TCRLA_Public/040929.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

         Wednesday, September 29, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 193


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

* ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: IMF Issues Article IV Consultation Report


A.M.O.S. S.R.L.: New Verification Deadline Set
AGEA: S&P Maintains `raBB-' Rating on Corporate Bonds
BANCO DE GALICIA: Local S&P Maintains Ratings to Various Bonds
CRESUD: Exercise of Conversion Rights Reduces Debt
CONCORDIA VIDEO: Court Grants Reorganization Plea

INDUSTRIAS ALIMENTICIAS: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
LAURO S.A.: Court Orders Liquidation
MEDICAL CROSS: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
RECTIFICACION TURDERA: Seeks Reorganization Approval From Court
ROCOPAL S.R.L.: Plans Liquidation to Pay Debts

SOCIETE GENERALE: Considers Argentine Pullout
TALCY S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
TERMOFORMADOS S.R.L.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
TVC PUNTANA: Verification Deadline Fixed


FOSTER WHEELER: Debt Level at Lowest Point Since `95
GLOBAL CROSSING: Provides Broadband Services for OneCleveland


* BOLIVIA: IMF Concludes $189M Stand-By Arrangement Review


CERJ: S&P Revises Outlook To Stable
CFLCL: CVM Clears Speculations Surrounding Balance Sheet
COPEL: Issues 106th BOD Meeting Highlights
ELETROBRAS: S&P Raises Credit Rating to BB-, Stable Outlook
ROYAL SHELL: Soon to Reveal 3-Year Investment Plan for Unit

SULFABRIL: State Court Rules for Sale
TELEMAR: Pension Fund to Remove Directors From Board
UNIBANCO: Reports Results of Fractional Shares Auction

C O S T A   R I C A



PETROECUADOR: Occidental Denies Allegations


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Approves Extension of Exclusivity


CEMEX: To Acquire RMC in a $5.8B Transaction
CEMEX: S&P Places Ratings On Watch-Negative
CEMEX: Fitch Puts Ratings on Watch Negative
VITRO: Sells Stake in Queretaro Can Factory for $26.5M


SIDOR: Inks Collective Bargaining Agreement With Suttis Union

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

* ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: IMF Issues Article IV Consultation Report
An IMF staff mission visited Antigua and Barbuda from September
13 to September 24, 2004 to conduct the 2004 Article IV
Consultation discussions. The mission received excellent
cooperation from the government and benefited from constructive
discussions and exchange of views with the Minister of Finance
and Economy, other senior government officials, the Leader of
the Opposition, and the National Economic and Social Council
(NESC), as well as representatives from the private sector,
trade unions, and other members of the civil society.

Years of fiscal mismanagement have lead to a very large build up
of public debt, close to EC$3 billion, or around 135 percent of
GDP at end-2003. Fiscal revenues have fallen since the early
1990s and, as a share of GDP, are the lowest in the Organization
of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) region. At the same time,
current expenditures rose sharply, as the public sector created
jobs to absorb the unemployed. Today, nearly 13,000 people work
for the Central Government-at about 40 percent of the labor
force, this is among the highest in the world. At the same time,
the efficiency of the public sector has steadily eroded.

The country has faced severe difficulties in meeting its debt
obligations-arrears on external loans have been run for more
than 20 years and new financing, especially from abroad, has
virtually dried up. Moreover, government contributions for
public sector workers to the Social Security Scheme have not
been made in at least a decade. This culture of nonpayment and
non-transparency has spread to the domestic economy and is
reflected in tax collections that are low, and well below
legislated rates. A number of capital projects also had to be
abandoned, sometimes mid-way.

The new administration faces the difficult task of putting the
fiscal accounts on a solid footing and resolving the debt and
arrears problems. A bold and comprehensive strategy is needed to
break the legacy of past fiscal mismanagement. In the IMF
mission's view, this strategy has three key components: fiscal
consolidation and aiming for a manageable debt burden, achieving
higher and sustained growth by creating conditions for the
private sector to flourish, and rebuilding institutions to
support both the fiscal and growth objectives.

Fiscal consolidation requires a close look at tax policy and
administration, abolishing discretionary tax exemptions that
cost the budget nearly 10 percent of GDP annually, and we
understand that limiting concessions is already underway; a
review of public expenditures; and civil service reform. To
raise and sustain high economic growth rates, it is critical
that the playing field is leveled for all private sector
participants, that the relative size of the public sector is
reduced to allow the private sector to flourish, that the
investment climate is made conducive, and that Antigua and
Barbuda supports and actively engages in regional initiatives
such as the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME). Finally,
without improving governance and enhancing transparency, none of
these goals are likely to be achieved on a sustained basis.

The IMF mission welcomes the administration's resolve to address
Antigua and Barbuda's deep-rooted problems head on and their
openness in discussing these difficult issues. We fully support
recent initiatives to improve transparency and governance and
increase public awareness. The task ahead is not easy and we
would encourage the administration to begin tackling these
issues now. We believe that Antigua and Barbuda's private
sector-led growth potential is high and remains to be tapped. We
wish the government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda every

CONTACTS: International Monetary Fund
          External Relations Department
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          Public Affairs:
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

          Media Relations:
          Phone: 202-623-7100
          Fax: 202-623-6772

          Web Site:


A.M.O.S. S.R.L.: New Verification Deadline Set
Court no. 8 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
rescheduled key events concerning the A.M.O.S. S.R.L. "Concurso
Mercantil Liquidatorio" to these dates:

1. Verification of creditors' claims - October 22, 2004
2. Submission of Individual Reports - November 26, 2004
3. Submission of the General Report - February 10, 2005

Infobae reports that the city's clerk no. 16 assists the court
on this case.

         Parral 75
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Hector Ricardo Martines, Trustee
         Independencia 2251
         Buenos Aires

AGEA: S&P Maintains `raBB-' Rating on Corporate Bonds
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
reaffirmed the `raBB-' rating given to various types of
corporate bonds issued by Arte Grafico Editorial Argentino S.A.
(AGEA), Argentina's securities regulator, the Comision Nacional
de Valores (CNV), reveals on its Web site.

The bonds affected are:

- US$30.6 million worth of `Series and/or Class' bonds described
as "Serie C -ON a Tasa Fija creciente." The maturity date was
not disclosed;

- US$62.05 million worth of `Series and/or Class' bonds
described as "Serie B -ON Tasa Flotante creciente." The maturity
date was not disclosed;

- US$21.67 million worth of `Series and/or Class' bonds
described as "Serie B -ON a Tasa Fija creciente." The maturity
date was not disclosed; and

- US$450 million worth of `Program' bonds described as "Programa
Global de Obligaciones Negociables simples (Programa
originalmente por hasta U$S 600 millones)." These bonds will
mature on November 7, 2008.

The rating, which was given based on AGEA's financial status as
of June 30, 2004, means that the bonds have somewhat weak
protection parameters relative to other Argentine obligations.
According to S&P, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial
commitments on the obligation is somewhat weak because of major
ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial
or economic conditions.

BANCO DE GALICIA: Local S&P Maintains Ratings to Various Bonds
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
maintained the ratings assigned to various bonds issued by Banco
de Galicia y Buenos Aires.

The Comision Nacional de Valores enumerated the affected bonds
with their corresponding ratings as follows:

- `raD' rating to US$9 million worth of "Obligaciones
Negociables emitidas 11-6-01 bajo el Programa de USD 1000
millones, monto original USD 12 millones" coming due on December
20, 2005;

- `raD' rating to US$5 million worth of "Obligaciones
Negociables simples 7-8-97, monto original USD 150 millones"
with undisclosed maturity date;

- `raD' rating to US$21.4 million worth of "Obligaciones
Negociables simples 8-11-93, monto original USD 200 millones"
due on 01 Nov 2004;

- `raBB+' rating to US$2 billion worth of "Programa de
Obligaciones Negociables a Mediano Plazo" due on December 29

- `raBBB-' rating to US$43 million worth of "Clase 7 de
Obligaciones Negociables emitidas 19-7-02 bajo el Programa de
USD 1000 millones" due June 28, 2004;

The rating actions reflect the bank's financial status as of
June 30, 2004.

          Tte Gral Juan D Peron 407
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: +54 11 6329 0000
          Fax: +54 11 6329 6100

CRESUD: Exercise of Conversion Rights Reduces Debt
Cresud Sociedad Anonima Comercial Inmobiliaria Financiera y
Agropecuaria reported, through a letter dated September 22, 2004
filed with the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and the
Comision Nacional de Valores, that a holder of Company's
Convertible Notes exercised its conversion rights. Hence, the
financial indebtedness of the Company shall be reduced in US$
2,000 and an increase of 3,938 ordinary shares face value pesos
1 (V$N 1) each was made.

The conversion was performed according to terms and conditions
established in the prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate
of 1.96928 shares, face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of
face value US$ 1. As a result of that conversion the amount of
shares of the Company goes from 151,025,160 to 151,029,098. On
the other hand, the amount of registered Convertible Notes is
US$ 43,003,014.

CONTACT: Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A
         Av. Roque Saenz Pena 832
         8th Fl.
         Buenos Aires
         Phone: 001-54-1-3287808

CONCORDIA VIDEO: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
Concordia Video Cable S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires,
begins reorganization proceedings after court no. 3 of the
city's civil and commercial tribunal granted its petition for
reorganization. During the reorganization, the company will be
able to negotiate a settlement proposal for its creditors so as
to avoid a straight liquidation.

According to Argentine news source Infobae, the reorganization
will be conducted under the direction of Ms. Susana Prisant the
court-appointed trustee. Creditors with claims against the
Company must present proofs of their claims to the trustee
before November 1, 2004. These claims will constitute the
individual reports to be submitted in court on December 14,

The court also requires the trustee to present an audit of the
company's accounting and business records through a general
report due on February 24, 2005. A completed settlement plan
will be presented to the Company's creditors during the
informative assembly scheduled on August 10, 2005.

Clerk no. 5 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Ms. Susana Prisant, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1439
         Buenos Aires

INDUSTRIAS ALIMENTICIAS: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
Industrias Alimenticias Inojosa S.A. entered bankruptcy after
Judge Herrera, working for court no. 3 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal, approved a bankruptcy motion filed by
Coefi S.R.L., reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay
US$43,314.54 in debt prompted the creditor to file the petition.

Working with Dr. Villarroel, the city's clerk no. 5, the court
assigned Mr. Javier Gandara 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 December 7, 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: Industrias Alimenticias Inojosa S.A.
         Rivadavia 746
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Javier Gandara, Trustee
         Riobamba 719
         Buenos Aires

LAURO S.A.: Court Orders Liquidation
Lauro S.A. prepares to wind-up its operations following the
bankruptcy pronouncement issued by court no. 2 of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial tribunal. The declaration effectively
prohibits the company from administering its assets, control of
which will be transferred to a court-appointed trustee.

Infobae reports that the court appointed Mr. Antonio Gargiulo as
trustee. He will be reviewing creditors' proofs of claims until
October 20, 2004. The verified claims will be the basis for the
individual reports to be presented for court approval on
November 29, 2004. Afterwards, the trustee will also submit a
general report on February 9, 2005.

Clerk no. 3 assists the court on this case, which will end with
the disposal of the company's assets to pay its liabilities.

CONTACT: Mr. Antonio Gargiulo, Trustee
         Uruguay 385
         Buenos Aires

MEDICAL CROSS: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
Court no. 21 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared local company Medical Cross Corp S.A. "Quiebra,"
reports Infobae. Clerk no. 41 assists the court on the case,
which will close with the liquidation of the Company's assets to
repay creditors.

Ms. Patricia Monica Narduzzi, who has been appointed as trustee,
will verify creditors' claims until December 15, 2004 and then
prepare the individual reports based on the results of the
verification process. The individual reports will be submitted
in court on February 24, 2005, followed by the general report on
April 7, 2005.

CONTACT: Medical Cross Corp S.A.
         Avda Cordoba 3387
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Patricia Monica Narduzzi, Trustee
         Lavalle 1675
         Buenos Aires

RECTIFICACION TURDERA: Seeks Reorganization Approval From Court
Judge Ferrario, serving for court no. 6 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal, is currently reviewing the merits of
the reorganization petition filed by Rectificacion Turdera
S.R.L. Argentine daily La Nacion reports that the Company filed
the request after defaulting on its debt payments since October

The reorganization petition, if granted by the court, will allow
the Company to negotiate a settlement with its creditors in
order to avoid a straight liquidation. Dr. Mendez Sarmiento,
clerk no. 12, assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Rectificacion Turdera S.R.L.
         Arenales 1156
         Buenos Aires
         Avenida Antartida
         Argentina 1220
         Lavallol, Lomas de Zamora

ROCOPAL S.R.L.: Plans Liquidation to Pay Debts
Rocopal S.R.L. will begin liquidating its assets following the
bankruptcy pronouncement issued by court no. 21 of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial tribunal, Infobae reports.

The bankruptcy ruling places the company under the supervision
of court-appointed trustee Manuel Omar Mansanta. The trustee
will verify creditors' proofs of claims until October 6, 2004.
Afterwards, the validated claims will be presented in court as
individual reports on November 26, 2004.

Mr. Mansanta 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 February 14 next year.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal company assets
in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT:  Rocopal S.R.L.
          Avda Mosconi 3446
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Manuel Omar Mansanta, Trustee
          Avda Cordoba 1351
          Buenos Aires

SOCIETE GENERALE: Considers Argentine Pullout
French bank Societe Generale SA is mulling the sale of its
Argentine unit, Bloomberg reports, citing an executive of the
local branch.

Mr. Marcelo Otero, director of marketing and communications for
the bank in Buenos Aires, said Societe "is analyzing the future
of the unit including the possibility of selling it because the
bank has little presence in Argentina and the region."

The announcement comes two months after Societe Generale
Chairman Daniel Bouton said the bank was considering "strategic
options" for its unit in Argentina because of the risk of doing
business in the country.

Societe is the 17th-biggest non-state bank by assets in

Most banks in the country have lost money since the government's
debt default in late 2001 and subsequent currency devaluation.

"It's very difficult to keep operating in a country when you've
faced so many losses for so many quarters," said Ramiro Moya, an
economist at Fundacion Fiel in Buenos Aires. "They've likely
been waiting for the situation to calm down so they can sell
their unit at a better price."

Central bank figures show that Societe Generale had 959
employees at the end of last year in Argentina, down from 1,096
at the end of 2001. It had 60 branches at the end of last year.

TALCY S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
Mr. Cesar Santillan successfully sought the liquidation of Talcy
S.A. after Judge Garibotto, serving for court no. 2 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal, declared the Company

As such, the Company will now start the bankruptcy process with
Ms. Andrea Cetlinas as trustee. Creditors of the Company must
submit their proofs of claim to the trustee before November 23
for authentication. Failure to do so will mean a
disqualification from the payments that will be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

La Nacion reports that the creditor sought the Company's
bankruptcy after the latter failed to pay debts totaling

Dr. Vasallo, clerk no. 3, assists the court on the case, which
will end in the liquidation of all the Company's assets.

         Yerua 5143
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Andrea Cetlinas
         Lavalle 1678
         Buenos Aires

TERMOFORMADOS S.R.L.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
Judge Dieuzeide of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
court no. 1 declared local company Termoformados S.R.L.
"Quiebra", relates La Nacion. The court approved the bankruptcy
petition filed by Union de Obreros y Empleados Plasticos, to
whom the Company failed to pay debts amounting to US$1,473.52.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process under the
supervision of Mr. Tito Gargaglione as trustee. Creditors are
required to present their proofs of claims to the trustee for
verification before November 9, 2004. Creditors who fail to have
their claims authenticated by the said date will be disqualified
from the payments that will be made after the Company's assets
are liquidated at the end of the bankruptcy process.

Dr. Galli, Clerk No. 2 assists the court with the liquidation

CONTACT: Termoformados S.R.L.
         Parana 123
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Tito Gargaglione, Trustee
         Av. Medrano 833
         Buenos Aires

TVC PUNTANA: Verification Deadline Fixed
The verification of creditors' claims for the TVC Puntana S.A.
insolvency case is set to end on October 28, 2004, states

Mr. Gustavo L. Scomparin, the court-appointed trustee tasked
with examining the claims, will submit the validation results as
individual reports on December 9, 2004. He will also present a
general report in court on February 18, 2005. On July 8 next
year, the company's creditors will vote on the settlement
proposal prepared by the company.

Infobae adds that the company's reorganization is under the
jurisdiction of court no. 12 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal. Clerk no. 23 assists the court in the

CONTACT: Mr. Gustavo L Scomparin, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1412
         Buenos Aires


FOSTER WHEELER: Debt Level at Lowest Point Since `95
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) reiterates that its recent
successful equity-for-debt exchange reduces its existing debt by
approximately $447 million, improves the company's consolidated
net worth by approximately $453 million, reduces interest
expense by approximately $28 million per year, and, when
combined with the sale of new notes to repay amounts currently
outstanding under Foster Wheeler's existing domestic credit
agreement, eliminates substantially all material scheduled
corporate debt maturities prior to 2011. Foster Wheeler's debt-
level is now the lowest it has been since 1995.

Despite the foregoing, Standard & Poor's recently lowered Foster
Wheeler's corporate credit rating to S&P's rating of "selective
default" in accordance with S&P's standard rating criteria.

So as to avoid any possible doubt, Foster Wheeler announced that
it is not in default under the terms of any of its financing
instruments as a result of the exchange offer or otherwise.

"With the successful completion of this exchange, Foster
Wheeler's financial position is better than it has been in many,
many years," said Raymond J. Milchovich, chairman, president,
and chief executive officer. "Although we are disappointed with
S&P's recent action, we are confident that S&P and the other
ratings agencies will in the near future re-evaluate our ratings
based upon our improved and re-capitalized balance sheet. In the
meantime, we are focused on winning quality business and
exceeding our clients' expectations."

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 Ltd.
         Ms. Maureen Bingert
         Phone: 908-730-4444
         Mr. John Doyle
         Phone: 908-730-4270
         Other Inquiries
         Phone: 908-730-4000

         Web Site:

GLOBAL CROSSING: Provides Broadband Services for OneCleveland
- Global Crossing's global Tier 1 MPLS-based IP network connects
the Cleveland area's educational, medical, governmental and
cultural bodies for advanced research and collaboration.

- OneCleveland's advanced ultra broadband network connects one
Gigabit of IP capacity to public and private IP peerings through
Global Crossing's core router in downtown Cleveland.

Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) announced Monday that it is
providing OneCleveland with a set of broadband services to
deliver reliable, high-speed connectivity to the area's
research, education, government, healthcare, cultural and other
nonprofit facilities. OneCleveland is a nonprofit provider of
community-based ultra broadband data network service, dedicated
to connecting, enabling and transforming much of Northeast Ohio.

"We selected Global Crossing for its service reliability and its
demonstrated leadership and experience in serving the needs of
research and education networks around the world," said Scot
Rourke, OneCleveland's executive director. "We're confident that
Global Crossing's high-capacity, secure network is the best
suited to meet the needs of our bandwidth-hungry and
technologically sophisticated subscribers."

A Global Tier 1 member of the Internet2 community, Global
Crossing has worked to develop and deploy advanced network
applications and technologies, building on the advantages
conferred by its global, multiservice backbone.

OneCleveland, founded by leading Cleveland-area public sector
institutions including Case Western Reserve University, is
dedicated to promoting the adoption of information technology
tools and increasing their accessibility throughout the
community. Together, OneCleveland and Global Crossing are also
bringing National Lambda Rail, a national scale high-speed
network infrastructure for research and experimentation in
networking technologies and applications, to the region.

"We're delighted to be supporting OneCleveland's ambitious
project with our advanced MPLS-based fiber optic IP network,"
said Paul O'Brien, Global Crossing's executive vice president,
enterprise sales. "Our commitment to support the collaborative
needs of the worldwide research community is as strong as ever."

Global Crossing supports research and educational networks
around the world with its high-capacity, MPLS-enabled backbone,
including the AMPATH network linking research and educational
institutions in North and South America; the eMerlin very large
radiotelescope array; the GANT multi-gigabit pan-European
backbone; ALICE, a project to link GANT universities in 18
South American countries, and SURFnet, the Netherlands' national
network for research and education.

As a Global Tier 1 provider, Global Crossing connects with every
major Tier 1 ISP in the world, reaching 100 percent of the
Internet. Global Crossing's Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)
service offers Internet connectivity to all worldwide domains
using a meshed network that incorporates true global IP over
Multiprotocol Label Switching-traffic engineering (MPLS-te) as a
backbone transport technology, providing the ultimate in network
resiliency and flexibility. Global Crossing provides customers
with always on, direct high-speed connectivity to the Internet
at speeds ranging from 56Kbps/64Kbps to OC48/STM16 and Fast
Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet on a global basis. DIA service can
also be accessed via a Frame Relay or ATM network using FR to IP
or ATM to IP interworking.

OneCleveland is a nonprofit provider of a community-based ultra
broadband networking services to educational, governmental,
research, arts and cultural, nonprofit and healthcare
organizations in Greater Cleveland.

Subscribers to the fiber optic network are connected to each
other and the Internet backbone at gigabit speeds. OneCleveland
also works with technology companies and its subscribers to
develop and deploy next generation applications and services
that take advantage of the network. Please visit for more information about OneCleveland.

Global Crossing 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

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
          Ms. Catherine Berthier
          Phone: + 1 646-862-8514

          Mr. Mitch Burd
          Phone: +1 800-836-0342


          Press Contacts
          Edward Howard & Co.
          Mr. Chris Thompson
          Phone: 216-781-2400

          Web Site:


* BOLIVIA: IMF Concludes $189M Stand-By Arrangement Review
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
completed the fourth review of Bolivia's performance under a 21-
month, SDR128.64 million (about US$189 million) Stand-By
Arrangement that was originally approved on April 2, 2003 and
later augmented and extended. This decision enables the release
of SDR 26.8 million (about US$39 million) to Bolivia, which
would bring total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR
101.84 million (about US$149 million). In completing the review,
the Executive Board approved Bolivia's request for waivers for
the nonobservance of performance criteria.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Bolivia, Agust”n
Carstens, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

"Bolivia's economic performance is improving, and implementation
of the authorities' economic program is broadly on track.
Economic growth has picked up, the current account is in
surplus, and inflation remains in single digits. The financial
situation has stabilized in the last two months, following some
deposit losses in the period leading to the introduction of the
financial transactions tax. The affirmative outcome in the gas
referendum should give the Bolivian authorities some breathing
space to develop their hydrocarbons strategy. A national
consensus on economic policies will be important to take the
economic agenda forward.

"The authorities remain committed to achieving their fiscal
target for 2004, and intend to continue to make progress in 2005
toward attaining fiscal sustainability while increasing
infrastructure and social spending. In this regard, appropriate
tax reform, including a phase-out of the financial transactions
tax, and measures to improve tax administration, curtail current
spending, and improve public expenditure management will be
important. As Bolivia's debt burden is sizeable, attainment of
debt sustainability will depend to a large extent on financing
the budget deficit with grants and concessional financing and
avoiding non-concessional borrowing.

"The authorities are taking measures to protect and strengthen
the financial system. These include strengthening financial
supervision and liquidity monitoring, while improving prudential
norms and moving towards a risk-based supervisory framework. The
authorities also intend to continue their proactive interest
rate policy in response to changes in liquidity conditions; and
to increase placements at longer maturities given the improved
domestic bond market.

"An appropriate hydrocarbons' strategy will be necessary to
attain medium-term sustainability. The authorities recently
submitted a hydrocarbons bill to Congress and will continue to
work toward ensuring that conditions essential for development
of the sector and medium-term sustainability are developed.
Furthermore, the authorities are committed to ensuring the
efficient and transparent use of hydrocarbons-related revenues
to benefit the Bolivian people.

"The authorities expect to complete a Poverty Reduction Strategy
Paper by the end of this year, which will form the basis for the
development of a medium-term economic strategy to raise Bolivian
living standards. Broadening and consolidating the national
consensus for policies to support growth and poverty reduction,
including through the efficient development of Bolivia's rich
hydrocarbon resources, will facilitate the development of such a
strategy. The IMF stands ready to continue to assist Bolivia
after the current arrangement ends in December," Mr. Carstens

CONTACTS: International Monetary Fund
          External Relations Department
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

          Public Affairs:
          Phone: 202-623-7300
          Fax: 202-623-6278

          Media Relations:
          Phone: 202-623-7100
          Fax: 202-623-6772

          Web Site:


CERJ: S&P Revises Outlook To Stable
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on the
ratings of Brazilian electric utility Companhia de Eletricidade
do Rio de Janeiro (CERJ) to stable from negative, and affirmed
its 'BB-' foreign and local currency corporate credit ratings
assigned in its global scale.

The outlook change follows the refinancing of CERJ's short-term
bank debt with a three-year, Brazilian reais (BrR) 294 million
debenture placement in July 2004, and evidence of stable
financial performance in the first half of 2004. Since 2002,
CERJ has had about BrR400 million of short-term bank debt, which
represented a rollover pressure to the company as those
transactions were spread out with several creditors with
shortened maturities.

"After the company issued the debentures in July 2004, CERJ has
alleviated this refinancing pressure, which was preventing a
consolidation of the credit metrics for the 'BB-' category,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Marcelo Costa.

As those debentures have a one-year grace period, CERJ was able
to reduce short-term debt to about BrR200 million, and now the
short-term bank debt only represents about 31% of the total bank
debt compared with 60% in June 2004.

After overcoming the negative results produced by the 2001
electricity-rationing crisis, CERJ has focused on strengthening
its capital structure since 2003. One improvement occurred in
March 2004, when the company's major shareholders (Spain-based
Endesa S.A. (A/Negative/A-1), Chile-based Enersis S.A. (BBB-
/Stable/--), and unrated Chile-based Chilectra S.A., entitled as
the Endesa/Enersis group) converted BrR710 million (about US$245
million) of intercompany loans into capital. This capital
conversion also received support from shareholders, who had
supported other debt-to-capital conversions during 2002 totaling
BrR631 million.

Ratings stability is highlighted not only by the recent capital
structure build-ups through intercompany conversions and debt
profile extensions, but also by CERJ's improving financial
performance in 2004. In June 2004, by posting an EBITDA of about
BrR300 million (BrR300 million in the whole year 2003) and funds
from operations (FFO) of BrR131 million, CERJ showed enhanced
cash flow protection indicators: FFO to total debt achieved 28%
compared with 14% in fiscal 2003; EBITDA margin reached 33.7%
compared with 19.2% in fiscal 2003; total debt to EBITDA was
1.53x compared with 5.35x in fiscal 2003 (including intercompany
debts not converted at that time); and FFO to interest coverage
of 1.72x, which in fiscal 2003 was 1.46x.

CERJ also now has a significantly lower foreign currency
exposure. In December 2003, dollar-denominated debt reached
US$380 million (65% of total debt), including US$280 million of
intercompany transactions. Now, foreign currency exposure is
only US$60 million (17% of total debt). Still, CERJ continues
with its policy to hedge the short-term portion of those debts.
Although the company had always hedged its higher foreign
currency exposure in the past, the reduction of dollar-
denominated transactions prevents CERJ from being exposed to
possible cash disbursements when the local currency unexpectedly

Privatized in 1996, CERJ has the exclusive concession to deliver
electricity until 2026 in parts of Rio de Janeiro state. The
company's major shareholders are the Endesa/Enersis group with
91.94% and Electricidade de Portugal S.A. (A/Watch Neg/A-1) with
7.70%. In 2003, the company distributed 7,398 megawatt-hours to
1.9 million customers, representing a 2.4% share of the
Brazilian electric distribution market.

The stable outlook mirrors Standard & Poor's expectation that
CERJ will maintain its current capital structure with a soft
amortization schedule, adequate leverage (total debt to total
capital of roughly 50%), and absorbable exposure to foreign
currency transactions. In addition, it will continue posting
adequate cash flow protection measures as shown in June 2004
(FFO to interest coverage about 2.0x and FFO to total debt
around 20%). If CERJ's efforts to adequately address some
current operating deficiencies such as the high level of energy
losses and past due receivables have a positive effect on future
cash flow generation and capacity to repay debt, the outlook
could be revised to positive.

ANALYSTS:  Marcelo Costa, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8955
           Milena Zaniboni, Sao Paulo (55) 11-5501-8945

CFLCL: CVM Clears Speculations Surrounding Balance Sheet
Brazilian securities regulator CVM, in its preliminarily ruling,
cleared Brazilian power company Companhia Forca e Luz
Cataguazes-Leopoldina (CFLCL) of doubts surrounding its 2003
financial statements, debt absorption operations and dividend

Clearance, according to Business News Americas, follows an
investigation by the CVM into the CFLCL's balance sheet.

Minority shareholders - US power company Alliant, US investment
fund FondElec and Brazilian pension fund Funcef - had asked CVM
and power regulator Aneel to analyze the company's financial
performance and accounting. The minority group questioned the
management's decision to sell assets and reduce capital in 2003
as part of the BRL1 billion (US$348 million) debt-restructuring

But a spokesperson for the regulator said, "the board [of CVM]
ruled that, with the evidence presented, there was nothing

However, the five-person board returned a split decision,
bringing the possibility that CVM's technical body may study the
case further to see whether it is necessary to carry out a full-
blown investigation.

Aneel, for its part, is yet to conclude its analysis.

CONTACT: Sistema Cataguazes
         Phone: +55 32 3429-6000
         Fax: +55 32 3429-6317 / 3429-6480

         In Rio de Janeiro
         Phone: +55 21 2122-6900
         Fax: (021) 2122-6931 / 2122-6980
         Web Site:

COPEL: Issues 106th BOD Meeting Highlights
1. VENUE: Rua Coronel Dulcidio n§ 800, Curitiba - PR.

2. DATE AND TIME: September 21, 2004 - 8:30 am (Brasilia

3. BOARD: Joao Bonifacio Cabral Junior - Chairman. Paulo
Cruz Pimentel - Executive Secretary.


   1. The Board of Directors deliberated the following

      a) to appoint for completing the 2003-2006
         remaining term of office, Mr. Rubens Ghilardi as
         CFO and Investor Relations Officer, acting also
         as Distribution Executive Officer;

      b) to dismiss Mr. Ronald Thadeu Ravedutti from his
         position as CFO and Investor Relations Officer,
         appointing him to take office as Chief Business
         Management Officer, to complete the remaining
         2003-2006 term of office;

      c) to dismiss Mr. Gilberto Serpa Griebeler from his
         position as Chief Business Management Officer,
         maintaining, however, his position as Copel
         Participacoes S.A.'s Executive Superintendent

   2. The Board of Directors confirmed, after consulting
      all Board members through an e-mail message
      previoulsy sent, the release of the seventh part of
      the loan agreement contracted between Copel,
      through its subsidiary, Copel Participacoes S.A.,
      and Centrais ElEtricas do Rio Jordao S.A. - Elejor,
      referring to the increase of Copel's interest in

   3. The Guidelines for Copel's 2005-2009 long-term
      economic and financial planning, focused on 2005,
      were approved.

   Executive Secretary.

CONTACT: Companhia Paranaense de Energia - Copel
         Investor Relations Department
         Mr. Ricardo Portugal
         (55-41) 331-4311

         Mr. Alves Solange Maueler Gomide
         (55-41) 331-4359

         Web Site:

ELETROBRAS: S&P Raises Credit Rating to BB-, Stable Outlook
Standard & Poor's upgraded the credit rating of Brazil's federal
power holding company Eletrobras to BB-/Stable from B+/Positive,
reports Business News Americas.

The rating action came after S&P upgraded Brazil in the face of
a turnaround in its current account balance.

In a statement, Eletrobras said the upgrade on the company's
rating will reduce the cost of future financing as well as
increase the attractiveness of its stock in the market.

Eletrobras is currently trying to clean up its balance sheet by
converting certain loans into shares, distributing unpaid
dividends and converting past government cash advances into
equity, all this in preparation to raise its ADRs to level 2.
The change to level 2 was scheduled for the year's end.

In addition, Eletrobras is planning to raise some US$500 million
through bond sales in international markets.

Eletrobras controls 80% of Brazil's 83,000MW installed capacity
and most of the country's 77,000km transmission lines through
its six main units: Eletrosul, Chesf, Eletronorte, Furnas,
Itaipu and CGTEE.

ROYAL SHELL: Soon to Reveal 3-Year Investment Plan for Unit
Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Shell may be selling assets both
regionally and globally but its interests in Brazil will remain,
Business News Americas indicates.

In fact, Shell's CEO in Brazil, Mr. Aldo Castelli, said the
company will soon announce its three-year investment plan for
the South American unit.

Shell has a 14.8% share of Brazil's fuel retail market.
Upstream, the company has stakes in 11 fields, of which it
operates four. It has invested US$400 million in exploratory
activities, according to its 2003-2004 Brazil report.

One of its operated fields is Bijupira-Salema, in the Campos
basin, in which Shell has 80% and Petrobras 20%. This week,
local shipyard Promar delivered the Austral Abrolhos support
vessel that Shell will use on the field, which started producing
in August 2003 and currently produces 55,000 barrels a day, says
the report.

SULFABRIL: State Court Rules for Sale
Brazilian textile manufacturer Sulfabril is going on the block,
ruled the Santa Catarina state court, which is handling the
Company's bankruptcy proceedings.

Local daily Valor Economico said the company, including its
brand and assets, is estimated to be worth BRL87 million.

Sulfabril applied for bankruptcy in September 1999, listing
labor debt of BRL20 million and total liabilities of BRL230

The company, which turns over BRL6 million, currently employs
1,100 workers down from 2,300 five years ago.

TELEMAR: Pension Fund to Remove Directors From Board
Brazil's largest pension fund, Caixa de Previdencia dos
Funcionarios do Banco do Brasil (Previ), said Thursday it will
remove its two directors from the board of telecommunications
holding firm Telemar Participacoes, reports Reuters.

The announcement came after Brazil's telecommunications
regulator said Previ can't keep its stake in both Telemar and
Telemig Celular Participacoes SA. Brazilian laws bar a group
from owning a substantial stake in two phone companies that act
in the same region.

The pension fund has 18 months to reduce its stake in one of the
companies, the regulator has said.

Previ said it will keep its financial stake in the firm, which
is a holding company for phone operator Tele Norte Leste

UNIBANCO: Reports Results of Fractional Shares Auction
Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A. (Unibanco) and Unibanco
Holdings S.A. communicates the result of the auction of the
fractional shares, which resulted from the reverse stock split
(occurred on August 30th, 2004) of the Unibanco and Unibanco
Holdings common stock and preferred stock issued, including the
Units, in a ratio of 100 shares for every 1 share.

The sum of the remaining fractional shares of shareholders that
did not adjust their stockholdings were sold in an auction at
the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange on September 17th, 2004, as stated
in the Shareholders Notice of July 26th, 2004.

The table below shows the result of the auction, per stock type,
net of brokerage fee and stock exchange fees:

                     Share Quantity       Price per share (R$)
Unit                         12,409                   13.5252
Unibanco Preferred           70,216                    5.8286
Unibanco Common              70,591                    7.3305
Unibanco Holdings Common          4                   14.3325

On September 27th, 2004, the amounts resulting from the sale of
stocks in the auction will be made available to the respective
stockholders as follows:

a) Those shareholders whose records are up-to-date will have the
amount due to them credited directly to the current account
listed in their records;

b) The amount due to those shareholders whose shares are held in
custody by CBLC - Companhia Brasileira de Liquidacao e Custodia
(the Brazilian Custody and Settlement Company) will have the
amount due to them credited directly to this company, which will
undertake to transfer the said amount to the shareholders
through the brokerage houses responsible for the deposited

c) Those shareholders whose current accounts are not active or
whose records are outdated, the amounts corresponding to the
sale of their fractional shares will be at their disposal at
Unibanco branches, subject to the shareholder presenting an
official identification document.

Amendments to the Unibanco and Unibanco Holdings bylaws,
designed to reflect the new number of shares, will be submitted
to the approval of the next Shareholders' Meeting.

CONTACTS: Unibanco - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
          Investor Relations Area
          Ave. Eusebio Matoso, 891 - 15th floor
          Sao Paulo, SP 05423-901
          Phone: (55 11) 3097-1313
          Fax: (55 11) 3097-6182

          Web Site:

C O S T A   R I C A

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB+/B'
counterparty credit and CD ratings on Banco Internacional de
Costa Rica S.A. (BICSA Panama), after it was announced that
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica will absorb BICSA Costa Rica's
operations. The outlook is stable.

Ratings were affirmed because the transaction will have no
impact on Standard & Poor's rating fundamentals on BICSA. "The
operating restructure is a strategic move toward concentrating
in BICSA's core business, trade finance," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Angelica Bala. Although the rated entity is BICSA
Panama, Standard & Poor's monitors BICSA on a consolidated
basis, which includes the bank's operations in Panama and Miami
(and Costa Rica before this restructure).

While a significant portion of BICSA's Costa Rica assets,
principally the loan portfolio denominated in colones would be
transferred to Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, BICSA's main
shareholder, BICSA Panama will receive $25 million to $30
million of the loan portfolio denominated in dollars with no
material impact on the quality of its loan book.

Nevertheless, as a result of the transaction, consolidated
assets are expected to decrease by around 13% from the $640
million reported in
August 2004, while capitalization is expected to decline to
around 16% from the current 21% level. This capitalization level
is, however, considered adequate for the type of risks
confronted by the bank and its growth business prospects.

Cost reductions are expected to benefit bottom line results, yet
profitability is at a very low level when compared to 2001, and
the bank would need to reduce the risks of its loan portfolio to
lower provisioning needs and reach previous profitability

ANALYSTS:  Angelica Bala, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4405
           Ursula M Wilhelm, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4407


PETROECUADOR: Occidental Denies Allegations
On September 16, 2004, Occidental Exploration and Production
Company (OEPC), Occidental Petroleum Corporation's operating
subsidiary in Ecuador, received formal notification from
Petroecuador, the state oil company of Ecuador, initiating
proceedings to determine if OEPC violated the Hydrocarbons Law
and its Participation Contract for Block 15 with Petroecuador
and whether such alleged violations constitute grounds for
terminating the Participation Contract.

Occidental believes that it has complied with all material
obligations under the Participation Contract and that any
termination of the Participation Contract by Ecuador based upon
these stated allegations would be unfounded and would constitute
an unlawful expropriation under international treaties.


ECUADOR VAT DISPUTE. On July 13, 2004, a tribunal of
international arbitrators formed under the US-Ecuador Bilateral
Investment Treaty issued its unanimous decision awarding
approximately $75 million as compensation for value added tax
(VAT) refunds from the company's Block 15 operations in Ecuador
that were held to be wrongfully withheld by the Ecuadorian
Government through December 31, 2003. The tribunal's decision
also indicated that similar VAT refunds should be paid going
forward. Ecuador appealed the tribunal's decision. Ecuadorian
press reports have indicated that Ecuador's Attorney General
assembled a team to review OEPC's Participation Contract
immediately after the tribunal issued its award.

TRANSACTION WITH AEC IN 2000. One of the principal allegations
in Petroecuador's notice relates to the fact that OEPC did not
obtain government approval of a farmout agreement entered into
in the year 2000 by OEPC with AEC Ecuador Ltd. (AEC), a
subsidiary of EnCana Corporation. This agreement, which was
structured in two phases and was separate and apart from the
Participation Contract, established certain rights and
obligations strictly between OEPC and AEC. In the initial phase,
AEC received a 40% economic interest, vis-a-vis OEPC, in
relation to the Participation Contract. In the subsequent phase,
which is expressly subject to receipt of all governmental
approvals, AEC could earn legal title to 40% of the
Participation Contract, after complying with certain payment
obligations over a four-year period.

In October 2000, Occidental met with the Ecuadorian Minister of
Energy and Mines and explained the two-step structure of the
transaction. Occidental and the Minister then exchanged
correspondence on the transaction. Occidental understood that
the Minister did not have any objection to the transaction with
AEC and that only the second step of the transaction required
Government consent. In accordance with Occidental's
understanding of the instructions of the Minister and with the
completion of AEC's payment obligations, in July 2004 Occidental
formally requested the Government's approval to transfer legal
title to 40% of the Participation Contract to AEC. Occidental
will complete the second step of the AEC transaction only at
such time as the Government approves the transfer of legal

Under the terms of the Participation Contract entered into in
1999, OEPC has the right and obligation to explore and develop
the crude oil resources in Block 15. OEPC is required to pay
100% of all capital expenditures and operating costs related to
Block 15, including all taxes, and bears 100% of the risks
involved in the development of Block 15, including all
operational and reserve risk. In exchange, OEPC receives a
variable share of Block 15 crude oil production. During the
first phase of the AEC transaction, OEPC has remained as the
only party with rights under, and responsibility for the
performance of all obligations derived from, the Participation
Contract. AEC is not a party to the Participation Contract, has
no rights against Petroecuador under the agreement, and has no
obligations to Petroecuador. OEPC remains the operator of and
has made all investments and paid all taxes in Ecuador
(including income tax, production tax and exportation tax)
relating to Block 15. Occidental guarantees the performance of
all of the obligations under the Participation Contract.

OEPC has recorded 100% of the investments and 100% of the
revenues, costs and expenses related to Block 15 in its
Ecuadorian statutory accounts. Occidental Petroleum
Corporation's consolidated financial statements, which have been
prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting
principles, appropriately reflect Occidental's 60% economic

OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS. With respect to the other alleged
violations upon which Petroecuador's notification is based,
these alleged infractions are technical in nature and Occidental
believes they do not rise to the level of termination, either
individually or in the aggregate. There is an adequate
regulatory structure in place to investigate and sanction
infractions of the nature complained of in the notice. As to all
such issues, OEPC has either accepted the infraction and paid
the related fine or is contesting the matter through appropriate
channels. With respect to allegations that OEPC has failed to
make required investments, over the past five years, and without
having received any objection from the Government regarding the
AEC transaction, Occidental has invested approximately $690
million in the exploration, development and production
activities of Block 15 during this period. Consistent with the
foregoing, OEPC has fully satisfied its investment commitments
to date in accordance with the Participation Contract.

operations represent approximately 8 percent of the company's
current worldwide production, approximately 4 percent of its
proved reserves and approximately 2 percent of the company's
total property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated
depreciation, depletion and amortization.

ONGOING DISCUSSIONS. Occidental has communicated its position to
the Ecuadorian Government, is cooperating with the appropriate
Ecuadorian authorities in the current proceedings and will
continue to strive for an amicable resolution which will be in
the best interest of all parties. However, Occidental intends to
vigorously defend itself, avail itself of its rights in all
forums that are contemplated in the Participation Contract and
international treaties and will resort to international
arbitration in defense of its assets.

CONTACT: Occidental Petroleum Corporation
         Lawrence P. Meriage (media)
         Kenneth J. Huffman (investors)


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Approves Extension of Exclusivity
Kaiser Aluminum President and Chief Executive Officer Jack A.
Hockema, in a statement dated September 27, 2004 released
through the company's web site announces that:

- The Court approved an extension of exclusivity through October
25, 2004 for all entities and approved a series of motions
related to the company's contemplated sale of its interests in
and related to the QAL alumina refinery in Australia and the
Valco aluminum smelter in Ghana.

- In addition, the Court ruled favorably on a number of other
items, including agreements with third parties to assume
Kaiser's environmental obligations related to certain
discontinued sites.  Such efforts are part of the company's
broad ongoing effort to resolve "legacy-related" items prior to
our emergence from Chapter 11.

- Liquidity, defined as cash and borrowing availability,
continues to be adequate, with routine fluctuations in the range
of $150 million to $180 million. As we have indicated on a
number of occasions, we expect liquidity to decline as the
company completes the previously announced sale of certain
facilities.  Once we complete the planned sale of our commodity
assets, we expect that our borrowing availability will likely be
in the range of $50 million to $100 million, which we think is
quite adequate to support our fabricated products business.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum Corporation
         5847 San Felipe
         Suite 2500
         P.O. Box 572887
         TX 77257-2887
         Phone: 713-267-3777

         Web Site:


CEMEX: To Acquire RMC in a $5.8B Transaction
CEMEX, S.A de C.V.("CEMEX") (NYSE: CX, BMV: CEMEX.CPO) announced
Monday the recommended acquisition of RMC Group p.l.c. ("RMC")
for US$4.1 billion in cash.

Including the assumption of debt, the enterprise value of the
transaction is approximately US$5.8 billion.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously
approved the transaction.

The combined company will be one of the world's largest building
materials companies, with pro forma revenues of more than US$15

The transaction is expected to close around the end of 2004.

"The acquisition of RMC is a very compelling strategic
opportunity for CEMEX" said Lorenzo H. Zambrano, Chairman and

"RMC's strong positions in cement, aggregates and ready mixed
concrete will add to our existing operations in these areas and,
combined with our global presence in cement products, enhance
our leading position in the global building materials market.
The combination further builds on CEMEX's business model through
greater vertical integration and creates opportunities in new
markets for our cement products. It also provides additional
geographic revenue diversity, improving our position in markets
with high growth potential - such as Eastern Europe - and
building upon our position in more developed markets."

Lorenzo H. Zambrano continued, "This transaction meets our
strict investment criteria and makes great financial sense for
CEMEX. It will be immediately accretive to both free cash flow
and cash earnings per share and we expect to achieve significant

RMC, headquartered in the UK, is a leading international
producer and supplier of materials, products and services used
primarily in the construction industry.

It is one of Europe's largest producers of cement and one of the
world's largest suppliers of ready mixed concrete and

In 2003, RMC sold approximately 15.7 million tons of cement,
55.5 million cubic meters of ready mix concrete and 158 million
tons of aggregates, generating revenues, excluding joint
ventures and associated undertakings, of US$7.9 billion.

CEMEX expects to achieve approximately US$200 million of annual
synergies by 2007 as a result of the acquisition of RMC, mainly
from centralizing management, trading network benefits,
logistics, global procurement, energy and overall best

The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to free
cash flow and cash earnings per share for CEMEX.

CEMEX expects that the acquisition will achieve its 10 percent
return on capital employed target in 2007 and expects to achieve
a ratio of net debt to EBITDA of 2.7 times by the end of 2005.

This would be the same level of net debt to EBITDA that CEMEX
had at the end of 2003. The terms of the acquisition represent a
premium of approximately 39 percent to the volume weighted
average price of approximately 615 pence per RMC share over the
30 day period ended on 24 September 2004

The terms of the acquisition value the existing issued share
capital of RMC at approximately US$4.1 billion.

CEMEX's acquisition is subject to customary UK takeover
conditions, including regulatory approvals and the approval by a
majority in number representing 75 percent or more in value of
the RMC shareholders voting.

CEMEX expects the transaction to close around the end of 2004.

CEMEX has obtained committed facilities, arranged by Citigroup
Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International,
sufficient to satisfy in full the cash consideration payable to
RMC shareholders under the terms of the acquisition.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International
are acting as financial advisers to CEMEX in relation to the

CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and
ready-mix products, with operations primarily concentrated in
the world's most dynamic cement markets across four continents.

CEMEX combines a deep knowledge of the local markets with its
global network and information technology systems to provide
world-class products and services to its customers, from
individual homebuilders to large industrial contractors.

          Media Relations:
          Jorge Perez, 52-81-8888-4334

          Investor Relations:
          Abraham Rodriguez, 52-81-8888-4262

          Analyst Relations:
          Ricardo Sales, 212-317-6008

          MacGregor Group
          Chuck Burgess and Winnie Lerner, 212-371-5999

CEMEX: S&P Places Ratings On Watch-Negative
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'BBB-' local and
foreign currency long-term corporate credit rating on Cemex S.A.
de C.V. (Cemex) and its key operating subsidiaries, Cemex Espana
S.A., Cemex Mexico S.A. de C.V., and Cemex Inc. on CreditWatch
with negative implications.

In addition, Standard & Poor's placed its 'BBB-' senior
unsecured debt rating on Cemex's notes due 2006 and 2009 and
Cemex Espana's putable capital securities and Cemex Finance
Europe B.V.'s EUR2 billion senior unsecured MTN program on
CreditWatch with negative implications. Cemex's national scale
'mxAA' corporate credit rating and 'mxAA' and 'mxA-1+' senior
unsecured ratings have also been placed on CreditWatch with
negative implications.

"The CreditWatch placement follows the announcement of Cemex's
intention to acquire RMC Group p.l.c. through a 100% debt
financed transaction valued at $5.8 billion," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Jose Coballasi. "The CreditWatch placement
reflects the uncertainty regarding the final value of the
proposed transaction, which could exceed the aforementioned
value. Cemex's CreditWatch listing will be resolved upon the
completion of the proposed transaction."

Cemex and RMC announced the recommended acquisition on Sept. 27,
2004 for $4.1 billion in cash. Including the assumption of debt,
the enterprise value of the transaction is approximately $5.8

The ratings on Cemex and its key operating subsidiaries reflect
the company's leading position in the global cement industry and
its strong commitment to maintaining a financial profile that is
consistent with an investment-grade rating. The ratings also
consider Cemex's exposure to the Mexican market, the cyclical
nature of the global cement industry, and the company's
aggressive financial policy, which is now turning more moderate.
The ratings on Cemex Espana, Cemex Mexico, and Cemex Inc. are
equalized given the strategic importance of each of these
subsidiaries to the group.

Cemex, the world's third-largest cement producer, has an above-
average business profile that reflects efficient operating
procedures, proven turnaround experience, and a capable
management team. Cemex's leadership position, moderate capital
expenditures, and positive long-term expectations for cement
demand in emerging markets, where Cemex has an important
presence, are expected to enable the company to weather volatile
market conditions, particularly in Mexico (which accounts for
approximately 50% of consolidated cash-flow generation) and
maintain key financial measures and liquidity adequate for its
investment-grade rating. Although Cemex is committed to
maintaining a financial profile commensurate with its
investment-grade rating, the company's financial policy is still
considered aggressive given the high proportion of debt used to
finance large acquisitions in the past.

ANALYSTS:  Jose Coballasi, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4414
           Santiago Carniado, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4413

CEMEX: Fitch Puts Ratings on Watch Negative
Fitch Ratings has placed the 'BBB' senior unsecured foreign
currency and local currency ratings of CEMEX, S.A. de C.V.
(CEMEX) and of its wholly owned subsidiary CEMEX Espana S.A., as
well as the 'AA+(mex)' national scale rating on CEMEX, on Watch
Negative following the announcement this morning that the
company intends to purchase RMC Group p.l.c. (RMC), a producer
of ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and cement, based in the UK
and with operations in 26 countries, primarily in Western and
Eastern Europe and in the U.S. RMC is the world's largest
producer of ready-mix concrete and the 10th largest cement-
maker. If the acquisition is completed, the resulting company
will become the second largest cement producer based on revenues
and the largest ready-mix producer in the world. CEMEX announced
that it intends to purchase RMC for US$5.8 billion, consisting
of US$4.1 billion in cash, US$1.5 billion in debt assumption,
and US$200 million in transaction costs.

CEMEX's acquisition of RMC is leveraging and will pressure
credit fundamentals over the short to medium term. The
acquisition will be financed with debt in the form of bank
facilities that have been committed by Citigroup and Goldman
Sachs. On a pro forma basis, leverage as measured by the ratio
of debt/EBITDA is expected to increase above 3.0 times (x) and
outside CEMEX's current financial target of 2.7x or less.
Interest coverage should remain above 5x due to the company's
low cost of funding. Pro forma credit statistics are expected to
remain consistent with the investment-grade rating category.
Fitch expects the acquisition debt to be repaid over the next
few years from free cash flow resulting from combined operations
and anticipated synergies. Nonetheless, CEMEX may face
challenges integrating this large and multinational entity,
which could delay projected improvement in credit protection

Strategically, the acquisition of RMC is positive. It should
improve CEMEX's operating profile by reducing the proportion of
EBITDA sourced from non-investment-grade countries, as well as
the proportion of EBITDA derived from Mexican operations, which
would drop from one-half of 2003 EBITDA to roughly one-third.
The acquisition would reduce the volatility of cash flows of
consolidated results as it provides further geographic revenue
diversification to CEMEX's existing operations. The assets of
RCM are mostly located in areas that strategically fit and
complement CEMEX's existing assets, enhancing its position as an
integrated cement player. The acquisition would turn CEMEX into
the largest ready-mix producer in the world and an important
player in aggregates, complementing the company's strong
business position in cement.

At June 30, 2004, CEMEX had total debt of US$5.3 billion and
estimated 2004 EBITDA of US$2.4 million. RMC has outstanding
debt of approximately US$1.5 billion and generated EBITDA in
excess of US$800 million during 2003.

           Giovanna Caccialanza, 212-908-0898 (CFA)
           Roberto Guerra Guajardo, +52-81-8335-7239
           Brian Bertsch, 212-908-0549 (Media Relations)

VITRO: Sells Stake in Queretaro Can Factory for $26.5M
Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO and BMV: VITRO A) announced
Monday that it entered into an agreement to sell its 50 percent
interest in Vitro American National Can, S.A. de C.V (Vancan),
to its joint partner Rexam, for US$26.5 million, subject to
adjustment for certain liabilities of approximately $4 million.
Vancan is Vitro's joint venture with Rexam dedicated to
manufacturing aluminum beverage cans.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the
month. Upon the completion of the transaction, Rexam, the global
consumer packaging group and the world's leading beverage can
maker, will become the sole owner of Vancan, which was formed in

"We are very pleased to agree to this important transaction with
Rexam. The sale is consistent with our Company's strategy to
focus on glass, our core business", said Federico Sada, Vitro's

"The deal meets two important corporate goals. First, it allows
us to devote the Company's resources and energy to maintain and
develop our glass-oriented businesses throughout the world.
Secondly, it provides us with the capital to strengthen our
operations and financial position", he concluded.

Commenting on the acquisition, Stefan Angwald, Rexam's Chief
Executive, said: "This deal represents another step in our
commitment to extend our position in growing markets with
growing customers. We look forward to fully integrating the
business and to delivering increased value for our customers."

The Vancan plant is located in Queretaro near Mexico City. It
started as a greenfield site in 1994 and is now a major can
maker in the Mexican beverage market. It has two production
lines and employs approximately 140 people. In 2003, Vancan
reported sales of US$73 million.

Vitro, S.A. de C.V., through its subsidiary companies, is one of
the world's leading glass producers. Vitro is a major
participant in three principal businesses: flat glass, glass
containers and glassware. Its subsidiaries serve multiple
product markets, including construction and automotive glass;
food and beverage, wine, liquor, cosmetics and pharmaceutical
glass containers; glassware for commercial, industrial and
retail uses. Vitro also produces raw materials and equipment and
capital goods for industrial use.

Founded in 1909 in Monterrey, Mexico-based Vitro has joint
ventures with major world-class partners and industry leaders
that provide its subsidiaries with access to international
markets, distribution channels and state-of-the-art technology.
Vitro's subsidiaries have facilities and distribution centers in
nine countries, located in North, Central and South America, and
Europe, and export to more than 70 countries worldwide.

CONTACT: Vitro, S.A. de C.V.
         Ave. Ricardo Margain 400
         Col Valle del Campestre
         Garza Garcia
         Nuevo Leon 66250
         Phone: +52 81-8863-1200

         Web Site:


SIDOR: Inks Collective Bargaining Agreement With Suttis Union
Venezuelan iron and steel company Sidor has reached a collective
bargaining agreement with the Suttis workers' union, Business
News Americas reports, citing an unnamed Sidor official.

Agreements reached include 26 months of guaranteed job stability
for the workers, a monthly pay raise of VEB13,000 (US$6.70) for
the duration of the two-year contract, a VEB6,500 signing bonus,
pay rates for night shift and overtime, and a complete
retirement plan, with improvements in the company's health

The accord awaits formal approval from the work ministry.

Sidor is 60%-owned by the Amazonia consortium made up of Mexican
company Hylsamex, the Techint organization, Brazil's Usiminas
and Venezuelan company Sivensa. The company plants are in Puerto
Ordaz city in eastern Venezuela's Bol”var state.


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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