TCRLA_Public/030428.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, April 28, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 82

                           Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ARTE GRAFICO: S&P Issues Junk Ratings to $600M of Bonds
AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Bankruptcy Will Not Impact Colombian Ops
AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Chilesat Eyeing Acquisition
REPSOL YPF: Fitch Affirms Ratings; Outlook Changed To Stable
TRANSENER: Petrobras To Make Future Sale Commitment


B O L I V I A

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Posts Quarter Ended 3/31/03 Results


B R A Z I L

AES CORP.: Commences Private Placement Debt Deal
CESP: S&P Downgrade Hampers Efforts To Restructure Debts
COPEL: Wants Court Declaration on Purchasing Agreement
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Defaults On $25M Installment
VESPER: Quallcomm Expects to Auction or Sell Soon


C H I L E

ENERSIS: To Complete $2.3B Debt Restructuring Early Next Month
ENERSIS: To Conduct PLC Open Season In 4-5 Weeks
ENERSIS: Goes To Court To Recover Losses
GUACOLDA: Copec Not Selling Stake
MADECO: Announces ADR Ratio Change

SANTA ISABEL: Potential Buyer Seeks Loans To Fund Purchase


C O L O M B I A

* World Bank to Issue $150M Loan For Colombia


E C U A D O R

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: Executive Seeks To Postpone Sale


J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: Will Not Be Re-Nationalized, Says Finance Minister


M E X I C O

BITAL: S&P Affirms Ratings
EMPRESAS ICA: Clarifies News Reports on El Cajon Project
GRUPO TMM: Amends Exchange Offers
TV AZTECA: 1Q EBITDA Up 6%, Net Income Falters on Devaluation


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

ARTE GRAFICO: S&P Issues Junk Ratings to $600M of Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
issued an `raD' rating to US$600 million of corporate bonds
issued by Arte Grafico Editorial Argentino S.A. The bonds,
according to an announcement in the National Securities
Commission of Argentina, were described as "programa de O.N.
Simples no convertibles en acciones", classified under "program".
The said bonds would mature on January 31, 2004.

The ratings, issued on Monday, were based on the Company's
financials as of the end of December 2002. Such ratings are
issued to obligations that are in payment default, or when the
Company has filed for bankruptcy, said S&P.


AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Bankruptcy Will Not Impact Colombian Ops
------------------------------------------------------------
Directors of AT&T in Colombia are confident that their operations
in the country will not be affected by the Company's filing for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A NewsEdge report indicates
that the Company's proposed restructuring involves its U.S. and
Argentina operations only.

However, Asociacion Colombiana de Ingenieros (Aciem) president
Julio Cardona warned that AT&T's Chapter 11 filing may affect the
entry of foreign investments the telecommunications sector in the
country.

He explained that AT&T's current situation may emphasize the lack
of profitability of the telecommunications industry. The report
indicated that the industry is dominated by multinationals, which
are carrying a great deal of debt, and is prone to face more
problems.

He added that the filing diminishes the credibility of the
industry.


AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Chilesat Eyeing Acquisition
-----------------------------------------------
Chilesat, the Chilean telecommunications arm of Southern Cross,
the US investment fund, is negotiating for the acquisition of
AT&T Latin America, the Latin American arm of the US
telecommunications group AT&T, which has recently filed for
protection from creditors, according to a NewsEdge report.
The report reveals that Chilesat plans to buy AT&T Latin America
for a symbolic US$1 and assume US$400 million of debt.

AT&T Latin America provides data and voice telecommunications,
internet and e-commerce services in Chile, Argentina, Brazil,
Peru and Colombia. A concurrent NewEdge report indicates that
AT&T's unit in Colombia is confident that it will not be affected
by the Company's restructuring. The report indicates that only
the Company's operations in the U.S. and Argentina will be
restructured.

CONTACT:  AT&T Latin America
          Marcelo Esquivel
          Phone: 011-562-241-4706
          Email: marcelo.esquivel@attla.com
             or
          Catherine Castro
          Phone: +1-202-689-6336
          Email: catherine.castro@attla.com


REPSOL YPF: Fitch Affirms Ratings; Outlook Changed To Stable
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international ratings agency, has affirmed
Repsol YPF's Senior Unsecured rating at 'BBB' and Short-term
rating at 'F3'. The ratings of the Preference Share issues made
by Repsol International Capital BV are affirmed at 'BB+'. At the
same time, the agency changed the Outlook to Stable from
Negative.

Fitch's decision to change Repsol YPF's rating Outlook to Stable
reflects the acknowledgment that management has taken firm action
to limit the impact of the highly challenging Argentine operating
environment on the group's credit profile. In particular the
rating action is the result of a steep reduction in reported net
debt to some EUR7.5 billion at YE02 from EUR16.6bn at YE01 and
the related strengthening of leverage ratios. The ratio of Net
Debt/EBITDA improved to 1.3x at YE02 from 2.1x at YE01.

Repsol YPF's Senior Unsecured rating was downgraded by three
notches - to 'BBB' from 'A' - in the period January-May 2002,
largely to reflect the company's significant exposure to
Argentina, which represented some 45% of 2002 operating income
and around 41% of total assets in 2002. Drivers behind the
multiple downgrades included:

- A series of measures introduced by the Argentine government,
including the derogation of the currency conversion regime, a
decreed change in price regulations, and the stipulation of a 20%
tax on crude oil exports and a 5% tax on refined oil product
exports.

-Concerns about the group's liquidity situation, partly as a
consequence of controls that were put in place on the external
transfer of funds.

-A high level of implicit support by the parent company for YPF
(rated 'B+' on Rating Watch Negative), reflecting YPF's
importance in the overall group strategy.

In the meantime a number of developments have, in Fitch's
opinion, taken some pressure off the group's credit profile. The
reduction in net debt, partly already reflected in the rating,
was largely a function of internal cash flow generation
(EUR4.8bn), asset disposals (EUR2.8bn), changes in consolidation
criteria (EUR3.1bn), and exchange rate effects (EUR2.1bn). Key
divestments included the sale of a 23% stake in Gas Natural and
an 18.55% stake in CLH (a petroleum product transport company).
Debt reduction was further supported by a 40% reduction in
capital expenditures to EUR2.6bn. The latter reflects the impact
of currency devaluation as well as of caution with regards to
additional investments allocated to Argentina.

In addition to reduced overall debt levels, the group's liquidity
situation has improved considerably; short-term debt obligations
at YE02 amounted to EUR4bn, compared to EUR7.6bn at YE01. To
support liquidity the group maintained committed credit lines of
some EUR4bn at YE02 and held cash & equivalent balances in excess
of EUR4bn. Despite the existence of Material Adverse Change
clauses in a large portion of its credit lines, Fitch derives
some comfort from the fact that banks appear to have remained
committed to the group during 2002.

The Argentine regulatory framework has arguably become somewhat
more flexible in recent months, as underlined among other factors
by the reduction in export taxes on diesel and liquid petroleum
gas (LPG) and the abolition of export taxes on gasoline. Ratings
nevertheless continue to incorporate the effect of existing
measures (including the 20% export tax on crude and the freeze on
domestic gas prices) and uncertainty with regards to the upcoming
elections. At the 'BBB' rating level there is currently some
flexibility related to the impact of possible modifications in
measures that might affect the Argentine oil sector or Repsol YPF
specifically. Changes to the framework in the post-election
period could alter the agency's views on the rating, either
positively or negatively. The ratings continue to reflect Repsol
YPF's dominant market positions in Spain, where it refines close
to 60% of all crude processed. It maintains a 45% share of the
retail market and distributes a very large portion of LPG
consumed.

In addition, notwithstanding the current crisis, the group is
expected to retain a strong presence in Latin America, where its
40% share of the Argentine retail market and strong position in
natural gas distribution and sales is expected to retain
significant value following the current crisis. Fitch also notes
that despite the Argentine crisis, YPF remains a relatively solid
credit with strong leverage and coverage ratios.

CONTACTS: Erwin van Lumich; Thomas Saul, Barcelona, Tel: +34 93
323 8400; Alejandro Bertuol, New York, Tel: +1 212 908 0393


TRANSENER: Petrobras To Make Future Sale Commitment
---------------------------------------------------
In a move that would bring political relief to Argentine
President Eduardo Duhalde, Brazilian state-owned oil company
Petrobras will officially confirm its willingness to sell control
of Transener to an Argentinean investor. Transener, which
operates the largest electricity transmission networks in
Argentina, was sold to Petrobras by the Perez Companc group
despite strong opposition from local groups, which consider it a
strategic company which should not be controlled by foreign
capital. Transener was controlled by Perez Companc's Pecom and
Enron, the US energy group.

CONTACT:  PECOM ENERGIA S.A. DE PEREZ COMPANC S.A.
          Maipo 1 - Piso 22 - C1084ABA
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (54-11) 4344-6000
          Fax: (54-11) 4344-6315
          URL: http://www.pecom.com.ar/
          Contacts:
          Jorge Gregorio C. Perez Companc, Chairman
          Oscar Anibal Vicente, Vice Chairman

          COMPANIA DE TRANSPORTE DE ENERGIA ELECTRICA EN ALTA
          TENSION (Transener S.A.)
          Av. Paseo Colon 728, 6"Piso - (1063)
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Tel. (5411) 4342-6925

          Business Development:
          Carlos A. Jeifetz (jeifecar@transx.com.ar)
          Gerardo Baseotto (baseoger@transx.com.ar)
          Tel.: (54-11) 4334-0182 / 4342-6925
          Fax: (54-11) 4342-4861


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

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Posts Quarter Ended 3/31/03 Results
-----------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular SA (Nasdaq Stock Market: MICC),
the global telecommunications investor, announces results for the
quarter ended March 31, 2003.

Marc Beuls, MIC's President and Chief Executive Officer stated:
"MIC has reported another strong quarter with EBITDA of $69.0m,
an increase of 20% against the same period in 2002. In particular
the Asian market was growing at an exceptional rate with revenues
up by 25% and EBITDA increasing by 36%. In Africa we saw the
first signs of a turnaround producing an in crease in EBITDA of
29%.

The Group EBITDA margin moved up to 50% showing how the cost
reductions and the focus on core business that started in 2002
are continuing to benefit MIC's financial performance. In
addition, total debt on our balance sheet has been further
reduced by $90.6m in the quarter or $288.3m compared with the
same period last year."

"Last week on April 16, MIC announced that it had received
unconditional commitments from approximately 67% of the holders
of its 13« 2006 notes to tender their notes in the ongoing
private exchange offer and consent solicitation, under certain
amended terms. The Offer is extended to May 2, 2003; if 85% of
the bondholders accept, the restructuring will be accepted and
this will give MIC a suitable capital structure for the
underlying business. We are excited at this prospect as it will
enable the management to focus on growing the mobile businesses,
which have some of the best prospects of any mobile businesses in
the world, and will enable management to deliver increased value
to shareholders."

FINANCIAL AND OPERATING SUMMARY

- Subscriber Growth:

   - An annual increase in worldwide gross cellular subscribers
     of 28% to 4,248,714 as at March 31, 2003

   - An annual increase in worldwide proportional cellular
     subscribers of 25% to 2,962,603 as at March 31, 2003

   - In the first quarter of 2003 MIC added 245,803 net new gross
     cellular subscribers

   - An annual increase in proportional prepaid subscribers of
     34% to 2,641,734 as at arch 31, 2003

- Financial Highlights:

  - Revenue for the first quarter of 2003 was $138.8 million,
    an increase of 11% from the first quarter of 2002

  - EBITDA increased by 20% in the first quarter of 2003 to
    $69.0 million, from $57.7 million for the first quarter of
    2002

  - The Group EBITDA margin was 50% in the first quarter of 2003
    increasing from 46% in the first quarter of 2002

- Total cellular minutes increased by 6% for the three months
ended March 31, 2003 from the previous quarter with prepaid
minutes increasing by 12% in the same period

- On January 21, 2003 MIC made an Exchange Offer and Consent
Solicitation to bondholders of the 13«%
Senior Subordinated Notes due 2006

- On January 24, 2003 the Board proposed a reverse stock split of
the issued shares of the Company by exchanging three existing
shares of a par value of $2 each for one new share with a par
value of $6. The Extraordinary General Meeting to approve this
reverse stock split was held on February 17, 2003

- In February 2003 MIC successfully completed the sale of its
Colombian operation, Celcaribe S.A., to Comcel S.A., a subsidiary
of America Movil. The net proceeds for MIC's interest in the
equity of Celcaribe S.A., were $9,876,000.

- In the first quarter of 2003, MIC sold 44,129 B shares in Tele2
AB to Industrif”rvaltnings AB Kinnevik at market prices

-  During the quarter, total reported debt has been reduced by
$90,609,000, including the effect of the divestment of Colombia

SUBSEQUENT EVENTS:

On April 16, 2003 MIC announced that it had received
unconditional commitments from approximately 67% of the holders
of its 13«% Senior Subordinated Discount Notes due 2006 to tender
for MIC's ongoing private exchange offer and consent solicitation
under certain amended terms. Holders of the Old Notes who tender
their Old Notes will receive for each $1,000 of Old Notes validly
tendered $720 of Millicom's newly issued 11% Senior Notes due
2006, or the "11% Notes", and $81.7 of Millicom's newly issued 2%
Senior Convertible PIK (payment in kind) Notes due 2006, or the
"2% Notes", both maturing June 1, 2006 (which, when issued, could
result in a maximum dilution to existing Millicom stockholders of
approximately 30%, assuming no issuance of additional 2% Notes in
lieu of cash interest). The 11% Notes will have the right to
receive semiannual amortization payments due June 1, 2004,
December 1, 2004, June 1, 2005 and December 1, 2005. The 2% Notes
will be convertible into Millicom's common stock at a conversion
price of $10.75 per share (taking into consideration Millicom's
recent reverse stock split). At maturity or upon redemption,
Millicom will have the right to, at its option, in whole or in
part, pay the then outstanding principal amount of the 2% Notes,
plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon, in cash or in shares of
its common stock. The expiration date for the exchange offer and
consent solicitation is extended until May 2, 2003.

REVIEW OF OPERATIONS

SUBSCRIBER GROWTH*

At March 31 2003, MIC's worldwide cellular subscriber base
increased by 28% to 4,248,714 cellular subscribers from 3,331,533
at March 31, 2002. Particularly significant percentage increases
were recorded in Ghana, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

MIC's proportional cellular subscriber base increased by 25% to
2,962,603 at March 31, 2003, from 2,369,603 at March 31, 2002.

Within the 2,962,603 proportional cellular subscribers reported
at the end of the first quarter, 2,641,734 were pre-paid
customers, representing a 34% increase on the 1,976,407
proportional prepaid subscribers recorded at the end of March
2002. Pre-paid subscribers currently represent 89% of gross
reported proportional cellular subscribers.

FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2003*

Total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2003 were
$138.8 million, an increase of 11% from the first quarter of
2002. MIC's operations in Asia recorded revenue growth of 25% on
an annualized basis, with Vietnam producing growth of 35% from
the first quarter of 2002. Revenues for Africa for the first
quarter of 2003, increased by 24% to $14.8 million from the same
period last year. The volatile economic situation in South
America is reflected in the 6% decrease in first quarter revenues
for Latin America relative to 2002, although the Central American
market continued to perform strongly with Guatemala producing a
revenue increase of 22% from the first quarter of 2002. Using the
exchange rates for 2002, Latin America would have recorded
revenue growth of over 8%.

EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2003 was $69.0
million, an increase of 20% from March 31, 2002. EBITDA for Asia
increased by 36% from the first quarter of 2002 to $37.6 million,
with particularly strong increases produced by Pakcom, Sri Lanka
and Vietnam, which recorded growth from the first quarter of 2002
of 55%, 46% and 40% respectively. The strong EBITDA growth in the
region as a whole reflects the buoyancy of this market and the
impact of stringent cost cutting measures. MIC Africa produced
EBITDA growth of 29% from the first quarter of 2002 to $5.7
million. The positive impact of cost cutting in Latin America was
reflected in the EBITDA for the region, which increased slightly
from the first quarter of 2002 to $24.9 million, despite the
adverse currency movement, with margins increasing from 44% to
47%. At constant 2002 exchange rates, EBITDA for Latin America
would have increased by 14%. The main contributors to EBITDA
increase were Guatemala and Bolivia, which recorded increases of
37% and 26% respectively from the first quarter of 2002.

CORPORATE LIQUIDITY AND DEBT INDICATORS

                                        At March 31, 2003

Cash at the corporate level                  $m 44.0
Cash upstreamed from operations              $m 20.8
Toronto Dominion debt outstanding            $m 56.4
Tele2 shares pledged to Toronto Dominion     6,184,293
Total Tele2 shares 9,968,414

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. The Group's cellular
operations have a combined population under license (excluding
Tele2) of approximately 382 million people. In addition, MIC
provides high-speed wireless data services in five countries. MIC
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 17.7 million
customers in 22 countries. The Company's shares are traded on the
Luxembourg Bourse and the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol
MICC.

CONTACTS:   Marc Beuls, President and Chief Executive Officer
            Telephone: +352 27 759 101
            Millicom International Cellular S.A., Luxembourg

            Jim Millstein, Lazard, New York
            Telephone: +1 212 632 6000

            Peter Warner, Lazard, London
            Daniel Bordessa Lazard, London
            Cyrus Kapadia, Lazard, London
            Telephone: +44 20 7588 2721

            Andrew Best, Investor Relations
            Telephone: +44 20 7321 5022
            Shared Value Ltd, London

            Visit our web site at http://www.millicom.com



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

AES CORP.: Commences Private Placement Debt Deal
------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Thursday that it had
launched a private placement of approximately $1 billion
principal amount of second priority senior secured notes which
will be secured by second priority liens on (1) the capital stock
of certain subsidiaries of AES and (2) certain intercompany
receivables, certain intercompany notes and intercompany tax
sharing agreements owed to AES by its subsidiaries.

The collateral also secures, among other things, AES's senior
secured credit facility. AES intends to use the proceeds to fund
its pending cash tender offer for certain series of its
outstanding senior and senior subordinated notes, to pay down
$475 million of outstanding borrowings under its senior bank
facility and for general corporate purposes.

The following table shows the principal amount of each series of
notes that AES is seeking to purchase in the pending tender offer
and the aggregate principal amount tendered as of 5:00 p.m., New
York City time on April 22, 2003. AES may increase the principal
amount of notes that it is seeking to purchase depending on the
amount of proceeds that it receives from the proposed private
placement, provided that the aggregate principal amount of the
notes purchased will not exceed $1.3 billion.

                              Principal   Principal
                               Amount      Purchase     Amount
           The Notes         Outstanding    Amount     Tendered
-----------------------------------------------------------------
8.00% Senior Notes, Series A,
Due 2008                   $199,022,000 $20,000,000  $53,475,000
8.75% Senior Notes, Series G,
Due 2008                   $400,000,000 $40,000,000 $197,075,000
9.50% Senior Notes, Series B,
Due 2009                   $750,000,000 $75,000,000 $308,098,000
9.375% Senior Notes, Series C,
Due 2010                   $850,000,000 $86,000,000 $506,549,000
8.875% Senior Notes, Series E,
Due 2011                   $536,690,000 $54,000,000 $274,719,000
10.25% Senior Subordinated Notes
Due 2006                   $217,050,000 $55,000,000  $14,345,000
8.375% Senior Subordinated Notes
Due 2007                   $303,290,000 $77,000,000  $36,721,000
8.50% Senior Subordinated Notes
Due 2007                   $338,165,000 $86,000,000  $25,005,000
8.875% Senior Subordinated Notes
Due 2027                   $125,000,000 $32,000,000   $4,952,000

AES's obligation to accept notes tendered and pay the tender
offer consideration and any early tender premium is subject to a
number of conditions which are set forth in the Offer to Purchase
and Letter of Transmittal for the tender offer. The conditions
include (1) the completion of the proposed private placement and
(2) the effectiveness of an amendment to AES' senior credit
facility. The tender offer will expire at 5:00 p.m. New York City
time on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 unless extended or earlier
terminated.

The second priority senior secured notes will not be registered
under the Securities Act of 1933, or any state securities laws.
Therefore, the second priority senior secured notes may not be
offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an
applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the
Securities Act of 1933 and any applicable state securities laws.
This announcement is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation
of an offer to buy the second priority senior secured notes.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995: This news release may contain "forward-
looking statements" regarding The AES Corporation's business.
These statements are not historical facts, but statements that
involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ
materially from those projected in these forward-looking
statements. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see
"Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for
the most recently ended fiscal year.

CONTACT:  AES Corp., Arlington
          Kenneth R. Woodcock, 703/522-1315


CESP: S&P Downgrade Hampers Efforts To Restructure Debts
--------------------------------------------------------
Executives of Companhia Energetica de Sao Paulo SA (Cesp)
suffered a blow Thursday in their attempts to rescue the
embattled power generator, Dow Jones indicates.

Brazil's third-largest power generator had its credit rating
downgraded to Selective Default from CC by Standard & Poor's. The
ratings on US$150 million in notes due 2005 were lowered to D4.
The downgrade came hours after bondholders accepted to refrain
from exercising a May 9 put option on an early repayment of the
US$150-million debt in exchange for payment of 20% of the total
plus an increase to 12.5% of the coupon.

"This negotiation is viewed by Standard and Poor's as tantamount
to default, since the company, absent the restructuring, would
not have the resources to pay the notes in full in case the put
was exercised in May 2003," the ratings agency said. "Thus, S&P
sees this exchange as 'coercive' given the lack of liquidity at
Cesp to pay its obligation."

According to analysts, the downgrade has also clouded Cesp's
hopes of getting further reprieve and extending maturities on
bonds totaling US$300 million and EUR200 million that mature in
2004. The Company is seeking to extend the deadlines until at
least 2006.

"The perception has improved with the rescheduling of the US$150
million bond repayment and news of some help from the government,
but the truth is that Cesp will continue to have trouble paying
its debts," said Lilyanna Yang of Bear Stearns in New York. "It's
not a liquid company. Even if it was able to come to an agreement
with bondholders now, it doesn't mean it won't have problems
later this year, next year and in 2005."

CONTACT:    Companhia Energetica De Sao Paulo (CESP)
            Rua da ConsolaO o, 1.875
            CEP 01301 -100 S o Paulo, Brazil
            Phone: +55-11-234-6322
            Fax: +55-11-287-0871
            Home Page: http://www.CESP.com.br/
            Contact:
            Mauro G. Jardim Arce, Chairman
            Ruy M. Altenfelder Silva, Vice Chairman
            Vicente Kazuhiro Okazaki, Finance Director


COPEL: Wants Court Declaration on Purchasing Agreement
------------------------------------------------------
Copel chairman Paulo Pimentel revealed that the Parana state
integrated power company plans to go to court to seek
nullification of a power purchase agreement (PPA), under which it
buys power from the 484.5MW Araucaria plant.

According to Business News Americas, Copel owns 20% of the plant,
federal energy company Petrobras owns 20% and US power company El
Paso owns 60%. Copel seeks to have the PPA declared illegal after
El Paso reportedly notified the Company of its decision to cancel
the contract.

Cancellation of the contract on the part of El Paso would mean
that Copel would have to buy the plant for the US$368 million
construction costs, or US$500 million after adding interest
payments.

"If we kept the contract, for which Copel has to pay close to
BRL1 million [today some US$335,000] a day and still paid the
power purchase agreement from Argentine company Cien, we would
have a debt of BRL1.2 billion, or close to a third of the net
billing of the company," Pimentel said. "With a situation like
this, Copel would have its competitiveness completely compromised
and could go broke within a year," he added.

The Araucaria and Cien contracts were the main reasons Copel made
US$320 million net losses in 2002, Pimentel noted. Cien is a
transmission interconnection owned by Endesa Spain and its
Chilean generation subsidiary Endesa. Parana state governor
Roberto Requiao suspended payments to both Araucaria and Cien
after he took office in January. Cien is now considering legal
action itself.


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Defaults On $25M Installment
-------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana defaulted
on a US$25-million payment earlier this month after some
creditors rejected a proposal to renegotiate the debt. The
utility, which is controlled by AES Corp., revealed in a
statement that the payment, which came due April 15, is part of a
US$305-million syndicated loan, which is due in July 2005.

Eletropaulo had been seeking to renegotiate the debt but was
informed last Tuesday that two creditors in the bank consortium
led by Bank Boston refused the rollover proposal. Nevertheless,
the Company remains optimistic that it will solve the situation.

"We inform the market that our talks with the consortium continue
and we believe we're close to finding a solution to this
situation," Eletropaulo said in the statement.


VESPER: Quallcomm Expects to Auction or Sell Soon
-------------------------------------------------
Brazilian telecoms operator Vesper was put up for sale after it
failed to obtain Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel's permission
to use the 1900MHz band. Business News Americas reports that US-
based CDMA chipset developer Qualcomm will sell its 74% stake in
Brazilian subsidiary Vesper.

Earlier reports warned that Vesper's business model would
collapse if Anatel bans it from deploying mobile services over
its existing fixed wireless network. Qualcomm has reportedly
written off US$160 million in asset impairment charges related to
Vesper in its second quarter financial statement.

"We have decided to pursue an expedited exit strategy, including
the sale or other disposition of Vesper and/or its assets. The
impairment loss recognized is the difference between the carrying
values of Vesper's long-lived assets and their estimated fair
market values," said Qualcomm.

BES Securities analyst Carolina Gava indicates that fixed line
operator is a likely buyer, as it would gain national fixed line
coverage if it buys Vesper.

However, said Ms. Gava, Vesper would have to give back its mobile
licenses to Anatel and be sold on a fixed line basis only, to
attract Brazil Telecom.



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

ENERSIS: To Complete $2.3B Debt Restructuring Early Next Month
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chilean power sector holding company Enersis expects to complete
a US$2.3-billion debt refinancing by early May, reports Business
News Americas. Already, the Company has reached an agreement in
March with four banks - BBVA, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein,
Salomon Smith Barney and Spain's SCH - to restructure US$1.1
billion in debt. The remaining US$1.2 billion is a syndicated
loan with 30 banks, which is being managed by Dresdner, Citibank
and BBVA.

"The banks are all very positive about refinancing because they
saw that our shareholders approved the [US$2-billion] capital
increase and of course they are very interested because it shows
we have good liquidity and our shareholders have confidence in
our business," CEO Enrique Garcia said.

The capital increase is scheduled for completion by December 31
this year. Enersis' share price is likely to remain stable until
the completion of the capital increase, Garcia said, adding the
share price could increase significantly in early 2004 if the
outlook in Argentina, Brazil and Chile continues to improve.

CONTACT:  Enersis SA
          Avenida Kennedy Vitacura No
          5454
          Santiago
          Chile  1557
          Phone: +56 2 353 4400
          Fax:  +56 2 378 4768
          Home Page: http://www.enersis.cl
          Contacts:
          Engr Alfredo Llorente Legaz, Chairman
          Engr Rafael Miranda Robredo, Vice Chairman


ENERSIS: To Conduct PLC Open Season In 4-5 Weeks
------------------------------------------------
Chilean carriers interested in using Enersis' power line
communication (PLC) technology can make offers in an open season,
which is expected to take place in the next 4-5 weeks. Business
News Americas recalls that Enersis subsidiary CAM has been
conducting a PLC pilot project in capital city Santiago since
March 2002. Enersis is also inviting investors to become minority
shareholders in the project.

"There has been a lot of interest from foreign investors," PLC
project coordinator and Chilectra chairman Jorge Rosenblut said.

Enersis has subsidiaries in Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and
Brazil, and serves more than 10 million customers. The group is
65% owned by Spanish utility Endesa.


ENERSIS: Goes To Court To Recover Losses
----------------------------------------
In an effort to recover losses incurred following the devaluation
of the peso and the rates freeze in Argentina, Enersis plans to
start legal proceedings by the end of May against the Argentine
government.

Citing CEO Enrique Garcia, Business News Americas reports that
the Company's lawyers will base their case on Chile-Argentina's
bilateral investment agreement. The legal case "is independent of
the renegotiation of contracts," Garcia said.

The first priority for the winner of Sunday's presidential
elections in Argentina should be increasing tariffs that have
been frozen since January 2002, Garcia said, adding the tariff
freeze has hit Enersis distribution subsidiary Edesur's bottom
line.


GUACOLDA: Copec Not Selling Stake
---------------------------------
Contrary to analysts' speculation, Chilean forestry, fishing and
fuels conglomerate Copec announced it would not sell its 25%
stake in local power generator Guacolda. The announcement was
made by Copec CEO Jorge Bunster at a shareholders meeting held
Wednesday.

"We are in no hurry to sell [Guacolda], we don't need those funds
at the moment and it is an interesting and valuable asset so we
are not prepared to pull out under any condition," Bunster said.

Speculation has been widespread among analysts that Copec could
be considering selling its stake as part of a move to focus more
closely on key assets, but that it would be unlikely to find a
buyer unless it were to offer a significant discount.


MADECO: Announces ADR Ratio Change
----------------------------------
Madeco S.A. ("Madeco") (NYSE ticker: MAD) announced the Company
is carrying out the process to change the ratio of its ADRs to
shares from 1 ADR= 10 shares to 1 ADR = 100 shares. An
announcement will be made prior to effective date.

Madeco has informed the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") its
intention to effect a ratio change of its ADRs within four weeks,
and thereby work to increase the market price of its ADRs.
Currently, the Company is working with its depositary bank, the
Bank of New York, to effect this ratio change.

Madeco, formerly Manufacturas de Cobre MADECO S.A., was
incorporated in 1944 as an open stock corporation under the laws
of the Republic of Chile and currently has operations in Chile,
Brazil, Peru and Argentina. Madeco is a leading Latin American
manufacturer of finished and semi-finished non-ferrous products
based on copper, copper alloys and aluminum. The Company is also
a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging products for use in
the packaging of mass consumer products such as food, snacks and
cosmetics.

CONTACT:  Marisol Fern ndez
          Investor Relations
          Voice: (56 2) 520-1380
          Fax: (56 2) 520-1545
          E-mail: mfl@madeco.cl
          Web Site : www.madeco.cl


SANTA ISABEL: Potential Buyer Seeks Loans To Fund Purchase
----------------------------------------------------------
Chilean retail group Cencosud is seeking US$100 million in bank
loans to back its purchase of a local supermarket chain owned by
embattled Dutch retailer Ahold. According to a report by Reuters,
Cencosud, which has been in talks to buy Santa Isabel, is
negotiating the bridge loan with Spanish bank BBVA.

"There is a commitment from BBVA to help us obtain the funds for
the transaction ... The credit would be for about $100 million,"
Cencosud CEO Laurence Golborne said. "Its to cover this
investment but also serves to fulfill the company's different
needs," he said.

Cencosud owns several shopping centers and the Jumbo supermarket
chain. The acquisition of Santa Isabel will increase Cencosud's
market share to 20%.

CONTACT:  Santa Isabel SA
          Apoquindo Las Condes
          Santiago
          Chile 3600
          Phone: +56 2 200 4000
          Fax:  +56 2 200 4551
          Home Page: http://www.santaisabel.cl
          Contacts:
          Juan Jose Lopez-Estevez, Chairman
          Allan Steward Noddle, Vice Chairman

          Ahold NV, Koninklijke
          3050 Albert Heijnweg1
          1507 EH Zaandam
          Netherlands
          Phone: +31 75 6599111
          Fax:  +31 75 6598350
          Telex:  1 9010
          Home Page: http://www.ahold.com
          Contact:
          Norbert L.J. Berger, Secretary


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

* World Bank to Issue $150M Loan For Colombia
---------------------------------------------
The World Bank today approved a $150 million loan to strengthen
Colombia's financial system and increase its capacity to fund
future investment in the economy. The Programmatic Financial
Sector Adjustment Operation aims to strengthen the government's
capacity to manage and mitigate weaknesses in the financial
system and to modernize the regulatory framework of banks,
housing finance institutions and insurance companies.

"The health of the Colombian economy depends on a robust banking
sector, complemented by a modern, flexible capital market," said
Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Director for Colombia and Mexico.
"This operation is an important step for a sustainable increase
in economic activity, one that will benefit all Colombians."

The loan will support the:

- Disposal of the earlier intervened financial institutions'
remaining loan assets (or underlying collateral) by packaging and
selling such assets, and arranging the closure, sale or merger of
weaker institutions in the country's financial sector.

- Strengthen and diversify the participation of the housing
mortgage market as well as non-bank financial services and
securities institutions  in the financial system to provide more
liquidity  in the markets.

- Improve supervisory institutions and legislation to incorporate
areas of corporate accountability, governance and risk
management.

- Promote further credit access by permitting financial
institutions to provide credit or leases to small financial
entities so that they can better fund the micro housing sector.

- Strengthen the capacity to detect money laundering activity
associated with the drug trade or terrorist activity.

"A strong and healthy financial system is key to protect the most
vulnerable segments of the population from external shocks," said
John Daniel Pollner, World Bank Task Manager for the program. "By
extending micro credit permitting full coverage of deposit losses
for the smallest depositors in the event of bank failures, the
poor will be better protected and can rely on the soundness of
their savings invested in the financial system."

The aims of this operation are prominent in the Bank's current
Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Colombia. That strategy,
approved in January 2003, aims to help achieve rapid and
sustainable growth, 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.

This fixed-spread loan, which will be disbursed immediately, is
subject to a bullet repayment in 11 years.

CONTACTS:  Gabriela Aguilar (5255) 5480-4252
           Gaguilar2@worldbank.org

           Alejandra Viveros (202) 473-4306
           Aviveros@worldbank.org



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

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: Executive Seeks To Postpone Sale
----------------------------------------------------
Roberto Gonzalez, a VP at Ecuadorian bank Banco del Pacifico, is
suggesting for an eight to 12 months delay in the bank's sale,
Business News Americas relates. Pacifico is due to be sold by the
end of July. The bank, which was taken into government
receivership during the country's 1998-1999 financial crisis, is
already on a sound financial footing.

A turn around plan was initiated last year incorporating staff
cuts and a reduction in the non-performing loan portfolio. Today,
Pacifico has a Basle ratio of 18%, and bad loans of US$30
million, compared to US$107 million before the restructuring
process began.

However, Mr. Gonzalez expects that the value of the bank will
appreciate if the sale process were to be pushed back until
domestic and international economic conditions improve.

The central bank is due to complete a valuation study of the bank
prior to June 30, following which a decision will be made whether
to move ahead with the privatization process based on the minimum
bid price set, according to Mr. Gonzalez.

French investment bank BNP Paribas has been awarded the contract
to manage the sale of Pacifico.



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

AIR JAMAICA: Will Not Be Re-Nationalized, Says Finance Minister
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jamaican Finance Minister Omar Davies asserted that the
government has no intentions of re-nationalizing troubled
Caribbean airline Air Jamaica, reports the Jamaica Observer.

"The Government has no intention of assuming the control or
management of any airline whatsoever," said the government
official.

Recently, the government increased its stake in the airline by 25
percent after forgiving $300 million of the airline's debt. The
government currently owns 45 percent of the cash-strapped
carrier. A group of investors led by the airline's chairman
Gordon Stewart retains the controlling 55 percent stake.

An earlier report from the Associated Press indicated that
Finance Minister Omar Davies said Tuesday that the government was
negotiating to nearly double its shares and could eventually
assume majority ownership of the formerly state-owned airline.

"What I indicated is that the Government has been a significant
partner (in Air Jamaica) for reasons relating to its contribution
to the tourism industry. What we are seeking is to formalise that
support," clarified Mr. Davies.

Air Jamaica indicated that the Minister's comments may have been
misinterpreted.

"I am proud to have the Government as a more substantial partner
in the national airline. Over the years, and in difficult times,
the Government and Air Jamaica have worked closely together to
ensure that all sectors of the country are guaranteed reliable
airlift. Since privatisation, Air Jamaica has developed into a
robust and powerful airline that is able to compete with some of
the world's best carriers," said the Minister.



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

BITAL: S&P Affirms Ratings
--------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday that it affirmed
its 'BBpi' rating on Bital S.A. At the same time, Standard &
Poor's raised its CaVal scale short- and long-term counterparty
credit ratings and CD rating to 'mxA+/mxA-1' from 'mxBBB+/mxA-2'.
The outlook is positive. On the same date, Standard & Poor's
removed the bank's CaVal scale ratings from CreditWatch, where
they had been placed on Aug. 21, 2002.

The ratings actions reflect the expected benefits that Bital will
receive from its new owner, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking
Corp. Ltd. (HSBC; foreign currency ratings, A+/stable/A-1; local
currency, AA-/Negative/A-1+), as well as the improvements in
Bital's current and prospective solvency given the recent capital
injection and the balance-sheet clean-up. The ratings actions
also consider the fact that Bital's future loan loss reserves and
contingency requirements are finally over, as the bank now
complies with all the reserves required by regulation.

"The partial improvement in Bital's capital indicators has also
been considered in the ratings actions; however, the bank has to
further improve the quality of its capital base as it is highly
influenced by deferred tax assets," said credit analyst David
Olivares.

The positive outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectations of
bright prospects for the bank, considering its strong customer
base, high recognition in the market as a retail bank, and large
distribution network. The importance of HSBC as a global bank
with a proven track record of good banking practices and
performance should continue to enhance Bital's business prospects
and financial profile. Under the HSBC umbrella, Bital should be
able to strengthen its participation in the highly concentrated
Mexican banking system, taking advantage of its market
orientation and distinctive distribution capabilities.

ANALYSTS:  David Olivares, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2006
           Ursula M Wilhelm, Mexico City (52) 55-5279-2007


EMPRESAS ICA: Clarifies News Reports on El Cajon Project
--------------------------------------------------------
Empresas ICA Sociedad Controladora, S.A. de C.V. (BMV and NYSE:
ICA), the largest engineering, construction, and procurement
company in Mexico, wishes to clarify certain facts related to the
award of the El Cajon hydroelectric project, in compliance with
the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) regulation
dated March 20, 2003.

Certain recent news reports contain allegations that the two ICA
subsidiaries that are members of the CIISA (Constructora
Internacional de Infraestructura, S.A. de C.V.) consortium that
was awarded the El Cajon project were not in compliance with
their tax obligations at the time of the award. The two
subsidiaries are Ingenieros Civiles Asociados, S.A. de C.V. and
Promotora e Inversora ADISA, S.A. de C.V. (PIADISA). These
reports are incorrect.

The Large Taxpayers Office of the SAT also issued a ruling dated
April 11, 2003 to Ingenieros Civiles Asociados stating that the
draft document 330-SAT-III-3-a-02-2444, to which several of the
news stories refer, is not a legally valid document, and does not
represent an administrative action.

The Large Taxpayers Office of the Tax Administration Service
(SAT) notified Ingenieros Civiles Asociados and PIADISA, by means
of two rulings dated March 24, 2003 that they were current in
their provisional payment declarations, and current for the
periods from January 2000 through February 2003, with the
exception of the fiscal year 2002, which were not yet due.

In addition, with respect to the news item published April 21,
2003 by the paper Milenio Diario, Empresas ICA would like to
clarify that, according to its books and records, and the
information of its lawyers, there is no evidence of any document
soliciting clarification of its tax status from the Local Tax
Administration for the Central Area of the Federal District.

The award of the El Cajon project to CIISA has been in strict
compliance with the relevant legal requirements. The two
subsidiaries that are participating in the consortium, and which
have been the subject to these inaccurate press accounts, have
complied with their tax obligations. The Federal Electricity
Commission (CFE), the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit
(SHCP), the Comptroller's Office (SECODAM), and CIISA have all
adhered strictly to current legal requirements for public bidding
procedures, and the award of El Cajon has taken place in full
compliance with legal and institutional norms.


GRUPO TMM: Amends Exchange Offers
---------------------------------
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE:TMM and BMV:TMM A) announced Thursday that
it has filed an amendment to its previously filed registration
statement relating to its exchange offers and consent
solicitations for all of its outstanding 9« % Senior Notes due
2003 and its 10¬ % Senior Notes due 2006 (the "existing notes").
Grupo TMM is amending the exchange offers and consent
solicitations to extend the expiration of the offers, change the
economic terms of the new notes being offered, eliminate the
warrant component of the exchange offer consideration previously
applicable to the 2003 notes and eliminate the consent fee
component of the exchange offer consideration.

Under the terms of the amended exchange offers, Grupo TMM is
offering to exchange existing notes for an equal principal amount
of new notes that will bear interest at a rate of 12%, payable at
maturity on May 15, 2004. The new notes will contain provisions
requiring TMM to apply any funds received from certain asset
sales or in respect of certain tax matters to repurchase new
notes at par value.

The primary purpose for the amended exchange offers and consent
solicitations is to provide Grupo TMM sufficient time to complete
the pending sales of its interests in its ports and terminals
division and its interest in TFM, as well as to amend the
indentures governing the existing notes to permit these sales and
application of the resulting proceeds (whether before or after
completion of the exchange offers).

The amendment to the exchange offers and consent solicitations
will be made available to holders only upon the declaration of
the effectiveness of such amendment by the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is acting as the dealer manager for
the exchange offers and consent solicitations.

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

The exchange offers and consent solicitations are made solely by
the prospectus contained in the registration statement referred
to above, the related letter of transmittal and consent, and any
amendments or supplements thereto. Copies of the prospectus and
transmittal materials can be obtained from Mellon Investor
Services LLC, the information agent for the exchange offers and
consent solicitations, at the following address:

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

These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be
accepted prior to the time the registration statement amendment
becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an
offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall
there be any sale of these securities in any State in which such
offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to
registration or qualification under the securities laws of any
such State. The exchange offers and consent solicitations are not
being made to, nor will tenders be accepted from, or on behalf
of, holders of existing Notes in any jurisdiction in which the
making of the exchange offers and consent solicitations or the
acceptance thereof would not be in compliance with the laws of
such jurisdiction. In any jurisdiction where securities, blue sky
laws or other laws require the exchange offers and consent
solicitations to be made by a licensed broker or dealer, the
exchange offers and consent solicitations will be deemed to be
made on behalf of Grupo TMM by the dealer manager or one or more
registered brokers or dealers licensed under the laws of such
jurisdiction.


TV AZTECA: 1Q EBITDA Up 6%, Net Income Falters on Devaluation
-------------------------------------------------------------
TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: TZA; BMV: TVAZTCA), one of the two
largest producers of Spanish language television programming in
the world, announced Thursday first quarter net sales of Ps.1,365
million (US$127 million) and a five-year record EBITDA for a
first quarter of Ps.535 million (US$50 million), 2% and 6%
increases, respectively, over the prior year period. First
quarter EBITDA margin rose one percentage point to 39%.

"TV Azteca's solid EBITDA reflect our permanent focus on
carefully adapting costs to ad market conditions," said Pedro
Padilla, Chief Executive Officer of TV Azteca. "During the first
quarter, we further improved cost controls for internal
production and adjusted our programming lineup to reflect
seasonally lower needs for advertising. The results are clear
through increased profitability."

"A strong EBITDA delivered in the lowest part of the annual
advertising curve reinforces our prospects for continued
profitability for the full year, and sets the foundation for
robust cash flows," Mr. Padilla added. "This places us on the
right track to carry out our six-year plan for uses of free cash
flow, which includes granting distributions to shareholders in
the very near future."

First Quarter Results

Net sales grew 2% to Ps.1,365 million (US$127 million), up from
Ps.1,332 million (US$124 million) for the same period of 2002.
Total costs and expenses rose 1% to Ps.830 million (US$77
million), from Ps.825 million (US$77 million) for the same
quarter of last year. As a result, the company reported EBITDA of
Ps.535 million (US$50 million), 6% higher than Ps.507 million
(US$47 million) in the first quarter of 2002. Net income for the
quarter was Ps.75 million (US$7 million) compared with Ps.213
million (US$20 million) for the same period of 2002.

Net Revenue

The 2% increase in net sales reflects constant first quarter
advertising rates, and a 2% increase in weighted average full-day
utilization of commercial airtime, compared with the same period
of the prior year.

First quarter net revenue includes sales of programming abroad of
Ps.40 million (US$4 million), which was 25% above the Ps.32
million (US$3 million) of the first quarter of the prior year.
Growth in programming exports was principally driven by sales of
our musical reality show La Academia in certain markets of Latin
America and Asia, and our novelas La Duda and Enamorate in Latin
American countries.

During the first quarter, TV Azteca reported content and
advertising sales to Todito.com of Ps.37 million (US$3 million),
and Ps.43 million (US$4 million) in advertising sales to Unefon.
In the first quarter of 2002, sales to Todito and Unefon were
Ps.43 million (US$4 million) and Ps.16 million (US$1 million),
respectively.

Non-cash revenue decreased during the first quarter. Barter sales
were Ps.23 million (US$2 million) compared with Ps.33 million
(US$3 million) in the same period of the prior year. Inflation
adjustment of advertising advances was Ps.32 million (US$3
million), compared with Ps.56 million (US$5 million) of the first
quarter of 2002.

Total Costs and Expenses

The 1% increase in first quarter costs and expenses resulted from
the combined effect of a 3% reduction in programming, production
and transmission costs to Ps.569 million (US$53 million) from
Ps.586 million (US$54 million) in the prior year period, and a 9%
increase in administration and selling expense to Ps.261 million
(US$24 million) from Ps.239 million (US$22 million) in the same
quarter a year ago.

"The decrease in costs results from production of content at
levels aligned with expected revenue, and a reinforced scrutiny
on the costs and returns of every show on our programming grid,"
said Carlos Hesles, Chief Financial Officer of TV Azteca. "Our
costs management translated into further efficiency gains, and
places us on track to generate our ultimate goal of creating free
cash flow of US$125 million in 2003."

The 9% increase in administration and selling expense reflects
higher personnel, travel and operating expenses, primarily
related to growing international and local operations.

EBITDA and Net Income

The 2% increase in first quarter net revenue combined with a 1%
growth in costs and expenses resulted in EBITDA of Ps.535 million
(US$50 million), up 6% from the first quarter of last year, and
the highest level since 1998.

First quarter net income decreased 65% to Ps.75 million (US$7
million), compared with Ps.213 million (US$20 million) for the
same period of 2002. The decrease in net income was primarily
influenced by a Ps.93 million (US$9 million) exchange loss
following a 4% peso depreciation against the dollar during the
quarter, compared with a Ps.70 million (US$7 million) exchange
gain resulting from a 2% appreciation of the peso in the same
quarter of 2002.

TV Azteca also recorded Ps.10 million (US$1 million) of other
financing expenses in the first quarter compared with Ps.33
million (US$3 million) of other financing income in the same
period of the previous year. The first quarter financing expense
primarily reflects the cost of hedging the company's short term
dollar denominated maturities against exchange rate fluctuations,
and quarterly amortizations of expenses related to the issuance
of TV Azteca's 2004 and 2007 senior notes. Other financing income
recorded in the first quarter of 2002 reflects gains in TV
Azteca's portfolio investments, net of quarterly amortizations of
expenses related to the issuance of TV Azteca's 2004 and 2007
senior notes.

Azteca America: Agreement with Pappas

During the first quarter Azteca America Network, the company's
wholly- owned broadcasting network focused on the U.S. Hispanic
market, signed final agreements with Pappas Telecasting
Companies, the majority owner and operator of Azteca America
affiliates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Reno
markets, to resolve litigation between the parties.

Under these agreements, the Pappas companies acquired the 25%
equity interests owned by Azteca America in the Houston and San
Francisco stations, as well as a note for US$52 million, plus
accrued interest payable to TV Azteca. In return Azteca America
received a note for US$128 million payable on May 31, 2003, with
a conditioned grace period of up to June 30, 2003, and an
increasing principal amount after April 30, 2003.

If the note is not paid in accordance with the agreed schedule,
Azteca America and the Pappas affiliate in Los Angeles will enter
into a three-year local marketing agreement (LMA) under which
Azteca will provide programming and services to the Los Angeles
station KAZA-TV. Azteca America will be entitled to retain all
advertising revenue derived from the programming it supplies to
the station during the term of the LMA and will pay Pappas
Telecasting an annual LMA fee of US$15 million. However, Azteca's
payments under the LMA will be offset by the interest payable on
the note.

If the LMA becomes effective, Azteca America will also have the
option to purchase, up to the permissible statutory maximum of
25%, the assets of KAZA- TV and to nominate a qualified U.S.
entity to acquire the remaining interest from Pappas, for US$250
million total price, less any then-unpaid principal and interest
on the note.

Favorable Outcome from Echostar

Also during the first quarter, a U.S. court denied Echostar's
request for a preliminary injunction against TV Azteca that would
have prevented TV Azteca from directly or indirectly distributing
its Channel 13 network programming to cable operators and
satellite in the United States.

Azteca America Network noted that the court resolution ultimately
benefits its viewers, who preserve their right to watch high
quality Spanish-language television programming on their local
cable systems and satellite, which translates into solid
prospects for strengthening the network's expansion in the U.S.
Hispanic market.

Uses of Cash

In February TV Azteca announced a six-year course of action for
uses of its free cash flow generation, to reduce its outstanding
indebtedness by approximately US$250 million and to make
distributions to its shareholders in an aggregate amount of
approximately US$500 million.

TV Azteca expects to pay the initial distributions under this
plan in the next few months. The company believes that by
distributing the benefits of its solid profitability it will add
further value to all of its security holders.

Company Profile

TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish language
television programming in the world, operating two national
television networks in Mexico, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through
more than 300 owned and operated stations across the country. TV
Azteca affiliates include Azteca America Network, a new broadcast
television network focused on the rapidly growing US Hispanic
market; Unefon, a Mexican mobile telephony operator focused on
the mass market; and Todito.com, an Internet portal for North
American Spanish speakers.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/TV_AZTECA.htm

CONTACT:  TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V.
          Investor Relations - Bruno Rangel
          +5255-3099-9167
          jrangelk@tvazteca.com.mx

          Omar Avila
          +5255-3099-0041
          oavila@tvazteca.com.mx

          Media Relations - Tristan Canales
          +5255-3099-5786
          tcanales@tvazteca.com.mx

          Web site: http://www.tvazteca.com.mx/



               ***********


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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