TCRLA_Public/040401.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, April 1, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 65

                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

CLINICA MODELO: Court Approves Petition to Reorganize
DOSO: Awaits Court Ruling on Reorganization Petition
EMPRESA ARGENTINA: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
FRIGORIFICO BLOCK: Court Decrees Company Bankrupt
HR CONSTRUCCIONES: Reorganization Authorized, Claims Check Next

IRSA: DEESA Acquires 100 Hectares of Land for $4M
MULTIOBRAS: Court Declares Bankruptcy, Assigns Receiver
SANCOR: Commences Debt Restructuring Offer
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Notice Of Call of the AGM Set for April 29


B R A Z I L

AES SUL: Contemplates Debt Renegotiation
AES URUGUAIANA: Debt With Repsol Mounts to $31M Debt
ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Georgia-Pacific to Sell Indirect Interest
COPEL: Reports 12.1% Increase in Net Revenues in 2003
EMBRATEL: Telmex-Calais Showdown Set in Brazilian Senate

PARMALAT BRASIL: Takes Back Partial Control of Brazil Unit
SABESP: 2003 YE Results Indicate Financial Health Restored
TAM: Reports Record Profit for FY 2003
*Brazil - Updates IMF With Progress Report


C H I L E

ENERSIS: Faster Energy Growth Expected in South America


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANINTER: DR Sues Former Ambassador for Masterminding Bank Fraud


J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Loss Widens, Restructuring Progresses Slowly


M E X I C O

TFM: KCS to Seek Renewed Authority From FCC


P E R U

PAN AMERICAN: Encourages Outstanding Debenture Conversions


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Plans to Send Supply To Oil-Strapped Argentina
PDVSA: OPIC Cancels Deals Over Arbitration


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

CLINICA MODELO: Court Approves Petition to Reorganize
-----------------------------------------------------
Clinica Modelo Laferrere SA is officially authorized to undergo
a court-approved reorganization process after Court No. 18
approved the Company's "Concurso Preventivo" petition, reports
La Nacion. The court assisted by Dr. Vivono, Clerk No. 36,
assigned Estudio Picado, Levy, De Angelis y Asociados as
receiver, who will oversee the reorganization process.

Creditors must submit their proofs of claims to the receiver
before May 12, 2004 for authentication. Verifications are done
to ascertain the nature and amount of the Company's debts. The
receiver will also prepare the individual and general reports on
the case.

CONTACT:  Clinica Modelo Laferrere SA
          Desaguadero 3535

          Estudio Picado, Levy, De Angelis y Asociados, Receiver
          Bernardo de Irigoyen 330, 2o "36"


DOSO: Awaits Court Ruling on Reorganization Petition
----------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires company Doso S.R.L., which stopped paying its debts
since May 2003, filed a petition to reorganize, says La Nacion.
The Company's case is now pending before Court No. 5, which is
assisted by Clerk No. 10, Dr. Pole Olivera.

CONTACT:  Doso S.R.L.
          Viamonte 1592
          Buenos Aires


EMPRESA ARGENTINA: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Gutierrez Cabello of Buenos Aires Court No. 7 is now
analyzing whether to grant Empresa Argentina de Construcciones
S.A. approval for its petition to reorganize. La Nacion recalls
that the construction company filed a "Concurso Preventivo"
petition following cessation of debt payments in February this
year. Clerk No. 14, Dr. Giardinieri, is assisting the court on
the Company's case.

CONTACT:  Empresa Argentina de Construcciones S.A.
          Esmeralda 847
          Buenos Aires


FRIGORIFICO BLOCK: Court Decrees Company Bankrupt
-------------------------------------------------
Frigorifico Block S.A. is now "Quiebra" - meaning, bankrupt.
Buenos Aires Court No. 20 decreed the Company's bankruptcy on
Friday, March 26, 2004 and appointed Ms. Maria Elena Mercante as
receiver for the Company.

Ms. Mercante will be reviewing creditors claims until May 12,
2004. After reviewing the claims, she will present these claims
to court on June 25, 2004 through individual reports. After
presenting these reports to court, she will then prepare the
general report and submit it to court on August 24, 2004.

Liquidation of the Company's assets to repay creditors will
culminate the bankruptcy process.

CONTACT:  Frigorifico Block S.A.
          Murguiondo 1846
          Buenos Aires

          Maria Elena Mercante
          Uruguay 772
          Buenos Aires


HR CONSTRUCCIONES: Reorganization Authorized, Claims Check Next
---------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 18 authorized local company HR
Construcciones Navales S.R.L. to start its reorganization
process. According to Infobae, the court, which is assisted by
Clerk No. 35, granted the Company's "Concurso Preventivo"
motion, appointing Walter Arturo Calleja as receiver.

Creditors have until May 4, 2004 to submit their proofs of
claims to the receiver, who will verify these claims and submit
them to court as individual reports on June 16, 2004. After
these reports are processed in court, the receiver will prepare
the general report and submit it to the court August 12, 2004.

The informative assembly, the last stage of a reorganization
process, will be held on February 16, 2005.

CONTACT:  Walter Arturo Calleja, Receiver
          Lambare 1140
          Buenos Aires


IRSA: DEESA Acquires 100 Hectares of Land for $4M
-------------------------------------------------
IRSA-Inversiones y Representaciones SA (IRS), a leading
Argentine real-estate developer, announced late Monday that it
sold 100 hectares of land in Buenos Aires province for US$4
million, Dow Jones reports. In a statement to the local bourse,
IRSA said the transaction is the exercise of an option within an
agreement between Argentine developer DEESA and one of IRSA's
subsidiaries, Inversora Bolivar SA, or IBSA. DEESA has now
acquired 100 hectares of land located 25 kilometers north of the
capital city. In exchange, IBSA will receive $979,537 in cash
and $3.463 million worth of land.

IRSA is Argentina's largest, most well-diversified real estate
company, and it is the only company within the industry with
shares listed on the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and The
New York Stock Exchange. Through its subsidiaries, IRSA manages
an expanding top portfolio of shopping centers and office
buildings, primarily in Buenos Aires. The company also develops
residential subdivisions and apartments (specializing in high-
rises and loft- style conversions) and owns three luxury hotels.
Its solid, diversified portfolio of properties has established
the Company as the leader in the sector in which it
participates, making it the best vehicle to access the Argentine
real estate market.

CONTACT:  Alejandro Elsztain -- Director
          Tel: +011-(5411)-4344-4636
          Email: finanzas@irsa.com.ar
          URL: www.irsa.com.ar


MULTIOBRAS: Court Declares Bankruptcy, Assigns Receiver
-------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 14 ordered local company Multiobras
I.C.S.A. S.A.I.C.I. to undergo bankruptcy. In this light, the
court, with the aid of Clerk No. 28, named Ms. Susana Graciela
Marino as receiver, who will oversee the bankruptcy process.

Ms. Marino will review and verify creditors' claims until May
31, 2004. Analyzing these claims is important because the
outcome of the process will determine the amount each creditor
will get after all the assets of the Company will be liquidated.

Individual reports as well as the general report must be in the
hands of the Judge handling the case before August 2, 2004 and
September 14, 2004, respectively.

CONTACT:  Susana Graciela Marino, Receiver
          Uruguay 560
          Buenos Aires


SANCOR: Commences Debt Restructuring Offer
------------------------------------------
Argentine dairy concern SanCor launched an offer to restructure
US$162 million in debt to banks. The offer is tied to a business
plan destined to raise sales by 20% this year, obtaining
resources to repay debt.

SanCor's top executives, headed by Miguel Omar Altuna, met with
the Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna last Tuesday to inform him
of the business plan that would enable the Company to obtain
cash to resume payments. State-owned bank Banco Nacion is
SanCor's main creditor and Lavagna had promised to support the
Company in its talks with the bank.

A source in the Economy Ministry told business daily Infobae
that SanCor's restructuring offer is based on the Company's real
payment possibilities.

SanCor proposes to settle its debt within 8 years, including a
2-year grace period. Payments will gradually increase from the
third year to the end and the Company offers to cancel US$30
million in a sole payment during the last year.

As part of its business plan, SanCor plans to increase its
purchases of milk in order to gain market share in the domestic
market and to place its products in other markets apart from
Brazil.

This growth would not have extra costs for the Company, since it
has capacity to process more milk.

The debt offer and the business plan were announced to creditors
November 13, but the recent meeting with Lavagna is expected to
speed up the terms and it was said the agreement would be close.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Notice Of Call of the AGM Set for April 29
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Amadeo Ramon Vazquez outlines Telecom Argentina's intent to
set a date for the Shareholders' Meeting that will deal with the
documentation related to the 15th fiscal year, as well as the
Agenda.

The Board of Directors unanimously resolved to call the
shareholders to an Annual General Shareholders' Meeting, to be
held on April 29, 2004, at 10:00 a.m., in first summons, and at
11:00 a.m. in second summons, at the corporate registered
offices located at Avda. Alicia Moreau de Justo No 50, Planta
Baja, Capital Federal, to consider the following:

AGENDA

1)  Appointment of two shareholders to approve and sign the
Minutes.

2)  Consideration of the documents provided for in section 234,
subsection 1, of Law 19,550, the Rules of the Comision Nacional
de Valores and the Listing Regulations of the Buenos Aires Stock
Exchange and of the accounting documents in English required by
the US Securities & Exchange Commission regulation,
corresponding to the fifteenth fiscal year ended December 31,
2003.

3)  Consideration of the results of the year and of the Board
proposal to carry over to the new fiscal year the full negative
balance arising from unappropriated retained earnings as of
December 31, 2003.

4)  Consideration of the performance of the Board of Directors
and of the Supervisory Committee acting during the fifteenth
fiscal year.

5)  Consideration of the compensation to the Board ($1,325,950 -
allocated amount) corresponding to the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2003, which resulted in a computable loss in the
terms of the Rules of the Comision Nacional de Valores.

6) Authorization of the Board of Directors to make advances of
fees established by the Shareholders' Meeting, to the directors
that qualify during the sixteenth fiscal year as "independent
directors" or carry out technical-administrative duties or act
in special committees, ad-referendum of the decision made by the
shareholders' meeting considering the documents of such year.

7) Fees of the Supervisory Committee.

8) Determination of the number of directors and alternate
directors to hold office during the sixteenth fiscal year.

9) Appointment of directors and alternate directors to hold
office during the sixteenth fiscal year.

10) Appointment of members and alternate members of the
Supervisory Committee for the sixteenth fiscal year.

11) Appointment of independent auditors of the financial
statements corresponding to the sixteenth fiscal year and
determination of their compensation as well as that
corresponding to those acting during the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2003.

12) Consideration of the budget for the Audit Committee for the
fiscal year 2004.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Note  1 : To attend the Shareholders' Meeting book-entry share
certificates issued to such effect by Caja de Valores S.A.
should be deposited until three business days prior to the
stated date at Avda. Alicia Moreau de Justo No. 50, piso 13,
Capital Federal, from 10 to 12 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m. The
term expires on April 23, 2004 at 5 p.m.

Note  2 : All the documents to be dealt with at the
Shareholders' Meeting, including the Board's proposals in
respect of the issues to be considered, may be consulted on
Telecom Argentina's web page: www.telecom.com.ar .
Notwithstanding the foregoing, printed copies of such documents
may be obtained at the place and time stated in the above Note.

Note  3 : Those registering to participate in the Shareholders'
Meeting as custodians or managers of third party shareholdings
are reminded that they should meet the requirements of Item II.9
of the CNV Rules to be eligible to vote in dissent.

Note  4 : Given the reporting requirement that the Comision
Nacional de Valores has made to the Company, legal persons
organized abroad should prove, at the time of registering to
take part in the Shareholders' Meeting, the data of their
registration in the country (sections 118 or 123 of Law 19,550).

Note  5: Shareholders are asked to appear at least 15 minutes
prior to the time scheduled for beginning of the Shareholders'
Meeting to give evidence of their powers and sign the Record of
Attendance.

BOARD PROPOSALS ON THE ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH BY THE
SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING.

The Chairman stated that that section 71 (added by Decree No.
677/01) of Law 17,811 establishes that, 20 days prior to the
holding of Shareholders' Meetings, the Board of Directors should
make available to shareholders the relevant information related
to the shareholders' meeting "and the Board proposals" . As a
result, the Board of Directors should make a proposal in respect
of the resolutions to be passed by the Shareholders' Meeting in
each item of the Agenda.

Based on the aforementioned, the Board of Directors unanimously
resolved to make the following proposals to the shareholders in
respect of the issues to be considered by the Annual
Shareholders' Meeting called to be held on April 29, 2004:

Item One : It was proposed to appointment two shareholders (or
shareholder representatives) who registered the greatest number
of shares to participate in the Shareholders' Meeting.

Item Two : It was proposed to approve the documents pertaining
to the fiscal year closed on December 31, 2003 (Annual Report,
Summary Information, Report as per section 68 of the Listing
Regulations of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the Financial
Statements, the Supervisory Committee's Report and other year
documents, including the documents in English required by the
Securities & Exchange Committee) as submitted and approved by
the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Committee.

Item Three : It was proposed to approve to carry over to the new
fiscal the aggregate unappropriated retained (negative) earnings
as of December 31, 2003.

Item Four : The Shareholders' Meeting should consider the
performance of the members of the Board of Directors and of the
Supervisory Committee acting during the fiscal year closed on
December 31, 2003.

Item Five : It was proposed to allocate to the Board of
Directors acting during fiscal year 2003 a total compensation of
$1,325,950 to be distributed among independent directors or
those acting in special committees, as agreed by the Board of
Directors.

Item Six: It was proposed that the Shareholders' Meeting should
authorize the Board of Directors to make advances for up to a
lump sum of $1,800,000 to the directors acting as "independent
directors" or performing technical-administrative duties or
acting in special committees during the fiscal year to be closed
on December 31, 2004, authorizing the Board of Directors to
increase such amount in case of inflation.

Item Seven : It was proposed to approve of a total compensation
of $170,000 to be distributed among the members of the
Supervisory Committee, as they agree.

Item Eight : It was proposed to set the number of directors in
six (6) and the number of alternate directors in six (6), to
hold office during the fiscal year to be closed on December 31,
2004.

Items Nine and Ten : The Board of Directors abstained from
making a proposal in respect of these items and reminded that
the shareholders proposing the appointment of directors and
members of the Supervisory Committee should inform the
Shareholders' Meeting if they qualify as "independent" or "non-
independent" as per the criteria established by the Comisi>n
Nacional de Valores. In addition, the Board of Directors
reminded the shareholders that of all the directors to be
appointed, at least two should qualify as "independent".

Item Eleven: Last year, the Board of Directors proposed that the
shareholders' meeting appoint two firms of independent auditors
for the fiscal year 2003 in view of the crisis then prevailing
in the country and given the suspension of the payment of the
Company's financial debt. This year, as the macroeconomic
situation and the debt renegotiations tends to normalise, the
Temporary Audit Commission recommended that the Board of
Directors propose that the shareholders' meeting appoint one
firm of independent auditors for cost savings and administrative
organization reasons. Additionally, given the legal restrictions
imposed on firms of independent auditors as to certain services,
the other firm that acted during fiscal year 2003 could
eventually render consulting and similar services without it
being affected by such restrictions. Therefore, based on the
recommendation made by the Temporary Audit Commission, the Board
of Directors proposed that "Price Waterhouse & Co." be appointed
as the Company's Independent Auditors for the fiscal year to be
closed on December 23, 2004. In addition, it was proposed that
their compensation be established by the Shareholders' Meeting
considering the documents of the fiscal year to be closed on
December 31, 2004, with powers being delegated to the Audit
Committee to establish service provision modalities and to make
advances of fees, once it has been formed. As to the
compensation for the audit services of the financial statements
provided by the Independent Auditors acting during the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2003, it was proposed that the lump and
joint sum for the two firms performing such duties be
established in $730,000 (VAT excluded).

Item Twelve : As required by section 15 of Decree No. 677/01, it
was proposed to shareholders to establish the budget for
operation of the Audit Committee for the fiscal year to be
closed on December 31, 2004, in the sum of $500,000.

CONTACT:  TELECOM ARGENTINA S.A.
          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Republica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page: http://www.telecom.com.ar

          Contacts:
          Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109
          E-mail: inversores@intersrv.telecom.com.ar


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

AES SUL: Contemplates Debt Renegotiation
----------------------------------------
Pedro Schmidt, commercial director of AES Sul Distribuidora de
Energia SA, said that the Brazilian power distributor plans to
renegotiate US$805 million in debt, Bloomberg News reports,
citing Valor Economico. The debt is the largest owed by AES Sul
and is held by five international banks, whose names were not
identified.

The restructuring of AES Sul's debts is necessary for it to be
incorporated into a new company called Brasiliana Energia, which
will be 49.9% controlled by Brazil's development bank, known as
BNDES, and 50.1 percent owned by AES, the paper cited Schmidt as
saying. BNDES has 18 months to decide if the unit will be
brought into Brasiliana Energia, Valor said.


AES URUGUAIANA: Debt With Repsol Mounts to $31M Debt
----------------------------------------------------
Spanish-Argentine gas producer Repsol YPF announced that AES
Uruguaiana, a Brazilian thermoelectric plant, has piled up US$31
million in debt with the Company over the past two years,
relates Valor Economico. The debt pertains to the non-payment of
the gas contracted through the 'take or pay' system, under which
Uruguaiana has to pay even if the gas is not consumed.

The contract involves 2.8mil BTUs (British Thermal Unit) per day
to Uruguaiana, which consumes 1.1mil BTUs per day to generate
240 MW. The plant has a full capacity of 600 MW. The governments
of Brazil and Argentina may suspend this contract due to the
Argentinean energy crisis.

Meanwhile, AES has not admitted the existence of the debt.

Uruguaiana, which registered a net profit of BRL188.8 million
and a liability of BRL463 million in 2003, is a unit of
Brasiliana Energia, a new holding company created as part of the
restructuring of AES Corp.'s debt with Brazil's National
Development Bank (BNDES).


ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Georgia-Pacific to Sell Indirect Interest
-----------------------------------------------------------
Georgia-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: GP) announced Tuesday it has agreed
to sell to an undisclosed purchaser for approximately $75
million all of its interests in three Brazilian companies which
own a minority, non-voting interest in Brazilian pulp company
Aracruz Celulose S.A.

After-tax proceeds from the sale are expected to be
approximately $56 million and the company expects to record a
$10 million gain upon closing. The transaction is expected to
close during second quarter 2004. The company expects to utilize
the proceeds from the transaction to further reduce its debt.

Georgia-Pacific acquired this holding as part of its acquisition
of Fort James Corp. in 2000. Aracruz Celulose is a producer of
bleached hardwood kraft market pulp and eucalyptus pulp, which
is a high-quality variety of hardwood pulp used by paper
manufacturers to produce a wide range of products, including
premium tissue, printing and writing papers, liquid packaging
board and specialty papers.

"This agreement is another step forward in our ongoing
rationalization of non-strategic assets," said A.D. "Pete"
Correll, Georgia-Pacific chairman and chief executive officer.
"We have determined that holding these interests is not
necessary to meet our limited needs for eucalyptus pulp and that
converting this investment to cash is of greater value to our
shareholders."

Completion of the transaction is subject to the exercise or
waivers of first right of refusal for the purchase of Georgia-
Pacific's interests by other Brazilian investors.

Headquartered at Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's
leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, paper,
building products, pulp and related chemicals. With 2003 annual
sales of more than $20 billion, the company employs
approximately 60,000 people at 400 locations in North America
and Europe. Its familiar consumer tissue brands include Quilted
Northern(R), Angel Soft(R), Brawny(R), Sparkle(R), Soft 'n
Gentle(R), Mardi Gras(R), So-Dri(R), Green Forest(R) and Vanity
Fair(R), as well as the Dixie(R) brand of disposable cups,
plates and cutlery. Georgia-Pacific's building products business
has long been among the nation's leading suppliers of building
products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-
it-yourself warehouse retailers. More information is available
at http://www.gp.com.


COPEL: Reports 12.1% Increase in Net Revenues in 2003
-----------------------------------------------------
Companhia Paranaense de Energia - Copel (NYSE: ELP / LATIBEX:
XCOP / BOVESPA: CPLE3, CPLE6), a leading Brazilian utility
company that generates, transmits, and distributes electric
power to the State of Parana, today announced its operating
results for the year of 2003. All figures included in this
report are in Reais (BRL) and were prepared in accordance with
Brazilian GAAP (corporate law).

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Net Revenues totaled BRL2,990.8 million in 2003- increase of
12.1% against the previous year.

- 2003 Operating Income of BRL274.0 million

- 2003 Net Income of 2003: BRL171.1 million (BRL0.63 per 1,000
shares)

- Increase in consumption through direct distribution and free
customers: 1.2%

- 2003 EBITDA of BRL387.9 million

Management Commentary -- Ronald Thadeu Ravedutti, CFO and
Investor Relations Officer:

"Our annual results for 2003 chiefly reflect the continued
provisioning of gas purchases for the UEG Araucaria (BRL162
million) and management's decision, on the advice of the
Company's independent auditors, to provision BRL252 million
arising from the agreement with CIEN. This sum will be repaid in
installments between 2004 and 2007 (BRL63million per year),
pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Copel
and CIEN."

KEY EVENTS

Net income:

Copel recorded a 2003 annual net income of BRL171.1 million,
equivalent to BRL0.63 per 1,000 shares.

Market expansion:

Total power consumption throughout Copel's direct distribution
area, including consumption by unregulated ("free") customers,
grew by 1.2% in 2003.

Residential, commercial, and rural consumer segments grew by
1.7%, 5.0%, and 2.8%, respectively. The good performance of the
commercial segment is due mainly to the modernization of the
commercial sector and the opening of over 5,000 new commercial
businesses in 2003.
Industrial consumption throughout Copel's concession area
dropped by 4.3% over the previous year on account of some major
industrial customers having become unregulated ("free")
customers and of the lower level of economic activities during
this period.

Rate increase

Under ANEEL Resolution 284 effective June 24, 2003, Copel
Distribution was allowed to increase its power rates for sales
to final customers by 25.27%, on average. However, electricity
bills paid when due have been granted by the Company a discount
equivalent to the rate increase. As of January 1st, 2004, such
discount was reduced so that a power rate readjustment of 15%
could be passed on to customers. Overdue customers have to pay
in full the 25.27% rate increase.

Overdue customers

The rate increase discount afforded to electricity bills paid
when due has caused a significant drop in the number of lapsed
bills. In June 2003, overdue bills accounted for BRL187 million,
or 5.4% of the Company's 12-month gross revenues. In September,
this figure had dropped to 3.5% of the 12-month gross revenues,
or BRL122 million. The figure for lapsed bills in December was
R$114 million, or 2.6% of the gross revenues. The delinquency
rate was calculated by dividing bills overdue by between 15 and
360 days by gross 12-month revenue.

"World's Most Respected Companies"

In 2003 Copel was ranked as the most respected public utility in
Brazil and the third in the world according to an annual survey
conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in association with the
Financial Times (the famous daily business newspaper published
in Britain). The survey involved over one thousand interviews
with CEOs and other corporate executive officers in 20
countries. Copel is the only Brazilian company that was listed
under the "public utilities" category, where it comes just after
Electricite de France (EDF) and the German electric utility RWE.

The Award for Best Investor Relations

Copel was chosen by the United States' Investor Relations
Magazine as the Best Brazilian Company in Investor Relations
(small and mid cap category). This award represents the opinion
of investors and market analysts and their recognition of
Copel's efforts to ensure a good relationship with investors and
shareholders and the Company's commitment to transparency and
proper Corporate Governance procedures.

Customer Satisfaction

Following a survey by ANEEL, the power sector regulatory agency,
to determine customer satisfaction, Copel retook the lead among
the five large-scale power distributors in the Southern Region
(more than 400,000 consumers each). According to the agency's
Customer Satisfaction Index (IASC), Copel was awarded an average
rating of 68.85 on a scale of zero to 100, above the national
average of 63.63. The results were officially announced at
ANEEL's headquarters in Bras­lia on March 3, 2004.

CIEN

The agreement resulting from the renegotiation, on August 18,
2003, of the energy purchase contracts between Copel and
Companhia de Interconexao Energetica - CIEN, was duly registered
by ANEEL on December 23 2003, becoming effective as of the same
date.

In addition to the purchase values themselves, the new agreement
stated that Copel would pay BRL315 million in installments
between 2003 and 2007 (BRL63 million per year) for the energy
acquired prior to the renegotiation. On the advice of the
Company's independent auditors, Copel elected to provision the
sums due in subsequent years (BRL252 million) in its 2003
financial statements. Payment will be under the terms of the
memorandum of understanding signed between Copel and CIEN.

Araucaria Thermal Power Plant

In May 2000, Copel signed a power capacity purchase agreement
with the Araucaria Thermal Power Plant for 485 MW. In January
2003, the Company started renegotiating it. However,
negotiations broke down as UEG Araucaria notified Copel of its
appeal for arbitration to the Chamber of International Trade in
Paris. To safeguard its rights, Copel filed for an injunction
pleading the suspension of the arbitration procedures, which was
granted by a court of law in Parana.

UEG Araucaria then filed an appeal to nullify the injunction
obtained by Copel. On June 25th 2003, the State Court of Law
sustained the injunction granted to Copel.

Based on external legal counsel, Copel decided to stop accruing
amounts in connection with Araucaria capacity.

On August 14th 2003, Copel filed a new precautionary suit
against UEG Araucaria in order to be allowed to produce evidence
in advance. This measure aims to establish the current technical
impossibility of operating the power plant in a continuous,
safe, and permanent manner as evidence to support the Company's
case. A judicial investigation will take place and a court-
appointed expert will issue a report detailing his conclusions,
based on questions previously presented by Copel and UEG
Araucaria. Both Copel and UEG Araucaria will have their own
technical experts present, who will issue their own findings on
the same questions.

The preliminary hearing before the Chamber of International
Trade - in which the Terms of Reference, the hearings schedule
and the procedures to be followed are agreed upon -- was held on
February 20, 2004. Copel formally stated during this preliminary
hearing that it deemed the Paris venue inadmissible, since a
Brazilian court had overruled the contract clause providing for
international arbitration.

On March 15, 2004, the Parana 3rd District Court annulled the
contract's arbitration clause, thereby re-establishing the
jurisdiction of the Brazilian courts to rule on questions
arising from the contract. The decision was based on the fact
that the clause in question breached the terms of article 55,
paragraph 2 of the Litigation Law, which states that "(contracts
with the Public Administration) must contain a clause appointing
the courts in the area of the Administration's headquarters as
the sole adjudicators of any and all contractual issues".

ELEJOR

Copel has decided to increase its equity in Centrais Eletricas
do Rio Jordao S.A. (ELEJOR), the special purpose company holding
the concession to exploit and operate the Santa Clara and Fundao
hydropower complex on the Jordao River. For this purpose the
Company signed with Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos S.A.
(TPI) an agreement to purchase 30% of ELEJOR's outstanding
common shares. By means of this purchase Copel will hold a
controlling interest of 70% in ELEJOR. The value of the
acquisition is estimated at BRL37.2 million.

ENERCAN

In November 2003 Copel signed and agreement to sell its interest
(16.73%) in Campos Novos Energia S.A. (ENERCAN), a special
purpose corporation constituted to build and operate the Campos
Novos hydroelectric power station (880 MW of installed capacity,
located on the Canoas River in the State of Santa Catarina) and
its related transmission system. This agreement was submitted to
ANEEL and was approved under Resolution no. 53, dated February
17, 2004. As a result, Copel received BRL17.7 million in
November 2003 and a further BRL73.6 million in February 2004.

Debentures

On February 27, 2004, Copel reacquired the 1st series of simple
debentures. Worth BRL100 million, the series was remunerated at
the DI + 1.75% p.a. and possessed a clause calling for
renegotiation on March 1, 2004.

FINANCIAL AND OPERATING PERFORMANCE

Market Expansion

In 2003, total power consumption in Copel's direct distribution
area and by free customers amounted to 18,782 GWh, 1.2% up on
2002. This growth reflected the significant expansion of the
commercial segment (5.0%), resulting from the establishment of
several new hypermarkets throughout the State, the rural segment
(2.8%), due to increased agricultural output and new
connections; and the residential segment (1.7%), due to the
increase in the number of consumers. The 4.3% drop in industrial
consumption was explained by the lower economic activity in
recent months and also by the loss of some industrial clients
who became free customers.

As of December, Copel had 3,095,498 customers, 2.8% more than in
December 2002.

Revenues

Annual net revenues totaled BRL2,990.8 million, 12.1% more than
the BRL2,668.6 million recorded in 2002. The upturn reflected
the 10.96% increase in the supply tariff on June 24, 2002, the
1.2% market growth in 2003, and the subjection of overdue bills
as of June 2003 to a 25.27% increase.

The improvement in supply revenue was due to higher power sales
via bilateral contracts.

The reduction in "use of transmission plant" was due to the
recuperation of sums, in 2002, arising from ANEEL's recognition
of non-remunerated transmission assets.

Expenses
Annual operating expenses totaled BRL2,895.3 million, versus
BRL2,353.1 million in 2002. The main reasons for the 23.0%
increase were:

- the 10.5% increase in the "personnel" line, chiefly due to pay
rises awarded from collective labor agreements in October 2002
(6%), March 2003 (3%) and October 2003 (10%), and to the
provisioning of employees' share of profits in the 2003
financial statements (BRL16 million).

- the increase in the "pension plan and other benefits" line,
due to expenses arising from retirement benefits (CVM
Deliberation 371/2000).

- the increase in the "materials and supplies" line, reflecting
gas purchases for UEG Araucaria, totaling BRL193.1 million, of
which BRL31.1 million was paid and BRL162.0 million provisioned;

Copel has obtained a legal opinion from the IDC - Instituto de
Direito Civil (Civil Rights Institute) - which considers the
contract for the purchase of capacity from UEG Araucaria to be
legally ineffective since it was not ratified by ANEEL. Based on
this opinion, the Company elected to reverse the provisions for
capacity purchase from UEG Araucaria on June 30, 2003. As of
then, the expenses arising from this contract have not been
booked;

- "energy purchased for resale", chiefly from Itaipu (BRL395.7
million), CIEN (R$564.6 million), Dona Francisca (BRL32.3
million) and Itiquira (BRL39.2 million). The amount booked under
electricity purchased from CIEN contemplates the outcome of the
contract renegotiation, which resulted in a 50% reduction in the
energy acquisitions and the provisioning of BRL252 million in
electricity acquired prior to the renegotiation.

- the 47.8% jump in the "charges for the use of transmission
grid" line due to the increase in the tariff for the use of the
Basic Network's transmission plant, ratified by ANEEL
Resolutions 358, of June 28 2002, and 307, of June 30 2003.

- the increase in "regulatory charges", under which the
following are booked: CCC - Fuel Consumption Account (BRL123.8
million), financial compensation for the utilization of water
resources (BRL43.4 million), ANEEL's Electric Power Services
Oversight Fee (BRL6.0 million), CDE - Energy Development Account
(BRL43.4 million) and the amortization of the deferment of CVA -
Memorandum Account for "Parcel A" Variations and others (BRL2.2
million).

EBITDA

Annual EBITDA stood at BRL387.9 million, 35.1% down on the
BRL597.8 million recorded in 2002. However, if we ignore
provisions of BRL252 million arising from the agreement with
CIEN (amount to be disbursed in the next 4 years), 2003 EBITDA
would amount to BRL639.9 million.

Financial Results

The 2003 financial result chiefly reflected the appreciation of
the Real against the US dollar (18.23% for the year).

Operating Income

Annual operating income totaled BRL274.0 million, versus a loss
of BRL133.4 million in the previous year.

Non-Operating Results

The annual non-operating result was primarily a reflection of
provisions for probablke losses in tax incentives from Finam -
Amazonia Investment Fund - and Finor - Northeast Investment Fund
(BRL39.7 million), offset by net gains from the
deactivation/sale of goods and rights (BRL20.1 million).

Net Income

Copel posted a 2003 net income of BRL171.1 million, mainly due
to the reversion of provisions for the purchase of capacity from
UEG Araucaria (BRL70.4 million), the renegotiation of the energy
purchase contract with CIEN, which results in provisions of
BRL252 million referring to electricity acquired prior to the
renegotiation, and the positive financial result due to the
appreciation of the Real against the US dollar.

Balance Sheet and Capex (Assets)

As of December 31, 2003, Copel's total assets amounted to
BRL9,185.3 million.

Annual capex stood at BRL327.2 million. Of this total, BRL11.3
million went to generation projects, BRL70.9 million to
transmission, BRL158.0 million to distribution, BRL44.9 million
to telecommunications and BRL42.1 million to partnerships.

Balance Sheet (Liabilities)

As of the same date, Copel's total debt amounted to BRL1,959.6
million, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 40.3%.

Shareholders' equity stood at BRL4,858.2 million, 2.8% more than
at the close of 2002 and equivalent to BRL17.75 per 1,000
shares.

Debt Profile

(BRL thousand)

Foreign Currency       Short Term        Long Term      Total
Eurobonds                7,160             433,380      440,540
IDB                     32,831             182,860      215,691
National Treasury       15,355             161,572      176,927
Eletrobras                   5                  87           92
Banco do Brasil S/A      7,379              33,417       40,796
                         6                 8            8

                      Short             Long           Total
Eletrobras            39,438        368,764        408,202
BNDES                  5,214          5,165         10,379
                     157,859        506,761        664,620
Other                  1,117          1,247          2,364
                     20            88              1,08
                     26           1,69             1,95

CONTACT:  Copel Investor Relations Department
          Ricardo Portugal Alves        Solange Maueler Gomide
          5541-331-4311                 5541-331-4359
          ricardo.portugal@Copel.com    solange@Copel.com

Web site: www.copel.com


EMBRATEL: Telmex-Calais Showdown Set in Brazilian Senate
--------------------------------------------------------
The controversy surrounding the acquisition of Mexico's Telmex
of Embratel Participacoes, Brazil's leading long-distance
carrier has reached the halls of the Brazilian Senate, with the
Mexican company and the consortium trying to block the deal
defending their respective bids before a legislative panel
Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The hearing before the Senate audit commission was conducted
upon the request of workers in the telecommunications sector,
who expressed fears that either deal could put their jobs in
peril. Although the panel itself has no power over the deal, its
senators could influence government agencies that must approve
it.

Jose Formoso Martinez, Telmex's executive vice president of
international operations, told the senators the Mexican company
was committed to keeping the current level of employment at
Embratel for 15 to 20 years. "Our promise is to restructure its
debt so that it is more economically stable ... and guarantee
investments that will allow it to develop and become more
competitive," he said.

Representatives of the consortium dubbed Calais, however, argued
that they too would maintain jobs, even though they spent more
time defending themselves from allegations their offer would
have a hard time being approved by antitrust regulators.

Earlier this month, Telmex said it had agreed to pay U.S.-based
telecommunications company MCI US$360 million for its 52% voting
stake in Embratel. But the Calais group, which counts Spain's
Telefonica as a member, is questioning the deal, arguing it
should have won the bid because it offered MCI US$190 million
more for Embratel.

Telefonica and its two other main partners in Calais, Tele Norte
Leste Participacoes and Brasil Telecom Participacoes are the
main local fixed-line service providers in Brazil. Under
Brazilian law the three companies are barred from owning
Embratel's concession to offer long-distance services. MCI has
said it rejected their offer because it believed it would have
faced regulatory hurdles.

But the group insists that a fourth Calais shareholder, Geodex,
would hold the concession for them under the structure of their
deal. "We, as Telefonica, would not enter the process if it
meant we would violate any antitrust regulations for the
sector," said Telefonica Vice President Eduardo Navarro de
Carvalho. "This deal is in line with the principles of free
competition."

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York has set an April 8
deadline for objections to the deal. A hearing on the case is
scheduled for April 13.


PARMALAT BRASIL: Takes Back Partial Control of Brazil Unit
----------------------------------------------------------
Partial control of Parmalat Brasil Industria de Alimentos
is now back in the hands of its parent, Italian food
giant Parmalat after a judge ruled that the troubled
company could reinstate its own management in the subsidiary,
reports Reuters. In the ruling, issued by Judge Ruy Camilo, the
new directors would have to co-manage Parmalat Brasil with a
court-appointed administrator that has been running the unit
since Feb. 11. Parmalat Brasil is also barred from selling any
assets or transferring funds to its insolvent parent without the
consent of the court, according to a copy of Camilo's decision.

Parmalat Brasil was placed February 11 under the control of the
court amid pressure from the company's creditors and unpaid
suppliers. Former Central Bank director Keyler Carvalho Rocha
has been running the company since then.

Mr. Rocha said Tuesday's decision was part of a new "soft
intervention" by the court that had been negotiated with
Parmalat, which had been seeking ways to regain control of its
largest overseas operation. The company plans to formally
announce the new scheme after a shareholder meeting on
Wednesday.

"Since it was the court that ordered the intervention, it is the
court that has to soften the intervention," Mr. Rocha said.

He added that Nelson Bastos, the head of a consulting firm
advising Parmalat, will assume the presidency of the
subsidiary's board. The vice presidency of the company will be
taken over by Mr. Rocha himself, who said the company would try
to keep Parmalat Brasil up and running. "We're going to have a
recovery plan for the company which could consider some leasing
or sales, but our goal is not to sell the whole company," Mr.
Rocha said.


SABESP: 2003 YE Results Indicate Financial Health Restored
----------------------------------------------------------
SABESP -- Cia. de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo --
(Bovespa:SBSP3)(NYSE:SBS), the largest water and sewage utility
company in the Americas and the third largest in the world (in
number of customers), announced Tuesday its results for the year
2003. The Company's operating and financial information, except
when indicated otherwise, is shown in Brazilian Reais, in
accordance with the Brazilian corporate law. All comparisons in
this release, unless otherwise stated, refer to the year-end
results of 2002 and 2003.

Highlights:

-- New tariff formula, to automatically define the annual
readjustment. The 18.95% readjustment implemented on August 29,
2003 was based on this new formula.

-- Refinancing of debt maturing in 2003.

-- Repricing of Debentures, 3rd issue (March 2003);

-- Repricing of Debentures, 5th issue (October 2003);

-- Issue of US$ 225 million in Eurobond (June 2003).

-- Acquisition of the municipality of Sao Bernardo do Campo
water and sewage service, with operations starting in January
2004.

-- Distribution of interest on own capital in the amount of R$
504 million, R$ 17.70 per thousand shares.

-- SABESP recorded gross revenues of R$ 4,307.5 million and
EBITDA of R$ 2,076.5 million in the year 2003. Net income for
the year was R$ 833.3 million, reflecting the positive impact of
the appreciation of Real against Dollar and the increase of
gross revenues.

-- The EBITDA margin rose from 49.4% in 2002 to 50.5% in 2003,
returning to the average levels of the recent years.

CONTACT:  Helmut Bossert
          Tel.: 5511 3388-8664
          E-mail: hbossert@sabesp.com.br

          Marisa Guimaraes
          Tel.: 5511 3388-9135
          E-mail: marisag@sabesp.com.br

          Web site: http://www.sabesp.com.br


TAM: Reports Record Profit for FY 2003
--------------------------------------
Aided by lower costs and the appreciation of the local currency,
Brazilian airline TAM has reported higher earnings for the
fourth quarter and a record profit for all of 2003, Reuters
reports. TAM said its net profit rose to BRL86.1 million
(US$29.3 million) in the fourth quarter, from BRL13.4 million
(US$4.6 million) a year earlier. The gains left it with a record
profit of BRL173.8 million (US$59.1 million) for the whole year,
a big turnaround from the BRL605.7 million (US$206 million) loss
it suffered in 2002.

In a statement, TAM said, "The positive result was obtained by a
strict administration of costs, significant gains in
productivity from economic-financial management and also from
the operation of the fleet."  The airline added that it was able
to cut its plane leasing costs by US$150 million after
decreasing the size of its fleet so that it was in line with
smaller demand.

Last year, TAM and rival Varig cut their flights and agreed to a
code-sharing deal on their Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro route. Both
companies agreed on the deal which was aimed to help them cut
costs.

TAM said its gross revenues for 2003 rose 8.5% to BRL3.7 billion
(USD$1.25 million). The airline also said it had finished 2003
with 33.1% of the market in terms of passengers carried,
compared with Varig's 33.7%. In the first two months of the
year, TAM was way ahead of Varig with 32.7 percent of the market
while their rival only had 29.8%.

The appreciation, added TAM, of Brazil's currency last year also
helped its bottom line since many of its costs, such as fuel and
spare parts, are in dollars.


*Brazil - Updates IMF With Progress Report
------------------------------------------
Brasilia, March 3, 2004

Mr. Horst Kohler
Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
Washington, D.C. 20431

Dear Mr. Kohler:

1. The macroeconomic policies and important structural reforms
pursued by the government since taking office continue to bear
fruit. Since the last review, indicators of financial market
sentiment have consolidated earlier gains, inflation has
continued to converge to government targets, and important
pension and tax reforms have been passed by Congress. Prudent
management of the public debt has increased maturities and
improved its structure while the rebuilding of international
reserves has reduced external vulnerabilities. The rebound in
economic activity that started last year, combined with a
strengthening of domestic demand, will result in output growth
of 3.5 percent this year. Some 812,000 new jobs were created
during the first year of this administration; employment growth
should accelerate in 2004, accompanied by growth in real wages.

2. All performance criteria and indicative targets for the Sixth
Review under the Stand-By Arrangement were met. The consolidated
public sector primary surplus was 4.32 percent of estimated GDP
in 2003, slightly exceeding program targets. In addition, the
end-December 2003 structural benchmark to announce criteria to
increase borrowing limits of state and local governments that
propose self-sustaining, revenue-yielding projects in water and
sanitation, has been met. In this light, we request the
completion of the sixth review. We emphasize that we will
continue to treat the arrangement as precautionary.

3. As you know, the program contains an adjustor on the
performance criterion on the consolidated public sector primary
surplus by the amount of qualifying expenditure in water and
sanitation projects. For the purpose of monitoring, expenditure
on such projects will be measured according to information
provided by financial institutions and corroborated by the
Ministry of Cities as envisaged in National Monetary Council
Resolution 3153. This information will be made available on a
quarterly basis no later than six weeks after the end of the
quarter.

4. As usual, we will maintain a close policy dialogue with the
Fund and stand ready to take additional measures, as necessary,
to achieve the objectives of the program.

Yours sincerely,


Antonio Palocci Filho
Minister of Finance


Henrique de Campos Meirelles
Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil



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

ENERSIS: Faster Energy Growth Expected in South America
-------------------------------------------------------
Chilean energy group Enersis (NYSE: ENI) sees a faster demand
for energy in South America this year compared to the regional
economy, Business News Americas indicates. The Company is
forecasting energy demand in the region to grow two percentage
points faster than the regional economy in 2004.

But even so, Enersis is not planning on making major new
investments until governments provide clearer regulations in the
power sector, Reuters reports, citing chairman Pablo
Yrarrazaval.

"Investing is not an obligation for us. Governments have the
obligation to set the rules of the game so that the companies
invest and satisfy demand," Reuters quoted Yrarrazaval as
saying.

Enersis plans to invest US$500 million in 2004.

Enersis is focusing on consolidating its operations and
restructuring its finances to reduce debt after making major
investments in the region in the mid-1990s. The Company cut its
debt to US$6.9 billion as at the end of 2003 from US$9 billion a
year earlier, and plans to reduce it by an additional US$100mn
this year.



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

BANINTER: DR Sues Former Ambassador for Masterminding Bank Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic is taking a legal action against Mr. Luis
Alvarez Renta for allegedly masterminding a $2.2-billion bank
fraud that pushed the government into an economic crisis last
year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mr. Alvarez Renta was the
Dominican Republic's former ambassador to France and a top
financial consultant in the Dominican Republic.

The suit was filed by the government-appointed liquidation
commission for Banco Intercontinental SA (BanInter) as part of
the DR's efforts to recoup $34 million of assets investigators
have traced in the U.S. The suit, which includes allegations of
racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, seeks triple
damages of US$102 million from Mr. Alvarez Renta.

"This is the initial step in a world-wide search," said C.
Thomas Tew, the attorney for the liquidation commission. The
suit also charges that Mr. Alvarez Renta "compromised" three
Miami banks in his scheme to defraud Baninter and hide stolen
funds in the U.S.

The complaint alleges that International Bank of Miami, Hamilton
Bank and BankAtlantic loaned millions of dollars to companies
controlled by Mr. Alvarez Renta. The loans were guaranteed by
letters of credit issued by Baninter. But Mr. Alvarez Renta's
companies, Bankinvest SA and Interduty Free Ltd., never intended
to repay the loans to the Miami banks and didn't, the suit says.
Instead, it claims, Mr. Alvarez Renta used Baninter funds to
repay each of the loans extended by the Miami banks to his
companies, in that way helping to loot the bank of millions of
dollars.

According to the Journal, the U.S. banks weren't named as
defendants in the suit. But Michael McDonald, a former money-
laundering expert with the Internal Revenue Service, said they
could face some scrutiny for their actions.

Baninter, the third-largest bank in the Dominican Republic,
collapsed last year as a result of what Central Bank
investigators called a US$2.2 billion fraud. The bank collapse
dealt a blow to the economy of the Dominican Republic, which had
been a stellar performer in Latin America for the past decade.



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

KAISER ALUMINUM: Loss Widens, Restructuring Progresses Slowly
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum reported Tuesday a net loss of $573.2 million,
or $7.16 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2003, compared to
a net loss of $270.8 million, or $3.37 per share, for the fourth
quarter of 2002.

Kaiser President and Chief Executive Officer Jack A. Hockema
said, "Although we are never pleased to report a net loss, the
company's financial results for the fourth quarter reflect a
number of significant operating charges resulting from the
continuing progress we are making in our restructuring efforts,
as outlined below."

For the full year 2003, Kaiser's net loss was $788.3 million, or
$9.83 per share, compared to a net loss of $468.7 million, or
$5.82 per share, for 2002.

The non-cash pre-tax charges in the fourth quarter and full year
2003 results include $368.0 million to impair the assets of the
Gramercy, Louisiana, alumina refinery and the 49%-owned KJBC
bauxite mining operation and $121.2 million associated with the
termination of the company's salaried pension plan in December
2003. The accompanying tables detail all such non-cash charges.

Full-year and quarterly results for 2002 also included a number
of special items that are presented in the accompanying tables.

Net sales in the fourth quarter and full year of 2003 were
$340.4 million and $1,365.3 million, compared to $364.7 million
and $1,469.6 million, for the same periods of 2002.

Hockema said, "Separate and apart from the non-cash items,
Kaiser's operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2003 was
somewhat greater than that of the fourth quarter of 2002.
Unfavorable factors, which were largely related to the company's
commodities businesses, included higher energy costs, reduced
shipments of primary aluminum due to the energy-related
curtailment of the 90%-owned Valco smelter, and lower income
from metal hedging contracts. Favorable factors included
improved cost performance and higher realized prices for alumina
and primary aluminum. We also witnessed improvement in demand in
the fabricated products market. Specifically, our shipments of
fabricated products increased almost 14% from those of the year-
ago period and were at the highest level we've reported since
the second quarter of 2002."

Hockema said the unfavorable factors cited above, in combination
with significant retiree medical expenses, largely accounted for
the company's full-year 2003 operating results.

"Clearly, we are not satisfied with the financial results for
2003. Nonetheless, we can point to a number of accomplishments
that promise to strengthen the company's long-term competitive
position," said Hockema. He cited the following examples:


--  Significant improvement in Kaiser's 2003 cost performance,
as measured by an internal reporting system;

--  Steady advancement in the company's Chapter 11 case,
including:

    --  Ongoing progress toward completion of the sale of the
    company's interests in Mead, Valco, Alpart, Gramercy/KJBC,
    and QAL;

    --  A major initiative to resolve many of the issues
    related to pensions and retiree medical liabilities, the
    latter of which alone resulted in more than $60 million of
    negative cash flow in 2003;

--  The generation of positive net cash flow in the Fabricated
    Products business in 2003, despite extremely challenging
    market conditions, as that business continued to strengthen
    its market position;

    --  The ability to maintain adequate liquidity.

Hockema said, "We expect the reorganized Kaiser to be focused
primarily on the fabricated products business and to have
manageable leverage and financial flexibility. The anticipated
filing of our formal Plan of Reorganization and related
Disclosure Statement by mid year will put us on a path to emerge
from Chapter 11 as early as late in the third quarter of this
year."

Kaiser Aluminum (OTCBB:KLUCQ) is a leading producer of
fabricated products, alumina, and primary aluminum.

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

CONTACT:  Kaiser Aluminum, Houston
          Scott Lamb, 713-332-4751



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

TFM: KCS to Seek Renewed Authority From FCC
-------------------------------------------
Kansas City Southern (KCS or the Company) (NYSE:KSU) filed
Tuesday its Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), and released its final earnings for
the year ended December 31, 2003. On January 29, 2004, KCS
released its financial earnings results for 2003, which included
estimated equity earnings from Grupo Transportacion Ferroviaria
Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (Grupo TFM). The 10-K filing Tuesday
reflects an increase in net income to $12.2 million from $11.2
million reported earlier, and a corresponding $0.02 increase in
2003 annual earnings per share to $0.10 from $0.08. These
adjustments in earnings primarily resulted from additional U.S.
GAAP deferred tax adjustments at Grupo TFM.

Attached to this release is KCS's revised Consolidated Statement
of Income for 2003. Also attached are further details of Grupo
TFM's U.S. GAAP earnings, and a reconciliation of these earnings
to equity earnings reported by KCS. The Company believes the
additional information provides the investor with a better
understanding of those components of Grupo TFM's earnings and
how they impact KCS's net income.

In a separate matter, KCS announced it intends to seek renewed
authority from the Mexican Competition Commission (FCC) for the
proposed NAFTA Rail transaction. The FCC granted that authority
on June 19, 2003, and the authority was previously extended for
180 days by the Executive Secretary of the FCC. As a procedural
matter, the Executive Secretary of the FCC declined to provide
an additional extension, consistent with past practice.

KCS is continuing to review its alternatives in light of the
recent decision by the AAA International Centre for Dispute
Resolution that the Acquisition Agreement remains valid and in
effect. KCS remains committed to completing the acquisition in
accordance with the terms of the Acquisition Agreement.

KCS is comprised of, among others, The Kansas City Southern
Railway Company, and equity investments in Grupo TFM, Southern
Capital Corporation, and Panama Canal Railway Company.



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

PAN AMERICAN: Encourages Outstanding Debenture Conversions
----------------------------------------------------------
PAN AMERICAN SILVER CORP. (NASDAQ: PAAS; TSX: PAA) announced
Tuesday the terms of its formal offer (the "Offer") to encourage
conversion by holders of the Company's US$86.25 million
outstanding principal amount of 5.25% convertible debentures due
July 31, 2009 (the "Debentures"). At present, Pan American can
only force conversion of the Debentures after a three-year term
that expires on July 31, 2006.

Pursuant to the Offer, which is open from April 7, 2004 to May
21, 2004 (the "Conversion Period"), each holder who converts all
or a portion of his or her Debentures during the Conversion
Period will receive US$131.25 in cash plus 106.9290 common
shares of the Company per US$1,000 principal amount of
Debentures converted. This represents the 104.4932 shares to
which holders were originally entitled upon conversion plus
2.4358 additional shares, which is equal to a four percent
premium.

Holders who wish to accept this Offer should contact their
investment advisor in order to exercise their conversion rights.
This Offer is subject to conditions set out in a written offer
document being delivered to Debenture holders.

In connection with this offer, Pan American has filed a final
short form prospectus with securities commissions in British
Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. This filing relates to
the issuance of up to 210,087 common shares of the Company in
connection with the Offer. A registration statement relating to
these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities
may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the
time the registration statement becomes effective.

CONTACT:  Brenda Radies, VP Corporate Relations
          (604) 684-1175, 1500
          625 Howe Street, Vancouver, B.C.
          Canada, V6C 2T6



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

PDVSA: Plans to Send Supply To Oil-Strapped Argentina
-----------------------------------------------------
In an effort to help ease Argentina's energy woes, Petroleos de
Venezuela SA has pledged to deliver to the oil-strapped country
some 700,000 tons of fuel oil and approximately 250,000 cubic
meters of gas oil, reports Xinhuanet. At a press conference,
Argentine Planning, Public Investment and Service Minister Julio
de Vido said the promised shipment, which is expected to arrive
in the following days, would be paid with agricultural food. Mr.
De Vido gave the assurance that based on the swap of "absolutely
necessary elements," the fuel shipments would guarantee gas
supply for the system.

However, experts estimated that the volumes promised could only
last a month. Facing a gas shortage to supply power plants,
Argentina has been exercising internal supply rationing, and
power companies began an energy reduction Monday afternoon
without completely cutting service.


PDVSA: OPIC Cancels Deals Over Arbitration
------------------------------------------
Because of the various arbitration cases facing Petroleos de
Venezuela SA, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC)
has cancelled any deals with Venezuela, petroleumworld.com
reports. The cases are a result of claims filed against the
Venezuelan state-owned oil company by several companies.
Canadian company Enbridge Jose is one of those firms, claiming
that its port terminal operations were unlawfully seized by the
PDVSA in the middle of the oil strike that hit the country in
December 2002 to January 2003.

During the strike, the PDVSA also nullified its joint venture
with U.S. Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC),
Intesa. The OPIC has made it clear that it would not support any
new business in Venezuela unless the PDVSA settles an ongoing
dispute with SAIC.




                            ***********


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.

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