TCRLA_Public/050316.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

            Wednesday, March 16, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 53

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Marsans Considers Selling Stake
COVER SALUD: Files Petition to Reorganize
CUSTOMWARE S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
DROGUERIA ELEON: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
ELIEGAS S.A.: Judge Approves Bankruptcy

ESMALTADOS CONDUCFLEX: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders
ESPEJOS VERSALLES: Seeks Reorganization Approval From Court
FORESTAL SANTA ANA: Reorganization Concluded
GANADERA BONAERENSE: Court Changes Liquidation Schedule
KUSEL S.A.: Seeks Court Approval for Extrajudicial Agreement

LIMPICO S.R.L.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
MS MONTAJES INDUSTRIALES: Court Rules for Liquidation
MULTICANAL: Moody's Withdraws Ratings
PETROLERA DEL CONOSUR: Heading for Auction Block
POLA DE LENA: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition

ROYAL SHELL: Sales Plummet Following Kirchner's Boycott Call
SCANNING S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
SORTIE S.R.L.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Relies on Portal to Support Broadband
TRANSPORTE TOMEO S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders


B E R M U D A

ANNUITY & LIFE: Reports US$59.6Mln Net Loss in 4Q04


B R A Z I L

BANCO SANTOS: Restructuring or Liquidation Likely Options
COPEL: Approves BRL1 Billion Debenture Issue Program
NET SERVICOS: Postpones 2004 Results Submission


C H I L E

COEUR D'ALENE: Business Looking Up With $13M 4Q04 Profit


C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: $130M Ericsson GSM Contract Gets Nod From Comptroller


H A I T I

* HAITI: Transition Strategy Gets $270M Funding From IDB


J A M A I C A

DYOLL INSURANCE: JIIC Formally Acquires Jamaican Portfolio
DYOLL INSURANCE: Awaiting National Commercial Bank's Reaction


M E X I C O

CINTRA: Airlines' Sale Not Enough to Solve Problems Says Union
GRUPO MEXICO: Reports 2004 Results for Various Subsidiaries
GRUPO MEXICO: Directors, Principal Officers at SPCC Depart


P A N A M A

* PANAMA: S&P Releases Ratings Report


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Foresees Construction of New Refineries to Boost Output

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Marsans Considers Selling Stake
------------------------------------------------------
Spanish travel group Marsans plans to reduce or completely sell
its holdings in Argentine national carrier Aerolineas
Argentinas, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

Marsans' plan to exit from the local airline industry comes amid
a protracted legal dispute with the Argentine government over
the unit's 2003 results.

That dispute has complicated Aerolineas Argentinas' plans to
float 45% of its share capital on the local stock exchange.

Aerolineas Argentinas spokesman Julio Scaramella said Marsans
would sell the carrier, as well as other local holdings such as
Austral airline, "to some international group that wants to keep
all of it."

The other option would be to let other investors take part of
the share capital of Aerolineas Argentinas.

Scaramella said the airline has hired two foreign banks to
search for interested buyers, and suspended for 60 days a plan
to incorporate 900 new workers.

The Company also pulled plans to rollover 270 contracts that
will be expiring in the coming weeks, according to the report.

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


COVER SALUD: Files Petition to Reorganize
-----------------------------------------
Cover Salud S.A. has filed a "Concurso Preventivo" motion,
reports La Nacion. The Company wants to reorganize its finances
following cessation of debt payments since February 15 this
year.

The Company's case is pending before Court No. 15 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal. Clerk No. 29 assists the
court on this case.

CONTACT: Cover Salud S.A.
         Carlos Pellegrini 739
         Buenos Aires


CUSTOMWARE S.R.L.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
-------------------------------------------------------
Customware S.R.L. enters bankruptcy protection after Court No. 2
of Buenos Aires' civil and commerical tribunal approved a motion
filed by Mr. Daniel Gasibe, reports La Nacion. The Company's
failure to pay US$1,200 in debt prompted the creditor to file
the petition.

Working with the city's Clerk No. 3, the court assigned Ms.
Isabel Ramirez as trustee for the bankruptcy process. The
trustee's duties include the authentication of the Company's
debts and the preparation of the individual and general reports.
Creditors are required to present proofs of their claims to the
trustee by May 13.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process. Proceeds from the liquidtion will be used to
repay its creditors.

CONTACT: Customware S.R.L.
         Membrillar 338/46
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Isabel Ramirez, Trustee
         Teniente General J. Domingo Peron 2082
         Buenos Aires


DROGUERIA ELEON: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
-----------------------------------------------
Drogueria Eleon S.A. will begin liquidating its assets following
the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 15 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal, Infobae reports.

The ruling places the Company under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Luis Cortes. Mr. Cortes will verify creditors'
proofs of claims until April 29.

Proceeds from the sale of the Company's assets at the conclusion
of the liquidation process will be used to repay its debts.

The city's Clerk No. 29 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Mr. Luis Cortes, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1646
         Buenos Aires


ELIEGAS S.A.: Judge Approves Bankruptcy
---------------------------------------
Eliegas S.A., a company operating in Rosario, was declared
bankrupt after Court No. 6 of the city's civil and commercial
tribunal endorsed a petition for the Company's liquidation, says
Infobae.

During the course of the liquidation, the control of the Company
will be turned over to a court-appointed trustee. The Court,
however, has not designated a trustee for this case.

CONTACT: Eliegas S.A.
         Bv Orono 4610
         Rosario (Santa Fe)


ESMALTADOS CONDUCFLEX: Begins Liquidation on Court Orders
---------------------------------------------------------
Esmaltados Conducflex S.A. of Buenos Aires will begin
liquidating its assets after Court No. 21 declared the Company
bankrupt. Infobae reveals that the bankruptcy process will
commence under the supervision of court-appointed trustee
Mauricio Goldfarb.

The trustee will review claims forwarded by the Company's
creditors until April 4. After claims verification, he will
submit the individual reports for court approval on May 16. The
general report submission will follow on June 29.

The city's Clerk No. 41 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Mr. Mauricio Goldfarb, Trustee
         Tucuman 1657
         Buenos Aires


ESPEJOS VERSALLES: Seeks Reorganization Approval From Court
-----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 15 of Buenos Aires' civil and commerical tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of the reorganization petition
filed by Espejos Versalles S.A. Argentine daily La Nacion
reports that the Company filed the request after defaulting on
its debt payments since November 15, 2004.

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

Clerk No. 32 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Espejos Versalles S.A.
         Av. de Mayo 981
         Buenos Aires


FORESTAL SANTA ANA: Reorganization Concluded
--------------------------------------------
The settlement plan proposed by Forestal Santa Ana S.A. 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.


GANADERA BONAERENSE: Court Changes Liquidation Schedule
-------------------------------------------------------
Key events in the Ganadera Bonaerense S.R.L. liquidation case
have been moved to the following dates:

1. Claims Verification Deadline: May 27, 2005
2. Individual Reports Submission: July 11, 2005
3. General Report Submission: September 9, 2005

Proofs of claims must be forwarded to court-appointed trustee
Norberto Perrone by the said deadline to qualify for any post-
liquidation distributions.

Court No. 8 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles this case with assistance form the city's Clerk No. 16.

CONTACT: Mr. Norberto Perrone, Trustee
         Constitution 2894
         Buenos Aires


KUSEL S.A.: Seeks Court Approval for Extrajudicial Agreement
------------------------------------------------------------
Local restaurant Kusel S.A. has asked Court No. 16 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal to endorse the
extrajudicial settlement inked with its creditors.

The city's Clerk No. 31 assists the court on resolving this
case.

CONTACT: Kusel S.A.
         Holmberg 1371
         Buenos Aires


LIMPICO S.R.L.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
-------------------------------------------------
Court No. 23 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Limpico S.R.L. bankrupt after the Company defaulted on
its debt payments. The order effectively places the Company's
affairs as well as its assets under the control of court-
appointed trustee Eduardo V. Facciuto.

As trustee, Mr. Facciuto is tasked with verifying the
authenticity of claims presented by the Company's creditors. The
verification phase is ongoing until April 14.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on May 27. A general report will also be
submitted on July 11.

Infobae reports that Clerk No. 45 assists the court on this case
that will close with the sale of the Company's assets.

CONTACT: Mr. Eduardo V. Facciuto, Trustee
         Arevalo 3070
         Buenos Aires


MS MONTAJES INDUSTRIALES: Court Rules for Liquidation
-----------------------------------------------------
Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
ordered the liquidation of MS Montajes Industriales S.R.L. 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. Luis
Maria Rementeria, the court-appointed trustee.

Ms. Rementeria will verify creditors' proofs of claims until May
17. The verified claims will serve as basis for the individual
reports to be submitted in court on June 30. The submission of
the general report follows on August 26.

Clerk No. 40 assists the court on this case that will close with
the sale of the Company's assets to repay its creditors.

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


MULTICANAL: Moody's Withdraws Ratings
-------------------------------------
Moody's Investor's Service has withdrawn the Ca Senior Implied
Rating, Ca Issuer Rating and Ca Senior Unsecured Rating of
Multicanal S.A. All ratings were foreign currency ratings and
carried a negative outlook. Moody's has withdrawn these ratings
because the Company defaulted on its debt in February, 2002.
Please refer to Moody's Withdrawal Policy on moodys.com.

Multicanal S.A. is a multiple system operator with operations in
Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.


PETROLERA DEL CONOSUR: Heading for Auction Block
-------------------------------------------------
Uruguay state-owned oil producer Ancap is preparing to sell its
money-losing Argentine subsidiary Petrolera del Conosur, which
operates service stations under the Sol Petroleo brand, a top
government official said Sunday.

Uruguay's Energy Minister Jorge Lepra revealed that the
Argentine unit is losing US$1.7 million a month. In 2004, the
unit posted net losses of US$27 million because it pays more for
fuel than it receives at the pump.

"It's a venture that has cost dozens of millions of dollars for
the Uruguayan government, the state and the pocketbooks of each
Uruguayan and we still don't know the final cost," Minister
Lepra was quoted as saying.

Petrolera del Conosur operates some 160 service stations in
Argentina mostly in and around southern Buenos Aires, and
accounts for some 5% of the nation's retail gasoline market.

Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Petroleo
Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company and
Argentina's state-run energy producer Enarsa are interested in
acquiring the unit, Lepra said.

Uruguay's senate must first approve Ancap's new board before the
sale can move forward, Minister Lepra said.


POLA DE LENA: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
---------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Carlos Coronel successfully obtained the bankruptcy of Pola
de Lena S.A. after Court No. 18 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal declared the Company "Quiebra," reports La
Nacion.

As such, the Company will now start the bankruptcy process with
Mr. Mario Kahan as trustee. Creditors of the Company must submit
their proofs of claim to the trustee by May 12 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. 36 assists the court on the case that will close with
the liquidation of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Pola de Lena S.A.
         Establecida en Lavalle 1507
         Buenos Aires


ROYAL SHELL: Sales Plummet Following Kirchner's Boycott Call
------------------------------------------------------------
Shell Argentina saw its sales plummet 70% since Thursday when
President Nestor Kirchner called on consumers to boycott the oil
Company for increasing fuel prices by 4.2%, reports MercoPress.

Mr. Carlos Calabro, president of the Argentine Federation of
Fuel Businessmen, understands that majority of the people reject
price hikes, but "we don't need the kind of reaction enforced by
picketers," said Calabro said in reference to picketers that
have occupied several stations impeding the sale of fuel.

The boycott is creating "innumerable problems to a great number
of Shell service stations. And we must keep in mind that
picketers' actions can extend to any sector. And I believe
there's a growing public opinion consensus against this type of
activit[y]," added Mr. Calabro.


SCANNING S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
----------------------------------------------
Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and commerical tribunal
declared local Company Scanning S.A. "Quiebra", relates local
daily La Nacion. The decision comes in approval of the
bankruptcy petition filed by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro S.A.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Ms. Maria
Angelica Adernetto as its trustee. Creditors are required to
present proofs of their claims to the trustee for verification
before May 10. Creditors who fail to have their claims
authenticated by the said date will be disqualified from the
payments that will be made after the Company's assets are
liquidated at the end of the bankruptcy process.

Clerk No. 39 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Scanning S.A.
         Montevideo 589
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Maria Angelica Adernetto, Trustee
         Suipacha 670
         Buenos Aires


SORTIE S.R.L.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
---------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Sortie S.R.L. will begin liquidating its
assets following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court
No. 23 of the city's civil and commercial tribunal, reports
Infobae.

The ruling places the Company under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Pablo Daniel Exposito. Mr. Exposito will
verify creditors' proofs of claims until April 8. The validated
claims will be presented in court as individual reports on May
20.

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 July 5.

The bankruptcy process will end with the sale of the Company's
assets to repay its debts.

CONTACT: Mr. Pablo Daniel Exposito, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 859
         Buenos Aires


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Relies on Portal to Support Broadband
--------------------------------------------------------------
Portal Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRSFE) announced Monday that
Telefonica de Argentina S.A. (NYSE:TAR) is implementing Portal's
latest Revenue Management solution to support a wealth of new
DSL-based broadband services for the Argentinean market.
Telefonica de Argentina, the largest telecommunications Company
in Argentina, selected Portal to leverage advanced rating and
billing capabilities that will enable the Company to accurately
and profitably manage pricing for customer usage of its new
data, voice, wireless, content, and multi-media services
offerings.

"Portal's Revenue Management solution provides us with industry-
leading rating and billing capabilities necessary to support our
continuing growth in broadband services in Argentina," said
Raffaele Loiacono, chief information officer of Telefonica de
Argentina. "Portal's real-time solution enables us to accurately
manage multiple revenue touch points with our customers so that
we can provide them with a variety of voice and multi-media
services."

Telefonica de Argentina, with 4.2 million subscribers, is the
leading provider of telecommunications services in the rapidly
growing and highly competitive Argentinean market. The Company
is in the midst of a four-year, ARS400 million ($1=ARS2.91)
investment plan for broadband Internet and an ARS2.9 million
investment to launch WiFi services with corporate and commercial
clients. In addition, the Company offers web hosting and other
broadband services including email and chat. Telefonica de
Argentina is a member of Telefonica S.A., a leading provider of
telecommunications services for the Spanish- and Portuguese-
speaking markets and the sixth largest telecommunications
provider worldwide. Telefonica provides a comprehensive range of
services in Spain and Latin America through one of the world's
largest and most modern telecommunications networks.

"As Telefonica de Argentina continues to expand their DSL and
broadband services offerings, their customers are expecting
convergent service pricing, discounting, and multiple payment
options," said Bruce Grainger, VP of Caribbean and Latin
American sales for Portal Software. "Portal's leading Revenue
Management solution provides Telefonica de Argentina with the
agility to quickly respond to customer demands in the rapidly
expanding Argentinean market."

About Portal Software, Inc.

Portal is the leading worldwide provider of billing and Revenue
Management solutions for the global communications and media
markets. The Company delivers the only platform for the end-to-
end management of customer revenue across offerings, channels,
and geographies. Portal's solutions enable companies to
dramatically accelerate the launch of innovative, profit-rich
services while significantly reducing the costs associated with
legacy billing systems. Portal is the Revenue Management partner
of choice to the world's leading service providers, including
Vodafone, AOL Time Warner, Deutsche Telekom, NTT, China Telecom,
Reuters, Telstra, China Mobile, Telenor Mobil, and France
Telecom.


TRANSPORTE TOMEO S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
--------------------------------------------------------
Transporte Tomeo S.A. enters bankruptcy protection after Court
No. 2 of Buenos Aires' civil and commerical tribunal, with the
assistance of Clerk No. 4, ordered the Company's liquidation.
The bankruptcy order effectively transfers control of the
Company's assets to a court-appointed trustee who will supervise
the liquidation proceedings.

Infobae reports that the court selected Mr. Mauricio Mudric as
trustee. Mr. Mudric will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claims until the end of the verification phase on April 29.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of the Company's accounting
and business records. The individual reports will be submitted
on June 13 followed by the general report that is due on August
10.

CONTACT: Transporte Tomeo S.A.
         Moreno 955
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Mauricio Mudric, Trustee
         Tucuman 893
         Buenos Aires



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

ANNUITY & LIFE: Reports US$59.6Mln Net Loss in 4Q04
---------------------------------------------------
Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. (ANNRF.OB) reported Monday
financial results for the three months and year ended December
31, 2004.

The Company reported a net loss of $(59,634,766) or $(2.30) per
fully diluted share for the three months ended December 31,
2004, as compared to a net loss of $(7,177,423) or $(0.28) per
fully diluted share for the three months ended December 31,
2003. The Company reported a net loss of $(68,326,455) or
$(2.64)per fully diluted share for the year ended December 31,
2004, as compared to a net loss of $(132,155,584)or $(5.11) per
fully diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2003. The
fourth quarter 2004 loss included a $60,627,007 charge related
to the termination of the Company's annuity reinsurance
agreement with Transamerica and the related novation of its two
largest life reinsurance agreements to Transamerica.

Net realized investment losses for the three months ended
December 31, 2004 were $(16,636), as compared with net realized
investment losses of $(101,432) for the three months ended
December 31, 2003. Net realized investment gains for the year
ended December 31, 2004 were $439,536, as compared with net
realized investment gains of $6,406,587 for the year ended
December 31, 2003.

Gross unrealized gains on the Company's investments were
$1,266,517 as of December 31, 2004, as compared to gross
unrealized gains of $2,218,246 at December 31, 2003. The
Company's investment portfolio currently maintains an average
credit quality of AA. Cash used by operations for the year ended
December 31, 2004 was $57,925,171 as compared to cash used by
operations of $112,176,985 for the year ended December 31, 2003.

The cash used by operations in the year ended December 31, 2004
includes payments made in connection with the settlement of the
Met Life recapture, payments made to Transamerica under the
annuity reinsurance agreement and payments related to the
recapture of the Company's GMDB/GMIB reinsurance agreement with
CIGNA.

Jay Burke, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We
are very pleased that the Company and Transamerica were able to
work together in a mutually beneficial way to terminate the
annuity reinsurance agreement between the companies. The
agreement had been a long-standing source of losses for us. The
termination of this agreement marks the resolution of a
significant contingency that has impeded our ability to pursue
strategic alternatives. We do, however, remain in discussions
with Transamerica regarding its claim that we owe them an
additional $2.0 million related to one of the life reinsurance
agreements that was novated to Transamerica as of December 31,
2004."

Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. provides annuity and life
reinsurance to insurers through its wholly owned subsidiaries,
Annuity and Life Reassurance, Ltd. and Annuity and Life
Reassurance America, Inc.

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

CONTACT: Mr. John Lockwood
         Annuity & Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.
         Cumberland House
         1 Victoria Street
         Hamilton HM 11
         P.O. Box HM 98
         Hamilton HM AX
         Bermuda
         Fax:(441) 296-7667



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

BANCO SANTOS: Restructuring or Liquidation Likely Options
---------------------------------------------------------
A market-based solution for intervened Brazilian bank may no
longer be probable, an analyst at international ratings agency
Moody's hinted.

Business News Americas recalls that the central bank intervened
Santos in November last year due to financial problems and
alleged irregularities. In the past, what usually immediately
follows a central bank intervention is the announcement of a
takeover of the failed bank by another bank.

However, it has not happened in the case of Santos case, Moody's
lead banking analyst for Brazilian banks, Celina Vansetti, said,
adding it is not likely to occur due to the long time lapse that
has passed since the intervention.

The reason why other banks have shown little interest in Santos
is probably due to the fact that it is a wholesale bank with no
distribution network or franchise-value, Ms. Vansetti explained.

The most likely solution today in the Santos case is a
negotiated restructuring process with support from the bank's
creditors, or liquidation, she said.


COPEL: Approves BRL1 Billion Debenture Issue Program
----------------------------------------------------
The 69th extraordinary meeting of Companhia Paranaense De
Energia (COPEL) held at Rua Coronel Dulcidio No. 800, Curitiba
on March 11, 2005 resolved the following items:

DELIBERATIONS:

a. Approved, by unanimous vote, the Debenture Issue Program, on
the amount of one billion reais (R$ 1,000,000,000.00) and its
respective filling with CVM - Brazilian Securities Commission,
the Terms and Conditions of the 3rd issue of simple debentures,
not convertible into shares, with real guarantee represented by
receivables of Copel Geracao S.A., in a limit amount of four
hundred million reais (R$ 400,000,000.00) and, consequently, it
was approved the submission of this subject to the Special
Shareholders' Meeting, which call notice has already been
authorized on a date to be defined.

b. Ratified, by unanimous vote, changes in the wholly-owned
subsidiary Copel Participacoes S.A. by-laws, refering to the
activities attributed to management, and authorized similar
changes in the other Copel's wholly-owned subsidiaries by-laws,
subject to the approval of the respective Regulatory Agencies.

c. Ratified, by unanimous vote, the nomination of Sercomtel S.A.
Telecomunicacoes Administrative Officer and of Copel
Telecomunicacoes S.A. Deputy Executive Officer.

d. Approved, by unanimous vote, with the abstention of those
legally impeded, the nomination of Escoelectric Ltda. Officers,
and Centrais Eletricas do Rio Jordao S.A. - ELEJOR of Technical
Officer and Centrais Eletricas do Rio Jordao S.A. - ELEJOR board
of directors members.

5. SIGNATURES: JOAO BONIFACIO CABRAL JUNIOR - Chairman; ACIR
PEPES MEZZADRI; AMERICO ANTONIO GAION; FRANCELINO LAMY DE
MIRANDA GRANDO, LINDSLEY DA SILVA RASCA RODRIGUES; LUIS ANTONIO
ROSSAFA, SERGIO BOTTO DE LACERDA; LAURITA COSTA ROSA; RUBENS
GHILARDI -Executive Secretary.

CONTACT: Companhia Paranaense de Energia-Copel
         Rua Coronel Dulcidio 800
         Curitiba
         Parana, 80420-170
         Brazil
         Phone: (5541) 322-3535


NET SERVICOS: Postpones 2004 Results Submission
-----------------------------------------------
Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A. (NASDAQ:NETC) (Latibex:XNET)
(Bovespa:PLIM4), publicly announces its decision of postponing
the date for releasing its 4Q04 and 2004 results from March 15,
2005 to the day subsequent to the payment to its creditors,
observing the legal deadline of March 31, 2005, established by
the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission ("CVM"). The
Company confirms that its 2004 results are in line with the
levels previously pointed out, as filed with CVM.

CONTACT: Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A.
         Investor Relations Team
         Mr. Marcio Minoru and/or Mr. Rodrigo Alves
         E-mail: ri@netservicos.com.br
         Phone: 5511 51862811



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C H I L E
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COEUR D'ALENE: Business Looking Up With $13M 4Q04 Profit
--------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE: CDE; TSX: CDM), the
world's largest primary silver producer and a growing gold
producer, today reported results for the fourth quarter and full
year 2004.

HIGHLIGHTS

Fourth Quarter

- Net income of $13.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share,
compared with a loss of $12.9 million, or $0.06 per share, in
the fourth quarter of 2003. Results for the quarter include
operating income of $1.8 million, $2.1 million related to
cumulative reduction in depletion and income taxes for the year
and $9.1 million of tax benefits associated with the expected
utilization of past net operating losses.

- Revenue of $46.1 million, an increase of 48% over reported
revenue of $31.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

- Silver production of 4.3 million ounces, up 23% from a year
ago and 43% from last quarter.

- Fourth quarter gold production of 47,055 ounces, up 80% from
2003's fourth quarter and 46% from last quarter.

- Average cash cost declined 36% to $2.22 per ounce of silver,
compared to $3.47 in 2003's comparable period and 49% lower than
last quarter.

- Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $322.1
million at December 31, 2004.

- Coeur shares commenced trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange
(TSX:CDM) further enhancing the Company's leading liquidity
position among silver producers.

Full Year 2004

- Revenue of $133.5 million, up 21% from the previous year

- Full year silver production of 14.1 million ounces compared to
14.2 million ounces in 2003

- Full year gold production of 129,332 ounces, up 8% from 2003's
level of 119,518 ounces.

- Average cash cost per ounce of $3.66, compared to $3.27 the
previous year.

- Total silver reserves increased 12% above last year's reserve
levels, to 196 million ounces - reserve levels more than doubled
at Cerro Bayo and Martha as a result of the expanded exploration
program, further extending mine life.

2005 Outlook

- San Bartolome construction has commenced, commercial
production expected in 2006.

- Revised Record of Decision ("ROD") for Kensington for the
Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FSEIS") issued by the
U.S. Forest Service. Final permits expected in the first half of
2005.

- Exploration program expanded in 2005

"With continued strong silver and gold production, Coeur
reported substantial profit in the fourth quarter of 2004,
finishing the year in strong fashion," said Dennis E. Wheeler,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coeur. "We
are seeing the successful completion of Coeur's strategy to
shift to new low-cost mines, significantly expand exploration
spending to develop new low-cost ore reserves and improve our
operations capability. We believe this focus on exploiting our
vast exploration potential and low discovery costs at or near
our existing low-cost operations will further strengthen our
position as the premier silver investment.

"Our young mines in South America, Cerro Bayo and Martha, had
excellent fourth quarter and full year results, with strong
metals production and low operating costs -- $0.60 per ounce of
silver (net of gold production credits) in the fourth quarter
and $2.07 per ounce for the full year -- as well as exploration
results which exceeded our expectations and continued to extend
mine life. We will continue our expanded exploration program
there in 2005," Mr. Wheeler added.

"Construction has commenced at our San Bartolome silver project,
with an excellent construction and operating team in place. San
Bartolome is expected to produce approximately eight million
ounces of production annually which will increase the Company's
total silver production by 56%. Production is expected to begin
in 2006, with anticipated strong cash flow at existing silver
prices. We are pursuing optimization of the project to further
reduce capital expenditures and operating costs. Our cash
liquidity position is strong, with $322 million in cash, cash
equivalents and short-term investments at year-end, which will
help fund our growth projects, including San Bartolome and
Kensington, and gives us great flexibility to look for new
opportunities to expand Company production, reserves and cash
flow," Mr. Wheeler said.

Financial Summary

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation today reported fourth quarter
2004 revenue of $46.1 million, an increase of 48% over reported
revenue of $31.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

During the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company reported net
income of $13.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to
a net loss of $12.9 million, or $0.06 per share, in the fourth
quarter of 2003. The fourth quarter of 2004 included $2.8
million of exploration expense related to the Company's
successful program which has increased our silver reserves, and
$2.7 million in pre-development costs for the development of the
San Bartolome and Kensington mines. Results for the quarter
included operating income of $1.8 million, the effect of a
cumulative reduction in depletion expense and income taxes for
the year of $2.1 million and a $9.1 million benefit for income
taxes associated with the expected utilization of past net
operating losses.

For the fourth quarter of 2004, Coeur realized an average silver
price of $7.08 per ounce compared to an average realized silver
price during the previous year's fourth quarter of $5.12 per
ounce. For its gold sales, Coeur realized an average price of
$427 per ounce during the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to an
average gold price of $365 per ounce during the same period last
year.

For the full year 2004, the Company reported revenue of $133.5
million, up 21% from the $110.5 million reported in the previous
year. The increase was due primarily to increased gold
production and higher metals prices.

For the full year 2004, the Company reported a net loss of $12.2
million, or $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of $66.2
million, or $0.39 per share in 2003. Results for the year also
included the effect of a cumulative reduction in depletion
expense and income taxes of $2.1 million and a $9.1 million
benefit for income taxes associated with the expected
utilization of past net operating losses. The 2004 year included
$11.4 million in pre-development costs related to the San
Bartolome and Kensington projects and $15.7 million in one-time
business development expenses. Absent these items, the Company
would have reported a profit of $14.9 million. 2004's expenses
also included $11.1 million of exploration expense.

The previous year's loss included a $41.6 million loss on the
early retirement of debt, a $2.3 million loss for the cumulative
effect of change in accounting principle, and an additional
interest payment of $7.0 million triggered by the early
retirement of debt.

For the full year 2004, Coeur realized an average silver price
of $6.82 per ounce compared to an average realized price during
the previous year of $4.89 per ounce. For its gold sales, Coeur
realized an average price of $410 per ounce during 2004 compared
to an average gold price of $345 per ounce during the same
period last year.

In 2004, Coeur completed a public underwriting of $180 million
of 11/4% Convertible Senior Notes due January 2024 and the
underwriting of 26.6 million common shares, which increased the
Company's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments to
$322 million at December 31, 2004.

The market prices of silver (Handy & Harman) and gold (London
Final) on March 11, 2005 was $7.58 and $443.70 per ounce,
respectively.

Coeur does not hedge any of its silver or gold production.

The Company expects to rely on SEC Rule 12b-25 for a brief delay
in the filing of its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
2004 in order to complete the preparation of its newly required
management's report on internal control over financial reporting
and the attestation report of its outside auditor relating
thereto. Although it is possible such reports may cite one or
more material weaknesses in the Company's internal control over
financial reporting at year-end, the adjustments called for by
such matters are reflected in the financial data set forth in
this press release and will be reflected in the audited
financial statements, and the Company expects to receive an
unqualified report of its outside auditor relating to the
financial statements.

OVERVIEW OF OPERATIONS

South America
Cerro Bayo (Chile)/Martha (Argentina)

- At Cerro Bayo, silver reserves, giving effect to 2004
production, are 316% over prior year reserve levels to 6.1
million ounces, and gold reserves are 372% over prior year
reserve levels to 116,000 ounces.

- At Martha, 2004 year-end silver reserves nearly tripled to 3.9
million ounces, extending mine life through at least mid-2006.

- Expanded exploration program continuing in 2005. Discovery
costs in 2004 were $0.25 per ounce.

- 1.7 million ounces of silver and 22,511 ounces of gold
produced during the fourth quarter.

- Fourth quarter cash costs of $0.60 per ounce of silver.

- Full year 2004 production of 4.9 million ounces of silver and
59,876 ounces of gold.

- Cash costs of $2.07 per ounce of silver for the year.

Both gold and silver production at Cerro Bayo increased in the
fourth quarter from the third quarter 2004, resulting in
significantly lower cash costs of $0.60 per ounce of silver (net
of gold by-product credit) during the fourth quarter. Production
from Cerro Bayo continued to include ores from five different
vein systems, including high-grade ounces from the Javiera and
Cerro Bayo systems. During the quarter, mining at Martha
included ores from the recently developed R-4 Deep and Mina
Martha Deep zones, with higher-grade silver ores contributing to
increased silver production in the fourth quarter. The ores from
Cerro Bayo and Martha are combined and processed together at the
Cerro Bayo plant.

Silver reserve levels are 316% over prior year at Cerro Bayo and
290% at Martha in 2004, giving effect to 2004 production,
further extending mine lives.

The Company's expanded 2004 drilling program at Cerro Bayo more
than tripled silver and gold reserve levels, after giving effect
to 2004 production, to 6.1 million ounces of silver, and 116,000
ounces of gold.

The 2004 drilling program continued the exploration and
delineation of the multiple Cerro Bayo deposits and resulted in
the discovery of the Lourdes Norte and Mercedes veins under
post-mineral gravel cover and of the new Celia Este and Myriam
veins which are located proximal to existing veins. Discovery of
additional covered veins and veins proximal to existing
infrastructure will be a significant part of future exploration
at Cerro Bayo. In 2004, approximately $4.1 million was spent for
exploration and over 250,000 feet of core drilling was
completed.

The discovery cost of new reserves at Cerro Bayo, all of which
were added near existing infrastructure, has averaged
approximately $0.25(1) per silver equivalent ounce. In 2005,
Coeur expects to spend $3.9 million for exploration at Cerro
Bayo, representing the second year of a three-year exploration
plan designed to support at least three years of production. The
exploration potential to discover additional high grade veins
within the entire Cerro Bayo trend, which is 2.5 miles east-west
by 6 miles north-south, is considered to be excellent.

At Martha in Argentina, year-end silver reserves nearly tripled
to 3.9 million ounces, giving effect to 2004 production,
extending mine life through at least mid-2006. The work last
year successfully discovered extensions of high-grade ore along
the strike of the Martha vein within the mine itself, and
several new high-grade ore shoots at the nearby R-4 Zone. The
discovery cost of new reserves has been approximately $0.21(2)
per silver equivalent ounce.

Martha remains among the highest-grade silver mines in the
world. The extension of the reserves at Martha has far surpassed
the parameters upon which the acquisition of this property was
based.

The Company believes there is excellent potential to discover
additional silver resources on properties within the 450 square
miles it controls in the Santa Cruz Province, which includes the
Martha mine. Accordingly, Coeur has increased its exploration
budget at Martha to $2.7 million for 2005, an increase of 58%
over 2004 levels. The current exploration program continues to
focus on extensions of high grade ore shoots known to exist on
the property and two drill rigs are operating full time.

(1) Since January 2002. Silver equivalent ounces = silver ounces
+ (gold ounces x (gold price/silver price)) Prices used in year-
end 2004 reserves: $390 gold, $6.00 silver.

(2) Since acquisition in 2002. Silver equivalent ounces = silver
ounces + (gold ounces x (gold price/silver price)) Prices used
in year-end 2004 reserves: $390 gold, $6.00 silver.

North America

Rochester Mine (Nevada)

- Average cash cost in fourth quarter of $1.97 per ounce of
silver.

- Average 2004 cash costs of $3.93, reduced 16% from $4.67 per
ounce a year ago.

- 1.7 million ounces of silver in the fourth quarter, up 21%
from last year's fourth quarter and up 30% from the third
quarter, 2004.

- Fourth quarter gold production of 24,544 ounces, more than
double last year's fourth quarter production, and 41% higher
than the third quarter 2004.

- Full year 2004 production of 69,456 ounces of gold, up 33%
from 2003, and 5.7 million ounces of silver, slightly higher
compared to the previous year.

Gold production levels accelerated at Rochester in the fourth
quarter due to leaching of higher-grade gold ores placed on the
pad earlier in 2004 and the completion of the new Stage IV
leaching areas, which have allowed for a higher than normal
production rate. Due to the higher gold production in 2004,
average full year cash costs were reduced by 16% from the
previous year.

Coeur Silver Valley - Galena Mine (Idaho)

- Fourth quarter silver production of 874,573 ounces.
- Average cash cost during quarter of $5.94 per ounce of silver.
- Full year silver production of 3.5 million ounces of silver.
- Full year average cash costs of $5.46 per ounce of silver.

During 2004 at Silver Valley, drilling at the Galena mine
succeeded in defining approximately 3.0 million new ounces.

Overall, reserves decreased at Galena due to production, higher
operating costs and external smelter and refinery costs, which
resulted in an overall increase in the ore reserve cutoff grade.
Exploration and development work continued during the year with
the target of developing additional resources with an eventual
annual production target of 7.0 million ounces.

In 2004, $1.6 million was spent on exploration activities at the
Galena mine, on seven exploration targets for testing, and added
four additional targets in the year. New mineralization was
discovered at the 4000 Level of the Polaris Fault and the 2400
Upper Country Silver Vein. Definition drilling also commenced at
the 4300 to 4600 vein target. Initial drilling on the Deep Coeur
target intersected an extension of the 483 vein in five of eight
holes with thin, high-grade silver (0.9 feet at 51.3 ounces of
silver per ton) intersected in one hole. In addition, Coeur
geologists believe that geologic conditions similar to those at
the Galena mine may extend into the adjacent Caladay property
providing future exploration opportunities.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

San Bartolome - Bolivia

Construction activities commenced at San Bartolome in the fourth
quarter of 2004, with a targeted construction start-up in 2006.
Named as General Manager for the wholly-owned Coeur subsidiary
to operate San Bartolome was Americo Villafuerte, who has
managed mining operations for major mines throughout South
America for both large U.S. and other international mining
firms. Coeur has assembled an international team with a combined
120 years of mining construction and engineering expertise to
build the open pit mining operation and processing facility.
Construction is currently expected to cost approximately $135
million, with production startup in 2006. Optimization is
ongoing to lower capital expenditures and operating costs.

Initial average annual production from San Bartolome of
approximately 8 million ounces of silver is expected during the
first five years of production at an anticipated cash operating
cost of $3.50 per ounce, designed to generate significant cash
flow for the Company. The mine has an initial estimated mine
life of 15 years.

Kensington - Alaska

During the fourth quarter, the Kensington gold project received
the Record of Decision ("ROD") for the Final Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement ("FSEIS") by the U.S. Forest
Service, a major permitting milestone. An appeal to the ROD was
filed February 8th with the U.S. Forest Service, which has a 45
day period to respond. The Company believes the appeal is
without merit. With receipt of remaining permits, the Company
Board of Directors could make a construction decision in the
first half of 2005. The construction of Kensington is expected
to take eighteen months, with production startup commencing
during 2006.

During 2005, Coeur plans to commence a drilling program at
Kensington designed to define 300,000 to 400,000 ounces of new
gold reserves., thereby significantly increasing the initial
mine life from the current level of ten years and to identify
higher grade sections of the deposit that might be mined in the
earlier years of the operation. The program is expected to cost
approximately $2.6 million.

Kensington is initially expected to produce approximately
100,000 ounces of gold annually over its planned ten to fifteen
year mine life. Initial direct capital cost is estimated at
$91.5 million and per ounce operating costs are projected at
approximately $220.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation 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 and
Alaska in the United States, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia in
South America and Tanzania in Africa.

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

CONTACT: Coeur D'Alene Mines Corp.
         400 Coeur d'Alene Mines Bldg.
         505 Front Ave.
         P.O. Box I
         Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816-0316
         USA

         Phone: 208-667-3511



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================

ICE: $130M Ericsson GSM Contract Gets Nod From Comptroller
----------------------------------------------------------
Costa Rica's telecoms monopoly ICE will now be able to offer
mobile services to 37% of the population, about 4.5 million
people, after the comptroller approved the US$130-million GSM
contract the Company first awarded to Swedish equipment firm
Ericsson.

According to Business News Americas, the controller authorized
the contract, which is for 600,000 GSM lines, even though an
internal investigation indicated the possibility that bribes
were exchanged between employees of ICE and Ericsson.

ICE hopes to begin selling lines by October 2005, when it will
try to have around 200,000 ready.



=========
H A I T I
=========

* HAITI: Transition Strategy Gets $270M Funding From IDB
--------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American
Development Bank announced Monday the approval of a Transition
Strategy for Haiti for the period 2005-2006. This strategy
represents the IDB's short-term response to the Haitian interim
government's request of support for its national reconciliation
and reconstruction agenda.

The strategy supports Haiti's efforts to alleviate pressing
social needs, stabilize its economy, lay a foundation for pro-
poor growth and pave the way towards a new elected government in
2006 and beyond the transition.

The IDB Transition Strategy, which reflects the priorities
established in the Haitian government's agenda, will guide the
implementation of a $270 million program of operations. These
include policy-based and investment loans as well as technical
assistance grants to support project execution and strengthen
Haiti's public sector.

To meet Haiti's priorities, the IDB will continue to support
economic recovery by financing investments in key roads, ports
and airports. The strategy also sustains efforts to revitalize
agriculture by promoting the development of rural production
chains capable of generating farming and non-farming jobs.

The implementation of the strategy will help improve Haitian
living conditions by increasing access to water and sanitation
and improved education and health services at the community
level. Complementing these efforts, it will help strengthen
natural disaster prevention and environmental management.

In addition, the strategy, as well as ongoing IDB operations,
favor labor-intensive activities involving local communities in
the rehabilitation of infrastructure. It also promotes the
recovery of small and medium-size enterprises and industries, as
well as the improvement of conditions for investment. Assistance
is already being provided to foster community development
initiatives at the national level and will be expanded.

A key element of the strategy is to help Haiti deepen economic
governance reforms, including anti-corruption initiatives, and
promote institutional development by increasing transparency,
efficiency in the budgetary process and its corresponding legal
framework and the quality of human resources of the public
sector.

The IDB Transition Strategy was developed in consultation with
national and international stakeholders and coordinated with the
donor community within Haiti's Interim Cooperation Framework
(ICF), which articulates the government's national agenda around
priority axes. With the new program of operations, the IDB will
honor fully the pledge of $263 million it made at a Haiti donor
conference in July 2004.

This new strategy builds upon and complements the IDB's ongoing
activities in Haiti, totaling $400 million, which started under
the 2003-2004 re-engagement strategy. Since July 2003 some $80
million have been disbursed to support projects that are aligned
with the Haitian government's priorities, leaving an available
balance of $320 million. This available IDB financing
contributed to reducing the external financing requirements of
the Government's national agenda.  Given the progress made in
implementing projects and the special measures taken to
streamline procedures and speed up preparation and execution,
the IDB expects to reach higher disbursement levels.

The IDB's program emphasizes a flexible approach through the
facilitation and implementation of activities and special
strengthening measures to help ease Haiti's capacity
constraints. These activities have also helped the Haitian state
maintain key institutional capacities, start major economic
governance reforms and finance high-impact investments to
rehabilitate basic and social infrastructure and services. All
IDB projects include institutional building components to
reinforce local executing capacities and ownership.

In addition, the IDB has maintained a strong field presence
through a fully staffed country office in Port au Prince, which
has always remained in operation. The Country Office is being
strengthened to meet the demands of the IDB's growing
involvement in Haiti and respond to evolving country priorities.
These efforts rely on close collaboration with Haitian agencies
and other donors to assess and monitor execution capacities,
make adjustments to facilitate implementation and maintain
strong aid coordination.

Under the transition strategy, this flexible approach will
pursue innovative approaches and streamlined procedures to
reduce demands on Haiti's limited institutional capacity. In
agreement with the Haitian government, the IDB will continue to
apply and adjust special measures to speed up portfolio
execution and the preparation of new operations for prompt
implementation.

In coordination with other donors, the IDB will continue to
strengthen aid coordination mechanisms and participate actively
in the implementation and monitoring of the ICF. These efforts
emphasize a balance of short- and longer-term approaches to help
Haiti build local human and technical capacities, address
priority needs of its people and restore economic, institutional
and stability conditions for sustainable growth and effective
poverty reduction.



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

DYOLL INSURANCE: JIIC Formally Acquires Jamaican Portfolio
----------------------------------------------------------
GraceKennedy, via its insurance subsidiary, Jamaica
International Insurance Company (JIIC), has formally acquired
Dyoll Jamaica general insurance portfolio, The Jamaica Observer
reports.

It was generally expected that JIIC would take over the assets
of the insolvent insurer.

Details of the deal were not immediately released but according
to Kenneth Tomlinson, the forensic auditor who was appointed by
the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to manage Dyoll after
the Company collapsed, policyholders would not experience any
changes in their policy provision except for the name of the
insurer.

"JIIC will cover the former Dyoll Jamaican policyholders going
forward, with the exact terms and conditions as they previously
obtained from Dyoll," Tomlinson said in the press statement.


DYOLL INSURANCE: Awaiting National Commercial Bank's Reaction
-------------------------------------------------------------
The future of Dyoll Insurance Company is uncertain after the
Financial Services Commission (FSC) revealed that the insurance
provider misstated crucial information regarding the level of
exposure and the level of capital injection carried out in
December.

Sources interviewed by The Jamaica Gleaner claim that Dyoll
executives are preparing to face possible legal action from the
National Commercial Bank (NCB), which had paid an estimated
US$562 million in February last year for a 46 percent stake in
the insurer. NCB, however, has remained mum about Dyoll's
alleged misrepresentation.

Dyoll's shares were priced from $17.80 to $20.00 per share when
NCB made its acquisition in 2004. But the onslaught of Hurricane
Ivan in September of that year led to almost US$26 million in
claims and by the time the Jamaica Stock Exchange suspended
trading of its stocks in February 2005, Dyoll's shares have
slipped to US$14.50. The Company's share prices are expected to
drop to cents when the suspension is lifted.

NCB had hoped to make a long-term commitment to Jamaica's
insurance market when it bought the Dyoll shares. But with the
alarming dip in its stock price and the sale of Dyoll's Jamaican
Portfolio to GraceKennedy, all that is left of Dyoll are its
debt and the interest in Dyoll Wateru Coffee Company.


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

CINTRA: Airlines' Sale Not Enough to Solve Problems Says Union
--------------------------------------------------------------
The privatization of Mexico's main carriers, AeroMexico and
Mexicana, won't be enough in itself to solve the airlines'
problems, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing the Mexican
airline pilots union.

Results of a study conducted by Roland Berger consultants for
the pilots association revealed that the carriers have been
losing market share for more than a decade.

The study said Cintra has lost 8.2 percentage points of domestic
market share and 7.2 percentage points of international market
share since 2000, mostly to U.S. majors and domestic and foreign
low-cost carriers.

Moreover, the market has grown at an average annual rate of 2.2%
in the past 10 years, led by international traffic, but
AeroMexico and Mexicana lost 3.4 million passengers while low-
cost carriers such as Aviacsa, Aerocalifornia and Azteca have
tripled their traffic.

According to Jesus Ramirez, Secretary General of the Mexican
Airline Pilots Association, the airlines require major
repositioning in the market to contend with bigger competitors.

"Of course it's illusory to think this can be solved in a few
months," Mr. Ramirez said. "We won't be an obstacle to things
working well, but the sale in itself won't solve the problem."

Cintra SA, the holding Company for AeroMexico and Mexicana, says
its current position is "unsustainable, and it will have to be
dissolved to re-establish competitive conditions in the domestic
airline industry."

CONTACT: Cintra S.A. de C.V.
         Av Xola 535 piso 16 col. del Valle Mexico
         Phone: (5)448 - 8000
         E-mail: infocintra@cintra.com.mx
         Web site: http://www.cintra.com.mx


GRUPO MEXICO: Reports 2004 Results for Various Subsidiaries
-----------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: GMEXICOB) (GM) reported its
results Monday for the fourth quarter and the twelve months
ended December 31, 2004.

RELEVANT EVENTS

On October 21, 2004, SPCC announced that it had reached an
agreement with Americas Mining Corporation ("AMC") whereas, in
accordance with what is set forth in the merger agreement, AMC
is to exchange its equity interest equal to approximately 99.15%
of its subsidiary Minera Mexico for approximately 67.2 million
shares of SPCC; thereafter, AMC would increase its ownership of
SPCC to approximately 75.1%. After having received a favorable
recommendation from its Special Committee of Independent
Directors, SPCC's Board of Directors unanimously approved the
merger. Prior to this transaction, Grupo Mexico is currently the
majority shareholder of 54.2% of SPCC. As part of this
agreement, SPCC decreed and paid an extraordinary US$100 million
dividend for all SPCC's shareholders on March 1, 2005. On March
28th an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting will be held by SPCC
in order to carry out the relevant voting to complete the
merger.

Upon consummation of the proposed merger, SPCC would become a
world-class mining Company, the second largest in terms of
market capitalization among the copper mining companies listed
in the NYSE, while also enjoying the second largest copper
mineral reserves in the world. SPCC would have one single series
of common shares listed both in the New York Stock Exchange and
in Lima's Stock Exchange. The possibility of listing in the
Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) will also be studied. Through the
proposed combination, SPCC would strengthen its capital
structure that would better allow it to carry out investments
and growth plans. The new entity would also considerably
increase its diversification in terms of metals, markets,
customers and assets. Synergies are expected due to the nature
of SPCC and MM's investment and operating requirements.

- On November 24, 2004, Moody's raised its Minera Mexico's
ratings from the global scale of "Ca" to "B1".

- On January 21, 2005, Fitch Ratings raised Minera Mexico's
ratings on a global scale from "B" to "BB-" with a Positive
Monitoring. Fitch also raised GMexico's ratings on a global
scale from "B-" to "BB" and Americas Mining Corporation's (AMC)
from "B" to "BB" with a Positive Monitoring. In addition, Fitch
ratified Southern Peru Copper Corporation's (SPCC) "BB-" global
scale rating in Foreign Currency and maintained its Stable
outlook.

- On January 21, 2005, Fitch Ratings raised Minera Mexico's
ratings on a global scale from "B" to "BB-" with a Positive
Monitoring. Fitch also raised GMexico's ratings on a global
scale from "B-" to "BB" and Americas Mining Corporation's (AMC)
from "B" to "BB" with a Positive Monitoring. In addition, Fitch
ratified Southern Peru Copper Corporation's (SPCC) "BB-" global
scale rating in Foreign Currency and maintained its Stable
outlook.

FINANCING

GMexico's total debt as of December 31, 2004 amounted to
$2,516.9 million; with a cash balance of $973.5 million that
yields a net debt of $1,543.4 million. Cash at the close of
December 2003 amounted to $556.1 million, which at the time
yield a net debt of $2,429.8 million vs. $1,543.4 million above
mentioned; a net debt decrease of 57% that amounts to $886.2.

Financial cost for the fourth quarter of 2004 amounted to $52.5
million, 2.1 million higher than the same quarter of 2003, as a
result of fees paid for new credit facilities at MM and
Ferromex.

Accumulated financial cost for 2004 reached $224.7 million and
represented a $2.6 million decrease when compared to the $227.4
million spend during 2003. The lower interest paid during 2004
is the result of an important reduction in the Group's
liabilities and to better interest rates obtained by MM's new
credit agreement funded on October 29, 2004. The new credit
agreement will reflect further savings in MM's financial cost
during the subsequent quarters.

On December 30, Ferromex executed an 8 1/2 year term loan credit
agreement in the amount of $31.5 million with BNP Paribas that
included an Eximbank guaranty. Resources thereof were used
toward the acquisition of 20 state of the art locomotives which
offer a better and more efficient freight transportation
service.

Last January 26 SPCC executed a $200 million syndicated bank
facility lead by Citigroup, BNP Paribas, and Scotiabank.
Previous to this, and consequent to its good performance in
October 2004, Minera Mexico contracted a syndicated bank loan
led by Banamex/Citigroup for $600 million for a five-year term.
These resources were destined to prepay in full the remainder of
the debt that this subsidiary restructured with SENs and 14
banks on April 29, 2003, which at that time reached $881
million, as mentioned in greater detail above. Minera Mexico's
total debt is slightly above $1 billion and there are plans to
reduce it in the near future to the $800 million level to be in
highly conservative conditions at international level and,
therefore, continue with its operation, development and
investment programs. With this, the Group fulfills the goal it
had announced to improve the financial conditions of its
subsidiaries.

Proceeds will be used to prepay and retire $199 million of bonds
issued in the Peruvian capital market. In January 2005, SPCC
paid $150 million plus interest from four issuances made during
the years of 2001, 2002, and 2003. Later on, in March and April
of this year, SPCC will pay two series of outstanding bonds
issued in 2000. This credit facility agreement was executed
under better terms and conditions than those exhibited by the
bonds.

MINING DIVISION - AMERICAS MINING CORPORATION

Metals Market

Metal prices continued their marked upward trend throughout
2004, favorably rebounding in the fourth quarter, with relevant
increments mainly in the case of molybdenum with 302.9%, copper
with 50.4%, and silver with 37.3% compared to the 4Q03.

Copper demand continued its solid growth trend during the 4Q04
in all of the consumer economies, particularly pronounced by the
steep demand in China and the greater demand recorded in the
United States during the year. These important factors greatly
contributed to a deficit in metal inventories worldwide that at
the end of 2004 decreased from 806,000 MT to 136,000 MT. A
weaker dollar also contributed to strengthening copper prices
that reached price levels not seen in the last fifteen years.
Analysts foresee an ongoing deficit in the copper supply in
2005.

Americas Mining Corporation

Sales in the mining sector ("AMC") during the 4Q04 increased by
96% to $1,148.7 million, while the cost of sales rose only
42.7%. The combination of the sharp sales increase and a
controlled cost of sales led to a considerable net profit
increase of 225x over the $11.5 million recorded last year.

Despite the strike at Minera Mexico during the 4Q04, sales
ascended to $1,148.7 million, a 30.7% increase when compared to
3Q04.

EBITDA increased 204% and reached $617.4 million compared to the
4Q03, and increased by 59.3% compared to the 3Q04 figure. EBITDA
margin as a percentage of sales increased from 34.6% to 53.7%.

Americas Mining Corporation, incorporated in Delaware, is the
holding Company of the mining operations in Mexico, the United
States, and Peru. It is ranked as the second largest Company in
the world with regard to copper reserves, the third ore/refined
copper producer, the fourth silver producer and the seventh zinc
producer in the world.

Minera Mexico

Copper mine production reached 76,702 MT in the 4Q04, 9.4% below
that of the same period last year mainly due to the strikes
suffered by Cananea and La Caridad last October. For the full
year 2004, copper mine production amounted to 320,641 MT, 10.1%
higher than that registered last year. 2004 mine copper
production increased at Cananea as a result of better
availability and utilization of mining equipment, as well as a
29% increase in milling volumes coupled to a 13% increase in ore
grades.

The aforementioned production decrease during the 4Q04 was
mitigated by the significant metal price increases, causing
sales to increase to $407.6 million in the fourth quarter of
2004, 60.1% higher compared to the same period of 2003, and
amounted $1,380.8 million for an accumulated in 2004 of %76.7%
over 2003.

On the other hand, the cost of sales in 4Q04 of $201.2 million,
which is 22.2% higher than that of the same period of 2003, was
due primarily to lower volumes produced attributable to the
strike at La Caridad and Cananea, as well as important energy
cost increases in 4Q04, and, in particular, that of electricity
and diesel fuel.

The cash operating breakeven point of MM decreased to 35.1 cents
per pound of copper through December 31, 2004 versus 48.1 cents
during the same period last year, due to higher production in
the by-products that we sell.

MM's 4Q04 EBITDA increased 135% from $82.7 million to $194.6
million compared to the same period of 2003. EBITDA margin as a
sales percentage increased from 32.5% to 47.8% in 4Q04 compared
to the same period of 2003. Full year 2004 EBITDA totaled $675.8
million versus $193.4 million last year, yielding a 249%
increase.

During the 4Q04, MM reported a net profit increase of 93.3%,
from $56.6 million to $109.6 million. Net income for 2004
amounted to $385.0 million and compares to a ($35.1) million
loss recorded during the previous year.

Minera Mexico is the largest mining Company in Mexico. It
operates two large open pit mines, Cananea, the fourth largest
mine in the world in terms of reserves and the first in terms of
"years of operation", and the metallurgical mining complex La
Caridad which includes copper smelting and refining, a wire rod
plant and precious metal refinery. It also operates four poly-
metallic underground mining units and a zinc refinery.

Southern Peru Copper Corporation

On March 28, 2005, SPCC expects to complete MM's acquisition
through a new stock issuance, creating the second most important
mining Company in the world in terms of copper reserves, listed
on the markets of Lima, Peru and the New York Stock Exchange,
USA., creating thus a world-class Company that would allow it to
better compete in the global market.

Copper mine production in the 4Q04 increased 4.9% to 101,112 MT
compared to the same period of 2003. For the full year of 2004,
copper mine production increased 6.1% to 397,366 MT compared
with same period of 2003. This 22,709 MT increment includes
18,479 MT from Toquepala mine, 9,861 MT from Cuajone mine and a
5,631 MT SX/EW production decrease. Toquepala mine production
increase was mainly due to higher mineral ore grade to those
foreseen for 2004 and better recoveries. The concentrator at
Toquepala processed 2.8% more in 2004, setting a new milling
record of 21.8 million tons. The concentrator produced 580,110
tons of concentrate, a new production record.

The production increment at Cuajone mine is due to higher
mineral ore grade and better milling recoveries, which produced
752,941 tons of concentrate, a new production record. The SX/EW
copper production decreased 12.4 million pounds due to a lower
ore grade in charged solutions (PLS).

SPCC smelter processed 1.21 million tons of concentrate in 2004,
2.5% more than in 2003. The Ilo refinery reduced cathodes
production by 1% to 280,679 MT, due to less blister
availability.

Product sales totaled $624.7 million in 4Q04, compared to $245.7
million in the 4Q03, an increase of 154% that can be attributed
to larger volumes sold and to the increase in metal prices,
particularly molybdenum that represented 27.4% of the total
sales in 2004.

EBITDA for the 4Q04 increased by 291%, from $103.9 to $407.0
million. At the same time, SPCC's cash on hand increased 84.8%
and reached $546.0 million at year-end 2004.

Full year 2004 EBITDA totaled $1,004.8 million versus $299.4
million for the same period last year, representing a 246%
increase.

The Company's net profit was 495% higher than that of the
previous year and totaled $257.1 million compared to $43.1
million in the 4Q03. For the full year 2004, net profit ascended
to $596.7 million compared to $119.2 million in 2003, resulting
in a 400% increase.

The production increases and improved efficiencies represent a
significant step toward the continued goal to reduce unit costs
and maximize SPCC's copper operating breakeven point that
reached 4.7 cents per pound of copper through December 31, 2004
versus 39.0 cents during the same period of the previous year.
This represents a 729% reduction that can be attributed, among
other things, to better by-product prices, mainly molybdenum.

As for SPCC's expansion and modernization program, the Ilo
smelter project continues on schedule, with detailed engineering
work in progress and the procurement of larger equipment in
order to fully complete the project by the end of 2006.

In addition, the ore crushing, leaching and conveyor belt
project at the Toquepala mine is also on schedule. In March
2004, a contract for construction work was awarded to Cosapi, a
Peruvian construction firm. The contract is part of the $70
million project that is scheduled for completion in mid-2005.
This project will increase SX/EW copper recovery and allow for
annual savings of $25 million in operating costs at the
Toquepala mine. In 2004, $44.3 million were invested in this
project.

On January 26, 2005 SPCC executed a $200 million syndicated bank
facility lead by Citigroup, BNP Paribas, and Scotiabank.
Proceeds will be used to prepay and retire $199 million of bonds
issued in the Peruvian capital market. In January 2005, SPCC
paid $150 million plus interest from four issuances made during
the years of 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Later on, in March and April of this year, SPCC will pay two
series of outstanding bonds issued in 2000. This credit facility
agreement was executed under better terms and conditions than
those exhibited by the bonds.

Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) is one of the largest
companies in Peru and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
SPCC's shareholders are, directly or through subsidiaries, as
follows: Grupo Mexico (54.2%), Cerro Trading Company (14.2%),
Phelps Dodge (14.0%), and other common shareholders (17.6%).

ASARCO, Inc.

In order to expose copper ore in the near future, and ensure
copper supply in the long term, the plan to accelerate stripping
and the allocation of resources that have been assigned to the
mines since April 2004 with the purpose to improve equipment
availability, has begun to bear fruit; an outstanding production
improvement is already noticeable in the 4Q04 vis-ů-vis the 3Q04
and this trend is expected to continue throughout 2005.

Total sales increased by 31.2%, amounting up to $123.1 million
in the 4Q04, compared to $93.8 million in the same term in 2003.
The accumulated year sales totaled $508 million, 43.5% higher
than the recorded throughout year 2003.

Copper mine production during the 4Q04 was 44,080 MT, 6.6%
higher than that of the same period of 2003 and 10.5% increase
compared to 3Q04 due to the advance in the stripping program.
Copper mining production amounted 155,443 MT in the year 2004,
7.9% lower than the production of the same period in 2003. At
the Mission mine production was increased by 18%, to 6,758 MT,
basically as a result of the increment in mined mineral; at the
Ray mine, production was increased by 3%, to 21,999 MT, due to
both a larger volume moved and a higher mineral ore grade. At
the Ray SX/EW plant, pounds produced were increased by 14.6% as
a result of a higher copper grade in the solution. The Silver
Bell SX/EW plant produced 5,352 MT, 2.2% production decrease
also due to a lower copper ore grade.

Cost of sales in the 4Q04 was in the amount of $103.2 million,
72.1% higher than that of the same term in 2003. This is mainly
due to the cost increase originated by the 73% increment in the
tonnage moved in the mines and to maintenance of equipment to
raise the availability levels up to the industry standards, a
situation that had been affected during the period of low
liquidity. The cash breakeven operating cost for Asarco's copper
production was 114.4 cents per pound of copper as of the 4Q04
compared to 80.5 cents in 4Q03, same that is expected to be
reduced in the subsequent quarters to the extent the
extraordinary stripping program at its mining units is
concluded.

Asarco's EBITDA amounted to $13.6 million in the 4Q04 compared
to $21.8 million for the same period in 2003. Full year 2004
EBITDA ascended to $58.7 million compared to $18.0 million for
the same period in 2003, 226% higher.

Asarco reported a net profit of $28.1 million for the 4Q04,
compared to a (99.6) million loss in the same period of 2003.
The accumulated net profit as of December 31, 2004 reached $33.2
million, 125% higher that that registered last year.

The increase in metal prices throughout 2004, as well as the
financial restructure carried out in 2003 allowed Asarco to
implement an aggressive movement of waste material and also
obtain important savings in financial costs equal to $55 million
on an annual basis in addition to an attractive amortization
profile, whose next significant amortization is not due until
the year 2013. This said, the Company now reflects the proper
conditions that allow it to enhance the development of its
operations and results for the coming years.

The awareness and responsibility of the Steel Workers Union,
which represents workers of the Mission, Amarillo, Hayden, and
Silver Bell units, as well as the unwavering commitment of the
Company's management, has allowed for continued conciliatory
negotiations, even though the time limits set for initiating a
strike have expired, thus importantly contributing to the
recovery of Asarco and helping to preserve a source of
employment.

Asarco founded in 1899, is a fully integrated copper miner,
smelter and refinery in the United States. It has important
copper reserves. The open pit-mining units at Mission, Ray, and
Silver Bell in Arizona, include electro-winning plants at both
Ray and Silver Bell. Asarco operates a copper smelter in Hayden,
Arizona; it has a copper refinery and a copper rod and cake
plant in the State of Texas.

Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano (GFM)

Volume as measured by tons per kilometer (tons/km) moved by
Ferromex during the 4Q04 increased by 17% compared to the same
period of 2003, primarily as a result of an increase in the
trade flow between Mexico and the United States caused by the
economic growth of the market, as well as by higher domestic
volumes.

The cost of sales in the 4Q04 of $110.0 million, showed a 21.9%
increase year over year. This effect was slightly offset by
higher volumes moved that enabled the Company to obtain higher
revenues for services in this quarter. However, the cost of
sales increased due to a material rise in the cost of diesel.
The price of diesel per liter increased 23.8%, rising from
US$0.289 cents in 4Q03 to US$0.358 cents in 4Q04.

Ferromex's 4Q04 EBITDA was $53.5 million, 14% higher compared
with the previous year. The accumulated EBITDA as of December
2004 was $215.0 million versus $203.5 million for the same term
in 2003.

Operating profit was 29.3% higher than in the 4Q03, in despite
of an important increase in the cost of diesel that is the main
input of rail operations. Net profit increased by 24.8%, going
from $16.9 million to $21.1 million in the 4Q04. The accumulated
net profit as of December 2004 was $85.1 million versus $68.4
million recorded during the same period of 2003.

With respect to investment projects and the acquisition of other
assets, $59.3 million were invested in the fourth quarter of
2004, 171.8% more than in 2003, allocated to the modernization
of its infrastructure and the acquisition of 20 new locomotives.

As of December 31, 2004, the total debt in the amount of $478.2
million shows a 0.2% decrease compared to $479.2 million in the
same term in 2003. Its net cash debt is $358.3 million; its
adequate and conservative financial structure provides the
Company with great operating and financial flexibility for the
development of its activities in order to continue with its
impressive growth in transported volumes.

On December 30, Ferromex executed an 8 1/2 year term loan credit
agreement in the amount of $31.5 million with BNP Paribas that
included an Eximbank guaranty. Resources thereof were used
toward the acquisition of 20 state of the art locomotives which
offer a better and more efficient freight transportation
service.

Effective December 2004, a formula was adopted in order to allow
for the recovery of diesel cost increments as it is done by
American rail companies, with the purpose to better reflect the
co-relation between volumes moved and sales.

Ferromex is the largest rail Company in Mexico and it has the
widest coverage. Ferromex counts with a network of 8,500
kilometers of tracks which cover 71% of the Mexican territory.
Its lines connect with five gateways in the border with the
United States, and with four ports on the Pacific Coast and two
on the Gulf of Mexico. Ferromex is controlled by Grupo Mexico
(74%) and Union Pacific (26%).

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


GRUPO MEXICO: Directors, Principal Officers at SPCC Depart
----------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Southern Peru Copper Corporation has
elected Mr. J. Eduardo Gonzalez as a director of the Company and
as its Vice President, Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and
Named Fiduciary of the Company. Mr. Gonzales replaces Mr. Jaime
Fernando Collazo Gonzalez who had been appointed Vice President,
Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and Named Fiduciary of the
Company on April 29, 2004. The new appointment was due to
internal organizational changes within Grupo Mexico S.A. de
C.V., the controlling shareholder. There were no disagreements
with the Company or management. Mr. Jaime Fernando Collazo
Gonzalez remains a director of the Company.

Mr. Eduardo Gonzalez, age 35, has been the President of Grupo
Mexico's Mining Division (Americas Mining Corporation) since
January 2004 and its Chief Financial Officer since 1999. Mr.
Gonzalez has been the Chief Financial Officer of Minera Mexico
from mid-2001 to December 2003. He had also headed Grupo
Mexico's Treasury and Investor Relations departments from 1999
to 2001. Prior to joining Grupo Mexico, Mr. Gonzalez was a
Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company, Inc., heading work for
clients in various countries and industry sectors.

Mr. Gonzalez holds two degrees from the University of Arizona in
Economics and Political Science and a Master in Business
Administration in Finance and International Business from the
University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. He has also
concluded extensive graduate studies and research in Political
Philosophy and European Union Economics at the Oxford University
in England. Mr. Gonzalez has also worked at the Kimberly-Clark
Corporation and at the Chicago Board of Trade.



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

* PANAMA: S&P Releases Ratings Report
-------------------------------------
Credit Ratings
  Local currency                                 BB/Stable/--
  Foreign currency                               BB/Stable/B

Rationale

The ratings on the Republic of Panama reflect a stable political
environment. Since General Manuel Noriega's dictatorship (1985-
1989) ended, the presidency has alternated between the country's
two main political parties, the Partido Revolucionario
Democratico (PRD) and the Partido Arnulfista (PA), whose chief
policy differences center on the size and role of the state in
the economy. Panama has undergone major political and
institutional changes since 1999, including the transfer of
ownership of the Panama Canal. Long-standing monetary stability
has been anchored by use of the U.S. dollar as the official
currency since 1904. Dollarization has underpinned low
inflation, which has averaged 1.2% for the past five years and
is projected at about 1.6% for 2005-2006.

However, large fiscal imbalances and a high debt burden limit
Panama's policy flexibility. Given official dollarization, the
government can use fiscal policy only to adjust to economic
shocks. In addition to payroll and social security, fiscal
expenditure rigidities reflect a high interest burden--projected
at 20% of general government revenue for 2005-2006. The interest
burden, in turn, reflects gross general government debt of 64%
of GDP for 2005 (excluding holdings of government debt by the
social security regime [CSS]). The lower net debt burden,
projected at 46% for 2005-2006, reflects large asset holdings,
including the Trust Fund for Development (TFD) and deposits at
Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP).

To lower the deficit and debt burden, President Martín Torrijos'
government passed a fiscal reform package in February 2005 that
includes spending cuts and tax increases. The general government
deficit is projected to decline to 2.0% to 3.5% of GDP in 2005-
2006, from an estimated almost 5.4% of GDP in 2004. In addition,
government plans to reform CSS imply additional fiscal savings.

Real GDP growth is estimated at more than 6% in 2004, given
strong global and regional economic activity that boosted
exports, as well as public sector infrastructure projects and
tax incentives on construction that boosted domestic investment.
The pace of growth is expected to slow during 2005-2006, but to
remain above the 2.7% per year averaged during 1999 to 2003. A
potential negative effect from changes in the tax regime (part
of the fiscal reform package) on business confidence and
investment plans could dampen investment in 2005-2006. However,
progress on a trade agreement with the U.S. and expansion of the
Panama Canal, which could begin as early as 2006, would support
growth.

Domestic demand is constrained by Panama's dual economic
structure, which contributes to income inequalities, relatively
high unemployment, and poverty. Economic activity is highly
concentrated in the two major cities, Panama City and Colón. The
internationally oriented service sectors are not labor-intensive
(excluding tourism) and have limited links with the rest of the
economy. The less-efficient agriculture and manufacturing
sectors have limited growth prospects.

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects the assumption that the government
will implement its reforms to stem fiscal deterioration despite
challenging political resistance. Stronger-than-expected results
of the reforms could generate positive implications for
creditworthiness. The outlook also assumes that any expansion of
the Panama Canal, which would enhance economic opportunities in
Panama, will be managed in a fiscally prudent manner that
imposes little pressure on government finances.

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

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



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

PDVSA: Foresees Construction of New Refineries to Boost Output
--------------------------------------------------------------
"When adding up all the announced expansions, there would still
be a refining capacity deficit of 4.6 million barrels per day
for 2010. Within this scenario, Venezuela is a key player in the
world energy balance, as it has abundant oil reserves and a
major active refining sector. In addition, Venezuela foresees
undertaking major deep-conversion projects and construction of
new refineries," underlined Alejandro Granado, Vice-president of
PDVSA, during his conference in the Annual Meeting of the
National Petrochemical and Refining Association (NPRA) held in
San Francisco, California.

Before an audience of more than 1,200 delegates of 400 companies
related to the hydrocarbon business, Granado advised on the
urgent need of increasing the refining capacity of the Atlantic
Basin, since the requirements for refined products will increase
by 12 million barrels per day toward the end of the decade. Of
this volume, 48% corresponds to Asia, 32% to the American
continent and 4% to Europe. "For the year 2008, the product
demand and the refining capacity will be at breakeven point, but
with a high utilization factor that results in a quite
precarious balance, since any disruption would generate a severe
energy crisis worldwide," he said.

PDVSA's Vice-president underlined that "we should do something
and do it now", since the construction of a new refinery takes
from three to five years. In addition, relevant aspects such a
geographic location, processing volumes, investments, human
resources, technology, prices, product quality, and compliance
with the increasingly rigorous environmental regulations have to
be taken into account.

Thus, PDVSA is strongly investing in the development of deep
conversion projects and promoting the construction of new
refineries located close to the Orinoco Oil Belt, such as
Caripito, Barinas and Cabruta, which would add up to a
processing capacity of 500 thousand crude barrels per day.
Likewise, the Venezuelan Corporation plans to increase its
production capacity from the current 3.7 million barrels per day
to more than 5 million barrels per day for the year 2009. This
requires investments in the amount of US$ 37 billion, of which
74% (US$ 26 billion) would be provided by PDVSA and the
remaining 26% (US$ 11 billion) by private investors.

Also, Venezuela is successfully developing important bilateral
and business alliances aimed at promoting the energy integration
of Latin America and the Caribbean, fighting against the scourge
of poverty and underpinning the region's sustainable development
on the basis of complementarity, fair trade, solidarity and
reciprocal cooperation.

"The integration of our region would allow us to take advantage
of the wonderful potential of a market that includes more than
530 million inhabitants. Furthermore, more than 80% of the oil
and gas reserves of the American continent are found in Latin
America . This is the reason for the relevant Petroamerica
initiative, proposed by the President of the Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela , aimed at allowing to fully exercise the region's
energy sovereignty," the Venezuelan top oil executive
reiterated.

The strategic energy use by Venezuela to encourage a multipolar
world has received a strong international support by the
signature of agreements with Brazil, China, Russia, India, Iran,
France, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina, and Jamaica, among other
countries, at the same time that several discussions on
strategic alliances are underway with other governments and
companies worldwide.

More than 50 companies from 18 countries are currently
participating in the Venezuelan hydrocarbons industry. "This
proves that Venezuela is a preferred partner and a secure and
reliable international supplier. Likewise, Venezuela has a sound
and transparent legal hydrocarbon framework, by which the
participation of state-owned and private capitals, both national
and international, is promoted with the purpose of ensuring the
supply of energy from Venezuela to the world markets," stated
Granado.

Venezuela is the fifth world hydrocarbon exporter. It has the
largest proven reserves of the Western hemisphere (77 billion of
conventional oil barrels and 150 trillion cubic feet of gas).
When the 235 billion of heavy and extra-heavy oil barrels of the
Orinoco Oil Belt are added, the Venezuelan oil reserves would
last 285 years at the current production rate of 3.1 million
barrels per day. The total refining capacity of the country is
3.3 million barrels per day in 22 refineries ( 3 in Venezuela ,
1 in Curazao, 9 in the USA and 9 in Europe).

CONTACT: Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
         Edificio Petroleos de Venezuela
         Avenida Libertador, La Campina, Apartado 169
         Caracas, 1010-A, Venezuela
         Phone: +58-212-708-4111
         Fax: +58-212-708-4661
         http://www.pdvsa.com.ve



                            ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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

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