TCRLA_Public/040219.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, February 19, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 35

                          Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ADEBALL: Informational Meeting Set for Today
ALCAS: General Report Due to be Filed at Court
BILTO: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy
BRALO ARGENTINA: Receiver Closes Claims Verification Process
CORREO ARGENTINO: Responds To New York Jude's Ruling

CORREO ARGENTINO: Holding Company Announces Resignations
DENT SUR: Court Sets Bankruptcy Schedule
DON ANTE: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
ESTADIO: Court Rules In Favor of Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
GEMAR PLASTIC: Individual Reports Due at Court Today

DISCO: Potential Buyer Not In Talks With Uruguayan Creditors
KLINEX: Receiver Closes Claims Check in Bankruptcy
MALVINAS SATELITAL: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
MARALIMP: Seeks Court Permission to Reorganize
MILKAUT: Reaches $130M Debt-Restructuring Accord With Creditors

PAN AMERICAN: Reports 11% Production Increase In 2003
SANCOR: In Talks With Banks To Restructure $170M Debts
SEPRIT POSTAL: Court OK's Reorganization Petition
TALLERES METALURGICOS: Receiver To Prepare Individual Reports
VIDRIERIA DEL PARQUE: Claims Review in Bankruptcy Ends Today


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Signs IP Services Agreement With IFFIX
SEA CONTAINERS: Outlines New Long Term Debt Offering


B R A Z I L

CFLCL: Issues Relevant Info Concerning Interlocutory Appeal


E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Shareholders Approve 4:1 Stock Split
MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Signs Management Agreement In Iran


M E X I C O

DESC: Board Proposes Capital Increase
DESC: Reports Sales, EBITDA Improvement in 4Q03
GRUPO IMSA: Reduces Net Debt By $56M in 2003
SPEIZMAN INDUSTRIES: Lender Issues Notice of Default
VITRO: Continues Positive EBITDA Trend in 4Q03


P A N A M A

BLADEX: Reports $111.5M Annual Net Income in 2003
CHIQUITA BRANDS: Reports 4Q03 Net Income of $8M


U R U G U A Y

GALICIA URUGUAY: Bondholders Get More Time To Respond To Offer


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: CADIVI OK's US Dollar Purchase to Pay Dividends


   - - - - - - - - - - -

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

ADEBALL: Informational Meeting Set for Today
--------------------------------------------
Today is the scheduled date for the informative assembly
regarding the reorganization of Buenos Aires company Adeball
Amoblamientos S.A., according to an earlier report by the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America. The meeting is one of
the last parts of a reorganization process.

Mr. Horacio Fernando Crespo, the Company's receiver has prepared
and filed the individual and general report, as ordered by the
city's Court No. 17.

The Company started its reorganization process shortly after the
court approved its motion for "Concurso Preventivo".

CONTACT:  Horacio Fernando Crespo
          Maipu 464
          Buenos Aires


ALCAS: General Report Due to be Filed at Court
----------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Jose Manuel Montana, receiver for local
company Alcas S.R.L., must file the general report at court
today. The general report is a consolidation of the individual
reports, which contain the results of the credit verification
process.

The Company's assets will face liquidation to reimburse
creditors. The verification results will determine the
distribution of payments.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report that Buenos Aires' Court No. 17 declared the Company
bankrupt.

CONTACT:  Jose Manuel Montana
          Paraguay 2081
          Buenos Aires


BILTO: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy
---------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 13 assigned local accountant Norberto
Isidoro Sapir as receiver for Bilto S.R.L., which is undergoing
the bankruptcy process. Argentine news source Infobae relates
that Clerk No. 26 assists the court on the case. The credit
verification process ends on March 25. Creditors must have their
claims authenticated before the said date in order to qualify for
payments to be made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT:  Norberto Isidoro Sapir
          Jose Evaristo Uriburu 1010
          Buenos Aires


BRALO ARGENTINA: Receiver Closes Claims Verification Process
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine accountant Juan Jose Castronuovo, receiver Bralo
Argentina S.A., closes the creditor validation process today.
Creditors should have their claims authenticated by the receiver
in order to qualify for payments to be made after the Company's
assets are liquidated.

Buenos Aires Court No. 12 ordered the receiver to prepare the
individual reports on the verification results. An earlier report
by the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America revealed that
these reports are due for filing on April 1.

The receiver will also prepare a general report, to be submitted
on May 13, after the individual reports are processed at court.

CONTACT:  Juan Jose Castronuovo
          President Peron 1509
          Buenos Aires


CORREO ARGENTINO: Responds To New York Jude's Ruling
----------------------------------------------------
Former postal concessionaire Correo Argentino SA responded
Tuesday to a New York judge's ruling to place an embargo on two
of the Company's U.S.-based accounts, reports Dow Jones.
Argentine business daily El Cronista reported Monday that Judge
Thomas Griesa has ruled an embargo be placed on two of Correo
Argentino's U.S.-based accounts worth $11 million following a
claim by Macrotecnic International Corp., a private equity that
holds US$400,000 in Argentina's defaulted treasury bonds.

In his ruling, the judge considered that Correo Argentino's
accounts have to do with funds it owes the Argentine State and
therefore are public resources to be seized in order to
eventually allow creditors that hold Argentine bonds in default
to collect their money. Correo Argentino owes around ARS400
million to the State - fact that led the government to cancel the
Company's national postal concession in November.

In a statement signed Tuesday by Correo Argentino President Raul
Casa, the Company emphasized that it is a private company. Though
the statement did not elaborate further on that argument, the
declaration implies that Correo Argentino believes its assets
should have nothing to do with litigation arising from the
country's sovereign debt restructuring.

"The investment fund that has planned this possible embargo can't
nor should ignore that Correo Argentino SA is a private firm and
surely (the fund) has surprised the North American judge - (the
fund) who must have disregarded the reality of the firm's legal
and judicial situation," the statement said.

Correo Argentino said Tuesday its priority is to its own
creditors.

Correo Argentino was officially declared bankrupt in December.
The Company appealed the ruling and had the bankruptcy suspended
in January.

"The funds and the resources of Correo Argentino SA are destined
to respond to the creditors in the bankruptcy proceeding," the
statement said. "Correo Argentino SA, as a company, maintains its
debate and defends its rights within the Argentine judicial
system. Lastly, we consider it fundamental that we Argentines
maintain a singular and solid position sustaining the negotiation
that the national government is developing with relation to its
external debt."


CORREO ARGENTINO: Holding Company Announces Resignations
--------------------------------------------------------
Sideco Americana, the holding company that controls Correo
Argentino, announced Tuesday that the president and a board
member at Sideco had resigned, as part of Correo Argentino's
bankruptcy proceedings. In a filing to the Buenos Aires stock
exchange last week, Sideco informed president Angel J. Calcaterra
and director Manuel A. Sobrado had resigned, but gave no further
details.

In a statement, Correo Argentino explained that the Company's
bankruptcy proceedings establish that certain executives that are
related to its administration cannot continue in these positions.


DENT SUR: Court Sets Bankruptcy Schedule
----------------------------------------
The individual reports for the bankruptcy of Dent Sur S.A. must
be filed at the court on May 20. A report from Argentine news
portal Infobae indicates that the general report is due for
filing on July 5.

Buenos Aires Court No. 8 recently declared the Company "Quiebra
Decretada". Clerk No. 15 assists the court, which assigned Ms.
Sara Maria Rey Lavolpe as the Company's receiver. Creditors must
have their claims authenticated by the receiver before July 5.

CONTACT:  Dent Sur S.A.
          Hidalgo 857
          Buenos Aires

          Sara Maria Rey de Lavolpe
          Cerrito 1136
          Buenos Aires


DON ANTE: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
------------------------------------------------
Insolvency Judge Villanueva of Buenos Aires Court No. 23 approved
the "Concurso Preventivo" motion filed by local company Don Ante
S.A. recently. Argentine daily La Nacion reports that Dr.
Robledo, Clerk No. 45 assists the court on the case. The
Company's receiver, Mr. Salomon Wilhelm will verify creditors'
claims until April 11. Verifications are done to determine the
nature and amount of the Company's debts. The receiver will also
prepare the individual and general reports on the case, but the
source did not mention the deadlines for these reports.

CONTACT:  Don Ante S.A.
          8th Floor, Room A
          Tte. Gral. Juan D. Peron 1549
          Buenos Aires

          Salomon Wilhelm
          11th Floor
          Lavalle 1290
          Buenos Aires


ESTADIO: Court Rules In Favor of Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Ballerini of Buenos Aires Court No. 24 approved a petition
for the bankruptcy of Estadio S.R.L., reports local newspaper La
Nacion. The Company's creditor, Juan Minetti S.A., filed the
petition after the Company failed to meet its financial
obligations.

The court-appointed receiver, Mr. Isaac Jozpe, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until April 12. The receiver will
also prepare the individual and general reports, but the source
did not mention whether the court, which works with Clerk No. 48,
Dr. Diaz, has set the filing deadlines for these.

CONTACT:  Estadio S.R.L.
          Casafoust 589
          Buenos Aires

          Isaac Jozpe
          7th Floor, Office D
          Uriburu 1054
          Buenos Aires


GEMAR PLASTIC: Individual Reports Due at Court Today
----------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 5 requires the receiver for Gemar Plastic
S.A. to file the individual reports on the Company's
reorganization today. The Company's receiver, Ms. Flora Marcela
Pazos, prepared the reports after the credit verification process
was completed late last year.

The receiver will prepare the general report after the individual
reports, which contain the verification results, at court. The
general report should be file d on April 5.

Working with Clerk No. 9, the court set the informative meeting
to take place on September 13.

CONTACT:  Gemar Plastic S.A.
          Avenida Corrientes 4173
          Buenos Aires

          Flora Marcela Pazos
          Montevideo 527
          Buenos Aires


DISCO: Potential Buyer Not In Talks With Uruguayan Creditors
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine businessman Francisco de Narvaez denied claims that he
is negotiating with savers at a failed Uruguayan bank to put an
end to a legal impasse that has blocked his plans to buy Dutch
retailer Ahold's Disco chain in Argentina. Julio Kneit, a
representative of depositor holders at bankrupt Banco de
Montevideo, earlier told Reuters that de Narvaez was negotiating
with them.

But Mr. de Narvaez later denied this statement, saying: "There
are no negotiations at all with any creditor of Banco de
Montevideo, or its representatives." There had only been an
exchange of information, Mr. de Narvaez said in a statement sent
to Reuters.

Account holders of the failed bank owned by a former business
associate of Ahold, Grupo Velox -- which held a stake in Disco --
have laid a claim to Disco assets.

In January, Ahold said that exclusive talks over Disco's sale to
French retailer Casino and De Narvaez had ended. The Dutch group
then said it was still in talks with other interested parties,
the names of which are yet to be identified.

Analysts said that outstanding legal claims related to Disco were
likely to have been the main obstacle to reaching a deal.

Mr. de Narvaez previously estimated Disco to be worth US$350
million but Argentine newspaper Clarin said he was prepared to
pay more if Ahold retained exposure to certain legal risks.


KLINEX: Receiver Closes Claims Check in Bankruptcy
--------------------------------------------------
Mr. Mario Norberto Aragon, receiver for Klinex S.R.L., closes the
credit verification process for the Company's bankruptcy today.
On orders from Buenos Aires Court No. 2, the receiver will
prepare the individual reports on the verification results.

Working with Clerk No. 3, the court ordered the receiver to hand
in the individual reports on April 1, 2004. The receiver is also
required to prepare the general report after the individual
reports are processed and pass it to the court on May 13, the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report.

The Company's assets will be liquidated to reimburse creditors.
The results of the verification process will be used as basis for
payment distribution.

CONTACT:  Klinex S.R.L.
          Montevideo 527
          Buenos Aires

          Mario Norberto Aragon
          Alsina 1535
          Buenos Aires


MALVINAS SATELITAL: Court Approves Reorganization Petition
----------------------------------------------------------
Malvinas Satelital S.A. will undergo the reorganization process.
Argentine news portal Infobae reports that Buenos Aires Court No.
10 approved the Company's motion for "Concurso Preventivo". Clerk
No. 19 assists the court on the case.

The court assigned Ms. Laura Adriana Fiscina as receiver to
oversee the reorganization. Creditors must present their claims
to the receiver for verification before April 5.

The receiver's duties include the preparation of the individual
reports on the verification results. These must be filed to the
court on May 27 followed by the general report on July 12.

The informative assembly will be on February 2 next year.


MARALIMP: Seeks Court Permission to Reorganize
----------------------------------------------
Argentine company Maralimp S.R.L. seeks court permission to
undergo reorganization. Local newspaper La Nacion relates that
the Company has submitted its "Concurso Preventivo" motion at
Buenos Aires Court No. 9. Judge Favier Dubois handles the case
with Clerk No. 18, Dr. Taricco Vera.

CONTACT:  Maralimp S.R.L.
          12th Floor, Room B
          Uruguay 467
          Buenos Aires


MILKAUT: Reaches $130M Debt-Restructuring Accord With Creditors
---------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine dairy company Milkaut SA has reached an agreement with
creditor banks on the restructuring of a US$130 million debt. The
Company started to renegotiate its liabilities in 2002 and
finally managed to close an agreement last Friday.

"We have become the first local dairy cooperative in managing to
restructure its debt," said Miguel Angel Benvenutto, president of
Milkaut.

The agreement implies that Milkaut will repay the US$130 million
debt in nine years, after a two-year grace period. Milkaut
processes around 1 million liters of milk a day and occupies the
second position among dairy cooperatives in Argentina, after
SanCor.


PAN AMERICAN: Reports 11% Production Increase In 2003
-----------------------------------------------------
(all amounts in US Dollars unless otherwise stated)

HIGHLIGHTS

-  Silver production in the quarter up 6% to 2.12 million ounces
(2.0 million in 2002). Full-year total was 8.64 million ounces,
up 11% over 2002 - the ninth consecutive year of silver
production growth.

-  Cash production costs decreased 3% to $4.01 per ounce and
total production costs decreased 4% to $4.57 per ounce in the
quarter. For 2003, cash costs declined slightly to $4.09 per
ounce and total costs declined 6% to $4.62 per ounce.

-  Net loss for the quarter declined to $4.8 million or $0.15 per
share (2002 - net loss of $14.0 million), including non-cash
charges of $2.9 million stemming from a change in accounting
rules. Net loss for 2003 totaled $6.8 million or $0.20 per share
(2002 - net loss of $34.0 million).

-  Quiruvilca generating positive cash flow. Mine life has been
extended indefinitely.

-  Huaron expansion study underway and 12,000 m. drill program
initiated.

-  Feasibility studies initiated at San Vicente in Bolivia and
Manantial Espejo in Argentina.

2004 FORECAST - HIGHER PRODUCTION AND LOWER COSTS

-  Reserves and resources expected to increase upon completion of
new reserve/ resource statement at the end of the first quarter.

-  Production decision for Alamo Dorado project mid-year.

-  Total production to rise 23% to 10.6 million ounces (50% to 13
million ounces including 2004 production from Morococha).

-  Cash production cost to decline below $3.50/oz.

-  Total production cost to decline to approximately $4.30/oz.

-  Operating cash flow and earnings to increase significantly.

FINANCIAL RESULTS (Unaudited)

Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS; TSX: PAA) reported a net
loss of $4.8 million ($0.15 per share) for the fourth quarter of
2003 versus a fourth quarter loss of $14.0 million in 2002. The
benefits from the surge in the price of silver and base metals
seen late in the fourth quarter will begin to be realized by Pan
American in the first quarter of 2004 because most of the
Company's production is in the form of concentrate, which is
priced an average of three months after it is produced. In
addition, operations in Peru held a build-up of concentrate at
year-end due to the timing of shipments and the revenue from such
shipments will be recognized in the first quarter. Consolidated
revenue for the fourth quarter was $12.9 million.

The loss for the quarter included several additional accounting
charges. In December, Pan American elected to early adopt CICA
3870, Stock-Based Compensation and Other Stock-Based Payments,
which resulted in an expense of $2.9 million. The Company also
recognized a non-cash charge of $1 million for additional
depreciation of the Huaron mine. Excluding these charges, the
loss for the quarter was $0.9 million, a significant improvement
over the fourth quarter of 2002.

Consolidated silver production for the fourth quarter totaled 2.1
million ounces, a 6% increase over the fourth quarter of 2002.
The increase was due primarily to a full year of silver
production from the stockpiles operation in Peru and the
expansion of La Colorada. By-product production of zinc, lead and
copper was lower than in the fourth quarter of 2002 due to lower
throughput at Quiruvilca and slightly lower grade at Huaron.

Cash costs of $4.01/oz in the fourth quarter improved 3% over
cash costs of $4.15/oz in the corresponding period of 2002, while
total production costs declined by 4% to $4.57/oz. The
improvement in cash cost is due primarily to the successful cost-
reduction program at the Quiruvilca mine.

For the full year ended December 31, 2003 Pan American recorded a
consolidated net loss of $6.8 million. The loss in 2002 was $34.0
million, due primarily to the write-down of the Quiruvilca mine.
Consolidated revenue in 2003 was $45.1 million and $45.1 million
in 2002.

Silver production in 2003 totaled 8.6 million ounces, an 11%
increase over 2002. Zinc production of 31,797 tonnes was 19%
lower than in 2002, lead production was 9% lower and copper
production was 10% higher. Cash costs for 2003 declined slightly
to $4.09/oz while total production costs declined 6% to $4.62/oz.

Capital spending in 2003 increased from $10.9 million to $18.9
million reflecting the construction of the La Colorada mine and
sustaining capital for Huaron, which is undergoing an expansion
study. Working capital at December 31, 2003 improved to $82.0
million from $2.4 million at December 31, 2002, due primarily to
the issuance of a convertible debenture in the third quarter.

Ross Beaty, Chairman and CEO of Pan American commented that "2003
was a really positive transition year for Pan American Silver. We
have put in place all the building blocks we need - the projects,
the finances and the operations team -- to achieve our goal of
becoming the world's leading silver producer. Our focus now is on
executing these ambitious plans. The addition of Morococha is an
excellent fit for us, and we intend to capitalize on the growth
and opportunities it provides us."

OPERATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

MEXICO

The La Colorada mine increased production to 320,902 ounces of
silver in the fourth quarter, an increase of 63% over the fourth
quarter of 2002, but below forecast levels due to slower-than-
expected commissioning of the mine expansion project. La
Colorada's silver production in 2003 was 992,142 ounces. The mine
is steadily increasing its output and is expected to reach its
design capacity in mid-2004. As of January 1, 2004, for
accounting purposes the mine was determined to be in commercial
production and therefore, cash and total production costs will
now be expensed and will decrease as production levels rise. For
2004, cash and total costs are forecast to average $3.66/oz and
$5.20/oz respectively.

Work has progressed steadily on the feasibility study at the
Alamo Dorado silver project, acquired in early 2003 with the
purchase of Corner Bay Silver. Permitting is underway and
metallurgical testing is substantially complete. Preliminary
indications suggest that a conventional mill circuit alone will
yield a superior return on the project. Some additional testwork
and drilling may be required to complete the feasibility, due in
mid-2004. Predicted annual production remains at 6 million ounces
at an average cash cost of less than $3.25 per equivalent ounce
of silver.

PERU

The Quiruvilca mine achieved a significant transformation in
2003. Benefiting from the closure of the high-cost North Zone in
August, the mine reduced cash costs from $5.51/oz to $4.11/oz and
total costs from $6.24/oz to $4.32/oz while increasing production
7% to 618,133 ounces in the fourth quarter. The mine is now
generating good cash flow and a long-term operating plan is
currently being developed.

Production at the Huaron mine in the fourth quarter of 2003
decreased to 966,732 ounces of silver with a resulting increase
in cash costs from $3.70/oz to $4.33/oz. Poor ground conditions
in the Satelite zone continued to result in reduced tonnage and
increased costs for ground support. Production levels are
expected to return to normal in the second quarter as this zone
is worked through and the 2004 silver production target remains
at 4.4 million ounces. In 2003 the Company initiated a third-
party evaluation of the potential to expand production at Huaron.
As part of the feasibility study due in 2004, a $1 million
exploration drilling program was initiated to convert known
mineral resources into proven and probable reserves.

In October, Pan American bought back the 3% net smelter royalty
on the Huaron mine for $2.5 million. Should an expansion to an
annual production rate of 6 million ounces prove viable, the
purchase of the royalty will save more than $1 million per year
in operating costs over the life of the mine.

The Silver Stockpile Operation continued to generate excellent
cash flow, producing 217,980 ounces of silver in the fourth
quarter at a cash cost of just $2.28/oz, bringing the full year
results to 790,803 ounces at a cash cost of $2.15/oz.

The agreement to acquire the Morococha silver mine in Peru was
announced on February 9, 2004. Morococha is immediately accretive
to production, cash flow and earnings. The operation's cash
production costs are expected to be $3.10/oz in 2004 and to
average $2.50/oz over the life of the mine. Located just 80 km
from Huaron, Morococha provides many administrative synergies
with existing Peruvian operations as well as significant future
exploration potential.

ARGENTINA

Feasibility work is progressing on the 50% owned Manantial Espejo
silver- gold joint venture where geotechnical and environmental
testing are underway to facilitate permitting. Initial scoping
work indicates that at a rate of 1,500 tonnes per day, Manantial
Espejo would produce 4 million ounces of silver and 70,000 ounces
of gold annually. A successful program of infill drilling was
completed in the fourth quarter and will be incorporated into a
new resource estimate.

BOLIVIA

In November, Pan American Silver entered into an agreement with
EMUSA, the Bolivian mining company that had been toll mining ore
from the San Vicente project, giving EMUSA the right to earn a
49% interest in the project by financing the next $2.5 million in
project expenses, including a feasibility study. Current drilling
to convert resources into reserves is generating positive
results, which will be incorporated into the feasibility.

SILVER MARKETS

Silver prices were volatile in 2003, ranging from a low of $4.35
per ounce to a high of $5.98 and ending the year at $5.92, a rise
of 24% over 2002. Industrial and investment demand for silver
rose sharply in 2003, while jewelry and photographic demand
declined modestly, resulting in an increased silver deficit
estimated at about 85 million ounces (2002 - 67 million ounces).
This deficit was mostly filled by producer hedging and sales of
Chinese government stockpiles, though the latter occurred at much
reduced levels relative to recent years. World mine production of
silver declined for the second consecutive year. Silver prices
continue to benefit from the increasing supply deficit and
renewed investor interest and we are optimistic that our
shareholders will be rewarded with continuing strength in silver
prices during 2004.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Pan_American.txt


SANCOR: In Talks With Banks To Restructure $170M Debts
------------------------------------------------------
Leading Argentinean milk producer Sancor is currently negotiating
with a group of banks to restructure US$170 million in debts
acquired through a US$200-million investment process during the
1990s.

The institutions that the Company is negotiating with are Banco
Nacion, the Corporacion Financiera Internacional (CFI), Banco
Rio, the Rabobank and the Citibank. Sancor sources revealed that
the Company is proposing to pay the debt in 8 years and a grace
period of two years.


SEPRIT POSTAL: Court OK's Reorganization Petition
-------------------------------------------------
Court No. 29 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Cordoba in
Argentina approved a petition for reorganization filed by local
company Servicio Privado de Transporte S.A. (Seprit Postal),
reports Argentine news portal Infobae.

The court assigned Mr. Norberto Zorsi as the Company's receiver,
the source adds. Creditors must present their claims to Mr. Zorsi
before April 14. The receiver will verify claims to determin the
nature and amount of the Company's obligations.

CONTACT:  Servicio Privado de Transporte S.A.
          Ave Sabattini 2391
          Cordoba

          Norberto Zorsi
          Marcelo T Alvear 65
          Cordoba


TALLERES METALURGICOS: Receiver To Prepare Individual Reports
-------------------------------------------------------------
The bankruptcy of Argentine company Talleres Metalurgicos El
Suyuque S.A. proceeds with the receiver preparing the individual
reports. An earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter -
Latin America indicated that today is the last day of the credit
verification period.

Creditors must have their claims authenticated by the Company's
receiver, Mr. Hector Gustavo Caferatta, in order to qualify for
payments to be made after the Company's assets are liquidated.
The receiver will prepare the individual and general reports, as
ordered by the court.

Buenos Aires Court No. 1 and Clerk No. 2 handle the Company's
case.

CONTACT:  Hector Gustavo Caferatta
          Laprida 1898
          Buenos Aires


VIDRIERIA DEL PARQUE: Claims Review in Bankruptcy Ends Today
------------------------------------------------------------
The credit verification process for the bankruptcy of Argentine
company Vidrieria del Parque S.R.L. ends today. The Company's
receiver, Buenos Aires accountant Graciela Turco, who examined
and authenticated creditors' claims, will prepare the individual
reports.

Buenos Aires Court No. 22, under Judge Braga declared the Company
bankrupt in approval of a bankruptcy petition filed by the
Company's creditor for nonpayment of debt, as detailed in the
Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America in an earlier report.
Clerk No. 43, Dr. Mata, works with the court on the case, which
will close with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT:  Vidrier­a del Parque S.R.L.
          Pacheci de Melo 3000
          Buenos Aires

          Graciela Turco
          Cochabamba 4272
          Buenos Aires



=============
B E R M U D A
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GLOBAL CROSSING: Signs IP Services Agreement With IFFIX
-------------------------------------------------------
Iffix, an Argentine telecommunications company known by its brand
name "High Connection," announced Tuesday that it has signed an
agreement for IP services with Global Crossing, which owns and
operates the world's first integrated IP based fiber optic
network and is a Tier 1 service provider. Through this agreement,
High Connection becomes an independent telecommunications carrier
in Argentina. The company will now have increased access to
worldwide communications and will be able to provide enhanced
quality of service to its customers. Services were implemented at
the end of 2003 and are already operational and serving High
Connection customers.

"High Connection chose Global Crossing for its superior IP
network, which allows us to provide quality, secure advantages to
our customers, including access to 500 cities in 50 countries,"
commented Facundo Robledo Puch, CEO of Iffix/High Connection.
"We're also impressed by Global Crossing's commitment to
supporting our business objectives while delivering a superior
customer experience."

"Global Crossing strives to meet customers' diverse IP needs on a
local and global level," commented Dale Miller, managing director
and vice president of carrier services for Global Crossing, Latin
America & Caribbean. "We are pleased to support High Connection,
and look forward to a mutually beneficial, long-term
relationship."

Global Crossing IP service offering for the world's enterprises,
governments and carriers includes a full range of managed data
and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN Service,
Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing VoIP (voice
over IP) services. Global Crossing is integrating VoIP into its
global voice network, which currently accounts for 30 percent of
the voice traffic, and predicts that 90 percent of all its voice
traffic will be VoIP by 2006.

Global Crossing also provides one of the most powerful and
versatile IP VPN solutions available today, providing true global
reach, wider connectivity, multiple access and billing options,
and supporting integrated corporate data, VoIP, IP Video and
Internet access, all over the same connection. Global Managed
Services provides full end-to-end turnkey service lifecycle
support for IP VPN, including 24-hour customer service,
engineering and design, equipment procurement, installation and
maintenance, network monitoring, and industry leading service
level agreements (SLAs). Global Crossing's network offers
customers unmatched flexibility, security, scalability,
performance capabilities and cost efficiencies on a global scale.

High Connection provides domestic and international
telecommunication services through its own fiber optic links.
Charging flat rates, it serves corporate and residential
customers alike. Thus, customers pay the same rate for the
services they use at any time during the day, every day, all year
round. This service may also be contracted independently:
customers may keep their local telecommunications carriers and
use High Connection's link for long distance calls. This service
does not require customers to pay subscription, connection or
maintenance fees, but rather they only pay for the calls made.

High Connection is an Argentine corporation, which has raised
capital abroad through the TELNET LTD holding, which has
affiliate companies in the United States, Spain, Peru and
Argentina, as well as business partners in Uruguay.

ABOUT GLOBAL CROSSING

Global Crossing provides telecommunications solutions over the
world's first integrated global IP-based network. Its core
network connects more than 200 cities and 27 countries worldwide,
and delivers services to more than 500 major cities, 50 countries
and 5 continents around the globe. The company's global sales and
support model matches the network footprint and, like the
network, delivers a consistent customer experience worldwide.

Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the
world's enterprises, governments and carriers with customers,
employees and partners worldwide in a secure environment that is
ideally suited for IP-based business applications, allowing e-
commerce to thrive. The company offers a full range of managed
data and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN Service,
Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing VoIP
services, to more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as well as
700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.

GLOBAL CROSSING:  Press Contacts (Latin America)
                  Kendra Langlie
                  Tel: + 1 305-808-5912
                  Email: PR@globalcrossing.com

                  (Brazil)
                  Fernanda Marques
                  Tel: + 5521-3820-4712
                  Email: LatAmPR@globalcrossing.com

                  ANALYSTS/INVESTORS CONTACT
                  Mitch Burd
                  Tel: + 1 800-836-0342
                  Email: glbc@globalcrossing.com
                  Web site: www.globalcrossing.com

HIGH CONNECTION:  Santiago Roca
                  Feedback - Comunicacion Institucional y Prensa
                  Tel: +5411 - 4802-3815 (lineas rotativas)
                  Email: info@feedback-press.com.ar



SEA CONTAINERS: Outlines New Long Term Debt Offering
----------------------------------------------------
Sea Containers Ltd. (NYSE: SCRA and SCRB, www.seacontainers.com)
marine container lessor, passenger and freight transport operator
and leisure industry investor, announced Tuesday its board had
met on February 9, 2004 and decided to issue new long term debt
to replace existing debt and fund acquisitions.

The company expects to issue up to US$150 million of new 10 year
unsecured senior notes and use the proceeds to retire as soon as
practicable its 12.5% debentures due for repayment on December 1,
2004 in the amount of US$80 million and which are callable now
without premium. It is expected that annual interest on the new
notes will be substantially less than 12.5%. A registration
statement will be filed shortly with the S.E.C.

The balance of the proceeds will be earmarked for acquisitions in
the passenger and freight transport businesses currently under
negotiation, or for other corporate purposes.

In December 2003, management indicated in investor presentations
that it planned to reduce total debt from US$1.55 billion at the
end of 2003 to US$0.8 billion by the end of 2006, however, this
did not take into account debt that might be incurred in
connection with acquisitions. The company still expects to
achieve a major reduction excluding debt incurred in connection
with new investments.

Management previously indicated Sea Containers would sell shares
in Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. to retire the 2004 debentures but
the board is loathe to do so because the outlook for that company
is excellent and it believes the shares are currently
undervalued. The board feels that shareholder interests would be
better served by retiring the 2004 debentures early with new
notes at substantially lower cost.

No registration statement relating to an offering of the proposed
senior notes referred to in this news release has been filed with
the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The senior notes may
not be sold nor may any offer to buy be accepted prior to the
time a registration statement has been filed and become effective
or an applicable exemption from registration is available to Sea
Containers. This news release does not constitute an offer to
sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy. Also there can be no
offer or sale of the senior notes in a state of the United States
where the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to
registration or qualification under the securities laws of any
state.



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

CFLCL: Issues Relevant Info Concerning Interlocutory Appeal
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to the provisions established in CVM Directive 358/02,
the company COMPANHIA FORCA E LUZ CATAGUAZES-LEOPOLDINA
("CFLCL"), informs its shareholders and the market of the
following:

A legal ruling was handed down on February 11, 2004 concerning
the interlocutory appeal lodged by CFLCL against the shareholders
Fondelec Essential Services Growth Fund, L.P. and The Latin
America Energy and Electricity Fund I, L.P, establishing that the
court deposit effected, as addressed by the notice issued
previously, merely represents a guarantee covering the payment of
the dividends at a future date. The ruling further established
the suspension of the effectiveness of the resolutions approved
at the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting held by CFLCL on
December 09, 2003.

A ruling has been handed down concerning the interlocutory appeal
lodged by Gipar S/A against Fondelec Essential Services Growth
Fund, L.P. and The Latin America Energy and Electricity Fund I,
L.P., granting the request to reconsider the appeal decisions,
thereby reestablishing the effectiveness of the injunction, which
had suspended the effectiveness of the amendments to the bylaws
approved at the aforesaid Shareholders' Meeting, which was also
extended to the similar appeal lodged by CFLCL.



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

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Shareholders Approve 4:1 Stock Split
------------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") (Nasdaq:MICC)
announced that the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders
held on Monday, February 16, 2004 approved a stock split of the
issued shares of Millicom, by which each share with a par value
of $6 is split into four new shares with a par value of $1.50
each. The stock split will be effective on February 20, 2004 with
a record date of February 17, 2004.

Millicom 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,
Millicom 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
         Web site at: www.millicom.com

         SHARED VALUE LTD
         Andrew Best
         Investor Relations
         London Telephone: +44 20 7321 5022


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Signs Management Agreement In Iran
----------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") (Nasdaq:MICC)
announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement with
Rafsanjan Industrial Complex ("RIC") to manage the network to be
owned by RIC under a build, operate and transfer contract (the
"BOT Contract") between RIC and Telecommunications Company of
Iran ("TCI"). The BOT Contract allows RIC to build and operate a
nationwide GSM network (the "Network") for 2 million prepaid
subscribers for a period of 11 years. Millicom will be paid a
share of the revenues generated by the Network. In addition,
Millicom has been awarded an option to acquire 47% of the company
that will operate the Network.

Marc Beuls, President and CEO of Millicom commented: "This
agreement allows Millicom an early entry into Iran, a country
with a population of approximately 68 million and mobile
penetration of less than 5 per cent."



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

DESC: Board Proposes Capital Increase
-------------------------------------
DESC, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: DES; BMV: DESC) announced that its
Board of Directors has resolved to propose an Increase in Capital
and one Capital Restructuring. For these purposes the board will
call shareholders to a corresponding meeting, which is
tentatively scheduled to be held sometime during the first two
weeks of March 2004.

In its meeting Tuesday, the Board of Directors, among other
matters, examined a refinancing strategy to recover the company's
financial strength after successfully concluding the debt
restructuring last December.

The purpose of this Meeting will be, among other subjects, to
discuss financial strategy and authorize an increase in capital
of approximately 2.738 billion pesos (approximately $248 million
dollars) by issuing approximately 912,719,584 shares of common
stock. The company's shareholders, by exercising their right of
preference, will be authorized in Mexico to subscribe to 2 new
shares for every 3 common shares in circulation, at a price of
$3.00 pesos per share.

In order to assimilate the rights of current holders of Series
"C" shares, simplify the company's capital structure and increase
the marketability of its stock, a proposal will be made (prior to
the capital increase) to restructure the company's capital, by
which all Series "C" shares would be converted into Series "B"
shares and, thus, the capital stock would be represented by only
two series of shares ("A" and "B"). With respect to the proposed
Increase in Capital, DESC has entered into a Stock Subscription
Cooperation Agreement with Inversora Bursatil, S.A. de C.V., Casa
de Bolsa, Grupo Financiero Inbursa. Subject to certain
conditions, this Agreement establishes that, if shareholders do
not exercise their entire right of preference to the shares
resulting from the increase, DESC will be obligated to offer and
Inbursa (on its own or through third parties) will be obligated
to subscribe to the equivalent of up to $2 billion pesos in
available stock at the same price of $3.00 per share. By virtue
that Mr. Fernando Senderos Mestre and his family have declared
that they will participate in the subscription, they will
continue to maintain control of the company.

The funds resulting from the increase in capital, if approved,
will be used to reduce the company's debt. This will be a further
measure reflecting the commitment of its shareholders to
strengthen the company's financial structure, translating into
better financial ratios, reduced leveraging and financing
expenses, and in the end the recovery of DESC's traditional
financial strength and another step toward recovering
profitability.

A further proposal will be made to the company's Meeting of
Shareholders to amend the Bylaws to allow the different series of
the company's stock to be more liquid.

That amendment, if approved, would include the possibility of
voluntary conversion of Series "B" stock into Series "A", and
Series "A" into Series "B", to assure that the total of Series
"A" stock represents at least 51% of the capital stock as
established in the company's Bylaws. It must be noted that for
all conversion mentioned in this document, the exchange rate will
be one for one. In addition, as a result of the capital
restructuring, ADR's will now be based on the Series "B" shares.
The details of these conversions will be determined in the
corresponding Regular and Special Meeting of Shareholders.

It should be stressed that the preferred subscription rights are
offered solely in Mexico. The exercise of these rights may be
restricted by applicable law in jurisdictions outside Mexico. The
company has made it clear that the subscription rights offered or
sold have not been and will not be registered in the US under the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended. For this reason, any ADR
holders or holders in the US will not be offered an opportunity
to participate in the rights offering, unless an exemption from
registration exists under US securities laws.

DESC, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: DES; BMV: DESC) is one of the largest
industrial groups in Mexico, with 2003 sales of approximately US$
2 billion and nearly 14,000 employees, which through its
subsidiaries is a leader in the Automobile Parts, Chemical, Food
and Property sectors.

This announcement is not an offer for sale of securities or a
tender offer in the United States, and securities may not be
offered or sold in the United States absent registration under
the Securities Act of 1933 or an exemption from registration. Any
public offering of securities to be made in the United States
will be made by means of a prospectus that will contain detailed
information about Desc and management, as well as financial
statements.

CONTACTS:  Arturo D'Acosta Ruiz
           Marisol Vazquez Mellado
           Jorge Padilla Ezeta
           Tel: (5255) 5261-8044
           jorge.padilla@desc.com.mx

           Maria Barona
           Melanie Carpenter
           Tel: 212-406-3690
           desc@i-advize.com
           URL: www.desc.com.mx


DESC: Reports Sales, EBITDA Improvement in 4Q03
-----------------------------------------------
DESC, S.A. de C.V. announced today its results for the fourth
quarter ended December 31, 2003 (4Q03). All figures were prepared
according to generally accepted accounting principles in Mexico.

Highlights

- Sales, EBITDA and exports improved in 4Q03 when compared to
4Q02.
- As part of the restructuring plan to regain financial stability
and profitability, Desc did the following:

  - Successfully concluded the financial restructure
  - An administrative restructure was held at every level of the
organization
  - Applied Bulletin C-15 in advance
  - The Board voted Tuesday to call the Relevant Shareholders
Meeting to propose a Capital Increase and Capital Restructuring.

- During 4Q03 there was a nonrecurring charge in extraordinary
expenses and a large foreign exchange loss that caused a net loss
of US $152 million and of US $207 million for the full year of
2003.

Sales

During 4Q03, total sales in dollars increased 7.2% when compared
to 4Q02, from US $429 million to US $460 million. This was
primarily due to the revenue increases in the Automotive, Food
and Real Estate
Sectors.

The Automotive Sector experienced a 7.0% recovery in sales over
4Q02 due to increased demand from the Tractor Project. However,
sales for the full year of 2003 decreased 16.5% when compared to
full year 2002.

In the Food Sector, sales volume in the domestic market increased
7.9% over 4Q02. These results are attributed to the 4-point
increase in market share of "Zuko" in the powdered beverage
category. The Food Sector registered an annual growth of 1.1%
over full-year 2002.

Conversely, 4Q03 sales in the Chemical Sector declined 7.6% when
compared to 4Q02. This decrease was caused mainly by the
divestiture of the adhesives and waterproofing business, by the
decline in sales of the specialty and nitrile rubber businesses,
as well as by pressure from greater competition in the market.
However, sales for full year 2003 increased 1.5% when compared to
the previous year.

Sales for the Real Estate Sector reached US $16 million. This was
mainly due to the sales increase in the North C Building of the
Arcos Bosques Project and in the Bosques de Santa Fe Project. It
should be noted that annual sales in the Real Estate Sector
registered an increase of 132.1% when compared to the full year
2002.

Exports

Total exports during 4Q03 reached US $214 million, representing a
14.3% increase when compared to 4Q02. This was mainly due to an
18.8% increase in export sales for the Automotive Sector. Exports
represented 46.6% and 43.7% of the total sales mix during 4Q03
and 4Q02, respectively.

Operating Income and Margin

Consolidated operating income reached US $3 million in 4Q03,
representing a significant increase over the US $16 million loss
reported in 4Q02. This increase stemmed mainly from the strong
performance of the Automotive and Food Sectors, and was only
partially offset by the US $8 million loss in the Real Estate
Sector that resulted from a lower-margin sales mix.

Extraordinary Expenses

As part of the financial restructuring, during 4Q03, Desc
accelerated the adoption of Bulletin C-15, which is effective as
of January 1, 2004 and establishes the recognition and
calculation of deterioration of long term asset, both tangible
and intangible, including goodwill amortization. This application
resulted in a one-time charge of US$125.9 million net of deferred
taxes.

Extraordinary expenses reached US$152.9 million in 4Q03, which is
US$30.3 million higher compared to 4Q02.

Additionally during 4Q03, Desc reported US$27 million in other
extraordinary expenses for the following:

- Indemnities: US$15.11 million
- Phenol Business Shutdown: US$3.5 million
- Other: US$8.4 million

Taxes

During the quarter, tax provisions reached US$8.2 million which
included income and asset taxes and employee profit sharing, and
a benefit of US$21.4 million in deferred taxes.

Net Majority Income (Loss)

Net majority loss for 4Q03 was US$152 million primarily due to
the early adoption of Bulletin C-15 as part of the restructuring
plan mentioned above.

Debt Structure

Desc registered a US$23 million increase in net debt in 4Q03 when
compared to 4Q02. This 4.7% increase to US$990 million was due to
the adoption of the administrative expenses savings plan and the
increase of working capital of the Automotive Sector.

The debt profile improved due to the successful restructure of
approximately US$720 million and the prepayment of US$40 million
of debt. The details of the transaction are described below.

At the end of 4Q03, the debt composition was 70% dollar-
denominated, 11% peso-denominated and 19% in UDIS. Desc's debt
profile was 97% in long-term debt and 3% in short-term debt. The
average cost of debt was 5.19% for dollar-denominated debt and
8.24% for peso-denominated debt.

Relevant News

Financial Restructure

As part of the 2003 restructuring plan, Desc reached an agreement
with all of its creditors to refinance its syndicated loans and
the majority of its short-term debt. Approximately US$720 million
of debt was refinanced (US$479 million in dollar-denominated
long-term debt, Ps.1,300 million in peso-denominated long-term
debt and US$112 million in revolving debt and letters of credit).
This sum represents almost 70% of the Company's US $1,052 million
consolidated debt, and US $990 million net debt in 4Q03.

The terms of the agreement are a five-year maturity with a 30-
month grace period for principal payments beginning January 2004.
The new interest rates assigned, beginning 1Q04, to dollar-
denominated debt are LIBOR plus 350 basis points, TIIE plus 350
basis points for peso-denominated debt and LIBOR plus 300 basis
points for all revolving credit.

Among the negotiated conditions, some of Desc's operating
subsidiaries and sub-holdings became guarantors and a package of
certain fixed assets, shares and accounts receivables of the Real
Estate Sector was applied as collateral.

Also, under the terms of the agreement, Desc and its subsidiaries
must adhere to a series of obligations and restrictions including
the limitation of any fundamental change, asset sale, capital
expenditures, sale of collateral, liens, and payment of
dividends, among others.

Administrative Restructure

Also as part of the restructuring plan, during 4Q03 Desc
initiated an administrative restructure at every level of the
organization. The restructure aims to improve the Company's
efficiency, competitiveness and flexibility within the current
business environment, by reducing operating expenses. The
objective is to reach operating expenses of 15.5% of sales
approximately.

The extraordinary charges from this restructuring are fully
reflected in the 4Q03 results. These charges include the
downsizing of 950 employees, of which 141 took early retirement
and the cost is registered within the Pension Fund Trust.

Also, as part of these efforts, Juan Marco Gutierrez Wanless took
place as CEO of the Corporate Area (Desc Corporativo), reporting
directly to the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Gutierrez was CEO and
CFO of Pegaso before joining Desc.

Sale of Alluminum Wheel Business

Recently, Desc announced the sale of its aluminum wheel business
to Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. and the simultaneous
purchase of their stake in Hayes Wheels Acero, S.A. de C.V. With
this transaction, Desc concluded its association with Hayes
Lemmerz International, Inc.

The proceeds from this transaction will mainly be used to
decrease debt between the business and Desc and to reinvest in
fix assets.

This transaction generated an extraordinary expense of close to
US$15 million in 2003 as part of the early adoption of Bulletin
C-15. Desc's cash flow is expected to improve immediately as a
result of this transaction considering Hayes Wheels Aluminio,
S.A. de C.V. operated at a loss.

Closing of the Phenol Business

During 4Q03 Desc decided to close the Phenol Business, effective
December 29, 2003. The business was running at a loss and given
the global industry conditions, it was believed the division
could not compete successfully in the international market. As
part of the closing, the Company withdrew its bankruptcy petition
"Concurso Mercantil," (similar to "Chapter 11" in the U.S.) which
was submitted to the courts in 2002.

In addition, the phenol business reached an agreement with Sales
Nacionales to end their dispute, thereby ending over nine years
of litigation.

Desc reported the financial impact to be nearly US$3.5 million in
extraordinary expenses, all of which were recognized in the 4Q03
results.

"Put: Option for Branded Products Division

Desc was notified on November 11, 2003 that the minority partner
of the Branded Products division exercised a sell option ("PUT"),
and on January 30, 2004 Desc made payments of US$12.3 million and
US$2 million for the 18.6% of Corfuerte and ASF, respectively. As
a result, Desc increased its stake to 96.1% of Corfuerte and
99.9% of ASF.

Capital Increase and Shareholder Restructure

The Board of Directors has authorized an Increase in Capital and
a Capital Restructuring. For these purposes the board will
convene the Relevant Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled for the
first two weeks of March 2004. Please make reference to the press
release published earlier today.

Results by Sector

Automotive Sector

During 4Q03 dollar sales grew by 7.0% when compared to 4Q02 and
operating income reached US$6 million. This resulted from higher
demands by the Tractor Project for forging, propeller shafts and
axles, as well as improved part sales in the gear business to BMW
North America for the production of the front traction axel for
the X5 platform.

The increase in 4Q03 sales resulted in an operating income of
US$6 million, an operating margin of 3.1% and EBITDA of US $22
million.

The Tractor Project, which consists of the manufacturing and sale
of parts for axles, semi-axles and output-shafts to Dana, and has
been launched gradually since 2002, increased its sales by
US$22.4 million from 4Q02 to 4Q03. In 2002, phase I of the
project was implemented and included propeller shafts and
forging. During 2003, phase II was implemented and included the
platform and axle businesses. The total sales of this project
during 2003 reached US$65.8 million. As of today, the project is
operating as planned.

Export sales reached US$121 million during the quarter; an 18.8%
increase over the same period in 2002, which is in-line with the
increase in demand from the North American market. Export sales
for full year 2003 declined by 13.8% when compared to 2002.

The administrative restructuring and increased productivity
largely compensated for the 10.4% decline in annual sales in
2003. Sales per employee for the year decreased slightly to
US$104 thousand from US$112 thousand reported in 2002.

The above-mentioned factors helped offset the following:

a) The 6% decline in Mexico's total vehicle production to 363,556
cars and light trucks

b) Lower sales of transmissions and cv joints due to the decline
in demand from foreign markets

c) Lower sales of pistons and joints due to the decline in demand
from the domestic parts market, and

d) The termination of contracts with General Motors for stamping
and with Ford and Volkswagen for steel wheels.

For the full year of 2003 Desc reported a 16.5% decrease in sales
and a 68.2% drop in operating income in dollars due to the
following factors:

a) The pressure caused by the OEMs on prices by means of constant
discounts

b) A 13% decline in annual production of cars and light trucks in
Mexico to 1,518,628 units, and a 1.35% drop in the United States
to 11,825,151 units

c) Temporary technical and labor shutdowns of some assembly
plants of GM, Ford, Renault Nissan, VW and DCX in order to reduce
inventory levels

d) Lower sales in the axle, transmission, piston, wheel and pick-
up box businesses due to decreased demand from OEMs in the United
States and Mexico, such as DCX, GM, Eaton and Renault Nissan

e) The impact on operating income of preemptive expenses for
installations in the Tractor Project for the propeller shaft,
axle and forge businesses, and

f) The non-recurring charges associated with the write-off of
inventory, pension reserves and guarantees, asset value
adjustments, and administrative restructuring costs.

The average capacity utilization of the Automotive Sector
businesses reached 57% in the fourth quarter of 2003; meanwhile
the investments in assets were US$13.8 million.

Chemical Sector

Taking into account that the adhesives and waterproofing
businesses are no longer part of Desc and considering that its
sales were US$16.2 million, comparable annual sales in dollars
increased slightly over the previous year. Notably, the carbon
black and phosphate businesses posted excellent results, and to a
lesser degree so did the acrylic business.

The chemical sector businesses posted improvements, reaching 90%
of installed capacity in practically all our products, due to the
slight recovery of our markets, mainly in Europe and the United
States. Inventory repositioning by some clients and the seasonal
increase in demand at year-end were the primary reasons for the
volume growth.

The businesses that experienced a decrease in sales were:

- Nitrile Rubber, which suffered the effects of a slow recovery
in the automobile industry
- Specialty Rubber, which was negatively affected by the strength
of the Euro and greater competition in the European market.

Prices during 2003 were negatively affected due to the difficult
global economy and the continued presence of integrated
competition with very low pricing. This situation resulted in
oversupply conditions on a global level.

The rapid price increase of monomers during the first part of the
year had a negative impact on the operating margin in most of the
businesses. Although these prices stabilized by mid-year, our
sales prices continue to lag considerably.

During 4Q03, capex reached US$2.1 million, allocated to meeting
future demand in the polystyrene sector.

Food Sector

The results by division are as follows:

Branded Products

During 4Q03 sales volume in the domestic market grew 7.9% over
4Q02 and 5.8% over 3Q03. However, with the exception of a 4-point
increase in "Zuko", the market share of our main products
remained flat in both Mexico and the United States. Sales in the
U.S. were affected by a strike at Southern California's three
main convenience store chains, but were offset by higher sales in
Mexico.

In addition, improved plant operations and strict cost controls
resulted in an improved operating margin.

Capex increased to US$2.8 million in 2003, which was mainly
allocated to improving plants and relocating the coffee
production plant.

Pork Business

Even though during 4Q03, dollar based costs of raw materials used
in the production of balanced feed continued to be negatively
affected by the devaluation of the peso, a high operating margin
of 7.9% was achieved.

4Q03 sales volume declined by 19.8% when compared to 4Q02, and
discontinued operations in three Bajio locations deteriorated our
margins. Capacity utilization remained at 100% in the Southeast
region due to strong demand.

Capex for the quarter reached US$0.11 million, allocated to farm
equipment and infrastructure.

Pork prices in Mexico increased by Ps. 0.49 per kilogram, from
Ps. 14.11 to Ps. 14.60. This translated into a sales price
increase of Ps. 0.53, from Ps. 15.56 to Ps. 16.09. The price
increase was generally accepted due to the low supply of pork in
the market and the high end-of-year seasonal demand.

Current pork prices have not been affected by the Mad Cow problem
in the U.S., nor has it affected Mexican pork sales prices. The
trend toward higher pork prices is due to the low supply of
domestic pork and has continued through January and February
2004.

Real Estate Sector

Sales in 4Q03 reached US$16 million, an increase of 300% in real
terms when compared to 4Q02. This increase was driven by sales in
the North C building projects of the Arcos Bosques and Bosques de
Santa Fe developments. Annual sales in the Real Estate Sector
increased 132% over 2002.

The sales distribution was 76% in Arcos Bosques, 15% Bosques de
Santa Fe and 9% related to the Punta Mita project as well as
completed inventory.

During 4Q03, an operating loss of US$8 million was reported
compared to a US$3 million loss in 4Q02. This loss was mainly the
result of higher costs in the Bosques de Santa Fe project,
greater selling expenses and a lower-margin sales mix.

Among the projects under development, Bosques de Santa Fe, an
exclusive residential development located west of Mexico City,
sold 3 residential lots. This has brought our single-family
residential lot sales to 88% and multi-family residential lot
sales to 57%. The construction of the Club House is on-schedule
and will be completed in mid-2004. Total 4Q03 investment in this
project reached US$7.3 million.

In Punta Mita, a tourist development located in Bahˇa de
Banderas, Nayarit, Desc sold 1 beachfront lot and continues the
commercialization and urbanization of other beachfront and golf
club residential lots. Total 4Q03 investment in this project
reached US$2.6 million.

In the North C building of Arcos Bosques, Desc completed the sale
of 5,808 m2 in 4Q03. With this sale, 52% of the project has been
sold. The construction remains within budget and is expected to
be completed during 1Q04. Total 4Q03 investment in this project
reached US $1.7 million.

CONTACTS: Marisol Vazquez-Mellado Moll˘n
          Jorge Padilla Ezeta
          Tel: (5255) 5261 8044
          Email: jorge.padilla@desc.com.mx


GRUPO IMSA: Reduces Net Debt By $56M in 2003
--------------------------------------------
Grupo Imsa, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:IMY) announced Tuesday results for
the fourth quarter of 2003. Unless otherwise stated, all figures
are presented in millions of December 31, 2003 pesos (Ps), or in
millions of nominal U.S. dollars(a) (US$).

Fourth Quarter 2003 Highlights

-- Fourth quarter revenues in peso terms rose year-over-year by
11.8% and quarter-over-quarter by 3.0% to Ps 8,400. Accumulated
revenues for 2003 were 7.2% above those of the previous year.

-- IMSA ACERO's fourth-quarter sales volume grew 21.7% year-over-
year and 0.1% quarter-over-quarter.

-- In the fourth quarter ENERMEX's sales volume increased 10.4%
compared to the fourth quarter of 2002 and by 15.2% vs. third
quarter 2003.

-- Operating expenses as a percent of sales were 10.7% in fourth
quarter 2003, compared to 11.7% the previous year.

-- Fourth quarter EBITDA totaled Ps 982, 13.6% below that of the
same period of 2002 and 4.0% below third quarter 2003.
Accumulated 2003 EBITDA decreased 10.6% compared to 2002.

-- Grupo Imsa's net debt was reduced by US$84 during the fourth
quarter of 2003, and by $56 in 2003.

-- Net interest coverage -- defined as EBITDA divided by net
interest expense -- was 11.1 times in 2003.

-- In 2004 Grupo Imsa plans to invest US$130 in operating
continuity, improvement and capacity expansion projects.

-- Grupo Imsa acquired 49% of the capital of Louisville Ladder
Group (LLG), giving the Company 100% control of LLG through
IMSALUM.

-- 2004 began with a generalized rise in global steel prices and
a limited supply, reflecting increases in demand and the cost of
inputs.

Web site: www.grupoimsa.com


SPEIZMAN INDUSTRIES: Lender Issues Notice of Default
----------------------------------------------------
Speizman Industries, Inc. (the "Company") announced Tuesday that
after the close of its business on Thursday, February 12, 2004,
its lender delivered a notice of default under its secured loan
agreement, and terminated the forbearance agreement previously
agreed to, due to defaults in the financial covenants contained
in the loan agreement. The Company stated that it was in
discussion with its lender to resolve the issues that gave rise
to the notice, but could give no assurances it would be
successful.

Speizman Industries is a leader in the sale and distribution of
specialized industrial machinery, parts and equipment. The
Company acts as exclusive distributor in the United States,
Canada, and Mexico for leading Italian manufacturers of textile
equipment and is a leading distributor in the United States of
industrial laundry equipment representing several United States
manufacturers.


VITRO: Continues Positive EBITDA Trend in 4Q03
----------------------------------------------
Vitro S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA) one of the world's
largest producers and distributors of glass products, announced
Tuesday 4Q03 and 2003 year end un-audited results. For the
quarter, Vitro posted a 57.0 percent and a 24.1 percent YoY
increase in consolidated EBIT and EBITDA respectively. EBIT
increased by US$14 million and EBITDA by US$19 million during the
period. Flat Glass was the major contributor to the improvement,
with YoY increases of 166.5 percent in EBIT and 42.5 percent in
EBITDA. Consolidated EBITDA margins improved YoY by 382 basis
points, with all three business units contributing to the
increase. Annualized EBITDA improved from US$345 million as of
September 30, 2003 to US$364 million for fiscal year 2003,
reflecting the improving trend.

Commenting on the results, Alvaro Rodriguez, Chief Financial
Officer, said: "2003 was a challenging year for glass companies
worldwide, and Vitro wasn't an exception. The improvement in
EBITDA reflects our commitment to cost control and improved
efficiencies, as seen by the decrease in cost of sales and SG&A
on a year over year basis."

Mr. Rodriguez added: "We are aware that the market is expecting
sustained improvement in our results. We are committed to produce
a consistent recovery in sales and earnings. We are optimistic
about the long term future of Vitro since we have one of the
finest glass operations in the world. Our portfolio of assets
puts us on very solid ground, with the Glass Containers business
as a downside protection operation and the Flat Glass business
providing us great potential upside."

Mr. Rodriguez continued: "As one of the world's leading glass
producers, Vitro will continue to build on its strengths,
focusing on value added and niche markets, increasing its
domestic market share participation, maintaining a well
diversified and strong customer base, leveraging its position in
international markets through joint ventures, and balancing
domestic revenues with exports and international sales."

"We will also continue to strengthen our financial position, and
improve our debt profile. For instance, despite being a modest
year in terms of cash flow generation, gross debt declined YoY by
US$46 million, the average life of debt increased from 3 years to
4 years and short-term debt was reduced to only 28 percent of
total debt, from 32 percent at the beginning of the year. With
the issuance of the 2013 Notes on October of 2003, average life
of debt at the Holding company level increased to 6 years, with
no major market maturities until the end of 2006".

"We have continued with our commitment to focus on glass with the
recent announcement of the divestiture of our fiber glass
operations whose proceeds will be used to reduce net debt in
2004." Mr. Rodriguez concluded.

                   FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS*

                             4Q'03       4Q'02    % Change

Consolidated Net Sales        556         574        -3.2%
*          Flat Glass         267         265         0.9%
*          Glass
            Containers        224         241        -7.1%
*          Glassware           58          65       -10.7%
Cost of Sales                 401         424        -5.6%
Gross Income                  155         150         3.6%
Gross Margins                27.9%       26.1%      +185 bps
SG&A                          115         124        -7.3%
SG&A % of sales              20.7%       21.6%       -90 bps
EBIT                           40          26        57.0%
EBIT Margins                  7.3%        4.5%      +278 bps
EBITDA                         97          78        24.1%
*          Flat Glass          37          26        42.5%
*          Glass
            Containers         44          46        -4.2%
*          Glassware           13          12         6.3%
EBITDA Margins               17.4%       13.5%      +382 bps
NET INCOME                    (12)         (6)      -87.0%
Net Income Margins           -2.2%       -1.1%      -105 bps

Total Financial Debt        1,409       1,455        -3.1%
*          Short Term Debt    400         458       -12.5%
*          Long Term Debt   1,009         997         1.2%
Average life of debt          4.1         3.1        32.3%
* Millions of Nominal US$

The consolidated financial results, income statement, and cash
flows for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2002,
account for Vitromatic, S.A. de C. V. as a discontinued
operation. All figures provided in this announcement are in
accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in
Mexico, except otherwise indicated. Dollar figures are in nominal
US dollars and are obtained by dividing nominal pesos for month
by the end of month fix exchange rate published by Banxico. In
the case of the Balance Sheet, US dollar translations are made at
the fix exchange rate as of the end of the period. The exchange
rate as of October 31, 2003 was 11.0525, as of November 30, 2003
was 11.3985 and as of December 31 2003 was 11.2372 pesos per US
dollar. Certain amounts may not sum due to rounding.

Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA), through its
subsidiary companies, is one of the world's leading glass
producers. Vitro is a major participant in three principal
businesses: flat glass, glass containers, and glassware. Its
subsidiaries serve multiple product markets, including
construction and automotive glass; food and beverage, wine,
liquor, cosmetics and pharmaceutical glass containers; glassware
for commercial, industrial and retail uses; plastic and aluminum
containers. Vitro also produces raw materials, and equipment and
capital goods for industrial use. Founded in 1909 in Monterrey,
Mexico-based Vitro has joint ventures with major world-class
partners and industry leaders that provide its subsidiaries with
access to international markets, distribution channels and state-
of-the-art technology. Vitro's subsidiaries have facilities and
distribution centers in eight countries, located in North,
Central and South America, and Europe, and export to more than 70
countries worldwide.

To see more info, click: http://bankrupt.com/misc/VITRO.htm

Web site: http://www.vitro.com.



===========
P A N A M A
===========

BLADEX: Reports $111.5M Annual Net Income in 2003
-------------------------------------------------
- Net Income was US$16.2 million in the 4Q03, compared to US$17.8
million for the 3Q03, and US$15.0 million for the 4Q02.

- For the year, net income was US$111.5 million, compared to a
loss of US$268.8 million in 2002.

- Short-term trade loans increased to US$1.4 billion, or 21%, for
the quarter, and 77% from year-end 2002.

- The Bank reversed the declining trend of its overall loan
portfolio, as total loans grew 6% for the quarter.

- The Bank sold US$15 million in nominal value of Argentine loans
during the fourth quarter of 2003. Exposure in the country (net
of allowance for credit losses and impairment loss) is US$240
million, down 39% from a year ago

Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. ("BLADEX" or "the
Bank") (NYSE: BLX), a multinational bank specializing in trade
finance for Latin America and the Caribbean, announced Tuesday
its results for the fourth quarter and full year periods ended
December 31, 2003.  The Bank's financial statements are prepared
in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and are stated in U.S. dollars.

The Bank reported net income of US$16.2 million for the fourth
quarter of 2003, or US$0.41 per share, compared to net income of
US$17.8 million, or US$0.45 per share, in the previous quarter,
and net income of US$15.0 million, or US$0.85 per share, in the
fourth quarter of 2002.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2003 reflected the sale, and
partial payment, of Argentine loans, which generated reversals of
the allowance for loan losses.  In addition, the Bank increased
reserve coverage for certain Argentine borrowers, and reduced
generic reserves related to certain countries (mainly Brazil).
The net impact of these factors on earnings was a gain of US$9.5
million for the quarter.

For the full year 2003, the Bank achieved record net income of
US$111.5 million, or US$3.88 per share, compared to a US$268.8
million loss, or US$15.56 per share, for 2002.  The loss in 2002
reflected US$278.8 million of provisions for credit losses, and a
US$44.3 million charge resulting from impairment losses on
securities, both related to the Bank's Argentine portfolio.

INVESTORS' CONTACTS:

       Carlos Yap S.
       Senior Vice President of Finance
       Tel: (507) 210-8563
       E-mail: cyap@blx.com

       Investor Relations Firm
       Melanie Carpenter / Peter Majeski
       i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc.
       80 Wall Street, Suite 515
       Tel: (212) 406-3690
       E-mail: mcarpenter@i-advize.com

       Luisa de Polo
       Assistant Manager - Shareholder Relations
       Tel: (507) 210-8667
       E-mail: mailto:lpolo@blx.com



CHIQUITA BRANDS: Reports 4Q03 Net Income of $8M
-----------------------------------------------
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) reported Tuesday
fourth-quarter net income of $8 million, or $0.19 per share. The
company had a net loss of $26 million, or $0.66 per share, in the
year-ago quarter.

QUARTERLY FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

* Net sales for the quarter were $686 million, up $323 million
from the fourth quarter of 2002.  Atlanta AG ("Atlanta"), a
German fresh produce distributor acquired in March 2003,
accounted for $260 million of the increase.  The remainder
resulted from increased sales volume of bananas, pineapples,
avocados and melons, and favorable European exchange rates.

* Operating income from continuing operations in the fourth
quarter of 2003 was $19 million, compared to an operating loss in
the year-ago period of $13 million pro forma, adjusted for the
change in cost accounting made at the beginning of 2003. (The
historical fourth quarter 2002 operating loss, not adjusted for
the accounting change, was $29 million.)

* Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2003 includes the
following items:

  - $11 million of gains, primarily from the sale of a Miami
    facility ($3 million), and the previously announced sale of
    an investment in Mundimar Ltd., a Honduran palm-oil joint
    venture ($7 million).

  - $6 million of charges, primarily related to Atlanta's
    restructuring costs.

The 2002 fourth-quarter operating loss included $21 million of
charges from: restructuring at Atlanta ($12 million); flooding in
Costa Rica and Panama ($5 million); and severance associated with
company cost- reduction programs ($4 million).

* Net income in the 2003 fourth quarter includes a $2 million
loss, or $0.06 per share, from discontinued operations, primarily
from the sale of several Atlanta subsidiaries.  The 2002 fourth-
quarter net loss included income of $14 million, or $0.34 per
share, from discontinued operations, primarily a $10 million gain
on the sale of Castellini, a U.S. wholesale produce distribution
business.

"Chiquita had its best fourth quarter in five years as the
company continued to cut costs and benefit from a strong euro,"
said Fernando Aguirre, president and chief executive of the
company. "We also progressed against our goals, reducing debt by
$42 million during the quarter, and divesting additional non-core
assets."

"We are continuing the execution of a successful turnaround plan,
and I am excited by the opportunity to lead the next phase of the
transformation of Chiquita into a much more consumer- and
marketing-centric organization," said Aguirre, who joined the
company Jan. 12, 2004.

QUARTERLY SEGMENT RESULTS

(All comparisons below are to the fourth quarter of 2002, unless
otherwise specified.)

Bananas

Fourth-quarter 2003 net sales for the company's banana segment,
which includes bananas marketed by Atlanta, rose 25 percent to
$399 million. Approximately half of the increase resulted from
the acquisition of Atlanta.

Fourth-quarter operating income for the company's banana segment
was $22 million, compared to an operating loss of $2 million last
year on a pro forma basis after adjusting for the accounting
change. (The historical operating loss for the segment in the
2002 fourth quarter, not adjusted for the accounting change, was
$19 million.)

The improvements in 2003 banana operating results were primarily
due to:

* $10 million net European pricing and currency benefit,
comprised of a $16 million net increase from currency, partially
offset by $6 million in lower local European pricing. (The $16
million net increase from currency consists of a $30 million
increase in revenue from the stronger euro, less $6 million in
increased local costs, $6 million of increased hedging costs, and
$2 million from lower balance sheet translation gains.);

* $3 million of lower operating costs, which consists of $14
million of lower production and logistics costs, mostly offset by
higher personnel costs related to incentive compensation;

* $3 million improvement in the Asian operations;

* $3 million gain on the sale of a Miami facility in the 2003
fourth quarter; and

* $10 million less in charges versus the 2002 fourth quarter,
when the company incurred charges related to flooding in Costa
Rica and Panama ($5 million in 2002 fourth quarter), had higher
Atlanta restructuring costs ($4 million in the 2002 fourth
quarter vs. $2 million in 2003 fourth quarter), and higher
severance costs.

The favorable items above were partially offset by:

* $2 million of higher costs associated with purchased fruit,
fuel and paper; and

* $2 million adverse effect of North American banana pricing.

Other Fresh Produce

The company's other fresh produce segment includes the marketing
and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables other than
bananas. Chiquita generally sources these products from
independent growers. The segment also includes Chiquita's new
fresh cut fruit business.

Fourth-quarter 2003 net sales for other fresh produce were $274
million, compared to $32 million in the 2002 fourth quarter.
Approximately 90 percent of the increase was due to the
acquisition of Atlanta.

The fourth-quarter 2003 operating loss for the other fresh
produce segment was $9 million, compared to an $11 million
operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2002.

The 2003 fourth-quarter operating loss includes: $3 million of
charges related to restructuring at Atlanta and $3 million of
losses associated with the start-up of the company's fresh cut
fruit business and its first plant near Chicago.

The 2002 fourth-quarter operating loss included $8 million of
charges, primarily related to severance and asset write-downs at
Atlanta.

FULL YEAR 2003

Net sales for 2003 were $2.6 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in
2002. Approximately 80% of the increase is due to the acquisition
of Atlanta, which was completed in late March. Atlanta was fully
consolidated for only three quarters in 2003.

Net income for the full year 2003 was $99 million, or $2.46 per
share. The company's 2002 results consisted of: (1) a first-
quarter net loss of $398 million, which included $286 million of
charges related to the company's emergence from bankruptcy and
implementation of fresh start accounting, and a charge of $145
million for a change in the method of accounting for goodwill;
and (2) net income of $13 million, or $0.33 per share, for the
nine months ended Dec. 31, 2002.

Operating income for 2003 was $140 million, compared to $41
million in the first quarter of 2002, prior to the company's
emergence from bankruptcy, and $26 million for the nine months
ended Dec. 31, 2002.

Operating income for 2003 includes $41 million of net gains on
asset sales, primarily from the Armuelles, Panama banana division
and several equity method investment joint-ventures, and $25
million of charges related to severance, asset write-downs,
closure of branches at Atlanta and closure of banana farms.

Operating income in 2002 included $21 million of charges, which
resulted from restructuring at Atlanta ($12 million); flooding in
Costa Rica and Panama ($5 million); and severance associated with
company cost-reduction programs ($4 million).

Net income for the full year of 2003 includes $3 million, $0.08
per share, from discontinued operations, which includes a $9
million gain on the sale of CPF, the company's vegetable canning
business. The 2002 results include the following from
discontinued operations: a $64 million charge related to the
financial restructuring in the first quarter; and $20 million of
income, or $0.50 per share, in the nine months ended Dec. 31,
2002, including a $10 million gain on the sale of Castellini.

FULL YEAR SEGMENT RESULTS

(All comparisons below are to the full year 2002, unless
otherwise specified.)

Bananas

Full year 2003 net sales for the company's banana segment were
$1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 2002.

Full year 2003 operating income for the company's banana segment
was $133 million. Banana segment 2002 operating income consisted
of the following: $38 million in the first quarter, prior to
Chiquita's emergence from bankruptcy, and $43 million for the
nine months ended Dec. 31, 2002.

The $52 million improvement in 2003 operating income compared to
2002 was primarily due to the following favorable items:

* $51 million from lower production, logistics and advertising
costs;

* $21 million gain on the sale of the Armuelles banana production
division;

* $6 million net European pricing and currency benefit, comprised
of a
$77 million net benefit from currency, offset by $71 million in
lower local pricing in core Europe, Eastern Europe, and the
Mediterranean.
(The $77 million net increase from currency consists of a $136
million increase in revenue from the stronger euro, less $19
million in increased local costs, $30 million of increased
hedging costs, and
$10 million from lower balance sheet translation gains.);

* $6 million from increased banana volume in Europe and North
America;

* $8 million in lower depreciation expense, primarily related to
reductions in asset values recorded in conjunction with the
company's emergence from bankruptcy in March 2002; and

* $5 million of charges incurred in 2002 related to flooding in
Costa
Rica and Panama.

These favorable items were partially offset by:

* $25 million of higher costs associated with purchased fruit,
fuel and paper;

* $11 million of higher personnel costs related to incentive
compensation;

* $4 million increase in costs, primarily severance, associated
with the company's cost-reduction programs; and

* $5 million adverse effect of North American banana pricing.

Other Fresh Produce

Full year 2003 net sales for the company's other fresh produce
segment were $979 million, compared to $206 million in 2002. The
acquisition of Atlanta accounted for approximately 90 percent of
the increase.

The full year 2003 operating loss for the company's other fresh
produce segment was $4 million. The other fresh produce segment
operating loss for 2002 consisted of $2 million of operating
income in the first quarter, and a $21 million operating loss for
the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2002.

The $15 million increase in 2003 operating results compared to
2002 was primarily due to the following favorable items:

* $11 million from improvements and consolidation of Atlanta and
increased pineapple and grape sales; and

* $8 million of gains associated with the sale of shares of
Chiquita
Brands South Pacific and other equity method investments.

These favorable items were partially offset by:

* $4 million increase in Atlanta restructuring charges.

ASSET SALES

In 2003, Chiquita sold assets for proceeds totaling approximately
$270 million, including cash, stock and debt assumed by buyers.
The assets sold in 2003 include: Chiquita Processed Foods for
over $200 million in cash, stock and debt assumed by the buyer;
Progressive Produce; and several equity method investment joint
ventures and port operations.

COST REDUCTIONS

In late 2002, Chiquita initiated a series of global performance-
improvement programs to reduce costs over three years. The
company anticipated that its gross cost reductions would be
partially offset by implementation expenses, such as severance,
and possible cost increases affecting the industry.

For 2003, the company realized gross cost reductions of $51
million.

The 2003 gross cost reductions were largely offset by: $25
million of increased purchased fruit, fuel and paper costs; $8
million of implementation expenses associated with cost reduction
programs, excluding restructuring at Atlanta; and $11 million of
increased personnel costs from higher incentive compensation.

DEBT

In September 2002, the company set a goal of reducing total debt
to $400 million by the end of 2005, and achieved it in 2003, two
years ahead of schedule. As of Dec. 31, 2003, the company had
$395 million of total debt and $134 million of cash on its
balance sheet.

Chiquita Brands International is a leading international
marketer, producer and distributor of high-quality bananas and
other fresh produce, which are sold primarily under the premium
Chiquitar brand. The company is one of the largest banana
producers in the world and a major supplier of bananas in North
America and Europe. The company also distributes and markets
fresh-cut fruit and other branded, value-added fruit products.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Chiquita_Brands.txt

Web site: www.chiquita.com



=============
U R U G U A Y
=============

GALICIA URUGUAY: Bondholders Get More Time To Respond To Offer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Galicia Uruguay SA, a unit of Argentina's bank Banco de
Galicia y Buenos Aires SA, has extended the deadline for holders
of its bonds and certificates of deposit to respond to proposals
that they be exchanged for cash and sovereign Argentine bonds.

The survey, which was due to end on February 13, has been
extended to February 20 to allow "all clients who wish to express
their desire to make an exchange" to do so, the bank said in a
filing to the Buenos Aires stock exchange Friday. There will be
no further extension or postponements, the bank said.

The proposal offers US$17.50 in cash and US$82.50 in Argentina's
BODEN 2012 dollar-denominated bonds for every US$100 in the
bank's own bonds or certificates of deposit. Banco Galicia
Uruguay has said it will exchange up to US$300 million in bonds
and certificates.

Uruguay's central bank closed Banco Galicia Uruguay in February
2002 as Argentina's financial crisis spilled over into the
neighboring country. At that time, about US$1.2 billion in
deposits were frozen. Banco Galicia Uruguay has extended other
deposit-return options to its clients and some deposits are
already being given back under a nine-year plan launched in late
2002. The bank's suspension is slated to end on March 31.



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

CANTV: CADIVI OK's US Dollar Purchase to Pay Dividends
------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan telecoms operator Compania Anonima Nacional Tel‚fonos
de Venezuela (CANTV) (NYSE: VNT) received approval from the
Government's Committee for the Administration of Foreign Currency
(CADIVI) to buy US$113.9 million of US dollars to pay dividends
to foreign investors, reports Business News Americas.

These dividends were declared and paid in bolivares by CANTV on
December 19, 2003 to the shareholders of record on December 12,
2003. However, ADR holders were unable to receive dividend
payments on this date pending approval by CADIVI for access to
foreign currency.

CANTV said it would continue to work with the government to
obtain the required foreign currency to meet its ongoing
financial obligations.

CANTV is a leading Venezuelan telecommunications services
provider with approximately 2.7 million access lines in service,
2.5 million cellular subscribers and 1.0 million Internet users
as of September 30, 2003. The Company's principal strategic
shareholders are affiliates of Verizon Communications Inc. with
28.5% of the outstanding capital stock, and Telefonica S.A. with
6.9%. Other major shareholders include the Venezuelan Government
with 6.6% of the outstanding capital stock (Class B Shares), and
employees, retirees and employee trusts which own 10.0% (Class C
Shares). Public shareholders hold the remaining 47.8 % of the
outstanding capital stock.

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

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




               ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and Oona
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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