TCRLA_Public/050222.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 22, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 37

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ABEL GONZALEZ: Court Approves Motion to Reorganize
ACINDAR: Summons Shareholders to March 18 Meeting
ALUNAMAR S.A.: Files Petition to Reorganize
BANCO GALICIA: Posts Ps.118.3 Million Net Income in 4Q04
CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Unit Inks Accord With DMX MUSIC

CEREAL HENDERSON: To Hold Creditors' Assembly March 28
HUMBERTO NICOLAS: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
IRSA: Notes Conversion Reduces Debt by US$75,893
M.S. MONTAJES: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
NEW GENERATION: Court Orders Assets to be Liquidated

PUSAMAR S.A.: Seeks Court's Reorganization Approval
RAMON ALBERTO: Court Grants Creditor's Bankruptcy Request
SERVICIOS AGROPECUARIOS: Required Reports Schedule Set
TRANSENER: Opens $520M Debt Swap Offer
* ARGENTINA: $102.6B Debt Offer to Close Friday


B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: IMF Stresses Need to Lower Fiscal Deficit, Debt


B R A Z I L

BANCO VOTORANTIM: Issues New Round of Real-Denominated Bonds
TCP: Ends 2004 With EBITDA Up, Operating Loss Shrinks


M E X I C O

GRUPO IUSACELL: Revenue Up 9% in 2004
TV AZTECA: Anticipates 2005 Results In Line With 2004


P A N A M A

* PANAMA: S&P Upgrades Outlook Siting Rewed Fiscal Measures


P A R A G U A Y

COPACO: Reveals Business Plans for 2005


P E R U

* PERU: IMF Recognizes Strong Growth in Latin America


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: Merrill Drops Stock Rating Over Revenue Concerns
PDVSA: Works to Address Merida Fuel Shortage
PDVSA: Fine-Tunes Mariscal Sucre Liquefied Natural Gas Project
PDVSA: To Pay Extra Tax to Government This March


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

ABEL GONZALEZ: Court Approves Motion to Reorganize
--------------------------------------------------
Court No. 4 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
approved a petition for reorganization filed by Abel Gonzalez
S.A., says Clarin.

Under insolvency protection, the furniture manufacturer will be
able to draft a settlement plan for its creditors in order to
avoid a straight liquidation.

The city's Clerk No. 7 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Abel Gonzalez S.A.
         Malabia 2173
         Buenos Aires


ACINDAR: Summons Shareholders to March 18 Meeting
-------------------------------------------------
Acindar Industria Argentina de Aceros, Argentina's largest steel
rod manufacturer, summons shareholders to an assembly scheduled
for March 18 to discuss a possible dividend payment, among other
matters. Dow Jones reports that, if Acindar decides to begin
issuing dividends, it would join a small list of Argentine
large-capitalization companies that are again paying dividends
after the country's 2002 economic crisis, which generated heavy
losses and debt problems for the corporate sector.

In August, local consultancy Delphos Investment said Acindar
should be in shape to issue a 10% dividend by the middle of
2005.

Acindar, which finished a US$230 million debt restructuring in
August, was able to advance more than US$100 million in early
payments to creditors because it had the cash to do so. Belgo
Mineira owns 73% of Acindar.

CONTACT:  ACINDAR INDUSTRIA ARGENTINA DE ACEROS SA
          2739 Estanislao Zeballos Beccar
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina B1643AGY
          Phone: +54 11 4719 8500
          Fax: +54 11 4719 8501
          Web Site: http://www.acindar.ar.com


ALUNAMAR S.A.: Files Petition to Reorganize
-------------------------------------------
Alunamar S.A. filed a "Concurso Preventivo" motion, reports
Clarin. The Company is seeking to reorganize its finances
following cessation of debt payments since January this year.

The case is pending before Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal. The city's Clerk No. 47 assists the
court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Alunamar S.A.
         Hipolito Yrigoyen 116
         Buenos Aires


BANCO GALICIA: Posts Ps.118.3 Million Net Income in 4Q04
--------------------------------------------------------
Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. (the "Bank", Buenos Aires
Stock Exchange: GALI) announced its financial results for the
fiscal year and the quarter ended December 31, 2004.

- The Bank showed a Ps.118.3 million adjusted net income in the
fourth quarter of FY 2004. Considering the Ps.126.5 million
adjustment to the valuation of Secured Loans, Bogar and External
Notes in accordance with Argentine Central Bank rules, and the
P.32.1 million amortization of amparo claims, the quarter showed
a Ps.40.3 million net loss. The increase in adjusted net income
was mainly due to the reversal of allowances, related to an
improvement in the quality of the loan portfolio, and to the
profit from the sale of part of the portfolio of off-balance
sheet loans.

- Adjusted net income for FY 2004 was Ps.205.6 million.
Considering the adjustments to the valuation of public-sector
assets and the amortization of amparo claims, the fiscal year
showed a Ps.108.6 million net loss.

- The Bank's deposits in current and savings accounts and time
deposits (excluding restructured deposits) in Argentina, as of
December 31, 2004, amounted to Ps.5,516 million, up 52.4% and
14.5% from December 31, 2003 and September 30, 2004,
respectively.

- As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's estimated market share
reached 7.5% of the total aforementioned deposits held by the
private sector in the Argentine financial system, up 1.7
percentage points during the year and 0.5 during the last
quarter.

- The Bank's private-sector loan portfolio grew 9.3% during the
quarter, equivalent to 42.8% per annum, before charge offs and
securitized loans.

- The coverage of cash operating expenses(2) with income from
services(3) reached 80% and the break-even operating spread(4)
before credit risk was only 0.92% per annum.

- As of December 31, 2004 the Bank's consolidated computable
capital amounted to Ps.1,746 million, exceeding by Ps.1,133
million the Argentine Central Bank's minimum capital
requirement.

NET INCOME FOR FY 2004

Net income for FY 2004 recorded a Ps.108.6 million loss, 46.9%
lower than the Ps.204.5 million net loss reported in the
previous fiscal year, while the adjusted net income for FY 2004
was Ps.205.6 million.

NET INCOME FOR THE QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2004

Net income for the 4th Q of FY 2004 was Ps.118.3 million.
Considering the Ps.126.5 million adjustment to the valuation of
Secured Loans, Bogar and External Notes in accordance with
Argentine Central Bank rules, and the Ps.32.1 million
amortization of amparo claims, the quarter showed a Ps.40.3
million net loss.

The Ps.118.3 million adjusted net income was the consequence of
a Ps.92.7 million adjusted net operating income(1), a Ps.52.7
million gain from bad debts recovered, net other income for
Ps.143 million and a Ps.23.5 million profit from equity
investments. These gains were partially offset by administrative
expenses for Ps.127.3 million and loan loss provisions for
Ps.66.3 million.

Net other income mainly reflects the reversal of allowances for
loan losses, as a consequence of an improvement in the quality
of the loan portfolio, while the gain from bad debts recovered
includes the profits from the sale of off-balance sheet loan
portfolio.

Adjusted net operating income comprises net income from services
for Ps.70.5 million and adjusted net financial income for
Ps.22.2 million.

INFORMATION DISCLOSURE

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's consolidated financial
statements, shown in pages 18, 19 and 20, include not only its
foreign branch, Galicia Uruguay S.A. and its subisdiaries, and
Tarjetas Regionales S.A., but also the following companies:
Galicia Valores S.A. Sociedad de Bolsa, Galicia Capital Markets
S.A., Galicia Factoring y Leasing S.A., Agro Galicia S.A., and
the subsidiaries of Tarjetas Regionales S.A.

The quarter's net financial income was a Ps.104.3 million loss.
Excluding the Ps.126.5 million loss resulting from the
adjustment to the valuation of Secured Loans, Bogar and External
Notes, net financial income amounted to Ps.22.2 million.
During this quarter, the External Notes held by the Bank have
been valued in accordance with Communiqu‚ "A"4084. This
valuation implied the recording of a Ps.106.0 million loss under
financial income. See "Recent Developments."

Ps.10.5 million of taxes in connection with negotiable
obligations issued under the Bank's foreign-debt restructuring
were recorded as financial expenses in the quarter under
analysis. Until the prior quarter, this amount was recorded as a
miscellaneous loss.

Net financial income includes a Ps.11.1 million profit from
quotation differences, composed of a Ps.13.6 million gain from
FX brokerage and a Ps.2.5 million loss from the revaluation of
the foreign-currency net asset position due to the decrease of
the exchange rate (from Ps.2.9825 per dollar as of September 30,
2004, to Ps.2.9738 per dollar as of December 31, 2004).
The remaining adjusted net financial income was mainly the
consequence of the gains associated with (i) the peso-
denominated and the CER-adjusted matched portfolios; and (ii)
the funding of the net positions in assets adjustable by the CER
and in dollars, with peso-denominated liabilities. These profits
were partially offset by the loss from the dollar-denominated
matched portfolio.

Provisions for loan losses for the quarter amounted to Ps.66.3
million.

Net income from services amounted to Ps.70.5 million, up 15.8%
from the Ps.60.9 million recorded during the previous quarter
and 28.6% from the Ps.54.8 million recorded in the 4th quarter
of FY 2003. All of the components of income from services grew,
mainly as a consequence of a significant increase in the volume
of transactions together with increases in the price of certain
services. The increases in income from credit-related fees and
fees from foreign trade, deposits, insurance and credit and
debit cards were the most significant.

Administrative expenses totaled Ps.127.3 million, up 15.1% from
the previous quarter. Personnel expenses showed a 16.0%
increase, to Ps.66 million in the quarter from Ps.56.9 million
in the prior quarter, mainly due to an extraordinary one-time
payment of higher salaries and to higher severance payments. The
remaining items showed a 14.2% increase, mainly due to the
increase in advertising and publicity expenses.

Income from equity investments amounted to Ps.23.5 million,
mainly due to the Ps.21.7 million profit from the Bank's
interests in the regional credit card companies.

Net other income amounted to Ps.163.6 million, mainly due to:

(i) a Ps.161.1 million gain from the reversal of reserves
established during previous fiscal years, mainly as a result of
the improvement in the quality of the loan portfolio; and

(ii) the recovery of bad loans for Ps.52.7 million, which amount
includes Ps.48.5 million from the sale of part of the portfolio
of off-balance sheet loans. These gains were partially offset
by: (i) the amortization of amparo claims, as established by
Argentine Central Bank's Communiqu‚ "A" 3916, for Ps.32.1
million; and (ii) a Ps.25.0 million loss related to the
establishment of reserves for other contingencies.
No income tax charge was recorded in the period.

LEVEL OF ACTIVITY

Total gross loans amounted to Ps.8,370 million, of which
Ps.4,635 million were to loans to the financial and non-
financial public sectors. The remaining Ps.3,735 million
represented loans to the private sector. The Bank's estimated
loan market share of the Argentine financial system was 9.15%,
and considering only loans to the private sector, it was 6.4%.
The decrease in the Bank's loan market share during the quarter
was due to the reclassification of the Bank's Bogar holdings
under the "Government Securities" account. See "Recent
Developments."

Gross loans to the private sector increased 9.3% during the
quarter, before charge offs against allowances for loan losses
and direct charge offs, for Ps.190 million in aggregate, and the
reclassification of loans for Ps.42 million as "Other
Receivables from Financial Brokerage" in connection with the
securitization of personal loans that was completed during
January 2005. See "Recent Developments.".

During this quarter the Bank's Bogar holdings were reclassified
as government securities (see "Recent Developments"). Total net
exposure to the Argentine public sector was Ps.8,358 million as
of December 31, 2004, up 2.0% from September 30, 2004, and down
6.0% from December 31, 2003. The variation experienced during
the quarter was mainly explained by the increase in the balance
of government securities held for trading purposes, due to the
increase in the Bank's holdings of Lebac.

Equity investments amounted to Ps.273 million. The Ps.161
million increase from the amount recorded as of December 31,
2003, was mainly due to the irrevocable capital contributions
made by the Bank in Tarjetas del Mar S.A. and Tarjeta Naranja
S.A. during January 2004, for an aggregate amount of Ps.71
million, and to the profits recorded by Tarjetas Regionales S.A.
"Bank Premises and Equipment, Miscellaneous and Intangible
Assets" includes Ps.451 million of net deferred losses
associated to amparo claims.

The Bank's consolidated deposits amounted to Ps.6,816 million.
Total deposits included Ps.812 million of deposits in Galicia
Uruguay. In addition, Ps.107 million corresponded to
restructured deposits in Argentina (principal only).

The Bank's deposits in current and savings accounts and time
deposits, excluding restructured deposits, referred to herein as
"voluntary" deposits, reached Ps.5,516 million (principal only)
as of December 31, 2004, representing a 52.4% and a 14.5%
increase from December 31, 2003 and September 30, 2004,
respectively.

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's estimated market share of
deposits in current and savings accounts and time deposits
(excluding restructured deposits), considering only its deposits
in Argentina, was 5.48%, as compared with 4.91% at the close of
the previous quarter and 4.77% a year before. Considering only
the financial system's deposits in current and savings accounts
and time deposits (excluding restructured deposits) of the
private sector, the Bank's estimated deposit market share showed
a significant increase to 7.5% as of December 31, 2004, from
7.0% as of September 30, 2004, and 5.8% as of December 31, 2003.

As of December 31, 2004, financial assistance from the Argentine
Central Bank amounted to Ps.5,707 million, including the CER
adjustment and interest.

"Other Liabilities-Other" includes the advance to be granted by
the Argentine Central Bank for the purchase of the hedge bond,
for Ps.2,721 million, including the CER adjustment and interest.
As of December 31, 2004, the Bank had 1,000,793 deposit
accounts, reflecting an increase of approximately 27,500
accounts during the quarter.

ASSET QUALITY

The Bank's non-accrual loan portfolio decreased by Ps.283
million that is 29.5%, as compared with the previous quarter.
The non-accrual loan portfolio represented 8.08% of total loans
as of December 31, 2004, compared to 11.66% as of September 30,
2004. Considering only the private-sector loan portfolio, the
non-accrual portfolio represented 18.24% of total loans to the
private sector as of December 31, 2004, compared to 26.47% as of
September 30, 2004.

The allowance for loan losses represented 7.25% of total loans
and 16.37% of loans to the private sector only. The coverage of
the non-accrual loan portfolio with allowances for loan losses
reached 89.79% and the coverage with guarantees 66.72%. The
combined coverage of non-accrual loans with allowances and
guarantees was 156.51%.

The coverage with allowances for loan losses of the non-accrual
loan portfolio plus the portfolio in category "2.b" was 75.72%
as of December 31, 2004. Loans classified under category "2.b"
of the Argentine Central Bank's loan classification (which
comprises portfolios that not being non-performing are in the
process of being restructured) amounted to Ps.125.6 million as
of the same date.

When consolidating the regional credit-card companies, non-
accrual loans amounted to Ps.699 million as of December 31,
2004, representing 7.74% of total loans. The coverage of the
non-accrual loan portfolio with allowances for loan losses was
90.41% and the combined coverage with allowances and guarantees
was 154.93%.

Asset quality information is also shown in terms of "total
credit". This does not include the loan portfolio of the
regional credit-card companies. "Total credit" is defined as
loans, certain accounts included in "Other Receivables Resulting
from Financial Brokerage" representing credit transactions,
assets under financial leases, guarantees granted and unused
balances of loans granted.

CAPITALIZATION AND LIQUIDITY

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's consolidated computable
capital exceeded by Ps.1,133 million the Ps.613 million minimum
capital required by Argentine Central Bank rules.

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's consolidated total capital
ratio was 25.11%, in accordance with applicable Argentine
Central Bank rules.

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's unconsolidated liquid assets
(considering only the liquid assets of the Argentine operation)
represented 60.87% of the Bank's transactional deposits and
27.97% of its total deposits in Argentina.

REGIONAL CREDIT-CARD COMPANIES

Income from equity investments in the three regional credit-card
companies in which the Bank holds majority interests amounted to
Ps.21.7 million in the quarter, up 10.2% from the Ps.19.7
million reported for the previous quarter. Total assets of the
three regional credit-card companies amounted to Ps.825.7
million.

As of December 31, 2004, these companies' gross loans amounted
to Ps.689.2 million, 8.6% higher than the Ps.634.6 million
recorded at the end of the prior quarter. This variation reaches
19.7% before charge-offs against allowances for loan losses and
the securitization of loan portfolios by Tarjeta Naranja and
Tarjetas Cuyanas for Ps.51 million and Ps.16 million,
respectively.

Total allowances for loan losses amounted to Ps.25.5 million and
the non-accrual loan portfolio was Ps.22.5 million. As a
consequence, the ratio of non-accrual loans to total loans was
3.26%, as compared with 3.80% in the previous quarter. The
coverage of non-accrual loans with allowances for loan losses
was 113.33% as of December 31, 2004, compared with 87.55% as of
September 30, 2004.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

BANCO GALICIA

Argentine Republic External Notes

Until November 30, 2004, in accordance with the applicable
valuation standards, the Bank's holdings of Medium-Term Dollar-
denominated Argentine Republic External Notes series 74 and 75
(the "External Notes"), for an aggregate face value of US$ 280.5
million, were recorded at the value admitted by the Argentine
Central Bank for public-sector assets used as collateral, as
established by its Communiqu‚ "A" 3756, since the Bank had
offered them as collateral of the advance for the subscription
of the Hedge Bond. The book value was 95.76% per each dollar of
face value, plus past-due and unpaid interest. The adoption of
this criteria assumed that the External Notes were comprised
within the scope of section d), article 15 of Decree Nø905/02,
even though their eligibility as collateral is subject to the
previous approval of the Ministry of Economy and the Argentine
Central Bank.

On January 14, 2005, the National Government launched the
exchange offer to restructure Argentina's defaulted foreign debt
and informed the terms and conditions of the exchange offer. The
exchange period expires on February 25th. As mentioned in our
previous quarter report, the External Notes have been included
as eligible for the debt exchange.

Given that the Bank has decided to accept the aforementioned
proposed exchange offer, as of December 31, 2004, the External
Notes were recorded at a value equal to the present value of the
future cash payments of the Bogar and past due interest accrued
on such Notes after December 31, 2001 has been reversed, as
specified by section 1 v) and section 5 of Communiqu‚ "A" 4084.
This valuation implied a Ps.106 million reduction in the balance
of the "Government Securities" account, compared to September
30, 2004.

During January 2005 the Bank opted to exchange its External
Notes for "Peso-Denominated Discount Bonds" and "GDP-Linked
Units," as per the terms and conditions established by Decree
Nø1735/04, exhibits IV and V. In accordance with this Decree,
the chosen option implies receiving new debt instruments for a
principal amount equal to 33.7% of the eligible debt, the latter
being equal to the non-amortized principal amount as of December
31, 2001, plus unpaid past-due interest up to that date.

In order to reduce the effect on bank balance sheets of
participating in the exchange offer, through Communiqu‚ "A"
4270,  the Argentine Central Bank allowed the aforementioned
"Peso-denominated Discount Bonds" and the "GDP-Linked Units" to
be recorded at the lowest of : (i) the carrying amount of the
old debt in accordance with the prevailing valuation rules
(Communiqu‚s "A" 4084 section 1 v) and section 5, and
complementary ones); or (ii) the total future nominal cash
payments up to maturity specified by the terms of the new
securities. This valuation will be reduced in the amount of the
perceived service payments and accrued interest shall not be
recognized.

As of December 31, 2004 the External Notes were recorded as
dollar-denominated assets and the Bank had a net asset position
in foreign currency. This situation will be modified after the
balance sheet date, since the Bank tendered all of its holdings
of External Notes to the Government's debt exchange, subject to
the final results of such exchange.

BOGAR

As of December 31, 2004, the Bank's holding of Bogar (Secured
Bonds), resulting from the exchange of provincial debt
established by Decree Nø1579/02, were recorded under "Government
Securities" while in previous periods they were recorded under
"Loans". This is a consequence of the fact that, for the time
being, the Bank will not make use of its chosen option to
exchange the Bogar for Secured Loans.

Securitization of loan portfolio

During the 4th quarter, the Bank and the regional credit card
companies securitized loan portfolio for an aggregate amount of
Ps. 107.5 million.

Galicia Personales Financial Trust: on January 11, 2005, the
Trust publicly offered securities for a total amount of Ps.41.5
million, the underlying assets of which consist of personal
loans granted by the Bank.  As of December 31, 2004 the loans
transferred to the Trust were recorded in the "Other Receivables
from Financial Brokerage" account. The tenders received were
approximately 1.5 times the amount offered. The Trust issued
Class A debt securities for a face value of Ps.33.2 million,
Class B debt securities, for a face value of Ps.5.2 million, and
certificates of participation for Ps.3.1 million. The Class A
debt securities' annual interest rate was 7.31% for a duration
of 0.62 years, and for the Class B debt securities the annual
interest rate was 11.99% for a duration of 1.5 years. In
addition to cash, the Bank received Class B debt securities for
Ps.2.9 million and certificates of participation for Ps.3.1
million. The Class A debt securities were rated "raAA" and the
Class B debt securities were rated "raBBB" by Standard&Poors.

Tarjeta Naranja II Financial Trust: On November 1, 2004, the
Trust publicly offered securities for a total amount of Ps. 50
million, the underlying assets of which are receivables arising
from the use of the credit cards issued by Tarjeta Naranja S.A.
The Trust issued : (i) Class A debt securities for a face value
of Ps.40 million, with a CER plus 3% interest rate (with a
minimum of 8% and a maximum of 15% annual interest rate) and a
15-month term; (ii) Class B debt securities for a face value of
Ps.5 million, with a CER plus 5% interest rate (with a minimum
of 11% and a maximum of 20% annual interest rate) and a 17-month
average term; and (iii) certificates of participation for a face
value of Ps.5 million, that will receive the remaining profit
generated by the Trust. The debt securities were fully
subscribed and the certificates were acquired by Tarjeta
Naranja. The Class A securities were rated "AAA(arg)" by Fitch
Argentina, the highest rating granted by this rating agency
after the crisis to a trust with underlying assets consisting of
consumer finance loans, and the Class B securities were rated
"A-(arg)".

Tarjeta Nevada II Financial Trust: On December 6, 2004, the
Trust publicly offered securities for a total amount of Ps.16
million, the underlying assets of which are receivables arising
from the use of the credit cards issued by Tarjetas Cuyanas S.A.
The Class A certificates of participation for a face value of
Ps.12 million, with a CER plus 3% interest rate (with a minimum
of 8% and a maximum of 15%) and a 17-month term, were fully
subscribed. Of the Class B certificates of participation for a
face value of Ps.2.4 million, with a CER plus 5% interest rate
(with a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 20%) and a 23-month
term, Ps.0.55 million were unsubscribed. The latter, as well as
Class C certificates of participation for Ps. 1.6 million, that
will receive the remaining profit generated by the Trust, were
kept by Tarjetas Cuyanas. The Class A and Class B certificates
were rated "AAA(arg)" and "BBB+(arg)", respectively, by Fitch
Argentina.

MAIN REGULATORY CHANGES

Classification of Debtors and Lending Limits

Argentine Central Bank's Communiqu‚ "A" 4254, of December 2,
2004, introduced the following changes, among others:

- Commercial debtors that reach restructuring agreements with
financial institutions between June 30, 2002, and December 31,
2005, may be reclassified in the normal category. The prior rule
(Communiqu‚ "A" 4060) set December 31, 2004, as the limit.

- The possibility to grant new credit to a borrower exceeding
300% of its computable capital was extended up to December 31,
2005.

Minimum Cash Requirements

On January 9, 2005, Argentine Central Bank's Communiqu‚ "A" 4276
established, among others, that beginning January 1, 2005:

(i) the percentages of minimum cash requirements on peso-
denominated current accounts, savings accounts and other demand
accounts will be reduced from 18% to 16%. The same modification
applies to peso-denominated deposits with a remaining maturity
of less than 30 days.

(ii) the percentages applicable to peso-denominated deposits
with a remaining maturity of more than 30 days will be increased
as follows:
  30 days to 59 days  from 14% to 13%
  60 days to 89 days: from 10% to 9%
  90 days to 179 days: from 5% to 4%
  180 days to 365 days: from 3% to 2%

Public Emergency Law

By means of Law Nø25,972, published on the Official Gazette on
December 17, 2004, the period during which the Public Emergency
Law will be in force was extended for an additional year, until
December 31, 2005. On this occasion, the Law enabled the
Executive Branch to partially or totally suspend the public
emergency status, regarding one, some or all the aspects it
covers.

Credit Cards Law

Law Nø26,010, issued on January 11, 2005, modified section 15 of
the Credit Cards Law (Nø25,065), establishing at 3% the maximum
fee that credit card issuers are allowed to charge retailers. In
addition, issuers will not be allowed to establish differential
fees or other charges among retailers belonging to the same
sector or offering similar products or services.

CONTACT: Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.
         Phone: (54-11) 6329-6430
         Fax: (54-11) 6329-6494

         Web site: www.e-galicia.com


CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Unit Inks Accord With DMX MUSIC
----------------------------------------------------
HTV, the 24/7 Latin music channel owned by Claxson Interactive
Group (XSONF.OB), announced Thursday an agreement with DMX MUSIC
Latin America, a leading provider of multi-format music
programming and audio-marketing solutions, under which DMX MUSIC
Latin America will provide HTV with advisory and programming
management services.

"HTV has over eight years' experience meeting successfully the
musical expectations of its Latin audience. This is the right
time to add new tools that will enable us to offer a wider and
better range of music content. For that purpose, we have joined
the structure, technology and expertise of a first-class
provider such as DMX MUSIC Latin America, which is certain to
multiply the channel's strengths", said Ralph Haiek, Pay TV
Division COO at Claxson.

DMX MUSIC makes high-tech systems and equipment available to
businesses and homes throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,
offering the widest range of CD-quality music on a 7/24 basis,
in dozens of formats, without commercials or DJs. It also offers
a selection of music to suit each client's needs. Currently,
over 180,000 businesses, 10 million homes and 30 airlines around
the world receive music programming services from DMX MUSIC.

As a result of this agreement, DMX MUSIC Latin America will be
in charge of programming, traffic, relations with record labels,
production and image coordination for HTV. DMX MUSIC Latin
America is a partnership between DMX MUSIC and Claxson; in
consequence, it is a natural alliance based on the advantage of
incorporating related internal resources to enhance the
effectiveness of one of their products, in this case, HTV
channel.

"We are very pleased with taking over programming administration
for a channel such as HTV, not only because of its strong
presence in the Latin community and its position as a benchmark
for Spanish language music, but also because this alliance is a
great opportunity for growth for all of us", said Gustavo
Tonelli, General Manager at DMX MUSIC Latin America.

"The combination of expertise and recognition in the industry of
both DMX and HTV will place us in a privileged position to
launch new marketing strategies that will enable us to generate
projects involving artists, affiliated and advertising clients,
multiplying the advantages for all the parties involved and
resulting in a much more attractive offer for the audience",
said Mr. Tonelli.

About HTV

HTV makes part of the Pay TV business line of Claxson, a media
company that provides and distributes entertainment content to
Spanish and Portuguese speakers around the world.

HTV is a leading 24/7 Latin music channel in the TV industry,
with a solid audience base not only in Latin America but also in
Spanish-speaking markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia. HTV
presents the best video clips and original productions on a
daily basis, spanning a wide range of Latin American music
styles, such as Latin pop, salsa, merengue, son, ballads, and
Latin rock, among others.

HTV offers all the Latin power and appeal, breaking geographic
and language barriers. It is a place where music never stops,
thanks to a varied, dynamic and excellent music programming.

About DMX MUSIC Latin America

Headquartered in Miami Beach, FL, DMX MUSIC Latin America is the
leading provider of professionally programmed digital music to
homes and businesses in the region via satellite and cable. DMX
MUSIC Latin America is a joint venture between DMX MUSIC, a
global leader in delivering unique audio and visual music
experiences to 180,000 businesses, 10 million homes and 30
airlines around the world, and Claxson (XSONF.OB), a multimedia
company providing branded entertainment content targeted to
Spanish and Portuguese speakers around the world.

About Claxson

Claxson (XSONF.OB) is a multimedia company that provides and
distributes entertainment content to Spanish and Portuguese
speakers around the world. The company has a portfolio of well-
known entertainment brands distributed through several
platforms, including Pay TV, Broadcast TV, radio and Internet.
The company's headquarters are located in Buenos Aires and
Miami, and it has a presence in the U.S. and all major Latin
American countries, including without limitation Argentina,
Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Spain and Portugal. Claxson's main
shareholders are the Cisneros Group of Companies and funds
affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.

CONTACT: Claxson Interactive Group, Inc.
         Avenida Melian 2752
         Buenos Aires C1430EYH
         Argentina
         Phone: 011-5411-4546-8000

         Website: http://www.claxson.com


CEREAL HENDERSON: To Hold Creditors' Assembly March 28
------------------------------------------------------
Court NO. 19 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal has
set the informative assembly for the Cereal Henderson S.A.
reorganization case on March 28. Creditors will vote to ratify
the Company's settlement plan during the said event. The city's
Clerk No. 37 assists the court in resolving this case.


HUMBERTO NICOLAS: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
---------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 3 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of a petition to reorganize
submitted by Humberto Nicolas Fontana S.A.C.

Infobae recalls that the company filed the petition following
cessation of debt payments. Reorganization will allow the
Company to avoid bankruptcy by negotiating a settlement with its
creditors.

Clerk No. 6 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Humberto Nicolas Fontana S.A.C.
         Juan Bautista Alberdi 5845
         Buenos Aires


IRSA: Notes Conversion Reduces Debt by US$75,893
------------------------------------------------
By letter dated February 17, 2005, the Company reported that a
holder of Company's Convertible Notes exercised it conversion
right. Hence, the financial indebtedness of the Company shall be
reduced in US$ 75,893 and an increase of 139,253 ordinary shares
face value pesos 1 (V$N 1) each was made. The conversion was
performed according to terms and conditions established in the
prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate of 1.83486 shares,
face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of face value US$ 1. As
a result of that conversion the amount of shares of the Company
goes from 263,850,520 to 263,989,773. On the other hand, the
amount of registered Convertible Notes is US$ 84,826,488.

CONTACT: IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones S.A.
         1066
         Bolivar 108
         Buenos Aires, Argentina
         Phone: 541-342-7555


M.S. MONTAJES: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Luis Maria Rementeria was assigned
trustee for the bankruptcy of local company M.S. Montajes
Industriales S.R.L., relates Infobae. Mr. Rementeria will verify
creditors' claims until February 25, the source adds. After
that, he will prepare the individual reports, which are to be
submitted in court on April 12. The general report should follow
on May 24.

The city's Court No. 24 holds jurisdiction over the Company's
case. Clerk No. 40 assists the court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Luis Maria Rementeria, Trustee
         Piedras 1319
         Buenos Aires


NEW GENERATION: Court Orders Assets to be Liquidated
----------------------------------------------------
New Generation S.R.L. of Buenos Aires prepares to wind-up its
operations following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by
Court No. 23 of the city's civil and commercial tribunal, says
Infobae. The declaration effectively prohibits the company from
administering its assets, control of which will be transferred
to a court-appointed trustee.

Clerk No. 46 assists the court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the company's assets to pay its liabilities.


PUSAMAR S.A.: Seeks Court's Reorganization Approval
---------------------------------------------------
Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of the reorganization petition
filed by Pusamar S.A. Argentine daily Infobae reports that the
company filed the request after defaulting on its debt payments.

The reorganization petition, if granted by the court, will allow
the Company to negotiate a settlement with its creditors in
order to avoid a straight liquidation.

The city's Clerk No. 47 assists the court on this case.


RAMON ALBERTO: Court Grants Creditor's Bankruptcy Request
---------------------------------------------------------
Ramon Alberto Forti S.A. entered bankruptcy after Court No. 3 of
Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal approved a
bankruptcy motion filed by creditor Santiago Vera, reports
Clarin. The Company's failure to pay US$12,092 in debt prompted
the creditor to file the petition.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to repay creditors. Payments will be based on
the results of the verification process.

Clerk No. 5 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Ramon Alberto Forti S.A.
         Avda. Independencia 715
         Buenos Aires


SERVICIOS AGROPECUARIOS: Required Reports Schedule Set
------------------------------------------------------
Validated individual claims from the Servicios Agropecuarios El
Venado S.A. bankruptcy case are due for court submission on
February 28. These reports explain the basis for the accepted
and rejected claims. The trustee is also required to submit a
general report on April 15.

Infobae reports that Court No. 16 of Santa Fe's civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this bankruptcy case.

CONTACT: Servicios Agropecuarios El Venado S.A.
         Ruta Nacional 33 y 8
         Venado Tuerto (Santa Fe)


TRANSENER: Opens $520M Debt Swap Offer
--------------------------------------
Compania de Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta Tension
Transener S.A. (Transener), Argentina's largest electricity
transmitter, has launched an offer to restructure US$520 million
in debt, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

In a filing to the local stock exchange Friday, Transener
revealed it is offering three options. The first is a par bond
that matures in 2016. The second alternative is a cash payment
worth 55% of the original face value of the notes. The last
choice is a combination of Class B shares and a 2015 discount
bond that carries a 18% reduction in principal. The offer opens
today, Feb. 22 and closes March 23, Transener said.

The company, which defaulted on its obligations in 2002 amid
Argentina's economic crisis, needs approval from creditors
representing 97% of the total outstanding debt to complete the
debt exchange.

Its other option would be an APE, wherein two-thirds approval
from creditors would allow the company to submit its offer to
the courts, whose clearance then makes the repayment terms
binding on all bondholders. There is an objection and appeals
period, but creditors can only object on two grounds: the
company's statement of assets and liabilities, and the way in
which the majorities were counted. This means courts don't rule
on the fairness of the restructuring offer.

Transener is presumed to have enough support from bondholders to
get its APE approved. The company said it has signed a support
agreement "with some of its principal financial creditors" that
represent 66.71% of the capital outstanding.

Under the agreement, creditors will participate in the exchange,
pledge not to file legal action against Transener and will
attend a bondholder voting assembly. The ban on legal action
includes seeking compensation on the defaulted obligations.

Argentine oil and gas company Petrobras Energia (PECO.BA) and
local investment group Dolphin Fund Management hold equal stakes
in Citelec, Transener's holding company.

CONTACT:  Paseo Colon 728 6th Floor
          (1063) Buenos Aires
          Republica Argentina
          Tel: (54-11) 4342-6925
          Fax: (54-11) 4342-7147
          Email: info-trans@transx.com.ar
          Web site: http://www.transener.com.ar


* ARGENTINA: $102.6B Debt Offer to Close Friday
-----------------------------------------------
Argentina's US$102.6 billion debt swap offer is set to close on
Friday, reports Reuters. As of Feb. 11, about US$37.87 billion
worth of Argentine bonds had accepted the exchange.

On Jan. 14, Argentina launched an offer of up to US$41.8 billion
in three types of bonds in exchange for US$81.8 billion in debt
principal on which it defaulted in early 2002. Based on that
figure, acceptance stood at 46.3%.

Including past-due interest, the figure would be US$102.6
billion, and as a base for calculations would mean the
acceptance stood at 36.9% as of Feb. 11.

The exchange amounts to the biggest "haircut," or loss on
principal, of any sovereign debt restructuring in modern times.

Analysts have said Argentina needs a 70% to 80% acceptance rate
to call the deal a success and return to capital markets soon.



=============
B O L I V I A
=============

* BOLIVIA: IMF Stresses Need to Lower Fiscal Deficit, Debt
----------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement Friday in La
Paz at the conclusion of his visit:

"I am delighted to be in La Paz as part of my visit to the
Andean region. I had the privilege of meeting President Mesa,
members of his Cabinet, including Minister of the Presidency
Jos‚ Antonio Galindo, Minister of Finance Luis Carlos Jemio,
Minister of Economic Development Walter Kreidler, Central Bank
President Juan Antonio Morales and Superintendent of Banks
Fernando Calvo. Earlier, I met with key congressional leaders,
President of the Senate Hormando Vaca Diez and President of the
Chamber of Deputies Mario Cossio, and with other political
leaders, and civil society representatives. Tonight I shall meet
with private sector representatives.

"In my discussions with President Mesa and with his economic
team, we focused on the challenges of building wider consensus
among Congress, and social and private partners, for an economic
agenda that would make full use of Bolivia's rich natural
resources and deliver macroeconomic stability sustained growth,
and reduced poverty. Bolivia is at an important juncture in its
history. It has met difficult economic and political challenges.
Bolivia's economic program, supported by a Stand-By Arrangement
from the Fund has preserved much-needed short-term stability.
Against a background of a strong world economy and the best
regional growth performance in a decade, Bolivia's economy has
strengthened significantly, while inflation has remained in
single digits.

"Nevertheless, crucial challenges remain. It will be critical to
take advantage of the favorable world economy to move forward
and forge consensus on policies aimed at reviving investment and
addressing social concerns as part of the process of
establishing the basis for sustained growth. In particular,
sound management of Bolivia's rich hydrocarbon resources will be
crucial to develop the economy to the benefit of all. New
investments will be essential for this purpose, inevitably
involving the private sector, and within a transparent and
efficient framework. Bolivia's rich natural resources, if well
managed, hold the promise of raising living standards and
reducing poverty.

"We agreed that, in light of Bolivia's still high debt burden,
the government's fiscal program must aim at bringing down
Bolivia's fiscal deficit and debt so as to entrench
macroeconomic and financial stability, and sustain the current
economic recovery. Congress and the private sector have a key
role to play in the implementation of Bolivia's economic agenda,
which can only be successfully implemented with the
participation of all sectors of society.

"The IMF has been deeply engaged, along with the international
community more broadly, in supporting Bolivia's efforts to bring
down debt, boost growth, and fight poverty. Our programs are
designed to maintain macroeconomic stability and put in place
the conditions for growth, including fiscal reform and a
strengthened financial system. We also support your efforts in a
participatory dialogue to refine priorities for poverty
reduction; and support social safety nets for the poor and the
protection of pro-poor spending.

"My visit underscored the importance the IMF places on our
relationship with Bolivia. A mission is currently in Bolivia
discussing continued support to Bolivia's economic program under
the current Stand-By Arrangement. Looking ahead, we hope that a
broad consensus can be reached as soon as possible among the
authorities and social partners in developing a set of policies,
especially of natural resource use, that could be supported by a
three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement."

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

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

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



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

BANCO VOTORANTIM: Issues New Round of Real-Denominated Bonds
------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian bank Banco Votorantim S.A. has completed an overseas
Brazilian real-denominated bond issue totaling the equivalent of
US$100 million. According to Dow Jones Newswires, the 36-month
bonds were placed at an annual yield of 17.1%.

The offering, which was coordinated by Banco Pactual, follows
the placement of US$100 million, 24-month Eurobonds in January.
The bonds, yielding 4.25% per year, were placed at 99.52% of
face value.

Banco Votorantim is a unit of the industrial conglomerate Grupo
Votorantim, which is also parent to the paper and pulp company
Votorantim Celulose e Papel SA (VCPA4.BR).


TCP: Ends 2004 With EBITDA Up, Operating Loss Shrinks
-----------------------------------------------------
Telesp Celular Participacoes S.A. (TCP) (Bovespa: TSPP3 (ON =
Common Shares) / TSPP4 (PN = Preferred Shares);(NYSE: TCP),
announced its consolidated results for the fourth quarter and
full year of 2004 (4Q04 and 2004).


R$ million               4Q04      4Q03      2004      2003
---------------------------------------------------------
Net Operating Revenue  1,953.2   1,877.3   7,341.0   6,614.3
    Total
     Operating Costs  (1,340.9) (1,255.4) (4,752.2) (4,110.7)
    EBITDA               612.3     621.9   2.588.8   2.503.6
    EBITDA Margin (%)     31.3 %    33.1 %    35.3 %    37.9 %
    Net Result          (234.7)   (177.5)   (490.2)   (612.3)

    Number of customers
     (thousand)          17,631    13,298    17,631    13,298
    Market share
   (source: Anatel)       51.4 %    56.6 %    51.4 %    56.6 %
    Net Additions
   (thousand)             1,268     1,624     4,333     2,994

First 3G cellular operator in Latin America, a key tool for the
company's innovation strategy, which was possible due to the
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology.

Absolute leadership in innovation and variety of services
launched on the market. Successful in the differentiation
strategy as regards its competitors as a result of the provision
of innovating services such as "VIVO Encontra" and "VIVO
Agenda".

Successful in its high value and corporate market focus. VIVO
Empresas program reaches 1.5 million customers after 1 year of
existence.

TCP's customer base has risen 32.6% over last year and 7.7% over
3Q04, recording 17,631 thousand customers.

Net additions in 2004 totaled 4,333 thousand new customers, up
44.7% in relation to last year, thus consolidating the
leadership position of VIVO brand.

TCP reported again an increase in its post-paid service users
base in 4Q04, having grown 5.1% and 2.1% in relation to 4Q03 and
3Q04, respectively.

SAC recorded a 11.3% reduction, as compared to 3Q04, reflecting
the increase in the entry barriers of new pre-paid customers,
despite the strong competition and marketing campaigns turned to
different market segments.

Monthly churn at 1.6% in 2004 decreased by 0.3 p.p., showing the
successful customer retention campaigns.

The R$ 2,588.8 million EBITDA for the year represents a 3.4%
increase in relation to 2003. EBITDA Margin of 35.3% in 2004, in
spite of being operating in one of the most competitive markets
in the world, but that also offers one of the highest growth
potential.

TCP's accrued losses decreased by 19.9% as compared to the
previous year, totaling R$ 490.2 million.

Sustained growth of data revenues, which increased by 75.3% over
last year, accounting for 4.6% of the net services revenue in
2004 (for enabled terminals).

About Telesp Celular

Telesp Celular Participacoes (controller of Tele Centro Oeste
Participacoes S.A.), along with Tele Leste Celular Participacoes
S.A., Tele Sudeste Celular Participacoes S.A. and Celular CRT
Participacoes S.A., make up the assets of the joint venture
undertaken by Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Moviles that
operates under the VIVO brand, Top of Mind on the Brazilian
market. On December 2004, VIVO Group reached 26 million
customers, thus consolidating its market leadership.

CONTACT: VIVO Investor Relations
         Phone: +55-11-5105-1172
         E-mail: ir@vivo.com.br

         Web site: http://www.vivo.com.br



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

GRUPO IUSACELL: Revenue Up 9% in 2004
-------------------------------------
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CEL) (BMV: CEL) (Iusacell or
the Company) announced Friday unaudited financial results for
the fourth quarter 2004. Grupo Iusacell recorded a 6% growth in
revenue to Ps$1,422 million for the fourth quarter of 2004,
compared to Ps$1,343 million for the same period in 2003. For
the year 2004, the Company recorded a 9% revenue growth to
Ps$5,431 million, compared to Ps$4,984 million for the previous
year.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization decreased
to Ps$43 million for the fourth quarter 2004 from Ps$91 million
for the corresponding 2003 period. However, Iusacell increased
operating income before depreciation and amortization to Ps$654
million in the year 2004, representing an increase of Ps$95
million over 2003. This reduced the fourth quarter's net loss to
Ps$363 million compared to a Ps$1,386 million net loss in the
fourth quarter of 2003, and also reduced the year's net loss to
Ps$1,989 million, compared to a Ps$4,953 million net loss
reported for 2003.

Grupo Iusacell ended the year with a subscriber base of 1.46
million, up 15% from 2003.

Highlights:

              Millions of Pesos(2), except percentages
  ----------------------------------------------------------
             4Q      4Q   Change    12M     12M       Change
            2003    2004      %     2003    2004          %
Revenue    1,343   1,422    6 %    4,984    5,431       9 %

Total Cost   732     883   21 %    2,523    3,216      27 %

Operating
Expenses     520     496   -5 %    1,904    1,561     -18 %

Operating
Income
Before
depreciation
and
amortization  91      43  -53 %      558      654      17 %

Income(loss)
Net       (1,386)   (363) -74 %   (4,953)  (1,989)    -60 %
  ----------------------------------------------------------
(1) Unless otherwise noted, all monetary figures are expressed
in Mexican pesos as of December 31, 2004 in accordance with
Mexican GAAP. The symbols "Ps$" and "US$" refer to Mexican pesos
and U.S. dollars, respectively.

(2) Constant December 31, 2004 pesos.

Revenues for the fourth quarter 2004 increased 6% to Ps$1,422
million, from Ps$1,343 million for the same period in 2003. For
the year 2004, revenues increased 9% to Ps$5,431 million, from
Ps$4,984 million in 2003, mainly reflecting an increase in
service revenues as a result of (1) an increase in postpaid
revenues, (2) an increase in airtime sales, (3) a higher
subscriber base and (4) an increase in telephone sales.

During the fourth quarter 2004, total costs increased 21% to
Ps$883 million as compared to Ps$732 million during the same
period the previous year. For the year, total costs increased
27% over 2003. The increase resulted mainly from (1) a higher
subsidy for terminals, (2) cost increase associated with larger
gross additions and (3) the obsolescence of certain telephone
models which, according to company policies, were charged to
results of operations.

For the fourth quarter of 2004, operating expenses reached
Ps$496 million, which was 5% lower than the Ps$520 million
recorded for the fourth quarter 2003. For the full year 2004,
the Company reported an 18% decrease to Ps$1,561 million, as
compared to Ps$1,904 million in 2003.

Iusacell reported operating income before depreciation and
amortization of Ps$43 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, a
53% reduction over Ps$91 million for the corresponding quarter
in 2003, mainly as a result of a quarterly increase in sales
costs and a reduction in handset revenues and tower sales. In
spite of this, however, the Company ended 2004 with operating
income before depreciation and amortization of Ps$654 million,
up 17% from the Ps$558 million recorded for 2003.

Quarterly net loss fell to Ps$363 million as compared to a
Ps$1,386 million loss in the corresponding quarter in 2003. For
the year, the Company reported a 60% reduction in net loss,
going from Ps$4,953 million in 2003 to Ps$1,989 million in 2004.

In the last quarter of 2004, the Company invested approximately
US$9 million. Combined with US$31 million invested in previous
quarters, Iusacell invested a total of approximately US$40
million in 2004, which mainly went toward expanding the capacity
and coverage area of Iusacell's 3G network.

Recent Events

Nationwide Launch of Push to Talk (PTT)

As announced in the third quarter of 2004, Iusacell launched the
RADIO PLUS service, better known as Push to Talk or PTT, in
Mexico's region 8. However, during the last quarter of 2004, the
Company launched this service nationwide, giving customers
immediate and unlimited connection to Iusacell coverage areas in
radio mode and allowing them to experience direct one-button
communication with up to five people at a time, with no long-
distance or roaming charges.

Tower Sales

During the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company sold and leased
back 29 towers to MATC, for approximately Ps$67 million in net
revenue, which was completely reinvested in Company operations.

Debt Restructuring

The Company continues negotiations with various creditors in an
effort to reach a comprehensive debt restructuring agreement in
the shortest time possible.

About Iusacell

Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (Iusacell, NYSE and BMV: CEL) is a
wireless cellular and PCS service provider in Mexico
encompassing a total of approximately 92 million POPs,
representing approximately 90% of the country's total
population.

Independent of the negotiations towards the restructuring of its
debt, Iusacell reinforces its commitment with customers,
employees and suppliers and guarantees the highest quality
standards in its daily operations offering more and better voice
communication and data services through state-of-the-art
technology, such as its new 3G network, throughout all of the
regions in which it operates.

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

CONTACT: Grupo Iusacell
         Mr. Jose Luis Riera K.
         Chief Financial Officer
         Phone: +011-5255-5109-5927

         Mr. J. Victor Ferre V.
         Finance Manager
         Phone: +011-5255-5109-5927
         E-mail: vferrer@iusacell.com.mx

         Web site: http://www.iusacell.com


TV AZTECA: Anticipates 2005 Results In Line With 2004
-----------------------------------------------------
Bruno Rangel, director of investor relations at TV Azteca SA
(TZA), expects the Mexican broadcaster company to end 2005 with
results "similar" to last year even without another event like
the Olympics to boost sales, relates Dow Jones Newswires. The
results sent TV Azteca's CPO shares tumbling 4.6% on Thursday
and another 2.1% by midday Friday to MXN6.04.

Mr. Rangel implied that the company is banking on the continued
growth at its U.S. network, Azteca America, and in local
operations to boost sales. He noted that upfront sales for 2005
were already up 7% from the previous year.

TV Azteca reported last week a 7% drop in its full-year 2004
profit to MXN1.54 billion despite a 9% rise in sales to MXN8.32
billion. Fourth-quarter profits slid 23% to MXN480 million, with
higher costs offsetting a 1% rise in sales.

On Thursday, Merrill Lynch cut the company's stock rating to
sell from neutral, saying the company's fundamentals are
deteriorating. The investment house said it is "concerned about
burgeoning programming costs and other costs associated with the
ongoing SEC investigation."

Last quarter, the company spent MXN45 million on advisory fees
related to complying with U.S. securities laws and another MXN56
million on legal fees.

CONTACT: Mr. Bruno Rangel
         Phone: 5255 1720 9167
         E-mail: jrangelk@tvazteca.com.mx

         Mr. Omar Avila
         Phone: 5255 1720 0041
         E-mail: oavila@tvazteca.com.mx

         Media Relations:
         Mr. Tristan Canales
         Phone: 5255 1720 5786
         E-mail: tcanales@tvazteca.com.mx

         Mr. Daniel McCosh
         Phone: 5255 1720 0059
         E-mail: dmccosh@tvazteca.com.mx



===========
P A N A M A
===========

* PANAMA: S&P Upgrades Outlook Siting Rewed Fiscal Measures
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlooks on its
long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Panama to
stable from negative. Standard & Poor's also affirmed its 'BB'
long-term sovereign credit ratings on the republic. According to
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services credit analyst Lisa
Schineller, the stable outlooks reflect expected improvement in
the government's fiscal deficit and debt dynamics following
passage of the recent fiscal reform package and prospects for
social security reform.

"President Mart¡n Torrijos and his economic team recognize that
fiscal reform was and is necessary to stem the increase in
Panama's debt burden and strengthen creditworthiness," said Ms.
Schineller. "The government has demonstrated a firm commitment
to reduce fiscal imbalances by advancing a politically
aggressive tax reform to reduce loopholes in Panama's tax
regime, while at the same time reducing government expenditure
over the next few years," added Ms. Schineller.

Ms. Schineller explained that the implementation of this fiscal
reform package and tight budgetary execution are expected to
lower the general government deficit to around 3.5% of GDP in
2005 and 2% in 2006 from almost 5.5% in 2004. Net general
government debt (excluding social security holdings of debt and
liquid assets) is projected to stabilize at around 46% of GDP in
2005-2006.

Standard & Poor's said that, given official dollarization in
Panama, the government has only fiscal policy at its disposal to
adjust to shocks, and that policy room for maneuver became
increasingly limited with the rise in the debt burden and other
nondiscretionary spending. Interest costs associated with rising
debt, increased payroll, and deteriorating social security
balances have weakened Panama's fiscal position. However, the
approved fiscal package and plans to reform the social security
regime, which are expected to move ahead, should improve
Panama's fiscal dynamics and reduce expenditure and revenue
rigidities in the coming years.

"The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's assessment that
the government will implement its reform to stem fiscal
deterioration despite challenging political resistance," Ms.
Schineller noted.

"Stronger-than-expected results of reform could generate
positive implications for creditworthiness. The stable outlook
also assumes that any expansion of the Panama Canal, which would
enhance economic opportunities in Panama, will be managed in a
fiscally prudent manner that imposes little pressure on
government finances," she concluded.

Primary Credit Analyst: Lisa M Schineller, New York (1) 212-438-
7352; lisa_schineller@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Roberto Sifon Arevalo, New York (1)
212-438-7358; roberto_sifon-arevalo@standardandpoors.com



===============
P A R A G U A Y
===============

COPACO: Reveals Business Plans for 2005
---------------------------------------
Paraguay's state-run fixed line operator Copaco outlined some of
its plans for this year, reports Business News Americas.

These plans, as outlined by Copaco commercial manager Osmar
Lopez, include:

- providing internet connectivity for ISPs starting in March,
and offering the service for the corporate and residential
market;

- providing a service of up to 1Mbps for ISPs who may then
resell the service to end-users. Copaco will work with
Telefonica de Argentina (NYSE: TAR) for the satellite
connection;

- launching a GSM mobile service in August 2005 with an initial
investment of around US$30 million. Copaco has already obtained
a mobile license from the country's telecoms regulator Conatel
to launch this service; and

- launching a tender to upgrade its IT platform to develop a
national data network and operate with next generation
technology. The plans to invest US$1 million for this project,
which should also lead to expanded basic telephony coverage and
new tariffs.



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

* PERU: IMF Recognizes Strong Growth in Latin America
-----------------------------------------------------
Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement Friday in
Lima at the conclusion of his visit to Peru:

"I am delighted to be here, the final stop on my visit to the
Andean region. It has been a very good visit. It has given me a
much better understanding of the region and its people, the
challenges they face, and the strenuous efforts being made
everywhere to meet employment and other social aspirations and
to build lasting prosperity.

"[Fri]day in Peru, I had the privilege to meet with President
Alejandro Toledo, Finance Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Acting
Central Bank President Oscar Dancourt, Minister for Women and
Social Development Ana Mar¡a Romero-Lozada, Minister of Housing,
Construction and Rehabilitation Carlos Bruce, and other senior
officials. I also had a very constructive meeting with Peruvian
political leaders. I was able to spend some time with the people
of Villa El Salvador, and this was a moving experience; I
learned much from the experience of its Mayor, Jaime Zea Usca.

"The year 2004 has been a very good year for Latin America,
which registered its strongest rate of growth in a decade, and
growth prospects for 2005 are very strong. Within Latin America,
Peru's economic growth rate was one of the highest in 2004, and
I commended the authorities on their progress in promoting
sustainable growth. During President Toledo's administration,
fiscal consolidation has been pursued and significant progress
has been made in implementing growth-enhancing reforms,
including recent pension reform, part of the government's
economic program, supported by a precautionary Stand-By
Arrangement from the Fund. These efforts have paid important
dividends; economic growth has been robust, inflation has
remained low, and vulnerabilities associated with dollarization
and public debt have been reduced, enhancing international
confidence in Peru's economy. We are also pleased to see that
the authorities are making good progress in their discussions on
free trade agreements with several countries, underscoring
Peru's commitment to free trade.

"In my discussions with the authorities, we all agreed that
significant challenges persist, and there is a need to continue
strengthening the political consensus for the reforms. Poverty
is still high and, to reduce poverty by half, in line with the
Millennium Development Goals, Peru will need to sustain average
annual rates of growth of at least 4 percent a year. In that
context, it will be essential to maintain sound macroeconomic
policies and deepen the implementation of growth-enhancing
reforms. There is also a need to continue to increase social
spending and further improve the efficiency of government
spending, including through well-targeted spending programs,
within the framework of the fiscal sustainability objectives
embodied in the fiscal responsibility and transparency law.
These objectives include reducing the fiscal deficit to 1
percent of GDP in 2005 thereby underpinning the broader
objective of bringing Peru's public debt to under 40 percent of
GDP by 2006.

"Sustained growth also requires stepping up investment in
infrastructure, with a view to eliminating existing bottlenecks.
Peru is one of the countries participating in the Pilot Project
on Public Investment and Fiscal Policy, which is to be
considered by the Executive Board of the Fund in coming months.
Meeting Peru's large infrastructure needs requires continued
efforts to broaden the tax base, improve government spending
allocation, and actions to promote private sector investment. In
this regard, further efforts are required to increase public
savings, including through the elimination of tax exemptions,
and the public investment framework needs to be strengthened to
improve the prioritization and programming of new projects while
ensuring maintenance of the existing stock. Public-private
partnerships are also a key component of the policies to address
existing infrastructure needs. The National System of Public
Investment (SNIP) is already playing a key role in ensuring the
quality of public investment.

"My visit underscores the importance that the IMF places on our
relationship with Peru. We believe that the successful
implementation of the authorities' economic program is
reinforcing confidence in the continuity of prudent
macroeconomic policies, and should help set the basis for Peru's
strategy for exiting from Fund financial support. The IMF looks
forward to continued policy dialogue with the authorities and to
providing its assessment of macroeconomic and financial sector
issues, supplemented by technical assistance in the Fund's areas
of core expertise," Mr. de Rato said.

CONTACT: IMF - External Relations Department
         700 19th Street, NW
         Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

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

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



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

CANTV: Merrill Drops Stock Rating Over Revenue Concerns
-------------------------------------------------------
Uncertainty over the company's free cash flow and dividend
outlook prompted Merrill Lynch Friday to lower its stock rating
on Venezuela's largest telecommunications firm CA Nacional de
Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV) to neutral from buy.

Merrill Lynch said in a research note that although CANTV met
its guidance for free cash flow in 2004, it has indicated a 40%
decline this year. Noting that CANTV's dividend policy is tied
to the free cash flow, "we are downgrading the stock."

The investment house also questioned CANTV's plan to raise
capital spending in 2005 by 50% given the political volatility
in Venezuela.

"Given the current political situation in Venezuela, we wonder
if greater capex goes beyond necessary business investment," it
said.

CONTACT: Cantv - Investor Relations
         Phone: +011 58 212 500-1831 (Master)
                +011 58 212 500-1828 (Fax)
         E-mail: invest@cantv.com.ve

         The Global Consulting Group
         Ms. Lauren Puffer
         Phone: 646 284-9426 (US)
         E-mail: lpuffer@hfgcg.com


PDVSA: Works to Address Merida Fuel Shortage
--------------------------------------------
Fuel supply to the State of Merida and the Andean Region in
general, located at the west of Venezuela, tends to
regularization, reported Giorgio Falco, Manager of PDVSA's Fuel
Distribution Plant in El Vigia. In the last few days, damages in
Merida 's access routes due to heavy rains and floods delayed
normal fuel supply to this city from the Distribution Plant in
El Vigia.

In view of this circumstance, PDVSA implemented a contingency
plan using tank trucks that normally supply fuel from the
Mamporal Plant in Barquisimeto in the center region at the
country. The trucks transport the fuel to Merida, crossing
Barinas Plains and the Andean moor route, which is currently the
only access to the Andean city by land.

Giorgio Falco said that "the shortage of the first few days is
already under control; the small lines that will form will be
due to the fact that it is a long, slow way from Barquisimeto to
the Andean moor. We have progressively covered the service
stations' demand and the trend is toward regularization".

PDVSA and the Ministry of Energy and Oil, as well as other
governmental organizations are evaluating alternatives that will
guarantee full normality in fuel supply to Merida and the Andean
region, in general.

Pedro Rodriguez, General Manager of Distribution for Venezuela,
stated that there is complete fuel availability in distribution
plants.

CONTACT: Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.
         Corporate Public Affairs
         Apartado Postal 169, Caracas 1010-A
         Venezuela
         Fax: (58 + 2 12) 708.44.60.


PDVSA: Fine-Tunes Mariscal Sucre Liquefied Natural Gas Project
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rafael Ramirez, Minister of Energy and Oil and president of
PDVSA, announced that the Mariscal Sucre Liquefied Natural Gas
Project is being fine-tuned to differentiate the processes that
will be developed in this potential area, north of the Paria
Peninsula.

"We are going to carefully differentiate between the Gaseous
Hydrocarbons Constitutional Law and the Hydrocarbons
Constitutional Law, since there are some gas areas where the Gas
Law would apply, while there are other areas, with large liquid
concentrations, where the Hydrocarbon Law would apply", the
Minister disclosed.

Mr.Ramirez explained that the Mariscal Sucre Project will be
divided into two important areas. "We are going to execute one
project upstream and another downstream", he said, indicating
that the latter will liquefy and process gas.

The Hydrocarbons Law establishes an Estate's minimal
participation of 51% in crude exploration and extraction and a
royalty rate of 30%; while the Gaseous Hydrocarbons Law allows
private parties to have up to 100% participation and royalty
rates of up to 20%.

The Mariscal Sucre Project foresees the exploitation of offshore
non-associated gas reserves and the construction of an LNG plant
in the State of Sucre. It also contemplates an LNG production of
1.050 billion standard cubic feet per day) and the processing of
4.7 billion metric tons per year. 300 million standard cubic
feet per day) of methane will satisfy the domestic market's
demand.

"We have invited Brazil and other partners to form a Joint
Venture with us, in order to undertake these developments",
explained PDVSA's president, referring to the Agreements signed
with the Federative Republic of Brazil during the recent visit
of this South American country's president, Luiz Inacio Lula Da
Silva.

This area has non-associated gas proven reserves that amount to
3.4 TCF (trillion cubic feet) and probable reserves that
represent 6.8 TCF.


PDVSA: To Pay Extra Tax to Government This March
------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan government's budget office director Alfredo Pardo
said that state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA)
will have to pay additional taxes to the government in March
corresponding to higher-than-expected oil prices in 2004,
relates Business News Americas.

Mr. Pardo said PDVSA has been paying taxes based on the 2004
budget price for oil exports of US$20 a barrel. However, there
is a large difference "that has to be paid" between taxes on the
budgeted price and the actual average price for the year, which
closed at US$32/b, said the director.

The additional funds from PDVSA tax payments will be
incorporated into the government's 2005 budget, added Mr. Pardo.



                            ***********


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