TCRLA_Public/050114.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

            Friday, January 14, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 10


                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Starting Share Float in June
AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Austral to Discontinue Six Routes
AHOLD: Reports 3.1% Decline in Net Sales
ALIMENTOS FARGO: Fitch Retains `D(arg)' Rating on $120M of Bonds
OBRAS SOCIALES: To Undergo Reorganization

PALULE TRADING: Declared Bankrupt by Court
PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Government Mulls Savings Compensation Plan
PITRIZZA S.A.: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
TELECOM ARGENTINA: $3.2B Worth of Bonds Remain in Default
WINES S.R.L.: Verification Deadline Fixed

* ARGENTINA: Launches Global Roadshow of Debt Exchange Offer


B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: Moody's Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BANCO DO BRASIL: Moody's Assigns Positive Outlook on Ratings
BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Assigns Rating To Notes
COMPANHIA PETROLIFERA: Moody's Changes Rating Outlook to Pos
BANCO ITAU: Moody's Changes Outlook on B2 FC Deposit Ratings

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Gets Last Installment of BNDES Loan
* BRAZIL: Moody's Changes Outlook on Ratings to Positive


E L   S A L V A D O R

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Boasts of 7.7Mln Subscribers in 2004


J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: Begins Restructuring Exercise
C&W JAMAICA: Names New Corporate Communications VP


M E X I C O

AHMSA: Reports 3.9% Increase in 2004 Steel Output
ALESTRA: To Take Over Terra Networks' ISP Operations
GRUPO TMM: Boards Approve Amended Acquisition Agreement
SATMEX: Moving to Restructure Debts


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Presents Preliminary Plan to Government


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Negotiation With Union Proceeds Smoothly

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Starting Share Float in June
---------------------------------------------------
Argentine national carrier Aerolineas Argentinas, which recently
completed its bankruptcy proceedings and paid creditors, plans
to float some of its shares between June and September this
year, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

Chairman Antonio Mata revealed Wednesday the Company will sell
45% of its share capital in two tranches. The first, comprising
15%, will be offered to certain companies and institutional
investors that will form a "stable nucleus" committed to the
development of the airline, Mata explained. The second offering
for the remaining amount will be public.

Aerolineas Argentinas filed for Chapter 11 status in June 2001.
In late 2002, it reached an ARS3.5 billion agreement with
creditors. The airline began making its third and final debt
payment of ARS245.7 million in late December, the last hurdle
before it can request permission for the share offering from
national securities regulators.

Aerolineas Argentinas is controlled by a consortium that is run
by Spanish travel group Marsans (GMSN.YY).

CONTACT:  AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS
          Torre Bouchard 547, 1106 Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
          Phone: (54-11) 4310-3000
          Fax: (54-11) 4310-3585
          E-mail: volar@aerolineas.com.ar
          Home Page: www.aerolineas.com.ar


AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Austral to Discontinue Six Routes
--------------------------------------------------------
Aerolineas Argentinas announced Wednesday that its subsidiary,
Austral, will suspend beginning Feb. 1 six national routes,
which the government refused to renew in late December, reports
Dow Jones Newswires.

The airline's decision came despite an earlier announcement from
Argentina's Transport Secretariat that it will allow Austral to
continue servicing those routes.

The Transport Secretariat had refused to renew the routes
because the Company had requested the concession rollover too
late. Aerolineas acknowledged it didn't file for renewal until
June 2001, six months after the government deadline, but also
said that revised regulations had shortened the deadline from
one year in advance to just 72 days.

The Transport Secretariat said Wednesday that the airline had
violated regulations, but added Austral will have three months
to meet the "previous requirements." Company officials said this
means there will be a public tender of the six routes, something
that it opposes.

Chairman Antonio Mata said the Company deems the public tender
process an effective violation of property rights because "the
routes are ours."

Mata also said Aerolineas will not take over the six routes,
which include the popular tourist destinations of Atlantic
coastal city Mar del Plata and the northern city of Iguazu. The
executive also declined to quantify the losses Austral and
Aerolineas will book without those flights.


AHOLD: Reports 3.1% Decline in Net Sales
----------------------------------------
HIGHLIGHTS:

- Consolidated fourth quarter 2004 (13 weeks) net sales amounted
to EUR 12.3 billion, a decline of 3.1% compared to the fourth
quarter 2003 (12 weeks)

- Net sales impacted by lower currency exchange rates and
divestments; consolidated fourth quarter net sales growth
excluding currency impact and the impact of divestments was 7.9%

- Consolidated 2004 (53 weeks) net sales amounted to EUR 52.0
billion, a decline of 7.3% compared to 2003 (52 weeks)

- Consolidated 2004 net sales growth excluding currency impact
and the impact of divestments was 3.1%

Ahold announced yesterday consolidated net sales (excluding VAT)
of EUR 12.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2004, a decline of
3.1% compared to the same period last year (Q4 2003: EUR 12.7
billion). Net sales were significantly impacted by lower
currency exchange rates, in particular that of the U.S. dollar.
Net sales excluding currency impact increased by 3.2% in the
fourth quarter of 2004. Additionally, net sales were impacted by
divestments. Net sales growth excluding currency impact and the
impact of divestments was 7.9% in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Consolidated net sales in 2004 amounted to EUR 52.0 billion, a
decline of 7.3% compared to 2003 (2003: EUR 56.1 billion). Net
sales excluding currency impact declined by 0.7% in 2004. Net
sales growth excluding currency impact and the impact of
divestments was 3.1% in 2004.

The fourth quarter of 2004 consisted of 13 weeks (October 4,
2004 - January 2, 2005), while the fourth quarter of 2003
consisted of 12 weeks. Fiscal year 2004 consisted of 53 weeks
(December 29, 2003 - January 2, 2005), while fiscal year 2003
consisted of 52 weeks. Consolidated net sales in the fourth
quarter of 2004 and the full-year 2004 were positively affected
by the inclusion of the additional week period compared to the
comparable periods of 2003. In this press release, we include
comparisons of the 13-week fourth quarter of 2004 to a 13-week
period consisting of the 12-week fourth quarter of 2003 plus the
first week of 2004 (referred to as the adjusted 2003 fourth
quarter). We also include comparisons of the 53 weeks of 2004
with a 53-week period consisting of the 52 weeks of 2003 plus
the first week of 2004 (referred to as adjusted 2003). This is
not applicable for our operations in Central Europe and South
America and the unconsolidated joint ventures. The fiscal
quarter and fiscal year for these entities corresponds to the
calendar quarter and year, respectively, and ended on December
31, 2004.

The net sales numbers presented in this press release are
preliminary and unaudited.

U.S. Retail

Net sales at our U.S. retail operations in U.S. dollars in the
fourth quarter of 2004 increased by 10.2% to USD 6.9 billion (Q4
2003: USD 6.3 billion). Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004
would have increased by 1.7%, compared to the adjusted 2003
fourth quarter. Identical sales in U.S. dollars would have
declined by 1.2% and comparable sales in U.S. dollars would have
decreased by 0.7%, in each case comparing the fourth quarter of
2004 to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter. Food price inflation
decreased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to the
third quarter of 2004.

Our Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover Arena 2004 fourth quarter net
sales increased by 10.8% to USD 4.1 billion (Q4 2003: USD 3.7
billion). Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 would have
increased by 2.2% compared to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter.
Although continued competitive pressure resulted in a decline in
identical sales, the fourth quarter of 2004 improved versus the
third quarter of 2004. This was mainly a result of strong
holiday net sales. During the fourth quarter the Arena resolved
most of the supply chain integration and transitional
difficulties that had impacted net sales. Peapod continued to
report strong net sales growth.

At our Giant-Carlisle/Tops Arena, the fourth quarter 2004 net
sales increased by 15.4% to USD 1.7 billion (Q4 2003: USD 1.5
billion). Net sales in the 2004 fourth quarter would have
increased by 6.5% compared to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter.
The positive net sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2004
reflected higher net sales per customer driven by the impact of
promotional activities, especially during the holidays.

At our BI-LO/Bruno's Arena, the fourth quarter 2004 net sales
increased by 1.5% to USD 1.2 billion (Q4 2003: USD 1.2 billion).
Net sales in the 2004 fourth quarter would have decreased by
6.3% compared to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter. This decrease
was mainly driven by the increase in competitive square meters
and the effect of store closings earlier in the year. On
December 23, 2004, we announced a definitive agreement to divest
the BI-LO/Bruno's Arena. We expect to close the transaction in
the first quarter of 2005.

Full-year 2004 net sales in U.S. dollars at our U.S. retail
operations amounted to USD 27.4 billion, an increase of 1.6%
compared to last year (2003: USD 27.0 billion). Net sales in
U.S. dollars in 2004 would have decreased by 0.4% compared to
adjusted 2003. Net sales growth in U.S. dollars, excluding the
impact of the divestment of Golden Gallon in 2003, amounted to
approximately 2.8%. Identical sales in U.S. dollars for 2004
decreased by 1.1% compared to adjusted 2003. Comparable sales in
U.S. dollars for 2004 declined by 0.5% compared to adjusted
2003.

Europe Retail

In Europe, net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 amounted to
EUR 3.3 billion (Q4 2003: EUR 3.2 billion). Net sales growth
excluding currency impact was 1.2% compared to the fourth
quarter of last year. The fourth quarter net sales were
negatively impacted by the sale of our Spanish retail
activities, which was completed as of December 2, 2004. The
Spanish retail activities are reported as part of our Other
Europe retail operations. Net sales growth for Europe retail
excluding currency impact and the impact from divestments was
7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2004. Net sales in the 2004 fourth
quarter would have decreased by 4.2% compared to the adjusted
2003 fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, Albert Heijn net sales increased
by 9.9% to EUR 1.5 billion (Q4 2003: EUR 1.3 billion). Net sales
in the 2004 fourth quarter would have increased by 1.0% compared
to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter. Albert Heijn successfully
continued its repositioning program in the Dutch retail market
with a further reduction of food prices in the fourth quarter of
2004. Identical sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 would have
increased by 0.7% compared to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter,
primarily as a result of a higher number of transactions
combined with an accelerated volume growth in a deflationary
market. Albert Heijn experienced a successful Christmas season.
A record number of visitors visited our Albert Heijn stores in
the week preceding the Christmas weekend.

Our Central Europe operations in the fourth quarter of 2004,
showed net sales growth excluding currency impact of 6.4%
compared to the fourth quarter of 2003. This growth was
primarily due to store openings.

Net sales in 2004 for our Europe retail operations amounted to
EUR 13.0 billion (2003: EUR 13.0 billion). Excluding currency
impact, net sales increased by 0.5% compared to 2003. Net sales
in 2004 would have decreased by 1.1% compared to adjusted 2003.
Net sales at Albert Heijn in 2004 increased by 3.2% to EUR 5.8
billion (2003: EUR 5.6 billion). Net sales at Albert Heijn in
2004 would have increased by 1.1% compared to adjusted 2003 in a
deflationary market. Identical sales at Albert Heijn in 2004
would have increased by 1.1% compared to adjusted 2003. Our
Central Europe operations in 2004, showed net sales growth
excluding currency impact of 6.4% compared to 2003.

Foodservice

In the fourth quarter of 2004 U.S. Foodservice net sales in U.S.
dollars increased by 7.8% to USD 4.5 billion (Q4 2003: USD 4.2
billion). Net sales in the 2004 fourth quarter would have
increased by 0.6% compared to the adjusted 2003 fourth quarter.
Furthermore, net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 were
negatively impacted by approximately 3% as a result of our
national account customer rationalization program. Food
inflation in the fourth quarter of 2004 was lower than in the
previous quarter.

Net sales in 2004 at U.S. Foodservice increased in U.S. dollars
by 5.6% to USD 18.8 billion (2003: USD 17.8 billion). This rise
was primarily attributable to the effect of the 53rd week in
2004 and food price inflation. Net sales in U.S. dollars in 2004
would have increased by 3.9% compared to adjusted 2003.

South America

In South America, net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004,
amounted to EUR 122 million (Q4 2003: EUR 519 million), a
decline of 76.4% compared to the same period last year, mainly
due to the divestment of Bompre‡o in Brazil in the first quarter
of 2004, Santa Isabel in Chile, Paraguay and Peru in the second
half of 2003 and the deconsolidation of Disco as of November 1,
2004.

Net sales in 2004, decreased by 59.8% to EUR 893 million (2003:
EUR 2.2 billion) primarily as a result of the divestments
referred to above.

Unconsolidated joint ventures

The net sales of our unconsolidated joint ventures in the fourth
quarter of 2004, increased by 1.9% to EUR 3.1 billion (Q4 2003:
EUR 3.0 billion). At ICA net sales growth excluding currency
effect was 2.0% compared to the fourth quarter of 2003. Net
sales at JerĒnimo Martins Retail increased by 3.5% in the fourth
quarter of 2004. In Central America net sales excluding currency
effect increased by 11.9% in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Net sales of our unconsolidated joint ventures in 2004, amounted
to EUR 11.2 billion (2003: EUR 11.1 billion).

Consolidated 2004 results are expected to be presented on March
29, 2005.

Definitions and notes

- Identical sales compare sales from exactly the same stores.
The fourth quarter of 2004 consisted of 13 weeks, compared to 12
weeks in 2003. The identical sales numbers for the fourth
quarter have been calculated by comparing the fourth quarter of
2004 (13 weeks) with the fourth quarter of 2003 (12 weeks) plus
week 1 of 2004. The identical sales numbers for the year have
been calculated by comparing 53 weeks in 2004 with 52 weeks in
2003 plus week 1 of 2004.

- Comparable sales are identical sales plus sales from
replacement stores and have the same adjustments regarding the
number of weeks in 2003 and the fourth quarter of 2003 as were
made for identical sales.

- Adjusted 2003 fourth quarter: the adjusted fourth quarter of
2003 consists of the 12-week fourth quarter of 2003 plus the
first week of 2004.

- Adjusted 2003: adjusted 2003 consists of the 52 weeks of 2003
plus the first week of 2004.

- Currency impact: the impact of using different exchange rates
to translate the financial figures of our subsidiaries to Euros.
The financial figures of the previous year are recalculated
using the actual exchange rates in order to understand the
currency impact.

- Impact of divestments: the impact on net sales of divested
operations. Net sales of the divested operations are excluded
from the relevant periods in prior year net sales.

CONTACT: Ahold Corporate Communications
         Royal Ahold N.V. P.O.
         Box 3050 1500 HB Zaandam Netherlands
         Phone: +31.75.659.5720
         Fax: +31 (0)75 659 83 02
         Website : http://www.ahold.com


ALIMENTOS FARGO: Fitch Retains `D(arg)' Rating on $120M of Bonds
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Reisgo S.A. maintains a `D(arg)'
rating on some US$120 million of corporate bonds issued by local
Company Compania de Alimentos Fargo S.A., the CNV reports.

The rating, which is assigned to financial commitments that are
currently in default, was given based on the Company's finances
as of September 30, 2004. The bonds, described as "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples," will mature on July 24, 2008.


OBRAS SOCIALES: To Undergo Reorganization
-----------------------------------------
Asociacion de Obras Sociales de San Juan (Ados San Juan)
proceeds with reorganization after a Buenos Aires Court
converted the Company's ongoing bankruptcy case into a "concurso
preventivo," says 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.

Accounting firm "Estudio Landa Zavalla y Asociados," serving as
trustee, will verify creditors' proofs of claims until February
4. Creditors with unverified claims cannot participate in the
Company's settlement plan. Further, the trustee is also required
to submit individual reports on April 4 and a general report on
May 11.

CONTACT: "Estudio Landa Zavalla y Asociados"
         Mendoza 666
         Sur (San Juan)


PALULE TRADING: Declared Bankrupt by Court
------------------------------------------
Palule Trading S.R.L. is now "Quiebra" - meaning bankrupt, says
Infobae. Court No. 1 of Corodoba's civil and commercial tribunal
decreed the Company's bankruptcy and appointed Mr. Gustavo Fidel
Rubin as trustee for the case.

CONTACT: Mr. Gustavo Fidel Rubin, Trustee
         Coronel Olmedo 51
         Cordoba


PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Government Mulls Savings Compensation Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Deep losses suffered by shareholders in the aftermath of
Parmalat's multi-billion euro accounting scandal have roused the
public to lobby for wider safety nets within Italy's financial
markets.

The Italian government is currently drawing up plans to ensure
protection in cases where banks and other institutions have
failed to give investors detailed information on the investments
they are making.

FT.com reports that the plan being outlined by finance minister
Domenico Siniscalco still does not include details regarding the
amount of compensation to be offered or how financial
institutions are expected to repay savers. Specific provisions
will be provided and enacted before the national election on May
next year, the report adds.

Post-Parmalat regulatory reforms have been in the government's
drawing board since January last year. However, disagreements
over provisions like a fixed-term limit on the governor of the
Bank of Italy, one of the main regulators, have stalled the
progress of the legislation.


PITRIZZA S.A.: Court Grants Reorganization Plea
-----------------------------------------------
Pitrizza S.A., a Company operating in Buenos Aires, begins
reorganization proceedings after Court No. 9 of the city's civil
and commercial tribunal, with assistance from Clerk No. 18,
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. Juan Alberto
Krimerman, the court-appointed trustee.

Creditors with claims against the Company must present proofs of
the debts to the trustee before March 28. These claims will
constitute the individual reports to be submitted in court on
May 9.

The court also requires the trustee to present an audit of the
Company's accounting and business records through a general
report due on June 21, 2005. After these reports are completed,
the Company will hold the informative assembly on December 12.

CONTACT: Mr. Juan Alberto Krimerman, Trustee
         Uruguay 594
         Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: $3.2B Worth of Bonds Remain in Default
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintains a `D(Arg)'
rating on a total of US$3.2 billion worth of corporate bonds
issued by Telecom Argentina S.A. (formerly Telecom Argentina
STET-France Telecom S.A.), the Comision Nacional de Valores
(CNV) reports.

The bonds in default are:

-- US$200 million worth of "Programa de ON simples." Maturity
date was not indicated;

-- US$1.5 billion worth of "Programa Global de ONs autorizado
por Asamblea de fecha 16.3.99", due on August 2, 2004; and

-- US$1.5 billion of "Programa de obligaciones negociables",
with undisclosed maturity date.

The rating action was taken based on the Company's finances as
of September 30, 2004.

CONTACT:  TELECOM ARGENTINA S.A.
          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Republica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Web Site: http://www.telecom.com.ar

          Mr. Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Ms. Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Mr. Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109
          e-mail: inversores@intersrv.telecom.com.ar


WINES S.R.L.: Verification Deadline Fixed
-----------------------------------------
Ms. Elina Marisa Romero, the trustee tasked with examining the
claims pertaining to the Wines S.R.L. reorganization case, will
submit individual reports on March 3. Ms. Romero will also
present a general report in court on April 18.

On September 2, the Company's creditors will vote on the
settlement proposal prepared by the Company. Infobae reports
that the Company's reorganization is under the jurisdiction of
San Juan's civil and commercial Court No. 2.

CONTACT: Wines S.R.L.
         Gemes 183
         Sur (San Juan)

         Ms. Elina Marisa Romero, Trustee
         Mitre 169
         Este (San Juan)


* ARGENTINA: Launches Global Roadshow of Debt Exchange Offer
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina launched Wednesday the global roadshow of its US$103
billion debt restructuring, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

In a presentation to financial professionals in a room in the
Economy Ministry, Finance Secretary Guillermo Nielsen said the
debt exchange offering to open Friday "guarantees fair treatment
for all bondholders."

Argentina will issue between US$38.5 and US$41.8 billion in new
restructured debt with lower interest rates and longer
maturities - the size will increase if there is more than 70%
acceptance of the offering - in exchange for US$81.8 billion in
defaulted bonds.

The bonds on offer, in four currencies, are: a 35-year par bond,
with no principal reduction, with a coupon rising to 5.25% over
time; a discount bond with a 66.3% principal haircut; and,
specially for institutional Argentine investors, a quasi-par
bond in pesos with 30.1% haircut.

Meanwhile, bondholders who own more than a third of the
defaulted debt said they plan to reject the restructuring offer.

"The offer is unacceptable," said Elio Lannutti, who heads the
Italian consumer association Adusbef, representing 14,000
Italian bondholders with EUR420 million ($551 million) of
Argentine bonds. "We will carry on our battles relentlessly."

Piercarlo Padoan, the International Monetary Fund's executive
director for Italy, said Argentina needs at least 75% of
bondholders to accept the offer for the nation's debt problem to
be solved.

Lavagna said Wednesday that he believes acceptance of the offer
by 50% of creditors would end the country's default.



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

BANCO BRADESCO: Moody's Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on the ratings of
Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco S.A. to positive from stable. The
action affected the bank's B2 long-term foreign currency deposit
and Ba2 long- term foreign currency debt ratings.

This action follows the positive outlook that Moody's has placed
on Brazil's B1 foreign currency country ceiling for bond and
notes as well as on the B2 foreign currency country ceiling for
bank deposits.

Banco Bradesco is the largest private bank in Brazil in terms of
assets.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Moody's Assigns Positive Outlook on Ratings
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on the ratings of
Brazilian bank Banco do Brasil S.A. to positive from stable. The
action affected the bank's B2 long-term foreign currency deposit
and Ba2 long- term foreign currency debt ratings.

This action follows the positive outlook that Moody's has placed
on Brazil's B1 foreign currency country ceiling for bond and
notes as well as on the B2 foreign currency country ceiling for
bank deposits.

Brasilia-based Banco do Brasil is Brazil's largest commercial
bank.


BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Assigns Rating To Notes
---------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB-' foreign-
currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco Votorantim S.A.'s
$100 million medium-term, fixed-rate note, to be issued in
January 2005 and maturing in two years.

"The counterparty credit ratings on Banco Votorantim S.A. (LC:
BB/Stable/B; FC: BB-/Stable/B) incorporate the potential risks
associated with the bank's treasury business; its exposure to
sovereign risk through its securities portfolio, a common issue
for Brazilian banks; and the risks associated with the volatile
economic environment in Brazil," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Daniel Araujo. The ratings benefit from the implicit
support of the Votorantim Group (FC: BB-/Stable/--; LC: BBB-
/Stable/--); the group's strong brand-name recognition; and the
bank's good profitability, experienced management team, and
efficient decision-making processes.

Banco Votorantim's treasury is very active in providing hedge
instruments to its clients. For this reason, the bank carries
exposure to Brazil's sovereign risk through its securities
portfolio and open-market operations equivalent to approximately
4.3x its equity (based on consolidated figures) as of September
2004.

The Votorantim Group is one of the largest and most influential
industrial conglomerates in Brazil. Its brand-name recognition
has helped the bank to leverage on its business, and the images
of both organizations are closely linked. The conglomerate
supervises the bank's activities and operations, and its
conservatism permeates the bank's activities. Banco Votorantim's
management is made up of professionals with vast experience in
the financial markets and the Group's companies.

Banco Votorantim has been maintaining good profitability.
Results remain in line with the bank's profile and benefit from
the good margins from its vehicle-finance activities, good
Treasury gains, and the results from corporate clients. Its lean
structure with low operating expenses is also a benefit for the
bank.

Primary Credit Analyst: Daniel Araujo, Sao Paulo
(55) 11-5501-8939; daniel_araujo@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Tamara Berenholc, Sao Paulo
(55) 11-5501-8950; tamara_berenholc@standardandpoors.com


COMPANHIA PETROLIFERA: Moody's Changes Rating Outlook to Pos
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investor's Service changed the rating outlook for the B1
medium term notes of Rio de Janeiro-based firm Companhia
Petrolifera Marlim (Marlim) to positive from stable.

The revision follows Moody's decision to assign a positive
outlook on Brazil's B1 long-term foreign currency ceiling for
bonds and notes, which constrains the ratings of Marlim.


BANCO ITAU: Moody's Changes Outlook on B2 FC Deposit Ratings
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on the B2 long-
term foreign currency deposit ratings of Brazilian bank Banco
Itau S.A. The action follows the positive outlook that Moody's
has placed on Brazil's B1 foreign currency country ceiling for
bond and notes as well as on the B2 foreign currency country
ceiling for bank deposits.


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Gets Last Installment of BNDES Loan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana
Eletricidade de Sao Paulo SA received Wednesday BRL243.2 million
(US$90 million) from Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES).

The amount represents the last part of a total loan of BRL1.25
billion the Company signed with BNDES in 2002.

Eletropaulo, which is jointly owned by AES Corp. (51%) and BNDES
(49%), said it will use BRL142 million and US$15 million to pay
down debts with Brazilian and foreign creditors following an
agreement signed in March 2004.

Eletropaulo ended the third quarter of 2004 with debts totaling
some BRL5.5 billion, of which 22% were due in the short term.
About 20% of the total debt was denominated in U.S. dollars.

The Company is still waiting for the disbursement of some BRL770
million in new financing from BNDES that has already been
preliminarily approved by the bank.

CONTACT:  ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA
          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Brazil
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          URL: http://www.eletropaulo.com.br
          Contacts:
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations


* BRAZIL: Moody's Changes Outlook on Ratings to Positive
--------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed its ratings outlook for
Brazil's key foreign-currency ratings to positive from stable,
citing a significant reduction in the ratio of external debt to
current account earnings.

The action affects the following ratings:

- B1 foreign-currency country ceiling for bonds and notes;
- B2 foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling;
- B1 foreign-currency bonds; and
- Ba3 local-currency government bond rating.

Moody's noted that the external-debt-to-current-account-earnings
ratio has steadily declined to nearly half of the 1999 ratio.
Other factors, which prompted Moody's to change the outlook,
include the strong fiscal results and the change in the
composition of the local-currency debt with a continued
reduction in the share of dollar-indexed debt.



=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Boasts of 7.7Mln Subscribers in 2004
------------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") (NasdaqNM:
MICC) (Stockholmsborsen and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: MIC),
announces that it has added 859,968 net new subscribers in the
fourth quarter to reach 7.7 million total cellular subscribers
by year-end. Proportional subscribers reached 5.3 million.
Subscriber growth has continued to accelerate in 2004 with
record underlying net subscribers additions in the last three
quarters. At the end of December 2004 Millicom saw a 12.6%
increase in total subscribers from the previous quarter and a
36% increase from December 2003.

Marc Beuls, President and CEO of Millicom International Cellular
S.A. said: "Subscriber growth was particularly strong in Vietnam
following the price reductions earlier in the year which have
stimulated demand for mobile services. The launch of GSM
services in Latin America and Pakistan have added to the
attractions of Millicom's offering in these markets and this
roll out has been backed by increased marketing initiatives, by
way of re-branding to Tigo in Latin America, and an attractive
offering for Paktel GSM customers in Pakistan. Millicom's
operations in Pakistan passed the 1 million-subscriber mark in
December 2004. In Africa we continue to see the benefit of
investment in the network where our coverage increased
substantially in 2004 and the 1 million subscriber mark was
exceeded in the fourth quarter."

Millicom International Cellular S.A. is a global
telecommunications investor with cellular operations in Asia,
Latin America and Africa. It currently has a total of 16
cellular operations and licenses in 15 countries. The Group's
cellular operations have a combined population under license of
approximately 387 million people.

CONTACTS: Mr. Marc Beuls
          President and Chief Executive Officer
          Millicom International Cellular S.A.
          Luxembourg
          Phone:  +352 27 759 327

          Mr. Andrew Best
          Investor Relations
          Phone:  +44 20 7321 5022
          Web site at: http://www.millicom.com



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

AIR JAMAICA: Begins Restructuring Exercise
------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica began making the positions of one hundred Flight
Attendants redundant on Wednesday. This is 20% of the airline's
complement of Flight Attendants.

Executive Chairman of Air Jamaica, Dr. the Hon. Vincent Lawrence
told flight attendants and Bustamante Industrial Trade Union,
(BITU) representatives Wednesday afternoon that the changes are
necessary and have to be done quickly in order to save the
airline.

He said those affected will receive immediately, their notice
pay, all salaries due to them and payment for outstanding
vacation leave. According to Dr. Lawrence, funds are being
sought to pay redundancy packages as quickly as possible within
the twelve-month period allowed by the law for such settlements.

As part of the restructuring effort to bring the airline into
financial stability and viability, the Manchester, Antigua and
London to Havana routes are being cut. In addition, the
frequency of flights on other routes has been reduced, three
aircraft are being returned and the restructuring team is
working overtime to find other ways of reducing the Company's
expenses.

According to Dr. Lawrence, the adjustment in the number of
Flight Attendants is in line with the reduction in the number of
aircraft and routes. Staff levels in other areas including
Pilots and Management will be adjusted by next week.

The Executive Chairman has been meeting with staff and trade
unions since last week to explain the state of the Company's
finances and the efforts being made to restructure its
operations.

He has assured everyone that the excellent service and high
safety standards to which the airline's passengers have become
accustomed will be maintained in this period of transition. He
says the national airline is important to the country's economy
and is a source of pride for the Jamaican people and everything
will be done to ensure that it survives and become viable.

On December 23, 2004, after accumulated losses of over US$600
million and mounting debts, the Government of Jamaica resumed
full responsibility for the national airline. Dr. Lawrence was
appointed Executive Chairman in charge of the restructuring
process and Banker, Mr. Aubyn Hill, Chief Restructuring Officer.

CONTACT:  Corporate Communications
          Tel: 876-922-3460 ext 4060-5
          URL: www.airjamaica.com


C&W JAMAICA: Names New Corporate Communications VP
--------------------------------------------------
Cable & Wireless Jamaica announced Tuesday the promotion of Mr.
Errol K. Miller to the position of vice-president for corporate
communications. Mr. Miller had previously served as Manager
under the same department.

Jamaica Observer Reporter disclosed that the vice-president for
corporate communications is expected to:

- Provide counsel to management concerning public relations
issues.

- Enhance the image of the Company through media relations and
publicity.

- Handle Community Relations functions.

- Maintain brand standards and handle corporate giving outside
the remit of the Cable & Wireless Jamaica Foundation.

- Oversee Crisis Management, Marketing Communications support
and advertising "consultancy".



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

AHMSA: Reports 3.9% Increase in 2004 Steel Output
-------------------------------------------------
Mexican steel producer Altos Hornos de Mexico SA (AHMSA)
reported Wednesday a 3.9% increase of steel output in 2004
compared to the previous year's output.

The Monclova-based company produced 3 million metric tons of
liquid steel in 2004. The output translated into 2.6 million
metric tons of finished products.

It has set a production target of 3.5Mt of crude steel for 2005.

"Constant maintenance has been a key tool to keep the
installations in optimum conditions and has allowed us to take
advantage of the recovery of the global steel market, and to
work at full capacity," CEO Luis Zamudio said in a statement.

In 1999, at the height of a global steel glut and low prices,
AHMSA suspended payments on US$1.8 billion in debt and has since
failed to negotiate terms with creditor banks. Its shares have
been suspended since the default.

AHMSA said it expected a stable steel market for demand and
prices in 2005.

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: http://www.ahmsa.com.mx


ALESTRA: To Take Over Terra Networks' ISP Operations
----------------------------------------------------
Mexican telco Alestra is poised to become the country's second
largest dial-up provider after it takes over the local Internet
access services operation of Spanish ISP Terra Networks.

Citing a statement from the companies, Business News Americas
reports that Alestra will run the customer service and billing
aspects of the ISP and share the revenues with Terra. Terra will
still continue business development and sales activities on its
Mexican Internet portal.

"The internet has become an invaluable resource and our users
will be able to take advantage of Terra's services and value-
added content provided through Alestra's network," said Terra
Network's executive president Kim Faura Batlle.

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge Escribano
         Alestra - Mexico
         Phone: +52 8 503 5011
         E-mail: jescriba@alestra.com.mx


GRUPO TMM: Boards Approve Amended Acquisition Agreement
-------------------------------------------------------
Kansas City Southern and Grupo TMM, S.A. announced Wednesday
that the companies have entered into an amended acquisition
agreement whereby TMM will sell its 51 percent voting interest
in Grupo Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana, S.A. de C.V.
("Grupo TFM") to KCS for $200 million in cash, 18 million shares
of KCS common stock, $47 million in a two-year promissory note,
and up to $110 million payable in a combination of cash and KCS
common stock upon successful resolution of the current
proceedings related to the VAT Claim and the Put with the
Mexican Government. The $47 million promissory note and a
portion of the $110 million contingent payment will be subject
to certain escrow arrangements to cover potential
indemnification claims. The boards of directors of both
companies have approved the transaction.

As part of the transaction, KCS will also enter into a three-
year consulting contract with a consulting firm controlled by
Jose Serrano Segovia. KCS and TMM have also agreed that upon
completion of the transaction all litigation between the two
companies will be dismissed.

Consummation of the transaction remains subject to the
satisfaction of certain conditions, including KCS shareholder
approval. TMM's controlling shareholders have entered into a
voting trust providing for approval of the transaction.

Both the Mexican Foreign Investment Commission and the Mexican
Federal Competition Commission have approved acquisition of the
controlling interest in TFM by KCS. Although KCS and TMM
previously satisfied the requirements of the U.S. Hart-Scott-
Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, that authorization
has expired and the parties have agreed to file the required
information promptly with the U.S. Department of Justice. This
authorization is required prior to consummation of the
transaction.

"We are very pleased to have entered into this amended agreement
with TMM, and believe it will enhance rail competition and give
shippers in the NAFTA trade corridor a strong transportation
alternative in this important and growing trade corridor," said
Michael R. Haverty, chairman, president and chief executive
officer of KCS. "This transaction, along with our recently
approved control of The Texas Mexican Railway Company, offers
our shareholders greater value through operating efficiencies
and opportunities that will come from common ownership and
control. Our customers, both north and south of the border, will
benefit from these efficiencies as well."

Jose Serrano, chairman and CEO of TMM said, "We're very pleased
with the outcome of the transaction. It creates significant
value for all shareholders. The combination of KCS and TFM
creates an efficient shipping route between the U.S. and Mexico.
TMM shareholders will continue to benefit from significant
ownership in this valuable franchise. The net cash proceeds of
this transaction will be used by TMM to reduce its debt
obligations. This transaction is truly in the best interests of
TMM shareholders and will ensure long term growth and
flexibility at TMM."

Javier Segovia, president of TMM said, "We are extremely pleased
to become a significant shareholder in KCS, a strong rail
alternative between the U.S. and Mexico. TMM and TFM will
continue to work closely, and they have entered into a marketing
agreement to further our shared goals of providing end-to-end
transportation for our customers. In addition, the sale of TFM
to KCS puts TMM on a superior financial footing".

TFM, S.A. de C.V., the operating subsidiary of Grupo TFM, and
KCSR will continue as separate corporations, all under the
common control of KCS. Following consummation of the
transaction, KCS will continue to operate under the KCS name and
will maintain its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Grupo
TFM and TFM will remain Mexican corporations, with their
corporate headquarters located in Mexico City. TFM holds the
concession to operate Mexico's Northeast Rail Lines through June
2047, and has the option to extend the concession for an
additional 50 years. The TFM rail network consists of more than
2,600 miles of mainline track. The combined system will exceed
5,300 miles of mainline track.

Morgan Stanley acted as exclusive financial advisor to KCS on
the transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Elek Moreno
Valle y Asociados S.A. acted as exclusive financial advisors to
TMM on the transaction.

Headquartered in Mexico City, TMM is a Latin American multimodal
transportation company. Through its branch offices and network
of subsidiary companies, TMM provides a dynamic combination of
ocean and land transportation services.

KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad
investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama. Its primary
holding in the United States is The Kansas City Southern Railway
Company. KCS owns 51% of The Texas Mexican Railway Company,
which connects The Kansas City Southern Railway Company and TFM.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, KCS serves customers in
the central and south central regions of the United States. KCS'
rail holdings and investments are primary components of a NAFTA
Railway system that links the commercial and industrial centers
of the United States and Mexico.

CONTACT: Grupo TMM S.A.
         Av. de la Cuspide # 4755
         Colonia Parquer del Pedregal
         Tlalpan, 14010
         Mexico
         Phone: 525-629-8866
         Web site: http://www.grupotmm.com


SATMEX: Moving to Restructure Debts
-----------------------------------
Ailing Mexican satellite telecommunications provider, Satelites
Mexicanos (Satmex), may restructure around US$988 million of its
debt in the next few weeks if ongoing negotiations with
creditors prove successful.

Cronica reports that the Company's new debt repayment plan is
gaining ground among creditors and the federal government.
Jitters among shareholders sparked by problems with Satmex 5 had
held off a restructuring agreement in 2003. The investors had
balked at sharing the risks involved in the business plan.

The failure of the Solidaridad I satellite in 1999 precipitated
the Company's steady decline. The incident cost the Company an
estimated US$20 million in losses and resulted in a default of
its debt payments.

Meanwhile, Satmex 6, built using the US$235 million recovered
from insurance on Solidaridad 1, remains on the ground due to
lack of funds. The Company also took out a US$150 million loan
from Eximbank and another US$72 million loan from Coface for
Satmex 6.



=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================

BWIA: Presents Preliminary Plan to Government
---------------------------------------------
BWIA delivered to Trinidad's Trade and Industry Minister Kenneth
Valley on Tuesday a rough plan for the management of the
beleaguered airline.

However, the plan, which Chairman Anthony Jacelon and general
manager Nelson Tom Yew submitted a day after a Jan. 10 deadline,
didn't have approval from the airline's board of directors just
yet. Jacelon said though that he would take full responsibility
for it.

Nevertheless, Valley told Jacelon that he could not take the
plan to Cabinet since it did not have the blessings of the BWIA
board.

Jacelon appeared agreeable to the idea. According to him, the
plan was a preliminary one and was not yet ready for Cabinet's
eyes. A more self-sufficient plan should be ready and approved
by the board by the end of the month for Valley to take to
Cabinet, Jacelon said.

Valley, who has responsibility for the state-controlled airline,
said while BWIA was viewed as critical infrastructure, he had
not written off the idea of grounding it permanently.

"Air service is critical infrastructure for T&T, but it may not
be BWIA. What is important to T&T is air transport. BWIA is just
an airline," he said.

"Perhaps it is time we look at activating the regional airline
and allow BWIA and Liat to go their way."

CONTACT:  BRITISH WEST INDIES AIRWAYS
          Phone: + 868 627 2942
          E-mail: mailto:mail@bwee.com
          Home Page: http://www.bwee.com/
          Contacts:
          Conrad Aleong, President and CEO (Trinidad)
          Beatrix Carrington, VP Marketing and Sales (Barbados)
          Paul Schutz, CFO (Trinidad)



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

PDVSA: Negotiation With Union Proceeds Smoothly
-----------------------------------------------
Fedepetrol spokesman Rafael Barrios said that the union would
likely sign a wage contract with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)
within the week.

In a report from Petrolworld, Mr. Barrios said that labor and
management had ironed out disagreement over hiring practices
included in the present contract. The union had battled over a
clause allowing PDVSA to select the workers that would be
outsourced for jobs with private oil firms.



                            ***********


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
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Lucilo Junior M. Pinili, Editors.

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
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