TCRLA_Public/040621.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, June 21, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 121

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AUTOPISTAS DEL SOL: S&P Withdraws Ratings on Notes
BANCO SUQUIA: Court Moves Assembly Date
BARREIRO S.R.L.: Court Orders Liquidation
BASILIO KOSIUK Y CIA: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
DI YORIO, BUZIO Y ASOCIADOS: Secures Reorganization Approval

FRIGORIFICO FERNAROLO: Court Orders Liquidation
GRAFICA MORENO: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts
INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURE: Gets Court OK for Reorganization
MAGNA PLAST: Creditors' Claims Deadline Set
METALURGICA J.J.: Reorganization Converts to Bankruptcy

RECUPERO ENERGETICO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
RENT AND WASH: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders
VACATION POINTS: Secures Permission to Reorganize

* Argentina Signs 5-Yr, $5B Loan Program With IDB


B R A Z I L

COPEL: Parana Head Reveals Plan to Buy Araucaria
CSN: Excerpts Minutes of Board Meeting Held June 14, 2004
CYCLELOGIC: Restructuring Nearly Completed
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Agencies to Boost Ratings Soon
GERDAU: Issues Notice Concerning Payment to Shareholders

* Brazil Secures $572.3M Loan for Social Transfers Program



D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

AES CORP.: Reps to Meet With President Mejia to Discuss Demands



M E X I C O

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Places MXN600Mln in Stock Certificates



P A N A M A

BLADEX: Declares Second Quarter 2004 Dividend Payment



P U E R T O   R I C O

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Signs Agreement With Convergys


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Offers Foreign Firms Larger Operating Areas to Up Output

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


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

AUTOPISTAS DEL SOL: S&P Withdraws Ratings on Notes
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services withdrew its 'D' ratings on
Autopistas del Sol's $380 million notes ($170 million 9.35%
series A senior notes and $210 million 10.25% senior B notes)
after the completion of an exchange of those obligations for new
notes issued in the context of the company's debt-restructuring
process. "Standard & Poor's will not rate the notes issued after
the restructuring on a global scale basis," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Luciano Gremone.

ANALYSTS:  Luciano Gremone, Buenos Aires (54) 11-4891-2143
           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2128


BANCO SUQUIA: Court Moves Assembly Date
---------------------------------------
The informative assembly for the Banco Suquia S.A.
reorganization case has been moved to September 10, 2004,
according to Infobae. The Company will be presenting the
settlement proposal it had drafted for its creditors during the
event.

The civil and commercial tribunal of Cordoba is handling the
proceedings.

CONTACT: BANCO SUQUIA S.A.
         25 de Mayo 160
         5000 Cordoba

         Telephone : 54 (351) 4200 320/21
         Fax : 54 (351) 4200 316


BARREIRO S.R.L.: Court Orders Liquidation
-----------------------------------------
A Buenos Aires court ordered the liquidation of Jorge H.
Barreiro S.R.L. after the Company defaulted on its obligations,
Infobae reveals. The liquidation pronouncement effectively
places the Company's affairs as well as its assets under the
control of Ms. Miryam Lewenbaum, the court-appointed trustee.

Ms. Lewenbaum will verify creditors' proofs of claims until
September 2, 2004. The verified claims will serve as basis for
the individual reports to be submitted in court on October 15,
2004. The submission of the general report follows on November
26, 2004.

CONTACT: Ms. Miryam Lewenbaum, Trustee
         Montevideo 666
         Buenos Aires


BASILIO KOSIUK Y CIA: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
------------------------------------------------------
Basilio Kosiuk y Cia S.R.L., a company operating in Buenos
Aires, begins reorganization proceedings after a local court
granted its petition for "concurso preventivo".

During the reorganization, the Company will be able to negotiate
a settlement proposal for its creditors so as to avoid a
straight liquidation.

According to Argentine news source Infobae, the reorganization
will be conducted under the direction of Ms. Rosa Gerscovich,
the court-appointed trustee.

Creditors with claims against the Company must present proofs of
the Company's indebtedness to the trustee before August 4, 2004.
These claims will constitute the individual reports to be
submitted in court on September 16, 2004. The court also
requires the trustee to present an audit of the company's
accounting and business records through a general report due on
October 29, 2004.

The informative assembly, the final stage of the reorganization
is scheduled on April 25, 2005.

CONTACT:  Ms. Rosa Gerscovich, Trustee
          Tucuman 540
          Buenos Aires


DI YORIO, BUZIO Y ASOCIADOS: Secures Reorganization Approval
------------------------------------------------------------
The Buenos Aires commercial and civil tribunal issued a
resolution opening the reorganization of Di Yorio, Buzio y
Asociados S.A. This pronouncement authorizes the Company to
begin drafting a settlement proposal with its creditors in order
to prevent the liquidation of the Company.

The reorganization further allows the Company to retain control
of its assets subject to certain conditions imposed by Argentine
law and the oversight of the court appointed trustee.

Mr. Mauricio Federico Nudelman will serve as trustee during the
course of the reorganization. He will be validating creditors'
proofs of claims until August 6, 2004. The results of the
verification will then be presented in court as individual
reports on October 4, 2004.

The trustee is also obligated to give the court a general report
of the case on November 16, 2004. The general report summarizes
events relevant to the reorganization and provides an audit of
the Company's accounting and business records.

CONTACT: Mr. Mauricio Federico Nudelman, Trustee
         Lavalle 2024
         Buenos Aires


FRIGORIFICO FERNAROLO: Court Orders Liquidation
-----------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Frigorifico Fernarolo S.A. prepares to wind-
up its operations following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued
by a local court. The declaration effectively prohibits the
Company from administering its assets, control of which will be
transferred to a court-appointed trustee.

Infobae states that the court appointed Mr. Juan Carlos Vilanova
as trustee. He will be reviewing creditors' proofs of claim
until August 2, 2004. The verified claims form the basis for the
individual reports to be presented for court approval on
September 14,2004. Afterwards, the trustee will also submit a
general report on October 27, 2004.

The bankruptcy case will end with the disposal of the Company's
assets to cover its liabilities.

CONTACT: Mr. Juan Carlos Vilanova, Trustee
         Hipolito Yrigoyen 1349
         Buenos Aires


GRAFICA MORENO: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts
-----------------------------------------------
Grafica Moreno S.R.L. of Buenos Aires will begin liquidation
proceedings following a pronouncement from the city's civil and
commercial tribunal that the Company is bankrupt, reports
Infobae.

The bankruptcy ruling places the Company under the supervision
of court-appointed trustee, Mr. Andres Angel Landro. He will be
verifying creditors' proofs of claims until August 18, 2004.
Subsequently, the validated claims will be presented in court as
individual reports on September 29, 2004.

Mr. Landro will also submit a general report, containing a
summary of the Company's financial status as well as relevant
events pertaining to the bankruptcy, on November 10, 2004.

CONTACTS: Grafica Moreno S.R.L.
          Charrua 3669
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Andres Angel Landro, Trustee
          Avda Raul Scalabrini Ortiz 215
          Buenos Aires


INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURE: Gets Court OK for Reorganization
-----------------------------------------------------------
International Manufacture S.A. will begin reorganization
following the approval of its petition by a Buenos Aires court.

According to Infobae, Ms. Magdalena de la Quintana will oversee
the reorganization proceedings as the court-appointed trustee.
She will be verifying creditors' claims until August 12, 2004.
Afterwards, the validated claims will be presented in court as
individual reports on September 24, 2004.

The trustee is also required by the court to submit a general
report essentially auditing the company's accounting and
business records as well as summarizing important events
pertaining to the reorganization. This report will be presented
in court on November 8, 2004.

The Informative Assembly, the final stage of a reorganization
where the settlement proposal is presented to the Company's
creditors for approval, is scheduled on April 26 next year.

CONTACT: Ms. Magdalena de la Quintana, Trustee
         Cerrito 1136
         Buenos Aires


MAGNA PLAST: Creditors' Claims Deadline Set
-------------------------------------------
Mr. Roberto Leibovicius, the trustee assigned to supervise the
liquidation of Magna Plast S.A., will submit on October 11, 2004
the validated individual claims for court approval. These
documents explain the basis for the accepted and rejected claims
from creditors. Infobae states that the trustee will also submit
a general report on November 22, 2004.

CONTACT: Magna Plast S.A.
         Hipolito Yrigoyen 434
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Roberto Leibovicius, Trustee
         Tucuman 1585
         Buenos Aires


METALURGICA J.J.: Reorganization Converts to Bankruptcy
-------------------------------------------------------
The bankruptcy order placed against Metalurgica J.J. S.H. has
been commuted into bankruptcy. Argentine news source Infobae
relates that a local court in Nogoya (Entre Rios) endorsed the
conversion.

The report adds that Ms. Nidia Aurora Saenz will continue to
serve as trustee. She will verify creditors' proofs of claim
until July 14, 2004.

As trustee, Ms. Saenz will prepare individual reports after the
verification process is completed, and have them ready by
September 10, 2004. Likewise, a general report on the bankruptcy
process will also be submitted on October 29, 2004.

CONTACT: Metalurgica J.J. S.H.
         Almirante Brown y Saba Z Hernandez de Lucas Gonzalez
         Entre Rios

         Ms. Nidia Aurora Saenz, Trustee
         25 de Mayo 522
         Nogoya
         Entre Rios


RECUPERO ENERGETICO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
------------------------------------------------------
The Buenos Aires commercial and civil tribunal declared Recupero
Energetico S.A. bankrupt after the Company defaulted on its debt
payments. The bankruptcy order effectively places the Company's
affairs as well as its assets under the control of court-
appointed trustee, Mr. Pablo Amante.

As the Trustee, Mr. Amante is tasked with verifying the
authenticity of claims presented by the Company's creditors. The
verification phase is ongoing until August 6, 2004, says
Argentine news source Infobae.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on September 20, 2004. A general report
will also be submitted on November 2, 2004.

CONTACT: Recupero Energetico S.A.
         Olleros 3058
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Pablo Amante, Trustee
         Lavalle 1537
         Buenos Aires


RENT AND WASH: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders
-------------------------------------------------
Rent and Wash S.A. of Buenos Aires will begin liquidating its
assets after a local court declared the Company bankrupt.
Infobae reveals that the bankruptcy process will commence under
the supervision of court-appointed trustee, Mr. Pablo Amante.

The trustee will review claims forwarded by the Company's
creditors until August 3, 2004. After claims verification, Mr.
Amante will submit the individual reports for court approval on
September 15, 2004. The submission of the general report will
follow on October 28, 2004.

CONTACT: Rent and Wash S.A.
         Pichincha 1486
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Pablo Amante, Trustee
         Lavalle 1537
         Buenos Aires


VACATION POINTS: Secures Permission to Reorganize
-------------------------------------------------
Vacation Points S.A. of Buenos Aires will undergo reorganization
after a local court converted a standing bankruptcy order
against the Company into a "concurso preventivo".

Infobae relates that the verification of creditors' proofs of
claims will proceed on August 9, 2004. After the verification
period, the court-appointed trustee, Ms. Ana Maria Varela will
prepare the case's individual reports and submit it in court on
September 21, 2004. She is also scheduled to submit a general
report on November 3, 2004.

CONTACT: Ms. Ana Maria Varela, Trustee
         Talcahuano 768
         Buenos Aires


* Argentina Signs 5-Yr, $5B Loan Program With IDB
-------------------------------------------------
Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique Iglesias
signed an accord with Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna
Tuesday to provide US$5 billion in loans to Argentina through
2008 for social programs.

During a joint press conference with Lavagna, Iglesias said the
bank is "very content" with the way the economy is recovering.

Dow Jones Newswires reveals that Iglesias' comments came shortly
before the national statistics agency announced year-on-year
growth in gross domestic product of 11.2% and a modest decline
in the unemployment rate to 14.4%.

Iglesias said some US$2 billion would be disbursed over the
first 18 months of the program, of which US$1.2 billion would be
dedicated to social programs. And some US$500 million of the
social program monies will be disbursed in the coming months.

With regard to the remaining US$3 billion designated for 2006 to
2008, US$1.5 billion would go toward infrastructure projects,
Iglesias said. However, it was left somewhat unclear how and
when this second phase of disbursements will occur.



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

COPEL: Parana Head Reveals Plan to Buy Araucaria
------------------------------------------------
Brazil's Parana state governor, Roberto Requiao, confirmed to
international journalists in Sao Paulo his plans to buy the
Araucaria power plant controlled by El Paso Corp., reports
Bloomberg.

Houston-based El Paso owns 60% of Araucaria power plant, while
Parana state-owned energy utility Cia. Paranaense de Energia
(COPEL) owns 20%.

The move to buy El Paso's stake in Araucaria is part of a bid to
resolve the dispute between El Paso and Parana over the price of
energy supplied to Copel, said Ricardo Fernandez, an analyst at
ING Financial Markets in Sao Paulo.

Copel stopped paying for electricity supplied under the contract
with Araucaria in January 2003, after Requiao called the
agreement "absurd" because it forced the Company to purchase
energy for which there's no demand. El Paso and state-owned oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, another partner in the plant,
have said they'll seek damages for unpaid sales from the plant
to Copel.

"If Copel were to buy it, it would clearly resolve this problem
and it would provide them with another source of generation,"
said Fernandez.

CONTACT:  Cia Paranaense de Energia
          Rua Colonel Dulcidio, 800
          Batel
          80420-170 Curitibia - PR
          Brazil
          Phone: +55 41 322-3535
          Fax  +55 41 224-4312
          Home Page: http://www.copel.br


CSN: Excerpts Minutes of Board Meeting Held June 14, 2004
---------------------------------------------------------
NIRE: 33300011595

1. Date: June 14, 2004.

2. Time: 11:30am

3. Place: Av. Juscelino Kubitschek No. 1830, Torre I, 14 andar,
Sao Paulo, SP.

4. Attendees: Benjamin Steinbruch (Chairman), Jacks Rabinovich,
Antonio Francisco dos Santos, Dionisio Dias Carneiro Netto,
Edmar Lisboa Bacha, Mauro Molchansky, Fernando Perrone, Darc
Antonio da Luz Costa e Felipe Ha Jong Kim (General Secretary of
the Board of Directors).

6. Agenda:

   6.1 - GalvaSuld - The Board of Directors ("CA") approved,
         with Dr. Darc Antonio da Luz Costa abstantion to vote:

        (i)   the signature of all contracts and any other
              documents related to the Sales and/or purchase,
              by means of an auction, of shares comprising the
              capital stock of GalvaSud S.A., between the
              Company and ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG ("TKS");

        (ii)  the indication, by the Executive Board, of a
              Company's representative, to act separately, in
              the extra-judicial auction of sales and/or
              purchase of shares comprising the capital stock of
              GalvaSuld
              S.A., to be held in New York ("Auction"), with
              powers to bid and transfer the shares of GalvaSud
              S.A.;

        (iii) in the event the Company wins the Auction, the
              Executive Board is authorized to use any of its
              subsidiaries to purchase the interest of TKS in
              the capita stock of GalvaSud S.A.;

        (iv)  the obtainment of bank letters of guarantee in
              order to ensure the operation and the provision of
              guarantee by the Company in bonds to be assumed by
              its subsidiaries, in the hypothesis provided for
              in item (iii) above.

        Next, the Board of Directors delegated to the CSN'S
        Executive Board, to Mr. Luiz Ernesto Migliora, Mr. Cesar
        Augusto Fogarin, Mr. Felipe Ha Jong Kim and Mr. Otavio
        de Garcia Lazcano powers to, separately, perform any and
        all acts required to the implementation of said
        operation of sales and/or purchase of shares owned by
        GalvaSud S.A., as well as the provision of guarantee by
        the Company.

   6.2 - General Matters - Intermediary Dividends - The Board of
         Directors approved, as per article 17, item VIII of the
         Company's By-laws and article 204 and its paragraphs 1
         and 2, of Act No. 6.404/76, the payment of intermediary
         dividends to shareholders to the income account for the
         period ended on March 31, 2004, in the amount of
         RS$35,000,000.00, corresponding to the compensation of
         R$0.1228 by outstanding share of the capital stock,
         excluding 2,087,200 shares in treasury, free
         withholding from income tax - IRRF, as per existing
         law. The payment or credit to shareholders shall be
         made as from June 15, 2004. I hereby certify that the
         deliberations herein transcribed shall be true to the
         original on the date filed with the Company's
         headquarters.


CYCLELOGIC: Restructuring Nearly Completed
------------------------------------------
Florida-based mobile services firm CycleLogic is now 80%
complete with its restructuring, CycleLogic director Miguel
Ordonez revealed, adding that next in the reorganization is the
Company's affairs in Brazil, relates Business News Americas.

The new company was created from the assets of the old
CycleLogic, controlled by US telco BellSouth. IMS, a Panama-
based holding company owned by Spanish and Latin American
investors, purchased the new company's assets from the old
CycleLogic for a figure "north of US$2mn," Ordonez said.

According to him, IMS pushed the old company into bankruptcy as
the best way to resolve the Company's historical financial
problems. BellSouth had purchased the company, formerly called
StarMedia, after spending nearly US$550 million. That company is
now being liquidated in a process completely separate from the
new CycleLogic.

IMS investors are now injecting about another US$2mn into the
new company.

"We're not burning cash any more. The resources are there to
bring this company to the point where it will be profitable and
growing," Ordonez said.


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Agencies to Boost Ratings Soon
---------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana
Eletricidade de Sao Paulo S.A. expects rating agencies to
upgrade its ratings soon after it concluded the renegotiation of
US$2.3 million in commercial papers that matured in February.

Citing company CFO Andrea Ruschmann, Business News Americas
reports that the agreement completed Eletropaulo's marathon debt
renegotiation talks that started in early 2003.

"This was the last measure needed to be taken to regularize the
company's debt situation," Ruschmann said. "We now expect to
collect the fruits of this effort as risk agencies start raising
our ratings."

Positive revisions from rating agencies could lead to new,
cheaper and longer-term financing for the Company's operations,
she said.

"We don't need the financing right now, but if new financing
will allow us to lengthen or reduce our financing costs we will
consider it," Ruschmann said, adding that the Company would be
ready to look for new financing in the second half of the year.

US power company AES controls Eletropaulo through a 51% voting-
right stake in holding company Brasiliana. AES is Brazil's
largest power distribution company, selling power to 5 million
people in Sao Paulo.

Brazil's national development bank BNDES owns the other 49% of
Eletropaulo.

CONTACT:  ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA
          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Brazil
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          URL: http://www.eletropaulo.com.br
          Contacts:
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations


GERDAU: Issues Notice Concerning Payment to Shareholders
--------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau informed its shareholders that the Boards of the
following companies, in meetings to be held on June 30, 2004,
will deliberate about the proposals presented by management
regarding the payment of dividends of the second quarter of
fiscal year 2004. Part of these dividends will be paid in the
form of Interest on Capital Stock on August 17, 2004, and
constitute an anticipation of the annual dividend as stated in
the by-laws. These payments are:

                                   Amount per share
                                (Common and Preferred)

                     Interest on Capital Stock (*) Dividend
Total

METALURGICA
GERDAU S.A.            R$ 0.62                     R$ 0.46 R$
1.08

GERDAU S.A.            R$ 0.36                     R$ 0.29 R$
0.65

The Interest on Capital Stock will be paid with Income Tax
withholding of 15% (fifteen percent) as per Paragraph 2, article
9 of the Brazilian Law # 9249/95. The Dividends will be paid
without income tax withholding, as per the current legislation.

Shareholders exempt of withholding of income tax must confirm
this status by mailing the documents no later than June 30, 2004
to the following address:

GERDAU - Setor de Acionistas (Shareholders Services)
Av. Farrapos, 1811
Porto Alegre RS CEP 90220-005
BRASIL
Tel +55 (51) 3323-2211

Please note that shares acquired after July 1, 2004, inclusive,
in the Brazilian Stock Market, will be EX-Interest on Capital
Stock and EX-Dividend.


* Brazil Secures $572.3M Loan for Social Transfers Program
----------------------------------------------------------
The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved Thursday
a US$572.2 million loan to support the Government of Brazil's
family grants program, the Bolsa Familia.  The program provides
cash transfers to families, based on income levels and household
composition, and targets the coverage of 11.2 million families
(or about 44 million people) by 2006.

"Bolsa Familia has innovative features that have far-reaching
implications for Brazil and for the World Bank," said Vinod
Thomas, World Bank Brazil Country Director.  "First, by making
transfers conditional on investments in education and health, it
seeks to address poverty and, at the same time, the growth
potential of the poor. Second, by supporting an existing
government program, the loan marks an effort to provide
financing within the fiscal space available to the government."

This program will directly contribute to the reduction of
poverty and inequality in Brazil in the short and long-term. In
coordination with other government programs, it will also help
the country achieve other key Millennium Development Goals such
as reducing malnutrition, achieving universal education,
reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.

The Bolsa Familia program targets two groups: extremely poor
families, with per capita monthly incomes below R$50 (US$17),
and moderately poor families, with per capita monthly incomes
below R$100 (US$34) but higher than R$50 (US$17).  Payments are
preferably made to the mothers.  The program's transfers will
range from R$15-95 (US$5-33) depending on income and composition
of the families. Unlike previous programs, which targeted some
individuals within the family, Bolsa Familia transfers are
conditional on all relevant family members complying with key
human development objectives, such as school attendance or
health visits.   This is an important policy shift towards
focusing assistance on the family rather than on individuals.

The objective of the US$572.2 million Bolsa Familia project
approved Thursday is to strengthen the program's ability to
achieve the broad objectives of reducing poverty and inequality
and promoting human capital development by supporting:

- the consolidation of existing conditional cash transfer
programs and reductions in gaps and duplications in coverage;

- the strengthening of the system for identifying the target
population;

- the development of a monitoring and evaluation system for the
program; and

- the strengthening of the basic institutional functioning of
the program.

With these overall objectives, the Bank's support to the program
will be divided into two phases.  Phase one (mid-2004 to end-
2006), supported by the US$572.2 million loan approved Thursday,
will cover the transition phase, focusing on consolidating the
existing conditional cash transfer schemes and improving the
basic architecture of the Bolsa Familia program.  Phase two
(2007-08), to be supported by a second loan, will build on these
foundations to further consolidate the safety net and deepen
technical improvements.

This IBRD fixed-spread Adaptable Program Loan has a repayment
period of 17 years, including a 5-year grace period.

CONTACTS: In Washington
          Ms. Angela Furtado
          (202) 473-1909
          Afurtado@worldbank.org

          In Brazil
          Mr. Mauro Azeredo
          (55-61) 329-1059
          mazeredo@worldbank.org



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

AES CORP.: Reps to Meet With President Mejia to Discuss Demands
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Republic President Hipolito Mejia stated in an El
Caribe interview that he would meet with AES power distributors
and power generators to discuss the alleged payments the
government owes to these companies.

DRI Daily News reports that the private power suppliers have
temporarily reduced electricity supply in the country by as much
as 50% to stress their payment demands. However, President Mejia
continues to assert that his government does not owe the
suppliers.

The president recently met with U.S. Ambassador Hans Hertell and
Spanish Ambassador Maria Figa Lopez and both diplomats have
indicated their support for the power suppliers.

AES, the power generation and distribution company, along with
other US companies engaged in the Dominican Republic power
industry, enjoys the support of the U.S. government. Ambassador
Figa Lopez has also shown consistent support for the interests
of Union Fenosa in the country.



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

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Places MXN600Mln in Stock Certificates
-----------------------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: EKT, BMV: Elektra*), Latin
America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and
banking services company, announced today that it successfully
placed MXN600 million in unsecured short-term Certificados
Bursatiles. The issue has a total term of 336 days and yields a
rate of TIIE(28 days) plus 220 basis points per annum. Inversora
Bursatil Casa de Bolsa (Grupo Financiero Inbursa) and Scotia
Inverlat Casa de Bolsa were the placement agents. The issue
carries an "F2(mex)" credit rating for local currency issues
from Fitch Mexico. The resources obtained will be used for
working capital purposes.

Rodrigo Pliego, Chief Financial Officer of Grupo Elektra,
commented: "Once the Company has substituted its expensive debt,
we can now increase our efforts to improve the management of our
working capital".

The successful implementation of our financial strategy has
allowed the Company to eliminate the risks related to foreign
exchange exposure. Based on these transactions, we estimate that
pro-forma debt with cost as of June 17, 2004, will be
approximately MXN3,604 million, still 7% lower than the balance
reported as of December 31st, 2003 (MXN3,872 million)1.

CONTACTS: Ms. Samantha Pescador
          Investor Relations
          Tel. (5255) 8582-7819
          Fax (5255) 8582-7822
          E-mail: spescador@elektra.com.mx



===========
P A N A M A
===========

BLADEX: Declares Second Quarter 2004 Dividend Payment
-----------------------------------------------------
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (NYSE: BLX)
(BLADEX) informs that the $0.10 per share quarterly cash
dividend, authorized for the year 2004 by the Board of Directors
on February 3, 2004, corresponding to the second quarter 2004,
will be payable on July 7, 2004 to stockholders of record as of
June 28, 2004. As of May 31, 2004, BLADEX had 39,352,738 common
shares outstanding of all classes.

BLADEX is a multinational bank established by the Central Banks
of Latin America and Caribbean countries. Based in Panama, its
shareholders include central and commercial banks in 23
countries of the region, as well as international banks and
private investors.



=====================
P U E R T O   R I C O
=====================

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Signs Agreement With Convergys
---------------------------------------------------------
Convergys Corporation (NYSE:CVG), the global leader in
integrated billing, employee care, and customer care services,
announced Thursday it has signed a multi-year contract extension
with Centennial Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:CYCL), a leading
regional wireless and broadband telecommunications service
provider in the United States and the Caribbean. The agreement
is an extension and expansion of an existing agreement between
Centennial and Convergys.

Convergys will provide outsourced billing, customer care, and
professional services to support Centennial's over one million
wireless subscribers in both the US and Caribbean operations.
Specifically, Convergys' Infinys (TM) software applications for
rating, billing, and mediation management will be integrated
with Virtuoso (TM), a billing system Convergys acquired as part
of its acquisition of certain billing and customer care assets
of ALLTEL in the fourth quarter of 2003. Additionally, Convergys
will provide Centennial with real-time proactive e-messaging
capabilities to enhance its customer care while also providing
Centennial with the necessary consulting, development, and
systems integration expertise for implementation of Centennial's
next generation billing and care systems.

In the United States, Centennial is a regional wireless service
provider in six states. In Centennial's Caribbean service area,
the company is a facilities-based, fully integrated
communications service provider offering both wireless and
broadband voice, data, Internet, and video services to business
and residential customers.

"Our confidence in Convergys and its products and services is
the primary reason why Centennial decided to renew and extend
our previously existing contract," said Phillip Mayberry,
President of U.S. Wireless Operations for Centennial. "The
modular nature of Convergys' Infinys software will enable us to
significantly enhance our current billing system without having
to overhaul or replace it. Additionally, with the integration of
Infinys, we will have a flexible billing system that can evolve
with advances in technology and allow us to introduce new
services without having to purchase additional billing
components."

"Convergys began its relationship with Centennial late last
year, and after just six months of doing business together, we
are most pleased that Centennial has decided to renew and
increase the number and scope of services we are providing for
them," said Dave Dougherty, Executive Vice President, Global
Information Management, Convergys. "We look forward to helping
Centennial better support its customers and differentiate its
offerings to grow its business by further applying our industry-
leading professional consulting experience and convergent
Infinys software."

Only Infinys software drives true convergence while enabling
operators to evolve their BSS environments with minimal risk.
Built on a modular architecture, Infinys software provides
unsurpassed flexibility, investment protection, and support.
With Infinys, Convergys clients - ranging from mobile to
wireline to cable and satellite service providers - have the
capability for rapid market innovation via their bundling of
convergent voice, video, and data content for their residential
and business customers. Additionally, the wide acceptance of
Infinys as the billing software of choice for several major
communications companies helped Convergys to win the "Best
Overall Company" award at Telestrategies' Billing World 2004.

About Centennial

Centennial is one of the largest independent wireless
telecommunications service providers in the United States and
the Caribbean with approximately 17.3 million Net Pops and
approximately 1,027,500 wireless subscribers. Centennial's U.S.
operations have approximately 6.1 million Net Pops in small
cities and rural areas. Centennial's Caribbean integrated
communications operation owns and operates wireless licenses for
approximately 11.2 million Net Pops in Puerto Rico, the
Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and provides
voice, data, video and Internet services on broadband networks
in the region. Welsh, Carson Anderson & Stowe and an affiliate
of the Blackstone Group are controlling shareholders of
Centennial. For more information regarding Centennial, please
visit our websites at www.centennialwireless.com,
www.centennialpr.com and www.centennialrd.com.

About Convergys

Convergys Corporation (NYSE:CVG), a member of the S&P 500 and a
Fortune Most Admired Company, is the global leader in integrated
billing, employee care, and customer care services provided
through outsourcing or licensing. It serves top companies in
telecommunications, Internet, cable and broadband services,
technology, financial services, and other industries in nearly
60 countries. It also provides integrated, outsourced, human
resource services to leading companies across a broad range of
industries.



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

PDVSA: Offers Foreign Firms Larger Operating Areas to Up Output
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a bid to increase oil production, Venezuela's Petroleos de
Venezuela SA (PdVSA) is offering foreign oil companies larger
operating areas in exchange for turning the fields into joint
ventures with the state oil company, reports Dow Jones
Newswires.

However, the move, according to Rafael Duran, PdVSA's planning
director for the west of the country, would require the
modification of their existing contracts to comply with a 2001
hydrocarbons law. Such a move would turn the fields into "mixed
companies," with PdVSA holding a minimum 51% stake, and include
higher taxes.

Duran said PdVSA has started talks with Repsol-YPF (REP), Royal
Dutch/Shell Group (RD), and ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX), to look
at switching operating agreements for specific fields to the new
law.

"These (licenses) would become mixed companies," Duran said,
adding, "Repsol has come to us, and we are willing."

He mentioned the Barrua-Montatan field, operated by Repsol; the
LL652 field, operated by ChevronTexaco; and the Urdaneta West
field, operated by Shell, as possibilities.

"With Chevron's LL652, there is also talk of a mixed company,"
he said.

PdVSA is still struggling to recover lost production following a
devastating strike that paralyzed the industry from December
2002 to February 2003.



                            ***********


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
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