TCRLA_Public/030515.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

          Thursday, May 15, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 95



CENTRAL PUERTO: Registers Profits in the 1Q03
CRESUD: Swings to Profit In Nine Months Ended Mar 31, 2003
EDENOR: No Change in Payments, Fitch Confirms Default Rating
IRSA: 3Q03 Sales, Profits Show Improvement
PECOM ENERGIA: First Quarter 2003 Production Down

PEREZ COMPANC: Regulators Approve Petrobras Transaction
PEREZ COMPANC: New Standards, Peso Rebound Affect 1Q03 Results
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Posts Flat First Quarter Results
VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Increases Cash Dividend
* IMF OKs Argentine Proposal To Print Money To Stabilize Peso


C&W WEST INDIES: Uncertainty Swells As Executive Resigns


ACESITA: Analysts Concerned Over Asian Sales, Rate Stock `Hold'
EMBRATEL: Prospects Still Uncertain Despite Positive Earnings
EMBRATEL: New Market Demands Prompt Management Restructuring
NET SERVICOS: Sales, Currency Improvement Boost 1Q03 Results
VARIG: New President Refutes Reports He May Balk At Merger

VESPER: Executive Steps Down, Starts Own Firm


AES GENER: In Talks With Potential Bidders For GasAndes Stake
BANCO SUDAMERIS CHILE: Intesa Sells Franchise To Desarrollo
CHILECTRA: Financial Situation Deteriorates
MADECO: Announces 10 for 1 ADR Ratio Change
MADECO: Reduces Net Loss in the 1Q03


MINERCOL: Liquidation Looms, May Face Possible Court Challenge


BUFETE INDUSTRIAL: Creditors Demand Company's Liquidation
GRUPO TFM: Majority Stake Sale To KCS Sparks Protest
GRUPO TMM: Extends Exchange Offers, Consent Solicitations
SANLUIS CORPORACION: Fitch Affirms Ratings, Challenges Persist
SAVIA: Seminis Reports 2Q, Six Month Results


MINERA VOLCAN: VM Blasts Reports Of Planned Bid


CANTV: President Slams Bond Rollover Plan Predictions
PDVSA: Reformulated Gasoline Exports Back to Normal

     - - - - - - - - - -


CENTRAL PUERTO: Registers Profits in the 1Q03
Argentine thermo generator Central Puerto posted net profits of
ARS42.1 million in the first quarter of the year, reversing
losses of ARS379.6 million in the same period last year, reports
Business News Americas. The turnaround was mainly due to new
accounting rules and a more favorable exchange rate.

The Company also experienced a dramatic drop in operating costs
by 36.6% to ARS43.5 million in the quarter, shrinking operating
losses by 95% to ARS0.8 million from ARS16.5 million over the

Net sales fell 19.1% to ARS48.1 million. Contract sales fell 86%
to ARS10.3 million, and spot market sales increased 26% to
ARS37.8 million.

Central Puerto is 63.9% owned by France's TotalFinaElf, and
together with its subsidiaries has 2,165MW installed capacity,
accounting for 10% of Argentina's thermo generation.

           Jacques Chambert Loir, CEO
           2701 Avenida Tomas A Edison
           Buenos Aires, Argentina
           Phone   +54 1 317 5074
           Home Page

CRESUD: Swings to Profit In Nine Months Ended Mar 31, 2003
Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A. (Nasdaq: CRESY) (BASE: CRES) ("Cresud"),
one of the leading agricultural companies in Argentina, announces
results for the nine months ended March 31, 2003. Net Income for
the first nine months of the 2003 fiscal year showed a profit of
Ps. 44.0 million, compared to a Ps. 49.2 million loss during the
same period of the previous year.

The improvement in net income is attributable to an increase in
operating income, which in turn is due to the positive effect of
the Peso devaluation on the agricultural sector, the gains from
cattle stock holdings, and positive results from Cresud

Operating results during the nine-month period ended March 31,
2003 yielded a Ps. 22.4 million profit, compared to a Ps. 0.8
million loss during the same period of the previous year.

Summary of operations

Accumulated sales during the first nine months of fiscal year
2003 totaled Ps. 37.9 million compared to Ps. 31.6 million during
the same period of the previous year. This increase in sales in
comparison with the first nine months of fiscal year 2002 was the
result of the higher volume sold and the higher average price per
ton sold.

The beef-cattle segment showed a Ps. 8.3 million gross profit as
compared to a Ps. 5.6 million profit during the same period of
the previous year. Sales amounted to Ps. 11.4 million as compared
to Ps. 20.1 million during the period ended March 31, 2002. The
lower sales as compared to the previous year are attributable to
the lower volume sold, as the average price per ton was slightly
higher during this period.

The milk segment showed a gross profit of Ps. 0.6 million as
compared to a Ps. 0.6 million loss during the first nine months
of the previous year.

Quarter Highlights:

-- Purchase of 8,360 hectares of farmland, with a 100%
agricultural potential, for US$ 9.3 million. Sale of 706-hectare
"San Luis" farmlands for US$ 2.2 million and 618-hectare "Los
Maizales" farmlands for US$ 1.9 million. These sales yielded Ps.
4.8 million in profit.

-- Cactus Argentina Feed Lot is operating at full capacity.

-- Favorable crops progress. The sunflower harvest was completed.

-- New land clearance investments have been undertaken
(development of reserved areas).

-- Results from affiliates continue to improve.

Commenting on the results for the nine-month period, CEO
Alejandro Elsztain said, "The agricultural sector, and in
particular crop farming, has proven to be one of the most
successful in the new Argentine economy. Following the
devaluation of the Peso, the new macroeconomic context has made
this operation very profitable. The guidelines should not change
after the election of the next President, and, therefore, Cresud
will be able to continue consolidating operations by taking full
advantage of new business opportunities that may arise".

After the devaluation of the Peso and the increase in crop and
beef-cattle production profitability, an increased demand for
land was noted, which caused prices to increase considerably,
reaching levels, in U.S. Dollar terms, similar to those prevalent
before the Argentine crisis. In this context and given the
company's experience, Cresud will be able to find the best
opportunities available in the market, both for the purchase and
sale of property.

About Cresud

Cresud is a leading Argentine producer of basic agricultural
products and the only such company with shares listed on both the
Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Cresud is currently
engaged in several operations and activities, including crop
production, cattle raising and fattening, milk production and
certain forestry activities. Most of Cresud's farms are located
in Argentina's Pampa, one of the largest temperate prairie zones
in the world, and one of the richest areas of the world for
agricultural production.

CONTACT:  Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A.
          Gustavo Mariani, Finance Manager

          Alejandro Elsztain, CEO
          Web site:

EDENOR: No Change in Payments, Fitch Confirms Default Rating
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings confirmed its default rating
on Argentine distributor Edenor, reports Business News Americas.
The rating reflects Edenor's failure to make good on its debt
payments since June last year. At the end of December 2002,
Edenor's unpaid and expired debt totaled US$122 million.

Edenor has been unable to meet the payments because of the effect
of the devaluation of the peso on its dollar-denominated debt,
and the pesofication and freezing of rates, Fitch said in a

Through direct and indirect holdings, EDF owns 90% of Edenor,
which serves 2.3 million clients in the northern part of Buenos

          Azopardo Building
          Azopardo 1025 (1107) Capital Federal
          Phone: (54-11) 4346-5000
          Fax: (54-11) 4346-5300
          E-mai: to
          Home Page:

IRSA: 3Q03 Sales, Profits Show Improvement
IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones Sociedad Anonima (NYSE: IRS)
(BCBA: IRSA), the leading real estate company in Argentina,
announces third quarter fiscal year 2003 results for the period
ended March 31, 2003.

Net income for the nine-month period ended March 31, 2003 grew to
Ps.197.6 million or Ps.0.93 per share (Ps.9.32 per GDS) compared
with a loss of Ps.511.5 million, or Ps.2.41 per share (Ps.24.12
per GDS) for the third quarter of fiscal year 2002. Both results
were greatly affected by the exchange rate fluctuation. Results
per GDS were calculated using 21,199,927 GDS (Global Depository
Shares outstanding), with each GDS representing ten (10) ordinary

Consolidated net sales for the nine-month period totaled Ps.164.1
million, a 52% increase compared with Ps.108.0 million in the
same period last year. The breakdown for net sales among the
Company's various business segments is as follows: Sales and
Development, Ps.44.1 million; Offices and Other Rental
Properties, Ps.14.1 million; Shopping Centers, Ps.80.6 million;
and Hotels, Ps.25.3 million. Operating income for the period
totaled Ps.18.5 million.


In line with IRSA's strategy of taking advantage of market
opportunities, on March 19, 2003, the company sold Piscis Hotel
and its stake in Valle de las Lenas S.A., assets acquired during
the second half of last year. The transaction yielded a gain of
US$ 5.9 million in a short period of less than eight months.

IRSA's shopping centers have shown a significant increase in
occupancy, reaching 96%, the sort of high rate seen only prior to
the economic crisis. Tenants increased sales by 62% in nominal
terms and 19% in real terms during the third quarter.

The hotel segment continues to benefit from increased tourism.
The average hotel occupancy rate during the quarter was 60% in
contrast to 44% in the same quarter last year. Hotels also showed
an outstanding operating profit that exceeded all international

After three years of inactivity in the development segment due to
the recession, IRSA has begun to examine new projects that would
take advantage of low construction costs and strong demand in the
higher-income market.

There has been a dramatic reduction in financing expenses, with
respect to the previous fiscal year, following successful debt
restructuring at the end of 2002. It is important to note that as
of the end of the present quarter, 92% of total financial debt
corresponded to long term debt, while in the same period of last
year, it accounted for only 6% of total debt.

Commenting on the Company's performance, Eduardo S. Elsztain,
Chairman of the Board, said, "After enduring one of the worst
beatings of any economy in the world in 2002, the Argentina of
2003 has one of the highest growth prospects of any country.
Thanks to the restructuring undergone by IRSA over the past few
years, as well as the refinancing of our debt and the issuing of
US$ 100 million in Convertible Notes, we are now in a privileged
position and with enough cash to capitalize on opportunities
arising in the market, and to launch those projects delayed by
the recession. We believe that our cautious track record
distinguishes us in the Argentine market, and we are firmly
committed to continued growth that will help consolidate us as
one of the most important groups in the country."

IRSA is the largest, most well-diversified real estate company in
Argentina. It is the only company in the industry whose shares
are listed on both the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and The
New York Stock Exchange. Through its subsidiaries, IRSA manages
an expanding top portfolio of shopping centers and office
buildings, primarily in Buenos Aires. The company also develops
residential subdivisions and apartments (specializing in high-
rises and loft-style conversions) and owns three luxury hotels. A
solid, well- diversified portfolio of properties has established
the Company as the leader in its sector, making it the best
vehicle for reaching the Argentine real estate market.

CONTACT:  IRSA (Argentina)
          Gustavo Mariani, Finance Manager
          Web site:

PECOM ENERGIA: First Quarter 2003 Production Down
Pecom EnergĦa S.A. (Pecom; CCC/Negative/--) announced a decrease
in the production of both crude oil and natural gas in the first
quarter 2003. Crude oil sales decreased 19.3% and gas sales
decreased 15.7% when compared to the first quarter of 2002.

As the current rating category incorporates such contingencies,
the announcement has no impact on the rating or outlook of the
company. Pecom's production has been trending down through 2002
due to a reduction in capital expenditures. Although the trend
seems to be slowing down and the company expects to see
production increasing in 2003, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
considers that stagnation in the production or an eventual
persistence of the decreasing trend may add significant
challenges to the already weak financial profile of the company.

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

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

PEREZ COMPANC: Regulators Approve Petrobras Transaction
Perez Companc S.A. (Buenos Aires: PC NYSE:PC), controlling
company with a 98.21% stake in Pecom EnergĦa S.A. (Buenos Aires:
Peco), informs that the Argentine Antitrust Committee (Comisi˘n
Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia), an agency reporting to
the Argentine Secretariat of Competition, Deregulation and
Consumer Defense (SecretarĦa de la Competencia, la Desregulaci˘n
y la Defensa del Consumidor), approved the purchase of 58.62% of
Perez Companc S.A.'s capital stock by Petrobras Participa‡oes
S.L., a company controlled by Petr˘leo Brasileiro S.A. -

The transaction had been publicly announced on October 17, 2002
and was subject to approval by the Argentine Antitrust Committee.

Upon approval of the transaction, Pecom EnergĦa S.A. commits
itself to divest of its aggregate equity interest in Transener
S.A. under Law Nbr. 24,065 that provides for the Electricity
Regulatory framework. Such transaction will be subject to
supervision by the Argentine Regulatory Entity for Electricity
[Ente Nacional Regulador de la Electricidad (ENRE)] and approved
by the Argentine Secretariat of Energy. It is worth mentioning
that this divestment is in line with Perez Companc S.A.'s
strategic plan objectives.

Upon approval of the transaction, all necessary formalities
relating to the registration of the change of Perez Companc
S.A.'s corporate name for Petrobras EnergĦa Participaciones S.A.
and Pecom EnergĦa S.A.'s name for Petrobras EnergĦa S.A.,
approved at both companies' Shareholders' Meetings held on April
4, 2003, will be performed.

Petrobras, a Brazilian company with nearly half century
experience, is one of the largest integrated energy companies
operating in the international market by conducting oil and gas
exploration and production activities, as well as research,
refining and byproduct distribution activities.

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

PEREZ COMPANC: New Standards, Peso Rebound Affect 1Q03 Results
As of January 1, 2003, new accounting standards have been applied
in Argentina under Technical Resolutions N. 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20
issued by professional associations. These new accounting
standards are in line with international standards set by the
International Accounting Standard Committee (IASC).

The most important changes introduced by the new standards and
having a significant impact on the first Financial Statements
issued after the effective date of such standards are the

- Application of the Deferred Tax concept for Income Tax

- Valuation of derivatives positions at market value, recording
measurement differences for those qualifying as hedging
instruments and not yet accrued in an intermediate account
between Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity, and recording
measurement differences for non qualifying instruments in the
Income Statement.

- Application of present value for Receivables and Liabilities.

- Translation due to conversion of foreign companies' financial
statement, recording the relevant effect in an intermediate
account between Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity. Exchange
differences from liabilities assumed to cover net investments
abroad are recorded in the same account.

In addition, the new standards provide changes in the Financial
Statements reporting criteria among which it is worth mentioning
the pro rata consolidation of interest in affiliates under joint
control. For the 1Q03 quarter, unlike the same period in 2002,
the 48.5% interest in Distrilec S.A, Edesur S.A.'s controlling
company, was consolidated. It is worth noting that this pro rata
consolidation does not change results but implies the
incorporation in each Financial Statement item of the amount
corresponding to Distrilec, instead of showing it in only one
item as valuation under the equity method as it has been shown
until the previous quarter.

- Net income for 2003 quarter was P$160 million (P$0.075 per
share and P$0.75 per ADS) compared to a P$1,635 million loss for
2002 quarter.

- Net sales for 2003 quarter totaled P$1,203 million, accounting
for a slight decline compared to P$1,209 million in 2002 quarter.

- Gross profit was P$474 million in 2003 quarter compared to
P$388 million in 2002 quarter, accounting for a 22.2% increase.
Gross margin reached 39.4% in 2003 quarter (32.1% in 2002

- Operating income for 2003 quarter increased to P$320 million or
25.5% from P$255 million in 2002 quarter. Operating income on
sales was 26.6% in 2003 quarter (21.1% in 2002 quarter).

Net Sales

Net sales were similar in both quarters. The amount of P$8
million is included in 2002 quarter attributable to sales from
the farming and forestry and P$21 million attributable to sales
from Conuar, businesses which were divested during 2002 fiscal
year. In 2003 quarter, the price of the main commodities
significantly increased as a result of the crude oil price rise
and also reflecting the alignment of domestic prices with export
reference prices in the local market which could not be reflected
in 2002 quarter. The 18.2% drop in crude oil and natural gas
sales volumes as a result of the restrictive investment policy
implemented during the previous year and the Venezuelan Oil
Strike offset such increase in prices. Sales for the Refining
business segment increased P$137 million, and sales for the
Petrochemicals and Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
business segments increased P$87 million and P$28 million,
respectively. In contrast, and as a consequence of the limited
possibilities to negotiate an increase in prices under the terms
of the Public Emergency Law, sales for the Electricity business
segment decreased P$36 million.

Intersegment eliminations in 2003 quarter include 91%
attributable to oil sales to the Refining business segment and 7%
attributable to sales by the Refining business segment.

Gross Profit

Gross profit in 2003 fiscal year increased P$86 million to P$474
million, mainly as a result of the increase in the main
commodities marketing margins in terms of pesos. In addition, a
significant increase was recorded in gross profit for the Oil and
Gas Exploration and Production (P$98 million), Refining (P$ 10
million) and Petrochemicals (P$ 25 million) business segments.
The 2002 quarter includes a P$12 million loss in the business
elimination line attributable to gross profit from the farming
and forestry activities, and a P$13 million gain attributable to
gross profit from Conuar, which businesses were divested during
2002 fiscal year.

Administrative and selling expenses

- Administrative and selling expenses include charges for
Affiliates under joint control in the amount of P$18 million and
P$25 million for 2003 and 2002 quarters, respectively.

Excluding such charges, the ratio of administrative and selling
expenses to sales was 12.7% in 2002 quarter and 10.5% in 2003

Operating income

- The 2002 quarter includes a P$25 million loss in Corporate
Expenses attributable to operating income from the farming and
forestry activities, and a P$14 million gain attributable to
operating income from Conuar, which businesses were divested
during 2002 fiscal year.

Financial income (expense) and holding gains (losses)

The change in the accounting standards in relation to income
(loss) from conversion and translation of foreign companies'
financial statements has no retroactive effect.

Other Expenses, net

In 2003 quarter, other expenses, net are attributable to the
- P$50 million for contingencies related to the "ship or pay"
contract with OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados).

- P$27 million impairment charge to write off book value of
interest in Catriel Oeste area for valuation at net realizable

- Conversely, and considering refinancing by the Company of its
liabilities arising from the purchase of a 10% interest in
Distrilec, and that the new debt conditions are materially
different from the original ones, in terms of both debt term and
financial cost, upon refinancing the Company recognized a new
debt measured on the basis of the best possible estimate of the
discounted amount payable, generating a P$34 million gain.

The results for 2002 quarter were mainly attributable to a P$80
million gain resulting from the sale of Pecom Agra S.A.

Income Tax

The income tax provision accounted for a P$72 million loss from
deferred tax accounting.

General Balance Sheet

The Consolidated General Balance Sheet as of March 31, 2003,
includes the following balances from Affiliates under Joint
- Cash and Investments: P$32 million
- Fixed Assets: P$1,417 million
- Short term debt:: P$242 million
- Long term debt: P$39 million

Cash Flow Satements

Statement of Cash Flow as of March 31, 2003 includes the
following balances from Affiliates under Joint Control:
- P$24 million for depreciation
- P$13 million for acquisition of property, plant and equipment
- P$31 million for cash at beginning of period
- P$30 million for cash at end of period

Operating Income by Business Segment

Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

- Net sales for 2003 first quarter increased to P$700 million or
4.2%, mainly due to the oil sales international price increase,
partially offset by reduced sales volumes.

Restrictive investment policies implemented during 2002 to
protect operating cash flow, focused on products and countries
having higher margins, had a negative impact on production curves
since in some cases the field natural decline could not be
avoided. Moreover, during the quarter under review Oriente areas
in Venezuela (Acema, Mata, Oritupano) were significantly affected
by the National General Oil Strike and consequently restricted
operations were conducted during most part of the quarter.

Oil and gas sales volumes in 2003 quarter dropped to 143.1
thousand boe/d or 18.2%. Oil sales volumes decreased to 97.6
thousand bbl/d or 19.3% in 2003 quarter. Gas sales volumes
dropped to 273.5 million cubic feet per day or 15.6 %.

In Argentina, oil sales increased to P$368 million or 11.8% in
2003 quarter. Such increase was due to a 24.6% sales price
increase to P$79 per barrel, partially offset by a 10.3% decrease
in sales volumes that totaled 51.7 thousand bbl/d. Such drop
mainly results from a production reduction in the Austral Basin.

Tax on exports, which had an effect on the Company's revenues as
from April 2002, accounted for a P$16 million lower revenue in
2003 quarter.
Natural gas sales revenues declined to P$32 million or 25.9%.
Daily gas sales volumes declined 17.9% to 209.1 million cubic
feet per day, mainly due to a decrease in production volumes in
the Austral Basin areas. Sales prices dropped 9.8% to P$1.71 per
thousand cubic feet. The effect of sales agreements pesification
was partially offset by dollarization of some agreements relating
to the Austral Basin.

Combined sales of oil and gas outside of Argentina totaled P$300
million in both quarters. The increase in oil sales prices, in
line with their international reference prices, was offset by a
decrease in total oil and gas sales volumes to 56.6 thousand
boe/d or 24.4%.
Oil and gas sales in Venezuela dropped to P$139 million or 26.8%
in 2003 quarter. The average price per barrel of oil equivalent
for Venezuelan total production increased to P$46.8 or 20.9%.
Daily sales volumes of oil equivalent decreased to 33.2 thousand
boe/d or 39.1%, mainly due to the National Oil General Strike in
the case of Acema, Mata and Oritupano Leona, and to the field
decline resulting from the lack of drilling and work over
activities, in the case of La Concepci˘n.

In Ecuador, during 2003 quarter, sales totaled P$25 million.
Daily oil sales volumes increased to 2.6 thousand barrels per day
at an average sale price of P$104.2 per barrel.

- Gross profit for this business segment increased 35.9% to P$371
million in 2003 quarter. Gross margin increased to 53% in 2003
quarter from 40.6% in 2002 quarter mainly as a consequence of a
rise in international sales prices, partially offset by reduced
sales volumes and the tax on oil exports imposed in Argentina.

- The ratio of administrative and selling expenses to sales was
approximately 7% for 2003 and 8% for 2002 quarter.

- Exploration expenses totaled P$13 million in 2003 quarter
mainly attributable to charges in connection with an exploratory
well located at Lote XVI in Peru that proved to be unsuccessful
and the seismic related to such well.

Hedge of Produced Crude Oil Price

The Company, as a crude oil producer, is exposed to the related
price-fluctuation risk. In such conditions, the Company uses
various derivative instruments to mitigate such risk. These
instruments use West Texas Intermediate (WTI) as reference price,
which is used mainly to determine the sale price in the market.

As of March 31, 2003, the Company has the following oil hedge
agreements structure:

(1)The transactions included are Producer Collars that provide a
coverage with a minimum price of US$20.67 and a maximum price of
US$27.19. Within such range the price floats at market value.

(2)Average prices for the year include premiums paid.

(3)Transactions included are purchased Put options that provide a
coverage with a minimum price of US$22.87 for the second half of

(4)The transactions included herein are swap options exercised by
the counterparties.

(5)The transactions included herein are sold swaptions.


- Operating income decreased to P$16 million or 33.3% in 2003
quarter, mainly due to reduced income from inventory valuation at
net realization value compared to 2002 quarter.

- Gross profit increased to P$22 million or 83.3%. Higher sales
volumes in addition to a price increase allowed to offset the
rise in crude oil cost and maintain a 7% gross margin on sales
for both quarters.

In 2003 quarter, express initiatives of the Argentine Government
could curb the passing through of the increase in crude oil costs
to sales prices. Crude oil average international reference price
rose 57.9% to 34 US$/bbl from 21.56 US$/bbl in 2002 quarter. In
order to mitigate the impact on prices, in January 2003
Resolution 85/03 was adopted and served to ratify the agreement
(effective as from January 1, 2003 for an initial pre-established
three-month term) signed by Producers and Refineries at the
Federal Executive's request, aimed at seeking stability of crude
oil, gasoline and diesel oil prices. Such agreement provided that
crude oil deliveries from Producers to Refineries should be
billed and paid based on a WTI reference price of 28.5 US$/bbl.
Any positive or negative difference between the actual WTI and
the reference price should be paid out of balances resulting from
a WTI lower than 28.5 US$/bbl. Refineries, in turn, committed
themselves to reflect the reference crude oil price in the prices
offered by them to the domestic market.

In line with the strategy designed to maximize product
contribution margins implying the optimization of crude oil
processed, crude oil processed increased to 28,405 bbl/day or 34%
during 2003 quarter.

- Net sales of refinery products increased to P$310 million or
79% in 2003 quarter mainly boosted by increased prices and sales
volumes. Average sales prices for diesel oil, heavy products,
benzene, gasolines, paraffins and asphalts increased 46%, 57%,
68%, 55%, 46% and 74%, respectively. Total sales volumes
increased 19% compared to 2002 quarter mainly due to a 24%
increase in domestic market sales, while export volumes rose only

The diesel oil domestic market recorded a 4.7% recovery in 2003
quarter boosted by an increased demand in the farming sector. The
market share amounted to 4.4%, accounting for a 25% increase
compared to 2002 quarter. As regards gasolines, the market
recorded a 15.2% shrinkage on account of an increased consumption
of substitute fuels such as CNG. However, the market share rose
from 2.9% in 2002 quarter to 3% in 2003 quarter.


- Operating income for the Petrochemicals business segment
decreased to P$45 million or 2% in 2003 quarter due to reduced
income from inventory valuation at net realization value compared
to 2002 quarter. Such results, however, were offset by an
increase in the business segment's contribution margins.

- Gross profit rose to P$72 million or 53.2% in 2003 quarter.
Gross margin on sales increased to 23.5% in 2003 quarter from
21.5% in 2002 quarter. The styrenics business both in Argentina
and Brazil was favorably affected by higher international margins
compared to 2002 boosted by increased international prices, in
line with the rise in the international price of the supplies for
such business, and by higher sales volumes. The fertilizers
business was also favorably affected by a significant recovery in
sales volumes.

- Sales of styrenics in Argentina rose to P$127 million or 55% in
2003 quarter boosted by increased prices and sales volumes.
Comparing both quarters, styrene and polystyrene prices increased
approximately 49% and 40%, respectively, reflecting not only the
increase in the international reference prices that rose 58% and
53%, respectively, but also the effect of passing through higher
costs (mainly imported supplies) and increased export prices.
Regarding synthetic rubber, the average price increased 14%
compared to 2002 quarter.

Sales volumes during 2003 quarter were 26% higher compared to
2002 quarter, mainly due to a 46% increase in domestic sales in
line with the domestic market recovery, while exports increased
9%. In this respect, styrene sales volumes increased an average
of 199%. Domestic sales and exports increased in turn 150% and
269%, respectively. The domestic sales increase mainly derived
from a market recovery compared to the market shrinkage in 2002
quarter, and the increased exports derived from capitalizing on
high international prices, from new sales agreements with Chilean
clients and mainly from sales to Brazil.

Regarding synthetic rubber, total sales volume increased 41%, on
account of higher exports that grew an average of 59%, mainly to
Brazil, Chile and Peru. The domestic market, in turn, recorded a
5% increase compared to 2002 quarter due to the substitution of
imports. Polystyrene sales volumes decreased 33% compared to 2002
quarter due to a 63% drop in export volumes which mainly derives
from dispatch of high-impact polystyrene to Brazil in 2002
quarter due to problems at the Innova plant.

Fertilizers sales increased to P$43 million or 30% in 2003
quarter, mainly as a result of increased sales volumes that
doubled the volumes in 2002 quarter.

Innova sales in Brazil for 2003 quarter increased to P$137
million or 18%, mainly due to improved styrene prices and
polystyrene and styrene sales volumes. Styrene average sales
price increased 29% boosted by the combined effect of the rise in
international prices, the passing through of increased supplies
costs and the revaluation of the real which allowed to improve
domestic prices in Brazil, while polystyrene sales prices
decreased 4%. Styrene and polystyrene sales volumes in the
Brazilian market increased 4.5% and 9.1%, respectively, since
clients made anticipated orders so as to protect themselves from
an expected price rise. Polystyrene export volume dropped 17.8%,
due to the business segment decision to prioritize domestic
market sales with an improved margin. The main destination of
exports was South Africa.

Marketing and Transportation


- In the first 2003 quarter, net sales of electricity generation
decreased to P$44 million or 24.1%.

Net sales attributable to Genelba Combined Cycle Power Plant
dropped to P$36 million or 26.5% in 2003 quarter, due to the
combined effect of a decrease in energy prices and reduced sales
volumes. The average price dropped 14.4% to P$32.6 per MWh in
2003 quarter, mainly as a result of the pesification of rates.
Energy delivered declined 16.3% to 1,091 GWh in 1Q03 from 1,303
GWh in the comparable 2002 quarter. This was reflected in a
decline in the plant factor to 71.5% in 2003 quarter from 90.8%
in 2002 quarter. Genelba Power Plant availability factor was
99.5% in the quarter and 94.3% in a year ago's quarter, which
evidences the excellent technical conditions of the equipment.

Net sales attributable to Pichi Pic£n Leuf£ Hydroelectric Plant,
totaled P$7 million in both periods, due to increased sales
volumes offset by lower sales prices. 1Q03 energy delivered
increased 43.5% to 24.1 GWh, in line with the high water supply
during 2003 quarter, recording a 20% increase compared to the
historical average. The average price was affected by rate
pesification and dropped to P$30.7 per MWh or 23.1%. In
accordance with the Energy Support Price Method mechanisms and as
a result of the prices recorded in both fiscal years and future
estimates, the Company recorded P$1 million and P$2 million gains
in 2003 and 2002 quarters, respectively.

- Gross profit for the generation business rose to P$12 million
in 1Q03 from P$5 million in the same quarter 2002. Gross margin
for the generation business increased to 27.3% from 8.6%, mainly
as a result of a lower purchase price in constant money of the
natural gas used as fuel in Genelba Power Plant during the
quarter under review.

Perez Companc S.A., is a leading company in an important sector
of the Argentine and Latin American industry, including oil and
gas production and transportation, refining and petrochemicals,
electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Posts Flat First Quarter Results
Telef˘nica de Argentina reported results for the January-march
quarter with an almost zero operating profit

* The net profit (564 million pesos) is exclusively explained as
a consequence of the revaluation of the peso versus dollar during
the period.

* Since January 1, 2002, Telef˘nica de Argentina has recorded a
net loss of approximately $ 2.9 billion pesos and a decrease of
63% (in dollars) in its Net Worth.

On Monday, Telef˘nica de Argentina S.A., the business line for
basic and public phone service and Internet access of Grupo
Telef˘nica in the country, submitted to the Buenos Aires Stock
Exchange its profit and loss statement for the quarter ended
March 31. The report shows a net profit of $ 564 million, which
is exclusively explained due to the revaluation of the peso
versus the dollar during the period. Meanwhile operating profit
(the balance between the operating income and disbursement) was a
modest loss of $ 4 million, due to pesification and the freezing
of its rates, the increase of the domestic prices as a
consequence of inflation, devaluation and depreciation.

The net profit reported is the result of the revaluation of the
peso versus the dollar amounting to more than 11%, when the
dollar price decreased from $ 3.37 per US dollar as of December
31, 2002 to $ 2.98 per US dollar at March 31, 2003. This
revaluation of the peso generated a net profit pursuant to the
exchange difference of $ 708 million, which was partially offset
by financial interests totaling $ 119 million and the
exploitation a $4million operating loss.

The exchange difference results in a negative consolidated net
position in foreign currency (assets less liabilities in foreign
currency of approximately USD $1.7 billion), which is the result
of the indebtedness in foreign currency when compared to the
assets mostly stated in local currency.

The negative effect of the peso devaluation, net of inflation,
has been a loss of $ 1.8 billion during the last five quarters
ended as at March 31, 2003. The variations in exchange rate also
had an impact on interest for indebtedness the Company has
incurred amounting to approximately an $800 million loss; this
figure is also net of the effect of inflation exposure.

Since the beginning of the deep crisis Argentina faces,
particularly since January 2002, Telefonica de Argentina has
suffered a net loss of approximately 2.9 billion pesos as a
direct consequence of the above-mentioned devaluation, as well as
inflation, pesification and the freezing of its rates.

The financial structure of the Society has dramatically changed,
going from a Net Worth of approximately USD $2.672 billion as of
March 31, 2003 to approximately USD $986 millions ($ 2.937
billions), which represents a decrease of 63% measured in then-
current dollar terms.

RELEVANT INDICATORS (values expressed in constant currency as of
February 23, 2003 in million pesos)

March 31, 2003
Net sales income: 611
Exploitation, management and marketing expenses: (615)
Exploitation (Loss) Profit: (4)
Financial  loss and profit: 591
Other loss and profit: (23)
Profit (Loss) corresponding to the period: 564

March 31,  2002
Net sales income: 1.145
Exploitation, management and marketing expenses: (949)
Exploitation (Loss) Profit: 196
Financial  loss and profit: (3.850)
Other loss and profit: 24
Profit (Loss) corresponding to the period: (3.630)

          Tucuman 1, 18th Floor, 1049
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (212) 688-6840
          Home Page:
          Carlos Fernandez-Prida Mendez Nunez, Chairman
          Paul Burton Savoldelli, Vice Chairman
          Fernando Raul Borio, Secretary

VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Increases Cash Dividend
Vintage Petroleum, Inc. announced Tuesday its board of directors
has authorized a cash dividend of four and one-half cents per
share, increasing the company's quarterly dividend rate by 13
percent. This represents the tenth increase in the company's
quarterly cash dividend rate since dividends were initiated in
1992. The company said the dividend will be paid July 1, 2003, to
stockholders of record on June 20, 2003.

Vintage Petroleum, Inc. is an independent energy company engaged
in the acquisition, exploitation, exploration and development of
oil and gas properties and the gathering and marketing of natural
gas and crude oil. Company headquarters are in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
and its common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange
under the symbol VPI.

* IMF OKs Argentine Proposal To Print Money To Stabilize Peso
The government of Argentina received permission from the
International Monetary Fund to infuse ARS4 billion into the
market to check the rapid strengthening of the Argentine peso,
reports local paper El Clarin. Argentine Economy Minister Roberto
Lavagna met with IMF officials to seek their approval to print
the money. Mr. Lavagna also presented the country's revised
economic targets for this year.

The country needs a weaker currency in order to boost exports,
and increase revenue from export taxes, according to a previous
TCR-LA report. These factors are considered to be central in
Argentina's plan for recession recovery.

The Argentine peso is currently the strongest currency among
those tracked by Bloomberg. Clarin said that the peso is at its
strongest level since its initial devaluation in January 2002.
On Monday, the peso gained another 0.5 percent on the dollar to
its current value of ARS2.76=US$1.


C&W WEST INDIES: Uncertainty Swells As Executive Resigns
Cable & Wireless (C&W) West Indies chief executive Errald Miller
resigned from his post. The move, according to a report by the
Barbados Nation, may lead to changes in the present reporting
structure of the Company, with its London head office to take
tighter control over operations in the region. C&W's Caribbean
operations account for about 33 percent of the Company's
worldwide profits.

The report, citing unnamed sources, adds that several other
senior management officials may also leave the company soon.
Officials have been tight-lipped about the events as they await
further changes in the Company's structure.

At present, C&W Jamaica chief executive Gary Barrow will now
report directly to Mr. Miller's superior: Robert Lerwill, C&W's
CEO for operations outside Britain.

The report, however, indicates that it is not clear whether the
new leaders at C&W PLc in the United Kingdom are moving to change
the process through which Mr. Miller supervised the region.

Mr. Miller's departure follows the appointment of Franciso Caio
as the new CEO of the parent company. Mr. Caio replaces Graham
Wallace who was forced out of office in January. Shareholders
were reportedly disappointed with the heavy loses at the group
during Mr. Wallace's term.

In the meantime, C&W West Indies continues its profitability as
its parent company racks up GBP4.4 billion in loses for the six
months to September last year.

CONTACT:  Cable & Wireless PLC
          124 Theobalds Road
          WC1X 8RX
          Phone:  +44 (0)20 7315 4000
          Fax:  +44 (0)20 7315 5000
          Home Page:
          Sir Ralph Robins, Non Executive Chairman
          Sir Winfried W. Bischoff, Non Executive Deputy
          Graham M. Wallace, Chief Executive
          Robert E. Lerwill, Executive Director Finance


ACESITA: Analysts Concerned Over Asian Sales, Rate Stock `Hold'
Paolo di Sora, a steel analyst for Brazilian bank Itau, is
maintaining its hold status on Acesita despite positive earnings
recently reported by the Brazilian stainless steelmaker in the
first quarter of the year. Business News Americas relates that
Acesita reported a 222% jump in net profit to BRL50.3 million
(currently US$17.3mn) in the first quarter, compared to that in
the 1Q02. Moreover, net revenue jumped from BRL302 million to
BRL541 million this quarter, while Ebitda more than tripled to
BRL151 million in the same comparison.

But given the concerns about sales in Asia and the affect that
the Sars virus could have on the Company, di Sora is keeping the
stock as a `hold.'

The Asian region accounted for 51.8% of Acesita's exports volumes
in the first quarter, and export sales totaled BRL209 million or
38.5% of total net revenue.

"In Asia we are witnessing a small drop in price in the short
term, mainly as a result of the uncertainty of Chinese demand, a
country that leads the regional steel market. The market is still
waiting for the Chinese government's approval of new imports
quotas in order to have a better idea of the behavior of the
world market," Acesita said.

Belo Horizonte-based Acesita, controlled by European steel group
Arcelor, has installed capacity of 850,000t/y of liquid steel and
is South America's only stainless steelmaker.

CONTACT:  Acesita SA
          Registered Office
          Av Joao Pinheiro, 580
          30130-180 Belo Horizonte - MG
          Tel  +55 31 3235-4211
          Fax  +55 31 3235-4300
          Valmir Marques Camilo, Chairman
          Bruno Le Forestier, Vice Chairman

EMBRATEL: Prospects Still Uncertain Despite Positive Earnings
U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley downgraded Embratel
Participacoes SA, a subsidiary of bankrupt WorldCom Inc., to
"underweight" from "equal," reports Dow Jones. The downgrade came
despite strong results revealed by Brazil's biggest long-
distance carrier. Last week, Embratel announced a BRL10.7-million
($1=BRL2.92) profit in the second quarter, compared with a
BRL36.4 million loss during the same period a year earlier. Even
so, Morgan Stanley is dubious about Embratel's prospects.

The Brazilian government is contemplating an increase in
connection costs, which may be difficult for Embratel to pass
along to its customers in the highly competitive Brazilian
telecoms market. Unlike its rivals, Embratel doesn't enjoy the
same financial leverage after recently refinancing more than half
of its total US$1.4 billion debt.

To see financial statements:

CONTACT:     Embratel Participacoes
             Silvia M.R. Pereira, (55 21) 2121-9662
             fax: (55 21) 2121-6388

EMBRATEL: New Market Demands Prompt Management Restructuring
Embratel made several changes in its management as part of a
strategy to keep up with new market demands, reports Business
News Americas.

The Company created a marketing and external affairs department,
to be headed by former regulatory affairs director Purificacion
Carpinteyro. It renamed the engineering and operations department
as "Technology and Operations," but didn't change the director,
Ivan Campagnolli Junior.

It also appointed Fred Gallart to steer the operator's corporate
accounts department and Jorge Zapata for the residential services
division. Gallart and Zapata replaced Eduardo Levy and Jose Maria
Zubiria, respectively.

NET SERVICOS: Sales, Currency Improvement Boost 1Q03 Results
Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A., (Nasdaq: NETC; Bovespa: PLIM4,
PLIM3; 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 Tuesday
its earnings results for the first quarter of 2003 (1Q03).


Net revenues totaled US$ 82.6 million, a 4.7% increase when
compared to US$ 78.9 million in the previous quarter. This
increase is due to the real appreciation, as well as to the
readjustment in monthly fees of new Pay-TV subscribers and higher
broadband, which were partially offset by the drop in the
subscribers' base in the quarter.

EBITDA totaled US$ 19.4 million, compared to a negative US$ 8.0
million in 4Q02 (positive US$ 10.8 million excluding the
consolidation of contingencies). This improvement is due to the
non-recurring provisions recorded in 4Q02, which as explained in
the 4Q02's earnings release, would not affect future results, and
the lower programming costs.

Operating Income (EBIT) was positive in US$ 4.7 million in the
1Q03 compared to a negative result of US$ 21.6 million recorded
in the previous quarter. Given the early stage of the Company's
life cycle, this result is a positive indicator of the Company's
operating viability.

Net Debt reached US$ 308.1 million in the quarter, stable in
comparison to US$ 308.2 million in 4Q02.

Net loss was US$ 12.0 million (US$ 0.01 loss per share), less
than the loss of US$ 78.4 million registered in 4Q02, as a result
of improvements in EBIT and net financial expenses.

Pay-TV ARPU increased 7.1% reaching US$ 23.53 in 1Q03 from US$
21.98 in the previous quarter. This result is due to the monthly
fees readjustment applied to new subscriptions.

Broadband ARPU was US$ 18.62 after US$ 17.71 in 4Q02, a 5.1%
increase mainly a result of an improvement in the subscribers

CONTACT:  Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A.
          Marcio Minoru Miyakava

          Lu Yuan Fang

          Web site:

VARIG: New President Refutes Reports He May Balk At Merger
The new president of Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense SA (Varig)
announced that Brazil's biggest airline aims to combine with its
rival TAM Linhas Aereas SA by October, in a move to alleviate
fears surrounding the planned merger.

Recent reports indicated that plans to combine the two companies
may not bear fruit because of resistance from the Ruben Berta
Foundation, a body representing Varig employees that owns 87% of
the airline.

But Varig's new president Roberto Macedo said, "The merger is

"We expect to have the company resulting from the merger
operating by October," Macedo said, adding he was absolutely in
favor of the merger.

Despite Macedo's comments, analysts have expressed concern that
he may oppose the merger designed to save Varig from collapse.

Under an outline of the merger drawn up by local investment bank
Banco Fator, Brazil's National Development Bank, known as BNDES,
state-run Banco do Brasil, fuel supplier BR Distribuidora and air
traffic controller Infraero would together have a 40% stake in
the new company.

TAM would hold 35%, followed by international creditors - mostly
Varig's -- with 20%, and FRB-Par the remaining 5%.

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

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

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

VESPER: Executive Steps Down, Starts Own Firm
Vesper's corporate accounts director Paula Zandomeni resigned
from her post to start her own telecommunication consultancy,
according to an article published by the Brazilian tech news
agency IT Web.

Ms. Zandomeni's company, called Invoice, will develop software to
evaluate and prioritize telecoms service modernization. She cited
"an enormous lack of professionalism" in companies' dealings with
Brazilian telecoms companies, said Business News Americas.

She mentioned that Brazilain telecoms companies have not been
able to cope with the various new services since the sector was
privatized in 1998.

The new company is located in Sao Paolo, and will open in June.
Ms. Zandomeni said that there is already three clients lined up,
but refused to name them.


AES GENER: In Talks With Potential Bidders For GasAndes Stake
AES Gener, the Chilean unit of U.S.-based power producer AES
Corp., is currently in negotiations with parties interested to
buy its stake in GasAndes. According to EFE, AES Gener hopes to
generate US$26 million in the sale of its stake in GasAndes,
owner and operator of the pipeline that supplies Argentine
natural gas to Chile. AES Gener general manager Felipe Ceron said
the Company will "most likely" sell its shares to one of the
companies that is currently producing natural gas in southern
Argentina to supply GasAndes.

The planned sale, however, is expected to encounter setbacks,
according to Argentine oil industry sources, because none of the
other owners was interested in buying.

French energy giant TotalFinaElf is GasAndes's largest
shareholder, with a 56.5 percent stake, followed by Argentina's
Compa¤ia General de Combustibles, with 17.5 percent, and Chile's
Metrogas and AES Gener, both with 13 percent stakes.

          Mariano Sanchez Fontecilla 310 Piso 3
          Santiago de Chile
          Phone: (56-2) 6868900
          Fax: (56-2) 6868991
          Home Page:
          Robert Morgan, Chief Executive
          Laurence Golborne Riveros, Chief Financial Officer

BANCO SUDAMERIS CHILE: Intesa Sells Franchise To Desarrollo
Italian financial group Intesa sold its Sudameris banking
franchise in Chile to local0 small business bank Banco del
Desarrollo, reports Business News Americas. Intesa will receive
Desarollo shares with a market value of US$30 million, equal to
16% of the Chilean bank.

Other shareholders in Desarollo include Sanpaolo IMI of Italy and
Credit Agricole, the French bank that also is a core shareholder
of Intesa. UBS Warburg advised Intesa on the transaction, which
is forecast for closure by end-July, subject to regulatory

CHILECTRA: Financial Situation Deteriorates
Chilean distributor Chilectra, a subsidiary of Chilean holding
Enersis, posted consolidated losses of CLP1 billion in the first
quarter of 2003, reversing CLP20.4 billion in profits in the same
period in the previous year, reports Business News Americas. The
Company also reported non-operating losses of CLP19.5 billion in
the period - that's 905% increase from last year, mainly because
of greater net losses from related companies. Operating profits
fell 0.93% to CLP20.7 billion, due to higher power purchases and
a fall in other operating income.

          Investor Relations:
          Ricardo Alvial
          Chief Investments & Risks Officer of Enersis
          Phone: (562) 353-4682
          Susana Rey,
          Ximena Rivas,
          Pablo Lanyi-Grunfeldt,

MADECO: Announces 10 for 1 ADR Ratio Change
Madeco S.A. ("Madeco") (NYSE ticker: MAD) announced that it will
effect the ratio change of its American Depositary Receipts
("ADRs") to shares, from 1 ADR = 10 shares to 1 ADR = 100 shares.
This ratio change is expected to be effective Monday, May 12,
2003, at market opening.

Madeco will effect this ratio change in order to increase the
market price of its ADRs, as required by the New York Stock
Exchange's listing requirements. Madeco cannot assure, however,
that it will continue to meet the exchange's listing

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

CONTACT:  Marisol Fernandez
          Investor Relations
          Voice: (56 2) 520-1380
          Fax: (56 2) 520-1545
          Web Site :

MADECO: Reduces Net Loss in the 1Q03
Chilean copper manufacturer Madeco reduced its loss in the first-
quarter of 2003 by 52% to CLP5.061 billion ($6.9 million) from a
loss of CLP10.607 billion ($14.5 million) in the same year-ago
period, reports Business News Americas. Revenue fell 5.7% to
CLP62.0 billion during the period, against last year's CLP65.8

The Company attributed the decline to lower net sales generated
by its wire and cables and aluminum profiles units, which are
down 13.3% and 6.8% respectively. This was partially offset by
increased revenue from the brass mill (up 4.0%) and flexible
packaging (7.6%) units, Madeco said.

During the first quarter, the Company completed an equity
increase of CLP51.3 billion (currently US$74.0mn) plus CLP3.72
billion in a bond capitalization process, allowing it to pay off
30% of short-term bank debt and complete a financial
restructuring. The remaining 70% of the rescheduled bank debt,
worth about US$84mn, is to be paid over seven years with three
years' grace.

As a result, total liabilities stood at CLP237 billion as of
March 31, 2003, a 14.0% decrease on CLP276 billion year-on-year.
Madeco said. This is broken down principally into CLP141 billion
in bank debt, 12.4% less than CLP160 billion a year ago, and
CLP61.9 billion in bonds, 13% down on CLP71.2 billion last year.
Of the bank debt, some CLP43.1 billion is now short term and the
remainder long term.


MINERCOL: Liquidation Looms, May Face Possible Court Challenge
The liquidation of Colombian state mining company Minercol is
fast approaching, Business News Americas indicates. According to
Carlos Fernando Forero, president of Colombia's mining industries
confederation (Cimco), the new institutional structure to
coordinate and regulate the mining industry and dismantle
Minercol should be ready in a month at the latest.

Cimco is anxiously awaiting the implementation of the reforms,
which should already have been enacted, as the organization
considers them to be one of the most important issues facing
Colombia's mining sector, Forero said.

"Congress has already approved the national development plan
which is the base for the reform and now they are in the process
of adjusting the various institutions as these modifications have
to be approved by the national planning board, the finance
ministry and so on," he said.

Meanwhile, an industry source said that the planned liquidation
of Minercol could be challenged in the courts "as presidential
powers do not cover this field."

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


BUFETE INDUSTRIAL: Creditors Demand Company's Liquidation
What once was Mexico's third largest construction company is
about to see its downfall. According to a report by South
American Business Information, Bufete Industrial is about to be
liquidated after it failed to reach an agreement with its

The Company has 1,500 creditors to whom it owes more than MXN7
billion, the report reveals. The Company's assets, estimated to
be around MXN300 million, are not even sufficient to pay the
MXN800 million it owes to its workers.

Bufete Industrial has been in a pre-bankruptcy process since
2001. The liquidation process is expected to be completed this

GRUPO TFM: Majority Stake Sale To KCS Sparks Protest
The sale of a majority stake in railroad concessionaire TFM
(Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana) to the US' Kansas City
Southern (KCS) encountered widespread opposition, according to a
report by Business News Americas. The sale, which was announced
in April, involved KCS taking a majority stake in TFM, buying out
most of the interest held by its partner, Mexico's Grupo TMM
(which will retain a 22% holding). The new entity will change its
name to "Nafta Rail".

Under the deal, Grupo TMM's land transport arm TMM Multimodal,
will receive 18 million shares of Nafta Rail (approximately 22%
of the total), as well as US$200 million in cash and a potential
incentive payment of between US$100mn-180mn. Anti-monopoly and
sector regulators must approve the transaction.

The deal sparked protests from Mexican cargo transport companies,
led by the national cargo transport chamber Canacar, who are
complaining about the "secretive manner" of the sale process.

In a public statement, Canacar president Leon Flores called on
the federal government to halt the sale process, as several
Mexican transport firms were interested in making an offer for
TFM, thereby avoiding having the rail concessionaire "fall under
foreign power."

He described the railroad sector as strategically important to
Mexico's economy and sovereignty, and that Mexican ownership
would "strengthen our independence as a nation and safeguard
national jobs."

GRUPO TMM: Extends Exchange Offers, Consent Solicitations
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE: TMM and BMV: TMM A)("Grupo TMM" or the
"Company") announced Tuesday that it has extended the expiration
date of its previously announced exchange offers and consent
solicitations for all of its outstanding 9Ğ% Senior Notes due
2003 ("2003 notes") and its 10Ĵ% Senior Notes due 2006 ("2006
notes") until midnight, New York City time, on May 13, 2003. As
of midnight, New York City time, on May 12, 2003, approximately
48.01 percent of the outstanding 2003 notes, or $84,918,000
principal amount, had been tendered and not withdrawn, and 84.59
percent of the outstanding 2006 notes, or $169,191,000 principal
amount, representing a majority of the 2006 notes, had been
tendered and not withdrawn.

As previously disclosed, the Company's 2003 notes mature on May
15, 2003. The Company does not have sufficient liquidity to pay
the 2003 notes at maturity. The Company's ability to pay any
untendered 2003 notes that remain outstanding at the completion
of the exchange offers will depend on a number of factors,
including the amount of 2003 notes that remain outstanding and
the ability of the Company to extend or renew its receivables
securitization facility or obtain additional funds. It is
unlikely that the Company will have sufficient funds to pay the
remaining untendered 2003 notes at maturity if only the minimum
level of tenders is received.

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 and
TFM's web site is 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, 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)

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.

SANLUIS CORPORACION: Fitch Affirms Ratings, Challenges Persist
Fitch Ratings is maintaining its ratings of 'B-' to the senior
secured debt obligations and 'CCC+' to the senior unsecured
obligations of SANLUIS Corporacion, S.A. de C.V. (SANLUIS). The
senior secured rating of 'B-' applies to the $268 million of bank
loans that are held by SANLUIS' operating subsidiaries and are
secured by assets, while the senior unsecured rating of 'CCC+'
applies to the $50.2 million of 8% senior notes due 2010 and
$76.2 million of 7% mandatorily convertible debentures due 2011.
The Rating Outlook for all the ratings is Stable.

Over the past year, SANLUIS' profitability margins have recovered
after significantly declining in the two quarters following the
company's default in September 2001. During the first quarter
2003, SANLUIS had an EBITDA margin of 15.9%, within its
historical range.

The completion of SANLUIS' debt restructuring process during
January 2003 was positive as it resulted in the reduction of its
debt burden by close to 25% and the lengthening of debt
maturities. In addition, cash flow has improved as a portion of
the company's debt has interest that is paid-in-kind rather than
paid in cash. The resulting improvements in its debt profile have
helped SANLUIS normalize its ongoing operations and to focus on
improving its profitability.

Nevertheless, SANLUIS continues to face a challenging operating
environment for the auto parts industry. SANLUIS, which
manufactures suspension and brake components primarily for export
to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Ford,
DaimlerChrysler and General Motors, is exposed to the cyclicality
of the United States auto industry.

Notwithstanding the recent debt reduction, SANLUIS' debt leverage
remains relatively high, with EBITDA generation of $73.6 million
over the twelve months ended March 31, 2003 to total debt at
slightly under 6.0 times (x). EBITDA/interest expense during the
first quarter of 2003 was 1.8 times (x). On a cash basis,
EBITDA/interest expense was 2.1x since interest on the 7%
mandatorily convertible debentures due 2011 is paid-in-kind and
capitalized rather than paid in cash.

SANLUIS' total debt at March 31, 2003 was $434 million and is
comprised of $38.9 million at the SANLUIS holding company level,
$126.4 million at the SISA intermediary holding company level
($50.2 million in senior notes and $76.2 million in convertible
debentures), $34 million at the brake group subsidiary level and
$234.2 million at the suspension group subsidiary level. SANLUIS
has no major capital expenditure needs over the near term. Debt
levels are expected to remain stable going forward.

SANLUIS manufactures suspension components (leaf springs, coil
springs, torsion bars, bushings and stabilizer bars) and brake
components (drums and discs). SANLUIS had $441 million in
revenues in the 12 months ended March 31, 2003. SANLUIS is a
supplier to OEMs such as Ford, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors,
Nissan, Volkswagen, and Toyota.

CONTACT:  Guido A. Chamorro +1-312-368-5473, Chicago
          Giovanna Caccialanza, CFA +1-212-908-0898, New York

Media Relations: James Jockle +1-212-908-0547, New York

SAVIA: Seminis Reports 2Q, Six Month Results
Seminis, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMNS), the world's largest developer,
producer and marketer of vegetable and fruit seeds, yesterday
reported final results for the three-month and six-month periods
ended March 28, 2003. The company released preliminary second
quarter results late last month due to filing requirements of its
majority shareholder, Savia S.A. de C.V.

Results for the three-month period ended March 28, 2003

As previously announced, net sales for the three months ended
March 28, 2003 were $159.0 million compared to $152.3 million for
the same period last year. This represents an increase of 4.4%
from the same period last year. The increase was primarily due to
increased sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as a result
of favorable exchange rate fluctuations in the region.

Gross profit increased to $101.0 million or 63.5% of sales
compared to $95.9 million or 62.9% for the same period last year.
This increase was primarily due to the successful implementation
of new pricing strategies and product mix optimization.

Operating expenses in the reported period increased by $5.2
million to $63.6 million, compared to $58.4 million for the same
period last year, an increase of 8.9%. This increase was
primarily due to an employee severance accrual as well as
increases in legal and administrative fees related to the
transaction proposed by Savia S.A. de C.V. and Fox Paine &
Company, LLC in December 2002.

Operating income for the period was $39.0 million compared to
$41.8 million for the same period last year, a decrease of $2.9
million or 6.8%. This change differs from the 3.1% or $1.2
million dollar increase highlighted in the preliminary results
published April 30, 2003 due to a reclassification of a gain
related to the divestiture of a non-core business in fiscal year
2002 that was previously classified as non-operating income.

Net income for the period was $24.0 million compared to $25.7
million during the same quarter last year. Net income available
for common shareholders was $19.4 million or $0.30 per share
compared to $21.0 million or $0.34 per share during the same
period last year.

The total outstanding syndicated bank debt as of March 28, 2003
was $223.3 million compared to $258.7 million as of March 29,
2002, a reduction of $35.4 million or 11.1%.

Seminis Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Alfonso Romo
commented: "These results are a testament to the strong
fundamentals of the Seminis business model and the financial
soundness of the company. We continue to improve our cash flow
generation capabilities while at the same time reducing our bank
debt. In fact, we continue to earn the confidence of our
creditors by meeting and exceeding our financial covenants. Our
team has a clear sense of direction, and we have focused our
attention on growing the business."

Results for the six-month period ending March 28, 2003

Total sales for the six months ended March 28, 2003 increased
3.1% to $239.6 million from $232.4 million during the same period
last year. Net seed sales reached $230.8 million during the six-
month period, an increase of 4.0% compared to $221.9 million for
the same period of last year. The increase was primarily due to
favorable currency fluctuations.

Gross profit for the period increased to 63.2%, from 62.7% for
the same period last year, partly due to the previously stated
new pricing strategies and improved product mix.

Total operating expenses for the period increased by 2.8% to

$121.6 million, from $118.3 million for the same period last
year, primarily due to the previously mentioned increase in
operating expenses during the three-month period ended March 28,

Operating income for the period decreased to $30.9 million, down
5.3% from $32.6 million for the same period last year.

Net income available to common shareholders for the period was

$3.1 million or $0.05 per share compared with a net loss
available to common shareholders of $2.9 million, or $0.05 per
share for the same period year. The increase in net income
available to shareholders was primarily due to an overall
increase in profitability as well as favorable currency.

Total outstanding syndicated bank debt was reduced by $6.4
million during the six months ended March 28, 2003.

Mr. Romo said: "With a stronger balance sheet, we can continue to
extend our reach into new markets, such as Asia, and further
consolidate our leadership position in Europe and North America.
Our R&D organization continues to drive innovations in our
industry, offering new opportunities for Seminis and the food
industry as well as healthier, more nutritious, and more
convenient products for consumers."

About Seminis

Seminis, Inc. is the largest developer, producer and marketer of
vegetable and fruit seeds in the world. The company uses seeds as
the delivery vehicle for innovative agricultural technology. Its
products are designed to reduce the need for agricultural
chemicals, increase crop yield, reduce spoilage, offer longer
shelf life, create better tasting foods and foods with better
nutritional content. Seminis has established a worldwide presence
and global distribution network that spans 150 countries and

CONTACT:  Enrique Osorio

          Patrick Turner

          Web site:


MINERA VOLCAN: VM Blasts Reports Of Planned Bid
There's no truth to reports that Votorantim Metais (VM) is
planning to make an offer for Peruvian zinc producer Volcan this
week, the metals and mining arm of Brazilian conglomerate
Votorantim said.

"Votorantim is still in the getting-to-know phase of Volcan.
There is nothing certain that a deal will be made," a company
spokesperson told Business News Americas, denying the reports
published by Sao Paulo business daily Valor Economico.

Volcan, formerly Peru's largest zinc producer until hit by
financial difficulties in the light of weak commodity prices,
said it expected a proposal to be submitted this week.

          Av Gregorio Escobedo
          710 Jesus Mara
          Lima, Peru
          Tel: +51 1 219-4000
          Fax: +51 1 261-9716
          Mr. FMG Sayan (Francisco), Chairperson


CANTV: President Slams Bond Rollover Plan Predictions
Contradicting reports, Gustavo Roosen, the president of CA
Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela SA (Cantv), said Venezuela's
largest telecommunications company is not planning to ask some
holders of its U.S. dollar-denominated debt whether they'd be
willing to extend the current January 2004 maturity.

"Our inclination is the timely payment of these debts," Roosen
said. "But we have certain limitations because we need approval
by (government exchange control commission) Cadivi ... who we are
already dealing with given we already have the money to (settle
the bonds)," local daily El Universal quoted Roosen as saying.

Dow Jones recalls that the Company has about US$100 million of
the so-called Yankee bonds coming due then, but Venezuela's
current foreign exchange shortage may force a rollover, Cantv
chief financial officer Armando Yanes said Friday.

"We're not contemplating a rollover at this time ... but we're
looking at an option to talk to some of the major holders to see
if the possibility exists," Yanes said.

As of March 31, CANTV listed US$124 million in short term debt
and US$122 million in long term debt. Cash and temporary
investments stood at US$255 million, some of which are in foreign

Before Venezuela's government blocked foreign exchange purchases
on Jan. 22, CANTV had a policy of holding around 85% of its cash

At the same time, Mr. Yanes said the Company is in talks with the
government about facilitating dollar purchases in time to settle
the maturing Yankee bonds.

Although dollars are hard to get officially in Venezuela, they
can be bought on the black market at rates ranging between
VEB2200 and VEB2500, a practice the government is working to

          Institutional Investor Relations
          Edificio CANTV, Primer Piso
          Avenida Libertador
          Caracas, Venezuela
          Phone: 58212-500-1831
          Fax: 58212-500-1828
          Web site:

PDVSA: Reformulated Gasoline Exports Back to Normal
Venezuela state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela resumes
exports of reformulated gasoline from its Paraguana refinery. A
Company spokesman told Bloomberg that a 300,000-barrel shipment
is due to be sent to the United States on Friday.

The shipment was supposed to be sent yesterday, but mechanical
problems at the tanker forced the Company to move the delivery

Last month, the Paraguana refinery exported about 3 million
barrels of premium conventional unleaded gasoline to the United
States. PdVSA said the figure is expected to be the same for this
month, plus 1 million barrels of reformulated gasoline.

The refinery had trouble restarting production of reformulated
gasoline, the report said. One of the refinery's hydro-
desulfurization units has just been restarted after being damaged
by a fire two weeks ago.

In the meantime, the real cause of the fire has not been
determined yet. There is a possibility that the blaze was not an
accident, as the Company's workers have not ended their strike
against President Hugo Chavez.

The Paraguana, which houses three other hydro-desulfurization
units is the largest refinery complex in the world.


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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * End of Transmission * * *