TCRLA_Public/040402.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, April 2, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 66

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO DE GALICIA: Debt Restructuring Behind Schedule
BARISI: Declared Bankrupt by Court
BASILIO KOSIUK: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
CAMMESA: Gets ARS200M Government Loan
CONSTRUCCIONES EDILICIAS: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling

COPIAS DEL ALTO: Declared Bankrupt
CORREO ARGENTINO: Government Demands ARS50M In Guarantees
EAGLESTAR: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
GARDONE: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
GATIC: Creditor Banks Yet To Approve Debt Plan

HALYO HERMANOS: Files Petition to Reorganize
INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURE: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
IRSA: Convertible Noteholders Exercise Conversion Right
MABEGO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
MAR: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy

NII HOLDINGS: Announces Convertibility of Notes Due 2033
PIRAMIDE CORP: Awaits Court's Decision on Bankruptcy Petition
REPSOL YPF: Notes Record Participation at AGM
ROBLES CATEDRAL: Concurso Petition Receives Court Approval
SAGAPIEL SRL: Declared "Quiebra" by Court on Failure to Pay Debt

SALINERA POPRITKIN: Court Deems Bankruptcy Necessary
S.I.P.A.S.: Commences Reorganization Process


B E R M U D A

ESG RE: Narrows Net Loss in 2003


B R A Z I L

ACESITA: Ends 2003 With A Net Profit of BRL235M
CEMIG: Issues Notice to Shareholders
GLOBOPAR: Presents New Debt Plan to Creditors
PARMALAT BRASIL: New Board To Mull Sale


C H I L E

AES GENER: Share Offering Delayed
MANQUEHUE NET: Slashes '03 Losses By 75%
SUPERMERCADOS UNIMARC: Ends 2003 With a Wider Net Loss


C O L O M B I A

EMCALI: Restructuring Completion Delayed By A Month


M E X I C O

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Issues Certificados Bursatiles Worth MXN400M


P E R U

SIDER CORP.: Fails To Reach Deal With Creditors


U R U G U A Y

GALICIA URUGUAY: Suspension Extended By Central Bank


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: Gearing Up For Telefonica Challenge
CANTV: OKs Dividends
PDVSA: Orimulsion Tech Transferred To Chinese Firm

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

BANCO DE GALICIA: Debt Restructuring Behind Schedule
----------------------------------------------------
Despite its deadline extension two weeks ago on its offer for
the second time since the launch of its US$1.37 billion
restructuring proposal in December 2003, it appears that Banco
de Galicia y Buenos Aires' debt restructuring is behind
schedule, says Dow Jones.

The extra time was given to allow Grupo Financiero Galicia
(GGAL), the bank's holding company, to get approval from
Argentine securities regulators for a preferred rights issue for
current holders of convertible preferred shares. Rights
remaining after that period would then be available for the
Argentine bank's creditors that opt to swap their old debt for
these shares. As of the Argentine bank's last extension, 71.2%
of its creditors have already nodded agreement, which is above
the 66% required by Argentine bankruptcy law but below the 95%
goal the bank had set for its target acceptance rate.


BARISI: Declared Bankrupt by Court
----------------------------------
Barisi S.R.L. is now "Quiebra" - meaning bankrupt, says Infobae.
Buenos Aires Court No. 15 decreed the Company's bankruptcy
Wednesday and appointed Mr. Luis Leonidas Abranzon as receiver
for the Company. Mr. Abranzon will be reviewing creditors'
claims until May 28, 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 are
liquidated. The court, which is aided by Clerk No. 29, will
conclude the bankruptcy process by liquidating its assets to
repay creditors.

CONTACT:  Luis Leonidas Abranzon, Receiver
          Pringles 835
          Buenos Aires


BASILIO KOSIUK: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
--------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 3 declared Basilio Kosiuk y Compania
S.R.L. "Quiebra," reports Infobae. The declaration signals the
Company to proceed with the bankruptcy process, which will close
with the
liquidation of its assets.

The court, assisted by Clerk No. 5, appointed Ms. Rosa
Gerscovich as receiver who will authenticate proofs of claim
until May 6, 2004. Afterwards, the receiver will prepare the
individual reports based on the results of the authentication
and then submit these reports to the court on June 18, 2004.
After these results are processed in court, the
receiver will then submit the general report on August 18, 2004.

CONTACT:  Rosa Gerscovich, Receiver
          Tucuman 540
          Buenos Aires


CAMMESA: Gets ARS200M Government Loan
--------------------------------------
Struggling Argentine power grid operator Compania Administradora
del Mercado Mayorista Electrico (Cammesa) is to receive an
ARS200 million loan from the government, announced Wednesday in
a move aimed to partially mend its major financial problems, Dow
Jones reports.

Posted in Wednesday's Official Bulletin, the assistance to be
handed out to Cammesa signals the government's willingness to at
least partially bail out the ailing power grid coordinator,
which has been struggling to keep the system running normally
despite energy problems.

According to the decree, the ARS200 million loan is intended to
shrink a large deficit in Cammesa's stabilization fund, a pool
of money used to compensate power generators for unregulated
spot electricity prices. Under the normal functioning of the
stabilization fund, Cammesa charges distributors higher
quarterly prices to account for seasonal effects. In the winter,
for example, when generation costs are higher because of
increased demand and reliance on more expensive liquid fuels,
distributors would pay more. The operator would then use that
money to pay power generators for their higher costs.

However, the government's refusal twice last year to adjust the
quarterly price charged to distributors, coupled with the
constant rise of the spot price of power due to higher
electricity demand and reliance on the fuel alternatives to the
country's short supply of natural gas, have resulted in a major
deficit of about ARS390 million in the stabilization fund.

The loan comes after the Argentine Energy Secretariat authorized
a complex quarterly adjustment to address the growing mismatch
between generators' and distrbutors' costs. Laids out in
February, this system did not directly inject money into the
stabilization fund, but it allows generators to recoup higher
payments from large-scale industrial users, who will after a
two-year freeze have their rates raised this year.

Cammesa will have to pay back the loan before the end of fiscal
year 2004, the government decree said.


CONSTRUCCIONES EDILICIAS: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------
Construcciones Edilicias S.R.L. will now enter bankruptcy after
Buenos Aires Court No. 22 declared it "Quiebra." With assistance
from Clerk No. 44, the court named Mr. Daniel Alberto Del
Castillo as receiver. He will verify creditors' claims until May
27, 2004.

Following claims verification, the receiver will submit the
individual reports, which were prepared based on the
verification results, to the court on July 8, 2004. The general
report is due for submission on September 6, 2004.

The Company's bankruptcy case will close with the liquidation of
its assets to pay its creditors.

CONTACT:  Daniel Alberto Del Castillo, Receiver
          Presidente Peron 1558
          Buenos Aires


COPIAS DEL ALTO: Declared Bankrupt
----------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 26 declared local company Copias del Alto
S.R.L. "Quiebra," reports Argentine news source Infobae.
Assisted by Clerk No. 52, the court placed the Company in the
hands of the appointed receiver Mr. Luis Ricardo Bonifatti.

Ms. Bonifatti will verify creditors' claims until June 3, 2004
and submit the individual reports on July 16, 2004. These
reports contain the results of the credit verification process,
which is done to determine the nature and amount of the
Company's debts.

The general report, to be prepared after the individual reports
are processed in court, must be submitted on September 13, 2004.

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

CONTACT:  Copias del Alto S.R.L.
          Av Coronel Diaz 2092
          Buenos Aires

          Luis Ricardo Bonifatti, Receiver
          Av Corrientes 123
          Buenos Aires


CORREO ARGENTINO: Government Demands ARS50M In Guarantees
---------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine government published Tuesday an Official
Resolution calling in guarantees amounting to ARS50 million
against former postal service Correo Argentino SA, reports Dow
Jones.

The resolution, published by the National Communications
Commission, is ordering Correo Argentino to pay the state
ARS42.735 million within five days. It also ordered Banco de
Galicia y Buenos Aires SA (GALI.BA), Correo Argentino's
financial guarantor as well as a company shareholder, to pay
ARS7.265 million within 15 days.

The guarantees that the communications regulatory agency
exercised Tuesday were to cover ARS51.6 million in missed
royalty payments that the state is claiming.

Sideco Americana, the consortium which owns 69.2% of Correo
Argentino's shares, said in a statement to the Buenos Aires
stock exchange Wednesday that the regulators' claim does not
affect the holding company's debt restructuring. Sideco is
waiting for judicial approval of its out-of-court restructuring
offer, approved in December 2003 by its creditors. The proposal
covers repayment terms for US$125 million in debt.

Correo Argentino's postal concession was cancelled by the
government in November for missed payments and failure to meet
other terms of their contract. With debts of ARS900 million,
ARS450 million of which is owed to the state, the former
operator is also undergoing local bankruptcy proceedings.

As for the future of the postal service, Argentine administrator
Eduardo Di Cola, a former congressional deputy, is now in charge
of the service. Earlier in March, he said that Correo Oficial
Argentino - the service's new name under state management - will
be reprivatized in May as stated in the November decree that
revoked Correo Argentino's contract. He also said there are
several local and international buyers interested in the
concession, though he would prefer a mixed system in which the
government retains a partial stake.

In February, a U.S.-based creditor with a $540,000 judgment
against Argentina had briefly gotten a temporary embargo placed
on two New York-based accounts listed under Correo Argentino SA.
The creditor, Macrotecnic International Corp., argued the
accounts were a state asset by virtue of the company's debt to
the government. The temporary restraining order was later
dropped, and Di Cola said these legal complications haven't
slowed down the process to get the postal service back into
private ownership.


EAGLESTAR: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
-------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Dieuzeide of Court No. 1 declared car importer Eaglestar
SA bankrupt, reports Argentine newspaper La Nacion. The ruling
comes in approval of the bankruptcy petition filed by the
Company's creditor, Banco Comafi SA for nonpayment of
US$9,164.44 in debt. Clerk No. 2, Dr. Pasina, assists the court
on the case, the source adds.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Jose Maria Larrory, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until May 18, 2004. This is done
to determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.
Creditors must have their claims authenticated by the receiver
by the said date in order to qualify for payments to be made
after the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT:  Eaglestar SA
          Tucuman 825, 6

          Jose Maria Larrory, Receiver
          Viamonte 1348, 9 "A"


GARDONE: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
------------------------------------------
Gardone S.R.L. will now undergo a bankruptcy process after
Buenos Aires Court No. 15 declared the Company "Quiebra."

According to Infobae, the Company will proceed with the
bankruptcy process with Mr. Carlos Alberto Lausi as receiver,
who will authenticate creditors' claims until May 21, 2004.

The court, which is assisted by Clerk No. 29 on the case, is yet
to set the schedules for the submission of individual and
general reports.

The case will culminate with the liquidation of the Company's
assets to repay creditors.

CONTACT:  Carlos Alberto Lausi
          Av Cordoba 456
          Buenos Aires


GATIC: Creditor Banks Yet To Approve Debt Plan
----------------------------------------------
Argentine troubled textile concern Gatic is still waiting for
creditor banks to decide on its proposal to restructure US$500
million in debt.

State-owned banks Nacion, Provincia de Buenos Aires and Ciudad
de Buenos Aires met Friday with judge Juan Manuel Gutierrez
Cabello, who oversees Gatic's bankruptcy proceedings, Guillermo
Gotelli and Fabian Bakchellian, CEO of the company.

Gotelli, a former Alpargatas executive, wants to rent four of
Gatic's inactive plants. This plan has been given the green
light by the judge but is pending approval from creditor banks.

During the meeting, two of the three banks proposed amendments
to the debt offer that are expected to make it more difficult to
solve the crisis being faced by the company.

Banco Ciudad asked Bakchellian and Gotelli for a ARS1-million
advance payment in order to start considering the offer.


HALYO HERMANOS: Files Petition to Reorganize
--------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires footwear manufacturer Halyo Hermanos S.R.L. filed a
"Concurso Preventivo" motion, reports La Nacion. The Company is
seeking to reorganize its finances following cessation of debt
payments since April last year. The Company's case is now
pending before Court No. 16, under Judge Kolliker Frers, who is
assisted by Clerk No. 32 Dr. Yacante.

CONTACT:  Halyo Hermanos S.R.L.
          Av Tte. Gral. Donato Alvarez 73
          Buenos Aires


INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURE: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
---------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based International Manufacture SA entered
bankruptcy after Judge Vassallo of Court No. 5 approved a
bankruptcy motion filed by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SA,
reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay US$610,107.66 in
debt prompted the bank to file the petition.

Working with Dr. Perez Casado, the city's Clerk No. 9, the
Company assigned Ms. Magdalena de la Quintana as receiver for
the bankruptcy process. The receiver's duties include the
authentication of the Company's debts and the preparation of the
individual and general reports. Creditors are required to
present their proofs of claims to the receiver before May 26,
2004.

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

CONTACT: International Manufacture SA
         Thames 2330/50

         Magdalena de la Quintana, Receiver
         Cerrito 1136, 9


IRSA: Convertible Noteholders Exercise Conversion Right
-------------------------------------------------------
By letter dated March 29, 2004, Inversiones y Representaciones
S.A. (NYSE: IRS; BCBA: IRSA) reported that holders of Company's
Convertible Notes exercised their conversion right. Hence, the
financial indebtedness of the Company shall be reduced in
US$650,000 and an increase of 1,192,660 ordinary shares face
value pesos 1 (V$N 1) each was made. The conversion was
performed according to terms and conditions established in the
prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate of 1.83486 shares,
face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of face value US$ 1. As
a result of that conversion the amount of shares of the Company
goes from 232,514,834 to 233,707,494. On the other hand, the
amount of registered Convertible Notes is US$ 92,797,819.

CONTACT:  Alejandro Elsztain -- Director
          Tel: +011-(5411)-4344-4636
          E-mail: finanzas@irsa.com.ar
          Web site: http://www.irsa.com.ar


MABEGO: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
---------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Mabego S.R.L. entered bankruptcy on orders
from the city's Court No. 2. Local news source Infobae relates
that the court declared the Company "Quiebra".

Working with Clerk No. 4, the court assigned Mr. Mario Norberto
Aragon as receiver. He is to verify creditors' claims until May
3, 2004.

Creditors who fail to have their claims validated before the
deadline will be disqualified from receiving any payments to be
made from the liquidation of the Company's assets at the end of
the process.

The individual reports, which are due on June 15, 2004, are to
be prepared upon completion of the verification process. The
court also requires the receiver to prepare a general report and
file it on August 9, 2004. This report contains a summary of the
results in the individual reports.

CONTACT:  Mabego S.R.L.
          Salta 226
          Buenos Aires

          Mario Norberto Aragon
          Alsina 1535
          Buenos Aires


MAR: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------
Mar S.R.L., which was undergoing reorganization, entered
bankruptcy on orders from the Buenos Aires Court No. 4. Local
news portal Infobae reports that Clerk No. 8 aids the court on
the case.

Mr. Omar Lares was assigned as receiver, who will verify
creditors' claims until May 21, 2004. The Company's bankruptcy
process will be concluded with the liquidation of its assets to
repay creditors.

CONTACT:  Omar Lares, Receiver
          Viamonte 749
          Buenos Aires


NII HOLDINGS: Announces Convertibility of Notes Due 2033
--------------------------------------------------------
NII Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NIHD) (the "Company") announced
Wednesday that its 3 1/2% Convertible Notes due 2033 (the
"Notes") issued pursuant to an indenture between the Company and
Wilmington Trust Company, as Trustee, dated September 16, 2003
(the "Indenture"), will be convertible pursuant to section
14.01(a)(i) of the Indenture. Holders of the Notes may convert
the Notes into shares of the Company's common stock during the
next fiscal quarter (April 1, 2004 until June 30, 2004) at the
conversion rate then in effect.

About NII Holdings, Inc.

NII Holdings, Inc., a publicly held company based in Reston,
Va., is a leading provider of mobile communications for business
customers in Latin America. NII Holdings, Inc. has operations in
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, offering a fully integrated
wireless communications tool with digital cellular service,
text/numeric paging, wireless Internet access and Nextel Direct
Connect(R), a digital two-way radio feature. NII Holdings, Inc.
trades on the NASDAQ market under the symbol NIHD. Visit the
Company's website at http://www.nii.com.

Nextel, the Nextel logo, Nextel Online, Nextel Business Networks
and Nextel Direct Connect are trademarks and/or service marks of
Nextel Communications, Inc.

CONTACTS:

     Investor Relations: Tim Perrott
     Tel: (703) 390-5113
     E-mail: tim.perrott@nii.com

     Media Relations: Claudia E. Restrepo
     Tel: (786) 251-7020
     E-mail: claudia.restrepo@nii.com


PIRAMIDE CORP: Awaits Court's Decision on Bankruptcy Petition
-------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires' Piramide Corp S.R.L. is requesting permission to
undergo bankruptcy, according to data obtained by Infobae. The
Company filed a bankruptcy petition listing debts of
US$144,876.71. The case is now pending before Judge Paez
Castaneda of Court No. 21, who is assisted by Dr. Barreiro,
Clerk No. 42.

CONTACT:  Piramide Corp. SRL
          Olleros 1775
          Buenos Aires


REPSOL YPF: Notes Record Participation at AGM
---------------------------------------------
With 67.5% of share capital represented,

- Alfonso Cortina, Gonzalo Anes, and Manuel Gonz lez Cid were
reelected as Board Members.

- Ricardo Fornesa, Carmelo de las Morenas and Pemex
Internacional, were ratified as Board Members.

- A euro 40 cent per share dividend was approved, up 29% from
previous year.

A record number of participants and shareholders attended
today's Repsol YPF Annual General Shareholders Meeting, which
was presided by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alfonso
Cortina. Shareholders representing 67.5% of the Company's share
capital, or over 824 million shares, ratified the Board of
Directors' proposals.

In its desire to foment transparency and shareholders' active
participation, Repsol YPF's Board of Directors established last
February 27 a series of measures designed to stimulate greater
involvement on the part of its shareholders in the Company's
decision-making process, and includes the euro 0.02 cent per
share compensation for attendance. Repsol YPF has over one
million shareholders spread out over the five continents, with
more than 50% of its share capital divided between foreign
institutional shareholders in the United States, Mexico, the
United Kingdom and other countries.. The Company's shares trade
in the Madrid, New York and Buenos Aires stock markets.

Among those attending the Annual General Meeting were diplomatic
representatives from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba,
Ecuatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Iran and Mexico. In some of these
countries, Repsol YPF has increased its presence over the last
few months as a consequence of the Company's ambitious program
to diversify its activities in new geographical areas as
contemplated in the 2003-2007 Strategic Plan.

Among the accords reached at the AGM included the approval of
the 2003 Annual Accounts, as well as the renewal of  Gonzalo
Anes, Alfonso Cortina and Manuel Gonz lez Cid as Board members,
and the ratification of Ricardo Fornesa, Carmelo de las Morenas
and Pemex Internacional to the Company's Board of Directors.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESENTATION BY CHAIRMAN AND CEO ALFONSO CORTINA

At the beginning of his presentation before shareholders -after
dedicating an emotional mention to the victims of 11-M and the
workers who were injured or died in the accident last August in
Puertollano - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alfonso
Cortina, highlighted the fact that in the last few years Repsol
YPF has passed from being "a domestic refining and marketing
company where 86% of its profits were generated in Spain, to
become the eighth largest petroleum company in the world, in
which the activity outside of our country (Spain) has tripled in
the last three yeas and now represents 77% of the net resources
obtained by our Group."

"This grand expansion and internationalization of our company,"
added Cortina, "is based on, in the first place, the confidence
that you, the shareholders, have entrusted us with - not only in
supporting the Board of Directors, but also all who work with
professional and efficient diligence here at Repsol YPF."

The Chairman and CEO also mentioned the political change
produced in Spain after the March 14 elections. "We are sure
that, not only with respect to economic policies, but also in
regard to the naming of (government) officials that have so far
been confirmed, that the direction of the economy in the next
few years will continue the along the trend of sustained growth
in which we currently find ourselves, and will permit the
Company to continue its diversification in liberalized markets
that every day more global and competitive."

Objectives surpassed

Alfonso Cortina highlighted the Company's 2003 results, with net
attributable income surpassing 2,000 million euros and a cash
flow reaching 4,477 million euros. This occurred in a year in
which Repsol YPF's shares in the New York Stock Market achieved
the greatest revaluation out of all oil companies, rising 50%
versus 26% for the sector. In the Madrid Stock Market the
Company's shares rose 23%.

The chairman and CEO of Repsol YPF also manifested his
satisfaction that in 2003 the Company complied with, and in some
cases even surpassed, the objectives that were announced at the
previous Annual General Shareholders Meeting and before the
financial community: two digit growth for oil and gas
production; strengthening of the financial structure; growth of
all the Company's business areas and sales; reduction of risks
related to geographical concentration.

"I made the commitment to you," Cortina said, " that production
would grow by more than 2 digits by the end of the year from the
fourth quarter of 2002. In the fourth quarter of 2003, Repsol
YPF's daily oil and gas production was up 19% from the same
period in 2002, thereby doubling the established target."

Repsol YPF's chairman and CEO noted that the "success in meeting
the objectives that the Company set in 2003 constitutes the
basis of its Strategic Plan for the next five years, and which
we presented to the markets last November, and that has four
fundamental points: operating excellence, financial strength,
profitable growth and diversification.

New projects

The geographical diversification undertaken by the Company has
begun to materialize in the development of new projects outside
of Spain and Argentina. Of those new projects, the Chairman and
CEO of Repsol YPF highlighted those that are soon to be
undertaken in Saudi Arabia and Mexico. In Saudi Arabia the
Company recently signed a natural gas exploration contract in a
55,000 square kilometer area in one of the most important
zonesin the world for oil and gas production.

In Mexico, a country where Repsol YPF was awarded an
international contract for the development and exploitation of
natural gas fields in the Reynosa-Monterrey Blocks, and the
Burgos Basin, "in 2004 we have been awarded the construction of
a regasification plant in Puerto de Lazaro Cardenas, which will
be the first to supply natural gas to the west coast of Mexico."

With respect to technological innovation, Alfonso Cortina
stressed the importance of technology as a motor for progress,
and cited Repsol YPF's activities in the recovery of the
Prestige fuel. With regard to the Prestige, Cortina said "this
project represents a grand advance in technology for the
industry and an important step in favor of the environment.
This, without a doubt, will be a reference point for similar
cases in the future."

In the area of Corporate Responsibility, the Chairman and CEO of
Repsol YPF mentioned the Company's participation in various
international forums, such as the Extractive Industries
transparency Iniciatiive (EITI), which foments transparency in
the payments made by mining and petroleum companies to
governments in countries where they operate. He also highlighted
the importance of Repsol YPF's presence in the FTSE4Good
"ethics" index in the London Stock Market, and which selects the
best companies according to criteria regarding Corporate
Governance, human rights, environment and social responsibility.

Cortina noted that "Repsol YPF is willing to work with
authorities to facilitate the compliance of a European Directive
and the Kyoto Protocol with efficient and flexible criteria, in
such a manner that competition won't be jeopardized in our
industry."

PRESENTATION OF CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RAMON BLANCO

For his part, Ramon Blanco - who for the first time addressed
the shareholders as Chief Operating Officer - gave a detailed
report on the performance of the Company's 2003 earnings
results. Blanco noted the affect of the dollar's 20%
depreciation versus the euro, the smaller stake in Gas Natural
SDG, and higher income taxes. "If we corrected these three
effects for the year, operating income for 2003 would have grown
57%, net income 51%, and the cash-flow after taxes by 30%," said
Repsol YPF's Chief Operating Officer.

"As a consequence," Blanco added, "the year ended with positive
results, which we value for its recurring quality and for its
balanced composition of business areas with respect to the
capital that was invested in them. Therefore, we are satisfied,
and at the same time convinced to continue converting into value
the great potential for growth that Repsol YPF has, and to pass
this on to you, shareholders and owners of this Company."

Ramon Blanco also mentioned that the 16% increase in operating
income to 3,860 million and its favorable performance was based
on primarily the economic recovery in Argentina, the increase in
crude oil reference prices, the increase in refining margins and
the improvements of margins for the chemicals activities.

Repsol YPF's COO reviewed in detail the Company's separate
business areas, beginning with Exploration and Production, and
which posted an operating income of 2,352 million euros, up
31.8% on the year. This increase was primarily due to the
greater production in Trinidad & Tobago, Libya, Bolivia,
Argentina and Ecuador, coupled with the increase in
international crude oil prices and the improvement of the
natural gas realization price in Argentina.

With respect to Refining and Marketing - which had an operating
income of 1,196 million euros, up 40% from the previous year -
Blanco noted that "the 2003 results reflect the Company's
strength and its excellent competitive position." This increase
in operating income is due to not only improved margins, but
also the increase in the volumes of refining and sales. In 2003,
Repsol YPF processed in its refineries more than 53 million tons
of petroleum equivalent, or 4.9% more than in the previous year.
For its part, oil product sales were up 7% from 2002.

Regarding the Chemical division, operating income rose 60% to
EUR155 million euros on greater international margins and higher
sales volumes, which reached a historic high of 4 million tons.

Operating income for the Gas and Power division was 212 million
euros, representing a 66% decrease over the previous year, and
fundamentally due to the fact that since May 2002 Repsol YPF
changed the consolidation scope for Gas Natural SDG (which
consolidated 100% for the January to May 2002 period, then by
the equity method for the rest of the year), and the partial
divestment of Enagas in Gas Natural SDG.

With respect to the financial performance of the Company, Ramon
Blanco highlighted in his presentation the fact that Repsol YPF
was able to generate a cashflow of 4,477 million euros,
strengthening its financial structure, and to combine that with
selective investments that amounted to 3.800 billion euros in
2003.

This cash-flow generation was, together with the depreciation of
the dollar and divestments, one of the fundamental factors in
reducing the Company's debt. At the end of 2003, the net debt
ratio was 21.9%, versus 42.9% in December 2001.

"Finally," Blanco said, "we can say that in 2003 solid bases
were established to maintain sustained and profitable growth in
the coming years."

The Chief Operating Officer finished his presentation by
personally thanking Repsol YPF's directors and employees. "2003
was my first year as Chief Operating Officer and I had the
opportunity to personally witness the quality, dedication and
diligence of the professional team inside this place."

Dividend

Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting approved to pay a
pretax euro 40-cent per share dividend on 2003 earnings,
representing a 29% increase over 2002. The increase rises to
35.5% if the euro 0.02-cent per share compensation for
attendance is included, and which was designed to foment the
active participation of shareholders.

"Our dividend policy," Cortina said, "is going to be guided by
the principle of guaranteeing to pay shareholders, even during
economic downturns. Our intention is to continue significantly
increasing dividend payments in a stable manner, and over a long
period, to destine toward them the 40% of net income that are
paid in mid-cycle conditions."

Alfonso Cortina also referred to the initiatives made by the
Company in 2003 with respect to transparency and Corporate
Governance. He noted the revision to the Corporate Governance
regulations made by the Board of Directors, the approval of the
Annual General Meeting regulations, the new Internal Conduct
regulations for Repsol YPF with respect to the Stock Market, and
the Ethic and Conduct Rules for Employees.

"Allow me, to remind you of the brilliant future that is in
store for our Company, guaranteed by the strength of our assets
and the worth of its human team," Cortina said. "And, you, the
shareholders, with your confidence and support, are a firm
guarantee of continuity for this grand project." He added, "I
reiterate my commitment that the team of professionals that I
direct will continue to work to make Repsol YPF the
international petroleum company that you can feel proud of."


ROBLES CATEDRAL: Concurso Petition Receives Court Approval
----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 26 approved the "Concurso Preventivo"
petition filed by local company Robles Catedral SA, reports
Infobae. With the aid of Clerk No. 52, the court appointed Mr.
Pablo Amante as receiver, who will oversee the reorganization
process.

Creditors must submit their proofs of claims to the receiver
before May 28, 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. The court didn't provide the dates when
these reports are to be submitted. However, it set the schedule
for the informative assembly on December 29, 2004.

CONTACT:  Pablo Amante, Receiver
          Lavalle 1537
          Buenos Aires


SAGAPIEL SRL: Declared "Quiebra" by Court on Failure to Pay Debt
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Gutierrez Cabello of Court No. 7 declared JM Producciones
S.R.L., which produces goods out of leather, bankrupt according
to a report by local newspaper La Nacion. The ruling comes in
approval of a petition filed by Banco Sudameris Argentina SA on
failure to pay US$36,660 of debt.

Ms. Raquel Poliak, the appointed receiver, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until June 2, 2004. The receiver
will also prepare the individual and general reports on the
bankruptcy proceedings, which will conclude the Company's
bankruptcy by liquidating all its assets to repay creditors.

The court is assisted by Dr. O'Reilly, Clerk No. 13, on the
case.

CONTACT:  Sagapiel SRL
          Uruguay 469, piso 11 "A"

          Raquel Poliak
          Lavalle 1527, piso 4 "16"


SALINERA POPRITKIN: Court Deems Bankruptcy Necessary
----------------------------------------------------
Salinera Popritkin S.A., which was undergoing a reorganization,
will now enter bankruptcy on orders from Buenos Aires Court No.
22, reports Infobae. Working with Clerk No. 44, the court
assigned Ms. Marta Estela Acuna as the Company's receiver.

The credit verification process will run until May 27, 2004,
says the report. The court orders the receiver to submit the
individual reports on July 8, 2004 and the general report on
September 6, 2004.

The Company's bankruptcy case will end with the liquidation of
its assets to repay creditors.

CONTACT:   Marta Estela Acuna, Receiver
           Combate de los Pozos
           Buenos Aires


S.I.P.A.S.: Commences Reorganization Process
--------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based S.I.P.A.S. S.A. will now start a
reorganization process following approval from Court No. 6 of
the Company's "Concurso Preventivo" petition, says Infobae.

Coming along with the approval is the appointment of Estudio
Alegre, Isak, Villamagna as receiver for the Company. Creditors
have until May 21, 2004 to submit their proofs of claims to the
receiver for verification.

After the verification is done, the receiver will present these
claims to court on July 6, 2004 by way of individual reports.
After these reports are processed in court, the receiver will
prepare the general report and submit it to the court September
30, 2004.

The informative assembly, the last stage of a reorganization
process, will be held on May 11, 2005.

Clerk No. 12 assists the court on the Company's case.

CONTACT:  S.I.P.A.S. S.A.
          Avda Cordoba 875
          Buenos Aires

          Estudio Alegre, Isak, Villamagna, Receiver
          Viamonte 1592
          Buenos Aires



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

ESG RE: Narrows Net Loss in 2003
--------------------------------
ESG Re Limited (ESREF.PK) reported Wednesday its financial
results for the year ended December 31, 2003.

The results show a net loss of $11.8 million for 2003, compared
to a net loss of $51.2 million for 2002. The results for 2003
comprise:

1. An underwriting profit of $6.8 million that was a result of:

- Continued growth in our Asian Direct Marketing business and
profits on other lines of business arising from improved claims
experience and our continuing programme of selective
commutations.

- These items were offset by, (i) losses arising from the write
down of estimated premium income on our North American business
in the first quarter of the year, (ii) reduced premium writings
in the North American medical business and the London accident
and medical business. This was primarily due to the non-
availability, until March 31, 2003, of audited financial
statements for 2001 and 2002 and (iii) lower than anticipated
premium earnings on our bancassurance business due to economic
conditions in Europe.

2. Other income including investment income, realized investment
gains and management fee income of $7.1 million for 2003
compared to $8.8 million for 2002.

3. Administrative expenses of $26.3 million for 2003 compared to
$42.1 million for 2002.

In assessing 2003, Alasdair Davis, CEO, stated that "In the
early part of 2003, we were handicapped in our ability to
produce new business until we were able to publish our audited
financials for 2002 and 2003. This had a significant impact on
our results for the year. Following the publication of these
financials we were able to direct our full attention on building
new business and effectively managing business already on the
books. In 2003 we continued to grow our ESG Direct Business with
net premiums written increasing from $25.9 million in the year
ended December 31, 2002 to $31.6 million in the year ended
December 31, 2003. We also wrote $38.9 million of new premiums
in the North America medical reinsurance market". Looking
forward, Mr Davis continued by saying "Our focus in 2004 will be
the continued growth of our Direct business and significantly
increasing the premium volumes in the North American Reinsurance
Medical business. We are anticipating achieving a breakeven
financial result for the 2004 year".

Our Annual Report for the 2003 year will be available on our
website (www.esg-world.com) on March 31, 2004.

Recent Developments

Resignation of Directors

Mr. Peter Collery, President of SC Fundamental LLC which owns
approximately 10.6% of our outstanding common stock has advised
the company that he does not wish to stand for re-election at
the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. Mr. Collery indicated
that the time commitment required by the position was
disproportionate to the size of his firm's investment in the
company and that he believed that the shareholders' interests
are being taken into account by current directors. The Board
reduced the number of Directors to four and has no current plans
to replace Mr. Collery.

Publication of Financial Information

The Company will continue to make available periodic and annual
financial information in substantially the same form as
presently made available. With effect from January 1, 2004 the
Company will provide this information on a half yearly basis
rather than the quarterly basis previously provided. We will
periodically evaluate whether we will continue to make public
the same level of information.

Additional Capital

The Company is presently considering the possibility of raising
additional capital to increase its capital strength and
underwriting capabilities. Any such capital may be raised
through ESG Re Limited or any one or more of its subsidiaries
and affiliates. It can make no assurances that it will be
successful in raising additional capital, the amount of any
capital to be raised or the timeframe in which such capital will
be raised.

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

The shareholders will receive a copy of the 2003 and 2002 Annual
Report and audited Consolidated Financial Statements, along with
the notice of the Annual General Meeting, proxy statement and
form of proxy, in April in connection with the annual general
meeting of shareholders. This meeting is scheduled for May 3,
2004.

ESG Re Ltd provides medical, personal accident, credit life,
disability and special risks re-insurance to insurers and
selected re-insurers on a worldwide basis. The company
distinguishes itself from its competition by offering re-
insurance products and services that help its ceding clients to
manage their risks more effectively. ESG provides solutions to
specific underwriting problems, actuarial support, product
design and loss prevention.

ESG is building on its reinsurance expertise by developing its
direct marketing business. ESG will deliver innovative business
opportunities and client focused solutions to its affinity
partners using distribution methods such as direct mail,
telemarketing and bancassurance.

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

CONTACT:

     ESG Re Limited
     Alasdair Davis
     Chief Executive Officer
     Tel:  +353 1 675 0200
     E-mail: alasdair.davis@esg-world.com

     or

     ESG Re Limited
     Alice Russell
     Investor Relations
     Tel:  +353 86 819 2945
     E-mail:  alice.russell@esg-world.com



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

ACESITA: Ends 2003 With A Net Profit of BRL235M
-----------------------------------------------
Belo Horizonte, 30 March 2004 - A ACESITA S.A. (BOVESPA: ACES3
and ACES4, OTC: ACABY/ACAHY), Latin America's only integrated
stainless and silicon flat steel producer, today released its
operational results for the financial year 2003. The operational
and financial information of the company, except where otherwise
stated, is represented in Reais, based on the Parent Company's
figures, in accordance with Brazilian corporate legislation. All
the comparisons in this release, except where otherwise
indicated, are made with the fourth quarter 2002 (4Q02), or the
accumulated financial year 2002.

"The year 2003 marked the beginning of a fresh growth cycle for
Acesita, with highly positive results", affirmed Gilberto
Audelino Correa, CFO and Investor Relations Officer. "We ended
the year reporting a net profit of BRL235.1 million, which
reverses the negative scenario seen in previous years and serves
as proof that the strategic changes adopted have been
successful.

In the last few years, we have undergone a profound
transformation: we have expanded our nominal production capacity
for specialty steels, by making the melt shop more flexible and
exiting the mechanical bar business; we have perfected
production processes; we have restructured our strategic
objectives and have successfully achieved one of the most
difficult tasks: reducing our net debt by 32.1%, lengthening our
debt profile and significantly reducing our debt servicing
costs.

This restructuring has put the company in a more comfortable
debt situation in regard to its cash generation. In 2002, the
Net Debt/Ebitda ratio amounted to 5.2 times, and by the end of
2003 this had fallen to 3.0 times, compatible with the sector
average. Net financial expenses were also reduced, falling by
56.9%, thus improving the Company's net result for the year.

We ended the year reporting a net profit of BRL235.1 million.
This performance is even more outstanding bearing in mind the
unfavorable market conditions prevailing during the year, which
combined a substantial rise in the price of raw materials,
particularly that of nickel - which accounted for 36.7% of the
Company's cash cost - and other inputs. In addition, we saw a
slowing of economic activity in the domestic market and a drop
in consumer purchasing power.

With these results, without the need for heavy investment and
with a policy of keeping cash to the minimum needed to ensure
liquidity, we ended the year in a strengthened position, well-
prepared to continue growing the business in a sustainable
manner."

Net Income

The net income for 2003 is very representative for the Company,
reflecting the success obtained through implementing a series of
measures in the Company's main areas: industrial, administrative
and financial.

Acesita ended the financial year with a net income of BRL235.1
million, compared to a loss of BRL302.9 million in 2002. The
result for 2003 demonstrates the Company's return to sustainable
profitability, based on solid fundamentals.

This performance is the result of fulfilling the strategic goals
outlined for the year, which had the main aim of restructuring
the Company's finances, reducing its cost of debt and
lengthening its debt profile.

Operational Performance

Production

Acesita ended 2003 with a total production of 762,000 tons of
liquid steel, a 3.1% increase in volume over the previous year
(739,200 tons). After the shutdown of mechanical bar production
18 months ago - July 1, 2002 - Acesita was able to redirect its
mix towards higher production and sale of specialty steels. In
2003, 61.4% of total liquid steel production was destined to the
stainless steel production line.

Market

The domestic stainless steel market mirrored the problems
associated with the slowdown in the economy and the drop in the
consumer purchasing power, with signs of recovery only apparent
in the last quarter of the year. The package of restrictive
financial measures implemented by the government at the
beginning of 2003 caused a tightening in liquidity - the hike in
interest rates having a strong impact on the main consumer
segments of stainless steel. This market has the characteristic
of needing credit lines for the end-consumer, particularly in
the durable and semi-durable consumer goods segments and service
centers (transformers/distributors of stainless steel who cater
to retailers).

In international markets, the first cases of SARS (Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome) began to appear in the middle of June,
effectively shutting down ports for three months in China - the
world's largest buyer - causing an unexpected shrinkage in
business. Due to the absence of Chinese demand, and the
transport difficulties caused by ships in quarantine in Asiatic
ports, the steel industry reduced its production rates.

At the beginning of the final four-month period of the year,
producers were again surprised by the suddenness of China's
return to the market, heavily buying in an effort to recover the
losses caused by the general shutdown. The new, faster pace of
trading imposed on the market pressured international prices
throughout the production chain - freight, raw materials and
inputs.

Sales

In 2003, Acesita's sales totaled 716,400 tons of steel products,
up 6.8% in relation to the previous year (670,600 tons). This
growth was underpinned by stainless steel sales, up by 25.9%,
which represented 55.4% of the Company's overall sales at the
end of the year.

The fourth quarter of 2003 was markedly the strongest in the
year, with a sharp rise in demand for stainless steel. This
upturn was caused by stock rebuilding, mainly on the part of
distributors, advance buying in the domestic market, as well as
increased exports by clients operating in the cutlery and
consumer goods segments.

Also noteworthy was the growth in sales of non-orientated grain
silicon steel (NOG) used mainly in the manufacture of
compressors and electric motors, mirroring the increased exports
of household appliances, manufactured in Brazil by Acesita's
clients.

Sales Mix

The proportion of stainless steel as a total of the Company's
overall sales (domestic and international markets) increased
from 47.0%, in 2002, to 55.4%, in 2003. Adding the percentage
share of silicon steels, these two lines represented 75.0% of
the total sales mix, up 7.4 percentage points in relation to the
previous year.

Sales by Market

Acesita is a company focused on the domestic market, in which it
has a 90% share of the stainless steel segment. However, it also
seeks opportunities in the international market, where its
products have achieved both direct and indirect penetration.

Domestic Sales

Acesita's sales in the domestic market amounted to 465,300 tons,
down 9.4% in relation to 2002 (513,400 tons). This result
reflects, in large part, the discontinuation of the mechanical
bar line which, up to June 2002 represented 20% of the
production mix. With the exception of non-orientated grain
silicon steels (NOG), whose sales saw an increase of 5.0% during
the year, the Company's other products saw a weaker performance
than that of 2002.

Sales of stainless steels saw a drop of 2.8% in relation to the
previous year. 158,700 tons were sold during the year, less than
the figure of 163,300 tons sold in 2002, as a result of weak
domestic demand.

Notwithstanding the negative effects of Brazil's weak economic
performance, Acesita managed to achieve a wider diversification
of its businesses in the domestic market. The Company
intensified its strategy of opening up new niche markets and
developing specific uses for stainless steel. The sale of this
type of steel to segments still relatively unexploited -
railroad equipment, architecture, transport materials and
equipment for sugar processing plants - gained fresh momentum.
In addition to this, new applications were developed for
traditional sectors, such as household appliances and stainless
steel transformation markets.

With a smaller share of total sales, orientated grain silicon
steels (OG) saw a 34.6% drop in volume due to the weak
performance of Brazil's electrical energy sector. Sales of the
product, used in the manufacture of large industrial electricity
equipment, were impacted due to weak expectations created about
the new regulatory framework for the electricity sector.

Non-oriented grain silicon steels (NOG) sales increased by 5.0%,
mostly due to the rise in exports of industrial motors and
compressors used in refrigerators and similar by national
producers which are Acesita's clients.

Carbon/alloyed steels, which also represent a significant
proportion of sales volume to the domestic market, saw a 4.7%
drop in the total amount sold in 2003, due to the strategy of
focusing on high alloy content carbon steels prioritizing,
however, the production of stainless steel.

International market

Due to the weak performance of the domestic market at certain
times of the year, there was more steel available for supply to
external markets, causing exports to show significant growth in
2003. Total exports shipped abroad grew by 59.7% amounting to
251,100 tons. Of this volume, 94.8% was in the form of stainless
steel. Exports of silicon steels (OG and NOG) increased by
156.4% and 193.9%, respectively, and accounted for 4.7% of total
exports.

In 2003, Acesita made important advances in the international
market. The company improved its products trading and placing
terms, opening up new markets and consolidating existing
relationships with large clients.

The growth in exports was testimony to the high level of
competitiveness achieved by Acesita, in a very aggressive
business environment. The Company's good performance in the
stainless steel segment, in a market which did not experience
significant expansion, is also evidence of the Company's ability
to take on the competition.

The Company placed its products on five continents. Substantial
sales volumes were achieved in regions where Acesita, until
three years ago, had only a small share, such as: the Middle
East, Africa and Eastern Europe. Trading agreements were also
signed with companies in Russia, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa,
among others.

Asia continued to account for the lion's share of Acesita's
international sales. South America was the Company's second most
important market, followed by Europe and NAFTA.

Acesita's drive to expand in the international market has been
through Arcelor Stainless, the global stainless steel trading
arm of the Arcelor Group. Arcelor Stainless acts as a
facilitator for international business, promoting direct contact
between Acesita and the end-clients, mediating sales.

Prices

Comparing prices in the stainless steel market (ref: AISI 304 2
mm - cold-rolled sheet) during the period from September 2000 to
December 2003, a general fall can be seen in the world's main
markets in 2001. In Brazil, the product reached its lowest point
in October 2001, bringing the price down-cycle to a close.

By the end of the fourth quarter 2003, Acesita's stainless steel
prices were readjusted, following the trend in the international
market. This behavior helps to visualize the extent of the
potential price recovery in the coming year.

The chart below shows the domestic prices practiced by region,
and also Acesita's prices, in Reais, converted into US dollars,
reflecting the volatility in the exchange rate that occurred
over the period.

Economic-financial performance

Net Operating Revenues

Acesita ended 2003 with net operating revenues of BRL2,280.7
million, up 34.3% in relation to 2002. The significant increase
in stainless steel exports contributed directly to this growth.

The fourth quarter of 2003 stood out as the best quarter in
performance terms for the last two years, although historically
this is not usually the highest period of the year in revenue
terms for the Company. However, it is important to emphasize
that this performance signified a new level of revenue for
Acesita.

The alteration in the Company's revenue profile was due to the
change in its product mix, through concentration of production
and sale of products with a higher value-added, mainly stainless
steels, prioritizing sales to the domestic market.

Costs

In 2003, the price of Acesita's main raw materials and inputs
climbed consistently. Nickel, the main alloy used in the
manufacture of austenic stainless steels, (36.7% of total
production cost) ended the year at their highest level in more
than 10 years. The price of nickel varied from US$7,190/ton to
US$16,700/ton in 2003 (average of US$9,646/ton).

The frequent fluctuation in the price of alloys, particularly
nickel, resulted in the variation of the Company's stainless
steel sales margins. With a view to minimizing the effects of
these fluctuations on its pricing makeup, the Company follows
the global commercial practice known as an "alloy surcharge",
which consists of passing the variation in the price of alloys
on to the client, and is applied in most austenitic stainless
(which uses nickel) sales.

In addition, from January 2004 on, Acesita has carried out hedge
operations to fix the nickel price at the same time that the
stainless steel price is set. With regard to exports, there is
exposure between the date of setting the nickel purchase price
and the date of setting the stainless steel sale price. With a
view to minimizing this exposure, Acesita has the alternative,
using derivative instruments on the London Metal Exchange (LME),
of locking in the nickel price on the day of its purchase until
the date when the stainless steel sale price is set. This
mechanism, which particularly benefits Acesita when nickel
prices are falling, will reduce the impact of sharp variations
in the prices of this input.

Programs were implemented for the monitoring and reduction of
costs, intervening where needed to improve efficiency. The
successful results of these efforts can be observed in the
increased performance and reduction in expenditure.

Gross Profit

The Company ended 2003 with a gross profitability margin of
26.3%, lower than the level of 29.6% obtained in 2002. The gross
margin obtained in the fourth quarter of 2003, of 25.5%, also
reflected the rise in the cost of main inputs and raw materials
during the period, but should be considered as a good
performance, seeing that there was no benefit from appreciation
in the US Dollar against the Brazilian Real, as occurred between
July 2002 and March 2003.

Operating Expenses

Sales and administrative expenses have remained at practically
the same ratio to net operating revenues in the last two years,
being 9.1% in 2002 and 9.2% in 2003. Other operating expenses,
however, were reduced by BRL11.0 million in 2003.

Operational Cash Generation - EBITDA Acesita's operational cash
generation (Ebitda) in 2003 amounted to BRL500.3 million, up
15.8% in relation to the previous year. In 4Q03, operational
cash generation amounted to BRL141.8 million, a significant
improvement over the previous quarter. This recovery is due to
the combination of the following: a) an improvement in sales
mix, with a substantial increase in the proportion of stainless
steel as a percentage of total sales volume, and a consequent
increase in net revenue; b) the widening of gross margin by 1.4
percentage points; c) keeping operational expenses constant.

The 21.9% Ebitda Margin of 2003 also emphasizes the Company's
good performance, as it didn't benefit from the effects of
exchange variation as in 2002.

Non-Operational Results

The non-operating result is represented substantially by the net
result of the sale of the shares of CST (Companhia Siderurgica
de Tubarao) not covered by the shareholders' agreement, as well
as the expenses related to the provision to adjust the value of
the remaining shares to the expected value.

This provision, from Abril 2003, took into consideration the
total value of the investment in CST, including the balance of
the revaluation of that affiliate, booked in March 1999. At the
end of 2003, the remaining balance of this revaluation was
reversed to offset the investment in CST, resulting in the
reversion of the provision that was made to adjust the expected
value for the sale of this asset, in the amount of
BRL40.5million.

Extraordinary Item

In the financial year 2001, the Federal Government granted an
amnesty on interest and fines due by private-sector entities on
income tax payments due that were the object of legal dispute.
This amnesty extended only to those entities which agreed to
withdraw their lawsuits and pay the amount of income tax due
according to its original assessment value. A number of closed
private sector pension funds - among them Aceprev, Acesita's
employee pension fund, for which Acesita is the sponsor - at
that time decided to adopt the terms offered under the amnesty.

In accordance with the rules established by the regulatory
bodies, Aceprev had previously made a provision for the full
amount in dispute. After the amnesty granted on the payment of
interest and fines, the provision made therefore contained a
surplus, which, taking into account the proportional costs of
Aceprev, was recognized by Acesita as advance payment on future
pension contributions.

This provision surplus had not been recognized by Acesita in
previous financial years, due to the fact that the criteria for
the estimated refund, or the reduction in future pension
contributions, had not been clearly defined. At that time, the
exact net amount to be recovered by Acesita was uncertain.

After analysis by Aceprev, the criteria defining the amount to
be credited were established, this amount being recognized by
the Company in the financial year ending 31 December 2003, under
Financial Result

In 2003, Acesita reported a significant reduction in net
financial expenses, including monetary variation, from BRL627.8
million in 2002 to BRL270.6 million in 2003, a drop of 56.9%.
Also contributed to this reduction the positive impact of the
exchange rate on the Company's dollardenominated debt, the US
dollar having appreciated against the Real by 18.2%. The paying
down of debt during 2003 also made a substantial contribution.

The reduction in the Company's debt involved mainly the
following measures:

- The first step was taken in April 2003, when the Company sold
71% of its stake (19.6%) in Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao -
CST to the Arcelor Group and Companhia Vale do Rio Doce.
The sales proceeds, US$161.8 million, were entirely used for the
paying down of Acesita's more onerous debt. This involved the
advance redemption of most debentures (92.3%) of the 5th issue
and all debentures taken out with the BNDES, in the respective
amounts of BRL456.9 million and BRL67 million;

- The use of funds from the cash generation, the availability of
which has been increasing in the absence of heavy investment
need;

- The issuing of long term debts, gradually replacing the
Company's more expensive debt, issued at times when the
financial market attributed a higher risk rating to Brazil.

The Company ended the financial year with a BRL1,521 million net
debt (including Acesita International, Acesita Servios and the
effects of debt swaps), which represents a 32.1% drop when
compared to the BRL2,239 million registered as at December 31,
2002.

Taking the cash position of the three companies at the end of
2003 (BRL547 million), only 23.4% of the debt have a 12-month
maturity.

Below follows the quarterly evolution in Acesita's debt for 2002
and 2003, together with its breakdown as of December 2003. Of
the total debt at the end of 2003, 63.4% corresponded to
advances on exchange contracts and export pre-payments.

Investments (Capex)

Capex in 2003 amounted to BRL33.2 million. After the completion
of the most important projects, which involved the restructuring
of its plant, the Company will continue not needing to invest in
new projects requiring substantial expenditure.

The investment budget for 2004 is around BRL83.0 million,
allowing Acesita to continue to strengthen its cash position
over the next few years.

Human Resources

Acesita ended 2003 with 3,169 employees, an increase of 5.7%
compared to the previous year. Productivity remained stable in
2003, with 236 tons of crude steel being produced per employee.
Economic productivity (Net Revenue/Workforce) showed a rise of
27.0%, amounting to BRL720,000 per employee.

In 2003, Acesita substantially increased the amount of time
dedicated to the training and technical updating of its
employees. Each employee received, on average, 102 hours of
training during the year, 12 hours more than in 2002.

Management

In 2003, Acesita maintained the following certification: ISO
9001 for industrial operational quality, version 2000; ISO/TS
16949, version 2002 (meeting the requirements of the automotive
sector); and ISO 14001 (for environmental quality).

Also of note were the various awards received during the year by
the Company for integrated action, both in the environment and
in the community, confirming the Company's strong commitment to
the quality of life of surrounding communities. In addition, the
Company was elected as one of the 10 companies to set an example
in the area of social action, by the magazine Guia Exame de Boa
Cidadania Corporativa (The Exame Guide to Good Corporate
Citizenship).

Outlook

The products manufactured by Acesita, principally stainless and
silicon steels, have a direct correlation with the level of
economic activity in Brazil, bearing in mind their extensive
application in important sectors such as the automotive
industry, construction, capital goods and cutlery.

Despite the retraction in demand, mostly in the first half of
2003, the expectation for 2004 is one of recovery in domestic
sales against the backdrop of an upturn in the domestic economy.

Macro-economic assumptions formulated for 2004 point to GDP
growth of around 3.0% in the year,
with equilibrium in the various government accounts and less
fluctuation in the exchange rate.

In the international market, demand for steel products,
including stainless steels, should continue to be influenced by
the high level of industrial activity in China, which has been
setting the pace in the global market.

Capital Markets

Acesita's preferred shares (ACES4) ended 2003 showing an
appreciation of 77.2%, compared to a 97.3% Ibovespa (Bovespa
Index) appreciation.

A ACESITA S.A. is an integrated steel company, having reported
net revenues of BRL2,281 million in 2003. With its head office
in Belo Horizonte and plant in Timoteo, in the Vale do Aco
region of Minas Gerais State, it has an annual production
capacity of 900,000 tons of molten steel. The company is the
only integrated producer of flat stainless and silicon steel in
Latin America.

CONTACT:  ACESITA SA
          Fabio Abreu Schettino
          Financial Operations and Investor Relations Manager
          Tel: (31) 3235-4241

          Adriana Lucia Fernandes
          Investor Relations Co-ordinator
          Tel: (31) 3235-4270

          Flavia Bozzolla Vieira
          Analyst
          Tel: (31) 3235-4235

          Mario Roberto Mariante
          Consultant
          Tel: +55 11 3897-6467
          E-mail: mario.mariante@thomsonir.com.br

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


CEMIG: Issues Notice to Shareholders
------------------------------------
We advise our shareholders that the documents referred to in
article 133 of Law # 6,404 of December 15, 1976, relating to the
year 2003, are available for consultation at the head offices of
this Corporation located at Av. Barbacena, 1,200, Belo
Horizonte.

Flavio Decat de Moura
Finance, Participations and Investor Relations Director


GLOBOPAR: Presents New Debt Plan to Creditors
---------------------------------------------
Brazilian media conglomerate Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes
SA, or Globopar, offered its creditors a new plan to restructure
some US$1.5 billion in outstanding debt, according to a company
spokeswoman.

The Company presented the offer this month but did not announce
it publicly, the spokeswoman added.  She didn't comment on the
details of the proposal, citing confidentiality accords between
the Company and its creditors.

This month, two groups of creditors rejected the first offer,
which was announced in April 2003, and presented a counteroffer.

Globopar is one of the world's largest television broadcasters,
as well as one of Brazil's largest publishers of newspapers,
magazines and books. The Company defaulted on its debt in late
2002 as a 35% drop in the value of Brazil's currency, the real,
and a slowdown in the economy slashed revenue.


PARMALAT BRASIL: New Board To Mull Sale
---------------------------------------
Parmalat Brasil announced Wednesday its new board of directors
will consider selling part or all of the dairy giant's troubled
Brazil operations, reports the Associated Press.

Nelson Bastos, the Brazilian unit's new chairman, has also
announced the board's intention to engage the services of
PricewaterhouseCoopers to do a five-year audit of Parmalat
Brasil's books to determine if there was any "irregular"
financial activity by the division that contributed to the huge
$18 billion accounting hole that led to the collapse of its
Italian parent, Parmalat Finanzieria. He added that Italian and
Brazilian officials investigating the scandal would be provided
with copies of the audit results.

Mr. Bastos, along with the six other members of the board, were
appointed Wednesday after Parmalat regained day-to-day
management control of its Brazilian operations. No former
Parmalat Brasil executives are in the new management structure,
which "creates a new Parmalat, completely renovated, working to
defend the business of Parmalat Brasil and the interests of its
workers, suppliers and creditors," said Mr. Bastos, who once
headed one of Brazil's largest railway companies. He and two
other new board members were also partners in a consulting firm
Parmalat hired to restructure the company's Brazilian
operations, which gives the Italian giant about 10% of its
revenue.

He gave no timeline for a decision on the partial or complete
sale of Parmalat's Brazilian assets and did not say how much
they could fetch. However, he said that any plans by Parmalat to
sell plants or other assets in Brazil would still have to be
approved by the courts.

Parmalat hopes to maintain operations in Colombia, Nicaragua and
Venezuela but announced plans this week to sell its units in
Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Uruguay.

Bastos said the board would also decide whether Parmalat
Brasil's product line fits into a plan by the company's Italian
government-appointed turnaround expert, Enrico Bondi, to slash
Parmalat's brands from 120 to 30 and concentrate on "healthy
lifestyle" products.



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

AES GENER: Share Offering Delayed
---------------------------------
Due to a shortage of natural gas supply from Argentina, U.S.
company AES Corp. postponed the sale of a 21.4% stake in Chile's
second-largest power generator AES Gener, the Santiago Stock
Exchange said Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Suffering its worst energy crisis in 15 years, Argentina will
cut natural gas flow into northern Chile by 10.5% starting on
Thursday to ensure its domestic needs are met. The rationing
will affect at least three power plants in northern Chile. AES
Gener and Edelnor are among the biggest suppliers of electricity
in the area.

AES, which owns more than 9% of AES Gener, had set back its
share offering until Thursday from its originally scheduled time
on Wednesday. A part of a financial restructuring by the Chilean
unit, the offering on local and international markets includes
the buyback of US$500 million of convertible bonds, issuing a
new US$400 million bond and increasing capital by US$125
million.

AES Corp. is offering to sell between 1.092 billion and 1.213
billion ordinary shares, or between 19.2 percent and 21.4% of
AES Gener. The Chilean unit is also involved in electricity
generation in Colombia, Argentina and the Dominican Republic as
well as Chile, and participates in the natural gas
transportation business in Chile and Argentina.

Recently, electricity sector stocks have dropped in Santiago
because of worries that the shortage of natural gas in Argentina
would hit companies. Chile is dependent on Argentina for more
than 90% of its natural gas needs, and 35% of Chile's
electricity is produced by natural gas burning plants. Chile's
arid north, the site of many of its large mining operations, is
especially dependent on thermoelectric plants because no
hydroelectric dams stand there.

AES Gener's shares closed at CLP85 on the Santiago Stock
Exchange on Tuesday, down from CLP110 per share when AES Corp.
announced it would sell the stake. AES Gener was inactive in
late morning trade on the bourse on Wednesday.


MANQUEHUE NET: Slashes '03 Losses By 75%
----------------------------------------
In a statement to the local stock market regulator, Chilean
telecom operator Manquehue Net said it has improved its net
losses for 2003 by 75%, from CLP24.9 billion in 2002 to CLP6
billion, reports BNamericas.

Due to an 87.5% reduction in the company's non-operating
expenses, which fell to CLP2 billion last year from CLP16.3
billion in 2002, the bottom line showed improvement. Manquehue,
which has an estimated 2.5% share of the local telephony market
in the Metropolitan Region of Chile's capital Santiago, said the
figures were connected to depreciation and interest expenses.

Revenues increased 2.5% to CLP29.9 billion, behind a 45%
expansion of the company's broadband business, while Manquehue's
operating cash flow, or Ebitda, increased 30% to CLP11.2
billion. The stronger Ebitda translated into a 26% rise in the
company's Ebitda margin to 44%.


SUPERMERCADOS UNIMARC: Ends 2003 With a Wider Net Loss
------------------------------------------------------
Supermercados Unimarc S.A. (until April 30, 2003 listed on the
NYSE under symbol UNR), a Chilean retailer, announced Wednesday
results for the fourth quarter and year-end 2003. Figures are
expressed in Chilean pesos at December 31, 2003 and are reported
in accordance with Chilean Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (Chilean GAAP). At December 31, 2003, the exchange
rate was CLP593.80 = US$1.

Supermercados Unimarc reported net sales during the fourth
quarter 2003 of CLP32,792 million, a 1.8% decrease compared to
CLP33,391 million reported during the same period of 2002.

Net sales for the year 2003 were CLP127,544 million, a 3.2%
increase compared to CLP123,567 million reported during the year
2002.

Net sales increased during the year 2003 mainly because of the
opening of new supermarkets and as result of the renovation plan
of existing stores in spite of greater competition.

Gross profit during the fourth quarter of 2003 was CLP5,931
million, which represents a 12.8% decrease compared to CLP6,800
million in the same period of 2002.

Gross profit during the year 2003 was CLP27,111 million, an
increase of 4.2% compared to the CLP26,016 million reported in
the year 2002.

As a percentage of sales, gross margins were 18.1% during the
fourth quarter of 2003, compared to 20.4% during the same period
of 2002.

Gross margins for the year 2003 were 21.3% compared to 21.1% in
the year 2002.

Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses during
fourth quarter of 2003 were CLP7,816 millions, a 23.5% decrease
compared to CLP10,211 million reported in the fourth quarter of
the year 2002.

For the year 2003, SG&A expenses were CLP31,677 millions, a 5.4%
decrease compared to CLP33,481 million reported in the year
2002.

As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses decreased from 30.6% in
the fourth quarter of 2002 to 23.8% in the fourth quarter of
2003.

SG&A expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 24.8% for the year
2003 and 27.1% for the year 2002. The smaller expenses in
personnel explain this decrease in spite of the operational
expense increase from the opening of new stores.

Operating loss during the fourth quarter of 2003 was CLP1,884
million, and for the fourth quarter of 2002, operating loss was
CLP3,411 million. This result was explained by the smaller SG&A
expenses.

Operating loss for the year 2003 was CLP4,566 million and for
year 2002 the operating loss was CLP7,465 million. This result
was explained by the gross profit increase and SG&A expenses
smaller.

Non-operating result for the fourth quarter of 2003 was CLP1,017
million and CLP4,670 million during the fourth quarter of 2002.
This decrease is explained mainly by the price-level restatement
and other non-operating income smaller.

Non-operating result for the year 2003 was CLP1,885 million, and
non- operating result for the year 2002 was CLP192 million. This
decrease is explained mainly by the price-level restatement due
to the exchange rate difference between year 2002 and 2003.

Net income in the fourth quarter of 2003 was CLP337 million,
versus net loss of CLP2,396 million in the fourth quarter of
2002.

Net loss for the year 2003 was CLP4,249 million, while net loss
for the year 2002 was CLP1,616 million.

EBITDA margin increased from 0,6% in the year 2002, to 1,9% in
the year 2003.

Net loss per share at the end of the fourth quarter of 2003 was
CLP3.4. Net loss per ADR was CLP168.4, or US$0.3.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, Unimarc had 39 stores
in Chile, with a total sales area of 63,370 square meters. As of
November 2003, we opened supermarket "La Cisterna" in the City
of Santiago.

UNIMARC is the third largest food retailer in Chile and operated
39 supermarkets in Chile at the end of year 2003. The stores
target the middle to high-income level group. The Company offers
a wide selection of both food and non-food items. Its efforts
aim to offer to its customers the lowest price on the market and
a personalized attention.

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

CONTACT:  SUPERMERCADOS UNIMARC S.A.
          Andres Echiburu, Investor Relations
          Tel:  (56-2) 687-7007
          E-mail: aechiburu@unimarc.cl



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

EMCALI: Restructuring Completion Delayed By A Month
---------------------------------------------------
To allow new labor agreements to be signed with workers and to
study a deal with creditors, decisions concerning the future of
Colombia's Cali city utilities firm Emcali have been moved to
April 30 instead of March 31, reports BNamericas, citing local
newspaper El Pas.

The delay is a result of a meeting Tuesday between public
services (Superservicios) superintendent Evamara Uribe Tobn
and Cali mayor Apolinar Salcedo, presidential adviser Jos
Roberto Arango, Valle department governor Angelino Garzn,
Emcali labor union leader Luis Hern ndez and lower house
representative Alex nder Lpez. After the meeting, Ms. Uribe
said that the parties want to resolve the problems and allow the
company to survive, and the prospect of liquidation is not being
discussed at the moment. The regulator stepped in four years ago
to prevent Emcali from being wound up.

She added that the workers' agreements are essential for Emcali
to avoid liquidation, Uribe said. Last year, changes to the
collective labor agreement were made but are still awaiting
ratification.

For their part, the workers said they would approve the changes
as long as some of their demands are met, including
clarification on the financial commitments from banks, and the
signing of a power purchasing agreement (PPA). Ms. Uribe said
that under terms of the PPA signed with the Termoemcali
thermoelectric power plant, Emcali's monthly payments would fall
from US$3.5 million to US$1.6 million.

A definition must be also established as to who will run the
company once Superservicios hands back operations to the city
council, which owns Emcali.

Ms. Uribe said that the month-long delay would also give them
more time to examine the financial agreement already signed by
most creditors. A day before the meeting, Uribe was quoted as
saying that creditors had so far reduced their initial demands
by COP338 billion (US$126mn). The deal with creditors covers
US$500 million in debts to be paid back over a 20-year period.

On top of their utility bills, Emcali's 2.5 million customers
would be expected to pay an extra 2% surcharge as part of its
restructuring. The surcharge could raise COP400 billion
(US$149mn), but would be voluntary. Emcali has some 400,000
customers for its local telephony service, covering 63% of
houses in Cali, and some 23.32 telephones for every 100
residents.



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

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Issues Certificados Bursatiles Worth MXN400M
-----------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: EKT; BMV: Elektra*), Latin
America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and
banking services company, announced Wednesday that it
successfully placed Ps. 400 million in unsecured short-term
Certificados Bursatiles. The issue has a total term of 336 days
and yields a rate of 28-day TIIE+250 basis points per year.
Scotia Inverlat Casa de Bolsa was the placement agent. The issue
carries an "F2(mex)"credit rating for local currency issues from
Fitch Mexico.

On March 22 2004, Grupo Elektra announced it would redeem on
April 21 2004, four years in advance, all of the outstanding 12%
US$ 275 million Senior Notes due on 2008, at a 106% premium over
its face value, plus accrued interests, totaling US$ 293
million. The sources for the redemption of the Senior Notes are
US$ 218 million of the net amount received from the unsecured
long-term Certificados Bursatiles issued on March 19 2004, US$
36 million (Ps. 400 million) from this successful unsecured
short-term issuance; and US$ 39 million from our current cash
position.

The redemption should allow Grupo Elektra to eliminate its US-
dollar denominated liabilities, to obtain savings in financial
expenses of approximately US$ 40 million during the next four
years, and to substantially reduce its foreign exchange
exposure.

Rodrigo Pliego, Chief Financial Officer of Grupo Elektra,
commented: "We are extremely pleased by the positive response on
both our long-term and short-term unsecured notes which is a
reflection of the trust the market has built on Grupo Elektra,
and has surpassed our initial expectations. This, together with
our cash position, will allow us to eliminate the Company's
financial mismatch represented by the payment of interests in
US$ dollars and the earning of revenues in Pesos".

Grupo Elektra is Latin America's leading specialty retailer,
consumer finance and banking services company. Grupo Elektra
sells retail goods and services through its Elektra, Salinas y
Rocha and Bodega de Remates stores and over the Internet. The
Group operates almost 900 stores in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
and Peru. Grupo Elektra also sells and markets its consumer
finance and banking products and services through its Banco
Azteca branches located within its stores. Financial services
include consumer credit, personal loans, money transfers,
extended warranties, savings accounts and term deposits.

CONTACTS:

     Esteban Galindez, CFA
     Director of Finance & IR
     Grupo Elektra, S.A. de C.V.
     Tel. +52 (55) 8582-7819
     Fax. +52 (55) 8582-7822
     E-mail: egalindez@elektra.com.mx

     Rolando Villarreal S.
     Head of Investor Relations
     Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
     Tel. +52 (55) 8582-7819
     Fax. +52 (55) 8582-7822
     E-mail: rvillarreal@elektra.com.mx

     Samantha Pescador
     Investor Relations
     Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
     Tel. +52 (55) 8582-7819
     Fax. +52 (55) 8582-7822
     E-mail: spescador@elektra.com.mx



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

SIDER CORP.: Fails To Reach Deal With Creditors
-----------------------------------------------
Sider Corp, which has filed for preventive bankruptcy in April
2003 after its acquisition of Siderperu, has not yet reached an
agreement with its creditors pending the resolution of
conflicting debt figures, the Gestion newspaper reports.

The government agency ProInversion put the Sider Corp debt at
US$205 million corresponding to the installments committed
during its acquisition of the state-owned steel company, while
Sider Corp. only presented a debt figure of US$100 million.



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

GALICIA URUGUAY: Suspension Extended By Central Bank
----------------------------------------------------
In a one-sentence statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange
Wednesday, Argentina's Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA has
announced that the suspension of its Uruguay unit, Banco Galicia
Uruguay SA, has been extended for another 60 days by Uruguay's
Central Bank, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

In February 2002, Banco Galicia was closed down by the Uruguayan
central bank, freezing US$1.2 billion in deposits, as
Argentina's financial crisis spilled over into Uruguay. The
suspension has since been extended a number of times and was
last scheduled to expire Wednesday.

In late 2003, Uruguayan central bank President Julio de Brun
told Dow Jones that the extension until March 31 would be the
last one. However, he also said the monetary authority would
reopen Banco Galicia only when the Argentine central bank
approves Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires' debt restructuring and
the Uruguyan unit submits a plan for recapitalization.

Earlier in March, Banco Galicia completed phase one of a bond
swap for holders of its bonds and certificates of deposit. But
since the survey of investors conducted in this first stage did
not produce an amount of holders over the US$300 million Banco
Galicia Uruguay had proposed to swap, the deal will progress
without any modification in terms.



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

CANTV: Gearing Up For Telefonica Challenge
------------------------------------------
With Spanish company Telefonica's entry into Venezuela's
domestic mobile telephone market, the nation's leading
telecommunications company CANTV is bracing for the tough
competition the Spanish firm would offer, reports Reuters.

CANTV President Gustavo Roosen described Wednesday Telefonica's
impending move into Venezuela after it purchased BellSouth's
mobile telephone operations in South America for US$5.8 billion
as "great entertainment." "We are prepared for everything," Mr.
Roosen told a shareholder assembly about competition from
Telefonica, which also owns 7% of CANTV.

Telefonica has acquired Venezuela's leading mobile telephone
operator Telcel from BellSouth for US$1 billion, according to
executives at the Spanish firm. The Spanish group -- which made
the purchase through its Telefonica Moviles affiliate -- has
been mum on whether it will keep just Telcel's mobile operations
or the complete range of its services.

According to state telecommunications industry watchdog CONATEL,
Telcel BellSouth commands about 45% of the market with 3.2
million mobile telephone customers while CANTV affiliate
Movilnet has 39% with 2.7 million subscribers.

The company's executive vice president Vicente Llatas said
Telefonica would provide the company with an interesting
challenge as the Spanish group is a "better operator than
BellSouth." However, Mr. Roosen told shareholders the Spanish
group faces a conflict of interest as a CANTV stakeholder and a
competitor in the local market at the same time. Still, he said
the company need not sell its CANTV shares. "If they want to
continue as a shareholder they can," he said.

Venezuela's anti-monopoly authorities say it would be "logical"
for Telefonica to sell its CANTV share, but they have so far
made no official ruling on the matter.

CANTV's board of directors on Wednesday replaced two Telefonica
representatives on the board.

Telefonica Moviles is battling for the top spot in the South
American market. Telefonica Moviles and its major rival Mexican
operator America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) each
had around 41 million customers at the end of last year,
according to company details.

CANTV, whose major shareholder is U.S. firm Verizon
Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , reported its
2003 profits fell 65 percent to $19 million as inflation and
economic recession cut into its tariffs. But it expects its
fixed telephone subscribers to increase by 4 to 8 percent this
year from 2.73 million at the end of last year. It expects its
mobile telephone customer numbers to rise by 3 to 4 percent.


CANTV: OKs Dividends
--------------------
Venezuelan company CANTV said Wednesday that dividends on
American Depositary Shares (ADS) of US$2 per share and on
ordinary shares of 29 cents have been approved and will be paid
out to shareholders on April 16, reports Reuters.

Each ADS share is equal to seven ordinary shares.

CANTV, the largest provider of fixed telephone lines and
Internet access in Venezuela and with Verizon Communications as
its main shareholder, earned US$19 million in 2003, 65% less
than in 2002 as inflation and economic recession cut into its
tariffs.


PDVSA: Orimulsion Tech Transferred To Chinese Firm
--------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan State-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA
(PDVSA) has transferred the technology for the production of
Orimulsion to Chinese company Orifuels Sinoven for thermal power
generation purposes, reports the El Universal newspaper.

The deal for the technology to produce Orimulsion, a 70:30 mix
of extra heavy crude and water, also includes the exporting of
heavy crude oil to China to be used as raw material.


                            ***********


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 and Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche,
Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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* * * End of Transmission * * *