in December 2002. Backlog at year-end was $1.4 billion,
compared to $1.5 billion at year-end 2001. Excluding the effect
of special charges in both periods, EBITDA was $33.1 million for
the quarter, compared to $47.1 million last year. Improved
performance in Power Systems and the company's Finnish subsidiary
was offset primarily by weakness in the U.S. power operations.

For the year, bookings for the Energy Group were $1,396.3
million, compared to $1,478.2 million in 2001. Revenues for the
year were up 7 percent to $1,576.8 million, from $1,468.8 million
for last year. Excluding the effect of special charges in both
periods, EBITDA was $127.8 million for the year, compared to
$123.2 million last year. The increase was primarily driven by
improved performance at the company's Finnish subsidiary.

Special Charges

The company recorded a series of special charges for the quarter
totaling $124.5 million, most of which addressed legacy issues:

- $65.6 million for revisions to project claim estimates and
related costs. Recoveries against these claims will be recognized
as revenue when received;

- $20.0 million provision for asbestos claims relating to
insolvent insurers;

- $16.2 million of costs in connection with the company's
refinancing and restructuring efforts, performance intervention
activities, employee severance, and other charges;

- $13.7 million for re-evaluation of contract cost estimates and
provisions for uncollectible receivables;

- $5.3 million provision for impairment loss on a U.S.
manufacturing facility, in accordance with the provisions of SFAS
146, "Accounting for Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal
Activities;" and

- $3.7 million provision for losses to be recognized in
anticipation of asset sales.

In addition, Foster Wheeler completed its evaluation of goodwill
during the quarter in accordance with the implementation of SFAS
142, "Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets." As a result, the
company recognized a non-cash $77.0 million impairment charge at
a reporting unit in its Energy Group. This charge, along with
$73.5 million recognized earlier in the year, has been recorded
as a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle.

Annual Pension Revaluation

The company completed its annual pension revaluation and recorded
an after-tax charge to shareholders' equity of $226.0 million.
This charge represents the cumulative minimum liability for both
domestic and foreign underfunded pension plans. Declines in
financial markets have unfavorably impacted pension plan asset
values, resulting in underfunded pension plans. In addition, the
company has changed its assumptions on the expected rate of
return on plan assets, and the discount rate used to calculate
the present value of its future obligations, to more closely
match current market conditions. Cash payments required in 2003
remain essentially unchanged from 2002.

Restatement of Prior Year Financial Statements

Subsequent to the filing of the company's third quarter 2002
financial results, management determined that the assets,
liabilities, and related impact on results of operations
associated with one of the company's postretirement medical plans
were not properly accounted for in accordance with SFAS 106,
"Employers' Accounting for Post-Retirement Benefits Other Than
Pensions." The company has adjusted its previously reported
results for 2000, 2001 and 2002. These adjustments include an
additional net liability of $20.5 million at the end of 2002, and
pre-tax expenses of approximately $1.6 million for 2002.

Notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Foster Wheeler received a formal notice, dated March 18, 2003,
from the NYSE indicating that it was below the continued listing
criteria of a total market capitalization of not less than $50
million over a 30-day trading period and shareholders' equity of
not less than $50 million. The company expects to submit a
business plan that will demonstrate compliance with the continued
listing standard within 18 months of notice from the NYSE. The
company's business plan, if accepted, will be reviewed by the
NYSE for ongoing compliance with its goals and objectives.
Throughout the review process, Foster Wheeler's common stock will
continue to be listed on the NYSE, subject to reassessment.

To see financial statements:

CONTACT:          Foster Wheeler Ltd.
                  Media Contact:
                  Andrew O'Hearn, 908/730-4444
                  Shareholder Contact:
                  John Doyle, 908/730-4270
                  Other Inquiries:


Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") (Nasdaq: MICC),
the global telecommunications investor, announced that it is
extending the private exchange offer and consent solicitation to
holders of 13-1/2% Senior Subordinated Discount Notes due 2006,
or the "Old Notes", who are not U.S. persons, or who are U.S.
persons that are either "qualified institutional buyers" or
"institutional accredited investors" (as each of those terms are
defined under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended) and who can
make the representations to exchange, upon the terms and subject
to the conditions set forth in the private offering documents,
until 5:00 p.m. New York City time on April 11, 2003, unless
further extended by Millicom.

The rights of withdrawal for those bondholders who have already
tendered their acceptance to the exchange offer and consent
solicitation shall continue until the new expiration date in
accordance with the terms of the private offering documents.

Millicom also announced that it has received conditional
commitments from approximately 50% of the holders of the Old
Notes to exchange their Old Notes for new securities in the
ongoing private exchange offer under certain revised terms. The
commitments by these holders remain subject, among other things,
to the satisfactory completion of a due diligence review of
Millicom's publicly available information by the legal and
financial advisors of such holders, expected to last for no more
than two weeks. The commitment by Millicom to amend the terms of
the existing private exchange offer and to re-circulate the
related private offering documents is subject, among other
things, to the completion of the due diligence referred to above
and additional holders of Old Notes delivering binding
commitments to participate in the exchange offer on such amended

This press release is neither an offer to purchase nor a
solicitation of an offer to sell Millicom's securities and is not
being made to, nor will tenders be accepted from, or on behalf
of, holders of Old Notes in any jurisdiction in which the making
of the exchange offer and consent solicitation or the acceptance
thereof would not be in compliance with the laws of such

Millicom International Cellular S.A. is a global
telecommunications investor with cellular operations in Asia,
Latin America and Africa. It currently has a total of 16 cellular
operations and licenses in 15 countries. Millicom's cellular
operations have a combined population under license (excluding
Tele2) of approximately 360 million people. In addition, Millicom
provides high-speed wireless data services in seven countries.
Millicom also has a 6.8% interest in Tele2 AB, the leading
alternative pan-European telecommunications company offering
fixed and mobile telephony, data network and Internet services to
over 16 million customers in 21 countries. Millicom's shares are
traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol MICC.

Lazard is acting for Millicom International Cellular S.A. in
connection with the exchange offer and consent solicitation and
no-one else and will not be responsible to anyone other than
Millicom International Cellular S.A. for providing the
protections offered to clients of Lazard nor for providing advice
in relation to the exchange offer or consent solicitation.


ACESITA: Sells CST Stake to CVRD for $59.7M
Acesita SA, a Brazilian stainless-steel maker controlled by
France's Arcelor SA, is selling its shares in Cia Siderurgica de
Tubarao to Brazil's Cia. Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD).

According to Bloomberg, CVRD, the world's largest iron-ore mining
company, agreed to pay US$59.7 million for the stake. The sale
gives CVRD 4.4% of Tubarao's voting stock and 5.6% of its
preferred stock.

Acesita recently reported a BRL303-million net loss for 2002,
only slightly lower than its 2001 net loss of BRL325 million.
However, the Company's gross profit went up 58.5% to BRL502
million from BRL316 million in 2001, while net revenues soared to
BRL1.7 billion, with an
Ebitda increase of 52.8% to BRL432 million.

Company officials said that the strong operational results
reflect the conclusion of the Company's restructuring in the
second half of last year, with a focus on certain steel products.

This year, the Company expects a recovery in the stainless steel
market after demands slumped by 2.4% last year. Demand is
expected to grow slightly both in the European and Asian markets.

CONTACT:  Acesita SA
          Av Joao Pinheiro, 580
          30130-180 Belo Horizonte - MG
          Phone: +55 31 3235-4211
          Fax:  +55 31 3235-4300
          Home Page:
          Valmir Marques Camilo, Chairman
          Bruno Le Forestier, Vice Chairman
          Jean-Yves A. Aime Gilet, Member

AES SUL: Posts BRL1.52 Bln Net Loss in 2002
Troubled Brazilian utility AES Sul Distribuidora Gaucha de
Energia posted a 2002 net loss of BRL1.52 billion, compared to
2001 net profits of BRL48.04 million.

According to the Company's financial statement, net equity was in
the red by BRL1.06 billion, said Business News Americas on

The Company's operating results recorded a BRL1.02 billion loss,
far from the BRL80.83 million profits it made in 2001.

Business News Americas added that the Company's net operating
revenue declined bu 18 percent to BRL1.08 billion, as service
revenue went down by 62 percent to merely BRL197.61 million.

AES Sul is controlled by U.S.-based AES Corporation.

CEMIG: Reports Fourth-Quarter 2002 Earnings
Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais - CEMIG - (NYSE: CIG; BOV:
CMIG4, CMIG3 and LATIBEX: XCMIG), a leading fully-integrated
electricity company in Brazil, reported Monday a year-end loss of
R$1,002 million, compared with net income of R$478 million in the
previous year.

CEMIG's results were heavily impacted by devaluation of the real
throughout the year. Net expenses of R$803 million were incurred,
due to exchange rate losses, the loss provision of R$1,045
million related to CRC negotiations with the Government of Minas
Gerais, and the estimated recovery of R$178 million related to
the Extraordinary Tariff Readjustment.

CEO of CEMIG, Djalma Bastos, commented: "We had a very unsettled
year in which the consequences of rationing brought a series of
difficulties, not only in terms of understanding the general
agreement of the sector, but economic and financial as well. The
exchange rate devaluation also significantly aggravated the
situation. Even so, we were able to maintain our investment
program of R$1,164 million, initiate new projects, acquire
control of Infovias, and still pay dividends to our

Revenues from electricity supply were R$5,991 million in 2002, up
26.63% over 2001 revenues of R$4,731 million. This growth was due
to a tariff readjustment of 16.5% in April 2001, and another
readjustment of 10.51% in April 2002, additional revenues from
free energy purchased on the Wholesale Electricity Market, and a
2.4% increase in the volume of retail energy sold.

Impacts of the Electricity Rationing Program continued to be felt
during the year, as the Program remained effective through
February of 2002 The volume of energy sold grew 1.96%, or 35,634
GWh in 2002, over the 34,947 GWh sold in 2001. Industrial
consumption rose 2.6%, commercial grew 0.45%, and residential
consumption decreased 1.78%. Despite the overall increase in
energy sold, due to electricity rationing throughout 2001 and
part of 2002, it was observed that customers' electricity
consumption lessened. The Brazilian economy experienced a
simultaneous retraction, thus further impacting CEMIG's negative

During the year, CEMIG had revenues from wholesale electricity
supply of R$534 million, compared to R$145 million in 2001. This
result is mainly due to a change in the method of calculating the
rights and obligations related to MAE transactions. In accordance
with the General Agreement of the Electricity Sector, CEMIG
recognized revenues from extraordinary tariff readjustments of
R$275 million in 2002, and R$1.058 million in 2001. The values
recognized as revenues in relation to the extraordinary tariff
readjustment will be received by CEMIG through an additional
readjustment, effective for the maximum period of 82 months
beginning in January 2002.

Operating expenses during the year were R$4.593 million, a 15.93%
increase over the R$3.962 million reported in 2001. The higher
expenses were due to growth in purchased energy expenses for
resale, and a provision for losses in the recovery of
Extraordinary Tariff Readjustment values.

The principal factors affecting financial results were foreign
exchange losses of R$803 million, R$199 million in revenues from
monetary variation, revenue growth of R$151 million from
financial transactions as a function of greater cash availability
in 2002, interest on capital of R$220 million to be paid in 2003,
and the provision for devaluation of the National Treasury Notes
in the amount of R$61 million.

Despite a difficult 2002, CEMIG executives stated their
confidence in CEMIG's ability to return to profitability in 2003.
CEMIG's CFO, Flavio Decat said: "Naturally we are still laying
our plans within the context established by the Governor.
Nevertheless, we have already identified some areas_ where we can
make some improvements. Procuring growth means taking a bolder
and more competitive position in the market, being aware of
business opportunities that will certainly appear as a function
of the necessary restructuring of the energy sector in Brazil,
and participating in future bids alone or in partnership with
other private or state-owned companies."

To see financial statements:

          Luiz Fernando Rolla, Investor Relations Officer
          Tel: +55-31-3299-3930
          Fax: +55-31-3299-3933

          The Anne McBride Company
          Vicky Osorio
          Tel: +1-212-983-1702
          Fax: +1-212-983-1736,

CEMIG: Iraq War, Financial Market Woes Hamper Refinancing Plans
Cemig is delaying plans to roll over foreign currency debts due
this year, citing the war in Iraq and the continuing turmoil in
the financial markets, Business News Americas indicates.

Cemig investor relations manager Luiz Fernando Rolla revealed
that the Company has a total of BRL622 million in foreign debt
due this year, spread throughout the year.

Rolla said Cemig is also examining the option of issuing
debentures on the local market. According to him, debentures
would be adjusted by the IGP-M inflation index, the same one used
in the regulated tariff adjustments, and the local financing
would substantially reduce exchange rate risks.

About BRL3 billion of Cemig's BRL3.2 billion in total debts are
due over the next five years, reflecting the lack of long-term
financing available to Brazilian companies, Rolla said.

Following the listing on Spain's Latibex market for Latin
American companies in July, Cemig has been working to build its
profile in Europe and the market should become a significant
source of financing for future projects, he said.

In the meantime, Cemig is implementing a very conservative
management of its cash flow, to reduce costs and postpone
investment decisions until it is in a more "comfortable"
financial position, he said, adding that this could impact the
target for investing BRL856 million this year.

CEMIG: Conflict With Mina Gerais Govt. to See Solution This Year
Cemig is yet to see a solution to a dispute over BRL1.3 billion
of debts owed by the state government. But, Cemig investor
relations manager Luiz Fernando Rolla is confident that a
solution will come before the end of the year.

Business News Americas recalls that the significant debt led
securities regulator CVM to force Cemig to set aside provisions
during 2002, which hit the Company's year-end results badly.

The Minas Gerais state government is having problems paying off
all the debts with Cemig, as it has major financial problems to
contend with. The state turned to the federal government for
help, asking it to pay off Cemig and take over the debts.
However, the poor state of Minas' finances is barring the three
parties from reaching an agreement. The federal government
recently sent a team to Minas to examine a number of proposals
put forward by new state governor Aecio Neves.

The state government has "left all the doors open" and an
alternative solution could be reached if the state government's
revenues improve, he said.

"We can't specify a date because it is a difficult job, but we
hope to resolve it this year," Rolla said. Certainly, the
provisions have already been made and will not have an effect on
the 2003 results, he added.

CIEN: Endesa Chile May Go to Court to Resolve Standoff
Parana state-controlled energy utility Cia. Paranaense de Energia
(Copel), at the order of Governor Roberto Requiao, has stopped
paying since January for the power it purchased from 2,000MW
Cien, pushing the latter into the edge of insolvency.

Endesa Chile, which owns 45% of Cien, has taken certain
administrative measures to address the issue. However, the
problem remains unresolved, prompting Endesa Chile to consider
legal options, reports Business News Americas.

"We have already taken certain administrative measures...where we
are at now is studying what the judicial measures could
go to arbitration or to the courts directly," Endesa CEO Hector
Lopez said.

The situation "not only affects the state [of Parana] but the
stability and fulfillment of contracts in Brazil...this is a
Brazilian political problem" which affects not only Cien, Lopez

Cien sells to Copel at US$29/MWh, "and at the moment is probably
one of the cheapest contracts that Copel has," Lopez said.
Requiao wants out of the contract because spot market prices are
presently around 4 reais/MWh, "but you can't compare a fixed
price contract over 20 years with a one-off spot market price,
because for a specific period it has rained in Brazil," Lopez

Endesa would be willing to renegotiate with Copel about
"overcoming its short term problem," he added.

Cien is a money-spinner for Endesa Chile, and so the problem is a
serious one. Cien now has all its 2,000MW under contract, and in
2002 recorded operating income of BRL48 billion (today US$65.5mn)
and 6.5bn peso profits.

Endesa Chile's parent Endesa SA of Spain owns the remaining 55%
of Cien.

ELECTRICITY COMPANIES: Seek 45% Rate Hike, Compensation
Electricity companies in Brazil submitted a motion for the
approval of a 45 percent tariff increase to Energy Minister Dilma
Rousseff, local daily Valor Economico reports, adding that the
ministry is still studying the proposal.

The newspaper cites unidentified industry executives saying that
the proposed rate hike should help the Companies recover
investments they have made.

The companies are also asking the government some BRL8 billion
(US$2.4 billion) as compensation for losses caused by the sharp
decline of the value of the local currency against the dollar.
Bloomberg News relates that the reais lost about one-third of its
value last year.

In the meantime, Brazil's power industry suggested putting up
preferential shares as collateral for aid, said Bloomberg.

Electricity companies in the country suffered from an unexpected
drop in consumption and regulations capping electricity rates.

ELETRONET: Files for Bankruptcy; May Be a Target for Acquisition
Brazilian carrier of carriers Eletronet, created in 1999 by
LightPar, a unit of Brazil's federal electric company Eletrobras,
filed for bankruptcy, Business News Americas reports.

According to Eletronet's most recent financial report, which is
for the third-quarter of last year, the Company had net losses of
BRL56 million (US$16.7mn) on revenues of BRL8.7 million.
Financial expenses amounted to BRL37.7 million.

The report also suggests that the bankrupt company may also be a
target for acquisition by one of Brazil's three fixed line
incumbents, Telesp, Telemar or Brasil Telecom.

Eletronet's network is estimated to be worth US$500 million,
which is "an absurdly high value" for any interested buyer, a
local analyst, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Eletronet was established in 1999 as a carrier's carrier to offer
transport services through a long-haul network alongside existing
electrical grids across Brazil. Additionally, partnerships with
telecoms subsidiaries of local energy companies give Eletronet
access to metropolitan rings in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo
Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Salvador, Porto Alegre,
Florianopolis, Recife, and Aracaju.

EMBRATEL: To Launch VoIP Services in May
Embratel value-added services manager Mauro Amorim revealed that
the Brazilian incumbent long distance carrier Embratel plans to
launch Voice over IP (VoIP) services in May for the corporate
market, Business News Americas reports, citing local tech news
agency IDG Now.

The operator will target small- to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs),
which have high domestic and international call bills.

Amorin said services will be offered over the operator's next
generation network (NGN) next year, upon completion of the

Embratel, a unit of WorldCom Inc., is also in talks to buy AT&T
America Corp. to expand its regional presence.

CONTACT:  Silvia M.R. Pereira
          Investor Relations
          Phone: (55 21) 2121-9662
          Fax: (55 21) 2121-6388

NET SERVICOS: Announces Fourth Quarter 2002 Financial Results
Net Servicos de Comunica‡ao S.A., (Bovespa: PLIM4 and PLIM3;
Nasdaq: NETC; Latibex: XNET), the largest Pay-TV multi-service
operator in Latin America, an important provider of bi-
directional broadband Internet access (Virtua) and multimedia and
data communication services for corporate networks, announced its
earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2002 (4Q02).

Average exchange rate increased from R$ 3.12/US$ in 3Q02 to R$
3.68/US$ in 4Q02, resulting in an average depreciation of 17.6%.
This fact, which affected results in US Dollars, will be referred
to herein as the "Real depreciation".

End period exchange rate decreased from R$ 3.89/US$ in 3Q02 to R$
3.53/US$ in 4Q02, resulting in an appreciation of 9.3%. This
fact, which affected results in US Dollars, will be referred to
herein as the "End Period Real appreciation".

- Net revenues decreased 15.1% in 4Q02 compared to 3Q02, totaling
US$ 78.9 million, and decreased 18.2% in 2002 compared to 2001,
to US$ 403.5 million from US$ 493.1 million.

- EBITDA was negative US$ 8.0 million in the quarter compared to
positive US$ 19.9 million in 3Q02. In the year, EBITDA was US$
70.5 million, a 42.0% drop compared to US$ 121.4 million in 2001.
The non-recurring tax contingencies occurred in the quarter was
the main reason for this consolidated EBITDA decrease. It is
important to notice that the Company maintains its solid
operating capacity; if the effect of these contingencies were
excluded, Consolidated EBITDA would have totaled US$ 10.1 million
in the quarter and US$ 89.2 million in the year. This would
represent a 45.7% drop compared to 3Q02 and a 26.5% drop compared
to 2001, due to a higher exchange rate and an increase in
programming expenses in local currency.

- Net Debt ended the year of 2002 totaling of US$ 308.2 million,
a reduction of 0.6% compared to US$ 310.1 million in 3Q02 and a
54.7% drop compared to US$ 680.0 million in the previous year.

- Net loss was US$ 78.4 million (US$ 0.04 loss per share), less
than the loss of US$ 116.8 million (US$ 0.06 loss per share)
registered in 3Q02. In 2002, net loss totaled US$ 701.0 million,
a 100.6% increase compared to US$ 349.4 million in 2001.

- Pay-TV ARPU (Total Gross Revenues excluding Sign-on and hook-up
revenues divided by the average number of connected subscribers)
decreased 14.5%, reaching US$ 21.98 compared to US$ 25.71 in
3Q02. Compared to 2001, ARPU decreased 11.5% from US$ 30.62 to
US$ 27.11. This result is a consequence of the Real depreciation,
despite the fee readjustments in the Southern Region and higher
PPV sales.

- Broadband ARPU was US$ 17.71, a decrease of 4.2% compared to an
ARPU of US$ 18.48 in the previous quarter. Although the company
showed an improvement in the subscribers base mix due to
partnerships with some ISPs, the Real depreciation offset the
result in US dollar. Compared to the previous year, ARPU dropped
23.8% because the ISPs rebate revenues weren't accounted in all
months and due to the higher exchange rate.

- The subscribers base ended the year with 1,323.3 thousand, a
drop of 1.1% compared to 1,338.2 thousand subscribers in 3Q02 and
a 7.4% drop compared to a base of 1,428.4 thousand in the end of
2001. This result is a consequence of lower marketing expenses
and increasing selectivity and cautiousness regarding
installation investments through the year, due to capital

- The quarterly annualized churn rate dropped from 17.9% in 3Q02
to 13.8% in 4Q02. This decrease is due to this higher selectivity
and actions focused on customer satisfaction that brought
significant results, such as the better performance of the call
center. Moreover, the retention islands started to present a
positive result, reverting 49% of the calls requesting
disconnections in Sao Paulo Region, 20% in Rio de Janeiro Region
and 39% in the Southern Region.

- In the year of 2002, the Company sold more than 259,000 PPV
events, an increase of 25% in comparison to 206,000 events sold
in 2001. PPV sales penetration rate in PPV-enabled areas reached
approximately 25%. In December 2002, close to 78% of subscribers
were located in such areas.

- The active broadband subscribers base reached 55.7 thousand, an
increase of 9.9% compared to 50.7 thousand in the previous
quarter and of 12.6% compared to 49.5 thousand in the end of
2001. Thus, the penetration in the active Pay-TV subscriber base
increased to 4.2%, and, when considering only the subscriber base
that has already activated bi-directional access, the penetration
also increased, reaching 12.9%.

- V¡rtua's annualized churn rate was 18.2%, a lower result when
compared to 19.9% in 3Q02. This rate remained fairly stable when
compared to the previous quarter, 18.5%, which excluded the
effects of the change in the control system. Churn is
approximately 5 percentage points higher than 4Q01, mainly due to
subscribers moving to areas without bi-directional technology,
where the company does not offer the service.

- Comparing to 3Q02, the number of corporate network stations
increased 1.8% and the number of company-owned stations increased
8.2%. Among the new contracts signed in the quarter, the
highlights are BR Distribuidora, Glaxo and Duke Energy.

- The initial results of the Call Center, after being outsourced
to EDS, presented a general performance improvement when compared
to the period before the outsourcing.


?Gross revenues totaled US$ 96.0 million, decreasing 14.8%
compared to US$ 112.7 million in the previous quarter. In 2002,
gross revenues reached US$ 488.1 million a 17.0% drop compared to
the year of 2001. Gross revenues are comprised of the following:

1. Pay-TV subscription revenues reached US$ 83.2 million, a 14.3%
decrease compared to the previous quarter. Pay -TV revenues were
mainly affected by the Real depreciation and the decrease in the
subscriber base, which were mitigated by the monthly fees
readjustment of 11.0% in the Southern Region - occurred in
September and calculated according to the IGP-M inflation index.
In 2002, subscription revenues dropped 16.3%, totaling US$ 421.0
million against US$ 502.8 million in 2001, as the increase of
subscription revenues in Reais was offset by the higher exchange
rate in the year.

2. Average hook-up revenue (per new subscriber) reached US$
44.99, a 2.3% increase compared to US$ 43.99 in the previous
quarter; although the company started to offer discounts, in
4Q02, to former subscribers and subscribers coming from
competitors. The lower direct selling costs in 3Q02 resulted in
higher Deferred Sign-on and Hook-up Fees, which decreased Net
Hook-up Fee Revenues. In the year, there was a 12.7% decrease and
the average hook-up fee reached US$ 56.66. The Real depreciation
offset the increase in Master and Standard packages' hook -up

3. Pay-Per-View revenues (PPV) dropped 45.2% compared to 3Q02,
registering US$ 2.7 million against US$ 5.0 million in the
previous quarter. This is due to the seasonal characteristic of
this product, since sales of Brazilian Soccer Championship mainly
occur during 3Q02, and also by the impact of the Real
depreciation. In 2002, despite higher sales volume and price
readjustments of a la carte channels, PPV revenues in US Dollars
dropped 14.3% and totaled US$ 16.6 million compared to US$ 19.4
million in 2001 due the higher exchange rate during 2002 and the
closing of the PSN channel operat ions.

4. Corporate network revenues reached US$ 3.8 million, remaining
fairly stable compared to the previous quarter. The increase in
revenues from network implementation services for new customers
was totally offset by the Real depreciation in the quarter. In
2002, revenues decreased 24.1% due to the renewal of some of the
contracts for prices below the ones previously practiced, the
lower number of company-owned stations in 2Q02, which only
resumed growth in the last quarter and also due to the higher
exchange rate during the year.

5. Broadband revenues were positively impacted by the increase in
the number of subscribers, reaching US$ 3.0 million in 4Q02, 3.3%
above the previous quarter result of US$ 2.9 million. In
2002broadband revenues increased 6.3%, mainly due to the increase
in the subscriber base, reaching US$ 13.2 million, a result that
was mitigated by the higher exchange rate.

- Services and other taxes, which include cancellations and sales
taxes, reached US$ 17.1 million, a 13.6% decrease when compared
to US$ 19.9 million in 3Q02. The Real depreciation offset the
effect of the higher number of disconnections during 4Q02. In the
year, there was a decrease of 10.8% in services and other taxes,
as the higher exchange rate in 2002 compensated the increas es in
disconnections and cancellations and in the ICMS tax rate in the
State of Sao Paulo, impacting four of our ten V¡rtua operations.

- As a result of the aforementioned, Net Revenues decreased 15.1%
in 4Q02 compared to 3Q02, totaling US$ 78.9 million, and
decreased 18.2% in 2002 compared to 2001, to US$ 403.5 million
from US$ 493.1 million.

Expenses as a Percentage of Net Revenues

- Direct Operating Expenses were US$ 48.9 million in 4Q02, 12.0%
lower than the result of US$ 55.5 million registered in the
previous quarter, and US$ 235.5 million in 2002, 10.9% lower than
US$ 264.3 million totaled in 2001. The main reasons for such
performance are as follows:

1. Programming and Royalties were US$ 30.5 million in the
quarter, representing 38.7% of net revenues. This 13.3% drop
compared to US$ 35.2 million in 3Q02 results from the lower
impact of the Brazilian Soccer Championship PPV expenses and the
Real depreciation. In a year-over-year comparison, there was a
5.6% decrease, totaling US$ 146.5 million compared to US$ 155.2
million in 2001. This decrease was a result of the higher
exchange rate in 2002, but the readjustment of programming fees
partially offset it. In order to reduce the influence of exchange
rate variations on programming fees, the Company concentrated
efforts on the elimination of the existing currency mismatch. The
negotiations to convert programming costs to Real-denominated
contracts adjusted by inflation rates are in an advanced stage
and most of the programming costs have already been converted to
Reais beginning in 2003.

2. Network Expenses totaled US$ 5.4 million, a 5.8% decrease over
the US$ 5.8 million registered in the previous quarter. These
lower expenses are the result of the Real depreciation, as
increases in installation components at Vicom and pole rentals
fees in Sao Paulo impacted the results in Reais. In 2002, there
was a decrease of 5.2%, mainly due to the higher exchange rate,
which offset the increase in network energy expenses due to a
tariff adjustment and the increase of the above-mentioned

3. Customer Relations were US$ 1.8 million this quarter compared
to US$ 2.1 million in 3Q02, a 14.0% decrease, as a consequence of
the cost reduction policy implemented by the Company and the Real
depreciation. This also influenced 20 02's figures, which dropped
26.5% from US$ 14.6 million to US$ 10.7 million.

4. Payroll and Benefits expenses totaled US$ 5.0 million, a 35.6%
decrease over the previous quarter. This result shows the real
effect of outsourcing the call center, given that although the
outsourcing was implemented in 3Q02, one-time severance expenses
overcame the savings in that quarter. This result was also
positively affected by the Real depreciation. In 2002, payroll
and benefits expenses decreased 18.6% from US$ 38.7 million to
US$ 31.5 million as a result of both the outsourcing and the
higher exchange rate during the year.

5. Other Operating Expenses, including third-party services,
increased 30.5% to US$ 6.1 million in 4Q02. The Real depreciation
partially offset the effect of an extraordinary, one-time payment
to EDS. In relation to 2001 there was a 25.7% decrease, due to
the higher exchange rate during the year and partially offset by
the outsourcing of the call center.

- Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A) totaled US$
38.0 million, an increase compared to US$ 17.4 million in the
previous quarter. In the year, there was a decrease of 9.0%,
totaling US$ 97.6 million. This result is compounded as follows.

1. Selling Expenses totaled US$ 0.9 million compared to US$ 0.5
million in 3Q02, as a consequence of the increase in third-party
services regarding new sales and the increase in advertising
expenses. However, selling expenses in 2002 dropped 71.9% as a
consequence of the cautious strategy adopted throughout the year.

2. General and Administrative Expenses reached US$ 12.5 million,
a drop of 8.9% compared to US$ 13.7 million in the 3Q02. The main
reason for this decrease was the Real depreciation effect,
partially offset by an increase in third-party services expenses
and additional tax assessments in the cities of Recife, Porto
Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, which totaled US$ 0.7 million.
Compared to the previous year, these expenses dropped 28.4% due
to the efforts to reduce expenses with personnel and office
maintenance and also due to the higher exchange rate in the year.

3. Bad Debt Expenses reached US$ 2.3 million, or 2.9% of net
revenues, compared to US$ 3.0 million in the previous quarter.
This 23.7% drop is due to the Real depreciation and the
recognition of losses in the Belo Horizonte operation in the
previous quarter. Compared to the previous year, bad debt
expenses totaled US$ 11.2 million, a 5.7% decrease, mainly due to
the same reason above.

4. Goodwill Impairment was US$ 2.8 million in the 4Q02. Under
SFAS 142, goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets are no
longer amortized, but are subject to annual impairment tests. The
Company concluded the measurement tests for fiscal year 2002 and
recognized a non-cash charge that reduced the carrying value of
goodwill associated with the Vicom acquisition.

5. Other SG&A expenses were US$ 19.5 million, compared to US$ 0.2
million in the previous quarter. The increase in the quarter is a
consequence of the recording of provisions for contingencies in
an amount of US$ 18.8 million, which was made necessary due to
new events and new analyses of the risks involved. The
provisioned amounts are nonrecurring, and therefore should not
affect future quarters.

- The EBITDA breakdown by operating segment in 4Q02 and on a
consolidated basis, is as follows:

1. Pay-TV EBITDA in the quarter was US$ 9.1 million compared to
US$ 19.3 million in 3Q02 and, in the full year, EBITDA was US$
84.5 million compared to US$ 120.8 million in 2001, decreasing
52.6% and 30.0%, respectively. This result is a consequence of
higher programming and G&A expenses in local currency, the
recognition of goodwill impairment, as previously explained, and
the effect of the Real depreciation.

2. Broadband EBITDA totaled US$ 0.8 million compared to US$ 0.2
million in 3Q02, mainly due to the increase of the subscribers'
base, which was mitigated by Real depreciation in the quarter.
Compared to the previous year, broadband EBITDA was positive US$
0.9 million compared to negative US$ 5.7 million. The main
reasons for this improvement were the subscriber base increase,
the improvement in the clients base mix and the cost reduction
due to the organizational restructuring and the optimization of

3. Corporate Networks EBITDA increased to US$ 0.9 million from
US$ 0.4 million in the previous quarter, an increase of 112.8%,
as a result of the previously explained increase in revenues in
Reais. Compared to 2001, there was a decrease of 40.1% as a
consequence of the reduction of such revenues.

4. As a result, Consolidated EBITDA would have reached US$ 10.8
million in 4Q02 and US$ 89.2 million in 2002, which would mean a
45.7% drop in the quarter and a 26.5% drop in the year. This
result, affected mainly by the depreciation of the Brazilian
currency, demonstrates that the Company maintains its solid
operating capacity. However, after consolidating provisions for
contingencies, EBITDA in the quarter was negative US$ 8.0 million
in the quarter and positive US$ 70.5 million in the year.

- Depreciation and amortization expenses reached US$ 13.4 million
in 4Q02, a 22.2% drop in relation to US$ 17.3 million recorded in
the previous quarter. In 2002, depreciation and amortization
expenses reached US$ 78.7 million compared to US$ 226.2 million
in 2001. This decrease is explained by the higher exchange rate
and the review of the useful life of some of the Company's main
assets, such as the network and decoders.

- Operating Income (EBIT) was negative US$ 21.6 million in the
4Q02 compared to the positive result of US$ 2.8 million recorded
in the previous quarter, due to the aforementioned factors.


- Net financial expenses were US$ 50.2 million, a significant
improvement compared to US$ 116.9 million registered in the
previous quarter. In 2002, these expenses totaled US$ 314.7
million, an increase compared to a result of US$ 239.4 million in
the previous year. These results were originated as follows:

1. Monetary indexation, net reached a positive US$ 1.0 million,
an improvement compared to negative US$ 12.2 million registered
in the previous quarter. In the year, monetary indexation was
negative US$ 26.0 million against US$ 38.8 million, a 33.0%
decrease mainly due to the higher exchange rate in 2002.

2. Loss on exchange rate, net was positive US$ 17.3 million,
compared to a loss of US$ 85.0 million. This increase reflects
the 9.3% Real appreciation in the quarter. In 2002 there was a
loss on exchange rate of US$ 134.0 million, increasing 55.1% from
US$ 86.4 million in 2001, also as a consequence of the higher
exchange rate in the year.

3. Debt financial expenses were US$ 30.1 million, a 82.3%
increase over expenses of US$ 16.5 million in the previous
quarter. The main reasons for this increase are higher provisions
for charges related to financial obligation past due and unpaid
and the Real depreciation. Comparing to 2001, these figures were
2.5% higher.

4. Other financial expenses totaled US$ 42.7 million, compared to
US$ 13.3 million in the previous quarter. This increase is
basically due to the recording of an IOF (tax on financial
transaction s) tax provision on transactions with related
companies, in the amount of US$ 33.9 million to face tax risks
involved given a recent decision in the Tribunal Regional de
Justi‡a (Regional Court) that might cause controversy in the
future. Compared to the previous year, these expenses reached an
increase of 94.2% from US$ 43.9 million to US$ 85.3 million in
2002. In addition to this provision, this increase is also a
consequence of the restatement of the AFAC during the year of

5. Financial income, considering hedge results, reached US$ 4.3
million, a 52.7% decrease compared to US$ 9.1 million in 3Q02,
basically due to the adjustment of losses from hedge positions.
However, financial income showed for an increase of 18.0% in the
year, totaling US$ 20.2 million.

- Net loss was US$ 78.4 million (US$ 0.04 loss per share), less
than the loss of US$ 116.8 million (US$ 0.06 loss per share)
registered in the 3Q02. In 2002, net loss totaled US$ 701.0
million, a 100.6% increase compared to US$ 349.4 million in 2001.


- By the end of 2002, the company's Total Debt was US$ 324.0
million, a decrease of 53.2% compared to US$ 692.5 million in
2001, as a result of the re-capitalization occurred in 3Q02.
Total debt decreased 4.6% compared to US$ 339.5 million in the
previous quarter, mainly due to the amortization of debt with the
IFC, whose effects were partially offset by the Real

- The Cash Position dropped to US$ 15.8 million in 4Q02 from US$
29.4 million in the previous quarter and US$ 12.5 million in the
end of 2001.

- As a result, Net Debt reached US$ 308.2 million in 2002, a
reduction of 0.6% compared to
US$ 310.1 million in 3Q02 and and a 54.7% drop compared to US$
680.0 million in the end of 2001.

- Net amortizations during the quarter totaled US$ 26.0 million.
The amortizations were made to the IFC (US$ 17.7 million), and to
the Eximbank (US$ 0.6 million). Additionally the company paid US$
7.7 million regarding the Put of the Syndicated Loan - Net Sul

- Dollar-linked debt decreased from 73% to 687% of total debt due
to the payment to IFC and to
Syndicated Loan - Net Sul Notes bondholders that exercised their

- By the end of 2002, all of the Company's indebtedness, except
leasing, was classified as short -term. The company hasn't been
in compliance with its financial obligations since the decision,
in early December, that the Company should re-evaluate its cash
flow obligations, while it pursues an adequate capital structure.
Therefore, accordingly to the debt indentures and private loans
agreements, creditors have the right to request the maturities
anticipation of the maturities of these obligations. The Company
is aiming to finish the current debt re-equation process and to
bring the situation back to normal as soon as possible.

- Charges in connection with interest past due and unpaid were
provisioned at the end of 4Q02.

The year of 2002 for Net Servi‡os was pointed out by the
beginning of a wide process of restructuring its operations and
readjusting its capital structure. The stage of equation of the
Company's financing is intended to be concluded during the year
of 2003. If in previous years the Company's focused on the
incorporation and capture of synergies provided by strategic
acquisitions, mainly Net Sul and Unicabo, in 2002 it concentrated
on the improvement of its business strategy and on all its main

Nevertheless, despite all that has been done in during the year,
the international macroeconomic volatility and its consequences
in Brazil were responsible for a financial result that was less
favorable than expected. Among the measures implemented, we
highlight the following:

- The Customers Call Center Outsourcing. Concluded in August, the
results shown by some indicators in the first months of EDS ahead
of the call center were already presenting an improvement
compared to the same period previous to its outsourcing. In Rio
de Janeiro, for example, the percentage of answered calls in June
was 35% and the average waiting time was over 6 minutes. At the
end of the year, the answered calls percentage was already
reaching 92% and the average waiting time dropped to 26 seconds.

- Capital Structure Readjustment. The worsen foreign and
Brazilian macroeconomic scenario damaged the positive effects of
the measures taken by the management and led Net Servi‡os'
shareholders to decide to pursue a new capital increase in the
Company. The recapitalization process was carried out in two
stages: firstly the public distribution of shares, followed by
the private issue of shares. The public distribution of shares
was closed on August 15th and totaled R$ 597.5 million. The
private distribution of shares, approved on August 19th and
ratified on September 25th, totaled R$ 532.5 million, totaling
more than R$ 1.1 billion injected in the Company.

- Resource Management and Planning System. An important
achievement in 2002, the implementation of the JDE system, which
started operations at the closing of the 3Q02 results. With this
new tool, the Company became more efficient in the information
consolidation and in all of Net Servi‡os' financial, accounting
and logistics integration processes and operations, which imply
in cost reduction as from the beginning of 2003.

- Revision of Structure and Internal Processes. These actions
promoted efficiency gains and allowed significant cost
reductions. A new organizational structure was implemented,
resulting in a 33% personnel reduction, as the Company finished
2002 with 3,152 employees, compared to 4,695 employees in 2001.

The Extraordinary Shareholder's Meeting held on May 2nd, 2002,
approved important measures, which also were part of the already
mentioned capital restructuring, such as the change in the
Company's denomination, the adoption of Bovespa's Corporate
Governance Listing Rules - Level 2, and the approval of the new
Company's Bylaws.

The change in Company's denomination from Globo Cabo S.A. to Net
Servi‡os de Comunica‡ao S.A. occurred on the day of the
Shareholder's Meeting and had as its main objective the
association of the the Company's name to the brandfor which the
Company is known by its customers, emphasizing the care with the
quality of services rendered to its subscribers. On May 10th, in
order to continue this process, Net Servi‡os filed at the
Comissao de Valores Mobili rios (CVM - Brazilian Securities and
Exchange Commission) a request to register a public issue of

Simultaneously to the recapitalization process, Net Servi‡os was
discussing a debt re-equation with its major creditors, in order
to obtain a more adequate cash flow and to minimize the
refinancing risk and moreover, to suit the Company's Capital
Structure. Since the announcement of the re-equation, the Company
has continued to work with its creditors to finalize documents
required to make the reequation effective. However, the financial
and capital markets condition in Brazil continued to deteriorate,
as the Real continuously devaluated against the US -dollar,
creating a significant impact in the Company's cash flow, once
the financial liabilities and programming costs were linked to US
- Dollar. The Real devaluation also significantly increased the
US -dollar denominated debt expressed in Reais. As a result, the
assumptions underlying the re-equation that would enhance the
Company's ability to refinance its financial obligations were not
realized and therefore, the Company has concluded that the terms
of the re-equation need to be revised.

The Board of Directors decided on December 2nd, 2002 that the
Company should re-evaluate its cash flow obligations while it
pursued an adequate capital structure. This action was taken in
order to preserve liquidity and assure the operational and
financial sustainability in the short and medium term. It is
important to highlight that this measure did not impact the
operations nor the services rendered to Net Servi‡os subscribers.

Continuing the process, the Company presented on March 17th, 2003
a re-equation proposal to its creditors, along with a new
business plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors,
which fully supports such proposal. The negotiations for the
conclusion of the restructuring were then reinitiated, and the
Company estimates to finish this agreement during the year of

In January 2003, the Company's Board of Directors and the Chief
Executive Officer, Mr. Luiz Ant“nio Viana, considering that the
essential goals of the administration, which began on October
1st, 2002 were achieved, decided in common agreement and
fulfilling the supervening interests of all parties involved, to
consider the CEO's mandate terminated. To this position the Board
of Directors elected Mr. Francisco Tosta Valim Filho, who has
previous experience in the Pay-TV segment and came to contribute
in a valuable manner to the ongoing redirection and strengthening
of the operations, as well as to the conclusion of the re-
equation of the Company's capital structure.

With all these changes, Net Servi‡os is more prepared to overcome
the macroeconomic difficulties and to recover its growth path in
the appropriate moment.

CONTACTS:  Marcio Minoru Miyakava
           +5511 5186-2811

           Lu Yuan Fang
           +5511 5186-2637

TAM: Announces Plans to Dismiss 6% of Workforce
TAM, the second-largest airline in Brazil, announced plans to
dismiss 470 employees, or about 6% of its workforce, in an
attempt to stay afloat amid a deep crisis in the aviation
industry, reports Reuters.

The dismissals come while TAM is negotiating a possible merger
with Brazil's largest airline Varig, but the airline is quick to
say that the dismissals don't have any bearing to its talks with

"TAM has always been known for its austere administration of
costs and at this moment it has been forced to opt for the
layoffs given the crisis in the aviation industry," TAM said in a

The carrier said its operations had been hit by political and
financial uncertainties last year when Brazil was enmeshed in a
heated political campaign for the presidency as well as slow
economic growth, high taxes and soaring fuel prices.

The Company also reported on Friday a sharp downturn in earnings
as its net loss for 2002 expanded more than 11 times over the
prior year to BRL606 million (US$180 million).

Foreign exchange variations caused BRL645 million in losses as
Brazil's real lost about 35% of its value last year ahead of
presidential elections. The Company said revenue rose 17% on the
year and traffic rose 5.6%.

Analysts are hopeful a merger with Varig will help TAM and Varig
to bolster their operations. However, apprehensions still remain
whether the two companies will be able to put aside their
differences and join forces.

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

              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

USIMINAS: Reports BRL325 Mln Net Loss in 2002
Brazilian flat steelmaker Usiminas reported a BRL325 million net
loss for 2002, from a BRL245 million net profit from the previous
year. The Company said the loss is mainly due to the 52 percent
devaluation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.

The currency devaluation increased net financial expenses by 109
percent to BRL2.7 billion.

According to Business News Americas, the Company's consolidated
net revenues increased 36 percent to BRL6.63 billion, and Ebitda
57 percent to BRL2.43 billion with Ebitda margins rising from
31.7 percent to 36.6 percent in the year-over-year comparison.

Although the year before resulted in losses, the Company has
improved its revenue figures as its sales volumes soared. Last
year, up to 7.7megatons of steel were sold. The expansion of a
more value-added galvanized product line helped the Company's

This year, the Company expects to boost operating revenue and
cashflow through a better product mix and technological
advancements. Any decline in domestic demand, which is somewhat
unlikely, will be compensated with revenues from exports, said
the report.

Steel analyst Roberto Reis, from Sudameris investment bank
believes the Company's revenue figures will improve this quarter.

"The group announced price increases in December and January.
Since there is a delay of some 60 days for delivery and payment,
these higher prices will only be reflected in the company's
results for 1Q03," he said. The Company's 2002 figures were in
line with its forecasts.

"Steelmakers will probably justify maintaining higher prices by
blaming inflation or something. Lower prices are only likely if
international prices were to fall," he added.

CONTACT:  Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais Usiminas PN A
          Rua Prof. Jose Vieira de
          Mendonca, 3011
          Engenheiro Nogueira
          31310-260 Belo Horizonte - MG
          Phone:  +55 31 3499-8000
          Fax:  +55 31 3499-8475
          Home Page:
          Jose Augusto Muller de Oliveira Gomes, Chairman


ENDESA CHILE: Shareholders Approve Canutillar Sale
Endesa Chile shareholders unanimously approved on Monday the sale
of the Canutillar hydroelectric plant for US$175 million, reports

Last week, Endesa said it reached an agreement with
Hidroelectrica Guardia Vieja SA, which belongs to the Chilean
Grupo Matte, to sell the asset.

The sale, which will take place on April 30, is part of a
restructuring plan by Endesa's parent company Enersis, the Latin
American investment arm of Spain's Endesa SA, to reduce debt and
raise capital of up to US$2 billion.

The transaction includes a contract to supply Endesa with energy
from Canutillar - a 172 Megawatt facility - until 2007.

ENERSIS: Parent Gets OK to Boost Stake
Endesa SA, Spain's biggest power company, will now be able to
boost its stake in its Chilean unit Enersis SA after Enersis'
shareholders voted to scrap bylaws restricting Endesa to a 65%
ownership, reports Bloomberg.

The decision paves a way for Endesa to swap a US$1.4 billion loan
Enersis owes the company for shares. Endesa is seeking to
increase its stake in the Latin American unit in a bid to reduce
the unit's US$9.1-billion debt.

Meanwhile, the approval would also allow Enersis to sell or swap
as much as US$2 billion of stock, part of a plan that also
includes selling assets and refinancing US$2.3 billion of bank

The issuance of new shares helps "avoid the risk that Enersis
ends up in non-payment" of its debt, said Cristian Ureta, who
helps manages assets for the mutual-fund arm of Banco Security,
including shares of Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA, Enersis'
generating unit.

CONTACT:  Enersis S.A.
          Avenida Kennedy Vitacura No
          Phone: +56 2 353 4400
          Fax:  +56 2 378 4768
          Home Page:
          Engr Alfredo Llorente Legaz, Chairman
          Engr Rafael Miranda Robredo , Vice Chairman

          Endesa SA
          Principe de Vergara 187
          28002 Madrid
          Phone: +34 91 213 10 00
          Fax:  +34 91 563 81 81
          Telex:  22917 ENE
          Home Page:
          Rodolfo M. Villa, Chairman
          Rafael Miranda Robredo, Managing Director

GUACOLDA: Moody's Lowers Sr. Secured Certificates to Ba1
Chilean thermo generator Guacolda had its senior secured
certificates downgraded to Ba1 from Baa3 by credit ratings agency
Moody's Investors Service. The outlook is stable.

Citing a Moody's report, Business News Americas relates that the
downgrade reflects Guacolda's lower cash flow, possibly weaker
demand growth, the approaching expiry of several sales contracts,
reduced power sales volumes under an existing contract, and
higher market prices for petcoke. These factors are likely to
moderately reduce earnings and cash flow over the next few years.

Additionally, Guacolda faces significant debt maturities in
April, the refinancing of which might result in higher interest
expenses and lower coverage measures, Moody's said.

AES Gener owns 50% of Guacolda, while fuel distributor Copec and
Inversiones Ultraterra have 25% each. Guacolda operates at the
northern limit of the central grid with its 304MW installed

MADECO: To Mature $10M Worth of Bonds
Chilean copper and aluminum products manufacturer Madeco ended
Friday a public tender offer to buy back up to US$47 million
worth of bonds.

Citing an advertisement published in local newspapers Monday,
Business News Americas reports that the Company will mature some
US$10 million worth of bonds, which were held by pension fund
managers. Madeco will pay half the amount in cash and half in
shares, it said.

The buyback offer was part of Madeco's financial restructuring

Fitch credit ratings agency upgraded the bonds early March to BB
from B. The agency said the move followed Madeco's successful
restructuring of its finances by paying 30% of its rescheduled
bank debts, and the extended long-term deadlines granted to the

The payment was made possible after the Company's 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 millionn was used to pay the

The bank debt restructuring was agreed in December last year but
depended on the success of the equity issue. The other US$84
million in bank debt is now due in seven years, and subject to a
three-year grace period.

Madeco posted a US$55.9-million loss last year.

          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


CHEC: Has Three More Months to Raise Money to Pay Maturing Loan
Colombia's Caldas department power utility Chec has three months
to avert a financial breakdown, Business News Americas reports,
citing Chec CEO Hugo Velez Melguizo.

Chec faces a COP16-billion repayment on an outstanding COP45-
billion loan. The Central Bank granted the Company a three-month
extension to raise fresh capital of COP200 billion in order to
meet the maturing obligation.

"I trust that we can count on that extension until June. But from
there on the view is not clear, and if the capitalization isn't
resolved in three months it will be very difficult to keep the
company going," Velez said.

The central government would like to capitalize Chec and sell off
its 56% stake to private investors.

SUMMA: Narrows Losses on Improved Sales, Cost-Cutting Measures
Summa, which is owned 50-50 by Colombian conglomerate Valores
Bavaria and by the National Coffee Growers' Federation, saw its
financial results improve.

According to Reuters, the group, which includes Avianca, Summa
and Aces, narrowed its net loss in 2002 to COP86.1 billion
(US$29mn) from COP289.6 billion in the previous year. The results
were helped by improving sales and cost savings.

The merger of the three airlines last year helped Summa reduce
costs by more than US$80 million.

Operating income rose 3.7% to COP1.99 trillion (US$671mn) in 2002
from COP1.92 trillion the year before, but insurance costs, hit
by the Sept. 11 attacks, rose to COP65.8 billion (US$22mn) from
COP29.6 billion.

Summa's share of Colombia's domestic airline market fell to 62%
in 2002 from 65% in 2001. The group's international traffic fell
5% during the year to 1.5 million passengers. Nonetheless, the
total value of Summa's ticket sales rose slightly and its mail
business, Deprisa, did much better, Summa said.


JUTC: UCASE VP Calls on Auditor General to Investigate Affairs
Danny Roberts, vice president of the Union of Clerical
Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE) is calling on
the Auditor General to investigate the affairs of the Jamaica
Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

At the same time, he is calling for a Ministry of Transport led
management audit to find out the suitability of persons in the
JUTC management, especially human resources positions.

These actions, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, followed a
protest lodged by JUTC dispatchers and inspectors on Friday in
front of the Company's Twickenham Park, St. Catherine offices
against what they said were unfair practices by the Company,
which would lead to a new round of redundancies.

Roberts said that the protesters were acting on information that
he had from management that 67 jobs across the board would go
this month end.

"The president told me (about the redundancies) for the month
end... and they have advertised new positions, both internally
and externally, which means they have already determined who
should go," he said.

"They have told people that they have to resign or (be qualified
and) apply for the new jobs. Obviously they have changed their
mind (about issuing redundancy letters) and did not advise me.
But we know that they have already decided that there are some
people that they have to let go, and we want the Minister to
intervene and state the rationale especially after the last

Meanwhile, JUTC's information manager, Errol Lee, admitted that
the Company would implement other redundancy exercises as part of
its ongoing restructuring based on recommendations made by
Swedish consultants who were called in last year to help the
'technically insolvent' company save money.

He blasted the union for "protesting about future action", and
said that the union would be kept abreast of the Company's

With regards to the recommendations made by the Swedes, Mr. Lee
said that though the company was not mandated to accept all
recommendations, they have followed through with redundancies and
reorganizing as it relates to the assignment of crews, among
other things.

And, regarding the proposed 90% fare hike, he said that the
proposal would have to pass through Cabinet and other regulatory
agencies before it could be effected.

Roberts, for his part, warned members of the public against
accepting any fare increase proposed by the company until a
management audit was done and the Auditor General looked into the
company's accounts to ensure that all operations there were


AHMSA: To Restructure Debts Soon
Alonso Ancira, the chief executive officer of Altos Hornos de
Mexico SA (AHMSA), said the Mexican steelmaker is close to
restructuring its debts after one of its units struck a debt deal
with its creditors.

AHMSA, which defaulted on US$1.8 billion of debt in 1999,
announced last Wednesday that its coal mining unit Minera
Carbonifera Rio Escondido (MICARE) has reached a preliminary
agreement with creditors to reschedule US$152 million in debt and
resume payments. About 80% of the unit's creditors agreed to
restructure the debt over 10 years.

"This agreement at Micare represents a substantial step toward
restructuring our debts and shows our resolve to reach viable
accords with all creditors, obviously in so far as there is
willingness on all sides to find a solution in line with the
circumstances of each company," Ancira said.

The executive suggested that the steelmaker is working on a new
formula to submit to creditors to reach a similar deal to that
agreed for Micare.

Banks have accused Ahmsa, Mexico's second largest steel producer,
of not being serious about resolving its debt problem. The
Coahuila-based Company has been in a form of bankruptcy
protection since May 1999, and three attempts to agree a plan to
restructure the debts, as well as a proposed strategic alliance
with Spanish steelmaker Aceralia (now part of the Arcelor group)
have so far come to nothing.

          Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
          Monclova , Coahuila 25770

          Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
          Fax: +52 86 33 65 66
          Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres/CEO
          Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
          Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer

PEMEX: Financing Delays Postpone Minatitlan Upgrade Tender
Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) postponed
the tender of contracts for the Minatitlan refinery upgrade, the
Company's engineering and corporate development director Andres
Moreno Fernandez said, citing a delay in the project's financing

The contract tender will be delayed by at least one month,
relates local source Al Financiero. Business News Americas said
that bidding rules might be published by the end of this month.
In the meantime, the Company has secures construction and
environmental impact licenses.

Mr. Moreno commented that the project was expected to attract
bids from Japan's Mitsui, Germany's Siemens and South Korean
companies. However, he added that Pemex also wants to encourage
Mexico's private sector to bid on the project. The tender process
will be divide into six contracts, with no single Company granted
more than one contract, he said.

Presently, the Company is waiting whether it will be allowed to
use funds from its Master Trust subsidiary, said the official.

Construction work on Minatitlan is estimated to complete by the
end of 2007. The refinery can treat up to 190,000 barrels of
crude and 30,000 barrels of natural gas liquids in one day. The
upgrade is aimed at making products with greater added value and
lower emissions.

          Marina Nacional 329, Colonia Huasteca
          11311 M,xico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5531-6061
          Fax: +52-55-5531-6321

UNION FENOSA: Gets Money to Fund Mexican Projects
Union Fenosa, Spain's third largest electric utility, announced
it has reached agreement on a US$430-million loan to complete the
financing needs for its Mexican power generation projects.

In a press release, Fenosa said a combination of Mexican and
international private institutions, as well as official bodies in
Mexico, have provided the total loan.

It will be split into three tranches; one of 20 years, and two of
14 years.

The cash will help pay for a combined-cycle power plant about to
come on line in Tuxpan, Mexico.

The financing is part of Fenosa's plan to take advantage of
current low interest rates and increase the average expiry date
of its debt, the statement said.

Fenosa is also confident that the financing will help its plan to
bring in strategic partners to finance up to US$550 million, or
50% of the value of its Mexican assets, said spokesperson
Mauricio de la Rosa.

"I think this agreement with the IDB is interesting to potential
partners because they will be reassured now that the Tuxpan
project financing is complete," de la Rosa said.

Fenosa is seeking partners to invest in its assets around the
globe as part of a strategic plan to reduce global debt by US$2.6
billion through 2007.

At the end of 2002, Fenosa had EUR7.18 billion (US$7.84bn) in

"We are talking to potential partners, but we are still working
on this," de la Rosa said, adding that the investment arm of
Spanish bank Santander is advising Fenosa on its search for a
partner in Mexico, de la Rosa added.


* IMF Approves $38M Disbursement
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has
completed the second review of Peru's performance under a two-
year SDR 255 million (about US$347 million) Stand-By Arrangement,
approved on February 1, 2002. The completion of this review
enables the release of SDR 27.87 million (about US$38 million) to
Peru, bringing the total amount available to SDR 143.5 million
(about US$196 million). So far the country has not made any
drawings under the arrangement.

Following the Executive Board review of Peru on March 28, 2003,
Eduardo Aninat, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman,

"Peru's economic performance under the program has been strong,
despite the difficult external environment. The outlook for 2003
and the medium term is also favorable, assuming continued
implementation of sound economic policies.

"The authorities' economic program for 2003 aims at supporting
the recovery in economic activity while keeping inflation low.
Real GDP is projected to grow by 4 percent, with inflation around
2 « percent and the external position remaining robust. The
fiscal deficit is targeted to decline moderately, in line with
the authorities' medium-term fiscal consolidation goals.

"The structural reform agenda for 2003 includes introducing a
sound fiscal decentralization law, beginning to phase out
regional and sectoral tax exemptions in exchange for investment
in regional infrastructure, and strengthening the law on fiscal
prudence and transparency. The authorities also intend to
rationalize public expenditure and improve the quality of social
spending, with the assistance of the World Bank and the Inter-
American Development Bank. These reforms will contribute
importantly to medium-term fiscal sustainability, growth, and
poverty reduction, and it will be crucial to ensure a broad
political consensus for their effective implementation.

"The continuing improvement in the financial performance of banks
is encouraging, although the high degree of dollarization remains
a source of vulnerability. To address this risk, the authorities
intend to maintain a high level of official international
reserves and to continue strengthening oversight of the banking
system. New regulations recently adopted on foreign-currency risk
management and the draft law in congress to provide adequate
legal protection to bank supervisors are also important in this

"The inflation targeting framework and the stance of monetary
policy are consistent with the goal of maintaining low inflation.
The floating exchange rate system, with intervention limited to
smoothing operations, will continue to serve Peru well in
adjusting to external shocks and limiting external
vulnerability," Mr. Aninat said.

Public Affairs: 202-623-7300 - Fax: 202-623-6278
Media Relations: 202-623-7100 - Fax: 202-623-6772

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Demands Retraction From Paper as Article Hurts Shares
Beleaguered Trinidadian airline BWIA wrote to Craig Reynald,
managing director of Caribbean Communications Network, demanding
a retraction from the Trinidad Express, otherwise, it would
resort to legal options.

News of BWIA's possible shut down triggered a $0.05 decline in
the Company's shares on Friday, closing at $2.20, said the
Trinidad Guardian.

The decline came a few hours after the Trinidad Express reported
that that the airline could shut down within 24 hours, if the
government declines to aid the ailing carrier.

"While today's Express headline is very disturbing, it does not
reflect reality. There is no way BWIA would issue an ultimatum to
the Government. There is no need to panic - BWIA will not close
down today," clarified BWIA President Conrad Aleong.

The Trinidad Guardian cited an unnamed spokesman for the airline
describing the damage wrought by the article.

"That headline put us at odds with our travelling public, our
staff and the Government, our one potential source of desperately
needed assistance," said the source.

The Express article was titled, "Airline could shut down in 24
hours", which the BWIA spokesman described as a "very careless
and reckless way to treat the future of a company"

BWIA also received calls from its creditors, verifying the

BWIA: Caribbean Star Owner May Be Interested in Buying BWIA
Caribbean Star owner, Allen Stanford, is seemingly interested in
acquiring financially troubled regional airline BWIA.

An article in the Sunday edition of the Trinidad Express said
that the Texan billionaire reportedly met with Trinidad and
Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning behind closed doors on

Mr. Stanford reportedly offered to purchase the T&T government's
23 million shares in BWIA, which is estimated to be worth about
$52 million.

The report indicated that Mr. Stanford, who expressed interest to
operate a larger regional carrier on many occasions, has
significant investments in Antigua and wields influence with the
government of Antigua.

CARONI LTD: 2 Managers Go on Pre-Retirement Leave Amid VSEP Woes
Two top managers of Caroni (1975) Ltd. are going on pre-
retirement leave, according to a report by the Trinidad Express.
Selwyn Bhajan, Caroni's Human Resource Manager and Caroni chief
executive William Washington will officially be out starting

In the meantime, Factories manager Chandra Bobart has been
appointed acting CEO. The report indicates that Mr. Bhajan would
take up an appointment with another company, but Mr. Washington's
future plans were not indicated.

"I am going on pre-retirement leave. All senior staff who had
accumulated leave had been asked to taker that leave from April,"
said Mr. Washington.

The CEO's exit raised rumors that he was sent on leave, but there
were no confirmations whether it was Minister of Agriculture John
Rahael or from the Chairman of the Board Kusha Haracksingh who
ordered the leave, if there was any.

All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Trade Union president
Rudranath Indarsingh said, "We must now assess the people at the
helm of the company. We must also ask whether this plot to send
Washington home is part of the PNM's agenda to ensure that Caroni

Trinidad Islandwide Cane Farmers Association president Raffique
Shah accepted that it is time for Mr. Washington to leave,
although he admitted that no experienced personnel should be sent
home at this time.

The restructuring of Caroni has caused a rift between unions
representing its workers, the management, and the government.

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

CARONI LTD: Opposition Refuses to Present Motion for Debate Again
The People's National Movement Government failed to convince the
Opposition to present a motion paving the way for a debate on the
restructuring of Caroni (1975) Ltd., reports the Trinidad

This is the second instance that the Opposition declined to
present a motion to start the debate. Two weeks ago, Prime
Minister Patrick Manning publicly challenged the UNC to present a
motion for full debate in the House.

At a meeting on Friday, House Leader Ken Valley presented a
motion to have the Standing Orders suspended to allow for the
motion by the Opposition.

However, Opposition Chief Whip Ganga Singh declined the offer
while the Opposition Leader shouted: "All you think we born
yesterday?", said the report.

Mr. Singh argued that it was the government's responsibility to
first present the plan, and then move the motion.

CARONI LTD: Industrial Court Bans Promotion of VSEP to Workers
Caroni (1975) Ltd. is barred from promoting its offer of the
Voluntary Separation of Employment Plan (VSEP) to its employees,
as stipulated in an injunction issued by Addison Khan, president
of the Industrial Court on Friday.

The injunction, effective starting Sunday, also orders that the
Company should not treat those who have accepted the VSEP package
as though they have completely terminated their employment.

The All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers' Union (ATSGWU) filed
for the issuance of the injunction on the grounds that the
Company failed to negotiate the VSEP with the union, which
represents Caroni employees.

"I do not consider that the company will suffer any harm if I
granted the injunction. On the other hand, if I do not grant the
injunction, the union and the workers are likely to suffer
irreparable damage," commented Mr. Khan, who issued the
injunction after almost five hours of hearing submissions.

The union was represented by attorneys Douglas Mendes, Dave Cowie
and Ashvani Mahabir, while the Company's lawyers were Reginald
Almond, Kerwin Garcia and Allan Alexander, who requested for the
dismissal of the injunction as the same issue had been raised in
a high court matter, said the report.

Although ATSGWU president general Rudy Indarsingh was pleased
with the ruling, he remained careful, saying the injunction is
temporary and did not want to get too hopeful.

CARONI LTD: Official to Discuss VSEP During Conference
Oropouche MP Roodal Moonilal said that he will discuss the issue
of Trinidad and Tobago state sugar enterprise Caroni (1975) Ltd.
during the First Caribbean Labour Policy Conference in Jamaica.

The meeting, organized by the Mona School of Business and the UWI
Department of Management, will be attended by government leaders,
trade unionists, employers and academics from the Caribbean and
North America. Labor and employment policies in the new Caribbean
economy will be discussed.

Mr. Moonilal was quoted by the Trinidad Guardian saying that he
intends to raise the controversial "forced" Voluntary Separation
of Employment Plan (VSEP) the People's National Movement
Government is offering to about 9,000 Caroni employees.

"This issue will be raised within one of the conference sub-
themes on "Labour Policy and Public Sector Reform," he said.

The conference, to be held at the University of the West Indies,
Mona Campus, is aimed at providing a mechanism for developing
policy guidelines about issues relating to the labor market,
labor legislation, and labor employment relations in the

Mr, Moonilal, who claims he spent more than four years collecting
data on employment practices in the security industry, said he
intends to present the paper entitled: "Even the Dogs are Better
Off: Labour Relations in the Informal Sector of Trinidad - A Case
Study of the Private Security Industry"


* Uruguay Seeks to Reschedule Bond Payments
Still struggling from the effects of neighboring Argentina's debt
default, Uruguay is expected to present between April 7 and April
9 a rescheduling proposal to holders of US$5 billion of bonds.

Citing a report by La Nacion, Bloomberg says the ailing
government, which has about US$6.5 billion of bonds outstanding,
will allow holders about 40 days to agree to the swap.

Citigroup Inc.'s Salomon Smith Barney Inc. advised on Uruguay's
planned bond exchange, which analysts have said would amount to a
default should the government force investors to accept lower
value securities.

Uruguay faces US$1.6 billion of debt payments this year.


PDVSA: Ready to Sell $625M to BCV, But Critics Raise Doubts
Venezuela's Planning & Development Minister Felipe Perez Marti
says state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) is
prepared to sell US$625 million to the Central Bank of Venezuela

Mr. Marti is optimistic that the sale would produce good results.

"Definitely good news ... in normal conditions PDVSA offers the
BCV $300 million a week ... once the first lodgment has been
made, it will boost international reserves," he commented.

However, some critics argue that invoice problems may be
Minister Perez Marti and internal PdVSA estimates the Company's
total invoice to be about US$1.8 billion, but Energy & Mines
Minister Rafael Ramirez' tally is US$3 billion, that is from
December till today.

They also pointed out that the suspension of foreign currency
exchanges has managed to raise the reserves by only US$339
million, although the suspension started on March 21.

PdVSA subsidiary, Citgo raised more doubts by not registering
income to the BCV, although a Company communiqu‚ allegedly
announced that it is paying for all PDVSA cargoes of crude and
complying with supply contract terms, said the report.

PDVSA: Analysts Warn of Third Oil Stoppage
Miguel Salazar, a Quinto Dia columnist forecasts a third oil
stoppage at PdVSA. An article from Vheadline.Com cited Mr.
Salazar saying a "fifth column" would join forces with the old

He said that Patria Para Todos (PPT) oil sector deputy Jose
Albornoz is ready to replace PPT PdVSA president Ali Rodriguez
with Alfredo Riera. He added that former PDVSA president Hector
Ciavaldini is among the plotters, along with a "sinister"
military officer, who has been gaining ground inside the oil

"The military officer's name is an open secret ... he is a former
Congresillo personnel chief, who trafficked posts and leaked
information ... informers enlisted in Gente de Petroleo and
Coordinadora Democratica (CD) have been placed in subordinate but
important positions," said the analyst.

"Mr. Key Figure heads the PDVSA Restructure Committee and has
PPT's backing.  "It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, as one asks
whether the oil stoppage was worse than the PDVSA restructure,"
the report quoted Mr. Salazar.


       S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter Latin American is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ,
and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC. John D. Resnick, Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche and Oona G. Oyangoren, Editors.

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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