TCRLA_Public/040405.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

             Monday, April 5, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 67

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ACINDAR: Forecasts Increased Capital Investments In 2004
BODEGAS MARGUS: Submits Reorganization Petition to Court
BUENOS AIRES SYSTEM: Turnaround Petition Pending Before Court
CLINICA PRIVADA: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
CRM: Moody's Leaves Default Ratings on Bonds Unchanged

CTI HOLDINGS: $262M of Bonds Remain in Default
DISCO: Tycoon To Contest Disco Deal
EDEERSA: Reverts to Provincial Government Administration
EMPRENDIMIENTOS INMOB.: Moody's Reaffirms Bonds' Default Rating
EUROMAYOR: $10M of Bonds Maintain `C' Rating

FADEFI: Court Approves Petition to Reorganize
GAS ARGENTINO: Moody's Reaffirms `D' Ratings on $130M of Bonds
HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Moody's Assigns `D' to Various Bonds
IMAGEN SATELITAL: Default on $80M of Bonds Remains Unchanged
IRSA: Noteholders Continue to Exercise Conversion Right

KEPLER: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Gets Court OK
METROGAS: Default Ratings on Corporate Bonds Continues
NORVEN: Court Approves Bankruptcy Petition
OESTE FABRIL: Court Approval Sought for Reorganization
OFF ON: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion

TELESHOPPING: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Approved at Court
TRANSENER: Petrobras Energia Increases Stake
VIRTUAL LEARNING: Awaits Court's Approval On Reorganization


B E R M U D A

CPR: Parent Reports EUR314 Million Net Loss in 2003
CRP: A.M. Best Affirms Parent's, Other Subsidiaries Ratings
GLOBAL CROSSING: Investor Slim Increases Stake


B R A Z I L

AMBEV: Rival Moves to Suspend Merger
BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Affirms Ratings
CEMIG: Divided Into Holding, 3 Units By Board
EMBRATEL: Telmex Proposal Forwarded To Anatel
GERDAU: Unit To Sell New Common Stock Issue

NET SERVICOS: Shareholders Summoned for April 19 General Meeting


C H I L E

AES GENER: Details Gas Supply Restrictions in SING
AES GENER: Parent Predicts Chile Crisis May Hurt Profits
AES GENER: Completes Debt Recapitalization
CMD: Pacific Rim Sells Andacollo Mine to Canadian Company
*Gas Concerns Disrupt Improving Chilean Power Sector - Fitch


C O L O M B I A

BANCAFE: Pinchincha Eyes Panama Unit
HILACOL: Liquidation Follows Five Years of Reorganization
VALORES BAVARIA: Non-Strategic Assets Up for Sale


M E X I C O

CFE: Japanese Company To Help Build Plant
COPAMEX: SCA Agrees to Acquire 50% Equity Stake


U R U G U A Y

BANCO SANTANDER: Fitch Ups LTFC Rating to `B'
BANCO SUDAMERIS: Asset Sale Prompts LTFC `B' Rating Withdrawal
HSBC BANK (URUGUAY): Fitch Ups Rating Following Sovereign Action


     - - - - - - - - - -

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


ACINDAR: Forecasts Increased Capital Investments In 2004
--------------------------------------------------------
A spokesman for Argentine long steelmaker Acindar (BA: ACI) said
there is a possibility the company would boost their 2004
investments from the US$25 million it previously forecasted to
US$40 million, BNamericas reports. Acindar spokesperson Gustavo
Pittaluga said, "In accordance with what was arranged with our
creditors in debt renegotiations, there is the possibility
provided we have sufficient cash flow, to increase the amount
available for investment."

On one hand, Mr. Pittaluga said investments are to be destined
to implement updates at the plant to comply respectively with
ISO14000 and OHSAS 18001 in environmental protection and
occupational health and safety. "Some updates have to be done to
complement these certifications," he said. On the other hand, he
said it is necessary to maintain the technological level of the
plant and acquire a greater capacity of sponge iron production.

Acindar, Argentina's biggest long steelmaker with installed
capacity of 1.35Mt/y, reached an agreement at the end of 2003
with its principal creditors to restructure via the issue of new
longer-term bonds without a capital rebate its US$220 million
debt.


BODEGAS MARGUS: Submits Reorganization Petition to Court
--------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires company Bodegas Margus S.R.L. filed a petition to
undergo court authorized reorganization process, says local news
source Infobae. The Company's petition now awaits a decision
from Court No. 2, which is assisted by Clerk No. 4.

CONTACT:  Bodegas Margus S.R.L.
          Lavalle 2628
          Buenos Aires


BUENOS AIRES SYSTEM: Turnaround Petition Pending Before Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires System SRL, an information technology services and
consultancy company, is now seeking to reorganize its finances.
Local news source La Nacion recalls that the Company filed a
"Concurso Preventivo" motion after it ceased paying its debts
since January this year. Judge Uzal of Court No. 26 is now
analyzing the Company's petition for reorganization. Clerk No.
51, Dr. Dermardirossian, assists the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Buenos Aires System SRL
          Avenida Triunvirato 5570, piso 3° "10"


CLINICA PRIVADA: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
-------------------------------------------------------
Clinica Privada O'Donell SRL now enters bankruptcy after Judge
Garibotto of Court No. 2 approved a bankruptcy motion filed by
Mr. Eduardo Abad, reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to
pay US$12,395 in debt prompted Mr. Abad to file the petition.

Working with Dr. Vassallo, the city's Clerk No. 3, the Company
assigned Mr. Raul Trejo 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:  Clinica Privada O'Donell SRL
          Francisco Beiro 4536

          Raul Trejo, Receiver
          Montevideo 205, piso 7° "B"


CRM: Moody's Leaves Default Ratings on Bonds Unchanged
------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A., maintains a
`D' rating to a total of US$350 million worth of corporate bonds
issued by Compania de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles S.A. (CRM),
says Argentina's securities regulator, Comision Nacional
Valores.

The ratings agency said that the `D' rating is assigned to
financial obligations that are in default. The Company's
finances as of the end of December 2003 were used as the basis
for the rating.

The CNV described the affected bonds as "Programa Global de Ons
simpleas, autorizado por AGE de fecha 26.6.97 y 23.9.97". These
bonds, which are classified under "Program", matured in March
2003.


CTI HOLDINGS: $262M of Bonds Remain in Default
----------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a
`D' rating to US$262,848,000 of corporate bonds issued by
Argentine company CTI Holdings S.A., according to the Comision
Nacional de Valores. The rating given is based on the Company's
financial situation as of the end of December 2003.

The affected bonds are called "Serie A por U$S 262.848.000 con
cupon diferido". The bonds, due on April 15, 2008, are
classified under "Series and/or Class". Moody's said that the
`D' rating is given to financial obligations that are in
default.


DISCO: Tycoon To Contest Disco Deal
-----------------------------------
In a last-ditch attempt to block Royal Ahold NV's (33181.AE)
sale of supermarket chain Disco to Chile's Cencosud, a source
said Thursday that in two weeks, Argentine businessman Francisco
de Narvaez will lobby the Argentine antitrust authority,
National Committee of Defense of Competition, that the chain
should be sold to him because his bid was higher and that Disco
should remain in Argentine hands, Dow Jones reports.

The source said de Narvaez's overall bid was better than
Cencosud's. But despite offering EUR250 million for the chain
and to assume financial risks associated with several
outstanding legal issues, talks between the businessman and
Ahold collapsed in January.

However, a favorable ruling by the committee could bring the bid
of Mr. De Narvaez, one of the most eager bidders for Disco, back
to life.

The US$315 million Cencosud-Ahold deal announced in March is
just awaiting the approval of the competition committee for it
to push through. Dutch retailer Ahold, which has been trying to
sell Disco for a year, is still reeling from a EUR1 billion
accounting scandal. The company is trying to reduce its EUR11
billion debt load by EUR2.5 billion by selling assets in Latin
America, Asia and Europe. Cencosud has said it won't finalize
the deal until the Dutch company resolves its legal issues.


EDEERSA: Reverts to Provincial Government Administration
--------------------------------------------------------
Seven years after its privatization, control over Argentinean
electricity distribution company Edeersa (Empresa Distribuidora
de Energia de Entre has been taken over by the government of the
Argentinean province of Entre Rios, reports La Nacion newspaper.

With the takeover, the Entre Rios government is now preparing
the terms of a sale of 51% of the company's shares in a new
privatization auction.

The company, which supplies electricity to more than 70% of the
province's population, has been administered by a trust fund
since it was abandoned by the US group PSEG in 2002. It has over
US$80 million in debts.


EMPRENDIMIENTOS INMOB.: Moody's Reaffirms Bonds' Default Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo reaffirmed the `D'
rating of some US$1.65 million worth of corporate bonds issued
by Emprendimientos Inmob. y Financieros S.A., formerly ECIPSA,
the CNV relates.

The affected bonds, described as "Obligaciones Negociables Clase
B", were classified under "Simple Issue". The bonds maturity
date, however, was not indicated in the report.

The issued rating was based on the Company's finances as of Jan
31, 2004.


EUROMAYOR: $10M of Bonds Maintain `C' Rating
--------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a
`C' rating on some US$10 million worth of Euromayor S.A. de
Inversiones' corporate bonds, the CNV reports. The issued rating
was based on the Company's financial situation as of the end of
December 2003.

The bonds affected are described as "Primera Serie por 10
milliones de US$ dentro de un Programa Global," which matured
April 2003 and were classified under "Series and/or Class".

A `C' rating is assigned to financial obligations that have a
risk of nonpayment.


FADEFI: Court Approves Petition to Reorganize
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 13 of tribunal civil y comercial de Lomas de Zamora
approved the "Concurso Preventivo" petition filed by Fadefi
S.R.L., reports Infobae. The Company will now start its
reorganization process with Mr. Jorge Luciano Cavana as
receiver. Creditors have until April 14, 2004 to submit their
proofs of claims to the receiver for authentication. After the
claims are authenticated, these will be submitted to court by
way of individual reports on June 16, 2004. Following the
processing of these reports in court, the receiver will then
submit the general report on July 8, 2004.

The court is yet to set a schedule for the informative assembly,
the last stage of the reorganization.

CONTACT:  Fadefi S.R.L.
          Pilcomayo 2125 Lanus

          Jorge Luciano Cavana
          Rodriguez Pena 296
          Buenos Aires


GAS ARGENTINO: Moody's Reaffirms `D' Ratings on $130M of Bonds
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a
`D' rating on US$130 million worth of corporate bonds issued by
Argentine company Gas Argentino S.A., says the CNV.

The rating, which is assigned to financial obligations that are
in default, applies to bonds described as "Obligaciones
negociables simples por US$130.000.000". The bonds, which were
classified under "Simple Issue", matured on June 07, 2000.

The Company's financial status as of the end of December 2003
determined the rating action.


HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Moody's Assigns `D' to Various Bonds
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a `D'
rating to various corporate bonds issued by Hidroelectrica
Piedra del Aguila S.A., according to the CNV.

The bonds affected are:

- US$300 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables Simples."
These bonds, which are classified under "Program," will mature
September 20, 2004;

- US$35 million worth of "Clase V subordinada dentro del
Programa de U$S 300 millones." These bonds, which are classified
as under "Series and/or Class," will mature on December 31,
2023;

- US$62.5 million worth of "Clase IV dentro del Programa de U$S
300 millones." These bonds, which are classified under "Series
and/or Class," will mature on June 30, 2009;

- US$62.5 million worth of "Clase III dentro del Programa de U$S
300 millones." These bonds, which are classified under "Series
and/or Class," will mature on December 31, 2009.

- US$97.3 million worth of "Clase II dentro del Programa de U$S
300 millones." These bonds, which are classified under "Series
and/or Class," will mature on June 30, 2009.

- US$97.3 million worth of "Clase I dentro del Programa de U$S
300 millones." These bonds, which are classified under "Series
and/or Class," will mature on July 31, 2009.

Moody's assigned the rating based on the Company's financial
status as of December 31, 2003.


IMAGEN SATELITAL: Default on $80M of Bonds Remains Unchanged
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a
`D' rating on a total of US$80 million worth of corporate bonds
issued by Argentine company Imagen Satelital S.A., the CNV
relates. The `D' rating applies to bonds called "obligaciones
negociables" due May 2, 2005. The bonds are classified under
"Simple Issue."

The Company's financial health as of December 31, 2003
determined the action taken by Moody's.


IRSA: Noteholders Continue to Exercise Conversion Right
-------------------------------------------------------
By letter dated March 30, 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$
289,899 and an increase of 531,923 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
233,707,494 to 234,239,417. On the other hand, the amount of
registered Convertible Notes is US$ 92,507,920.

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


KEPLER: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Gets Court OK
----------------------------------------------------
Jose Iskadari successfully sought for the bankruptcy of Kepler
SA, Argentine daily La Nacion indicates. Court No. 18 approved
Iskadari's petition to declare Kepler bankrupt. Iskadari filed
the petition after Kepler failed to pay debts of US$12,588.73.

Clerk No. 36, Dr. Vivono, assists the court on the case, which
will close with the liquidation of Kepler's assets to repay
creditors. The credit verification process runs until May 21,
2004. Creditors must have their claims authenticated by the
receiver, Mr. Nicolas Repetto, before the said date in order to
qualify for payments to be made after the Company's assets are
liquidated.

CONTACT:  Kepler SA
          Billinghurst 749

          Luis Maria Guastavino, Receiver
          Nicolas Repetto 1115


METROGAS: Default Ratings on Corporate Bonds Continues
------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Reisgo S.A. maintains a
'D' rating to corporate bonds issued by Metrogas S.A., according
to data revealed by the CNV on its Web site. The action, which
was taken based on Metrogas' financial health as of December 31,
2003, applies to these bonds:

- US$600 million worth of "obligaciones negociables simples",
classified under "program." The maturity of the bonds was not
disclosed;

- US$100 million worth of "Serie A por U$S 100.000.000 dentro
del Programa Global de U$S 600 millones." These bonds,
classified under "series and/or class", matured on April 1,
2004;

- EUR110 million worth of "Serie B por euros 110 millones."
These bonds classified under "Series and/or Class," matured on
September 27, 2002;

- US$130 million worth of "Serie C por U$S 130.000.000 dentro
del Programa Global de U$S 600 millones." These bonds, which are
classified under "Series and/or Class," will mature on May 7,
2004.


NORVEN: Court Approves Bankruptcy Petition
------------------------------------------
Dr. Taillade of Court No. 20 declared Norven SA "Quiebra,"
granting a petition filed by Flora Danica SAIC. According to La
Nacion, the petition was filed after the Company failed to pay
Flora Danica debts amounting to US$14,520.

With assistance from Dr. Amaya, Clerk No. 39, the court assigned
Mr. Francisco Cipriotti as receiver who will authenticate
creditors' claims until June 25, 2004. Creditors must have
submitted their claims by the said date in order to qualify for
payments to be made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT:  Norven SA
          Metan 4132

          Francisco Cipriotti
          Avenida Belgrano 615, piso 8° "C"


OESTE FABRIL: Court Approval Sought for Reorganization
------------------------------------------------------
Oeste Fabril SA, which operates in the textile industry, is
seeking to reorganize its finances, says La Nacion. The
Company's petition is now pending before Dr. Ojea Quintana of
Court No. 12, which is aided by Clerk No. 24, Dr. Medici Garrot.

CONTACT:  Oeste Fabril SA
          Armenia 1356, piso 6° "18"


OFF ON: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Favier Dubois of Court No. 9 declared textile company Off
On SA bankrupt, reports Argentine newspaper La Nacion. The
ruling comes in approval of the bankruptcy petition filed by
Dersiantex SA, a creditor of the Company, for nonpayment of
US$16,156.82 in debt. Clerk No. 18, Dr. Taricco, assists the
court on the case, the source adds.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Juan Krimerman, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until June 8, 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:  Off On SA
          Alvaro 2647

          Juan Krimerman, Receiver
          Uruguay 594, piso 5°


TELESHOPPING: Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition Approved at Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Telephone company Teleshopping SRL enters bankruptcy after Judge
Garibotto of Buenos Aires Court No. 2 declared it "Quiebra,"
reports La Nacion. The declaration approves a petition filed by
Andreani Logística SA to whom Teleshopping owes some unpaid
debts amounting to US$1917.21.

With assistance from Dr. Romero, Clerk No. 4, the court
appointed Mr. Jose Granja as receiver who will verify creditors'
claims until May 19, 2004 and will then submit the individual
and the general reports afterwards.

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

CONTACT:  Teleshopping SRL
          Pumacahua 288

          Jose Granja, Receiver
          Manzanares 2131, piso 7° "E"


TRANSENER: Petrobras Energia Increases Stake
--------------------------------------------
Exercising a right of preference, Argentine oil and gas company
Petrobras Energia (PECO.BA) has acquired additional shares in
the holding company of electricity transporter Compania de
Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta Tension, or Transener SA
(TRAN.BA), according to Dow Jones. Petrobras Energia has bought
a 0.007% stake in Citelec, Transener's holding company, from
British company National Grid (NGG), Transener said in a
statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange Thursday.

Though the acquisition is small, it is still considered
significant because it comes a week after Argentine investment
group Dolphin Fund Management acquired a 42.493% stake in
Citelec from National Grid. With its existing 7.52% stake it had
purchased earlier this year, Dolphin has effectively outweighed
Petrobras Energia's 49.993% holding in Citelec with its stake of
a little over 50%. With the new deal, however, Petrobras Energia
has matched Dolphin Find's share.

As the other main shareholder in Citelec, Petrobras Energia had
a 20-day period to exercise a right of refusal to match
Dolphin's offer. Last week, Dolphin said it was confident the
energy company wouldn't make such a move because Brazilian
company Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), or Petrobras, promised
Argentine antitrust regulators it would sell its stake in
Transener when it bought out Perez Companc, Petrobras Energia's
former parent company. Former President Eduardo Duhalde had
voiced concerns that Transener, which controls all of the high-
voltage transmission lines in Argentina, would be falling into
foreign hands with the Petrobras takeover.

Petrobras Energia officials have said that because of the unit's
financial troubles mostly brought about by a two-year freeze on
utility rates, they do not expect to find a buyer for Transener
until next year.


VIRTUAL LEARNING: Awaits Court's Approval On Reorganization
-----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires company Virtual Learning Center S.A. submitted a
petition to undergo a reorganization process, reports Infobae.
The petition is now pending before Court No. 9, which is
assisted by Clerk No. 18.

CONTACT:  Virtual Learning Center S.A.
          Av de Mayo 676
          Buenos Aires



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

CPR: Parent Reports EUR314 Million Net Loss in 2003
---------------------------------------------------
--  4th Quarter 2003 Net Income: EUR 35 million
    After Allocation to Equalization Reserves
    of EUR 10 million

--  2003 Group Net Loss: EUR -314 million
    After Allocation to Equalization Reserves
    in the 4th Quarter 2003

--  2003 Premium Income: EUR 3,691 million

    4th Quarter 2003

--  4th quarter Group net income amounted to EUR 45 million
    before allocation to equalization reserves. This reflected
    continuing cleanup of the Group's portfolio and its
    withdrawal from non-core businesses.

--  The SCOR Group decided, for prudential reasons, to allocate
    to its equalization reserves EUR 10 million in the 4th
    quarter of 2003.

    Fiscal Year 2003

-- The Group registered an annual net loss of EUR 314 million
   after allocation to its equalization reserves, resulting from
   additions to reserves for years prior to 2001 and the
   complete write-down of SCOR US tax credits for prudential
   reasons (EUR-192 million).

-- Premium income totaled EUR 3,691 million, down 26%. At
   constant exchange rates and on a like-for-like basis, the
   decline was 7%.

-- SCOR's profitability for the 2002-2003 underwriting years has
   been confirmed, with a net combined ratio of 96% in Non-Life
   reinsurance (property, large corporate accounts).

-- Operating results for Life reinsurance rose to EUR 50
   million, a strong increase compared to 2002 (+ 92%). The
   margin on netpremiums was 3.4% for 2003, above the target set
   in the Back on Track plan.

-- The adequate level of Group reserves was confirmed during the
   review conducted by both internal and external actuaries for
   the closing of the accounts.

-- Group operating costs were reduced by 13% in 2003.

-- SCOR Group continues to implement its recovery plan.

The Board of Directors of SCOR met on March 31, 2004 under the
Chairmanship of Denis Kessler and closed the financial
statements for 2003.

    1. 2003 Result

-- 4th quarter Group net income totaled EUR 35 million after
   allocation to equalization reserves of EUR 10 million. This
   reflects the ongoing cleanup of the Group portfolio and its
   withdrawal from non-core businesses.

The Group actively pursued its withdrawal from non-core
businesses in the 4th quarter of 2003:

-- the second commutation contract on the portfolio of CRP,
   SCOR's Bermuda-based subsidiary, signed on November 27,
   2003, reduced CRP's exposure by 40%, at a cost of EUR 15
   million. At December 31, 2003, 60% of the CRP portfolio
   had been commuted. Consequently, CRP's exposure at
   December 31, 2003 represented just 40% of the
   corresponding figure at December 31, 2002.

-- On December 1, 2003, SCOR signed an agreement with Goldman
   Sachs International under which the Group withdrew fully
   from its credit derivatives exposures. The net accounting
   charge for this transaction, as well as a commutation
   transaction that took place at the beginning of the 4th
   quarter of 2003, taking into account reserves already
   established, amounts to EUR 45 million.

-- In December 2003, SCOR completed its real estate
   divestiture program with the sale of its headquarters
   building for EUR 150 million, and the disposal of two
   residential buildings in Paris and an office building in
   Madrid. These real estate transactions generated a total
   pre-tax capital gain of EUR 80 million, of which EUR 70
   million can be considered exceptional.

-- Group net loss in 2003 amounted to EUR 314 million, after
   allocation to equalization reserves of EUR 10 million. This
   loss was due to additions to reserves for years prior to
   2001, and to the complete write-down of SCOR US tax credits
   for prudential reasons (EUR -192 million).

The loss for the first three quarters of 2003 amounted to EUR
349 million. At September 30, 2003, in keeping with its
commitment to book best estimates reserves each year, and after
a detailed actuarial review, SCOR decided to add EUR 297 million
to its reserves for the 1997-2001 underwriting years in the
United States. This underwriting concerned lines of business
which have since been discontinued. Given the accumulated losses
in the past few years, tax deferrals booked by SCOR US generated
by these losses have been written down in full as at September
30, 2003, representing a total charge of EUR 192 million in the
2003 accounts.

The Group's net loss for the year 2003 is EUR 314 million, after
taking into account the 4th quarter 2003 allocation to
equalization reserves of EUR 10 million.

-- The adequacy of the reserves has been confirmed

The adequate level of Group reserves was confirmed during the
review conducted by both internal and external actuaries for the
closing of the accounts.

-- The underwriting for the years 2002 and 2003 is profitable

SCOR's profitability of its 2002-2003 underwriting years has
been confirmed with a net combined ratio of 96% in Non-Life
(property and large corporate accounts).

Irish Reinsurance Partners (IRP), SCOR's Irish subsidiary formed
at the end of 2001 to underwrite a 25% quota share of all new
Group Non-Life treaty and facultative business, reported a
profit of EUR 56.1 million after tax. This represents a 16.5%
return on IRP's equity. This subsidiary's performance
demonstrates the profitable nature of SCOR's new underwriting
policy.

     2. 2003 Operational Review

Gross premiums written by the SCOR Group in 2003 totaled EUR
3,691 million, down 26% relative to 2002.

The contraction is 7% at constant exchange rates and on a like-
for-like basis (excluding Commercial Risk Partners, SCOR's
Bermuda-based subsidiary, which ceased writing business in
January 2003, and excluding the impact of the withdrawal from
certain lines of business in the United States).

- Non-Life Reinsurance Premium Income (property, large corporate
accounts, and credit & surety) was down 27% (16% at constant
exchange rates and excluding the impact of the withdrawal from
certain lines of business in the United States) at EUR 2,229
million. The share of short and medium-tail business increased
to 52% of total volumes in 2003, versus 46% in 2002. Non-Life
reinsurance registered an operating loss of EUR -210 million,
compared with EUR -386 million in 2002.

- Life & Accident Reinsurance Premium Income totaled EUR 1,462
million, down 4% relative to 2002 at current exchange rates, but
up 4% at constant exchange rates. The net contribution to Group
results was EUR 50 million in 2003, compared to EUR 26 million
in 2002. Nevertheless, the last quarter saw a negative result
(EUR -6 million) due to the impact of exchange rate developments
and an unusual claims pattern. The embedded value of SCOR VIE
for 2003 will be published during the second quarter of 2004.

- Alternative Risk Transfer (CRP) registered no premium income
in 2003 having ceased writing business in January 2003. CRP's
premium income amounted to EUR 426 million in 2002. CRP recorded
an operating loss of EUR -92 million in 2003, versus EUR -172
million in 2002.

    3. Group Key Figures

Consolidated Key Figures

--------------------------------------------------------------
EUR million                 12/31/2002    12/31/2003     Change
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gross written premiums         5,016         3,691        -26%
------------------------  ------------  ------------  --------
Group net income                -455          -314        n.m.
-----------------------  ------------  ------------  --------
Net technical reserves        10,381         9,766(a)      -6%
------------------------  ------------  ------------  --------
Investments (marked to
    market)                    9,717         8,778        -10%
------------------------  ------------  ------------  --------
Group shareholders'
    equity                     1,070         1,340(b)     +25%
--------------------------------------------------------------

        (a) This figure principally reflects CRP commutations
            (EUR 700 million)
        (b) Group shareholders' equity after the January 7, 2004
            capital increase

Given the reserve strengthening, the net Non-Life (property and
large corporate accounts) combined ratio in 2003 was 119.2%,
versus 116.3% in 2002. It was 94.6% for the 4th quarter of 2003.

The margin on Life & Accident reinsurance net premiums was 3.4%
in 2003 versus 2.5% in 2002. This is above the objective of 3%
announced in the Back on Track plan.

    4. Financial Management in 2003

Interest rates continued to decline in 2003. The SCOR Group's
total investment income rose 82% in 2003, operating cash flow
excluding the CRP commutation increased by 229%, debt was down
6%, while long-term capital grew by 5% after the capital
increase.

Total investment revenues increased from EUR 326 million in 2002
to EUR 592 million in 2003, up 82%. This figure breaks down as
follows:

-- Income from ordinary investing activities amounted to EUR 319
   million, down 9% from EUR 350 million in 2002.

-- Net capital gains on sales of securities amounting to EUR 95
   million, compared with net losses of EUR 85 million on sales
   in 2002.

-- Currency gains amounting to EUR 98 million in 2003, compared
   with EUR 61 million in 2002.

-- Realized net capital gains on real estate sales of EUR 80
   million.

Aggregate unrealized capital gains totaled EUR 125 million at
December 31, 2003, compared with EUR 303 million as at end 2002.
At December 31, 2003, the listed shares and equity holdings
posted a capital gain of EUR 11 million, the bond portfolio a
capital gain of EUR 70 million, and the real estate portfolio a
capital gain of EUR 44 million.

The investment portfolio, marked to market at December 31, 2003,
totaled EUR 8,778 million versus EUR 9,717 million at end
December 2002, representing a decline of 10%, but up 7% at
constant exchange rates and excluding the commutations of CRP.
The main reason for this decline was the sizeable commutations
which reduced CRP's technical reserves and their related assets
for an amount of approximately EUR
700 million.

Investments at December 31, 2003 are split between bonds (64%),
cash and equivalents (21%), cash deposits (8%), equities (4%),
and real estate (3%).

Operating cash flow, excluding CRP, increased from EUR 212
million in 2002 to EUR 698 million in 2003. This amount was
negatively impacted for an amount of EUR 712 million by the
commutation of 60% of the portfolio of CRP during the year 2003.

Group cash and equivalents totaled EUR 1,824 million at the end
of 2003, and EUR 2,545 million on January 7, 2004 after the
capital increase, compared with EUR 1,788 at December 31, 2002.

Group debt was down 6% (4% at constant exchange rates), from EUR
892 million at December 31, 2002 to EUR 836 million at end 2003.
This decline was due to the partial repayment of commercial
paper (negotiable medium-term notes) outstanding and to the
repayment of the loans used to finance the buildings sold.

Group long-term capital (adjusted shareholders' equity, quasi-
equity and long-term borrowings) totaled EUR 2,319 million at
January 7, 2004 after the capital increase (EUR 1,598 million at
December 31, 2003), versus EUR 2,210 million at end 2002.

Management of currency positions led SCOR to be fully matched in
dollars as at March 31, 2004. Through the active management of
its currency cover, the excess gap of dollar-denominated
liabilities relative to euro-denominated assets was closed to an
insignificant amount during the month of February 2004. The
management of this gap led to the booking, on account of the
dollar's fall relative to the euro, of a currency gain of EUR 98
million in the 2003 accounts.

    5. Outlook

The renewals took place in the context of SCOR's capital
increase and developments in the Group's rating. They confirmed
that most of the ceding companies and customers with which SCOR
has forged long-term relationships remain loyal to it.

SCOR is pursuing its cost-cutting program: operating costs fell
by 13% in 2003 to EUR 197 million. The Group is pursuing this
program which aims for a further 16% reduction in costs for
2004.

Commutation of the CRP portfolio continues: 60% of CRP's
portfolio in place at December 31, 2002 had been commuted at
December 31, 2003. The remaining portfolio commitments at
December 31, 2003 totaled USD 534 million.

A strong solvency margin: the combination of the EUR 751 million
capital increase with lower premium levels in 2003 produces a
solvency margin on net premiums for SCOR of 68%. This has been
bolstered by the voluntary reduction in its risk profile via
selective underwriting, commutation of 60% of the CRP portfolio,
total withdrawal from the credit risk on its credit derivatives,
and the Group's improved retrocession policy.

At the end of the Board meeting, Denis Kessler, Group Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer, stated:

   "The SCOR Group is implementing its recovery plan with
   vigor and determination. The efforts made since November 2002
   are producing results. New underwriting in Non-Life
   reinsurance is profitable, and the Group's business has been
   profitable worldwide since 2002. Life and accident
   reinsurance, underwritten henceforth in its SCOR VIE
   subsidiary, is a business which produces high profits. With
   its solvency restored, adequate reserve levels, and a
   conservative asset management policy, the SCOR Group offers
   its customers a much enhanced level of security. I want to
   thank our shareholders for their decisive support in 2003. We
   are doing everything in our power to ensure that this
   recapitalization returns the Group to lasting profitability
   as soon as possible."

    2004 Timetable:

    --  General Meeting of Shareholders         May 18, 2004

    --  2004 1st Quarter Results                May 18, 2004

    --  2004 Half-Year Results                  August 26, 2004

    --  2004 3rd Quarter Results                November 4, 2004

CONTACTS:  SCOR
           Investor Relations:
               Jim Root, +33 (0)1 46 98 73 63
           Press Relations:
               Delphine Deleval, +33 (0)1 46 98 71 64
           Analyst Relations:
               Stephane Le May, +33 (0)1 46 98 70 61


CRP: A.M. Best Affirms Parent's, Other Subsidiaries Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------------
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of B++
(Very Good) of SCOR (Paris) and its core subsidiaries and the
ratings on debt instruments issued or guaranteed by SCOR. (See
link below for a full list of financial strength and debt
ratings). This action removes the under review status of the
ratings assigned on September 10, 2003. The outlook for all
ratings is stable.

The rating reflects SCOR's very good prospective capitalisation,
improving trends in underlying performance, actions taken to
mitigate the risks associated with Commercial Risks Partners
Limited (CRP) (Bermuda) and the company's credit derivatives
portfolio, as well as strong support from its core clients in
continental European markets. Offsetting factors are recent
volatility in reserves and the impact that the company's recent
performance has had on its profile in certain markets.

Very good prospective capitalisation--A.M. Best expects SCOR to
maintain risk-adjusted capitalisation at a very good level in
2004, following completion of its EUR 750 million (USD 949
million) rights issue in January 2004. Stability in the
company's risk-adjusted capitalisation will be further supported
by an anticipated reduction in net premiums written of
approximately 20% to less than EUR 2,750 million (USD 3,384
million) in 2004.

Improving underlying performance--SCOR has re-established
profitability in its main non-life lines (excluding the impact
of discontinued and non-core lines) and has maintained the
profitability of its life reinsurance business. Reserve
deterioration of EUR 297 million (USD 344 million) in the third
quarter of 2003 resulted from SCOR's steps to re-establish
reserves at the best estimate level advised by external
actuarial consultants. With the impact of these legacy issues
likely to reduce in 2004, A.M. Best believes SCOR's performance
is likely to improve.

Risk mitigation--SCOR has taken effective action to address
certain key areas of risk to the company. A reduction in CRP's
reserves of approximately 60% was recorded at year-end 2003
relative to the position a year earlier, incorporating
commutations with two major clients in the course of the year.
To address risk from the company's credit derivatives portfolio,
the company has entered into an agreement that hedges its credit
exposure.

Support from core clients--A.M. Best believes that SCOR
continues to have a very good profile in its core markets in
continental Europe and Asia. Poor performance in 2002 and 2003
has had some impact on its prospects in certain markets,
particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, although
A.M. Best believes the EUR 750 million (USD 949 million) rights
issue has helped to restore confidence.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Investor Slim Increases Stake
----------------------------------------------
Bloomberg reports that Latin America's richest person has
boosted his ownership in Bermuda-based fiber-optic network
operator Global Crossing Ltd. According to filings with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, Mexican billionaire Carlos
Slim and his family have bought 826,000 shares in Global
Crossing between March 26 to 30. As of March 30, Mr. Slim's
Orient Start Holdings LLC owned 3.3 million Global Crossing
shares, from 2.474 million on March 25.

Founded in 1997 by former chairman Gary Winnick, Global
Crossing, has sought Chapter 11 protection in January 2002 after
prices for network space plunged amid a capacity glut, leaving
it unable to meet debt payments. The case was the second-biggest
telecommunications bankruptcy, after WorldCom Inc.

Since Mr. Slim disclosed initial investments in the company two
weeks ago, Global Crossing's shares have soared 44%.



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

AMBEV: Rival Moves to Suspend Merger
------------------------------------
The upcoming merger between Brazil's Companhia de Bebidas das
Americas (Ambev) and Belgian brewer Interbrew has hit another
snag as Schincariol, Brazil's second-largest brewer, asked
antitrust authorities Thursday to suspend the merger, says
Reuters.

In a statement, Schincariol said the Ambev-Interbrew deal
announced last month could hurt local competition. "The
operation being studied increases the viability of AmBev
engaging in predatory practices in the market by creating a
company with an unimaginable potential for cash flow,"
Schincariol said.

For its part, Ambev said through its press office that the
company had been expecting the complaint and said it was ready
to respond to any queries by authorities.

The US$11.5 billion merger creating the world's largest brewer
in terms of volume has yet to be closed and needs approval from
Brazilian and Belgian authorities. Analysts say that since
Interbrew had an almost negligible presence in Brazil before the
deal was announced, analysts generally expect antitrust
authorities to approve it.

The U.S. unit of Mexico's Fomento Economico Mexicano SA (Femsa),
Wisdom Import Sales Co, was the first company to take legal
steps to block the sale.


BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Affirms Ratings
-------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Friday that it affirmed
its 'BB/B' local currency and 'B+/B' foreign currency credit
ratings on Banco Votorantim S.A. The outlook on the local
currency rating is stable, and the outlook on the foreign
currency rating is positive.

The ratings on Banco Votorantim S.A. benefit from the implicit
support of the Votorantim Group (foreign currency, B+/Positive/-
-; local currency, BBB-/Stable/--); the group's strong brand-
name recognition; the bank's experienced management team; and
efficient decision-making processes. The ratings also consider
the potential risks associated with the bank's treasury
business, with its exposure to sovereign risk through its
securities portfolio, a common issue for Brazilian banks; and
the risks related to the economic environment in Brazil.

"The Votorantim Group is one of the largest and most influential
industrial conglomerates in Brazil. Its brand-name recognition
has helped the bank to leverage on its business, and the images
of both organizations are closely linked," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Tamara Berenholc. The conglomerate
supervises the bank's activities and operations, and its
conservatism permeates the bank's activities. Banco Votorantim's
management is made up of professionals with vast experience in
the financial markets and the Group's companies.

Banco Votorantim has taken advantage of its competitive business
profile to grow its business. In 2003, market share related to
the auto finance business reached approximately 10% as compared
to 7% in 2002. This reflects a well-based strategy aimed at
organic growth and higher penetration in some regional regions
of the country.

The stable outlook on Banco Votorantim's local currency credit
rating incorporates the economic risks of the Brazilian banking
industry as well as the balance between its good business
profile, good management, high profitability, and the potential
risks related to the quality of its growing private loan
portfolio, especially its consumer loans segment and its
government securities.

The positive outlook on Banco Votorantim's foreign currency
credit rating reflects the outlook on the sovereign credit
rating of the Federative Republic of Brazil. At current levels,
a change in the foreign currency sovereign credit rating would
lead to a similar action on Banco Votorantim's foreign currency
rating.

In the event of a downgrade or negative change for Brazil's
local currency sovereign credit rating and/or outlook, Banco
Votorantim's local currency credit rating and/or outlook would
move in tandem. If, on the other hand, the sovereign local
credit rating has positive changes or upgrades, Banco Votorantim
would be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The main negative
item that could generate a downward pressure on Banco
Votorantim's rating is asset-quality related. On the upward
side, the rating would benefit from further track record of
asset quality under control plus qualitative improvements in
profitability and capitalization.

ANALYSTS:  Tamara Berenholc, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8950
           Daniel Araujo, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8939


CEMIG: Divided Into Holding, 3 Units By Board
---------------------------------------------
A top executive of Brazil's integrated power company Companhia
Energetica de Minas Gerais (CEMIG)(CMIG4.BR) revealed Thursday
that the company's board of directors has approved the split of
the company into one holding and three subsidiaries, Dow Jones
reports. Wilson Brumer, president of the board, said Cemig will
be split so that one unit will have power generation and
transmission assets; another, distribution assets; and a third,
other assets, such as gas and data transmission.

The move is part of sweeping reforms to Brazil's power sector,
which call for state-owned companies to abandon their vertical
structure and divide their generation, transmission and
distribution activities into separate companies. The reforms
have been approved in Brazil's Congress this year and are
starting to be implemented.

However, the board's proposed structure for CEMIG still has to
be approved by Brazil's power sector regulator Aneel and the
Minas Gerais Legislature. Mr. Bruner said the company aims to
conclude the division by early December.


EMBRATEL: Telmex Proposal Forwarded To Anatel
---------------------------------------------
Mexican fixed line operator Telefonos de Mexico SA (Telmex) has
sent its proposal for the acquisition of Brazil's Embratel
Participacoes SA to Anatel, the Brazilian telecommunication
agency, the O Estado de Sao Paulo reports. Telmex's offer of
US$360 million for a 51.8% controlling stake in Embratel has
already been accepted by U.S. telecommunications giant MCI,
which owns the shares.

However, the agreement is yet to get the approval of the U.S.
court handling the bankruptcy proceedings of MCI, formerly known
as WorldCom. The U.S. firm is currently navigating its way
through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following the
disclosure of an US$11 billion accounting scandal.

Anatel said it will hold off studying the Telmex proposal until
after April 13, when the decision on the sale by the bankruptcy
court is expected to be handed down.


GERDAU: Unit To Sell New Common Stock Issue
-------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation (TSX: GNA.TO) announced that it
intends to sell 26,800,000 common shares to its majority
shareholder, Gerdau S.A. The price has been set at C$4.90 per
share, the closing price of the Company's common shares on the
Toronto Stock Exchange on March 31, 2004. The Company intends to
use the total net proceeds of approximately US$100 million for
general corporate purposes, which may include funding capital
equipment or working capital and repayment of debt.

The transaction is subject to approval of the Toronto Stock
Exchange and closing is expected to take place no later than
April 16, 2004. As of March 31, 2004 Gerdau Ameristeel has
198,196,559 shares outstanding. Gerdau S.A. indirectly holds
68.60%, or 135,954,900 of those shares. Upon completion of the
transaction Gerdau Ameristeel will have 224,996,559 common
shares outstanding of which 72.34%, or 162,754,900 shares, will
be held indirectly by Gerdau S.A.

About Gerdau Ameristeel

Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest minimill steel producer
in North America with annual manufacturing capacity of over 6.8
million tons of mill finished steel products. Through its
vertically integrated network of 11 minimills (including one
50%-owned minimill), 13 scrap recycling facilities and 32
downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel primarily serves
customers in the eastern half of North America. The company's
products are generally sold to steel service centers,
fabricators, or directly to original equipment manufacturers for
use in a variety of industries, including construction,
automotive, mining and equipment manufacturing. Gerdau
Ameristeel's common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol GNA.TO


NET SERVICOS: Shareholders Summoned for April 19 General Meeting
----------------------------------------------------------------
We hereby invite the shareholders of NET SERVICOS DE COMUNICACAO
S.A. for the Annual General Meeting, to be cumulatively held on
April 19, 2004, at 10:00 a.m. at the Company's head office
located at Rua Verbo Divino, n° 1356, 1° andar, Sao Paulo, State
of Sao Paulo, in order to deliberate on the following agenda:

a)  To resolve on the financial accounts provided by the
Management; to examine, discuss and vote the Company's financial
statements, relating to the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002;
having no results to be distributed;

b)  To elect Board of Directors members and fix management
executive compensation.

In the terms of CVM instruction # 165/91, amended by instruction
# 282/98, the percentage for the adoption of the multiple voting
process for the election of Board of Directors members is 5% of
the voting capital.

Shareholders of the Company who are participants of the
Brazilian Stock Exchange Custody Program and intend to attend
the Meeting, will be required to present a statement issued by
the Custodian dated no less than 48 (Forty eight) hours prior to
the Meeting, showing their holding position in the Capital Stock
of the Company.



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

AES GENER: Details Gas Supply Restrictions in SING
--------------------------------------------------
In connection with the announcement of possible restrictions in
the supply of Argentine gas to the Sistema Interconectado del
Norte Grande (SING) which have appeared in the press, AES Gener
S.A. announced that if such restrictions become effective, they
would affect its operations in the SING, both the ones carried
out directly as well as those carried out through its Chilean
subsididary Norgener S.A. and its Argentine subsidiary
TermoAndes S.A., since all the power generated by the latter is
delivered to Chile for consumption in the SING.

Faced with a restriction in supply, TermoAndes S.A. and other
gas generators would reduce their generation, and coal and
petroleum generators, among them, Norgener S.A., would increase
their volume of generation. Since the cost of power generation
based on coal is higher than the cost of power generation based
on gas, AES Gener S.A. deems that such restrictions would imply
a reduction in operational margins and results on a consolidated
level. Nonetheless, this negative impact would be limited to the
difference in cost of generation of Norgener S.A. and the cost
of generation of TermoAndes S.A. This loss could be compensated
in part by sales margins Norgener S.A. could obtain in the spot
market if the marginal cost of the system exceeds the cost of
generation of Norgener S.A.

The effects that such restrictions may produce if they become
effective, could only be determined once the relevant
authorities adopt them and make them public."


AES GENER: Parent Predicts Chile Crisis May Hurt Profits
--------------------------------------------------------
The chief executive officer of global power company AES Corp.
(AES) said Thursday the shortage of natural gas in Chile arising
from Argentina's energy crisis may slightly affect their profits
this year, reports Reuters. In an interview with Reuters, AES
CEO Paul Hanrahan said the company's profits are expected to be
hurt by less than US$10 million on a pre-tax basis, or roughly
$6 million after-tax. "The impact won't be material to us," he
said. The company's coal-fired plant in Chile, he added, would
help soften some of the impact from the natural gas shortage.

Mr. Hanrahan also expressed optimism that higher power prices in
Argentina, which is imposing limits on exports of natural gas
because of rising demand as the country's economy rebounds, will
have a positive impact on the company's results.


AES GENER: Completes Debt Recapitalization
------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Thursday completion of
the debt recapitalization of its Chilean subsidiary, AES Gener
S.A. ("Gener"). The recapitalization has significantly extended
debt maturities and reduced Gener debt by $250 million, while
providing continued strong cash flow. It also positions Gener to
fully participate in the promising Chilean electricity sector.

AES also has elected to complete Gener's equity recapitalization
without a planned secondary offering by its subsidiary of 1,092
million Gener shares. AES will retain its current 99% Gener
ownership, and will contribute its pro-rata share of a $100
million Gener capital increase in May. AES also noted it will
receive a dividend of approximately the same amount in May as
well. Upon completion of the Gener equity recapitalization AES
will have made a net investment of $300 million. AES will
consider a secondary offering of Gener shares at a future date.

The primary consideration in terminating the offering was
Argentina's recently proposed limits on exports of natural gas
to northern Chile. This has resulted in uncertain local equity
market conditions for Chilean power producers. AES does not
believe these limits will have a material adverse affect on
Gener or on AES.

"Gener has attractive long-term prospects, and we're prepared to
retain our current ownership position," said Paul Hanrahan,
President and Chief Executive Officer. "We do expect to move
ahead with a secondary offering at some future date."

Commented Executive Vice President Joseph Brandt, "The
recapitalization of Gener, led by the recent successful note
offering, has revitalized the financial strength of the company.
Gener expects to play a leading role in the Chilean electricity
sector going forward."

AES also reaffirmed its prior 2004 earnings and cash flow
guidance, excluding non-recurring Gener transaction costs. At
the time AES provided its 2004 earnings and cash flow guidance,
it indicated the Gener recapitalization plan could result in
certain non-recurring costs. As previously disclosed, AES will
record a non-recurring pre-tax loss of $21 million in the first
quarter associated with a series of treasury lock agreements
that were part of the senior notes offering.

About AES

AES is a leading global power company, with 2003 sales of $8.4
billion. AES delivers 45,000 megawatts of electricity to
customers in 27 countries through 114 power facilities and 17
distribution companies. Our 30,000 people are committed to
operational excellence and meeting the world's growing power
needs. To learn more about AES, please visit www.aes.com or
contact AES investor relations at investing@aes.com.

CONTACT: AES Corporation
         Scott Cunningham, 703-558-4875


CMD: Pacific Rim Sells Andacollo Mine to Canadian Company
---------------------------------------------------------
Pacific Rim Mining Corp. (AMEX:PMU)(TSX:PMU) ("Pacific Rim")
finalized a letter of intent to sell its wholly owned subsidiary
Compania Minera Dayton (CMD) to MCK Mining Corporation ("MCK")
of Vancouver, BC, subject to due diligence, regulatory approval
and completion of a formal final agreement. CMD's primary
holding is the Andacollo gold mine in Chile, which was
officially shut down in December 2000 by Pacific Rim's
predecessor company Dayton Mining Corporation.

Under the terms of the agreement, MCK will make staged payments
totalling US $5 million plus 4 million common shares of MCK: US
$1 million and 3 million shares upon signing of a final
agreement; US $1 million plus 1 million shares on or before
December 31, 2004; and US $1 million on or before each of
December 31, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Due diligence is expected to
be completed by May 31, 2004.

"Pacific Rim is very pleased to have monetized its non-core
Andacollo holding," states Tom Shrake, CEO. "This sale will
provide substantial non-dilutive funds for Pacific Rim to
further its strategic objectives, through the continued
advancement of its El Dorado gold project in El Salvador, the
on-going exploration of its other gold projects and the
acquisition of new high quality gold properties. We are also
excited to have the additional upside potential that will come
with our share ownership in MCK."

About Pacific Rim Mining Corp.

Pacific Rim is a revenue-generating gold exploration company
with operational and exploration assets in North, Central and
South America. Pacific Rim utilizes the cash flow from its 49%
interest in the Denton-Rawhide gold mine in Nevada to explore,
define and advance its projects, including the flagship El
Dorado gold project in El Salvador. Pacific Rim's goal is to
become a highly profitable, growth-oriented, intermediate-level
gold producer that is environmentally and socially responsible.

On behalf of the board of directors,

Thomas C. Shrake, CEO

CONTACT:  Pacific Rim Mining Corp.
          Thomas C. Shrake, 888-775-7097 or 604-689-1976
          604-689-1978 (FAX)
          info@pacrim-mining.com
          www.pacrim-mining.com


*Gas Concerns Disrupt Improving Chilean Power Sector - Fitch
------------------------------------------------------------
Concerns regarding Chile's dependence on Argentina as a major
source of fuel to support the power sector have risen recently
in response to statements and actions by the Argentine
authorities. Anticipated interruptions of natural gas supply
required to fuel a significant portion of Chile's electricity
generation has disrupted the improving Chilean power sector
following a period of liquidity concerns, debt refinancings and
approval of positive new legislation.

Since the devaluation of the Argentine peso and freezing of
energy tariffs, that left the Argentine gas tariffs at roughly a
third of the previous price, there has been no new investment in
natural gas development or transportation. At the same time,
demand for natural gas in Argentina has been growing due the
high reliance on natural gas to fuel electric generation plants
near Buenos Aires, increased usage by the industrial sector and
the promotion of compressed natural gas (CNG) use in vehicles.

Part of the domestic demand problem in Argentina is a direct
result of the relatively low price of gas, which promotes gas
usage while prohibiting investment in gas production. The
natural gas system was structured to cover average demand with
peak demand met with alternative fuels. Over the past couple of
years, price distortions have changed the natural gas demand
profile, for example, by reducing the economic feasibility of
new thermo technology switching from natural gas to fuel oil and
increasing demand for gas from the sharp increase in the number
of gas-fueled automobiles.

There are already deficits in the upstream segments (gas
production and generation capacity) as well as transportation
bottlenecks. Production concerns vary by supply basin. While in
the South, the situation appears sustainable since exports don't
compete with local demand, in the Neuquen and Salta (Northwest)
basins, there are some cyclical and structural issues that may
be problematic in the very near and medium term.

As mentioned, transmission capacity remains an issue as well.
Although pipeline capacity is tight, it is not yet the driver of
the current shortages. This is expected to change as demand
rises into the winter months, resulting in additional shortages
for power generators and industries with interruptible service.
Pipeline constraints are a different problem given the concerns
about the future of these kinds of infrastructure businesses and
the lack adjustment of gas transmission tariffs. It is possible
that pipeline transportation and distribution expansions may be
undertaken by the government in the future. This is just one of
many uncertainties that remain while concession contract
negotiations are pending.

Production and transportation capacity concerns raise questions
regarding security of supply to both Chile's Sistema
Interconectado Central (SIC) and Sistema Interconectado del
Norte Grande (SING), though to varying degrees. While both grids
are exposed, the SIC appears to be less exposed than the SING.
The SIC is likely less vulnerable considering that the gas
transmission pipeline between Neuquen and Buenos Aires
(Transportadora de Gas del Norte S.A.) is already at capacity
and any reduction of exports to Chile can not be easily
redirected to Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, political intervention
could affect gas supply to Chile.

Fitch believes for the short term, it is possible that the SIC
(which accounts for 93% of Chile's population) could face some
managed shortages for certain hours or days. Depending on the
length and severity of the interruption in the SIC and amount of
available hydroelectric generation, electricity spot prices are
likely to become increasingly higher and more volatile as higher
cost generation becomes dispatched. Reservoir levels are
currently near historical averages, but the rainy season is just
now beginning, and it has not yet been determined if the rest of
the year will be wetter or dryer than normal. A wet year would
clearly limit the impact of periodic gas shortages. Conversely,
a dryer than normal year could lead to high spot prices and
possible electricity rationing by generators. Fitch currently
believes this risk to be low.

On average, approximately 22% of demand in the SIC is served by
natural gas-fired generation plants totaling 1,700 MW, which
also generally set the spot price at US$15 per MWh under normal
conditions. Without natural gas, it is estimated that
approximately 930 MW of coal-fired generation will become
dispatched, at approximately US$20-22 per MWh. Remaining demand
is then expected to be met by the combined cycle units after
they switch to fuel oil at a price of approximately US$50-$60
per MWh. These estimates assume normal dispatch of hydroelectric
generation. If hydrology is lower than normal or if
hydroelectric units are dispatched less to conserve water, spot
prices could climb to US$140 per MWh, equivalent to AES Gener's
Renca diesel-fired plant.

Currently, the regulated node price, the price at which
generators can sell to the distribution companies, is US$35 per
MWh, implying temporary financial stress on any generator that
will have to purchase energy on the spot market or generate
energy for its own contracts burning anything more expensive
than coal. Longer-term, tariff relief could come from the
October node price adjustment if forecasted increase in marginal
cost of energy prices remains high, but is not expected for the
near-term April adjustment.

The SING, on the other hand, is clearly at greater risk of
interruption than the SIC given recent actions by the Argentine
government. The SING receives gas via the GasAtacama and
NorAndino pipelines as well as gas-fired electricity from
TermoAndes in Argentina via the InterAndes transmission line.
Fitch believes all three sources of gas-fired generation to be
at risk. Since there are production limitations in the Northwest
Salta region, but not yet transportation capacity constraints, a
redirection of gas supply from Chile could potentially improve
the situation in Buenos Aires, implying a greater likelihood of
this action.

Given the overcapacity situation in the SING, the operations of
coal and diesel thermal generators can support the demand,
albeit at a somewhat higher marginal cost and depending on
adherence to dispatch limitations. As in the SIC, the operators
of the gas-fired combined cycle plants are able and would be
expected to switch to fuel oil to generate electricity. Coal-
fired generation capacity of 1,205 MW could supply a large part
of the 1,500 MW of peak demand. Assuming no natural gas in the
SING, conversion of the gas-fired plants to fuel oil and a
removal of the 220 MW dispatch limit, the marginal cost of the
system could reach US$50-$60 per MWh. Again, generators with
significant supply contracts, such as Nopel and ElectroAndina,
may be exposed to the higher priced energy while selling under a
fixed price contracts directly affecting earnings and cash flow
during periods of interruption. Those without significant
contracts, such as Edelnor, should benefit from selling
additional amounts at higher prices. A pass-through of the
higher energy cost to end users, primarily the large copper
mines, could have a material impact on Chile's main industry.
One solution to this issue would be the import of Bolivian gas
into Argentina to shore up supply in the region. Given the
current tension between Chile and Bolivia, it may be difficult
to secure an agreement in the medium term that would allow for
the consistent supply of gas to Argentina to meet demand in
Northern Chile.

There are several important technical facets (supply and demand)
that will determine the degree and duration of any shortage.
However, political interference and government decrees will
ultimately determine the priority of allocating the scarce
resources. The Argentine government has established priorities
of gas supply, which favors domestic residential consumption,
firm industrial demand contracts and CNG at the expense of
exports in excess of the minimum contracted. The government has
also indicated that it may also reduce exports if the
electricity supply is at risk. Resolution 265/04 of the
Secretary of Energy of Argentina, published on March 26, 2004,
says that minimum export contractual volume should be
reallocated if gas is not assured or it is considered necessary
to satisfy the needs of the domestic market. Argentina has
already cut off contractual electricity exports to Uruguay's
state-owned power company, UTE, because of the gas and
electricity shortages.

To fix the problem, producers say they need price adjustments to
support investment. While increased gas prices could provide
appropriate signals for investment, the pricing issue will not
be a solution in the short run given the development lead times
of six to twelve months for additional gas production capacity.

The Argentine administration seems to put a lot of weight on the
political impact of any decision, and as a result, it is very
difficult to quantify the impact due to the variables involved.
For example, the government has been a strong supporter of the
CNG for vehicles, increasing demand from virtually nothing to
approximately 8%-10% of the country's total natural gas demand
over the past 2 years. It is question what level of priority
will be given to meet this demand and whether it will be at the
expense of exports to Chile.

So far, the Chile authorities have downplayed the potential
interruption of exports to Chile. Fitch also believes that it is
likely that the Argentine authorities, if ultimately required to
interrupt supplies, will coordinate with Chile so as to
establish some logical priorities and to assure Chilean
residential demand as well.

Fitch currently believes the risks of a material, prolonged
disruption of gas and the potential effect on the Chilean power
sector to be manageable. Factors which should limit the length
and severity of a disruption include the Chilean sector's
ability to substitute fuels rapidly, the addition of new,
uncontracted generation capacity, primarily at Endesa-Chile's
Ralco plant in July or August; the expected short periods of
potential interruption; the desire by Argentine producers to
maintain exports and receipt of U.S. dollar revenues; the
strategic and political importance to Chile of gas imports from
Argentina; and the possibility that the Argentine government
will address the local gas prices issue in the near term,
allowing for additional investment in the sector.

If both countries make it through this winter without material
problems or a long-term solution, the outlook for 2005 could be
more pessimistic, given the expected continued increase in
demand in both Argentina and Chile, uncertain hydroelectric
reservoir levels in both countries, greater deficits of supply
due to underinvestment, and overall uncertainly regarding the
political and economic situation in Argentina.

CONTACTS: Jason Todd +1-312-368-3217, Chicago
          Carlos Diez, +011-562-206-7171, Santiago
          Cecilia Minguillon, +5411-4327-2444, Buenos Aires

MEDIA RELATIONS: James Jockle +1-212-908-0547, New York



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

BANCAFE: Pinchincha Eyes Panama Unit
------------------------------------
The Panama unit of Colombia's largest state-owned bank Bancafe
is being eyed for acquisition by Ecuadorian banking group
Pichincha for US$60 million, says Reuters. Fidel Egas, president
of Pinchincha, told Reuters Wednesday that "We are looking to
widen our business and so we are negotiating the purchase of
Bancafe for around US$60 million."

Mr. Egas said the Pichincha Group is in a good position to buy
Bancafe in Panama because of its solid financial outlook.
"Pichincha Group last year registered profits of $35 million and
we see profits at a similar level this year," he said.

Pichincha Group has US$2.435 billion in assets and has
subsidiaries in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Miami and Nassau in the
Bahamas. The Colombian government has been trying to privatize
Bancafe, which it bailed out in 1999 under a US$2.1 billion loan
accord with the International Monetary Fund. However, there were
no bidders at its February 18 auction. Since its takeover, the
government has already poured some US$436 million into the bank.

Bancafe, which has around US$2 billion in assets, reported a 23%
return-on-equity in 2003.


HILACOL: Liquidation Follows Five Years of Reorganization
---------------------------------------------------------
The liquidation of Colombian textiles and apparel company
Hilacol has already been initiated by the country's corporations
superintendence, according to the El Tiempo newspaper.

Initial plans for Hilacol, which filed for bankruptcy five years
ago due to bank debts totaling COP24 billion, are to find a
buyer for its assets that would maintain its operations since
the company is still considered feasible.  Meanwhile, the 14
franchises that manage the 107 shops with Hilacol brands Azucar
and Azuquita, considered valuable assets, are also expected to
continue normal operations in fulfillment of existing contracts.


VALORES BAVARIA: Non-Strategic Assets Up for Sale
-------------------------------------------------
As part of its reorganization program, Colombian investment
company Valores Bavaria (Valbavaria) has announced it is selling
off two controlled companies considered as non-strategic assets,
says the Portafolio newspaper.

Construction company Constructora Parque is to be sold to a
group of Colombian investors while Grupo Media Capital, a
Portuguese susbsidiary with investments in television and radio
broadcasting and magazine publishing will be offering shares in
the Lisbon stock market.



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

CFE: Japanese Company To Help Build Plant
-----------------------------------------
The thermoelectric plant project of Mexican state-run power
utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) is set to get a
boost by an undisclosed Japanese company planning to invest
US$320 million in the project, reports the Institutional
Investor.

The report comes after the CFE announced recently that Japanese
diversified holding company Mitsubishi Corporation will invest
close to MXN200 million this year in the construction of its
Tuxpan V plant in central Mexico.

Felipe Gaxiola Montoya, director of the CFE, said construction
on the 520-megawatt plant known as Valladolid 2 is scheduled to
commence early this month and is expected to be operational in
2006. Designed by designed by Japanese consortium Misuri,
Valladolid 2 will help CFE to meet the projected rise in
electricity demand for the period 2006 to 2013 in the regions of
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo and Merida, eastern Mexico.

CFE expects its electricity sales to rise this year to MXN141.7
billion. CFE's electricity sales rose to MXN139.7 billion in
2003, compared to MXN122.8 billion for 2002. Electricity sales
to the industrial and commercial sector, which accounted for
60.3% of the total sales, rose to MXN85.455 billion in 2003.


COPAMEX: SCA Agrees to Acquire 50% Equity Stake
-----------------------------------------------
SCA concluded Thursday an agreement with the Mexican company
Copamex covering the acquisition of 50% of the common stock of
the company that owns Copamex's tissue business. The acquisition
is conditional upon completion of a debt refinancing of the
Copamex Group. SCA has undertaken to contribute to this
refinancing with at total amount of approximately USD$100
Million, or SEK 760 M, in the form of common and preferred
stock.

With a market share in the consumer segment of about 27%,
Copamex is the second largest tissue producer in Mexico. Sales
in 2003 amounted to approximately SEK 1,750 M. The Mexican
tissue market has shown an average annual growth of about 6%
since 1995. SCA and Copamex are already partners in Sancela de
Mexico, a company engaged in production and sales of feminine
hygiene- and incontinence products for the Mexican and Central
American markets. Sancela has annual sales of about SEK 725 M
and, following completion of the refinancing, Sancela will form
part of the jointly owned tissue company.

More detailed information about the transaction will be provided
when the debt refinancing of the Copamex Group has been
completed.

CONTACT:  SVENSKA CELLULOSA AKTIEBOLAGET SCA
          Jan Astrom, President and CEO
          Phone: +46 70 586 0701

          Peter Nyquist
          Senior Vice President, Communications and
             Investor Relations
          Phone: +46 70-575 2906

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



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

BANCO SANTANDER: Fitch Ups LTFC Rating to `B'
---------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term foreign currency (LTFC)
rating of Banco Santander S. A. (Santander) to 'B' from 'B-'
following a similar action taken on Uruguay's sovereign ratings.
The action reflects Fitch's view that the current rating of the
bank is constrained by the foreign currency sovereign ceiling in
light of Banco Santander's strong foreign parent, which has
provided both capital and liquidity support throughout the
crisis.

Fitch has also changed the bank's support rating to '4' from
'5', denoting a limited probability of support. While Fitch
views that there is an increased probability that shareholders
will continue to support its subsidiary amid growing signs of
economic stabilization, the assigned support rating also
reflects the high level of systemic risk in Uruguay.

Thus far, the bank's parent has provided support throughout the
crisis and its continued ability to do so is evident in the LTFC
rating assigned by Fitch. Santander received capital injections
of US$32 million in 2003 and an additional US$13 million in 2004
from its parent Banco Santander Central Hispano (LTFC rating of
'AA-' by Fitch).

The financial condition of the system has been severely weakened
by the crisis and significant challenges remain. Positively,
deposits have rebounded somewhat, with non-financial sector
deposits growing 25% among private sector banks in 2003.
Nevertheless, they remain significantly below historical levels,
particularly non-resident deposits (mainly Argentines), and the
system's ability to recapture these deposits remains doubtful in
the near term. As a result of this growth coupled with the sharp
credit contraction since the crisis, most private sector banks,
including Banco Santander, have maintained fairly robust levels
of liquidity. At end-2003, Santander maintained liquid assets,
comprised of cash, short-term inter-bank deposits and to a much
lesser extent, government securities, equivalent to 79%, 58% and
79% of total deposits and short term obligations. The high
levels of liquidity coupled with high provision expenses have
resulted in continued, albeit narrowing, losses in 2003 and a
relatively high level of problem assets.


BANCO SUDAMERIS: Asset Sale Prompts LTFC `B' Rating Withdrawal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings is withdrawing the Long-term Foreign Currency 'B-'
rating assigned to Banco Sudameris - Uruguay Branch (Sudameris)
as it ceased to operate on March 31, 2004. The majority of the
bank's assets and liabilities have been sold to Banco ACAC,
while the remaining assets and liabilities are being liquidated
by the bank.

The financial condition of the Uruguayan system has been
severely weakened by the crisis and significant challenges
remain. Positively, deposits have rebounded somewhat, with non-
financial sector deposits growing 25% among private sector banks
in 2003. Nevertheless, they remain significantly below
historical levels, particularly non-resident deposits (mainly
Argentines), and the system's ability to recapture these
deposits remains doubtful in the near term. As a result of this
growth coupled with the sharp credit contraction since the
crisis, most private sector banks, including the aforementioned
banks, have maintained fairly robust levels of liquidity.

At end-2003, Sudameris maintained liquid assets, comprised of
cash, short-term inter-bank deposits and to a much lesser
extent, government securities, equivalent to 79%, 58% and 79% of
total deposits and short term obligations. The high levels of
liquidity coupled with high provision expenses have resulted in
continued, albeit narrowing, losses in 2003 and a relatively
high level of problem assets.


HSBC BANK (URUGUAY): Fitch Ups Rating Following Sovereign Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings improved the long-term foreign currency (LTFC)
rating of HSBC Bank (Uruguay) S.A. to 'B' from 'B-' following a
similar action taken on Uruguay's sovereign ratings. The action
reflects Fitch's view that the current rating of the bank is
constrained by the foreign currency sovereign ceiling in light
of HSBC Bank Uruguay's strong foreign parent, which has provided
both capital and liquidity support throughout the crisis.

Fitch has also changed the bank's support rating to '4' from
'5', denoting a limited probability of support. While Fitch
views that there is an increased probability that shareholders
will continue to support its subsidiary amid growing signs of
economic stabilization, the assigned support rating also
reflects the high level of systemic risk in Uruguay.

Thus far, the bank's parent has provided support throughout the
crisis and its continued ability to do so is evident in the LTFC
rating assigned by Fitch. HSBC Uruguay received capital support
of US$4.8 million in 2003 and US$2 million in February 2004 from
its parent HSBC Holdings PLC (LTFC rating of 'AA-' by Fitch).
Moreover, HSBC's commitment to the region has been exceptional,
even in the case of Argentina, where the bank paid on all
external obligations throughout the crisis, paying obligations
from other subsidiaries when capital controls were in place in
Argentina.

The financial condition of the system has been severely weakened
by the crisis and significant challenges remain. Positively,
deposits have rebounded somewhat, with non-financial sector
deposits growing 25% among private sector banks in 2003.
Nevertheless, they remain significantly below historical levels,
particularly non-resident deposits (mainly Argentines), and the
system's ability to recapture these deposits remains doubtful in
the near term. As a result of this growth coupled with the sharp
credit contraction since the crisis, most private sector banks,
including HSBC Bank (Uruguay), have maintained fairly robust
levels of liquidity. At end-2003, HSBC Bank (Uruguay) maintained
liquid assets, comprised of cash, short-term inter-bank deposits
and to a much lesser extent, government securities, equivalent
to 79%, 58% and 79% of total deposits and short-term
obligations. The high levels of liquidity coupled with high
provision expenses have resulted in continued, albeit narrowing,
losses in 2003 and a relatively high level of problem assets.


                            ***********


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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