TCRLA_Public/040203.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Tuesday, February 3, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 23

                          Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: $197M Capital Spending Forecast this Year
CABLEVISION: Postpones Debt Offer Expiration Once Again
CEOS: Court Assigns Receiver to Oversee Reorganization
COMAR SUR: Bankruptcy Process Initiated
EUROMAYOR: Fitch Assigns Default Ratings to Bonds

MIAMI HOUSE: Individual Reports to be Filed at Court Today
ORGANIZATION VISEP: Court Orders Bankruptcy to Start
PERSOLIMP: Bankruptcy Proceedings Now Official
PUBLICIDAD & CO: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
PUNTO B: General Report Expected at Court Today

SIRESA: General Report Due at Court Today
TECNO MEDIC: Proofs of Claim Period Ends Today
TRANSENER: Fitch Rates $450M of Bonds `D(arg)'
* Argentina Mulls Another Bidding Process After Banks Pull Out


B R A Z I L

BCI: Reports Increase in Shareholders' Equity in 4Q03
PARMALAT BRASIL: Directors Willing to Give Seats to Creditors
PARMALAT BRASIL: Court Orders President To Testify
TELEMAR: New ISP Expected to be Added This Year


C H I L E

PARMALAT CHILE: Milk Farmers Cut Delivery On Non-Payment of Debt
TELEFONICA CTC: Entel Warns Subtel Against Rate Hikes


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Downgrades Ratings to Caa1
* Fitch Concern Increases, Lowers DR's Ratings to 'CCC+'


E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: 4:1 Stock Split at EGM Expected


M E X I C O

PARMALAT MEXICO: Italian Woes Spur Fear Among Milk Producers


V E N E Z U E L A

PARMALAT VENEZUELA: Seeks Price Adjustments To Increase Income
PDVSA: Secures $40M Loan From Japanese Bank To Fund Project
PDVSA: Cuts Down Gasoline Exports On El Palito Closure


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: $197M Capital Spending Forecast this Year
----------------------------------------------------------------
Antonio Mata, head of Argentina's flagship carrier Aerolineas
Argentinas, announced major investments in the country for this
year, indicating that the tension with the Argentine government
is beginning to ebb. Aerolineas Argentinas is owned by Spanish
travel conglomerate, Grupo Marsans (GMSN.YY).

Following Thursday's meeting with Argentine President Nestor
Kirchner in Madrid, where the Argentine head ended a four day
visit on Friday, Mata announced that the Company will invest
US$197 million in Argentina.

According to an Aerolineas spokesman, the airline will spend
US$197 million on upgrading the Company's fleet and for
maintenance work on a factory in the city of Bahia Blanca. The
investments will create some 1,700 jobs.

Furthermore, the spokesman confirmed that Aerolineas - along with
the Marsans Group - plans to invest in Argentina's tourism
industry by building 12 hotels over the next three years. The
amount of such investment will be announced next month.


CABLEVISION: Postpones Debt Offer Expiration Once Again
-------------------------------------------------------
Argentine cable operator Cablevision has delayed for the eleventh
time the expiry date for its debt-restructuring offer. The
company filed a statement with the Buenos Aires stock exchange
saying its offer has been extended until February 4.
Cablevision's first debt deadline expired October 10, 2003.

As of January 28, creditors holding about US$275.9 million out of
US$725 million in eligible bonds signed onto Cablevision's offer.
The company needs the backing of creditors representing two-
thirds of its debt in order to have a court impose the deal on
holdouts.  However, it is having a strong opposition of creditors
to its debt offer and has been unable to reach the necessary
backing.

The thing is that a private equity fund bought a big part of
Cablevision's debt on the secondary market and now wants to take
over the company. Cablevision is offering to buy back up to
US$270 million of the debts at 37% of their original value. The
company is willing to spend US$ 54.9 million and the other US$ 45
million will come from its two main shareholders, Hicks, Muse,
Tate & Furst and Liberty Media Corp.  

In late 2003, sources close to the negotiations said Cablevision
was working on an improved deal with a select group of large
bondholders. Until the new offer is launched, the company will
continue to extend the deadline on its current proposal, so that
low or even declining creditor agreement is not a worry for
Cablevision, sources say.


CEOS: Court Assigns Receiver to Oversee Reorganization
------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 10 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Rosario in
Santa Fe ordered that Mr. Juan Luis Tomat be receiver for the
reorganization of local company Ceos S.R.L., relates Infobae. The
receiver will examine and verify creditors' claims to determine
the nature and amount of the Company's debts.

The individual reports on the results of the verification process
must be submitted to the court on February 13. After these are
processed, the receiver will prepare a general report, which is
to be filed on March 26. The court ordered that the informative
assembly be held on August 5.

CONTACT:  Ceos S.R.L.
          Pueyrredon 5445
          Rosario, Santa Fe

          Juan Luis Tomat
          Av Arijon 1625
          Rosario, Santa Fe


COMAR SUR: Bankruptcy Process Initiated
---------------------------------------
Argentine company Comar Sur S.R.L. entered bankruptcy on orders
from Court No. 1 of Venado Tuerto. Local news portal Infobae
relates that the Company was undergoing the reorganization
process.

Mr. Luis Antonio Malanchino, the Company's receiver, will examine
and authenticate creditors' claims. He will also prepare the
individual and general reports on the case. The Company's assets
will be liquidated at the end of the process to reimburse its
creditors.

CONTACT:  Comar Sur S.R.L.
          25 de mayo 655
          Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe

          Luis Antonio Malanchino
          Juan B Alberdi 371
          Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe


EUROMAYOR: Fitch Assigns Default Ratings to Bonds
-------------------------------------------------
A total of US$10 million of corporate bonds issued by Argentine
company Euromayor S.A. de Inversiones received default ratings
from Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. last Wednesday.
The Company's finances as of the end of October last year were
used as basis for the issued rating.

The Comision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's securities
regulator, described the affected bonds as "Primera Serie por 10
millones de U$S dentro de un Programa Global". These bonds, which
matured in April last year, are classified under "Series and/or
Class".

Fitch said that the `D(arg)' rating is assigned to bonds that are
in payment default.


MIAMI HOUSE: Individual Reports to be Filed at Court Today
----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 5 of Buenos Aires requires the receiver for local
company Miami House S.R.L. to file the individual reports for the
Company's reorganization today. The receiver, Ms. Maria del
Carmen Amandule, prepared the reports after the credit
verification process was completed late last year.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report that the receiver will prepare a general report, which
must be filed at the court on March 16, after the individual
reports are processed at court.

The informational meeting is scheduled for September 7.

CONTACT:  Maria del Carmen amandule
          24 de Noveimbre 1226
          Buenos Aires


ORGANIZATION VISEP: Court Orders Bankruptcy to Start
----------------------------------------------------
Organizacion Visep S.R.L., which is based in the Argentine
province of Santa Fe, entered bankruptcy on orders from Court No.
15 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Rosario. Local news
source Infobae indicates that the court assigned Ms. Liliana
Patricia Diaz as the Company's receiver.

Creditors are required to file their claims be February 4 this
year in order to qualify for payments to be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated. The individual reports, which
contain the results of the credit verification process, are due
at the court on March 17. The receiver will prepare the general
report, to be submitted on April 29, after the individual reports
are processed at court.

CONTACT:  Organizacion Visep S.R.L.
          San Lorenzo 125
          Rosario, Santa Fe

          Liliana Patricia Diaz
          Ave Pellegrini 183
          Rosario, Santa Fe


PERSOLIMP: Bankruptcy Proceedings Now Official
----------------------------------------------
Persolimp S.R.L., which was undergoing reorganization, enters
bankruptcy, reports Argentine news portal Infobae. Court No. 10
of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Rosario in Santa Fe
handles the Company's case. The source, however, did not mention
whether the court has assigned a receiver to oversee the process.

CONTACT:  Persolimp S.R.L.
          Zeballos 4550
          Rosario, Santa Fe


PUBLICIDAD & CO: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
-----------------------------------------------------
The credit verification process of the bankruptcy of Buenos Aires
company Publicidad & Co S.A. ends today. The Company's receiver,
MR. Ricardo Adrogue, will prepare the individual reports, as
ordered by the city's Court No. 23.

Judge Villanueva, declared the Company "Quiebra" in approval of a
petition filed by the Company's creditor for failure to pay its
debts, an earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin
America indicated. The city's Clerk No. 45, Dr. Timpanelli
assists the court on the case, which will close with the
liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT:  Publicidad & Co S.A.
          Florida 826
          Buenos Aires

          Ricardo Adrogue
          5th Floor
          Bouchard 468
          Buenos Aires


PUNTO B: General Report Expected at Court Today
-----------------------------------------------
Mr. Antonio Garguilo, receiver for Argentine company Punto B
S.R.L. must file the general report for the Company's bankruptcy
today. This report is a summary of the data in the individual
reports after being processed at Buenos Aires Court No. 2, which
handles the Company's case.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to repay its creditors. Payments will be based
on the results of the credit verification process.

CONTACT:  Punto B S.R.L.
          Cramer 3956
          Buenos Aires

          Antonio Garguilo
          Uruguay 385
          Buenos Aires


SIRESA: General Report Due at Court Today
-----------------------------------------
The general report for the reorganization of Buenos Aires-based
Siresa S.A., is due at court today. The Company's receiver, Ms.
Lidia Diaz, prepared the reports after the individual reports,
filed last November 19, were processed at court.

The Company started its reorganization after the city's Court No.
25 approved its motion for "Concurso Preventivo", the Troubled
Company Reporter - Latin America earlier said. The court set July
12 this year as the date for the informative assembly.

CONTACT:  Siresa S.A.
          Juncal 802
          Buenos Aires

          Lidia Diaz
          Independencia 2031
          Buenos Aires


TECNO MEDIC: Proofs of Claim Period Ends Today
----------------------------------------------
Creditors of Buenos Aires company Tecno Medic S.A. must have
their claims authenticated by the receiver as the deadline for
verifications expires today. The Company is undergoing the
bankruptcy process on orders from the city's Court No. 21.

As ordered by the court, the receiver will now prepare the
individual reports on the results of the verification process.
These reports must be submitted to the court on March 16. The
general report, prepared after the individual reports are
processed, is due on April 27.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to reimburse creditors. Payments will be based
on the results of the recently concluded credit verification
process.

CONTACT:  Silvana Noemi Cirigliano
          Viamonte 1348
          Buenos Aires


TRANSENER: Fitch Rates $450M of Bonds `D(arg)'
----------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a `D(arg)'
rating to corporate bonds issued by Transener S.A., according to
the Argentine securities regulator, Comision Nacional de Valores.
The rating, issued last Thursday, was based on the Company's
finances as of September 30, 2003, and is assigned to bonds that
are in payment default.

The bonds, which matured in March last year, were classified
under "Program". The CNV described it as "Programa Global de
Obligaciones Negociables simples no convertibles en acciones".
The bonds were worth a total of US$450 million.


* Argentina Mulls Another Bidding Process After Banks Pull Out
--------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina indicated Friday that it may issue a new invitation to
a different set of foreign banks to advise the government in the
restructuring of its US$99.4 billion of defaulted bonds. This,
after some of the banks that had been pre-selected by the
government withdrew their proposals.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last week pulled out
of the bidding process because they felt the country's offer to
pay bondholders US$250 per each US$1,000 in bonds would not be
accepted, according to people familiar with the situation.

Argentina's move to consider a new bidding process is the latest
setback in efforts to restructure the bonds defaulted on in 2001
amid the country's worst recession on record. The International
Monetary Fund, which granted the country a three- year US$12.3-
billion loan in September, said last week that the debt
restructuring is the country's most "critical" task in coming
months as it seeks to extend a recovery from recession.

"Argentina will have to soften its position and make a more
attractive offer to bondholders," said Rafael de La Fuente,
senior Latin America economist at BNP Paribas in New York. "This
shows that you can't work with the current proposal."

Besides Morgan Stanley and Goldman, the government has pre-
selected five other banks. These are: ABN Amro NV, Dresdner Bank
AG, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., UBS AG and Barclays Plc.



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

BCI: Reports Increase in Shareholders' Equity in 4Q03
-----------------------------------------------------
Bell Canada International Inc. (TSX:BI):

-- Canbras completes the sale of all of its operations in Brazil
-- Prepayment of Axtel Notes
-- Vesper loan guarantees settled
-- Shareholders class action lawsuits dismissed

As a result of the adoption on July 17, 2002 of BCI's Plan of
Arrangement, BCI's consolidated financial statements for the
fourth quarter of 2003 reflect only the activities of BCI as a
holding company. BCI's 75.6% interest in Canbras Communications
Corp. ("Canbras") is recorded under Investments on the balance
sheet at $15 million, being the lower of its carrying value and
estimated net realizable value. Canbras' operating results are
not reflected on BCI's consolidated statements of earnings.

Fourth Quarter Results

As at December 31, 2003, BCI's shareholders' equity was $225.7
million, up by $16.5 million from the third quarter of 2003. This
increase was mainly as a result of a gain of $ 10.4 million on
the Vesper loan guarantees settlement, a gain of $9.8 million on
collection of the Axtel S.A de C.V. ("Axtel") long term note and
interest income of $2.8 million partially offset by interest
expense of $4.6 million on the BCI's 11% senior unsecured notes
and administrative expenses of $2.0 million.

In the second quarter of 2003, BCI recorded a provision for the
Vesper loan guarantees of $27.3 million (US$ 20.2 million).
Pursuant to an agreement concluded on December 2, 2003, BCI paid
US$ 12 million in consideration for the absolute release of its
obligation under such guarantees and as a result BCI recorded a
gain of $10.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Also during the quarter, BCI received US$ 8.6 million in
connection with the prepayment by Axtel of two promissory notes
held by BCI: a US$ 1.2 million face value note due December 31,
2003 (the "Short-Term Note"), and a US$ 9.4 million face value
note due in the second quarter of 2006 (the "Long-Term Note").
These notes were originally issued pursuant to the Axtel
transaction announced on March 27, 2003. At that time, the Short-
Term Note was recorded at its face value while the Long-Term Note
was recorded at zero fair value. As a result of these
prepayments, BCI recorded in the fourth quarter a gain of $ 9.8
million.

BCI's cash and temporary investments as at December 31, 2003 were
$384.6 million representing approximately 94% of the company's
total assets. The yield on the average investment portfolio in
the quarter was approximately 2.9%.

Total liabilities of $182.4 million include BCI's 11% senior
unsecured notes due September 2004 in the amount of $160 million.
Accrued liabilities were $22.4 million at the end of the fourth
quarter of 2003, up $4.7 million from the third quarter of 2003
mainly as a result of accrued interest on BCI's 11% notes.

The estimated future net assets of BCI at December 31, 2004 are
$217.1 million. The only difference between shareholders equity
on the consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2003 and the
estimated future net assets at December 31, 2004 is the deduction
of future net costs from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004.
Such future net costs are estimated at approximately $8.6 million
comprising interest expense to September 29, 2004 on the 11%
senior unsecured notes of approximately $13.8 million, interest
income of approximately $8.4 million, operating costs of
approximately $9.2 million and an amount of approximately $6.0
million in excess of current carrying value that BCI expects to
receive on its investment in Canbras. These future net costs
exclude any amounts that may be required to settle contingent
liabilities such as lawsuits. To the extent BCI has not completed
its Plan of Arrangement by the end of 2004, interest income in
2005 may not be sufficient to cover operating expenses estimated
at approximately $2 million per quarter. The extent of any
shortfall would be dependent on a number of factors, including
the level of interest rates and BCI's cash balances at the time.

The estimated future net assets of BCI at December 31, 2004 of
$217.1 million are up $23.0 million from the estimates prepared
at September 30, 2003. The increase is mainly the result of gains
in the fourth quarter of 2003 on the Vesper loan guarantees
settlement and the collection of the Axtel Long-Term Note and, in
2004, the expected gain on Canbras partially offset by increased
administrative expenses and lower interest income than previously
expected.

Earnings for the fourth quarter were $16.5 million, or $0.41 per
share.

Update on Remaining Investments

On December 24, 2003, Canbras announced the completion of the
sale of all of its broadband communications operations in Brazil
to Horizon Cablevision do Brasil S.A., pursuant to the agreement
entered into by the parties in October 2003.

Canbras received gross proceeds of $32.6 million, comprised of
$22.168 million in cash and a one year promissory note bearing
interest at 10% in the original principal amount of $10.432
million (subject to reduction in the event indemnification
obligations of Canbras arise under the terms of the sale
transaction).

BCI expects to receive in 2004 its proportionate share of the net
proceeds to be distributed by Canbras, currently estimated to be
approximately $21 million assuming the full repayment of the one-
year note.

Plan of Arrangement Update

On January 5, 2004, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the
"Court") granted motions brought by BCI and BCE Inc. to dismiss
each of the $1 billion lawsuits filed respectively by Mr. Wilfred
Shaw and Mr. Cameron Gillespie, both common shareholders of BCI,
against BCI and BCE Inc. The Court dismissed both lawsuits on the
grounds that the actions abused the process of the Court and
disclosed no reasonable cause of action, and ordered that neither
plaintiff may amend his statement of claim to again bring these
suits before the Court. The Court's decision is subject to appeal
by the plaintiffs to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

On January 8, 2004, BCI filed the necessary documentation with
the Securities Exchange Commission to cease being, with immediate
effect, a reporting issuer in the United States. This follows the
Corporation's de-listing of its common shares from the NASDAQ
National Market on December 31, 2003.

On January 27, 2004, the Court approved a claims determination
procedure for BCI setting out a process for the adjudication of
the claims filed against BCI in connection with the claims
identification process completed on September 30, 2003.

BCI is operating under a court supervised Plan of Arrangement,
pursuant to which BCI intends to monetize its assets in an
orderly fashion and resolve outstanding claims against it in an
expeditious manner with the ultimate objective of distributing
the net proceeds to its shareholders and dissolving the company.
BCI is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol BI.

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

URL: www.bci.ca


PARMALAT BRASIL: Directors Willing to Give Seats to Creditors
-------------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors of one of Parmalat SpA's units in Brazil  
- Parmalat Brasil Industria de Alimentos S.A. - would be willing
to resign and offer their positions to creditors or government
authorities, according to Parmalat spokesman Alfonso Champi. This
offer is part of Parmalat Brasil's efforts to overcome its
financial difficulties and open new credit lines. Local banks cut
off the Company's credit lines last month, after the founder of
the Italian parent admitted he couldn't render account of million
of Euros that were missing in the Company's books.

A final decision on this matter will be made in an extraordinary
shareholders meeting February 13.

Parmalat Brasil and its holding company, Parmalat Participacoes,
filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. The companies asked
for 90 days to file paperwork before a judge rules on the
requests.

The Brazilian government estimates Parmalat Brasil owes BRL43
million (almost US$15 million) in suspended payments to
suppliers. The Company has said its net debt stood at about
US$160 million at the end of September 2003. According to
reports, the Company is negotiating for fresh cash with creditors
such as Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Parmalat Participacoes revealed that the
holding company has debt of about US$1 billion.


PARMALAT BRASIL: Court Orders President To Testify
--------------------------------------------------
A spokeswoman for Parmalat Brasil Industria de Alimentos
confirmed that the unit's president, Ricardo Goncalves, has been
ordered to testify at a Sao Paulo court Friday, says Reuters. A
spokeswoman for the court corroborated the report saying the
summon was made in connection with an injunction granted to
Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui, part of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
Group.

"It is an audience of the president of Parmalat (Brasil) with a
judge, so the judge can hear about the situation in the company,"
the court's spokeswoman said.

Sumitomo Mitsui was granted a court injunction earlier blocking
Parmalat Brasil from selling any units and transferring assets
abroad.

Parmalat Brasil has been hit by a wave of lawsuits by suppliers
and creditors over its failure to make payments since its parent
in Italy revealed a multibillion euro hole in its accounts in
December.

Some of Parmalat Brasil's production facilities closed after the
crisis hit, but on Friday the spokeswoman said all were now up
and running.


TELEMAR: New ISP Expected to be Added This Year
-----------------------------------------------
Brazilian telecoms operator Telemar aims to have an Internet
service provider (ISP) this year, reports Business News Americas.
According to Telemar financial and investor relations manager
Marcos Grodetsky, the Company is analyzing the possibility of
buying or building an ISP.

"We believe that we are late, every other telco here in Brazil
has its free ISP, everywhere else in the world most of the telcos
also have their free ISP, it is important in our strategy to
stimulate traffic," he said.

The move into an ISP could be through the increase of its
minority stake in Brazilian ISP Internet Gratis (iG), for which
it might have to bid against fellow iG shareholder Brasil Telecom
(NYSE: BRP), or it could be done via another ISP purchase or a
greenfield project.

If Telemar chooses one of the latter options, the project would
have to have scale, with millions of users rather than hundreds
of thousands, he said.

An ISP would also help with the Company's broadband strategy, by
bundling ISP and broadband products with content. Although this
may not be relevant in terms of revenues at the moment, Telemar
believes "it will have to be," Grodetsky said.

CONTACT:  TNE - INVESTOR RELATIONS
          Roberto Terziani
          Email: terziani@telemar.com.br
          Tel:  55 21 3131 1210

          Carlos Lacerda
          Email: carlosl@telemar.com.br
          Tel: 55 21 3131 1314
          Fax: 55 21 3131 1155



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

PARMALAT CHILE: Milk Farmers Cut Delivery On Non-Payment of Debt
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chilean milk farmers announced Friday, Jan. 30, they would not
deliver milk anymore to Parmalat's local unit, because the
Company didn't comply with the payment of US$3.8 million in debt
it was supposed to make on that date.

"As of Friday, we are starting efforts to steer the milk we gave
to Parmalat to companies that belong to the Milk Industry
Association," the Parmalat Chile Suppliers Committee said.

The Committee, which groups milk farmers in the cities of
Chillan, Temuco and Valdivia, explained that the term they had
given the Company to settle its debts or propose a satisfactory
solution expired on January 30.

On Tuesday 27, Parmalat Chile cancelled 20% of its debt to local
milk suppliers and promised to pay the rest on Friday, which it
finally didn't.  

Milk farmers had warned three weeks ago that if Parmalat didn't
pay most of its debts they would sell their milk to other
companies.

Parmalat Chile owes milk suppliers around CLP2 billion.

Chilean dairy company Calan has offered to pay Parmalat US$30
million for its Chilean subsidiary, according to local press.


TELEFONICA CTC: Entel Warns Subtel Against Rate Hikes
-----------------------------------------------------
Chilean telecom regulator Subtel must be careful in its
calculations as it prepares a proposal for rates decree, Business
News Americas indicates. Richard Buchi, chief executive officer
of local telco Entel, warned that his company will appeal if
Subtel increases by more than 40% the access charges to terminate
calls on the network of dominant fixed line operator Telefonica
CTC Chile (NYSE: CTC).

An adjustment outside the range of 20-40% would be excessive and
would not reflect the costs of providing access services, Mr.
Buchi said. Entel will appeal to Chile's comptroller and use all
"legitimately available recourses" to stop a big rates hike, said
Mr. Buchi.

CTC presented its own proposals for the rates decree in November
2003, calling for access rates to more than double, from CLP6.6 a
minute today to CLP14.6 a minute. Subtel aims to publish the
rates decree in early March. The final decree is scheduled to
take effect from May.

CONTACT:  TELEFONICA CTC CHILE
          Gisela Esobar, gescoba@ctc.cl
          Veronica Gaete, vgaete@ctc.cl
          M.Jos, Rodriguez, mjrodri@ctc.cl
          Florencia Acosta, macosta@ctc.cl
          Tel: 562-691-3867
          Fax: 562-6912392



===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Downgrades Ratings to Caa1
-------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the foreign currency deposit
rating of Banco Popular Dominicano (BPD) to Caa1 with a negative
outlook, from B3 with a negative outlook. The downgrade is a
direct result of Moody's downgrade of the Dominican Republic's
foreign currency ceilings. BPD is the only Dominican bank rated
by Moody's.

The downgrades of the sovereign as well as BPD reflect the fact
that the Dominican Republic is in arrears to official creditors
and has reportedly missed an interest payment on a rated bond
during the grace period, Moody's said.

However, Moody's expects this last problem to be resolved in the
near future. The agency also expects that the Republic will
reschedule its debt service payments due in 2004 to Paris Club
bilateral creditors.


* Fitch Concern Increases, Lowers DR's Ratings to 'CCC+'
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, downgraded the
ratings on the Dominican Republic's foreign and local currency
obligations to 'CCC+' from 'B'. The ratings remain on Rating
Watch Negative.

The action partly reflects the government's inability to make a
US$27 million payment on the scheduled Jan. 23 coupon date.
Although the government maintains that it was not able to make
the payment due to technical reasons, Fitch is concerned that
this situation could potentially be a reflection of underlying
financial stress of the sovereign. The government intends on
paying the coupon before the grace period expires in 30 days.

In addition, given the Dominican Republic's fragile liquidity
position, Fitch is also concerned about the implementation risk
of the government's Stand-by program with the IMF due to pre-
electoral politics and the possible implications this could have
for multilateral disbursements. Divisions within the ruling
Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) party over who should be
their presidential candidate have complicated the political
environment. With US$504 million in public sector medium and
long-term debt amortizations due this year (versus an estimated
US$260 million in reserves), the Dominican Republic can ill
afford to lose multilateral financing.

Although Fitch estimates that by year-end 2003 gross public
sector and external debt (including private sector) increased to
43% of current account receipts (CXR) and 53% of CXR,
respectively, this is still very low relative to other sovereigns
in the 'B' rating category. In addition, debt service is also low
relative to peers as more than 70% of the debt is due to
multilateral and bilateral creditors and benefits from
concessional terms, which leaves Fitch to believe that in spite
of low liquidity, meeting the sovereign's financial requirements
is manageable as long as multilateral support continues.

Fitch will continue to monitor the Dominican Republic's
discussions with the IMF. Any additional disbursement delays
could make meeting even modest debt service requirements
difficult. Continued pressures on the sovereign's slim
international reserve position, as well as new developments in
the electricity and/or financial sectors that could result in
additional public finance pressures would also be negative for
the ratings. In addition, if the missed coupon is not paid within
the 30-day grace period on the 2013 bond, then the Dominican
Republic's ratings would be downgraded to default.

Conversely, successful reviews of the country's Stand-by
Arrangement with the IMF and a smooth transition to the next
government could ease pressures on the ratings going forward.

CONTACT:  Theresa Paiz Fredel
          New York
          Phone: +1-212-908-0534

          Roger M. Scher
          New York
          Phone: +1-212-908-0240

          Media Relations:
          James Jockle
          New York
          Phone: +1-212-908-0547



=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: 4:1 Stock Split at EGM Expected
-------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A ("Millicom") (Nasdaq:MICC)
announce Friday that it has called an Extraordinary General
Meeting (``EGM") of shareholders to be held on February 16, 2004.
At the EGM, Millicom will propose a stock split of the issued
shares of the Company by exchanging one existing share of a par
value of USD 6 into four new shares with a par value of USD 1.50.

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.

CONTACT:  MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL CELLULAR S.A.
          Marc Beuls
          President and Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg
          Telephone: +352 27 759 101
          http://www.millicom.com

          SHARED VALUE LTD.
          Andrew Best, London
          Telephone: +44 20 7321 5022



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

PARMALAT MEXICO: Italian Woes Spur Fear Among Milk Producers
------------------------------------------------------------
Mexican milk producers are bracing themselves for possible
problems that could hit the local unit of the beleaguered Italian
parent Parmalat. According to El Financiero, milk producers in
Jalisco state, who provide 100% of the milk used by Parmalat in
the country, have taken measures intended to avoid the suspension
of payments to them, as has happened in other countries where
Parmalat operates, such as Brazil, Chile, France and Venezuela.

These measures include contingency plans to sell milk to other
clients in the event that Parmalat fails to make payments. Up to
this point, the scandal appears to have had little effect on
Mexican operations. Canilec (Camara Nacional de Industriales de
la Leche), the dairy industry organization, said that Parmalat
has consistently met its commitments to its suppliers.

Nevertheless, workers are still apprehensive about their jobs.

In the meantime, Parmalat Mexico's general director Hugo Lara is
visiting Italy in order to find out about the future of the
scandal-ridden company.



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

PARMALAT VENEZUELA: Seeks Price Adjustments To Increase Income
--------------------------------------------------------------
Although its finances are balanced, the Venezuelan unit of
Parmalat needs a revision in prices to improve its income. In
this light, the Company is asking the government to adjust the
prices of powdered and pasteurized milk, fixed since February
2003.

At present, the Company has a 28.7% share in the pasteurized milk
market, 31% on the powdered milk, 61.5% on the condensed milk,
31.2% on the juices, and 33.2% on the yogurts market. It had a
US$226 million turnover on 2003 and imports 25-26,000 m tons of
powdered milk per year.

Furthermore, the Company was recently granted a permit to import
25 - 26,000 m tons of powdered milk.

In the meantime, Parmalat chairman, Rafael Miranda, denies plans
to sell the company, or even the need of government intervention
on it.


PDVSA: Secures $40M Loan From Japanese Bank To Fund Project
-----------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) secured
a US$40.1 million loan from the Japan Bank for International
Cooperation (JBIC), reports Reuters. In a statement, PDVSA
revealed that the 8-year loan, which has an interest rate of
1.1875 percent, will be used to complete the expansion of the
Puerto la Cruz refinery in eastern Venezuela.

The expansion project, known as Valcor I, aims to produce an
additional 26,000 barrels a day of unleaded gasoline, 25,000 b/d
of leaded gasoline, and 48,000 b/d of diesel. The production will
primarily supply the domestic market, said the statement.

The Puerto la Cruz refinery has a capacity of 195,000 b/d, but
normally produces 120,00-1300 b/d.


PDVSA: Cuts Down Gasoline Exports On El Palito Closure
------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela (PVZ.YY) was forced to temporarily slash
gasoline exports amid the ongoing two-month planned maintenance
at the 130,000-barrels-a-day El Palito refinery, Dow Jones says,
citing PDVSA President Ali Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the Company decided to increase local gasoline
inventories in January because they had declined during the
refinery shutdown.

"We decided to put (inventories) at a maximum level to guarantee
a normal storage flow given that the shutdown existed, and that
forced us to reduce exports," said Rodriguez.

The El Palito refinery is expected to resume normal operations on
Feb. 4.



               ***********


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
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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