TCRLA_Public/031205.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Friday, December 5, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 241



BANCO DE GALICIA: Central Bank Approves Debt Deal Terms
BODEPES: General Financial Report Filing Due Today
CABLEVISION: Re-Extends Debt Offer Expiration
CASA LOPEZ: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy
COB: Receiver To File Financial Reports at Court

COPAMA: Court Orders Claims Filing Deadline
DINAR: Two Investors Take Over Airline
DISCO: Asset Freeze Won't Disrupt Sale Plans, Says Ahold
FOTOGRAFIA APLICADA: General Report Anticipated Today
MORESCO HERMANOS: Credit Verification Process Closes Today

NATFROZ: Receiver Ends Claims Verification in Reorganization
PAN AMERICAN: Capex Announcement Will Not Affect Ratings
PETROBRAS ARGENTINA: Refutes Reports On Distrilec Sale
PRO SUN: Proofs of Claim Due Today
SHOWCENTER: Creditors Approve Sale To NAI


CRP: A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings to `B'
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Fitch Ups Senior Unsecured Rating to 'BB+'


AES CORP.: BNDES Top Official To Meet With Execs This Week
CERJ: Increasing Capital Through Intercompany Debt Conversion
EMBRATEL: Advances Local Strategy With Vesper Acquisition


VIDA PLENA: Clients Will Migrate to Other Healthcare Firms


AVIANCA: In "Advanced" Talks With Potential Bidders


ENITEL: Potential Buyers Must Present Bid By December 12


* Fitch Affirms Panama's Ratings, Revises Outlook to Stable

     - - - - - - - - - -


BANCO DE GALICIA: Central Bank Approves Debt Deal Terms
Argentina's central bank issued a resolution on Nov. 27,
approving the terms of Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA's
preliminary debt-restructuring agreement with its creditors.

Banco Galicia, the main holding of Grupo Financiero Galicia SA,
announced on Nov. 25 it had won initial approval from creditors
to restructure some US$1.4 billion in foreign debt. It hasn't yet
laid out the terms of the deal. But the bank, in a filing to the
stock exchange Wednesday, said it would do so when it applies for
permission from Argentina's security exchange to issue new bonds
to be swapped for old ones as part of the debt deal.

Creditors involved in talks with Galicia expect the bank to use a
range of means to restructure its debt, including partial cash
payments and swaps for debt or equity.

BODEPES: General Financial Report Filing Due Today
Bodepes S.A. moves closer to liquidation, as the Company's
receiver is required to file the general report on the Company's
bankruptcy process today. The report is prepared after the
individual reports, submitted to the court last October 24 were

The receiver, Mr. Oscar Adolfo Sanchez, also verified the credit
claims to determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.

Court No. 6 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Mar del Plata
handles the Company's case, according to a previous report by the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America.

CONTACT:  Bodepes S.A.
          Acha 890
          Mar del Plata

          Oscar Adolfo Sanchez
          Avenida Colon 2991
          Mar del Plata

CABLEVISION: Re-Extends Debt Offer Expiration
Argentine cable operator Cablevision has again extended for the
sixth time the expiry date on its debt-restructuring offer,
reports Dow Jones. The new deadline, which is Dec. 11, was set
after the Dec. 1 deadline failed to see a satisfactory approval

Cablevision is trying to restructure US$797 million in defaulted
debts. In a statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange Tuesday,
Cablevision revealed that creditors representing about US$244.4
million of the potential US$725 million in eligible bonds had
accepted the offer as of Dec. 1. That is an increase of just
US$2.5 million from Nov. 10, the prior deadline, and remains well
below the US$270.4 million approval rate that had initially been
attained by Oct. 20.

The Company needs creditors representing two-thirds of eligible
bonds to accept the out-of-court agreement, or APE, in order to
obtain legal approval for its offer.

Cablevision is proposing to buy back up to US$270 million of the
debts at 37% of their original value. The Company will spend
US$54.9 million of its own cash, with the remaining US$45 million
coming from its two main shareholders, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst
and Liberty Media Corp.

CASA LOPEZ: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy
Mr. Alberto Antonio Vilela, receiver for Casa Lopez Silver S.A.,
will close the credit verification process for the Company's
bankruptcy today. As ordered by Buenos Aires Court No. 22, the
receiver will prepare the individual reports, which are to be
submitted to the court on February 23 next year.

The receiver will also prepare a general report after the
individual reports are processed at court. This report, a
consolidation of the results in the individual reports is to be
handed over to the court on April 6 next year.

Clerk No. 44 aids the court on the case, the Troubled Company
Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier report.

CONTACT:  Alberto Antonio Vilela
          Rodriguez Pena 431
          Buenos Aires

COB: Receiver To File Financial Reports at Court
Mr. Eduardo Daniel Florez, receiver for Argentine company
Compania de Omnibus la Bahiense S.R.L., is expected to file the
individual reports on the Company's reorganization today. The
reports were prepared after credit verifications were completed
earlier this year.

An earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin
America indicated that the receiver will also prepare a general
report after the individual reports are processed at court. This
report must be presented to the court on February 25 next year.

Local sources, however, did not reveal whether the court has set
the date for the informative assembly. The meeting is one of the
last processes in a reorganization.

CONTACT:  Compania de Omnibus la Bahiense S.R.L.
          Lavalle 348
          Bahia Blanca

          Eduardo Daniel Florez
          Hopilito Yrigoyen 227
          Bahia Blanca

COPAMA: Court Orders Claims Filing Deadline
Buenos Aires' Court No. 19 orders the receiver for local company
Copama S.R.L. to close credit verifications for the Company's
reorganization today. Mr. Aldo Markinan is the receiver for the

The receiver is instructed to prepare the individual reports on
the results of the verification process, and then the general
report. These must be submitted to the court on February 20, and
April 2 next year, respectively.

The informative audience, which signals the end of the
reorganization, will be on August 21 next year.

CONTACT:  Aldo Markinan
          Alsina 1441
          Buenos Aires

DINAR: Two Investors Take Over Airline
Surprisingly, Argentina's troubled airline Dinar has been sold
for the fourth time in the past 12 months. The Company, which
stopped flying eight months ago, is carrying out a formal
restructuring proceeding and has over ARS100 million (US$33.67
million) in liabilities. Part of its 330 employees has been hired
by the recently set up state-owned carrier Lafsa and other 25
ones have been invited to return to their jobs at Dinar.

The new owners are two businessmen: Walter Perochena (75%) and
Roberto Beato (25%).

"We know that people have qualms about our project and it's
logical. They have faced four sales that have left the Company
outside the runway," said Mr. Perochena, new vice-president at
Dinar.  Lawyer Hernan de las Carreras is the newly appointed
president and Pierre Chapar is the new general manager.

Mr. Perochena pointed out ARS6 million will be invested in order
to make Dinars two planes suited to fly again and organize the
commercial re-launching of the Company. We are also renegotiating
the debt restructuring offer with the creditors, he added.

DISCO: Asset Freeze Won't Disrupt Sale Plans, Says Ahold
Dutch retailer Ahold would not allow a recent court-ordered
freeze on the assets of its troubled Argentine unit Disco to
impede plans to sell the supermarket chain to Chilean retailer
Cencosud, reports Reuters.

In a statement late Tuesday, Disco said that an Argentine court
had frozen the Company's "fixed assets" at the request of
Argentina's tax agency, which has claimed that Disco owes it
about ARS300 million (US$101 million) in taxes and fines.

Ahold admits that the order would make the sale difficult but it
won't disrupt sale plans. It expects a binding agreement by the
end of 2003.

"The company believes that this (decision) does not impede the
sale of Disco, but it does make it more difficult," an Ahold
Argentina spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

The spokesman said the court freeze covered only "fixed assets"
like real estate but did not affect Disco's stock, meaning the
sale of shares could go ahead. He added the Company would appeal
the decision.

Cencosud President Horst Paulmann told Reuters last week that
Disco's legal problems with the Argentine tax agency would not be
an obstacle to its planned purchase.

FOTOGRAFIA APLICADA: General Report Anticipated Today
The Civil and Commercial Tribunal of San Isidro in Argentina
expects the receiver for Fotografia Aplicada S.A. to submit the
general report for the Company's reorganization today. These
reports were prepared after the individual reports were processed
at court.

An earlier report released by the Troubled Company Reporter -
Latin America indicated that the receiver, Mr. Rodulfo Crespi
verified creditors' claims and prepared the individual reports in
the earlier stages of the reorganization process.

CONTACT:  Fotografia Aplicada S.A.
          Hipolito Yrigoyen 3926
          Vicente Lopez, San Isidro

          Rodolfo Crespi
          Rivadavia 91
          San Isidro

MORESCO HERMANOS: Credit Verification Process Closes Today
The credit verification period for the bankruptcy of Quilmes-
based Moresco Hermanos S.R.L. expires today. An earlier report by
the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America indicated that the
Company's receiver, Ms. Patricia Monica Narducci, will prepare
the individual reports, which are due for filing on February 24.

The receiver will also prepare a general report after the
individual reports are processed at court. This report must be
submitted to the court on April 7, 2004. The Company's assets may
be liquidated shortly afterwards. Proceeds would go towards
reimbursement of creditors, based on the results of the
verification process.

Court No. 1 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Quilmes
handles the Company's case.

CONTACT:  Moresco Hermanos S.R.L.
          Storni 30
          Florencio Varela

          Patricia Monica Narducci
          Lavalle 328

NATFROZ: Receiver Ends Claims Verification in Reorganization
The reorganization of Natfroz S.R.L., which is based in Buenos
Aires, moves a step further as the Company's receiver has
instructions to close the credit verification process today. The
receiver, Mr. Alberto Francisco Romeo, will also prepare the
individual and general reports on the process.

Buenos Aires Court No. 8 granted the Company permission to
reorganize by approving its motion for "Concurso Preventivo", the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report. Clerk No. 16 assists the court on the case. The court is
yet to schedule the deadlines for the filing of the receiver's

CONTACT:  Alberto Francisco Romeo
          Parana 275
          Buenos Aires

PAN AMERICAN: Capex Announcement Will Not Affect Ratings
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Wednesday that Pan
American Energy LLC's (PAE, B/Stable/--) announcement of capital
expenditures for US$450 million during 2004 will not affect PAE's
rating. According to the announcement, more than 75% of those
investments will be made in the Golfo de San Jorge Basin, where
the company's most important producing fields are concentrated.
Although Standard & Poor's acknowledges the benefit of those
investments in the company's business profile, particularly when
considering PAE's strong investment track record, an aggressive
capital expenditures program was already incorporated into the
ratings. In addition, given that the company can pace the
development of its reserves and considering its conservative
financial profile, Standard & Poor's believes that PAE's capital
expenditures will not jeopardize its credit quality.

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

PETROBRAS ARGENTINA: Refutes Reports On Distrilec Sale
There's no truth to reports that Petrobras Energia SA is
considering selling its shares in Distrilec, the Argentine
subsidiary of Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasilerio SA said in
a filing to the Buenos Aires stock exchange. Distrilec holds 56%
of Argentine electricity distributor Edesur SA.

According to Business News Americas, Petrobras Energia was
responding to last week's report by Argentine Internet news page suggesting that Chilean utilities holding Enersis SA
would be "on the way to acquiring" Petrobras' share in Distrilec.

Enersis, which is a unit of Spanish Endesa SA, has previously
said it was interested in running Edesur with a financial
partner, but hasn't said it planned to buy out Petrobras or that
any talks were underway.

After a three-year dispute with Enersis over the allocation of
board seats on Distrilec, the Paris-based International Chamber
of Commerce ruled last year that Edesur's board should be split
50-50 between Petrobras Energia and Enersis. Enersis directly
holds 16% in Edesur, as does Enersis unit Chilectra SA.

PRO SUN: Proofs of Claim Due Today
Creditors of Argentine company Pro Sun S.A. must have their
claims authenticated by the receiver, Mr. Gonzalo Daniel Cueva,
as the deadline for verifications expires today. The Company is
under bankruptcy with Buenos Aires Court No. 4, holding
jurisdiction over the case. Clerk No. 8 aids the court the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America revealed earlier.

The receiver is also required to prepare the individual and
general reports on the case. However, local sources did not
reveal the filing deadlines for these.

CONTACT:  Gonzalo Daniel Cueva
          Terrero 1752
          Buenos Aires

SHOWCENTER: Creditors Approve Sale To NAI
The trust that holds 80% of Showcenter's debt finally approved an
acquisition proposal submitted by Entertainment Holding, a firm
controlled by U.S. National Amusement International, or NAI. The
proposal is pendant from approval by the court in charge of
Showcenter's cramdown proceeding.  

Entertainment Holding says it will pay Showcenter's ARS150
million debt in full and will preserve its 500 jobs. It will make
a 15% advanced payment in cash and assets that will be
transferred to the trust. It also offers to delay the collection
of a debt Showcenter has to NAI and promises to invest US$10
million in 2004

Showcenter owns two entertainment centers in Buenos Aires,
Showcenter Haedo and Showcenter Norte. It started a formal
restructuring proceeding in March 2001 and had not been able to
agree with its creditors on a repayment schedule. For that
reason, the judge in charge of its proceeding ruled the
initiation of a cramdown process in August.


CRP: A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings to `B'
A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength ratings to B
(Fair) from B+ (Very Good) of Commercial Risk Reinsurance Company
Limited (Hamilton, Bermuda) and its U.S. subsidiary, Commercial
Risk Re-Insurance Company (Burlington, VT), together known as
Commercial Risk Partners. The companies are the insurance
operating subsidiaries of the Bermudian holding company,
Commercial Risk Partners Limited (CRP), ultimately wholly-owned
by SCOR (Paris, France). The rating outlook for both companies
has been changed to stable from negative.

These rating actions reflect the precipitous decline in capital
of Commercial Risk Partners in the third quarter of 2003,
resulting from further reserve strengthening during the quarter
combined with a decline in unrealized gains which together have
reduced the company's risk-adjusted capital to a level that no
longer supports a secure rating.

These actions have also taken into consideration weak historical
and prospective operating performance as well as the limited
market profile due to the runoff status of both companies. The
rating is contingent on A.M. Best's expectation that a
commutation contract that has already been negotiated will be
finalized by the end of 2003 and that Commercial Risk Partners
will maintain consolidated risk-adjusted capital commensurate
with its Fair rating. Subsequent rating actions may be warranted
if these expectations are not met or maintained.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and
most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For
more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Fitch Ups Senior Unsecured Rating to 'BB+'
Fitch Ratings upgraded its ratings to 'BB+' from 'BB' on the
senior unsecured debt of Tyco International Ltd. (Tyco), as well
as the unconditionally guaranteed debt of its wholly owned direct
subsidiary Tyco International Group S. A. The commercial paper
rating remains at 'B'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
Approximately $19 billion of debt is affected by this rating

Fitch's upgrade of Tyco's long-term debt recognizes the progress
made by the company with respect to debt reduction and improving
cash flow. In addition, the debt maturity schedule no longer
presents a major challenge to Tyco's liquidity as maturities in
each of the next two calendar years approximate $1 billion or
less, followed by $3.7 billion due in 2006. The rescheduling and
paydown of debt is proceeding through a number of actions
including the recent redemption in mid-November of $2.5 billion
of convertible debt and the anticipated replacement and extension
of Tyco's bank facilities in December, 2003 that are currently
being negotiated. Liquidity is further supported by cash balances
of $4.2 billion as of Sept. 30, 2003 (subsequently reduced by the
payout of convertible debt), the issuance of $1.0 billion of new
ten year unsecured notes in early November and an outlook for
continued strong free cash flow that reflects significant
reductions in capital spending for acquisitions and fixed assets.
Tyco's credit profile should benefit as the company demonstrates
progress in restoring better operating results, improved access
to capital markets and using free cash flow to reduce debt and

The ratings are constrained by concerns about operating
challenges in several segments as well as by potential legal
liabilities relating to shareholder lawsuits and ongoing
investigation by the SEC. Operating margins, while below
historical levels, appear to have stabilized. In the Fire &
Security segment, ADT's European operation remains weak and ADT
overall continues to experience elevated attrition rates, in part
due to actions taken to improve the quality of its customer
portfolio and rebuild long term profitability. Two other
segments, Engineered Products and Plastics, face weak demand and
will be part of the restructuring and divestiture program
announced recently that involves all segments of Tyco.

Although there likely will be accounting losses from the program,
the impact on near term cash flow should be minimal with cash
proceeds from asset sales expected to offset cash restructuring
costs. Longer term, the restructuring should rationalize Tyco's
cost structure and lead to improved margins and cash flow. The
planned sale of the TyCom Global Network and other businesses
represent 6% of Tyco's total sales. The divestitures are intended
to contribute to a sharper focus on the company's core operations
and help meet Tyco's objective for generating $3 billion in cash
from ongoing strategic initiatives during the next 2-3 years that
address strategic sourcing, Six Sigma programs and working

Liquidity continues to improve following ongoing debt
restructuring as Tyco rebuilds its operating performance and
further pays down debt. Weak operating earnings have offset the
impact of modest debt reduction on leverage, resulting in little
change in debt/EBITDA during 2003 as net debt/EBITDA declined
from 2.8 times (x) at the beginning of the year to 2.7x at Sept.
30, 2003. Debt was reduced by $3.2 billion during 2003 but was
funded in large part by the draw-down of excess cash balances.
Cash flow and liquidity in 2004 would be modestly affected by any
pension contributions (approximately $200 million contributed in
2003) and by cash spending against reserves for restructuring,
purchase accounting and holdback/earn-out liabilities that
totaled $881 million at June 30, 2003. Even with these funding
requirements, Fitch looks for debt reduction to accelerate once
Tyco has fully implemented its operating strategies. In addition,
a normal cyclical rebound in the company's end-markets would
further benefit operating cash flow and contribute to long term
financial flexibility.

CONTACT:  Eric Ause, CFA +1-312-606-2302
          Mark Oline +1-312-368-2073, Chicago

MEDIA RELATIONS: James Jockle +1-212-908-0547, New York


AES CORP.: BNDES Top Official To Meet With Execs This Week
Roberto Timotheo da Costa, finance director of Brazil's
development bank BNDES, is scheduled to meet with the executives
of AES Corp. this week in the U.S. to resolve issues that prevent
a conclusion to a US$1.2 billion debt-rescheduling accord.

Dow Jones relates that in September, BNDES and the U.S. power
group 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

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.

BNDES President Carlos Lessa has warned that the bank will go to
court if AES doesn't do its share of the deal, and warned that
BNDES wont extend the Dec. 15 deadline.

CERJ: Increasing Capital Through Intercompany Debt Conversion
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Wednesday that the US$250
million capital increase to be made by the Endesa/Enersis group
to Companhia de Eletricidade do Rio de Janeiro--CERJ (foreign
currency B+/Stable/--; local currency BB-/Negative/--) will not
immediately affect the ratings or outlooks on the Company. The
capital increase still depends on approvals of the board of
shareholders, the regulatory agency ANEEL, and the Brazilian
Securities and Exchange Commission, CVM. The ratings on CERJ
already incorporated those US$250 million intercompany loans as
"quasi-equity." On the other hand, this capital infusion is a
positive indication of commitment from the parent group toward
CERJ, and the debt conversion will enhance CERJ's financial
figures regarding its capital structure as well as reduce foreign
currency exposure.

ANALYSTS:  Marcelo Costa, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8955
           Milena Zanibon, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8945

EMBRATEL: Advances Local Strategy With Vesper Acquisition
Embratel Participacoes S.A. (NYSE: EMT)(Bovespa: EBTP3 EBTP4)
announced Wednesday that it has concluded the acquisition of
Vesper Sao Paulo S.A. and Vesper S.A. (Vesper), the providers of
competitive local telephony services in 17 states, with licenses
covering 76 percent of the Brazilian population. In addition to
providing a choice of local services for corporate customers,
this acquisition will strengthen and expand Embratel's strategy
to provide local dial tone and broadband services to the SOHO and
residential markets. This investment further evidences Embratel's
commitment to be the leader in the Brazilian marketplace and
provide all clients with a broad range of communications service

The transaction was approved by Anatel last week. This business
combination of Vesper and Embratel goes one step further in
preserving the competitive model in Brazil.

Details of the Transaction

Embratel acquired control of Vesper's shares from companies
controlled by QUALCOMM Incorporated (QUALCOMM) for a nominal
consideration. The companies were acquired free of bank debt and
will have a small amount of liabilities related to equipment
financing. Vesper has also sold 622 of its communication towers
to an affiliate of QUALCOMM, while at the same time entered into
a 10- year (renewable for 10 more years) agreement to access
space on those towers. The value of the contract is US$45
million. Most of the proceeds from this sale have been used to
retire all outstanding bank debt and other liabilities.
Approximately US$6 million of the proceeds will be used to fund
short-term operating needs of Vesper.

Enhances Embratel's Competitive Position

The acquisition of Vesper enables Embratel to accelerate its
local business plan and deploy broadband Internet access in
competition with ADSL and other high-speed access services.
Embratel will be able to economically widen the scope of its
local voice service business by providing individual lines to
small businesses and residential clients in addition to its
current business of addressing large corporate customers with
multiple lines. Vesper revenues are expected to be approximately
R$400 million in 2003.

Embratel plans to upgrade Vesper's CDMA network in several
Brazilian cities, which will enable the company to offer high-
speed Internet access and other data/voice solutions. Embratel
now has another technological solution that enables it to
efficiently serve the residential market and offer broadband
access to the Internet.

Synergies With Embratel

Embratel believes that its scope and size allow it to provide the
necessary scale to turn Vesper into a profitable business --
savings on overhead, call center, network and interconnection. In
addition, Embratel will leverage its brand name and marketing
power to enhance sales of the services currently provided by
Vesper. Several primary market surveys have shown positive
support for this strategy. The combination of Embratel and Vesper
will enable the majority of Embratel's 20 million customers to
have a choice for local telephony services.

Embratel is executing a transition plan to implement the
operational savings in order to enable Vesper to have means to
become EBITDA positive in 2004.

Embratel is the premium telecommunications provider in Brazil and
offers and ample variety of telecom services -- local and long
distance telephony, advanced voice, high-speed data transmission,
Internet, satellite data communications, and corporate networks.
The company is a leader in the country for data services and
Internet and is highly qualified to be an all-distance network
carrier in Latin America. Embratel's network spreads countrywide,
with almost 29 thousand kms of optic cables, which represents
about one million sixty-nine thousand km of fiber optics.

CONTACT:  Silvia M.R. Pereira, Investor Relations
          Tel: (55 21) 2121-9662
          Fax: (55 21) 2121-6388



VIDA PLENA: Clients Will Migrate to Other Healthcare Firms
The former affiliates of the recently-declared-bankrupt Chilean
health services company Vida Plena will breathe a sigh of relief
following reports that the healthcare regulator will transfer
beginning Friday its 72,000 clients to other healthcare

"The anguish suffered by the affiliates has come to an end, we
are studying all the possible scenarios to ensure that the
distribution is carried out without fail," private healthcare
regulator Manuel Inostroza was quoted by local daily La Segunda
as saying.

Vida Plena was recently declared bankrupt by the Chilean court of
Justice, granting a petition from a creditor of the Company. The
bankruptcy was requested by Clinica Presbiteriana Madre y Hijo, a
Chilean medical services center, to which Vida Plena owes more
than CLP200 million.

According to Business News Americas, the authorities had sought
for some time to sell Vida Plena to private investors but
ultimately those efforts proved futile.


AVIANCA: In "Advanced" Talks With Potential Bidders
Speculation is mounting in the U.S. that Texas Pacific Group has
joined LanChile and German Efromovich -owner of Brazil's regional
airline Ocean Air, in a serious bid for a stake in Avianca,
relates Airline Business.

According to Avianca, negotiations with its potential investors
are "advanced". Avianca has not disclosed how much new capital it
seeks, but under Colombian law, no more than 20% of its shares
may be owned by foreigners.

The Colombian airline filed for reorganization under US Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection in March listing debts of US$240

The airline seeks approval to extend its repayment of a US$110
million pension deficit from 10 to 20 years, despite strenuous
objections from its pilots, and it has restructured US$55 million
in aircraft leases.

The other US$65 million is owed to banks, bondholders, suppliers
and vendors, who will be asked to capitalize at least part of
that sum.

The final phase of this reorganization is on a fast track, with
Avianca's plan due to be before year-end. However, the New York
court supervising the reorganization has granted Avianca another
deadline extension, this time for 60 days. The decision follows
earlier extensions, for 45, 60 and 32 days.


ENITEL: Potential Buyers Must Present Bid By December 12
Companies interested in buying the Nicaraguan government's 49%
stake in telecoms incumbent Enitel have until December 12 to make
their bids, according to Enitel chairman Carlos Ramos. Business
News Americas reports that three companies are carrying out due
diligence on Enitel. These are Mexican holding company America
Movil, Central American banking group Grupo Uno, and the Megatel
consortium, which already owns 40% of Enitel. Enitel employees
hold the remaining 11% of the Company.


* Fitch Affirms Panama's Ratings, Revises Outlook to Stable
Fitch Ratings affirmed Wednesday Panama's long-term foreign and
local currency ratings at 'BB+' following the completion of a
full rating review. The Rating Outlook has been revised to Stable
from Negative, as the recent deterioration in credit fundamentals
has halted and Fitch expects trends in the tax to GDP and
government debt ratios to improve going forward.

Since placing Panama's ratings on Negative Outlook in October
2002, the deterioration in creditworthiness trends appears to
have bottomed out. Fitch was concerned that swift legislative
action on tax and social security reform would not materialize,
which could have caused a significant deterioration in credit
fundamentals. Since this time, a tax reform, albeit diluted, has
been passed, which combined with increased revenues due to the
economic recovery and tax amnesties should stem the declining
trend in tax revenues.

After two years of economic stagnation, an improving external
environment is expected to drive a modest economic recovery this
year and short-term growth prospects have also strengthened. On
the other hand, the government has yet to tackle social security
reform, although the announcement of a balanced operational
budget for the Social Security System (CSS) in 2004 has bought
some time to address this weakness.

Panama's credit ratings will continue to be constrained by a high
level of public debt over the medium-term. Panama's general
government debt ratio reached 63.6% of GDP at year-end 2002, one
of the highest ratios among similarly rated sovereigns. Debt
dynamics appear to have stabilized, in large part due to the
economic recovery. However, Fitch maintains that Panama's high
level of debt is unlikely to decline in a significant manner
unless the government can generate primary surpluses greater than
2% of GDP, or the country returns to stronger growth rates
experienced in the 1990s for an extended period of time.

Even though the country has considerable financial assets, net
external public debt, at 31% of GDP, is well above the median of
12% for sovereigns rated in the 'BB' categories. However, as a
proportion of current external receipts, net external public debt
is more in line with similarly rated peers. Given the small size
of the economy, vulnerability to external shocks, rigidity in
public finances and dollarization, maintaining a modest
government burden is prudent.

Panama's financing needs for 2003 have already been met and will
remain modest, at 5.7% of GDP in 2004. Returning to the higher
rates of growth experienced in the 1990s and reducing public
sector indebtedness, a key constraint on the sovereign's rating,
will be dependent on the new government's success in improving
the investment climate by implementing important structural

Fitch expects little to be accomplished on the reform front in
the remaining months of the Moscoso administration as the
campaign season for the May presidential and legislative
elections has already begun. In addition, the government's
candidate, Jose Miguel Aleman, is trailing by a large margin in
the polls, which could provide incentive to increase government
spending in the run-up to the elections. The new government will
take office on Sept. 1, 2004. None of the candidates have put
forward a clear policy agenda, but nonetheless Fitch does not
anticipate any major changes in the overall direction of
macroeconomic policy regardless of who wins. It also appears that
the presidential candidate now leading the polls, Martin
Torrijos, is the candidate that would be most likely to pursue
market friendly policies.

Dollarization, a stable financial system and the Government's
considerable financial and land assets support the sovereign's
ratings. Dollarization has resulted in a long history of monetary
and price stability unseen in other emerging markets. In
addition, it limits the probability of a devaluation-induced
increase in public debt ratios or a balance of payment crisis.

While the potential for further credit deterioration remains,
Fitch believes the economy has reached a cyclical turning point.
The improvement in growth prospects, combined with limited
success on the reform front has stabilized creditworthiness
trends. Fitch would be concerned if fiscal slippage in the run-up
to the elections is beyond the typical slippage that occurs in
Panama during the first half of next year.

In addition, breaching the fiscal deficit target under the newly
implemented Fiscal Responsibility Law could also be negative for
creditworthiness as it would undermine the sincerity of the
authorities' commitment to exercising fiscal discipline in the
future. Given the high levels of public debt, Panama is unlikely
to graduate to investment grade during Fitch's foreseeable rating
CONTACT:  Fitch Ratings
          Theresa Paiz-Fredel
          Phone: 212-908-0534

          Shelly Shetty
          Phone: 212-908-0324

          Matt Burkhard
          Media Relations
          Phone: 212-908-0540


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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