TCRLA_Public/041028.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

           Thursday, October 28, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 214

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALIMENTOS DEL NORTE: Reports Submission Set
COMPLEJO INDUSTRIAL: Court Orders Liquidation
DIQUE LUJAN: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
ECO DESIGN: Reorganization Proceeds To Bankruptcy
EDEERSA: Entre Rios Delays Receiving Bids Until Feb. 2005

IMPLANTES EMILIO: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
INFOSUR NET: Court Schedules Report Submissions
IRSA: Fitch Ups Ratings to BB-(arg) on Improvement of Bus. Units
IRSA: To Absorb Shareholders' Personal Property Tax
OLIVERIO S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders

PESQUERA RIO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
TAIPEI S.A.: Court Oks Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
TALCY S.A.: Court Sets Submission Deadlines
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Ups 2-Tranche Bond Issue to ARS200 Mln
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Unions Continue to Strike

TEM WORK: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
TERKEKO S.R.L.: Court Rules for Liquidation
TRANSENER: S&P Issues Update on Ratings


B E R M U D A

ANNUITY & LIFE: Recaptures CIGNA Reinsurance Agreement
FOSTER WHEELER: To Build Acetyls Complex in Saudi Arabia


B R A Z I L

TELEMAR: Mobile Subsidiary Ups Subscriber Base to 6 Million
VARIG: Regional Carrier Takes Over Domestic Route


C O L O M B I A

BANCAFE: Government Continues to Mull Privatization


E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Six Buyers "Phase Out" Crude Contracts


J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Gets Conditional Approval for Credit Agreement


M E X I C O

CINTRA: Total Revenue Jumps 16.4% in 3Q04
CINTRA: Board Approves Restructuring Plan
GRUPO ELEKTRA: EBITDA Up 13% in 3Q04
GRUPO MEXICO: Merger Won't Impact Ratings Says S&P
VITRO: Reports Improved 3Q04 Sales Performance


P E R U

LANPERU: Judge Who Ordered Grounding In Hot Seat


V E N E Z U E L A

EDC: S&P Rates $260M Notes 'B'

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

ALIMENTOS DEL NORTE: Reports Submission Set
-------------------------------------------
Ms. Silvia Monica Tauschek, the trustee assigned to supervise
the liquidation of Alimentos del Norte S.R.L., will submit the
validated individual claims for Court approval on April 15,
2005. These reports explain the basis for the accepted and
rejected claims. The trustee will also submit a general report
on June 7, 2005.

Infobae reports that Court no. 9 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this bankruptcy case.
The city's clerk no. 17 assists the Court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Ms. Silvia Monica Tauschek, Trustee
         Viamonte 658
         Buenos Aires


COMPLEJO INDUSTRIAL: Court Orders Liquidation
---------------------------------------------
Complejo Industrial Poligrafico S.A. prepares to wind-up its
operations following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by
Court no. 11 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 accounting firm
"Estudio Herrera y Asociados" as trustee. The firm will be
reviewing creditors' proofs of claims until December 3. The
verified claims will be the basis for the individual reports to
be presented for Court approval on February 17, 2005.
Afterwards, the trustee will also submit a general report on
March 31, 2005.

Clerk no. 21 assists the Court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the Company's assets to cover its liabilities.

CONTACT: "Estudio Herrera y Asociados"
         Trustee
         Viamonte 1454
         Buenos Aires


DIQUE LUJAN: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
---------------------------------------------
Dique Lujan S.A.C.I.F.A., a Company operating in Buenos Aires,
begins reorganization proceedings after Court no. 26 of the
city's civil and commercial tribunal, with assistance from clerk
no. 51, granted its petition for "concurso preventivo".

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

According to Argentine news source Infobae, the reorganization
will be conducted under the direction of Mr. Pablo J. Kainsky,
the Court-appointed trustee.

Creditors with claims against the Company must present proofs of
the Company's indebtedness to the trustee by November 8. These
claims will constitute the individual reports to be submitted in
Court on December 21. The Court also requires the trustee to
present an audit of the Company's accounting and business
records through a general report due on March 4, 2005.

Creditors are scheduled to ratify the Company's settlement
proposal during the informative assembly on June 27, 2005.

CONTACT: Mr. Pablo J. Kainsky, Trustee
         Reconquista 715
         Buenos Aires


ECO DESIGN: Reorganization Proceeds To Bankruptcy
-------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Eco Design S.A. has progressed into
bankruptcy after Court no. 13 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal ruled that the Company is "Quiebra
Decretada."

Infobae reports that the Court assigned Mr. Ricardo Jorge
Randrup as trustee, who will verify creditors' proofs of claim
until November 26.

The Court also ordered the trustee to prepare individual reports
after the verification process is completed, and have them ready
by February 11, 2005. A general report on the bankruptcy process
is expected on March 28, 2005.

The Company's informative assembly is set for September 6, 2005.

CONTACT: Mr. Ricardo Jorge Randrup, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1351
         Buenos Aires


EDEERSA: Entre Rios Delays Receiving Bids Until Feb. 2005
---------------------------------------------------------
Bidders interested in buying a 51% stake in Entre Rios power
distributor Edeersa now have until Feb. 14, 2005 to submit their
bids, reports Business News Americas.

According to an Edeersa spokesperson, stakeholder Entre Rios
province has delayed receiving bids because it is waiting for
the legislature to pass a bill that would limit the
participation of speculative funds.

The sale of Edeersa faces a major difficulty: the Company has a
debt burden of US$88 million, 100% of which belongs to UK-based
distress fund Ashmore.

But the government doesn't want Ashmore or another speculative
financial fund to obtain control of Edeersa because the
government wants the concessionaire to have a medium- to long-
term operating plan for Edeersa, rather than just a financial
interest.

To that end, the government introduced two bills to the
legislature in September: one to limit the participation of
speculative funds and the other to establish a legal framework
to impose conditions on concessions for public utilities.

The government has since withdrawn the second bill to
incorporate the conditions in the bidding rules itself, the
spokesperson said, but the first bill is currently before the
legislature.

"We are asking as a fundamental condition for the Company that
wins the Edeersa concession to pay the debt," Entre R­os
government news service quoted Edeersa president Carlos Molina
as saying.

"The incorporation of the bill we are promoting raises the
penalty level for whoever does not comply with electric service
regulations," Molina said.

The main conditions that the government hopes will discourage
speculative funds and attract potential operators are
establishing a five-year minimum concession and including a
clause that would terminate the concession if debts are not paid
within 250 days of the concession being awarded.

The winning bidder must present a US$20 million guarantee, which
would allow Edeersa to begin negotiations with Ashmore.


IMPLANTES EMILIO: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
--------------------------------------------------
Court no. 11 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Implantes Emilio C Olguin S.R.L. "Quiebra," reports
Infobae.

Mr. Jorge Guillermo Podesta, who has been appointed as trustee,
will verify creditors' claims until December 10 and then prepare
the individual reports based on the results of the verification
process.

The individual reports will then be submitted in Court on
February 23, 2005, followed by the general report on April 6,
2005.

The city's Clerk no. 21 assists the Court on the case that will
close with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay
creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge Guillermo Podesta, Trustee
         Reconquista 336
         Buenos Aires


INFOSUR NET: Court Schedules Report Submissions
-----------------------------------------------
Trustee Javier Marcelo Espineira, assigned to supervise the
liquidation of Infosur Net S.R.L., will submit the validated
individual claims for Court approval on April 20, 2005. The
submission of the general report follows on June 14, 2005.

Infobae reports that Court no. 9 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this bankruptcy case.
Clerk no. 17 assists the Court with the proceedings

CONTACT: Mr. Javier Marcelo Espineira, Trustee
         Viamonte 783
         Buenos Aires


IRSA: Fitch Ups Ratings to BB-(arg) on Improvement of Bus. Units
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of Fitch Ratings upgraded Tuesday the
country's leading real-estate developer, IRSA-Inversiones y
Representaciones SA (IRS), to BB-(arg) from B(arg), reports Dow
Jones Newswires.

The upgrade reflects an improvement in the Company's two
business units - office rentals, and sales and development - as
well as its debt situation.

IRSA's office occupancy rate as of June 2004 was 76%, up from
60% a year earlier, the ratings agency said, and newly signed
contracts are showing increased rental prices.

In sales and development, IRSA will be launching the pre-sale of
three new projects at the end of 2004, Fitch said.

Also, IRSA has been gradually reducing its debt load over the
last couple of years, slashing its obligations by US$12.9
million during its fiscal year ended June 30.


IRSA: To Absorb Shareholders' Personal Property Tax
---------------------------------------------------
IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones Sociedad Anonima has
notified the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and the Comision
Nacional de Valores that the shareholders meeting held on
October 22, 2004 resolved in relation to the shareholders'
personal property tax (impuesto a los bienes personales) that
the tax amount will be absorbed by the Company.


OLIVERIO S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders
---------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Oliverio S.R.L. will begin liquidating its
assets after Court no. 11 of the city's civil and commercial
tribunal declared the Company bankrupt. Infobae reveals that the
bankruptcy process will commence under the supervision of Court-
appointed trustee Graciela Cristina Perez.

The trustee will review claims forwarded by the Company's
creditors until December 20. After claims verification, the
trustee will submit the individual reports for Court approval on
March 1, 2005. The submission of the general report follows on
April 12, 2005.

The city's Clerk no. 22 assists the Court on this case.

CONTACT: Ms. Graciela Cristina Perez, Trustee
         Tucuman 983
         Buenos Aires


PESQUERA RIO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
-----------------------------------------------
Court no. 11 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared local Company Pesquera Rio Parana S.A. bankrupt. The
bankruptcy order effectively places the Company's affairs as
well as its assets under the control of Court-appointed trustee
Jorge Luis Blazquez.

As trustee, Mr. Blazquez is tasked with verifying the
authenticity of claims presented by the Company's creditors. The
verification phase is ongoing until December 13.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the Court on February 24, 2005. A general report
will also be submitted on April 11, 2005.

Infobae reports that Clerk no. 22 assists the Court on this case
that will end with the disposal of the Company's assets in favor
of its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge Luis Blazquez, Trustee
         Fray Justo Santa Maria de Oro 2381
         Buenos Aires


TAIPEI S.A.: Court Oks Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
----------------------------------------------------
Court no. 6 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Taipei S.A. bankrupt, says La Nacion. The ruling comes
in approval of the bankruptcy petition filed by the Company's
creditor, Mr. Dionisio Santacruz Estigarribia, for nonpayment of
US$87,235.36 in debt.

Clerk No. 12 assists the Court on the case that will conclude
with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT: Taipei S.A.
         Pilar 1979
         Buenos Aires


TALCY S.A.: Court Sets Submission Deadlines
-------------------------------------------
Court no. 2 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
expects to receive individual reports from the Talcy S.A.
bankruptcy case on February 9, 2005. Trustee Andrea Rut Cetlinas
will prepare these reports. She is also required by the Court to
submit a general report on March 22, 2005.

CONTACT: Ms. Andrea Rut Cetlinas, Trustee
         Lavalle 1678
         Buenos Aires


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Ups 2-Tranche Bond Issue to ARS200 Mln
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fixed-line carrier Telefonica de Argentina SA (TAR) increased
its bond issue to ARS200 million ($1=ARS2.9725) from the ARS150-
million it first announced when it launched its sale in mid-
October, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing a filing with the
local bourse.

The Company, a unit of Spain's Telefonica SA (TEF), is selling
the bonds in two tranches. The first is a one-year bond with a
fixed rate of 8.25%. The second series has a maturity of 548
days and will have a floating interest rate of between 7% and
15%.

When Telefonica opened the sale, the Company had indicated that
the amount of the issue could increase from ARS150 million
depending on the amount of offers received during the
subscription period, which closed October 25.

The two short-term bond series are the second part of an ARS1.5
billion program approved last year. The Company placed the first
series under this program in May, selling ARS163 million of one-
year, zero-coupon notes with a yield of 8.05%.

CONTACT:  TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA
          Tucuman 1, 18th Floor, 1049
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (212) 688-6840
          Home Page: http://www.telefonica.com.ar


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Unions Continue to Strike
--------------------------------------------------
Argentine telecom unions association Foeesitra has stepped up
protest actions against telecom companies after negotiations on
Monday failed, reports Business News Americas.

Foeesitra started a one-hour strike per shift last week,
demanding better salaries, work stability and an end to
outsourced services.

"Since we did not reach agreement on any of our demands,
Foeesitra members will continue with protest measures, including
permanent meetings, non-cooperation with telecom companies,
total abandonment of transport units and increase in strikes
from 1-2 hours per shift," Business News Americas quoted
Foeesitra press spokesperson Carlos Matu as saying.

Strikes are affecting Argentine telecom companies Telefonica de
Argentina (NYSE: TAR), Telecom and cooperatives. These companies
and Foeesitra will meet again today, Thursday, to try to resolve
their dispute.

"The telecom companies' last proposal was pathetic and laughable
and does not satisfy any of our demands nor any of the previous
commitments signed by both parties and ratified in the labor
ministry," said Matu.


TEM WORK: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
----------------------------------------------
Tem Work S.R.L. of Buenos Aires entered bankruptcy after Court
no. 24 of the city's civil and commercial tribunal approved the
bankruptcy motion filed by Union de Obreros y Empleados
Plasticos , reports La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay
US$7,388 in debt prompted the creditor to file the petition.

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: Tem Work S.R.L.
         Suipacha 745
         Buenos Aires


TERKEKO S.R.L.: Court Rules for Liquidation
-------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal Court no. 11 ordered
the liquidation of Terkeko S.R.L. after the Company defaulted on
its obligations, Infobae reveals. The liquidation pronouncement
will effectively place the Company's affairs as well as its
assets under the control of Mr. Miguel Angel Marceesi, the
Court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Marceesi will verify creditors' proofs of claims until
December 7. The verified claims will serve as basis for the
individual reports to be submitted in Court on February 17,
2005. The submission of the general report follows on March 31,
2005.

Clerk no. 22 assists the Court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the Company's assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Miguel Angel Marceesi, Trustee
         Avellaneda 1135
         Buenos Aires


TRANSENER: S&P Issues Update on Ratings
---------------------------------------

RATIONALE

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' 'D' rating on Argentina's
largest electricity transmitter, Compa­a de Transporte de
Energ­a El,ctrica en Alta Tensi›n Transener S.A. (Transener),
reflects the Company's decision to suspend debt service as of
April 2002. Transener's business and financial profile
significantly eroded since 2002 because of the pesification and
freeze of tariffs within a context of strong devaluation of the
Argentine peso (ArP) and high inflation, which followed the end
of convertibility in December 2001. In this context, Transener's
revenues remained almost stable in peso terms while part of its
operating costs and capital expenditures and most of its
financial costs-which are linked to the U.S. dollar-strongly
increased. As a result, Transener directed its cash flow to fund
operations and halted service on its financial debt.

Transener has a 95-year concession contract to operate about
7,500 kilometers (km) of high-tension (mainly 500-kilovolt (kV))
transmission lines (since 1993) and about 5,500 km of high-
tension (mainly 220-kV and 132-kV) transmission lines in the
province of Buenos Aires, Argentina (since 1997), through its
subsidiary Transba S.A. In addition, Transener has operated and
maintained the 1,300-km high-tension (500-kV) transmission line
from the Comahue region to Buenos Aires since 1999.

Transener continues to face high regulatory uncertainties-33
months after mandatory pesification and tariff freezes, there
have not been significant improvements in the renegotiation of
Transener's concession contract, which the government mandated
in 2002. After several postponements, the Argentine government
extended to December 2004 the date by which the government must
complete the renegotiation of concessions for public services.
In addition to the completion date, however, there are
significant uncertainties about the terms (e.g., extension,
tariffs, quality of service required) of Transener's concession
contract.

According to national decree 1834/2002, insolvency, voluntary
filing for reorganization, or a creditor requesting bankruptcy
will not constitute causes for termination of the concession
contract. These provisions would allow companies that render a
public service according to an exclusive concession, such as
Transener, to file for the protection of such proceedings
without risking the loss of the concession, somewhat alleviating
their cash needs and giving the companies more leverage to
negotiate with investors.

Standard & Poor's expects that Transener's credit quality will
depend mainly on the renegotiation of its concession contract
and the restructuring of its financial debt. Transener's short-
term financial performance will depend mainly on the value of
the U.S. dollar and the level of inflation.

Liquidity

Transener's financial flexibility and liquidity position are
severely restricted by the current default situation of the
Company. As of June 2004, the Company had about US$553 million
of debt and cash reserves of US$63 million. Transener's
liquidity will remain constrained until the Company restructures
its debt profile and improves its cash flow by renegotiating the
concession contract. Transener is working with its creditors'
steering committee, created in September 2002 and composed of a
majority of bank creditors, to restructure its financial debt.

Primary Credit Analyst: Sergio Fuentes, Buenos Aires
(54) 114-891-2131; sergio_fuentes@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires
(54) 114-891-2128; marta_castelli@standardandpoors.com



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

ANNUITY & LIFE: Recaptures CIGNA Reinsurance Agreement
------------------------------------------------------
Annuity & Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. announced Tuesday that CIGNA
has recaptured its Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit and
Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit reinsurance agreement with the
Company.

In connection with the recapture, CIGNA retained the $11 million
it previously drew from a letter of credit provided to CIGNA by
the Company as collateral for the Company's obligations under
the reinsurance agreement.

In addition, the Company issued CIGNA a warrant to acquire 1
million common shares of the Company. The warrant has a strike
price of $1.00 per share and expires on September 30, 2014. The
Company expects to record a charge of approximately $2.4 million
in the third quarter as a result of the settlement.

Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. provides annuity and life
reinsurance to insurers through its wholly owned subsidiaries,
Annuity and Life Reassurance, Ltd. and Annuity and Life
Reassurance America, Inc.

CONTACT: Mr. John Lockwood
         Annuity & Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.
         Cumberland House
         1 Victoria Street
         Hamilton HM 11
         P.O. Box HM 98
         Hamilton HM AX
         Bermuda
         Phone: 441-298-9902
         Fax: (441) 296-7665


FOSTER WHEELER: To Build Acetyls Complex in Saudi Arabia
--------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) announced Tuesday that its UK
subsidiary Foster Wheeler Energy Limited has been awarded a
project management services contract by Saudi International
Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) for its Acetyls Complex to be
built at Jubail Industrial City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The
terms of the award were not disclosed. The project will be
included in third-quarter bookings.

"Foster Wheeler is delighted to be awarded this contract by
Sipchem, adding to our substantial track record of such projects
and demonstrating that Foster Wheeler is the project management
services contractor of choice for the industry," said Steve
Davies, chairman and chief executive officer of Foster Wheeler
Energy Limited. "We look forward to assisting Sipchem in
achieving a safe, environmentally sound, efficient, and reliable
plant and in contributing to the further development of Saudi
industries."

"The acetyls complex will provide further growth opportunities
for Sipchem, representing our vision for developing investments
in the petrochemical industry to produce value-added products,
serving both Saudi and regional needs," commented Ahmed Al-
Ohali, president of Sipchem. "We selected Foster Wheeler as the
Company with the best capability and personnel to work with us
in the development and management of this important project."

The complex will produce 460,000 tpa of acetic acid and 300,000
tpa of vinyl acetate monomer. Phase I of the complex, comprising
methanol and butanediol plants, is currently under construction.

Foster Wheeler will work as part of an Integrated Project
Management Team (IPMT) together with Sipchem. The role of the
IPMT is to develop and issue bid packages for the engineering
and construction of the acetyls complex and its associated
utilities and offsites. Once the projects are awarded, the IPMT
will manage the engineering and construction activities on
behalf of Sipchem and its affiliates.

In the early phase of the project, the IPMT will support the
project planning and development team of Sipchem to complete the
feasibility study, obtain approvals and establish Company
formations.

Construction of the complex is planned for commencement in 2006
with start-up in 2008.

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,
petrochemical, chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology
and healthcare industries. The corporation is based in Hamilton,
Bermuda, and its operational headquarters are in Clinton, New
Jersey, USA.

CONTACTS: Media Contact
          Ms. Maureen Bingert
          Phone: 908-730-4444
              OR
          Other Inquiries:
          Phone: 908-730-4000
          Web Site: http://www.fwc.com/



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

TELEMAR: Mobile Subsidiary Ups Subscriber Base to 6 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
Telemar Norte Leste S.A. (Bovespa: TMAR3, TMAR5 e TMAR6)
announced Monday that its subsidiary TNL PCS - Oi, the first GSM
mobile telecom provider in Brazil, reached 6.0 million
subscribers.

"Oi has achieved 6 million subscribers in 28 months of
operations, maintaining its leadership in our operating region
in term of net additions. This is a result of Oi's strong brand,
its offering of innovative and differentiated products, as well
as a wide and efficient distribution network", commented Marcos
Grodetzky, Telemar's Chief Financial and Investor Relations
Officer.


VARIG: Regional Carrier Takes Over Domestic Route
-------------------------------------------------
Brazilian regional airline OceanAir has assumed a domestic
route, which the embattled flagship carrier Varig abandoned
earlier this year because of cost considerations.

Dow Jones Newswires reveals that OceanAir has taken over a route
linking Vitoria da Conquista in southern Bahia state to the
state capital of Salvador.

Brazil's Congress issued a warning last week that Varig is
edging toward bankruptcy as a result of its increasingly complex
financial crisis. Varig, Brazil's largest domestic carrier, has
negative equity of BRL7 billion (close to $2.5 billion),
according to its creditors.

The lawmakers say they are planning to present the Brazilian
government soon with a new strategy to rescue the troubled
carrier.

The Brazilian administration led by president (Luiz Inacio Lula
da Silva has also promised to present its own restructuring plan
for the Company but warned it would not contribute funds in vain
and would ask Varig's largest shareholder, the Ruben Berta
Foundation, to hand over control of the carrier.

The foundation is employee-controlled.

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

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



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

BANCAFE: Government Continues to Mull Privatization
---------------------------------------------------
Finance ministry spokesperson Claudia Patricia Rios says that
the Colombian government continues to look into the
privatization of Bancafe despite statements made last week by
President Alvaro Uribe ruling out the privatization option.

In a report from Business News Americas, Duff & Phelps analyst
Mateo Leon stated that keeping the bank under state control is
not a very viable option. He adds that the government could
decide to sell Bancafe based on the country's improving economic
outlook.

The government had attempted to privatize Bancafe three times
since it assumed control of the bank in the wake of the
country's financial crisis in 1990. However, the privatization
has not received much support from the private sector.

Ms. Rios told Business News Americas that the finance ministry
and deposit insurance agency Fogafin are studying all options
for the future of Bancafe. Some of the options foreseen are
privatization, maintaining its status as a state-bank, or a
merger with local state-bank Granahorrar.

Bancafe is the third largest bank in Colombia with assets
totaling US$2.7 billion as of August this year.



=============
E C U A D O R
=============

PETROECUADOR: Six Buyers "Phase Out" Crude Contracts
----------------------------------------------------
Six foreign buyers of Ecuador's Oriente crude have "phased out"
a total of 10 one-year contracts with state oil firm
Petroecuador, Business News Americas reports citing a
Petroecuador source.

The companies are US oil major ChevronTexaco (NYSE: CVX),
Jamaican state firm Petrojam, AOT Trading, Citizen Resources,
Tevier Petroleum, and Glencore.

The companies' move follows their rejection of Petroecuador's
proposal on Monday to sell Oriente at a US$13.95 discount to US
benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

The companies had been asking for a discount of between US$16.30
and US$16.50 below WTI, but Petroecuador opted for a "political"
price differential for November, which was the same discount
offered in October, because of pressure from the government to
reduce the differential, the spokesperson said.

"We estimate the market price differential is over US$15," the
spokesperson said.

"This is our second phase out this year and this is not good for
the oil business," the spokesperson said. The previous phase out
was in March.

Petroecuador plans to call for bids on a new tender for the same
number of one-year contracts this week, or next week at the
latest, the spokesperson said, adding that the six companies
whose contracts have been "phased out" can bid on the new
contracts.



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J A M A I C A
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KAISER ALUMINUM: Gets Conditional Approval for Credit Agreement
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Kaiser Aluminum (OTCBB: KLUCQ) said that the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware has conditionally approved
the seventh amendment to Kaiser's Post-Petition Credit
Agreement, subject to he lenders agreeing to modify the latest
date upon which Kaiser might file a Plan of Reorganization.

The Court's required modification would change the specified
date for Kaiser to file its Plan of Reorganization from no later
than December 31, 2004 to no later than February 13, 2005, which
is currently the expiration date of the Post-Petition Credit
Agreement. The Post-Petition Credit Agreement lenders have
consented to this change and the Company expects that the Court
will enter an order approving the seventh amendment, as
modified, before the October 31, 2004 expiration of a previously
disclosed waiver.

The amendment, once effective, resets a financial covenant and
permits, among other things, the sale of Kaiser's interests in
and related to the QAL alumina refinery in Australia.

Also, the Company will conduct an auction today for the sale of
its interests in and related to QAL. The Court has scheduled a
hearing on November 8 to rule on the successful bid. On this
schedule, we would expect to close on the transaction during the
first quarter of 2005.

Separately, the Court also approved an extension of exclusivity
as to all debtors to February 28, 2005, but noted that
exclusivity could be terminated earlier with respect to the four
subsidiaries that own (or owned) certain of the Company's
commodity-related interests in Jamaica, which have been
sold/monetized, and in Australia, which are the subject of a
Court approved auction later this week, in accordance with the
terms of the recently filed InterCompany Settlement Agreement.

Kaiser Aluminum is a leading producer of fabricated aluminum
products and owns interests in alumina and primary aluminum
assets.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum Corp.
         5847 San Felipe
         Suite 2500
         P.O. Box 572887
         Houston, TX 77257-2887
         USA
         Phone: 713-267-3777
         Website: http://www.kaiseral.com/



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M E X I C O
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CINTRA: Total Revenue Jumps 16.4% in 3Q04
-----------------------------------------
CINTRA, S.A. DE C.V., (BMV: CINTRA) Mexico's leading air
transportation system reported its non audited results for the
third quarter 2004, emphasizing the following:

Highlights

Load Factor                                     66.4%
Total Revenues (million pesos)                10,034
EBITDAR (million pesos)                        2,071
Operation Income (million pesos)                 893
Net Income (million pesos)                     1,474

       Third Quarter 2004 compared to Third Quarter 2003

                           Third Quarter

Comparative Highlights              2004     2003    Variation

Load factor                         66.4%    66.3%    0.1 p.p.
Total revenue (million pesos)     10,034    8,616        16.4%
EBITDAR (million pesos)            2,071    1,411        46.8%
EBITDAR (% of revenue)              20.6%    16.4%    4.2 p.p.
Operation Income (million pesos)     893      318       180.8%
Operation Income (% of revenue)     8.9%      3.7%    5.2 p.p.
Net Income (Loss) (million pesos)  1,474      (72)

Total Revenue increased 16.4% due to the growth in all items,
regarding the third quarter 2003. The 46.8% increase in EBITDAR
is as result of the increase in total revenue, which compensated
the 10.5% increase in Operation expenses mainly, generated by
the rise in jet fuel expenditure, commissions to agents and
maintenance. It is important to mention that as result of
different cost reduction programs we have obtained savings in
insurance, passenger service, administration and IT.

The above result decreased by capital expenses - which increased
7.8% versus 3Q 2003-, generated an Operation Income of 893
million pesos, higher in 575 million pesos which represents
180.8% than the same period 2003.

CINTRA obtained a net income during the quarter of 1,474 million
pesos, compared to a 72 million pesos net loss in the same
period 2003.

    Available seat and Revenue passenger kilometers

                    Third Quarter

                               2004    2003   Variation

ASK's (millions)             11,111  10,546       5.4%
RPK's (millions)              7,375   6,990       5.5%
Yield
(Passenger Income / RPK's)
(pesos)                      1.0498  1.0310       1.8%
ASK/Cost (pesos)             0.786   0.766        2.6%
ASK / Cost without fuel
(pesos)                      0.630   0.655       (3.8%)

During the period July - September 2004 the Available Seat
Kilometers (ASK's) reported 11,111 million, higher in 5.4% than
the same period 2003, as a result of the 4.1% increase in
operations compared to the same period last year.

The demand expressed in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK's) for
the 3Q 2004 was 7,375 million, 5.5% higher than the same period
2003, as a result of the 3.8% increase in passengers.

The average passenger income per RPK (yield) reached 1.0498
pesos during the quarter, 1.8% higher than the same period 2003,
in spite of the aggressive competition in the domestic market.

The ASK/Cost increased 2.6% during the third quarter 2004,
reaching 0.786 pesos, as a result of the increase in operation
expenses, mainly in jet fuel expenditure. The ASK/Cost not
considering the jet fuel expenditure cost was 0.630 pesos, lower
in 3.8% than the same period 2003.

A. OPERATION RESULTS

Revenues

Total revenues during the third quarter 2004 were 10,034 million
pesos, meaning a 16.4% increase in real terms versus the same
period 2003, such growth was generated by the 77.5% increase in
other revenue, mainly due to the jet fuel charge collected,
21.2% in cargo, 15.1% in international markets, 4.5% in excess
baggage and 1.8% in domestic markets.

In U.S. dollars terms, total revenues were 872 million during
the quarter that shows a 15.0% increase with respect to the same
period 2003.

Operation Expenses

Total operation expenses during the July - September 2004 period
were 7,963 million pesos, 10.5% higher than the same period
2003.

Personnel cost was 2,543 million pesos, 1.4% higher than the
third quarter 2003, mainly originated by the increase of 15
positions in Aerolitoral's pilots staff due to the changes in
their fleet composition, as well as the overtime payment to
Mexicana's flight personnel due to the operations increase
during the period. It is important to mention that personnel
expenses represents 25.3% of total revenue during the period,
compared to 29.1% in 3Q 2003.

Jet fuel expenditure was 1,813 million pesos, higher in 51.0%
versus the same period 2003, this rise was due to the 43.4%
average increase in the jet fuel price, compared to the average
prices during the third quarter 2003, as well as the 4.1%
increase in operations; another issue is the devaluation of the
Mexican peso, which average exchange rate during the July -
September period was $11.45 Mexican pesos per U.S. dollar than
$10.71 Mexican pesos per U.S. dollar during the same period of
last year.

Aircraft and traffic servicing were 941 million pesos during the
period, 3.9% higher than those in the same period 2003 generated
by the 4.1% increase in operations.

Maintenance was 838 million pesos, 7.7% higher than the third
quarter 2003, due to the 4.1% increase in operations, which
represents more maintenance as well as long term maintenance
reserves for Aeromexico's Boeing 737 aircraft; an important
factor that contributes to the increase in this issue is the
peso - dollar parity, because spare parts are imported.

Passenger service was 250 million pesos during the quarter, 3.5%
lower than the same period 2003, as a result of different saving
measures taken; it is important to consider the 3.8% increase in
passengers during the period.

During 3Q 2004 Commissions to agents were 666 million pesos,
7.8% higher than the same quarter 2003; during the period total
revenue increased 16.4%, higher in 8.6 percentage points versus
commissions to agents; also, the relation between this expense
and total revenue represents 6.6% during the period, than 7.2%
in the same quarter 2003.

Promotion and sales during the period July - September 2004
reached 523 million pesos, which reflects an increase of 1.7%
compared to the same period 2003, as a result of the
reinforcement of advertising campaigns that reflected a 3.8%
increase in passengers, as well as the operation of Aeromexico's
new reservation center.

Insurance figures reached 96 million pesos during the third
quarter 2004, 18.8% lower than the same period 2003, as a result
of the re-negotiations of premiums for the 2004 - 2005 program.

Administration and IT expenses were 292 million pesos, lower in
3.4% than the same period 2003, due to the cancellation of
different consultancy services agreements.

Operation expenses during the period were 693 million dollars,
higher in 9.3% than the same quarter 2003; due to the increase
in Jet fuel expenditure and maintenance, expressed in US
dollars.

EBITDAR

As a result of the revenue and expenses issues explained above,
EBITDAR was 2,071 million pesos during the quarter, a 46.8%
increase versus the third quarter 2003.

Capital expenses

Capital expenses during the period July - September were 1,178
million pesos, 7.8% higher than the same period 2003, due to the
flight equipment rents equivalent to 925 million pesos, 10.8%
higher than the same quarter last year, originated by the fleet
renewal.

Regarding depreciation, it reached 253 million pesos, 1.7% lower
than the same period 2003, as a result of the changes in the
fleet composition of Cintra's companies, like the ground of own
airplanes and the incorporation of other leased equipment, as
well as the reduction of investments during the last years.

Operation income

During the third quarter 2004 the operation income was 893
million pesos, 575 million pesos higher than the same period
2003, which represents a 180.8% increase.

Integral Financing Income

Integral Financing Income during the third quarter 2004 was 73
million pesos, compared to 199 million pesos cost during the
same quarter 2003, where financial expenses were 35 million
pesos, that shows a 60.1% decrease versus the same period 2003,
as a result of the earned interests in a legal dispute as well
as the reduction of liabilities.

Foreign exchange gain was 18 million pesos, compared to 178
million pesos foreign exchange expenses during the same period
2003, as a result of the Mexican peso devaluation.

During the period July - September 2004 monetary position
generated a positive figure of 90 million pesos, compared to a
66 million pesos gain during the same period 2003, this
variation is due to the composition of the monetary items, as
well as the inflation of the period.

Extraordinary Issues

During the third quarter 2004 a 715 million pesos income was
recognized, as a result of winning a trial a tax controversy.

Net income

During the 3Q 2004 Cintra obtained a 1,474 million pesos net
income, versus a 72 million pesos net loss obtained during the
same period 2003.

Increase in Stockholders' Equity

During the period July - September 2004, Cintra stockholders'
equity grew from 2,026 million pesos in 2Q 2004 to 3,283 million
pesos in 3Q 2004, which represents a 1,257 million pesos
difference, equivalent to 62.0%.

RELEVANT EVENTS

These are the most relevant events during the third quarter
2004:

Increase in the jet fuel price:

An external element not under Cintra's control is the jet fuel
price, which average price per liter during the third quarter
2004 was 3.90 pesos, 43.4% higher than the same period 2003;
this issue directly impacts the results of Cintra's companies
and reduce the positive effect of the impIemented actions in
order to generate savings.

Mexicana de Aviacion restarts operations at the JFK Airport in
New York:

In order to offer a better service to its passengers, Mexicana
after 10 years restarted direct flights to the JFK Airport in
New York since July 1

Aeromexico New Alliances:

During the period, Sky Team Alliance, where Aeromexico is
founding member, incorporated as new partners KLM, Continental
and Northwest, becoming the second longest alliance all over the
world, in order to benefit its passengers.

New flights in Mexico - Madrid route:

In order to attend in a more profitable way the Mexico - Madrid
route demand, it was increased 20% at Aeromexico, with operation
of 11 weekly flights.

Foreign exchange

The parity of the Mexican peso during the quarter reached $11.45
Mexican pesos per U.S. dollar against $10.71 Mexican peso per
U.S. dollar during the same quarter 2003.

Changes in the fleet composition

In order to improve their operation programs as well as offering
better service, during the period Aeromexico incorporated one
Boeing 767 200 and four Boeing 737 700, and grounded three DC 9,
which last official flight was on August 30th, 2004, concluding
the renewal of these type of aircraft; on the other hand,
Mexicana grounded an Airbus A 319.

MAIN ACCUMULATED RESULTS JANUARY - SEPTEMBER 2004

Revenues

Total revenues during the period January - September 2004 were
26,198 million pesos, a 12.7% increase versus the same period
2003 mainly as a result of a 53.7% increase in other, 11.3% in
cargo, 10.4% in international markets, 8.5% in excess baggage
and 5.6% in domestic markets.

In US dollars terms, total revenues during the same period were
2,292 million dollars, 12.1% higher than those for the same
period 2003.

Operation Expenses

During the period January - September 2004 Operation expenses
were 22,397 million pesos, a 5.0% increase versus the same
period 2003, as a result of the 31.4% increase in jet fuel
expenditure, originated by the unit price increase, 5.1%
increase in commissions to agents as a result of the increase in
revenues during 3Q 2004, a 2.3% increase in maintenance as a
result of more services practiced to aircraft during the third
quarter, and 1.1% increase in promotion and sales, as a result
of the reinforcement of advertising campaigns as well as the
operation of Aeromexico's new reservations center.

It is important to mention the relation between operation
expenses and total revenues for the period January - September
2004 represents 85.5% versus 91.8% during the same period 2003,
a 6.3 percentage points reduction, as a result of different
saving measures implemented and revenue increase.

In US dollars terms, operation expenses during the period
January - September 2004 were 1,960 million dollars, 4.5% higher
than the same period 2003, as a result of the increase in Jet
fuel expenditure compared to the same period 2003.

EBITDAR

During the period January - September 2004 EBITDAR was 3,800
million pesos, a 1,888 million pesos increase that represents
98.7% than the same period 2003.

Capital expenses

Capital expenses during the period January - September 2004 were
3,418 million pesos, 4.9% higher than the same period 2003, as a
result of 9.3% increase in rents and 9.1% decrease in
depreciation.

Operation income

As a result of the above matters, during the period January -
September 2004 Operation income was 383 million pesos, versus a
1,346 operation loss during the same period 2003.

Integral Financial Expense

Integral Financial Expense was 98 million pesos during the
period January - September 2004, 69.5% lower than the same
period last year, as a result of 55.2% reduction in foreign
exchange and 25.0% in financial expenses, and 31.3% increase in
the positive figure of monetary position.

Net income

During the period January - September 2004 the net income was
493 million pesos, compared than 1,938 million pesos net loss
during the same period 2003.

Increase of Stockholders' Equity

The obtained results during the last 12 months allowed the
stockholders' equity growth, from 3,082 million pesos as of
September 30th, 2003, to 3,283 million pesos as of September
30th, 2004, which represents a 201 million pesos difference,
equivalent to 6.5% increase.

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

CONTACT: CINTRA S.A. de C.V.
         Av Xola 535 piso 16 col. del Valle M,xico DF
         Phone: (5)448 - 8000
         e-mail: infocintra@cintra.com.mx

         Web Site: http://www.cintra.com.mx


CINTRA: Board Approves Restructuring Plan
-----------------------------------------
The Board of Mexican airline holding Company Cintra SA
(CINTRA.MX) has signaled green light to the Company's
restructuring plan that could pave the way for the sale of
stakes in the country's main airlines.

Dow Jones reveals that the restructuring plan, which already has
the approval of the country's antitrust authority, would see the
integration of two regional airlines - Aerolitoral and
Aerocaribe - into one Company and Mexico's main domestic and
international airlines - Aeromexico and Mexicana - into another.

The plan is for stakes in the two new airlines to eventually be
sold to investors.

Aeromexico and its subsidiary, Aerolitoral, dominate domestic
air traffic with a 38% market share, while Mexicana and its
Aerocaribe unit are a close second.


GRUPO ELEKTRA: EBITDA Up 13% in 3Q04
------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: EKT, BMV: ELEKTRA*), Latin
America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and
banking services Company, reported Tuesday to its financial
results for the third quarter of 2004.

Javier Sarro, CEO of Grupo Elektra said, "As part of our
successful financial strategy, we are now focusing our strong
financial position in our expansion. To date, we have opened 68
new stores and relocated other 30 stores. Besides opening more
stores, we continue to redefine formats and merchandise
offerings to enhance the shopping and banking experiences for
our clients."

"After almost two years in operation, we have increased our
presence through 873 branches in Grupo Elektra's stores, 412
booths in other retailers, and 16 independent branches," said
Carlos Septi,n, CEO of Banco Azteca. "The competitive advantages
that have made us a profitable and efficient bank include the
offering of an array of different financial products and
services, efficient collection systems, highly-trained employees
at our bank branches, and cutting-edge information systems."

Rodrigo Pliego, Grupo Elektra's Chief Financial Officer,
commented "Our results clearly demonstrate our efforts over the
past months to improve the profitability of the Company and we
have started to see encouraging improvements in our operating
leverage. This boosted our EBITDA to a record level for a third
quarter."

As a remainder, since the fourth quarter of 2003, we started to
present the results of Banco Azteca, Afore Azteca and now
Seguros Azteca under the consolidation method. All figures and
discussions detailed in this press release result from the
application of this accounting method, which provides a clearer
overview of Grupo Elektra. To make these figures totally
comparable to those from prior periods which did not use the
consolidation method, we have reformulated those periods under
the same accounting method, in accordance to the concepts
established in Bulletins A-7 and B-8 of the Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles (Principios de Contabilidad Generalmente
Aceptados) regarding the comparability and consolidation of
figures in financial statements.

3Q04 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Consolidated Revenues

Total consolidated revenues increased 22.2% YoY from Ps. 5.0
billion in 3Q03 to Ps. 6.1 billion in 3Q04, the highest level
reached in a third quarter. This result is explained by a robust
93.2% increase YoY in financial revenues from Banco Azteca, from
Ps. 875.8 million in 3Q03 to Ps. 1.7 billion in 3Q04, the
continued good performance in merchandise sales which grew 11.7%
YoY, from Ps. 3.5 billion in 3Q03 to Ps. 4.0 billion in 3Q04,
and from a 18.3% YoY growth in money transfer revenues, from Ps.
196.8 million in 3Q03 to Ps. 232.8 million in 3Q04.

The rise in Banco Azteca's financial income is largely due to
its competitive advantage which relies on making consumer credit
and personal loans available in our stores as well as extending
the weekly payment terms on high-ticket items offered in the
stores.

Meanwhile, growth in merchandise sales was a consequence of the
good performance across all our store formats, as revenue from
Elektra, Bodega de Remates, and Salinas y Rocha increased YoY by
11.8%, 10.5% and 9.1%, respectively. In turn this was due to the
positive results from our new and relocated stores, the addition
of higher-ticket merchandise not previously offered in our
stores, our competitive pricing and promotions strategies, an
improved efficiency of the supply chain, our successful
compensation plan for all our employees at the store level, and
a more aggressive door-to-door selling operation.

Lastly, other income includes Milenia, our extended warranties
services, revenues from our new business units (Afore Azteca and
Seguros Azteca), and accrued mark-up from our Latin American
operations. In this revenue line, the 55.7% YoY decline is
explained by the high base of comparison from the remaining
outstanding balance of our credit operations granted before
October 30, 2002, recorded on 3Q03.

Gross Profit

Total gross profit experienced a 22.1% YoY increase, from Ps.
2.2 billion to Ps. 2.7 billion in 3Q04, as gross margin remained
basically flat YoY, falling 10 basis points from 45.1% in 3Q03
to 45.0% in 3Q04. Gross margin from our merchandise sales
decreased 250 basis points YoY from 29.5% to 27.0% in 3Q04. This
reflects our aggressive competitive pricing strategy, promotions
and campaigns. However, this decrease was offset by the positive
results of Banco Azteca which rely on making consumer credit
granting easier and extending the weekly terms to finance
higher-ticket items.

EBITDA and Operating Profit

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses increased 27.1%
YoY, from Ps. 1.4 billion in 3Q03 to Ps. 1.8 billion in 3Q04.
The increase continues to be mainly as a result of the hiring
and training of new employees for our newer business units, the
door-to-door selling and credit line pre-approval program, the
administration of our new distribution centers, and for expenses
related to our new and relocated stores. For instance, we hire
new store employees 13 weeks before opening a store as we train
them through our door-to-door selling program to get them
familiarized with our operations before actually sending them to
the stores. This is also reflected in the 28.1% YoY increase in
headcount, from 20,220 employees at the end of 3Q03 to 25,909
employees in 3Q04.

However, despite the increase in operating expenses,
consolidated EBITDA for the 3Q04 was a record for a third
quarter as it grew 12.9% YoY, from Ps. 831.6 million in the 3Q03
to Ps. 938.9 million in the 3Q04, benefiting from the
outstanding growth in consolidated revenues and the increase in
the consolidated gross profit.

Operating income increased by 16.1% YoY as depreciation and
amortization expenses increased 7.6% YoY. This increase is
mainly due to the increase in consolidated fixed assets of Grupo
Elektra.

Comprehensive Cost of Financing

Comprehensive cost of financing for 3Q04 was Ps. 107.5 million,
29.9% lower when compared to the Ps. 153.4 million in 3Q03. The
difference in the cost of financing is explained by:

At the retail level:

- A Ps. 29.7 million decrease in interest income.

- A Ps. 4.2 million decrease in interest expense, largely due to
the early redemption of all of our outstanding 12% US$ 275
million Senior Notes due in 2008.

- An increase in FX gains of Ps. 78.0 million from 3Q03 to 3Q04.

- A Ps. 6.6 million decrease in monetary gains from 3Q03 to
3Q04.

Net Income

Our solid operating performance, coupled with the above
mentioned decrease in the comprehensive cost of financing, as
well as a Ps. 17.8 million gain from our equity participation in
Comunicaciones Avanzadas, led to a net income of Ps. 470.9
million in 3Q04, 48.5% higher when compared to a Ps. 317.2
million net income during 3Q03.

Retail Division Highlights

During the third quarter we operated 28 new stores under the
brand name Elektricity. This new store format targets higher
income segments of the population not previously catered by
Grupo Elektra. This is done through the offering of state-of-
the-art electronics and mobile communication products and
services such as plasma, LCD, and projection TV's, video
cameras, home theater sets, portable DVD players, PDA's and MP3
players, among other. Elektricity also offers these customers
other brands not currently offered in our other store formats.

Furthermore, our Latin American operations (Guatemala, Honduras
and Peru) continue showing an outstanding performance. This is
reflected in the results obtained from the implementation of our
successful and proven strategies, such as our compensation
policies for our employees and our expense control initiatives.
During the 3Q04, revenues and gross profits in this geographical
region registered YoY increases of 51.0% and 44.7%,
respectively.

Some of other highlights in the Retail Division include:

Money Transfer Business Line. During the 3Q04, both of our
electronic money transfer services continued to experience a
positive momentum, coupled with our strong advertising in
television and promotional campaigns inside our stores. Revenues
from our agency relationship with Western Union, our electronic
money transfer business from the United States to Mexico,
increased 11.6% YoY to Ps. 135.5 million in the 3Q04 from Ps.
121.5 million in the 3Q03. Despite lower commissions that have
resulted from increased competition in this market, we still
believe this is an attractive market given the strong growth in
remittances as reported by Banco de Mexico. Revenues were
boosted by a 26.1% growth in the number of transfers and by
44.3% growth in the amount transferred.

Dinero Express, our intra-Mexico electronic money transfer
business, continues showing an excellent performance due to the
implementation of new campaigns during the quarter, for
instance: "Free Transfers", "Double Payments" and Dinero
Express' "Magnetic Card". All of these resulted in an increase
in revenues of 29.2% YoY to Ps. 97.3 million in the 3Q04 from
Ps. 75.3 million in the 3Q03. Also during the quarter, we
transferred the equivalent of Ps. 1.7 billion through 1.4
million transactions, representing YoY increases of 79.8% and
48.2%, respectively

Telephones (Wireless Products and Services) Business Line.
During the 3Q04, we gradually stopped selling products and
services from Telcel as we came to an agreement to unwind the
existing business relationship. However, we will continue
selling and promoting three out of the four main cellular
Company's products and services in Mexico within our stores:
Iusacell, Telefonica-MoviStar and Unefon. Revenues in this
business line increased 29.7% YoY, from Ps. 235.2 million in
3Q03 to Ps. 305.1 million in 3Q04. Included in this line, the
sale of air time continues to show an outstanding growth as more
and more operations are executed on the spot, outside the
cashier, reducing the waiting time in lines. Additionally, we
have worked on broadening our inside-store strategies by
launching different exclusive promotions and advertising
campaigns for the air time sale of the three mobile brands
currently promoted in our stores.

Banco Azteca

Banco Azteca continues registering outstanding results and is
still the fastest growing bank in Mexico. In addition, Banco
Azteca has created competitive advantages for Grupo Elektra such
as the synergies created with our other two financial business
units, Afore Azteca and Seguros Azteca. Finally, Banco Azteca
provides quality financial products and services to an increased
number of Mexicans who trust us and choose our banking and
financial products and services for their needs through 1,301
bank branches.

For 3Q04, Banco Azteca reported net income of Ps. 80.3 million,
62.6% higher when compared to the net income of Ps. 49.4 million
recorded in 3Q03. This result comes from the interest income
generated from the high volume of consumer loans granted at the
bank branches inside our stores and bank modules in other
retailers.

Temporary Banking License in the Republic of Panama

On October 13, 2004, Grupo Elektra received a temporary banking
license from the Superintendence of Banks of the Republic of
Panama. This is part of our efforts to replicate our successful
business strategy implemented in Mexico which combines retailing
with financial services. The temporary banking license granted,
gives Grupo Elektra through Banco Azteca (Panama), S.C. 90 days
to inform and to register in the Public Registry of that country
its application for a General Banking License.

Credimax Consumo (Consumer Loans) and Credimax Efectivo
(Personal Cash Loans) Combined Credit Portfolio.

Credimax Consumo and Credimax Efectivo are the two main
financing products offered to our clients by Banco Azteca as
they account for 75.3% of our total performing loan portfolio.
However, despite the enormous success of these products,
especially Credimax Efectivo, we are extremely cautious in
granting other types of loans, as we have implemented a strict
control of the risks associated in any type of loan being pilot-
tested such as used car loans and mortgages. In addition, in our
efforts to continue expanding our own brand for consumer loans
(Credimax Consumo), Banco Azteca's booths in other retailers
increased from 84 desks at the end of 3Q03 to 412 desks at the
end of 3Q04. We continue pilot-testing this special brand branch
in other retailers which should allow us to continue expanding
our client base.

At the end of 3Q04, we had a total of 3.351 million active
accounts, representing a 3.8% increase from the 3.228 million
accounts in 2Q04 and a 26.1% increase over the same period of
last year. The gross loan portfolio increased 29.6%, reaching
Ps. 9.3 billion from Ps. 7.2 billion at the end of 2Q04. Year
over year, the gross credit portfolio grew 102.8% from Ps. 4.6
billion in 3Q03. The average term of the combined credit
portfolio at the end of the 3Q04, was 54 weeks, representing an
increase of four weeks when compared to 3Q03 and an increase of
one week when compared to 2Q04. Personal loans represented 22.6%
of the total consumer portfolio at the end of 3Q04, showing a
670 basis points increase when compared to 15.9% at the end of
2Q04. The collection rate of Banco Azteca continues at the same
excellent historic level that defines Grupo Elektra's standard,
98% approximately as of September 30, 2004.

Guardadito (Savings Accounts) and Inversi›n Azteca (Term
Deposits).

Net deposits increased 20.8% QoQ, from Ps. 12.5 billion in 2Q04
to Ps. 15.2 billion in 3Q04, and more than two times the net
deposits of 3Q03. Over the quarter, the total number of accounts
rose by approximately 435,000 to 4.735 million.

As of September 30, 2004, the estimated capitalization index of
Banco Azteca was 10.8%, compared to 11.0% as of June 30, 2004,
and to 10.8% as of September 30, 2003. Please recall that the
law in Mexico sets 8.0% as the minimum capitalization index
requirement.

For the 3Q04, the average funding cost of Banco Azteca was 3.5%,
flat when compared to the average funding mix registered in
2Q04, and 10 basis points below the cost reported in 3Q03. The
result of the funding cost is explained by the growth of other
saving products such as Guardadito and debit card in the same
proportion as Inversi›n Azteca.

Afore Azteca

Starting on 4Q03, Afore Azteca's financial results were
consolidated with Grupo Elektra's financial statements, and for
a fourth consecutive time, our pension management Company
registered a positive net income of Ps. 18.0 million for 3Q04
from a net income of Ps. 5.0 million in the previous quarter. As
of September 30, 2004, Siefore Azteca reached Ps. 1.2 billion in
net assets under management, a 38.0% increase over the previous
quarter, and yielded a 7.23% return in the 3Q04, 135 basis
points above the average rate of the industry of 5.88%.

The number of affiliates reached 56,000 and the number of
assignees was 641,000, both as of September 30, 2004.

Seguros Azteca

During 3Q04, Seguros Azteca began to operate in all our store
formats throughout Mexico as it began to offer its products in
the Bodega de Remates stores.

Seguros Azteca recorded for the second quarter on a row a net
income of Ps. 7.0 million, flat when compared to a net income of
Ps. 7.1 million from the previous quarter. Total issued premiums
through Banco Azteca's branches grew almost three times QoQ to
Ps. 98.7 million in 3Q04 from Ps. 34.4 million in 2Q04.

During the quarter, Vidamax, a life insurance policy, offered
for an extra Ps. 3, Ps. 5 or Ps. 10 per week, to all our clients
who are granted a consumer loan from Banco Azteca, began to be
offered on the Credimax Efectivo product, also for the same
extra amounts. Seguros Azteca continues pilot-testing other
insurance products according to the products and services
offered by Banco Azteca.

Financial Condition (Consolidated Balance Sheet)

To continue maintaining clarity in our consolidated balance
sheet, following we discuss certain items included on a
separated basis.

Total cash and cash equivalents rose to Ps. 11.6 billion in 3Q04
from Ps. 5.5 billion in 3Q03, comprised of Ps. 3.2 billion from
the retail division and Ps. 8.4 billion from Banco Azteca. The
retail division cash and equivalents registered a decrease of
1.3% YoY when compared to 3Q03. Cash and equivalents from Banco
Azteca increased almost 4 times by Ps. 6.2 billion over the same
period a year ago.

Banco Azteca's gross credit portfolio increased 31.8% QoQ to Ps.
9.3 billion in 3Q04 from Ps. 7.1 billion at the end of 2Q04. The
50.1% YoY decrease in the retail division's customer accounts
receivables from Ps. 802.5 million to Ps. 400.1 million has been
compensated by the expansion of Banco Azteca's credit portfolio.
Please recall that the transfer of our credit operations in
Mexico to Banco Azteca explains this trend, and that we continue
to maintain our credit operations of Latin America under the
retail division.

At the end of 3Q04, total debt with cost at the retail division
was Ps. 3.7 billion, 12.1% lower when compared to Ps. 4.3
billion at the end of 3Q03, and 2.8% lower when compared to Ps.
3.9 billion of 2Q04. Net debt at the retail division decreased
43.9% YoY, from Ps. 1,087.4 million in 3Q03 to Ps. 609.7 million
in 3Q04.

Total net deposits for Banco Azteca continued showing an
outstanding success with a 20.8% QoQ increase to Ps. 15.2
billion at the end of 3Q04, from Ps. 12.5 billion at the end of
2Q04. Year-over-year, deposits increased almost 2.5 times from
Ps. 6.1 billion in 3Q03.

Consolidated equity grew 19.5% YoY, from Ps. 6.2 billion in 3Q03
to Ps. 7.4 billion in 3Q04, largely as a result of the 48.5% YoY
increase in net income.

To view financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Elektra.pdf


GRUPO MEXICO: Merger Won't Impact Ratings Says S&P
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Tuesday that Americas
Mining Corp. (AMC; B-/Positive/--), a Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V.
subsidiary, announced that Southern Peru Copper Corp.'s (SPCC)
Board of Directors approved unanimously the merger between SPCC
and Minera Mexico S.A. de C.V. (MM). This merger is a stock
transaction only and is subject to the favorable votes of SPCC
holders of at least two-thirds of all outstanding shares,
including AMC, and a maximum net debt level of $1 billion in MM.
After the transaction is completed, AMC will have almost 75%
ownership of SPCC. The announcement does not have any impact on
the ratings or outlooks on any of the companies involved,
because Standard & Poor's views the ratings on AMC, MM, Asarco,
and SPCC to be equal because of common ownership and management,
centralization of certain functions, and interCompany
transactions.

Primary Credit Analyst: Juan P Becerra, Mexico City
(52) 55-5081-4416; juan_becerra@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Santiago Carniado, Mexico City
(52) 55-5081-4413; santiago_carniado@standardandpoors.com


VITRO: Reports Improved 3Q04 Sales Performance
----------------------------------------------
Vitro S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA), one of the world's
largest producers and distributors of glass products, announced
Tuesday 3Q04 un-audited results. Vitro posted 0.9 percent YoY
increase in consolidated sales. However excluding Envases
Cuautitlan and Vitro Fibras, divested in September 2003 and
March 2004 respectively, sales gained 3.7 percent. Consolidated
EBITDA fell YoY by 7.9 percent. Strong performance at Glass
Containers partially offset the decline in Flat Glass and
Glassware. On a comparable basis, however, consolidated EBITDA
declined by only 3 percent with decreases at both the Flat Glass
and Glassware business units. Consolidated EBITDA margins
declined by 150 basis points and EBIT margins fell by 220 basis
points.

Alvaro Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer, commented: "On a
comparable basis, all units reported increased sales on the back
of volume growth. Flat Glass was up 3 percent, Glass Containers
up 5.1 percent and Glassware gained 3.7 percent. Once again this
quarter, the Glass Containers unit provided strong growth in
both sales and EBITDA."

"While Flat Glass was not as strong as expected, it's important
to note that this unit has stabilized. Quarter over quarter we
see an improving trend in both sales and EBITDA. Volumes have
continued to increase as well. Vitro has been able to
successfully navigate an adjustment period absorbing the impact
of price volatility over the last few quarters particularly in
the Mexican market. At the same time we have gained market
share."

Mr. Rodriguez continued, "Streamlining Vitro's capital structure
continues to be our primary focus. In addition to paying down
debt, we are increasing the Company's financial flexibility to
ultimately reduce risk and improve our cost of capital. This is
a significant leg in our strategy. In the last 12 months we have
successfully tapped the international and domestic capital
markets raising a total of US$750 million in long-term funds
using both public and private sources. On September 24, 2004 we
obtained a US$230 million senior secured loan at Vitro Envases
Norteamerica (VENA). Proceeds from this two-year maturity loan
were used to refinance existing inter-Company indebtedness
between VENA and Vitro Holdco. This is part of our plan to
reallocate debt from the holding Company to the operating units.
Before that, on July 23, 2004 VENA placed a US$170 million
senior secured guaranteed note, due July 2011. Proceeds were
used to repay existing third party indebtedness."

"In addition, the divestiture of Vancan to our partner Rexam on
September 27, 2004", Mr. Rodriguez continued, "represented, to a
large extent, the final leg in our strategy to become a pure
glass Company. We received net proceeds of US$22.5 million from
the sale, which are being used to pay down holding Company
debt."

Mr. Rodriguez concluded, "Vitro today is a very different
Company. We are making progress on the priorities we set for
ourselves: the first was to become a pure glass Company, which
we have achieved. We also continue to make progress on
streamlining our financial structure. This will allow us to
obtain the flexibility required to further strengthen our
operations, improve cash flow and reduce cost of capital. Vitro
continues to build on its strengths as a leading glass Company,
with a balanced portfolio of assets, geographical
diversification, value added niche products, and leading-edge
technology."

All figures provided in this announcement are in accordance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in Mexico, except
otherwise indicated. Dollar figures are in nominal US dollars
and are obtained by dividing nominal pesos for month by the end
of month fix exchange rate published by Banxico. In the case of
the Balance Sheet, US dollar translations are made at the fix
exchange rate as of the end of the period. The exchange rate as
of July 31, 2004 was 11.4079, as of August 31, 2004 was 11.3807
and as of Sep 30, 2004 was 11.3884 pesos per US dollar. Certain
amounts may not sum due to rounding. All figures and comparisons
are in USD terms, unless otherwise stated.

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 eight countries, located
in North, Central and South America, and Europe, and export to
more than 70 countries worldwide.

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



=======
P E R U
=======

LANPERU: Judge Who Ordered Grounding In Hot Seat
------------------------------------------------
A judge who ordered the grounding of LanPeru SA, a unit of
Chile's Lan, is now under investigation by Peru's Office for the
Control of Magistrates (OCMA), according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Justice Eloy Zamalloa is being investigated after he ordered the
government to suspend LanPeru's operations earlier this year for
non-compliance of local ownership regulations, a charge that
LanPeru disputes.

"We have the elements of a case that are being evaluated, such
as interviews that the judge gave and what he said in his
declarations," OCMA chief Francisco Tavara was quoted as saying
by government news agency Andina.

LanPeru briefly grounded flights on Oct. 15 then restarted them
after the government passed an emergency decree and reissued the
airline permits to fly. The government's decision to override a
Court order has sparked a debate over jurisdiction.

On Saturday, Peru's Supreme Court published newspaper
advertisements saying the executive branch should respect the
independence of the Courts.

Other reports said that the Lima Bar Association had asked
Congress to overturn the executive branch decree that allowed
LanPeru to renew its grounded flights.



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

EDC: S&P Rates $260M Notes 'B'
------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B' rating to
Electricidad de Caracas Finance B.V.'s $260 million senior
unsecured notes.

Electricidad de Caracas Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Venezuelan utility, C.A. La Electricidad De Caracas (EDC), plans
to issue the notes and use the proceeds to refinance outstanding
debt. The notes will be unconditionally and irrevocably
guaranteed by EDC.

The rating on EDC is constrained by operating in the Republic of
Venezuela, which presents a currency control through the
Comision de Administracion de Divisas (CADIVI), a still
incomplete and untested regulatory regime, its reliance on a
single natural gas and fuel oil supplier, Petroleos de Venezuela
S.A., to meet the fuel needs of its generation assets, and high
exposure to foreign currency debt, mainly because its revenues
are in local currency.

These factors are partially mitigated by EDC's de facto monopoly
operations in its service area, high coverage ratios and low
leverage for its rating category, efficient operations, the
recent efforts by the government to reduce its accounts payable
to EDC, and the group's integration and synergy among
distribution, generation, and commercialization.

The stable outlook reflects the outlook on Venezuela. Ratings
stability also reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that EDC
will continue to avoid delays in CADIVI's formal procedures in
order to have timely access to foreign currency and perform
scheduled debt repayments.

Primary Credit Analyst: Federico Mora, Mexico City
(52) 55-5081-4436; federico_mora@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Santiago Carniado, Mexico City
(52) 55-5081-4413; santiago_carniado@standardandpoors.com



                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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