TCRLA_Public/050224.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

           Thursday, February 24, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 39

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

CONTROL Y MUESTRAS: Judge Approves Liquidation
CRESUD: Note Holder Exercises Conversion Option
EDENOR: Bansud to Advise Workers on Future Sale of 10% Stake
HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Debt Restructuring Suffers Setback
LIMPICO S.R.L.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition

NEW PRESS GRUPO: Asks Permission to Reorganize
REPSOL YPF: Operating Income Rises 17.8%
SAN BERNARDO S.R.L.: Reorganization Concluded
SINDICATO DE TRABAJADORES: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
TAIMA INDUSTRIAL: Court Orders Liquidation

VIGNA HERMANOS: Begins Liquidation Process


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Secures $43M Hydrotreater Contract


B R A Z I L

BANCO ITAU: CRMC Acquires 53,000 PN Shares
BANCO ITAU: Reports R$1.03 Bln Net Income in 4Q04
EMBRATEL: Must Diversify Cash Flow, Says Analyst
UNIBANCO: Teams With Wal-Mart to Promote Hipercard Use


C H I L E

COEUR D'ALENE: Reports Increase in Silver Reserves


E C U A D O R

PACIFICTEL: Telecsa Approves Stake Sale
PETROECUADOR: $2.13B Budget Gets Board's Nod


H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Secures $25M Credit From World Bank


M E X I C O

CFE: Voids Tender Offers for Wind Power Project
GENTEK: Moody's Assigns Ratings To Credit Facility
GRUPO DESC: BBVA Ups Recommendation to Hold
GRUPO SIMEC: Posts 85% Net Sales Hike in 2004
GRUPO TMM: Appellate Court Confirms VAT Refund

TV AZTECA: CNBV Defends Position on Scandal
VITRO: Consolidated EBITDA Falls 10% in 2004


P E R U

SIDERPERU: Posts Profits Despite Rising Raw Material Costs


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Negotiations With Harvest Continue
* VENEZUELA: S&P Will Raise Ratings To 'B' After Payments

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

CONTROL Y MUESTRAS: Judge Approves Liquidation
----------------------------------------------
Control y Muestras Ambientales S.R.L. was declared bankrupt
after Court No. 3 of Mendoza's civil and commercial tribunal
approved a petition for the Company's liquidation. Infobae
reports that the court assigned Mr. Hector Humberto Llano to
supervise the liquidation as trustee.

CONTACT: Control y Muestras Ambientales S.R.L.
         Tacuari 586 Godoy Cruz
         Mendoza

         Mr. Hector Humberto Llano, Trustee
         Chile 1671
         Mendoza


CRESUD: Note Holder Exercises Conversion Option
-----------------------------------------------
By letter dated February 21, 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$ 272,448 and an increase of 536,526 ordinary
shares face value pesos 1 (V$N 1) each was made. The conversion
was performed according to terms and conditions established in
the prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate of 1.96928
shares, face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of face value
US$ 1. As a result of that conversion the amount of shares of
the Company goes from 156,012,933 to 156,549,459. On the other
hand, the amount of registered Convertible Notes is
US$41,451,415.

CONTACT: Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A
         Av. Roque Saenz Pena 832
         8th Fl.
         Buenos Aires
         Argentina
         Phone: 001-54-1-3287808


EDENOR: Bansud to Advise Workers on Future Sale of 10% Stake
------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine power distributor Edenor SA revealed Tuesday that
employees are planning to sell the 10% stake they currently hold
in the utility, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

In a filing to the local stock exchange, Edenor said the
workers, who own Class C shares through a program called PPP in
Spanish, have signed an agreement with Banco Macro Bansud for
"strategic and financial advising for the future sale" of the
10% stake.

Edenor, a Buenos Aires electricity distributor, is a unit of
Electricite de France (EdF).

CONTACT:  EDENOR S.A.
          Azopardo Building
          Azopardo 1025 (1107) Capital Federal
          Phone: (54-11) 4346-5000
          Fax: (54-11) 4346-5300
          E-mail: to ofitel@edenor.com.ar
          Web Site: http://www.edenor.com.ar


HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Debt Restructuring Suffers Setback
---------------------------------------------------------
Argentine hydropower generation firm Hidroelectrica Piedra del
Aguila (HPDA) is facing pressure from creditors that haven't
agreed to the debt restructuring offer the Company launched in
2004.

HPDA managed to restructure around US$250 million in debt, but
creditors holding 5% of the debt refused to accept the new
bonds.

Gravel Ridge SA, one of the creditors that didn't accept the
offer, asked Trust Bank to call for a bondholders meeting in
order to resolve the situation of the defaulted debt. Gravel
Ridge aims to reach agreement with creditors representing 25% of
the debt left in default and demand its immediate repayment.

HPDA says Gravel Ridge is a minority bondholder, with 3% of the
debt.

The meeting is scheduled for March 7.

The Company is fulfilling the payment of the new notes, but the
debt that wasn't exchanged is still in default.

Hidroelectrica Piedra del Aguila S.A. is a private hydroelectric
generator in Argentina. Formed through the reorganization of the
state-owned hydroelectric Company in 1993, the Company currently
holds a government concession until December 29, 2023 to operate
a hydroelectric complex and to use related water resources in
Piedra del Aguila for the generation and sale of electricity.


LIMPICO S.R.L.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
-----------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Personal S.A. successfully sought for the bankruptcy of
Limpico S.R.L. after Court No. 23 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal declared the Company "Quiebra," reports La
Nacion. The creditor sought for the Company's bankruptcy after
the latter failed to pay debts amounting to US$1,947.

As such, the Company will now start the bankruptcy process with
Mr. Eduardo Facciuto as trustee. Creditors of the Company must
submit proofs of their claim to the trustee before May 14 for
authentication. Failure to do so will mean a disqualification
from the payments that will be made after the Company's assets
are liquidated.

Clerk No. 45 assists the court on the case that will close with
the liquidation of all the Company's assets.

CONTACT: Limpico S.R.L.
         Avenida Tte. Gral. Donato Alvarez 1535
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Eduardo Facciuto, Trustee
         Arevalo 3070
         Buenos Aires


NEW PRESS GRUPO: Asks Permission to Reorganize
----------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based graphics firm New Press Grupo Impresor S.A.
is seeking approval to proceed with reorganization, reports La
Nacion.

The Company's request is pending before Court No. 16 of the
city's civil and commercial tribunal. The city's Clerk No. 32
assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: New Press Grupo Impresor S.A.
         Santiago del Estero 454
         Buenos Aires


REPSOL YPF: Operating Income Rises 17.8%
----------------------------------------
HIGHLIGHTS

- Repsol YPF net income 3.5% lower after eur682 million in
extraordinary provisions and write-offs.

- Significant earnings improvement in all business areas.

- Cash flow up 20% in the year and 68% in the fourth quarter.

- Refining margins rise 79% to record high.

- Oil and gas production up 3% to 1,165,800 boepd.

- Debt reduced, and financial expenses drop 28.3%

Repsol YPF reported net income in 2004 was 3.5% lower year-on
year at EUR1,950 million, after large provisions and write-offs
amounting to EUR682 million. Operating income rose 17.8% year-
on-year, to EUR4,547 million, reflecting the Company's high
capacity for income generation.

Repsol YPF's strong operating performance was thanks to the
positive growth of all the Company's business areas, which
throughout 2004 experienced a significant increase in their
results.  This growth was especially important with respect to
refining, where operating income jumped 36.2% and margins
registered record highs. At the same time, in the area of
Exploration & Production, operating income rose 12.2% to
EUR2,638 million, and average oil and gas production was 3%
higher.

These earnings were achieved in a scenario of higher
international oil prices driven by increased global demand, as
well as in the context of a weaker dollar against the euro
($/euro exchange rate fell 9.9% in the year), and a rise in
corporate tax from 32% to 37.5% because of higher exploration
results and lower tax credits related to the normalization of
the Argentine economy.

Extraordinary Provisions And Write-Offs, Reserves' Audit And
Debt Reduction

The sound performance posted by Repsol YPF's industrial
activities made it possible to undertake a rigorous programme of
provisions and write-offs - and accounted for as extraordinary
items - to the amount of EUR682 million, practically all of
which (EUR667 million) was booked in fourth quarter 2004.

The breakdown of these EUR682 million is as follows: EUR422
million were set aside for possible tax contingencies (mainly in
Spain and Argentina); EUR89 for asset depreciation, primarily
related to Repsol YPF service stations in Brazil (EUR35 million)
and in Peru (EUR10 million); EUR140 million for contingencies
relating to contracts, mainly that signed with Petrobras (EUR56
million) and with OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados) in Ecuador
(EUR89 million); and EUR20 million for the liquidation of the
mercantile contract with the Company's former chairman.

At year-end 2004, the independent consulting firms, De Golyer &
McNaughton and Gaffney, Cline and Associates, concluded an audit
on 100% of booked reserves started three years before.

As a result of this audit, and in compliance with the strict
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards, under the
caption "revisions of previous estimates", proved reserves were
revised downward by 4.1%, to 4,926 million barrels of oil
equivalent (boe).  This downward adjustment corresponds to the
gas fields in Ramos and Loma La Lata, and Trinidad & Tobago, as
well as the Albacora Leste oil field.

Strong cash flow generation throughout the year, up 19.9% in the
whole of 2004, and 68.2% in the fourth quarter, enabled Repsol
YPF to progress in its debt reduction programme.  In this
respect, at the close of 2004, Repsol YPF net debt stood at
EUR4,920 million, 2.5% lower than in 2003, with a major debt
reduction of EUR678 million booked in the last quarter.  The
debt ratio dropped to 20.7%, while financial expenses shrank
28.3%, from EUR400 million to EUR287 million.

Repsol YPF investments in 2004 were down 2.3% year-on-year to
EUR3,747 million.

BUSINESS AREAS

Exploration & Production: Operating income up 12% as production
rises 3%

At EUR2,638 million, operating income from exploration &
production in 2004 showed a year-on-year rise of 12.2% in euros
and 23.3% in dollars.  This growth came mainly from higher
international crude oil prices; improvement in gas realization
prices; and gas production and sales growth in Bolivia,
Argentina, and Trinidad & Tobago.

On the downside, there was the depreciation of the dollar versus
the euro, exploration amortizations and the wider price
differential between light and heavy crude oils.  In Argentina,
the effect of strikes, the 20% tax levied on natural gas
exports, and a rise in export tax on oil and oil products were
also negative factors.

Repsol YPF's liquids realization price averaged $30.85
(EUR24.83) per barrel in the year versus $25.52 (EUR22.58) per
barrel in 2003.  Average gas prices in 2004 were $1.29 per
thousand standard cubic feet (tscf), 20.6% up on 2003,
reflecting a price increase in Argentina and the greater
relative weight of Trinidad & Tobago sales, at higher prices
than the Company average.  In Argentina, the average price of
gas was $1.07/tscf, 25.9% up year-on-year following the
staggered price increases approved by the Argentine Government.

In 2004, average oil and gas production rose 2.9% year-on-year
to 1,165,800 boepd, despite operating difficulties and labor
conflicts in Argentina and Trinidad & Tobago.

Repsol YPF gas production in 2004 climbed 11.2% to 598,500
boepd.  Strong performance was spurred by 51.2% production
growth in Bolivia from the start of exports to Argentina and
higher sales to Brazil.  There was also a rise in gas production
of 8.3% in Argentina and 13.5% in Trinidad & Tobago.

2004 investments in the E&P business area were 45.4% lower year-
on-year, at EUR1,183 million.  Investments in development, 70%
of total expenditure, were spent mainly in Argentina (65%),
Trinidad & Tobago (10%), and minor percentages in Bolivia  and
Venezuela.

One of the highlights in this area was the contract awarded to
the consortium comprising Repsol YPF (60%) and Gas Natural SDG
(40%) on a major integrated project for the joint exploration,
production, and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the
Gassi Touil Rhourde Nouss and Hamra regions of eastern Algeria.
This is the largest contract for an integrated LNG project to be
awarded by the Algerian authorities, and the first ever granted
to a consortium of foreign companies in Algeria. Significant
discoveries were also made in Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, and
Argentina.

Refining & Marketing: record high operating income and refining
margins.

Operating income in the refining and marketing area was up
36.2%, reaching a record high for the Company of EUR1,629
million versus EUR1,196 million a year earlier.  This strong
performance was mainly driven by a 79% year-on-year rise in
refining margins expressed in dollars per barrel, following the
strategic investments made over recent months in production
units for gas oil, the price of which has been forced upwards by
global demand.

Marketing margins in Spain, in line with the general market
trend, were slightly lower year-on-year, while in Argentina
these were severely cut by the impossibility of passing higher
product prices on to retail prices.

Total oil product sales in 2004 reached 55 million tons, up 2.6%
year-on-year.  Sales in Spain rose 3.5% to 33 million tons, and
in Argentina, amounted to 12.8 million tons.  Sales in other
countries totaled 9.2 million tons, 2.9% higher on the year.

Total LPG sales were up 0.8%, despite a 1.9% fall in Spain
because of the development of other energy sources and increased
competition in this sector. Sales in Latin America were 5%
higher than the year before, thanks to growth in market share
and positive performance in Peru and Ecuador.

Investments in 2004 were EUR1,310 million, 97.6% up on 2003.  In
refining, expenditure was mainly allotted to projects aimed at
increasing margins, such as the mild hydrocracker at the
Puertollano refinery, whilst in marketing, the acquisition of
Shell's service station network in Portugal was an important
item.

Chemicals: an excellent year, with 63% rise in operating income

In Chemicals, operating income in 2004 surged 63.2% year-on-year
to EUR253 million. Stronger sales and wider international
margins on base and derivative chemicals in Argentina
contributed to this enhanced performance, whereas the margin on
derivative chemicals in Europe shrank with respect to 2003.

Total petrochemical sales in 2004 were 4.1 million tons, versus
the 4.0 million tons registered in 2003.

Investments in the Chemical area totaled EUR293 million, 261.7%
more than in 2003, and were mainly spent in the acquisition of
the Sines complex (Portugal), and the upgrading of existing
units and capacity increases, amongst which should be
highlighted work begun to revamp the Tarragona propylene
oxide/styrene complex to make this business considerably more
competitive.

Gas & Power: Operating income up 29%

Gas & Power operating income in 2004 rose 29.2% to EUR274
million, versus the EUR212 million recorded in 2003. This
increase basically denotes the impact of Repsol YPF's higher
stake in Gas Natural SDG, and that Company's positive
performance in the year thanks to growth in gas distribution
activities in Spain, organic growth in American activities, and
acquisitions made in Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Italy.

Total natural gas sales in 2004 were 32.85 Bcm, 8.3% up year-on-
year, thanks to higher international wholesales, and sales
growth in Latin America and Italy.  At year-end, there were
326,000 new customers in Spain, bringing the total to 4.8
million.

Investment in 2004 was EUR779 million, rising 52.4% year-on-
year.  This rise is mainly attributable to the acquisition of an
additional stake in Gas Natural SDG accumulated over the period
to reach a current holding of 30.8%, and that Company's higher
rate of investment in 2004.

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

CONTACT: Repsol YPF, S.A.
         Paseo de la Castellana 278
         Madrid, 28046
         Spain
         Phone: 34-1-348-8100

         Website: http://www.repsol.com


SAN BERNARDO S.R.L.: Reorganization Concluded
---------------------------------------------
The settlement plan proposed by San Bernardo S.R.L. for its
creditors acquired the number of votes necessary for
confirmation. As such, the plan has been endorsed by the court
and will now be implemented by the Company.

The Company's case is under the jurisdiction of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial Court No. 1.


SINDICATO DE TRABAJADORES: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
---------------------------------------------------------
Sindicato de Trabajadores Municipales de Azul will begin
liquidating its assets following the bankruptcy pronouncement
issued by Court No. 4 of Azul's civil and commercial tribunal.

Infobae says that the ruling places the Company under the
supervision of court-appointed trustee Gerardo Champane. The
trustee will verify creditors' proofs of claims until March 30.
Afterwards, the validated claims will be presented in court as
individual reports on April 29.

The trustee will also submit a general report, containing a
summary of the Company's financial status as well as relevant
events pertaining to the bankruptcy on June 17.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal Company assets
to repay its creditors.

CONTACT: Sindicato de Trabajadores Municipales de Azul
         Burgos 523
         Azul

         Mr. Gerardo Champane, Trustee
         Rauch 648
         Azul


TAIMA INDUSTRIAL: Court Orders Liquidation
------------------------------------------
Court No. 14 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
ordered the liquidation of Taima Industrial Constructora S.A.
after the Company defaulted on its obligations, Infobae reveals.
The liquidation pronouncement will effectively place the
Company's affairs as well as its assets under the control of Ms.
Analia Victoria Beckerman, the court-appointed trustee.

Ms. Beckerman will verify creditors' proofs of claims until
April 19. The verified claims will serve as basis for the
individual reports to be submitted in court on June 2. The
submission of the general report follows on July 14.

The city's Clerk No. 28 assists the court on this case that will
end with the disposal of the Company's assets in favor of its
creditors.

CONTACT: Ms. Analia Victoria Beckerman, Trustee
         Paraguay 1591
         Buenos Aires


VIGNA HERMANOS: Begins Liquidation Process
------------------------------------------
Vigna Hermanos S.H. of La Plata will begin liquidating its
assets after Court No. 8 of the city's civil and commercial
tribunal declared the Company bankrupt. Infobae reveals that the
process will commence under the supervision of court-appointed
trustee Eduardo Miguel Rojas.

Mr. Rojas will review claims forwarded by the Company's
creditors until March 22. After claims verification, the trustee
will submit the individual reports for court approval on May 9.
The submission of the general report should follow on June 23.

CONTACT: Vigna Hermanos S.H.
         Avda 44 Nro. 2878
         La Plata

         Mr. Eduardo Miguel Rojas, Trustee
         Calle 45 Nro. 1047
         La Plata



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

FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Secures $43M Hydrotreater Contract
-------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWHLF) is pleased to announce that
its subsidiary Foster Wheeler Iberia, S.A. has been awarded a
contract for the supply and construction of a new fluid
catalytic cracker gasoline selective hydrotreater unit (Axens
license) at AB Mazeikiu Nafta's Mazeikiai Refinery in northwest
Lithuania. The contract value is approximately $43 million and
the project will be included in Foster Wheeler's fourth-quarter
2004 bookings.

"This contract represents another important milestone in our
penetration of the Eastern European and Russian markets,"
commented Jesus Cadenas, managing director, Foster Wheeler
Iberia, S.A. "We have already executed successful projects in
Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, and Belarus. Our track record
demonstrates that we can manage the challenges presented by this
project: extreme climatic conditions, adaptation to the
country's practices and its language, and the tight project
execution period."

Foster Wheeler will be responsible for detailed engineering,
equipment and material supply, and construction, up to
mechanical completion, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter
of 2006.

The new facility comprises two units: a 32,000 barrels per
stream day (BPSD) sulfur hydrogenation unit and a 22,000 BPSD
hydrodesulfurization unit. This is a strategic project for the
refinery, the only refinery in the Baltic States, and will
enable it to meet the European Union's Auto-Oils V
specifications for the sulfur content of gasoline which come
into force in 2009.

About Foster Wheeler

Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global Company offering, through its
subsidiaries, a broad range of design, engineering,
construction, manufacturing, project development and management,
research and plant operation services. Foster Wheeler serves the
refining, oil and gas, petrochemical, chemicals, power,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries. The
corporation is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational
headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey, USA.

Foster Wheeler Iberia S.A. is a subsidiary of Foster Wheeler
Continental Europe, wholly-owned by Foster Wheeler Ltd. Based in
Corsico (Milano) Italy, Foster Wheeler Continental Europe also
controls Foster Wheeler Italiana (Corsico), Foster Wheeler
France (Paris), Foster Wheeler Bimas (Istanbul), Foster Wheeler
Hellas (Athens), Steril Schweiz AG (Basel) and Foster Wheeler
Chile (Santiago).

CONTACT: Foster Wheeler Ltd.
         Media
         Ms. Maureen Bingert
         Phone: 908-730-4444
         Ms. Nicole Veron
         Phone: +34 91 336 2712
         Other Inquiries:
         Phone: 908-730-4000

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



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

BANCO ITAU: CRMC Acquires 53,000 PN Shares
------------------------------------------
In compliance with the provisions contained in Article 12,
Paragraph 1 of CVM Instruction 358 of January 3 2002, Capital
Research and Management Company (CRMC), a corporation organized
and existing under the laws of the United States of America,
with its head office at 333, South Hope Street, Los Angeles,
California 90071, United States of America, in its capacity as a
holding Company for overseas investment management companies,
hereby communicates that by means of transactions carried out
through the stock market, it has acquired, for its clients'
account, 53,000 preferred nominative shares ("PN Shares") issued
by Banco Itau Holding Financeira S.A. ("the Company"). CRMC
already held 2,714,500 PN Shares of the Company, and with the
acquisitions just carried out, now retains a total of 2,767,500
PN Shares of the Company, corresponding to a 5.041% stake of the
Company's total PN Shares. In addition to the aforementioned
participation in the Company, Capital Group International, Inc.,
a Company in the same economic group as CRMC, and also in its
position as an overseas investment management Company, holds
804,926 PN Shares of the Company, corresponding to a 1.46% stake
of the PN shares of the Company. These stakes represent minority
investments that in no way alter the Company's ownership or
administrative structure. Currently, there are no other shares
that CRMC is contemplating acquiring. Moreover, there are no
stock convertible debentures retained, either directly or
indirectly, by CRMC or any other party related to it, nor is
there any agreement or contract governing the exercise of voting
rights or the purchase and sale of securities issued by the
Company to which CRMC or any party related to it, is a party.

CONTACT:  Banco Itau Holding Financiera S.A.
          Praca Alfredo Egydio de Souza Aranha
          100 - Torre Conceicao - 11
          Sao Paulo, 04344-902
          Brazil
          Website: http://www.itau.com.br
          Phone: +55 11 3242 1771
          Officer: Roberto E. Setubal, Pres. & CEO


BANCO ITAU: Reports R$1.03 Bln Net Income in 4Q04
-------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau Holding posted a consolidated net income of R$1,030
million in the fourth quarter of 2004, corresponding to an
annualized return of 32.9% on the balance of R$13,971 million of
the parent Company's net equity.

In addition to this outstanding and consistent result, the
quarter was characterized by certain nonrecurring events,
including: a) continuing decline in the Brazil country risk,
reducing the volatility in the financial markets; b) full
amortization of the goodwill on the increased shareholding in
Credicard, from 33% to 50%, as well as the acquisition of 100%
of the capital stock of Orbitall.

The financial margin totaled R$3,624 million in the past
quarter, however it was impacted by R$612 million before taxes
(R$404 million after taxes) of the item Securities Result, which
we consider nonrecurring. Should the analysis be performed
without taking this effect into account, the financial margin
would stand at R$3,012 million, 12.7% above the previous quarter
figures, and at 13.6% p.a. on the revenue-generating assets,
compared to 12.4% p.a. in the third quarter of 2004.

This financial margin performance arises from Itau's strategic
focus on expanding credit to micro, small and mid-sized
companies.

Accordingly, we consider that the recurring net income,
excluding nonrecurring events in the fourth quarter of 2004, was
R$1,338 million, which more accurately reflects the recurring
and sustainable operations of Itau, corresponding to a 9.2%
growth as compared to the third quarter of 2004.

Banking Service Fees totaled R$1,799 million, increasing by
R$291 million compared to R$1,508 million in the previous
quarter. Such growth relates to the increased customer base
(financing), increased number of transactions in the last
quarter of the year, recognition of R$124 million before taxes
(R$82 million after taxes) of collection services rendered to
INSS, since the Finance Ministry undertook to settle the federal
bodies' debts in December 2004, as well as the increase in
permanent investments in Credicard and Orbital, accounting for a
R$50 million growth in these revenues.

Administrative and tax expenses, except for ISS, PIS and COFINS,
reached R$2,480 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, which
corresponds to a rise of R$321 million in relation to the
previous quarter. Such rise is mainly attributable to Itau's
strategy of focusing on new loan transactions (new customers who
do not hold current accounts), such as: Taií, increased
shareholding in Credicard and Orbitall (both consolidated),
acquisition of the loan origination activities of Intercap bank,
and the Itau-CBD alliance.

Portfolio of Loans and Securities

Itau has supported and financed the current economic upturn in
Brazil by offering a comprehensive range of credit products to
meet the requirements of its diversified customer base. The
commercial efforts undertaken by the bank led the loan
portfolio, including endorsements and sureties, to grow by 4.3%
in the fourth quarter of 2004, reaching R$53,275 million. In
this connection, two segments should be highlighted: the micro,
small and mid-sized Company credit portfolio, growing by 15.7%
in the quarter, and the personal loan portfolio, increasing by
19.7%.

Excluding the contribution of credits on consignment relating to
the cooperation agreement between Itau and Banco BMG S.A., the
credit expansion for individuals would be 17.5%. The private
securities portfolio grew by 8.3% in the quarter, while the 7.7%
decline in the corporate credit portfolio relates to the
appreciation of the real against the U.S. dollar during the
period. Given the significance placed on consumer credit by Itau
after the most recent investments, the bank has decided that as
of the next quarter, it will disclose information on a new
segment reflecting the economic-financial performance of
consumer credit oriented business areas. Banco Itau thus
reaffirms its commitment to transparency, by providing market
agents with a more detailed view of its operations.

The nonperforming loan ratio maintained its positive trend,
standing at 2.9% in the period, compared to 3.2% in the previous
quarter. However, it should be pointed out that the business
focus on credit products with higher margins - which
simultaneously imply higher credit risk - could possibly give
rise, in the near future, to changes in the improvement trend of
nonperforming loans observed over the past 9 quarters.

Insurance, Pension Plan and Capitalization technical provisions
amounted to R$11,023 million, increasing by 9.7% from the third
quarter of 2004. The performance of the technical provisions of
the VGBL product family continues to stand out, posting R$4,438
million at December 31, 2004, which when added to pension plan
products corresponds to 11.6% growth in the same period to reach
total technical provisions of R$8,565 million. This growth has
consistently outperformed the Brazilian pension plan market.

Unrealized profits in Itau's income added up to R$2,371 million
at December 31, 2004, compared to R$2,871 million at September
30. The reduction by R$499 million relates to the improved
macroeconomic environment in Brazil, with the consequent decline
in the Brazil country risk which led to a R$200 million decrease
in the additional provision for securities, as well as to the
realization of securities and recognition of the related market
appreciation in the result for the period. Itau has also a
balance of R$1,000 million of provision in excess of the minimum
required for loan losses, which has not been taken into
consideration in the unrealized profit/loss.

The impacts of exchange rate variation on permanent investments
abroad are distributed in the lines of the Statement of Income,
according to the nature of the balance sheet accounts that
originated them.

The effects of exchange rate variation on these investments are
as follows: in the periods in which the real appreciates against
foreign currencies, reductions in reais occur in foreign
currency assets, the balancing item for which is a reduction in
the income from the same assets; likewise, in those periods,
reductions in foreign currency liabilities occur, leading to a
reduction in expenses on these liabilities. On the other hand,
in the periods in which the real depreciates in relation to the
dollar, we see an opposite movement to those previously
described.

At December 31, 2004, the dollar was quoted at R$2.6544, while
at September 30 of the same year the dollar quotation reached
R$2.8586.

Income by Segments
Banco Itau - Banking
The Banking result, disregarding nonrecurring items, was
impacted by the following set of factors: (a) expansion in the
credit portfolio balance, with ensuing increase in the financial
margin (mix improvement), mainly through the volume of vehicle
financing and advances to current account holders, which also
had a positive impact on banking service fees; (b) adjustment
under the collective labor agreement to employees' compensation,
charges and social benefit expenses, impacting administrative
expenses and tax expenses, excluding ISS, PIS and COFINS; (c)
higher IR and CSLL expenses, due to the expansion in taxable
income from operations subject to taxes on net income; (d)
increased non-operating income as a result of the adjustment of
the criteria for setting up provisions for the impairment of
assets not in use to be in accordance with current market
conditions.

Credit Cards
The net income from credit card transactions grew by 43.0%
compared to the previous quarter and was positively impacted by
the higher volume of financing of credit card holders. The
customer base increased from 6,639 thousand in September 2004 to
7,085 thousand in December 2004 (excluding debit cards and
Credicard cards), corresponding to a 6.7% growth in the fourth
quarter of 2004. In the same period, the volume of transactions
totaled R$4.0 billion (also excluding debit cards and Credicard
cards), growing by 24.0% in relation to the previous quarter.
Net income for the quarter, however, considers the positive
contribution arising from the increased shareholding in
Credicard and Orbitall.

Insurance, Capitalization, and Pension Funds
The net income from Insurance, Pension Plan and Capitalization
transactions amounted to R$101 million in the fourth quarter of
2004, accounting for 9.8% of the total result. Earned premiums
remained stable compared to the previous quarter, with growth in
the automobile, life and personal accident lines, and reduction
in transportation, health and other lines. Retained claims
declined by R$26 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, chiefly
due to the reduction in claims level in the life and personal
accident lines. This improvement, though, was offset by the
increase in administrative and tax expenses, excluding ISS, PIS
and COFINS, arising from the end of year campaigns and from
higher insurance operating expenses, primarily those aimed at
reducing claims.

Funds Management and Managed Portfolios
The net income from funds management and managed portfolios grew
chiefly as a result of the 6.4% increase in the volume of assets
under management, totaling R$99,753 million at the end of
December 2004, compared to R$93,774 in September of that year.
Furthermore, the rise in interest rates favored funds management
with respect to the performance of certain products.

Banco Itau BBA
The financial margin of Banco Itau-BBA grew by 18.7% from the
previous quarter, as a result of the management of the exchange
rate risk on investments abroad, which was partly offset by the
tax effect on hedging transactions and gains on structured
credit transactions. In the quarter, there was a reversal of the
allowance for loan losses, primarily because of the effects of
the appreciation of the real against the U.S. dollar on the
credit portfolio denominated in foreign currency. Administrative
and tax expenses, excluding ISS, PIS and COFINS, showed an
increase when compared with the previous excluding quarter,
because of the higher processing costs associated
with the increase in the number of transactions with corporate
customers and with the increase in personnel expenses arising
from the collective negotiations (collective salary agreement).
Expenses for IR and CSLL had an increase, basically because of
the tax effect of the currency hedge derivative transactions for
the investments abroad.

Corporation
The Corporation results were strongly impacted by extraordinary
items in the period, including the full amortization of the
goodwill paid on the increased shareholding in Credicard, the
acquisition of 100% of the capital stock of Orbitall, and the
acquisition of Banco Intercap's sales promotion Company. The
decline in financial margin reflects the lower volume of hedging
derivative positions used by the bank to manage the exposure to
currency risks.


EMBRATEL: Must Diversify Cash Flow, Says Analyst
------------------------------------------------
Marc Einstein, an analyst at Pyramid Research, said Embratel
must diversify its cash flow into local and pay TV services as
well as into the data transmission segment in order to
compensate for the expected decrease in long-distance revenues.

Business News Americas reports that Embratel's controlling
shareholder Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) is investing US$500
million of its total US$2 billion capex program for 2005 to
expand in Embratel's coverage and to introduce new products.

Also, Embratel plans to issue US$700 million worth of equity in
April to increase its share in Brazil's largest pay-TV provider
Net Servicos. Telmex already holds a 7.3% stake in Net, but
Brazilian laws do not allow foreign companies to control local
media outlets.

Embratel will assume operational control of Net, and as the
Company is focused in Brazil's four largest cities - Sao Paulo,
Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Brasília - growing participation in
Net will enable Embratel to offer attractive packages to
customers in those regions, the analyst said in a report.

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


UNIBANCO: Teams With Wal-Mart to Promote Hipercard Use
------------------------------------------------------
Unibanco and Wal-Mart announced that they would make the
Hipercard credit card available for use in all Wal-Mart's stores
throughout Brazil. Customers who live in the states of Sao
Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Parana will also have
access to the HiperCard credit card, which was created in 1982
and is accepted in more than 70 thousand commercial
establishments throughout the northeast of Brazil. Wal-Mart's
almost 500 thousand cards will be gradually replaced by the
HiperCard.

Wal-Mart, which has nine years experience operating in the
Brazilian retail market, will start offering and accepting the
HiperCard credit card in all of its 149 outlets in the country,
including its 31 Wal-Mart Supercenter units, Wal-Mart Todo Dia
and SAM'S CLUB. These units will be added to the 118 Bompreco
stores that were purchased by Wal-Mart in March 2004 and that
already offer the card in the northeast region. HiperCard was
bought by Unibanco from the Dutch group, Koninklijke Ahold, in
March last year.

CONTACT: Investor Relations Area
         Unibanco - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
         Ave. Eusebio Matoso 891 - 15th floor
         Sao Paulo, SP 05423-901
         Brazil
         Phone: (55 11) 3097-1626 / 3097-1313
         Fax: (55 11) 3097-6182 / 3813-4830
         E-mail: investor.relations@unibanco.com.br
         Web site: www.ir.unibanco.com



=========
C H I L E
=========

COEUR D'ALENE: Reports Increase in Silver Reserves
--------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE: CDE, TSX: CDM), the
world's largest primary silver producer and a growing gold
producer, announced Monday that the Company's successful
exploration and development program in 2004 expanded proven and
probable silver reserve levels to a record 196 million ounces, a
12% increase over the previous year. Total proven and probable
gold reserves at December 31, 2004 were 1.4 million ounces.

The Company reported 2004 silver production totaling
approximately 14.1 million ounces, compared to 14.2 million
ounces in 2003. Total gold production was approximately 129,000
ounces in 2004, compared to 120,000 in 2003, an increase of 8%
percent.

"In addition to our strong gold and silver production last year,
which met our overall production targets, we are very pleased to
report the success of our 2004 expanded exploration program,
which exceeded our expectations and expanded total silver
reserves by 12% from a year ago," said Dennis E. Wheeler,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coeur. "These
increased reserves were all added from drilling at or near
existing operations, at low discovery cost per ounce, which we
expect will lead to continued low operating costs.

"Due to the success of last year's program, we have increased
Coeur's total exploration budget in 2005 by 22%, to $13.5
million, with most of that amount to be spent near existing
reserves and operations," Mr. Wheeler added. "We see significant
potential to further increase resource levels at these sites in
southern South America, Idaho, and Alaska, where Coeur controls
significant and highly-prospective land rights that remain
largely unexplored."

    2004 Exploration Highlights:

-- At Cerro Bayo in Chile, silver reserves at December 31, 2004,
giving effect to 2004 production, increased by over 300% to 6.11
million ounces compared to the previous year's levels, and gold
reserves increased by 374% to 120,000 ounces.

-- At Martha in Argentina, year-end silver reserves nearly
tripled to 3.9 million ounces extending mine life through at
least mid-2006.

-- Exploration work in 2004 successfully discovered extensions
of high-grade ore along the strike of the Martha vein within the
mine itself, and several new high-grade veins at the nearby R-4
Zone.

2004 Silver Production of 14.1 million ounces. Gold production
of 129,000, up 8%.

During 2004, Coeur produced 14.1 million ounces of silver,
compared to 14.2 million ounces in 2003. Total gold production
was 129,000, up 8% from the previous year's total of 120,000.
Average cash costs in 2004 were $3.65 per ounce of silver,
compared to $3.27 the previous year.

On a 2004 production breakdown by property:

Cerro Bayo (Chile)/Martha (Argentina)

-- Full year 2004 production of 4.9 million ounces of silver and
approximately 60,000 ounces of gold.

Rochester (Nevada)

-- Full year 2004 production of approximately 69,500 ounces of
gold, up 33% from 2003, and 5.7 million ounces of silver,
consistent with the previous year.

Silver Valley (Idaho)

-- Full year silver production of approximately 3.5 million
ounces of silver.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (www.coeur.com) is the world's
largest primary silver producer as well as a significant, low-
cost producer of gold. The Company has mining interests in
Nevada, Idaho, Alaska, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

CONTACT:  Tony Ebersole
          Director of Investor Relations
          800-523-1535



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

PACIFICTEL: Telecsa Approves Stake Sale
---------------------------------------
State-run fixed line operator Pacifictel has obtained approval
from the board of directors of Telecsa to relinquish its 50%
stake in the mobile operator to sister Company Andinatel,
reports Business News Americas.

Telecsa is a joint venture between Pacifictel and Andinatel.
Pacifictel is selling its shares in Telecsa after it decided not
to inject capital requested by Telecsa at its last shareholders
meeting.

Telecsa launched operations in March 2003 with initial capital
of US$31.5 million to be provided by both parent companies.
However, Andinatel provided the entire amount on the condition
that Pacifictel would pay its part within a year.

However, Pacifictel announced early this year that Telecsa was
excluded from its 2005 budget, since the Company prioritized
investments in its own infrastructure for technical and
operational improvements instead. Only Andinatel considered
investments for Telecsa in 2005.

The acquisition, which is expected to take place before the end
of the week, will bring Andinatel's control in Telecsa from 50%
to 100%.


PETROECUADOR: $2.13B Budget Gets Board's Nod
--------------------------------------------
State-owned oil Company Petroecuador intends to boost
performance this year with its recently approved US$2.13 billion
budget, says Business News Americas.

The amount includes US$1.82 billion set aside as operating
budget and another US$304 million for investments in the oil
sector. The report adds that around US$149 million of the budget
is earmarked for salaries.

For 2005, Petroecuador foresees local crude consumption to come
at around 61.2 million barrels. Meanwhile, the Company expects
to export 51.9 million barrels of crude this year. Crude
production is estimated at 68.5 million barrels in 2005.



===============
H O N D U R A S
===============

* HONDURAS: Secures $25M Credit From World Bank
-----------------------------------------------
The World Bank approved Tuesday a US$25 million credit to
support the institutional development of the financial sector in
Honduras, and contribute to long-term economic growth and
poverty reduction.

"Reducing the risk of a financial crisis and improving financial
sector depth will boost long-term economic growth and reduce
poverty in Honduras," said Jane Armitage, World Bank director
for Central America.

The First Programmatic Financial Sector Development Policy
Credit will support reforms aimed at reducing vulnerabilities
and improving institutional soundness in the financial sector,
enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial
safety net, and strengthening the financial system
infrastructure. Specifically, the program will:

1. Develop a contingency plan strategy for systemic crisis
management.

2. Strengthen the legal and regulatory framework by supporting
the enactment and implementation of the new Financial System
Law.

3. Support anti-money laundering and the prevention of terrorism
financing by creating a multi-agency taskforce, training line
agents to identify potential illegal activities, and including
the financing of terrorism within the Penal Code.

4. Strengthen the supervision of high-risk institutions by
developing a map of the links between the banking system and
non-financial groups.

5. Support the payments system by upgrading the regulatory and
operational system of the Central Bank, modernizing its
accounting and treasury systems, and designing a Payments
Project to address credit, liquidity, legal and operational
risks.

"Bank support will help the Government chart a roadmap for its
comprehensive institutional reform in the financial sector,"
said Aquiles A. Almansi, World Bank task manager for the
project.

The US$25 million credit from the International Development
Association (IDA) is repayable in 20 years and includes 10 years
of grace. The first phase of the program will be executed over a
period of two years. A second development policy credit will
support an orderly consolidation of the financial system.

CONTACT: The World Bank
         Mr. Lee Morrison
         Phone: (202) 458-8741
         E-mail: Lmorrison1@worldbank.org

         Ms. Alejandra Viveros
         Phone: (202) 473-4306
         E-mail: Aviveros@worldbank.org

         Web site: http://www.worldbank.org/honduras



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

CFE: Voids Tender Offers for Wind Power Project
-----------------------------------------------
Mexico's wind power project in Oaxaca state encountered a
setback after state power Company CFE rejected all four bidders
for the new 100MW La Venta II plant.

Company spokesperson Geraldo Cubos, in a report from Business
News Americas, revealed that CFE had declared void the tender
offers from Finland's Vestas, Japan's Mitsubishi, Spain's Camesa
and GE from the United States. Mr. Cubos however added that a
new tender could be opened by the next two weeks.

One reason cited for the failure of the tender was that bids
exceeded the US$112 million cost allotted for the project. CFE
officer Aracely Acosta confirmed this report.

The wind project, scheduled to open next year, will be financed
under the Pidiregas system. Pidiregas is a scheme of financing
public sector projects using revenues generated by such projects
once completed, to pay off debts to the private sector companies
that built the projects.


GENTEK: Moody's Assigns Ratings To Credit Facility
--------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned the following new ratings
to GenTek Inc. ("GenTek"), a diversified industrial Company. The
rating outlook is stable. The ratings and outlook are subject to
review of the final documentation of the financing transaction.

New ratings assigned:

- B2 for the $60 million senior secured revolving credit
facility, due 2010,

- B2 for the $235 million senior secured term loan B, due 2011,

- Caa1 for the $135 million second-lien term loan, due 2012,

- B2 senior implied rating,

- Caa2 issuer rating,

The ratings reflect GenTek's significant debt leverage and
substantial operational challenges in its post-reorganization
operations. The ratings also factor in the highly cyclical
nature of the Company's revenue base, poor financial performance
in recent years, exposure to commodity price increases, under-
funded pension liabilities, and modest cash flow generation. On
the other hand, the ratings recognize the potential benefits
from a number of restructuring and cost-cutting initiatives that
the Company is undertaking, as well as currently adequate
liquidity condition.

The rating outlook is currently stable. Factors that could have
negative rating implications include a failure to realize the
projected benefits from its restructuring plans and
deterioration in its key end-market conditions. Factors that
could have positive rating implications include a substantial
improvement in financial performance and meaningful debt
reductions.

GenTek is a diversified industrial Company that operates in
three business segments. The performance products segment
provides specialty inorganic chemical products and services
through three businesses: Sulfur Products, Water Treatment and
Reheis. Its valve-train systems segment supplies stampings and
precision machined components and subassemblies to North
American automotive engine OEMs, Tier I suppliers, and heavy-
duty diesel truck manufacturers. The Company also manufactures
electronic wire harnesses and cable assemblies for major
appliances, office equipment and medical equipment makers, as
well as auto suppliers.

Despite the diversification, most of GenTek's end markets are
highly cyclical. In the latest economic recession, the Company
experienced considerable declines, particularly in the
communications business (which was sold in May 2004). The sharp
deterioration in business conditions, together with a
substantial amount of debt resulting from several large
acquisitions made in the late 1990s for certain performance
chemicals and communications businesses, drove the Company into
bankruptcy in October 2002.

Since emerging from bankruptcy in November 2003, GenTek has
undertaken major operational restructurings aimed at lowering
its cost base and realigning its manufacturing resources in its
wire harness business. According to the Company, these
restructuring efforts have resulted in considerable cost savings
in 2004 and more are expected in 2005. However, Moody's cautions
that the restructuring of the wire harness operations involves
relocating a major portion of its manufacturing facilities to
Mexico and India, with the latter being a greenfield operation.
Although the Company has achieved certain milestones in the
restructuring plan, the relocation entails considerable
operational risks. In addition, GenTek's supply contract with
Whirlpool requires automatic price reduction, which will put
constant pressure on GenTek's already thin margins in this
business if the restructuring plan is not successful.

The proceeds of the credit facility will be used primarily to
fund an approximately $320 million dividend payment to
shareholders and to make pension contributions of $35 million.
Pro forma for the financing, GenTek will have approximately $380
million of debt or 4.2 times adjusted 2004 EBITDA. Adjusted 2004
EBITDA would cover interest expense approximately 2.6 times. The
$35 million pension contribution will reduce future on-going
funding requirement, but free cash flow generation will remain
modest for at least the first 2 years due to a combination of
weak earnings, high interest expenses, capital expenditures, and
cash restructuring charges. Following the financing, GenTek is
expected to have adequate liquidity, supported primarily by the
$60 million revolver. The Company is required to maintain a
minimum interest coverage ratio of 2 times through the third
quarter of 2005, stepping up to 2.25 times for the fourth
quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.

The B2 rating on the senior secured revolver and term loan B
reflects their seniority in the Company's debt structure and
benefits of the collateral package. The facility will be secured
by a first priority lien on the capital stock as well as all
domestic assets of the Company and its subsidiaries, and will be
guaranteed on a senior secured basis by all current and future
domestic subsidiaries.

The Caa1 rating on the $135 million second-lien term loan
reflects weak collateral support as well as effective
subordination to outstandings under the first-lien credit
facility. The term loan is guaranteed by GenTek's current and
future domestic subsidiaries.

GenTek Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a
diversified manufacturer of specialty chemicals, automotive
valve train systems, wire harnesses and other products.


GRUPO DESC: BBVA Ups Recommendation to Hold
-------------------------------------------
Growth in Grupo Desc SA's fourth-quarter 2004 earnings prompted
BBVA Securities to up its recommendation on the Mexican
conglomerate's shares to "hold" from "underperform."

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Desc posted a MXN17.2 million
net profit in the fourth quarter, compared with a MXN1.73
billion loss in the like 2003 period.

"Recovery was driven mostly by higher volumes and prices, which
we believe allowed Desc to offset cost increases," BBVA said in
a research note.

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

CONTACT: Ms. Marisol Vazquez-Mellado
         Mr. Jorge Padilla
         Phone: (5255) 5261 8044
         E-mail: investor.relation@desc.com.mx


GRUPO SIMEC: Posts 85% Net Sales Hike in 2004
---------------------------------------------
Grupo Simec, S.A. de C.V. (Amex: SIM) ("Simec") announced
Tuesday its preliminary (unaudited) results of operations for
the year ended December 31, 2004.

Net sales increased 85% to Ps. 5,693 million in 2004 (including
the net sales recorded since August 1, 2004 generated by the
newly acquired plants in Apizaco and Cholula of Ps. 1,204
million), compared to Ps. 2,930 million in 2003, primarily due
to higher finished product prices and also resulting from higher
production levels. Primarily as a result of the foregoing, Simec
recorded net income of Ps. 1,330 million in 2004 versus net
income of Ps. 308 million in 2003.

On September 10, 2004, Simec completed the acquisition of the
property, plant and equipment, and inventories, and assumed
liabilities associated with seniority premiums of employees of
the Mexican steel-making facilities of Industrias Ferricas del
Norte, S.A. (Corporacion Sidenor of Spain) located in Apizaco,
Tlaxcala, and Cholula, Puebla. Simec's total investment in this
transaction was approximately U.S. $135 million, funded with
internally generated resources of Simec and capital
contributions from its parent Company Industrias CH, S.A. de
C.V. ("ICH") of U.S. $19 million for capital stock to be issued
in the future. Simec began to operate the plants in Apizaco,
Tlaxcala, and Cholula, Puebla, on August 1, 2004, and, as a
result, the operations of both plants are reflected in Simec's
financial results as of such date.

Simec sold 773,297 metric tons of basic steel products during
2004 (including 155,614 tons produced by the newly acquired
plants in Apizaco and Cholula), an increase of 23% as compared
to 628,243 metric tons in 2003. Exports of basic steel products
were 97,126 metric tons in 2004 (including 12,394 tons produced
by the newly acquired plants in Apizaco and Cholula) versus
80,744 metric tons in 2003. Additionally, Simec sold 41,832 tons
of billet in 2004 as compared to 63,616 tons of billet in 2003.
Prices of finished products sold in 2004 increased 63% in real
terms versus 2003.

Simec's direct cost of sales was Ps. 3,266 million in 2004
(including Ps. 797 million relating to the newly acquired plants
in Apizaco and Cholula), or 57% of net sales, versus Ps. 1,925
million, or 66% of net sales, for 2003. The average cost of raw
materials used to produce steel products increased 44% in real
terms in 2004 versus 2003, primarily as a result of significant
increases in the price of scrap and certain other raw materials.
Indirect manufacturing, selling, general and administrative
expenses (including depreciation) were Ps. 622 million during
2004 (including Ps. 128 million relating to the newly acquired
plants in Apizaco and Cholula), compared to Ps. 488 million in
2003.

Simec's operating income increased 249% to Ps. 1,805 million
during 2004 (including Ps. 279 million relating to the newly
acquired plants in Apizaco and Cholula) from Ps. 517 million in
2003. Operating income was 32% of net sales in 2004 compared to
18% of net sales in 2003.

Simec recorded other expense, net, of Ps. 18 million in 2004
compared to other expense, net, of Ps. 31 million in 2003. In
addition, Simec recorded a provision for income tax and employee
profit sharing of Ps. 418 million in 2004 versus a provision of
Ps. 152 million in 2003.

Simec recorded financial expense of Ps. 39 million in 2004
compared to financial expense of Ps. 26 million in 2003 as a
result of:

(i) net interest income of Ps. 6 million in 2004 compared to net
interest expense of Ps. 13 million in 2003;

(ii) an exchange gain of Ps. 3 million in 2004 compared to an
exchange loss of Ps. 3 million in 2003, reflecting lower debt
levels during 2004 and a decrease of 0.3% in the value of the
peso versus the dollar in 2004 compared to a decrease of 9% in
the value of the peso versus the dollar in 2003; and

(iii) a loss from monetary position of Ps. 48 million in 2004
compared to a loss from monetary position of Ps. 10 million in
2003, reflecting the domestic inflation rate of 5.2% in 2004
compared to the domestic inflation rate of 4% in 2003 and lower
debt levels during the 2004 period.

At December 31, 2004, Simec's total consolidated debt consisted
of approximately $0.3 million of U.S. dollar-denominated debt.
At December 31, 2003, Simec had outstanding approximately $2
million of U.S. dollar- denominated debt. In March 2004, Simec
prepaid the remainder of its outstanding bank debt. At December
31, 2004 Simec owed no debt to ICH.

All figures were prepared in accordance with Mexican generally
accepted accounting principles and are stated in constant Pesos
at December 31, 2004.

Simec is a mini-mill steel producer in Mexico and manufactures a
broad range of non-flat structural steel products.

CONTACT: Grupo Simec, S.A. de C.V.,
         Mr. Adolfo Luna / Mr. Jose Flores
         Phone: +011-52-33-1057-5740


GRUPO TMM: Appellate Court Confirms VAT Refund
----------------------------------------------
Grupo TMM, S.A. (BMV: TMM A)(NYSE: TMM)("TMM") and Kansas City
Southern (NYSE: KSU) ("KCS") announced that TFM, S.A. de C.V.
("TFM") was served on February 18, 2005 with the favorable
written decision of the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and
Administrative Justice (the ''Fiscal Court'') carrying out the
mandate of the Federal Court of the First Circuit (the "Federal
Appellate Court"), dated November 24, 2004, which recognized
TFM's legal right to receive not only the original amount of the
Value Added Tax ("VAT") refund due from the Mexican Government
(approximately 2.1 billion pesos), but also for inflation and
interest on that amount from 1997. TMM and KCS previously
announced that the Fiscal Court had made this favorable ruling
from the bench on January 26, 2005.

In its written decision, the Fiscal Court states that TFM's
legal right to receive the fully inflated VAT refund was
expressly established in the Federal Appellate Court's prior
decision in this case, issued on June 11, 2003. In implementing
the June 11, 2003 and November 24, 2004 Federal Appellate Court
decisions, the Fiscal Court ordered the federal tax authorities
to make the VAT refund to TFM through a single certificate
issued in TFM's name, and to refund through that certificate the
original amount of the VAT refund due, increased for inflation
and interest from the date the tax authorities should have made
the refund in 1997, until the date that the refund certificate
is actually delivered to TFM. The Fiscal Court also vacated its
prior decisions in this matter.

About TMM

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

About Kansas City Southern

KCS is a transportation holding Company that has railroad
investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama. Its primary
domestic holdings include The Kansas City Southern Railway
Company, founded in 1887, and The Texas Mexican Railway Company,
founded in 1885. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, KCS
serves customers in the central and south central regions of the
United States. KCS' rail holdings and investments, including
TFM, are primary components of a NAFTA Railway system that links
he commercial and industrial centers of the United States,
Canada and Mexico.

CONTACT: Grupo TMM
         Mr. Brad Skinner
         Investor Relations
         Phone: 011-525-55-629-8725;
                203-247-2420
         E-mail: brad.skinner@tmm.com.mx

         Proa/StructurA
         Mr. Marco Provencio
         Media Relations
         Phone: 011-525-55-629-8708;
                011-525-55-442-4948
         E-mail: mp@proa.structura.com.mx

         Dresner Corporate Services
         Ms. Kristine Walczak
         General investors, analysts and media
         Phone: 312-726-3600
         E-mail: kwalczak@dresnerco.com

         Kansas City Southern
         Mr. William H. Galligan
         Media & Investors
         Phone: 816-983-1551
         E-mail: william.h.galligan@kcsr.com

         Mexico
         Mr. Gabriel Guerra
         Media Relations
         Phone: 011-525-55-208-0860
         E-mail: gguerra@gcya.net

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


TV AZTECA: CNBV Defends Position on Scandal
-------------------------------------------
Mexico's National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV),
which oversees financial activities, defended itself Tuesday
from accusations that it is reluctant to enforce corporate
governance laws in relation to a scandal engulfing broadcaster
TV Azteca.

"People who say the commission is not acting are misinformed,"
Reuters quoted CNBV head Jonathan Davis as saying.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the CNBV
launched a probe into TV Azteca Chairman Ricardo Salinas and
other top Company executives more than a year ago on allegations
that they took part in a scheme to conceal Salinas' role in a
series of transactions through which he made $109 million
profit.

But unlike the SEC, the Mexican regulator has commented little
about the progress of its case, leading some analysts to
question the CNBV's seriousness about corporate governance
standards and transparency.

But Davis said Mexican law forbids the CNBV from commenting
publicly until its investigation and all appeals are complete.

Investigations into suspicious market activities in Mexico
typically take longer than in other countries because
individuals and companies have more opportunities to appeal, he
said.

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


VITRO: Consolidated EBITDA Falls 10% in 2004
--------------------------------------------
Vitro S.A. de C.V. (BMV: VITROA; NYSE: VTO) one of the world's
largest producers and distributors of glass products, announced
Tuesday 4Q'04 unaudited results.

Consolidated sales rose 2.1 percent YoY. Excluding Vitro Fibras
(VIFISA) and Vitro American National Can (VANCAN), divested in
March and September 2004, respectively, consolidated sales
increased 6.6 percent. EBITDA at Glass Containers grew YoY 8.8
percent and 4.6 percent at Flat Glass. Consolidated EBITDA,
however, fell YoY 10 percent with margins down 2 percentage
points to 15.3 percent. On a comparable basis, consolidated
EBITDA declined 2.0 percent, with margins down 1.3 percentage
points to 15.3 percent.

Federico Sada, Chief Executive Officer, noted: "Our 2004 results
reflect the effectiveness of the "Glass Focus" strategy. For the
first time in 6 years, in a comparable basis, Vitro reported an
increase in EBITDA."

Alvaro Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer, commented: "For the
second consecutive quarter, on a comparable basis, all business
units reported sales growth. Flat Glass sales for the quarter
rose 5.4 percent YoY, with Glass Containers up 8.1 percent and
7.4 percent at Glassware."

"This past year proved to be a turning point for Vitro. We
achieved growth in sales and EBITDA and reduced our net debt.
This is what the market wanted to see and we did it."

"And as expected, Flat Glass turned in an excellent performance
for the quarter with comparable EBITDA up by 24 percent YoY,"
Mr. Rodriguez continued.

Mr. Rodriguez said, "In line with our glass strategy, in the
last 16 months we divested three non-glass companies and with
the exception of one small business, have clearly reached our
goal. We will continue to concentrate resources on building our
market position in the glass industry."

Mr. Rodriguez commented, "But one of the most important
achievements during 2004 was the reception Vitro received in the
capital markets. The best evidence is that as of February of
2005, over the past 15 months, we raised close to a billion
dollars in long-term funds in the international debt markets. On
February 4, 2005 Vitro Envases Norteamerica, successfully issued
US$80 million senior secured notes due 2011 that were close to
three times oversubscribed. In an environment of increasing
interest rates, the notes were placed at a 1.75 percentage
points lower yield than the same notes issued last summer,
evidence of the market's growing confidence in Vitro. In
addition, on February 24 we expect to close a US$150 million
secured term loan at VENA with a five-year maturity and a spread
of 625 basis points over LIBOR. The proceeds will be used to pay
down the outstanding amount of the original US$230 million loan
at VENA. The result of these two transactions will be a
significant reduction in Vitro's cost of funds and an increase
of the average life of debt to 4.4 years. "

Mr. Rodriguez concluded, "When we reviewed our 2004
expectations, over a year ago, we told you that we would
continue to strengthen our balance sheet, improve access to
capital, focus on core businesses, selectively pursue niche
markets, reduce costs and improve productivity. And we are
delivering."

CONSOLIDATED RESULTS

Sales

Consolidated net sales for 4Q'04 and fiscal year 2004 increased
YoY 2.1 and 1.5 percent, respectively. Sales for the quarter
rose at the Company's three business units, with increases of
0.5 percent, 2.2 percent and 7.2 percent at Flat Glass, Glass
Containers and Glassware, respectively.

Domestic sales for the quarter decreased 3.1 percent YoY, while
exports rose 2.8 percent. Sales by foreign subsidiaries
increased 10.2 percent during the same period.

On a comparable basis, excluding Vitro Fibras, S.A. de C.V.
(VIFISA) and Vitro American National Can, S.A. de C.V. (VANCAN),
which were divested in March 2004 and September 2004
respectively, our consolidated net sales for the quarter
increased YoY by 6.6 percent. At the business unit level,
excluding VIFISA, sales at the Flat Glass business unit,
increased 5.4 percent and excluding VANCAN, sales at the Glass
Containers business unit, increased 8.1 percent YoY.

EBIT and EBITDA

Consolidated EBIT for the quarter decreased 31.2 percent YoY to
US$28 million. The EBIT margin declined by 2.4 percentage points
to 4.9 percent. On a comparable basis, excluding VIFISA and
VANCAN, consolidated EBIT decreased 18.7 percent. For 2004, the
EBIT margin decreased by only 1.4 percentage points. On a YoY
comparison, EBIT margins continue to be negatively impacted by
the increase in the cost of natural gas, packaging materials and
the change on depreciation schedule for Container's forming
machines and molds.

In December 2004, the Company modified the depreciation and
capitalization policy for molds, changing its useful life from 8
to 3 years. This generated an additional depreciation charge of
approximately US$10.7 million. The change also produced
additional capitalization of approximately US$4.9 million,
representing a credit to the results of the Company. This
modification is consistent with industry practices.

Consolidated EBITDA for the quarter was US$87 million, a YoY
decrease of 10.0 percent. The EBITDA margin declined 2.0
percentage points YoY to 15.3 percent. On a comparable basis,
excluding VIFISA and VANCAN, consolidated EBITDA for the quarter
dropped 2.0 percent YoY, from US$88.5 million to US$87 million.

For 2004, EBITDA decreased 2.9 percent to US$353 million, from
US$364 million in 2003. On a comparable basis, excluding VIFISA,
VANCAN and Envases Cuautitlan, S.A. de C.V. (ECSA), which was
divested in September 2003, EBITDA for 2004 increased 2.5
percent from US$335 to US$344. Despite the high-energy prices,
Vitro reported an increase in EBITDA from continuing operations,
reflecting the effectiveness of the "Glass Focus" strategy.

EBITDA margin for 2004 decreased 0.8 percentage points to 15.5
percent from 16.3 percent in 2003. As expected, the largest
contributor to the EBITDA margin reduction during 2004 was the
increase in natural gas prices. Compared with 2003, the price of
natural gas had a negative effect in energy costs in 2004 of
approximately US$18 million. The Pet Coke project, as an
alternative source of energy continues to produce savings that
partially offset high-energy prices and reduce Vitro's
dependence on natural gas, savings at the EBITDA level for the
quarter and for the year totaled approximately US$2 million and
US$5 million, respectively.

EBIT for the quarter at Flat Glass increased YoY 5.7 percent,
while at Glass Containers and Glassware EBIT declined 3.8 and
67.4 percent, respectively. Excluding VIFISA, Flat Glass EBIT
increased 36.7 percent. Excluding VANCAN, Glass Containers EBIT
for the same period rose 13.8 percent.

During the quarter, EBITDA increased YoY 4.6 and 8.8 percent at
Flat Glass and Glass Containers, respectively. Glassware EBITDA
declined 52.8 percent during the same period. Excluding VIFISA,
Flat Glass EBITDA for the quarter rose 24.3 percent. EBITDA for
the quarter at Glass Containers, excluding VANCAN rose 14
percent.

During 2004 management successfully implemented several SG&A
reduction measures. Excluding VIFISA, VANCAN and ECSA, SG&A as a
percentage of sales and excluding distribution costs, decreased
approximately 2 percentage points. The Company continues working
on reducing SG&A.

Consolidated Financing Cost

Consolidated financing cost decreased to US$12 million, compared
to US$44 million for the same quarter in 2003. This was mostly
driven by a non-cash foreign exchange gain of US$15 million
compared to a non-cash foreign exchange loss of US$17 million in
2003. During 4Q'04 the Mexican Peso experienced a 2 percent
appreciation compared to a 2 percent depreciation in 4Q'03. This
effect, although it's a non-cash item, had a positive effect in
total financing cost.

During 2004, consolidated financing cost decreased 32.8 percent
to US$119 million from US$177 million in 2003, as a result of a
non cash foreign exchange loss of US$5 million compared to US$67
million in 2003. The increase in other financial expenses during
the year was mainly due to the unwinding of derivative
instruments.

Taxes

Accumulated accrued income tax was lower than in 2003 due to
less fiscal taxes in our foreign subsidiaries during 2004.
Deferred income tax for the quarter decreased compared to 4Q'03,
due to a tax rate reduction, published by authorities, to 30
percent in 2005, 29 percent in 2006 and 28 percent in 2007, and
beyond.

Consolidated Net Income

During the quarter, the Company recorded a consolidated net
income of US$3 million, compared to a consolidated net loss of
US$11 million in 4Q'03. This improvement resulted from both,
lower deferred taxes during the quarter and lower financing cost
due to a foreign exchange gain compared to a foreign exchange
loss in 4Q'03, and the reduction of the tax rate mentioned
earlier. For 2004, the Company recorded a consolidated net loss
of US$1 compared to a consolidated net loss of US$34 in 2003 as
a result mainly of a lower foreign exchange loss during this
year.

Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)

Capital expenditures for the quarter totaled US$59 million,
compared with US$44 million in 4Q'03. Flat Glass accounted for
20 percent or US$12 million, mainly invested in the repair of
the VF1 furnace and the implementation of new platforms for the
auto segment. Glass Containers accounted for 61 percent, or
US$36 million, of total CAPEX invested during the quarter, which
were mainly used in the addition of a cosmetic production line
and maintenance purposes. Glassware invested US$5 million during
4Q'04, mainly for maintenance purposes.

Consolidated Financial Position

Consolidated gross debt as of December 31, 2004 totaled US$1,507
million, a QoQ decrease of US$11 million. As of year-end, Vitro
Hold Co. had not fully applied the proceeds received from a
US$230 million senior secured term loan due 2006 at Vitro
Envases Norteamerica, S.A. de C.V. ("VENA"), its Glass
Containers subsidiary, entered on September 24, 2004. Proceeds
will be applied to pay down debt.

Net debt, which considers cash and cash equivalents, as well as
cash collateralizing debt accounted for in other long-term
assets, decreased QoQ by US$32 million to US$1,227. On a YoY
comparison net debt decreased US$21 million.

As of 4Q'04, the Company had a cash balance of US$279 million,
of which US$254 million were recorded as cash and cash
equivalents and US$25 million were classified as other long-term
assets. As of December 31, 2004, 16 percent of this cash balance
was restricted. Restricted cash includes only cash
collateralizing debt.

On February 4, 2005 the Company announced that its subsidiary
VENA, successfully closed the issuance of US$80 million
aggregate principal amount senior secured notes due 2011 (the
"Notes"). The Notes were issued at a yield of 10.26 percent.
This yield was 175 basis points lower than that of the same
notes issued in the summer of 2004. The Notes constitute a
further issuance of, and form a single series and will be fully
fungible with, the 10.75 percent Senior Secured Guaranteed Notes
due 2011 that were issued on July 23, 2004, in the aggregate
principal amount of US$170 million. VENA used the proceeds of
the US$80 million issue to repay a portion of the above
mentioned US$230 million senior secured loan.

On February 24, 2005 the Company is expected to close a US$150
million senior secured term loan at VENA. The facility is
secured, on a pari passu basis with the existing Notes and will
have a maturity of 5 years with a spread of 625 basis points
over LIBOR. The net proceeds from this loan will be used to pay
down the outstanding amount of the original US$230 million loan
agreement at VENA obtained on September 24, 2004. After the two
transactions, VENA will lower its average cost of debt by
approximately 2 percentage points.

On a pro-forma basis, with the reopening of the VENA Senior
Notes and of the new VENA Senior Term Loan, Vitro's average life
of debt will be raised to 4.4 years from 3.8 years.

- The Company's average life of debt as of 4Q'04 was 3.8 years
compared with 4.0 years for 3Q'04 and 4Q'03

- Short term debt as of December 31, 2004 declined by US$107
million to 19 percent of total debt from 28 percent as of
December 31, 2003. These amounts include current maturities of
long-term debt.

- Of the total short-term debt, 34 percent of maturities are at
the Holding Co. level.

- Revolving short-term debt, including trade related, accounted
for 26 percent of total short-term debt. This type of debt is
usually renewed within periods of 28 to 180 days.

- Current maturities of long term debt increased by 23 percent,
or US$24 million, to US$127 million from US$103 as of September
30, 2004.

- Market debt is mostly short-term Euro Commercial Paper and
"Certificados Bursatiles" that the Company uses on a regular
basis to finance short-term needs and accounts for 30 percent of
total short term debt.

- Approximately 70 percent of debt maturities due in 2006 are at
the operating subsidiary level and are principally related to
syndicated facilities and the VENA senior secured term loan.

- Market maturities during 2006 include medium-term notes
denominated in UDI's. Maturities for 2007 include the Senior
Notes at the Holding Co. level.

- Market maturities from 2008, 2009 and thereafter, include the
Senior Notes due 2011 at VENA, the "Certificados Bursatiles", a
Private Placement and the Senior Notes due 2013 at the Holding
Co. level.

- The debt profile and schedule above have not yet been adjusted
to reflect the recent VENA debt transactions discussed earlier
in this release.

Cash Flow

During 4Q'04 the Company posted negative net free cash flow of
US$15 million compared with US$28 million in 4Q'03, mainly as a
result of higher CAPEX required for maintenance of furnaces,
less EBITDA for the quarter and a lower recovery of working
capital.

During 2004, net free cash flow increased to US$19 million from
a negative cash flow of US$13 million in 2003, principally as
result of lower CAPEX due to fewer repair needs and a decline in
net interest expense. In addition, working capital needs were
higher than in 2003 as a result of an inventory investment at
Glass Containers, as this business unit continues to replenish
deployed inventory to achieve optimal service levels. Inventory
also increased at Flat Glass in preparation for the VF1 furnace
repair. Cash flow from operations mainly used to pay down debt
amortizations.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Reopening of the VENA Senior Notes due 2011

On February 4, 2005 the Company announced that its subsidiary
VENA, successfully closed the issuance of US$80 million
aggregate principal amount senior secured notes due 2011 (the
"Notes"). The Notes were issued at a yield of 10.26 percent.
This yield was 174 basis points lower than that of the same
notes issued in the summer of 2004. The Notes constitute a
further issuance of, and form a single series and will be fully
fungible with, the 10.75 percent Senior Secured Guaranteed Notes
due 2011 that were issued on July 23, 2004, in the aggregate
principal amount of US$170 million. VENA used the proceeds of
the US$80 million issue to repay a portion of the above
mentioned US$230 million senior secured loan.

VENA Senior Secured Term Loan at VENA

On February 24, 2005 the Company is expected to close a US$150
million senior secured term loan at VENA. The facility is
secured, on a pari passu basis with the existing Notes and will
have a maturity of 5 years with a spread of 625 basis points
over LIBOR. The net proceeds from this loan will be used to pay
down the outstanding amount of the original US$230 million loan
agreement at VENA obtained on September 24, 2004. After these
two transactions, VENA will lower its average cost of debt by
approximately 2 percentage points. On a pro-forma basis, with
the reopening of the VENA Senior Notes and the issuance of the
VENA senior secured term loan, Vitro's average life of debt will
be raised to 4.4 years from 3.8 years.


                      FLAT GLASS
         (48 percent of LTM Consolidated Sales)

Sales

Flat Glass sales increased YoY 0.5 percent to US$269 million
from US$267 million. On a pro-forma basis, excluding VIFISA
which was divested on March 2004, sales increased 5.4 percent.
Sales at the Mexican float glass operation, excluding Vitro AFG,
rose YoY 7.5 percent during the quarter, mainly driven by an
increase volumes sold to the automotive industry as well as
higher export volumes of float glass.

On a QoQ basis prices in the construction segment increased for
the first time in 11 quarters reflecting a change in market
dynamics.

Automotive sales rose YoY 5.8 percent, with a 1 percent increase
in volume and an average 2 percent price increase. The higher
average price reflects the positive impact of the new OEM
platforms on the product mix.

- Total OEM sales rose 9 percent, with volume up 10 percent
driven by new platform contracts.

- Auto Glass Replacement ("AGR") domestic sales increased 11
percent, with a combination of volume and price increases

- AGR export sales declined 10 percent, mainly driven by a
reduction of both prices and volume. Volume reduction was
influenced by the trend of insurance companies to repair rather
than replace windshields, as well as less demand.

Foreign Subsidiaries sales increased YoY 10.4 percent to US$141
million from US$128, mainly driven by higher sales at the
Spanish subsidiary, which during 4Q'04 started to reflect sales
related to recently won new monumental construction contracts.

EBIT & EBITDA

EBIT increased 5.7 percent YoY, to US$22 million from US$21
million in 4Q'03. During the same period, EBITDA increased 4.6
percent to US$38 million from US$37 million. On a comparable
basis, excluding VIFISA, EBITDA increased 24 percent.

EBITDA margins at Flat Glass increased to 14.3 percent from 13.7
percent in 4Q'03. On a comparable basis, excluding VIFISA,
EBITDA margins rose to 14.3 percent from 12.1 percent. The
increase in margins was mainly driven by higher volume of float
glass sold to the automotive industry and export markets. The
improvement in margins also reflects higher sales in new value
added OEM platforms. Additional efforts made to reduce SG&A
expenses also contributed to the improvement in margins.

On a QoQ basis, EBIT and EBITDA for the quarter increased 23.8
and 11.8 percent, respectively. This was mainly the result of
the overall recovery in the flat glass market and operating
efficiencies at Vitro.

                        GLASS CONTAINERS
           (40 percent of LTM Consolidated Sales)

Sales

Sales increased 2.2 percent YoY to US$229 million from US$224
million. On a comparable basis, excluding VANCAN which was
divested on September 2004, sales increased 8.1 percent. The 3.8
percent YoY decline in Domestic sales was more than offset by
the 14.7 and 9.7 percent increase in export and foreign
subsidiaries sales, respectively.

Glass containers volume in the Domestic and Export Markets
increased 13.6 and 2.3 percent respectively. The Fragrance
segment (part of Cosmetics, Fragrances & Toiletries Segment
"CFT") was the main driver behind the YoY and QoQ volume and
sales increase. Additionally, beer volume increased 74 percent
YoY. Wine prices recorded a 12 percent YoY price increase due to
a better sales mix. These factors more than offset the decline
in sales experienced in the soft drink segment.

EBIT and EBITDA

EBIT declined 3.8 percent YoY to US$12 million from US$13
million in 4Q'03. In December 2004, the Company modified the
depreciation and capitalization policy for molds, changing its
useful life from 8 to 3 years. This generated an additional
depreciation charge of approximately US$10.7 million. The change
also produced additional capitalization of approximately US$4.9
million, representing a credit to the results of the Company.

This modification is consistent with industry practices and the
net effect was a reduction in EBIT of approximately US$6 million
and an increase in EBITDA of US$5 million. EBITDA increased 8.8
percent YoY to US$47 million from US$44, with EBITDA margin up
to 20.7 percent from 19.5 percent in 4Q'03. Excluding VANCAN,
EBITDA for the quarter rose YoY 14 percent. The margin
improvement was principally driven by lower payroll and
administrative expenses, and increased volumes and capacity
utilization which optimized fixed cost absorption, more than
offsetting higher energy, freight and packaging prices.

EBITDA from Mexican operations, which represents approximately
80 percent of total EBITDA of this business unit, rose
approximately 50 percent YoY. However EBITDA for Comegua
(Central America), the Soda Ash and Molds & Equipment operations
were lower YoY.

                        GLASSWARE
            (10 percent of LTM Consolidated Sales)

Sales

Sales increased YoY 7.2 percent to US$62 million from US$58
million. This increase was mainly driven a 12.8 percent growth
in domestic sales. Sales were affected by a weaker mix. Export
sales for the quarter dropped YoY 4.1 percent. The decline in
the retail export market more than offset the growth in exports
to Latin America and Europe. Overall prices in 4Q'04 increased
by approximately 4 percent and are expected to reflect a margin
improvement during 2005.

EBIT and EBITDA

EBIT and EBITDA for 4Q'04 was US$2 million and US$6 million
respectively, representing YoY decreases of 67.4 percent and
52.8 percent, respectively. EBITDA margins declined 12.6
percentage points to 10 percent during the same period. Weaker
mix, resulting from higher low margin candleholder volumes and
lower higher margin OEM volumes drove overall margins down.

EBIT and EBITDA for the quarter also continue to be negatively
impacted by an increase in energy, packaging and freight costs.
Higher capacity utilization, however, contributed to improved
fixed costs absorption.

About Vitro

Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA), through its
subsidiary companies, is one of the world's leading glass
producers. Vitro is a major participant in three principal
businesses: flat glass, glass containers and glassware. Its
subsidiaries serve multiple product markets, including
construction and automotive glass; food and beverage, wine,
liquor, cosmetics and pharmaceutical glass containers; glassware
for commercial, industrial and retail uses. Vitro also produces
raw materials and equipment and capital goods for industrial
use. Founded in 1909 in Monterrey, Mexico-based Vitro has joint
ventures with major world-class partners and industry leaders
that provide its subsidiaries with access to international
markets, distribution channels and state-of-the-art technology.

Vitro's subsidiaries have facilities and distribution centers in
eight countries, located in North, Central and South America,
and Europe, and export to more than 70 countries worldwide.

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

CONTACT: Vitro, Sociedad Anonima
         Ave. Ricardo Margain 400
         Col Valle del Campestre
         Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon 66250
         Mexico
         Phone: +52 81-8863-1200

         Web site: http://www.vto.com



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

SIDERPERU: Posts Profits Despite Rising Raw Material Costs
----------------------------------------------------------
Peruvian steelmaker Siderperu managed to turn around a PEN10.1
million net loss in 2003 to a PEN26.9 million (US$8.2mn) net
profit in 2004, reports Business News Americas.

In a filing to the country's securities and exchange regulator
Conasev, Siderperu revealed gross revenues of PEN659 million for
2004, higher than the PEN469 million reported in the previous
year.

The improved results, according to the filing, came despite "the
upward trend in prices of raw materials and basic services in
the steel industry."

The reactivation of operations at Siderperu's sponge-iron plant
in July produced 18,800t of the material in 2004, the Company
added. Sponge iron can be used as a substitute for scrap. This
measure saved the Company some US$307,000 in production costs,
while raw steel production grew by 17.6% in 2004.

Siderperu, which is controlled by local holding Company Sider,
has a production capacity of 400,000t/y.



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

PDVSA: Negotiations With Harvest Continue
-----------------------------------------
Houston-based oil Company Harvest Natural Resources Inc.
continue to negotiate with Venezuelan officials over the
Company's South Monagas exploration and production contract with
no end to the impasse in sight.

In January, Venezuela's state-owned oil Company Petroleos de
Venezuela SA (PDVSA) objected to Harvest's 2005 development plan
to lift oil output as high as 34,000 barrels a day. This
objection led Harvest, which gets all its production from
Venezuela, to plummet on the New York Stock Exchange.

Harvest is currently producing about 27,000 barrels a day. So
far, PDVSA has approved a plan allowing for just 20,400 per day.

PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said
PDVSA would seek to renegotiate several contracts with foreign
companies, including Harvest's, because he said their terms were
detrimental to Venezuela's national interest.

Harvest CEO and President James Hill said PDVSA is going through
"a series of changes, progress is being made, PDVSA has a new
board, new directors. The environment is very new to us but we
are going to find a way [to continue in Venezuela]."

"Minister Ramirez has told us two things, he wants to avoid
seeing this thing settled in court and he wants to uphold the
contracts," Hill added.


* VENEZUELA: S&P Will Raise Ratings To 'B' After Payments
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Monday that it expects
the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to make
its missed Oct. 15, 2004, oil-indexed payment obligation on
March 3, 2005. Once that payment is made, and assuming there are
no other changes to the government's credit profile, Standard &
Poor's will raise its long- and short-term foreign currency
sovereign credit ratings on Venezuela to 'B' from 'SD'.
(Standard & Poor's lowered its long- and short-term foreign
currency sovereign credit ratings on Venezuela to 'SD' from 'B'
on Jan. 18, 2005.).

On Feb. 18, 2005, Espineira, Sheldon y Asociados (the
calculation agent) delivered its calculation report for the
determination period ended Aug. 31, 2004, to JPMorgan (the
fiscal agent) and the government. According to the calculation
agent's report, the reference price for the Oct. 15, 2004,
payment date is US$28.4671 per oil obligation, and the strike
price for this date is US$28.4539 per oil obligation.
Accordingly, the government of Venezuela announced on Feb. 18,
2004, that payment in the amount of US$0.0132 per oil obligation
(together with interest thereon from Oct. 15, 2004, to the date
of actual payment at a rate equal to LIBOR plus a margin of
13/16% per annum) will be made to the holders of these oil
obligations in respect of the Oct. 15, 2004, payment date. These
payments are estimated to total US$350 thousand, versus the
government's initial estimate of approximately US$35 million
prior to the downgrade.

"Venezuela's oil-indexed payment obligations are financial
obligations ranking pari passu in priority of payment with all
of the republic's debt," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Richard Francis. "An 'SD' rating is assigned when Standard &
Poor's believes that the obligor has selectively defaulted on a
specific issue or class of obligations, but will continue to
make timely payments on other issues or classes of obligations.
In this case, Standard & Poor's believes that the republic's
capacity and willingness to service its debt is comparable to
other 'B' rated issuers, and expects no further delay in
payments on the oil-indexed payment obligations," he concluded.



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