TCRLA_Public/041222.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, December 22, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 253



AOL LATIN AMERICA: Board Members Appointed After Resignations
AUTO VIA: Bankruptcy Initiated by Court Order
CAPEX: Signs Proposed Restructuring Deal With Creditors
CELIA S.A.: Begins Bankruptcy Process on Court Orders
EDITOR ALTAMIRA: Court Oversees Liquidation Process

EDUCATIVO HUELLAS: Court OK's Reorganization
KLE SOY: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
MEDICO PARAGUAY: Seeks Reorganization Approval from Court
MEDISEM S.R.L.: Court Converts Bankruptcy to Reorganization
PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Unit Sold to Local Industrialist

* Argentina Renames Bank of New York For Debt Swap


GLOBAL CROSSING: Prices GCUK Secured Debt Financing


CEMIG: Government Authorizes Cemig, Petrobras Partnership
EMBRATEL: Clarifies Telemar, Brasil Telecom Deal
GERDAU: Outlines Plans for BRL1.4 Billion Capital Expenditures
TAM: Posts 19% Passenger Growth For Jan-Nov '04
TELESP CELULAR: Announces Latest Equity Subscription Results

UNIBANCO: Proposes Capital Stock Dividend
USIMINAS: Pays Interest on Capital


MADECO S.A.: Inks Landmark Agreement with Trade Unions


AHMSA: Increasing Flat Steel Prices
ALESTRA: Outlines US$40 Million Investment Plan for Next Year
VITRO: Guarantees Debt With Subsidiary Equity Stake


* IMF Grants Extension of Stand-By Arrangement


SINCOR: To Restart Exports This Week

     - - - - - - - - - -


AOL LATIN AMERICA: Board Members Appointed After Resignations
On December 20, 2004, J. Michael Kelly and Joseph A. Ripp
resigned as members of the Board of Directors of America Online
Latin America, Inc. ("AOLA"). America Online, Inc. and Time
Warner Inc., the holders of AOLA's Series B Redeemable
Convertible Preferred Stock, have appointed Joseph M. Redling
and Neil Smit to fill the vacancies created by the resignations
of Messrs. Kelly and Ripp pursuant to the terms of such
preferred stock.

As Chief Marketing Officer for America Online, Inc., Mr. Redling
is responsible for overall brand management and marketing, both
domestic and international, for the AOL family of brands. He
oversees brand marketing, marketing strategies, and marketing
research and development.

Mr. Smit is President of America Online, Inc.'s Access Business
and oversees access network management for the Company's
Internet access services including AOL, CompuServe, Netscape
ISP, and Wal-Mart Connect. He leads a global organization that
focuses on acquiring new members, deepening AOL's relationship
with these members, and managing their migration from one access
service to another.

CONTACT: America Online Latin America, Inc.
         6600 N. Andrews Ave.
         Suite 500
         Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
         Phone: 954-229-2100

AUTO VIA: Bankruptcy Initiated by Court Order
Auto Via Maipu S.A. enters bankruptcy protection after Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial Court No. 21, with the assistance of
Clerk No. 42, ordered the Company's liquidation. The order
effectively transfers control of the Company's assets to the
Court-appointed trustee who will supervise the liquidation

Infobae reports that the Court selected Mr. Hector Juan Kaiser
as trustee. He will be verifying creditors' proofs of claims
until the end of the verification phase on February 9, 2005.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
Court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of the Company's accounting
and business records. The individual reports will be submitted
on March 28, 2005 followed by the general report that is due on
September 5, 2005.

CONTACT: Auto Via Maipu S.A.
         Suipacha 211
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Hector Juan Kaiser, Trustee
         Montevideo 666
         Buenos Aires

CAPEX: Signs Proposed Restructuring Deal With Creditors
Argentine power generator Capex SA (CAPX.BA) announced in a
filing to the local stock exchange that it has reached a
preliminary agreement with creditor banks and institutional
investors to restructure about US$249 million in debt, says Dow

According to the filing, the Argentine utility and its creditors
have agreed on "a summary of basic terms and conditions under
which the sides intend to agree on a restructuring" of its debt.

Capex said that the creditors involved represent about 69% of
the face value of the debt, which comprises about US$239.5
million in dollar-denominated obligations and another ARS27.7
million ($1=ARS2.98) in local currency debt.

Although the power generator did not release details of the
deal, it did say that a definitive accord is subject to, among
other factors, locking in creditor approval, preparing the
necessary documents and reaching a contract before Feb. 28,

CONTACT: Melo 630 (1638)
         Vicente Lopez
         Buenos Aires, Argentina
         Phone/Fax: (54-11) 4796-6000

CELIA S.A.: Begins Bankruptcy Process on Court Orders
Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal has
decreed local Company Celia S.A. bankrupt, says Clarin. Chubb
Argentina de Seguros S.A., the Company's creditor, filed the
liquidation petition.

The city's Clerk No. 40 assists the Court on this case that will
end with the disposal of the Company's assets in order to repay
its debts.

         Cerrito 1070
         Buenos Aires

EDITOR ALTAMIRA: Court Oversees Liquidation Process
Copagra S.A. successfully petitioned for the liquidation of
Grupo Editor Altamira S.A. after Court No. 13 of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial tribunal issued a resolution opening the
Company's bankruptcy proceedings, says local news source Clarin.

The creditor asked for Copagra's liquidation after the Company
defaulted on scheduled debt payments.

The city's Clerk No. 25 assists the Court on this case.

CONTACT: Grupo Editor Altamira S.A.
         Santa Magdalena 635
         Buenos Aires

EDUCATIVO HUELLAS: Court OK's Reorganization
Buenos Aires-based learning center Instituto Educativo Huellas
S.A. will restructure its debts on orders from Court No. 16 of
the city's civil and commercial tribunal, reports Infobae.

The opening of the reorganization allows the Company to
negotiate a settlement with its creditors in order to avoid
outright liquidation.

The city's Clerk No. 31 assists the Court on this case that will
end with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay its

CONTACT: Instituto Educativo Huellas S.A.
         Lambare 1140
         Buenos Aires

KLE SOY: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
Buenos Aires-based Kle Soy Textil S.A.C.I.F. will begin
liquidating its assets following the pronouncement of the city's
civil and commercial Court No. 15 that the Company is bankrupt,
reports Infobae.

The ruling places the Company under the supervision of Court-
appointed trustee Eva Malvina Gorsd. The trustee will verify
creditors' proofs of claims until February 18, 2005.

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

CONTACT: Ms. Eva Malvina Gorsd, Trustee
         Paraguay 1225
         Buenos Aires

MEDICO PARAGUAY: Seeks Reorganization Approval from Court
Court No. 13 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of the reorganization petition
filed by Centro Medico Paraguay S.A., says Clarin.

The reorganization petition, if granted by the Court, will allow
the medical services provider to negotiate a settlement with its
creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

Clerk No. 25 assists the Court on this case.

CONTACT: Centro Medico Paraguay S.A.
         Paraguay 5419
         Buenos Aires

MEDISEM S.R.L.: Court Converts Bankruptcy to Reorganization
Medisem S.R.L. proceeds with reorganization after Court No. 2 of
Salta's civil and commercial tribunal converted the Company's
ongoing bankruptcy case into a "concurso preventivo," states
Infobae. Under insolvency protection, the Company will be able
to draft a proposal designed to settle its debts with creditors.
The reorganization also prevents an outright liquidation.

Local accounting firm "Estudio Contable C & C S.H.", serving as
trustee, closed the verification of creditors on October 11. A
general report on the case is due for Court submission on
February 8 next year.

CONTACT: Medisem S.R.L.
         Leguizamon 683

         "Estudio Contable C & C S.H."
          Caseros 1187

PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Unit Sold to Local Industrialist
Collapsed dairy group Parmalat has sold its Argentine subsidiary
to industrialist Sergio Tasseli, Europe Intelligence Wire says.
The sale contract was signed Friday in Buenos Aires after three
months of negotiation. The sale also pushed through after
receiving Italy's nod, which was needed as a committee appointed
by European nation's Productive Activities Ministry manages the
subsidiary.  Parmalat commissioner Enrico Bondi heads the

Mr. Tasselli paid a symbolic EUR1 to acquire the Company and its
US$70 million debt.  The industrialist will likely renegotiate
the debt, Argentine newspaper Clarin said.  Mr. Tasselli
operates a Buenos Aires railroad under a government contract and
owns a Bruning flourmill and a meat processing plant.

The subsidiary operates three production plants and 1,200
employees and has annual revenue of US$50 million.  Parmalat
sold the firm as part of its massive restructuring plan
following a financial scandal that involved its executives and a
number of banking institutions in December 2003.

Mr. Bondi plans to return Parmalat to profitability in 2005 and
reduce the dairy group's total debt from EUR14.8 billion to less
than EUR500 million by 2008.

          Legal Seat
          43044 Collecchio (Pr)
          Via Oreste Grassi, 26

          Administrative Seat
          20122 Milan
          Piazza Erculea, 9
          Phone: +39 02 806 8801
          Fax: +39 02 869 3863
          Web site:

* Argentina Renames Bank of New York For Debt Swap
In a statement on Friday, Argentina's Economic Ministry
announced that the government has reappointed the Bank of New
York (BK.N) as the clearance and settlement agent for its
gargantuan restructuring of US$102.6 billion in defaulted debt,
Reuters relates.

The Bank of New York had previously been working with the
government as a clearing agent, but because of the complexity of
the transaction, the bank said late last month that it needed
more time and money. This, among other things, forced Argentina
to move the launch date of the debt swap from November 29, 2004
to January 17, 2005.

The move to designate the bank is one of the steps Argentina
must take before the controversial debt swapped gets the nod of
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other

According to Bank of New York spokesman Kevin Heine, the
government and the bank have renegotiated a contract under new
terms, with issues already resolved to the satisfaction of both

Private creditors are closely monitoring the debt swap process
for signs that Argentina, which has offered up to US$41.8
billion in new debt for US$102.6 billion in old defaulted debt,
will sweeten its offer to pay what amounts to a 70-percent
"haircut" for bondholders.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Prices GCUK Secured Debt Financing
Global Crossing Limited (NASDAQ: GLBC) announced Monday that its
indirectly wholly owned subsidiary, Global Crossing (UK) Finance
Plc ("GCUK Finance"), has priced an offering of approximately
$404 million (currency equivalent) aggregate face amount of
senior secured notes due in 2014. The offering will be comprised
of $200 million of 10.75 percent U.S. dollar-denominated notes
and 105 million of 11.75 percent British pounds sterling-
denominated notes. The dollar-denominated notes are being sold
at 98.514 percent of the face amount, and the sterling-
denominated notes are being sold at 98.575 percent of the face
amount, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of approximately
$398 million (currency equivalent).

The notes will be guaranteed by GCUK Finance's immediate parent
Company, Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications Limited
("GCUK"), and will be secured by certain of GCUK's assets. The
offering is scheduled to close on Thursday, December 23, 2004,
subject to customary closing conditions.

The offering is part of the previously announced
recapitalization plan being implemented by Global Crossing
Limited ("GCL"). Pursuant to the recapitalization plan, the
proceeds of the offering will be used to repay $75 million of
existing indebtedness of a U.S. subsidiary of GCL and to fund
the long-term liquidity requirements of GCL and its subsidiaries

The senior notes to be issued by GCUK Finance have not been
registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended,
and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent
registration or an applicable exemption from the registration
requirements of the Securities Act.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of an offer to buy these securities in the United
States or elsewhere, nor will there be any sale of these
securities in any jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation or
sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification
under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

About Global Crossing

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.

CONTACT: Global Crossing:
         Press Contacts
         Ms. Becky Yeamans
         Phone: + 1 973-937-0155

         Ms. Kendra Langlie
         Latin America
         Phone: + 1 305-808-5912

         Mr. Mish Desmidt
         Phone: + 44 (0) 7771-668438

         Analysts/Investors Contact

         Ms. Laurinda Pang
         Phone: +1 800-836-0342

         Web site:


CEMIG: Government Authorizes Cemig, Petrobras Partnership
Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig), a listed Company
traded on the stock exchanges of Sao Paulo, New York and Madrid,
and holder of public service concessions, hereby informs the
public, in accordance with its commitment to implement the best
corporate governance practices, and with CVM Instructions 358 of
3 January 2002 and 359 of 22 January 2002, that the Governor of
the State of Minas Gerais has sanctioned and promulgated Law
15404 of 3 December 2004, which authorizes Cemig to associate
with a Company of the Petrobras group for the management of
Companhia de Gas de Minas Gerais (Gasmig).

The association consists of:

- sale by Cemig to Petrobras Gas S.A. - Gaspetro and to the
subsidiary of Gaspetro, TSS Participacoes S.A. (TSS), of shares
representing 40% (forty per cent) of the registered capital of

- joint examination, by Gaspetro/TSS and Cemig, as stockholders
of Gasmig, of the potential for injecting the necessary funds
for the development and expansion of the distribution network;
and on the part of Petrobras, development, through its
affiliated companies, of the network of gas transport pipelines
for the state of Minas Gerais.

The association was approved by the Boards of Directors of Cemig
and of Gasmig, as disclosed on 11 August 2004, and by the Board
of Directors of Gaspetro and the Board of Executive Directors of
Petrobras, being formalized through the signing, on December 15,
2004, of the Agreement and Contracts related to the Association.

CONTACT: Companhia Energetica De Minas Gerais - Cemig
         Av. Barbacena 1200
         Bairro Santo Agostinho - CEP: 30190-131
         Belo Horizonte - MG
         Fax: (0XX31)3299-4691
         Phone: (0XX31)3349-2111

EMBRATEL: Clarifies Telemar, Brasil Telecom Deal
"Newspaper Valor Economico reported, on December 17, 2004, that,
among other pieces of information, Embratel had reached an
agreement with Telemar and Brasil Telecom to end disputes over
interconnection tariffs. We ask you to clarify the content of
this news and eventual accounting impacts, as well as other
information considered relevant."

The following explanation is the response to the aforementioned
inquiry, which relates to an article published in the December
17, 2004 edition of newspaper Valor Economico:

With the objective of seeking a common understanding regarding
several administrative and/or judicial disputes, Embratel has
signed agreements with Brasil Telecom and Telemar, respectively,
with the purpose of reaching an agreement relative to demands,
some of which date back to the Telebras System.

Throughout several months of negotiations, Embratel reached an
agreement with each operator, which, contrary to what was
reported, included several disputes among the companies, not
limited to interconnection tariffs.

In addition to settling commercial disputes, which has avoided
new administrative and/or judicial demands, these agreements
extinguish approximately 105 administrative and 46 judicial
processes, contributing to an efficient analysis of disputes by
ANATEL - Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes.

As a result of the extinction of all commercial, administrative
and/or judicial disputes, the parties agreed that Brasil Telecom
and Telemar would a favorable balance of R$153 million and R$304
million, respectively. As part of the payment, the two operators
withdrew a combined amount of approximately R$ 248 million in
judicial deposits. The balance means the difference between the
net balance due and the judicial deposits will be paid by
Embratel in 6 (six) monthly installments, beginning December

Embratel clarifies that the aforementioned agreements will
impact several income statement and balance sheet accounts in
the fourth quarter 2004, but that the net impact of these
agreements on EBITDA and bottom line will not be significant.

Embratel believes that these agreements will allow for an
improved operational relationship and, since they lay out
clearer rules to guide the resolution of pending issues and to
avoid future disputes among the companies. This should enable a
better capability to evaluate the businesses between each of the

Embratel is the premier communications provider in Brazil
offering a wide array of advanced communications services over
its own state of the art network. It is the leading provider of
data and Internet services in the country and is well positioned
to be the country's only true national local service provider
for corporate customers. Service offerings include: telephony,
advanced voice, high-speed data communication services,
Internet, satellite data communications, corporate networks and
local voice services for corporate clients.

Embratel is uniquely positioned to be the all-distance
telecommunications network of South America. The Company's
network has countrywide coverage with 32,466 km of fiber cables.

CONTACT: Ms. Silvia M.R. Pereira
         Investor Relations
         Phone: (55 21) 2121-9662
         Fax: (55 21) 2121-6388

GERDAU: Outlines Plans for BRL1.4 Billion Capital Expenditures
The Gerdau Group will invest BRL930 million to construct a new
specialty steel mill in Rio de Janeiro, and BRL480 million to
expand its existing Cosigua mill. The total investment of BRL1.4
billion in the steelmaking district of Santa Cruz is scheduled
for completion by 2007.

With this expansion, the Group's annual steel production
capacity in Rio de Janeiro will increase 117%, from 1.2 million
metric tons to 2.6 million metric tons. Annual production
capacity of rolled products - rebar, bars, profiles, wire rod
and steel angles - will increase from 1.3 million metric tons to
2.1 million metric tons. The funds will be sourced 50% from the
Company's capital and 50% from credit lines from the Brazilian
Development Bank (BNDES) and suppliers.

The new mill, to be known as Gerdau Acos Especiais Rio, supplies
specialty steel for the automotive industry and increase service
to the engineering, civil construction and agricultural markets.

Acos Especiais Rio will have an annual production capacity of
800,000 metric tons of steel and 500,000 metric tons of rolled
products, primarily for use in the domestic market.

Production capacity at Gerdau Cosigua will be increased from 1.2
to 1.8 million metric tons of steel per year, and from 1.3
million metric tons to 1.6 million metric tons of rolled
products. With this expansion Gerdau's Rio de Janeiro operations
will become a world steelmaking benchmark for their advanced
technology and management practices.

Total Taxes Generated To Increase From BRL372 Million To BRL544

The investments will create 750 jobs throughout the production
process, from scrap collection to product distribution, across
the two mills. An estimated 5,000 indirect jobs will also be
generated. The construction of the Acos Especiais Rio mill and
the installation of the new equipment at Cosigua will generate
an additional 3,000 jobs in Rio de Janeiro. Total taxes paid in
Rio will increase by 46% from BRL372 million (in 2004) to BRL544
million by 2007.

"The decision to establish a new mill within the steelmaking
district was based on the fundamental synergy between the
operations," said Gerdau Group president, Jorge Gerdau
Johannpeter. "This can be seen especially in terms of the large
area available, the infrastructure, the logistics and the low
environmental impact, all of which will bring competitive
advantages in the domestic and external markets.

Environmental Investments Total BRL160 Million

Of the R$1.4 billion to be invested, BRL160 million will be used
to install state-of-the-art equipment to protect the
environment. The Acos Especiais Rio mill will have a dust
removal system that will provide highly efficient filtering of
the solid particles generated in the production process, and a
water treatment and recirculation system that will reduce water
intake at the mill by 97%. As in the other Gerdau Group mills,
essentially all by-products generated from steel production at
Gerdau Acos Especiais Rio will be subject to full recycling or

Environmental conservation equipment will also be expanded at
Gerdau Cosigua, as a result of the mill's increased production

The Group's Rio de Janeiro steelmaking facilities will maintain
a total of 355 hectares of green space, consisting of 250
hectares of Atlantic Forest, 100 hectares of mangroves and five
hectares where local native species will be planted.

Gerdau Began Operations In The State Of Rio De Janeiro In 1971

Since the Gerdau Group began operations in Rio de Janeiro, it
has invested a total of BRL2.3 billion in the state, where it
employs 2,100 people and generates 18,000 jobs indirectly. In
addition to Gerdau Cosigua, where construction began in 1971,
the Group's presence in the state also includes a rebar
fabricating facility, Armafer, four branches of the steel
retailer Comercial Gerdau and an administrative office.

CONTACT: Press Office
         Phone: +55(51) 3323-2170
         Web Site:

TAM: Posts 19% Passenger Growth For Jan-Nov '04
A spokesman for TAM Linhas Aereas SA (TANC4.BR), Brazil's
largest domestic airline, has confirmed on Friday that the
airline has transported some nine million passengers between
January and November this year, a 19%-increase from the same
period in 2003, Dow Jones reports.

TAM chief executive Marco Antonio Bologna has earlier said the
overall Brazilian airline industry is expected to grow 10% this

The airline, which currently operates 53 Airbus aircraft, also
plans to add Airbus A320 jets to meet growing domestic demand
According to Mr. Bologna, TAM will receive three new A320s next
year, and another four in 2006, which will help maintain the
airline's 39% share of the domestic market.

The Company has more ambitious expansion plans for its
international operations. Apart from plans to acquire additional
A330s, TAM has already requested authorization from the
Brazilian authorities to increase flights between Brazil and
Paris, France, to 14 per week from the current 10, and is
scheduled to begin flying to Peru during the first half of 2005,
Bologna said.

Currently, TAM operates flights to Buenos Aires in Argentina,
Asuncion in Paraguay, and Miami.

Mr. Bologna said that TAM, which is 72%-owned by Brazil's Amaro
family, more than halved its debts this year with the
government-run airports operator, Infraero, to BRL60 million.

CONTACT: TAM - Linhas Aereas
         Av. Jurandir, 856
         Jd. Aeroporto - Sao Paulo - SP
         Zip code: 04072-000
         PABX: (011) 5582-8811

         Web site:

TELESP CELULAR: Announces Latest Equity Subscription Results
Telesp Celular Participacoes S.A. ("TCP"), (NYSE: TCP; BOVESPA:
TSPP3 (Common), TSPP4 (Preferred)), announced Monday, based on
information provided by Banco ABN Amro Real S.A., the registrar
for the Company's shares:

(i) the number of new TCP common shares (ON), preferred shares
(PN) and American Depositary Shares (ADSs), subscribed for in
the Brazilian and U.S. markets, respectively, during the
preemptive rights exercise period that began on November 18,
2004 and ended on December 17, 2004, in connection with TCP's
capital increase by private subscription of shares approved by
TCP's Board of Directors on November 8, 2004; and

(ii) the number of remaining unsubscribed shares that are
available for subscription in the first reoffering round by TCP
shareholders who subscribed for shares during the preemptive
rights exercise period and indicated an interest in subscribing
for additional shares.

TCP shareholders who subscribed for shares during the preemptive
rights exercise period and indicated an interest to subscribe
for additional shares in the first reoffering round will have
the right to subscribe for 0.05029904913341 common shares and
0.021416618502222 preferred shares for each common and preferred
share subscribed for, respectively, during the preemptive rights
exercise period.

The Company reminds shareholders that he period for subscription
of the remaining unsubscribed shares in the first reoffering
round by preferred and common shareholders who indicated an
interest in purchasing additional shares in the first reoffering
round ends on December 23, 2004.

After that date, if there are any remaining unsubscribed shares,
a second reoffering round will take place from December 27, 2002
through December 29, 2002 for those shareholders who subscribed
for shares in the first reoffering round and indicated an
interest in purchasing additional shares in the second
reoffering round.

A registration statement on Form F-3 ("F-3") has been filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") regarding
the preferred shares, ADSs and the related subscription rights
to be offered in the United States of America and has been
declared effective.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of an offer to buy preferred shares, ADSs or the
related subscription rights in the United States or to U.S.
persons (as such term is defined under Regulation S under the
U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act")),
nor shall there be any sale of subscription rights, preferred
shares or ADSs in any state in which such offer, solicitation or
sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification
under the laws of any such state.

The prospectus relating to the offering of subscription rights,
preferred shares and ADSs may be obtained from the following

MacKenzie Partners, Inc.
105 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Phone: (212) 929-5500.

The rights offered to U.S. holders of TCP's common shares may be
transferred by U.S. holders only in accordance with Regulation S
under the Securities Act. The offering of rights described
herein is made for the acquisition of securities of a Brazilian
Company. The offering is subject to disclosure requirements in
Brazil, which are different from those of the United States. It
may be difficult for a person in the United States subscribing
for shares to enforce its rights and any claim it may have
arising under the U.S. federal securities laws, given that the
Company is located in Brazil and some or all of its officers or
directors are residents of Brazil or of other foreign countries.
A person in the United States subscribing for shares may not be
able to sue the Company or its officers or directors in a
Brazilian Court or in a Court in another country outside the
United States for violations of the U.S. securities laws. It may
be difficult to compel a Brazilian Company and its affiliates to
subject themselves to a U.S. Court's judgment.

To view tables:

CONTACT: VIVO - Investor Relations
         Phone: +55 11 5105-1172

         Web site:

UNIBANCO: Proposes Capital Stock Dividend
The Board of Officers of UNIBANCO - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros
S.A. ("Unibanco") and of UNIBANCO HOLDINGS S.A. ("Unibanco
Holdings") have decided to propose to their respective Boards of
Directors to hold meetings on December 29, 2004 in order to

I. The payment of interest on capital stock, in the gross total
amount of R$ 258,823,689.75 and R$ 127,383,724.64, and net total
amount of R$ 220,000,136.28 and R$ 108,276,165.94, respectively,
to be made from January 31, 2005 on.

This payment shall be considered as part of the mandatory
dividend corresponding to the fiscal year of 2004, in accordance
with the provisions of article 9th of Federal Law 9,249/95,
article 44 paragraph 8th of the by-laws of Unibanco and article
35 sole paragraph of the by-laws of Unibanco Holdings.

Should the proposal described herein be approved, the
shareholders of Unibanco and Unibanco Holdings shall have the
right to receive the interest on capital stock in accordance
with the gross and net amounts set forth in the table below.

Such values correspond to one (1) share, one (1) Share Deposit
Certificate ("Unit")*, or one (1) Global Depositary Share
("GDS")**, as the case may be. An income tax rate of fifteen
percent (15%) will be withheld from such gross amounts,
resulting in the net values set forth below:

              UBBR3   UBBR4   UBHD3   UBHD6   UBBR11  NYSE-UBB

Gross Value   0.1773  0.1950  0.1535  0.1535  0.3485  1.7423
Net Value     0.1507  0.1657  0.1305  0.1305  0.2962  1.4810

(*)  Each UNIT represents one preferred share of Unibanco and
one preferred share of Unibanco Holdings.
(**)  Each GDS listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: UBB)
is equivalent to 5 Units.

The shares issued by the Companies and the Units will be traded
in the Brazilian market with the right to receive payment of
interest on capital stock up to the date on which the Meetings
of the Boards of Directors are to be held, December 29, 2004,
and will be traded without this right ("ex-interest on capital
stock") on the immediately succeeding business day.

January 3, 2005 will be the Record Date for purposes of
compliance with obligations arising from the GDS program
maintained by the Companies in the United States of America.

II. The quarterly payment of dividends and/or interest on
capital stock to Unibanco's and/or Unibanco Holdings'
shareholders, to be implemented in the first quarter of the year

CONTACT: Unibanco - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
         Avenida Eusebio Matoso 891
         Sao Paulo, 05423-901
         Phone: 55-3789-8000

         Web site:

USIMINAS: Pays Interest on Capital
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (USIMINAS) [USIM3,
USIM5, USIM6, USNZY], leading Company of the Usiminas System,
Latin America's largest steel producer and one of the 25 largest
in the world, is pleased to announce that, pursuant to the
decision taken at the meeting of the Board of Directors held
Friday, it will pay to its shareholders the amount of
R$124,003,462.46 (one hundred and twenty four million, three
thousand, four hundred and sixty two reais and forty six cents)
in the form of interest on capital for fiscal year 2004, which
will be counted as part of the minimum obligatory dividend. The
amount to be credited is R$0.53880 per common share and
R$0.59270 per preferred share.

The date of payment will be defined at the meeting of the Board
of Directors scheduled for February 24, 2005. All shareholders
listed in the Register on December 29, 2004 will be eligible to
receive payment, net of 15% income tax withheld, except in the
case of shareholders immune or exempt from withholding under the
pertinent laws.

The shares will resume trading ex-interest on capital on
December 30, 2004.

About Usiminas

Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. is an integrated steel
producer, with consolidated net revenues of R$ 8.7 billion in
2003. The USIMINAS System, made up of USIMINAS and Cosipa, has
an annual production capacity of 9.3 million tonnes of raw steel
and occupies a position of leadership in the domestic flat steel
market in the automobile industry, auto parts, agricultural and
highway machinery sectors, electrical and electronic equipment
segments and large-diameter pipe industry.

CONTACTS: Mr. Bruno Seno Fusaro

          Ms. Luciana Valadares dos Santos

          Mr. Douglas Lee Arnold

          Mr. Matheus Perdigao Rosa

          Phone:(55 31) 3499-8710
          Web Site:


MADECO S.A.: Inks Landmark Agreement with Trade Unions
Madeco S.A. has achieved on December 16, 2004, for the first
time in the Company's history, an agreement with its trade union
No.1 and No.2 to bring forward its collective bargaining that
expires on January 31, 2005. A total of approximately 500
employees are represented by these two unions, about 70% of
Madeco's Chile employees.

According to the agreement, the Company and the unions will sign
a three-year collective bargaining, which will expire on January
1, 2008 that contains an improvement in the economic situation
(in real terms) and also includes a bonus for the successful
conclusion of collective bargaining.

Madeco, formerly Manufacturas de Cobre MADECO S.A., was
incorporated in 1944 as an open stock corporation under the laws
of the Republic of Chile and currently has operations in Chile,
Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

Madeco is a leading Latin American manufacturer of finished and
semi-finished non-ferrous products based on copper, copper
alloys and aluminum. Madeco is also a leading manufacturer of
flexible packaging products for use in the packaging of mass
consumer products such as food, snacks and cosmetics.

CONTACT: Ms. Marisol Fernandez
         Investor Relations
         Phone: (56 2) 520-1380
         Fax : (56 2) 520-1545

         e-mail :
         Web site :


AHMSA: Increasing Flat Steel Prices
Mexican steelmaker Ahmsa has upped the price of its steel plates
by 5.6%, reports BNamericas, citing a report by local newspaper
El Norte. This means that Ahmsa will be selling its plates for
US$950/t, up from US$900/t.

The El Norte report quoted sales manager Miguel Elizondo as
saying that the increase is designed to cover the rising costs
of raw material and in response to higher demand, with China's
increased consumption triggering a scarcity in steel plates.

The only steel plate producer in Mexico, Ahmsa produces 480,000t
of the product. The plate is used in construction, storage
tanks, offshore platforms, railroads, heavy machinery and

CONTACT: Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA)
         Prol. Juarez s/n, Col. La Loma
         Edificio GAN Modulo II
         Monclova, Coahuila
         Phone: (866) 6493400
         Fax: (866) 6332390

         Web site:

ALESTRA: Outlines US$40 Million Investment Plan for Next Year
In line with the continuing transformation of Alestra from long
distance operator to value-added services provider, the Mexican
telco's CEO Rolando Zubiran told local press last week that the
Company is planning to invest some US$35-40 million in 2005,
reveals BNamericas.

Among Alestra's plans is the marketing in the first quarter of
2005 of VoIP on a broadband platform to its high-use residential
and SME customer base of nearly 500,000 subscribers.

In 2004, nearly 50% of Alestra's total revenues were generated
by value-added services such as data transmission, internet
access and virtual private networks, which grew 42% this year.
The Company sees within three years an 80-percent rise in such

"Nine years after entering the Mexican market, today Alestra
finds itself in a third phase, [preparing] to enter the virtual
private network market, which has enormous potential," Mr.
Zubiran was reported as saying.

The Company also signed a five-year extension on its co-
marketing and technology services agreement with US telco AT&T
(NYSE: T).

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge Escribano
         Alestra - Mexico
         Phone: +52 8 503 5011

VITRO: Guarantees Debt With Subsidiary Equity Stake
Mexican glass maker Vitro announced on Monday that it will
guarantee a private debt issue for its Vitro Envases
Norteamerica unit by putting up shares in its Empresas Comegua
unit, reports Reuters.

In a statement, the Monterrey-based firm said it has been agreed
during a shareholders' meeting that it will put up the 49.7
percent stake in Empresas Comegua to HSBC Bank USA as collateral
for the US$170 million debt issue from July.

The Company also said that if the debt is not honored,
shareholders agree to surrender the shares.

Vitro also plans to use the issue launched in July to pay off
other debt.

CONTACT: Investor Relations
         Ms. Leticia Vargas
         Phone: 52 (81) 8863 1219
         Fax: 52 (81) 8863 1290

         Web site:


* IMF Grants Extension of Stand-By Arrangement
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
completed Monday the third review under an SDR50 million (about
US$76.2 million) Stand-By Arrangement for Paraguay, originally
approved on December 15, 2003 for 15 months, and granted an
extension of the arrangement by six months, through September
30, 2005.

In completing the review, the Executive Board also granted the
Paraguay authorities' request for waivers of the nonobservance
of two quantitative performance criteria and two structural
performance criteria, and the modification of four performance

The remaining amounts available under the arrangement were also
rephased in four equal tranches in an amount equivalent to SDR3
million each (about US$4.6 million). However, Paraguay has not
made any drawings under the arrangement so far, and the
authorities have indicated that they continue to treat the
arrangement as precautionary.

Following the Executive Board's discussion of Paraguay's
economic performance, Mr. Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing
Director and Acting Chair, stated:

"Paraguay's macroeconomic performance has improved significantly
under the program supported by the Stand-By Arrangement.
Economic growth has been sustained in 2004 despite a drought,
inflation has declined significantly, international reserves
have increased, and the exchange rate has stabilized.

"Overall, Paraguay has performed well under the program. On the
structural side, the authorities have approved key pieces of
economic legislation over the last 12 months, including the
fiscal adjustment law, the customs code, the bank resolution
law, and the public pension reform law. The authorities will
need to press ahead with the reform agenda in order to reduce
unemployment and poverty, which remain stubbornly high.

"Reform of public banks remains a critical component of the
program. It is important that this process move forward
expeditiously, and that the authorities carefully monitor
lending by the public banks in the run-up to their reform in
order to prevent the resumption of unsustainable lending

"Fiscal policy has been placed on a sustainable path and the
authorities' 2005 program is aimed at maintaining this improved
performance. The fiscal outlook has improved significantly
following the improvements in tax administration and the
approval of the fiscal adjustment law. Tax collections have
increased while expenditures have been kept in check, although
capital outlays remain low. The government has eliminated
sizable arrears and taken decisive steps toward normalizing
relations with all creditors. The stock of public debt is now on
a declining trend. For 2005, the authorities intend to pursue a
balanced overall budget, with higher projected revenues allowing
for a significant increase in capital expenditure in needed
infrastructure. It will be important to have mechanisms in place
to limit expenditure to programmed levels, and to ensure that
investment spending supports high quality projects.

"Monetary policy has been effective in containing inflation
while allowing for rapid reserve accumulation. However, monetary
management has been complicated by large capital inflows, which
threatened to generate rapid monetary expansion or a sharp
appreciation of the currency. In order to minimize these risks,
the central bank has pursued an active sterilization policy
while accumulating international reserves. In 2005 the
authorities intend to use interest rate and exchange rate
policies more flexibly in order to stabilize inflation," Mr.
Kato said.

CONTACT: IMF - 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


SINCOR: To Restart Exports This Week
With maintenance work on an upgrading unit finished, Venezuela's
Sincor extra heavy crude upgrade project plans to restart
exports this week, Reuters reports, citing a project official.

In order to replace a catalyst unit, Sincor shut down an
upgrading unit in October for 48 days in a US$200-million
maintenance program designed to increase output capacity to
174,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 160,000b/d of synthetic oil.

Sincor, a joint-venture among France's Total S.A. (TOT) which
holds a 47% stake, state-oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
(PVZ.YY), with 38%, and Norway's Statoil ASA (STO), with the
remaining 15%, currently upgrades about 200,000b/d of extra
heavy Orinoco crude.

Sincor is one of four heavy-crude projects in the Orinoco tar
belt in eastern Venezuela. The combined production of synthetic
crude at the four projects is currently around 500,000 b/d.

         Av. Francisco Solano Lopez, C.E.
         Sabana Grande, PH
         Sabana Grande, Caracas
         Phone: (02) 706.2000 (Master).
         Fax: (02) 706.2019


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
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
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Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Lucilo Junior M. Pinili, Editors.

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

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