TCRLA_Public/030516.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

          Friday, May 16, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 96



ARGENTINE COMPANIES: No Longer Face Transfer Constraints
BANCO NACION: Must Present Deposit Return Scheme By May 22
KALEI: Under Receivership
PEREZ COMPANC: S&P Comments On Approval of Petrobras' Purchase

PEREZ COMPANC: Industry Group Moves To Block Sale
RADIOCOMUNICACIONES MOVILES: Standard & Poor's Rates Bonds `raD'
REPSOL YPF: Raises Net Profit By 123% To Eu672 Million
SANCOR COOP. UNIDAS: Various Bonds Get `raD' From S&P Argentina

TASA/COINTEL/THA: Ratings Revised to 'CC'
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Creditors Likely to Hold Out for Better Offer

* Argentine Pension Fund Managers See Possible Asset Threat


C&W WEST INDIES: Another Executive Steps Down


GLOBAL CROSSING: Appoints Daniel P. O'Brien CFO - PR
SEA CONTAINERS: Announces First Quarter Results
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Continues Liability Insurance for Directors
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Former Director Denies "Fraud" Conviction
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Off Standard & Poor's Credit Watch


AES CORP.: Results Of Meeting With BNDES Still Not Disclosed
AES TIETE: Moody's Slashes Rating To Caa1


COEUR D'ALENE: Posts US$31.20 Million 1Q03 Net Loss
ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: Fitch Cuts Ratings; Outlook Stable
MANQUEHUE NET: Expects To Increase Number of ADSL Clients


* Fitch Affirms Colombia's 'BB' Rating & Negative Outlook


AZTECA HOLDINGS: Closes Exchange Offer for Notes Due 2003
CFE: Extends Bid Deadlines For Various Projects
GRUPO TMM: Extends Exchange Offers Until May 15
TELEVISORA DEL VALLE: TV Azteca Proposes To Pay Debts


PDVSA: Signs Three-Year Contract With Free Market Petroleum

* Venezuela Plans to Sell US$300 Million of Bonds Soon

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


ARGENTINE COMPANIES: No Longer Face Transfer Constraints
Through the implementation of Communication 3944 issued May 6,
2003, the Argentine Central Bank removed the last remnants of the
transfer controls imposed on Argentine entities since the end of

Now Argentine companies can transfer foreign exchange abroad to
repay principal and interest on cross-border debt without Central
Bank authorization. There are only information requirements as
companies can only service obligations reported in the mandatory
quarterly debt statements that they need to present to the
Central Bank.

In addition, companies can freely pay imports of goods and
services and remit dividends to their offshore parents. The only
effective remaining foreign-exchange control relates to the
obligation of repatriating export proceeds within 90 days.
Exporters are no longer obligated to liquidate those proceeds
through the Central Bank, though, nor do they face differential
exchange rates. Still, they do cope with higher transactional
charges related to the repatriation of the dollars, conversion
into pesos, and re-conversion into dollars to service debt, pay
imports, etc.

While the easing of the restrictions may make investors a little
more comfortable about Argentina, it does not change the
fundamental issues.

Few Argentine companies can generate the pesos needed to service
their current debt obligations without a substantial
restructuring, nor can they declare or up-stream dividends. In
this context, credit is expected to remain scarce and it is still
uncertain whether the new administration will be able to create a
confidence boost strong enough to salvage the year: internally to
boost consumption and externally to attract funding.

The uncertainties about the still pending public service tariff
renegotiation constitute an additional concern. On the other
hand, for those few companies with significant dollar-linked
revenues and which have demonstrated enough resilience to
navigate through 2002 maintaining a healthy performance, the
elimination of the constraints may slowly facilitate the access
to credit sources.

ANALYST:  Marta Castelli
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: (54) 114-891-2128

BANCO NACION: Must Present Deposit Return Scheme By May 22
Argentina's supreme court gave state-controlled Banco de la
Nacion until May 22 to present a scheme on how it will return
US$138 million in dollar-denominated deposits to San Luis
province, reports Infobae.

The court ordered the bank to free up the deposits, which were
frozen as part of the government's general deposits freeze in
late 2001 to halt a massive run on banks, and had given the bank
until earlier this month to file the report. The bank, however,
failed to file the report on the deadline.

In a previous report by the Wall Street Journal citing Banco de
la Nacion spokesman Guillermo Saldomando, the bank offered to
return 30% of San Luis's deposits in cash and the rest in 10-year

CONTACT:  Banco de la Nacion Argentina
          Bartolome Mitre, 326
          1036 Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54-11-4347-6000
          Fax: +54-11-4347-8078
          Home Page:
          Enrique Olivera, President
          Adolfo Martin Prudencio Canitrot, Deputy VP

KALEI: Under Receivership
The National Commercial Court under Dr. Juan Manuel Ojea Quintana
is advising creditors of Argentine company, Kalei S.A., to have
their claims verified by June 9, 2003.

The individual report will be made on July 22, while the general
report will be presented on September 16. Creditors are invited
to an informative audience on March 10, 2004.

Kalei is currently under receivership, with accountant Luiz
Ricardo Kralj, as receiver. Kalei has until March 17, 2004, to
strike a settlement with its creditors.

CONTACT:  Luis Ricardo Kralj (Receiver)
          5th Floor, Apprt.1
          No. 468 Bouchard Street
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: 4311-1973

PEREZ COMPANC: S&P Comments On Approval of Petrobras' Purchase
As expected, Pecom Energˇa S.A. (Pecom, CCC/Negative/--)
announced that the Argentine antitrust authorities approved the
purchase of a 58.62% stake of Perez Companc S.A. (Perez, not
rated) by Petrobras Participa?oes S.L., a company controlled by
Petr˘leo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras, not rated). Perez is the
controlling shareholder of Pecom. Pecom also announced its
commitment to divest its stake in Transener S.A.

Given that Petrobras announced both its intention not to commit
any capital infusions in the near term and that its controlling
influence would be exercised only through Pecom's Board of
Directors, in Standard & Poor's Ratings Services opinion, the
change of the controlling shareholder has no immediate impact on
Pecom's credit quality. Standard & Poor's will continue to
evaluate Pecom's ability to meet its obligations on a stand-alone
basis considering the capital expenditures required for growth
and the company's current capital structure. No parent support is
imputed at this time. In addition, because Standard & Poor's does
not consider Transener to be a key driver of Pecom's
profitability due to the impact of pesification over all
regulated utilities in Argentina, that announcement has no impact
on the rating or outlook either.

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

PEREZ COMPANC: Industry Group Moves To Block Sale
The approval by the Secretary for the Defense of Competition
(SDC), Argentina's anti-trust commission, on the US$1.13-billion
sale of energy conglomerate Perez Companc to Brazil's federal
energy company Petrobras was met with opposition from a workers'

Citing local newspaper El Cronista, Business News Americas
reveals that Argentina's industrial metal workers association
(Adimra) is considering legal proceedings to block the
regulator's ruling.

"We cannot accept this ruling because Petrobras has only made a
promise to divest [power transmission company Transener] and the
government did not impose any deadline or conditions to complete
the sale of its participation in Transener," Adimra's president
Manfredo Arheit said.

Adimra is opposed to the idea of selling Transener to a foreign
company because it would be unfair competition for local

"No one can assure us that Petrobras won't end up selling this
asset to another Brazilian company," Arheit said.

          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

RADIOCOMUNICACIONES MOVILES: Standard & Poor's Rates Bonds `raD'
Corporate bonds issued by Compania de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles
S.A. were given junk ratings by the Argentine arm of Standard &
Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. on Friday.

The National Securities Commission of Argentina described the
junk bonds as "Programa Global de ONs simpleas, autorizado por
AGE de fecha 26.6.97 y 23.9.97" and classified under "program."
The bonds matured early last March.

A rating of `raD' was assigned to US$350 million of the said

Based on the Company's financial health as of the end of December
2002, the rating denotes that the financial obligation may be in
payment default, or the Company may have filed for bankruptcy.
The `raD' rating is also issued then the Company fails to make
interest or principal payments even if the grace period on such
payments have not expired, except when S&P believes that payment
will be made during the grace period.

REPSOL YPF: Raises Net Profit By 123% To Eu672 Million
- Operating income rises 27% to Eu1,129 million.  In like-for-
like terms, income growth jumps 81.2%.

- Production is 6% higher at 1,002,700 million barrels of oil
equivalent per day (boepd).

- Production and reserves trebled in Trinidad & Tobago.

At Eu672 million, Repsol YPF net reported income for the first
quarter 2003 was 122.5% higher than in the first quarter 2002.
Net adjusted income (before extraordinary and non-recurring
items, and goodwill) rose 74.7% to Eu772 million.

These results were achieved in a context of rising oil prices,
with Brent trading above $34 per barrel, that is, over $10 per
barrel higher than in the first quarter 2002, although a gradual
decline commenced in March.

In Refining, international margins showed a marked recovery,
following the upward trend initiated in the second half of 2002.
Sales margins in Marketing fell in comparison with the first
quarter 2002, mainly because of higher international product
prices,, which were not passed on to market prices.  In the
Chemical business, international margins were higher for most of
Repsol YPF products.

In this context, cash flow was Eu1,257 million, almost 9% up on
the first quarter 2002, while operating income rose 27% over the
quarter, to Eu1,129 million.  Improvement was evident in all
business areas, except gas & power, where income was mainly
affected by the change in consolidation criteria for Gas Natural
Sdg.  On like terms, that is, consolidating only 24% of Gas
Natural Sdg in both quarters, operating income would have climbed
81.2% and cash-flow 38.5%.


First quarter 2003 investments reached Eu1,410 million, 95.8%
more than the year earlier equivalent.  This increase was
essentially the result of the acquisitions made in Trinidad &
Tobago, thanks to which Repsol YPF has trebled its reserves and
production in this country. Despite the size of the investments
made in the first quarter, Repsol YPF is committed to the
investment contention policy set in place by the Company for this

Divestments in the first quarter 2003 totalled Eu112 million and
related mainly to the sale of a 6.78% stake in CLH to Oman Oil


As a result of the considerable net cash-flow of Eu1,257 million
generated, Repsol YPF financial debt at 31 March 2003 had risen
only 2.9%, to Eu7,686 million,  despite higher expenditures in
the first quarter and the Eu226 million dividend payment.  The
debt ratio stayed at 29%, much lower than the 43% level recorded
in the first quarter of last year.

This significant reduction made it possible to cut financial
expenses by 77.4%, to Eu88 million, versus Eu389 million in the
first quarter 2002.


Repsol YPF first quarter 2003 business performance in Argentina
reflects the sustained recovery of the country's economic
situation, and the stability provided by the regulatory regime
established for the oil sector.  The substantial improvement
there was driven by economic growth, stable currency exchange
rates, increasing foreign currency reserves, and lower monthly
inflation rates.

Against a backdrop of rising oil prices, upstream and downstream
companies operating in Argentina negotiated with the government
an extension of the price stability agreement until 31 May.


The Exploration & Production area posted Eu670 million in
operating income, 161,7% up on the 2002 equivalent, as a result
of higher oil prices and the improvement in gas prices in

The average Repsol YPF liquids realisation price was $28.3 per
barrel, versus. $15.3 per barrel in the first quarter 2002.
Average gas prices in Argentina were 20.9% up year-on-year,
reflecting the appreciation of the peso in the price of
Argentinean gas.

First quarter oil and gas production, at 1,002.700 barrels of oil
equivalent per day (boepd) was 6% higher than in the first
quarter 2002.  This growth is mainly attributable to the
additional 20% stake acquisition in BPRY, in Trinidad & Tobago,
which boosted throughput by 61,000 boepd.  Production also
increased in Argentina and Libya, offsetting lower production in
Spain, Dubai, Ecuador, Algeria, and Venezuela.

There were two new discoveries in Argentina this quarter, the
largest in the Neuqu,n basin, with the Loma Alta xp-9 well.

Investments in the quarter totalled Eu1,154 million, including
payment for the acquisition in Trinidad & Tobago, the price of
which is confidential.  Investments in exploration and
development activities were slightly lower than in the same
quarter last year and focused on Argentina, Ecuador, Trinidad &
Tobago, and Brazil.


At Eu357 million, first quarter operating income from Refining &
Marketing activities rose 20.6% year-on-year, showing the
recovery of international refining margins and the drop in
marketing and LPG margins.  The Company's refining margin
indicator, at approximately $4.24 per barrel, was much higher
than the $1.22 per barrel a year earlier, mainly because of the
larger differential between crude oil and oil products, gasoil in
particular, as well as an increase in freights.

Total oil product sales increased 1.7% to 12.71 million tons. In
Spain, Repsol YPF total sales, at 7.5 million tons, fell 4.8% on
lower fuel-oil sales for electricity generation because of higher
rainfall levels.  Nevertheless, gasoline, gas-oil, and Kerosene
sales to our own network increased 4.6%.  In Argentina,
improvement in the country's economic situation and higher
exports boosted the Company's sales by 6.1%.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) international prices were higher in
the quarter.  Sales growth in Spain, where margins suffered a
setback, was 3.9% in the first quarter versus the same period
last year mainly because of lower temperatures in the quarter.
In Latin America, LPG sales in the first quarter were up 1.5%
year-on-year, owing to the positive performance by Peru, Chile,
and Ecuador, and the upturn in the Argentinean market.

Refining & marketing investments were Eu95 million, 13.1% more
than in the equivalent quarter last year, and were mainly spent
on refining projects, particularly the mild hydrocracker in
Puertollano and the development of piped LPG.


Chemicals operating income in the first quarter was Eu51 million
compared to a loss of Eu17 million in the first quarter 2002, and
was mainly driven by higher international margins and growth in
product sales.  Income growth in Argentina was underpinned by a
sharp increase in the production of methanol at Plaza Huincul and
of urea at Bahˇa Blanca, as well as improvement in the reference
margins for these products.

Total sales of petrochemical products were 996,000 tons, 28.5% up
year-on-year thanks to the consolidation of methanol and urea
production in Argentina, and increased sales of polypropylene
oxide/styrene monomer (OP/SM) and derivatives, and butadiene in
Spain. Base petrochemical production increased following
revamping of the Tarragona cracker, which is currently operating
at a capacity of 660,ooo tons per year.

First quarter 2003 investments in this area totalled Eu26
million, 18.8% higher than in the first quarter 2002.
Expenditure was mainly earmarked for current projects and the
upgrading of existing units.


In the first quarter 2003, operating income from the Repsol YPF
Gas & Power area was Eu63 million, 82.3% lower than the amount
recorded in the first quarter 2002.  This decrease is mainly
attributable to the partial deconsolidation of the Gas Natural
Sdg Group, the deconsolidation of Enagas, the changes introduced
in the remuneration regime for the sector in Spain, a freeze on
gas tariffs in Argentina, and the reclassification of income from
Argentinean affiliates which have been passed into the
Exploration & Production area.

Investments in the first quarter 2003, at Eu107 million, were
68.3% lower than in the equivalent quarter last year.

SANCOR COOP. UNIDAS: Various Bonds Get `raD' From S&P Argentina
Standard & Poor's International Ratings Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
assigned default ratings to corporate bonds issued by Sancor
Coop. Unidas Ltda, said the Argentine National Securities

The `raD' rating applies to US$300 million of "programa de
obligaciones negociables", which matures on April 26, 2006. This
set of bonds was classified under "program."

Some US$19 million of "Serie 2, bajo el Programa de Ons. por U$S
300 millones" also received the same junk ratings. This set of
bonds is under "series and/or class", and expires on January 27,

Lastly, bonds called "Serie 3, bajo el Programa de Ons. por U$S
300 millones" were also rated `raD'. This set, worth US$75.8
million, is also under "series and/or class" and matures on
January 27, 2004.

S&P said such ratings are given to obligations that are in
default or when the Company has filed for bankruptcy. The rating
may also be given when the obligor fails to make interest
payments on the due date, even if the grace period has not
expired. In cases where S&P has reason to believe that payment
will be made before the grace period ends, the agency may
consider not issuing an `raD' to a particular debt.

The ratings were issued on Friday, based on the Company's
finances as of December 31, 2002.

TASA/COINTEL/THA: Ratings Revised to 'CC'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Wednesday it revised the
ratings on Argentine telecom provider Telef˘nica de Argentina
S.A. (TASA) and holding companies Compa¤ˇa Internacional de
Telecomunicaciones S.A. (COINTEL) and Telef˘nica Holding de
Argentina S.A. (THA) to 'CC'. The outlook is negative.

The foreign currency ratings of TASA, COINTEL, and THA were
revised to 'CC' from 'SD' (selective default) where they were
placed on Jan. 21, 2002, reflecting the difficulties faced by
companies operating in Argentina to fulfill all their foreign
currency obligations in a timely manner due to sovereign induced

"Following the publication of Communication 3944 by the Central
Bank on May 6, 2003, foreign exchange controls are no longer a
limitation to the companies' ability to make payments to foreign
creditors," said credit analyst Ivana Recalde. "Nevertheless, the
group's liquidity is very tight.

Funding flexibility is impaired by the limited credit
availability for Argentine companies, the mismatch between peso
flows and a high dollar debt burden, and the weaker expectations
of support from its Spanish parent, Telefonica S.A. (TESA) who
directly and indirectly owns almost 100% of the three Argentine
entities," she added.

As of December 2002, aggregated debt at TASA, COINTEL, and CEI
was about US$2.8 billion, of which about US$1.6 billion matures
before December 2003 and about US$700 million matures in 2004.
Those maturities include US$1.5 billion in intercompany loans
provided by TESA or its affiliates, which are classified as
short-term debt. The pesification and freeze of tariffs after the
severe devaluation of the peso since early 2002 significantly
weakened TASA's capacity to service its debt and stream up the
dividends, which constitute its holding companies' only cash

The downgrade of the local currency corporate credit rating of
COINTEL and THA to 'CC' from 'CCC-' reflects the significant
refinancing risk faced by the group as a result of the factors
mentioned above.

TASA is one of two incumbent telephone companies in Argentina,
with approximately 55% of total lines in service. COINTEL owns
64.83% of TASA, and THA owns 50% of COINTEL. The stakes in TASA
and COINTEL are COINTEL's and THA's only significant assets. All
operations are carried out at the TASA level.

ANALYSTS:  Ivana Recalde
           Buenos Aires
           Phone: (54) 114-891-2127

           Marta Castelli
           Buenos Aires
           Phone: (54) 114-891-2128

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Creditors Likely to Hold Out for Better Offer
Improved earnings at Telecom Argentina SA, controlled by Telecom
Italia SpA and France Telecom SA, may prompt bondholders to
demand higher returns on their failed investments in the Company,
the Wall Street Journal reported.

On Monday, the Company reported a net profit of ARS907 million
($1=ARS2.775) in the first quarter of 2003, compared with a
ARS3.73-billion loss in the year-earlier period. The first
quarter results were boosted by the positive effect of the peso's
recent climb on the company's debt burden.

While the earnings may not be enough to turn the Company around
completely, it may cause creditors to hold out for a better debt-
restructuring offer, analysts said.

In its original offer, Telecom Argentina said it planned to pay
bondholders between 43.5% and 50% of the face value of the bonds
and include coupon payments. It also proposed to swap existing
debts for new ones coming due in 2008 and 2015. The interest
rates paid on the new bonds would be far lower than on the
existing paper.

Telecom Argentina defaulted on about US$3.2 billion in debt last
year, as Argentina's economic, political and financial crisis
took its toll on many of the country's leading businesses. The
75% depreciation of the peso in the first half of last year made
it very hard for the Company to keep up with its obligations.

The Company was also hit by the government's decision in early
2002 to convert utility rates from dollars into devalued pesos
and then ordered them capped.

          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Repoblica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page:
          Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109

* Argentine Pension Fund Managers See Possible Asset Threat
Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna proposed to change the
country's pension fund managers, known locally as AFJPs, to a
mixed-state private structure from being a private system.

AFJP executives fear that such a move might transfer pension
assets to the government, said Business News Americas. This might
tempt the government to use AFJP assets to pay off foreign debt.

Mr. Lavagna also claimed that the AFJPs are to blame for the
economic crisis, and proposed the ownership change.

AFJP union chief Horacio Lopez Santiso relates that the AFJPs
were "taken aback" by Mr. Lavagna's statements. AFJPs, which hold
some ARS41 billion, were surprised at the government official's
proposal to convert their "pesified" assets back into dollars.

However, sources close to the sector said that they are adopting
a wait-and-see attitude at the issue, as Mr. Lavagna's statements
may simply be aimed at winning votes for presidential candidate
Nestor Kirchner.


C&W WEST INDIES: Another Executive Steps Down
Cable & Wireless chief information officer George Brown gave up
his post, about one week after C&W West Indies chief executive
Errald Miller stepped down from office. A previous report from
the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America indicates that Mr.
Miller's resignation has created some uncertainty on the
reporting structure of C&W.

No reason was given for Mr. Brown's resignation. The Jamaica
Observer said on Wednesday that his post was reportedly
duplicated by parent company C&W PLc. Mr. Brown used to oversee
IT operations in the region. So does C&W PLc, said the report.

Meanwhile, all three C&W sections in the Caribbean are now to
report directly to C&W PLc at London.

According to a Company press release, "a review is being
undertaken by internal specialist and consultants from the
international accounting firm Deloitte and Touch,."

The statement added, "Given the broad scope of the review there
is an expectation that there will be further changes in the
organizational structure and manpower needs."

The review, commissioned by C&W PLc, started last week. The
company did not give a timeline as to when the review might be

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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Appoints Daniel P. O'Brien CFO - PR
Global Crossing announced Wednesday that Daniel P. O'Brien has
been named executive vice president and chief financial officer.
O'Brien's appointment follows a recently announced streamlining
of the executive leadership team, in which John Legere assumed
direct supervision of all operational, sales and product
development divisions.

Global Crossing also announced Wednesday that Dan J. Cohrs, its
CFO since 1998, would continue in a transitional role until the
transfer of his duties is complete.

"Dan O'Brien brings to Global Crossing's leadership team a strong
track record in strategic development and financial performance,"
commented John Legere, Global Crossing's CEO. "As we focus our
attention on the new Global Crossing that will emerge in coming
months, Dan's expertise will be instrumental in moving us toward
profitability and growth."

O'Brien brings more than twenty years of technology and finance
experience to Global Crossing. Most recently the CFO of Genuity
Corporation, O'Brien spent 17 years in various roles at GTE
Corporation. As GTE's executive vice president and CFO, O'Brien
was centrally involved in the strategic evaluations and the
integration and structuring activities leading to the merger of
GTE and Bell Atlantic, which formed Verizon.

Before joining GTE in a corporate capacity, O'Brien held several
positions with the Electrical Products Group of GTE, including
vice president and controller of GTE European Lighting in Geneva,
Switzerland. He also served in various financial and management
capacities within the manufacturing and chemical industries.
O'Brien holds a B.S. in chemistry from Boston College and an
M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

"By combining the talent of our executive leadership team, the
efficiencies we've reached during the past eighteen months, and
our unmatched global network, Global Crossing is poised for
success in the telecommunications industry," Legere continued. "I
would like to personally thank Dan Cohrs for his dedication over
the past five years at Global Crossing and for aiding us with
this transition."


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

On January 28, 2002, Global Crossing Ltd. and certain of its
subsidiaries (excluding Asia Global Crossing and its
subsidiaries) commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
(Bankruptcy Court) and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme
Court of Bermuda (Bermuda Court). On the same date, the Bermuda
Court granted an order appointing joint provisional liquidators
with the power to oversee the continuation and reorganization of
the Bermuda-incorporated companies' businesses under the control
of their boards of directors and under the supervision of the
Bankruptcy Court and the Bermuda Court. Additional Global
Crossing subsidiaries commenced Chapter 11 cases on April 23,
August 4 and August 30, 2002, with the Bermuda incorporated
subsidiaries filing coordinated insolvency proceedings in the
Bermuda Court. The administration of all the cases filed
subsequent to Global Crossing's initial filing on January 28,
2002 has been consolidated with that of the cases commenced on
January 28, 2002. Global Crossing's Plan of Reorganization, which
was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 26, 2002, does
not include a capital structure in which existing common or
preferred equity will retain any value.

On November 18, 2002, Asia Global Crossing Ltd., a majority-owned
subsidiary of Global Crossing, and its subsidiary, Asia Global
Crossing Development Co., commenced Chapter 11 cases in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda,
both of which are separate from the cases of Global Crossing.
Asia Global Crossing has announced that no recovery is expected
for Asia Global Crossing's shareholders. Asia Netcom, a company
organized by China Netcom Corporation (Hong Kong) on behalf of a
consortium of investors, has acquired substantially all of Asia
Global Crossing's operating subsidiaries except Pacific Crossing
Ltd., a majority-owned subsidiary of Asia Global Crossing that
filed separate bankruptcy proceedings on July 19, 2002. Global
Crossing no longer has control of or effective ownership in any
of the assets formerly operated by Asia Global Crossing.

Please visit for more information about
Global Crossing.

          Press Contacts
          Becky Yeamans
          Phone: + 1 973-937-0155

          Tisha Kresler
          Phone: + 1 973-937-0146

          Kendra Langlie
          Latin America
          Phone: + 1 305-808-5912

          Mish Desmidt
          Phone: + 44 (0) 7771-668438

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

SEA CONTAINERS: Announces First Quarter Results
Sea Containers Ltd. (NYSE: SCRA and SCRB,
marine container lessor, passenger and freight transport
operator, and leisure industry investor, announced on Thursday
its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003.  Net
earnings for the period were a loss of $10.3 million (loss of
$0.49 per common share) on revenue of $351 million, compared with
a loss of $6 million (loss of $0.32 per common share) on revenue
of $218 million in the prior year period.

The first quarter is traditionally loss making because of the
seasonality of the company's passenger and freight transport
business.  It is also the weakest period for marine container
leasing because of reduced consumer purchasing post Christmas and
Asian holidays which cause factory closures.  In the first
quarter of 2002 the company owned only 50% of Silja Oyj Abp while
in the first quarter of 2003 it owned 100%, thus it had to
include 100% of Silja's first quarter seasonal losses this year.

Silja's first quarter 2003 revenue was $115 million compared with
$94 million in the year earlier period.  This winter has been
exceptionally harsh with heavy ice conditions which cause fuel
consumption to rise and prevent operation of aluminium hulled
fast ferries.  Fuel costs were $3 million higher than budget in
the period due to ice and fears of disruption to world oil
supplies because of the Iraq war and Venezuelan strikes, causing
a short term spike in prices.  Oil prices have now declined back
to more normal levels and Silja is 50% hedged for the second and
third quarters at prices lower than current levels so it should
recover the overspend in the first quarter in the remainder of
the year.  (The company's other ferry operations are similarly
hedged.)  Silja also had a large passenger ship out of service
for drydocking (this work is always done in the slow first
quarter) and this caused a $1 million reduction in revenue.

Irish Sea ferry operations showed improvement over the prior year
while SeaStreak in New York had worse results due to ice
conditions which closed two of its three New Jersey ports for a
number of days.  English Channel ferries had increased losses in
the period due to the high fuel prices and the Easter holidays
falling in the second quarter while last year they fell in the
first quarter.

Profits from rail operations include an improved offer from
Network Rail to settle GNER's outstanding claims.  The parties
are still about $30 million apart.  The company has only taken to
profit the settlement offered by Network Rail which in its
opinion is still insufficient to recover GNER's loss of revenue
and other costs related to the Hatfield rail disaster which was
the fault of Network Rail's predecessor, Railtrack.

Collection of GNER's claims has been strengthened by a recent
ruling of the Rail Regulator to uphold on appeal the earlier
decision of an industry arbitration panel that "Network Change"
had occurred and hence GNER is entitled to recover the
consequences.  It is difficult to predict when the claims will be
finally settled but in the meantime GNER has withheld from track
access payments the amount it believes it is owed.

EBIT from marine container leasing continued to rise year on
year, reaching $9.9 million in the first quarter of 2003 compared
with $8.2 million in the prior year period, an increase of 21%.
Demand for used standard dry cargo containers flattened as normal
in the first quarter but has now risen to the point where GE
SeaCo is finding it very difficult to meet demand.  A shortage of
space in vessels to reposition containers to locations of demand
is contributing to the problem.  GE SeaCo is encouraging the
early return of standard dry cargo units from lessees who have
them at below current market rates so it can re-lease them at
higher rates.  The utilization of GE SeaCo's own fleet was 98% at
May 1, 2003 while utilization of the older "pool" fleet owned by
Sea Containers and General Electric Capital Corporation was 83%.
At May 1 GE SeaCo had taken delivery of 23,000 new containers in
2003 at a cost of $45 million.  Demand for new containers is very
strong and is expected to continue so.  World trade in
containerized cargoes has risen 9% year to date over the prior
year period.

Sea Containers owns 47% of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.'s equity
representing 16% of the votes.  Its minority interest in Orient-
Express Hotels first quarter losses was $1.2 million.  The Iraq
war, SARS epidemic, harsh winter, Easter falling in the second
quarter and other transitory factors influenced that company's
first quarter results.  At the end of April, Orient- Express
Hotels made a major acquisition of the Hotel Ritz in Madrid,
Spain in partnership with a local real estate investor.

The company has signed letters of commitment with three banks led
by Citigroup to provide the financing for $158 million of public
debt scheduled for redemption on July 1, 2003.  It has also
received satisfactory offers for assets to be sold, expected to
yield cash net of debt repayment of a similar amount to the bank
loan.  The bank loan is for one year and will be repaid from the
proceeds of the asset sales.

In addition, the company expects the SEC to complete shortly a
review of the company's registrations of exchange offers for its
2003 and 2004 maturing public debt.  Even if there is a
substantial take up of the exchange offers the asset sales will
still be concluded and any surplus cash will be used to reduce
other debt.

EBITDA excluding Orient-Express Hotels in the first quarter was
$41.4 million compared with $31.9 million in the year earlier

Mr James B Sherwood, President, said that he felt comfortable
with the company's outlook.  The drop in fuel prices, favorable
decision on the rail appeal, strong growth in container leasing,
expected large profits from asset sales and lower interest costs
upon the retirement of public debt would all improve the
company's profits.  He said that he expects the value of the
company's 14.4 million common shareholding in Orient-Express
Hotels to rise, and when it is sold at much higher prices than
today it would provide substantial cash for debt reduction and
new investment.  He said that the challenges of the company are
to renew its rail franchise in 2005 and to replace profits lost
from the sale of the Steam Packet Company and in this latter
connection the company is exploring several interesting

He concluded by saying that he has recently purchased for his
personal account common shares in the company.

Management believes that EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortization) is a useful measure of operating
performance, used by management and investors to help determine
the ability to service or incur indebtedness, because it is not
affected by non-operating factors such as leverage and the
historic cost of assets.  However, EBITDA does not represent cash
flow from operations as defined by U.S. generally accepted
accounting principles, is not necessarily indicative of cash
available to fund all cash flow needs and should not be
considered as an alternative to earnings from operations under
U.S. generally accepted accounting principles for purposes of
evaluating results of operations.

CONTACT:  Sea Containers Ltd.
          Patricia Harper
          Phone: +1-212-302-5066

          William W. Galvin
          Phone: +1-203-618-9800

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Continues Liability Insurance for Directors
Bermuda-based Tyco International Ltd. paid US$92 million to
continue liability insurance coverage for most of its officers
and directors, said the Associated Press. The payment was stated
in the Company's earnings release two weeks ago, but Tyco did not
provide details.

Tyco spokesman Gary Holmes said that the payment restored and
expanded liability coverage for the two years that ended March
31, 2003.

The insurance company, a unit of the Chubb Corporation, has filed
a lawsuit seeking to annul insurance coverage for 15 former or
current officers at Tyco. The report indicates that the insurer
specifically refused to honor policies covering former Tyco CEO
Dennis Kozlowski, former CFO Mark Swartz, former general counsel
Mark Belnick and former director Frank Walsh.

The mentioned officials are facing criminal charges for their
alleged misdeeds at Tyco. All of them, except Mr. Walsh, entered
pleas of not guilty.

The insurer contends that it provided the insurance coverage,
basing on misleading information from the Company.

Tyco, now under the leadership of Edward Breen, has been trying
to regain investor confidence after Mr. Kozlowski and his
colleagues were charged of grand larceny and enterprise
corruption at a Manhattan court.

          Corporate Office
          The Zurich Centre, Second Floor
          90 Pitts Bay Road
          Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda
          Phone: 441-292-8674
          Home Page:

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Former Director Denies "Fraud" Conviction
A publicist for Former Tyco International Ltd. director Frank
Walsh Jr. sent letters to Reuters and Business Week, asking them
to refrain from using the word "fraud" in future news accounts
when referring to the former executive's criminal felony
conviction in New York's state supreme court, said Reuters.

"... Mr. Walsh pleaded guilty to a violation of New York's
General Business law, which does not involve fraud," wrote
Gregory Miller of the Miller DeMartine Group. The distinction is

Mr. Walsh's lawyers contend that an agreement with Manhattan
prosecutors specifically avoided using the word when Mr. Welsh
pleaded guilty to violating Section 352 (C) subdivision 6 of the
Martin Act in December. In fact, a transcript of the proceeding
showed no mention of the word "fraud" from Mr. Walsh, his
attorneys or the prosecutors.

The Martin Act is a broadly worded law that targets securities
fraud, encompasses a wide range of criminal activities including,
"fraud, deception, concealment, suppression" while promoting the
sale of securities, for example, and obtaining property in excess
of US$250.

However, New York lawyer David J. Kaufman, reportedly an expert
on the Martin Act said it is difficult to see how such a
prosecution was not couched in fraud.

"That section of the statute is clearly an anti-fraud law. I'm at
a complete loss," said Mr. Kaufman.

Mr. Walsh, who pleaded guilty to intentionally concealing US$20
million in payments for himself and a charity, now claims that
does not mean he committed fraud, said the report.

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Off Standard & Poor's Credit Watch
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Tuesday that it affirmed
its 'BBB-'/'A-3' corporate credit ratings on Tyco International
Ltd., along with the ratings on its subsidiaries, and removed all
ratings from CreditWatch where they had been placed on Feb. 4,
2002. The action follows the establishment of intercompany
guarantees that mitigate structural subordination concerns and
takes into account Tyco's recent announcement of significant
charges and earnings restatements. The current outlook is stable.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's said that it assigned its
'BBB-' senior unsecured bank loan rating to Tyco's wholly owned
subsidiary, Tyco International Group S.A.'s $1.5 billion senior
unsecured 364-day revolving credit facility maturing in January

"The guarantees that Tyco has put in place should improve the
standing of its senior unsecured holding company creditors in the
event of a bankruptcy," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Cynthia Werneth. "With respect to the accounting matters,
Standard & Poor's does not expect the recent or potential future
charges related to accounting practices to either have a material
cash impact or affect the future viability of Tyco's businesses.
However, there is a possibility that these matters could
adversely affect investor sentiment and capital markets access or
heighten litigation risk. The current ratings and outlook
incorporate expectations of continued access to external
financing sources and manageable litigation outlays."

Standard & Poor's said that its ratings reflect Tyco's above-
average business profile characterized by leading market
positions and good geographic and industry diversity; reasonable
levels of profitability and cash flows with a substantial base of
recurring monitoring and service revenues; new corporate-level
senior management with more moderate financial policies and a
focus on internal growth; and improved liquidity.

Nevertheless, Standard & Poor's noted that certain risks remain.
These include the uncertain outcome of an ongoing SEC
investigation into Tyco's accounting practices; the possibility
of further earnings restatements, asset writedowns, or revisions
to accounting practices; potentially sizable legal, tax, and
pension liabilities; and the continuing negative effects of
economic weakness on all but the healthcare business.

Analyst:  Cynthia Werneth
          New York
          Phone: (1) 212-438-7819


AES CORP.: Results Of Meeting With BNDES Still Not Disclosed
The results of Wednesday's three-hour meeting between Brazilian
government-run development bank BNDES and officials from AES
Corp., in which the U.S. power group was expected to present a
new proposal for rescheduling its debt, is still not known.

Dow Jones recalls that AES vice president and restructuring chief
Joseph Brandt, accompanied by a U.S.-based AES director, met
earlier with BNDES's finance director, Roberto Timotheo da Costa,
at the bank's headquarters here.

The AES executives were expected to present a new deal to try and
convince BNDES to stretch out some US$1.2 billion in debts and
prevent the Company's most valuable asset here from falling back
into government hands.

BNDES said last week it would take control of power distributor
Eletropaulo Metropolitana and sell it in an auction after debt
restructuring talks with AES reached a dead end earlier this

BNDES President Carlos Lessa has said over the past few weeks
that he would rather reach an acceptable agreement with AES than
go through with the foreclosure process. But then, according to
the official, BNDES had to kick off the foreclosure process
because it needed to receive at least some form of payment from

AES continues to manage Eletropaulo in the interim - an
arrangement that is expected to continue until a restructuring
deal is worked out or another buyer enters the picture.

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

AES TIETE: Moody's Slashes Rating To Caa1
Credit rating agency Moody's cut the rating of AES Tiete
Holdings, a unit of US power company AES, to Caa1 from B2,
Business News Americas reports, adding that the rating remains
under review for possible downgrade.

Moody's is concerned that the holding will not be able to make
interest payments in December.

AES Tiete Holdings is currently unable to receive dividends from
underlying projects due to net operating losses. Cash is trapped
at these projects due to the need for regulatory approval to
allow funds to be sent to AES Tiete, Moody's said.

Secondly, the Tiete operating company has positive cash
generation but will possibly continue to post net losses due to
inflation that will legally prevent it from paying dividends to
the issuer. Tiete will not receive its annual inflation
adjustment until August.

Thirdly, Moody's said there is uncertainty as to whether there
will be additional regulatory approval to allow funds to be sent
to AES Tiete Holdings, particularly considering that other AES
subsidiaries have defaulted on obligations to national
development bank BNDES.

Moody's said there is enough cash in a Debt Service Reserve
Account to cover US$22.4 million payments due in June 2003, but
unless the reserve is topped up, the Company will not be able to
meet principal and interest payments in December.

However, withdrawals from the debt service reserve that are not
subsequently replenished by claims against OPIC insurance will
reduce the on-going protection provided by the reserve. Unless
withdrawn amounts are replenished from operating cash flow,
default is possible in December.


COEUR D'ALENE: Posts US$31.20 Million 1Q03 Net Loss
Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation posts a US$31.190 million net
loss for the first three months of this year. The company also
registers a US$28.1 million charge for exchange and retirement of
debt. If this and an accounting adjustment of US$2.3 million were
taken out of the picture, the Company's 3-month loss would only
have been US$297,000.

Meanwhile, Coeur's South American operations are giving good
results. According to the Company, its South American units are
boosting production growth, lowering cash costs and improving
cash flow, said the report.

"In addition, exploration around the mines -- Cerro Bayo in Chile
and Martha in Argentina -- are finding new high-grade reserves at
very low discovery costs, which we expect to add to overall
reserves in the second quarter," said Dennis E. Wheeler, the
mining company's chairman and chief executive.

Dow Jones said that Coeur D'Alene has essentially completed its
debt restructuring. Coeur managed to lower its debt to US$66.9
million, and restructured the bigger part of this into bonds with
longer maturities and a higher likelihood of converting into
equity prior to maturity.

CONTACT:  Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation
          Mitchell J. Krebs
          Tel: 208/769-8155

ENERSIS/ENDESA CHILE: Fitch Cuts Ratings; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings has downgraded Enersis S.A.'s (Enersis) and Empresa
Nacional de Electricidad S.A.'s (Endesa-Chile) international
local and foreign currency ratings to 'BBB-' from 'BBB+' and
removed the Rating Watch Negative. Fitch has assigned a Stable
Rating Outlook. The rating applies to both companies' senior
unsecured debt as well as the newly refinanced bank debt.

The rating action on Enersis and Endesa-Chile follows both
companies' substantial completion of their credit stabilization
strategy, as expected by Fitch. In previous press releases, Fitch
had indicated that the respective ratings would remain on Rating
Watch Negative until the companies complete the measures being
undertaken to stabilize their credit profiles, including
divesting assets, refinancing and reducing debt and increasing
equity and would likely remain in the low investment grade rating
category following successful completion of these transactions.
As a result of the recent actions and following an analysis of
the terms and conditions of the bank transaction, Fitch has
determined both companies to be appropriately placed in the 'BBB-
' international rating category with a stable outlook.

The most recent step in Enersis' and Endesa-Chile's stabilization
process has been the completion of their combined US$2.3 billion
bank refinancing as expected, which refinances all international
bank obligations due during 2003 and 2004. The new unsecured bank
facility provides a 30-month grace period, places limits on
additional indebtedness and includes excess cash flow recapture
provisions which should further result in debt reductions. The
bank facilities also require any new money financing be used to
prepay the bank debt with limited carve outs, which should not
affect the essential investment program of the companies. While
easing refinancing near-term refinancing and liquidity pressures,
the new bank facility limits financial flexibility and should
result in Enersis and Endesa-Chile refinancing this debt prior to
its scheduled maturity through local or international capital
market transactions as market conditions allow.

Both companies still face upcoming debt payments, including
US$381 million at Endesa in July and US$150 million at Enersis in
December. These payments should be adequately covered by sources
of near term liquidity including cash on hand, additional
proceeds from non-core asset sales, and operating cash flow and
eventually a bond to be issued in the Chilean local market. In
the case of Endesa-Chile, short-term financial support from
Enersis is available, if necessary.

In addition to the refinancing, the companies have also
substantially completed their asset sales program, including the
divestiture of Rio Maipo by Enersis for US$200 million and
Canutillar by Endesa-Chile for US$174 million. The companies'
balance sheets will benefit from application of these sale
proceeds, which have already been received, plus the
deconsolidation of US$375 million of total debt held at the
divested assets. The debt repayment of US$551 million, including
US$381 million of Euro medium term notes in July, the
deconsolidation of related company debt and the anticipated
conversion of US$1.3 billion of subordinated debt in May 2003
from Endesa-Spain should reduce Enersis' total consolidated debt
to US$6.7 billion from US$8.9 billion at December 2002.

The strategy should allow credit protection measures at both
companies to improve to levels consistent with the new rating.
The capitalization program should reduce debt-to-capital to 44%
for 2003 from 51% in 2002. Endesa-Chile, while not directly
benefiting from the Endesa-Spain debt conversion, should have
lower leverage from the application of asset sales proceeds to
reduce debt. Debt-to-capital at Endesa-Chile should improve to
47% in 2003 from 50% in 2002. EBITDA-to-interest ratios at
Enersis and Endesa-Chile should remain relatively stable versus
2002 at 2.5 times (x) and 2.8x, respectively, but start to show
notable improvement in 2004 as investments in the region begin to
recover. Higher financing costs associated with the refinancing
should not have a material effect on credit statistics.

The steps taken by Enersis and Endesa-Chile should provide the
companies with breathing room to refocus on their core
businesses, improve operating cash flow and create a capital
structure that better matches asset lives and prospective cash
flows. Success in this regard will be largely dependent on
increasing liquidity for Latin American issuers and improved
access to local and international capital markets by Enersis,
Endesa-Chile and some of their operating subsidiaries. Enersis
and Endesa-Chile continue to benefit from their portfolio of
assets includes financially strong companies with market
leadership positions, developing regulatory environments and
growing service territories. Operating performance in the near
term for both entities should exceed 2002 results, adjusted for
asset sales, reflecting growing demand, higher prices, favorable
hydrology and lower economic volatility primarily in Chile, but
also to some degree throughout the region, all of which supports
the assigned ratings and stable outlook.

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

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

CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings
          Jason T. Todd, 312/368-3217 (Chicago)
          Daniel R. Kastholm, CFA, 312/368-2070 (Chicago)
          Carlos Diez, +562 206-7171 (Santiago)
          James Jockle, 212/908-0547 (Media Relations/New York)

MANQUEHUE NET: Expects To Increase Number of ADSL Clients
Mario Subiabre, a top executive of Manquehue Net, revealed that
the Chilean multi-service telecoms provider expects to attract
over 10,000 ADSL clients by year-end as a result of its ongoing
network upgrade process, relates Business News Americas.

CEO Jorge Troncoso said early April he expected the Company to
increase ADSL transmission capacity by a factor of five, and
Subiabre added that Nokia was supplying full IP technology to
improve the xDSL network.

However, expansion is occurring progressively in line with
demand, so the executive could not give specific completion

Manquehue Net recently posted a 2002 net loss of CLP23.7 billion,
doubling its CLP11.7-billion loss in the previous year. According
to Troncoso, Manquehue will continue to be in the red this year,
but will turn a profit in 2004.

Manquehue Net is owned by local gas company Metrogas (25.54%),
US-based Williams Communications (23.52%), Capital Trust
(19.14%), Chile's Rabat Group (19.13%) and Xycom (12.67%). It
provides local telephony, corporate telephony, broadband and
dial-up Internet services.

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


* Fitch Affirms Colombia's 'BB' Rating & Negative Outlook
Fitch Ratings affirmed Wednesday the Republic of Colombia's long-
term foreign and local currency ratings of 'BB' and 'BBB-',
respectively. The Rating Outlook remains Negative. The short-term
foreign currency rating is 'B'.

Colombia's sovereign credit fundamentals have been deteriorating
since the recession of 1997/1998, yet the strong leadership and
ambitious agenda of President Alvaro Uribe, who took office in
August 2002, have helped to stem further weakness. The president
successfully advanced several key fiscal, labor, and pension
reforms which helped to improve public finances and domestic
confidence. Even though several of the fiscal adjustments have
begun to dampen household purchasing power through new taxes and
public sector wage freezes, and although unemployment remains
high, the president has generally sustained his initial
popularity and is now pushing for a constitutional referendum for
spending freezes and political reform. The outcome of the
referendum, and the government's ability to deliver stronger
sustained economic growth and improved security will be key
factors in determining whether Colombia has truly reached the
nadir of its credit deterioration and is repositioned for a
rebound, or whether its mounting vulnerabilities will outweigh
the considerable progress from the first five months of the
president's term.

The risks to a scenario for government debt stabilization are
considerable. Even under the government's base case scenario,
debt would continue to rise in 2003, and remain stable in 2004
before declining in 2005. Lower than expected growth and higher
than expected spending could impact fiscal outturns, however, as
they have in recent years. Declining projections for U.S. and
world growth could weigh on expectations for Colombia in the
months to come. The new course of the Colombian internal conflict
also raises new uncertainties about domestic confidence this year
and next. The dramatic contraction of the economy in Venezuela,
Colombia's second trading partner after the U.S., is another
source of potential pressure on exports and investment levels.
Finally, should the referendum fail, confidence in the fiscal
position of the government could weaken, dampening the current
mood of cautious optimism. In light of these uncertainties, many
of which will be resolved over the course of the year, Fitch
affirmed its Negative Outlook.

CONTACT:  Morgan C. Harting, CFA
          Phone: +1-212-908-0820

          Roger M. Scher
          New York

          Matt Burkhard
          New York
          Phone: +1-212-908-0540


AZTECA HOLDINGS: Closes Exchange Offer for Notes Due 2003
Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V., the controlling shareholder of TV
Azteca, S.A. de C.V., one of the two largest producers of Spanish
language television programming in the world, announced that May
13, 2003 was the official exchange date on which a total of
US$80,082,000 of new 10-3/4% Senior Secured Amortizing Notes due
2008 were exchanged for an equal amount of 10-1/2% Senior Secured
Notes due 2003. The exchanged 10-1/2% notes were then cancelled.

The supplemental indenture amending the indenture governing the
10-1/2% notes was signed on May 12, 2003, and the amendments to
the terms and conditions of the indenture governing the 10-1/2%
notes became effective on that date.

The exchange offer and consent solicitation were made pursuant to
an Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement dated
March 3, 2003, as supplemented by the Supplement to the Offering
Memorandum and Consent Solicitation dated April 25, 2003, and
pursuant to the related Letter of Transmittal and Consent, which
more fully set forth the terms and conditions of the exchange
offer and consent solicitation.

Company Profile

Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V. is a holding company whose
principal asset is 55.5% of the capital stock of TV Azteca, S.A.
de C.V.

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's affiliates include Azteca America Network, a broadcast
television network focused on the rapidly growing United States
Hispanic market; Unefon, a Mexican mobile telephony operator
focused on the mass market; and, an Internet portal
for North American Spanish speakers.

CFE: Extends Bid Deadlines For Various Projects
Mexico's state power company CFE extends the deadline for bids on
the Mexicali II thermo/solar project again. Business News
Americas reports that a lower-than-expected demand in the
national grid caused the new delay.

The Company will take advantage of the delay to make adjustments
on the wording of the bidding rules. A source close to the matter
said that the core of the project remains the same.

This time, bidding rules are available through September 19.
Economic bids will be opened on November 25, and the Company will
announce a winner on December 16. The postponement also entails
that commercial operations would be delayed by six months, to
September 2006.

The Mexicali II project will generate 198-242MW combined cycle
power, plus a 25MW solar unit. The World Bank's Global
Environmental Facility (GEF) will grant the contractor US$50
million for the solar unit through a trust fund, said the report.

The CFE will then buy the output at Mexicali II, under the terms
of a 25-year purchase agreement.

Mexicali II is at San Luis Rio Colorado in Sonora state, the
plant, excluding the solar unit, is estimates to cost about
US$150 million.

Bidding deadlines for other projects were also delayed. Deadline
for bids on the Altamira thermolelectrc project was moved to
August 14, from the original May 6 deadline.

Bidding rules on Altamira are now available through August 8, and
the CFE will open economic bids September 26 and announce a
winner on October 20. Work is set to begin on June 22, 2004, and
be completed by November 1, 2006, said the report.

The deadline for the Tuxpan V combined cycle thermoelectric
project was also postponed to July 1. The CFE postponed the
deadline as some interested companies are requesting for more

Bidding rules are now available through June 24, and the CFE will
open technical bids economic bids July 31 and announce a winner
on August 18. Work is set to begin on June 1, 2004, and be
completed by September 2006, said Business News Americas.

          Rio Rodano 14, Col. Cuauhtemoc
          06598 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5229-4400
          Fax: +52-55-5310-4614
          Home Page:
          Alfredo Elias Ayub, General Director
          Arturo Hernandez Alvarez, Director of Operations
          Francisco J. Santoyo Vargas, Director of Finance

GRUPO TMM: Extends Exchange Offers Until May 15
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE: TMM and BMV: TMM A)("Grupo TMM" or the
"Company") announced Wednesday that it has extended the
expiration date of its previously announced exchange offers and
consent solicitations for all of its outstanding 9«% Senior Notes
due 2003 ("2003 notes") and its 10¬% Senior Notes due 2006 ("2006
notes") until midnight, New York City time, on May 15, 2003. As
of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 13, 2003, approximately
48.66% of the outstanding 2003 notes, or $86,065,000 principal
amount, had been tendered and not withdrawn, and 86.14% of the
outstanding 2006 notes, or $172,286,000 principal amount,
representing a majority of the 2006 notes, had been tendered and
not withdrawn. The exchange offers are conditioned, among other
things, on at least 80%, or $141,500,000 principal amount, of the
2003 notes being properly tendered prior to the expiration date.
As previously disclosed, the Company's 2003 notes mature on May
15, 2003 and the Company does not have sufficient liquidity to
pay the 2003 notes at maturity.

The Company announced Wednesday that it has completed the sale of
its 51% interest in the TMM Ports and Terminals division to an
affiliate of its current partner in the division, SSA Mexico.
Included in the transaction were the operations currently
performed by the division at the ports of Manzanillo, Cozumel,
Veracruz and Progreso. Net proceeds from the transaction of
approximately $114 million will be used to repurchase receivables
sold to a trust under the company's existing Receivables
Securitization Facility in an amount of $31.7 million, to repay
other indebtedness and for working capital purposes.

In addition, the Company has reached an agreement with one of the
holders of certificates under its Receivables Securitization
Facility to extend approximately $49.7 million of the
certificates until June 30, 2003.

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)

TELEVISORA DEL VALLE: TV Azteca Proposes To Pay Debts
Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca SA offered to pay Televisora del
Valle de Mexico's unpaid debts, which, according to TV Azteca
lawyer Francisco Borrego, total between US$45 million and US$50
million in debt.

The figure includes US$30 million that Televisora owes TV Azteca.

The offer, however, carries a condition, says Dow Jones. TV
Azteca has conditioned that it will only cover the unpaid
obligations if it is able to exercise an option to acquire 51% of

Televisora holds the federal license for Channel 40, a small UHF
station that caters to high-income audiences. TV Azteca seized
control of the Channel 40 transmission facilities by force in
late December, seeking to impose a ruling from the Paris-based
International Court of Arbitration that said its contracts and
option to buy 51% of the channel were valid.

However, in late January, the federal government fined TV Azteca
$19,000 and removed it from the facilities. The facilities were
later returned to Channel 40.

The other creditors of Televisora include local businessman Isaac
Saba and Francisco Ibarra, who owns the Mexican radio network
Grupo ACIR. State-run export development bank Bancomext also
holds past-due debt from Televisora, linked to unpaid rent of the
station's studios in Mexico City's World Trade Center, Borrego


PDVSA: Signs Three-Year Contract With Free Market Petroleum
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PdVSA), Venezuela's state-oil
company signed a three-year agreement with New York-based Free
Market Petroleum, reports local daily El Universal.

PdVSA's contract with Free Market is worth at least US$1 billion.
El Universal indicated that the amount could reach up to US$1.4
billion. PdVSA is to supply Free Market with 55 million barrels
of crude over the stipulated three-year period.

PdVSA is seeking new customers to replace those lost during the
strike. The two-month long strike, which resulted in the
dismissal of at least 18,000 PdVSA workers, slashed the company's
production and cut off exports.

Free Market is a unit of Free Market Holdings, which has holdings
in banking, telecommunications and real estate.

* Venezuela Plans to Sell US$300 Million of Bonds Soon
Venezuela plans to sell US$300 million of bonds in a private
transaction, reports Bloomberg News, citing Alejandro Dopazo,
director of public credit at the Finance Ministry. The
transaction is reported to take place "within days."

Mr. Dopazo explained, "We're basically concentrating on private
transactions since market access is not that easy."

Benito Berber, an analyst with research firm IDEAglobal in New
York, commented, "Venezuela is definitely paying more for private
placements than they would in the market. The markets must be
closed to them and this is their only choice."

Recently, Venezuela asked their creditors to swap debt for bonds
with longer maturities, but with the same interest rate. However,
Mr. Dopazo indicates that the country may neither swap some of
its international bonds nor sell foreign bonds on the market this

The government official said that the country is planning to sell
some US$900 million of bonds this year through private sales.
About US$400 million is to be sold during the third quarter.

Mr. Dopazo refused to name the bonds' prospective buyers, and the


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

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