TCRLA_Public/050407.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

            Thursday, April 7, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 68

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Operating Income Jumps 70% in 2004
COMPANIA INTERAMERICANAL: Proceeds With Liquidation
CORSETERIA INFORMAL: Court Approves Bankruptcy
EDEMSA: EdF Completes Sale of Stake to Iadesa

MARINA CLUB: Court Sets Verification Deadline
METAL DESIGN: Verification Deadline Approaches
NEBA S.A.: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts
PESCADOS Y MARISCOS: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
POSSESSION S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Buys Back Corporate Bonds
ZIRLAND S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt


B E L I Z E

* BELIZE: S&P Lowers Long-Term Ratings, Outlook Negative


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Awards Cash Bonus to Top Executives
TRIMINGHAM BROTHERS: To Close Doors in July


B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: To Pay Interest on Capital on May 2
NET SERVICOS: To Deploy Advanced Broadband Services W/ Motorola
NII HOLDINGS: Upgrades Network With Harris' TRuepoint Technology
PRIDE INTERNATIONAL: Moody's Affirms Ratings


H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: IMF Supports $556M Debt Relief


M E X I C O

BALLY TOTAL: Amends Credit Agreement
HYLSAMEX: Alfa Delays Completion of Spin-off
VITRO: Remains in the Red With $1M Net Loss in 2004


P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: World Bank Approves $28.2M Loan


U R U G U A Y

PLUNA: President Acknowledges Difficult Financial Situation


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Rafael Urdaneta Licenses to Span 25 Years
PDVSA: Minister Asserts Citgo Will Not Go on the Auction Block
PDVSA: Review Reveals 16 Operating Agreements Bring Losses
* VENEZUELA: Fitch Expects to Rate 2025 Sovereign Bonds 'B+'

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
----------------------------------------------------
Court No. 2 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Asociacion Mutual del Personal de Limpieza y Afines
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 Felipe
Florio.

As trustee, Mr. Florio is tasked with verifying the authenticity
of claims presented by the company's creditors. The verification
phase is ongoing until May 10.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on June 24. A general report will also be
submitted on August 22.

Infobae reports that Clerk No. 3 assists the court on this case
that will end with the sale of the company's assets. Proceeds
from the sale will be used to repay its debts.

CONTACT: Asociacion Mutual del Personal de Limpieza y Afines
         Mendoza 2779
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Felipe Florio, Trustee
         Uruguay 618
         Buenos Aires


CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Operating Income Jumps 70% in 2004
-------------------------------------------------------
Claxson Interactive Group Inc. (XSONF OB; "Claxson" or the
"Company"), announced Tuesday financial results for the three
and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2004.

As previously announced, the Company expects to finalize the
sale of its TV Broadcast operation Chilevision in the coming
weeks, and in accordance with applicable accounting principles,
the assets, liabilities and operations of Chilevision are
reflected as assets and liabilities held for sale in the balance
sheet and as discontinued operations in the statement of
operations of the Company. To facilitate understanding of the
Company's performance in 2004, set forth below, in addition to
the results of operations showing Chilevision as a discontinued
operation under U.S. GAAP, is a discussion of the results of
operations of the Company including Chilevision.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Fourth Quarter 2004

Net revenue, including Chilevision, for the fourth quarter of
2004 was $28.0 million, a 24% increase from net revenue of $22.5
million for the fourth quarter of 2003. Operating expense,
including Chilevision, for the three months ended December 31,
2004 was $25.4 million, a 34% increase from the $19.0 million
for the fourth quarter of 2003. Operating income was $2.6
million for the three-month period ended December 31, 2004
compared to $3.5 million for the three-month period ended
December 31, 2003.

Fiscal Year 2004

Net revenue, including Chilevision, for the twelve-month period
ended December 31, 2004 was $95.7 million, a 17% increase
compared to $81.8 million for the comparable period in 2003.
Operating expense, including Chilevision, for the twelve-month
period ended December 31, 2004 was $86.7 million compared to
$76.5 million in the comparable period of 2003. Operating income
was $9.0 million for the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2004 compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2003,
representing a 70% increase.

"We are really proud of the evolution of Claxson's financial
performance. Since it was organized in 2001, our company has
been through three different and challenging stages: Merger in
2001, restructuring in 2002, and progressing in the path to
consolidation in the last two years. We progressed successfully
through each stage, and starting 2002, operating income has
increased consistently from year to year, reaching US$ 9.0
million in 2004," said Roberto Vivo, Chairman and CEO. "I see
our Company ready to face future growth opportunities. Once we
successfully sell Chilevision, we will be able to focus on the
Pay TV division, with excellent prospects for the middle and
long term."

Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2004 excluding Chilevision

Net revenue, excluding Chilevision, for the fourth quarter of
2004 was $19.5 million, a 19% increase from net revenue of $16.4
million for the fourth quarter of 2003. Operating expense for
the three months ended December 31, 2004 was $17.7 million, a
36% increase from the $13.0 million for the fourth quarter of
2003.

Operating income was $1.8 million for the three-month period
ended December 31, 2004 compared to $3.3 million for the three-
month period ended December 31, 2003. Foreign currency exchange
gain for the three-month period ended December 31, 2004 was $0.3
million compared to a foreign exchange loss of $0.7 million for
the three-month period ended December 31, 2003. Net income from
continuing operations for the three months ended December 31,
2004 was $0.7 million ($0.03 per common and diluted share),
compared to a $0.2 million ($0.01 per common and diluted share)
for the same period in 2003.

Net revenue, excluding Chilevision, for the twelve-month period
ended December 31, 2004 was $68.2 million, a 8% increase from
net revenue of $63.0 million for the same period of 2003.
Operating expense, excluding Chilevision, for the twelve months
ended December 31, 2004 was $61.9 million, a 7% increase from
the $58.0 million for 2003. Operating income was $6.3 million
for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004 compared to
$5.0 million for the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2003.

Foreign currency exchange loss for the twelve-month period ended
December 31, 2004 was $0.2 million compared to a foreign
currency exchange gain of $8.5 million for the twelve-month
period ended December 31, 2003. Net income from continuing
operations for the twelve months ended December 31, 2004 was
$3.7 million ($0.19 per common share and $0.18 per diluted
share), compared to a $7.7 million ($0.41 per common share and
$0.40 per diluted share) for the same period in 2003.

Pay TV

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $13.5 million, a
13% increase from net revenue of $12.0 million for the fourth
quarter of 2003. The increase in net revenue is principally
attributable to an increase in subscriber-based fees and
advertising sales due to an improvement of the advertising
market throughout the region.

Net revenue for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004
was $49.9 million compared to $48.2 million for the same period
of 2003. The increase is explained by higher advertising and
subscriber-based fee revenues, partially offset by a decrease of
$1.0 million in production and other services as a result of the
cancellation of services provided to the Locomotion Channel and
other third parties.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
fourth quarter of 2004 was $11.4 million compared to $8.3
million for the same period in 2003. The increase is principally
attributable to higher programming expenditures as a result of
increased original productions and higher selling cost.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
twelve- month period ended December 31, 2004 was $40.2 million
compared to $37.6 million for the same period of 2003, the
increase is principally attributed to higher programming,
technology and sales expenses as a result of increased revenues.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $1.3 million
compared to an operating income of $2.6 million for the same
period in 2003. Operating income for the twelve-month period
ended December 31, 2004 was $6.6 million compared to $7.1
million for the same period of 2003.

As of December 31, 2004, the Company's owned basic and premium
channels reached 42.7 million aggregate subscribers, a 14%
growth compared to its subscriber base as of December 31, 2003.
Playboy TV, FTV, and Retro were the Company's channels that
reported the strongest growth compared to the same period in
2003.

BROADCAST (including Chilevision)

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $14.5 million, a
38% increase from net revenue of $10.5 million for the fourth
quarter of 2003. The increase is primarily attributable to
improved ratings of our radio stations (Chile and Uruguay) and
Chilevision that enabled the channel to increase its advertising
revenue mainly through better pricing, as well as a 5%
appreciation in the Chilean peso as compared to 2003.

Net revenue for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004
was $45.6 million compared to $33.4 million for the same period
of 2003. This difference is a result of the increased audience
share of our radio stations (Chile and Uruguay) and Chilevision
as well as a 12% appreciation in the Chilean Peso as compared to
same period in 2003.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
fourth quarter of 2004 was $11.1 million compared to $7.9
million for the same period in 2003. The increase is due to the
appreciation of the Chilean peso, the increase in sales and
marketing costs directly related to the increase in revenues, as
well as the increase in production costs as a result of the
expense related to a higher number of original production hours
incurred by Chilevision to achieve its ratings growth.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
twelve- month period ended December 31, 2004 was $35.3 million
compared to $26.0 million for the same period of 2003. As was
the case in the fourth quarter, this increase is due to the
appreciation of the Chilean Peso, the increase in sales and
marketing costs and the increase in production expenditures at
Chilevision.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $2.6
million, practically unchanged from the same period in 2003.
Operating income for the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2004 was $7.5 million compared to $4.9 million for the same
period of 2003.

During the fourth quarter of 2004, Chilevision reported an
average audience share of 15.2%, compared to 13.5% for the same
period in 2003. Chilevision's average audience share for the
twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004 was 15.1%, compared
to 14.0% for the same period in 2003.

Ibero American Radio Chile's average audience share in the
fourth quarter of 2004 was 38.9% compared to 34.9% for the same
period of 2003. For the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2004 the average audience share was 36.4% compared to 35.7% for
the same period in 2003.

In line with the Company's long term growth plans, as previously
announced, Claxson is expecting to complete the sale process of
Chilevision in the coming weeks, subject to satisfactory
negotiation by the parties of the definitive agreements.

BROADCAST RADIO (excluding Chilevision)

As a result of the pending sale of Chilevision, our Broadcast
unit now consists of radio operations in Chile and Uruguay and
as such will be renamed Broadcast Radio.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $5.9 million, a
34% increase from net revenue of $4.4 million for the fourth
quarter of 2003. The increase is primarily attributable to the
increase in the advertising market and the 5% appreciation in
the Chilean peso as compared to 2003.

Net revenue for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004
was $18.1 million compared to $14.6 million for the same period
of 2003. As was the case in the fourth quarter, this difference
is a result of the growth of the Chilean advertising market, the
increased sales and the 12% appreciation of the Chilean Peso as
compared to same period in 2003.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
fourth quarter of 2004 was $3.6 million compared to $2.3 million
for the same period in 2003. The increase is due to the
appreciation of the Chilean peso, the increase in sales and
marketing costs directly related to the increase in revenues.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
twelve- month period ended December 31, 2004 was $11.6 million
compared to $8.4 million for the same period of 2003. As was the
case in the fourth quarter, this increase is due to the
appreciation of the Chilean Peso, and the increase in sales and
marketing costs.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $1.8 million
compared to $2.1 million for the same period of 2003. Operating
income for the twelve- month period ended December 31, 2004 was
$4.8 million practically unchanged from the same period of 2003.

BROADBAND & INTERNET

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 increased to $24,000
from $9,000 for the same period of 2003. Net revenue for the
twelve-month period ended December 31, 2004 decreased to
$100,000 compared to $178,000 for the same period of 2003.

Operating expense (before depreciation and amortization) for the
fourth quarter of 2004 was $252,000 compared to $72,000 for the
same period in 2003. The increase is basically explained by
higher production costs related to video content for the El
Sitio Digital Channel (ESDC) platform as part of its PPV and VOD
operations. Operating expense (before depreciation and
amortization) for the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2004 was $1.1 million compared to $2.1 million for the same
period of 2003.

Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $228,000
compared to a $63,000 loss for the same period in 2003.
Operating loss for the twelve-month period ended December 31,
2004 was $964,000 compared to $1.9 million for the same period
of 2003.

During the second half of 2004, the Company signed distribution
agreements and content sales (for both Claxson and third
parties) in Argentina and Brazil with an important software
provider in the Latin American region, Microsoft. Claxson is in
the process of negotiating other agreements that will strengthen
the distribution. Additionally, the Company executed agreements
to distribute content of Fox Sport Latin America, Playboy Latin
America, Utilisima and Reuters News through the ESDC platform.

"I'm pleased that we made the strategic decision to continue
investing in Broadband & Internet division. Our agreement with
Brasil Telecom, the second largest broadband company in Latin
America, and the rate of growth in the number of users of our
platform shows that this division has a very promising future",
said Roberto Vivo, Chairman and CEO, Claxson.

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS AND LIQUIDITY

As of December 31, 2004, Claxson had cash and cash equivalents
of $7.3 million and $85.8 million in debt, which includes $16.7
million in future interest payments on the Company's 8.75%
Senior Notes due in 2010. For the twelve-month period ended
December 31, 2004, Claxson operating activities generated cash
flow of $3.6 million compared to $13.0 million for the same
period of 2003.
The difference is primarily due to efforts to reduce accounts
payable balances resulting from the Company's cash management
strategy during previous years. Cash generated from operating
activities was primarily used for capital expenditures, the
repayment of debt and the payment of fees related to the Claxson
formation transaction. In addition, the Company made a $3.4
million investment in Digital Latin America (DLA) as explained
in more detail below. Net cash generated by financing activities
was $1.6 million as a result of the issuance of $3.5 million in
Convertible Debentures during the third quarter of 2004, the
renegotiation of the Chilean syndicated financing, the re-
payment of debt, the release of the escrowed amounts pursuant to
the previous Chilean syndicated credit facility and sale of
Claxson common shares to Hicks Muse Tate & Furst related to DLA
transaction (discussed below). During the twelve-month period
ended December 31, 2004, Claxson received $0.6 million as the
last installment from the sale of its investment in the
Locomotion Channel in 2002. For the twelve-month period ended
December 30, 2004, Claxson had a net use of cash of $0.4
million.

INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL LATIN AMERICA (DLA)

Consistent with Claxson's long term affiliate sales growth
strategy, especially for our premium brands, on October 29,
2004, Claxson made an investment in Digital Latin America, LLC,
which provides programming to cable operators throughout Latin
America for their digitals tiers, including an interactive
programming guide, digital music and pay-per-view services of
Hollywood movies. In order to finance this investment, Claxson
sold to funds associated with Hicks Muse Tate & Furst ("Hicks
Muse") 830,259 newly issued Class A Common Shares of Claxson for
$3.4 million, increasing the ownership percentage of Hicks Muse
to 38% of Claxson. As part of the transaction, Claxson obtained
48% of the equity interest and $3.0 million in preferred shares
in DLA Holdings, Inc, a newly formed holding company which owns
100% of DLA in exchange for investment of funds. Additionally,
Claxson entered into an agreement to provide services (including
satellite space, playout of its channels and back-office
support) for a period of up to three years for an additional
$3.0 million in preferred shares. After the completion of the
transaction Hicks Muse had an equity interest of 38% in DLA
Holdings, and the 14% balance is owned by an affiliate of
Motorola.

About Claxson

Claxson (XSONF.OB) is a multimedia company providing branded
entertainment content targeted to Spanish and Portuguese
speakers around the world. Claxson has a portfolio of popular
entertainment brands that are distributed over multiple
platforms through its assets in pay television, broadcast
television, radio and the Internet. Headquartered in Buenos
Aires, Argentina, and Miami, Florida, Claxson has a presence in
the United States and all key Ibero-American countries,
including without limitation, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil,
Spain and Portugal. Claxson's principal shareholders are the
Cisneros Group of Companies and funds affiliated with Hicks,
Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.

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

CONTACT: Mr. Juan Iramain
         Vice-President, Communications,
         Phone: +011-5411-4339-3701

         Mr. Jose Antonio Ituarte
         Chief Financial Officer
         Phone: +011-5411-4339-3700


COMPANIA INTERAMERICANAL: Proceeds With Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------
Mr. Ricardo Persico successfully sought the bankruptcy of
Compania Interamericana de Transportes S.R.L. after Court No. 23
of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal declared the
Company "Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, the transport company will now start the process with
Mr. Roberto Leibovicius as trustee. Creditors must submit proofs
of their claim to the trustee by May 23 for authentication.
Failure to comply with this requirement will mean
disqualification from the payments that will be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

The creditor sought for the Company's liquidation after the
latter failed to pay debts amounting to US$30,592.80.

The city's Clerk No. 45 assists the court on the case that will
close with the sale of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Compania Interamericana de Transportes S.R.L.
         Ventana 3665
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Roberto Leibovicius, Trustee
         Tucuman 1585
         Buenos Aires


CORSETERIA INFORMAL: Court Approves Bankruptcy
----------------------------------------------
Textile manufacturer Corseteria Informal S.R.L. was declared
bankrupt after Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal endorsed the petition of Algodonera del
Valle S.A. for the company's liquidation. Argentine daily La
Nacion reports that the creditor has claims totaling US US$5000
against the Company.

The court assigned Mr. Gustavo Fiszman to supervise the
liquidation process as trustee. Mr. Fiszman will validate
creditors' proofs of claims until August 25.

The city's Clerk No. 37 assists the court in resolving this
case.

CONTACT: Corseteria Informal S.R.L.
         Andres Lamas 839
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Gustavo Fiszman, Trustee
         Acevedo 237
         Buenos Aires


EDEMSA: EdF Completes Sale of Stake to Iadesa
---------------------------------------------
Electricite de France SA (EdF) has completed the sale of its
stake in the controlling shareholder of Argentina's Mendoza
province power distributor Edemsa SA to the local Iadesa
consortium.

In a filing with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Edemsa
revealed that EdF has sold its 88% stake in the Sodemsa
consortium that owns 51% of Edemsa for an undisclosed amount.
Iadesa, led by businessman Jose Angulo, formerly held a 12%
share in Sodemsa.

Edemsa has some 310,000 clients over its 110,000 sq. km.
concession area. Mendoza province owns 39% of Edemsa, while the
other 10% is in the hands of company employees, according to
press reports.

Talk of EdF selling off Edemsa first surfaced in September 2003,
when newspapers quoted a Buenos Aires-based EdF representative
as saying the "situation is very complicated" with the Mendoza
government because the provincial authorities owed the utility
more than ARS35 million.

CONTACT:  EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA DE ELECTRICIDAD DE MENDOZA S.A.
          San Martin 322 (5500)
          Mendoza


MARINA CLUB: Court Sets Verification Deadline
---------------------------------------------
Creditors of Marina Club S.A. have until May 18 to submit proof
of their claims for verifications. All documents must be
forwarded to trustee Guido Maria Salvadori for verifications by
the said deadline to qualify for any post-liquidation
distributions.

Court No. 6 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles this case. Clerk No. 11 assists the court with the
proceedings.

CONTACT: Marina Club S.A.
         Forest 1519
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Guido Maria Salvadori, Trustee
         Junin 55
         Buenos Aires


METAL DESIGN: Verification Deadline Approaches
----------------------------------------------
The verification of claims for the Metal Design S.R.L.
bankruptcy case will end on May 20 according to Infobae.
Creditors with claims against the bankrupt company must present
proof of the liabilities to Ms. Maria Susana Taboada, the court-
appointed trustee by the said deadline.

Court No. 1 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles the company's case with assistance from Clerk No. 1. The
bankruptcy will conclude with the liquidation of the company's
assets to pay its creditors.

CONTACT: Ms. Maria Susana Taboada, Trustee
         Juana Azurduy 2449
         Buenos Aires


NEBA S.A.: Liquidating Assets to Pay Debts
------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Neba S.A. will begin liquidating its assets
following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 24 of
the city's civil and commercial tribunal, reports Infobae.

The ruling places the Company under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Adriana del Carmen Gallo. The trustee will
verify creditors' proofs of claims until May 24. The validated
claims will be presented in court as individual reports on July
5.

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 19.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal of the
company's assets.

CONTACT: Ms. Adriana del Carmen Gallo, Trustee
         Roque Saenz Pena 651
         Buenos Aires


PESCADOS Y MARISCOS: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 13 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal has
modified the ongoing reorganization of Pescados y Mariscos S.A.
into liquidation, reports Infobae.

As such, the seafood supplier will proceed with liquidation
under the supervision of court-appointed trustee Manuel Arias.
Creditors must submit proofs of their claim to the trustee by
May 2 for authentication. Failure to do so will mean a
disqualification from the payments that will be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

The city's Clerk No. 25 assists the court on the case that will
close with the liquidation of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Pescados y Mariscos S.A.
         Avenida Rivadavia 1424
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Manuel Arias, Trustee
         Conesa 3518
         Buenos Aires


POSSESSION S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
--------------------------------------------------
Possession S.A. enters bankruptcy protection after Court No. 21
of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal, with the
assistance of Clerk No. 42, ordered the Company's liquidation.
The order effectively transfers control of the company's assets
to a court-appointed trustee who will supervise the liquidation
proceedings.

Infobae reports that the court selected Ms. Maria Cristina
Gravier as trustee. Ms. Gravier will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claims until the end of the verification phase on May
16.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of the Company's accounting
and business records. The individual reports will be submitted
on June 29 followed by the general report that is due on August
25.

CONTACT: Possession S.A.
         Carlos Berg 2941
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Maria Cristina Gravier, Trustee
         Piedras 172
         Buenos Aires


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Buys Back Corporate Bonds
--------------------------------------------------
Mr. Pablo Luis Llauro, Assistant General Counsel for Telefonica
de Argentina S.A., informed Argentina's Comision Nacional de
Valores (CNV) through a letter dated April 1, 2005 of the
repurchase of the Company's corporate bonds.

The affected bonds, to be paid off in short are described as:

03/30/05 Class LESEP Series May/05 - $19,455,000, Remaining
Amount $143,809,000.

About Telefonica de Argentina S.A.

Telefonica de Argentina Inc. provides telecommunications, data
transmission and Internet services in Argentina.

As of December 31, 2003, Telefonica's telephone system had
approximately 4.2 million lines in service, or approximately
24.4 lines in service per 100 inhabitants of the southern
region. Approximately half of its network serves the greater
Buenos Aires metropolitan area.

CONTACT: Telefonica de Argentina S.A.
         Suipacha 150
         Piso 8
         Buenos Aires, 1008
         Argentina
         Phone: 54-11-4332-9200
         Web site: http://www.telefonica.com.ar


ZIRLAND S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 1 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared local company Zirland S.A. "Quiebra", relates La
Nacion. The court approved the bankruptcy petition filed by
Federacion de Obreros y Empleados de la Industria del Papel,
Carton y Quimicos, whom the Company has debts amounting to
US$3,459.89.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Nestor
Szwarcberg as trustee. Creditors are required to present proof
of their claims to Mr. Szwarcberg for verification by May 17.
Creditors who fail to submit the required documents by the said
date will not qualify for any post-liquidation distributions.

Clerk No. 2 assists the court on the case.

CONTACT: Zirland SA
         Ambrosetti 216
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Nestor Szwarcberg, Trustee
         Hipolito Irigoyen 1349
         Buenos Aires



===========
B E L I Z E
===========

* BELIZE: S&P Lowers Long-Term Ratings, Outlook Negative
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term foreign
currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CCC' from 'B-'.
Standard & Poor's also lowered its long-term local currency
sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CCC+' from 'B'. The short-
term foreign and local currency sovereign ratings have been
affirmed at 'C'. The outlook on the ratings remains negative.

According to Standard & Poor's credit analyst Olga Kalinina, the
downgrades and negative outlook reflect mounting liquidity
pressures that are exacerbated by Belize's impaired ability to
access external financing (both official and commercial) and the
government's worsening debt trajectory.

"The public sector's liquidity position is especially dire in
2005, hampered by massive amortization needs as compared to
available assets," said Mrs. Kalinina. "At the same time, access
to external financing is limited and Belize continues to suffer
from an unstable political environment," she added.

Belize's financing gap is estimated at US$504 million, or 560%
of usable reserves, for 2005. The country's financing needs
include covering the external current account of US$184 million,
public sector amortization payments of US$170 million (including
the US$79 million due for the repayment of notes arranged by the
Capital Markets Financial Services, Inc. in November 2004), and
estimated private sector financing needs of US$170 million.

Ms. Kalinina explained that the government's upward debt
trajectory has been difficult to reverse, due to persistent
fiscal slippages. External risk is further exacerbated by rising
oil prices, imminent price cuts for sugar and banana exports,
and inherent vulnerability to weather-related disasters.

The negative outlook reflects the increasing risk of default,
given Belize's tight external liquidity position and persistent
difficulties in securing much needed financing. While liquidity
pressures may subside over the next two years, the massive debt
burden will limit the sovereign's creditworthiness. "The ratings
may fall further if the government does not succeed in boosting
international reserves, including failure to receive expected
proceeds from the sale of Belize Telecommunication Limited
shares, or if the external imbalances increase pressure on the
Belizean peg," noted Mrs. Kalinina. "On the other hand, if the
government surmounts its liquidity crunch this year and takes
decisive effort to consolidate its fiscal position and stabilize
the political environment by addressing the issues of public
discontent (lack of transparency, poor financial management),
thereby restoring the confidence of the financial markets, the
outlook may be revised to stable," she concluded.

Primary Credit Analyst: Olga Kalinina, CFA, New York
(1) 212-438-7350; olga_kalinina@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Helena Hessel, New York
(1) 212-438-7349; helena_hessel@standardandpoors.com



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

FOSTER WHEELER: Awards Cash Bonus to Top Executives
---------------------------------------------------
Information on Cash Bonus Awards for 2004

On March 30, 2005, the Compensation Committee of the Board of
Directors of Foster Wheeler Ltd. approved cash bonus payments
for 2004 for its executive officers under the Foster Wheeler
Annual Incentive Plan for 2002 and Subsequent Years. The bonus
amounts for the Chief Executive Officer, the four other most
highly compensated executive officers of the Company at the end
of 2004, and one individual for whom disclosure would have been
provided but for the fact that such individual was not serving
as an executive officer at the end of 2004, is set forth in the
table below:

Officer                         Cash Bonus Amount
                               Awarded for 2004 Performance

R. J. Milchovich
Chairman, President & CEO      $ 1,333,667

B.H. Cherry
President & CEO
Foster Wheeler NorthAmerica Corp. $ 387,000

J. T. La Duc
Executive Vice President
& Chief Financial Officer   $ 173,500

B. K. Ferraioli
Vice President & Controller   $ 122,000

T. Desmaris
Vice President & Treasurer   $ 118,700

S.I. Weinstein
Former Deputy General Counsel
& VicePresident              $ 124,432  (1)

(1) Mr. Weinstein received his bonus in connection with his
termination under his Employment Agreement.

About Foster Wheeler

Foster Wheeler Ltd. classifies its operations in two business
groups, the Engineering and Construction Group (E&C Group) and
the Energy Group. The Company has substantial international
operations that are conducted through foreign and domestic
subsidiaries, as well as through agreements with foreign joint
venture partners. The Company had international operations
throughout the world, including operations in Europe, the Middle
East, Asia and South America

CONTACT: Foster Wheeler Ltd.
         Perryville Corporate Park
         Clinton, NJ 08809
         Phone: (908) 730-4000
         Fax: (908) 730-5315
         E-mail: fw@fwc.com
         Web Site: http://www.fwc.com


TRIMINGHAM BROTHERS: To Close Doors in July
-------------------------------------------
Embattled department store Trimingham Brothers Ltd. will close
its doors at the end of July, leaving 220 employees without
jobs, reports Royal Gazette.

But while many of its departments will close with it, the 163-
year old store's legal counsel Wendell Hollis said more
profitable departments are being sought after by competitors.

The cosmetics department is one area where Trimingham's has held
a virtual monopoly. The Royal Gazette understands that three of
the larger remaining retailers on the Island are all vying to
take over the lines, which include Estee Lauder and its sister
company Clinique, as well as its subsidiary MAC.

"There will be an ongoing cosmetics business in Bermuda and it
is just a question of who is going to have it," he said.

Negotiations with interested parties were continuing, but
nothing had been finalized yet, Hollins said.

Trimingham Brothers president Lawrence Trimingham announced the
store's planned closure last month in a press release.

"Having served the Bermuda community as a retail headquarters
since 1842, the company has decided to bring to a conclusion the
business enterprise over the next few months."

"Factors in this decision are changing buying patterns and the
changing Bermuda economy. In detail, these include the decline
in tourist spending on the island; the ever expanding retail
market in the United States; the ease of travel making it more
and more attractive for Bermudians to shop overseas and the
rising cost of doing business in Bermuda. These are all
challenges confronting the local industry and are basic reasons
why the shareholders have decided to exit the retail business."



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

BANCO BRADESCO: To Pay Interest on Capital on May 2
---------------------------------------------------
Banco Bradesco Executive Vice President and Investor Relations
Director Jose Luiz Acar Pedro informed the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission of the Company's decision to pay interest on
its own capital for April.

The letter, dated April 1, 2005, follows:

Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of International Corporate Finance
Division of Corporate Finance
Washington, DC

Ref.: Payment of Monthly Interest on Own Capital

Dear Sirs,

The Board of Directors of this Bank, in a meeting held as of
[Friday], approved the proposal submitted by the Board of
Executive Officers to pay to the Company's stockholders,
pursuant to the Corporate By-laws and legal provisions, of
interest on own capital related to the month of April/2005, in
the amount of R$0.057000 per common stock and R$0.062700 per
preferred stock, benefiting the stockholders registered in the
Company's records on this date (April 1st, 2005).

The payment will be made on May 2nd, 2005, at the net amount of
R$0.048450 per common stock and R$0.053295 per preferred stock,
after deduction of Withholding Income Tax of fifteen percent
(15%), except for the legal entity stockholders that are exempt
from such taxation, which will receive for the declared amount.

The respective Interests will be computed, net of Withholding
Income Tax, in the calculation of the mandatory dividends for
the year as provided in the Corporate By-Laws.

The Interests relating to the stocks under custody at CBLC -
Brazilian Company and Depository Corporation will be paid to
CBLC that will transfer to the stockholders through the
depository Brokers.

CONTACT: Banco Bradesco S.A.
         Prodio Novo
         Cidade de Deus
         S/N, Osasco
         Sao Paulo, 06029-900
         Brazil
         Phone: 55-11-3684-9229
         Web site: http://www.bradesco.com.br


NET SERVICOS: To Deploy Advanced Broadband Services W/ Motorola
---------------------------------------------------------------
Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced Tuesday that it has been
selected by NET Servicos de Comunicacao to provide BSR 64000
CMTS/edge routers that will serve as the foundation for enhanced
IP services, including voice, throughout Brazil. The initiative
marks NET Servicos' first expansion into IP-based voice
services, and the first step on a path toward unifying the
company's wireless and switched network assets on an IP
platform.

Motorola will provide both network infrastructure and consumer
premise equipment, including cable modems with integrated
telephony and wireless features for the upgrade. The Motorola
BSR 64000 will provide scalability and redundancy as NET expands
its network with voice and high-speed data offerings. NET
Servicos will deploy 11 Motorola BSR 64000 units, leveraging the
product's redundancy features to permit "always on" availability
and density to accommodate future growth in subscribers and the
addition of VoIP services.

NET Servicos will deploy the Motorola SBV5120 modem, which will
allow subscribers to easily experience Internet voice and high-
speed data services from a single device. Additionally the
operator will offer the Motorola SBG900, offering an integrated
802.11g wireless access point and a cable modem into a single
unit. The products will be implemented as part of field trials
of VoIP and Wi-Fi services throughout Brazil.

For NET Servicos' Product and Marketing Director, Ciro Kawamura,
this partnership is very important for the future of the
company's business. "The subscriber base of our High Speed
Internet services, Virtua, has been growing at a high rate and
having next generation infrastructure and CPE will allow us to
offer a multitude of services beyond broadband data," said the
executive.

"As Brazil's largest cable operator, NET Servicos must
continually adapt and build into its system the capacity and
flexibility to accommodate future growth," said G. Bickley
Remmey, vice president and region management - Motorola Latin
America. "Motorola is both honored and excited to be selected as
the supplier of the infrastructure components that will allow
NET Servicos to address these issues and provide its subscribers
with the advanced IP services."

About the Motorola BSR 64000

The carrier-class Motorola BSR 64000 CMTS/edge router allows
broadband providers to rapidly introduce reliable data, voice
and multimedia services for both corporate and residential
subscribers, as well as deliver QoS levels end-to-end from the
network edge to the network core. Its high-density design --
based on centralized routing and distributed filtering and
forwarding -- provides the benefits of simple and scalable
performance. The BSR 64000 is DOCSIS(R) 2.0, PacketCable(TM)
1.1, and Euro-DOCSIS 1.1 qualified.

About the Motorola SBG900

Designed to provide a simple way for broadband users to
experience a wireless network in their home, the SBG900
integrates an 802.11g wireless access point, a DOCSIS(R) 2.0-
certified cable modem, and advanced security options - all into
a single, easy-to-operate unit.

About the Motorola SBV5120

The Motorola SBV5120 is the newest member of Motorola's family
of telephony cable modems, providing an integrated solution for
voice telephony services and high-speed Internet access. The
product combines a multimedia telephony adapter with a
PacketCable(TM)-based cable modem which was recently certified
for DOCSIS(R) 2.0 and 1.1 (CW28), and Euro-DOCSIS 2.0.

The Motorola SBV5120 allows consumers to use their existing home
telephone wiring to power two lines of voice service, and
supports all class features including:

-- Basic call functionality
    -- Three-way calling
    -- Caller ID
    -- Call forwarding
    -- Voicemail messaging
    -- Optional battery back-up

About NET Servicos de Comunicacao

NET Servicos is the largest pay TV operator in Latin America and
the largest Cable high speed Internet provider in Brazil.
Present in 44 cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo
Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Brasilia, Florianopolis and
Goiania, the company covers metropolitan areas responsible for
45% of the country's GDP.

Its pay TV services (NET), with more than 1.4 million
subscribers, available in analog and digital, has the widest
channel line-up in the country, being the only one to offer
simultaneously HBO and Telecine channels.

Its high speed Internet services (Virtua), with more than 180
thousand subscribers, is the only one in the country to offer
the Double Flash technology, that guarantees the end user the
same speed both in the downstream and in the upstream.

NET Servicos was the only private company to receive the UNESCO
award in 2004, for its Community relations program, NET
Educacao. The project supports teachers' continuous education
aiming to improve the quality of the public school system and
reaches more than 1800 schools in the country.

With 3.218 employees, the company deploys an HFC network that
extends for over 35 thousand kilometers, covering more than 6.5
million homes passed, which represents 1/3 of the A/B class
households in the country.

CONTACT:  Motorola, Inc./Publicom Assessoria de Comunicacao,
          Luciana Vedovato
          Tel: +55 11 3030-5000
          E-mail: Luciana.vedovato@motorola.com

          Paul Alfieri
          Tel: +1-609-575-8835 (on site at NCTA 2005)
               +1-215-323-1804,
          E-mail: paul.alfieri@motorola.com

          NET Servicos de Comunicacao
          Adriana Duarte
          Tel: +55- 11 5186 2799
          E-mail: aduarte@publicom.com.br

          Juliana Barbieri
          Tel: +55- 11 5186 2809
          E-mail: imprensa@netservicos.com.br

          Ewerton Nunes
          Tel: +55- 11 5186 2914
          E-mail: imprensa@netservicos.com.br


NII HOLDINGS: Upgrades Network With Harris' TRuepoint Technology
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS), a leading global provider of
wireless equipment and services, announced Tuesday that Nextel
Brazil, a division of NII Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NIHD)
(formerly known as Nextel International) has selected its next-
generation TRuepoint(TM) digital point-to-point radios to
deliver voice and data services for Nextel Brazil's cellular
network expansion, in addition to improving coverage within
existing networks.

"Our decision to select Harris' TRuepoint radios was based on
both performance and Harris' track record of customer service,"
said Dushyant Gandhi, vice president and chief technical officer
of Nextel Brazil. "TRuepoint's higher capacity and greater
frequency range offers us the flexibility we need to extend our
reach to even the most remote locations. In addition, Harris'
responsive support allows us to quickly augment our network and
reap the benefits of the TRuepoint platform."

As a global partner of Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:
NXTL), Harris has worked extensively with the carrier to
install, engineer, manage and support its global network in
markets around the world. In 1999, the Harris Microwave
Communications Division signed a strategic relationship
agreement with NII to support the delivery of digital wireless
communications across its managed properties in Latin America.
Harris Microwave has since served as the primary supplier of
microwave radio to NII in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

For this project, Nextel Brazil and Harris are working together
to deploy TRuepoint 5000 radios across the entire Nextel Brazil
network. While Nextel Brazil will be operating the TRuepoint on
a PDH platform, the radio's SDH interface provides the option of
migrating to a higher capacity capable of handling greater
communication streams.

The TRuepoint radios will be used alongside Nextel Brazil's
existing Harris network, which is comprised of the Microstar(R)
and Megastar(R) digital point-to-point radios and the NetBoss(R)
network management platform. Combined, these products ensure a
fully functional and cost-effective backhaul network capable of
delivering voice and data communications to Nextel's subscribers
in the region.

"We're proud to have maintained such a strong relationship with
Nextel Brazil," said Juan Diaz, Latin America managing director
of Harris Microwave Communications Division. "Nextel Brazil's
dedication to provide reliable cellular communications to their
subscribers matches our dedication to provide superior products
and services to the wireless industry."

About TRuepoint(TM)

TRuepoint(TM) leads the wireless backhaul industry in terms of
both performance and manageability. Its modular, software-
selectable architecture is able to seamlessly switch between PDH
and SDH applications, enabling service providers to use a
universal platform to deliver multiple applications throughout
their networks. Designed specifically to deliver point-to-point
wireless service, TRuepoint can deliver service from 4 to 180
Mbps at frequencies ranging from 6 to 38 GHz. In addition,
service providers can completely manage TRuepoint deployments
remotely, with SNMP-based management. Built in diagnostics and
performance management are also available.

About Harris Microwave Communications Division

Harris Microwave Communications Division, one of four divisions
within Harris Corporation, is the largest supplier of microwave
systems in North America and a leading supplier worldwide.
Harris Corporation is an international communications technology
company focused on providing assured communications(TM)
products, systems and services for government and commercial
customers. The company's four operating divisions serve markets
for government communications, tactical radio, broadcast,
microwave, and network support systems. Harris provides systems
and service to customers in more than 150 countries.

About NII Holdings

NII Holdings, Inc., a publicly held company based in Reston,
Va., is a leading provider of mobile communications for business
customers in Latin America. NII Holdings, Inc. has operations in
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, offering a fully integrated
wireless communications tool with digital cellular service,
text/numeric paging, wireless Internet access and International
Direct Connect(SM) an extension of Direct Connect(SM), a radio
feature that allows Nextel subscribers to communicate instantly
and across national borders. NII Holdings, Inc. trades on the
NASDAQ market under the symbol NIHD.

CONTACT: NII Holdings, Inc.
         10700 Parkridge Blvd.
         Suite 600
         Reston, VA 20191
         USA
         Phone: 703-390-5100
         Web site: http://www.nextelinternational.com


PRIDE INTERNATIONAL: Moody's Affirms Ratings
--------------------------------------------
Approximately $1.3 Billion of Rated Debt Securities and Secured
Bank Facilities Affected

Moody's affirmed Pride International's SGL-2 liquidity rating
and its Ba1 senior implied, Ba1 senior secured bank debt, and
Ba2 senior unsecured note ratings. The rating outlook is moved
to stable from negative due to substantially improving adjusted
leverage, strong improving offshore drilling sector
fundamentals, and good liquidity. Fundamental trends are
positive.

After slow up-cycle offshore drilling gains, major day rate
gains began to crystallize in second half 2004, appearing to
have momentum into 2006 and improving the odds of credit
strengthening into 2006. A sound improving cash flow outlook,
significant debt reduction to date this year, pending conversion
of up to $300 million of convertible debt to equity, and
expected further 2005 debt reduction are tangible gains.

Ongoing balance sheet firming and expected cash flow strength
into 2006 counterbalance our long-standing concern with Pride's
decentralized and manually-intensive accounting systems and
controls. Pride is moving aggressively to fix its these problems
as it emerges from several strategic and tactical business and
funding decisions that inflicted far more damage, in our belief,
than did Pride's reported accounting and controls weaknesses.
Pride's prior inconsistent business judgment and stewardship of
capital, of which Pride's accounting weaknesses remain
symptomatic, deferred Pride's deleveraging process by two to
three years.

While fundamental gains justify a move up to stable outlook, we
do not see further rating gains until Pride receives third party
validation that it has gained adequate control over internal
accounting systems, controls, and reporting, and substantially
further reduces adjusted debt and lease-adjusted debt.

The affirmed SGL-2 rating is a composite result of (1) good cash
flow and internal cash cover over the four quarters ending March
31, 2006 of all scheduled debt service, working capital needs,
and scheduled capital outlays; (2) favorable cash flow trends
for the 2005- 2006 period; (3) very good undrawn back-up bank
revolver liquidity; (4) very good bank covenant coverage; and
(5) adequate alternative liquidity.

The affirmed SGL-2 liquidity rating reflects our view that
liquidity remains good overall now that Pride has filed its
delayed 2004 10-K. Though delayed, it was filed within the 90
day limit required by its debt agreements, avoiding the need for
debt holder consents.

Moody's expects 2005 EBITDA in the range of $490 million to $540
million ($530 million to $580 million of EBITDAR). Given its
current drilling contract portfolio, the rising markets in which
its spot market rigs are operating, the rising markets into
which its handful of maturing contracted rigs will likely win
higher dayrates, and just over $40 million of balance sheet
cash, we believe that internal cash sources provide good cover
of an expected roughly $364 million of identified 2005 pre-tax
outlays ($424 million after a high roughly $60 million of cash
taxes).

In 2005, we currently expect roughly $85 million in cash
interest expense, $40 million in new working capital needs, $185
million of capital spending, approximately $54 million of debt
maturities, and roughly $60 million in cash taxes. Major working
capital gains were made in 2004, freeing up substantial fourth
quarter 2004 cash for debt reduction, though the durability of
those gains will need to be affirmed in 2005.

Regarding Pride's bank covenant cover and access to its undrawn
$500 million bank revolver, Pride filed its delayed 2004 10-K
last week within 90 days after year-end as required by its debt
agreements. Given $465 million of undrawn revolver availability
(after letters of credit) and expected strong quarterly covenant
cover, revolver cover and access are both deemed to be very
good. The Interest Covenant test had already been reduced to
2.50:1 from 3.25:1, as defined. In the forecast period, Pride
does not appear to fall below 4.80:1 (first quarter 2005) and
improves from there. The Debt/EBITDA test had been increased to
5.50:1 from 4.50:1. Pride does not appear to exceed 3.33:1
(first quarter 2005) and falls from there.

Moody's views Pride's alternative liquidity to be adequate.
While the $500 million bank revolver and $280 million secured
bank term loan (expected to have been quite materially reduced
in first quarter 2005) are secured by 26 GOM jack-up drilling
rigs and 2 semi-submersible rigs, the unencumbered asset base is
large and valuable. The unencumbered base includes unencumbered
international accounts receivable, Pride's very large South
American land rig business, and several unencumbered offshore
rigs. In December 2004, the Company fully repaid the loans
collateralized by the Pride Carlos Walter and Pride Brazil, two
dynamically-positioned, deepwater semi-submersibles that are now
unencumbered.

Moody's estimates that Pride has already reduced balance sheet
debt significantly from its $1.735 billion at year-end 2004
level. Pride has likely already delivered significant debt
reduction this year and will likely deliver in the range of
another $500 million to $550 million of 2005 debt reduction from
March 31, 2005 levels. We expect year-end 2005 balance sheet
debt to approach $1.2 billion. In is important for balance sheet
debt to decline since adjusted debt is another $341 million
higher, including the non-recourse debt at strategic 30% owned
Petrodrill. Given roughly $38 million of expected 2005 operating
lease expense, lease-adjusted debt would be higher still.

Pride's 2004 asset sales and important long-term financings and
refinancings of short-dated debt maturities in 2004 considerably
bolstered liquidity. Prior management had executed a large
series of low-coupon convertible debt issues containing short
dated puts if conversion to common equity did not occur within
specified dates. Pride's equity price did not reach the levels
expected by management at the time and the maturing debt puts
significantly reduced liquidity until refinanced long term.

Further 2005 debt reduction should come from a combination of
$40 million in first quarter 2005 assets sale proceeds (the 250
foot jack-up Pride Ohio, operating in the Middle East), the
pending April 2005 conversion of up to $300 million of
convertible debt to equity, another possible $70 million from
pending 2005 asset sales, and an expected $100 million to $200
million of 2005 free cash flow.

The affirmation of the Ba1 and Ba2 debt ratings reflect a number
of factors. These include expected favorable 2005-2006 cash flow
trends on rising pricing power in most of Pride's world markets;
significant adjusted debt reduction already and further 2005
reduction expected; a potentially significant 2006 cash flow
increase as existing drilling contracts rollover into likely
higher dayrates; a large rig portfolio containing 13 high
specification rigs of young age; very substantial rig portfolio
diversification across rig classes, petroleum basins, foreign
fiscal regimes, onshore and offshore activity, and by water
depth; and relative cash flow downside protection through 2006
due to a substantial 30% of revenue and 50% of gross margin
generated under existing drilling contracts. Adjusted debt,
including the full $341 million of 30% owned Petrodrill debt, is
now the lowest in four years and should move lower as the year
progresses.

Moody's has always assumed Pride would one day acquire from its
Brazilian partner the 70% of Petrodrill it does not already own
when it becomes clear the Pride Portland and Pride Rio de
Janeiro will be cash producing assets by winning drilling
contracts from Petrobras. The rigs were designed to meet
Petrobras' needs offshore Brazil but construction delays,
Petrobras' cancellation of the original contracts that induced
Pride/Petrodrill to build the two rigs, and the fact that the
Brazilian partner is suing Petrobras have complicated the
situation. The Petrodrill partners must cover $45 million of
annual debt service, pro-rata, and cover their shares of
operating costs (currently roughly $1 million per month per rig)
when the rigs are not under contract.

The debt ratings remain constrained by still significant
adjusted leverage; the highly cyclical nature of the contract
drilling business; its accounting and controls deficiencies and
uncertain impact on reported results; the fact that a
substantial amount of Pride's activity is sensitive to the
annual capital spending appropriations of emerging market
national oil companies (the two largest customers are Pemex and
Petrobras); and Pride's direct and implicit strategic exposure
to debt service and operating cost support for its two new semi-
submersible rigs (the Pride Portland and Pride Rio de Janeiro)
at the strategic Petrodrill joint venture.

The ratings are also restrained by: risk of working capital
increases; the risk of significant unscheduled rig down time;
and risk concentration in its large Mexican contract drilling
portfolio. However, 2005 Mexican contract risk appears to be low
since PEMEX announced a 10% boost in its 2005 capital spending
and will maintain at least the same number of rigs under
contract in 2005 as in 2004.

In its annual report on Form 10-K, Pride reported that it had
material weaknesses in its internal control over financial
reporting and that it was restating its financial statements due
to numerous accounting errors impacting periods from 1999 to
2004. While Pride's accounting weaknesses must be corrected, the
direct cash and income impact is small so far, netting to only a
$600,000 income understatement over the last six years. Income
was understated by $1.3 million in 2004, $2.5 million in 2003,
and $800,000 in 2002, and overstated a combined $4 million in
the 1999 through 2001.



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

* HONDURAS: IMF Supports $556M Debt Relief
------------------------------------------
The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) and
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed this week that
Honduras has taken the necessary steps to reach its completion
point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
Debt Initiative. Honduras is the 16th country to reach its
completion point under the enhanced framework of the HIPC Debt
Initiative, joining Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia,
Ghana, Guyana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique,
Nicaragua, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Debt Initiative from all of
Honduras' creditors will surpass US$1 billion over time (or
US$556 million in net present value (NPV) terms as of the end of
1999 (2)). IDA will provide debt relief under the enhanced HIPC
Debt Initiative amounting to US$98 million in NPV terms
(approximately US$118.9 million in debt service relief) to be
delivered from 2000 through 2012. The IMF will provide debt
relief of SDR 22.66 million (equivalent to US$30.3 million) in
NPV terms on payments falling due to the IMF during 2001-07. The
remaining bilateral and multilateral creditors are also expected
to provide their share of relief required under the enhanced
HIPC Initiative. Debt relief, together with bilateral assistance
beyond HIPC relief, is estimated to have reduced Honduras' debt-
to-export ratio to 92.5 percent and its debt-to-government
revenue ratio to 188 percent in 2003. Those levels are 58
percentage points and 62 percentage points, respectively, below
the HIPC thresholds.

The World Bank's Director for Central America, Jane Armitage,
praised the authorities' efforts in reaching the HIPC completion
point and indicated that "the HIPC completion point is an
important achievement for Honduras, reflecting major and
sustained reform efforts over several years.  The resulting debt
relief removes a huge obstacle from the road to faster growth
and development, and is an important part of a larger effort to
reduce poverty in the coming years."

"HIPC completion represents a milestone in Honduras' journey to
achieving rapid and sustainable growth and reducing poverty. It
is the result of the authorities' efforts to build strong
domestic ownership of the economic program. The challenge now is
to persevere in the implementation of sound policies to ensure
that Honduras' potential for sustained higher growth and further
social progress is realized," said Mr. Markus Rodlauer, Senior
Advisor of the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF.

Resources made available by debt relief provided under the HIPC
Initiative are being allocated to fund key pro-poor growth
programs, as outlined in Honduras' Poverty Reduction Strategy
Paper (PRSP). Honduras' PRSP is the result of broad-based
consultations and presents the government's objectives and
priority measures for reducing poverty.

Background

Honduras' performance under the program supported by the Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility has been satisfactory. In 2004
growth accelerated to about 5 percent on the back of a broad-
based recovery, while inflation stabilized after drifting up
during most of the year due to high oil prices. The external
position improved significantly, owing to the strong growth in
remittances and capital inflows. These achievements were helped
by the authorities' efforts to summon social consensus, which
made it possible to address challenging policy issues.
Nevertheless, achieving sustained growth and significant poverty
reduction will hinge on maintaining a sound fiscal policy
framework and further implementing growth-inducing policies.

Honduras has also made significant progress in implementing its
PRSP.  This has contributed to the decline of extreme poverty to
44.6 percent in 2004 (from 49 percent in 2000), while overall
poverty declined more modestly by two percentage points (to 64
percent) during this period. Secondary education indicators have
improved, as have the infrastructure coverage indicators in
electricity and sanitation services; however, advances in
primary education and access to water have been slower than
envisaged.  Overall, despite the early success in implementing
the PRSP, further efforts are needed to achieve the PRSP targets
and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The authorities have satisfactorily met their poverty spending
targets. Total PRSP spending (adjusted for hurricane Mitch-
related programs) increased by a cumulative total of US$476.2
million since 2000, of which about half (US$236.5 million) was
financed through interim HIPC relief. In addition, the
government has made significant improvements in its public
expenditure management system, including the full automation of
poverty-spending tracking.

To view related documents:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Honduras.htm

CONTACT: In Washington:
         Ms. Amy Stilwell
         Phone:(202) 458-4906
         E-mail: Astilwell@worldbank.org

         In Tegucigalpa:
         Ms. Maria Amalia San Martin
         Phone:(504) 239-4551
         E-mail: Msanmartin@worldbank.org



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

BALLY TOTAL: Amends Credit Agreement
------------------------------------
Bally Total Fitness announced Tuesday that it has secured an
amendment and waiver to its existing credit agreement with its
revolving credit and term loan lenders. The amendment provides
the Company with additional covenant flexibility by exempting
from the calculation of various financial covenants certain
costs incurred by Bally Total Fitness in connection with the SEC
and Department of Justice investigations and other matters. The
amendment also waives certain technical defaults, which
generally relate to delivery of financial information and
perfection of leasehold mortgages. A copy of the amendment and
waiver will be included in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be
filed by the Company.

Conference Call

Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation (NYSE:BFT), North
America's leader of health and fitness products and services,
also announced that it will host a teleconference call for
investors and members of the financial community on April 12,
2005 at 4:00 p.m., Central Standard Time. The purpose of this
call will be to provide investors with a financial and
operational update. In order to participate, dial (877) 209-
0397, international (612) 332-1025, at least 15 minutes before
the start of the call and use ID Code "Bally Total Fitness". The
call will also be webcast at Bally's website,
www.ballyfitness.com. An archived version of the call will be
available until April 27, 2005.

About Bally Total Fitness

Bally Total Fitness is the largest and only nationwide
commercial operator of fitness centers, with approximately four
million members and 440 facilities located in 29 states, Mexico,
Canada, Korea, China and the Caribbean under the Bally Total
Fitness(R), Crunch Fitness(SM), Gorilla Sports(SM), Pinnacle
Fitness(R), Bally Sports Clubs(R) and Sports Clubs of Canada(R)
brands. With an estimated 150 million annual visits to its
clubs, Bally offers a unique platform for distribution of a wide
range of products and services targeted to active, fitness-
conscious adult consumers.

CONTACT: Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation
         Mr. Jon Harris
         Phone: 773-864-6850
         Web site: www.BallyFitness.com


HYLSAMEX: Alfa Delays Completion of Spin-off
--------------------------------------------
Mexican steel and industrial conglomerate Grupo Alfa (BMV:
ALFAA) will delay spinning off the remaining 51% of its steel
unit Hylsamex SA to shareholders.

Alfa, which spun off 39% of its 90% stake in Hylsamex over a
year ago, had planned to complete the spin-off in the first
quarter of this year. But a rebound in steel prices has led
several steel companies to approach Alfa with the idea of buying
Hylsamex or merging it into their own operations.

Four foreign and two Mexican companies have begun "serious"
talks to purchase all of Hylsamex in recent months, Alfa chief
executive, Dionisio Garza, told journalists following the
Company's annual shareholder's meeting.

"Therefore, time is needed to finalize the analysis of all the
options Alfa has and determine which is the one that creates
most value for Alfa shareholders as well as Hylsamex
shareholders," the Company said.

The extension of the completion, which will be submitted to a
special shareholders meeting, won't go beyond December of this
year, the Company said.

Monterrey, Mexico-based Hylsamex had net income of MXN6.18
billion (US$554 million) in 2004, turning around a loss of
MXN878 million the previous year after the unit's average steel
price rose 40%.

CONTACT: Mr. Othon Diaz Del Guante
         Phone: +(52) 81-8865-1240
         E-mail: odiaz@hylsamex.com.mx

         Mr. Ismael De La Garza
         Phone: +(52) 81-8865-1224
         E-mail: idelagarza@hylsamex.com.mx

         Mr. Kevin Kirkeby
         Phone: +(646) 284-9416
         E-mail: kkirkeby@hfgcg.com


VITRO: Remains in the Red With $1M Net Loss in 2004
---------------------------------------------------
CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Net Sales

In 2004 our consolidated net sales were US$2,272 million, a 1.5
percent increase over 2003. On a comparable basis-excluding
companies divested in 2003 and 2004-our sales grew 4.4 percent.

During the year, our three core businesses' sales grew as a
result of greater economic activity in Mexico and overseas, as
well as higher acceptance of our new products in the markets
where we participate.

On a comparable basis, our flat-glass unit's sales increased 4.2
percent compared with 2003. This increase resulted from 24
percent growth in export sales and significantly increased sales
from our flat-glass and autoglass subsidiary in the United
States. In terms of volume, our flat-glass business increased
the number of reduced square meters sold by 19.8% in 2004.

Our glass-containers business' sales increased 4.7 percent-on a
comparable basis-due to increased sales of our beer and wine and
liquor segments, as well as the excellent acceptance of the
quality and price of our cosmetics containers in the markets
abroad.

These segments' sales increases were not reflected in this
business' total results because of decreased sales in the soft-
drinks segment, which decline was mainly due to the introduction
of new brands in the domestic market and the effect of PET
substitution on some bottle presentations. In 2004 our domestic
and export volumes increased 8.3 percent and 2.5 percent,
respectively.

Similarly, on a comparable basis, our glassware business sales
increased 5 percent compared with 2003. This increase was mainly
due to export sales growth in the commercial segment, as well as
higher sales to the candle segment.

Operating Income

For 2004, our consolidated EBIT and EBITDA decreased 17.7
percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, compared with 2003. On a
comparable basis-excluding companies divested in 2003 and 2004
(see Strategic Divestitures)-our EBIT decreased 10.7 percent,
from US$145 million in 2003 to US$129 million in 2004, and our
EBITDA increased 2.5 percent, from US$335 in 2003 to US$344
million in 2004.

The decrease in EBIT was mainly due to an increase in energy
prices, which we partially mitigated through our price-hedging
strategy and our pet-coke conversion project in the Monterrey
flat-glass and glass-container furnaces.

Also, consistent with glass-container industry practices, in
2004 we modified our depreciation and capitalization policy for
molds, reducing their useful life from eight to three years.
This change generated an additional depreciation charge of
approximately US$11 million. It further produced a
capitalization of approximately US$5 million, which represented
a credit in the company's results.

Despite high energy costs, our glass-containers business' EBITDA
rose more than 14 percent on a comparable basis; the above-
mentioned sales increase contributed to plant efficiency and
furnace utilization, allowing for a higher fixed-cost
absorption. Our flat-glass and glassware businesses' EBITDA
decreased 1 percent and 29 percent, respectively. In addition to
high energy costs, our glassware business' EBITDA was impacted
by increased packaging and transportation costs.

Total Financing Cost

Our total financing cost decreased US$58 million to US$119
million in 2004, compared with US$177 million in 2003. The
decrease was due to a lower exchange loss in 2004-from US$67
million in 2003 to US$5 million in 2004-as a result of the
Mexican peso's revaluation in 2004, compared with the
devaluation in 2003. This loss did not represent a cash outflow.

Results of Operations

Despite our lower total financing cost and taxes, higher energy
costs and the other above-mentioned factors produced a net loss
of US$1 million in 2004, compared with the US$34 million net
loss recorded in 2003.

Capital Expenditures

In 2004 our capital expenditures totaled US$126 million, less
than the US$160 million expended in 2003. Throughout the year,
we invested mainly in converting some of our furnaces to use
alternative fuels; expanding our position as a distributor and
processor of flat glass in Spain and Portugal; implementing new
platforms and automating some automotive-segment processes;
installing a new bottle production line for the cosmetics
industry in response to this sector's growing demand; and the
previous investments for repairing flat-glass VF1 furnace,
scheduled for 2005.

Consolidated Financial Position

As of December 31, 2004, our debt was US$1,507 million, compared
with US$1,409 million at year-end 2003. Net from cash at year-
end, our net debt1 at year-end 2004 was US$1,227-US$21 million
less than the US$1,248 million at year-end 2003.

For the second year in a row, there was significant improvement
in the company's debt profile, including:

(i) a reduction in short-term debt to total debt of from 28
percent at year-end 2003 to 19 percent at year-end 2004, a
decrease of US$107 million;

(ii) approximately 70 percent of the debt maturities in 2006
belong to our operating companies;

(iii) our percentage of dollar debt increased from 61 percent at
year-end 2003 to 80 percent at year-end 2004, which justifies
better debt service on our dollar flows.

Over the last 18 months, we have successfully accessed domestic
and international capital markets for nearly US$1 billion,
including:

- In April 2004, our glassware business obtained a syndicated
bank credit for US$75 million-with partial maturity dates up to
2009-refinancing almost 90 percent of its debt.

- In July 2004, our glass-containers business placed guaranteed
non-subordinated bonds in the United States for US$170 million,
maturing in 2011. Also, in September 2004, it obtained a US$230
million guaranteed credit for two years. Both credits were used
to pay bank and inter-company debt.

Furthermore, several times during 2004 we successfully issued
short-term notes (Certificados Burs tiles) through the Mexican
Stock Exchange.

Subsequent Events

On February 7, 2005, our glass-containers business unit
successfully issued guaranteed non-subordinated notes in the
United States for US$80 million, maturing in 2011. This issuance
is a reopening of the notes issued in July 2004, which also were
well accepted by investors.

On February 24, 2005, our glass-containers business unit
obtained a syndicated guaranteed credit for US$150 million, with
a five-year maturity.

The amount received through these credits was used to pay the
credit obtained in September 2004, reducing our debt costs and
increasing the average life of our debt from 3.8 years to
approximately 4.4 years.

Strategic Divestitures

In line with our goal of being a company that is 100 percent
focused on manufacturing, packaging, and distributing glass
products, we have divested the following three non-glass
companies over the last 18 months. Thus, except for one small
business, we have accomplished our goal.

- Envases Cuautitlan, S.A. de C.V.- In September 2003, we sold
our shares of Envases Cuautitl n, S.A. de C.V. (ECSA) to Grupo
Phoenix Capital Ltd. for approximately US$18 million. ECSA is a
manufacturer and distributor of plastic containers.

- Vitro Fibras, S.A.- In March 2004, we sold our shares of Vitro
Fibras, S.A. to Owens Corning Inc. for approximately US$71.5
million. Vitro Fibras is a manufacturer and distributor of
thermal isolators and plastic supports.

- Vitro American National Can, S.A. de C.V. (Vancan)- In
September 2004, we sold our shares of Vancan to Rexam Inc. for
approximately US$26.5 million. Vancan is a manufacturer and
distributor of aluminum containers.

Corporate Governance

At Vitro, we are committed to the highest standards of corporate
governance. Among other initiatives, our Board's Audit Committee
promoted the publication of our Code of Business Conduct and
Professional Ethics to ensure the code was fully understood and
implemented by our staff in Mexico and the rest of the world.

Likewise, it approved a Protected Witness Complaint System and a
Direct Line to allow any employee to make anonymous and
confidential complaints, regarding violations of our Code or any
other issue related to internal control, auditing, accounting,
and asset valuation. Additionally, we carried out a strict
follow up of the internal control certification process, which
we are compelled to report in our 2005 Annual Report in
accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Similarly, our Compensation Committee approved annual salary
increases for all of our salaried employees; fixed compensation
increases for all executives, employees, and officers of the
company; and short-term variable compensation for all company
executives.

OPERATING & FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Economic Environment:

General

2004 was a year of moderate global economic growth. A majority
of the economic indicators for Mexico and the United States-our
two biggest markets-show that the economic slowdown suffered
since the end of 2000 is almost past.

In 2004 Mexico recorded GDP growth of 4.4 percent, more than
three times higher than 2003. Among other factors, U.S. economic
growth and the Mexican government's tight fiscal and monetary
policy contributed to Mexico's GDP growth in 2004.

The Mexican economy's recent dynamism reflects the progress of
the U.S. economic recovery. In the opinion of most economic
analysts, the U.S. recovery will continue into the foreseeable
future and should significantly affect employment indicators.

While helping the country to maintain low levels of inflation
and a manageable deficit, the Mexican government's current
fiscal and monetary policy has not provided the flexibility
necessary to provide additional support for Mexico's economy. As
a result, new investment and growth in aggregate purchasing
power have been marginal.

Several factors could further affect the growth of Mexico's
economy and its industrial sector. These factors include:

- The extent of the U.S. economic recovery and the participation
of Mexico's industrial sector in that recovery-at a time when
China's role as an exporter and a destination for foreign
investment is growing;

- The Mexican government's approval and implementation of fiscal
and other structural reforms, such as energy reform; and

- The political atmosphere surrounding the nomination process
for presidential candidates in the 2006 elections.

Despite these political and economic dynamics, we will continue
to focus on the factors within our control and position
ourselves to take full advantage of arising market
opportunities.

Exchange and Inflation Rates

More than half of our revenues come from foreign markets, either
as direct exports from Mexico or as sales from our foreign
subsidiaries. In addition, a significant part of our sales in
Mexico are either invoiced in or linked to U.S. dollars. Thus,
changes in the relative value of the currencies for which we
sell our products can impact our sales and operating margins.

In 2004 the Mexican peso experienced a nominal revaluation of
0.8 percent, compared with a nominal devaluation of 7.6 percent
in 2003. These exchange rate variations are reflected most in
our price and income levels.

About Vitro

Vitro, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VTO; BMV: VITROA), through its
subsidiary companies, is one of the world's leading glass
producers. The company focuses on three core businesses: flat
glass, glass containers, and glassware. Within these businesses,
Vitro's subsidiaries serve diverse product markets, including
construction and automotive glass; beverage, cosmetics, food,
liquor, and wine glass containers; and glassware for commercial,
industrial, and retail uses. Vitro also produces raw materials
and capital goods for the glass industry.

Founded in 1909, Monterrey, Mexico-based Vitro has strong joint
ventures and strategic alliances with major world-class partners
and industry leaders that provide its subsidiaries with access
to important international markets, distribution channels, and
state-of-the-art technology.

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

To view full report:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/VitroAnnual.pdf

CONTACT: Vitro, S.A. de C.V.
         Av. Ricardo Margain Zozaya 400
         Col. Valle del Campestre,
         66265 Garza Garcˇa,
         Nuevo Leon, Mexico
         Phone: (52) 81 8863 1200
         Web site: http://www.vitro.com



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

* PARAGUAY: World Bank Approves $28.2M Loan
-------------------------------------------
The World Bank approved Tuesday three loans for Paraguay for a
total of $28.2 million to support the country's financial sector
reform, and strengthen the Ministry of Finance's fiscal and
economic management capacity.

"These three projects will help consolidate the important
achievements the Government has attained, since it took office,
in stabilizing the economy and the financial sector," said Axel
van Trotsenburg, World Bank country director for Argentina,
Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

"Their implementation will ensure a solid base for future
economic growth by improving the regulatory system for the
financial sector and the managerial capacity of the key
institutions responsible for macroeconomic and financial
stability, namely the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank
of Paraguay."

These loans are an integral part of the World Bank's assistance
strategy for Paraguay, which supports fiscal and financial
reforms; improved governance and transparency in public
administration; sustained growth, particularly in the rural
areas where poverty is concentrated and deepest; and social
inclusion, to improve the coverage and efficiency of basic
social services to help Paraguay meet the Millennium Development
Goals.

Programmatic Financial Sector Adjustment Loan (PFSAL)

The $15 million Programmatic Financial Sector Adjustment Loan
(PFSAL) seeks to strengthen the financial condition of the
private and public banking sector in Paraguay in order to reduce
its vulnerability to future shocks and negative impacts on
economic growth, as well as increase the flow of credit for
domestic investment. This loan is the first in a three-phase
support program of $60 million.

"By supporting the PFSAL, we expect that savers, depositors and
productive enterprises will benefit from market-friendly and
modern approaches to managing the financial," said John Pollner,
World Bank task manager for the project. "This will include the
strengthening of capital and reserving requirements in the
banking system, the participation of banks in the orderly
disposition or purchase of assets from institutions with
inadequate solvency indicators, and the strengthening of
supervisory approaches and sanctioning powers to ensure prompt
and early corrective action when problems are detected."

For the banking system as a whole, the implementation of bank
resolution and deposit insurance schemes will protect the
smallest depositors with the least economic assets and ensure
prompt repayment of their deposits in the event of bank failures
while reducing the cost of bank bail-outs at taxpayers' expense.

The LIBOR-based fixed-spread US$15 million development policy
loan is repayable in 23 years, with a grace period of five
years.

Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project

The PFSAL will be accompanied by a $5.7 million Financial Sector
Technical Assistance Project, which will support the development
of institutional capacity to implement the financial sector
reforms and the modernization of the financial system.
Specifically, it will support the ongoing reform of the legal
framework for banking by strengthening the capacity of the
Superintendent of Banks to carry out its banking supervision
activities, and finance the modernization of its payments and
settlement systems. The project will strengthen the government's
capacity to encourage safe and sound financial intermediation,
manage weaknesses and stresses in the financial system, and
prevent crisis contagion effects through improvements in
regulation and supervision.

The LIBOR-based fixed-spread US$5.7 million technical assistance
loan is repayable in 23 years, with a grace period of five
years.

Modernization of the Ministry of Finance Project

The $7.5 million Modernization of the Ministry of Finance
Project will support the Ministry of Finance's efforts to
improve fiscal sustainability and quality of public expenditure
through the strengthening of its core functions and
responsibilities, and the improvement of internal administrative
and financial management systems. The project will focus on
budgeting, treasury and financial management, fiscal planning,
tax policy and debt management.

The project will integrate information technology to improve
information sharing and processing, as well as organizational
and procedural changes across the Ministry, such as accounting,
reporting and communication, IT, personnel management, and
procurement. The project will also introduce a transparency
unit, which will shift the incentives within the Ministry
through enhanced transparency and monitoring by civil society.

"There has been wide recognition that the government needs to
improve governance and transparency in public administration.
The Bank welcomes the efforts of the Ministry of Finance to
overhaul its internal control procedures, become more service-
oriented towards the public, and include a program of
professionalization of the civil service. This is an important
first step in making public administration more accountable and
efficient," said Roberto Panzardi, World Bank task manager for
the project.

As result of this reform the Ministry of Finance will be able to
track and monitor expenditures, provide reliable macroeconomic
and fiscal data and forecasting, reduce spending by
consolidating processes, and provide a framework for medium-term
budget planning.

The LIBOR-based fixed-spread US$7.5 million technical assistance
loan is repayable in 23 years, with a grace period of five
years.

CONTACT: In Asuncion
         Mr. Peter Hansen
         Phone:(595-21) 664-000
         E-mail: Phansen1@worldbank.org

         In Buenos Aires:
         Ms. Yanina Budkin
         Phone:(5411) 4316-9700
         E-mail: Ybudkin@worldbank.org

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



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

PLUNA: President Acknowledges Difficult Financial Situation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Uruguayan airline Pluna is in a very difficult financial
situation and is likely to file for bankruptcy, according to
airline president, Carlos Bouzas.

The executive plans to bring the airline's operations to an end
by month's end but he vowed to seek other alternatives to keep
its wings open.

Pluna is the only company that belongs to the state, Bouzas
said, noting that it has been in operation for already 70 years.



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

PDVSA: Rafael Urdaneta Licenses to Span 25 Years
------------------------------------------------
Licenses to be granted by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum
in the first phase of the Rafael Urdaneta Project will have a
term of 25 years, and the State interest through PDVSA will be
up to 35% once a statement of commerciability is made. Gas
volumes found in the area will be primarily used to meet the
local demand, and gas surplus will be exported. This
announcement was made by Minister of Energy and Petroleum, and
President of PDVSA Rafael Ramirez at the initial act of the
bidding process for the Rafael Urdaneta Project. Representatives
of 37 national and international corporations attended the
meeting.

Companies pre-selected will take part in this process, and will
receive a package of information containing the blocks' data,
license model, and basis for selection. In addition, the
companies will enter into a Confidentiality Agreement and sign a
Letter of Participation. Their right to participate will have a
cost of US$250,000. Buena Pro should be awarded by September
this year.

The Rafael Urdaneta Project consists of a total number of 29
blocks, out of which 18 blocks are located in Golfo de
Venezuela, and 11 in northeastern Falcon. In the aggregate, they
extend over an area of 30,000 Km 2 approximately.

Additionally, Ramirez informed that Petroleos de Venezuela could
engage into joint ventures with gas licensees that find oil
offshore in the blocks of Golfo de Venezuela and northeastern
Falcon. The license granting process was formally initiated
Monday this week, said Minister of Energy and Petroleum, and
President of PDVSA Rafael Ramirez.

The companies shall have a time period no longer than six (6)
months to prepare and submit a reservoir development offer to
the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for approval.

The Project areas involve low exploration risk, and have
geological characteristics that make them potentially rich in
hydrocarbons, besides the fact that they are close to reservoirs
which are currently under production. Blocks defined are found
in shallow waters, with oil infrastructure in the surrounding
areas.

Domestic gas demand is expected to grow leveraged by the
requirements of the oil, electrical power, and petrochemical
sectors -among others, as well as the needs of international
markets. In this context, the purpose of the Ministry of Energy
and Petroleum is to foster the development of the country's gas
potentiality in order to improve the life of Venezuelans, and
leverage the growth of the industrial sector, as provided under
the Organic Law of Gaseous Hydrocarbons, the National
Development Plan, and the National Gas Plan.

The Rafael Urdaneta Project objectives include finding gas to
meet domestic demand, to capture the area geological
information, and promote endogenous growth in western Venezuela.
Also, such effort constitutes an expansion of the business
opportunities offered by Trans-Guajira Gas Pipe Project, which
in the short term should allow the delivery of gas to Colombia
and Central America, where energy integration in under way with
the aim to foster sustainable growth in the sister nations of
this region.


PDVSA: Minister Asserts Citgo Will Not Go on the Auction Block
--------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela has ruled out the sale of Citgo Petroleum Corporation,
a U.S.-based subsidiary of state-run oil company Petroleos de
Venezuela SA (PDVSA), according to an eluniversal.com report.

Speaking to reporters, Minister of Energy and Petroleum Rafael
Ramirez said the government will not sell Citgo. Instead, it
will launch a restructuring of the unit's activities to make it
more efficient.

"We have said we are not going to sell Citgo; we have a very
strong presence in the US market," Ramirez said.

"We are not traders. We are a national company that produces
oil, and our aim is to make the most of this resource for the
benefit of the Venezuelan people," Ramirez added.

Ramirez's comments came a week after President Hugo Chavez said
he was reaffirming his plan to sell a stake in Citgo. At the
time, he said Citgo is not making enough profits for Venezuela
because of outdated supply contracts signed by former
presidents. He said his administration could sell up to 60% of
Citgo's assets.


PDVSA: Review Reveals 16 Operating Agreements Bring Losses
----------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez revealed Tuesday that out of the
33 operating service agreements it signed with private firms in
the 1990s, 16 brought losses for the Company, relates Dow Jones
Newswires.

"We have a group of 16 operating contracts that simply produce
losses for PdVSA," Ramirez said without naming any of the
companies that operate the high-cost fields.

In the 1990s, PDVSA awarded 33 operating service agreements to
private companies such as ChevronTexaco (CVX), BP PLC (BP),
Repsol YPF SA (REP), Total (TOT), Petrobras (PBR), Royal Dutch
Shell (RD, SC), and China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC.
Under these contracts, companies operate fields for a fee.

PdVSA is now carrying out a review of the 33 contracts.
According to Ramirez, it costs these firms up to US$18 a barrel
to pump oil out of the marginal fields, compared with US$4 a
barrel at PdVSA's low-cost fields.

Ramirez has said PdVSA will refuse to approve the budgets for
high-cost agreements, as it makes more sense to invest in
PdVSA's low-cost fields.

"We have a policy of simplifying these service contracts," he
said.

The review should be finished in around six months.

Meanwhile, the Seniat national tax office is also investigating
why a majority of the operating agreements claim losses. Only
10% of all 33 oil operation agreements have paid income taxes
this year, Tax Chief Jose Vielma Mora said Tuesday. The
remainder have declared no gains or have claimed losses during
the past fiscal year, he said.


* VENEZUELA: Fitch Expects to Rate 2025 Sovereign Bonds 'B+'
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, has assigned an
expected 'B+' rating to the Venezuela government bonds maturing
April 21, 2025. The issue is being marketed in Venezuela to be
purchased in local currency at the official exchange rate but
under New York law, with all coupon and principal payments in
U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity relative to similarly rated sovereigns.
The ratings are constrained by volatility in government revenues
because of heavy reliance on oil, concerns about willingness to
service debt, and about financial transparency. The Rating
Outlook is Stable.




                            ***********


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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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