TCRLA_Public/040830.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, August 30, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 171



ANDRES N BERTOTTO: Proceeds With Restructuring
DALVIK S.A.: Seeking Reorganization Approval
GARVI S.R.L.: Local Court OKs "Concurso Preventivo" Petition
HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Names Bank of New York as Exchange Agent
MAC TRADDING: Court Orders Liquidation

PINO CAMBY: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
SUAT S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Request


FOSTER WHEELER: Fixes 10.507% Annual Interest on New Notes
GALLERIA LTD.: Court Clears Boss
SEA CONTAINERS: Sells Folkstone Port for US$20Mln


ACESITA: Arcelor Could Exercise Option by Yearend
BOMBRIL: Cirio Receivers Seek Talks With Creditors
CFLCL: FondELec Wants Alliant's Stake
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Intensifies Power Anti-Theft Program
MRS LOGISTICA: S&P Affirms Ratings

SINGER: Extends Tender Offer for Brazil Secured Notes
TELESP CELULAR: JP Reduces Recommendation on TCP to Underweight

C O S T A   R I C A

* Fitch Affirms 'BB' Foreign Currency Rating of Costa Rica

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Works with IADB to Improve Businesses


* Republic of Guatemala Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Stable


FCN: Sells Puerto Cortes Property


CORPORACION DURANGO: Court Authorizes Bankruptcy
INTERNATIONAL WIRE: Court Confirms Plan of Reorganization


PARMALAT NICARAGUA: Italian Administrator Warns Local Receiver


PAN AMERICAN SILVER: Pays $36Mln for Peruvian Mine

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Schedules EGM for September 10
BWIA: Stockbroker Remains Skeptical Despite Improved 1H Results
NWRHA: Fire the NWRHA Board, Says Ex-Health Minister
WASA: Registers $448M Debts


EDC: S&P Upgrades Ratings to `B' From `B-'
HARVEST NATURAL: S&P Raises Ratings After Venezuela Upgrade
PDVSA FINANCE: S&P Raises Notes Rating To 'B+'

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


ANDRES N BERTOTTO: Proceeds With Restructuring
Court No. 2 of Rio Tercero's (Cordoba) civil and commercial
tribunal approved the "Concurso Preventivo" petition filed by
Andres N Bertotto S.A.I.C., reports local news source Infobae.

Under Insolvency protection, the Company will be able to draft a
settlement plan for its creditors so as to avoid a straight

Clerk No. 3 assists the court on the case.

DALVIK S.A.: Seeking Reorganization Approval
Judge Braga, serving for Court No. 44 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal, is currently reviewing the merits of the
reorganization petition filed by Dalvik S.A. Argentine daily La
Nacion reports that the company filed the request after
defaulting on its debt payments since October 31, 2003.

The reorganization petition, if granted by the court, will allow
the agricultural company to negotiate a settlement with its
creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation. Dr.
Julianelli, Clerk No. 44, assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Dalvik S.A.
         Junin 55
         Buenos Aires

GARVI S.R.L.: Local Court OKs "Concurso Preventivo" Petition
Court No. 8 of Cordoba's civil and commercial tribunal granted
Garvi S.R.L.'s petition to start a reorganization process,
reports Infobae.

The court appointed Mr. Emir Waquim as trustee who will
supervise the company during the reorganization process.

Important dates, such as the deadline for the submission of the
necessary reports, as well as the schedule for the informative
assembly will be announced shortly.

CONTACT: Mr. Emir Waquim, Trustee
         Boulevard Illia 480

HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Names Bank of New York as Exchange Agent
Argentine generator Hidroelectrica Piedra del Aguila S.A. (HPDA)
hired The Bank of New York (BNY), a global leader in securities
servicing, to serve as exchange agent in connection with the
company's recent restructuring, in which HPDA exchanged
approximately US$268 million of existing Series I, II, III and
IV Trust Notes due 2009 for cash and/or new Series A, B, C and D
fixed rate Notes due 2013.

The utility also selected The BNY to provide trustee, principal
paying agent, and co-registrar services to the new notes, issued
as a separate series under an indenture. This transaction is
reported to be the largest completed Argentine exchange offer to

Steven Hodgetts, managing director of global trust services at
The Bank of New York, said, "This transaction highlights our
track record of servicing many high-profile and complex
restructuring transactions in the Latin American and global
markets. Our breadth of global capabilities in the corporate
trust arena ensures that debt issuers receive the level of
commitment and dedication needed to execute their tender and
exchange offers in a timely manner."

Hidroelectrica Piedra del Aguila S.A. is a private hydroelectric
generator in Argentina. Formed through the reorganization of the
state-owned hydroelectric company in 1993, the company currently
holds a government concession until December 29, 2023 to operate
a hydroelectric complex and to use related water resources in
Piedra del Aguila for the generation and sale of electricity.

MAC TRADDING: Court Orders Liquidation
Mac Tradding S.R.L. prepares to wind-up its operations following
the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Judge Braga of Buenos
Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal Court No. 22. The
declaration effectively prohibits the company from administering
its assets, control of which will be transferred to a court-
appointed trustee.

La Nacion reports that the court appointed Mr. Raul Pereyra as
trustee. He will be reviewing creditors' proofs of claims until
October 8, 2004.

Dr. Julianelli, Clerk No. 44, assists the court on this case,
which will end with the disposal of the company's assets to
cover its liabilities.

CONTACT: Mac Tradding S.R.L.
         Blanco Encalada 1710
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Raul Pereyra, Trustee
         Parana 467
         Buenos Aires

PINO CAMBY: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
Pino Camby S.A. will enter bankruptcy protection after Court No.
2 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal, with the
assistance of Clerk No. 3, ordered the company's liquidation.
The 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 accounting firm "Estudio
Carreiro, Harvey & Asociados" as trustee. The firm will be
verifying creditors' proofs of claims until the end of the
verification phase on October 22, 2004.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of the company's accounting
and business records. The individual reports will be submitted
on October 22, 2004 followed by the general report, which is due
on September February 18, 2004.

CONTACT: Pino Camby S.A.
         Avda Cramer 2145
         Buenos Aires

         "Estudio Carreiro Harvey & Asociados" - Trustee
         Presidente Peron 1143
         Buenos Aires

SUAT S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Request
Suat S.R.L. entered bankruptcy after Judge Vasallo of Buenos
Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal approved the voluntary
bankruptcy motion it had requested, reports La Nacion.

Working with Dr. Perez Casado, the city's Clerk No. 9, the
Company assigned Ms. Viviana Palopoli 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 October 26,

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.

         Tte. Gral. J. D. Peron 1711
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Viviana Palopli, Trustee
         Avenida Cordoba 859
         Buenos Aires


FOSTER WHEELER: Fixes 10.507% Annual Interest on New Notes
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) announced Thursday the
interest rate applicable to the Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes
due 2011, Series A (the "New Notes"), to be issued by Foster
Wheeler LLC in the equity for debt exchange offer that the
company launched on June 11, 2004.

If the exchange offer expires as currently scheduled on August
30, 2004, the New Notes will bear interest at a rate of 10.507%
per annum. This rate is equal to 6.65% plus the yield on U.S.
Treasury notes having a remaining maturity equal to the maturity
of the New Notes determined as of 2:00 p.m. New York City time
on the second business day prior to the expiration of the
exchange offer. The terms of the New Notes are described in the
registration statement on Form S-4 (File No. 333-107054)
relating to the exchange offer.

If the exchange offer is extended beyond August 30, 2004, the
rate on the New Notes will be recalculated and announced at a
later date.

A copy of the prospectus relating to the New Notes and other
related documents may be obtained from the information agent.
The information agent for the exchange offer and consent
solicitation is Georgeson Shareholder Communications Inc., 17
State Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York 10014. Georgeson's
telephone number for bankers and brokers is 212-440-9800 and for
all other security holders is 800-891-3214.

The dealer manager for the exchange offer and consent
solicitation is Rothschild Inc., 1251 Avenue of the Americas,
51st Floor, New York, New York 10020. Contact Rothschild at 212-
403-3784 with any questions on the exchange offer.

Investors and security holders are urged to read the following
documents filed with the SEC, as amended from time to time,
relating to the proposed exchange offer because they contain
important information: (1) the registration statement on Form S-
4 (File No. 333-107054) and (2) the Schedule TO (File No. 005-
79124). These and any other documents relating to the proposed
exchange offer, when they are filed with the SEC, may be
obtained free at the SEC's Web site at, or from the
information agent as noted above.

The foregoing reference to the exchange offer and any other
related transactions shall not constitute an offer to buy or
exchange securities or constitute the solicitation of an offer
to sell or exchange any securities in Foster Wheeler Ltd. or any
of its subsidiaries.

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

CONTACT: Foster Wheeler
         Ms. Maureen Bingert
         Mr. John Doyle

         Other Inquiries:

         Web Site:

GALLERIA LTD.: Court Clears Boss
A court has cleared Robert Dwinnell, the former manager of a
defunct furniture shop, of eight counts of dodging pension
payments, dealing a blow to the Crown, which brought the charges
against the boss and his wife earlier this year.

The Crown sued Robert and Jennifer Dwinnell, the husband and
wife managers of Galleria Ltd., for failing to turn over pension
contributions that were deducted weekly from staff salaries.

But Magistrate Francis last week ruled that Mr. Dwinnell, who
faced the allegations alone after his wife left the Island for
Canada last year, had no case to answer. According to Mr.
Francis, neither Mr. Dwinnell nor the firm could be found guilty
of the offence alleged, although he said he was convinced the
pension funds had been deducted from employees and were not
turned over to a fund at BF&M that had been established in
accordance with the National Pension Scheme.

After the latest legal development, the eight former Galleria
employees may not be able recoup pension monies deducted from
their pay.

But Crown prosecutor Anthony Blackman said they intend to appeal
the ruling and vow to continue pursuing any employer that falls
short of pension law requirements.

"No, we will not cease from prosecuting this type of offence,"
Blackman said.

SEA CONTAINERS: Sells Folkstone Port for US$20Mln
Sea Containers Ltd (NYSE: SCRA and SCRB) marine container
lessor, passenger and freight transport operator and leisure
industry investor, announced Thursday that it sold its
subsidiary Folkestone Properties Ltd, owners of Folkestone
Harbour on the south east coast of the United Kingdom.

Contracts were signed for the port sale on July 2, 2004 and the
purchase, by businessman Mr. Roger De Haan who is well known as
chairman of the Folkestone-based Saga Group, was completed on
August 24, 2004.  The sale price was $20 million (11 million).
President of Sea Containers Ltd., Mr. James B. Sherwood, said
the gain will be recorded in the company's third quarter

Mr. Sherwood indicated that long term rights were retained for
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., the company in which Sea Containers
has a large shareholding, to access the station and car park for
passengers and vehicles related to the Venice Simplon-Orient
Express and British Pullman tourist trains.

CONTACTS: Mr. Steve Lawrence
          Public Relations and Communications
          Sea Containers Services Ltd.,
          Sea Containers House,
          20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PF
          Tel: +44 20 7805 5830

          Web Site:


ACESITA: Arcelor Could Exercise Option by Yearend
European steel manufacturer Arcelor could raise its stake in
Brazil's Acesita to 48.4 percent by the end of the year,
Acesita's president Luiz Anibal de Lima Fenandes revealed in a
report from Business New Americas.

Arcelor could accomplish the move by exercising its option to
buy shares owned by local pension funds. Ms. Cristiane Viana, an
analyst from BES Securities, says the announcement was
surprising since the option is supposed to be exercised only in
December next year.

The Luxemburg-based group's recent investments in the country
are intended to gain more ground in the carbon steel market. In
June, the company secured a 28.02 percent stake in CST for
US$579 million.

Arcelor currently controls 27.68 percent of Acesita.

BOMBRIL: Cirio Receivers Seek Talks With Creditors
The receivers of insolvent Italian food group Cirio have
scheduled a trip to Brazil for mid-September to hold talks with
creditors of the group's Brazilian detergents and household
goods subsidiary Bombril, according to a translated article
published by Europe Intelligence Wire.

Cirio defaulted on EUR1.1 billion (US$1.346 billion) bonds in
late 2002 and eventually collapsed at the hands of its majority
owner and chairman, Sergio Cragnotti, currently under
investigation for fraud. Its downfall was thought to have been
caused in part by the ambiguities surrounding Bombril's
financial operations.

Between 1997 and 1999, Mr, Cragnotti, whose holding company
controlled both companies, sold a controlling stake in Cirio to
Bombril, then bought it back and transferred control of Bombril
to Cirio.

CFLCL: FondELec Wants Alliant's Stake
US-based investment fund FondElec moved to increase its control
of power group Companhia Forca e Luz Cataguazes-Leopoldina
(CFLCL) by offering to buy Alliant's minority stake in the
Brazilian company, says Valor Economico.

However, Alliant reportedly rebuffed the offer and reaffirmed
its intention to maintain its 21.6 percent holding in CFLCL.
FondElec, holds on to a 12.2 percent stake in the Company while
the Botelho family has the majority stake of 60.8 percent.

Minority shareholders have been scrambling for control over the
management of CFLCL's US$339 million debt since 2003 when the
Company returned to black after two years of loss.

The minority shareholders contend that the controllers
maneuvered the gain through the sale of assets and expensive
loans in order to maintain control over the Company. Brazilian
law confers additional management rights to minority
shareholders after three straight years of losses.

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Intensifies Power Anti-Theft Program
Power distributor Eletropaulo is buckling down to fight power
theft in its territories with a BRL54 million fund that it will
use to identify and sue thieves, reports Business News Americas.

Vice-president for operations, Mr. Cyro Boccuzzi, explained that
the Company is dispatching 870 agents in Sao Paulo and the
neighboring municipalities to look out for meter fraud.

If the program is successful, the Company hopes to recover
BRL600 million in lost revenues by August next year. Eletropaulo
further plans to cut illegal connections by 2.5 percent in the
period. It will be spending BRL12 million this year to turn
illegal connections official.

Power theft has been a constant drain on the Company's coffers
for years. Theft makes up 4.4 percent of annual losses while
illegal connections add up another 3.2 percent.

          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations

MRS LOGISTICA: S&P Affirms Ratings
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B+/Positive/--'
global scale foreign currency credit rating and its 'BB-
/Stable/--' global scale local currency credit rating on MRS
Logistica S.A. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
'B' global scale foreign currency rating on MRS' outstanding
senior unsecured notes.

The ratings assigned to MRS reflect the company's relatively
high financial leverage, the concentration of its customer base,
and the capital-intensive nature of the railroad business. For
analytical purposes, Standard & Poor's adjusts the leverage
ratios of the company, adding back the present value of the
concession obligation and the lease with RFFSA, as well as the
value of new commercial leasing contracts for locomotives and
wagons (which, together, added $486 million in June 2004 to MRS'
total debt). These aspects are partially offset by MRS'
favorable tariff model with its main captive-cargo clients,
which allows them to repass cost increases and maintain
profitability and cash-flow ratios to honor its debt service.
Moreover, the company has continuously improved its operational
efficiency by reducing costs, increasing volume, and gradually
improving its diversification with the capture of new cargo. MRS
benefits from rights to explore the railway concession during
the next 22 years, renewable for another 30 years, servicing
iron ore exporters and steel producers in the region (some of
them are captive cargo customers and shareholders of MRS).

"MRS has consistently shown high levels of production growth
(which amounted to 14% in the first six months of 2004) during
the past few years as a result of investments in permanent
tracks, the recovery and maintenance of wagons and locomotives,
and frequent reviews of operations and systems, allowing better
usage of its operating equipment," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Claudio Gallina.

The strong demand for transoceanic iron ore has indirectly
benefited MRS' results. The company's total volume has increased
consistently, attaining 46 million tons in the first half of
this year (the company expects to attain 98 million tons by the
end of 2004). In spite of the growing diversification of the
transported cargo, MRS may still remain concentrated on iron ore
transportation (70% of the total volume) during the next few
years. In any event, this scenario sustains the company's
protected market situation, since the level of competition of
other modal transportation in this type of cargo is relatively
low. Even though most of the volume transported by MRS is
exported (which protects it from the volatile domestic economic-
financial environment), the company is still exposed to cargo
fluctuation in the long term.

MRS' tariff model agreement with its customers/stockholders
contributes toward the maintenance of its financial profile by
allowing the transfer both of the variation of its operating
expenses (including fuel, the main variable in the composition
of costs of MRS) and the variation of financial expenses to the
tariffs charged to these customers. The company's strengthening
of its profitability (and consequently of its cash generation in
the past few years), has been mainly due to the tariff agreement
and to the company's efforts to control costs. Therefore, MRS
has shown increasing coverage and cash-flow protection
indicators-the coverage of interest by EBITDA was around 2.2x in
2004. Even though Standard & Poor's believes that most of the
productivity gains (which can be translated as enhanced
profitability) will be preserved in the future, the reduction of
the company's leverage could imply a certain reduction of the
importance of the tariff agreement to the definition of
operating margins in the future. Even though this process could
result in lower nominal margins, Standard & Poor's believes that
the company's FFO will remain strong.

The stable outlook on the global scale local currency ratings
reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that the business bases
of MRS (essentially represented by its favorable market position
in the transportation of iron ore) will permit the maintenance
of the company's positive cash flow-a key factor for financing
its investment strategy and maintaining adequate indebtedness
levels. Standard & Poor's expects MRS to continue increasing its
transported volumes, adding new cargos in future years, and
maintaining firm control over its costs for the maintenance of
this operating profitability. The stable outlook also considers
the maintenance of the strong demand for transoceanic iron ore,
and improvements in the domestic scenario, although to a lesser
extent. MRS' outlook could be revised to positive if the company
maintains the positive trend of its cash-flow protection (with
ratios of EBITDA coverage above 3x), an FFO above 25%-30% during
the next months, and profitability (measured by EBITDA margin
adjusted by its concession) around 50%. On the other hand, a
reversal in the trend of these ratios-due to the increase in
MRS' debt, reduction in the company's cargo transportation, or
other external factors like the revision of its tariff model or
shareholder's misunderstandings, could put negative pressure on
the company's rating outlook.

The positive outlook on the foreign currency rating mirrors the
outlook assigned to the ratings on the Federative Republic of

ANALYST:  Claudio Gallina, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8938

SINGER: Extends Tender Offer for Brazil Secured Notes
Singer N.V. ("Singer" or the "Company") announced Thursday that
Brazil Financing Ltd. ("BFL"), its direct, wholly-owned
subsidiary is extending its tender offer for the 10% Series A
Secured Notes due 2005 and the Series B Secured Notes due 2007
issued by Brazil Financing (II) Ltd., an indirect, wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company.

The expiration time for the offer has been extended from 5:00
p.m., London time, on August 26, 2004 to 5:00 p.m., London time,
on August 30, 2004 (the "Offer Expiration Time").  The closing
remains subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions
including the consummation of the acquisition of BFL and certain
other subsidiaries of Singer by KSIN Holdings, Ltd. ("KSIN").

Series A Notes and Series B Notes validly tendered and not
validly withdrawn after 5:00 p.m., London time, on August 3,
2004 and at or prior to the Offer Expiration Time will receive
the offer consideration of $1,000 per $1,000 principal amount,
plus accrued and unpaid interest, and $230 per $1,000 of maximum
principal amount, respectively, if the tendered Series A Notes
and Series B Notes are accepted for purchase.  As of 5:00 p.m.,
London time, on August 26, 2004, BFL received tenders from
holders of approximately $19,939,568 aggregate principal amount
of the Series A Notes, representing approximately 88% of the
outstanding principal amount of the Series A Notes and from
holders of approximately $26,729,089 aggregate maximum principal
amount of the Series B Notes, representing approximately 88% of
the outstanding maximum principal amount of the Series B Notes.

The terms and conditions of the offer, including the conditions
of BFL's obligation to accept the Series A Notes and the Series
B Notes tendered and pay the purchase price and, if applicable,
the consent payment for them are described in the Offer to
Purchase and Consent Solicitation Statement dated July 13, 2004,
copies of which may be obtained from D.F. King & Co., Inc., the
information agent for the offer, at 1-800-769-7666 (US toll
free) or, outside the United States, at (44 20) 7920 9700

This announcement is not an offer to purchase, a solicitation of
an offer to purchase or a solicitation of consent with respect
to any securities.  The offer is being made solely by the Offer
to Purchase and Consent Solicitation Statement dated July 13,
2004.  All amounts are in U.S. dollars.

Singer N.V. was incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands
Antilles on December 21, 1999.  Effective September 2000, as a
result of a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, Singer became
the parent company of several Operating Companies formerly owned
by The Singer Company N.V., as well as acquiring ownership of
the SINGER(R) brand name, one of the most widely recognized and
respected trademarks in the world.  Through its Operating
Companies, Singer is engaged in two principal businesses, Retail
and Sewing. The SINGER(R) trademark ties the two businesses
together and also stands on its own with licensing and
wholesaling potential.

CONTACT: John Cannon at (914) 220-5134
         Web site:

TELESP CELULAR: JP Reduces Recommendation on TCP to Underweight
Brasilcel's announcement of partial tenders for shares in its
Brazilian units prompted investment house J.P. to cut its
recommendation on cellular services provider Telesp Celular
Participacoes (TCP) to underweight from neutral, Dow Jones
Newswires suggests.

In a Thursday research note, the investment house said the news
"removed the strongest potential upside catalyst we saw for the
stock, that is, an accretive consolidation of other Vivo

Brasilcel, the 50-50 joint-venture of Telefonica Moviles
(NYSE:TEM) and Portugal Telecom for mobile operations in Brazil,
operating under the brand Vivo, announced Wednesday its
intention of launching voluntary cash tender offers for a
portion of the outstanding shares of some of its subsidiaries,
directly, and indirectly through its subsidiary TCP.

The offer, which is worth an estimated US$500 million or more,
should be launched Sept. 1, and, pending necessary approvals,
should wrap up in mid-October.

With a cash offer for outstanding ordinary and preferred shares,
Brasilcel aims to raise its stake in Tele Sudeste Celular
Participacoes (TSD) to 91% from 87%; in Tele Leste Celular
Participacoes (TBE) to 51% from 28%; and in Celular CRT
Participacoes (CRTPS.BR) to 67% from 52%.

With the upside catalyst of a consolidation of the other Vivo
subsidiaries potentially gone, Telesp is left "trading at what
we view as a very unattractive valuation relative to
international peers, particularly (Mexico's) America Movil
(AMX)," J.P. Morgan said.

"While the likelihood of an eventual tender offer for Telesp by
its controlling shareholder has increased, there is no
indication of imminency. In fact, in the meantime, a capital
increase appears much more likely, which could create an
overhang in the stock," it added.

CONTACT: Telesp Celular Participacoes SA
         Rua Abilio Soares 409, - 10o andar
         Sao Paulo, 04005
         Phone: (212) 889-4350

C O S T A   R I C A

* Fitch Affirms 'BB' Foreign Currency Rating of Costa Rica
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, affirmed its
long-term foreign and local currency ratings of 'BB' and 'BB+',
respectively, for the Republic of Costa Rica. The Rating Outlook
is Negative.

The Negative Outlook and the ratings reflect Fitch's concerns
over Costa Rica's persistently high fiscal deficits and the high
level of dollarization of its banking system, which in the
context of a crawling peg regime increases the country's
financial vulnerability. Since the Negative Outlook was assigned
last year, the government has made efforts to prevent a further
deterioration of its finances. This, combined with higher GDP
growth last year has prevented the government's debt from
increasing sharply. These positive developments have forestalled
downward pressure on the rating for now. Even so, stabilization
of the sovereign rating would require inter alia the passage of
fiscal reforms, as these are critical to improving public
finances and sustaining a higher level of growth. A tighter
fiscal stance would also lead to an eventual reduction of other
weaknesses in the economy, such as large current account
deficits, widespread dollarization, and relatively high

Last year the Costa Rican economy rebounded smartly, driven by
higher exports and expansion in the telecommunication sector.
Its economy grew at 6.5% in 2003 and is expected to grow at
nearly 4% this year. In 2003, higher growth, combined with
greater revenues from the contingency fiscal package (CFP)
helped to rein in the central government fiscal deficit to 2.9%
of GDP. In 2004, the government is exercising expenditure
restraint to maintain the central government budget deficit at
last year's level. Even so, a permanent reduction in the fiscal
deficit will require the passage of a revenue-enhancing tax
reform. The prospects of passing the comprehensive fiscal
reform, which the authorities believe can raise over 2% of GDP,
remain unclear, as smaller opposition parties are using delaying
tactics to prevent Congress from voting on it.

Costa Rica also needs to consolidate its fiscal accounts to make
room for contingent liabilities that could arise from the
banking sector. Although private participation has increased in
the sector, public sector banks control over 50% of the system's
assets and enjoy a blanket state guarantee on their deposits.
Moreover, high domestic interest rates, in part driven by
persistent fiscal deficits, have led to the widespread
dollarization of the banks' balance sheet. Of further concern, a
significant proportion of the dollar loans are being made to
nondollar earners, exposing banks to significant credit risk.

Due to the low saving rate in the economy, Costa Rica suffers
from the 'twin deficit' problem, whereby high fiscal deficits
get readily reflected in the large external account deficits.
Current account deficits have averaged 5% of GDP over the past
five years. Fortunately, foreign direct investment flows have
been robust, which have helped in financing over 50% of the
current account deficit.

On the positive side, Costa Rica's rating strengths include its
modest external debt burden, a successful diversification of its
export base, and relatively strong social indicators,
distinguishing it from other countries in the region. Costa
Rica's vibrant democratic institutions reduce political
transition risk, though the high premium that the society places
on consensus building has delayed the passage of reforms.

Stabilization in Costa Rica's creditworthiness would depend much
on the ability of the government to tackle its fiscal deficits
and pass a revenue-enhancing tax reform. Measures to strengthen
the banking system, including better scrutiny of off-shore
banks, as well as reversal of dollarization would be viewed
positively. The implementation of Central America Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA) with the U.S. and passage of laws to improve
the regulatory frameworks in the telecom and insurance sectors
would also represent positive developments.

CONTACT:  Shelly Shetty +1-212-908-0324
          Theresa Paiz Fredel +1-212-908-0534, New York.

MEDIA RELATIONS: Kenneth Reed +1-212-908-0540, New York

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Works with IADB to Improve Businesses
El Salvador's Technical Secretary to the President, Eduardo
Zablah-Touche, and Inter-American Development Bank President,
Enrique V. Iglesias, signed an agreement to cooperate on an
initiative to improve the business climate in El Salvador.

In subscribing to the initiative, El Salvador joined many
countries in the region that recognize the importance of
generating the necessary conditions to create a better business
climate and attract private sector participation for economic
growth. The countries now participating in this initiative are
Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad
and Tobago and Uruguay.

The Business Climate Initiative was launched by the IDB in
December 2003 to help its member countries in Latin America and
the Caribbean improve key elements of their general business
climate and complement other activities to promote

The initiative includes three aspects: evaluation and
complementation of existing diagnostics, financing for business
climate reform based on an action plan to eliminate obstacles,
and indicators to gauge progress achieved towards the
initiative's goals. The plan will provide a framework to guide
loans and technical assistance of the IDB Group to foster
private sector competitiveness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that the private sector is a
driving force of economic growth and the most important provider
of economic activity and opportunities.  Improving business
conditions for the private sector is crucial to sustained
economic growth and central to poverty reduction efforts.

Measures to achieve an adequate business climate range from
offering stable rules of the game for investors, to the removal
of barriers that prevent the free flow of investments.

The IDB approved $13.1 billion in loans since 1990 to support
programs to improve the business climate.

A majority of the funds were used to strengthen financial
markets, but there were also sizeable resources allocated for
institutional and legal reforms, as well as for programs to
promote economic stability and trade development. The IDB also
provided technical assistance to promote private sector
participation in infrastructure.

CONTACT: Inter-American Development Bank
         1300 New York Avenue, NW
         Stop B-560
         Washington, DC 20577
         Fax: (202) 623-3810

         Mr. Santiago Real de Azua
         Chief, Press Section
         Tel. (202) 623-1371

         Web Site:


* Republic of Guatemala Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Stable
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB-' long-term
foreign and 'BB' long-term local currency sovereign credit
ratings on the Republic of Guatemala. Standard & Poor's also
affirmed its 'B' short-term foreign and local credit ratings on
the republic. The outlook on the ratings remains stable.

Standard & Poor's expects to assign its 'BB-' foreign currency
rating to Guatemala's upcoming US$300 million international bond
issuance, expected in September. The bond issuance will complete
the country's financing needs from international capital markets
for 2004.

According to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services credit analyst
Sebastian Briozzo, the recent election of a new government, led
by President Oscar Berger, presents a new opportunity for
relaunching broad-based initiatives aimed at addressing
Guatemala's political and economic structural weaknesses.

"While the new government has contributed to stabilizing the
political environment, political polarization will continue to
constrain Guatemala's creditworthiness over the medium term,"
Mr. Briozzo said. "The need to achieve consensus on key areas of
Guatemala's economic agenda (such as deeper tax reform) in the
context of a divided Congress will continue to challenge the
leadership of President Berger. Increasing tax collections from
the currently low 10% of GDP will mitigate fiscal constraints
over the short term and consolidate the position of the public
sector in providing basic services and increasing public
investment over time," he added.

Mr. Briozzo said that, in addition to the political
developments, the ratings continue to be constrained by
Guatemala's still-poor per capita growth prospects and the
country's deteriorating external position. Nonetheless, a
relatively strong commitment to moderate fiscal deficits, low
inflation, and an only moderate public sector debt burden
continues to support Guatemala's creditworthiness at the 'BB-'

"The stable outlook on Guatemala's ratings balances the
political difficulties with the country's modest fiscal
imbalances and low debt levels," noted Mr. Briozzo. "While
Standard & Poor's does not expect the political situation to
improve significantly over the next year, prospects of a free-
trade agreement with the U.S. might provide a solid anchor for
implementation of economic policy over the medium term. "The
ratings could come under pressure if political tension limits
the government's ability to implement its economic agenda," he

ANALYSTS:  Sebastian Briozzo, New York 212-438-7342
           Joydeep Mukherji, New York (1) 212-438-7351


FCN: Sells Puerto Cortes Property
Honduran railway firm FCN will sell real estate valued at HNL60
million (US$3.3Mln) to secure much needed cash for unpaid wages
and pensions, says local daily El Tiempo.

FCN negotiated the sale with the National Port Company (ENPH),
who will make an advance payment of HNL10 million for the
property located at the Puerto Cortes region of northwestern

Also, FCN Manager Guillermo Arturo Recarte assures that the
Company is cooperating with government agencies and the World
Bank to ensure the rail network's survival.


CORPORACION DURANGO: Court Authorizes Bankruptcy
The First Federal District Court in Durango, Mexico, has
approved Corporacion Durango SA's (CODUSA.MX) bankruptcy filing,
declaring the paper goods maker to be in "commercial
reorganization," reports Dow Jones Newswires.

The company said it will now submit its financial restructuring
plan for review by a conciliator.

The restructuring "will result in a more adequate and
competitive capital structure," said company chairman Miguel
Rincon in a release.

The plan, which is supported by creditors holding approximately
68% of the Company's unsecured debt, involves restructuring
about US$700 million in debt, with creditors receiving new debt
worth about 85% of the original principal.

The company will issue $433.8 million in new bonds, as well as
stock, to its creditors. Corporacion Durango's bank creditors,
meanwhile, have agreed to restate $116.1 million in debt.

Corporacion Durango is the largest producer of containerboard in
Mexico through its Grupo Durango division, is the largest
Mexican producer of newsprint through its Pipsamex division, is
the largest manufacturer of corrugated containers in Mexico
through its Empresas Titan division, is a leading independent
paper and packaging producer in the U.S. through its McKinley
Paper division, and is one of the largest manufacturers in
Mexico of uncoated free-sheet and multi-wall sacks.

CONTACTS: Corporacion Durango, S.A. de C.V.
          Ms. Mayela R. Velasco
          +52 (618) 829 1008

INTERNATIONAL WIRE: Court Confirms Plan of Reorganization
International Wire Group, Inc. announced that the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed
the Company's plan of reorganization on August 25, 2004. The
confirmation order clears the way for the consummation of the
plan. The Company anticipates that this will occur prior to
September 30, 2004.

"This announcement underscores the strong support that
International Wire has enjoyed from its financial partners
throughout this process," said Joseph Fiamingo, International
Wire's chief executive officer. "To have reached this point in
such a short time after our initial filing would not have been
possible without their faith in our business plan and our
future. Holders of our debt and equity securities voting on the
plan unanimously voted in favor of the plan of reorganization."

"International Wire's customers have also been supportive during
this process. We look forward to fulfilling the commitment to a
stronger balance sheet that we laid out several months ago,"
Fiamingo said.

The recapitalization will involve the exchange of approximately
$305 million principal amount of International Wire's senior
subordinated indebtedness into $75 million principal amount of
new 10% senior subordinated notes and 96% of International
Wire's common stock. The Company has completed the tabulation of
elections made by holders of the Company's 11 3/4% senior
subordinated notes and 14% senior subordinated notes under the
terms of the plan of reorganization. The distributions to such
holders, based on the elections received and the application of
the proration provisions of the plan, will be as follows:

Holders of 11 3/4% senior subordinated notes electing pro rata
treatment or making no election will receive, in respect of each
$1,000 principal amount of such notes so held, 31.4668 shares of
Company common stock and $245.8343 principal amount of Company
10% notes.

Holders of 11 3/4% senior subordinated notes electing to receive
all Company common stock in lieu of the pro rata distribution
will receive, in respect of each $1,000 principal amount of such
notes so held, 34.2473 shares of Company common stock and
$211.7731 principal amount of Company 10% notes.

Holders of 11 3/4% senior subordinated notes electing to receive
all Company 10% notes in lieu of the pro rata distribution will
receive, in respect of each $1,000 principal amount of such
notes so held, $631.3024 principal amount of Company 10% notes.

Holders of 14% senior subordinated notes will receive, in
respect of each $1,000 principal amount of such notes so held,
31.9927 shares of Company common stock and $249.9432 principal
amount of Company 10% notes.

Upon completion of the restructuring, International Wire's debt
(excluding accrued and unpaid interest) will decline from
approximately $391 million to approximately $181 million and
interest will be reduced by approximately $31 million annually.

International Wire Group, Inc., headquartered in St. Louis,
Missouri, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of wire
products, including bare and tin-plated copper wire and
insulated copper wire. The Company's products include a broad
spectrum of copper wire configurations and gauges with a variety
of electrical and conductive characteristics that are utilized
by a wide variety of customers primarily in the appliance,
automotive, electronics/data communications and general
industrial/energy industries. The Company manufactures and
distributes its products in 20 facilities strategically located
in the United States, Mexico, France, Italy and the Philippines.

CONTACT: David Webster, Chief Restructuring Officer
         Tel: (314) 746-2280


PARMALAT NICARAGUA: Italian Administrator Warns Local Receiver
Mr. Enrico Bondi, the administrator of insolvent Italian food
group Parmalat, issued a warning against Nicaraguan financier
Haroldo Montealegre, who claimed he has full decision-making
powers for the company, reports Europe Intelligence Wire.

Mr. Montealegre, who was appointed commissioner of Parmalat
Nicaragua by a local court, reportedly told local newspapers he
had full decision-making powers for the unit.

In a letter, Mr. Bondi warned Mr. Montealegre that he would be
held responsible for any losses at the subsidiary, which he
considers to be under the full control of its Italian parent.


PAN AMERICAN SILVER: Pays $36Mln for Peruvian Mine
Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS: NASDAQ; PAA: TSX) is pleased to
announce it has concluded the purchase of an 88% interest in the
Morococha silver mine in central Peru for $36 million. The
remaining 12% is held by a number of Peruvian investors.

Year-to-date the Morococha mine has produced more than 2 million
ounces of silver, together with significant amounts of byproduct
zinc, copper and lead, at a cash cost, net of by-product
credits, of $3 per ounce of silver. Pan American is expecting to
consolidate Morococha's production as of July 1. The addition of
Morococha will help reduce Pan American's consolidated cash
costs below $3.50 per ounce of silver on a total of more than
11.5 million ounces of production in 2004, rising to a forecast
14.5 million ounces in 2005.

Under the acquisition agreement, the profits generated by the
Morococha operation since the first of the year are retained in
Compania Minera Argentum SA (Argentum), the entity that holds
most of the Morococha assets. At closing Argentum had in excess
of $5.2 million in working capital. In addition, Pan American
will receive immediate benefits from the synergies generated
between Morococha and its other Peruvian assets, particularly
the Huaron mine which is located only 80 km away.

Morococha hosts a very large and prolific network of veins and
replacement bodies within a mineral rights package covering
11,620 hectares of historically productive and highly
prospective concessions. Pan American will now begin a two-year,
46,000 meter exploration drilling program to convert the
property's resources into reserves and to exploit its
outstanding exploration potential. The Company also intends to
carry out a program of increased mine development and mill
upgrades to enable long-term production of approximately 4
million ounces of silver annually at a cash cost below $2.50 per

According to Pan American Chairman, Ross Beaty, "Morococha is
our third large silver mine in Peru and its talented and
experienced workforce will be a fine addition to our strong
Peruvian mining team. The Morococha deposit continues the
Company's impressive record of growth over the past 10 years,
adding a low-cost, long life orebody to our production profile.
With the successful development of our four projects now
undergoing feasibility studies, we are set to double our
production again by 2007, entrenching Pan American as the
foremost primary silver producer in the world."

CONTACT: Ms. Brenda Radies
         VP Corporate Relations
        (604) 684-1175

         Web Site:

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Schedules EGM for September 10
Trinidad & Tobago Finance Minister Christine Sahadeo revealed
Thursday that there will be an extraordinary general meeting of
BWIA shareholders on Sep. 10.

The Trinidad Guardian reports that the meeting was scheduled at
the request of BWIA directors to discuss changes to the
company's by-laws after the State assumed control of the

The State re-nationalized BWIA after it put more than 97% of the
required capital into the airline's recent US$40 million rights
issue. Since the government agreed to take up shares not
purchased by the private shareholders, the State increased its
shareholding in BWIA to more than 75%.

The EGM is meant to address the airline's future direction,
Sahadeo said without hinting whether there will be any changes
in the board or management of BWIA even though the airline's
chairman, Lawrence Duprey, expects to be replaced.

          Phone: + 868 627 2942
          Home Page:
          Conrad Aleong, President and CEO (Trinidad)
          Beatrix Carrington, VP Marketing and Sales (Barbados)
          Paul Schutz, CFO (Trinidad)

BWIA: Stockbroker Remains Skeptical Despite Improved 1H Results
Despite the sharp decline in BWIA's losses in the first half of
the year, stockbroker Peter Clarke said he doesn't see anything
encouraging in the results.

The Trinidad Guardian earlier reported that BWIA managed to
bring down its loss to US$6.5 million for the six-month period
ended June 30, 2004 from US$14.6 million a year earlier.

But according to Clarke, "the results are unsatisfactory and put
the airline deeper in the red. However, it appears that the
Government intends to continue to provide financial support to
the airline in the foreseeable future. Therefore any investment
in BWIA shares must be considered highly speculative."

NWRHA: Fire the NWRHA Board, Says Ex-Health Minister
Trinidad's Ex-Health Minister Dr. Hamza Rafeeg condemned the
alleged incompetence and mismanagement of the North-West
Regional Health Authority's Board in a report from the Trinidad

The minister had called for the ouster of NWRHA's management
after an audit revealed that excessive and exorbitant amounts
have been used for social functions.

"... we have a situation where people are complaining about the
shortage of drugs but the management could find money to fritter
away on social functions while the population goes uncared for."
Dr. Rafeeg said.

NWRHA management had supposedly funneled TT$173,099.61 of
taxpayer's monies on social events for its staff members. NWRHA
Internal Auditor Harriram Laloo said that the board of directors
had not approved these disbursements.

WASA: Registers $448M Debts
Trinidad and Tobago's Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has
piled up debts amounting to TT$3.2 billion (US$448 million)
between 1994 and 2003, according to information gathered by a
Joint Select Committee of Parliament at the Red House.

And that figure is climbing, adds the report.

Committee Chairperson Senator Parvatee Anmolsingh-Mahabir said
between 1998 and 2001, WASA borrowed over TT$1.1 billion to
finance various projects, and that as of March 29 this year,
WASA was owed TT$507 million by customers and wanted to write
off TT$300 million of this as doubtful or bad debts.

Anthony Bartholomew, the public utilities and environment
ministry's outgoing permanent secretary, blamed high debt
servicing and operating costs, as well as high expenses related
to overdrafts and credit-line facilities, for driving WASA into
this pathetic state.

The government's decision to finance WASA's capital investment
program through loan financing and not through a public sector
investment program also contributed to the problem, Bartholomew

But he stressed that WASA was not bankrupted because it was

"If WASA is bankrupt then [the] Government is bankrupt," he


EDC: S&P Upgrades Ratings to `B' From `B-'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign currency
corporate credit rating on C. A. La Electricidad de Caracas
(EDC) to 'B' from 'B-'. The outlook remains stable.

The rating action follows the recent decision to raise the long-
term credit rating on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

"The rating action reflects the fact that EDC has proven its
ability to operate in Venezuela, which still faces foreign
currency controls and macroeconomic volatility," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Federico Mora. "EDC's ratings remain
closely correlated to the sovereign ratings assigned to the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the macroeconomic
environment in which the company operates."

EDC's ability to serve its foreign currency debt remains
constrained by the country's foreign currency control exercised
by Comision de Administracion de Divisas (CADIVI), a federal
body established in February 2003 to control the country's
currency balances. Since CADIVI's inception, however, EDC has
not faced any serious delay in getting resources, as it has
effectively managed the formal procedures required by CADIVI to
have access to foreign currency.

EDC is a vertically integrated utility in Venezuela operating in
electricity distribution, transmission, and generation in the
capital city of Caracas and its metropolitan area. It is the
largest private electric utility in the country and is owned by
U.S.-based AES Corp. (B+/Stable/--).

ANALYSTS:  Federico Mora, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4436
           Santiago Carniado, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4413

HARVEST NATURAL: S&P Raises Ratings After Venezuela Upgrade
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Harvest Natural Resources Inc. to 'B' from 'B-'
following the upgrade of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to
'B' from 'B-'.

The rating on Harvest is currently capped by the rating on
Venezuela due to the company's reliance for 100% of earnings and
cash flow from Venezuela.

The outlook is stable. As of June 30, 2004, Houston, Texas-based
Harvest had $100 million of debt outstanding.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Harvest will
maintain normal production sales to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
(PDVSA; B/Stable/--)," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Paul Harvey. "Until the company becomes less reliant on its
Venezuelan operations, its ratings will track those of PDVSA and

The rating on Harvest reflects its position as a small,
independent exploration and production company with significant
sovereign risk due to the dependence on Venezuela for 100% of
its earnings and cash flow, as well as an acquisition strategy
that favors reserves in emerging markets. These risks are
somewhat offset by moderate financial leverage and solid

Harvest derives all of its cash flow from its 80%-owned Harvest-
Vinccler C.A. subsidiary, whose sole asset is operatorship of
the South Monagas unit in Venezuela.

ANALYST:  Paul B Harvey, New York (1) 212-438-7696

PDVSA FINANCE: S&P Raises Notes Rating To 'B+'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its rating on PDVSA
Finance Ltd.'s outstanding notes to 'B+' from 'B'.

The rating action follows the recent elevation of the local and
foreign currency ratings of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
to 'B' from 'B-' and the subsequent upgrade of the corporate
credit of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) to 'B' from 'B-'.

On Aug. 5, 2004, Standard & Poor's downgraded the PDVSA Finance
transaction to 'B' from B+/Watch Neg after a tender and consent
solicitation by PDVSA. The downgrade reflected changes that were
made to the structure of the transaction that, in Standard &
Poor's view, diminished the credit protection afforded to
investors. The differential between the rating on the PDVSA
Finance notes and the issuer credit rating of PDVSA was thereby
narrowed to one notch from the two notches that existed before
the successful completion of the tender offer. The current
upgrade of the PDVSA Finance notes maintains this one-notch

Absent additional issuance by PDVSA Finance, or a change in the
performance of the transaction, Standard & Poor's expects that
the one-notch rating differential will be maintained and that
changes in the rating on PDVSA Finance will, in the future,
generally track changes in the rating on PDVSA itself.

ANALYSTS:  Kevin Kime, New York (1) 212-438-6223
           Bruce Schwartz, CFA, New York (1) 212-438-7809


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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

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