TCRLA_Public/031204.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, December 4, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 240

                          Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

BIOGEL: Court Orders Bankruptcy
BRALO ARGENTINA: Receiver Assigned to Oversee Bankruptcy Process
CAFRE: Court Approves Creditor's Motion for Bankruptcy
COMERCIAL ZOMA: Individual Reports Due Today
CP DE DIAGNOSTICO: Declared Bankrupt by Court

DIPERFIL: Receiver to Verify Claims Until February 12
DISCO: Court Orders General Restrictions On Assets
GEJAMAS: General Report Filing Deadline Today
HOLACINE: Seeks Court Permission to Reorganize
INSTITUTO CAIP: Court Sets Schedule for Reorganization

LA BOTICA: Court Declares Company "Quiebra"
LAKANT: Accountant Marcelo Edgardo Mirasso Acts as Receiver
METCASA-METALURGICA: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications
METROVIAS: Narrows Net Loss in the First 9 Mos. of 2003
PAPELERA SUR: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Gets Court's Nod

PESQUERA SANTA MARIA: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
ZUZEPAR: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders


B E R M U D A

CRP: AM Best Changes Parent's Under Review Status to Developing
CRP: S&P Raises SCOR's long-term ratings to 'BBB+'


B R A Z I L

AES CORP.: BNDES Threatens to Lodge Legal Proceedings
CEMIG: Board Approves Payment of Interest on Capital
GERDAU: Acquires Margusa for US$ 18 Million
VESPER: QUALCOMM Announces Closing of Sale


C H I L E

ENERSIS: Reveals US$600M Investment Plan For Next Year


J A M A I C A

AUSJAM: Management Decides on Closure, Lays off 18 Workers
JUTC: Has Until Wednesday To Present Retro Payment Proposal


M E X I C O

ALESTRA: Narrows Net Loss in the First Nine Months of 2003
CYDSA: Struggles To Refinance Debt


P E R U

*World Bank Approves $150M Loan To Peru


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: To Make Dividend Payment on Dec. 19


                      ***********


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

BIOGEL: Court Orders Bankruptcy
-------------------------------
Argentine company Biogel S.A. entered bankruptcy on orders from
Buenos Aires Court No. 11. Clerk No. 21 assists the court on the
case, which is likely to result in the liquidation of the
Company's assets.

Infobae relates that the receiver assigned to the case, Carlos
Eduardo Foresti, is instructed to verify creditors' claims to
determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.
Verifications will be closed on February 16 next year.

The court ordered the receiver to submit the individual reports
on February 16, 2004. These reports are prepared after
verifications are completed. The receiver will prepare the
general report, due on May 10, after the individual reports are
processed at court.

CONTACT:  Carlos Eduardo Foresti
          Ave Callao 449
          Buenos Aires


BRALO ARGENTINA: Receiver Assigned to Oversee Bankruptcy Process
----------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 12 of Buenos Aires assigns local accountant Juan Jose
Castronuovo as receiver for the bankruptcy of Bralo Argentina
S.A., relates Infobae. The receiver will authenticate creditors'
claims until February 19 next year.

The individual reports, which are prepared after verifications
are closed, are to be filed at the court on April 1 followed by
the general report on May 13. The preparation of these reports is
part of the receiver's duties.

The Company's assets are to be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to reimburse creditors. Distribution of
payments will be determined from the results of the verification
process.

CONTACT:  Juan Jose Castronuovo
          President Peron 1509
          Buenos Aires


CAFRE: Court Approves Creditor's Motion for Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------------
Judge Ottolenghi of Buenos Aires Court No. 4 approved a petition
for the bankruptcy of local company Cafre S.A. filed by its
creditor for nonpayment of debt. Working with Clerk No. 7, Dr.
Juarez, the court assigned Mr. Nestor Monti as the Company's
receiver.

Creditors must present their claims to the receiver for
authentication before February 23 next year. Verifications are
done to determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.
The receiver will also prepare the individual and general
reports, whose deadlines where not revealed in the Infobae
report.

CONTACT:  Cafre S.A.
          8th Floor
          Carlos Pellegrini 675
          Buenos Aires

          Nestor Monti
          7th Floor
          Ave del Libertador 10778
          Buenos Aires


COMERCIAL ZOMA: Individual Reports Due Today
--------------------------------------------
Ms. Ana Maria Calzada Percivale, receiver for Buenos Aires
company Comercial Zoma S.A., is required to file the individual
reports on the Company's bankruptcy today. These reports were
prepared upon completion of the credit verification process
earlier this year.

Buenos Aires' Court No. 22, which handles the Company's case,
ordered the receiver to prepare a general report to be submitted
on February 10 next year. The court has also set the informative
assembly date on April 7, 2004, the Troubled Company Reporter -
Latin America earlier reported.

CONTACT:  Ana Maria Calzada Percivale
          Ave. San Martin 2805
          Buenos Aires


CP DE DIAGNOSTICO: Declared Bankrupt by Court
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 14 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Lomas de
Zamora of Argentina declared local company Clinica Privada de
Diagnostico las Flores S.A. "Quiebra", placing the Company under
bankruptcy protection. The Company's assets face liquidation at
the end of the process to reimburse creditors.

Proofs of claims must present their claims to the receiver, Mr.
Julio Benjamin Alvarez, for verification before December 18 this
year. The individual reports are due for filing on March 3, 2004
followed by the general report on April 19.

CONTACT:  Clinica Privada de Diagnostico las Flores S.A.
          Las Flores 455
          Wilde, Lomas de Zamora

          Julio Benjamin Alvarez
          Espana 266
          Banfiled, Lomas de Zamora


DIPERFIL: Receiver to Verify Claims Until February 12
-----------------------------------------------------
Mr. Marcos Enrique Gonzalez, receiver for bankrupt Argentine
company Diperfil SRL, will verify creditors' claims until
February 12, 2004. This part of the bankruptcy process is done to
ascertain the nature and amount of the Company's debts as well as
the authenticity of creditors' claims.

Buenos Aires Court No. 25, which handles the Company's case,
requires the receiver to file the individual reports on March 24,
2004, followed by the general report on May 10.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
process. Proceeds will go to payments to creditors, based on the
results of the verification process.

CONTACT:  Marcos Enrique Gonzalez
          Lavalle 1537
          Buenos Aires


DISCO: Court Orders General Restrictions On Assets
--------------------------------------------------
Disco, the troubled Argentine unit of Dutch supermarket chain
giant Ahold NV, said Tuesday it has new restrictions placed on
its assets as a result of a court order in a legal battle against
the country's tax agency, known as AFIP.

The Company didn't disclose the extent, time frame, and the
nature of the restrictions.

According to Dow Jones, the case revolves around interest paid on
a two-tranche foreign bond placement that Disco made in 1998,
involving a US$100-million bond maturing in 2003 and another
worth US$250-million that was to mature in 2008. According to
Disco, the bonds were issued under placement provisos, were
conducted in such a way that they were considered public
offerings under the Argentine law and were in full compliance
with the regulations of the National Exchange Commission.

But the AFIP has argued that the Company wasn't eligible for an
exemption from tax withholdings that the law provides for certain
public bond offerings.

The US$100 million five-year bond has since expired and the
US$250 million issue was redeemed under an early redemption in
July of this year. The presence of a withholding tax exemption
would have brought benefits to Disco because it would have raised
the value of its bonds and lowered their interest rate coupon.

Disco has said it will appeal the order. It is still not known
what effect the order will bring to Ahold's plan to sell the
Argentine unit to a group led by Chilean retailer Cencosud SA.


GEJAMAS: General Report Filing Deadline Today
---------------------------------------------
The deadline for the filing of the general report on the
bankruptcy of Mercedes-based company Gejamas S.A.C.I.Y.F. expires
today. The Company's receiver, local accountant Jose
Luis Carriquiy, prepared the report after the individual reports
were processed at court.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America earlier reported
that Court No. 4 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Mercedez
handles the Company's case. The court will give the go signal for
the liquidation of the Company's assets any time soon.

CONTACT:  Gejamas S.A.C.I. Y.F.
          12 de Octubre 2068
          Bragado, Mercedes

          Jose Luis Carriquiy
          Calle 40 No. 726
          Mercedes


HOLACINE: Seeks Court Permission to Reorganize
----------------------------------------------
Argentine company Holacine S.A. seeks to undergo reorganization.
The Company, which stopped making debt payments in February 2001,
filed its motion for "Concurso Preventivo" at Buenos Aires Court
No. 19, under Judge Fernandez. Clerk No. 37, Dr. Durao, assists
the court on the case, local newspaper La Nacion reports.

CONTACT:  Holacine S.A.
          2nd Floor
          Ave Leandro N. Alem 628
          Buenos Aires


INSTITUTO CAIP: Court Sets Schedule for Reorganization
------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 20 sets the schedule for the
reorganization of local company Instituto Caip S.R.L., reports
local news source Infobae. The Company is placed in the hands of
its receiver, Ms. Maria Elena Mercante.

After credit verifications are closed on March 1 next year, the
receiver will prepare the individual reports, which are to be
submitted to the court on April 15, 2004. The general report is
due for filing on the coming May 28.

The informative assembly to be held on October 20 next year, will
signal the conclusion of the reorganization.

CONTACT:  Maria Elena Mercante
          Uruguay 772
          Buenos Aires


LA BOTICA: Court Declares Company "Quiebra"
-------------------------------------------
A ruling from Buenos Aires Court No. 9 declares local company La
Botica de la Imprenta S.R.L. "Quiebra" - bankrupt. Clerk No. 18
works with the court on the case, relates Infobae.

The court assigned Mr. Silvio Gustavo Gorbacz as the Company's
receiver, the source adds. Creditors must present their proofs of
claims to the receiver for verification before March 1 next year.
The individual reports, to be prepared after verifications are
closed, are due for filing on April 12. The general report should
on May 24.

The results of the verification process will determine the
distribution of proceeds from the liquidation of the Company's
assets at the end of the bankruptcy process.

CONTACT:  La Botica de la Imprenta S.R.L.
          Reconquista 671
          Buenos Aires

          Silvio Gustavo Gorbacz
          Tucuman 1484
          Buenos Aires


LAKANT: Accountant Marcelo Edgardo Mirasso Acts as Receiver
-----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Marcelo Edgardo Mirasso takes charge as
receiver for the bankruptcy of local company Lakant S.A.,
according to an Infobae report.  The city's Court No. 25 ordered
the receiver to check creditors' claims until February 18 next
year.

With assistance from Clerk No. 50, the court has set the
deadlines for the individual and general reports. Infobae reveals
that the individual reports are due for filing on March 31 next
year, followed by the general report on May 17.

CONTACT:  Marcelo Edgardo Mirasso
          Lavalle 1675
          Buenos Aires


METCASA-METALURGICA: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications
---------------------------------------------------------
Metcasa-Metalurgica Callegari S.A.'s receiver will close the
credit verification period for the Company's bankruptcy today,
the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report.

The city's Court No. 26, which handles the Company's case,
ordered the receiver to hand in the individual reports on
February 20 next year. These reports are to be prepared upon
completion of the credit verification process. The receiver will
also prepare a general report, due for filing on April 2, 2004,
after the individual reports are processed at court.

The informative assembly, which is one of the last parts of the
reorganization process, will be held on September 7 next year.

CONTACT:  Jorge Inafuku
          Cerrito 1070
          Buenos Aires


METROVIAS: Narrows Net Loss in the First 9 Mos. of 2003
-------------------------------------------------------
Argentine public transport company Metrovias saw its financial
standing improve in the first nine months of the year due to
increased efficiency through procedural and cost adjustments,
reports Business News Americas.

Accordingly, the Company, which operates Buenos Aires' subway
system, posted a ARS3-million (US$1mn) net loss in the first nine
months of 2003, compared to a ARS20.1-million net loss in the
same period last year.

Operating loss for the first nine months of 2003 was ARS4.19
million, down from an operating loss of ARS18.7 million in the
same period last year.

Metrovias is a division of local infrastructure and services
company Clisa, which in turn is the infrastructure holding for
Argentina's Grupo Roggio.


PAPELERA SUR: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Gets Court's Nod
-------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine paper manufacturer Papelera Sur S.A. will now enter
bankruptcy after Buenos Aires Court No. 7 approved a bankruptcy
motion filed by the Company's creditor. Judge Gutierrez Cabello
handles the Company's case with assistance from Dr. Giardinieri,
the city's Clerk No. 14.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Jorge Berisso, will verify creditors
claims until March 18, 2004. Creditors who fail to have their
claims authenticated by the deadline will be disqualified from
payments to be made from the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT:  Pepelera Sur S.A.
          Tacuari 740
          Buenos Aires

          Jorge Berisso
          9th Floor, Room C
          Paraguay 866
          Buenos Aires


PESQUERA SANTA MARIA: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
------------------------------------------------------------
Pesquera Santa Maria S.A., which is based in Buenos Aires, will
undergo reorganization after the city's Court No. 13 approved its
motion for "Concurso Preventivo" recently. A report by local news
source Infobae indicates that Clerk No. 26 assists the court on
the case.

The receiver, Mr. Omar Vazquez, will verify creditors' claims and
prepare the individual and general reports. However, Infobae did
not indicate whether the court has set the filing deadlines for
the receiver's reports.

CONTACT:  Pesquera Santa Maria S.A.
          Ave Medrano 144
          Buenos Aires

          Omar Vazquez
          Ave Santa Fe 1127
          Buenos Aires


ZUZEPAR: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
------------------------------------------
Zuzepar S.A., which is based in Buenos Aires, entered bankruptcy
on orders from the city's Court No. 14. Argentine news portal
Infobae relates that Clerk No. 27 assists the court on this
particular case.

Credit verifications will run until March 5 next year. The
receiver, who will verify claims, will also be responsible for
the preparation of the individual reports, due on April 19 and
the general report due on June 1.

CONTACT:  Angel Vello Vazquez
          Viamonte 1592
          Buenos Aires



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B E R M U D A
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CRP: AM Best Changes Parent's Under Review Status to Developing
---------------------------------------------------------------
A.M. Best Co. has changed the implications of the under review
status to developing from negative of the B++ (Very Good)
financial strength rating of SCOR (Paris), its core subsidiaries
and the ratings on debt instruments issued or guaranteed by SCOR.
(See complete list below.)

This action follows SCOR's decision to launch a fully
underwritten EUR 750 million (USD 900 million) rights issue--EUR
150 million (USD 180 million) higher than previously announced--
that will be closed on January 7, 2004. In addition, SCOR has
signed a commutation contract that will result in a 40% reduction
in the portfolio of Commercial Risk Partners Limited (CRP)
(Bermuda) relative to the year-end 2002 level.

On November 6, 2003, A.M. Best stated that the consolidated net
capital enhancement as a result of the originally proposed EUR
600 million (USD 720 million) rights issue would be insufficient
for consideration of an upgrade given the level of losses
sustained in the third quarter.

Following SCOR's announcements Tuesday, A.M. Best is re-assessing
the company's ratings and is in discussion with SCOR management
with a view to resolving the under review status.

The implications of the under review status of the B++ (Very
Good) rating for the following companies have been changed to
developing from negative:

-- SCOR
-- SCOR Canada Reinsurance Company
-- SCOR Deutschland Rueckversicherungs AG
-- SCOR Italia Riassicurazioni S.p.A
-- SCOR Reinsurance Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd
-- SCOR Reinsurance Company*
-- SCOR UK Company Ltd
-- General Security Indemnity Company of Arizona
-- General Security National Insurance Company
-- SCOR Life U.S. Re Insurance Company
-- SCOR Life Insurance Company
-- Investors Insurance Corporation

*SCOR Reinsurance Company is a U.S. trading company.

The implications of the under review status of the following debt
ratings have been changed to developing from negative:

"bbb-" rating on five-year convertible bonds

"bbb-" rating on senior unsecured EUR medium term note program

"bb+" rating on EUR 100 million cumulative subordinated notes,
due 2020

"bb+" rating on USD 100 million subordinated step-up notes, due
2029

"bb+" rating on EUR 50 million subordinated perpetual step-up
notes issued by Societe d'Etudes et de Placements Financiers and
guaranteed by SCOR

AMB-2 rating on EUR commercial paper program

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and
most authoritative insurance rating and information source.

Web site at http://www.ambest.com


CRP: S&P Raises SCOR's long-term ratings to 'BBB+'
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Tuesday it raised its
long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength
ratings on France-based reinsurer SCOR (SCOR.PA) and subsidiaries
to 'BBB+' from 'BBB-'.

In addition, Standard & Poor's raised its short-term counterparty
credit and commercial paper ratings on SCOR to 'A-2' from 'A-3'.
All ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where had been placed
originally on June 17, 2003. The outlook on all group entities is
stable.

"The rating actions reflect SCOR's announcement of an increased
and fully underwritten EUR750 million rights issue, together with
evidence of a robust business position within core markets," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Marcus Rivaldi.

Standard & Poor's expects that SCOR will continue to endeavor to
commute portfolios at its CRP subgroup (comprising Bermuda-based
Commercial Risk Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and its U.S.-based
subsidiary Commercial Risk Re-Insurance Co.) and significantly
reduce its exposure to its substantial credit derivatives run-off
portfolio.

SCOR reported net premium income of EUR2.8 billion for the first
nine months of 2003. The group's reinsurance operations are
conducted through the France-based parent, SCOR, as well as
through fully guaranteed subsidiaries operating on a regional
basis in the world's main insurance markets.

The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that
SCOR's business position will remain robust within its core
markets, although the aggregate level of group premium income
underwritten in 2004 will materially decline as SCOR withdraws
from noncore markets. Furthermore, SCOR's good prospective
capital adequacy position will remain resilient to further
reserve developments.

"SCOR is expected to continue commuting business portfolios at
CRP and significantly reduce its credit derivatives exposure. If
beneficially achieved, these actions will materially reduce the
level and potential volatility of reserves held on the group's
balance sheet," said Mr. Rivaldi.

ANALYSTS: marcus_rivaldi@standardandpoors.com
          david_anthony@standardandpoors.com
          yann_lepallec@standardandpoors.com
          InsuranceInteractive_Europe@standardandpoors.com



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

AES CORP.: BNDES Threatens to Lodge Legal Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------------
Brazil's development bank BNDES is threatening to take U.S. power
group AES Corp. to court if it fails to stick to its end of the
US$1.2-billion debt-rescheduling deal with BNDES, reports Dow
Jones.

In September, the parties agreed on a plan to restructure AES's
US$1.2-billion debt with the federally-controlled bank through
the creation of a joint venture, Novacom, that would hold AES's
interests in Brazil.

The assets include power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana,
gas-powered thermoelectric plant AES Uruguaiana and hydroelectric
generator AES Tiete. The utility AES Sul would be added to the
venture after the completion of the restructuring.

However, up to now, AES hasn't transferred its controlling stake
in AES Tiete to Novacom.

"We have done our part of the deal, they haven't. If they don't
take care of it soon, we'll go to court," said Carlos Lessa,
president of BNDES.

"Our relationship with this group has always been difficult. The
bank won't extend the deadline," Lessa added, referring to a Dec.
15 deadline to transfer AES assets to Novacom.

Under the agreement, AES's assets to be included in the deal had
to be freed of any legal hurdles.

According to Dow Jones, the inclusion of AES Tiete in the accord
has been a key problem from the start because its control was
given as collateral in a US$300-million AES bond deal in the U.S.
BNDES gave AES until December 15 to sort out the hurdle, which
would allow the debt deal to proceed.

But the fact AES Tiete is tied to an AES debt deal isn't the only
problem. The bank, according to a source close to BNDES, recently
discovered that AES Tiete is in fact controlled by three AES-
owned holding companies based in undisclosed tax havens. This
could make its inclusion in the deal more complicated.


CEMIG: Board Approves Payment of Interest on Capital
----------------------------------------------------
CEMIG's (Companhia Energetica De Minas Gerais) shareholders were
notified that during a meeting held on November 28, 2003, the
Board of Directors approved the payment of interest on capital
for fiscal year 2003, acting in accordance with Article 9 of Law
No. 9249/95, of December 26, 1995. This payment will be in the
aggregate amount of BRL150,000,000.00 (one hundred and fifty
million reais), which corresponds to BRL0.925442 per lot of one
thousand shares, and will satisfy the minimum compulsory dividend
payment requirement set forth in the first paragraph of Article
30 of CEMIG's By-laws. The manner and date of payment shall be
set forth in the Ordinary General Shareholders' Meeting to be
held by April 30, 2004.

The shareholders entitled to the payment of interest on capital
are those shareholders whose names appear in CEMIG's Nominative
Shares Registration Book as of December 8, 2003 The payment will
be subject to withholding income tax at the rate of 15%, in
accordance with applicable Brazilian law; provided, however, that
payments made to shareholders that are private pension entities
may be legally exempt or immune from such tax.

The trading value of the shares reflects the payment of interest
on capital as of December 9, 2003.

Shareholders that are residents of Brazil are kindly requested to
update their personal information that is held on file with
CEMIG. To do so, please proceed to any Banco Itau S/A branch
(registrar of CEMIG's Nominative Shares Registration Book) with
your personal documentation.


GERDAU: Acquires Margusa for US$ 18 Million
-------------------------------------------
GERDAU S.A., in compliance with the Brazilian Securities
Commission (CVM) Regulation #358 of January 3rd, 2002, informs
its shareholders and investors that its subsidiary Gerdau
Acominas S.A. has signed on this date the purchase agreement for
the total capital stock of Margusa - Maranhao Gusa S.A., located
in Bacabeira-MA.

Margusa - Maranhao Gusa S.A. has an installed capacity of 200
thousand metric tons of pig iron, including a second blast
furnace expected to begin operating in January 2004. The mill is
located 50 Km of Sao Luis and 48 Km of the seaport.

The price for the stock is US$ 18 million, of which US$ 15.5
million will be paid from cash and US$ 2.5 million in acquired
debt.

The acquisition is part of the strategy to ensure the supply of
pig iron to the Gerdau mills in the Northeastern part of the
country and to exporting any excess output to the North American
units. This investment guarantees Gerdau's presence in the
important iron ore production center of Carajas, a strategic pig
iron source with excellent logistics to supply both the domestic
and the export markets.


VESPER: QUALCOMM Announces Closing of Sale
------------------------------------------
QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology,
announced Tuesday the closing of the transaction in which
Embratel Participacoes S.A. acquired from QUALCOMM its indirect
controlled operating subsidiaries, Vesper S.A and Vesper Sao
Paulo S.A. (Vesper), together with their immediate holding
companies Vesper Holding S.A. and Vesper Holding Sao Paulo S.A.
As part of this transaction, QUALCOMM has retained, through a
newly formed indirect controlled subsidiary (TowerCo), ownership
and control of Vesper's existing 622 communication towers and
related interests in tower site property leases.

Concurrent with the closing of the transaction, Vesper and
TowerCo entered into a 10-year agreement (renewable at Vesper's
option for up to two successive five year terms) whereby Vesper
will pay a monthly fee for use of aerial and ground space on the
tower sites. QUALCOMM expects that TowerCo's extensive network of
tower sites will be attractive to other parties who are
interested in gaining access to these sites via similar usage
rights arrangements -- particularly in the key markets of Sao
Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where operators' ability to secure and
build new tower sites is often challenging. Under the tower usage
arrangement, QUALCOMM preserves the ability, and plans, to sell
some or all of its interest in TowerCo and/or the tower sites
directly (with assignment of the associated rights under the
usage rights agreement).

"This transaction is a positive strategic move for all parties
involved," said Anthony S. Thornley, president and COO of
QUALCOMM. "Embratel's financial strength, Brazilian telecom
expertise, and ability to realize significant synergies from its
existing operations will help Vesper enhance its voice and data
service offerings. In particular, we are encouraged by Embratel's
plans to extend and expand Vesper's position in Brazil's high-
speed broadband Internet access market as it grows Latin
America's first, and largest, 3G CDMA 1xEV-DO network.
Furthermore, we are excited about Embratel's ability and plans to
expand CDMA's market position as the dominant wireless access
technology within Brazil."

QUALCOMM Incorporated is a leader in developing and delivering
innovative digital wireless communications products and services
based on the Company's CDMA digital technology. Headquartered in
San Diego, Calif., QUALCOMM is included in the S&P 500 Index and
is a 2003 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market®
under the ticker symbol QCOM.

CONTACT:  QUALCOMM Incorporated
          Emily Gin, Corporate Public Relations
          Tel: +1-858-651-4084
          Fax: +1-858-651-5873
          Email: publicrelations@qualcomm.com

          Bill Davidson, Investor Relations
          Tel: +1-858- 658-4813
          Fax: +1-858-651-930
          Email: ir@qualcomm.com

          Web site: www.qualcomm.com



=========
C H I L E
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ENERSIS: Reveals US$600M Investment Plan For Next Year
------------------------------------------------------
Enersis, the Latin American investment unit of Endesa SA, Spain's
largest utility, revealed Tuesday plans to spend up to US$600
million next year in expansion, maintenance and completion of
power generation projects in Chile and Brazil, relates Reuters.

"We will spend US$400 million in additional investments,
expansion and maintenance of existing projects. What is left,
which is approximately US$200 million, will be spent in finishing
Ralco and Fortaleza (hydroelectric and thermoelectric dams),"
said Enersis President Pablo Yrarrazaval.

The large chunk of the investment will be aimed at meeting the
growing demand on its generation, distribution and transmission
units in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru, he said.

Enersis invested US$525 million this year.

In the meantime, the Company aims to resume dividend payments to
shareholders that were suspended over the past year.

"We expect that next year, hopefully, we will be in a position to
begin distributing dividends in some of our companies. The
important thing this year has been to consolidate (our
operations)," said Yrarrazaval.

Enersis, the largest private electricity distribution group in
Latin America, is in the process of improving its finances after
it was battered by economic crises in Argentina and Brazil.

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



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

AUSJAM: Management Decides on Closure, Lays off 18 Workers
----------------------------------------------------------
Ausjam, Jamaica's only gold mine, finally buckled up Monday under
heavy pressure from its labor union, as well as the decline in
gold reserves.

The Australian-owned mine located in Pennants, Clarendon, first
announced its plan to shut down for good in October, when workers
staged a brief strike for a new labor contract.

On Monday, however, the Company proceeded with its plan to close
and laid off its 18 unionized workers, represented by the United
Union of Jamaica (UUJ), says the Observer.

Mining and operations general manager, Chris Brown, attributed
the Company's decision to the "unreasonable demands" by the
workers' union, including a pay raise, medical benefits and other
allowances. It also blamed the depletion of known gold reserves
for the closure.

At the moment, the Company is still analyzing whether to leave
Jamaica permanently, Brown said, adding, a decision would come
"as soon as possible."

In the meantime, the Ausjam management is facing accusations of
union busting.

"This is plain and straightforward union busting from management.
It is because they want to kick out the workers and the union why
they are bringing off this play to frustrate the workers. We
consider it as union busting," said UUJ head James Francis.

Francis was adamant that workers would remain on the mines until
the matter is solved.

Australian businessman Paul Sailah launched Ausjam in 2001 with
an initial investment of US$7.5 million (Jamaican $447 million).
The Company has consistently lost money since then, and was
forced to close briefly last year for restructuring.


JUTC: Has Until Wednesday To Present Retro Payment Proposal
-----------------------------------------------------------
The management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) met
with the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory
Employees (UCASE) Monday to discuss issues regarding the payment
of retroactive increases.

According to a RadioJamaica report, the UCASE gave the JUTC
management until Wednesday to set out how it proposes to pay
retroactive increases to clerical and administrative employees.

Already, the UCASE have openly expressed its disapproval to the
management's decision to make payment this month only to some
categories of workers.

Earlier this week, the JUTC management announced it pay out a
retroactive package to the state-run bus company's drivers and
conductors on December 17.

However, UCASE President Danny Roberts asserted that, with all
the workers having had to wait for the increase since 2002, the
Company could not justify making the payment to only one group,
while withholding it from the over 300 clerical and
administrative staff.

It's estimated that the increases to the drivers and conductors
will cost the Company JMD48 million. There is still no estimate
of how much it will cost to make the similar payment to clerical
and administrative staff.



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

ALESTRA: Narrows Net Loss in the First Nine Months of 2003
----------------------------------------------------------
Alestra, a provider of long distance services in Mexico, reported
an accumulated net loss of MXN714.5 million (US$63.1 million) in
the first nine months of 2003, reports El Universal.

Although the result was negative, it was an improvement from the
MXN1.26-billion (US$111.3 million) loss the Company reported in
the same period of 2002.

Operating profit totaled MXN225.4 million (US$19.91 million)
compared to an operating loss of MXN171.3 million (US$15.10
million) in the same year-ago period.

The telephone company achieved a 32% year-on-year increase in
sales through September this year, totaling MXN4.22 billion
(US$372 million).


CYDSA: Struggles To Refinance Debt
----------------------------------
Mexican industrial conglomerate Cydsa is struggling to restore
its profitability amid lack of confidence in the markets and the
uncertainty of a group of bondholders of US$159 million of paper
expiring in 2009, reports El Economista.

"I do not think that the company will manage to recover the
margins it had before: Its heavy financial burden makes its
operations almost inviable," according to a fund strategist at a
bank in Mexico.

Analysts said that if the firm's debt restructure takes shape,
bondholders will figure as new shareholders and some will have
voting rights. These investors are represented by the fund
Fintech.

Cydsa said in November that it had reached a basic agreement with
its bank creditors, headed by Citibank Banamex and BBVA Bancomer,
to restructure the debt of its subsidiaries, which totals US$192
million.

Cydsa, a maker of yarn and air-conditioner refrigerants, saw its
profits plummet following fierce competition from Asian textiles
and falling demand and prices for chemicals. As a result of the
slump in profits, the Company couldn't keep up with its financial
obligations.

CONTACT:  CYDSA, S.A. DE C.V., IN MEXICO
          Jesus Montemayor, Treasury Director
          +011-528-18-152-4585
          E-mail: jmontemayor@cydsa.com



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

*World Bank Approves $150M Loan To Peru
---------------------------------------
The World Bank approved Tuesday a $150-million loan to Peru to
support an ambitious and innovative government decentralization
program. A key goal of the Programmatic Decentralization and
Competitiveness Structural Adjustment Loan is to assist in making
government more responsive to citizens.

"The decentralization process will promote sustained, broad-based
economic growth and improve the quality of and access to
government services by all Peruvians," said Marcelo Giugale,
World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and
Venezuela. "These benefits will contribute to the reduction of
poverty and inequality, particularly in the countryside."

A guiding principle of Peru's decentralization is that it will
not impose any additional financial burden on the public sector.
The World Bank loan will help meet that goal by providing
financial resources to prevent funding emergencies at the
national, regional and local level.

The World Bank loan will also support such measures as the
expansion of the tax base and the strengthening of the tax
system, as well as the reinforcement of community and business
sector participation in decentralization. In addition, the loan
will enable authorities to modernize ports, roads and other
infrastructure in order to reduce logistics costs, thereby
promoting foreign investment and economic growth.

Another key goal of decentralization is increasing the
transparency of government. "Decentralization would include
citizen involvement in the budget process to an extent that is
unprecedented in Latin America," said Fernando Rojas, World Bank
task manager for the project.

World Bank assistance is designed as a three-step process.
Follow-up loans in 2004 and 2005 would advance a total of $200
million in additional funds.

The $150 million, fixed spread loan is repayable in 14 years,
with 8 years of grace.

For more information on this project visit:
http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=104231&piP
K=73230&theSitePK=40941&menuPK=228424&Projectid=P082871

CONTACT:  Alejandra Viveros (202) 473-4306
          Aviveros@worldbank.org

          Lee Morrison (202) 458-8741
          Lmorrison1@worldbank.org



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

CANTV: To Make Dividend Payment on Dec. 19
------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Venezuela's top telecommunications company CANTV
revealed Tuesday that it would pay dividends on Dec. 19 to
shareholders registered by Dec. 12, reports Reuters.

In a statement, the Company, whose main shareholder is U.S.
telephone company Verizon Communications, said that it would pay
shareholders dividends of VEB350/share and reduce the total
number of shares by 14.9%.

Simultaneously, the assembly approved the reduction of the total
number of shares by 138.9 million obtained through a VEB5.125-
million buyback program started in 2001.

"This amounts to a 14.9% reduction in the total number of
shares," the statement said.

CONTACT:  Gustavo Antonetti
          CANTV Investor Relations
          011-58-212-500-1831
          FAX: 011-58-212-500-1828
          E-Mail: invest@cantv.com.ve

          Mariana Crespo
          The Global Consulting Group
          646-284-9407
          E-Mail: mcrespo@hfgcg.com


                      ***********


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

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