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

            Monday, March 21, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 55

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AIRETTE SACIIF Y A: Court Designates Bankruptcy Trustee
BLOMACOM S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation Proceedings
CABLEVISION: Fintech Transfers Half of its Stake to Vistone
CENTRAL PUERTO: Schedules General Assembly of Shareholders
CMQ: Fitch Assigns 'B-' Rating to $150M Bond

D AGOVAC: Verification Deadline Approaches
DISTRIJET S.A.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
ESPOSITO COMERCIO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Summons Shareholders to Assemblies
LOMA NEGRA: S&P Reaffirms 'raBB+' Rating on $39.78M of Bonds

MAKI SAICAFI: Court Sets Reports' Submission Schedule
MARET S.R.L.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
MATRAX S.R.L.: Court Appoints Trustee for Reorganization
NEWEL S.A.: Asks Court for Reorganization
ROYAL SHELL: Unit Hit With Antitrust Claim

SCANNING S.A.: Reports Submission Set
SIDERAR: Shareholders to Decide on Dividend Payment on April 18
TINTAS ESPECIALES: Court Endorses Plan, Concludes Reorganization
YACIMIENTOS CARBONIFEROS: Reorganization Concluded


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Posts $27M Loss in 4Q04


B R A Z I L

AES ELETROPAULO: Parent Delays Annual Report Filing
AES CORP.: Restatement Will Not Affect Ratings Or Outlook
BICBANCO: Moody's Assigns First-Time Ratings
BRASKEM: S&P Affirms Ratings
GLOBOPAR: Gains Noteholder Support for Debt Restructuring

LIGHT SERVICOS: Claims Smallest Net Loss in Five Years


C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Delinquency Accounts Top $8.6M in 2004


H A I T I

HAITI: Stabilization Program on Track, Says IMF


M E X I C O

DIRECTV: Streamlines Corporate Organization
VITRO: Allots $150M for Key Projects


P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: S&P Releases Ratings Report



P U E R T O   R I C O

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Offers Multimedia Services to Clients
DORAL FINANCIAL: Could Consider Takeout Offers if Price is Right


V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO: Appeals New Jersey DEP Agreement

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
                            
=================
A R G E N T I N A
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AIRETTE SACIIF Y A: Court Designates Bankruptcy Trustee
-------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Jorge David Jalfin was assigned trustee
for the bankruptcy of local Company Airette S.A.C.I.I.F. y A.,
relates Infobae. The city's Court No. 24 holds jurisdiction over
the Company's case.

The trustee will verify creditors' claims until May 23, the
source adds. After that, he will prepare the individual reports,
which are to be submitted in court on July 8. The general report
should follow on September 8.

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge David Jalfin, Trustee
         Sarmiento 1452
         Buenos Aires


BLOMACOM S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------
Blomacom S.R.L. of Buenos Aires will begin liquidating its
assets after Court No. 9 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial
tribunal declared the company bankrupt. Infobae reveals that the
bankruptcy process will commence under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Marcos Livszyc.

Mr. Livszyc will review claims forwarded by the Company's
creditors until May 27. After claims verification, the trustee
will submit individual reports for court approval on August 2.
The general report submission will follow on September 21.

Clerk No. 17 of assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Mr. Marcos Livszyc, Trustee
         Nueez 6387
         Buenos Aires


CABLEVISION: Fintech Transfers Half of its Stake to Vistone
-----------------------------------------------------------
U.S.-based fund Fintech Media LLC has transferred half of its
recently acquired 50% stake in Argentine cable Company
Cablevision to a group called Vistone Ltd for an undisclosed
sum, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

Fintech ceded on Wednesday 50% of the units that make up VLG
Argentina LLC, which in turn controls 50% of the cable operator.
Fintech acquired VLG Argentina from Liberty Media Corp early
this month.

The other 50% of Cablevision remains in the hands of units
controlled by Texas-based fund Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (HIX.XX).

Cablevision, Argentina's leading cable television and cable
modem provider, reached a resolution to a long-running and
contentious US$725 million debt restructuring in November after
settling out of court with its main holdout creditor. Fintech
was also a Cablevision creditor.

CONTACTS: Mr. Santiago Pena
          Phone: (5411) 4778-6520
          E-mail: mpigretti@cablevision.com.ar

          Mr. Martin Pigretti
          Phone: (5411) 4778-6546
          E-mail: spena@cablevision.com.ar

          Web Site: www.cablevision.com.ar


CENTRAL PUERTO: Schedules General Assembly of Shareholders
----------------------------------------------------------
Thermo generator Central Puerto has scheduled a general assembly
of shareholders for 15 April 2005, at 15 hs at Av. Tomas Edison
2151. The meeting will cover various topics.

Central Puerto's shares have been put under the category of 3.
This mark reflects the Company's low cash generation capacity
and the shares' high liquidity.

The Company canceled the payment of capital and interests of
debt on Feb 2002, in order to keep its operations and save the
working capital. Central Puerto's results have been affected by
the measures implemented by the Government since Jan 2002,
including the pesification of the prices of the energy.

Central Puerto, created in 1992, is dedicated to the generation
of electrical energy. France's Total owns 63.9% of the Company.


CMQ: Fitch Assigns 'B-' Rating to $150M Bond
--------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned an international foreign currency
rating of 'B-' to the US$150 million bond issued by Argentine
Beverages Financial Trust, whose underlying asset is a loan
granted to Cerveceria y Malteria Quilmes S.A. (CMQ). This rating
reflects CMQ's dominant position in the Argentine beer industry.
It also reflects the Company's strong financial profile and
diversification into soft drinks, juices and water. The rating
further factors in CMQ's strong shareholders: the Bemberg
family, via Beverage Associates Corp. (BAC), and Companhia de
Bebidas das Americas (AmBev).

CMQ had a market share of 79% in the Argentine beer market at
the end of September 2004. Due to the merger of the Company's
operations with the Argentine operations of AmBev, the second-
strongest brewer in the market during 2003, Fitch believes the
Company will continue to dominate this market, as barriers to
entry are high. These barriers include the diversification of
CMQ's brands, the broad appeal of the Company's flagship brand,
Quilmes Cristal, and its extensive distribution systems.

Like other beverage companies in Latin America, CMQ has a
considerable amount of expenses denominated in U.S. dollars
while its revenues are generated in the local currency,
Argentine pesos. During significant economic downturns, the
Company is not able to transfer increases in dollar-denominated
costs to the prices for its beer and soft drink products. This
situation acts as a constraint upon the Company's national scale
currency rating. Furthermore, CMQ has a material amount of
financial debt denominated in U.S. dollars. Not only does this
diminish the Company's ability to service its debt obligations
in the event of a sharp devaluation of the Argentine peso versus
the dollar, but the Company also has significant exposure to the
imposition of transfer and convertibility (T&C) restrictions by
the Argentine government. As a result of T&C risks, Fitch has
capped CMQ's foreign currency rating at 'B-'. This rating is
equal to the 'B-' country ceiling of the Argentine Republic.

Fitch rates AmBev's foreign currency debt obligations 'BB+', two
notches above Brazil's 'BB-' country ceiling. Control of AmBev,
which is based in Brazil, was acquired by one of the largest
brewers in the world, InBev, during 2004. As part of that
transaction, AmBev acquired Labatt Canada, the second-largest
brewer in Canada. The 'BB+' foreign currency rating of AmBev was
constrained by debt covenants at Labatt Canada that limit the
distribution of cash from that subsidiary to AmBev, as well as
uncertainty surrounding under what circumstances and the degree
to which InBev would assist AmBev in making timely payments on
the debt obligations of its Brazilian subsidiary.

AmBev and BAC jointly control CMQ's parent Company, Quilmes
Industrial S.A. (Quinsa), through a shareholders' agreement. As
a result of shared control, CMQ is not considered a material
subsidiary of AmBev under the terms of its existing debt
agreements. Through a series of put and call agreements between
BAC and AmBev, the shareholders of BAC will exchange their
shares in Quinsa for shares in AmBev. This will result in AmBev
owning more than 90% of the Company's voting shares and more
than 80% of CMQ's total equity. While this exchange of shares
could come as early as April 2005, it is likely to occur no
later than April 2009.

For the fiscal year-ended June 30, 2004, CMQ generated about
ARP453 million (about US$153 million) of operating profits plus
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). This figure represented
an increase from ARP235 million in the prior year. The
improvement was due to a number of factors, including the
overall rebound in the Argentine economy, which translated into
higher prices and volumes for both beer and soft drinks, and a
restructuring of the Company's production and distribution
systems to incorporate AmBev and Buenos Aires Embotelladora S.A.
(Baesa). Due to these factors, the Company's EBITDA margins
increased to 32.2% as of June 30, 2004, from 23% in the prior
year. At the end of June 2004, CMQ had ARP821 million (US$277
million) of total debt and ARP188 million (US$64 million) of
cash and marketable securities. Therefore, the Company's
leverage, as measured by total debt-to-EBITDA, was 1.8 times (x)
and its net leverage was 1.4x.

CMQ's credit profile is expected to improve in 2005, with EBITDA
projected to increase to approximately ARP540 million (US$180
million). With limited capital expenditures due to the Company's
modern production facilities, CMQ should generate a significant
amount of free cash flow. This could lead to a reduction of the
Company's total debt to less than ARP450 million (US$150
million).


D AGOVAC: Verification Deadline Approaches
------------------------------------------
The verification of claims in relation to the D. Agovac S.R.L.
liquidation case will end on April 15 according to Infobae.
Creditors with claims against the bankrupt Company must present
proof of the liabilities to Mr. Carlos Alberto Lausi, the court-
appointed trustee, by the said deadline.

Court No. 15 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles the Company's case with assistance from Clerk No. 30.
The bankruptcy will conclude with the liquidation of the
Company's assets to pay its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Alberto Lausi, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 456
         Buenos Aires


DISTRIJET S.A.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
----------------------------------------------
Distrijet S.A. will begin liquidating its assets following the
liquidation pronouncement issued by Court No. 16 of the city's
civil and commercial tribunal, Infobae reports.

The ruling places the Company under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Beatriz del Carmen Muruaga. The trustee will
verify creditors' proofs of claims until May 22. The validated
claims will be presented in court as individual reports on June
7.

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 August 1.

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

CONTACT: Distrijet S.A.
         Avda Cordoba 5062
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Beatriz del Carmen Muruaga, Trustee
         Aguero 1290
         Buenos Aires


ESPOSITO COMERCIO: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
----------------------------------------------------
Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Esposito Comercio Internacional 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 Horacio Jose
Eugenio Caliri.

As trustee, Mr. Caliri is tasked with verifying the authenticity
of claims presented by the Company's creditors. The verification
phase is ongoing until April 12.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on May 24. A general report will also be
submitted on July 7.

Infobae reports that the city's Clerk No. 38 assists the court
on this case. Proceeds from the sale of the Company's assets
will be used to repay its debts.

CONTACT: Esposito Comercio Internacional S.R.L.
         Alsina 1609
         Buenos Aires
       
         Mr. Horacio Jose Eugenio Caliri, Trustee
         Lavalle 1206
         Buenos Aires


HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Summons Shareholders to Assemblies
---------------------------------------------------------
Argentine hydropower generation firm Hidroelectrica Piedra del
Aguila (HPDA) is inviting shareholders to attend two general
assemblies scheduled for April 15, 2005. The first general
assembly is scheduled for 11:00 and the second is for 12:00. The
assemblies will take place at the Company's headquarters at Av.
Tomas Edison 2151.

The meetings will cover various topics such as HPDA's net
equity, cash flow statements, and auditor's report.

The Company revealed that on December 31, 2004 it was able to
service the following debts:

- Obligaciones Negociables Serie A, with the 5 % and with due on
2013;
- Obligaciones Negociables Serie B, with the 2 % and with due on
2013;
- Obligaciones Negociables Serie C, with the 5 % and with due on
2013;
- Obligaciones Negociables Serie D, with the 2 % and with due on
2013.

The payment was done at the Bank of New York, with address at
101 Barclay Street, Floor 7 E, New York, NY 10286, and in
Argentina at the offices of the Banco Rio de la Plata, with
address at Bartolome Mitre 480, City of Buenos Aires.

Interests paid:
- Serie A, TNA 5 % and effective rate of 2.5 % (interest to be
paid US$ 1,612,853.25);
- Serie B, TNA 2 % and effective rate of 1 % (interests to be
paid US$ 356,198.24);
- Serie C, TNA 5 % and effective rate  of 2.5 % (interests to be
paid US$ 983,595.33);
- Serie D, TNA 2 % and effective rate  of 1 % (interests to be
paid US$ 228,152.35).


LOMA NEGRA: S&P Reaffirms 'raBB+' Rating on $39.78M of Bonds
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
reaffirmed its `raBB+' rating on US$39,778,828 of corporate
bonds issued by Loma Negra Cia. Industrial Argentina. The rating
was based on the Company's finances as of November 30, 2004.

The CNV described the affected bonds as "Obligaciones
Negociables Serie 6". The issue will mature on September 30,
2013.

An obligation rated `raBB' denotes somewhat weak protection
parameters relative to other Argentine obligations, according to
S&P. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments
upon the obligation is somewhat weak because of major ongoing
uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial or
economic conditions.


MAKI SAICAFI: Court Sets Reports' Submission Schedule
-----------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Maki S.A.I.C.A.F.I. is scheduled to submit
individual reports from its ongoing liquidation on June 21, says
Infobae. A general report will also be presented in court on
August 17.

Ms. Ester Alicia Ferraro, the court-appointed trustee, will
prepare these reports and submit them at the city's civil and
commercial Court No. 23. Clerk No. 46 assists the court with the
proceedings.

CONTACT: Ms. Ester Alicia Ferraro, Trustee
         Esmeralda 960
         Buenos Aires


MARET S.R.L.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
----------------------------------------------
Court No. 25 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Maret S.R.L. "Quiebra," reports Infobae.

Mr. Sergio Luciano Mazzitelli, who has been appointed as
trustee, will verify creditors' claims until May 2 and then
prepare the individual reports based on the results of the
verification process.

The individual reports will be submitted in court on June 14,
followed by the general report on August 10.

Clerk No. 49 assists the court on the case that which will close
with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Sergio Luciano Mazzitelli, Trustee
         Viamonte 1546
         Buenos Aires


MATRAX S.R.L.: Court Appoints Trustee for Reorganization
--------------------------------------------------------
Matrax S.R.L., a Company operating in Dolores, is ready to start
its reorganization after Court No. 2 of the city's civil and
commercial tribunal appointed Mr. Anibal H. Rivero to supervise
the proceedings as trustee.

Infobae states that Mr. Rivero will verify creditors claims
until May 2. Afterwards, he will present these claims as
individual reports for final review by the court on June 15. The
trustee will also provide the court with a general report
pertaining to the reorganization on August 11. The court has
scheduled the informative assembly on February 20, 2006.

CONTACT: Matrax S.R.L.
         Avda Lastra y La Portena
         Chascomus

         Mr. Anibal H. Rivero, Trustee
         Rauch 295
         Dolores


NEWEL S.A.: Asks Court for Reorganization
-----------------------------------------
Newel S.A., a Company operating in Buenos Aires, has requested  
reorganization after failing to pay its liabilities.

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

The case is pending before Court No. 14 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal. Clerk No. 28 assists the court on this
case.

CONTACT: Newel S.A.
         Montevideo 770
         Buenos Aires


ROYAL SHELL: Unit Hit With Antitrust Claim
------------------------------------------
Royal Dutch/Shell Group's recent announcement that it would hike
gasoline and diesel prices by 2.6% to 4.2% in Argentina
continues to generate considerable indignation.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Royal Shell is one two
companies whose local units are facing a complaint filed by two
Argentine advocacy groups with the National Antitrust
Commission.

Consumer defense group ADUECA and medium business leaders group
CAME filed a joint complaint Wednesday alleging that Shell
Argentina and Esso Petroleo Argentina, S.R.L unfairly used their
market position to raise prices.

"The state should apply drastic sanctions against these
companies that violated the laws of fair competition," a CAME
spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires. "There is oligopolistic
behavior that seeks to jeopardize the nation's economic growth
and recovery."

The antitrust commission is expected to respond to the complaint
within 10 to 15 days, the spokesman said. "If the commission
doesn't respond to this claim, it will be taken directly to the
judiciary," he added.


SCANNING S.A.: Reports Submission Set
-------------------------------------
Maria Angelica Adornetto, the trustee assigned to supervise the
liquidation of Scanning S.A., will submit the validated
individual claims for court approval on June 6. These reports
explain the basis for the accepted and rejected claims. The
trustee will also submit a general report of the case on July
18.

Infobae says that Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this bankruptcy case.
Clerk No. 39 assists the court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Ms. Maria Angelica Adornetto, Trustee
         Suipacha 670
         Buenos Aires


SIDERAR: Shareholders to Decide on Dividend Payment on April 18
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of flat steelmaker Siderar will be asked to vote on
a ARS300-million (US$102mn) dividend payment at a meeting
scheduled for April 18, Business News Americas reports, citing
the Buenos Aires stock exchange.

The Company, the largest steel Company in Argentina, registered
a net profit of ARS1.34 billion in 2004, up 218% compared to
ARS422 million in 2003.

Its board recently approved an investment plan of US$680 million
for 2005-2008, which involves boosting capacity to 4Mt from
2.6Mt in 2005.

Siderar's total financial debt as of the end of 2004 stood at
ARS19.9 million, a big reduction from the ARS776.2 million load
it had a year earlier. The Company has reached a debt
restructuring agreement with its creditors in March 2003 and
paid off the rest of its restructured debt on Sept. 30.

Siderar is controlled by the Techint group.

CONTACT: Mr. Leonardo Stazi (CFO)
         Mr. Pablo Brizzio (Financial Manager)
         Siderar S.A.I.C.
         Phone: 54 (11) 4018-2308/2249
         Web Site: www.siderar.com


TINTAS ESPECIALES: Court Endorses Plan, Concludes Reorganization
----------------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Tintas Especiales S.A. concluded its
reorganization process, according to data released by Infobae on
its Web site. The conclusion came after Court No. 14 of the
city's civil and commercial tribunal, with assistance from Clerk
No. 28, homologated the debt plan signed between the Company and
its creditors.

CONTACT: Tintas Especiales S.A.
         Laprida 889
         C.P.: S2000CFG
         Rosario
         Santa Fe
         Phone: 0341-4476206
         Fax: 0341-4476206


YACIMIENTOS CARBONIFEROS: Reorganization Concluded
--------------------------------------------------
The settlement plan proposed by Yacimientos Carboniferos Rio
Turbio 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.      

CONTACT: Roberto Werniske 573 (1609)
         Boulogne
         Phone: 4735-4422
                4763-1279



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

GLOBAL CROSSING: Posts $27M Loss in 4Q04
----------------------------------------
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) reported Wednesday financial
results for the fourth quarter and full year 2004. The Company
also provided financial guidance for 2005.

John Legere, Global Crossing's chief executive officer, said:
"In the fourth quarter, we successfully executed on key elements
in our strategy to focus Global Crossing on the converged, IP-
based, multinational enterprise business that plays to the
Company's unique strengths. We fully funded our business plan
with the proceeds from our December bond offer and debt
restructuring. In a competitive market, we increased revenues in
our core enterprise business as well as overall gross margins.
Our focus for 2005 is to continue to drive high-margin growth in
the enterprise space which we have targeted, while continuing to
harvest and exit non-core businesses, all with the goal of
significantly reducing cash burn in 2005 and starting to
generate positive cash flow at some point in the second half of
2006."

Management will hold a conference call at 9:00 a.m. ET on
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 to review the Company's fourth quarter
and full year 2004 financial results and to discuss guidance for
2005. In addition, management will host its 2005 analyst
conference commencing at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 17,
2005.

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

Results for the third quarter of 2004 provided below give effect
to certain audit adjustments detailed in the table appended
hereto.

Revenue

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $573 million,
representing a decline of approximately 8 percent compared to
the third quarter of 2004 and a decline of 16 percent compared
with fourth quarter of 2003, as Global Crossing executed its
plan to focus on its core enterprise business. Revenue in Global
Crossing's core enterprise business (defined as commercial
revenue excluding the trader voice and small business group)
increased by 8 percent year over year. The fourth quarter
decline in total revenues, which was in line with guidance
provided in November 2004, resulted primarily from previously
announced actions taken to improve profitability in the legacy
wholesale voice business and reductions in the Company's legacy
small business group (SBG) and trader voice businesses.

"Financial performance in the fourth quarter indicates that the
actions taken to focus the business and shift our mix of revenue
are having the impact we anticipated. Low margin or unprofitable
wholesale voice volume and revenue declined as a result of
decisive pricing actions, improving wholesale voice margins
overall. Additionally, core enterprise revenue grew while we
maintained high margins," said Mr. Legere.

Of the year-over-year $106 million revenue decline, $14 million
was attributable to the write-down of non-cash deferred
indefeasible rights of use (IRU) revenue as a result of the
Company's adoption of fresh start accounting when it emerged
from bankruptcy on December 9, 2003, and approximately $97
million resulted from actions taken in the Company's
international long distance (ILD) and domestic long distance
(DLD) products within its wholesale voice business. This decline
also reflects declines in SBG and trader voice businesses.
Revenue declines were partially offset by $18 million in
increased revenue from higher-margin and core enterprise
services and carrier data, including Managed Services,
collaboration services and IP services, demonstrating success in
Global Crossing's enterprise sales channels.

Of total revenue reported for the fourth quarter of 2004,
commercial services accounted for 44 percent, compared to 40
percent for the third quarter of 2004 and 36 percent for the
fourth quarter of 2003. Carrier services accounted for 56
percent, compared to 60 percent in the third quarter of 2004 and
63 percent for the fourth quarter of 2003. This shift in revenue
across business lines is part of the Company's overall strategy
to drive growth in higher-margin services sold directly and
indirectly to enterprise customers. Consumer services revenue
accounted for 1 percent of total revenue.

Data services accounted for 48 percent of commercial services
revenue. Voice services, which included $25 million of
conferencing services, accounted for 52 percent of commercial
services revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004. In the third
quarter of 2004, the mix was 47 percent data and 53 percent
voice. In the fourth quarter of 2003, voice services, which
included $19 million of conferencing services, accounted for 52
percent of commercial services revenue, and data services
contributed 48 percent.

Carrier services revenue in the fourth quarter of 2004 was
comprised of approximately 17 percent data services and 83
percent voice services. In the preceding quarter, data services
accounted for 14 percent of carrier revenue, and voice
contributed 86 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2003, reported
carrier data revenue was 16 percent of the mix, while voice
accounted for 84 percent. However, after reducing 2003 data
revenue by $14 million to eliminate non-cash deferred IRU
revenue written down as a result of fresh start accounting,
voice was 87 percent, data was 13 percent, and data revenue
actually grew 4 percent year over year.

Gross margin as a percentage of total fourth quarter 2004
revenue improved significantly to 36 percent, compared to 30
percent for the third quarter of 2004 and 29 percent of total
revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003. Gross margin dollars
increased from $185 million in third quarter of 2004 to $206
million in the fourth quarter of 2004. When compared year over
year, gross margin dollars improved by $10 million from $196
million in the fourth quarter of 2003, despite a 16 percent, or
$106 million, revenue decline. After reducing fourth quarter
2003 revenue by $14 million to eliminate non-cash IRU deferred
revenue written down as a result of fresh start accounting,
gross margin dollars improved by $24 million, or 13 percent,
year over year.

Cost Management

Global Crossing lowered its cost of access charges by 16 percent
from $435 million in the third quarter of 2004 to $367 million
in the fourth quarter of 2004. Cost of access charges include
usage-based voice charges paid to other carriers to originate
and/or terminate switched voice traffic and charges for leased
lines for dedicated facilities to reach enterprise customers.

The reduction in access costs resulted primarily from Company-
initiated improvement programs and a lower volume of wholesale
voice revenue due to the Company's strategic actions to shift
its revenue mix and improve profitability in the wholesale voice
business. When compared year over year, the Company lowered its
access costs by 24 percent from $483 million in the fourth
quarter of 2003. Third party maintenance costs for the fourth
quarter of 2004 were $27 million, compared to $28 million for
the third quarter of 2004 and $30 million for the fourth quarter
of 2003.

"Global Crossing's initiatives to reduce cost of access and to
focus the business on our strength -- providing global, IP
services to enterprises -- are starting to bear fruit, as
demonstrated by considerable improvement in our gross margins,"
said Mr. Legere. "By keeping our focus firmly planted on
providing enterprise customers such as Sun Microsystems, ASG and
Convergia with enterprise solutions on our core IP network,
along with exceptional customer service, we will continue to
build on the progress we made in 2004."

Operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $198
million, compared to $192 million in the third quarter of 2004
and $178 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. The year-over-
year increase resulted from additional non-cash stock
compensation expenses of $7 million, incentive compensation of
$8 million, and a restructuring charge of $12 million. These
items make operating expenses less directly comparable year-
over-year, since similar items were recorded as reorganization
expenses and not as operating expenses prior to the Company's
emergence from bankruptcy on December 9, 2003. Without these
items, operating expenses would have improved by 4 percent year
over year.

Earnings

For the fourth quarter of 2004, Adjusted EBITDA (as defined in
the reconciliation table that follows) was reported at a loss of
$19 million. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA represents a
sequential improvement over the prior quarter's loss of $35
million and a decline of 58 percent from fourth quarter 2003
when reported Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $12 million. Fourth
quarter Adjusted EBITDA for 2003 included non-cash deferred IRU
revenue (as described under revenue results above). Fourth
quarter Adjusted EBITDA for 2004 included restructuring charges,
non-cash stock compensation expense and incentive compensation
(each as described in operating expense results). After
excluding restructuring charges, non-cash stock compensation and
incentive compensation, fourth quarter 2004 Adjusted EBITDA
improved by 131 percent, when compared to fourth quarter 2003
Adjusted EBITDA excluding non-cash deferred IRU revenue written
down as a result of fresh start accounting.

Consolidated loss applicable to common shareholders in the
fourth quarter of 2004 was reported at $28 million, compared to
a loss of $96 million for the third quarter of 2004. The
improvement can be attributed primarily to (i) gains in "other
income" items, including an increase of $41 million in foreign
exchange rate gains on inter-Company account balances; (ii) $8
million less in depreciation and amortization; (iii) $19 million
in gains from pre-confirmation contingencies; and (iv) $16
million improvement in Adjusted EBITDA. Net income in the fourth
quarter of 2003 was $24,932 million, principally as a result of
the elimination of predecessor liabilities, common and preferred
equity and accumulated losses in connection with the Company's
adoption of fresh start accounting when it emerged from
bankruptcy on December 9, 2003.

Pursuant to the SEC's Regulation G, a definition and
reconciliation of the Company's Adjusted EBITDA measures to the
reported net income or loss for the relevant periods is included
in the attached schedules.

2004 FULL YEAR RESULTS

Revenue

Revenue for the full year 2004 was $2,487 million, compared to
$2,763 million in 2003, a decline of 10 percent. Of the year-
over-year decline, $74 million was attributable to the write
down of non-cash deferred IRU revenue resulting from fresh start
accounting, and approximately $78 million reflects a reduction
in ILD revenue. Since March 2004, Global Crossing has
strategically managed ILD sales in order to improve margins and
cash flow associated with this type of traffic. The remaining
difference in year-over-year revenue reflects competitive
pricing pressure and declines in wholesale domestic long
distance, SBG and trader voice revenue. Revenue declines were
partially offset by increased core enterprise services and
carrier data revenues, which grew 2 percent or $20 million for
the year.

"We provided guidance to the investment community in March 2004,
and despite a challenging year for the industry and for Global
Crossing, we were able to meet the targets we set forth for
Adjusted EBITDA, cash needs and cash capex. We missed the
revenue guidance slightly, but it was driven by the positive
aspects of our global wholesale voice transition in the second
half of the year, for which we provided guidance in November,"
commented Mr. Legere.

Of total revenue reported for 2004, commercial services
accounted for 40 percent, compared to 38 percent for 2003.
Carrier services accounted for 59 percent, compared to 61
percent in 2003. Consumer revenue was 1 percent of total
reported revenue. As noted above for fourth quarter results, the
shift toward a greater percentage of commercial revenue in the
Company's mix is part of its overall strategy to drive growth
toward higher-margin enterprise services through direct and
indirect sales channels.

Data services accounted for 48 percent of commercial services
revenue, and voice services (including conferencing) accounted
for 52 percent for full year 2004. The Company's product mix
improved slightly over the same period in 2003, when 47 percent
of revenue was data, and 53 percent was voice.

Carrier services revenue in 2004 was comprised of approximately
15 percent data services and 85 percent voice services. In 2003,
the product mix was 17 percent data and 83 percent voice
services. However, after eliminating the $74 million of non-cash
IRU deferred revenue written down as a result of fresh start
accounting, data services accounted for 14 percent and voice
services accounted for 86 percent of the carrier revenue in
2003.

Gross margin as a percentage of revenue improved to 30 percent
for 2004, compared to 28 percent for 2003. Gross margin dollars
decreased by 3 percent to $756 million for 2004, from $781
million in 2003, due to the overall decline in revenues.
However, after reducing 2003 revenue by $74 million to eliminate
non-cash IRU deferred revenue written down as a result of fresh
start accounting, gross margin dollars would have increased from
$707 million to $756 million, and the gross margin percentage
would have improved from 26 percent in 2003 to the reported 30
percent in 2004.

Cost Management

Year-over-year, access costs declined 13 percent to $1,731
million in 2004 from $1,982 million in 2003. Third party
maintenance costs for 2004 also showed year-over-year
improvement, decreasing by 10 percent. Third party maintenance
was reported at $113 million for full-year 2004, compared to
$125 million for 2003.

Operating expenses in 2004 were $772 million, compared to $741
million in 2003. The 4 percent year-over-year increase in
operating expenses included $27 million in additional non-cash
stock compensation expense, $15 million in incentive
compensation expense and a $15 million restructuring charge.
Incentive compensation expense and restructuring charges were
recorded as reorganization expenses and not as operating
expenses prior to December 9, 2003. On December 9, 2003, the
Company adopted SFAS 123 and began accounting for stock and
stock compensation expense on a fair value basis. After
excluding these amounts, operating expenses for 2004 would have
improved 4 percent, compared to 2003.

Earnings

For 2004, Adjusted EBITDA was reported at a loss of $129
million. Adjusted EBITDA for 2003 was reported at a loss of $85
million. Adjusted EBITDA for 2003 included non-cash deferred IRU
revenue of $74 million written down as a result of fresh start
accounting. Adjusted EBITDA for 2004 included $15 million in
restructuring charges, $15 million in incentive compensation and
$27 million attributable to the difference in non-cash stock
compensation. After excluding restructuring charges, non-cash
stock compensation and incentive compensation, 2004 Adjusted
EBITDA improved by 55 percent, when compared to 2003 Adjusted
EBITDA excluding non-cash deferred IRU revenue written down as a
result of fresh start accounting.

Consolidated loss applicable to common shareholders in 2004 was
$340 million, compared to income of $24,728 million for 2003,
principally as a result of the elimination of predecessor
liabilities, common and preferred equity and accumulated losses
in connection with the Company's adoption of fresh start
accounting when it emerged from bankruptcy on December 9, 2003.

Capital Expenditures

For the fourth quarter of 2004, cash paid for capital
expenditures ("capex") and capital leases was $21 million,
compared to $26 million in the third quarter and $36 million for
the fourth quarter of 2003. Capex for the full year was $106
million, compared to $162 million in 2003. The year over year
difference in capex spend was a result of additional spending in
2003 that was delayed from 2002, as the Company worked through
the bankruptcy proceedings. Management expects that 2004 is more
representative of the annual capex requirements for the Company
going forward. Global Crossing continues to use capex to deploy
state-of-the-art edge equipment as needed, maximizing
reliability, functionality, capacity and economics. The Company
also continues to invest selectively in the latest transmission
technologies, as well as in its global IP and Voice over
Internet Protocol (VoIP) service platforms. Examples include
expansion of Global Crossing's network footprint in Asia and
ongoing migration of traffic to its VoIP network as a result of
decommissioning legacy Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
switching equipment. Global Crossing's VoIP network carries up
to 2.3 billion minutes of VoIP traffic per month, accounting for
50 percent of voice traffic.

Internal Control over Financial Reporting

In connection with the Company's ongoing Sarbanes-Oxley Section
404 compliance review, the Company has determined that, as of
December 31, 2004, it had two "material weaknesses" in internal
control over financial reporting, as defined in the Public
Company Accounting Oversight Board's Accounting Standard No. 2.
These material weaknesses are summarized as follows:

Global Crossing did not maintain appropriate control over non-
routine processes, estimation processes and account
reconciliations in the overall financial close process. The
material weakness resulted from the following significant
deficiencies:

(1) diverse billing and general ledger systems not being
properly integrated with each other and requiring significant
manual intervention;

(2) insufficient supervision of accounting personnel and
insufficient review of account reconciliations;

(3) several instances of amounts recorded not being
substantiated by detailed and documented support; and

(4) accounting personnel being unable to substantiate recorded
amounts in certain cases.

Global Crossing did not maintain appropriate control over the
estimation processes for the allowances for bad debt and sales
credits. The process deficiencies related to supervision of and
communications among accounting personnel responsible for the
establishment of these allowances and lack of integration among
the systems used in the aging of accounts receivable.

We have implemented certain remediation measures and are in the
process of creating and implementing additional remediation
plans for the material weaknesses noted above. These measures
include hiring William I. Lees, Jr. as chief accounting officer
of the Company and William Ginn as vice president of finance for
our GCUK subsidiary. We are also conducting an assessment of the
worldwide accounting organization and plan to add additional
experienced accounting personnel. We will initiate additional
training and professional education programs and will improve
internal communications procedures. New policies and procedures
will be established for account reconciliations and recording of
amounts. Finally, we plan to identify IT strategies to further
automate and integrate financial reporting processes and systems
by removing unnecessary manual interfaces. We expect to complete
the implementation of the measures necessary to remediate these
material control weaknesses by the end of the third quarter of
2005.

Ernst & Young has advised the Audit Committee of our Board of
Directors that the internal control deficiencies do not affect
Ernst & Young's unqualified report on the Company's consolidated
financial statements as of December 31, 2004 and for the year
then ended that will be included in the Company's annual report
on Form 10-K to be filed with the SEC later today.

Further details regarding these material weaknesses (and related
audit adjustments) are included in the Form 10-K.

As a result of the foregoing, management expects to conclude
that the Company's internal control over financial reporting was
not effective as of December 31, 2004. Similarly, management
expects Ernst & Young to issue an adverse opinion with respect
to the effectiveness of such internal control.

Cash and Liquidity

As of December 31, 2004, unrestricted cash and cash equivalents
were approximately $365 million. Restricted cash was $17
million.

Cash used for operating, investing and financing activities in
2004 was $278 million, excluding the proceeds of the bridge loan
facility and the GCUK notes. Beginning cash for 2004 was $290
million, which, after adjusting for the Global Marine System's
cash of $74 million, netted to $216 million. Other sources of
cash in 2004 included $377 million in net proceeds (after
discounts and fees) from the GCUK notes and $50 million in net
proceeds from loans by ST Telemedia. Cash uses in 2004 included
$114 million in deferred Chapter 11 costs that will
significantly decline in 2005, $28 million in interest on debt
paid to ST Telemedia and $136 million for continuing business
operations. Cash use decreased in the second half of the year
compared to the first half.

Based on its business plan, Global Crossing expects that cash on
hand, together with proceeds from anticipated sales of non-core
assets, marketable securities and IRUs, will provide the
liquidity needed to fund operations until the Company starts to
generate positive cash flow at some point in the second half of
2006.

Business Focus

As previously disclosed in October 2004, Global Crossing has
initiated a plan to streamline and focus its operations to
broadly serve global enterprise customers with higher margin IP
converged and managed services offerings and to de-emphasize
lower-margin legacy services, specifically wholesale voice. The
plan, designed to improve gross margins and to reduce the time
required to reach operating cash flow break-even, has already
begun to show results. Consistent with the Company's forecasts
provided in November 2004, revenue associated with de-emphasized
lines of business and products declined $54 million sequentially
in the fourth quarter, resulting in gross margin improvements
and reduced cash requirements.

In line with previous guidance, the Company incurred
restructuring costs in the fourth quarter of approximately $11
million for severance due to a headcount reduction and $1
million for real estate consolidation activities. To date, more
than 450 reductions in headcount have been completed, which will
result in annualized savings of $36 to $38 million.

2005 Guidance

The Company offered the following information regarding its
outlook for 2005:

Global Crossing expects that its plan to narrow focus to the
global, IP enterprise market, to restructure certain product
lines and to sell certain businesses will reduce total revenue
by 22 to 28 percent in 2005 as compared to 2004.

Revenue associated with core lines of business, composed of core
enterprise, collaboration, carrier data and indirect channels
(distribution partnerships with carriers and system integrators)
was $1,067 million in 2004 and is expected to grow 5 to 12
percent in 2005.

Wholesale voice revenue is expected to decline year over year by
45 to 51 percent, as the Company continues to restructure
wholesale voice products and selectively manages the improvement
of profit margins and cash flow.

Other non-core lines of business -- principally SBG, trader
voice and consumer -- are expected to contribute limited revenue
in the range of $65 to $70 million in 2005 assuming disposition
of these assets. Depending on whether sales of these businesses
are consummated, the timing of those sales and expected revenues
from these businesses may differ.

Management expects gross margins will improve to 36 to 41
percent of total revenue in 2005 as a result of the planned
product and customer mix shift.

Management believes Adjusted EBITDA losses will be in the range
of $145 to $115 million. The Company expects to start generating
positive Adjusted EBITDA at some point in the first half of
2006.
Cash used for operations, investing and financing in 2005 is
projected to be reduced by 35 to 46 percent compared to 2004 due
to the positive impact of the business focusing initiatives and
the significant reduction of deferred payments related to Global
Crossing's emergence from bankruptcy.

The Company will pay out approximately $18 million in
reorganization charges associated with bankruptcy and $47
million in interest payments for the high yield bond.

Management expects aggregate cash proceeds of $60 to $80 million
from IRU, marketable security and asset sales (including SBG,
trader voice and consumer).

Cash capital, including capital leases will be in the range of
$95 to $100 million.

Management expects the Company to start generating positive cash
flow at some point during the second half of 2006. With the cash
on hand as of December 31, 2004 and expected cash proceeds
mentioned above, management believes that Global Crossing's
current business plan is fully funded.

About Global Crossing

Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) provides telecommunications
solutions over the world's first integrated global IP-based
network. Its core network connects more than 300 cities and 30
countries worldwide, and delivers services to more than 500
major cities, 50 countries and 6 continents around the globe.
The Company's global sales and support model matches the network
footprint and, like the network, delivers a consistent customer
experience worldwide.

Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the
world's enterprises, governments and carriers with customers,
employees and partners worldwide in a secure environment that is
ideally suited for IP-based business applications, allowing e-
commerce to thrive. The Company offers a full range of managed
data and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN
Service, Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing
VoIP services, to more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as
well as 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.

CONTACT: Global Crossing
         Press Contacts
         Ms. Becky Yeamans
         Phone: + 1 973-937-0155
         E-mail: PR@globalcrossing.com

         Ms. Kendra Langlie
         Phone: + 1 305-808-5912
         E-mail: LatAmPR@globalcrossing.com

         Mr. Mish Desmidt
         Europe
         Phone: + 44 (0) 7771-668438
         E-mail: EuropePR@globalcrossing.com

         Analysts/Investors Contact
         Ms. Laurinda Pang
         Phone: +1 800-836-0342
         E-mail: glbc@globalcrossing.com

         Web site: www.globalcrossing.com



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AES ELETROPAULO: Parent Delays Annual Report Filing
---------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) announced Thursday that it would
delay the filing of its 2004 Annual Report on Form 10-K with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company requires
additional time to restate its 2002 and 2003 financial
statements primarily due to an error in 2002 relating to the
recording of deferred taxes on the pension liability for its
Brazilian utility, Eletropaulo. AES expects to file its Form 10-
K on or before March 31, 2005. Based on management's review, the
Company determined that these errors were inadvertent and
unintentional. These adjustments have no impact on the
consolidated revenues, gross margin or net cash flow of AES for
these restated periods.

The error occurred in 2002 at the time when AES first began to
consolidate Eletropaulo's financial statements after gaining
control of the utility early that year. The restatement will
impact the previously reported 2002 and 2003 balance sheets
primarily by increasing deferred tax assets and reducing
accumulated other comprehensive loss (a component of
stockholders' equity). The Company also expects to increase its
previously reported 2002 net loss by $28 million.

In addition, AES plans to restate its 2002 and 2003 financial
statements for a balance sheet reclassification involving the
allocation of foreign currency translation adjustments to the
minority shareholders for certain subsidiaries. This entry will
have no effect on the income statement or net cash flow of AES
for 2002 or 2003.

In connection with its year-end closing procedures, AES
identified additional year-end adjustments that will change
fourth quarter 2004 results from the previously reported
earnings released on February 3, 2005. It is expected that the
adjustments identified will, in the aggregate, have an
insignificant impact on income from continuing operations, net
income, net cash flow and earnings per share calculations.

These amounts are subject to audit by AES's independent
registered public accountants, Deloitte & Touche LLP. AES is
assessing the impact these adjustments will have on its
Sarbanes-Oxley evaluation of internal controls for the year
ended December 31, 2004.

Separately, AES resolved the previously announced issue under
discussion with the Division of Corporation Finance of the
Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the accounting
treatment for the early 2004 restructuring transaction between
several of its Brazilian subsidiaries and Banco Nacional de
Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES). As a result, AES
will reclassify balance sheet amounts previously reported in
2004 related to the release of accumulated other comprehensive
losses recorded as part of the Brazil restructuring transaction.
The impact of this reversal will result in an increase in the
balance of additional paid in capital of $855 million and a
corresponding increase of $855 million in the balance of
accumulated other comprehensive loss, both components of
stockholders' equity. This balance sheet reclassification does
not impact the statement of operations, net cash from operating
activities or total stockholders' equity of the Company.

None of the adjustments or restatements described above will
have an impact on AES's previously disclosed 2005 guidance.

About AES

AES is a leading global power Company, with 2004 sales of $9.5
billion. AES operates in 27 countries, generating 44,000
megawatts of electricity through 120 power facilities and
delivers electricity through 17 distribution companies. Our
30,000 people are committed to operational excellence and
meeting the world's growing power needs. To learn more about
AES, please visit www.aes.com or contact media relations at
media@aes.com.

CONTACT: AES Corporation
         Media Contact:
         Mr. Robin Pence
         Phone: 703-682-6552
                or
         Investor Contact:
         Mr. Scott Cunningham
         Phone: 703-682-6336


AES CORP.: Restatement Will Not Affect Ratings Or Outlook
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday that The AES
Corp.'s (B+/Positive/--) announcement that it would delay the
filing of its 2004 10-K will not affect the Company's ratings or
outlook. The Company is delaying the filing because it requires
additional time to complete a restatement of its 2002 and 2003
financial statements that was required primarily due to an error
in 2002 relating to the recording of deferred taxes on the
pension liability for its Brazilian utility, Eletropaulo
Metropolitana Eletricidade de Sao Paulo S.A. In addition, AES
plans to restate its 2002 and 2003 financial statements for a
balance-sheet reclassification involving the allocation of
foreign currency translation adjustments to the minority
shareholders for certain subsidiaries. Also, AES identified
additional year-end adjustments that will change fourth-quarter
2004 results from those released on Feb. 3, 2005, which the
Company expects to be insignificant. These disclosures will not
affect AES's rating or outlook because they do not affect our
expectations of future credit quality, and will likely not
result in significant changes to historical credit metrics. At
this time, Standard & Poor's does not believe this to be
indicative of pervasive accounting issues at AES.

Primary Credit Analyst: Scott Taylor, New York (1) 212-438-2057;
scott_taylor@standardandpoors.com


BICBANCO: Moody's Assigns First-Time Ratings
--------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned an A2.br Brazilian National
Scale Deposit Rating to Banco Industrial e Comercial S.A.
(Bicbanco). Moody's also assigned long- and short-term global
local- currency deposit ratings of Ba3 and Not Prime. The bank
financial strength rating assigned to Bicbanco is D minus (D-).
The outlook on these ratings is stable. Moody's long- and short-
term foreign currency deposit ratings of B2/ Not Prime for
Bicbanco are at the country ceiling and have a positive outlook.

Moody's D- bank financial strength rating to Bicbanco reflects
the bank's successful operation as a middle market lender. The
bank's ratings are supported by a track record of good and
consistent profitability - as indicated by core earnings,
measured as pre-provision profits as a percentage of average
total assets, at levels of 4.5% over the past 3 years - and
asset quality in line with its business focus. Both indicators
compare well to those of its peers. Operating efficiency has
been improving over time, and is also a rating positive. The
bank's financial performance, therefore, indicates its ability
to intermediate to a higher-margined, riskier segment within
adequate credit and operating costs.

Moody's said that Bicbanco's focused business strategy - which
is centered in short-term, secured lending to middle market
companies - is supported by disciplined credit risk management
and controls, and by a policy of asset and liability
diversification, which has served the bank well in the recent
months. The bank's predominantly customer-deposit funding, which
accounted for 82% of total deposits as of December 2004, is a
key rating driver.

The rating agency noted that Bicbanco's ratings are constrained
by its limited franchise in the Brazilian banking system, where
it ranks as the 30th largest by asset size, as well as by a
capital base that has been adequate to its present strategy and
credit appetite, but one that could constrain future growth in a
scenario of lower margins and rising competition. In such a
scenario, the bank could be pressured into more aggressive
credit underwriting, with possible negative effect to its asset
quality.

The bank's ability to further diversify its deposits and overall
funding alternatives would be a positive for the ratings.
Improving or sustainable profitability ratios would indicate
management's ability to expand operations within its defined
strategy in a scenario of increasing competition and potential
lower interest rates. Conversely, negative pressure on
Bicbanco's ratings could derive from a fast growth of the loan
book, which could affect asset quality and ultimately, capital.

Moody's Ba3 global local currency deposit rating incorporates
the likely support Bicbanco could receive from its shareholders,
the Bezerra de Menezes family, who has been forthcoming with
capital injections in support of the bank's growth. However,
because of Bicbanco's relatively small importance to the deposit
market in Brazil, Moody's assigns a very low probability of
regulatory support into the bank's deposit ratings in local
currency.

Bicbanco is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As of December
2004, the bank had total assets of 4.5 billion reals (US$1.7
billion) and equity of 450 million reals (US170 million).

The following ratings were assigned to Banco Industrial e
Comercial S.A.:

National Scale Deposit Ratings: A2.br long-term deposit rating
and BR-2 short-term deposit rating

Global Local Currency Rating: Ba3 long-term local currency
deposit rating and Non Prime short-term local currency deposit
rating, stable outlook.

Foreign Currency Deposit Rating: B2 long-term foreign currency
deposit rating and Non Prime short-term foreign currency deposit
rating, positive outlook.

Bank Financial Strength Rating: D-, stable outlook.


BRASKEM: S&P Affirms Ratings
----------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' local-
currency and 'BB-' foreign-currency corporate credit ratings on
Latin America's largest petrochemical company, Braskem S.A. The
outlook is stable.

The ratings on Braskem reflect the risks associated with price
volatility of its main feedstock, naphtha (sustained at historic
highs for a very long time already); reliance on its home market
Brazil for EBITDA and sales generation (considering that exports
cannot fully compensate for the profitability lost during
cyclical downturns); and growing competition with the
consolidation and expansion of other players, some of them using
alternative feedstock. These negatives are mitigated by
Braskem's leading business and market position in the Latin
American petrochemical industry (which we see as peculiarly less
fragmented and therefore more favorable than other mature
markets worldwide); economies of scale and some level of
geographic diversification; increasing technological expertise;
and all efficiency improvement initiatives being implemented by
the Company, both in its financial and industrial profiles,
which should result in structural cost reductions in the medium
term and therefore more resilience to cash flow, especially when
compared with the performance in past years.

Braskem is the largest petrochemical company in Latin America,
with net sales and EBITDA of $3.68 billion and $871.4 million in
2004, respectively. Braskem's total debt amounted to $2.13
billion as of December 2004.

"While we do not expect market conditions to weaken dramatically
in the short term, the current positive market environment both
domestically and internationally remains an important short-term
success factor for Braskem, assuming that naphtha costs will
remain at substantially higher levels than historical ones,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Reginaldo Takara. We
recognize that Braskem has traditionally managed to report much
stronger operating margins than have its global peers, even
during the most challenging troughs witnessed in the recent
past, which reflects not only the Company's very favorable
market position but also the peculiarities of the more
concentrated petrochemical industry in Brazil. We also
understand that operating improvements and synergies, marginal
capacity expansions (through debottlenecking) diluting fixed
costs, and a richer product mix (with higher value-added
products somewhat reducing volatility and new applications
helping sustain volumes) will allow Braskem to report improved
results on a perennial basis even during the cycle troughs,
which we expect to be more evident under less favorable
petrochemical spreads. From a short-term perspective, current
petrochemical prices have already allowed Braskem to absorb the
hike of raw material cost and still report robust results, which
gives the Company some room to sustain operating profitability
under a potential slowdown scenario; this scenario, on the other
hand, could not be totally delinked from a decline in raw
material cost, also alleviating cost pressures. Nevertheless,
foreign exchange fluctuations, spreads between naphtha and
ethylene and ethylene and polyolefins in international markets,
and domestic demand patterns will remain intrinsic variables
with great influence on the Company's performance in the longer
term.

The stable local-currency rating outlook derives from the
pivotal expectation that Braskem's current capital structure
will be sustained (both because management has assumed a more
conservative stance and that market conditions will allow its
financial strategy to continue being implemented) and that the
Company's operating and business profiles will continue
improving gradually with debottleneckings, product mix
enrichment, and feedstock diversification. We believe that
fundamentals for Braskem's operating profitability and cash
generation are positive in the medium term and stable in the
long term, allowing the Company to report credit measures that
are quite comfortable for the rating category in 2005 and that
should remain adequate throughout the petrochemical cycle.
Further rating improvement can derive from the Company's ability
to effectively withstand the petrochemical cycle thanks to its
several improvement initiatives and scale (which would prove so
under less favorable market conditions), combined with further
total debt reductions relative to a normalized, through-the-
cycle cash flow and with the Company's addressing 2007
refinancing risks. A negative rating action could be prompted by
the Company's inability to sustain margins or a radical reversal
in the trend of cash generation, or a quick deterioration of its
liquidity position. We also factor in the ratings Braskem's
commitment to a more conservative financial policy since mid-
2004, both in regards to its liquidity position and leverage
boundaries, will be preserved in the future, providing the
Company with a safety cushion to weather the inevitable
downturns in the cyclical petrochemical industry and of the
volatile economy of its home market, Brazil.

The stable outlook on the foreign-currency rating reflects the
outlook of the foreign-currency sovereign rating on the
Federative Republic of Brazil.


GLOBOPAR: Gains Noteholder Support for Debt Restructuring
---------------------------------------------------------
Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes S.A. ("Globopar") announces
that it received Thursday noteholder approval of its debt
restructuring proposal in two of its outstanding bond series,
the US$80 million 9.875% Notes due 2004 issued by Globopar
Overseas Ltd., and the US$100 million 9.875% Series A Guaranteed
Notes due 2004 issued by Globopar.

Globopar also had scheduled meetings for Thursday with respect
to each of its four remaining series, but a quorum (which
required 75% of outstanding bonds to appear at the meetings) was
not obtained during these meetings on March 17 and Globopar has
adjourned those meetings to April 21. Under the terms of the
Globopar debt agreements, the quorum requirement for each of
these meetings as adjourned is lowered to 25% of outstanding
bonds.

Ronnie Vaz Moreira, President of Globopar, said "We are very
pleased that we have already obtained approval with respect to
two of our bond groups, and we look forward to receiving the
balance of the bond approvals in April."

CONTACT: International Media:
         Mr. Robert Mead
         Gavin Anderson & Company
         Phone: +1 212 515 1960
         E-mail: rmead@gavinanderson.com

         Brazilian Media:
         Ms. Jo Ristow
         Companhia de Noticias
         Phone: +55-11-3643-2713
         E-mail: jo@cdn.com.br

         Investor Contact:
         Ms. Lidia Borus
         Firb
         Phone: +55 11 3897 6404
         E-mail: lidia.borus@firb.com

         Mr. Stefan Alexander / Marta Meirelles
         Globo Comunicacoes e Participacoes S.A.
         Phone: +55 21 2540 4444
         E-mail: IR@globopar.com.br


LIGHT SERVICOS: Claims Smallest Net Loss in Five Years
------------------------------------------------------
Electricity distributor Light Servicos de Eletricidade recorded
its smallest net loss in five years, registering BRL97.6 million
for the full year 2004.

The figure, Dow Jones Newswires observes, is also a considerable
improvement from the previous year's net loss of BRL488.4
million.

"Despite the loss, there was a significant improvement in
earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization,
which grew 20.9% in 2004," Light said in a statement without
providing an EBITDA figure.

Net revenue was BRL4.08 billion during the year, up 8% from
2003, while operating expenses were BRL3.54 billion, up 5.1%
from the year before, Light said.

Consumption within Light's concession area grew just 0.4% in
2004 compared with 2003, below the Brazilian average and far
short of the country's 5% gross domestic product growth, Light
said.

Light, controlled by French power Company Electricite de France
(EDF.YY), serves 3.5 million customers in 31 municipalities in
Rio de Janeiro state.


CONTACT:  LIGHT SERVICOS DE ELETRICIDADE S.A.
          Avenida Marechal Floriano, 168
          20080-002 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
          Phone: +55-21-2211-2794
          Fax:   +55-21-2211-2993
          Home Page: http://www.lightrio.com.br
          Contact:
          Bo Gosta Kallstrand, Chairman
          Michel Gaillard, President and CEO
          Joel Nicolas, Executive Director, Operation
          Paulo Roberto Ribeiro Pinto, Executive Director,
                                 Investor Relations and CFO



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

ICE: Delinquency Accounts Top $8.6M in 2004
-------------------------------------------
Costa Rica's electricity and telecoms monopoly ICE lost CRC4-
billion (US$8.6 million) in 2004 due to unpaid telephone bills,
reveals Business News Americas.

In a report to the ICE board, ICE's interim general manager
Carlos Obregon stated that non-paid accounts belonged to
subscribers who paid fake checks or giving incorrect address
information, as well as businesses going broke.

According to the report, ICE has accumulated a total of CRC9.41
billion in delinquent accounts from 1993 to 2004. State agencies
accounted for some CRL1.34 billion of the delinquent accounts,
while security and energy ministry accounted for CRC528 million,
and CRC169 million, respectively.

The board is yet to decide on how to deal with the debt.

The Company also blamed last year's decision by public services
regulator Aresep to decrease the deposit amount on new mobile
phones to 12,500 from 60,000 for the account delinquency last
year.

"These determinations from Aresep, to make mobile service more
accessible to those with smaller incomes, has created an
increase in such accounts," the report said.



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

HAITI: Stabilization Program on Track, Says IMF
-----------------------------------------------
An IMF mission visited Port-au-Prince during March 6-16 for the
2005 Article IV consultation discussions with the Haitian
authorities. The discussions covered a broad range of issues,
but focused on the government's near-term economic program, as
well as the policies and structural reforms that will be
necessary to support macroeconomic stability and growth over the
medium term. The mission will present its findings to Fund
management upon its return to Washington D.C., and it is
expected that the Executive Board will conclude the review of
the Haitian economy in May.

Based on data provided by the authorities, real GDP declined by
3.8 percent in 2003/04 (October-September), reflecting the
impact of the civil unrest and armed rebellion in early 2004,
and of the massive floods in May and September. However, since
March 2004 good progress has been achieved toward restoring
financial and economic stability. The authorities successfully
implemented the six-month Staff-Monitored Program that ended
last September, and-drawing on the Interim Cooperation Framework
(ICF) agreed with donors in July 2004-the authorities
established a stabilization program for 2004/05 supported by the
IMF's Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance (EPCA).

The government's program for 2004/05 seeks to build on
macroeconomic stability that has been achieved and to revive
economic growth. The program aims to achieve real GDP growth of
2.5 percent, a decline in consumer price inflation to about 12
percent (end of period), and a build-up of net international
reserves (NIR) of the Banque de la Republique d'Haiti (BRH) to
US$85 million. Under the 2004/05 budget, government revenue and
external assistance are expected to enable the increased
provision of key public services and investment, while
supporting a strengthening of public sector governance and
transparency.

The mission found that the EPCA program is broadly on track, and
all end-December targets were observed and most of the
structural measures are being implemented as envisaged. External
trade has returned to pre-crisis levels, the gourde remains
stable, monthly inflation is on the decline, and net
international reserves of the BRH have increased. Welcome
progress has also been made on the structural front: the budget
that was approved before the start of the fiscal year was
published, discretionary expenditures from current accounts were
substantially reduced, the pre-audit of key public sector
enterprises and the census of public sector employment are
underway, and the interim audit of the BRH has been completed.
The mission has encouraged the authorities to put in place
strong measures to implement the reforms envisaged in the
current program, in particular to complete the census of
employment in the public sector and the survey of domestic
arrears of the government, and to strengthen public sector
management and transparency.

The mission discussed with the authorities the measures to
protect the fiscal objectives of the EPCA program, and in
particular to safeguard priority outlays on social and security
sectors. In response to the revenue shortfall (0.3 percent of
GDP) that emerged during October 2004-January 2005, the
government adopted measures to avoid slippages. The mission also
encouraged the authorities to bolster the budget execution
process and to use fully the resources available within the
parameters agreed under the EPCA program. There was agreement
between the authorities and the IMF team that accelerated
disbursement of donor assistance is necessary to boost economic
recovery, create employment, and expand provision of key social
services. The government and donors are encouraged to enhance
aid coordination and implement projects agreed under the ICF as
soon as possible.

Monetary policy will continue to be geared towards reducing
inflation to 12 percent during this fiscal year. The BRH remains
committed to a flexible exchange rate policy, and will avoid
foreign exchange market intervention, except for meeting its NIR
target. The central bank stands ready to issue BRH bonds and
raise interest rates as appropriate to achieve the program's
inflation and external targets, and protect financial stability.

The authorities and the mission also discussed the key
assumptions for the budget for 2005/06 and the macroeconomic
policy framework for the medium term. Under the preliminary
assumptions, the 2005/06 budget will be based on GDP growth of 3
percent, and inflation of no more than 10 percent. With domestic
revenues-at 9_ percent of GDP-expected to cover recurrent
expenditures, the overall deficit would rise to 7_ percent of
GDP, which would be fully covered by concessional external loans
and grants.

The mission recommended an early start to the budget preparation
process to allow proper planning and coordination with donors.
This policy framework underpinning the 2005/06 budget should
help the newly-elected government sustain macroeconomic
stability and create conditions for continued engagement of the
international community. For the medium term, an accelerated
implementation of structural reforms with a substantial increase
in external support would boost investment in domestic
infrastructure, human capital and raise real output growth to 4-
5 percent a year.

The authorities intend to request the second purchase under the
EPCA in mid-2005. Fund staff will continue a close dialogue and
technical cooperation with the authorities as they proceed with
the implementation of their economic program. The mission would
like to thank the authorities for the productive and friendly
discussions held during its stay in Haiti.

CONTACT: IMF - External Relations Department
         Public Affairs
         Phone: 202-623-7300
         Fax: 202-623-6278

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



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

DIRECTV: Streamlines Corporate Organization
-------------------------------------------
DIRECTV, Inc. announced Thursday the appointment of Fox Sports
Chairman and CEO David Hill as president of its new DIRECTV
Entertainment group, one of three new operating groups created
by DIRECTV President and CEO Chase Carey as part of a new, more
streamlined organization that will focus on DIRECTV's core
businesses and continue to build on its leadership position in
the pay television industry.

As part of the new organizational structure DIRECTV has also
appointed John Suranyi as president of DIRECTV Sales and
Service, and Bruce Churchill as president of DIRECTV Latin
America and New Enterprises. Suranyi was previously executive
vice president of Customer Satisfaction, and Churchill was
previously chief financial officer for The DIRECTV Group and
president of DIRECTV Latin America.

Mike Palkovic, CFO for DIRECTV, Inc., will now assume CFO
responsibilities for the entire DIRECTV organization. Hill,
Suranyi, Churchill and Palkovic will report to Carey.

As president of DIRECTV Entertainment, Hill will be responsible
for all aspects of DIRECTV that define the content and consumer
viewing experience. He will have oversight of programming --
including third-party programming and original content -- the
development of programming packages and the marketing and
promotion of DIRECTV to consumers. He will also be responsible
for the integration of new technologies and the development of
new forms of programming services that will enhance the DIRECTV
viewing experience, including electronic program guides,
interactivity and other content enhancements. In addition, Hill
will also develop and expand DIRECTV's rapidly-growing
advertising sales, as well as other new revenue opportunities.

Hill will continue to serve as chairman of Fox Sports in a non-
executive role. He will be an employee of DIRECTV and his
primary responsibility will be at DIRECTV, and at Fox Sports he
will have an advisory role providing guidance to Fox Sports on
key issues. This role will enhance his ability to advance the
integration of Fox content into DIRECTV.

"David is a true innovator and an enormously talented executive
who has distinguished himself with his creativity and
originality in the television industry," said Carey. "His proven
capabilities, vision and experience, which transcends sports
television, will be vital in taking DIRECTV to the next level.
In his 10-year plus career at Fox, he led Fox Sports from its
inception to become the premier sports television organization
in the country. His leadership skills, passion and energy will
be an enormous asset to DIRECTV as we develop a true leadership
position in the consumer pay TV business."

Hill has a long and distinguished career in the television
industry. Prior to overseeing Fox Sports, Hill was responsible
for oversight of the Fox television network. In addition, he
spent more than five years at British Sky Broadcasting, playing
a leading role in the development, launch and expansion of
BSkyB.

"DIRECTV is the leader in pay television, a great success story
and has dramatically changed the way consumers experience TV,"
said Hill. "I'm particularly excited to be joining this dynamic
Company as it is poised to deliver a compelling array of next-
generation content and services that will make the nation's best
television experience even better. Our goal is to distinguish
DIRECTV from other pay TV services and bring DIRECTV to a new
standard of performance based on the creative excellence and
innovation that has long been its cornerstone. Obviously I won't
be as involved with Fox Sports as I have been, but I have total
confidence in Ed Goren at Fox Sports and Bob Thompson at FSN to
continue moving Fox Sports forward."

As head of DIRECTV Sales and Service, Suranyi will oversee
primary contacts with customers from the initial point of sale
through the life of the customer's programming service. He will
continue to oversee operations relating to call center, supply
chain and installation services. Suranyi joined DIRECTV in early
2004 after several years building the customer service
organizations for a variety of pay television companies.

"John has unique expertise in managing the critical customer
service operations that are required to support the DIRECTV
experience," said Carey. "He has shown a keen understanding of
what it takes to create excellence in customer service and will
be a valuable asset in his new position."

As president of DIRECTV Latin America and New Enterprises,
Churchill will continue to oversee operations in Latin America
and take on a new role in leading new business initiatives that
include DIRECTV's broadband strategy, both in the United States
and Latin America. Churchill's responsibilities as DIRECTV Group
CFO and head of Latin America operations had been expected to
evolve as part of the streamlining of the operations to focus on
DIRECTV's core business in the United States and Latin America.

"Bruce has been a tremendous resource for DIRECTV over the past
year with his willingness to take on dual responsibilities,"
said Carey. "He now has an opportunity to follow his interests
and focus more on operational responsibilities with Latin
America evolving through the merger process and with broadband
picking up steam. These are important operations for DIRECTV and
it's the right time to focus and capitalize on these
businesses."

Palkovic became DIRECTV's CFO in 2001. "With his experience as
DIRECTV CFO, Mike has unique financial expertise and
understanding for the business that will be invaluable to us in
the new organization structure," Carey said.

In addressing the importance of this reorganization, Carey said,
"We believe the new organization provides us with a more
effective group of core operating entities. Through this
restructuring we've streamlined and simplified the organization
and now have the ability to be better focused and more flexible
in operating our core businesses while pursuing new initiatives
with more speed and agility."

About DirecTV

DIRECTV, Inc. is the nation's leading and fastest-growing
digital multichannel television service provider with more than
13.9 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are
registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV) is a
world-leading provider of digital multichannel television
entertainment services. DIRECTV is 34 percent owned by Fox
Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by
News Corporation.

CONTACT: DIRECTV, Inc.

         Mr. Bob Marsocci
         Phone: 310-726-4656

         Mr. Robert Mercer
         Phone: 310-726-4683


VITRO: Allots $150M for Key Projects
------------------------------------
Vitro S.A. de C.V. (BMV: VITROA; NYSE: VTO), announced Thursday
that it will invest approximately US$150 million in 2005 in
order to expand its containers and automotive glass production
lines, implement a new technological tool to optimize its
processes (ERP), and transform its production facilities to use
alternative fuel energy, among other key projects.

At the end of the General Shareholder's Meeting, Federico Sada,
Vitro's CEO said that these investments will allow the Company
to take advantage of niche markets in the containers segment,
Mexico's glass consumption growth per capita, and the
development of new products for the automotive and glassware
industry to maintain its sales during 2005.

"We have almost concluded our non strategic businesses
divestiture process. We will now dedicate our energy to increase
Vitro's operations efficiency, increase Company's sales and
profitability, and continue to reduce costs to our final
objective of becoming one of glass industry leaders worldwide",
said Federico Sada, CEO of Vitro.

During Thursday's meeting, 2004 financial results were approved,
and Shareholders also approved a resolution to pay a cash
dividend of Ps $0.30 (thirty cents) per common share of coupon #
64, canceled pending cash dividend related to coupon # 60, and
elected members of the Board of Directors and the Examiners for
the year 2005.

Shareholders also approved Vitro's strategy that calls for to
concentrate in its glass related businesses, strengthen its
financial position, maximize operational efficiency, reinforce
its international presence, seek for selective businesses
opportunities through strategic joint ventures, as well as to
continue with its alternative fuel source technology
transformation process to reduce energy costs.

In addition, Shareholders approved FINCO, Vitro's wholly owned
Company merger with its holding Company to achieve
administration savings and strengthen its holding Company
financial structure.

Vitro, 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. Vitro serves 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. 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.

CONTACT: Media Monterrey:
         Mr. Albert Chico Smith
         Vitro, S. A. de C.V.
         Phone: +52 (81) 8863-1335
         E-mail: achico@vitro.com

         Financial Community:
         Mr. Leticia Vargas/Ms. Adrian Meouchi
         Vitro, S. A. de C.V.
         Phone: +52 (81) 8863-1210/1350
         E-mail: lvargasv@vitro.com
                 ameouchi@vitro.com

         US Contacts:
         Ms. Susan Borinelli/ Mr. Alex Fudukidis
         Breakstone & Ruth Int.
         Phone:(646) 536-7012 / 7018
         E-mail: sborinelli@breakstoneruth.com
                 afudukidis@breakstoneruth.com



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

* PARAGUAY: S&P Releases Ratings Report
---------------------------------------
  
Credit Ratings                                B-/Stable/C

Major Rating Factors

Strengths
    * Improving political and economic environments;
    * Relatively low indebtedness, both domestically and
externally; and
    * Strong export-based agricultural sector.

Weaknesses
    * Long track record of political instability led to
underdeveloped democratic and political institutions;
    * Limited fiscal flexibility despite relatively balanced
budgets led to a recent default; and
    * Dual economy characterized by significant levels of
informality, low GDP per capita, and high poverty rates.

Rationale

The Republic of Paraguay's credit rating reflects primarily
underdeveloped democratic and political institutions. A long
history of political instability continues to constrain the
government's creditworthiness and the country's ability to
increase economic growth rates. Very limited fiscal flexibility,
despite current balanced budgets, and insufficient access to
credit led the government to default on US$138 million
domestically issued bonds when it failed to honor their put
clause in February 2003. The government cured this default by
restructuring that debt by July 2004.

Paraguay's economy is characterized by relatively low GDP per
capita, estimated at US$1,150 for 2005, and a highly fragmented
economic structure. Paraguay's economy is divided into a highly
dynamic and efficient soybean sector and the rest of the
economy, characterized by high informality and low productivity.
However, after several years of political instability, President
Duarte Frutos's administration's strategy of pursuing alliances
to reform Paraguay's public sector has gained momentum, and
several initiatives have been passed by congress; this progress
is supported by a stand-by agreement signed with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Relatively low debt compared with that of other countries in the
'B' median also supports Paraguay's creditworthiness. Net
general government debt, estimated at US$1.6 billion for 2005,
or 23% of GDP, is less than one-third that of the 'B' median.

Outlook

The stable outlook on Paraguay's credit rating reflects Standard
& Poor's Ratings Services' expectation that President Frutos's
government will maintain the recently achieved macroeconomic
stability. However, political pressures will continue to limit
the government's ability to move ahead on the reform agenda.
Reinforced political support for the economic team's reform
agenda and more rapid implementation of the reforms aimed at
modernizing the public sector and enhancing transparency might
lead to improvement in the country's credit rating. In contrast,
renewed political pressures that erode the support of the
economic team, or fiscal slippage that could jeopardize
compliance with government financial obligations could lead to a
downgrade.

Primary Credit Analyst: Sebastian Briozzo, New York (1) 212-438-
7342; sebastian_briozzo@standardandpoors.com



=====================
P U E R T O   R I C O
=====================

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Offers Multimedia Services to Clients
----------------------------------------------------------------
QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader
of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless
technology, announced Wednesday that it has signed a definitive
agreement with Centennial, a leading provider of wireless
services in Puerto Rico to offer downloadable wireless
applications and services based on QUALCOMM's BREW solution. The
rollout of BREW-based services will enable Centennial
subscribers to shop for and download a variety of wireless
applications -- from games, video and ringtones, to information,
communication, business and productivity tools -- directly on
their BREW handsets.

"This agreement demonstrates Centennial's leadership in the
wireless industry and commitment to providing the ultimate
wireless experience to their subscribers," said Bob Briggs, vice
president of global business relations for QUALCOMM Internet
Services. "QUALCOMM looks forward to working with Centennial to
further promote the wireless data market in Puerto Rico."

"We expect QUALCOMM's BREW solution to help provide our wireless
subscribers with access to high-quality productivity,
entertainment and communication applications," said Jose Rivera,
products and development director for Centennial Puerto Rico.
"BREW has proven to be the ideal solution for quickly and
effectively bringing wireless data services to market, and
Centennial is confident that the upcoming deployment of BREW
applications will enhance the services portfolio we provide to
our wireless subscribers. Understanding customer needs is part
of our continued effort to provide a tailored customer
experience."

QUALCOMM's BREW solution is designed to meet the distinct and
varied needs of wireless operators, handset manufacturers,
publishers, developers and end users around the world. BREW
products and services include: an open, extensible client
platform that supports robust system and application software
including personalized and branded user interfaces for mass
market devices; a J2EE(TM)-based, modular distribution system
that enables the delivery of content, applications and user
interfaces to wireless devices across all air interfaces; a
dedicated professional services team that supports the
integration of customized implementations; and the wireless
industry's first global marketplace to support the monetization
of applications and services developed in all programming
languages. The BREW ecosystem can make your wireless vision a
reality.

About Centennial Communications

Centennial Communications (Nasdaq: CYCL), based in Wall, NJ, is
a leading provider of regional wireless and integrated
communications services in the United States and the Caribbean
with over one million wireless subscribers. The U.S. business
owns and operates wireless networks in the Midwest and Southeast
covering parts of six states. Centennial's Caribbean business
owns and operates wireless networks in Puerto Rico, the
Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands and provides
facilities-based integrated voice, data and Internet solutions.
Welsh, Carson Anderson & Stowe and an affiliate of the
Blackstone Group are controlling shareholders of Centennial.

QUALCOMM Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in
developing and delivering innovative digital wireless
communications products and services based on the Company's CDMA
digital technology. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., QUALCOMM
is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2004 FORTUNE 500(R)
Company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the ticker
symbol QCOM.

QUALCOMM and BREW are registered trademarks of QUALCOMM
Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners.

CONTACT: QUALCOMM
         Mr. Michele Bakic
         QUALCOMM Internet Services
         Phone:  1-858-651-4017
         E-mail:  mbakic@qualcomm.com

         Centennial Communications Corp.
         1305 Campus Parkway
         Neptune, NJ 07753
         USA
         Phone: 732-919-1000


DORAL FINANCIAL: Could Consider Takeout Offers if Price is Right
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chairman and CEO Salomon Levis said March 17 that Doral
Financial Corporation (NYSE: DRL) will consider takeout offers
if a deal emerges at an attractive price.

During a conference call to address investor concerns regarding
certain prepayment and discount rate assumptions included in the
Company's Form 10-K filing, Levis said that, while the Company
is not seeking buyers, it will entertain offers emerging in
light of the recent drop in the Company's stock price. On March
16, the Company's shares plunged 20.08% to $30.60 on more than
6x average daily volume following its Form 10-K filing and an
analyst downgrade. Levis made his remarks in response to
questions during the call and did not mention any specific
offers.

Levis, who expressed "surprise and disappointment" with the
market's reaction to the Form 10-K filing, said that Doral's
board has not met to consider a share repurchase program, but
described repurchases as "an interesting matter."

Addressing concerns about the Company's mortgage portfolio
forecast, which analysts criticized as overly aggressive,
Treasurer Mario Levis defended the Company's prepayment and
discount rate assumptions and said that the Company will
continue to monitor developments in both metrics.

"Recently, certain analysts have questioned the assumptions that
we have used to value our IOs or retained interests in mortgage
loan sales," the treasurer said. "In particular, certain
analysts feel that the prepayment assumptions and the discount
rate used to value our IOs are too optimistic. We stand by our
assumptions and believe that these analysts are incorrect."

The treasurer said that the prepayment rates used in the
Company's Form 10-K are based on the historical prepayment
activity of the nonconforming portfolio adjusted for management
expectations of future behavior, noting that prepayment activity
decreased throughout 2004. He also noted that prepayment rates
in Puerto Rico have historically been 35% to 50% less than
mainland U.S. rates.

In regard to discount rates, the treasurer said that the
Company's forecasts were calculated by adding a risk premium of
3.0% to the yield on the Fannie Mae current coupon. He said that
such a forecast is reasonable given the low level of historical
losses associated with Doral's mortgage portfolio, adding that a
reduction from 2003 rates is the result of a change from the
Company's previous practice of using a 9.0% discount rate floor
in its modeling, independent of actual rates.

"It is important to note that changes in the discount rate will
vary with mortgage rates," the treasurer said. "We will continue
to monitor the prepayment and discount rates used in valuing our
IOs to insure that they are consistent with actual experience."

Doral has sustained three downgrades since March 7, including
two in the wake of the Form 10-K filing.

CONTACT: Doral Financial Corp.
         1451 Franklin D. Roosevelt Ave.
         San Juan, PR 00920-2717
         USA
         Phone: 787-474-6700
         Web site: http://www.doralfinancial.com



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

CITGO: Appeals New Jersey DEP Agreement
---------------------------------------
CITGO Petroleum Corporation, as the owner of Petty's Island, has
filed an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Superior
Court of New Jersey of an agreement entered into by the New
Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding
the property.

The agreement, between the DEP, Pennsauken Township and
Cherokee-Pennsauken LLC, calls for Cherokee to pay the state $10
million dollars.  In exchange, the DEP will forgo CITGO's offer
to donate the island as a nature preserve to the Natural Lands
Trust and will not support its donation to any other entity,
including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The agreement
does not accurately reflect CITGO's offer to the state and, in
CITGO's view, breaches an existing Memorandum of Agreement
between CITGO and the DEP on remediation efforts currently
underway. The agreement also breaks precarious new ground in the
allocation of state brownfield funding.  Additionally, the
agreement would inappropriately apply monetary penalties against
CITGO without due process and interferes with CITGO's property
rights.

Although signed on Jan. 12th by the commissioner, CITGO was not
made aware of the formal agreement until Feb. 24th, following a
Pennsauken Township meeting that completed adoption of this
three-way agreement.   The DEP entered into the agreement with
Cherokee despite the fact that the agency recently sued Cherokee
for civil penalties under the state's Endangered and Nongame
Species Conservation Act for the alleged harassment of the
Petty's Island bald eagles that led to the death of an eaglet.

The Natural Lands Trust, in September 2004, voted by majority to
accept CITGO's offer to establish Petty's Island as a preserve.
However, because the majority vote did not include a single
state representative's vote, the motion to accept the offer was
rejected.  CITGO contends that the Trust's vote may have been
influenced by the pending subject agreement.

CITGO Petroleum Corporation will pursue all legal options to
defend its rights as the property owner and will continue to
explore state and federal mechanisms to save the island from
development and create the most unique wildlife preserve in the
region.
     
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer
of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined
waxes, asphalt and other industrial products.  The Company is
owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary
of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil Company of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

CONTACT: Investor Relations
         Ms. Kate Robbins
         Public Affairs Manager
         Phone:(832) 486-5764
         E-Mail: InvRel@citgo.com
         Web site: http://www.citgo.com




                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Lucilo Junior M. Pinili, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


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