TCRLA_Public/040122.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Thursday, January 22, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 15



COMPANIA MEGA: Gets CreditWatch Positive from S&P
LEMYLAR: Reorganization Process Now Official


AES CORP.: Aneel Authorizes Brasiliana Energia Plan
BRASKEM: Expresses Confidence In Ability To Settle Debts
CHAPECO ALIMENTO: Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
ELEKTRO: S&P Upgrades National Scale Rating to brBBB-
GLOBOPAR: Seeks Bankruptcy Case Dismissal; Debt Deal Forthcoming

PARMALAT BRAZIL: Standard & Poor's Clarifies Fund Status
PARMALAT BRAZIL: Judge Orders Banco do Brasil To Release Funds
VARIG/TAM: CADE To Study Code Share Deal With TAM
UNIMARC: Banco do Brasil Withdraws Bankruptcy Petition


ENDESA CHILE: Sets New Power Generating Record


AVIANCA: Seeks Additional Time To Present Debt Plan

C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Employees Threaten to Block Change in Policy


C&WJ: To Close Down Bill Payment Offices This March


GRUPO IUSACELL: Bondholders' Complaint Officially Acknowledged
GRUPO TMM: Updates Progress Regarding VAT Award
HYLSAMEX: Alfa Spin-Off Will Not Affect Hylsa Ratings
TFM: Receives Special Certificate From KCS


ANCAP: Suspends Ops at Minas, Moves Production to Paysandu


PARMALAT VENEZUELA: Parent's Woes Leave Operations Unaffected
PDVSA: Lemont Assets Down on Divestiture Announcement

     - - - - - - - - - -


COMPANIA MEGA: Gets CreditWatch Positive from S&P
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its credit ratings on
Argentina-based gas separation project Compania Mega S.A.'s
(Mega) $120.9 million secured floating-rate notes series D,
$102.0 million secured floating-rate notes series E, and $169.7
million secured fixed-rate notes series G on CreditWatch with
positive implications following the announcement of the extension
of the guarantees on the company's financial obligations until
Dec. 31, 2005.

The guarantees were originally provided by parents of the project
sponsors (Spanish-based Repsol-YPF S.A., U.S.-based Dow Chemical
Co., and Brazilian-based Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.-Petrobras) on
the occasion of an exchange of the project notes in 2001. The
extended guarantees are now accompanied by a set of put options
for the bondholders and call options for the sponsors to purchase
Mega's outstanding debt up to each sponsor's share. The puts and
calls are exercisable at certain dates at the discretion of the
option holders. Because these guarantees would not be outstanding
for the full life of the notes, Standard & Poor's had not
incorporated them so far into the rating. Nevertheless, although
the ratings on the project would not be equalized with those of
the sponsors, given the different tenor between the guarantees
and the bonds, the extension of the guarantees reflects a higher
degree of parental support, which could help offset the risks of
operating in Argentina.

In addition, the sponsors and the noteholders have agreed on new
mechanisms for adjusting ethane sale contracts and natural gas
purchase contracts after the Argentine government pesified the
contracts denominated in U.S. dollars, allowing their
cancellation in pesos at a rate of $1 per Argentine peso (ArP),
much lower than the market exchange rate. "Following those
modifications, Standard & Poor's expects the project to benefit
more from both the good international price environment and its
sound operating performance," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Pablo Lutereau.

As part of the arranged terms and conditions, the sponsors will
be entitled to repurchase the notes up to their respective share
in the company's capital. Although the exercise of this option
would not result in lower debt for Project Mega, in Standard &
Poor's opinion, it would broaden the financial flexibility of the
company. The ratings could be upgraded if Standard & Poor's
determines upon the analysis of the final documentation that
parental support has significantly increased and if the
modifications in the ethane sale contract and the natural gas
purchase contract do not jeopardize the credit quality of the

The company's generation of more than 60% of revenues from
exports should constitute a benefit and should be sufficient to
meet its debt service if government intervention does not prevent
the company from freely disposing of such funds to meet financial

ANALYST:  Pablo Lutereau
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: (54) 114-891-2125

          Marta Castelli
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: (54) 114-891-2128

LEMYLAR: Reorganization Process Now Official
Argentine company Lavieri Ernesto Manuel y Lavieri Alejandro Raul
S.H. will undergo reorganization after Court No. 4 of San Martin
approved its motion for "Concurso Preventivo". The court-
appointed receiver, Ms. Silvia Moiron Barbeira, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until March 15 this year. The
individual reports, which contain the results of the verification
process, are due at the court on May 7. The general report must
be submitted to the court on June 25.

The informative audience, one of the last parts of a
reorganization process, will be held on August 31.

CONTACT:  Silvia Moiran Barbeira
          Mitre 3885
          San Martin


AES CORP.: Aneel Authorizes Brasiliana Energia Plan
Brazil's electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia
Eletrica (Aneel) approved the creation of Brasiliana Energia,
which will hold US power company AES Corp's direct and indirect
interests in AES Eletropaulo, AES Uruguaiana and AES Tiete.

Business News Americas relates that the approval is part of the
US$1.2 billion debt-for-equity deal between national development
bank BNDES and AES.

Pursuant to the shareholders' agreement signed between AES and
BNDES in December of 2003, AES controls Brasiliana Energia
through its ownership of a majority of the voting shares of the
company. AES will own 50.1% of the common shares and BNDES will
own 49.9% of the common shares plus non-voting preferred shares
that will provide BNDES with approximately 53% of the total
capital of Brasiliana Energia. AES equity interests in
Eletropaulo, Uruguaiana and AES Tiete together with US$90 million
contributed by AES and its Brazilian subsidiaries will be applied
to reduce the outstanding debt owed to BNDES from US$1.2 billion
to US$510 million. The remaining outstanding balance of US$510
million (which remains non-recourse to AES) will be payable over
an 11 year period.

In the meantime, Aneel said it would review the debt agreement if
AES decides to include distribution company AES Sul in
Brasiliana. The agreement would need approval from the central
bank, says the report.

BRASKEM: Expresses Confidence In Ability To Settle Debts
In an attempt to assuage investor apprehension, Braskem, Latin
America's largest petrochemicals company, said it will be able to
service its debt in the next six years with cash flow, relates

"Between 2004 and 2010, the situation regarding the amortization
of our debt and the service (on interest rates) is compatible
with our cash flow generation," said Braskem President Jose
Carlos Grubisich.

At the end of September 2003, Braskem registered a net debt of
BRL6.2 billion (US$2.2 billion). The Company issued US$250
million in 10-year bonds last week, Grubisich said, adding that
the Company was authorized to sell US$520 million more under a
separate US$1 billion mid-term debt issue program.

Braskem was born in August 2002 out of the merger of numerous
petrochemicals groups in Brazil.

CONTACT:  Jose Marcos Treiger, Investor Relations Officer
          Phone: (5511) 3443 9529
          Fax: (5511) 3443 9532

          Vasco Barcellos, Investor Relations
          Phone: (5511) 3443 9178
          Fax: (5511) 3443 9532

          Luiz Henrique Valverde, Investor Relations
          Phone: (5511) 3443 9744
          Fax: (5511) 3443 9532

CHAPECO ALIMENTO: Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
Brazilian slaughterhouse Chapeco Alimento applied for bankruptcy
protection, reports Gazeta Mercantil, to protect itself from
several legal actions due to its debts, which amount more than
BRL1 billion. It owes at least BRL560 million to Banco Nacional
de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social(BNDES).

Its smaller creditors include ABN, Santos, Chain and pension
funds Aerus and Serpros banks. The Company owes a total of BRL156
million to the said banks and another BRL$64 million to its

According to the court, the Company is trying to guarantee
payment of labor and supplier debts through leasing its four
facilities: Xaxim, Chapeco, Santa Rosa and Cascavel. Argentine
group Macri controls the Company.

ELEKTRO: S&P Upgrades National Scale Rating to brBBB-
Brazilian distributor Elektro, a unit of US energy trader Enron,
had its national scale rating upgraded to brBBB- from brBB- by
the local office of credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's
(S&P), reports Business News Americas. The outlook is stable.

The rating reflects Elektro's "adequate" financial and
operational performance following Enron's decision to file for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Although Enron's ongoing Chapter 11 has severely restricted the
amount of financing available to Elektro, it has not affected the
unit's daily operations.

Elektro has a "gentle" debt repayment program through 2007,
regulatory protection from possible effects from the ongoing
Chapter 11 at Enron, adequate financial and operational indices
and has been officially separated from Enron through the creation
of Prisma Energy International, which owns Enron's international

GLOBOPAR: Seeks Bankruptcy Case Dismissal; Debt Deal Forthcoming
Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes' (Globopar) asked the United
States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York on Monday
to dismiss a lawsuit demanding its bankruptcy. Reuters News
quoted Mr. Jorge Nobrega, director of planning at Globopar and
Organicoes Globo as saying, "Our main argument is that ... as
Globopar has no assets, operations, or revenue in the United
States, it is an unsuitable court to judge the suit."

Three U.S. funds, which hold some US$94 million of the Company's
US$1.9 billion of debt, requested the court to declare the
Company bankrupt. New Jersey-based W.R. Huff Asset Management Co.
administers the three funds.

Mr. Nobrega said that the Company will offer a new debt deal to
creditors by early March. The Company defaulted on debt in
October 2002 after a severe depreciation of the local currency.
It has been negotiating with committees representing banks and
individual bondholders.

The executive said, "We have talked and had meetings with both
committees and we are preparing a response to their counter-
offer, which we will hand over by the end of February, start of
March. I can't talk about the offer as we have a confidentiality
agreement, but what I can say is that the interests have been
converging during the negotiation process and that we will not
accept a negotiation outside the structure of bondholders and
bank committees."

Citigroup Inc. leads the bank committee, which includes J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co Inc., Brazil's Banco do Brasil SA
and Banco Bradesco de Brazil .

CONTACT:  Citigroup Inc.
          399 Park Ave.
          New York, NY 10043
          Phone: 212-559-1000
          Fax: 212-793-3946
          Toll Free: 800-285-3000
          Home page:
          Contact: Sanford Weill, Chairman
                   Charles Prince III, CEO

          J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
          270 Park Ave.
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: 212-270-6000
          Fax: 212-270-2613
          Home page:
          Contact:  William Harrison Jr., Chairman & CEO
          Dina Dublon, CFO

          Banco do Brasil S.A.
          24th Floor
          SBS Qd. 01 Bloco C - Edificio Sede III
          70073-901 Brasilia
          D.F., Brazil
          Phone: +55-61-310-3409
          Fax: +56-61-310-2561
          Home page:
          Contact:  Berbard Appy, Chairman
                    Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes, President & CEO

PARMALAT BRAZIL: Standard & Poor's Clarifies Fund Status
The Dec. 19, 2003, default of Italy's Parmalat SpA has not
directly affected the performance or creditworthiness of the
Brazilian credit receivables fund, Parmalat - Fundo de
Investimento em Direitos Creditorio (the Parmalat FIDC),
according to a report recently released by Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services titled "Brazil's Parmalat FIDC and Italy's
Parmalat SpA: No Strings Attached".

According to the Frequently Asked Questions included in the
article, which sheds light on the relationship between the
Parmalat FIDC transaction and the Italian company, Parmalat SpA,
the Parmalat FIDC is a bankruptcy-remote Brazilian credit
receivables fund that has no legal or direct financial connection
with Parmalat SpA or any of its subsidiaries.

"The fund has sufficient receivables isolated from the
originators to provide the appropriate level of credit
enhancement for a 'brAAAf' rating," said Juan Pablo De Mollein,
Associate Director in Standard & Poor's Structured Finance group
and co-author of the article.

Standard & Poor's downgraded Parmalat Finanziaria SpA (Parmalat
Italy) to 'D' and withdrew its ratings on the company, as well as
those of related entities, on Dec. 19, 2003. On Dec. 22, 2003,
however, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'brAAAf' Brazilian
national scale fund rating on the Parmalat FIDC. The affirmation
was based on the lack of direct impact that these events had on
the creditworthiness of the Parmalat FIDC. Other factors that
keep the creditworthiness of the Parmalat FIDC unaffected by
Parmalat SpA's default are:

     -- The servicer of the receivables is Banco Itau, an entity
unaffiliated with the originators (which are not rated by
Standard & Poor's);
     -- The receivables represent sales of products that have
already been delivered;
     -- The fund stopped purchasing new receivables on Dec. 19,
     -- The fund's outstanding receivables (representing less
than 10% of the fund's portfolio as of Jan. 14, 2003) are short-
term in nature and are due to be paid within approximately 15
days; and
     -- The fund manager is now allocating all collections to the
fund's permitted investments.

Standard & Poor's opinion of the Parmalat FIDC's credit risk has
not changed significantly since its Dec. 22, 2003, rating
affirmation. Nevertheless, the impact of Parmalat SpA's default
could affect the originator's ability to continue generating
healthy receivables to be sold to the fund, the report noted.

ANALYSTS:  Juan Pablo De Mollein
           New York
           Phone: (1) 212-438-2536

           Diane Audino
           New York
           Phone: (1) 212-438-2388

           Sergio Garibian
           Sao Paulo
           Phone: (55) 11-5501-8944

PARMALAT BRAZIL: Judge Orders Banco do Brasil To Release Funds
Banco do Brasil (BBAS3.BR) received orders to release about BRL7
million in funds deposited by local dairy company Parmalat Brasil
S.A., a Dow Jones report cited a Company statement as saying. The
amount is part of the BRL25.4 million the Company put up to pay
dairy cooperatives that collect and sell milk for small farmers.

The Company discovered that the bank withheld almost BRL7 million
of the money to make up for interest on loans. In the meantime,
the bank has not comments on the matter.

Earlier, another Brazilian judge blocked the transfer of assets
from Parmalat Brasil to its bankrupt Italian parent or to
offshore tax havens, after discovering that the Company has moved
funds to aid its scandal-hit parent. The fund transfer
contributed to the Company's troubles in paying its dues.

Its Italian parent, Parmalat Finanziaria SpA, filed for
bankruptcy protection in December 24 after revealing a
multibillion-dollar gap in its finances. Prosecutors in Italy and
market regulators from the U.S. and Europe are investigating the
disappearance of the funds, Dow Jones reports.

Three local suppliers have initiated moves to have Parmalat
Brasil declared bankrupt, while its creditors, ABN Amro and
Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. say they will form a
creditors' committee to try to recover monies due to them.

CONTACT:  Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A.
          Piazza Erculea 9
          20122 Milan, Italy
          Phone: +39-02-806-8801
          Fax: +39-02-869-3863
          Home page:
          Contact:  Enrico Bondi, Chairman & CEO

          Banco do Brasil S.A.
          24th Floor
          SBS Qd. 01 Bloco C - Edificio Sede III
          70073-901 Brasilia
          D.F., Brazil
          Phone: +55-61-310-3409
          Fax: +56-61-310-2561
          Home page:
          Contact:  Berbard Appy, Chairman
                    Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes, President & CEO

          Sumitomo Corporation
          8-11 Harumi 1-chome
          Chuo-ku, Tokyo
          104-8610 Japan
          Phone: +81-3-5166-5000
          Fax: +81-3-5166-6292
          Home page:
          Contact:  Kenji Miyahara, Chairman
          Motoyuki Oka, President & CEO

VARIG/TAM: CADE To Study Code Share Deal With TAM
Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE), the Brazilian
Council for Economic Defense is studying the possibility of
amending the code share deal between Varig and TAM over the next
weeks, reports local daily Gazeta Mercantil. The report adds that
CADE believes that the code share may hinder the proposed merger
of the two troubled companies, as it would generate profits for

Code sharing would result in savings for the two airlines: BRL46
million for Varig and BRL29 million for TAM. However, CADE is
taking into account the chance that the deal would result in
hindering the two companies' competitors. Code sharing would
result in the downsizing of flight offers and boosting prices.

Varig, Brazil's largest airline, is feeling the pressure of heavy
debts and high costs. The carrier has lost some of its routes
though it still has flights throughout Brazil and to some 20
countries. Controlling shareholder Ruben Berta Foundation is
opposed to its merger with TAM

CONTACT:  Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense S.A.
          Rua 18 de Novembro No. 800
          Sao Joao 90240-040
          Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
          Phone: +55-51-3358-7039
          Fax: +55-51-3358-7001
          Home page:
          Contact:  Luis C. Vaini, Chairman
                    Carlos Pereira e Souza, President & CEO
                    Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance & CFO

UNIMARC: Banco do Brasil Withdraws Bankruptcy Petition
Brazilian state bank Banco do Brazil withdrew its bankruptcy
petition against Chilean supermarket chain Unimarc. The move came
after the bank reached an agreement with Unimarc owner Javier
Errazuriz over the Company's debt. The bank said that the
petitions were filed with the intention of speeding up debt
negotiations with the Chilean businessman.

Unimarc operates about 40 supermarkets, primarily in the capital
city of Santiago under three formats and targets middle- to high-
income consumers. Inversiones Errazuriz is trying to sell its 60%
of Unimarc.

The bank also withdrew its bankruptcy protection against Chilean
forestry company Industria Forestal Nacional, which together with
Unimarc, owes the bank some CLP2,200 million.

CONTACT:  Supermercados Unimarc S.A.
          Ave Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva 1380
          Renca, Santiago, Chile
          Phone: +56-2-687-7000
          Fax: +56-2-383-6004
          Home page:
          Contact:  Francizo Javier Errazuriz Ovalle, Chairman
                    Claudia Quezada Romero, CFO

          Banco do Brasil S.A.
          24th Floor
          SBS Qd. 01 Bloco C - Edificio Sede III
          70073-901 Brasilia
          D.F., Brazil
          Phone: +55-61-310-3409
          Fax: +56-61-310-2561
          Home page:
          Contact:  Berbard Appy, Chairman
                    Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes, President & CEO


ENDESA CHILE: Sets New Power Generating Record
- The annual electricity production of Endesa Chile in Chile
amounted to 16,526 GWh.

- This figure is 0.4% higher than the previous record achieved in
2002 and 4% greater than the generation in 2001.

- The record was achieved thanks to the optimization of the
placement of the hydroelectric energy during a period of moderate
rainfalls and an efficient use of its reservoir resources.

In 2003 Endesa Chile broke its annual electricity production
record with a total of 16,526 GWh, comprising a hydroelectric
contribution of 13,085 GWh and thermal generation of 3.441 GWh.

This figure was 0.4% higher than the previous record achieved in
2002 and 4% more than in 2001, thus maintaining the upward trend
in generation seen in recent years. The company's total Chilean
production in 2002 was 16,459 GWh, with hydroelectric generation
contributing 13,651 GWh and thermal 2,808 GWh while, in 2001,
total generation was 15,910 GWh, 12.733 GWh hydroelectric and
3,177 GWh thermal.

The record was achieved despite being a dryer year, which does
not benefit hydroelectric production, and despite the company not
having the contribution of the Canutillar plant. This achievement
was helped by the optimization of the placement of the
hydroelectricity in a year of moderate rainfalls and an efficient
use of reservoir water.


  Ano   Total Hidraulico    Total Termico  Hidro + Termico
              GWh               GWh             GWh

  2000       11.235            4.203         15.438
  2001       12.733            3.177         15.910
  2002       13.651            2.808         16.459
  2003       13.085            3.441         16.526

Also influencing these figures was the continuous improvement in
installation maintenance which enabled the company to achieve the
availability and trips (plant faults) indicators shown in the
following table.

                         DISPONIBILIDAD %       TRIPS NÝ

                         2002     2003        2002    2003

CENTRALES TERMICAS      92,67    96,46         13       9
CENTRALES HIDRAULICAS   96,65    96,77         22      20
TOTAL CENTRALES         95,58    96,69         35      29


AVIANCA: Seeks Additional Time To Present Debt Plan
Colombia's flagship airline Avianca wants more time to prepare a
debt- restructuring plan, says Reuters. The airline, which filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States last
March, was supposed to submit the plan by January 30. But recent
court documents revealed that Avianca is seeking approval from a
U.S. bankruptcy judge to extend the deadline extension until
March 30.

If granted, the deadline extension would be its fifth.

Avianca has a U.S. subsidiary, which allowed it to apply for
Chapter 11 proceedings to try to renegotiate US$269 million in
debt while continuing to operate. The U.S. law is more generous
with struggling debtor companies than Colombian legislation.

C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Employees Threaten to Block Change in Policy
The government of Costa Rica is likely to have a hard time
implementing plans to liberalize the telecoms sector, Business
News Americas indicates. Succumbing pressure from the United
States, the Costa Rican government will partially open up the
telecoms sector to competition in exchange for joining the
Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta).

The Costa Rican government had initially withdrawn from Cafta
talks because it did not agree to the telecoms liberalization.
However, in the latest round of talks, which officially started
Tuesday, the negotiating team caved in to US pressure, the FIT

"The negotiating team accepted the [United States'] conditions of
opening up telecommunications and insurance services... in
exchange for concessions that favor a small group of exporters of
sugar, textiles, meat," FIT said in a statement.

Because of this, FIT secretary general Fabio Chaves warned ICE
employees will lodge a strike in order to block the telecoms
liberalization plans.

"We are preparing a broad front that will inevitably lead to a
large national strike in the next few weeks," Chaves said.

"We hold responsible the negotiating team, the business chambers
and the president of the republic for the consequences, and the
breaking of labor harmony that will happen in the next few days,"
FIT said.


C&WJ: To Close Down Bill Payment Offices This March
Cable & Wireless Jamaica (C&WJ), a telecommunications service
provider, will begin phasing out bill payment services at its 19
business offices across the island this March, the Jamaica
Observer reports. Along with the closures is the dismissal of an
undisclosed number of staff.

The plans to close its bills payment centers is a further
deepening of process of outsourcing that C&W began a few years
ago, says the Observer. Currently, C&W bills can be paid at
Paymaster Jamaica, Bills Express outlets, and at banks and
building societies.

It's still not known if the plans will have any immediate impact
on C&W's service centers, though it was apparent that the Company
ultimately plans to divest itself of this operation.


GRUPO IUSACELL: Bondholders' Complaint Officially Acknowledged
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. [BMV: CEL, NYSE: CEL] ("Iusacell" or
the "Company") announced Monday that its U.S. legal advisors have
now been advised by the legal advisors of certain holders of the
notes due 2004 that notice of the complaint filed by the latter
against its subsidiary, Grupo Iusacell Celular, S.A. de C.V.
(Iusacell Celular) had been served upon the company through CT
Corporation Services in New York City on Thursday, January 15,
2004. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company has yet to
receive notice of such service of process directly from CT


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

          Jose Luis Riera K., CFO
          Phone: +011-5255-5109-5927

          Carlos J. Moctezuma, Head of Investor Relations
          Phone: +011-5255-5109-5759

GRUPO TMM: Updates Progress Regarding VAT Award
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE:TMM)(BMV:TMM A, "the Company"), announced
that in compliance with the August 13, 2003, Mexican Federal
Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice ("Fiscal Court")
resolution regarding its subsidiary TFM, S.A. de C.V. ("TFM")
Value Added Tax ("VAT") lawsuit requesting the reimbursement of
the VAT, the Mexican Treasury delivered Monday to TFM a special
VAT certificate for the historical claimed amount of
$2,111,111,790.00 pesos. Such certificate can be used by TFM to
pay taxes and other fiscal obligations.

Regarding inflation and interest adjustments to the VAT
certificate, the Company will provide additional information as
soon as it becomes available.

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM is a Latin American
multimodal transportation company. Through its branch offices and
network of subsidiary companies, Grupo TMM provides a dynamic
combination of ocean and land transportation services. Grupo TMM
also has a significant interest in TFM, which operates Mexico's
Northeast railway and carries over 40 percent of the country's
rail cargo. Grupo TMM's web site address is and
TFM's web site is

          Brad Skinner (Investor Relations)
          Tel: 011-525-55-629-8725
               or 203-247-2420

          Marco Provencio (Media Relations)
          Tel: 011-525-55-629-8708
               and 011-525-55-442-4948

          Kristine Walczak (General Investors, Analysts and
          Tel: 312-726-3600

HYLSAMEX: Alfa Spin-Off Will Not Affect Hylsa Ratings
Hylsa S.A. de C.V. (Hylsa, CCC+/Positive/--) announced Jan. 19,
2004, that its major shareholder, Alfa S.A., which holds 89.7% of
Hylsamex (Hylsa's parent company), has called for an
extraordinary stockholders' meeting on Feb. 4, 2004, to vote on a
proposal to spin off its interest in Hylsamex. The spin-off
process will be conducted in two stages. Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services said that this action should not affect Hylsa's

ANALYST:  Juan P Becerra
          Mexico City

TFM: Receives Special Certificate From KCS
Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE:KSU) announced Tuesday that TFM,
S.A. de C.V. (TFM) received, on January 19, 2004, a Special
Certificate from the Mexican Federal Treasury in the amount of
2,111,111,790 pesos. The Special Certificate has the same face
amount as the value added tax refund claimed by TFM. TFM
initiated legal proceedings to recover the Special Certificate in
1997. TFM received a ruling from the Mexican Federal Court of the
First Circuit on November 5, 2003 sustaining the Fiscal Court's
ruling in favor of TFM. KCS has an indirect 37.3% economic
interest in TFM. KCS is currently reviewing the significance of
the delivery of the Special Certificate to TFM with its legal
advisors and with TFM officers, and KCS will provide additional
information as appropriate.

KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad
investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama. Its primary
holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR).
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, KCSR serves customers in
the central and south central regions of the U.S. KCS' rail
holdings and investments are primary components of a NAFTA
Railway system that links the commercial and industrial centers
of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

CONTACT:  Kansas City Southern
          William H. Galligan
          Phone: 816-983-1551


ANCAP: Suspends Ops at Minas, Moves Production to Paysandu
Ancap has ceased operations at a Cement plant in Minas, according
to a report by Uruguayan newspaper El Pais. Production has been
shifted to the Company's unit in Paysandu, which has the capacity
to meet cement demands in the country and generate enough for
exports at the same time.

Currently, the cement demand in Uruguay is roughly 300,000
million tons per year. Ancap has an installed capacity of 500,000
million tons per year, while another local company, Compania
Uruguaya de Cemento Portland has capacity for another 500,000.

The low local demand contributed a loss of US$3 million for
Ancap's cement division last year. The report adds that the unit
is in need of a restructuring, or possible, a merger with
Argentine cement company Loma Negra, with which it has a trade


PARMALAT VENEZUELA: Parent's Woes Leave Operations Unaffected
The Venezuelan subsidiary of Parmalat is not disturbed by the
current financial crisis hitting its Italian parent company. The
local unit said it faces no financial hardships and is able to
continue normal operations in the dairy products business. The
company has a cash flow of VEB35 billion - VEB45 billion to
secure the purchases of milk to local farmers and import powdered

But, in case the Company has to face financial difficulties,
Venezuela's Production and Trade Minister, Wilmar Castro, earlier
said that the government will aid the Company, possibly, by
purchasing Parmalat de Venezuela's shares.

A collapse at such an important company would undoubtedly lead to
important consequences in the economy, said Castro. Parmalat de
Venezuela employs 2,500 people and provides 40% of Venezuela's
milk powder and 15% of its pasteurized milk, Castro added.

PDVSA: Lemont Assets Down on Divestiture Announcement
Assets of the Lemont refinery depreciated after Petroleos de
Venezuela announced its intentions to review the situation of its
assets abroad, reports local newspaper El Nacional. PDVSA's U.S.
unit Citgo Corporation holds Lemont.

The refinery, based in the outskirts of Chicago, is a natural
acquisition target for Petrocanada, Imperial Oil or Fina, the
source adds. Lemont, which can process 160,000 barrels per day,
receives Canadian oil of refining. It posted a profit of US$180
million in last year's third quarter.

CONTACT:  Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
          Edificio Petroleos de Venezuela
          Ave Libertador, La Campina
          Apdo 169, Caracas
          1010-A Venezuela
          Phone: +58-2-708-4111
          Fax: +58-2-708-4661
          Home page:
          Contact: Ali Rodiguez Araque, President & CEO
                   Luis Davila, Executive Director for Finance &

          CITGO Petroleum Corporation
          1 Warren Place,
          6100 S. Yale Ave.
          Tulsa, OK 74136
          Phone: 918-495-4000
          Fax: 918-495-4511
          Home page:
          Contact:  Aires Barreto, Chairman
                    Luis Marin, President & CEO
                    Eddie Humphrey, SVP Finance Administration &


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

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