TCRLA_Public/030630.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Monday, June 30, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 127

                           Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: French Parent Sues Argentinean State
AHOLD: Two Brazilian Firms Team Up To Bid For Local Assets
ARIGEA: Enters Bankruptcy Following Creditor's Request
ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Seeks Reorganization
BANCO DE LA NACION: Granting Five Credit Lines This Week

GRINFA: Court Declares Bankruptcy After Creditor's Request
ORLY: Takes First Move Towards Reorganization
REFRIGERACION TECNOLOGICA: Seeks Reorganization
TITAN TELECOM: Fitch Rates Debt Securities 'C(arg)'
TRAINING CENTER: Takes First Step Towards Reorganization

* Argentina: Embarks On Another Debt-Renegotiation
* Argentina: Fitch Comments on Economic Prospects


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Enters Motion To Reject Houston, Texas Lease


B R A Z I L

ACESITA: Debt Status To Improve on Real Appreciation, Stake Sale
AES CORP.: Meeting With BNDES Didn't Take Place As Scheduled
GERDAU: To Present to the Board Proposal to Integrate Acominas
GERDAU: No Plans to Expand Capacity in North America, Says Chief


C H I L E

INVERLINK: Corfo Steps Up Efforts To Recover Stolen Money


C O L O M B I A

CHEC: Resumes Privatization Efforts


C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Audit to Kick Off July 1


E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Ecuador Prepares To Restructure Operations


M E X I C O

AZTECA HOLDINGS: Announces Amendments To The Terms Of Notes
TV AZTECA: Launches New Investor Relations Website


P A N A M A

BLADEX: Successfully Completes 22 Million Share Rights Offering


P E R U

AEROCONTINENTE: Accuses Chilean Banks of Conspiracy


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Schedules Annual Meeting For Mid-July
PDVSA: Poised to Increase Production Following Oil Discoveries

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: French Parent Sues Argentinean State
------------------------------------------------------
French Group Suez has taken legal action against the Argentinean
State.

The group, which controls Argentinean companies Aguas Argentinas,
Aguas de Santa Fe and Aguas Cordobesas, brought its case to the
'Centro Internacional para el Arreglo de Diferendos Relativos a
Inversiones (CIADI)' last April. The suit alleges the State of
breaching the 'Convenio Bilateral de protección de inversions'
agreement. The agreement, which protects investments, was signed
between France and Argentina in the 90's.

Suez's main objective of the demand is to have Ciadi reorganize
the economic situation and allow in this way exploitations to
continue.

Suez posted losses of EUR863 million (US$940 million) last year,
compared to profits of EUR2.090 million in the previous year. The
group's major losses were the result of the devaluation and
pesification that took place in Argentina.

Unconfirmed reports have it however that the Group is claiming
around US$900 million dollars, in order to cover the looses for
the three branches, Aguas Argentinas, Aguas de Santa Fe and Aguas
Cordobesas.

Meanwhile, Aguas Argentinas has been trying to negotiate with the
Government the possibility of a rise on the public rates. The
proposal given lately by the 'Comision de Renegociación' included
a 10% rise on the rates, plus an investment of US$80 million on
infrastructure buildings, which, instead of going directly to the
Company, it would be kept in a 'Fondo Fiduciario' in control of
the Estate.

Aguas Argentinas did not accept it.



AHOLD: Two Brazilian Firms Team Up To Bid For Local Assets
----------------------------------------------------------
Dutch group Royal Ahold, which earlier unveiled plans to divest
itself of assets in several South American countries, has
attracted the interest of two Brazilian companies.

According to a Valor Economico report, Brazilian retail giant
Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) and credit card
operator Credicard are teaming up to make a joint bid for Ahold's
assets in the country.

The local business daily reveals that CBD wants Bompreco, Ahold's
supermarket chain, while Credicard has its eyes on HiperCard, the
chain's credit card division. Bompreco has 119 stores in
northeastern Brazil while HiperCard is the leading credit card
issuer in the region, with 2 million clients.

Meanwhile, Carrefour and Wal-Mart, both with operations in
Brazil, are also expected to enter the race for Bompreco.


ARIGEA: Enters Bankruptcy Following Creditor's Request
-----------------------------------------------------
A request filed by Advent Medical S.A. resulted in the bankruptcy
of Arigea S.A., after a ruling by Buenos Aires Court No. 18.

Mr. Oscar Vertzman was assigned receiver, to whom creditors must
submit their claims for verification before November 13.

CONTACT:  Arigea S.A.
          6th Floor
          Talcahuano Street
          Buenos Aires

          Oscar vertzman
          1st Floor
          Bartolome Mitre Street No. 3120


ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Seeks Reorganization
---------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based company Asociacion Mutual Transporte Automotor
Amta is seeking the court's permission to start its
reorganization proceedings. According to local news portal
Infobae, the Company has submitted its motion for "concurso
preventivo" at the city's Court No. 5.


BANCO DE LA NACION: Granting Five Credit Lines This Week
--------------------------------------------------------
Banco de la Nacion, Argentina's largest bank, will grant five
different lines of credit this week, Business News Americas
reports, citing Economy minister Roberto Lavagna and Nacion
chairperson Felisa Miceli. The move is part of federally owned
Banco Nacion's decision to offer ARS500 million (US$178) worth of
new loans. The credit lines will have lower rates and longer
maturities, compared to what is currently offered in the domestic
banking sector.

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: http://www.bna.com.ar/
          Contacts:
          Enrique Olivera, President
          Adolfo Martin Prudencio Canitrot, Deputy VP


GRINFA: Court Declares Bankruptcy After Creditor's Request
----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 8 of Buenos Aires, under Dr. Gonzalez, declared car
parts company Grinfa S.A. under bankruptcy, granting a request
from Bulonera Norte S.A., said a local source. Grinfa reportedly
owes Bulonera some $8585.

Te Court assigned Mr. Alberto Francisco Romeo as receiver for the
proceedings. Creditors are advised to have their claims verified
before September 2 this year.

CONTACT:  Mr. Alberto Francisco Romeo
          5th Floor
          Parana No. 275
          Buenos Aires


ORLY: Takes First Move Towards Reorganization
---------------------------------------------
Vehicle distributor Orly S.A.C.I.F.I. filed for "concurso
preventivo", relates local news source Infobae.Com. The report
reveals that the motion was filed at the Civil and Commercial
Tribunal of Santiago del Estero.

The province's Court No. 1 assigned Mr. Eduardo A. Diaz Critelli
as receiver for the proceedings. Creditors are advised to have
their claims verified before the receiver submits the individual
reports on July 2. The general report will be submitted on August
28 this year. The informative assembly will be on August 4 next
year.


REFRIGERACION TECNOLOGICA: Seeks Reorganization
-----------------------------------------------
Freezer maker Refrigeracion Tecnologica S.A. took the first step
towards its reorganization process by filing its motion for
"concurso preventivo" at Court No. 21 of Buenos Aires, which is
under Dr. German Paez Castaneda.

Local newspaper El Cronista Comercial reveals that the Company
has stopped making debt payments since December 20 last year.

CONTACT:  Refrigeracion Tecnologica S.A.
          Av. Gaona 1295
          Buenos Aires


TITAN TELECOM: Fitch Rates Debt Securities 'C(arg)'
---------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Reisgo S.A. rates Financial Trust
Titan Telecom Personal 2000 Clase I 'C(arg)', according to the
National Securities Commission of Argentina.

The rating, which denotes that the debt security is vulnerable to
nonpayment, applies to ARS70 million of "Titulos de deuda por
valor nominal $70 millones."


TRAINING CENTER: Takes First Step Towards Reorganization
--------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 17 of Buenos Aires received a motion for "concurso
preventivo" from Training Center S.A., relates Infobae. Mr. Jose
M. Nullo was assigned as receiver for the case.

As ordered by the Court, the deadline for verification of claims
is September 2, 2003. The receiver will file the individual
report on October 14 and the general report on November 25 this
year. Creditors are called to an informative assembly on June 3,
2006.

CONTACT:  Mr. Jose M. Nullo
          Suipacha 612
          Buenos Aires


* Argentina: Embarks On Another Debt-Renegotiation
--------------------------------------------------
Argentina's government informed local pension fund managers
(AFJPs) and banks that it will re-negotiate US$26 billion worth
of debt it owed to them, Business News Americas reports citing an
article released by a local daily.

Clarin newspaper recounts that in 2001, former economy minister
Domingo Cavallo convinced the AFJPs and banks to accept a debt-
swap with longer maturities and lower interest rates, as part of
his failed efforts to avoid a debt-default.

The new bonds were later pesofied when the government of former
President Eduardo Duhalde imposed a forced devaluation last year.
The debt in question is among the few government papers in
Argentina not in default.

The paper reveals that the current plan to renegotiate the debt
includes re-dollarizing the debt again, extending the maturities
and reducing the interest rates. The plan would reportedly reduce
the final cost of the debt for the government.


* Argentina: Fitch Comments on Economic Prospects
-------------------------------------------------
Following the transition to the new government and its initial
weeks in office, Fitch Ratings is issuing a comment on the
implications for the future of Argentina's debt ratings.

The key economic challenges that Argentina should address now
that it has elected a new president include an external debt
restructuring, structural reform of public finances, generating
primary budget surpluses in excess of 4-5% of GDP, banking sector
restructuring and the enhancement of creditor rights. The interim
government of Eduardo Duhalde managed to bring about some
macroeconomic stability by implementing a short-term economic
program and negotiating a Stand-by Arrangement with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), designed to cover all
obligations coming due to international financial institutions
through August 2003. But, a new IMF agreement will be needed
after August 2003, not least to cover heavy rollovers to the
multilaterals later this year.

The Argentine economy has reached a turning point, with a
resumption of GDP growth (albeit from a low base in 2002), an
expansion of the current account surplus, a strengthening of the
peso and a decline in inflation. Yet the scope of Argentina's
problems is large. The degree of debt relief needed on the
external bonds to ensure Argentina's ability to service its
multilateral and domestic obligations may be so large that it may
prove difficult to induce foreign bondholders to participate in
an agreement in the near term. The size of the fiscal adjustment
needed to ensure debt sustainability after a debt restructuring
will likewise be challenging for the Argentine political system
to produce.

The ratings on the issuer and the relevant securities would be
raised out of the default category once the government has
restructured the defaulted instruments and has shown its
commitment to servicing these instruments according to their new
terms. Fitch will evaluate the new debt service burden within the
framework of Argentina's fiscal program, the state of the
financial system and economic growth prospects in determining the
appropriate ratings for the restructured instruments. Given the
current economic, financial and political constraints, the new
debt service profile after restructuring will be key in
determining the appropriate rating once relations have been
normalized with Argentina's external creditors. A lower interest
burden (either from lower coupons, a haircut or a combination of
both) combined with a significant grace period for amortization
could help lift the ratings out of default, but the ratings are
likely to remain in a highly speculative category for some time.
In Fitch's analysis of Argentine debt dynamics over the medium-
term, even in an optimistic scenario, debt/GDP would still be
high at 76% by the end of 2008.

CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings, New York
          Theresa Paiz Fredel 212/908-0534
          Roger M. Scher 212/908-0240
          Media Relations: Matt Burkhard 212/908-0540



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B E R M U D A
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GLOBAL CROSSING: Enters Motion To Reject Houston, Texas Lease
-------------------------------------------------------------
The GX Debtors seek authority to reject an unexpired lease of
real property located at 12245 I-45 North in Houston, Texas,
which is used as equipment storage space.

Paul M. Basta, Esq., at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, in New York,
informs the Court that after reviewing the terms of the Lease,
the GX Debtors have determined that it is of no utility or value
to them.  The GX Debtors entered into the Lease with a view
towards an expansion of their operations in line with the
generally anticipated growth of the telecommunications industry.
Instead, as a result of the downturn in the telecommunications
sector and as part of their Chapter 11 cases, the GX Debtors have
streamlined their operations.  Accordingly, the property which is
the subject of the Lease in no longer necessary to the GX
Debtors' ongoing operations.  If the Court approves the rejection
of the Lease, the GX Debtors will retain sufficient space to
continue their operations.

Mr. Basta attests that it is not in the GX Debtors' best
interests to market the Lease for sale or sublease the underlying
property because the rent due under the Lease is above current
market value.  As a result, the Lease is a cash drain on the GX
Debtors' businesses.  In consideration of the foregoing, the GX
Debtors have determined, in the exercise of their business
judgment, that it is in their best interests to reject the Lease.

Pursuant to Section 554(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, the Debtors
also seek approval of the abandonment of any personal property in
the Property.  The Property is primarily vacant, although a
minimal amount of equipment ancillary for the provision of
telecommunications services and other personal property items may
remain therein.

To the extent that the Debtors' personal property remains in the
Property, Mr. Basta assures the Court that it is of
inconsequential value and of no benefit to the estate.  To the
best of the Debtors' knowledge, none of the personal property in
the Property poses an environmental hazard.

The Debtors have determined that the personal property remaining
in the Property primarily consists of obsolete telecommunications
equipment and office materials that are of no value to the
Debtors' estates.  The Debtors submit the abandonment of any
personal property currently remaining in the Property should be
effective as of the date rejection of the Lease is effective in
accordance with the order approving this Motion.

The Debtors also ask that all proofs of claim relating to the
rejection of the Lease and the abandonment of the personal
property will only be considered appropriately and timely filed
if actually received no later than 5:00 p.m. prevailing Eastern
Time on that day that is 30 days after entry of the order
granting the relief requested by either:

     (i) mailing the original proof of claim to Global Crossing
         Claims Processing, c/o United States Bankruptcy Court
         for the Southern District of New York, P.O. Box 5014,
         One Bowling Green, New York, New York 10274-5014; or

    (ii) delivering the original proof of claim by messenger or
         overnight courier to Global Crossing Claims Processing,
         c/o United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
         District of New York, One Bowling Green, New York, New
         York 10004-1408. (Global Crossing Bankruptcy News, Issue
         No. 42; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
         609/392-0900)



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

ACESITA: Debt Status To Improve on Real Appreciation, Stake Sale
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian stainless steelmaker Acesita expects to see a
significant improvement in its debt status following the
appreciation of the local currency, the real, against the dollar,
and the sale of its stake in Vitoria-based flat steelmaker CST,
reports Business News Americas, citing a company executive.

Acesita CFO Gilberto Audelino revealed that the sale, which was
finalized on April 24, resulted in cash inflow of US$162 million.
The funds were used to pay off a BRL135-million (currently
US$47mn) loan from federal development bank BNDES and buyback 92%
of a debenture issue of BRL425 million made in December last
year, the official added.

As a result of the operations, the Company's net debt is expected
to fall from US$670 million in the first quarter to US$508
million in the second quarter.

However, the Company expects to see a deterioration in its
operational performance this second quarter compared to the
previous quarter because the prices of stainless steel products
have fallen on international markets over the last three months.
Export volumes, also dropped because of the Sars virus in China
and sluggish demand in the US and Europe, Audelino said.

In addition, Acesita also faced problems during the quarter with
supplies of gas to its mill in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
state, which affected production.

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
          Centro
          30130-180 Belo Horizonte - MG
          Brazil
          Tel  +55 31 3235-4211
          Fax  +55 31 3235-4300
          Web  http://www.acesita.com.br
          Contacts:
          Valmir Marques Camilo, Chairman
          Bruno Le Forestier, Vice Chairman


AES CORP.: Meeting With BNDES Didn't Take Place As Scheduled
------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's development bank BNDES and executives from AES Corp.
didn't meet on Thursday as scheduled, the former announced
without revealing details about a new meeting.

Dow Jones recalls that a meeting between the two sides had been
scheduled for Thursday to discuss a rescheduling proposal for the
U.S. power group's US$1.2 billion in debt with the federally
controlled bank.

AES took out US$1.2 billion in loans to buy local electricity
distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana in 1998, but has defaulted
on several payments this year.

AES and BNDES have been trying since January to reach an
agreement on a debt-rescheduling plan, but so far AES hasn't
offered any payment on nearly US$750 million in overdue debt.
BNDES refuses to negotiate the lengthening of the power company's
debt if AES doesn't offer payment of overdue debt.

Recently, BNDES said it posted a loss of BRL1.06 billion
($1=BRL2.86) in the four months to April this year as provisions
for defaulted loan payments by AES weighed on the bank's bottom
line. The loss results from provisions of BRL686 million the bank
had to make because of AES' defaulted loan payments.

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


GERDAU: To Present to the Board Proposal to Integrate Acominas
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian long steelmaker Gerdau will present to its board within
60 days a proposal to integrate Ouro Branco-based long
steelmaking subsidiary Acominas, Business News Americas reports,
citing Osvaldo Schirmer, the Porto Alegre-based company's
investor relations chief.

"We hope to have board approval and the plan implemented in the
third quarter," the Company official said.

Schirmer did not provide any details about how much money could
be saved on the possible merger options, "but we will have
operational, administrative and tax gains," he said.

Gerdau increased its share in Acominas to 79% last October after
exercising its option to buy the 24.8% stake held by Singapore's
NatSteel.

The Gerdau group operates 23 plants in Brazil, the US, Canada,
Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. It is the largest long steel
producer in the Americas with installed capacity of 14Mt/y.


GERDAU: No Plans to Expand Capacity in North America, Says Chief
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau investor relations chief Osvaldo Schirmer said the Company
will not be expanding operations in North America. Instead, it
will consolidate all the group's North American interests into
its subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel, formed after taking over
Canada's Co-Steel last year, relates Business News Americas.

"We don't intend to expand capacity in North America. We have a
lot of work and space to improve operations from the merger with
Co-Steel," Schirmer said.

Gerdau Ameristeel has 11 units in Canada and the United States
with total installed capacity of 6.4Mt/y, but output is currently
running at the rate of only 4.5Mt/y. The Company official said
the group still plans to obtain US$22 million in synergies by
year-end that were announced at the time of the Co-Steel merger
last October.

Gerdau Ameristeel's recent debt issues, amounting to US$755
million in bonds and credits, were for extending loan repayments
that had become short-term as a result of the merger, Schirmer
said.

"Apart from rolling over debt, the operation also left us with an
additional US$100mn that will give us a cushion of liquidity,"
Schirmer said.



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

INVERLINK: Corfo Steps Up Efforts To Recover Stolen Money
---------------------------------------------------------
Chilean government development agency Corfo moved a step forward
in its bid to recoup US$90 million of funds allegedly stolen by
local financial services holding Inverlink.

Business News Americas reports that the agency has hired US top
lawyer firm Greenberg Traurig, who was a legal consultant for
George Bush in his presidential campaign, to aid in its search
for the stolen funds.

Earlier, Corfo has hired US fraud specialist Kroll to help its
search for part of the stolen US$90-million it believes was
stashed in the US.

But according to Corfo executive VP Oscar Landerretche, the
search and investigation in the US has to comply with US legal
norms and therefore Corfo opted to hire a highly respected law
firm.

Inverlink went into receivership in March after authorities
uncovered a web of fraud and espionage. Inverlink executives
stand accused of spying on the central bank, stealing funds from
Corfo, and engaging in illegal transactions between group
subsidiaries.



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

CHEC: Resumes Privatization Efforts
-----------------------------------
Colombia's Caldas department utility Chec hired UK investment
bank NM Rothschild as it proceeds with its privatization efforts.

Citing company CEO Hugo Velez, Business News Americas reports
that the utility has been trying for two years to raise private
capital to solve its financial problems but has been hampered by
delays over publishing the rate adjustments.

On Tuesday, however, the power regulator Creg published five-year
power rate adjustments. Shortly after that, the utility took a
step forward in its privatization efforts by hiring NM
Rothschild. The investment bank will calculate cash flows and the
value of Chec based on the new tariffs, Velez said, adding that
the report should be ready in 45 days.

Chec shareholders, which include the Colombian government, the
Caldas department government and the Manizales municipal
government, would like an investor to take 56% of Chec shares in
return for paying down debt.

In May, President Alvaro Uribe said the central government would
pay off Chec's US$18 million foreign debts, after already having
paid US$15 million.

Based on the government's commitment to pay down debt and the new
tariffs, the two parties will be able to negotiate the price of
Chec shares, Velez said. Chec would use part of the proceeds from
the sale to pay off about COP17 billion (today US$6mn) of Chec's
COP45-billion domestic debt.

It would also use some of the proceeds to try and buy out its
partner in the 50MW Termodorada thermo plant, to escape a power
purchase agreement (PPA) that is draining the Company of cash.



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================

ICE: Audit to Kick Off July 1
-----------------------------
An audit of Costa Rica's state-run electric power company and
telecom monopoly ICE will commence Tuesday, July 1, according to
Business News Americas.

The special technical committee, which will conduct the audit,
consists of former planning minister Leonardo Garnier, former
finance minister Carlos Munoz and Leonel Fonseca, former head of
the public services regulator Aresep.

The ICE board also named consumer defense representative Jose
Manuel Echandi and San Jose archbishop Hugo Barrantes as
committee members, given their involvement as negotiators in
strikes during May.

For an element of balance, ICE will be represented on the
committee by Teofilo de la Torre.

The committee will spend the next three months analyzing ICE's
accounts to see if they are based on conflicting accounting
methods and to determine once and for all if the company is
profitable or not.

The decision to convene an audit committee was one of the factors
that brought an end to May's 20-day strike, lodged by workers,
claiming that the government had not kept its February 16 promise
to allow a US$100 million bond issue.

Already, the central bank has approved a US$40 million debt issue
and is running a parallel study to determine whether ICE can
issue a further US$60 million in debt, reveals Business News
Americas.



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

PETROECUADOR: Ecuador Prepares To Restructure Operations
--------------------------------------------------------
The Ecuadorian government is seeking to overhaul operations at
Petroecuador in order to avert a collapse at the state-run oil
company, indicates Dow Jones.

As part of the planned restructuring, the government formed a
team led by Economy Minister Mauricio Pozo, and consists of the
International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American
Development Bank and Andean Development Corp. The formation of
the team has paved the way for an audit of the company, which is
to be carried out by an international firm.

The audit seeks to determine the state of deterioration of the
local oil industry and its impact on the domestic economy. The
study will be vital in the process to implement radical changes
in the country's oil policies, allowing for a sustained increase
in output. The government hopes to push reforms to the country's
hydrocarbons law through Congress by September.

Former energy minister Fernando Santos, who is serving as a
consultant for the government on the process to reform the oil
sector, said that the new law would be submitted to Congress in
mid-July.

According to Pozo, without radical changes in energy policy,
Petroecuador will collapse because the government doesn't have
the resources to compensate for the constant decline in oil
production.

Petroecuador, which has seen its annual production levels fall 6%
over the past four years, according to a report from the World
Bank, is estimated to be in need of about US$1.5 billion in
investments.

McDonald Benjamin, the World Bank's representative in Ecuador,
says the situation currently facing Ecuador is worrisome, given
the importance that production and exports of crude oil have on
the country's economy and on the government's budget.



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

AZTECA HOLDINGS: Announces Amendments To The Terms Of Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------
Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V., the controlling shareholder of TV
Azteca (NYSE: TZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish-
language television programming in the world, announced on
Thursday that it had amended the terms of its new Senior
Amortizing Notes that are being offered in exchange for its
outstanding 10-1/2% Senior Secured Notes due 2003 or its
outstanding 10-3/4% Senior Secured Amortizing Notes due 2008.

Azteca Holdings has increased the annual interest rate payable on
the new notes from 11-1/2% to 12-1/4% and has changed the
maturity date of the new notes from June 15, 2009 to June 15,
2008. In addition, Azteca Holdings has amended the schedule upon
which the new notes will be amortized. Each US$1,000 in principal
amount of the new notes will now be amortized on the following
schedule:

                           June 15, 2005  US$250.00
                           June 15, 2006  US$250.00
                           June 15, 2007  US$250.00
                           June 15, 2008  US$250.00
                          (maturity date)

The expiration date of the exchange offers will remain July 11,
2003, unless extended by Azteca Holdings. The exchange offers are
anticipated to close on or about July 14, 2003.

This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance
with Rule 135c under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the
"Securities Act"). The new 12-1/4% notes being offered have not
been registered under the Securities Act and until the
registration of the new 12-1/4% notes becomes effective, the new
12-1/4% notes may not be offered or sold in the United States
absent registration or an applicable exemption from the
registration requirement.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of an offer to buy the new 12-1/4% notes, nor shall
there be any sale of the new 12-1/4% notes 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 are being made pursuant to an Offering
Memorandum dated June 12, 2003, a Supplement to the Offering
Memorandum dated June 26, 2003 and the related Letters of
Transmittal, which more fully set forth the terms and conditions
of the exchange offers.

Company Profile

Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V. is a holding company whose
principal asset is 55% of the capital stock of TV Azteca.

TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish language
television programming in the world, operating two national
television networks in Mexico, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through
more than 300 owned and operated stations across the country. TV
Azteca affiliates include Azteca America, operator of 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 Todito.com, an Internet portal
for North American Spanish speakers.

CONTACT:  Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V.
          Diego Foyo
          Phone: +011-5255-3099-1333
          Email: hoyo@tvazteca.com.mx/
          Home Page: http://www.tvazteca.com.mx


TV AZTECA: Launches New Investor Relations Website
--------------------------------------------------
TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: TZA; BMV: TVAZTCA), one of the two
largest producers of Spanish- language television programming in
the world, announced on Thursday that it has launched a totally
redesigned website to further improve communication with the
financial community at www.irtvazteca.com.

A key feature of the website is an enhanced Q&A section to
address current investor concerns about TV Azteca. The section
will be updated as required to reflect current market issues.

In addition the site contains a simple redesigned format that
includes: extensive stock and bond data, press coverage, company
structure and organization, a description of business units,
including all distribution channels, and much more.

"We are very pleased to launch our new investor and corporate Web
page," said Bruno Rangel, Director of Investor Relations at TV
Azteca. "I have no doubt that the site will become a privileged
communications tool with the financial community."

We encourage you to visit the new site at: www.irtvazteca.com

Company Profile

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



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P A N A M A
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BLADEX: Successfully Completes 22 Million Share Rights Offering
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bladex (NYSE: BLX) announced Thursday the final results of its
rights-offering based capital raising, which concluded last
Friday, June 20, 2003. Following an over- subscription of the
issue that resulted in subscriptions for a total of 23.2 million
common shares, the entire 22 million issue of new shares was
subscribed by shareholders of record at June 2, 2003 at the $6.68
per-share price announced on Wednesday, June 18, 2003. Total
proceeds of the capitalization will amount to $146,960,000.
Bladex chose to offer 22 million shares in order to provide a
cushion so that if Bladex's share price declined substantially,
it would be still able to raise its target of $100 million.

Commenting on the results of the capitalization, Mr. Jose
Castaneda, Chief Executive Officer of Bladex, said: "We are
extremely gratified by our shareholders' response to our business
case for additional capital. The overwhelming success of our
offering represents a strong vote of confidence in Bladex's
business model and franchise. We are also encouraged by the clear
demonstration of Bladex's ability to attract new capital from
current shareholders, in spite of the remaining uncertainties in
our region and in the financial markets in general.

"The success of the Rights Offering confirmed the strength of our
unique shareholding structure, as well as the value assigned to
Bladex's mission by multilateral organizations. Our main public
sector shareholders, together with Multilateral Organizations
such as the IFC, formed the Core Support Group, which insured the
success of the transaction by backing it with more than $100
million in commitments to make up for any shortfalls in demand.
We are especially grateful to the many people in Governments,
Government Institutions, and Multilateral Agencies who were
instrumental in forming the Core Support Group in the midst of
the challenging conditions faced by Latin America, Bladex and the
market during the ten months that we worked on the project.

"As a company and as individuals, the Board and the management of
Bladex are looking forward to responding to and exceeding our
shareholders' expectations, while continuing to fulfill our
critical mission of providing dependable, first rate trade
finance services to our clients in the region," Mr. Castaneda
concluded.

Following the capitalization, Bladex's shareholding composition
will be 16.1% Class A (which enjoys certain supermajority voting
rights), 10.4% Class B, and 73.5% Class E, and the total number
of common shares outstanding will be approximately 39.3 million
shares.

For further information access our Web site on the Internet at:
www.blx.com, or call:

     Carlos Yap S.
     Senior Vice President, Finance and Performance Management
     BANCO LATINOAMERICANO DE EXPORTACIONES, S.A.
     Head Office
     Calle 50 y Aquilino de la Guardia
     Apartado 6-1497 El Dorado
     Panama City, Republic of Panama
     Tel. No. : (507) 210-8581
     Fax No. (507) 269-6333
     E-mail internet address: cyap@blx.com

             -or-

     William W. Galvin
     The Galvin Partnership
     76 Valley Road
     Cos Cob, CT 06807
     U.S.A.
     Tel. No.: (203) 618-9800
     Fax No. (203) 618-1010
     E-mail internet address: wwg@galvinpartners.com



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P E R U
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AEROCONTINENTE: Accuses Chilean Banks of Conspiracy
---------------------------------------------------
The Peruvian Aero Continente airline accused four Chilean banks
of conspiring to close its bank accounts in Chile, without
providing any clear reasons for their actions, reports South
American Business Information.

Not only that. The banks - Banco Estado de Chile, Bilbao Vizcaya,
Santander - Santiago and Banco de Chile, also denied the airline
the right to open accounts in dollars. Aero Continente, like all
airlines, needs to have current accounts in both local and
foreign currencies in order to operate and do business with
travel agencies.

Aero Continente alleges that the closing of these accounts is a
concerted attempt to impede it from doing business in Chile,
despite the fact that the Lima-Santiago flight which it operates
are covered under a bilateral agreement.

The airline has had a history of difficulties with Chilean
authorities regarding its operations in that country.



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V E N E Z U E L A
=================

PDVSA: Schedules Annual Meeting For Mid-July
--------------------------------------------
Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA will hold its annual meeting
in mid-July at which it will present the financial situation of
the industry as well as new projects in Venezuela and in foreign
countries, Venpres reports, citing energy and mines minister
Rafael Ramirez.

At the same meeting, PDVSA will present a report detailing the
losses that resulted from the sabotage of oil installations by
workers during the national strike in December, Ramirez said,
adding that the report will be presented to the Security Exchange
Commission (SEC).


PDVSA: Poised to Increase Production Following Oil Discoveries
--------------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA is on the road to increase its production to 5 million
barrels a day (b/d). Company president Ali Rodriguez made the
forecast in a television interview following oil discoveries in
the eastern part of the country, according to government press
agency Venpres.

"The luck is with PDVSA because we have made discoveries in the
east of the country, and that makes me think we will meet our
target to increase production to 5 million barrels a day,"
Rodriguez said.

PDVSA will maintain its crude inventories at 16.2 million
barrels, representing 40% of its storage capacity, PDVSA's
commercial and supply manager Nelson Reyes said, relates Venpres.

The amount allows PDVSA to manage its daily production and
operation of refineries without storage problems, Reyes said,
adding that it is normal for reserves to drop when exports
increase.

Reserves in the east of the country are 2.7 million barrels,
while reserves in the west are 9.9 million barrels and storage
facilities in foreign countries have 3.6 million barrels of
reserves.




               ***********


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.

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