TCRLA_Public/040220.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Friday, February 20, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 36

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AGRO ACTIVO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
BCELL: Receiver Oversees Bankruptcy Proceedings
BLANCO Y SALGADO: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Today
CABLEVISION: Argentine Fitch Assigns Default Ratings to Bonds
CARMAN: Credit Verification Period Ends Today

COLYDER: Credit Review for Bankruptcy Ends April 15
CTI HOLDINGS: $300M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' from Local Fitch
EASA: General Report on Bankruptcy Due at Court Today
FARMACIA ITALO: Credit Verifications End Today
GAS ARGENTINO: Fitch Rates $130M of Bonds `D(arg)'

GATIC: Another Interested Investor Surfaces
GRAFICA TALARES: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy
IEBA: Fitch Rates Various Bonds Worth $330M `D(arg)'
MANZURA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
METCASA-METALURGICA: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Today

METROGAS: $600M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' from Argentine Fitch
RAPIN: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
SIDECO AMERICANA: Argentine Fitch Rates $200M of Bonds `D(arg)'
TRANSENER: National Grid Plans To Sell Citilec Stake
WIELING: Files "Concurso Preventivo" Petition at Court


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Enhances IP Capabilities Throughout Asia


B R A Z I L

AHOLD: To Close Brazilian Assets Sale In March
BRASKEM: Fourth-Quarter Results Do Not Affect Ratings, Says S&P
CFLCL: Court Ruling May Put End To Shareholders' Clash
PARMALAT BRASIL: Congress To Look Deeper Into Business Dealings
PARMALAT BRASIL: Parent May Take Legal Action Against Sumitomo

PARMALAT BRASIL: BNDES Won't Extend Financial Aid


C H I L E

CTR: SR Telecom Restructures Debt Repayment
PARMALAT CHILE: Attracts Another Potential Buyer


C O L O M B I A

TERMOEMCALI: Funding Rating Affirmed; Outlook Negative


H O N D U R A S

* IMF Approves 3-Yr. $107.6M Poverty Reduction for Honduras


M E X I C O

DESC: Shares Soar On Announcement of Share Offer
INDUSTRIAS PENOLES: Ratings on CreditWatch Negative
PARMALAT DE MEXICO: Struggles To Negotiate With Citigroup


P E R U

MINERA VOLCAN: Posts Lower Net Loss in 2003


U R U G U A Y

* Uruguay Subscribes to IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

AGRO ACTIVO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
--------------------------------------------
Court No. 6 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Rosario in
Santa Fe declared local company Agro Activo S.R.L. bankrupt
relates Argentine news portal Infobae. The source, however, did
not mention whether the court has assigned a receiver to oversee
the bankruptcy process.

CONTACT:  Agro Activo S.R.L.
          Arijon 2767
          Rosario, Santa Fe


BCELL: Receiver Oversees Bankruptcy Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------
Argentine accountant Monica Beatriz Costa will oversee the
bankruptcy of Bcell S.R.L. as its court-appointed receiver,
according to a report by Infobae. Creditors must present their
claims to Miss Costa for verification before April 12.

As ordered by Buenos Aires Court No. 5, the receiver will prepare
the individual reports after the credit verification process is
completed. These reports are due for filing on May 24. The
general report, a summary of the information in the individual
reports, must be filed at the court on July 7.

Clerk No. 9 assists the court on the case, which is likely to
close with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT:  Monica Beatriz Costa
          Reconquista 715
          Buenos Aires


BLANCO Y SALGADO: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Today
----------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Jorge Alfredo Cosoli, receiver for Buenos Aires company
Blanco y Salgado, will file the individual reports for the
Company's bankruptcy today. These reports contain the results of
the credit verification process done to determine the nature and
amount of the Company's debts.

The receiver will prepare a general report, due at court on March
22, after the individual reports are processed at court.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America related in an
earlier report that the Company entered bankruptcy after Buenos
Aires Court No. 24 approved a petition filed by the Company's
creditor for nonpayment of debt. Insolvency Judge Ballerini
handles the Company's case with assistance from Clerk No. 47, Dr.
Medina.

CONTACT:  Blanco y Salgado S.A.
          Traful 3707
          Buenos Aires

          Eduardo Cosoli
          1st Floor, Room H
          Lavalle 1948
          Buenos Aires


CABLEVISION: Argentine Fitch Assigns Default Ratings to Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned on Tuesday
its `D(arg)' rating to corporate bonds issued by Cablevision
S.A., according to the Comision Nacional de Valores, the
country's securities regulator.

The rating affects US$1.5 billion worth of bonds described as
"obligaciones negociables simples". The bonds' maturity date was
not indicated, but classification was given as "Program".

The rating, which was based on the Company's finances as of
September 30 last year, is assigned to bonds that are in payment
default, or whose obligor has filed for bankruptcy.


CARMAN: Credit Verification Period Ends Today
---------------------------------------------
The credit verification period for the bankruptcy of Buenos
Aires-based Carman S.R.L. ends today. The Company's creditor, Mr.
Carlos Rapetti, will prepare the individual reports, which
contain the verification reports. These reports are due at the
court on April 5.

The receiver will also prepare a general report, due at court on
May 19, after the individual reports are processed.

The Company entered bankruptcy on orders from the city's Court
No. 26, the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an
earlier report. The Company's assets will be liquidated at the
end of the bankruptcy process to repay its creditors.

CONTACT:  Carman S.R.L.
          Cerrito 1194
          Buenos Aires

          Carlos Rapetti
          Echevarria 2670
          Buenos Aires


COLYDER: Credit Review for Bankruptcy Ends April 15
---------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Buenos Aires-based Colyder S.R.L. must present their
claims to the Company's receiver for authentication before April
15 this year. The receiver, Xaina Humberto Enrique, will verify
claims to ascertain the nature and amount of the Company's debts
and to set a standard for payments to be made after the Company's
assets are liquidated.

Buenos Aires Court No. 12 ordered the receiver to file the
individual reports on May 28. The general report, to be prepared
after the individual reports are processed at court, is due on
July 14.

Clerk no. 24 assists the court on the case, relates local news
source Infobae.

CONTACT:  Zaina Humberto Enrique
          Esmeralda 320
          Buenos Aires


CTI HOLDINGS: $300M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' from Local Fitch
----------------------------------------------------------
A total of US$300 million worth of CTI Holdings S.A.'s corporate
bonds received a `D(arg)' rating from Fitch Argentina
Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. on Tuesday. The rating, issued to
bonds that are in payment default or whose obligor has filed for
bankruptcy, was determined from the Company's finances as of the
end of September last year.

The rating applies to bonds, which the Argentine securities
watchdog Comision Nacional de Valores described as "Obligaciones
Negociables con Cupon Diferido, autorizadas por AGOyE de fecha
6.11.97". These were classified under "Simple Issue" and will
mature on April 1, 2008.


EASA: General Report on Bankruptcy Due at Court Today
-----------------------------------------------------
The general report for the bankruptcy of Buenos Aires-based
Emprendimientos Americanos S.A. is due for filing today,
according to an earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter -
Latin America.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Daniel del Castillo, prepared the
report after the individual reports, which contain the
verification results, were processed at court. Verifications were
done last year to determine the nature and amount of the
Company's debts.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process. Payments will be based on the results of the
credit verifications.

CONTACT:  Daniel del Castillo
          Peron 1558
          Buenos Aires


FARMACIA ITALO: Credit Verifications End Today
----------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Farmacia Italo Argentina S.C.S. proceeds
with the Company's receiver preparing the individual reports
based on the results of the verification process due to end
today. The Company's receiver, Mr. Ricardo Javier Fichman,
examined and authenticated creditors' claims to ascertain the
nature and amount of the Company's debts.

The Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America said in an earlier
report that Court No. 7 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of
Bahia Blanca approved the Company's motion for "Concurso
Preventivo". Local sources did not mention whether the court has
set the filing deadlines for these reports.

CONTACT:  Farmacia Italo Argentina S.C.S.
          Brown 340
          Bahia Blanca

          Ricardo Javier Fichman
          Belgrano 158
          Bahia Blanca


GAS ARGENTINO: Fitch Rates $130M of Bonds `D(arg)'
--------------------------------------------------
Corporate bonds issued by Argentine company Gas Argentino S.A.
were issued default ratings by Fitch Argentina Calificadora de
Riesgo S.A., relates the Comision Nacional de Valores,
Argentina's securities regulator. The Company's finances as of
September 30, 2003, was used as basis for the `D(arg)' rating
issued.

A total of US$130 million worth of the Company's bonds are
affected by the rating. The CNV described the bonds as
"Obligaciones negociables simples por U$S 130.000.000", which
matured in June 2000. The bonds are classified under "Simple
Issue".

Fitch said that the given rating is assigned to bonds that are in
payment default or whose obligor is seeking bankruptcy
protection.


GATIC: Another Interested Investor Surfaces
-------------------------------------------
A group of unionists traveled to Buenos Aires in order to meet
with judge Juan Manuel Gutierrez Cabello, who oversees the
bankruptcy proceeding of Argentine textile company Gatic.

Juan Pablo Simon, representative of the Rubber Trade Union
(SOCAYA), and some colleagues will inform Gutierrez Cabello of a
new alternative to save the Company, which has around ARS450
million in debt.

The proposal has to do with John Houlder, a wealthy British
businessman who owns oil wells, a shipping company and a small
airline in the UK. He represents a European investment group that
would we willing to invest US$14.5 million to reopen two Gatic
plants. The group would be planning to catch up on payments to
Gatic's 4,500 suspended employees in the first place and then
outline a debt-restructuring proposal for its creditors.

This project will compete with the one of local businessman
Guillermo Gotelli, who wants to rent four of Gatic's plants,
since two of them are the same.

Nevertheless, this proposal has to be approved by the judge,
creditors and the Bakchellian family (owner of Gatic), which
seems to be rather unlikely.

Gotelli's proposal has already got court OK but is now waiting
for preferred creditors to make a decision.

Brazil's group Dilly also wants to rent other three of Gatic's
currently paralyzed plants and its proposal is also pending
approval.


GRAFICA TALARES: Court Assigns Receiver To Oversee Bankruptcy
-------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 21 assigned local accountant Javier
Marcelo Expiniera as receiver for the bankruptcy of Grafica
Talares S.A., reports Argentine news portal Infobae. The receiver
will authenticate creditors' claims until June 23.

The individual reports, which the receiver must prepare after
verifications are completed, must be submitted on August 30. The
receiver is also required to file a general report on October 14.

The Company entered bankruptcy shortly after the court declared
it as "Quiebra". Clerk No. 42 cooperates with the court on the
case, which will end with the liquidation of the Company's
assets.

CONTACT:  Javier Marcelo Espineira
          Viamonte 783
          Buenos Aires


IEBA: Fitch Rates Various Bonds Worth $330M `D(arg)'
----------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned default
ratings to a total of US$330 million of Inversora Electrica de
Buenos Aires S.A.'s corporate bonds. The rating, issued on
Tuesday, is assigned to bonds that are in payment default or
whose obligor has filed for bankruptcy. The rating was determined
from the Company's finances as of September 30, 2003.

According to the Comision Nacional de Valores, the rating applies
to US$130 million of bonds called "Obligaciones Negociables
Simples no convertibles en acciones", which come due on September
16 this year. The rating also affects US$100 million of
"Obligaciones Negociables por U$S 100.000.000", with underclosed
maturity date. These two sets of bonds were classified under
"Simple Issue".

The same rating applies to US$100 million of bonds called
"Obligaciones negociables Clase A", classified under "Series and
or Class". This set's maturity date, however, was not indicated.


MANZURA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
------------------------------------------
Manzura S.A., which is based in Buenos Aires, enters bankruptcy
on orders from the city's Court No. 12. Clerk No. 24 assists the
court on the case, relates local news source Infobae.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Juan Jose Oscar Castronuovo, will
verify creditors' claims until March 30. Creditors must have
their claims authenticate to qualify for payments to be made
after the Company's assets are liquidated.

The individual reports on the verification results are due for
filing on May 11, followed by the general report on June 23. The
receiver will prepare the general reports after the individual
reports are processed at court.

CONTACT:  Juan Jose Oscar Castronuovo
          Presidente Peron 1509
          Buenos Aires


METCASA-METALURGICA: Individual Reports Filing Deadline Today
-------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 26 requires the receiver for local company
Metcasa-Metalurgica Callegari S.A. to file the individual reports
today. The receiver, Mr. Jorge Inafuku, prepared the reports
after the credit verification process was closed late last year.

According to an earlier article by the Troubled Company Reporter
- Latin America, the deadline for the general report is April 2.
The receiver will prepare this report after the individual
reports are processed at court.

The informative assembly, which is one of the last parts of the
reorganization process, will be held on September 7 next year.

CONTACT:  Jorge Inafuku
          Cerrito 1070
          Buenos Aires


METROGAS: $600M of Bonds Get `D(arg)' from Argentine Fitch
----------------------------------------------------------
Some US$600 million worth of Metrogas S.A.'s corporate bonds were
moved to default territory on Tuesday. Based on the Company's
finances as of September 30 last year, Fitch Argentina
Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. decided that the bonds deserve a
`D(arg)' rating, which applies to bonds that are in payment
default or whose obligor has filed for bankruptcy.

Argentine securities regulator Comision Nacional de Valores
described the affected bonds as "obligaciones negociables
simples". The bonds were classified under "Program", but their
maturity date was not indicated.


RAPIN: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
--------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 11 declared local company Rapin S.A.
"Quiebra", relates local news portal Infobae. The Company will
undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Jose Luis Abuchdid, a
local accountant, overseeing the proceedings as receiver.

Creditors are required to file their claims before April 16. The
receiver will examine and authenticate claims to ascertain the
nature and amount of the Company's debts.

Working with Clerk No. 21, the court requires the receiver to
file the individual reports on May 31. The general report, to be
prepared after the individual reports are processed, must be
submitted to the court on July 14.

CONTACT:  Jose Luis Abuchdid
          Tacuari 119
          Buenos Aires


SIDECO AMERICANA: Argentine Fitch Rates $200M of Bonds `D(arg)'
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A assigned on Tuesday
its `D(arg)' rating to bonds issued by Sideco America S.A.. The
rating, which applies to bonds that are in payment default or
whose obligor has filed for bankruptcy, was determined from the
Company's finances as of the end of September last year.

The Comision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's securities
regulator relates that the affected bonds, which matured in June
200, are called "Obligaciones Negociables". The bonds, worth a
total of US$200 million, are classified under "Program".


TRANSENER: National Grid Plans To Sell Citilec Stake
----------------------------------------------------
Disillusioned with frozen tariffs and the uncertain regulatory
framework in Argentina's energy sector, UK-based National Grid
Transco is mulling the sale of its 42.5% stake in local
transmission company Transener's holding company Citilec.

This was the information obtained by local news source Infobae
from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister Bill
Rammell, who came to visit Argentina on February 16.

According to Infobae, Dolphin Fund Management, which recently
bought a 7.5% stake in Transener, is interested, as are DyG and
HSBC.

Citilec's other shareholders are Petrobras Energia
Participaciones (42.5%) and IRHE Holdings (7.5%).

Brazilian state energy company Petrobras, the parent of Petrobras
Energia Participaciones, has agreed to sell its stake in
Transener at some point in the future as a condition of its
purchase of a 58.6% controlling stake in Transener's former owner
Perez Companc.

Transener is said to be battling with debts totaling US$250
million.


WIELING: Files "Concurso Preventivo" Petition at Court
------------------------------------------------------
Weiling S.A., which is based in Buenos Aires, seeks court
permission to undergo reorganization. A report by local newspaper
La Nacion indicates that the Company filed its "Concurso
Preventivo" petition at the city's Court No. 26. Clerk no. 52
works with the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Weiling S.A.
          Paseo Colon 1389
          Buenos Aires



=============
B E R M U D A
=============

GLOBAL CROSSING: Enhances IP Capabilities Throughout Asia
---------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) announced Wednesday that it has
strengthened its Asian network and service offering for customers
in North America, Latin America and Europe with the addition of
new facilities-based capabilities in key hubs throughout Asia. In
addition to ATM and Frame Relay services, the owned- and
operated-facilities will enable Global Crossing to offer a higher
quality of its enhanced IP VPN service and advanced IP
applications, including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), IP
Video, and other services to carriers and enterprises.

Global Crossing has deployed data communications equipment and
co-location facilities in Tokyo and Hong Kong, with Sydney and
Singapore to follow, enabling it to offer faster provisioning of
service and improved security while fully monitoring and
maintaining quality of service. In parallel, Global Crossing has
begun to deploy and activate an on-net IP-based data services
capability to ensure the continuity of its global IP offering,
complementing its seamless North American, Latin American and
European facilities-based network.

"Enhancing our capabilities in Asia has always been an important
part of our growth strategy, and we're proud to be moving forward
with on-net services in this dynamic region," said John Legere,
chief executive officer of Global Crossing. "Our ability to
provide customers with a full portfolio of global facilities-
based voice, data and IP services makes us unique in the
industry."

Asia is one of highest growth markets in the world for
telecommunications services. IDC, a market research firm for IT
and telecommunications, has forecasted a growth rate of
approximately 10 percent for telecom services in the Asian market
for 2004, with high levels of infrastructure investment projected
for China, India and other Asian countries.

A recent Yankee Group report on telecom trends for the enterprise
market in Asia/Pacific indicates that the proportion of
IP/Internet traffic to total network traffic in Asia is expected
to increase from 38 percent in 2003 to 42 percent in 2005, based
on survey data collected from multinational corporations with a
presence in five key countries including Australia, China, Hong
Kong, India and Japan. Establishing a presence in the Asian
region is becoming increasingly vital to large multinational
companies, whether as locations for key manufacturing and service
centers, or to gain proximity to these high-growth markets for
industrial and consumer goods.

Global Crossing has a reliable, resilient IP network, which
provides connectivity to more than 500 cities in more than 50
countries, and its IP network performance consistently operates
at 99.999 percent availability. Global Crossing has created a
secure IP-ready ecosystem based on a single autonomous system for
global commerce, ideally suited to applications that enable
companies to seamlessly interact with customers, employees, and
partners worldwide.

As Global Crossing continues to enhance its service offering and
network capabilities in Asia over the coming months, it will make
further announcements to support its ongoing commitment in the
region.

ABOUT GLOBAL CROSSING

Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) 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.

CONTACT:  GLOBAL CROSSING
          Press Contacts

          Tisha Kresler
          + 1 973-937-0146
          PR@globalcrossing.com

          Kendra Langlie
          Latin America
          + 1 305-808-5912
          LatAmPR@globalcrossing.com

          Mish Desmidt
          Europe
          + 44 (0) 7771-668438
          EuropePR@globalcrossing.com

          Analysts/Investors Contact
          Mitch Burd
          +1 800-836-0342
          glbc@globalcrossing.com

Web site: www.globalcrossing.com



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

AHOLD: To Close Brazilian Assets Sale In March
----------------------------------------------
Ahold Holding NV (AHO) is likely to announce the sale of its
flagship Brazilian supermarket chain and credit card business in
March, Dow Jones reports, citing people close to the matter.

The Dutch retailer is selling Bompreco - Brazil's third-biggest
supermarkets group - to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), and its
HiperCard business to Unibanco-Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA
(UBB), Brazil's third-biggest private-sector bank.

Ahold, which is expected to raise up to US$500 million from the
sale of its assets in Brazil to help pay off a debt of EUR11
billion, is also looking to sell its other supermarket chain
G.Barbosa to another buyer.

According to people close to sale process, Brazil's largest
supermarkets group, Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao SA
(CBD), which confirmed Wednesday it was no longer in the running
to buy Bompreco, is currently analyzing the possibility of
acquiring G.Barbosa.

Initially, Ahold tried to sell G.Barbosa to Wal-Mart, however,
regulatory restrictions prevented such a possibility.


BRASKEM: Fourth-Quarter Results Do Not Affect Ratings, Says S&P
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Wednesday that the
ratings and outlook assigned to Braskem S.A. (Braskem; FC:
B+/Positive/--; LC: BB-/Stable/--) are not affected by the
announcement of the company's results in fourth-quarter 2003.
Although domestic market conditions have been improving, Braskem
still faced a challenging operating environment and naphtha cost
pressures (its main feedstock) in the quarter. On the other hand,
price increases have allowed the company to sustain operating
profitability. Exposure to short-term debt was still high as the
company compensated for a decline in trade payables with
additional short-term bank debt. Nevertheless, important long-
term loans closed in the beginning of this year to stretch debt
duration and resolve near-term refinancing risk were not booked
as of December 2003. Therefore, Braskem is expected to report
significant liquidity improvements (a reduction in short-term
debt and increase in cash reserves) by March 2004.

Prospects for the Brazilian economy are gradually improving,
which may also help the company increase profitable domestic
sales. Nevertheless, feedstock cost will remain a key
constraining factor to the company's profitability in the near
term. As naphtha has averaged more than $300/ton in January-
February 2004, the EBITDA margin is not expected to be above
current levels in first-quarter 2004. Braskem's ability to handle
these cost pressures by passing them on to the market is
essential for it to sustain and eventually increase cash
generation in 2004, to face its debt service. Braskem reported
total debt of $2.5 billion as of December 2003.

ANALYST:  Reginaldo Takara
          Sao Paulo
          Phone: (55) 11-5501-8932


CFLCL: Court Ruling May Put End To Shareholders' Clash
------------------------------------------------------
Expectations are high that a recent ruling issued by a Brazilian
court favoring preferred stock holders in Minas Gerais state-
based utility CFLCL could pave the way for an agreement to end
the conflict between shareholders, says Business News Americas.

On Feb. 13, the court issued a ruling that reinstated a previous
injunction that granted preferred stock holders voting rights,
and also suspended the distribution of dividends, determining
that the dividends should be deposited in an escrow account.

Sources said that the new ruling has made new talks possible,
although there has been no progress so far.

The conflict between CFLCL's shareholders heated up in December,
when the local Botelho family that controls CFLCL pushed through
a byelaw change allowing CFLCL to borrow money to pay a dividend.

Minority shareholders, the largest of which are US investment
fund FondElec and US utility Alliant Energy, went against the
byelaw change and, FondElec took the Botelhos to court.

FondElec also wants the utility's managing board replaced and
called a shareholders' meeting for Wednesday (Feb.18). However,
the CFLCL managing board suspended the meeting, claiming
"unanimous" shareholder agreement to do so.

The board is meeting Wednesday to decide whether a new meeting
will be called, a CFLCL management spokesperson said.


PARMALAT BRASIL: Congress To Look Deeper Into Business Dealings
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian lawmakers got enough backing for a deeper look into the
local business dealings of Italian food group Parmalat, says
Reuters.

A group of Brazilian legislators was able to collect enough
signatures in both the lower and upper houses of Congress to
launch what is known as a parliamentary committee of inquiry, or
CPI, into Parmalat's activities in Brazil.

A CPI gives lawmakers the ability to review phone, tax and
banking records of those under suspicion.

"You have the ability to have a much more comprehensive
investigation with a CPI," Congressman Waldemir Moka, who lead a
separate special commission probing Parmalat, said. "When you
need to check on fraud, or investigate the laundering of money,
you need a CPI because a special commission doesn't have those
powers."

The bicameral investigation, which awaits approval from
Congressional leaders, would be just the latest turn in
Parmalat's worsening fate in Brazil, one of its biggest
operations outside of Italy.

Police are also investigating the dairy company's activities in
Brazil and a state judge placed its main operating unit, Parmalat
Brasil Industria de Alimentos, under a court-controlled
administrator.

Parmalat Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection last month in a
bid to head off lawsuits from angry creditors, which include
Banco Sumitomo Mitsui Brasileiro, state-run Banco do Brasil,
Citigroup, Bank of America Corp. and Standard Chartered Plc.


PARMALAT BRASIL: Parent May Take Legal Action Against Sumitomo
--------------------------------------------------------------
Parmalat Finanziaria SpA threatened to sue Japanese bank Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corp. if its subsidiary in Brazil collapses, says
Dow Jones.

In a letter to Sumitomo Mitsui, Parmalat administrator Enrico
Bondi said: "Parmalat Finanziaria SpA and Parmalat SpA will hold
Banco Sumitomo Mitsui responsible for any damages caused to the
subsidiary and its creditors by the management which has been
empowered to act pursuant your request."

The note, according to the report, was provided by lawyers
representing Parmalat in Brazil, who said that it had been faxed
from Italy to Sumitomo Wednesday.

Sumitomo is one of Parmalat's creditors in Brazil with at least
US$10 million in unpaid loans. The Japanese bank won a court
injunction in mid-January blocking Parmalat Brasil from selling
any businesses or transferring funds abroad. It was also at
Sumitomo Mitsui's request that a Sao Paulo judge appointed an
administrator to take over Parmalat's operations in Brazil.


PARMALAT BRASIL: BNDES Won't Extend Financial Aid
-------------------------------------------------
Parmalat Brasil Industria de Alimentos, which was forced to stop
paying suppliers in mid-December due to lack of funds, can't
expect financial help from Brazil's state-run development bank,
the BNDES, Reuters indicates.

BNDES said Tuesday it would not give "one cent" to help Italian
Parmalat's ailing subsidiary in the South American country.
However, the bank said it might help dairy cooperatives if they
end up taking control of Parmalat Brasil.

"The BNDES will not lend one cent to Parmalat," the bank's
president, Carlos Lessa, told reporters. "But if a cooperative
takes control of the company it can come and talk to us. "We're
not going to let the milk industry collapse."

The scandal surrounding its parent company has cut the Brazilian
subsidiary, which accounts for a sixth of Parmalat's global
workforce, off from financing it needs to keep its loss-making
operations afloat. Besides suspending payment to suppliers, it
has had to ratchet down operations for lack of materials.



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

CTR: SR Telecom Restructures Debt Repayment
-------------------------------------------
SR TelecomT Inc. (TSX: SRX; Nasdaq: SRXA) announced Wednesday
that it has reached an agreement with the lenders of
Communicacion y Telefonia Rural, S.A. (CTR), its service provider
subsidiary in Chile.

The waiver provides for a deferral, from one of the lenders, of
principal repayments due in 2004, and extends such repayment of
principal to 2008. Consequently, the payments due to CTR's
lenders in 2004 have been reduced from US$9.0 million to US$5.5
million. This enables CTR to expand its network and continue its
marketing initiatives to further improve its financial
performance.

"There are a number of ongoing positive developments at CTR, and
this waiver will help our subsidiary focus on its financial and
operational targets," said David Adams, SR Telecom's Senior Vice-
President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. "We are gratified
that our lenders continue to show their support for the Company.
The reduction in the principal repayments due in 2004 will enable
us to aggressively pursue our urban deployment initiatives in
Chile."

About SR Telecom

SR TELECOM (TSX: SRX, Nasdaq: SRXA) is a world leader and
innovator in Fixed Wireless Access technology, which links end-
users to networks using wireless transmissions. SR Telecom's
solutions include equipment, network planning, project
management, installation and maintenance services. The Company
offers one of the industry's broadest portfolios of fixed
wireless products, designed to enable carriers and service
providers to rapidly deploy high-quality voice, high-speed data
and broadband applications. These products, which are used in
over 120 countries, are among the most advanced and reliable
available today.


PARMALAT CHILE: Attracts Another Potential Buyer
------------------------------------------------
Another investor has joined the race in acquiring the Chilean
assets of Parmalat, reports El Mercurio. Besides Chilean holding
company Bethia, Danish-Swedish dairy group Arla Foods is also
looking to buy Parmalat's local assets. According to the report,
Arla has already sent representatives to Latin America to examine
Parmalat's assets.

Parmalat in Chile has accumulated a debt of more than CLP1.1
billion (US$1.9 million), Troubled Company Reporter - Latin
America said in an earlier report.



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

TERMOEMCALI: Funding Rating Affirmed; Outlook Negative
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'CC' rating on
TermoEmcali Funding Corp.'s US$165 million senior secured notes.
The outlook is negative.

"The negative outlook reflects the expectation for continued
deterioration of TermoEmcali's ability to repay its debt
considering that the project's offtaker, Empresas Municipales de
Cali (Emcali), defaulted on its payment and TermoEmcali's debt
reserve fund is almost depleted," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst David Gonzalez.

TermoEmcali's credit quality is closely tied to Emcali's
creditworthiness, the project offtaker, which defaulted on its
financial obligations in 2003. TermoEmcali's almost depleted debt
service reserve LOC, currently at US$2.3 million, is not
sufficient to cover the next debt service payment of US$5.06
million due in March 2004.

Furthermore, TermoEmcali faces high fixed costs related to the
plant's low dispatch level and increasing major maintenance.

Offsetting these factors is the memo of understanding and the
current negotiation of a new energy purchase agreement with
Emcali that would amend the current power purchase agreement.

TermoEmcali is the owner of a 234 MW combined-cycle, natural-gas-
fired power generation facility that sells capacity and energy to
Emcali under a PPA.

Emcali is a Colombian municipal utility that provides diversified
services to two million inhabitants in and around Santiago de
Cali.

ANALYST:  David Gonzalez
          Mexico City
          Phone: (52) 55-5081-4462

          Santiago Carniado
          Mexico City
          Phone: (52) 55-5081-4413



===============
H O N D U R A S
===============

* IMF Approves 3-Yr. $107.6M Poverty Reduction for Honduras
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
approved in principle Wednesday a three-year, SDR 71.2 million
(about US$107.6 million) Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility
(PRGF) arrangement for Honduras to support the government's
economic program. The decision will become effective upon a
further decision following the World Bank's Executive Board
review of Honduras' Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP),
which is scheduled for February 26, 2004. At that time, Honduras
will be entitled to the release of SDR 10.17 million (about
US$15.4 million). In addition, the Executive Board approved
Wednesday SDR 4.3 million (about US$6.5 million) for Honduras in
additional interim assistance under the enhanced Heavily Indebted
Poor Countries Initiative.

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

Following the Executive Board's discussion on Honduras, Agustˇn
Carstens, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman, said:

"Honduras' new three-year PRGF-supported economic program has
been developed through a process of social consultation and
collaboration, in recognition that broad public support for the
program is crucial to its success. In line with the PRSP, the
overriding objectives of the program are to alleviate poverty and
move the economy to a path of higher economic growth and lower
inflation.

"To achieve these objectives, the authorities are committed to
pursuing prudent macroeconomic policies and stepping up the
implementation of structural reforms. Measures crucial to achieve
the fiscal objectives of the program have already been taken. The
program is based on private sector-led growth, with the public
sector playing a supportive role by reallocating resources toward
infrastructure and the social sectors and developing more
transparent institutions. It envisages, among other things, a
strengthening of the public finances, a far-reaching financial
system reform, and improvements in governance. Particularly
important will be the reform of the public sector wage policy
framework, which is essential to control the wage bill, and other
measures to ensure that the fiscal targets for 2004 are achieved.

"Notwithstanding its strengths, Honduras' program faces important
challenges-in particular, the approaching presidential elections,
the limited implementation capacity, the vulnerability to
external shocks, and the fragility of the financial system. The
medium-term program addresses these challenges by establishing a
clear framework for the sustained implementation of prudent
macroeconomic policies and structural reforms. It will be
important for the success of the program to deepen the broad
political and social consensus that has underpinned the poverty
reduction strategy. This is most likely to be achieved by further
strengthening transparency and governance in public sector
operations and by extending the national consultation process,"
Mr. Carstens stated.

Background

During the period 1998-2002, Honduras' macroeconomic performance
was particularly affected by adverse external shocks, and social
conditions remained depressed. In 2003, despite some improvement
in macroeconomic indicators, economic and financial conditions
remained difficult. Growth picked up moderately to slightly more
than 3 percent, led by construction, tourism, and the re-export
industry. Inflation slowed slightly to 6_ percent, despite higher
world oil prices. The external position weakened further. The
current account deficit widened to an estimated 5¬ percent of
GDP, reflecting higher oil prices and buoyant imports related to
investment in the leading sectors. The debt burden remained
heavy, with total public debt amounting to 72 percent of GDP at
the end of 2003, and the combined public sector deficit widened
to 4« percent of GDP in 2003.

Program summary

The main objectives of Honduras' 2004-2006 economic program are
to reduce poverty by reactivating the poverty-reduction strategy,
and to strengthen growth by reversing the financial
deterioration, implementing important structural reforms,
supporting investment, and fostering trade liberalization.

Under the program, annual growth is expected to raise gradually
from an estimated 3.2 percent in 2003 to 4« percent in 2006-2008.
The main pillars of the authorities' growth strategy are: a
revival of private investment as key sectors are opened to
private participation; complementary public investment in
infrastructure; participation in regional free trade agreements,
notably CAFTA; regulatory and other reforms to meet the goals of
the National Competitiveness Plan; and governance, judicial, and
political reforms.

Fiscal adjustment under the program is designed to lower the
deficit to a level that can be financed by projected concessional
external support and, with HIPC debt relief, is expected to
achieve medium-term fiscal sustainability. The combined public
sector deficit is targeted to decline from an estimated 4«
percent of GDP in 2003 to 1_ percent of GDP in 2006.

Spending will be reoriented to achieve a recovery of public
investment. The PRSP envisages an increase of 0.6 percent of GDP
in anti-poverty spending in 2004, and equivalent increases in
2005 and 2006.

Monetary and exchange rate policies will aim at gradually
reducing inflation to the level of Honduras' main trading
partners, within the context of the existing crawling band
exchange rate arrangement.

On the structural reform agenda, the authorities see the
financial reform as imperative to address the fragilities of the
banking system, and see governance reforms as a vital element in
responding to current social concerns and uncertainties about the
future. In the financial sector, the government has begun a
comprehensive reform program, designed to strengthen central bank
functions, prudential regulations and supervision; improve the
financial safety net; and fight financial crime. On governance,
the government has already begun political and judicial reforms
and is working to enhance fiscal transparency.

Honduras is an original member of the IMF. Its quota is SDR 129.5
million (about US$195.8 million), and its outstanding use of IMF
credit currently totals SDR 114.40 million (about US$172.9
million).



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

DESC: Shares Soar On Announcement of Share Offer
------------------------------------------------
DESC, S.A. de C.V.'s (NYSE: DES; BMV: DESC) issued an
announcement earlier this week that it will offer stock to cut
its overwhelming debt led to a rally on the Mexican holding
company's shares on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, DESC's most-liquid "B" shares ended 2.25%
stronger at MXN4.99, back from an intraday high of MXN5.70.

In New York on Wednesday, the Company's American Depositary
Receipts rallied 18.19% to US$9.16 in above-average volume of
72,000 shares.

DESC, a maker of autoparts, chemicals and consumer goods,
revealed a plan late Tuesday that it will boost its capital by
about US$248 million by issuing some 913 million shares of common
stock. It said the proposed offer would allow shareholders to buy
2 new shares for every 3 common shares they currently hold at a
price of 3 pesos each.

The Company said in January it reached a deal with creditors to
restructure about US$720 million in debt, or about 70% of the
Company's total consolidated debt.

DESC said on Tuesday its share offer is not open to investors
outside of Mexico.

DESC said it reached a deal with financial group Inbursa, owned
by Slim, under which DESC will be obliged to offer Inbursa up to
MXN2 billion ($183 million) of shares at the price of MXN3 per
share if its own shareholders do not take part in the stock
offer.

DESC will also propose to convert all its Series C shares into
Series B shares in a move to boost the stock liquidity. If the
plan is approved, DESC's capital stock would be represented by
only two series of shares, "A" and "B".

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


INDUSTRIAS PENOLES: Ratings on CreditWatch Negative
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'BBB-' long-term
corporate credit rating on Industrias Penoles S.A. de C.V. on
CreditWatch with negative implications.

The CreditWatch listing of Penoles reflects Standard & Poor's
concerns about the continued weakness in the issuer's financial
performance, which has not been adequate for its current rating
category. Despite the improvement in metal prices during recent
months, Standard & Poor's is also concerned about the potential
impact of Penoles' intense capital expenditure program, which
will be partially debt financed, on its financial profile.
Standard & Poor's expects to review the company's strategy and
projections in the next couple of weeks to resolve the
CreditWatch listing. "The ratings on Penoles may either be
affirmed or lowered, but not by more than one notch," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Juan P. Becerra.

ANALYST:  Juan P Becerra
          Mexico City
          Phone: (52) 55-5081-4416


PARMALAT DE MEXICO: Struggles To Negotiate With Citigroup
---------------------------------------------------------
Parmalat de Mexico said it may suspend operations if it does not
get by Monday the money that has been frozen by U.S.-based
financial giant Citigroup.

Reuters recalls that Citigroup, via its Mexican arm Banamex,
froze the accounts of Parmalat de Mexico last week, putting the
survival of the Mexican subsidiary at great risk.

Hugo A. Lara, general director of Parmalat de Mexico, told
Reuters on Wednesday that the Company, along with its parent in
Italy, is working to reach an agreement with Citigroup.

"We have to reach a deal between today and Monday," Lara said in
an interview. "There is risk of halting operations if we don't
get the money by then."

He said Parmalat de Mexico missed payments to all 40 of its local
dairy farm suppliers on Tuesday, and many of them have stopped
supplying its Mexican plant.

The Mexico unit sells milk, juices and flavored dairy products.
It buys about 200,000 liters of milk a day, but Lara said
supplies have dropped to about 50,000 liters a day since
Saturday. He said inventories are low and if the Company cannot
free up the frozen bank accounts, it would have no more than one
week of inventory by next Monday.



=======
P E R U
=======

MINERA VOLCAN: Posts Lower Net Loss in 2003
-------------------------------------------
Minera Volcan, Peru's second-largest zinc producer, reported a
net loss of PEN24 million (US$6.9 million) for 2003, from a loss
of PEN42.9 million in the previous year, Business News Americas
reports.

The loss, according to a filing with the Lima stock, came despite
a PEN16.7-million (US$4.8 million) net profit for the fourth
quarter of 2003.

The Company reported sales revenues of PEN551 million in 2003,
slightly higher than the PEN537 million in 2002.

International zinc prices have improved by 28% since the end of
2002 to US$0.5025/lb, from US$0.3935/lb.

Minera Volcan's main shareholders are Roberto Letts Colmenares
(35%) and West Merchant Bank Ltd. (10%).

CONTACT:  COMPANIA MINERA VOLCAN
          Av Gregorio Escobedo
          710 Jesus Mara
          Lima, Peru
          Tel: +51 1 219-4000
          Fax: +51 1 261-9716
          Contact:
          Mr. FMG Sayan (Francisco), Chairperson



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

* Uruguay Subscribes to IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay has become the 56th subscriber to the International
Monetary Fund's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS),
marking a major step forward in the development of the country's
statistical system and underscoring its commitment to
transparency. The Uruguayan authorities view subscription as the
culmination of many initiatives to improve their data
dissemination practices. Uruguay is the 10th country in Latin
America to subscribe to the SDDS, and the third country of the
South Common Market (MERCOSUR) after Argentina and Brazil.

The SDDS, which was established by the IMF in March 1996, is
intended to guide members in the provision of their economic and
financial data to the public. Subscription to the SDDS is
expected to enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive
statistics and thereby contribute to the pursuit of sound
macroeconomic policies and the improved functioning of financial
markets. The SDDS identifies four dimensions of data
dissemination-the data: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness;
access by the public; the integrity of the disseminated data; and
the quality of the disseminated data. Although subscription is
voluntary, a subscribing member commits to observe the standard
and to provide information (metadata) to the IMF about its data
dissemination practices. This information is made publicly
available on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board's
(DSBB).

Since a statistical assessment mission in November 1999, Uruguay
has made significant progress to bring its official statistics in
line with international standards. This progress has been
supported by IMF technical assistance missions and the completion
of a data module of the Report on the Observance of Standards and
Codes.

CONTACT:  INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
          Public Affairs: 202-623-7300 - Fax: 202-623-6278
          Media Relations: 202-623-7100 - Fax: 202-623-6772




               ***********


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
G. Oyangoren, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


* * * End of Transmission * * *