TCRLA_Public/031226.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 26, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 254



323: Claims Verification Deadline Expires Today
AHOLD: May Sign Exclusivity Deal With Argentine Businessman Soon
AIRBAG: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications Today
BUENA LUNA: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends Today
CLINICA CRUZ AZUL: Individual Reports Due at Court Today

CONSTRUCTORA MARTE: Court Approves Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
CONSULTORA DE SALUD: Files "Concurso Preventivo" Motion at Court
DIRECTV LA: Files Third Motion To Extend Removal Period
EDUCATIVA PALERMO: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
EMYLIAN: Court Considers Reorganization Petition

ESAPEL: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy
GATIC: May See Plants Reopened Pending Creditors' Approval
GEORGINA: Court Assigns Receiver to Oversee Bankruptcy
HIDROELECTRICA EL CHOCON: Board Renders Restructuring Decision
KONTECNICA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders

LOMA NEGRA: Argentine S&P Rates $39.779M of Bonds `raBB'
PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Director Resigns; Names Alternate Director
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Announces Directors' Resignation
TRANSENER: Dolphin Fund Reportedly Buys Stake


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Enters Into New Bank Credit Facilities


CFLCL: Judge Authorizes Dividend Payment to Shareholders
GLOBOPAR: W.R. Huff Initiates Judicial Debt Restructuring in US
PARMALAT GROUP: S&P Affirms brAAAF rating on Brazilian Fund


ENERSIS: Elesur Transfers 5% Stake to Endesa
ENERSIS: Closes Capital Increase with $2.1M Subscribed
INVERLINK: Former Execs Facing Fraud Charges


* IMF Approves In Principle $11.4M PRGF for Dominica

E L   S A L V A D O R

* IMF Concludes 2003 Article IV Consultation with El Salvador


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: GSM Rollout To Accelerate Growth


GRUPO IUSACELL: Effects Exchange of New Common Shares


BLADEX: Names New Investor Relations Firm


SIDOR: Reveals $60M Investment Plan For Coming Year

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


323: Claims Verification Deadline Expires Today
Creditors of Buenos Aires-based 323 S.A. must have their claims
authenticated by the Company's receiver as the deadline expires
today. The Company's receiver, Mr. Jose Francisco Ruiz, will
prepare the individual reports, as ordered by the court.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report that the city's Court No. 13 declared the Company
"quiebra". Clerk No. 26 assists the court on the case, which will
close with the liquidation of the Company's assets. Local
sources, however, did not mention whether the court has set the
deadlines for the filing of the receiver's reports.

CONTACT:  Jose Francisco Ruiz
          Ave Corrientes 4264
          Buenos Aires

AHOLD: May Sign Exclusivity Deal With Argentine Businessman Soon
Argentine businessman Francisco de Narvaez is expected to sign
an exclusivity agreement with Dutch retailer Ahold in
negotiations toward buying local supermarket chain Disco SA, an
unnamed source close to the talks told Reuters Monday.

Last week, De Narvaez made a formal, improved bid to buy Ahold's
99.97% stake, according to one source close to the deal. He has
valued Disco at around US$350 million.

Ahold NV was previously in exclusive talks with Chilean retailer
Cencosud SA on Disco's sale. However, the exclusivity period
ended without an accord. After a due diligence that took a month,
Cencosud informed Chile's securities commission that it had not
reached an accord with Ahold on the acquisition of Disco.

Disco operates 237 stores in Argentina and has a 19.2% market

AIRBAG: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications Today
Ms. Cecilia Beatriz Montelvetti, receiver for bankrupt Argentine
company Airbag S.A., will close the credit verification process
today. As ordered by Buenos Aires Court No. 22, the receiver will
now prepare the individual reports, which are due at the court on
March 10 next year.

The receiver's duties also include the preparation of the general
report after the individual reports are processed at court. This
report contains a summary of the individual reports, and is due
for filing on April 26, 2004. The Company's assets will be
liquidated at the end of the process to reimburse its creditors.

The city's Clerk No. 43 assists the court on the case, the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier

CONTACT:  Cecilia Beatriz Montelvetti
          Urquiza 2134
          Buenos Aires

BUENA LUNA: Credit Check in Bankruptcy Process Ends Today
Creditors of bankrupt Argentine Buena Luna S.R.L. must have their
claims verified by the receiver as the deadline expires today.
Proofs of claim must be presented to the receiver, Mr. Juan
Carlos Sanguinetti, who will validate claims and prepare the
required reports.

The Company entered bankruptcy on orders from the city's Court
No. 16. Clerk No. 31 aids the court on the case, reported the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America earlier.

CONTACT:  Juan Carlos Sanguinetti
          Lavalle 1569
          Buenos Aires

CLINICA CRUZ AZUL: Individual Reports Due at Court Today
The individual reports for the reorganization of Clinica Cruz
Azul S.A. are due for filing at Court No. 2 of the province's
Civil and Commercial Tribunal today, according to the Troubled
Company Reporter - Latin America. The reports contain the results
of the credit verifications completed earlier this year.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Gustavo Daniel Segura, who verified
claims and prepared the individual reports, will also prepare the
general report after the recently submitted documents are
processed by the court.

CONTACT:  Clinica Cruz Azul S.A.
          Alberdi 359

          Gustavo Daniel Segura
          20 de Febrero 1245

CONSTRUCTORA MARTE: Court Approves Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
Judge Garibotto approved a petition for the bankruptcy of
Constructora Marte S.A.I.C.I.F. y M., reports Argentine newspaper
La Nacion. One of the Company's creditors filed the petition upon
the Company's failure to pay its debts.

Working with Clerk No. 4, Dr. Romero, the court assigned Ms.
Beatriz Colucci as the Company's receiver. Claims verification
will last until next March 8. The receiver will also prepare the
individual and general reports on the case.

CONTACT:  Constructora Marte S.A.I.C.I.F. y M.
          Emilio Rvignani 1470
         Buenos Aires

          Beatriz Colucci
          Eduardo Acevedo 217
          Buenos Aires

CONSULTORA DE SALUD: Files "Concurso Preventivo" Motion at Court
Consultora de Salud S.A., which is based in Buenos Aires, seeks
court permission to undergo reorganization. The Company has filed
its motion for "Concurso Preventivo" at the city's Court No. 10,
under Judge Chomer, reports local newspaper La Nacion. Clerk No.
19, Dr. D'Alessandri assists the court on the case.

The Company filed the motion, being burdened by debts it hasn't
repaid since August 31 this year.

CONTACT:  Consultora de Salud S.A.
          5th Floor
          Ave Rivadavia 2358
          Buenos Aires

DIRECTV LA: Files Third Motion To Extend Removal Period
Alfred Villoch, III, Esq., at Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor,
LLP, in Wilmington, Delaware, tells the Court that DirecTV Latin
America LLC has been focused on various matters including
providing information to the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors and negotiating, preparing and filing its Chapter 11
plan and disclosure statement.  Thus, the Debtor had no
opportunity to fully investigate and determine whether there are
any pending matters that should be removed.

For this reason, the Debtor asks the Court to extend the current
deadline to remove actions to and including the latest to occur

   (a) March 15, 2004; or

   (b) 30 days after entry of an order terminating the automatic
       stay with respect to a particular action sought to be

Mr. Villoch tells the Court that extending the removal period
will protect the Debtor's rights to remove any actions that are
discovered through its investigation.  The extension will afford
the Debtor an opportunity to make fully informed decisions
concerning the removal of all actions and will assure that the
Debtor's valuable rights under 28 U.S.C. Section 1452 are not

Mr. Villoch assures the Court that the Debtor's adversaries will
not be prejudiced with the extension requested because, in the
event that an action is removed, the other parties to the action
sought to be removed may seek to have the action remanded to the
state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1452(b).

Judge Walsh will convene a hearing on January 9, 2004 at 9:30
a.m. to consider the Debtor's request.  By application of
Del.Bankr.LR 9006-2, the removal deadline is automatically
extended through the conclusion of that hearing. (DirecTV Latin
America Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 16; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)

EDUCATIVA PALERMO: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
Ms. Alejandra Ethel Giacomini, receiver for the bankruptcy of
Buenos Aires-based company Educativa Palermo S.R.L., will prepare
the individual reports, as the credit verification period expires
today. The Company's creditors are required to have their claims
validated in order to qualify for payments to be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

The individual reports, due March 9 next year, are to be prepared
upon completion of the verification process. The court also
requires the receiver to prepare a general report and file it on
April 20, 2004. This report contains a summary of the results in
the individual reports.

Buenos Aires Court No. 22 handles the Company's case, according
to the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America in an earlier
report. Clerk No. 44 assists the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Alejandra Ethel Giacomini
          Carabobo 250
          Buenos Aires

EMYLIAN: Court Considers Reorganization Petition
Judge Kolliker Frers of Buenos Aires Court No. 16 is studying a
petition for reorganization filed by local company Emylian S.A.,
reports Argentine newspaper La Nacion. Clerk No. 31, Dr.
Ibarzabal, works with the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Emylian S.A.
          6th Floor, Office E
          Libertad 1583
          Buenos Aires

ESAPEL: Receiver Closes Credit Verifications in Bankruptcy
Esapel S.A.'s receiver, Roberto Sapollnik, will close the credit
verification process for the Company's bankruptcy today.
Verifications are done to determine the nature and amount of the
Company's debts and to establish a standard for the distribution
of payments after the Company's assets are liquidated.

The receiver will prepare the individual reports, as ordered by
Buenos Aires Court No. 7. He will also prepare a general report
after the individual reports are processed at court. Local
sources, however, did not mention the deadlines for the
submission of the receiver's reports.

In an earlier report, the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin
America revealed the Company entered bankruptcy after Judge
Gutierrez Cabello approved a petition filed by the Company's
creditor, Tensioactivos Americanos S.A., for failure to meet its
financial obligations. Clerk No. 14 Dr. Diaz Cordero aids the
court on the case.

CONTACT:  Esapel S.A.
          JR Velasco 116
          Buenos Aires

          Roberto Sapollnik
          Parana 851
          Buenos Aires

GATIC: May See Plants Reopened Pending Creditors' Approval
Guillermo Gotelli will present a plan to a group of textile
company Gatic's `privileged creditors', reports El Clarin.

The plan includes the reopening of most of Gatic's plants.
According to Gotelli, he is heading an investment consortium
willing to inject fresh capital into the Company to fund the
reopening and pay the rent. However, he said the consortium would
not assume the Company's debt.

Local news source Infobae earlier reported that Gatic is carrying
out a formal restructuring proceeding and has around ARS529
million (US$183 million) in debts.

After the plan is presented to the creditors, they will then
decide whether or not the plan improves their chance of being

Gotelli used to manage Gatic's rival, Alpargatas.

GEORGINA: Court Assigns Receiver to Oversee Bankruptcy
Judge Villanueva of Buenos Aires Court No. 23 designates local
accountant Susana Vachelli as receiver for the bankruptcy of
Argentine restaurant Georgina S.R.L., according to a La Nacion
report. The receiver has instructions to verify creditors' claims
until March 8 next year.

Clerk No. 45, Dr. Timpanelli, assists the court on the case,
which will end with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT:  Georgina S.R.L.
          4th Floor, Office A
          Ave Rivadavia 5845
          Buenos Aires

          Susana Vacchelli
          5th Floor, Office A
          Montevideo 571
          Buenos Aires

HIDROELECTRICA EL CHOCON: Board Renders Restructuring Decision
Argentine power generation company Hidroelectrica El Chocon
announced its board of directors has decided to restructure a
US$140-million bond issue due 2004. The restructuring would
involve an extension on the repayment terms, among other changes.

KONTECNICA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
Argentine construction and real estate company Kontecnica S.R.L.
entered bankruptcy on orders from Buenos Aires Court No. 17,
under Judge Bavastro. The ruling came in approval of the
bankruptcy petition filed by the Company's receiver, Mancia S.A.,
on the Company's failure to pay its debts.

A report by local newspaper La Nacion indicates that Clerk No.
33, Dr. Suipacha, assists the court on the case.

The court assigned Mr. Jose Nullo as receiver for the process. He
will verify claims until March 5 next year. The receiver is also
required to prepare the individual and general reports on the
case, but the source did not mention whether the filing deadlines
for these reports have been set.

CONTACT:  Kontecnica S.R.L.
          1st Floor, Office A
          Arenales 2708
          Buenos Aires

          Jose Nullo
          2nd Floor, Office F
          Suipacha 612
          Buenos Aires

LOMA NEGRA: Argentine S&P Rates $39.779M of Bonds `raBB'
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
rates US$39.779 million of corporate bonds issued by Loma Negra
Cia. Industrial Argentina. The rating, issued on Thursday, was
based on the Company's finances as of August 31, 2003.

The Comision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's securities
regulator, described the affected bonds as "Obligaciones
Negociables Serie 6". The bonds were classified under "Series
and/or Class", and will come matured on September 30, 2013.

An obligation rated `raBB' denotes somewhat weak protection
parameters relative to other Argentine obligations. The obligor's
capacity to meet its financial commitments upon the obligation is
somewhat weak because of major ongoing uncertainties or exposure
to adverse business, financial or economic conditions.

PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Director Resigns; Names Alternate Director
Petrobras Energia Participaciones S.A. informed that the
Company's board of directors on Dec. 17 unanimously approved the
following items:


Director Alberto Guimaraes states that on November 28, 2003
Director Antonello Tramonti submitted a letter of resignation
from his position as Director for personal reasons. Mr. Tramonti
stated he has no claims against the Company, its directors and
shareholders. Since such resignation was not fraudulent or
submitted without due notice and does not affect the regular
performance of the Company, the directors present at the meeting
are requested to accept the same. This item was submitted to the
consideration of the meeting and was unanimously approved.


Due to the resignation of Regular Director Antonello Tramonti,
pursuant to the Corporate Bylaws, Alternate Director Horacio
Fernando Pay  must take over as Regular Director. This item was
submitted to the consideration of the meeting and was unanimously

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Announces Directors' Resignation
Pedro Insussarry, Market Relations officer at Telecom Argentina
STET-France Telecom S.A., sent a letter to the Buenos Aires Stock
Exchange, providing the bourse with information about Article 23
of Chapter XXI of the Rules. Below are the contents of the letter
dated December 19, 2003:

I am writing you as Responsible Party for Market Relations of
Telecom Argentina STET-France Telecom S.A. ("the Company"), and
to inform you of the following:

1. As duly informed to you, the France Telecom Group has
transferred 96% of its share participation in Sofora
Telecomunicaciones S.A., current controlling shareholder of
Nortel Inversora S.A., as a result of which the France Telecom
Group has ceased to be an operator of the Company. Due to
personal reasons, the members of the Company's Board of Directors
that were nominated by the France Telecom Group have submitted
their resignations from the positions for which they were
nominated. The resigning Directors are Acting Directors Mr.
Christian Chauvin and Jean Pierre Achouche, and Alternate
Directors Mrs. Yolanta de Cacqueray, Mr. Maximo Bomchil and Mr.
Jacques Brun. In addition, due to personal reasons, the Alternate
Director Mr. Carlos E. Monte Alegre Toro has also resigned.

2. At the Board meeting held Dec. 19, the Company's Board of
Directors accepted these resignations and requested the
Supervisory Committee members that were present at the meeting to
designate Directors and Alternate Directors to replace the
resigning Directors until the next Shareholders' Meeting as
provided for under article 258, second paragraph of the Corporate
Law. The Supervisory Committee designated Mr Gerardo Werthein and
Raúl Miranda as Acting Directors and Mr Adri n Werthein, Mr.
Osvaldo Canova and Mr Oscar Cristianci as Alternate Directors.

3. Mr. Alberto Messano has resigned as Vice Chairman of the Board
of Directors, maintaining his position as Acting Director. The
Board of Directors resolved to reduce the number of Vice-Chairmen
to one, and designated Mr. Gerardo Werthein for such position.

4. For the same reasons mentioned in paragraph 1 above, regular
Supervisory Committee member Mr. Néstor José Belgrano and
alternate Supervisory Committee members Mr. Gustavo Andres de
Jesus and Mr. Javier M. Petrantonio, submitted their
resignations, and resolved for the immediate incorporation of Mr.
Juan Martin Arocena as regular Supervisory Committee member. Mr
Arocena previously served as an alternate Supervisory Committee
member until the present date and will act as regular member of
the Supervisory Committee until the next Shareholders' Meeting,
when a regular Supervisory Committee member must be designated.

5.The Board has decided to call for a General Ordinary and
Extraordinary Shareholders' Meetings on February 18, 2004 to
consider the changes in the Board of Directors and in the
Supervisory Committee mentioned above, and to consider the
following amendments to the Company's Corporate by-laws:

- Article 1: Change the Company's corporate name to "Telecom
  Argentina S.A.", in accordance with the authorization of the
  Secretariat of Communications granted through Resolution No.

- Article 10: Grant two votes to the Chairman in the case of
  draw, and clarify that the designation of Chief Executive
  Officers or Special Officers can be made only to individuals
  that are not part of the Board of Directors.

- Article 10 Bis: incorporation of a new article related to the
  Audit Committee in accordance with article 15° of Decree N°

The notices of the Shareholders' Meeting and the amendment of the
Corporate by-laws will be publicized within the applicable
regulatory periods.

6. Because France Cable et Radio S.A. (of the France Telecom
Group) has ceased to be operator of the Company, in accordance
with the authorization of the Secretary of Communications that
was granted through Resolution No. 111/03, the Company and its
subsidiaries have terminated the Management Contract dated August
9, 1999 as it relates to the France Telecom Group. Nevertheless,
such Contract will continue to be in effect between the Company
and Telecom Italia S.p.A. (as exclusive operator of the Company),
and the terms agreed between both parties will continue in full

7. Latin American Nautilus S.A. ("LAN"), in which the Company has
a shareholder participation of 10%, has recorded significant
losses, and due to such losses it is reporting a negative
shareholders' equity. In order to reverse LAN's capital
situation, LAN's losses will be covered by canceling LAN's
capital stock and through a capital contribution of
US$291,000,000, which has been requested from LAN's shareholders.
The Board of Directors has resolved not to contribute the
percentage that corresponds to the Company, and following the
application of the losses of the capital stock, the Company's
shareholder participation in LAN will be terminated. The
Financial Statements of Telecom as of December 31, 2002 include a
reserve for the whole of the value of its shareholder
participation in LAN. Therefore, the resolution adopted by the
Board of Directors does not carry any negative financial
consequences or any operative and other type of inconvenience for
the Company.

  The composition of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory
Committee of the Company, which reflects the changes that are
informed herein, is attached, and shall remain in effect until
the Shareholders' Meeting to be held on February 18, 2004.

          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Repoblica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page:

          Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109

TRANSENER: Dolphin Fund Reportedly Buys Stake
Argentine company Dolphin Fund Management purchased a 7.5% stake
in transmission company Transener for between US$3 million and
US$4 million, reports Argentine daily Clarin.

People familiar with the transaction said Dolphin purchased the
stake - via a holding in Transener holding company Citilec S.A. -
from a private equity fund known as Taico.

Citilec's other shareholders are Petrobras Energia
Participaciones (42.5%), the UK's National Grid Transco (42.5%),
and IRHE Holdings (7.5%).

According to a Dow Jones report, Petrobras Energia
Participationes, owned by Brazil's federal energy company
Petrobras, and National Grid each have first right of refusal to
match the Dolphin offer, which could be exercised before the end
of the year. However, Dolphin expressed confidence that this will
not happen because both companies are thought to be intent on
selling their Transener stakes in the future.

Dow Jones quoted sources as saying that Dolphin is eager to use
its new stake as a foot in the door to increase its chances of
taking a controlling interest in Transener and eventually taking
over National Grid's 42.5% holding.

Dolphin could also be playing a political card by emphasizing its
status as a local buyer, in a move designed to allay government
concerns about foreign ownership of Transener, Dow Jones said.

When Petrobras bought Argentine energy conglomerate Perez Companc
in 2002, Petrobras agreed to sell its Transener stake at a later
date, though it gave no timeframe.

Canada's Hydro Quebec, which already owns Chile's major
transmission company Transelec, is reportedly interested in
buying Transener as well, but is waiting for the government to
liberalize electricity rates frozen since early 2002.

In the meantime, Transener made a statement to the Buenos Aires
stock exchange Wednesday saying it hadn't been informed of the
deal with Dolphin Fund.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Enters Into New Bank Credit Facilities
Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE-TYC, BSX-TYC) announced Monday that
Tyco International Group S.A., its wholly owned subsidiary, has
completed its previously announced negotiations of new bank
credit facilities totaling $2.5 billion. As of Monday, it has
entered into a new $1.0 billion 364-day revolving credit facility
with a term-out option, and a new $1.5 billion three-year
revolving credit facility. The terms and conditions of these new
credit agreements are significantly improved from the Company's
former credit facilities, resulting in interest expense savings
and increased flexibility in the Company's covenants.

The new facilities replace the $1.5 billion undrawn 364-day
revolving credit facility, which was due to expire at the end of
January 2004, and the fully drawn $2 billion 5-year revolving
credit facility, which was due to expire in February 2006.
Amounts outstanding under the terminated facilities were repaid
from proceeds of Tyco's recent $1.0 billion issuance of 10-year
notes and from partial utilization of its new credit facilities.
The facilities were arranged by Banc of America Securities LLC
and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.


Tyco International Ltd. is a diversified manufacturing and
service company. Tyco is the world's leading provider of both
electronic security services and fire protection services; the
worlds' leading supplier of passive electronic components and a
leading provider of undersea fiber optic networks and services; a
world leader in the medical products industry; and the world's
leading manufacturer of industrial valves and controls. Tyco also
holds a strong leadership position in plastics and adhesives.
Tyco operates in more than 100 countries and had fiscal 2003
revenues from continuing operations of approximately $37 billion.

CONTACTS:  Media: David Polk, 609-720-4387
           Investor Relations: Ed Arditte, 609-720-4621
                              John Roselli, 609-720-4624


CFLCL: Judge Authorizes Dividend Payment to Shareholders
Companhia Forca e Luz Cataguazes Leopoldina informed that by
means of the decision rendered upon on Dec. 19 by the Justice
hearing appeal 22451/03, lodged by the Company against Fondelec
Essential Services Growth Fund L.P. and others, and against the
decision handed down by the Justice of the 4th Business Court,
the payment of fixed or minimum dividends to preferred
shareholders has been authorized. Payment will be done in
accordance with company by-laws, based upon the capital of the
Company prior to the reduction approved by the resolution made at
the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting on December 9, 2003.

A similar decision was rendered for Appeal no. 22.510/03, lodged
by the shareholder Alliant Energy Holdings do Brasil Ltda against
the decision handed down by the Judge on duty on December 7,

The amount corresponding to the dividends of the preferred
shareholders not connected to the shareholders' agreement
recorded at the Company head offices, has been deposited at the
Banco do Brasil S.A. under court order, and is to be debited from
the Company's capital reserves.

GLOBOPAR: W.R. Huff Initiates Judicial Debt Restructuring in US
Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes S.A. ("Globopar") announced
that the company was made aware on December 11 that affiliates of
a U.S.-based investment group known as W. R. Huff sought to
initiate in the United States a judicial restructuring of
Globopar's debt.

The filing is without merit and, in any event, it does not affect
in any way the operations of the Globo companies in Brazil, which
have experienced results as planned and will continue to operate
without any impact of this action on their performance or

Globopar has maintained, over the last months, a process of
negotiation organized through two creditor committees. The
company has already met these committees on several occasions and
additional meetings remain on schedule.

The president of Globopar, Ronnie Moreira, has pointed out that
"the company has engaged in an enormous effort to reach a
consensual solution with its creditors and will continue to meet
and negotiate with the creditors steering committees in order to
reach a solution. The company does not believe that actions like
those taken yesterday [Dec. 11] help either the company or its
creditors in this process.

We see no reason to allow the actions of a single creditor to
affect adversely this constructive process, nor do we intend to
allow any one creditor, by these means, to add value to its own
position at the cost of other creditors.

Globopar will continue to negotiate the payment of the debt
following the process underway, in the best interest of all

CONTACT:  Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes S. A.
          Stefan Alexander / Marta Meirelles
          55 21 2540-4444
          Web Site:

          Marina Martini
          55 11 3897-6409

PARMALAT GROUP: S&P Affirms brAAAF rating on Brazilian Fund
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed Monday its 'brAAAf'
Brazilian national scale fund rating on the credit receivable
fund Parmalat - Fundo de Investimento em Direitos Creditórios
(the Parmalat FIDC). Standard & Poor's has affirmed the rating
despite its Dec. 19, 2003, downgrades of Parmalat Finanziaria SpA
and Parmalat SpA (Parmalat Italy) to 'D' and the withdrawal of
those ratings (as well as those of related entities) on the same
day. The affirmation is based on the lack of direct impact that
these events have on the creditworthiness of the Parmalat FIDC.

The default of the parent company Parmalat SpA should not
directly impact the creditworthiness of the Parmalat FIDC

     -- There are sufficient receivables that are isolated and
owned by the fund to provide the appropriate level of credit
enhancement for a 'brAAAf' rating;

     -- The servicer of those receivables is Banco Itau S.A., an
        entity unaffiliated with the originators;

     -- The receivables represent sales of products that have
        already been delivered;

     -- The fund stopped purchasing new receivables Dec. 19,

     -- The outstanding receivables are short-term in nature and
        due to be paid within approximately one month; and

     -- The fund manager is now allocating all collections to
        the fund's permitted investments.

The underlying assets of the Parmalat FIDC consist of trade
receivables that are directly originated by Parmalat Brasil S.A.
and Bat via S.A. in Brazil (through the sale of shipped products
to specified obligors), cash, and other specified investments.
Senior shares of the fund total BrR110.5 million and were sold to
investors Nov. 27, 2003. Subordinated shares amount to BrR19.5
million and were retained by the originators.

Parmalat Brasil and Bat via (the originators) are both Brazilian
dairy foods producers and indirectly controlled subsidiaries of
Parmalat Italy. These two Brazilian entities, which are not rated
by Standard & Poor's, created the bankruptcy-remote Parmalat FIDC
with the main purpose of acquiring trade receivables from the
Brazilian originators. The Parmalat FIDC is a closed-end fund and
has a defined three-year final maturity in November 2006. The
Parmalat FIDC manager can include credit receivables and other
fixed-income securities in the fund's portfolio. The fund can
make periodic revolving purchases of these trade receivables. As
soon as the receivables are paid by their designated obligors,
the fund can either acquire new receivables from predetermined
clients or invest in permitted investments. Compared with fixed-
income securities, funds do not promise investors (shareholders)
a specified return or principal repayments. Thus, each senior
shareholder only expects to receive a targeted return on its
investment (Brazilian Spot Depositos Interfinancieros index plus
a spread of 1.7% in this case). Nevertheless, the credit
enhancement requirement determined for the 'brAAAf' rating
affords credit support for the Parmalat FIDC's senior
shareholders and is provided in the form of structural
subordination, specifically, 15% subordinated shares.

On Dec. 19, 2003, Standard & Poor's lowered its corporate credit
ratings on both Parmalat Finanziaria SpA and Parmalat SpA to 'D'
from 'CC', reflecting a default following a missed payment on a
put option due Dec. 17, 2003. Standard & Poor's also withdrew its
ratings on these two companies and their related entities due to
the questionable reliability of all key information supporting a
credit opinion. Specifically, on Dec. 19, 2003, Parmalat issued a
press release indicating that Bank of America had denied the
authenticity of certain documentation used to certify the
existence of approximately ?3.95 billion of securities and bank
deposits, which represented almost all of Parmalat's liquidity.
The missed put option payment and the confirmation that the
company had hugely misrepresented its liquidity position (at
least over the past year) constitutes a default under Standard &
Poor's criteria.

Because of these events and despite their lack of direct impact
on the Parmalat FIDC, uncertainty still exists about future
actions that could affect the fund. The fund's sponsor, Intrag
DTVM Ltda, has called for an extraordinary shareholders meeting
Jan. 6, 2004, to discuss recent events affecting the Italian
parent company.

The Parmalat FIDC started operating Nov. 27, 2003, and Standard &
Poor's received the first servicing report and additional
portfolio information from the servicer Dec. 19, 2003, as
requested. The report confirms that the fund's portfolio
performance is in line with the historical payment performance of
the originators' client base, with more than 95% of all due
receivables paid within 30 days of their due date. Additionally,
no early amortization or liquidation event has occurred. The fund
currently has a diversified portfolio of clients in terms of
volume of purchases, geographic location, number of stores,
payment history, credit limit, and economic and financial
indices, among others. The large clients of the portfolio are
mainly companies that own significantly sizeable networks that
operate throughout Brazil. Examples of these are: CBD, Carrefour,
Sonae, Sendas, and Makro. The other clients are mostly retail
stores with smaller volumes of purchases. The smaller group of
clients represents 60% of the total portfolio of eligible

ANALYSTS:  Juan Pablo De Mollein, New York (1) 212-438-2536
           Diane Audino, New York (1) 212-438-2388
           Sergio Garibian, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8944


ENERSIS: Elesur Transfers 5% Stake to Endesa
Elesur, a Chilean subsidiary wholly owned by Endesa
Internacional, on Monday transferred to the latter its 5% stake
in Enersis. As a result, Endesa Internacional becomes the direct
and only owner of Endesa's (NYSE:ELE) interest in the Chilean
holding Enersis.

Last December 1, Elesur held an Extraordinary General
Shareholders' Meeting that approved the transfer of all its
shares in Enersis to Endesa Internacional. The stake represents
approximately a 5% of Enersis share capital, received by Elesur
as a payment for the capital reduction in Compania de Inversiones
Chispa Uno, S.A. (a 99.9% subsidiary of Elesur).

The change in the ownership is part of the corporate optimization
process developed in the latest months. This process aims to
simplify and make more efficient Endesa's ownership structure in

The transaction, that does not change Endesa's control over the
Chilean company, has been executed at the previous day closing
price in the Chilean stock market.

CONTACT:  Endesa
          North America Investor Relations Office
          David Raya
          Phone: 212-750-7200
          Home Page:

ENERSIS: Closes Capital Increase with $2.1M Subscribed
Endesa S.A. (NYSE:ELE) announced that Enersis, informed the SVS
Monday, that during the second tranche of the pre-emptive rights
offering period, which concluded on December 20th, the Company
raised a total amount of US $136 million. Taking into
consideration the whole transaction, which started at May 31st
2003, the total amount raised by Enersis is US $2,104 million.

It is worth mentioning that 99.9% of the new shares issued in the
capital increase have been subscribed.

Out of the total US $2,104 million obtained in the capital
increase, US $1,219 million were subscribed by Endesa
Internacional, controlling company of Enersis and wholly owned by
Endesa S.A., which capitalised its intercompany loan granted to
Enersis in 1999. The remaining US $885 million have been
subscribed by minority shareholders, which constitute one of the
largest contributions ever made by minority shareholders in a
capital increase in Latin America.

The support made by Enersis' minority shareholders, shows the
confidence in the Company's future and constitutes a clear
support to the plans carried out by Endesa in Enersis.

The capital increase, as well as assets disposal and debt
refinancing, was one of the three fundamental pillars of the
Financial Strengthening Plan approved by Enersis Board of
Directors at the end of 2002.

It is noteworthy that throughout this year, Enersis and its
subsidiary Endesa Chile materialised the sale of assets for an
amount of US $757 million, such as the Canutillar hydro facility,
the Rio Maipo distribution company, high voltage transmission
lines in Chile, and Infrastructura Dos Mil.

Similarly, in the month of May of this year, Enersis and Endesa
Chile concluded successfully the refinancing of their
consolidated banking debt due in 2003 and 2004 for an amount of
US $2,330 million. Approximately US $1,587 million corresponded
to Enersis and US $743 million to its subsidiary Endesa Chile.

The transaction, one of the most important private refinancing
operations ever performed in Latin America, was implemented
through syndicated loans -- for Enersis and Endesa Chile -- led
by BBVA, Citibank, Dresdner Bank and Santander Central Hispano,
and other 28 international financial entities.

Additionally, last November Enersis signed a US $500 million
syndicated loan that, together with the US $350 million obtained
from the 10-year international bonds offering and the funds from
the first tranche of Enersis' capital increase, were applied to
pre-pay the US $1,590 million syndicated loan of the above-
mentioned bank debt refinancing. This loan was maturing in 2008.

All these transactions will allow Enersis to reduce its
indebtedness by approximately US $2,500 million in less than a
year. Consolidated financial debt at Enersis by year-end 2002
stood at roughly US $9,000 million, amount that will decrease to
approximately US $6,500 million at the end of 2003.

CONTACT:  Endesa S.A.
          North America Investor Relations Office
          David Raya
          Phone: 212-750-7200
          Home page:

INVERLINK: Former Execs Facing Fraud Charges
Three former executives of intervened Chilean financial group
Inverlink are now facing fraud charges for illegally transferring
affiliates' funds without prior consent of the group's
consultancy Inverlink Consultores, reports Business News

Local Judge Patricio Villarroel charged former Inverlink director
Francisco Edwards as the architect of the alleged crime along
with accomplices Guillermo Brito and Carlos Berrios, former
executives of Inverlink Corredores.

Inverlink was intervened earlier this year amid accusations
relating to the theft of financial instruments from state
development agency Corfo and espionage activities at the central
bank. The scandal rocked the local financial establishment and
led to the resignations of central bank chairman Carlos Massad
and securities regulator Alvaro Clarke.


* IMF Approves In Principle $11.4M PRGF for Dominica
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has
approved a three-year SDR 7.7 million (about US$11.4 million)
credit for Dominica under the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility (PRGF) arrangement. The decision approving the
arrangement will become effective on December 29, 2003, provided
that as of that date the Word Bank has concluded that Dominica's
Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP) provides a sound
basis for the development of a fully participatory PRSP. The
effectiveness of the decision will enable the release of SDR 2.4
million (about US$3.5 million) for Dominica under the PRGF

The IMF Executive Board also completed Monday the second and
final review of Dominica's one-year SDR 3.3 million (about US$4.9
million) Stand-By Arrangement, which had been approved on August
28, 2002 (see Press Release No. 02/37). The completion of this
review entitles Dominica to the release of SDR 307,500 (about
US$450,000), bringing total disbursements under the Stand-By
Arrangement to SDR 2.97 million (about US$4.4 million). The
Executive Board also noted Dominica's intention to cancel the
Stand-By Arrangement as of January 2, 2004.

The PRGF is the IMF's concessional facility for low-income
countries. PRGF-supported programs are based on country-owned
poverty reduction strategies adopted in a participatory process
involving civil society and development partners, and articulated
in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). This is intended to
ensure that PRGF-supported programs are consistent with a
comprehensive framework for macroeconomic, structural, and social
policies to foster growth and reduce poverty. PRGF loans carry an
annual interest rate of 0.5 percent and are repayable over 10
years with a 5 ź-year grace period on principal payments.

Following the Executive Board's discussion on December 19, 2003
for Dominica, Agustín Carstens, Deputy Managing Director and
Acting Chairman, said:

"The recent performance by the Dominican authorities under the
Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) has been encouraging. Policy
implementation strengthened considerably, reflecting steps taken
earlier this year to control government spending. The structural
benchmarks for September, October, and November 2003, as well as
all performance criteria for end-July and end-September 2003,
were observed. In addition, the authorities have prepared their
debt strategy and elaborated a comprehensive medium-term economic
program designed to reestablish growth and reduce unemployment-
related poverty. These actions evidenced the firm commitment of
the government to achieving the objectives set out in the SBA.

"The authorities are now prepared to embark on the second stage
of their economic strategy, during which they will implement an
ambitious fiscal program, combined with their debt strategy and a
comprehensive structural reform agenda, with the support of an
arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

"During the first year and a half of the PRGF arrangement, the
primary fiscal balance is projected to improve steadily. The
adjustment will place greater emphasis on expenditure cuts, with
key expenditure measures including a continuation of the freeze
on all other non-interest current expenditures in the budget for
FY2004/05, as well as a 5 percent reduction in the central
government wage bill through the implementation of a
comprehensive civil service reform.

"During the remainder of the PRGF arrangement, the primary fiscal
surplus is targeted to reach 3 percent of GDP. Additional fiscal
adjustment measures to achieve this goal will include expenditure
moderation and a second round of public sector retrenchment
during FY2005/06 designed to reduce the size of the public sector
wage bill, as well as measures to broaden the tax base and
enhance the efficiency of tax collections.

"A large residual financing gap will still remain over the medium
term, which is expected to be covered by debt restructuring.
However, determined efforts toward fiscal consolidation supported
by reforms to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the
economy will continue to be essential for achieving debt
sustainability and preventing the reemergence of a debt problem.

"The authorities plan to focus their structural reform agenda on
four main areas, namely:

 Implementation of the debt strategy, which is critical to
securing financing for the program;

 Fiscal reform, including civil service reform, tax reform,
pension reform, and improved budgetary procedures;

 Financial sector strengthening and

 Other reforms to improve the investment climate, enhance
competitiveness, and diversify the economy.

"These structural reforms will be implemented in line with the
authorities' poverty reduction strategy, as articulated in the
authorities' Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, with a
view to preserving essential social safety nets and reducing
employment-related poverty," Mr. Carstens stated.

          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          Public Affairs
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

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

E L   S A L V A D O R

* IMF Concludes 2003 Article IV Consultation with El Salvador
On July 18, 2003, the Executive Board of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with El


Over the past decade, El Salvador has built a good macroeconomic
policy track record and demonstrated considerable reform
ownership. After the end of the civil war in 1992, the
authorities maintained a sound fiscal policy, which helped reduce
public debt from about 50 percent of GDP in 1992 to about 30
percent in 2000. They also implemented a comprehensive structural
reform process, including privatization, trade liberalization,
and civil service and pension reform.

In recent years, the authorities have reinforced their strategy.
They introduced official dollarization in January 2001 to reduce
domestic interest rates, exchange rate risk, and transaction
costs and, thus, to reinvigorate private investment and exports.
Structural reforms have strengthened public banks and financial
supervision, expanded the role of the private sector, and further
progress has been made regarding trade integration.

Partly due to adverse shocks, growth has weakened in recent
years. These shocks include the earthquakes in 2001, adverse
terms of trade developments (coffee and oil), and the global
economic slowdown. Economic growth was 2.1 percent in 2002,
consumer price inflation remains subdued (2 percent in 2002), and
domestic interest rates have declined. Civil service reform has
created room for the public sector wage bill to decline, and tax
revenues increased to 11.2 percent of GDP in 2002 on account of
measures to broaden the tax base and improve tax administration
and enforcement. Still, the fiscal deficit increased to 4.6
percent of GDP in 2002, largely because of reconstruction
expenditures following the 2001 earthquakes. Hence, public debt
has reached almost 40 percent of GDP by end-2002.

The outlook for 2003 suggests that macroeconomic stability will
continue. Economic growth is projected to remain practically
unchanged from 2002 at 2.2 percent. The negotiations for a
Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United
States are expected to encourage new investments as exporters
start to position themselves for an expansion in trade. Some
deficit reduction is projected for 2003 (to 4.1 percent of GDP),
reflecting large cutbacks in capital expenditures, which will be
partially offset by new expenditure commitments in the social

Executive Board Assessment

The Executive Directors commended the authorities for their
strong record of sound fiscal policies and comprehensive
structural reforms since the early 1990s, which have contributed
to a marked reduction in inflation, a decline in public debt
relative to GDP, a rapid growth of non-traditional and maquila
exports, and impressive advances in social indicators. The new
monetary regime introduced in 2001, with the U.S. dollar as legal
tender in parallel with the colón, has contributed to halting the
appreciation of the real exchange rate and reducing domestic
interest rates, and appears to have gained broad domestic

Directors welcomed the authorities' efforts to maintain overall
sound economic policies in the face of the adverse shocks of
recent years, including two major earthquakes, deteriorating
terms of trade, and slower U.S. growth. At the same time,
however, they observed that the recent weakening of the fiscal
position and sluggishness of output growth pose challenges which
will need to be addressed going forward. Directors therefore
encouraged the authorities to build on the credibility of the new
monetary regime by continuing to implement sound fiscal and
financial sector policies and sustaining their structural reform
efforts. This will require continued efforts to mobilize broad-
based support for a further strengthening of the policy
framework, notwithstanding the challenging political environment.

While recognizing that the rise in the fiscal deficit and public
debt in 2002 were largely due to reconstruction expenditures
following the earthquakes and to pension system reform, Directors
observed that, absent further fiscal adjustment, the public debt
could increase relative to GDP and public sector financing
requirements would remain large. Directors therefore encouraged
the authorities to pursue their fiscal consolidation efforts to
put public debt on a declining path while, at the same time,
buttressing the dollarization regime. They generally supported
the view that a fiscal adjustment of about 3 percentage points of
GDP would be appropriate, and would need to include a revenue
enhancing effort by strengthening tax enforcement and taking, in
due course, steps toward increasing VAT and excise rates.
Directors also encouraged the authorities to continue to press
for a modification of the generous early retirement provision,
which allows many workers to retire before age 50. To reduce El
Salvador's vulnerability to adverse shocks, they recommended that
the authorities combine the fiscal adjustment with efforts to
build up a strong international reserve cushion. Over the medium
term, the authorities were encouraged to give consideration to
the adoption of a fiscal rule to further enhance the credibility
of their commitment to fiscal prudence.

Directors welcomed the progress made by the authorities in
implementing FSSA recommendations aimed at reinforcing financial
supervision, in particular the steps to strengthen the regulatory
framework and modernize the payment system. They encouraged the
authorities to continue their efforts to strengthen the
supervision of cross-border lending and of financial
conglomerates, and to address remaining vulnerabilities stemming
from banks' exposure to impaired assets. To reduce the exposure
of private pension funds to the government, Directors supported
the authorities' efforts to allow the funds to invest a larger
share of their portfolio in high-quality investments abroad. They
looked forward to the follow-up FSAP exercise to identify areas
for further improvements on financial sector issues. Directors
commended the authorities for their exemplary efforts to combat
money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Directors welcomed the steps to strengthen the safety net under
the financial system, including efforts to establish contingent
credit lines with some multilateral institutions. They noted,
however, that in view of the possibility of future adverse
shocks, a further strengthening of the safety net would be
helpful, and encouraged the authorities to consider steps to
increase the capitalization of the deposit insurance fund and to
keep under review the possible strengthening of a lender of last
resort facility. They also encouraged further study of possible
improvements in the central bank's liquidity operations in line
with the new monetary regime.

While commending the authorities for the comprehensive structural
reform agenda implemented over the past decade, Directors saw a
need for sustained further efforts to enhance competitiveness and
productivity growth. They encouraged the authorities to press
ahead with their reform plans aimed at increasing private sector
participation in the economy, including full privatization of the
electricity company and the sale of concessions in the
transportation sector. Directors also welcomed the steps to
increase labor market flexibility, while stressing that the
maintenance of a prudent minimum wage policy will be equally
important to keep labor costs competitive in the maquila and
nontraditional export sectors. While recognizing the considerable
progress that has been made in recent years in addressing
institutional and governance weaknesses, Directors encouraged the
authorities to continue their efforts in these areas.

          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          Public Affairs
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

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


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: GSM Rollout To Accelerate Growth
Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") (Nasdaq: MICC)
selected a supplier to overlay its existing TDMA networks in
Guatemala (Comcel) and Paraguay (Telecel) with GSM 800 networks.
According to the deal signed on December 15, 2003, the nationwide
networks will become operational during the second quarter of

Marc Beuls, President and Chief Executive Officer of Millicom
International Cellular commented: "This move is part of our
ongoing strategy to roll-out GSM services across our operations,
in order to create further product and procurement synergies. The
roll-out of GSM in Latin America will enable us to accelerate
growth as a result of the lower cost and increased functionality
of GSM technology."

This press release may contain certain "forward-looking
statements" with respect to Millicom's expectations and plans,
strategy, management's objectives, future performance, costs,
revenues, earnings and other trend information. It is important
to note that Millicom's actual results in the future could differ
materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements
depending on various important factors. Please refer to the
documents that Millicom has filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended, including Millicom's most recent annual report
on Form 20-F, for a discussion of certain of these factors. All
forward-looking statements in this press release are based on
information available to Millicom on the date hereof. All written
or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Millicom
International Cellular S.A., any Millicom International Cellular
S.A members or persons acting on Millicom's behalf are expressly
qualified in their entirety by the factors referred to above.
Millicom does not intend to update these forward-looking

Millicom International Cellular S.A. is a global
telecommunications investor with cellular operations in Asia,
Latin America and Africa. It currently has a total of 16 cellular
operations and licenses in 15 countries. The Group's cellular
operations have a combined population under license of
approximately 382 million people. In addition, MIC provides high-
speed wireless data services in five countries.

          Marc Beuls, President and Chief Executive Officer
          Telephone: +352 27 759 101

          Shared Value Ltd., (London)
          Andrew Best, Investor Relations
          Telephone: +44 20 7321 5022

          Web site:


GRUPO IUSACELL: Effects Exchange of New Common Shares
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CEL) (BMV: CEL) effected
Friday the exchange of its Series A and Series V shares for new
common, ordinary, registered shares with no par value at a ratio
of 20 Series A and/or Series V shares to 1 new share. The Company
did not issue fractional shares. Accordingly, fractions of new
shares were paid at a price equal to the opening market price
quoted on the Mexican Stock Exchange on October 17, 2003, of
Ps.0.88 for each of the Series A or Series V shares, as
determined on the October 17, 2003 shareholders' meeting.

The number of new shares issued and outstanding is 93,101,240
with a public float of approximately 25.4%. The Company's ticker
on the Mexican Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange
remained unchanged.

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

          Jose Luis Riera K., Chief Financial Officer
          Tel: +011-5255-5109-5927

          Carlos J. Moctezuma, Senior Mgr., Investor Relations
          Tel: +011-5255-5109-5759



BLADEX: Names New Investor Relations Firm
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. ("BLADEX", or the
"Bank") (NYSE: BLX) announced Monday that, effective December 17,
2003, it had named i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc., ("i-
advize"), a New York City-based firm, to manage its investor
relations program.

Reflecting the Company's growing stock liquidity, as well as the
needs of an increasingly international shareholder base, BLADEX
decided to work with an investor relations firm with wide-ranging
experience in supporting Latin American companies listed on the
major international exchanges.

All future shareholder inquiries should be directed to Melanie
Carpenter, Partner at i-advize, or to Peter Majeski, Associate,
(212) 406-3690.

i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc. is an investor relations
firm based in New York City and focused on the Latin American
market. i-advize was incorporated in April 2000, and is a leader
in the Latin American investor relations industry, having worked
with many of the top public companies in the region. For more
information please visit

BLADEX is a multinational bank established by the Central Banks
of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. Based in Panama,
its shareholders include central and commercial banks in 23
countries of the region, as well as international banks and
private investors. In 24 years, BLADEX has disbursed accumulated
credits for over 120 billion USD in the region.

          In Panama:
          Carlos Yap S., Senior Vice President - Finance
          (507) 210-8581
          Web site:

          In New York:
          Melanie Carpenter / Peter Majeski
          Tel: (212) 406-3691


SIDOR: Reveals $60M Investment Plan For Coming Year
Venezuelan steelmaker Siderurgica del Orinoco (Sidor) will invest
US$60 million next year. Of that amount, US$16.1 million will be
spent on a hot-rolled steel plant and US$13 million for the
modernization of the Midrex plant.

The Company will implement a smoke-vacuuming system at a
limestone and sheet steel plant, as well as launch a new
integrated production, selling and administration system called

Next year's planned investment almost doubles this year's
investment of US$31.2 million, of which US$9.1 million was
channeled to steel reduction, US$4.9 million to steel mill,
US$6.2 million to sheet making, US$400,000 to improve the steel
bar and wire production process and US$10.5 million to improve
environmental conditions and services.

Total investment in the five years since the Company was
privatized has climbed to US$512 million, Sidor said. Production
of liquid steel was around 3.3 million tonnes in 2002.

Sidor, the top exporter of finished steel products in Latin
America, has been hard hit by low steel prices over the last five

Sidor is based in Puerto Ordaz city in the Guayana region and is
60%-owned by the Amazonia consortium. Amazonia is made up of
Mexican companies Hylsamex (Alfa group) and Tamsa (Techint
group), Argentine company Siderar (Techint group), Brazil's
Usiminas and Venezuela's Sivensa. The remaining 40% is owned by
the Venezuelan state.

          Edificio General, Piso 9
          Avda. La Estancia
          Chuao, Caracas 1060
          Tel: (582) 902 3800/3917/3955
          Fax: (582) 993 2930
          Home Page:


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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