TCRLA_Public/030703.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Thursday, July 3, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 130



ACINDAR: BMP To Assume Brazilian Parent's Stake
AHOLD: Internal Forensic Investigations Reveal Irregularities
DIRECTV LA: Hearing Set for Raven Media's Trustee Motion
DIRECTV LA: Seeks to Extend Exclusive Period for Filing Plan
IEBA: Board Gets Shareholders OK To Extend Bankruptcy Process

PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Debenture Interest Payments Slated for July 7
TGS: Fitch Downgrades IDB A/B Loan Participation to 'DD'
TRANSENER: Must Pay or Appeal $593,000 Fine


CRP: SCOR's Exclusive Purchase Rights Extended Through July
GLOBAL CROSSING: Singaporean Bidder Granted More Time for Bid
GLOBAL CROSSING: XO Communications Comments On Court's Ruling
GLOBAL CROSSING: XO Presents Yet Another Unsolicited Offer


ENRON: South America LLC's Case Summary, 16 Unsecured Creditors
LIGHT SERVICOS: Misses $150M Debt Payment Tuesday
TELEMAR: Rate Hike Prompts UBS Equity Upgrade
VARIG-TAM: Merger Agreement May Come This Week


ENERSIS: Concludes $2B Capital Increase
TELEFONICA CTC: Regulator Snubs Chilesat's Request

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Puts D+ BFSR On Review For Downgrade
* Moody's Assigns Negative Outlook To DR's Credit Ratings


PACIFICTEL: Andinatel Receives Three Offers For Telecsa


AZTECA HOLDINGS: Crucial Bond Swap Garners Enough Subsribers
GRUPO IUSACELL: Defaults On $25M Interest Payment
GRUPO IUSACELL: Verizon Announces Effect of Stake Sale
TV AZTECA: Azteca America Network Adds Two Affiliates in Arizona

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

BWIA: Government Minister Announces First Aid Traunch Available


BANCO SURINVEST: Moody's Confirms LTFC, STFC Ratings
BNL URUGUAY: Moody's Confirms Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings


REPSOL YPF: Raises Venezuelan Oil Reserves by 8.2M Barrels

     - - - - - - - - - -


ACINDAR: BMP To Assume Brazilian Parent's Stake
Brazil's BMP Siderurgica will take control of parent Belgo-
Mineira's stake in Argentine steelmaker Acindar. The process,
according to Business News Americas, is part of the parent's move
to increase its equity stake in BMP.

Belgo-Mineira told the Sao Paulo stock market, Bovespa, that it
has increased its capital in BMP Siderurgica.

"The capital [in BMP] will be increased by 1.1bn reais [currently
US$386mn], that is, it will go to more than 1.5bn reais [in
total]," said a Belgo spokesperson.

In turn, BMP will assume control of some of Belgo's mills,
including Acindar. Furthermore, the subsidiary will take over
Belgo's mill in Juiz de Fora, a new welded mesh and truss girder
factory in Sao Paulo, distribution centers, and mini mills
Piracicaba and Vitoria.

          1609 Boulogne, San Isidro
          E. Zeballos Esq. Uruguay
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 47198500
          Fax:   +54 11 47198501
          Home Page:
          Lic. Jose I. Giraudo, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (54-11) 4 719-8674
          Fax:   (54-11) 4 719-8501 Int. 8674

          Lic. Andrea Dala, Investor Relations Officer
          Phone: (54-11) 4 719-8672
          Fax: (54-11) 4 719-8501 Int. 8672

AHOLD: Internal Forensic Investigations Reveal Irregularities
Ahold announced Tuesday that all internal forensic accounting
investigations at Ahold, its subsidiaries and its joint ventures
have been completed. The forensic accountants have identified,
for review by Ahold management and the Audit Committee of the
Supervisory Board, an approximately additional Euro 73 million of
intentional accounting irregularities related to improper
purchase accounting. Ahold may be required to reduce pre-tax
earnings by this additional amount.

The Euro 73 million excludes the pre-tax earnings reductions of
an expected USD 856 million (compared to approximately USD 880
million previously announced) related to U.S. Foodservice and
approximately USD 29 million principally related to Tops Markets
in the U.S., also previously announced. This amount also excludes
a reduction of pre-tax earnings of approximately Euro 8 million
related to Disco S.A. The investigation at Disco has identified
questionable transactions, including inaccurate documentation,
and control weaknesses.

The investigations confirmed or identified for management review
various other accounting issues and internal control weaknesses.
Ahold management and the Audit Committee are studying the
findings to assess whether additional adjustments may be required
to correct any accounting errors, and to identify needed
improvements in controls and procedures at relevant companies.

In total, all of the forensic accounting investigations found
approximately Euro 970 million of accounting irregularities that
may require adjustments in the year 2002 and restatements in one
or more prior years.

A task force reporting to the Audit Committee has been created
consisting of members of Ahold management and outside advisors.
Ahold's Internal Audit function, reporting directly to the CEO as
well as to the Audit Committee, will play a central role in this
task force. The task force will address the various accounting
practices and internal control weaknesses raised, or confirmed,
as a result of the investigations, and will oversee
implementation of required changes. It is expected that these
required changes will be implemented by the end of 2003. In
addition, Ahold has made, or is in the process of making,
personnel changes involving U.S. Foodservice, Disco, Tops and the
Ahold parent company.

As previously announced, although the forensic accounting work at
U.S. Foodservice has been completed, the internal legal
investigation at U.S. Foodservice is continuing.

With respect to the status of the Ahold 2002 audit, Ahold
announced that its auditors at all of the company's operations
have resumed audit work. Management is working closely with its
auditors to expedite completion of the audit of Ahold's 2002
consolidated financial statements. Under its Euro 2.65 billion
credit facility, Ahold is required to deliver its audited
consolidated 2002 financial statements by August 15, 2003 to the
syndicate of the banks involved.

Ahold is filing a Notification of Late Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission relating to its Form 20-F for
the fiscal year ended December 29, 2002. Ahold's Form 20-F would
otherwise have been due on June 30, 2003. Ahold currently expects
to file its Annual Report on Form 20-F for fiscal year 2002 as
soon as possible after completion of the audit of its fiscal year
2002 consolidated financial statements.

CONTACT:  Ahold NV, Koninklijke
          Albert Heijnweg1
          1507 EH Zaandam
          Phone: +31 75 6599111
          Fax: +31 75 6598350
          Telex: 1 9010
          Home Page:
          Norbert L.J. Berger, Secretary

DIRECTV LA: Hearing Set for Raven Media's Trustee Motion
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. will hear July 15 a
motion filed by Raven Media Investments LLC to appoint a trustee
to run DirecTV Latin America LLC while it is in Chapter 11
bankruptcy. Objections, according to Dow Jones, were due Monday.

Raven Media, a unit of Argentina's Grupo Clarin SA, is in a
dispute with DirecTV Latin America over a US$189 million claim it
made against the Company's bankruptcy estate and has also sought
to have the case transferred to a Florida court.

Now, Raven Media is suggesting that a Chapter 11 trustee should
be appointed for DirecTV Latin America, because the Company is
too closely intertwined with its majority owner and largest
creditor Hughes Electronics Corp. to restructure successfully.

Hughes owns 75% of DirecTV Latin America's equity and is
providing US$300 million of debtor-in-possession financing, while
six of DirecTV Latin America's top seven officers are Hughes
employees, Raven Media said.

Due to those and other conflicts of interest, DirecTV Latin
America can't be objective in restructuring agreements, such as
those where it purchases satellite programming from Hughes or its
units, Raven Media said.

DIRECTV LA: Seeks to Extend Exclusive Period for Filing Plan
DirecTV Latin America is asking the court to grant it more time
to file a reorganization plan and solicit creditor votes for the
plan. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. will hear the
exclusivity extension request July 15, says Dow Jones, adding
that objections are due July 8.

The Company wants its exclusive period to file a reorganization
plan, which is set to expire July 16, to be extended until Nov.
17 and its deadline to solicit votes, set to expire Sept. 12,
extended until Jan. 16, 2004.

DirecTV Latin America said it should receive the extension
because it is working diligently to restructure programming and
other contracts to cut costs, in addition to having to fight off
the venue transfer motion from Raven Media and an effort by the
former KirchMedia GmbH to sue the company.

IEBA: Board Gets Shareholders OK To Extend Bankruptcy Process
Argentine power holding company Inversora Electrica de Buenos
Aires (IEBA) informed the Buenos Aires stock market that its
shareholders have unanimously voted to allow the Company's board
to continue with its bankruptcy protection process, reports
Business News Americas.

IEBA last month filed for "Concurso Preventivo de Acreedores,"
the local equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, and
recently obtained the court's approval for the request.

According to the terms, a local judge will take control of IEBA's
remaining US$162-million debt, and meet with creditors to
renegotiate the payments.

IEBA defaulted on US$230 million of bonds in September 2001
following the conversion of rates from US dollars into Argentine
pesos. Luxemburg-based Camuzzi International, which controls 55%
of IEBA through Buenos Aires Energy Company, in April offered to
buy back the defaulted bonds. However, just 30% of creditors
accepted the terms, and the Company cannot pay the remaining

United Utilities, which owns the remaining 45% of IEBA, has said
it will not put any additional equity into the holding.

PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Debenture Interest Payments Slated for July 7
Argentine energy company Petrobras Argentina will make an US$8.6-
million interest payment on four series of debentures totaling
US$599.4 million on July 7, Business News Americas reports,
citing a company statement to the Buenos Aires stock market.

The interest payment includes:

-US$991,578 on US$75.7 million on J class series (one year, Libor
plus 3.75%);

- US$3.95 million on US$286 million K class series (five years,
Libor plus 4.00%);

- US$767,735 on US$55.6 million L class series (one year, Libor
plus 4.00%); and

- US$2.85 million on US$182 million M class series (five years,
Libor plus 4.75%).

Petrobras Energia issued the four series in October 2002, when it
was known as Pecom Energia, as part of the US$848.6-million
refinancing to extend debt due in the short term by a final term
of up to five years.

TGS: Fitch Downgrades IDB A/B Loan Participation to 'DD'
Fitch Ratings downgraded the senior unsecured foreign currency
rating of Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS) to 'DD' from 'C'.
The rating action follows the announcement that TGS is postponing
its payments of interests and principal on all of its financial
obligations, including those due under the A and B loans granted
by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

TGS is seeking to restructure the majority of its obligations in
an effort to extend maturities and adjust payment terms to
reflect the company's limited financial flexibility. TGS' credit
profile has been adversely affected by the various emergency
measures implemented by the government following the sovereign's
default, including devaluation, 'pesofication' of tariffs and
elimination of price and/or tariff adjustments based on foreign
currency indexation. Fitch believes that parties involved in TGS'
restructuring efforts remain far apart, precluding a rapid
conclusion to the negotiations. In the interim, management is
focused on protecting the company's operational integrity.

TGS is the operator of the largest pipeline transmission system
in Argentina, delivering an estimated 60% of the country's total
natural gas consumption. The company is owned (55.3%) and
operated by Compania de Inversiones de Energia (CIESA). CIESA is
50%-owned by Enron Argentina and Perez Companc. Both Enron and
Perez Companc also hold a direct 7.35% interest in TGS. The
remaining 30% is publicly traded on the NYSE and BCBA.

CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings
          Alejandro Bertuol, +1-212-908-0393, New York
          Jason Todd, +1-312-368-3217, Chicago
          Matt Burkhard, +1-212-908-0540, New York, Media

TRANSENER: Must Pay or Appeal $593,000 Fine
Argentine transmission company Transener is to pay a fine of
ARS1.67 million (today US$593,000) for power cuts in November,
electricity regulator Enre said in a statement. The fine was
imposed after a study, commissioned by Enre and carried out by
the University de la Plata, indicated that the collapse of a
high-tension transmission line and a transformer in the Comahue
substation, which cut power in and around capital city Buenos
Aires for several hours on November 24, was due to Transener's
poor maintenance.

According to a source, Transener must pay the fine within 30 days
of being informed of the decision or appeal the fine to the
energy secretary.


CRP: SCOR's Exclusive Purchase Rights Extended Through July
SCOR Group signed a letter of intent concerning the sale of
Commercial Risks Partners (CRP) on March 28, 2003. Bermuda based,
CRP was underwriting alternative risk transfer reinsurance. The
letter of intent granted to the potential buyer an exclusive
right of preemption until June 30, 2003. By common agreement, the
deadline has been extended until July 31, 2003.

Certain statements contained in this document may constitute
forward-looking statements, and factors of risk and uncertainties
may cause actual events and financial results to vary
significantly from the information supplied herein. Details of
these risk factors are described in the company's annual report.

GLOBAL CROSSING: Singaporean Bidder Granted More Time for Bid
The court handling Global Crossing's bankruptcy procedure has
extended the exclusive takeover rights of Singapore Technologies
Telemedia, giving the foreign bidder enough time to secure
regulatory approval for its bid, Reuters said Tuesday. A witness
had earlier told Judge Robert Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of New York that the regulatory review
process would take another one to three months to conclude.

In granting the request to preserve the exclusive rights, Judge
Gerber noted that "[Global Crossing] ha[s] shown the requisite
good cause for an exclusivity extension... They've given me no
reason to believe that they are abusing their exclusivity

According to Reuters, several groups had objected to the request,
including XO Communications Inc., which has a standing
unsolicited takeover offer for the company.  Both the creditor
banks of Global Crossing and XO believe the deal faces uncertain
approval due to potential concerns about foreign ownership of a
strategic telecommunications assets.  Singapore Technologies is a
unit of Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore

But Judge Gerber said the bankruptcy court had "neither the role
nor the expertise" to predict the outcome of the regulatory
process and had no role in determining whether Global Crossing's
assets should be sold to other bidders or under what terms.

Last Monday, Global Crossing said it had US$537 million in cash
as of May 31, including US$202 million in unrestricted cash and
US$335 million in restricted cash.  XO believes the company faces
a cash crunch and therefore doesn't have the luxury of waiting to
see if the Singapore Technologies pact got approved.  The
extension lasts until October, says Reuters.

GLOBAL CROSSING: XO Communications Comments On Court's Ruling
XO Communications, Inc. announced that it is disappointed by the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court's ruling Tuesday regarding the decision to
approve Amendment #2 to the Purchase Agreement and to extend the
exclusivity period in the Global Crossing Chapter 11 case. XO
remains highly skeptical that Singapore Technologies Telemedia
PTE will be able to obtain the needed regulatory approvals to
consummate this transaction. Furthermore, XO agrees with the many
critics of this transaction that a Company of this magnitude and
importance should not be owned and controlled by an entity owned
by a foreign government.

"As we stated earlier, we believe that Global Crossing's
prolonged bankruptcy and dwindling cash reserves are expected to
result in continued erosion of its customer base unless an
alternative offer is put in place," said Brian Oliver, EVP
Strategy and Corporate Development at XO. "XO has been through
the bankruptcy process and understands the necessity of having a
plan for emergence that provides customers, vendors and employees
with certainty."

According to Global Crossing's May Monthly Operating Report filed
with the Bankruptcy Court, the company's cash burn totaled $48
million in May 2003. Indeed, in the opinion issued by the
Bankruptcy Court Tuesday, the Court acknowledged that "(b)ased on
present cash flow projections, that (running out of
(unrestricted) cash) would be likely to happen sometime in
October." Given Global Crossings liquidity position, the payment
of $50 million in bonuses to management and certain employees is
now subject to fair debate. XO will continue to actively monitor
both the bankruptcy and regulatory proceedings.

About XO Communications

XO Communications is a leading broadband communications service
provider offering a complete set of communications services,
including: local and long distance voice, Internet access,
Virtual Private Networking (VPN), Ethernet, Wavelength, Web
Hosting and Integrated voice and data services.

XO has assembled an unrivaled set of facilities-based broadband
networks and Tier One Internet peering relationships in the
United States. XO currently offers facilities-based broadband
communications services in more than 60 markets throughout the
United States.

CONTACT:  XO Communications, Inc.
          Kara Palamaras, 703/547-2011

GLOBAL CROSSING: XO Presents Yet Another Unsolicited Offer
Had the court rejected the request of Singaporean Technologies
Telemedia for more time to get regulatory approval for its
takeover bid, XO Communications would have offered US$200 million
to Global Crossing bondholders and another US$495 million to its
lenders, Reuters said Tuesday.

The revised offer was the fourth made by the Virginia-based
company, which emerged from bankruptcy in January.  But even if
the court had allowed XO to talk to Global Crossing concurrently
with STT, unsecured bondholders would have spurned the offer just
the same.

"The value that is being proffered is in our opinion woefully
inadequate," said Edward Weisfelner, an attorney with Brown
Rudnik Berlack Israels, which is representing Global Crossing's
unsecured creditors.

STT became the sole bidder for Global Crossing this year after
Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd. walked away from a joint
bid in April.  Other bidders for Global Crossing include IDT
Corp, a telecommunications company that has acquired the assets
of several financially troubled rivals.


ENRON: South America LLC's Case Summary, 16 Unsecured Creditors
Debtor:  Enron South America LLC
         1400 Smith Street
         Houston, Texas 77002

Bankruptcy Case No.: 03-14229

Type of Business: The Debtor is an affiliate of Enron Corp.

Chapter 11 Petition Date: June 27, 2003

Court: Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

Judge: Arthur J. Gonzalez

Debtors' Counsel:  Brian S. Rosen, Esq.
                   Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
                   767 Fifth Avenue
                   New York, NY 10153
                   Tel: 212-310-8602
                   Fax : 212-310-8007

Estimated Assets: More than $100 Million

Estimated Debts: $10 Million to $50 Million

Debtor's 16 Largest Unsecured Creditors:

Entity               Nature Of Claim           Claim Amount
------               ---------------           ------------
Wilson Management       Trade debt               $67,031
Associates Inc.

American Express        Bank Credit debt         $43,857

Arthur Andersen LLP     Trade debt               $35,500

Edward Graham           Trade debt               $29,277

Diana Perez             Trade debt               $14,508

Roberto Pensotti        Trade debt                $5,702

Vedior North America    Trade Debt                $3,098

Kathleen Wagner         Trade debt                $2,797

Travieso Evans Hughes   Legal Fees                $2,390

Huntlaw Corporate       Trade debt                  $500
Svcs Ltd

Sigma Internet, Inc.    Trade debt                  $449

Momentum Document       Trade debt                  $132
Services Inc.

Stevenson Enterprises   Trade debt                   $75

Ala Carte Express/      Trade debt                   $61
Citi Express

Southwestern Bell       Trade debt                    $0.85

John Hardy Jr.          Trade debt                    $0.62

(TROUBLED COMPANY REPORTER, Vol. 7, Issue 128, July 1, 2003)

LIGHT SERVICOS: Misses $150M Debt Payment Tuesday
Light Servicos de Eletricidade SA, the Brazilian unit of
Electricite de France (EDF), Europe's biggest power producer, did
not make a required payment on US$150 million debt on Tuesday,
said Oswaldo Telles, an analyst at BBVA Securities in Sao Paulo.
The missed payment comes while the Brazilian distributor is
seeking to negotiate with creditors an extension on the maturity
of its obligations. The Company has fired its financial adviser,
Citigroup Global Markets, according to Business News Americas.

Light began a financial restructuring process on April 24, saying
it faced a liquidity crisis and was unable to meet debt payments.
According to the Company's 1Q03 financial statements, it has
short-term debts of BRL824 million (US$291mn) and long-term debts
of BRL4 billion. Light serves an estimated 9 million users in the
city of Rio de Janeiro.

          Avenida Marechal Floriano, 168
          20080-002 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
          Phone: +55-21-2211-2794
          Fax:   +55-21-2211-2993
          Home Page:
          Bo Gosta Kallstrand, Chairman
          Michel Gaillard, President and CEO
          Joel Nicolas, Executive Director, Operation
          Paulo Roberto Ribeiro Pinto, Executive Director,
                                 Investor Relations and CFO

TELEMAR: Rate Hike Prompts UBS Equity Upgrade
UBS Warburg upped its equity recommendations on Brazilian fixed-
line telecom companies Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA
(Telemar) and Telemar Norte Leste to Buy 2. The move, according
to Dow Jones, follows an improved outlook for Brazil's currency
and recently announced tariff increases for the sector.

Brazil's telecom watchdog Anatel late Thursday decided to hike
fixed-line companies' tariffs by an average 28.75% for clients,
although the government had been hoping Anatel would set an
average below 20% by breaking the price increase into two

The "2" in the ratings indicates relatively high risk to the
price targets.

VARIG-TAM: Merger Agreement May Come This Week
Brazilian airlines Varig and TAM are now in their final phase of
merger negotiations, and may disclose merger terms and sign an
"irreversibility" agreement on Friday, Bloomberg reports, citing
local daily Folha de S. Paulo.

Varig, Latin America's largest air carrier, and TAM, its main
domestic rival, signed a letter of understanding on Feb. 6 to
explore the possibility of combining their operations. The merger
is aimed at resolving the airlines' financial difficulties.

Brazil Development, Industry and Trade Minister Luiz Fernando
Furlan and Defense Minister Jose Viegas will be at the event
Friday to demonstrate the government's commitment to supporting
the merger, including some financing, Folha said.

Meanwhile, the government is also expected to announce Friday a
US$120 million credit line to Varig through Brazil's BNDES
development bank, said the daily. BNDES will later release
another US$480 million credit line to the new company.

The carriers may trim their workforce by 5,000 to form the new
company, the newspaper said.

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

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

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


ENERSIS: Concludes $2B Capital Increase
Chilean power sector holding Enersis closed Monday its US$2
billion capital increase, selling US$1.88 billion of new stock,
or 94% of the total increase, Business News Americas reports,
citing a company statement. Minority shareholders bought a total
of US$663 million at an average of US$31.5 million a day.
According to Enersis, the subscription is one of the largest-ever
by minority shareholders to a capital increase in Latin America.

International investment firm Elesur, through which Endesa Spain
owns Enersis, bought US$1.22 billion. Endesa subscribed to the
increase through the capitalization of inter-company loans from
Elesur to Enersis.

The preferential period for shareholders outside the Endesa group
for the remaining shares will begin in November.

The capital increase also includes a buyback of bonds issued on
the Chilean market. From November 1-15, holders will be able to
exchange their bonds for Enersis stock at 60.4202 pesos a share,
the same price as the new stock issued in the increase.

According to Business News Americas, Endesa had previously said
it would buy any shares that are not subscribed by shareholders
or bondholders.

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

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

TELEFONICA CTC: Regulator Snubs Chilesat's Request
Chile's telecoms regulator Subtel announced that it has trashed
corporate services provider Chilesat's request to remove a
consultant from the panel of experts convened to evaluate the
government's guidelines for the telco's next tariff decree,
reports Business News Americas.

Chilesat had sought to remove Patricio Rojas from the panel on
grounds that he had previously voiced support for Telefonica CTC
to have greater rate setting flexibility in certain areas.

He was one of two members on the antimonopoly commission CRA that
favored CTC's stance in a crucial decision to determine whether
CTC should be subject to a tariff decree at all.

But according to Subtel, Chilesat was effectively asking for an
injunction, which is a legal option to suspend the activities of
judges or judicial staff in lawsuits, whereas finalizing the
tariff decree is an administrative process.

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Puts D+ BFSR On Review For Downgrade
Moody's Investors Service placed on review for downgrade the D+
bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of Banco Popular Dominicano
(BPD), the strongest private bank in the Dominican Republic's
banking system.

According to Moody's, its review of BPD's BFSR reflects the
continued erosion of the operating environment. Both the recent
failure of a top bank, and the financial difficulties at another,
have put enormous pressure on the nation's financial industry.

Meanwhile, Moody's changed the outlook of the bank's Ba3 foreign-
currency deposit rating to negative. The action came as a direct
result of the outlook change to negative from stable of the
Dominican Republic's ceilings for foreign- currency bank deposits
and for foreign- currency bonds and notes. Moody's emphasizes
that this change in the country's debt outlook does not affect
BPD, which has no rated foreign currency bonds or notes.

BPD's Baa1 domestic currency deposit rating is also not affected.

* Moody's Assigns Negative Outlook To DR's Credit Ratings
Moody's Investors Service assigned a negative outlook to the
Dominican Republic's Ba2 foreign-currency country ceiling for
bonds and notes and to the Ba3 foreign-currency country ceiling
for bank deposits. The negative outlook also applies to the
government's Ba2 local-currency rating.

The move was prompted by mounting concerns about potential
adverse consequences of the current macroeconomic environment on
the Dominican Republic's external payments position.

The government's external debt ratios continue to denote a
moderate and manageable debt burden, Moody's indicated in its
report. But still, a weak international liquidity position
constrains the ability of the government to effectively confront
adverse domestic and external shocks.


PACIFICTEL: Andinatel Receives Three Offers For Telecsa
The period to make a bid in Ecuadorian state-run fixed line
operator Andinatel's selection of a strategic partner for its
mobile venture Telecsa ended Monday. According to Business News
Americas, only three of the 16 companies that bought the bidding
rules offered to make a bid. These are German consultancy
Detecon, Sweden's Swedtel and Spain's Telefonica Mobile

Telecsa chairman Richard Jaramillo indicated that the three
bidders are highly qualified to ensure that Telecsa competes
adequately with incumbent operators Conecel and BellSouth
Ecuador. However, Andinatel will be very price conscious and may
call another selection process if their offers prove too
expensive, he said.

Andinatel will select the winning firm on July 18 and sign the
contract on August 1. The eventual partner will receive a three-
year contract to implement Telecsa's business and investment
plans, as well as the launch and operation of the company. The
partner will also have right of first refusal should Telecsa
shares go on sale.

For the time being, Telecsa will be a joint venture between
Andinatel and sister company Pacifictel, although Andinatel has
said Cuenca-based telco Etapa will be offered a 3-5% stake.

In recent weeks, there has been some doubt about Pacifictel's
part in the venture since the telecoms regulatory enforcement
agency Suptel has recommended intervention of the Company because
it has failed to meet buildout goals.

According to Business News Americas, telecoms regulator Conatel
will hand down its decision on the matter next Monday.


AZTECA HOLDINGS: Crucial Bond Swap Garners Enough Subsribers
A majority of bondholders has reportedly acquiesced to the latest
bond swap proposal of Azteca Holdings S.A., increasing the
likelihood of a win-win solution to the four-month deadlock
before July 15, the day the bonds will due.

According to Bloomberg, among those that have agreed to accept
the revised swap proposal is J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., believed to
be holding at least US$20 million in bonds in trading, private
banking and investing positions.  Chief Financial Officer Diego
Foyo, who is currently in the U.S. to round up support for the
swap, confirmed to Bloomberg that the end to the deadlock is

"The terms were set in complete accordance with the bondholders
led by J.P. Morgan," said Mr. Foyo, adding, "We believe they'll
tender their bonds this week or early next week."

The report did not indicate the amount of bonds that will fall
due next week, but Bloomberg said the company must swap at least
US$43 million of its 10.5% bonds to have enough cash to pay what
it owes.  Mr. Foyo said he is targeting up to US$150 million.

The company first offered to swap the bonds due next week in
March, but was spurned by bondholders for being paltry.  In
exchange for extending maturity to 2008, the bondholders were
only offered a 10.75% interest on the new bonds.  About two weeks
ago, the company filed a new offer of an 11 percent coupon and a
maturity date of 2009, valid for both the holders of the bonds
that are due next week and those holders who already swapped
bonds for new ones under the earlier offer.  Still failing to get
enough backing, the company finally offered last week an interest
rate of 12.25% with maturity reset to 2008.  It also pledged to
pay back the principal in four yearly installments starting in

Daniel Lerner, a Bear Stearns & Co. debt analyst who believes a
majority bondholders will participate in the offer this time,
said the new bonds are less risky because they have first call on
TV Azteca's cash flow.  Fifty-five percent owned by Azteca
Holdings, TV Azteca is Mexico's second-largest broadcaster.

"It's a market-clearing offer and I think the larger creditors
will be in... They finally got to the price that the market had
responded to them," Mr. Lerner told Bloomberg.

In related development, Standard & Poor's Manuel Guerena told
Bloomberg the agency will continue to consider the new offer an
event of default: "[The offer] just reiterates the importance for
Azteca Holdings to bring more bondholders into the offer,
precisely because if some of them still don't accept the offer,
the company may not be able to get its act together."

S&P currently rates Azteca Holdings 'CC', two notches above

GRUPO IUSACELL: Defaults On $25M Interest Payment
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (BMV:CEL) (NYSE:CEL) previously
publicly announced that pending agreement with its lenders on a
restructuring plan, it would not make the US$25 million interest
payment due on June 1, on its 14.25% bonds due 2006. The 30-day
period within which to make the interest payment has expired. As
a result, an event of default has occurred under the Indenture
governing the bonds, and the bondholders have the right to
declare the principal of and the accrued interest under the bonds
due and payable or take other legal actions specified in the
Indenture, as they deem appropriate.

About Iusacell

Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (Iusacell, NYSE: CEL; BMV: CEL) is a
wireless cellular and PCS service provider in seven of Mexico's
nine regions, including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey,
Tijuana, Acapulco, Puebla, Leon and Merida. The Company's service
regions encompass a total of approximately 92 million POPs,
representing approximately 90% of the country's total population.

CONTACT:  Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V., Mexico City
          Russell A. Olson, 011-5255-5109-5751

          Carlos J. Moctezuma, 011-5255-5109-5780

GRUPO IUSACELL: Verizon Announces Effect of Stake Sale
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) announced Tuesday details
of second-quarter charges primarily driven by an accounting
change in its directory business and by the effect of its recent
decision to sell its consolidated interest in Grupo Iusacell.
Verizon's full-year 2003 guidance for adjusted revenue growth and
adjusted earnings per share (EPS) remains unchanged.

Accounting for Directories Verizon has changed its method for
recognizing revenues and expenses, resulting in an after-tax,
non-cash charge to earnings of approximately $1.6 billion, or 59
cents in fully diluted EPS, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2003, in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This
reflects the cumulative effect of the change related to expenses
and revenue from prior-year directory publications.

Because this change is retroactive, it will impact first-quarter
2003 financial results. In addition, because of this change,
quarterly earnings results are expected to be more evenly
distributed throughout the year.

The directory accounting change will result in different revenue
and expense recognition due to the adoption of the amortization
method of accounting instead of the publication-date method. The
publication-date method recognizes revenues and expenses when
directories are distributed. Under the amortization method --
which is increasingly becoming the industry standard -- revenues
and expenses are recognized over the life of the directory, which
is usually 12 months.

This accounting change affects the timing of the recognition of
revenues and expenses but does not affect the timing of cash
flows. It also does not affect full-year earnings for Verizon
Information Services, the Verizon business segment responsible
for directory publishing.

As a result of the directory accounting change, the previously
reported first-quarter 2003 revenues and operating expenses of
Verizon and its Information Services segment will be increased by
$321 million and $89 million, respectively, and net income will
increase by $143 million, or 5 cents per diluted share. Verizon's
first-quarter 2003 diluted EPS is reduced from $1.41 to 87 cents.

Effect of Decision to Sell Iusacell Stake As a result of
Verizon's recent decision to sell its consolidated interest in
Grupo Iusacell, the company also announced that it is reporting
its 39.4 percent investment as a discontinued operation in
accordance with FAS No. 144, "Accounting for the Impairment or
Disposal of Long-Lived Assets." As such, Verizon expects to
record a second-quarter after-tax charge to earnings of $0.9
billion, or 33 cents per diluted share.

Prior-period financial results will be reclassified to reflect
reporting the company's investment in Grupo Iusacell as a
discontinued operation.

Other Charges Verizon also anticipates recording second-quarter
after-tax charges to earnings of approximately $0.4 billion to
$0.5 billion, or 14 cents to 19 cents per diluted share, related
to severance, the early redemption of debt, and impairments of
long-lived assets primarily due to consolidation and integration
of facilities.

Historical financial information reflecting these changes will be
available at a later date on Verizon's Investor Relations Web
site at

Verizon's second-quarter results are scheduled to be announced on
July 29.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of
the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon
companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless
communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access
line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers.
Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S.
consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company
is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured
by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67
billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's
global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the
Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Peter Thonis, 212-395-2355
                 Bob Varettoni, 212-395-7726

TV AZTECA: Azteca America Network Adds Two Affiliates in Arizona
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 Tuesday that Azteca America, the
company's wholly-owned broadcasting network focused on the U.S.
Hispanic market, affiliated two new stations in Arizona.

With these new affiliations, KPSW Channel 43 in Phoenix and KQBN
Channel 14 in Tucson, Azteca America reaches 26 markets, covering
63% of U.S. Hispanic households, introducing its programming to
the ninth and twenty-fourth largest Hispanic markets in the
United States, respectively. As a result, Azteca America now
covers 12 of the top 15 Hispanic markets.

Hispanics represent a significant proportion of Arizona's total
population, as one out of every four people living in the state
is Hispanic, of which 82% are Mexican. In Tucson, 32% of the
population is Hispanic, while in Phoenix this proportion is 23%.

"We are thrilled to introduce our programming to Arizona, a state
that shares a long history with Mexico," said Luis J. Echarte,
Azteca America's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The
increase in coverage and growth of Azteca America is a result of
the quality of our programming and continues to be our strategic

The two new affiliates are added to Azteca America's 24 existing
markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, San
Antonio, San Francisco- Oakland-San Jose, Albuquerque, San Diego,
Fresno-Visalia, Sacramento-Stockton- Modesto, Orlando, Austin,
Las Vegas, Monterey-Salinas, Bakersfield, West Palm Beach-Ft.
Pierce, Salt Lake City, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Naples-Ft.
Myers, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Reno and Victoria.

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 U.S. Hispanic
market; Unefon, a Mexican mobile telephony operator focused on
the mass market; and, an Internet portal for North
American Spanish speakers.

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

BWIA: Government Minister Announces First Aid Traunch Available
A large chunk of the TT$116.8 million aid granted by the
government to struggling national carrier, BWIA, could now be
drawn anytime by the company, Trade Minister Kenneth Valley told
The Trinidad Express recently.

He said TT$30 million of the financial assistance is now
available, while the remaining TT$85 million could be accessed
upon request to Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who have the
discretion to grant it or not.  Mr. Valley said the government is
keeping the balance because of its earlier assurance to
International Lease Finance Corporation, the lessor of the BWIA's

"This is to protect the government since the government has given
BWIA's lessor the assurance that BWIA will make its lease
payments," Mr. Valley told the Express.

According to the paper, BWIA's outstanding lease payments amount
to TT$25 million.  Another reason for making the release of the
remaining balance conditional is the company's obligation to set
aside TT$55 million to pay the severance packages of the 617
workers retrenched in January.

Responding to Mr. Valley's announcement, BWIA's Corporate
Communications director Clint Williams said: "We continue to work
with the unions. One has to remember there is an allocation for
separation packages and in order to access these funds, the
unions will have a significant role to play in getting
concessions the government has called for before BWIA can access
separation funding of TT$55 million.  The sooner we can meet the
criteria, the less discomfort separated staff will have to go

Meanwhile, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph
Gonzalves is expected to bare this Friday the mechanics for the
planned merger of BWIA and Liat.  Mr. Valley confirmed to the
Express that by July 15, a new holding company would be
established to oversee the operations of both airlines.

"The name of the company will be Caribbean Airlines (Holding)
Ltd, subject to the approval of the Registrar of Companies.
This will initially be a paper company which will start buying
BWIA shares over the next three months," the Express said.

A technical coordinator will be appointed to prepare the
implementation of the plan and former BWIA CEO Ian Bertrand is
believed to be leading the race for the post, the paper added.


BANCO SURINVEST: Moody's Confirms LTFC, STFC Ratings
Moody's confirmed Banco Surinvest S.A.'s (Surinvest) long term
foreign currency deposit rating at Caa1 with a negative outlook
and short term foreign currency at Not Prime with a stable
outlook. The outlook on the long term foreign currency deposit
rating remains negative in line with the outlook of the Uruguayan
country ceiling for deposits, said Moody's.

Moody's also lowered the National Scale Rating (NSR) of Surinvest
to from, reflecting the severe weakening of the
bank's financial condition as a result of the Uruguayan financial
crisis and deep recession, together with the uncertain capital
support expected from its consortium of shareholders going

Furthermore, Moody's assigned new bank financial strength ratings
(BFSRs) of E to Surinvest, reflecting its weak stand-alone
financial strength and operating environment.

BNL URUGUAY: Moody's Confirms Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings
Moody's confirmed Banca Nazionale del Lavoro's (BNL Uruguay) long
term foreign currency deposit rating at Caa1 with a negative
outlook and the short term foreign currency deposit rating at Not
Prime with a stable outlook.

The outlook on the long term foreign currency deposit rating
remains negative in line with the outlook of the Uruguayan
country ceiling for deposits, said Moody's.

Moody's also confirmed BNL Uruguay's NSR at, and placed it
on review for possible downgrade.

BNL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
S.p.A., rated A2/Prime-1 by Moody's. The subsidiary's rating
reflects this ownership structure. The rating was placed on
review for possible downgrade in light of the parent bank's
recent announcements that it might sell its operation to an
undetermined third party. Moody's said the review would focus on
any change in ownership.

Moody's also assigned new bank financial strength ratings (BFSRs)
of E to BNL Uruguay, reflecting its weak stand-alone financial
strength and operating environment.


REPSOL YPF: Raises Venezuelan Oil Reserves by 8.2M Barrels
Repsol YPF has acquired from Tecpetrol the 25% stake owned by the
latter in the Quiamare-La Ceiba block, in Venezuela, thus raising
its full share in the block to 75%.  Repsol YPF is operator, in a
partnership with Exxon Mobil, owner of the other 25%.

As a result of this acquisition, effective as of 1 January 2003,
the company has boosted its production in Venezuela by 3,900
barrels per day, and proved reserves by 8.2 million barrels of
oil equivalent.

Apart from Quiamare La Ceiba, Repsol YPF is operator of the
Quiriquire Barrancas and Mene Grande fields.  The Quiamare La
Ceiba block is located in the State of Anzo tegui, in west
Venezuela, and was awarded in the second round of operating
concessions, tendered for offer in 1993. Fields contained in this
block currently produce 15,600 barrels of oil per day.

At present, Repsol YPF is the top private gas producer in
Venezuela, producing its gas from the Quiriquire field (9.1
million m3 per day), of which it owns 100%. The company also
produces 17,500 barrels of crude oil and condensate from the
aforementioned field.

This operation consolidates Repsol YPF's operations in Venezuela,
one of the largest oil producing countries in the world, and
furthers the Company's strategy of balancing its presence in
Latin America, by adding new assets with a high development
potential to its exploration & production portfolio.


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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