TCRLA_Public/031104.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

          Tuesday, November 4, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 218

                          Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALIMENTOS FARGO: $120M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' Rating from Fitch
BRUKMAN: Court Approves Law Allowing Expropriation
CLINICA CRUZ AZUL: Court Orders Bankruptcy
CLISA: Fitch Rates $100M of Bonds `D(arg)'
DIESEL: Court Appoints Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy Process

ELECTRONEON: Receiver Verifies Claims in Bankruptcy Process
FRESKURAL: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends Today
LUMPARIS: Individual Reports Due Today
MARIA MATER: Seeks Court's OK For Reorganization
ORRICO CATERING: Declared Bankrupt by Local Court

POLICRONIO: Court Approves Petition To Undergo Reorganization
SANECAR: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends December 17
SHAISE: Enters Bankruptcy On Court Orders
SIDECO AMERICANA: Fitch Assigns `D(arg)' to Bonds
SIEMAR: Court Approves Reorganization Petition

SIGNS TIME: Court Assigns Receiver For Reorganization Process
SYSTEM ALUMINIUM: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Expires
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Braces For A Drawn-Out Debt Restructuring
TRANSPORTES CONTAINER: Court Sets Reorganization Schedule
ZG: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy Process


B O L I V I A

* IMF Mission Visits Bolivia


B R A Z I L

CANBRAS COMMUNICATIONS: Releases 3Q03 Results
EL PASO: Eletrobras Threatens Plant Seizure
GERDAU: Exports Grow 79%, Contribute to Group's Performance
LATASA: To Be Sold To Rexam For Enterprise Value of $462M
MRS LOGISTICA: Announces 3Q03 Results


C H I L E

ENDESA CHILE: Financial Structure "Much Healthier," Says Analyst


C O L O M B I A

AVIANCA: Gets More Time To Prepare Debt-Restructuring Plan
AVIANCA: Executive Offers Union Head Bonus


E C U A D O R

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: In Talks To Participate In IESS Mortgage Deal


J A M A I C A

JUTC: Workers Await Monday's Meeting To Decide Next Step


M E X I C O

AHMSA: To Delay Release of 3Q03 Results
EMPRESAS ICA: Seeks To Raise $225M In Share Sale
GRUPO ELEKTRA: Authorized to Purchase a Private Insurance Company
MINERA AUTLAN: Reports Lower Net Loss in the 3Q03

* IMF Concludes 2003 Article IV Consultation with Mexico


P E R U

PAN AMERICAN: Sells Tres Cruces Interest


V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO: Announces Third Quarter 2003 Results

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

ALIMENTOS FARGO: $120M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' Rating from Fitch
--------------------------------------------------------------
Some US$120 million of corporate bonds issued by local company
Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A. were rated `D(arg)' by Fitch
Argentina Calificadora de Reisgo S.A. on Wednesday. That rating
is assigned to financial commitments that are currently in
default, the ratings agency said. The rating was determined from
the Company's finances as of June 30 this year.

According to the Comision Nacional de Valores, the Argentine
securities regulator, the bonds were classified under "Simple
Issue". Described as "Obligaciones Negociables Simples", the
bonds will mature on July 24, 2008.

The rating was determined from the Company's finances as of June
30 this year.


BRUKMAN: Court Approves Law Allowing Expropriation
--------------------------------------------------
The Buenos Aires legislature approved a law that establishes the
expropriation of bankrupt textile firm Brukman and ruled that the
plant be transferred to a cooperative composed by its workers,
who have kept it operating since its owners abandoned the
business.

Last week, Judge Matilde Balerini, head of Commercial Court 36,
declared Brukman bankrupt, and this decision was one of the
conditions the legislature set in order to discuss the
expropriation draft bill.

The conflict at Brukman started in December 2001, when its former
owners abandoned the firm after it had initiated a formal
restructuring proceeding. Since then, the plant has been taken
over by its workers, who kept it operating during a year and a
half.

On several occasions, the owners tried to recover the plant and
the workers were finally dislodged by police forces. They were
severely repressed in April 2003, when they tried to go back to
the plant.


CLINICA CRUZ AZUL: Court Orders Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------
Clinica Cruz Azul enters bankruptcy on orders from Court No. 5 of
the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Mercedes in Argentina. Local
news source Infobae relates that the court declared the Company
"Quiebra".

The court further assigned Mr. Carlos Daniel Gandini, a local
accountant, as the Company's receiver. Creditors must have their
claims authenticated by him before the December 19 deadline
expires. Failure to have its claims validated disqualifies a
creditor from any payments made after the liquidation of the
Company's assets.

The receiver is also obligated to prepare the individual and
general reports on the process, but the source did not mention
the deadlines for these reports.

CONTACT:  Clinica Cruz Azul S.A.
          Ave 29, Numero 353
          Mercedes

          Carlos Daniel Gandini
          Ave 40, Numero 726
          Mercedes


CLISA: Fitch Rates $100M of Bonds `D(arg)'
------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentine Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. rated US$100 million
of CLISA's corporate bonds `D(arg)'. The rating, issued
Wednesday, was determined from the Company's finances as of the
end of June this year.

The Comision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's securities
regulator, relates that the bonds are called obligaciones
Negociables con garantia." Classified under simple issue, the
bonds matures on June 1 next year.

Fitch said that the rating is assigned to financial obligations
that are currently in default.


DIESEL: Court Appoints Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy Process
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires appointed Argentine accountant Julio
Ramon Coy as receiver for the bankruptcy proceedings Diesel S.A.
is undergoing. Working with Clerk No. 39, the court instructed
the receiver to verify creditors' claims until November 21 this
year.

Infobae relates that the individual reports must be submitted to
the court on February 4, 2004 followed by the general report on
March 17. These reports are to be prepared by the Company's
receiver.

At the end of the bankruptcy proceedings, the Company's assets
will be liquidated. Proceeds will be used to reimburse its
creditors, based on the results of the verification process.

CONTACT:  Julio Ramon Coy
          Piedres 181
          Buenos Aires


ELECTRONEON: Receiver Verifies Claims in Bankruptcy Process
-----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Argentine company Electroneon S.R.L. must present
their proofs of claim to the Company's receiver, Mr. Mario
Nicolas Degese for authentication. The receiver will close the
verification process on December 11 this year.

The receiver will prepare the individual reports, which are due
for filing on February 24 next year, upon completion of the
validation process. After the individual reports are processed at
court, the receiver will summarize the results into a single
general report to be filed on April 6, 2004.

Argentine news portal Infobae reveals that Buenos Aires' Court
No. 12 issued the bankruptcy order. Clerk No. 24 assists the
court.

CONTACT:  Mario Nicolas Degese
          Bouchard 468
          Buenos Aires


FRESKURAL: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends Today
--------------------------------------------------------
The credit verification process for the bankruptcy of Argentine
company Freskural S.A. will end today, the Troubled Company
Reporter - Latin America said in a previous report. The Company's
receiver, Mr. Hugo Ruben, will start preparing the individual
reports.

The Company entered bankruptcy on orders from Buenos Aires Court
No. 1, under Dr. Dieuzeide. The city's Clerk No. 2, Dr. Pasina,
aids the court on the case.

In the meantime, local sources did not mention whether the court
has set the deadline for the individual and general reports.

CONTACT:  Freskural S.A.
          2nd Floor, Room F
          Lavalle 1596
          Buenos Aires

          Hugo Ruben
          3rd Floor, Room F
          Rivadavia 1227
          Buenos Aires


LUMPARIS: Individual Reports Due Today
--------------------------------------
The individual reports for the bankruptcy of Buenos Aires company
Lumparis S.A. are due at the court today, November 4. The
reports, prepared by the Company's receiver, Mr. Javier Hernan
Gandara, contain the results of the credit verification process
completed earlier this year.

After the individual reports are processed by court, the
Company's receiver will prepare the general report, which is a
summary of the individual reports. The general report must be
submitted to the court on December 17 this year.

Creditors will receive payment after the Company's assets are
liquidated. Payments will be based on the results of the
verification process.

CONTACT:  Javier Hernan Gandara
          Riobamba 719
          Buenos Aires


MARIA MATER: Seeks Court's OK For Reorganization
------------------------------------------------
Argentine sanatorium operator Maria Mater S.A. has submitted a
motion for "Concurso Preventivo" at Buenos Aires' Court No. 6,
which is under Dr. Ferrario. Clerk No. 11. Dr. Piotti aids the
court on the case, relates local newspaper La Nacion.

The Company ceased making debt payments on April 9 this year, the
source adds. In the meantime, La Nacion did not indicate whether
the court, which works with Clerk No. 11, Dr. Piotti, on the
case, is likely to approve the petition.


ORRICO CATERING: Declared Bankrupt by Local Court
-------------------------------------------------
Court No. 12 of Buenos Aires ruled that Orrico Catering S.A. is
"Quiebra Decretada", according to a report by Argentine news
source Infobae. The city's Clerk No. 24 aids the court on the
case.

Creditors must present their proofs of claim to the receiver, Mr.
Hugo Daniel Pantaleo before December 3. This part of the
bankruptcy process determines the nature and amount of the
Company's debts.

The results of the verifications will be relayed to the court via
the individual reports, which are to be submitted on February 17
next year. After these are processed at court, the receiver will
consolidate the results into a general report, which is due for
filing on March 30, 2004.

The Company's assets will then be liquidated to reimburse its
creditors. Payments will be based on the results of the
verification process.

CONTACT:  Hugo Daniel Pantaleo
          Ave Corrientes 1450
          Buenos Aires


POLICRONIO: Court Approves Petition To Undergo Reorganization
-------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires company Policronio S.A.C.I.F.I.M.A.C. will undergo
reorganization after the city's Court No. 4 approved the
Company's petition for "Concurso Preventivo", relates local news
portal Infobae. Clerk No. 8 assists the court on the case.

The court assigned Mr. Pablo Aguilar, a local accountant, as
receiver for the process. Creditors must present their claims to
the receiver for validation before the December 23 deadline
expires.

In the meantime, the source did not mention whether the court has
set the deadlines for the receiver's reports and the date for the
informative assembly.

CONTACT:  Policronio S.A.C.I.F.I.M.A.C.
          Lavalle 1447
          Buenos Aires


SANECAR: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends December 17
------------------------------------------------------------
The credit verification process for the bankruptcy of Argentine
company Sanecar S.A. ends on December 17 this year. A report by
local news source Infobae indicates that the receiver, Mr. Ruben
Hugo Faure will validate creditors' claims.

The receiver will also prepare the individual and general reports
on the process. However, the source did not mention the deadlines
for the filing of these reports.

Buenos Aires Court No. 1 handles the Company's case with
assistance from Clerk No. 2. The bankruptcy process will end with
the liquidation of the Company's assets and making payments to
creditors.

CONTACT:  Ruben Hugo Faure
          Ave Rivadavia 1227
          Buenos Aires


SHAISE: Enters Bankruptcy On Court Orders
-----------------------------------------
Shaise S.R.L., which is based in Buenos Aires, enters bankruptcy
on orders from the city's Court No. 13. Argentine news portal
Infobae relates that Clerk No. 26 assists the court on the case.

The court designated local accountant Agustin Cueli Gomez as the
Company's receiver. He will authenticate creditors' claims until
December 10, after which he will prepare the individual reports.
He will then prepare the general report. Infobae, however, did
not reveal the deadlines for submitting these reports.

CONTACT:  Agustin Cueli Gomez
          Ave Correintes 915
          Buenos Aires


SIDECO AMERICANA: Fitch Assigns `D(arg)' to Bonds
-------------------------------------------------
Sideco Americana S.A.'s corporate bonds received default ratings
from Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. on Wednesday.
The `D(arg)' rating, which is assigned to financial obligations
that are in default, was determined from the Company's finances
as of the end of June 30 this year.

The bonds, worth US$200 million, were described as "obligaciones
negociables", and classified under "Program". These matured in
June 2000, according to the country's securities regulator, the
Comision Nacional de Valores.


SIEMAR: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
----------------------------------------------
Insolvency Judge Braga of Buenos Aires' Court No. 22 approved a
motion for "Concurso Preventivo" filed by local company Siemar
S.A.C. y C., relates Argentine news portal Infobae. An earlier
report by the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America indicated
that the city's Clerk No. 43, Dr. Mata, works with the court on
the case.

Infobae reports that local accountant Alberto Vilela was assigned
as Company receiver. He will validate creditors' claims until
November 18 this year. This part of the reorganization determines
the nature and amount of the Company's debts. The Company stopped
making debt payments on August 15, 2001.

The receiver will prepare the individual reports on the results
of the verification process after the said date. These reports
are due for filing on February 4 next year, after which the
receiver will prepare the general report summarizing the results
contained in the individual reports. The general report must be
submitted to the court on March 17 next year.

The court has also set the date for the informative assembly.
Without revealing the intended venue of the meeting, Infobae
reports that the assembly will be held on September 2, 2004.

CONTACT:  Siemar S.A.C. y C.
          Oliden 4326
          Buenos Aires

          Alberto Vilela
          Rodriguez Pea 431
          Buenos Aires


SIGNS TIME: Court Assigns Receiver For Reorganization Process
-------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine accountants Franqueiro y asociados will take charge as
receiver for the reorganization of Buenos Aires company Signs
Time S.A., relates local news source Infobae. The receiver will
be authenticating creditors' claims until February 2 next year.

An earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter indicated that
the Company stopped making debt payments in August this year,
prompting it to file the reorganization petition.

Insolvency Judge Ferrario of the city's Court No. 6 and Dr.
Piatti, Clerk No. 11 handle the Company's case. Infobae, however,
did not indicate whether the court has set the deadlines for the
filing the receiver's reports.

CONTACT:  Signs Time S.A.
          Lavalle 4072
          Buenos Aires

          Franqueiro y asociados
          Avenida Corrientes 524
          Buenos Aires


SYSTEM ALUMINIUM: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Expires
------------------------------------------------------------
The individual reports for the reorganization of Buenos Aires-
based System Aluminium S.A. must be submitted to the court today.
The receiver, Ms. Mabel Alba Nieves Herrera, prepared the reports
after the credit verifications were completed earlier this year.

The court ordered the receiver to prepare a general report after
the individual reports are processed at court. This report must
be presented to the court on December 17 this year.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America indicated earlier
in a report that the Company started reorganization after the
city's Court No. 19 approved its motion for "Concurso
Preventivo". The court set June 24, 2004 as the date for the
informative assembly.

CONTACT:  Mabel Alba Nieves Herrera
          Rodriguez Pena 694
          Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Braces For A Drawn-Out Debt Restructuring
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine fixed-line provider Telecom Argentina is likely to
extend its debt restructuring until next year, Dow Jones reports,
citing company CEO Carlos Felices.

"We are advancing in conversations with creditors, but I don't
think we will arrive at an agreement before the end of the year,"
Felices was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a Buenos Aires
telecommunications conference on Thursday.

"The next step is a new prospectus to present an already
definitive offer to creditors. We are necessarily going to finish
with an acuerdo preventivo extrajudicial, unless we get agreement
from 100% of the holders of debt," Felices added.

An acuerdo preventivo extrajudicial, or APE, is an out-of-court
agreement that needs two-thirds creditor approval to proceed.

According to a Telecom Argentina spokeswoman, Felices' comments
are in line with what the Company has previously said about the
time frame for its debt restructuring.

However, the comments contradict a statement from the Company's
Chief Financial Officer Valerio Cavallo made in a conference call
to discuss the Company's first-half earnings in August. Cavallo
had said, "we think the process will be finished by year end."

Telecom, which has about US$ 3 billion in debts, has struggled to
reach a swift agreement with its creditors.

In April, the Company offered to spend about US$260 million to
buy back debts at a maximum 50% of face value, Dow Jones relates.
Telecom increased its offer to 55% the next month and issued a
preliminary proposal. In June, the Company bought back US$292
million in debts, less than its target of US$600 million. Telecom
saw its dollar-denominated obligations rocket after the peso's
devaluation in 2002, and its fixed-line operations have continued
to suffer from a government-imposed freeze on rates put in place
after the devaluation.

Analysts have suggested that a turnaround in the Company's
results (net income for the first half of 2003 was ARS1.29
billion against a loss of ARS4.63 billion the year before) may
increase the number of creditors who want to hold out for a
better offer.

CONTACT:  TELECOM ARGENTINA STET - FRANCE TELECOM SA(TELECOM)
          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Repoblica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page: http://www.telecom.com.ar
          Contacts:
          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
          Email: inversores@intersrv.telecom.com.ar


TRANSPORTES CONTAINER: Court Sets Reorganization Schedule
---------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires' Court No. 13 set the schedule for the steps in the
reorganization process local company Transportes Container
Servicios S.R.L. is undergoing. A report by Argentine news portal
Infobae indicates that the individual reports are due on March 8
next year.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Miguel Adolfo Kupchik, will prepare
these reports after the credit verification process is completed
on December 19 this year. The reports will contain the results of
the verification process.

The receiver will also prepare the general report after the
individual reports are processed at court. This report must be
filed on April 19 next year. The informative assembly will be
held on August 16.

CONTACT:  Transportes Container Service S.R.L.
          Maipu 763
          Buenos Aires

          Miguel Kupchik
          Alsina 1360
          Buenos Aires


ZG: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy Process
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Norma Haydee Fernandez, receiver for Buenos Aires' Z.G. S.A.,
closes the verification process for the Company's bankruptcy
today. The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America earlier
reported that the city's Court No. 6 issued the bankruptcy order.

The receiver will prepare the individual reports, which must be
submitted to the court on December 31 this year. The court also
ordered the receiver to file the general report on March 12 next
year. This report is prepared after the individual reports are
processed at court.

CONTACT:  Norma Haydee Fernandez
          Plaza 3442
          Buenos Aires



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

* IMF Mission Visits Bolivia
----------------------------
A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by
Eliot Kalter visited La Paz from October 27-29, 2003 to hold
early discussions with the new government on its economic
program. The team met with the President of the Republic, His
Excellency Carlos Mesa; the Minister of Economic Development,
Xavier Nogales; the Minister of Finance, Javier Cuevas; the
President of the Central Bank, Juan Antonio Morales; and the rest
of the economic team.

The IMF currently provides support to Bolivia's economic program
under a Stand-By Arrangement aimed at maintaining economic and
financial stability and strengthening the financial system. The
program has been adapted flexibly to changing circumstances to
achieve these objectives, while ensuring adequate protection for
the poor. Performance through end-September continued to be
broadly in line with the program, while normal commercial and
financial activity has been rapidly restored following the events
of mid-October.

During the discussions, President Mesa and his team made clear
their continuing commitment to an economic program that would
allow the country to achieve sustained growth and reduce poverty
while lowering public debt. The mission reiterated the IMF's
readiness to work closely with the new government to provide
continuing support for such a program. Moreover, the mission
strongly welcomed the President's intention to build increased
consensus for his economic policies with all sectors of Bolivian
society, and to focus on programs that benefit the poorest
groups.

Discussions with the Bolivian authorities will continue during
the authorities' planned visit to Washington at the end of this
week. A Fund mission is expected to return to La Paz in the near
future for the third review of the Stand-By Arrangement and to
continue discussions on a possible three-year program that could
eventually be supported under the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility.

CONTACT:  INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
          Public Affairs
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

          Media Relations
          Phone: 202-623-7100
          Fax: 202-623-6772



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

CANBRAS COMMUNICATIONS: Releases 3Q03 Results
---------------------------------------------
Canbras Communications Corp. ("Canbras" or the "Corporation")
today released results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2003.

Renato Ferreira, President and CEO of the Canbras Group, stated,
"On October 8, 2003 Canbras announced that it had signed
agreements for the sale of all of its broadband communications
operations in Brazil, and that closing of the sale transactions
was subject to certain conditions including the obtaining of the
requisite approval of Canbras' shareholders and of all required
Brazilian regulatory agencies, as well as the approval of
Canbras' bank lending syndicates. We expect that the closing
conditions will be met over the next several months and that the
sale transactions will close during the first quarter of 2004."

BCI has informed Canbras that BCI has entered into an agreement
with Horizon Cablevision do Brasil S.A. ("Horizon") to vote its
76.6% majority stake in Canbras in favour of the Horizon sale
transaction.

As a result of the signing of the definitive agreements to sell
substantially all assets of the Corporation, Canbras recorded, at
the end of the third quarter of 2003, a $42.9 million write-down
of the carrying value of its long lived assets, which also
includes a provision for estimated cost of disposal. Upon closing
of the sale transactions, the Corporation will charge to income
foreign exchange losses previously deferred and included in the
foreign currency translation adjustment account in the
shareholders' equity section of the balance sheet. Had closing of
the sale transactions occurred on September 30, 2003, the total
charge to income would have been $93.6 million. The total amount
of the loss to be recorded on the sale transactions will
fluctuate with operating results and foreign exchange movements
between September 30, 2003 and the date of closing of the sale
transactions.

Mr. Ferreira added: "The strong performance of Canbras'
operations during the first nine month of this year played an
important role in the Corporation's ability to reach an agreement
to sell its broadband communications operations in Brazil and
maximize shareholder value. While cable subscriber levels remain
relatively stable from the beginning of the year, EBITDA for the
first nine months of 2003 has experienced solid growth of
approximately 64% over the same period a year ago."

Operating Results Review

Third Quarter 2003 versus third Quarter 2002

Revenue for the third quarter of 2003 was $16.3 million, an
increase of 10.2% over the third quarter of 2002. The increase
was primarily a result of price increases and cable and access
subscriber growth, partially offset by a 7% devaluation of the
average translation rate of Brazilian reais into Canadian dollars
relative to the third quarter of 2002. In Brazilian reais,
revenue for the third quarter of 2003 increased by approximately
18% over the third quarter of 2002.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation,
amortization and foreign exchange) reached $5.9 million in the
third quarter of 2003, up from $3.7 million a year ago. This
increase was a result of higher revenues as well as lower cost of
service and operating expenses mainly due to the weaker foreign
exchange translation rate of the Brazilian real.

The Corporation recorded a net loss of $42.2 million in the
quarter, compared to a net loss of $1.7 million in the third
quarter of 2002. The higher net loss in the quarter is attributed
to the $42.9 million write-down of the carrying value of Canbras'
long-lived assets as a result of the signing of definitive
agreements to sell all of the Corporations' broadband
communications operations in Brazil.

Year-to-Date September 2003 versus Year-to Date September 2002

Revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2003 was $45.3
million, down 6.6% over the same period of the previous year.
This decrease was a result of a 31% devaluation of the average
translation rate of Brazilian reais into Canadian dollars
relative to the nine month period ended September 30, 2002,
partially offset by price increases and cable and access
subscriber growth. In Brazilian reais, revenue for the first nine
months of 2003 increased by more than 21% over the same period of
2002.

EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2003 reached $13.9
million, up from $8.5 million a year ago. This increase was the
result of lower operating expenses and cost of service mainly due
to the weaker foreign exchange translation rate of the Brazilian
real.

The net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2003 was
$38.6 million, compared to a net loss of $6.5 million for the
same period the previous year. The higher net loss is primarily
attributable to the $42.9 million write-down of the carrying
value of long-lived assets recorded in the third quarter of 2003,
partially offset by lower depreciation and amortization expenses
as a result of the change in the functional currency of the
Corporation's Brazilian subsidiaries and the increased EBITDA and
a foreign exchange gain on the US dollar denominated debt due to
a 17% appreciation relative to December 31, 2002 in the Brazilian
real compared to the US dollar. Interest expenses were lower in
the first nine months of 2003 compared to the first nine months
of 2002 as a result of the purchase by the Corporation of US$9.25
million in notes issued under Canbras TVA's US-denominated credit
facility from a group of banks during the first quarter of 2002
and the additional debt repayments made during 2003.

Capital expenditures for the nine months ended September 30, 2003
were $3.9 million compared to $8.2 million in the comparable
period of 2002. This decrease was mainly due to lower subscriber
additions. During the first nine months of 2003, cash increased
by $4.6 million as cash provided by operating activities exceeded
(i) capital expenditures of $3.9 million, (ii) a $3.1 million
debt repayment and (iii) cash used for discontinued operations of
$0.9 million. Also during the first nine months of 2003, the
Canbras Group sold $0.6 million of materials held for future
capital expenditures.

General

Canbras, through the Canbras Group of companies, is a leading
broadband communications services provider in Brazil, offering
cable television, high speed Internet access and data
transmission services in Greater Sao Paulo and surrounding areas,
and cable TV services in the State of Parana. Canbras
Communications Corp.'s common shares are listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the trading symbol CBC. Visit our web site
at www.canbras.ca.

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


EL PASO: Eletrobras Threatens Plant Seizure
-------------------------------------------
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (Eletrobras), Brazil's state-
controlled utility holding company, threatened to seize El Paso
Corp.'s plant in Manaus, Brazil if it cuts power to the city,
Bloomberg reports, citing Eletrobras president, Luiz Pinguelli.

Pinguelli relates that Eletrobras received a letter from El Paso,
the largest U.S. natural-gas pipeline company, informing the
former that it may have to cut power to the city of 1.5 million
because money for routine maintenance is running out.

According to Bloomberg, Eletrobras hasn't paid El Paso since
January in a contract dispute.

But Pinguelli said: "They cannot turn the plant off. If they turn
it off, we will militarily occupy the plant because it's a
question of security."

Citing O Globo newspaper, Bloomberg revealed that Eletrobras owes
El Paso as much as BRL101 million (US$35 million). When a supply
contract expired in February, Eletrobras asked El Paso to cut the
cost of power by 45% to BRL30 ($10.46) a megawatt-hour from
BRL55.


GERDAU: Exports Grow 79%, Contribute to Group's Performance
-----------------------------------------------------------
From January through September, exports from Brazil totaled 2.3
million metric tons and generated revenues of US$ 571 million

Exports from Brazil were the main highlight of the Gerdau Group's
third quarter performance, the largest producer of long steel in
the Americas. Exports from Brazil totaled 2.3 million metric tons
in the first three quarters, 79% greater than in the same period
of 2002. Exports generated revenues of US$ 571 million, 14% of
the group's R$ 11.6 billion consolidated sales revenue for the
period. Gross sales revenues were up 44% compared to the R$ 8.1
billion obtained from January through September in the previous
year.

"Meeting the growing demand in Asia and the launching and
consolidation of the Gerdau Group in new markets have resulted in
an extremely positive export performance," stated Osvaldo
Schirmer, group executive vice president for finance and investor
relations director.

Operations in Brazil were responsible for 58% of total revenues,
the North American units for 38% and the units in Argentina,
Chile and Uruguay for 4%. Net profit for the Group was R$ 798
million up from R$ 625 million, a growth of 28% in the first
three quarters of 2002.

SALES

Total sales up 41%

Total sales reached the milestone of 9 million metric tons
presenting a 41% increase in the same period of the previous
year.

The units located in Brazil shipped 4.9 million metric tons of
steel, 16% over 2002 as a result of the return to full capacity
at the AŘominas mill in Ouro Branco, state of Minas Gerais. Of
this total, 2.6 million metric tons were shipped in the domestic
market where Gerdau sales were down 13% for the first nine
months. An industry-driven domestic recovery was noted in the
third quarter, based on an increase in orders in the truck, bus,
white goods and agricultural machinery and equipment sectors,
along with the traditional second-semester increase in industrial
demand.

The incorporation of new units in North America as of October
2002 affected the regional sales performance, which practically
doubled in nine months, reaching 3.8 million metric tons (up
96%). The mills in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay totaled 307
thousand metric tons of sales, up 25%.

PRODUCTION

Crude steel production reaches 9.2 million metric tons

Total crude steel production for the first three quarters reached
9.2 million metric tons, up 41% over the same period in 2002.

Production in Brazil grew 20% to 5.2 million metric tons,
equivalent to 56% of the consolidated figure. North American
units were responsible for 41% of the group's production,
presenting a growth of 89% for the region and reaching 3.8
million metric tons. Crude steel production in the units in Chile
and Uruguay totaled 253 thousand metric tons, an increase of 18%
and a contributing 3% to the total volume.

The consolidated output of rolled products - final products such
as rebars, bars, profiles and wire rod - totaled 6.7 million
metric tons, 41% more than in the same period in 2002. Industrial
plants in Brazil totaled 2.9 million metric tons (+8%), the North
American units 3.5 million metric tons (+91%) and Argentina,
Chile and Uruguay with 271 thousand metric tons (+15%).

INVESTMENTS

Investments total US$ 206 million

Investments for technological upgrades in Gerdau units throughout
the Americas totaled US$ 206 million this period. The Brazilian
operations received US$ 161 million with the highlight being the
wire rod rolling mill at AŘominas with hot-rolling tests due to
start next month. Sales of the product from AŘominas will begin
early in 2004, and will be aimed at the domestic and export
markets. Investments totaled US$ 40 million in the North American
units and US$ 5 million in the units in Argentina, Chile and
Uruguay.

STOCK MARKETS

The group's listed companies in Brazil will pay interest on
capital stock on November 18th

The Gerdau Group has two listed companies in Brazil - the holding
company Metalurgica Gerdau S.A. and the operating company Gerdau
S.A. - which will pay interest on capital stock for the third
quarter of 2003 on November 18th. Metalurgica Gerdau S.A. will
pay R$ 34.1 million, or R$ 0.82 per share, and Gerdau S.A. will
pay R$ 75.7 million, or R$ 0.51 per share.

Over the year, shares in Metalurgica Gerdau traded a total of R$
354.9 million at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, an increase of 68%
over the same period of 2002. The number of trades from January
through September (+113%) totaled 14,140, and the daily average
reached R$ 1.8 million.

Metalurgica Gerdau's net profit grew 6% in nine months, reaching
R$ 357 million, or R$ 8.59 per share for the year.

From January through September, shares of Gerdau S.A. traded a
total of R$ 1.6 billion at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange (+62%),
with an average daily trading of R$ 8.3 million. The number of
trades from January through September rose 91% to 70,026. Trading
of Gerdau S.A. ADRs at the New York Stock Exchange totaled US$
171 million, equivalent to a daily average of US$ 906 thousand.
Gerdau S.A. preferred shares were traded daily on the Madrid
Stock Exchange (Latibex), trading approximately ? 2.6 million.

Gerdau S.A.'s net profit was R$ 679 million, 9% greater than that
of the first nine months of 2002, representing R$ 4.58 per share.
Revenues totaled R$ 4.9 billion, an increase of 34%.

CONTACT:  Press Office +55(51) 3323-2170
          imprensa@gerdau.com.br
          www.gerdau.com.br


LATASA: To Be Sold To Rexam For Enterprise Value of $462M
---------------------------------------------------------
Alcoa announced Friday that Latas de Aluminio, S.A. (Latasa), an
agreement for the sale of an aluminum can business based in Sao
Paulo, Brazil has been reached regarding Rexam, for $355 million
and the assumption of debt, or an enterprise value of
approximately $462 million. Latasa is 37% owned by Alcoa, 39%
owned by Bradesco Seguros, S.A., 12% by J.P. Morgan International
Capital Corporation and 12% by others. Alcoa is the managing
partner of Latasa. The transaction is expected to be completed by
the end of November 2003 and is subject to the completion of
traditional conditions and a rights issue by Rexam that will be
used to finance part of the acquisition.

In 2002, Latasa had approximately $400 million in sales. It
operates six facilities in Brazil, one in Chile and another in
Argentina.

Rexam is a leading global beverage can maker and the leading
producer in Europe. With 16 facilities in Europe and 22 in
America and joint ventures in other key regions, Rexam is well
positioned to serve global customers.

The sale is part of Alcoa's divestiture program announced in
January. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt.
Alcoa holds its stake in Latasa through Reynolds Inc.,
subsidiaries.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major
aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive,
packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation
and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production
and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution
to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components,
Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrapr
aluminum foil, Alcoar wheels, and Bacor household wraps. Among
its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening
systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems
for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 41
countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com


MRS LOGISTICA: Announces 3Q03 Results
-------------------------------------
MRS Logistica S.A., one of the largest railroad concessionaires
in Brazil, announces its results for the 3rd quarter of 2003
(3Q03).

MRS transported 23.0 million tonnes in 3Q03, 6.6% above volumes
achieved in 2Q03 and 14.1% higher when compared with the same
period of 2002. The increase in volumes in 3Q03 was a consequence
of greater iron ore exports (MBR and CVRD), iron ore to CSN and
to the growth in demand for agricultural products, mainly
soybeans.

Total volume transported in the first 9 months of 2003 totalled
63.4 million tonnes, 16.7% above the same period of 2002.

Gross revenues in 3Q03 amounted to R$ 357.8 million, 7.5% and
46.7% higher when compared with 2Q03 and 3Q02, respectively.
Gross revenues accumulated in 2003 reached R$ 985.0 million, a
56.2% growth when compared with the same period of last year.

The evolution in revenues in this period resulted not only from
the volume increment but also due to higher tariffs, which were
applied in order to recover increases in some of the Company's
costs. The average tariff in 2003 reached R$ 15.54/tonne, 33.7%
higher than average tariff in 2002.

Fuel and lubricant costs had a 4.5% increase in 3Q03, despite the
higher tonnage shipped, due to a 1.1% reduction in diesel prices
in the quarter. However, fuel costs in 2003 increased 69.5% when
compared to 2002, caused by a 36.4% increase in fuel prices
throughout the period.

Costs of services in 3Q03 increased 1.5% in relation to the 2Q03,
while these costs in the first 9 months of 2003 increased by
21.3% when compared to same period of previous year, due to the
intensification in the maintenance of locomotives and wagons, as
a result of higher production volumes.

EBITDA registered in 3Q03 amounted to R$ 155.4 million, 15.5% and
100% superior than EBITDA achieved in 2Q03 and 3Q02,
respectively. In the first 9 months of 2003, EBITDA reached R$
396.3 million, 114% above the figure registered in the same
period of 2002. EBITDA margin (EBITDA/Net Revenues) in 2003 is
44.6%, up from 32.3% in 2002.

The Company showed an accumulated net income of R$ 176.2 million
in the first 9 months of 2003, a strong recovery from the R$
350.9 million loss recorded in the same period of 2002. In
addition to the improvement in operational and commercial
aspects, this result confirms management's successful efforts
towards reorganizing the Company's capital structure.

Consolidated net debt at the end of 3Q03 was reduced to R$ 771.3
million, 22.3% lower than the R$ 999.1 million recorded at the
end of 3Q02, as a result of the strong cash generation during the
period and to the appreciation of the Real against the US dollar.

Among commercial aspects, we should highlight:

- Conclusion of a 5-year transport agreement with Votorantim
Metais for the shipment of 180 thousand tonnes/year of zinc and
iron ore imported via the port of Sepetiba to the Companhia
Paraibuna de Metais plant in Juiz de Fora. In order to accomplish
this new shipping, several investments amounting to R$ 10.3
million are being effected. MRS is currently refurbishing 28 HFT
wagons at a cost of R$ 1.1 million, while Votorantim will spend
R$ 9.2 million in the reactivation of a 6-km railway segment and
in operational improvements at the port and at the plant.

- Start of prototype shipments for the transport of containers
with auto parts for Volkswagen from its plant in Taubat, (SP) to
the port of Santos, for export to China. The containers will be
initially shipped by truck from Taubat, to a railway terminal in
CaŘapava (SP), and from there through MRS until Santos. Regular
shipments should start in November at a 400-containers/month
rate. Among operational aspects, we should highlight the arrival
at the port of Rio de Janeiro of 11 GE C-36 locomotives acquired
from General Electric, which are already in operation.

In addition, 10 GE C-30 locomotives, acquired from National
Railway Equipment Co. (NREC), have also arrived in Rio and are
expected to join the operational fleet in early November.

During 3Q03, MRS acquired 13,600 tonnes of TR-68 and TR-57 rails
from Corus Rail, France. The first 8,600-tonne shipment is
expected to happen in December and the remaining goods should be
shipped next year in order to meet the Company's 2004-capex
program.



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

ENDESA CHILE: Financial Structure "Much Healthier," Says Analyst
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch analyst Carlos Diez suggested that the financial structure
of Chilean generator Endesa Chile is "much healthier" now than it
was a year ago, relates Business News Americas.

The analyst's comments come on the heels of the publication of
the Company's results for the first nine months of 2003. The
Company posted net income of CLP67.4 billion (US$107.3 million)
for the January-September period, up slightly from CLP66.8
billion in the same period last year.

In a filing to the securities regulator SVS, Endesa Chile stated
it reduced its short-term debt from US$1.6 billion in September
2002 to US$630 million in September 2003, which as a percentage
of total debt fell to 14.1% from 28.3%. Long-term debt also fell
slightly.

"The important thing here, even more than the cash flow, which is
a bit less [in Chile] due to the sale of some assets, is that the
financial structure is much better," Diez said.

Endesa refinanced US$700 million in short-term debt with four
banks in March this year as part of parent company Enersis's
US$2.3-billion refinancing plan, which put the due date back to
2008.

"The restructuring was very positive for the company and this is
reflected in the results," Diez said.

"The company has increased the proportion of long-term debt
versus short-term debt," he said, adding, "This is better because
the debt is more consistent with [Endesa's] cash flow, which is
focused more on the long-term."



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

AVIANCA: Gets More Time To Prepare Debt-Restructuring Plan
----------------------------------------------------------
Aerovias Nacionales de Colombia SA (Avianca), the oldest airline
in the Americas, said Friday the Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York gave it 32 more days to meet with
potential buyers before it has to present a debt-restructuring
plan.

The objective of this new extension is to allow the Company to
advance in the consolidation of talks with possible investors,
Avianca said in a statement.

Avianca filed for protection from its creditors on March 21 after
rising fuel and insurance costs deepened its losses. The Summa
Alliance, of which Avianca is the main partner, had a loss of
COP86 billion (US$30 million) last year.

Avianca is seeking to restructure about US$270 million in debt to
lower costs and help it return to profitability.

Valores Bavaria SA, a holding company, has a 50% stake in Avianca
and the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers owns the
other 50%.


AVIANCA: Executive Offers Union Head Bonus
------------------------------------------
Alberto Padilla, the head of Colombia's commercial pilots' union,
claimed Friday he has been offered a bonus by an Avianca
executive in exchange for supporting a restructuring plan in a
bankruptcy court, says Reuters.

Padilla forms part of a seven-member creditor committee with
which Avianca is trying to renegotiate US$269 million in debt
under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy court.

He revealed that on June 20 Avianca's Finance Vice President
Gerardo Grajales offered him the bonus if he dropped opposition
to the plan to be presented under the Company's Chapter 11
proceedings in a U.S. court.

"Gerardo Grajales offered me a bonus so that I would approve the
restructuring plan the company has to present before the creditor
committee and before the court," Padilla told Reuters.

He said he was in Bogota when the telephone conversation took
place, and Grajales was in New York

"As proof of this, I have a recording of the call, a report which
I presented to the (creditors') committee and witnesses," Padilla
said.

"On top of offering me the bonus, he suggested that another
person could receive one too. He told me: "If the restructuring
goes through, you have the right to a bonus ... and obviously the
committee can't find out."

Padilla told Reuters that the recording was confidential and he
could not make it available because the creditors' committee was
investigating its contents.

The pilots have a seat on the creditors' committee due to their
pension liabilities. They have clashed repeatedly with Avianca's
management over its plans to reduce the airlines workforce,
eliminating many pilots' jobs.



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

BANCO DEL PACIFICO: In Talks To Participate In IESS Mortgage Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Talks between Ecuador's Banco del Pacifico and local social
security agency IESS are ongoing to determine whether the bank
will participate in the handling of the agency's latest mortgage
package, reports Business News Americas.

Last week, IESS's workers' representative Bruno Frixone held
talks with the bank's board of directors to see if the bank can
be added to the list of financial institutions already selected
to administer the IESS's lending package.

IESS recently unveiled a plan to cut operational costs and
established an oversight committee to make sure bids for supply
contracts are transparent and low cost. The plan is financed by
IESS funds currently deposited with the central bank.

In the meantime, Pacifico's majority shareholder, Banco Central
del Ecuador, is preparing the bank for sale in line with the
government's commitments to the International Monetary Fund.



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

JUTC: Workers Await Monday's Meeting To Decide Next Step
--------------------------------------------------------
The University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) were scheduled to
meet with the management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company
(JUTC) Monday to resolve a conflict over payments, RadioJamaica
reports, citing UAWU Professor Trevor Munroe.

The outcome of the meeting will decide whether the JUTC
employees, who are upset about the non-payment of outstanding
sums owed to them by the Company, will take on another action
after they pulled their buses off the road Friday night to attend
a meeting with the delegates of the UAWU.

The JUTC management issued a release Friday night, saying that
following negotiations with the UAWU, it was agreed that in
addition to reclassification and retroactive payments of 128
million dollars made to over two thousand workers in July, a
further 48 million dollars would be paid to the workers.

But the Company says payments have to be made in three tranches
in December, February and March due to its current difficult
financial situation.

In contrast, the workers are contending that this is not
acceptable and are demanding that the payments be made by next
month.



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

AHMSA: To Delay Release of 3Q03 Results
---------------------------------------
Mexican steelmaker Ahmsa (Altos Hornos de Mexico) told Mexico
City's stock exchange that it will delay publication of its
third-quarter financial results for 30 days, relates Business
News Americas.

The Company, which has been in a form of bankruptcy for more than
four years, attributed the setback to its auditors and "pending
events."

The steelmaker, with two plants in Monclova, boasts installed
capacity of 3Mt. It has four blast furnaces, plus coal and iron
ore mines, and is controlled by the GAN group.

CONTACT:  Altos Hornos de Mexico S.A.
          Prolongacion B. Juarez s/n,
          Monclova , Coahuila 25770
          Mexico
          http://www.AHMSA.com
          Phone: +52 86 33 81 72
          Fax: +52 86 33 65 66
          Contacts:
          Alonso Ancira Elizondo, CEO, Vice Chairman, Pres/CEO
          Jorge Ancira Elizondo, Chief Financial Officer
          Manuel Ancira Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer


EMPRESAS ICA: Seeks To Raise $225M In Share Sale
------------------------------------------------
Mexico's largest construction company Empresas ICA Sociedad
Controladora SA, plans to ask existing shareholders to buy US$225
million of new shares as part of an effort to reduce debt
payments, says Bloomberg.

In a statement to the Mexican Stock Exchange, the Company said it
will hold a shareholders meeting on Nov. 17 to approve a plan to
sell current shareholders 1.24 billion shares, double the current
number of outstanding shares, at 2 pesos a share (18.1 U.S.
cents).

According to the Company, Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA, which is
controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has agreed to buy
a minimum of 250 million of the shares and has an option to
purchase 500 million more of the shares not subscribed by
shareholders.

Inbursa currently has a 12.4% stake in the Mexican construction
company.

ICA is trying to improve its finances as it negotiates long- term
financing of US$682 million for the construction of a
hydroelectric dam in the western state of Nayarit for the Federal
Electricity Commission, the country's state-run electricity
company known as the CFE.

The Company said the financing, which will be guaranteed by its
CFE construction contract, will consist of a bank loan of US$458
million and a US$225 million bond sale. The transactions should
be concluded at the end of November, the Company said in its
earnings report last week.

CONTACT:  Dr. Jose Luis Guerrero
          (5255) 5272-9991 x2060
          jose.guerrero@ica.com.mx

          Lic. Paloma Grediaga
          (5255) 5272-9991 x3470
          paloma.grediaga@ica.com.mx

          In the United States:
          Zemi Communications
          Daniel Wilson
          (212) 689-9560
          d.b.m.wilson@zemi.com


GRUPO ELEKTRA: Authorized to Purchase a Private Insurance Company
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V., Latin America's leading specialty
retailer, consumer finance and banking services company,
announced on Friday that it has received approval from the
Ministry of Finance to purchase a private insurance company in
Mexico that will be renamed Seguros Azteca, S.A. de C.V.

"This is an important step for the Mexican insurance industry as
Seguros Azteca will expand the market," commented Javier Sarro,
CEO of Grupo Elektra. "In creating this new company, we will
bring new premiums to the insurance sector through penetrating a
market barely approached by this industry. We will offer
additional quality products to our clients who have preferred our
variety of products and services for over 50 years."

Grupo Elektra acquired CIGNA Seguros, S.A. and its license to
operate life, accident and health insurance. The transaction does
not include any insurance portfolio in force or any liabilities.

The insurance industry penetration in Mexico measured by total
premiums as a percentage of GDP is 2.0%, one of the lowest
compared to Argentina, Chile and Brazil, 3.9%, 4.0%, and 2.1%
penetration, respectively; and even lower when compared to OCDE,
G7 and NAFTA figures of 8.8%, 9.2%, and 8.6%, respectively.

Some of the products Seguros Azteca plans to start offering early
next year are: life insurance related to consumer loans granted
by Banco Azteca, individual life insurance and funeral expenses.
Seguros Azteca will analyze other potential insurance businesses
that fit within Grupo Elektra's strategy in due course.

Alfredo Honsberg, who has been appointed CEO of Seguros Azteca,
S.A. de C.V., has several years of experience in the insurance
industry. Previous to joining Seguros Azteca, he held several
management positions in Seguros Serfin Lincoln, S.A. until he
became CEO of the company. Prior to that, he worked for Seguros
Comercial America, S.A. de C.V. and in the Munich Reinsurance
Company. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Insurance from the
Munich School of Insurance in Germany.

Mr. Honsberg noted, "This represents an excellent opportunity for
Grupo Elektra and its financial division because of the low cost
to start this venture and its potential growth going forward. We
plan to start offering policies throughout Grupo Elektra stores
and Banco Azteca's branches. Furthermore, their excellent payment
collection scheme will help us position our leading insurance
products and to preserve a healthy life insurance portfolio."

"Alfredo brings valuable experience and vast knowledge from both
the Mexican and international insurance industries," said Mr.
Sarro. "We are building a highly qualified team for the company;
this will prove to be the essence of Seguros Azteca's success."

Seguros Azteca will be a wholly owned unrestricted subsidiary of
Grupo Elektra.

Grupo Elektra - Tradition with Vision

Grupo Elektra is Latin America's leading specialty retailer,
consumer finance and banking services company. Grupo Elektra
sells retail goods and services through its Elektra, Salinas y
Rocha and Bodega de Remates stores and over the Internet. The
Group operates almost 900 stores in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
and Peru. Grupo Elektra also sells and markets its consumer
finance and banking products and services through its Banco
Azteca branches located within its stores. Financial services
include consumer credit, personal loans, money transfers,
extended warranties, savings accounts and term deposits.

CONTACT:  Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
          Esteban Galindez, CFA, Director of Finance & IR,
          Phone: +52-55-8582-7819
          Fax: +52-55-8582-7822
          Email: egalindez@elektra.com.mx

          Rolando Villarreal, Investor Relations
          Phone: +52-55-8582-7819
          Fax: +52-55-8582-7822
          Email: rvillarreal@elektra.com.mx

          Samantha Pescador, Investor Relations,
          Phone: +52-55-8582-7819
          Fax: +52-55-8582-7822
          Email: spescador@elektra.com.mx

          Home Page: http://www.grupoelektra.com.mx


MINERA AUTLAN: Reports Lower Net Loss in the 3Q03
-------------------------------------------------
Mexican manganese producer Minera Autlan managed to narrow its
net loss in the third quarter this year, reports Business News
Americas.

In a filing with the Mexico City's stock exchange, the Company
reported a MXN72.4-million net loss in the third quarter this
year, compared to a MXN143-million net loss in the same period a
year ago.

Net sales during the period were up 28.4% to MXN673 million, with
MXN182 million coming from exports and MXN491 million from
Mexico, the filing revealed.

Cost of goods sold rose 30% through the third quarter to MXN536
million, due largely to high costs of electric energy and natural
gas used in production.

The Company managed to reduce gas consumption in a primary
furnace, "but this was not enough to counteract the high costs of
this energy source," Autlan said in a report.


* IMF Concludes 2003 Article IV Consultation with Mexico
--------------------------------------------------------
IMF Concludes 2003 Article IV Consultation with Mexico
Public Information Notices (PINs) are issued, (i) at the request
of a member country, following the conclusion of the Article IV
consultation for countries seeking to make known the views of the
IMF to the public. This action is intended to strengthen IMF
surveillance over the economic policies of member countries by
increasing the transparency of the IMF's assessment of these
policies; and (ii) following policy discussions in the Executive
Board at the decision of the Board.

On October 15, 2003, the Executive Board of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with
Mexico.1

Background

After a strong performance from 1997 to 2000, output fell in 2001
in response to the U.S. downturn. While growth rebounded in the
first half of 2002, it has stalled since, reflecting both the
delayed U.S. recovery and sluggish domestic spending. In spite of
lower wage growth, higher administered and agricultural prices
pushed up headline inflation to 5.7 percent at end-2002, compared
with the Bank of Mexico's (BOM) target of 4.5 percent. Stagnant
non-oil export volumes since 2001 have been more than offset by
higher oil exports and a contraction in imports, leading to a
narrowing in the current account deficit. The current account
deficit has been almost entirely financed by FDI inflows.

Real GDP remained subdued in the first half of 2003, with growth
of 1.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in the four quarters ending
in the second quarter. While recent indicators of activity have
been mixed, most observers still expect the economy to recover in
the second half of the year, in line with U.S. recovery. Headline
inflation also continued to rise in the first months of 2003, but
then dropped significantly to 4 percent in August and September,
as inflation expectations declined and earlier price shocks
unwound. Core inflation fell to 3.5 percent in April, and then
stabilized around that level through September. The current
account deficit continued to moderate in the first half of 2003.
Private external borrowing also declined in the first half of the
year, as firms increasingly switched from foreign to domestic
capital markets to meet their financing needs.

During 2002 and the first quarter of 2003, net international
reserves increased by US$9.3 billion, largely due to the impact
of high oil prices on PEMEX receipts. A new mechanism was
implemented in May to slow the pace of reserve accumulation and
lower the cost associated with carrying those levels of reserves.
Gross international reserves amounted to 106 percent of short-
term debt by residual maturity at end-September 2003.

The pace of fiscal consolidation, viewed in terms of the broad
public sector deficit, has been slower than envisaged in the
authorities' 2002 medium-term plan. While the budget target of an
augmented deficit of 3.4 percent of GDP for 2003 is likely to be
met, higher oil revenues are expected to offset shortfalls in
other revenues, increasing the sensitivity of the fiscal
situation to swings in oil prices. Expenditures are also expected
to exceed budget estimates.

The BOM tightened its monetary stance starting September 2002 in
response to rising inflation expectations. With the subsequent
reduction in both headline inflation and inflation expectations,
prospects are favorable for bringing end-year headline inflation
below 4 percent. After rising to about 10 percent in early March,
short-term interest rates fell below 5 percent in July, but have
increased in recent weeks in response to the weakness in the
peso. At the same time, the recent depreciation of the peso
implies that monetary conditions have eased further, providing
support to activity.

Market sentiment toward Mexico remains positive, as reflected in
its investment-grade status. Turbulence in emerging markets in
2002 was weathered well, and sovereign bond spreads have declined
to a historical low of 200 basis points in recent weeks.

The government has made significant progress in strengthening the
structure of public debt. Public external debt, for instance, has
fallen further from 15 percent of total debt in 2000 to 13®
percent in 2002. The government successfully issued five bonds
with collective action clauses this year. The latest issue (US$1
billion of 10-year bonds) would pre-fund part of the 2004
financing requirements on terms favorable to Mexico. In addition,
Mexico became the first country to redeem all of its Brady bonds.
Nevertheless, some public debt vulnerabilities remain, with a
large portion of domestic debt either short-term or linked to
short-term interest rates, and a significant gross public sector
borrowing requirement.

Executive Board Assessment

Executive Directors commended the Mexican authorities for their
substantially strengthened policies, which have helped underpin
macroeconomic stability and investor confidence and enabled
Mexico to successfully weather the difficult global and regional
conditions of recent years. They welcomed in particular the
continued modernization of the financial sector, the strengthened
structure of the public debt, the reduction in inflation to low
levels, and the progress made in reducing poverty. The key
challenges going forward will be to diversify the sources of
economic growth, and strengthen medium-term growth prospects
sufficiently to achieve significant further reductions in
poverty.

Against this background, Directors urged the authorities to
restart quickly the process of fiscal consolidation and
reinvigorate the implementation of productivity-enhancing
structural reforms-areas in which recent progress has been
disappointing owing to difficulties in forging the needed
political consensus. Of particular importance will be rapid
approval and implementation of structural reforms with respect to
the tax system, the energy sector, the labor market, and the
judicial system, which together will help boost private
investment and employment and maintain competitiveness in an
environment of heightened global competition. It was noted in
this context that further efforts to build greater public
awareness of the importance of these reforms will be helpful for
achieving the appropriate degree of ambition in their scope and
speed. Directors supported the authorities' efforts to improve
governance, fight corruption, and enhance transparency, and they
encouraged them to persevere in these efforts.

Directors endorsed the authorities' medium-term fiscal framework,
which calls for further fiscal adjustment to lower the public
debt-to-GDP ratio. To achieve this objective, the authorities
will need to give renewed impetus to the consolidation process in
2004, while ensuring effective management of oil revenues. Over
the medium term, they will also need to address the challenges
posed by the significant reliance of public sector revenues on
oil prices and the growing spending pressures. Fiscal reforms
based on measures that increase efficiency and boost confidence
in sustainability will help strengthen the foundations for faster
medium-term growth while limiting any near-term negative
consequences.

Directors welcomed the authorities' recent efforts to renew tax
reform discussions. A broad-based tax reform would enhance the
efficiency of the tax system and promote fiscal stability.
Directors agreed with the view that formally linking the annual
budget discussions to a medium-term plan that incorporates a
comprehensive view of fiscal developments would serve to
strengthen the fiscal framework. In addition, a fiscal
responsibility law would provide a useful framework for setting
medium-term targets, including for the debt path, and for
reconciling the tax, expenditure, and social sector policy
objectives. Directors suggested that the authorities set and
regularly update specific medium-term objectives for the
augmented deficit and debt to underpin the annual budget
discussions.

Directors commended the Bank of Mexico for implementing a prudent
and forward-looking monetary policy, which has served to boost
market confidence and promote financial stability. They
considered that declining inflation expectations and economic
slack will contribute to the convergence of inflation toward the
target by end-2003, while the recent easing in monetary
conditions will help support activity in the period ahead.

In discussing the operating procedures for monetary policy,
Directors noted that the corto has allowed for large and rapid
adjustments in interest rates, and contributed to Mexico's
impressive record in reducing inflation. Many Directors
considered, however, that as inflation and interest rates
stabilize at low levels, a short-term interest rate target would
provide a greater degree of monetary control and increase
transparency, thereby helping to keep inflation within a narrow
target range and communicating the authorities' monetary policy
intentions more clearly. At the same time, given the importance
of correct timing and careful management of the transition
process, they considered that the authorities are best qualified
to define the appropriate timing.

Directors observed that Mexico's flexible exchange rate regime
has been effective in cushioning the economy from external
shocks. They agreed that the new rules-based mechanism to reduce
the pace of accumulation of foreign reserves does not change the
authorities' transparent approach to reserves management and the
commitment to a market-determined exchange rate. Directors
encouraged the authorities to ensure that reserves remain
adequate.

Directors welcomed the authorities' efforts to further strengthen
the financial regulatory framework. Important challenges in the
period ahead will be to deepen financial intermediation without
excessive risk-taking, and to streamline financial rules and
regulations to encourage innovation and competition. In this
regard, Directors welcomed the high priority attached by the
authorities to strengthening oversight of the rapidly growing
nonbank institutions. They commended Mexico's continued efforts
to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Directors endorsed the authorities' commitment to continue to
reduce vulnerabilities relating to the public debt through
increasing issuance of fixed-rate, domestic-currency instruments
and extending the yield curve. Directors commended Mexico's
leadership in debt management, including its recent inclusion of
collective action clauses in sovereign debt contracts and the
early redemption of all outstanding Brady bonds. Directors were
encouraged by Mexico's efforts to deepen the domestic bond
market, which will foster the diversification of financing
sources for the private sector and reduce reliance on foreign
currency-denominated private debt, thus alleviating a potential
risk factor.

Directors recognized that Mexico's data are generally of high
quality, and are adequate to conduct surveillance effectively.
They encouraged the authorities to implement the recommendations
of the 2003 statistical Report on the Observance of Standards and
Codes.

CONTACT:  INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
          Public Affairs
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

          Media Relations
          Phone: 202-623-7100
          Fax: 202-623-6772



=======
P E R U
=======

PAN AMERICAN: Sells Tres Cruces Interest
----------------------------------------
Pan American Silver Corp. announced it has reached an agreement
to sell its 50% interest in the Tres Cruces gold project in Peru
to New Oroperu Resources Inc. This agreement accelerates the
exercise of the option agreement entered into with Oroperu in May
2002. For its interest Pan American will receive 3.5 million
shares and a 1.5% net smelter royalty on the property. The sale
is expected to close in January 2004 subject to the completion of
documentation and regulatory and shareholder approval by Oroperu.

CONTACT:  Brenda Radies, VP Corporate Relations (604) 684-1175
          www.panamericansilver.com



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

CITGO: Announces Third Quarter 2003 Results
-------------------------------------------
Luis Marin, CITGO Petroleum Corporation's President and CEO,
announced on Friday that the company's third quarter net income
was $103-million and net income for the nine month period ending
September 30, 2003 was $351-million. In comparison, 2002 net
income for the third quarter was $57-million and for the first
nine months of 2002 was $138-million.

Operating income (income before interest and income taxes) for
the third quarter of 2003 was $193-million, which includes
depreciation and amortization expenses totaling $83-million. In
comparison, 2002 third quarter operating income was $108-million,
which includes depreciation and amortization expenses totaling
$76-million.

For the nine months ending September 30, 2003, operating income
was $640-million, including depreciation and amortization
expenses totaling $245-million. In comparison, in the first nine
months of 2002, CITGO's operating income was $271-million,
including depreciation and amortization expenses totaling $221-
million.

Refinery crack spreads continue to run at levels well above the
previous year. The strength in the crack spreads reflects strong
product demand due to an unseasonably cool first quarter followed
by good demand in motor fuels. In addition, refiners had an
unusually strong turnaround season. Product inventories have been
in the low end of their five year range over most of the year,
only just now reaching average levels at the beginning of the
fourth quarter.

"We positioned ourselves to take advantage of the strong market
in the third quarter by performing exceptionally well on both the
refining and marketing sides of the business," stated Marin. "At
our Lake Charles, La. and Lemont, Ill. refineries we are on pace
to establish new annual processing records. In addition, we
achieved a 98-percent average utilization rate in our refining
system, which compares favorably with the industry average of
about 95-percent. Our year-to-date safety performance continues
to be among the industry leaders and our environmental
performance continues to improve as well," Marin said.

"At the Lake Charles refinery we are moving forward with the
Conversion Optimization Project (COP), which is scheduled for
completion in April 2005, as well as some regulatory projects
within our refining system that are required to meet the new fuel
specifications," Marin continued. "Specifically, the Lemont
refinery's Tier-II gasoline unit is scheduled for start-up in
December of this year, while at Lake Charles the Tier-II unit is
scheduled for completion in 2004," Marin concluded.

CITGO's capital expenditures for the third quarter of 2003 were
$106-million compared with $128-million for the same quarter in
2002. Capital expenditures for the first nine months of 2003 were
$315-million compared with $478-million for the first nine months
of 2002.

ABOUT CITGO

CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a leading energy company based in
Tulsa, Okla., with approximately 4,300 employees and annual
revenues of around $20 billion. CITGO is a direct, wholly-owned
subsidiary of PDV America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PDV
Holding, Inc. CITGO's ultimate parent is Petroleos de Venezuela,
S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela and its largest supplier of crude oil.

CITGO operates fuels refineries in Lake Charles, La., Corpus
Christi, Texas, and Lemont, Ill., and asphalt refineries in
Paulsboro, NJ and Savannah, Ga. The company has long-term crude
oil supply agreements with PDVSA for a portion of the crude oil
requirements at these facilities. CITGO is also a 41-percent
participant in LYONDELL-CITGO Refining LP, a joint venture fuels
refinery located in Houston, Texas. CITGO's interests in these
refineries result in a total crude oil capacity of approximately
865,000 barrels per day.

Serving more than 13,000 branded, independently owned and
operated retail locations, CITGO is also one of the five largest
branded gasoline suppliers within the United States.

CONTACT:  CITGO Petroleum Corporation
          Kate Robbins
          Phone: +1-918-495-5764

          Jennifer Hill
          Phone: +1-918-495-4260
          Fax: +1-918-495-5269

          Home Page: http://www.citgo.com



               ***********


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 America is a daily newsletter
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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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