TCRLA_Public/050201.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

           Tuesday, February 1, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 22

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

CINEMATOGRAFICA LARA: Creditor Claims Report Due
MULTIFINAN S.A.: Reports Submission Set
PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Additional Teikoku Deal Details Emerge
THE SECURITY GROUP: Trustee to Close Verification Phase


B E R M U D A

INTELSAT: Zeus Holdings Completes Acquisition
ISS CONSULTING: Members Vote to Wind Up
NATIONAL AMERICAN: Debt Claim Filing Ends February 11
SFC LTD.: Proceeds With Voluntary Liquidation
SUNRISE HOLDINGS: Names Robin Mayor as Liquidator


B R A Z I L

EMBRATEL: Analysts Anticipate Lower 4Q04 Profit


C H I L E

ENERSIS: S&P Revises Outlook To Positive


C O L O M B I A

AVIANCA: Names New President
BAVARIA: Fitch Sees Acquisition As Potentially Negative


E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Refinery Upgrades Draw Significant Tender Interest


J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Files Term Sheet on Claims Resolution


M E X I C O

AMERICAS MINING: S&P Raises Company's, Subsidiaries' Ratings
CFE: To Lobby for Budget Increase
CINTRA: Federal Regulators Question 2005 Income Budget
GRUPO MEXICO: Off S&P CreditWatch, Ratings Improve
GRUPO MEXICO: Agrees to Make $55M Payment to Mine Workers
ISSSTE: Unions Agreeable to Reform With Certain Conditions


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Local Stations' Transfer Contemplated for Better Control
* VENEZUELA: Dodges Potential $35M Oil-Indexed Bond Payment


     - - - - - - - - - -
                           

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

CINEMATOGRAFICA LARA: Creditor Claims Report Due
------------------------------------------------
Individual reports from claims forwarded by creditors of
Cinematografica Lara S.R.L. are due for court submission
Thursday, February 3, 2005.

The company is undergoing liquidation under the supervision of
Mr. Miguel Angel Drucaroff, court-appointed trustee. Court No.
17 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal handles this
case with help from the city's Clerk No. 33.

CONTACT: Mr. Miguel Angel Drucaroff, Trustee
         Avda Corrientes 2470
         Buenos Aires


MULTIFINAN S.A.: Reports Submission Set
---------------------------------------
Mr. Gustavo Daniel Micciullo, the trustee supervising the
liquidation of Multifinan S.A., will submit individual reports
from the case Thursday, February 3, 2005. The individual reports
contain information on all claims submitted by the Company's
creditors.

Court No. 18 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles this case. Clerk No. 35 assists the court with the
proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Gustavo Daniel Micciullo, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1417
         Buenos Aires


PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Additional Teikoku Deal Details Emerge
---------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's Petrobras Energia SA released more details of its
recently announced agreement with Japan's Teikoku Oil Co., Ltd..
Under the transaction, Petrobras will transfer 40% of Blocks 18
and 31, located in Ecuador, as well as 40% of its rights and
obligations under the transportation agreement with Oleoducto de
Crudos Pesados OCP.

In a statement filed with the Buenos Aires bourse, Petrobras
said Teikoku will make an upfront cash payment of US$5 million,
followed by an additional US$10 million at a later date linked
to infrastructure construction at Block 31.

Furthermore, Teikoku will assume its pipeline obligations once
production on Block 31 reaches an average rate of 10,000 barrels
a day for a period of 30 days, the filing said.

The "ship or pay" contract calls for Petrobras Energia to assure
a transport capacity of 80,000 barrels a day, for a period of 15
years beginning on Nov. 10, 2003.

Petrobras Energia added that the deal, which is subject to
approval by the Ministry of Energy of Ecuador, will free up "40%
of the lines of credit that Petrobras Energia maintains to allow
it to comply with commercial obligations tied to the OCP
transport contract.

"That will reduce the financial burden and free up the margin of
credit in favor of the company," the statement said.

CONTACT: Petrobras Energia Participaciones SA
         Avenida de Mayo 701, Piso 16
         Buenos Aires,  
         Phone: (212) 657-5100
         Fax: (212) 825-5674
         Web Site: http://www.petrobrasenergia.com


THE SECURITY GROUP: Trustee to Close Verification Phase
-------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditor's claims for The Security Group
S.A. bankruptcy case will end Thursday, February 3, 2004.
Creditors with valid claims against the Company must submit
proof of these debts to trustee Aldo Roberto Markman by the said
date in order to qualify for any post liquidation distributions.

Buenos Aires' civil and commercial Court No. 24 holds
jurisdiction this case with assistance from Clerk no. 37.

CONTACT: The Security Group S.A.
         Virrey Loreto 3709
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Aldo Roberto Markman, Trustee
         Adolfo Alsina 1441
         Buenos Aires



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B E R M U D A
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INTELSAT: Zeus Holdings Completes Acquisition
---------------------------------------------
Intelsat, Ltd. ("Intelsat"), a global satellite communications
leader providing services in over 200 countries and territories,
announced Friday the successful closing of the amalgamation
under Bermuda law of Intelsat and a subsidiary of Zeus Holdings
Limited ("Zeus"). Zeus is a company formed by a consortium of
funds advised by Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison
Dearborn Partners and Permira. As a result of the closing of the
transaction, those organizations and individuals that held
shares in Intelsat immediately prior to the closing are entitled
to receive $18.75 in exchange for each such share. The total
value of the transaction, including approximately $2 billion of
existing net debt, was approximately $5 billion.

Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to
Intelsat, Ltd. in connection with the transaction. Credit Suisse
First Boston, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lehman Brothers Inc.
acted as financial advisors to Zeus in connection with the
transaction.

About Intelsat

As a global communications leader with 40 years of experience,
Intelsat helps service providers, broadcasters, corporations and
governments deliver information and entertainment anywhere in
the world, instantly, securely and reliably. Intelsat's global
reach and expanding solutions portfolio enable customers to
enhance their communications networks, venture into new markets,
and grow their businesses with confidence.

About Apax Partners

Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity
investment groups, operating across Europe, Israel and the
United States. The firm manages or advises over $12 billion on
behalf of institutional investors around the world. With over 30
years of direct investing experience, Apax Partners' Funds
provide long-term equity financing to entrepreneurs to build and
strengthen world-class companies. It pursues a balanced equity
portfolio strategy, investing in companies at all stages of
development from early stage to buy-out. Apax Partners' Funds
invest in companies across its six chosen global sectors of
information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, media,
financial services, retail and consumer. Some of Apax Partners'
Funds information technology and telecommunications investments
include Audible, Dialog Semiconductor, Frontier Silicon, Jamdat,
Kabel Deutschland, Sonim Technologies and Yell.

About Apollo

Apollo, founded in 1990, is among the most active and successful
private investment firms in the U.S. in terms of both number of
investment transactions completed and aggregate dollars
invested. Since its inception, Apollo has managed the investment
of an aggregate of approximately $13 billion in equity capital
in a wide variety of industries, both domestically and
internationally.

About Madison Dearborn Partners

Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), based in Chicago, is one of the
largest and most experienced private equity firms in the United
States. MDP has approximately $8 billion of equity capital under
management and makes new investments through its most recent
fund, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV, L.P., a $4.0 billion
fund raised in 2001. MDP focuses on management buyout and other
private equity investments across a broad spectrum of
industries, including basic industries, communications,
consumer, financial services and healthcare. Over the last
decade, MDP has been an active investor in the communications
industry, with investments in such companies as Omnipoint
Corporation, Nextel Partners, Telemundo Communications Group,
Clearnet Communications, and XM Satellite Radio, Inc.

About Permira

Permira is a leading global private equity firm, advising funds
of $13 billion, including Permira Europe III, an E5.1 billion
fund raised in 2003. Permira is an independent business with
offices in Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris and
Stockholm, focusing on buyout transactions across a number of
sectors, including technology & telecom, consumer, business
services, chemicals, industrial products and services, and
healthcare. Since 1985, funds advised by Permira have invested
in over 260 transactions and have an investor base comprising
principally public and corporate pension funds and other
institutions.

CONTACT: Intelsat, Ltd.
         E-mail: media.relations@intelsat.com
         Phone: +1 202-944-7500.


ISS CONSULTING: Members Vote to Wind Up
---------------------------------------
               IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                                 And

                 IN THE MATTER OF ISS Consulting Ltd.

The Member of ISS Consulting Ltd., acting by written consent
without a meeting on January 24, 2005 passed the following
resolutions:

(1) THAT the Company be wound up voluntarily, pursuant to the
provisions of the Companies Act 1981;

(2) THAT Robin J. Mayor be and is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of such winding-up, such appointment to be
effective forthwith.

The Liquidator informs that:

- Creditors of ISS Consulting Ltd., which is being voluntarily
wound up, are required, on or before February 11, 2005 to send
their full Christian and Surnames, their addresses and
descriptions, full particulars of their debts or claims, and the
names and addresses of their lawyers (if any) to Robin J Mayor
at Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman, Clarendon House, Church
Street, Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda, the Liquidator of the said
Company, and if so required by notice in writing from the said
Liquidator, and personally or by their lawyers, to come in and
prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be
specified in such notice, or in default thereof they will be
excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such
debts are proved.

- A final general meeting of the Member of ISS Consulting Ltd.
will be held at the offices of Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman,
Clarendon House, Church Street, Hamilton, Bermuda on March 1,
2005 at 9:30 a.m., or as soon as possible thereafter, for the
purposes of:

(1) receiving an account laid before them showing the manner in
which the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and its
property disposed of and of hearing any explanation that may be
given by the Liquidator; and

(2) by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator
shall be disposed of; and

(3) by resolution dissolving the Company.

CONTACT: Mr. Robin J. Mayor, Liquidator
         Clarendon House
         Church Street
         Hamilton, Bermuda


NATIONAL AMERICAN: Debt Claim Filing Ends February 11
-----------------------------------------------------
            IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                              And

    IN THE MATTER OF National American Insurance Limited
              (In Members' Voluntary Liquidation)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Creditors of National American
Insurance Limited, which is being voluntarily wound up, are
required, on or before February 11, 2005, to send their full
Christian and Surnames, their addresses and descriptions, full
particulars of their debts or claims, and the names and
addresses of their solicitors (if any) to Mike Morrison at KPMG
Financial Advisory Services Limited, Crown House, 4 Par-La-Ville
Road, Hamilton, HM 08, Bermuda, the Liquidator of the said
Company, and if so required by notice in writing from the said
Liquidator, and personally or by their solicitors, to come in
and prove their debts or claims at such time as shall be
specified in such notice, or in default thereof they will be
excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such
debts are proved.


SFC LTD.: Proceeds With Voluntary Liquidation
---------------------------------------------

             IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                             And

                   IN THE MATTER OF SFC Ltd.

The Member of SFC Ltd., acting by written consent without a
meeting on January 24, 2005 passed the following resolutions:

(1) THAT the Company be wound up voluntarily, pursuant to the
provisions of the Companies Act 1981;

(2) THAT Robin J. Mayor be and is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of such winding-up, such appointment to be
effective forthwith.

The Liquidator informs that:

- Creditors of SFC Ltd., which is being voluntarily wound up,
are required, on or before February 11, 2005 to send their full
Christian and Surnames, their addresses and descriptions, full
particulars of their debts or claims, and the names and
addresses of their lawyers (if any) to Robin J Mayor at Messrs.
Conyers Dill & Pearman, Clarendon House, Church Street,
Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda, the Liquidator of the said Company,
and if so required by notice in writing from the said
Liquidator, and personally or by their lawyers, to come in and
prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be
specified in such notice, or in default thereof they will be
excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such
debts are proved.

- A final general meeting of the Member of SFC Ltd. will be held
at the offices of Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman, Clarendon
House, Church Street, Hamilton, Bermuda on March 1, 2005 at 9:30
a.m., for the purposes of:

(1) receiving an account laid before them showing the manner in
which the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and its
property disposed of and of hearing any explanation that may be
given by the Liquidator; and

(2) by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator
shall be disposed of; and

(3) by resolution dissolving the Company.

CONTACT: Mr. Robin J. Mayor, Liquidator
         Clarendon House
         Church Street
         Hamilton, Bermuda


SUNRISE HOLDINGS: Names Robin Mayor as Liquidator
-------------------------------------------------
                IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                                And

                IN THE MATTER OF Sunrise Holdings Ltd.

The Member of Sunrise Holdings Ltd., acting by written consent
without a meeting on January 18, 2005 passed the following
resolutions:

(1) THAT the Company be wound up voluntarily, pursuant to the
provisions of the Companies Act 1981;

(2) THAT Robin J. Mayor be and is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of such winding-up, such appointment to be
effective forthwith.

The Liquidator informs that:

- Creditors of Sunrise Holdings Ltd., which is being voluntarily
wound up, are required, on or before February 11, 2005 to send
their full Christian and Surnames, their addresses and
descriptions, full particulars of their debts or claims, and the
names and addresses of their lawyers (if any) to Robin J. Mayor
at Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman, Clarendon House, Church
Street, Hamilton, HM DX, Bermuda, the Liquidator of the said
Company, and if so required by notice in writing from the said
Liquidator, and personally or by their lawyers, to come in and
prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be
specified in such notice, or in default thereof they will be
excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such
debts are proved.

- A final general meeting of the Member of Sunrise Holdings Ltd.
will be held at the offices of Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman,
Clarendon House, Church Street, Hamilton, Bermuda on March 4,
2005 at 9:30 a.m. for the purposes of:

(1) receiving an account laid before them showing the manner in
which the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and its
property disposed of and of hearing any explanation that may be
given by the Liquidator; and

(2) by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator
shall be disposed of; and

(3) by resolution dissolving the Company.

CONTACT: Mr. Robin J. Mayor, Liquidator
         Clarendon House, Church Street
         Hamilton, Bermuda



===========
B R A Z I L
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EMBRATEL: Analysts Anticipate Lower 4Q04 Profit
-----------------------------------------------
Analysts see Brazilian telecommunications company Embratel
Participacoes SA posting a lower profit for the fourth of 2004.
A survey of five analysts by Dow Jones Newswires revealed an
average forecast for net profits of BRL51.8 million ($1=BRL2.67)
in the fourth quarter, lower than the BRL69.1 million posted in
the same period of 2003.

But due to uncertainties surrounding Embratel, the analysts'
estimates varied wildly, from a net loss of BRL123 million to a
net profit of BRL310 million.

The uncertainties remain focused on whether Embratel's
controlling shareholder, Telefonos de Mexico SA (TMX), or
Telmex, will continue to move some of Embratel's BRL2 billion in
possible liabilities onto the Brazilian firm's books as
provisions, a practice which started last quarter.

On the operating side, most analysts are expecting a slight
improvement in the fourth quarter, compared to the third
quarter, as Embratel tends to benefit from an increase in long
distance phone calls toward the end of the year.

Nevertheless, the firm's year-on-year performance will likely be
down, as the company continues to lose revenues and market share
due to the extremely competitive environment in the long-
distance market.

The survey showed an average forecast for net revenues of
BRL1.79 billion, up marginally from BRL1.77 billion in the third
quarter but down 4.2% from BRL1.87 billion the same period a
year ago.

Embratel is expected to release its earnings early this week.

CONTACT: Embratel Participacoes S.A.
         Rua Regenta Feijo
         166 sala 1687-B Centro
         Rio de Janeiro, 20060-060
         Brazil
         Phone: 5521-519-6474
         Website: http://www.embratel.net.br



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C H I L E
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ENERSIS: S&P Revises Outlook To Positive
----------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BBB-' corporate
credit rating on Chile-based electricity provider Enersis S.A.
and revised the outlook to positive from stable, reflecting
Standard & Poor's expectations that Enersis' financial profile
will continue improving as a result of continuing consolidation
in its investment performance, combined with further debt
reduction.

In addition, the 'BBB-' corporate credit rating on Enersis' 60%
owned subsidiary, Chilean power generator Empresa Nacional de
Electricidad S.A. (Endesa Chile), was affirmed. The outlook for
Endesa Chile remains stable.

"The outlook change is based on the better prospects for most of
its investments, partly based on the important growing trend in
power demand in Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru.
This, combined with a further debt reduction, should improve
debt coverage ratios over the levels achieved in fiscal 2004. An
upgrade to 'BBB' would require Enersis to continue successfully
facing different regulatory, market, and operating challenges
within a volatile environment in the region," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Sergio Fuentes.

In Endesa Chile's case, Standard and Poor's also expects better
financial ratios in the next three fiscal years as a result of
projected higher cash flow generation and debt reduction,
assuming a normal hydrology in the Chilean Central
Interconnected System (SIC) and the continuing consolidation of
its non-Chilean investments. Nevertheless, and although the
probability of occurrence is very low in 2005, there are still
some uncertainties related to a potential adverse scenario in
the SIC (the market where Endesa Chile sells its energy) given
by a potential combination of natural gas shortages with poor
hydrology.

"A change in outlook to positive would mainly require further
debt reduction and stronger debt coverage ratios," Mr. Fuentes
added.

The 'BBB-' corporate credit rating on Enersis is mainly based on
its good business profile, which reflects the strong credit
profile of its Chilean investments, the strong competitive
position in the countries where it operates, and growing power
demand in the region, partly offset by the noninvestment-grade
credit profile of its non-Chilean investments. The rating also
incorporates a good financial profile for the rating category
deriving from the better performance of most of its investments,
which is reflected on an adequate leverage, good debt coverage
ratios and a significantly improved financial flexibility.

The 'BBB-' corporate credit rating on Endesa Chile is based on
the strong credit profile of the company's Chilean assets,
partly offset by investments in weaker economies in Colombia,
Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. The rating also incorporates an
adequate financial profile for the rating category, which is
expected to gradually improve in coming years as a result of the
strong performance of its Chilean operations, the consolidation
of its non-Chilean investments, and a further debt reduction.
Enersis is a holding company, 60.6% owned by Spanish electricity
utility Endesa S.A (A/Negative/A-1), with investments mainly in
electricity generation and distribution in Chile, Colombia,
Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. Enersis directly holds its
investments in electricity distribution and indirectly holds its
investments in power generation through its 60.0% ownership
interest in Endesa Chile.



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

AVIANCA: Names New President
----------------------------
Leadership of Avianca is set to change hands in March when Mr.
Fabio Villegas takes over the reigns of the Colombian carrier as
president. An insider interviewed by Reuters revealed that Mr.
Villegas, head of Colombia's National Association of Financial
Institutions (ANIF), will replace current president Juan Emilio
Posada when the latter assumes presidency of Brazilian
businessman German Efromovich's holding company controlling
assets in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.

Avianca exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after Mr.
Efromovich's Sinergy investment trust won control over the
airline. Sinergy offered to pour US$63 million and assume US220
million in debt.
       

BAVARIA: Fitch Sees Acquisition As Potentially Negative
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, said Friday that
an acquisition of the Colombian brewer Bavaria SA (rated Senior
Unsecured 'BB') by a major international brewer might be
questioned and may well have negative credit implications. Names
rumored to be showing an interest in Bavaria for a speculative
sum of up to USD9 billion include Anheuser-Busch, Heineken,
Inbev and SABMiller.

"In the event of a bidding process for Bavaria, due to the
competitive fervour in the market, the winner is almost sure to
pay a high price except if it has something unique to bring to
its target. Moreover, even if such an acquisition is to be
financed entirely with equity, it would lead to deterioration in
the purchaser's credit metrics. This is due to Bavaria's higher
leverage than the potential bidders' and its volatile income
stream generated in low-rated countries," says Frederic Gits,
Beverage Analyst in Fitch's European Corporate team.

Bavaria SA's EBITDA margin (on net sales) is at over 40%,
already at the best-in-class levels. Ambev, the Brazilian market
leader has 35%, while SABMiller's South African operations,
which benefit from an equivalent quasi-monopoly situation,
delivers an EBITDA margin of 31.5% (turnover basis). This
suggests that there may not be that much headroom to improve
margins.

In terms of synergies with existing operations, Inbev, Ambev's
parent, is the only major brewer with significant operations in
South America, and hence first-hand market knowledge, but even
in this case cross-border economies of scale are not obvious to
implement. However, by acquiring Bavaria Ambev would fill its
South American portfolio and prevent another large brewer from
establishing a footprint in the region as well as improve its
competitive positions in the Latin American soft drinks market.
Nevertheless, Inbev may become over-exposed, as South America
would then constitute around 50% of its EBITDA. Anheuser-Busch,
Heineken and SABMiller would all be interested in Bavaria for
the same obvious, and hence fully priced, reasons: weighted
market share of 98% in its four markets - Colombia, Peru,
Ecuador and Panama - with a relatively young population of 86
million and increasing per capita consumption.

The low purchasing power in the countries where it operates and
the strength of Bavaria's brands leave little opportunity or
need to launch the premium brands international brewers
typically bring to a market after an acquisition. As Fitch
explained in its report on Bavaria (dated October 2003 on
www.fitchratings.com) "International brewers have shied away
from entering the company's markets because of the strong - and
almost nationalistic - brand equity of the company's flagship
brands."

It is unlikely that an acquisition of Bavaria would be an all
cash transaction, particularly because this route would have
detrimental tax consequences on Bavaria's owners, who would have
little use for this money inside Colombia. Hence, a potential
transaction would probably be structured as a merger, where
owners of Bavaria would gain a significant stake in the acquirer
- as with the AmBev-Interbrew transaction.

From a credit perspective, even a fully equity-financed deal
would drive up the leverage of most potential acquirers.
Anheuser-Busch, Inbev, SABMiller and Heineken have leverage or a
net-debt-to -EBITDA ratio of 2.0x or less, while Bavaria's, with
net debt of USD1.8bn, was at 3.1x as at YE03. A fully equity-
financed acquisition by SABMiller for example, would drive the
latter's leverage up by 0.4x to 1.8x on a pro forma basis at
YE04. Moreover, Bavaria generates all of its profits in the
local currencies of Colombia (rated 'BB'), Peru ('BB'), Ecuador
('B-' (B minus)) and Panama ('BB+') whereas half of its debt is
denominated in US dollars.

Taking on Bavaria' debt at a time when the brewing sector is
quickly consolidating would eat up a significant portion of any
acquirer's debt capacity or headroom to undertake other
acquisition opportunities. This could prove detrimental when
major markets with strong potentials like Russia and China are
still fragmented and still offer significant investment
opportunities. In these countries the value an international
brewer can bring to its target in the form of its know-how, its
brands or its financial backing is more obvious than in the case
of Bavaria.

Fitch rates Bavaria SA 'BB'; Anheuser-Busch 'A+'; SABMiller
'BBB'; Scottish & Newcastle 'BBB'; Anadolu Efes 'BB-' (BB
minus); Ambev 'BB+'; whereas Inbev and Heineken are publicly
unrated.

CONTACTS: Frederic Gits, Paris
          Tel: +33 (1) 44 29 91 34

          Joe Bormann, Chicago
          Tel: +1 (312) 368 3349;

          Gian-Carlo Laguzza, New York
          Tel: +1 (212) 908 0212

MEDIA RELATIONS: Alex Clelland, London
                 Tel: +44 20 7862 4084



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E C U A D O R
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PETROECUADOR: Refinery Upgrades Draw Significant Tender Interest
----------------------------------------------------------------
Twenty-five companies have signified their intent to participate
in the tender for the upgrading of Petroecuador's refineries,
says Dow Jones Newswires. The presentation of documents to
participate in the bidding is open until February 10. Among the
companies that have presented proposals are Colombia's
Ecopetrol, Brazilian firms Norberto Odebrech and Petroleo
Brasileiro (PBR) as well as Spanish-Argentine group Repsol-YPF
(REP).

The contracts, to be handed out by the government, will cover
the modernization and administration of Petroecuador's
Esmeraldas, La Libertad and Shushufindi plants.

Around US$558 million in investment is needed to upgrade and add
residual treatment facilities to these plants. The government
plans to direct US$400 million of the money to Esmeraldas, which
has the largest refining capacity. Esmeraldas contributes
110,000 barrels per day to the 175,000 barrels combined daily
output of the plants.



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

KAISER ALUMINUM: Files Term Sheet on Claims Resolution
------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum has filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware a term sheet executed on January 26 between
Kaiser and other parties concerning the resolution and treatment
of personal injury claims and demands within the context of a
Plan of Reorganization (POR) that the company expects to file
within the next several months.

The term sheet was filed as an attachment to a proposed
amendment to Kaiser's pending Intercompany Settlement Agreement
(ISA), which is the subject of Bankruptcy Court hearings
scheduled to begin on February 1. As a result of the execution
of the term sheet, the proposed amendment, and certain other
agreements, all parties either have withdrawn or will withdraw
their objections to the ISA.

Parties to the term sheet, in addition to Kaiser, are the
Unsecured Creditors Committee, the United Steelworkers of
America, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Official
Committee for Asbestos Claimants, the Representative for Future
Asbestos Claimants, and the Representative for Future Silica and
Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles Claimants.

Broadly speaking, the term sheet contains the following
elements:

- The company's POR will provide for the creation of a trust or
trusts that will be funded as described and will assume the
liability for covered personal injury claims (as defined), with
appropriate channeling injunctions pursuant to Sections 524(g)
and Section 105 of the Bankruptcy Code to become effective upon
confirmation of the POR.

- Covered personal injury claims include asbestos claims and
demands, silica claims and demands, coal tar pitch volatiles
claims and demands, and noise-induced hearing loss claims.

Assets to be contributed to the trust(s) will include:

- Proceeds from future postpetition insurance settlements for
covered personal injury claims, through the effective date of
the POR, together with the amounts currently held in Court-
established escrow accounts;

- Rights to proceeds under certain insurance policies as to
covered personal injury claims;

- Assumption by the trust(s) of the responsibility for and right
to control litigation and settlement of insurance coverage
litigation for covered personal injury claims after consummation
of Kaiser's POR;

- $13 million in cash from the company;

- Distributions in respect of 75% of the prepetition, unsecured
intercompany claim held by Kaiser Finance Corporation (KFC)
against Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation (KACC), which
shall be in the form of equity of the reorganized Kaiser
Aluminum;

- 100% of the stock of a subsidiary of KACC, whose sole asset
will be a piece of real property that produces modest rental
income.

The term sheet also expressly acknowledges that there are
conditions precedent to the POR, including Bankruptcy Court
approval of the proposed ISA with the proposed amendment to the
ISA, and that there are other terms of the pending POR that have
not been agreed upon by certain of the parties. In addition, the
proposed amendment to the ISA is subject to approval by the
lenders under the company's current Debtor-in-Possession credit
facility.

Kaiser Aluminum (OTCBB: KLUCQ) is a leading producer of
fabricated aluminum products and owns interests in alumina and
primary aluminum.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum, Houston
         Mr. Scott Lamb
         Phone: 713-332-4751



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

AMERICAS MINING: S&P Raises Company's, Subsidiaries' Ratings
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Americas Mining Corp. (AMC) and AMC's three mining
subsidiaries, Minera Mexico S.A. de C.V. (MM), ASARCO Inc., and
Southern Peru Copper Corp. (SPCC), to 'BB-' from 'B-.' The
ratings were removed from Creditwatch, where they were placed on
Nov. 8, 2004. The outlook is positive.

"The three-notch upgrade reflects the companies' huge debt
reduction in 2004, improved operating performance, good copper
price performance, and advance in financial flexibility due to
Minera Mexico's ability to refinance its security export notes
with a syndicated loan that led to a more comfortable
amortization schedule and interest expense reduction," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Juan P. Becerra.

The rating on AMC and its subsidiaries reflects the company's
below-average debt profile, volatile metal prices, average cost
position, limited product and geographic diversification, and
reliance on SPCC's and MM's dividends. These factors are
balanced by AMC's position as the third-largest copper producer
in the world, its vertical integration, its improved financial
flexibility, and its realized and expected cash-flow generation
due to higher copper prices, as well as the merger of SPCC and
MM. ` Standard & Poor's views the ratings on MM, Asarco, and
SPCC to be equal due to common ownership and management,
centralization of certain functions, and intercompany
transactions.

The outlook is positive. The rating could be raised if AMC
demonstrates its ability to sustain its cash-flow generation and
continues its leverage reduction at the AMC holding and MM
levels and the financial policy regarding dividend payments
continues unchanged.


CFE: To Lobby for Budget Increase
---------------------------------
In an effort to bring forward projects that have been called
off, state-owned electricity company Comision Federal de
Electricidad (CFE) will lobby for an increase in its investment
budget of around MXN4.64 billion (US$413 million), reports El
Universal.

The Finance Department of the CFE claims that the original cost
of the seven projects did not reflect the economic situation in
the country and the possible private investors were looking
rather reticent. As a result, the public works contract had to
be revalued to make them more attractive to investors under the
Deferred Investment Projects in Spending Registers (Pidiregas)
scheme.

The situation will mean a 4.08% increase in the company's debts
classified as direct financed investment this year compared to
2004. These debts total MXN118.36 billion (US$10.5 billion).


CINTRA: Federal Regulators Question 2005 Income Budget
------------------------------------------------------
The government's decision to include income of US$222 million
from the sale of the airline holding company Cintra in the 2005
Income Budget despite the absence of a solid plan to re-
privatize Aeromexico and Mexicana de Aviacion has raised the
eyebrows of the federal deputies. Comtex Business reports that
the secretary of the Communications Commission of the Chamber of
Deputies, Mr. Jesus Gonzalez Schmal, criticized the Treasury
Secretariat for including the amount in the Income Budget
despite the fact that the basis for the auction of the airlines
has still not been sorted out.

"Curiously, the Treasury Secretariat told us that it was going
to enter MXN2.5 billion [US$222 million] from the sale of Cintra
and it happens that IPAB [the Bank Savings Protection Institute]
tells us that this [the sale process] is still being resolved,"
said Gonzalez Schmal.

Mr. Schmal relates that information from IPAB, the main
shareholder of Cintra, indicates that there is a liability of
around MXN15 billion (US$1.33 billion) between the two airlines.

The issue "of why this income is being considered" would be
discussed in the next ordinary period of sessions because "it is
very important," Mr. Schmal said.

The Mexican government controls more than 65% of Cintra, mostly
through IPAB, which acquired a 50.5% stake when the government
rescued troubled banks in the mid-1990s.

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

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


GRUPO MEXICO: Off S&P CreditWatch, Ratings Improve
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term
corporate credit rating on Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Gmexico)
to 'BB' from 'B+'. The rating was removed from CreditWatch,
where it was placed on Nov. 8, 2004. The outlook is positive.

"The two-notch upgrade on Gmexico reflects its debt reduction at
the holding level, and the current and expected improvement in
its mining business financial profile," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Juan P. Becerra. The improvement at the mining
division was due to huge, but still below-average, debt
reduction in 2004 (almost 16%), improved operating performance,
good copper price performance, and advances in financial
flexibility.

The rating on Gmexico reflects the company's below-average debt
profile, cyclical and volatile copper prices, cash-flow
generation, and high fuel cost, which are affecting somewhat its
railroad and mining divisions. These factors are balanced by the
company's position as the third-largest copper producer in the
world, including the very low-cost mines of Southern Peru Copper
Co., Americas Mining Corp.'s (AMC) better financial profile, and
Ferromex's steady cash-flow generation.

The outlook is positive. The rating could be raised if the
rating on AMC is raised and the railroad operation continues its
positive performance. In turn, the rating on AMC could be raised
if its ability to sustain its cash-flow generation continues, it
keeps its leverage reduction at AMC holding and Minera Mexico
S.A. de C.V. level, and if the financial policy regarding
dividend payments continues unchanged.


GRUPO MEXICO: Agrees to Make $55M Payment to Mine Workers
---------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico, the world's third-largest copper producer, has
paid out US$55 million to Cananea and La Caridad mine workers to
settle an equity claim related to the privatization of the mines
15 years ago.

Business News Americas recalls that the Mexican government
carried out the sale of the Cananea and La Caridad mines between
1988 and 1990 for a total of US$475 million. The privatization
contract detailed that 5% of the shares would be apportioned to
the workers.

Union spokesperson Consuelo Aguilar said that a list of workers
who belonged to the companies when they were privatized will be
drawn up so they can receive their due.

CONTACT:  GRUPO MEXICO S.A. DE C.V.
          Avenida Baja California 200,
          Colonia Roma Sur
          06760 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5264-7775
          Fax: +52-55-5264-7769
          Home Page: http://www.gmexico.com
        

ISSSTE: Unions Agreeable to Reform With Certain Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------
The Democratic Federation of Civil Servants Unions (FEDEESP) is
agreeable to the fact that there's a need to revise the law of
the Social Security and Services Institute for State Workers
(ISSSTE) in order to make the institution viable.

But, according to a Notimex report, the group also stressed that
should there be any changes, the assets of workers should not be
affected.

Ignacio Castillo, head of the Union of Agriculture Secretariat
employees, said that the "deplorable" financial and operative
situation of the institution is not the responsibility of the
employees and therefore they should not have to bear the burden
of the reform.



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

PDVSA: Local Stations' Transfer Contemplated for Better Control
---------------------------------------------------------------
State oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) said it is
considering handing over 158 gas stations to local cooperatives
as part of the government's plan to obtain more control over the
domestic fuels market, relates Business News Americas.

The announcement to hand over the stations, which are owned by
PDVSA's gasoline distribution arm Deltaven, but operated by
private companies under concessions, came after the government
said it would implement a fuel rationing plan in the domestic
market to curb smuggling of cheap gasoline to neighboring
countries.

The recent announcement has spurred apprehension among some of
the country's gas-station owners.

"That's 10% of the gas stations in Venezuela, going to
inexperienced hands," said Norbis Pena, the president of the
gas-station owners' association Fenegas.

"Of course, those stations are the government's, but they have
offered current [private] operators no reason why [the
government] wants their gas stations back," added Mr. Pena.


* VENEZUELA: Dodges Potential $35M Oil-Indexed Bond Payment
-----------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela said it will not make the US$35 million oil-indexed
bond payment that Standard & Poor's said was due in October
2004, reports Bloomberg. PDVSA's preliminary calculations found
the government does not owe a payment on oil-indexed obligations
linked to some of the country's other bonds because the price of
oil was not high enough to trigger the payment, the finance
ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

"The reference price was $28.20 a barrel and the strike price is
$28.45 a barrel," the statement said. "Accordingly, no payment
would likely be due."

S&P recently cut Venezuela's long-term foreign currency debt
rating to SD (selective default) after the country missed the
payments in question on oil-indexed obligations.



                            ***********


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

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