TCRLA_Public/040812.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                    L A T I N   A M E R I C A

             Thursday, August 12, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 159

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ACINDAR: Court Approves APE
AEROPUERTOS ARGENTINA: Records ARP13.978 Net Loss in 1H04
AGROMEAT: Trustee to End Claims Verification
ALCAPLAST: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
AMOL S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call

AOL LATIN AMERICA: Losses Up 28% From 2Q03
BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Fitch Assigns BBB-(arg) to $1.2B of Bonds
BERAJA: General Report Due for Submission
CABLEVISION: Schedules Creditors Meeting for Oct. 15
COMPANIA DE TELECOMUNICACIONES: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts

CRONOMETAL S.R.L.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
CTI HOLDINGS: Redeems ONs Before Due Date
DESARROLLOS TECNOLOGICOS: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
D.L.V. GROUP: Court Rules Liquidation
EMCO AUTRAL: Starting Liquidation Process

FRIGORIFICO MAXIMO: Court Opens Restructuring
JUAN MINETTI: Reports 1H04 Net Profit of ARS31.4 Mln
METALURGICA VICENTE: Declared Bankrupt by Court
NICOL S.A.: Court Oks Reorganization
POWERPRINT: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders

SERBAU S.R.L.: Bankruptcy Schedule Reset
TECNOLASER: Verification Deadline Approaches
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Plummets Into Red on Exchange Rate Variation
* ARGENTINA: Presents Economic Policies to IMF


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Brings Microsoft's Live Meeting to Costumers


B R A Z I L

PARMALAT BRAZIL: Secures Creditor Protection
VARIG: Brazil Moves to Rescue Ailing Airline
* BRAZIL: Bolsters Fiscal Administration With $20M IDB Loan


H A I T I

* HAITI: Submits Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies


M E X I C O

GRUPO IMSA: Exits Automotive Battery Business
GRUPO MEXICO: Close to an Agreement With Workers
HYLSAMEX: S&P Affirms, Raises Ratings On Main Unit


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: Government Extends Investigation

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


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

ACINDAR: Court Approves APE
---------------------------
Argentine steel company Acindar SAIC (ACIN.BA) revealed Tuesday
that its offer to restructure US$230 million in debts under an
out-of-court deal (APE) has obtained formal judicial approval.

Citing a company filing with the local exchange, Dow Jones
reports that the court's decision would take effect after a
period during which creditors can challenge the decision.

Under an APE or Acuerdo Preventivo Extrajudicial, a company
needs approval from two thirds of its bondholders. A judge must
then grant formal approval of the deal.

The proposal was filed in the courts in early March after it
gained creditor approval in December 2003. Acindar's strong
performance over the last year allowed the Company to make
US$100 million in early cash payments to creditors, even without
legal clearance for its debt offer.

Brazil's Belgo Mineira owns about 66% of Acindar after buying in
May a 21% stake formerly held by Grupo Acevedo, the investment
vehicle owned by the family that founded Acindar.

It's expected that Belgo Mineira will further increase its stake
and possibly fully take over the Company in 2006. Acindar held
an US$80 million convertible bond issue in January that ended
with a 98.2% subscription rate. The Company didn't break down
the identities of the buyers, but analysts say it's likely Belgo
Mineira snapped up many of the convertible bonds, which can be
swapped into shares on Jan. 1, 2006.

CONTACT:  ACINDAR INDUSTRIA ARGENTINA DE ACEROS SA
          2739 Estanislao Zeballos Beccar
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina B1643AGY
          Phone: +54 11 4719 8500
          Fax: +54 11 4719 8501
          Web Site: http://www.acindar.ar.com


AEROPUERTOS ARGENTINA: Records ARP13.978 Net Loss in 1H04
---------------------------------------------------------
Airport operator Aeropeurtos Argentina posted a net loss of
ARP13.978 million for the first half of 2004 due to increased
financial costs brought by the devaluation of the Argentine
peso.

Business News Americas reports that the Company has been in the
red since last year when it reported a consolidated net loss of
ARP41.5 million. However, the company sees continued recovery
this year, citing the expected hike in international passenger
traffic.

Last June, shareholders authorized a plan to double Aeropuerto's
capital to ARP 220 million. Also, the company has also outlined
an ARS3.2-billion-investment plan in anticipation of a bridge
contract that would pave the way for a long-term concession from
the government. The company plans to float 33% of its capital on
the local stock exchange to finance the investment plan.


AGROMEAT: Trustee to End Claims Verification
--------------------------------------------
Mr. Miguel Angel Loustau, serving as trustee for the Agromeat
S.A. bankruptcy, is set to end the verification of claims
tomorrow, August 13, 2004. Creditors with claims against the
Company must submit proofs of the indebtedness before the
deadline to qualify for any post-liquidation payments.

CONTACT: Mr. Miguel Angel Loustau, Trustee
         Viamonte 993
         Buenos Aires



ALCAPLAST: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
-------------------------------------------
Alcaplast S.R.L. will enter bankruptcy protection after Buenos
Aires Court No. 16, with the assistance of Clerk No. 31, ordered
the company's liquidation. The bankruptcy order effectively
transfers control of the company's assets to the court-appointed
trustee who will supervise the liquidation proceedings.

Infobae reports that the court selected Mr. Carlos Alberto Rivas
as trustee. He will be verifying creditors' proofs of claims
until the end of the verification phase on September 27, 2004.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Alberto Rivas, Trustee
         Uruguay 239
         Buenos Aires


AMOL S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
-------------------------------------------------
Amol S.R.L. entered bankruptcy after Judge Bavastro of Buenos
Aires Court No. 17 approved a motion filed by Comunicacion Grupo
3 S.A., reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay
US$13,664.05 in debt prompted the liquidation request.

Working with Dr. Vanoli, the city's Clerk No. 34, the court
assigned Mr. Maria Cristina Moccia as trustee for the bankruptcy
process. The trustee'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 trustee before September 23, 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: Amol S.R.L.
         Viamonte 282
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Maria Cristina Moccia, Trustee
         Superi 1423
         Buenos Aires


AOL LATIN AMERICA: Losses Up 28% From 2Q03
------------------------------------------
America Online Latin America, Inc. (Nasdaq:AOLA) announced
Tuesday that its net loss applicable to common stockholders for
the quarter ended June 30, 2004, declined 10% from the same
period last year but increased by 28% as compared to the
previous quarter. The Company also reduced cash used in
operations 84% from the year-earlier quarter. The Company has
extended its forecast for use of available cash and is exploring
potential strategic alternatives. The Company now believes that,
based on its current operating plan, cash on hand will be
sufficient to fund operations into the second quarter of 2005.

Second-Quarter Results

The Company's second-quarter 2004 net loss applicable to class A
common stockholders, which includes dividends to preferred
stockholders, was $26.9 million, or $0.20 per class A common
share, basic and diluted, compared with a net loss of $29.9
million, or, $0.22 per share, in the same period a year ago.
This second-quarter net loss compares with a first quarter 2004
net loss applicable to common stockholders of $21.1 million, or
$0.16 per share. Lower revenues and the establishment of a non-
cash $4.0 million allowance for the Company's Argentine value-
added tax (VAT) receivable contributed to the increased loss in
the quarter compared to the first quarter. The allowance was
necessary as the Company no longer expects to generate
sufficient taxable revenue in Argentina to permit recovery of
the asset.

AOL Latin America's net loss before dividends on preferred stock
was $22.8 million in the second quarter of 2004, narrowing from
a net loss of $26.0 million in the prior-year period. The
Company's second quarter net loss before dividends, however,
represented an increase from a loss of $17.4 million in the
first quarter of 2004.

Total revenue was $12.7 million in the second quarter of 2004,
down 28% from $17.7 million in the second quarter of 2003 and
down 9% from $14.0 million in the first quarter of 2004.
Subscription revenue totaled $12.0 million, down 24% from $15.9
million in the year-ago period and down 11% compared to $13.5
million in the first quarter of 2004. Reduced membership and a
change in mix toward the Company's lower-priced, Web-based
services drove lower subscription revenues. Advertising and
other revenue totaled $728,000 in the 2004 second quarter, down
60% from $1.8 million in the year-ago period but up 33% from
$548,000 in the first quarter of 2004. The Company expects total
revenue to decrease further in the third quarter of 2004 as a
result of continued declines in membership and a change in mix
of services selected by members.

Membership

The Company had 418,000 members as of June 30, 2004, down from
433,000 members as of March 31, 2004. The decline in membership
was driven by lower levels of new member registrations, which
were insufficient to offset membership turnover. New member
registrations continue to be negatively impacted by strong price
competition from providers of free and paid Internet services in
Brazil and increasingly in Mexico. AOL Latin America no longer
anticipates the full implementation of the McInternet program by
the first quarter of 2005 and does not expect that McDonald's
will become a significant member-acquisition channel in the
future. Future membership levels will largely depend on the
Company's ability to retain current members and improve
productivity in existing distribution channels. The Company
expects an additional decline in membership of approximately up
to 15,000 members in the third quarter of 2004 and continued
declines in the fourth quarter of 2004.

As with the Company's previous membership reports, the 418,000
membership total includes members participating in free trial
periods and retention programs, as well as members of the Banco
Itau service in Brazil. Totals include members of the AOL
country services, Web-based interactive services and broadband
offerings. As of June 30, 2004, approximately 16% of the
membership total subscribed to the Company's Web-based
interactive services and 6% subscribed to the Company's
broadband service in Brazil. These segments experienced growth
of 18% from 56,000 to 66,000 members and 25% from 21,000 to
26,000 members, respectively, as compared with the first quarter
of 2004.

Cash Utilization

Cash used in operating activities in the second quarter of 2004
was $2.3 million, down 84% from $14.1 million used in the second
quarter of 2003 and an improvement of 53% from $4.9 million in
the first quarter of 2004. The improvement in cash used in
operating activities was achieved largely as a result of the
Company's reduced losses driven primarily by lower marketing and
telecommunications costs as well as improved working capital
performance. The Company expects a modest increase in cash
utilization during the second half of 2004, as compared with the
first six months of the year.

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $27.9 million as of June 30,
2004, compared with $29.3 million as of March 31, 2004. As in
recent quarters, the Company's cash and cash equivalents
position benefited from a payment from Banco Itau to the Company
in lieu of certain marketing activities. AOL Latin America
received $1 million from Banco Itau in the 2004 second quarter.
The Company expects to continue to receive similar payments from
Banco Itau in the future, although the amounts of these payments
are expected to decrease in the future. For the third quarter of
2004, payments from Banco Itau are expected to decrease to
$500,000.

The Company believes that under its current operating plan, cash
on hand will now be sufficient to fund operations into the
second quarter of 2005.

Management Comments

Charles Herington, President and CEO of AOL Latin America, said:
"AOL Latin America continued to make progress on the expense
front in the second quarter of 2004. Based on current budget
forecasts and through a focus on cash preservation, we are now
able to extend our forecast for available cash into the second
quarter of 2005. Operationally, we continued to develop our new
Web-based services and our AOL MAXX broadband offering in
Brazil, which are designed to appeal to the next generation of
Latin American internet users. We also rolled out the new AOL
9.0 client software in Mexico, highlighting our commitment to
providing the very best interactive experience in a way that
meets the needs of our members."

Six-Month Results

For the first six months of 2004, the Company's net loss
applicable to class A common stockholders was $47.9 million, or
$0.35 per share of class A common stock, basic and diluted,
compared with a net loss of $61.1 million, or $0.47 per share,
for the first half of 2003. Results for the first six months of
2004 also were impacted by the establishment of the allowance
for the Company's Argentine VAT receivable. Total revenue was
$26.7 million in the first half of 2004, which compares with
$34.0 million in the year-ago period. Subscription revenue
totaled $25.5 million, compared with $30.8 million in the prior-
year period, and advertising and other revenue was $1.3 million
vs. $3.2 million a year ago.

About AOL Latin America

America Online Latin America, Inc. (Nasdaq: AOLA) is the
exclusive provider of AOL-branded services in Latin America. AOL
Latin America launched its first service, America Online Brazil,
in November 1999. America Online, Inc., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), and the Cisneros
Group of Companies are AOL Latin America's principal
stockholders. Banco Itau, a leading Brazilian bank, is also a
minority stockholder of AOL Latin America. The Company combines
the technology, brand name, infrastructure and relationships of
America Online, the world's leader in branded interactive
services, with the relationships and regional experience of the
Cisneros Group of Companies, one of the leading media groups in
the Americas. The Company currently operates services in Brazil,
Mexico and Argentina and serves members of the AOL-branded
service in Puerto Rico.

To view financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/AOLA_2Q04.htm

CONTACT: AOL Latin America
         Fort Lauderdale
         Ms. Monique Skruzny
         954-689-3119
         aolairr@aol.com

         Web Site: http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Fitch Assigns BBB-(arg) to $1.2B of Bonds
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a BBB-
(arg) rating to some US$1.2 billion worth of "Obligaciones
Negociables (Programa Global) a mediano y largo plazo" issued by
Banco Hipotecario S.A.

The move reflects the bank's improved financial profile as a
result of the successful restructuring of its foreign currency
debt with external creditors

However, the rating is restricted by the fragility of the
financial system following a serious crisis situation,
considering that events related to the sovereign may negatively
impact the bank's performance.

Banco Hipotecario recorded net income of ARS100.6 million for
the first quarter of 2004 (ARS0.67 per share), reflecting a
significant improvement compared to the ARS249.8 million loss
recorded in the first quarter of 2003.

Results for the first quarter reflect the improvement of the
bank's financial position resulting in part from the successful
debt restructuring, consummated at the end of the fourth quarter
of 2003, which has allowed the Bank to:

  i)   improve operating results and attain positive net
       financial results through lower interest rates,

  ii)  consolidate its capital base through a significant
       reduction in liabilities,

  iii) significantly improve its financial position by fully
       hedging its foreign currency liabilities and

  iv)  adapt adequate assets and liability structure.

Moreover, results reflect the Bank's sustained improvement in
operating efficiency, including its reduced administrative
expenses and the positive trend in the quality of its loan
portfolio.

CONTACTS:  Marcelo Icikson
           Nicolas Vocos
           Capital Markets
           Tel. (54-11) 4347-5798
           Fax (54-11) 4347-5874
           E-mail: micikson@hipotecario.com.ar
                   nmvocos@hipotecario.com.ar

           Gabriel G. Saidon, Chief Financial Officer
           Tel. (54-11) 4347-5759/5212
           Fax (54-11) 4347-5874/5113
           E-mail: gsaidon@hipotecario.com.ar


BERAJA: General Report Due for Submission
----------------------------------------
Ms. Lydia Poliszewski, court-appointed trustee for the Beraja
S.R.L. bankruptcy, will submit a general report on the case
tomorrow, August 13, 2004. The general report provides the court
with an audit of the Company's Accounting and Business Records.
Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal
handles this case, which will close with the disposal of all
Company assets to repay debts.

CONTACT:  Mr. Lydia Poliszewski, Trustee
          Avenida Rivadavia 3356
          Buenos Aires


CABLEVISION: Schedules Creditors Meeting for Oct. 15
----------------------------------------------------
Following an order issued by an Argentine commercial judge
overseeing its out-of-court debt restructuring, cable operator
Cablevision SA (CBV.YY) scheduled a creditor meeting for Oct. 15
to vote on the debt-restructuring offer.

In a filing to the bourse, the Company said the meeting would be
held in Buenos Aires.

Dow Jones Newswires recalls that Cablevision held a vote for its
US$725 million debt-restructuring offer in early March and said
it received the two-thirds majority required under Argentine
bankruptcy law to submit its proposal for legal approval.

In April however, Cablevision said it discovered a "holder of a
substantial amount" of its debt had erroneously voted twice for
its debt restructuring, effectively doubling this creditor's
representation in the calculation of the approval majorities.

In May, after checking over the documentation and clearing up
the error, the Company submitted the offer for formal legal
approval.

In its latest ruling, the Judge didn't say whether the resulting
vote would replace the first one. But the court did say the
votes would be tabulated from those creditors that attend a
meeting - not from the entire universe of creditors.

According to Dow Jones, the key opposing creditor in
Cablevision's debt restructuring is an entity related to New
Jersey investment fund W.R. Huff Asset Management, whose
managing general partner, Bill Huff, is said to own enough of
the Company's debt to block the restructuring.

CONTACT:  Santiago Pena
          (5411) 4778-6520
          E-mail: spena@cablevision.com.ar

          Martin Pigretti
          (5411) 4778-6546
          E-mail: mpigretti@cablevision.com.ar

Web site: http://www.cablevision.com.ar


COMPANIA DE TELECOMUNICACIONES: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Compania de Telecomunicaciones y Video
Telmade S.R.L. will begin liquidating its assets following the
pronouncement of the city's Court No. 19 that the company is
bankrupt, reports Infobae.

The bankruptcy ruling places the company under the supervision
of court-appointed trustee, Ms. Beatriz Muruaga. The trustee
will verify creditors' proofs of claims until August 23, 2004.
Next, the validated claims will be presented in court as
individual reports on October 1, 2004.

Ms. Muruaga 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 15, 2004.

Clerk No. 38 assists on this case, which will end with the
disposal company assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Compania de Telecomunicaciones y Video Telmade S.R.L.
         Tucuman 1455
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Beatriz Muruaga, Trustee
         Agüero 1290
         Buenos Aires


CRONOMETAL S.R.L.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Jose Moral successfully sought for the bankruptcy of
Cronometal S.R.L. after Judge Taillade of Buenos Aires Court No.
20 declared the Company "Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, the Company will now start the bankruptcy process with
Mr. Oscar Chapiro as trustee. Creditors of the Company must
submit proofs of their claims to the trustee before October 26,
2004 for authentication. Failure to do so will mean a
disqualification from the payments that will be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

The creditor sought for the Company's bankruptcy after the
latter failed to pay debts amounting to US$ 47,951.96.

Dr. Perillo, Clerk No. 40, assists the court on the case, which
will culminate in the liquidation of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Cronometal S.R.L.
         Eleodoro Lobos 459
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Oscar Chapiro, Trustee
         Lavalle 1290
         Buenos Aires


CTI HOLDINGS: Redeems ONs Before Due Date
-----------------------------------------
CTI Holdings S.A. redeemed US$262,848,000 worth of Obligaciones
Negociables (ONs), which carried a maturity date of April 1,
2008.

Such ONs have been rated category D(arg) since October 2003 when
CTI defaulted on the bonds' first interest payment. But with the
recent redemption, the D rating will now be withdrawn.

The Company redeemed the bonds under an Acuerdo Preventivo
Extrajudicial (APE) reached with creditors in May 5, 2004. The
agreement included a payment offer of 13.125% of ON's nominal
value (Suggested amount) plus an annual interest of 11.5% over
the suggested amount as from June 30, 2003 up to the payment
date but with an overall maximum limit of 14.1% of ON's nominal
value.

Up to December 2003, the current capital of the ONs reached
approximately US$263 million. The payment offer of bonds
represented a payment in cash for the Company of approximately
US$34.5 billion excluding the payment interests offered.


DESARROLLOS TECNOLOGICOS: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
---------------------------------------------------------
Desarrollos Tecnologicos S.A. entered bankruptcy on orders from
Buenos Aires Court No. 26, reveals Infobae. Working with Clerk
No. 51, the court assigned Ms. Adriana Torrado as Trustee. She
is to verify creditors' claims until September 13, 2004.

Creditors who fail to have their claims validated before the
deadline will be disqualified from receiving any payments after
the Company's assets are liquidated.

The individual reports, due on October 26, 2004, are to be
prepared upon completion of the verification process. The court
also requires the receiver to prepare a general report and file
it on December 7, 2004.

CONTACT: Desarrollos Tecnologicos S.A.
         Avda Pueyrredon 886
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Adriana Torrado, Trustee
         Ventana 3450
         Buenos Aires


D.L.V. GROUP: Court Rules Liquidation
-------------------------------------
Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal
ordered the liquidation of D.L.V. Group S.R.L. after the company
defaulted on its obligations, Infobae reveals. The liquidation
pronouncement will effectively place the company's affairs as
well as its assets under the control of Mr. Jose Luis Cueli, the
court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Cueli will verify creditors' proofs of claims until
September 13, 2004. The verified claims will serve as basis for
the individual reports to be submitted in court on October 26,
2004. The submission of the general report follows on December
7, 2004.

Clerk No. 38 assists the court on this case, which will end with
the disposal of the company's assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: D.L.V. Group S.R.L.
         Jujuy 534
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Jose Luis Cueli
         Junin 55
         Buenos Aires


EMCO AUTRAL: Starting Liquidation Process
-----------------------------------------
Emco Autral S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, will
begin liquidating its assets after the city's Court No. 9
declared the company bankrupt. Infobae reveals that the
bankruptcy process will commence under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee, Mr. Eduardo Salomon Zalutzky.

The trustee will review claims forwarded by the company's
creditors until September 23, 2004. After claims verification,
Mr. Zalutzky will submit individual reports for court approval
on November 4, 2004. The general report will follow on December
17, 2004.

Clerk No. 18 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Emco Autral S.A.
         Cereti 3265
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Eduardo Salomon Zalutzky, Trustee
         Lavalle 1523
         Buenos Aires


FRIGORIFICO MAXIMO: Court Opens Restructuring
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal,
issued a resolution opening the reorganization of Frigorifico
Maximo Paz S.A., says Infobae.

This pronouncement authorizes the Company to begin drafting a
settlement proposal with its creditors in order to avoid
liquidation. 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.

Accounting firm "Lesta, Calelo, De Chiara" will serve as trustee
during the course of the reorganization. The firm will be
validating creditors' proofs of claims until August 25, 2004.
The results of the verification will be presented in court as
individual reports on October 5, 2004.

The trustee is also required to give the court a general report
of the case on November 17, 2004. The general report summarizes
events relevant to the reorganization and provides an audit of
the Company's accounting and business records.

Clerk No. 38 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Frigorifico Maximo Paz S.A.
         Moreno 970
         Buenos Aires

         "Lesta, Calelo, De Chiara" - Trustee
         Viamonte 783
         Buenos Aires


JUAN MINETTI: Reports 1H04 Net Profit of ARS31.4 Mln
----------------------------------------------------
Argentine cement producer Juan Minetti (JMIN.BA) posted a net
profit of ARS31.4 million for the first six months of 2004, Dow
Jones reports, citing a company statement to the local stock
exchange.

The Company ended the first half of the year with net assets of
ARS803.3 million, it said without providing further details or
comparative results.

The Company, controlled by Swiss cement giant Holcim, was able
to make an early cash payment of US$13 million to its creditors
at the end of June because it had the extra liquidity to do so.
It reached an agreement with its creditors on $276 million worth
of debt last year.

CONTACT:  Juan Minetti SA
          87 Ituzaingo
          Cordoba
          Argentina  5000
          Phone: +54 51 26 7529
          Fax:  +54 51 24 4709
          Home Page: http://www.juanminetti.com.ar
          Contacts:
          Dr. Manuel Augusto J. Baltazar Ferrer, Chairman
          Atty. Carlos Buhler, Executive Vice Chairman & General
                                     Manager


METALURGICA VICENTE: Declared Bankrupt by Court
-----------------------------------------------
Metalurgica Vicente Hermanos S.C.A. is now "Quiebra" - meaning
bankrupt, says La Nacion. Judge Ojea Quintana of Buenos Aires
Court No. 12 decreed the Company's bankruptcy and appointed Ms.
Nelida Schubb as trustee.

Ms. Schub will be reviewing creditors' claims until September
17, 2004. Analyzing these claims is important because the
outcome of the process will determine the amount each creditor
will get after all the assets of the Company are liquidated.

The court, aided by Clerk No. 24 Dr. Medici Garrot, will
conclude the bankruptcy process by liquidating its assets to
repay creditors.

CONTACT: Metalurgica Vicente Hermanos S.C.A.
         Deheza 3238
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Nelida Schubb, Trustee
         Paraguay 1307
         Buenos Aires


NICOL S.A.: Court Oks Reorganization
------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based construction Company Nicol S.A. proceeds with
reorganization after receiving the green light from Judge
Taillade of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal Court
No. 20. Mr. Jorge Wilcke will oversee the debt restructuring as
the court-appointed trustee. Dr. Perillo, Clerk No. 40, assists
on this case.

CONTACT: Nicol S.A.
         Moreno 634
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Jorge Wilcke, Trustee
         Teodorp Roosevelt 1877
         Buenos Aires


POWERPRINT: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal
declared local company Powerprint S.A. bankrupt after it
defaulted on its debt payments. The order effectively places the
company's assets under the control of court-appointed Trustee,
Mr. Bernardo Mazer.

As trustee, Mr. Mazer is tasked with verifying the authenticity
of claims presented by the company's creditors. The verification
phase is ongoing until September 28, 2004.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on November 10, 2004. A general report
will also be submitted on December 23, 2004.

Infobae reports that Clerk No. 40 assists the court on this
case, which will end with the disposal of the company's assets
in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Bernardo Mazer
         Avda Corrientes 2149
         Buenos Aires


SERBAU S.R.L.: Bankruptcy Schedule Reset
----------------------------------------
Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal,
assisted by Clerk No. 38, rescheduled key events in the Serbau
S.R.L. bankruptcy to the following dates:

1. Credit Verification Deadline - September 16, 2004
2. Individual Reports Submission - October 29, 2004
3. General Reports Submission - December 13, 2004

Mr. Juan Jose Poggio serves as trustee on this case.

CONTACT: Serbau S.R.L.
         Iturri 1446
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Juan Jose Poggio, Trustee
         San Martin 66
         Buenos Aires


TECNOLASER: Verification Deadline Approaches
--------------------------------------------
Creditors of bankrupt Tecnolaser S.A. must submit proofs of
their claims before the verification period closes tomorrow,
August 13, 2004. All claims should be forwarded to Mr. Fernando
Aquilino, the court-appointed trustee.

Judge Garibotto of the Buenos Aires' Court No. 2 issued the
bankruptcy order upon the request of Electro Tucuman S.A. The
creditor has claims totaling US$4,389.76 against Tecnolaser.

CONTACTS: Tecnolaser S.A.
          Gallardo 484
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Fernando Aquilino, Trustee
          Lavalle 1459
          Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Plummets Into Red on Exchange Rate Variation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fixed-line carrier Telecom Argentina SA swung to a net loss of
ARS230 million ($76 million) in the first half of the year from
a net profit of ARS1.28 billion in the same period last year.

The Company blames the negative performance on the fluctuation
of the exchange rate of the peso versus the dollar and the euro.
The Argentine peso weakened about 1.2% against the dollar in the
first half of the year. It strengthened about 20% in the same
period a year ago.

Net sales from cellular telephony totaled ARS753 million for the
first six months of 2004, up 47% from a year earlier. Fixed-line
telephony revenues came in at ARS246 million for the first half,
up just 7% from a year earlier. This gain was generated by a
modest increase in lines in service, since fixed-line rates have
been frozen since early 2002.

Meanwhile, revenues from data transmission and Internet
operations fell 2% to ARS162 million, a decline the Company
attributed to heightened competition.

Telecom Argentina, which is part owned by Telecom Italia,
competes with the subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica for
leadership of Argentina's fixed line telephone services.

Telecom recently announced that it has restructured about 87% of
its US$2.5 billion debt, paving the way for the biggest
corporate debt swap since Argentina's financial collapse in late
2001 and early 2002.

Launched in June, the debt proposal offers creditors the choice
of cash payments for a lesser amount, a reduction in face value
or new bonds with longer maturities.

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


* ARGENTINA: Presents Economic Policies to IMF
----------------------------------------------
The following item is a Letter of Intent of the government of
Argentina, which describes the policies that Argentina intends
to implement in the context of its request for financial support
from the IMF. The document, which is the property of Argentina,
is being made available on the IMF website by agreement with the
member as a service to users of the IMF website.

Ms. Anne O. Krueger
Acting Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
Washington D.C.

Dear Ms. Krueger:

Developments under the economic program continue to be very
favorable, helping us to lay the foundations for sustainable
growth and poverty reduction. The end-December 2003 quantitative
performance criteria were met comfortably and all continuous
structural performance criteria were observed. Furthermore, our
plans for structural fiscal reform, the further strengthening of
the banking sector, and carrying forward utility sector reform
remain firmly on track. We are also entering a critical stage in
the restructuring of sovereign debt.

Macroeconomic framework

Argentina's economy is expanding at a faster pace than
projected, with real GDP estimated to have increased by 8.4
percent in 2003. Disciplined implementation of well-designed
monetary and fiscal policies contributed to strengthening
consumer and business confidence, reducing inflation, lowering
interest rates, and rekindling private investment. The banking
system is returning to profitability and bank deposits are
growing strongly. Consumption was boosted by the rise in real
incomes as a result of both higher wages and stronger labor
demand, which in turn contributed to reducing unemployment and
poverty rates. We expect the strong recovery to continue in the
period ahead and have revised upward the growth outlook for 2004
to about 5ź percent, mainly on the back of robust domestic
demand. Favorable external conditions should allow the
continuation of a high trade surplus, despite a continued steep
rise in imports of capital goods and intermediate inputs. As
foreseen in the September agreement, we expect a modest and
transitory increase in inflation, as a result of pending
adjustments in relative prices (especially regulated prices),
some recovery in retail margins, and the lagged impact of higher
commodity prices.

Monetary and fiscal policies

All monetary targets for end-December 2003 were met with large
margins and the monetary program remains well on track. The
balance of payments remains strong and record sales of central
bank bonds (lebacs) kept central bank NDA substantially below
the program ceiling. Twelve-month inflation fell below 3 percent
in January 2004 and all quasi-monies have now been removed from
circulation. While we remain committed to the original targets
of the monetary program, the combination of modest exchange rate
appreciation and continuous reserve accumulation, rapidly
growing bank deposits and falling interest rates, and subdued
inflation, suggests a continuing strong recovery in the demand
for money. If these trends continue, this may warrant some
easing of the base money target at the third review of the
program.

The end-December fiscal and debt targets of the program were
also met by wide margins. In 2003, the primary surplus of the
consolidated public sector was about 3 percent of GDP, ź
percentage point above the target. This good performance is the
result of both buoyant revenues-reflecting a stronger-than-
expected economic recovery and intensified policies and efforts
to combat tax evasion-and continued control over spending at the
federal and provincial levels. Tax revenues are expected to
remain above program levels in 2004, which should enable us to
comfortably meet the targeted primary surplus of 3 percent of
GDP, while making room for a reduction in the distortionary
financial transactions tax by July 2004. The government is also
committed to targeted increases in capital and social spending.
The 2004 bilateral agreements have been signed by 12 provincial
governors and ratified by sufficient provincial legislatures to
meet the related structural performance criterion well ahead of
the end-March 2004 deadline.

Structural fiscal reforms

Plans for structural fiscal reforms are advancing in line with
our commitments in the September 10, 2003 Memorandum of Economic
and Financial Policies (MEFP) and accompanying Technical
Memorandum of Understanding (TMU). A formal agreement with
provincial governors on the main elements of the fiscal
responsibility and intergovernmental reform legislation
(described in MEFP paragraph 31, and TMU Section III.c) is
expected by end-March 2004 (structural performance criterion).
These reforms aim to ensure budgetary discipline for provincial
governments, simplify the tax revenue-sharing arrangements,
improve incentives to raise own revenues, and ensure a more
equitable distribution of transfers among provinces. The
legislation is to be submitted to Congress by end-May 2004, with
ratification by federal and provincial legislatures expected by
end-August 2004 (both structural performance criteria).

We have initiated work on the planned tax policy reform (MEFP
paragraph 28) aimed at strengthening core taxes and allowing for
the phased elimination of distortionary taxes, including the
planned reduction in the financial transactions tax. As
originally anticipated, the reform will be discussed at the
third review of the arrangement, and legislation will be
submitted to Congress by end-September 2004 along with a 2005
budget consistent with the program targets for 2005 (structural
performance criteria).

We plan to submit to Congress by end-March 2004 legislation to
further strengthen tax compliance covering customs duties and
social security contributions (MEFP paragraph 29) (structural
benchmark). In the area of social security reform, a draft
proposal to extend the coverage and increase the efficiency of
the system is expected to be made public by June 2004 to elicit
comments from all interested stakeholders; reform legislation
will then be submitted to Congress during the second half of
2004.

The banking strategy

Additional measures are being taken to strengthen banks' capital
and profitability so as to facilitate the credit creation needed
to sustain the recovery.

- Progress is being made in finalizing bank compensation
payments. In the case of asymmetric pesoization, compensation
bonds were placed in advance in escrow accounts; the central
bank has recently completed the process of claim verification
and informed banks where there has been an overestimation of
compensation due. With respect to the compensation for losses
from asymmetric indexation, implementing regulations have been
issued, and the central bank will soon issue additional
instructions to the banks to formalize the process. However,
given the complexity of the verification process, compensation
will spill over to the second quarter. Therefore, the end-March
2004 target will be missed and we request the structural
performance criterion to be reset to end-June 2004.

- After being suspended for two years, the capital adequacy
regime was reintroduced in January 2004. Accordingly, banks are
required to build gradually an adequate capital cushion against
exposure to the public sector and interest rate risk. Banks that
are found not to be in compliance with the new capital adequacy
norms or that are expected to incur significant future losses
are required by the central bank to take prompt corrective
actions and are subjected to intensified monitoring by
supervisors.

- Following the submission and analysis of annual business
plans, the central bank has requested all banks to submit multi-
year business plans by end-March 2004. Following the review of
such plans, the central bank will augment its work and reach
agreement with all banks on strategies to ensure the viability
of their operations in the context of mutually acceptable multi-
year business plans by end-June 2004 (structural benchmark).

As regards the major public banks, and as anticipated at the
last review, new bids were launched on February 27, 2004 on
agreed terms of references for the selection of the financial
advisors to conduct the due diligence and strategic reviews of
Banco de la Nación and Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires. We
expect to select the advisors by end-June 2004 (structural
performance criterion) and to complete the strategic review of
Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires by end-September 2004 and
of that for Banco de la Nación by end-November 2004; time-bound
action plans for strengthening these banks will be finalized by
end-December 2004 (structural performance criterion).

The working group charged with the design of reforms of the
central bank is finalizing its report containing its key
findings and recommendations and plans to issue it by end-March
2004 (structural benchmark). Based on the report's findings and
feedback from a wider audience, the authorities will finalize
recommendations by September 2004.

With regard to the safeguards assessment program for central
banks, by end-June 2004 the central bank will begin providing
financial statements to the Fund in accordance with
International Financial Reporting Standards, commencing with the
end-December 2003 financial year (structural benchmark). In
addition, beginning in March 2004 the central bank's externally
appointed controller (the Síndico) will verify and report to the
Fund that all monetary data used for program monitoring purposes
have been prepared in accordance with the Technical Memorandum
of Understanding.

Legal framework for private corporate restructuring

We have completed the reports on the corporate insolvency
framework and the financial condition of the corporate sector,
the latter of which shows that substantial progress has been
made in restructuring corporate debt in the context of the
existing insolvency framework. We are studying the modalities
for distributing these reports to a wider audience for comment.

Utility sector reform

We have taken some key steps to advance reforms in this sector,
including: (i) initiating tariff increases for key sectors; (ii)
pressing forward in the renegotiation of some key concessions;
and (iii) updating information of the financial condition of the
utility sector as a guide toward further policy evolution.

Regarding the tariff increases, a key step in restoring the
viability of the nonregulated energy concessions was taken in
mid-February 2004 with the announcement of an increase in
tariffs charged to industry-level users for electricity and
natural gas, and for liquid gas used in passenger transport. The
increases will be in the range of 10-35 percent and will be
implemented retroactively to February 2004 in the case of
electricity. For gas, increases will become effective by May
2004 after public hearings. The Energy Secretariat has been
granted the power to negotiate the specific adjustments on a
bilateral basis with gas producers.

Regarding progress in the renegotiation of the 62 concessions,
we have allowed 13 inter-urban road concessions to expire, and
awarded new concessions to operate and maintain this
infrastructure. We expect to complete the renegotiation of an
additional 39 concessions by end-June 2004, and all others by
end-2004. The renegotiated contracts will then be subject to
public hearings, a review by control entities, and final
ratification by Congress.

In February 2004, we invited a joint World Bank-IMF fact-finding
mission to update the assessment of the utilities sector and the
progress made in the renegotiation of concessions, as part of
our previous commitment to work with the international community
in this area. The recommendations of the joint mission will
provide an input to complete the process of renegotiating the
concessions in a timely manner. As a next step, we will invite
the Bank and the Fund to discuss this assessment and to detail
the areas where the government will seek Bank cooperation.

We are also aiming to strengthen the regulatory framework for
the utilities sector. Given that some additional time is needed
for further discussion of the issues involved with domestic and
international experts, including the World Bank, the legislation
to implement the new regulatory framework will be submitted to
Congress during the second half of 2004. The framework will be
formulated in a manner that is fully consistent with the
renegotiated concessions, supportive of private sector
participation in the provision of public services, and our
social objective of protecting low-income consumers.

Program financing assurances

Finding a sustainable solution to the public debt problem in
line with our policy commitments stated in the MEFP of September
10, 2003 and the letter of intent of January 9, 2004, remains a
priority of the government. The main elements of our approach
aimed at reaching a collaborative agreement are: (i) to appoint
banks to assist in preparations and help market the exchange
offer; (ii) to hold additional meetings and engage in
constructive negotiations with all representative creditor
groups, including the Global Committee for Argentine Bondholders
(GCAB), domestic institutional and retail holders such as the
Asociacion de Ahorristas de la Republica Argentina (AARA), and
European retail bondholder organizations such as the Comitato
Investori Titoli Argentini (CITA); and (iii) to formulate the
offer so that it will result in a sustainable debt for Argentina
and would attain broad support from creditors.

We are making progress in these areas as follows:

- We have recently selected six banks to assist us in organizing
and carrying forward the restructuring process. Three foreign
investment banks will undertake marketing the exchange offer in
foreign jurisdictions and three Argentine banks will undertake
the non-institutional domestic portion of the restructuring. A
presidential decree that gives legal status to their appointment
will be issued before March 15, 2004. The banks are hired for
nine months or until an exchange launch (whichever is the
earlier). It is our clear intention to retain the banks through
the entire restructuring process, subject to banks satisfying
their contractual obligations.

- We will deal constructively and transparently with creditors
and we will give due consideration to the initiatives that they
may be willing to put forward. We have already invited 21
creditor groups to meet in Buenos Aires to continue the dialogue
and have established a schedule for this purpose (see Annex I
and accompanying invitation letters). We will also be
intensifying the dialogue with domestic bondholders. By mid-
April 2004 we will seek to reach agreement on a follow-up
process and timetable. This framework will ensure meaningful
negotiations with all creditor groups.

- We have started to formulate such a framework with the
investment banks. This will facilitate the development of
proposals as a means of reaching a collaborative agreement with
creditors. Within such a framework, it is our intention to
discuss with creditors all aspects of the debt exchange offer,
including how best to optimize the elements of the offer taking
into account the proposals received from creditors and the
restrictions imposed by Argentina's debt burden. In tailoring
the offer, we would take the necessary steps to maintain the
principle of intercreditor equity and endeavor to avoid a
piecemeal approach to the debt restructuring, in particular by
finalizing with the assistance of the banks an appropriate
minimum participation threshold necessary for a broadly
supported restructuring.

We will discuss with the banks an appropriate timing for the
launch of the offer. Given the need for consultations and
additional discussions with creditors, it is difficult to set a
precise timetable for launching and completing the exchange
offer. At this stage, however, we believe that the offer would
not be launched earlier than June 2004 and not later than August
2004.

The program is based on the World Bank and IDB maintaining their
exposure to Argentina, which is key to protecting international
reserves. We will continue to work closely with the multilateral
development banks to ensure that their disbursements are closely
in line with the program.

As regards Paris Club creditors, we intend to write to the Paris
Club secretariat by mid-March 2004 to indicate the scope and
type of treatment that we intend to seek.

Except as modified in this letter and the accompanying addendum
to the TMU, the objectives, policies, targets and commitments of
the economic program remain as described in the original MEFP of
September 10, 2003 and our Letter of Intent of January 9, 2004.

In view of the progress made under the program, we request
completion of the second review under the Stand-By Arrangement.
As we implement our program, we will continue to maintain a
close policy dialogue with the Fund and the rest of the
international community.


Yours sincerely,

Dr. Roberto Lavagna
Minister of Economy

Lic. Guillermo Nielsen
Finance Secretary

Lic. Alfonso Prat-Gay
President of the Central Bank


ANNEX I

The following letter was sent to all the creditor groups listed
below on March 9, 2004:

Buenos Aires, March 9, 2004

As stated in our letter of February 2004, we are pleased to
invite you to Buenos Aires between March 24 and April 16.

We kindly request you to contact:
Lucía Aguirre (laguirre@mecon.gov.ar),
Leonardo Costantino (lcostan@mecon.gov.ar)
Adri n Nador (anador@mecon.gov.ar)
at 54.11.4349.8810 or at the following fax numbers
54.11.4349.8807 and 54.11.4349.8815 in order to set the date and
time.

Yours truly,

Roberto Lavagna

List of Creditor Groups Invited to Buenos Aires

1. Alliance
2. Altro Consumo
3. Asociacion de Ahorristas de la Republica Argentina
4. Asociacion de Damnificados por la Pesificacion y el Default
5. Capital Research
6. Comitato Investori Titoli Argentini (CITA)
7. Comitato per la Tutela degli Interessi e dei Diritti Dei
Risparmiatori Privati Italiani Portatori di Quote del Debito
Pubblico dello Stato Argentino
8. Comitato per la Tutela dei Risparmiatori Italiani Portatori
di Titoli Obbligazionari della Republica Argentina
9. Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. Ltd.
10. Deutsche Bank
11. DekaBank
12. Fintech
13. Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders (GCAB)
14. Interessengemeinschaft Argentinien e.V (IGA)
15. JP Morgan Fleming
16. Mitsubishi Securities Co. Ltd.
17. Nikko Citigroup Limited
18. Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.
19. Nomura Securities Co. Ltd.
20. Sindacato Italiano Tutela Investimento e Risparmio (SITI)
21. Swiss Bankers Association (Swiss Banking)

Addendum to the Technical Memorandum of Understanding

All elements of the Technical Memorandum of Understandings
(EBS/03/130, Attachment II) issued on September 12, 2003 remain
in force, except for the revisions noted below.

I. Quantitative Program Targets

End-September performance criteria are being added for: (i) the
cumulative primary balance of the federal government; (ii) the
federal government debt stock; (iii) the stock of net
international reserves of the central bank; and (iv) the stock
of net domestic assets of the central bank, as follows:

II. Other Revisions

- The following adjustor is added to the performance criterion
on the stock of federal government debt (Section I). The debt
ceilings will be adjusted:

"g. Upward (downward) by the difference in the value of the
"Argentine peso-denominated bond" maturing on September 19, 2008
calculated at the program exchange rate and the value of the
bond calculated at the exchange rate specified in the original
contract arising from the embedded option in the contract. This
adjustment includes the valuation of interest arrears and
interest payments on this bond."

- The continuous structural benchmark on below the line
reporting (item (e) of Section III) is modified as follows:

"The Secretaria de Hacienda and the BCRA will provide data from
below-the-line on the financing flows of the provinces no later
than 55 days after the end of the test date, or the following
business day, if the 55th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or on
a public holiday in Argentina."

CONTACT: International Monetary Fund
         700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431
         Telephone Operator: (202) 623-7000
         Fax: (202) 623-4661

         Web Site: www.imf.org



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B E R M U D A
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GLOBAL CROSSING: Brings Microsoft's Live Meeting to Costumers
-------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) announced Tuesday the expansion
of its alliance with Microsoft, integrating Microsoft(R) Office
Live Meeting into Global Crossing's collaboration services
portfolio. Live Meeting is a Web conferencing service that
enables conference participants to broadcast visuals,
applications, Web pages, files, or software in real-time.

"Together, Global Crossing and Microsoft are bringing Live
Meeting to the desktops of Global Crossing's multi-national
customers, helping support project collaboration and e-business
initiatives," said Anthony Christie, Global Crossing's chief
marketing officer. "With collaboration services such as Global
Crossing's Ready-Access audio conferencing service and Live
Meeting, we're making it simple for organizations to communicate
on-demand and make the best use of their talent pool to drive
teamwork and productivity."

Global Crossing customers have already begun to trial the
service, which is optimized by the global connectivity and
reliability of Global Crossing's end-to-end network
architecture. Through 2010, the Web conferencing market is
projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of more
than 30 percent, according to consulting research firm Frost &
Sullivan.

Microsoft's Live Meeting complements Global Crossing's extensive
set of collaboration tools, which includes audio, video and Web
conferencing solutions. Global Crossing has supported
conferencing customers for the past 25 years, helping global
enterprises facilitate group communication and enabling them to
get the most productivity out of their meetings, while
developing a stellar reputation for service delivery. According
to Frost & Sullivan, in 1994, Global Crossing became the first
service provider to offer a T.120 compliant document
conferencing service (the first evolution of Web conferencing).
Today, Global Crossing offers integrated audio and Web
conferencing services such as Ready-Access(R) Web Meeting and e-
Meeting, operator-run Event Call audio conferencing, IP
videoconferencing and Global Crossing's award-winning
iVideoconferencing* service for ISDN connections.

These global organizations rely on Microsoft application
software to help run their businesses and require the latest
productivity tools to optimize their time. Global Crossing
recently became the first carrier to fully integrate the
scheduling capabilities of Microsoft Outlook(R) directly with
Global Crossing's Ready-Access Web Meeting - an integrated audio
and Web conferencing service. The feature, called Ready-Access
Scheduler, makes it simple to launch Web meetings. Plans are
also underway for integrating Global Crossing's Ready-Access
audio conferencing service with Microsoft Office Live Meeting,
enabling users to access Ready-Access audio commands and
functionality that will allow them to control and manage their
meeting within Live Meeting. In addition, Global Crossing has
migrated uCommand(R), a customer management Web portal that
supports e-business tools such as Global Crossing's IP VPN
ServiceT, VoIP ServiceT and Managed Services onto the Microsoft
platform.

"Customers require our collaboration solutions to be intuitive
and easy to use," said Dustin Grosse, Microsoft's general
manager for Real Time Collaboration. Delivering integrated audio
and visuals with partners helps us achieve this goal. Global
organizations and their business groups use Live Meeting to
collaborate with co-workers, customers, suppliers and partners
around the world in real-time. This speeds the communication,
sharing of knowledge and information with dramatic cost savings
by eliminating the need for business travel."

For more than three years, Global Crossing has been a key
network provider of global telecom services to Microsoft,
including serving as the primary backbone in Europe over Global
Crossing's high-speed, fiber-optic network.

Global Crossing is a pioneer in the conferencing services
business, with more than 25 years experience. The company's
fiber-optic network enables it to deliver integrated,
customized, and managed collaboration services -- audio, video
and Web-based solutions -- that address customers' network and
real-time collaboration needs. Global Crossing's solutions are
distinguished by their ease-of-use, transmission quality,
reliability and cost-effectiveness.

ABOUT GLOBAL CROSSING

Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) provides telecommunications
solutions over the world's first integrated global IP-based
network. Its core network connects more than 300 cities and 30
countries worldwide, and delivers services to more than 500
major cities, 50 countries and 6 continents around the globe.
The company's global sales and support model matches the network
footprint and, like the network, delivers a consistent customer
experience worldwide.

Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the
world's enterprises, governments and carriers with customers,
employees and partners worldwide in a secure environment that is
ideally suited for IP-based business applications, allowing e-
commerce to thrive. The company offers a full range of managed
data and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN
Service, Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing
VoIP services, to more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as
well as 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.

CONTACTS: Global Crossing

          Press Contacts:
          Scott Gardiner
          + 1 973-937-0430
          PR@globalcrossing.com

          Ms. Fernanda Marques
          + 55 21-3820-4712
          LatAmPR@globalcrossing.com

          Mr. Mish Desmidt
          Europe
          +44 (0) 7771-668438
          EuropePR@globalcrossing.com

          Analysts/Investors Contact:

          Mr. Mitch Burd
          +1 800-836-0342
          glbc@globalcrossing.com

          Web Site: www.globalcrossing.com



===========
B R A Z I L
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PARMALAT BRAZIL: Secures Creditor Protection
--------------------------------------------
A Sao Paulo city court granted bankruptcy protection to two
Brazilian subsidiaries of Italian dairy giant Parmalat
Finanziaria.

Parmalat Participacoes holding company and Parmalat Brasil
Industria de Alimentos, Parmalat's main operating unit in
Brazil, were given two years to settle debt estimated at BRL1.3
billion (US$429 million), Parmalat said.

Nelson Bastos, the president of Parmalat Brasil Industria de
Alimentos, told Reuters the plan is to turn its bank credits
into shares in the company. He is expecting an answer from
creditors by the end of the year after presenting the proposal
to 17 creditor banks in Brazil a month ago.

The Brazilian units were unable to pay suppliers and creditors
after their Italian parent company went bust early in the year.
In December, Parmalat admitted the US$5 billion (EUR4 billion)
it had claimed was in a Bank of America account was non-
existent. It subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection.


VARIG: Brazil Moves to Rescue Ailing Airline
--------------------------------------------
Citing an unidentified executive of the Brazilian National
Development Bank (BNDES), O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reports
that the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
intends to bail out the country's biggest airline.

According to the paper, the development bank is now in
discussions with five foreign and Brazilian investors over a
plan to rescue Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense SA (Varig), which is
carrying a BRL6-billion debt (US$1.97 billion).

Under the plan, Varig would swap BRL3 billion of debt into
equity, which would account for two-thirds of the Company's
capital, says the paper.

In addition, the Company would have to abandon up a lawsuit
against the government in order to renegotiate payment on
another BRL3 billion of debt owed the government.

However, the airline said it had not been briefed about the
rescue plan yet, according to the report.

The president wants to bail out Varig because its bankruptcy
could damage the country's image abroad.

CONTACT:      VARIG (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S.A.)
              Rua 18 de Novembro No. 800, Sao Joao
              90240-040 Porto Alegre,
              Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
              Phone: (51) 358-7039/7040
                     (51) 358-7010/7042
              Fax: +55-51-358-7001
              Home Page: www.varig.com.br/english/
              Contacts:
              Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance and CFO
              E-mail: dorival.schultz@varig.com.br

              Investor Relations:
              Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha,
              n  365-Bloco "B" - s/458 / Centro
              Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


* BRAZIL: Bolsters Fiscal Administration With $20M IDB Loan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Inter-American Development Bank Vice President Dennis E.
Flannery, the Governor of the State of Sao Paulo Geraldo Jose
Rodrigues Alckmin Filho and the Brazilian Ambassador to the
United States Roberto Pinto Ferreira Mameri Abdenur signed on
Tuesday the documents for a $20 million loan for a program to
improve efficiency, efficacy and transparency in the
administration of public resources of the state.

The general objective of the program is to help foster fiscal
reform and modernization of the State of Sao Paulo through
strengthening the institutions related to tax, finance and
budget administration, particularly the Secretaria de Estado de
Hacienda (SEFAZ) that will be in charge of executing the
program.

CONTACT: Ms. Christina MacCulloch
         Press and Information Officer
         Tel. (202) 623-1718
         christinam@iadb.org

         Web Site: www.iadb.org



=========
H A I T I
=========

* HAITI: Submits Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies
--------------------------------------------------------------
The following item is a Letter of Intent of the government of
Haiti, which describes the policies that Haiti intends to
implement in the context of its request for financial support
from the IMF. The document, which is the property of Haiti, is
being made available on the IMF website by agreement with the
member as a service to users of the IMF website.

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato
Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20431
U.S.A.

Dear Mr. de Rato:

1. Haiti is in a period of difficult political transition in the
aftermath of an internal conflict and a change in government.
The transition government that was formed in early March 2004 is
committed to leading the country to regional, parliamentary and
presidential elections in 2005, while restoring macroeconomic
stability. The immediate priority, however, is to re-establish
key public services and restore security amidst a grave
humanitarian crisis. Beyond the next few months, the government
is faced with the daunting task of restarting the economy and
rebuilding the institutions of Haiti in the areas of health,
education, justice, infrastructure, human rights and police, all
of which virtually collapsed during the conflict.

2. The economic impact of the conflict has been severe. The
physical damage is estimated at about 5.5 percent of GDP. In
addition, the conflict led to the closure of businesses for
several weeks and restricted movement of commercial goods,
resulting in disruptions in the supply system. This is expected
to cause real GDP to decline by about 5 percent in this fiscal
year. The decline in economic activity and the breakdown of
security undermined the flow of government revenues, severely
disrupting the government's already precarious financial
position. To avoid monetary financing of the soaring budget
deficit, we have been curbing government expenditure. However,
these austerity measures are socially and politically
unsustainable beyond the next few months, and financial
assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors is urgently
needed.

3. The transition government is determined to re-establish
financial stability and improve governance and transparency in
the public sector. To this end, we have formulated an economic
program for the period April-September 2004 that focuses on
macroeconomic stabilization. We believe that the macroeconomic
framework underpinning this program can provide the basis for
stabilizing the economy and establishing a track record of
policy implementation toward a program that could receive
financial support from the Fund. It will also help in mobilizing
donor assistance. Key elements of this program are summarized in
the attached Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies. The
government requests that IMF staff monitor and follow up the
execution of this program over the indicated period.

4. The government will communicate to the IMF the information
needed to monitor progress in implementing the program. The
authorities intend to review with IMF staff the progress made
during the first three months of the program by September 2004
at the latest.

Sincerely yours,

Henri Bazin
Minister of Economy and Finance
Haiti

Raymond Magloire
Governor
Bank of the Republic of Haiti

To view Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policies:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Haiti.htm

CONTACT: International Monetary Fund
         700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431
         Telephone Operator: (202) 623-7000
         Fax: (202) 623-4661

         Web Site: www.imf.org



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

GRUPO IMSA: Exits Automotive Battery Business
---------------------------------------------
Grupo Imsa, S.A. de C.V. ( NYSE:IMY) (BMV:IMSA) and Johnson
Controls, Inc. (NYSE:JCI) announced Tuesday the closing of the
agreement whereby Grupo Imsa exits the automotive battery
business and Johnson Controls, its JV partner since 1998,
assumes 100% ownership. This transaction was announced on July
19, and was finalized Tuesday on the agreed terms after
receiving the approval of the regulatory authorities. The
primary use of the proceeds obtained from this transaction will
be used to pay debt.

Grupo Imsa, a holding company, dates back to 1936 and is today
one of Mexico's leading industrial companies, operating in three
businesses: steel processed products; steel and plastic
construction products; and aluminum and other related products.
Grupo Imsa operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in
Mexico, the United States, Europe and throughout Central and
South America. In 2003 the Company's sales reached US$2.8
billion, of which close to 55% was generated outside Mexico.
Grupo Imsa shares trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange (IMSA)
and, in the United States, on the NYSE (IMY).

Johnson Controls is a global market leader in automotive systems
and facility management and control. In the automotive market,
it is a major supplier of integrated seating and interior
systems, and batteries. For nonresidential facilities, Johnson
Controls provides control systems and services including
comfort, energy and security management. Johnson Controls
(NYSE:JCI), founded in 1885, has headquarters in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin.

CONTACT:  Grupo Imsa, Monterrey
          Adrian Fernandez
          Tel: (52-81) 8153-8433
             or
          Jose Luis Fornelli
          Tel: (52-81) 8153-8416
          E-mail: jfornell@grupoimsa.com


GRUPO MEXICO: Close to an Agreement With Workers
------------------------------------------------
Workers at Grupo Mexico SA's Cananea mining complex have agreed
to labor contract terms with the Company, Business News Americas
reports, citing an official of the National Mining,
Metallurgical and Similar Workers Union.

Workers will vote on the terms Thursday to decide whether to
accept the agreement and call off strike plans or continue
pressuring the Company for a new contract.

At the same time, the union agreed to contract terms with Grupo
Mexico for roughly 100 workers at its zinc processing plant in
San Luis Potosi state. Workers were scheduled to meet Wednesday
to consider the proposal.

Demands include overtime payments, profit-sharing, production
bonuses and security equipment.

Cananea is Grupo Mexico's largest copper mine. It produced about
65,000 metric tons of copper in concentrate in the first six
months of this year. It also has an SX-EW facility that produced
25,000 metric tons of refined copper in the same period.

A nearly three-week-long strike was settled July 30 at nearby La
Caridad, which produces 140,000 metric tons a year of copper in
concentrate and has a refinery that produces about 250,000
metric tons of year of refined copper.

Juan Rebolledo, Grupo Mexico's vice president for international
relations, said earlier Tuesday that the Company's offer to
workers at Cananea and San Luis Potosi is similar to that
accepted by La Caridad workers.

Grupo Mexico is the world's third largest copper producer, with
operations in Mexico, Peru and the U.S.

CONTACT:  Mr. German Larrea Mota Velasco
          Chairman & CEO
          GRUPO MEXICO
          Av. Baja California No. 200
          Colonia Roma Sur
          06760 Mexico, D.F.
          Tel. Conm. 52 (55) 5080-0050


HYLSAMEX: S&P Affirms, Raises Ratings On Main Unit
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its senior unsecured
debt ratings on the Mexican-based steel producer Hylsa S.A. de
C.V.'s US$139 million notes due 2007, and US$161 million notes
due 2010 to 'B' from 'CCC+' as a result of payments on Senior
Secured debt. At the same time, the 'B' long-term corporate
credit rating on the company was affirmed. The outlook is
stable.

The rating action follows the US$137 million and US$160 million
prepayments that have been made on both Hylsamex's and Hylsa's
secured debt, respectively. "The issue rating action reflects
our recognition that the unsecured debt is no longer
structurally subordinated," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Juan P. Becerra.

The ratings on Mexican steel producer Hylsa reflect Hylsa's high
leverage, the challenges posed by industry cyclicality, very
competitive steel markets, and significant exposure to the
automotive and construction industries. The ratings also reflect
the company's position as one of the largest steel makers in
Mexico, improved local market demand (85% of sales are to the
Mexican market), improving cost position with a refocus on more
profitable end-user markets, and expected further debt reduction
with cash flows from the improved pricing environment in global
steel markets.

The stable outlook is supported by an improved financial profile
as a result of Hylsa's debt prepayments and improving operating
performance. The ratings could be raised over time if Hylsa
continues to significantly reduce debt. The ratings could be
lowered if the decrease in prices is steeper than anticipated or
if debt levels are not reduced as expected.



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

CANTV: Government Extends Investigation
---------------------------------------
The investigation into CANTV's capability to secure electronic
data during the August 15 presidential referendum will continue
says Congressman Ismael Garcia in a report from El Universal.

The committee, which was scheduled to submit its findings today,
extended the inquiry because CANTV President Gustavo Roosen has
not satisfactorily clarified some issues.

Mr. Garcia pointed that the Company vice-president Ricardo
Hoffmans links to Mr. Marcel Granier remains in question. Mr.
Granier, 1BC Holdings president, is said to be backing the
installation of a technological platform. The congressman adds,
"We do not know if it (the platform) is aimed at intervening in
the August 15 activities."



                            ***********


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