TCRLA_Public/040427.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

             Tuesday, April 27, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 82

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ALIMENTOS FARGO: Fitch Retains `D(arg)' Rating on $120M of Bonds
ATLANTIC SPORT: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
BANCO DE GALICIA: Gets Green Light To Proceed With Debt Swap
BUENA ALIMENTACION: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
CASA SARA: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling

COMERCIAL TUCUMAN: Court Sets Deadline For Submission of Reports
CORREO ARGENTINO: Govt. Readies Conditions for Reprivatization
DELTA CALZADOS: Reorganization Authorized, Claims Check Next
ESERBAIRES: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
L ARLESIENNE: Court Declares Company Bankrupt

LA SUDAMERICANA: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
MADIE: Court Rules Bankruptcy
MONLEM SERVICE: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Bondi Travels to Argentina to Outline Sale
PLUS ONE: Declared Bankrupt by Court

TELECOM ARGENTINA: $3.2B Of Bonds Remain in Default
TRANSPORTE RAFAEL: Banfield Court Approves Reorganization
V LEHMANN: Court Decrees Bankruptcy, Names Receiver

* ARGENTINA: Puts Use Of Defaulted Bonds In Tax Payments On Hold


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Names New Chief Corporate Compliance Officer


B R A Z I L

EMBRATEL: Calais Again Increases Offer
EMBRATEL: Report Alleges Consortium Will Raise Embratel Rates
EMBRATEL: Calais Denies Report Of Rate Hike Plans


M E X I C O

SAVIA: Shares Suspended After Loss


U R U G U A Y

UTE: To Put 70MW Contract Bidding Rules Forward


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Hovensa Sells $50.7M in '22 Bonds

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

ALIMENTOS FARGO: Fitch Retains `D(arg)' Rating on $120M of Bonds
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Reisgo S.A. maintains a
`D(arg)' rating on some US$120 million of corporate bonds issued
by local company Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A., the National
Securities Commission or CNV reports.

The rating, which is assigned to financial commitments that are
currently in default, was given based on the Company's finances
as of December 31, 2003.

The bonds affected are given the description "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples" and will mature on July 24, 2008. These
bonds were classified under "Simple Issue"


ATLANTIC SPORT: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
--------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 22 declared Atlantic Sport S.A.
"Quiebra," reports Infobae. The declaration allows the Company
to proceed with the bankruptcy process, which will close with
the liquidation of its assets.

The court, assisted by Clerk No. 43, appointed Mr. Alberto
Antonio Vilela as receiver who will authenticate proofs of claim
until May 19, 2004. Afterwards, the receiver will prepare the
individual reports based on the results of the authentication
and then submit these reports to court on July 2, 2004. After
these results are processed in court, the receiver will
consolidate these reports into a general report and submit it to
court on August 31, 2004.

CONTACT:  Alberto Antonio Vilela, Receiver
          Rodriguez Pena 431
          Buenos Aires


BANCO DE GALICIA: Gets Green Light To Proceed With Debt Swap
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's national securities commission approved Friday
afternoon plans by Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA to issue
up to US$1.4 billion in bonds that will be used in its proposed
debt swap.

The approval, according to Bloomberg News, came after the
securities regulator approved the bank's plans to issue as many
as 149 million preferred rights, which will be converted into
ordinary Class B shares in a year.

Galicia needs to reschedule payments on some of the US$1.6
billion it owes creditors. Earlier Friday, the bank announced an
extension of its offer until April 27 as it waited for the
regulator's clearance to issue the bonds.

Delays in the Court's approval prompted the bank to postpone its
rescheduling plans four times. The bank, which postponed its
deadline to April 27, said it had secured agreement from
creditors representing 97% of its US$1.32 billion debt burden.
The bank has now surpassed the 95% goal it had set for its
creditor agreement rate. Argentine bankruptcy law requires just
a two-thirds approval rate from bondholders. It now can submit
its debt-restructuring proposal for legal approval and
authorization from the central bank.

CONTACT:  BANCO DE GALICIA Y BUENOS AIRES
          Tte Gral Juan D Peron 407
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina
          C1038AAI
          Phone: +54 11 6329 0000
          Fax: +54 11 6329 6100
          Home Page: http://www.bancogalicia.com.ar
          Contact:
          Juan Martin Etchegoyhen, Chairman
          Antonio R. Garces, Vice Chairman


BUENA ALIMENTACION: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Gustavo Ottolenghi of Buenos Aires Court No. 4 declared
Buena Alimentacion SA bankrupt, reports Argentine newspaper La
Nacion. The ruling comes in approval of the bankruptcy petition
filed by the Company's creditor, Juan Caracoche, for nonpayment
of US$1116.24 in debt.

Clerk No. 8, Dra. Anta, assists the court on the case, the
source added.

The Company's receiver, Mr. Gustavo Pagliere, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until June 9, 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:  Buena Alimentacion SA
          Jose Cubas 2153
          Buenos Aires

          Gustavo Pagliere, Receiver
          Tucuman 1424, Piso 8 "E"
          Buenos Aires


CASA SARA: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
-----------------------------------------
Casa Sara S.R.L. will now enter bankruptcy after Buenos Aires
Court No. 22 declared it "Quiebra," reports Infobae.

With assistance from Clerk No. 43, the court named Mr. Miguel
Angel Loustau as receiver. He will verify creditors' claims
until May 24, 2004.

Following claims verification, the receiver will submit the
individual reports, which were prepared based on the results of
the verification, to the court on July 2, 2004. The general
report is due for submission on September 3, 2004.

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

CONTACT:  Miguel Angel Loustau, Receiver
          Viamonte 993
          Buenos Aires


COMERCIAL TUCUMAN: Court Sets Deadline For Submission of Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Isaac Jospe, the court-appointed receiver overseeing the
reorganization process of Comercial Tucuman S.R.L., must submit
individual reports to court on June 30, 2004.

Submission of these reports follows the verification of the
creditors claims, which will run through May 26, 2004. After the
individual reports are processed in court, the receiver will
then prepare the general report and submit this to court on
August 13, 2004.

The informative assembly, the last stage of a reorganization
process, is slated for December 15, 2004.

Judge Ballerini of Court No. 24, with assistance from Dr.
Medina, Clerk No. 47, authorized the reorganization of Comercial
Tucuman early this month. The Company is undergoing the process
listing assets of US$68,391.71 and liabilities of US$158,458.48

CONTACT:  Comercial Tucuman SRL
          Tucuman 457
          Buenos Aires

          Isaac Jozpe, Receiver
          Jose Evaristo Uriburu 1054
          Buenos Aires


CORREO ARGENTINO: Govt. Readies Conditions for Reprivatization
--------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's Communications Secretariat has finished outlining
the terms and conditions for the new auctioning of the national
postal concession.

Under the new conditions, the State will keep at least a 5%
stake in the operator and a "golden share" that will give it
power of veto on all the decisions made by the Company. Aside
from that, the new concessionaire will no longer pay a semi-
annual fee but an annual exploitation right during the
concession term. This fee will consist of a fixed sum and a
variable portion.

A source close to the making of the concession terms said that
everything was ready and the tender process will be called for
when the president decides. The government wants the Company to
be handed to a private investor in July as the latest.

The government rescinded former postal operator Correo
Argentino's concession in November, faulting the Company for
missed payments and failure to meet other terms of the contract
through the decree 1075. This decree also established that the
service would be re-privatized within 180 days, term that is
expiring May 20.

Some of the investors that have already shown interest in
acquiring the national postal concession are media group Clarin,
businessman Mario Montoto, the Werthein group and the official
postal services of Canada and New Zealand.


DELTA CALZADOS: Reorganization Authorized, Claims Check Next
------------------------------------------------------------
La Plata Civil and Commercial Court No. 8 authorized Delta
Calzados S.H. to start its reorganization process, reports
Infobae. The court granted the Company's "Concurso Preventivo"
motion, appointing Ms. Olga Susana Urriza as receiver.

Creditors have until May 24, 2004 to submit their proofs of
claims to the receiver, who will verify these claims and submit
them to court as individual reports on July 12, 2004. After
these reports are processed in court, the receiver will then
prepare the general report and submit it to court on September
8, 2004.

The informative assembly, the last stage of a reorganization
process, will be held on March 1, 2005.

CONTACT: Olga Susana Urriza, Receiver
         Calle 18 Nro. 425
         La Plata


ESERBAIRES: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
------------------------------------------------
Eserbaires SA entered bankruptcy after Judge Chomer of Buenos
Aires Court No. 10 approved a bankruptcy petition filed by Juan
De Rosa Moreno reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay
US$4718.30 in debt prompted the creditor to file the petition.

Working with Dra. D'Alessandri, Clerk No. 19, the court assigned
Mr. Carlos Montana 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:  Eserbaires SA
          Sarmiento 4071
          Buenos Aires

          Carlos Montana, Receiver
          Ayacucho 457, Piso 5 "53"
          Buenos Aires


L ARLESIENNE: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
---------------------------------------------
L Arlesienne S.R.L. entered bankruptcy on orders from Buenos
Aires Court No. 14, reveals Infobae.

Working with Clerk No. 28, the court assigned Mr. Alberto Jorge
Rotenberg as receiver. He will verify creditors' claims until
June 14, 2004. Creditors who fail to have their claims validated
before the deadline will be disqualified from receiving any
payments to be made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

The individual reports, which are to be prepared upon completion
of the verification process, are due in court on August 16,
2004. The court also requires the receiver to prepare a general
report and file it on September 28, 2004. This report contains a
summary of the results contained in the individual reports.

CONTACT: Alberto Jorge Rotenberg, Receiver
         Av Cordoba 1336
         Buenos Aires


LA SUDAMERICANA: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
-------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 24 declared La Sudamericana C.I.S.A.
"Quiebra," reports Infobae. Clerk No. 47 assists the court on
the case, which will close with the liquidation of the Company's
assets to repay creditors.

Mr. Eduardo Ruben Pronsky, who has been appointed as receiver,
will verify creditors' claims until July 5, 2004 and then
prepare the individual reports based on the results of the
verification process.

The individual reports will then be submitted to court on August
13, 2004 followed by the general report on September 16, 2004.

CONTACT:  Eduardo Ruben Pronsky, Receiver
          Parana 480
          Buenos Aires


MADIE: Court Rules Bankruptcy
-----------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 22 declared Madie S.R.L. "Quiebra,"
reports Infobae. The Company will now proceed with the
bankruptcy process, which will close with the liquidation of its
assets.

The court, assisted by Clerk No. 44, appointed Mr. Juan Enrique
Reindhardt, as receiver who will authenticate proofs of claim
until June 8, 2004. Afterwards, the receiver will prepare the
individual reports based on the results of the authentication
process and then submit these reports to court on August 4,
2004. After these results are processed in court, the receiver
will then submit the general report on September 15, 2004.

CONTACT:  Juan Enrique Reindhardt
          Viamonte 1348
          Buenos Aires


MONLEM SERVICE: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
----------------------------------------------
Monlem Service S.R.L. (formerly Alpar Service S.R.L.) will now
enter bankruptcy after Buenos Aires Court No. 24 declared it
"Quiebra," reports Infobae. With assistance from Clerk No. 47,
the court named Mr. Juan Carlos Sosa as receiver, who will
verify creditors' claims until July 6, 2004.

Following claims verification, the receiver will submit the
individual reports, which were prepared based on the
verification results, to court on September 7, 2004. The general
report is due for submission on October 11, 2004.

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

CONTACT:  Juan Carlos Sosa, Receiver
          Viamonte 783
          Buenos Aires


PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Bondi Travels to Argentina to Outline Sale
--------------------------------------------------------------
A representative of Parmalat S.p.A.'s administrator Enrico Bondi
is in Argentina underlying the structure and legal procedures
for the sale of local assets. The goal is to have all the legal
issues worked out this week.

KPMG is the agent hired by Parmalat Argentina to gather and
evaluate bids. Law firm Allende & Brea will take care of the
legal issues.

Private equity funds Pegasus, headed by Mario Quintana, and
Southern Cross, led by Norberto Morita, have recently expressed
interest in acquiring Parmalat's operation in Argentina. Morita
is also interested in Chile and Uruguay.

Though none of these companies have made official statements,
New Zealand's Fonterra (partnered with Nestle), Spanish Iparlat
and Danish Arla Foods are also after Parmalat's assets. Danone,
who is only interested in the brands, would be a step behind,
since Parmalat wants to sell its two plants along with the
brands. U.S.' Kraft, which was invited by the organizers of the
sale, denied being interested.


PLUS ONE: Declared Bankrupt by Court
------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 24 declared Plus One S.A. bankrupt,
reports Infobae. Clerk No. 47 assists the court on this
particular case, which will close with the liquidation of the
Company's assets to repay creditors.

Ms. Angel Romano Pozzi, who has been appointed as receiver, will
verify creditors' claims until June 14, 2004 and then prepare
the individual reports based on the results of the verification
process.

The individual reports will then be submitted to the court on
August 6, 2004, followed by the general report September 20,
2004.

CONTACT:  Angel Romano Pozzi, Receiver
          Combate de los Pozos 129
          Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: $3.2B Of Bonds Remain in Default
---------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a `D(arg)'
rating on a total of US$3.2 billion of corporate bonds issued by
Telecom Argentina S.A. (formerly Telecom Argentina STET-France
Telecom S.A.), the Comision Nacional de Valores (CNV) reports.

The bonds in default are:

-- US$200 million worth of "Programa de ON simples." Maturity
date was not indicated;

-- US$1.5 billion worth of "Programa Global de ONs autorizado
por Asamblea de fecha 16.3.99", due on August 2, 2004; and

-- US$1.5 billion of "Programa de obligaciones negociables",
with undisclosed maturity date.

All the above bonds were classified under "Program."

The rating action was taken based on the Company's finances as
of December 31, 2003.

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

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


TRANSPORTE RAFAEL: Banfield Court Approves Reorganization
---------------------------------------------------------
Banfield Civil and Commercial Court No. 9 approved the "Concurso
Preventivo" petition filed by Transporte Rafael Calzada S.R.L.,
reports Infobae.

Along with the approval of the petition is the appointment of
Francisco Allende, Monti N. Delfor, Villalva Julio as receivers,
who will authenticate creditors' claims until June 11, 2004. The
receivers will prepare the individual reports after the credit
verification process is completed and submit these reports to
court on August 10, 2004. After these reports are processed in
court, the receivers will prepare the general report and submit
it to court on September 23, 2004.

The informative assembly, one of the last parts of the
reorganization process, will be held on February 14, 2005.

CONTACT:  Francisco Allende, Monti N. Delfor, Villalva Julio
          Vergara 1780
          Banfield


V LEHMANN: Court Decrees Bankruptcy, Names Receiver
---------------------------------------------------
V Lehamann will now undergo a bankruptcy process after Buenos
Aires Court No. 14 declared it "Quiebra," reports Infobae.

Mr. Ruben Joaquin Toytoyndjian will act as the Company's
receiver, who will verify creditors' proofs of claim until June
21, 2004. The results of the verification process will be
submitted to court on August 24, 2004 via individual reports.
These reports, after being process in court, will be
consolidated into one general report, which is due for
submission on October 5, 2004.

Clerk No. 28 assists the court in handling this case, which will
close with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay
creditors.

CONTACT:  Ruben Joaquin Toytoyndjian
          Luis Saenz Pena 1219
          Buenos Aires


* ARGENTINA: Puts Use Of Defaulted Bonds In Tax Payments On Hold
----------------------------------------------------------------
Through a Presidential Decree published Thursday in the Official
Bulletin, the Argentine government has suspended a program that
allowed some Argentine holders of certain bonds issued before
its December 2001 default to use them to pay income taxes,
reports Dow Jones.

Citing the need for "equitable" treatment of all holders of its
defaulted debt, the government said that until Argentina has
completed its planned debt exchange to restructure some US$100
billion in defaulted debt, for which it will launch a final
offer in June, it will suspend the use of fiscal credit
certificates, or CCFs, to pay taxes.

Under a plan introduced in November 2002, certificates with a
face value of ARS80 million were being auctioned each month to
holders of various types of bonds issued before August 2001,
which could then be used to cancel debts with the federal
government. Two months ago, however, the Economy Ministry
stopped the auctions, with Thursday's decree giving that
decision presidential authority and establishes a time frame
under which the auctions will be restored.

It is the second suspension in the bonds-for-taxes program,
which was first introduced by Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo
in 2001 as a face value swap open to all bondholders.



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

FOSTER WHEELER: Names New Chief Corporate Compliance Officer
------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) announced Friday that Peter
D. Rose has been appointed vice president of Internal Audit and
chief corporate compliance officer of Foster Wheeler Inc. Ms.
Lisa Fries Gardner, who is currently the vice president and
secretary of the company, has been appointed chief governance
officer. Ms. Fries Gardner will retain her position as vice
president and secretary of the company.

"Pete and Lisa have been key members of Foster Wheeler's
management team for some time and they are both very well suited
to take on these important new responsibilities," said Raymond
J. Milchovich, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
"These appointments will allow us to better manage the many
related compliance and governance functions at our corporate
center."

As Vice President Internal Audit, Mr. Rose will be responsible
for conducting internal audits, and managing the Internal Audit
Department. As chief corporate compliance officer, he will be
responsible for directing the company's worldwide self-
governance activities as well as establishing uniform standards
and practices for management testing and certifications of
Internal Controls under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and assuring
compliance with corporate policies. Mr. Rose will be a member of
the Disclosure Committee and participate in their activities
with respect to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

As Chief Governance Officer, Ms. Fries Gardner will focus on
corporate governance rules and regulations, governance of the
Board of Directors and its Committees and implementing
continuous improvement in governance policies and practices. She
will continue to oversee the Code of Business Conduct and
Ethics, including responsibility for the Foster Wheeler Ethics
Compliance Helpline. Ms. Fries Gardner will remain a member of
the Disclosure Committee and will also continue her oversight of
the corporate structure and corporate policies.

Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global company offering, through its
subsidiaries, a broad range of design, engineering,
construction, manufacturing, project development and management,
research and plant operation services. Foster Wheeler serves the
refining, oil and gas, petrochemical, chemicals, power,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries. The
corporation is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational
headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey, USA.

CONTACT:  Foster Wheeler Ltd.
          Media Contact:
          Richard Tauberman, 908-730-4444
             or
          Other Inquiries: 908-730-4000
          Web site: http://www.fwc.com



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

EMBRATEL: Calais Again Increases Offer
--------------------------------------
Calais Participacoes S.A. ("Calais") filed Thursday an enhanced
offer with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District
of New York to acquire the common stock of Embratel
Participacoes S.A. (NYSE: EMT - News; "Embratel") from MCI, Inc.
This modified offer addresses increases the guaranteed immediate
payment from $396 million to $470 million and addresses the
concerns attributed to MCI's Board of Directors and cited as the
grounds for MCI's rejection of Calais' previous offer. The offer
also provides an additional $80 million, less any approved break
up fee, once Calais acquires the Embratel stock, bringing the
value of the transaction to $550 million.

"We are confident that there are absolutely no regulatory
problems whatsoever," stated a Calais spokesperson, "and today
we filed with ANATEL all of the documents related to our
consortium, as well as a copy of our offer to MCI."

The enhanced offer provides an immediate, non-refundable payment
of $470 million plus a reimbursement of a $12.2 million break up
fee, if such a fee is approved by the Court. In order to address
the MCI Board's concerns about obtaining prior approval from
CADE (the Brazilian antitrust authority), the structure of the
transaction has been significantly altered to incorporate a form
that MCI knows from its own experience has worked in Brazil
before -- appointing a person of impeccable credentials and
reputation as trustee of an interim trust.

A Calais spokesperson stated, "We believe that our offer as
modified hereby continues to be vastly superior to the Telmex
offer both with respect to price and execution risk. It
represents $70 million more in immediate non-refundable payments
to MCI which are not subject to any prior regulatory approval.
Through the trustee structure, it affords a very high likelihood
that Embratel will soon cease to be a management distraction to
MCI; it provides insulation from purported liability concerns;
and will result in a substantially higher purchase price upon
the ultimate acquisition by Calais."

On Thursday, April 22, 2004, citing a sales process that was
"fundamentally flawed both in its structure and its execution,"
Calais filed an objection to MCI's proposed sale of the common
stock of Embratel to Telefonos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (Telmex)
(NYSE: TMX - News). In that filing, Calais stated that it has
"repeatedly brought to the Debtors offers superior to the one
they seek to consummate, and Calais indicated that it would soon
submit a revised offer which is substantially higher from a
financial point of view, and deals with the Debtors' purported
concerns regarding execution risk." This latest enhanced offer
accomplishes both of those objectives.

"We believe Embratel should be sold to the highest bidder, as in
the case of any normal auction," added the Calais spokesperson.

Attached is a copy of the offer letter that Calais filed with
the Court and sent to MCI late last night.

Calais is owned by Geodex Communications S.A. and three of
Brazil's leading telecom companies, Brasil Telecom S.A. (symbol:
BTM), Telemar Norte Leste S.A. (symbol: TNE) and SP
Telecommunicacoes Holding Ltda., a Brazilian unit of Telefonica
(symbol: TEF).


EMBRATEL: Report Alleges Consortium Will Raise Embratel Rates
-------------------------------------------------------------
Days after the Calais consortium raised its bid for Brazil's
biggest long-distance carrier Embratel for the fourth time, a
report by local daily Folha de Sao Paulo Sunday revealed that
Calais is considering increasing rates once their bid for the
carrier succeeds, relates Reuters.

The report said that police uncovered an internal document by
Spain's Telefonica saying that the Embratel acquisition would
allow them to raise phone "tariffs to the ceiling." Telefonica,
along with Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Brasil Telecom and
Brazilian telecommunications infrastructure maker Geodex make up
Calais, which is trying to outbid Mexico's Telmex for a 52%
voting stake in Embratel from U.S. operator MCI Inc.

However, the report quoted Eduardo Navarro, vice president of
strategic planning for Telefonica, as saying the document is
invalid as the companies, if they gain control, will have to
sell Embratel's long-distance phone concessions anyway.

The local daily also managed to reproduce a Telefonica document
saying that there would be no objections to its Embratel bid
from the Brazilian government, though the document did not say
who in government would not object. The final say in the deal is
in the hands of Brazil's independent telecommunications
regulator Anatel and the Cade antitrust agency, which must both
approve the purchase.

According to Folha, the document also said the companies would
gain by eliminating discounts offered by Embratel, thus reducing
competition in the market.

On Friday, Calais improved its offer for Embratel, by
guaranteeing that MCI would receive at least $470 million up
front, even if the purchase is rejected by regulators, out of
its $550 million bid. The improved offer also included other
terms it hoped would address MCI's concerns that the purchase
would be rejected on antitrust grounds in Brazil.


EMBRATEL: Calais Denies Report Of Rate Hike Plans
-------------------------------------------------
In a statement, the consortium bidding for Brazilian long-
distance carrier Embratel has denied a report by local daily
Folha de Sao Paulo Sunday that it plans to raise rates once it
acquires the country's largest long distance operator, says
Reuters.

Calais denied in its statement every point made in the Folha
report, which claimed that police had found an internal document
by Spain's Telefonica, one of Calais' members, which said the
purchase would allow the consortium's to raise phone "tariffs to
the ceiling." "Calais repudiates the insinuations that it is
acting in an illegal way and reaffirms its commitment to act to
preserve competition in the telecommunications market," Calais
said in its statement. It said the document had been obtained
illegally.

According to the statement, Calais only has eyes for Embratel's
data transmission and corporate client business. Geodex would
then take care of the rest of Embratel's operations in a
completely independent manner, it said.

The consortium also denied Folha's claims that a Telefonica
document it reproduced says the Brazilian government would pose
no objection to its acquisition of the operator, saying the
government had been informed of its plans but it would only make
a judgment after the buyer has been decided. The purchase needs
the approval of both the country's independent
telecommunications regulator Anatel and the Cade anti-trust
agency.

Telefonica, along with Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Brasil
Telecom and Brazilian telecommunications infrastructure maker
Geodex make up Calais, which is trying to outbid Mexico's Telmex
for a 52% voting stake in Embratel from U.S. operator MCI Inc.



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

SAVIA: Shares Suspended After Loss
----------------------------------
The Mexican Stock Exchange suspended Friday the trading in
Mexican agro-technology conglomerate Savia after its shares lost
21.24 percent to MXN3.30 and said they would remain suspended
until "the company divulges information about relevant events,"
according to Reuters.

This comes after Savia's stock (SAVIAA) surged close to 170
percent between April 16 and April 22 on unusually high volume,
although the company repeatedly denied it had any relevant news.
The stock exchange did not suspend trading in Savia during the
rally.

"It looks like people are rushing to get out," one trader said.
Another said, "There have been rumors that the company was going
to delist their shares." "Another rumor is that they have more
cash than anyone thought." Other traders said most of their
clients had been buying based on rumors, while some were betting
the stock would continue its skyrocketing.

In the past week, daily share volume has been steadily above 3
million, compared to recent months, when it was well below half
a million.



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

UTE: To Put 70MW Contract Bidding Rules Forward
-----------------------------------------------
The bidding rules for a contract to supply 70 MW to Uruguay will
be put forward by the country's state power company UTE on April
26, BNamericas reports, citing local daily El Pais. The daily
added that the contract will be awarded by the company before
the existing 70MW contract with Brazil expires on May 3.

According to the report, UTE President Ricardo Scaglia said
prospective suppliers of the 70MW can be hydro, thermo or mixed
sources and the cost must be less than US$30/MWh. However, how
much Brazil will charge the company for transporting the power
through the Rivera-Livramento station on the border between the
two countries is yet to be determined. It can be remembered that
up to the present day, Brazil has not charged Uruguay for
transport through Rivera-Livramento as repayment for Uruguayan
power supplies during Brazil's energy crisis in 2001.

The contracts with Brazil are a stopgap solution designed to
lower generation costs in Uruguay and make up for an energy
shortfall after Argentina suspended export contracts for 338MW
in March.


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

PDVSA: Hovensa Sells $50.7M in '22 Bonds
----------------------------------------
Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (Pdvsa)
said Friday that some US$50.66 in 2022 bonds with a 5.875%
coupon have been sold by its Hovensa refining joint venture with
U.S. oil firm Amerada Hess, reports Reuters. Sold at face value,
the bonds will be used for the early payment of a US$65 million
debt owed by Hovensa due in 2006.

Hovensa, a large supplier of gasoline and other refined products
to the U.S. East Coast, is 50% owned by Pdvsa and Amerada Hess.


                            ***********


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