TCRLA_Public/050408.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

           Friday, April 8, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 69

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: In Talks With Govt to Secure Concession
ALIMENTOS FARGO: Bimbo Won't Increase Stake
ARCO POLAR: To Hold Informative Assembly on June 17
BANCO DE LA CIUDAD: Moody's Assigns New Ratings
BUFFALO S.R.L.: Reorganization Concluded

CAPEX: Fitch Assigns CC(arg) Rating to Bonds
CLISA: Fitch Leaves Debenture Ratings Unchanged
CRESUD: Reduces Debt by US$247,204
INSTITUTO COGHLAN: Gets Court Approval for Reorganization
INSTITUTO OFTALMOLOGICO: Court OKs Bankruptcy Petition

IRSA: Noteholder Converts US$408,260 Debt to Shares
JECAR S.R.L.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
KATIL S.A.: Proceeds Toward Liquidation
MATERIALES CORDOBA: Debt Payments Halted, Moves to Reorganize
NEW CATERING: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call

PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Summary of Meeting Held March 31
PRESTACIONES ODONTOLOGICAS: Gets Court Approval for Liquidation
SALUD TOTAL: Court Resets Submission Dates
TRANSENER: Extends Debt Offer to April 15
VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Schedules Annual Stockholders' Meet May 10

* ARGENTINA: No Legal Basis to Avoid Settling Offer, Says NML


B E R M U D A

TRIMINGHAM BROTHERS: Begins Winding Down Process


B R A Z I L

CEMIG: Aneel Approves 23.88% Tariff Increase
CESP: Debt Sale Road Show to Start Mid-April
COPEL: Reports Changes in Shares Structure


C H I L E

COEUR D'ALENE: To Elect New Board at May 10 Annual Meeting


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Senate Passes DOP1.89 Bln Bond Issue Bill


J A M A I C A

DYOLL GROUP: Sale of Drax Hall Nears Conclusion


M E X I C O

GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Releases Ratings Report on AMC, Other Units
HYLSAMEX: To Pay Dividends Next Week
HYLSAMEX: Deutsche Ixe Cuts Alfa's Recommendation to Hold


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Earmarks $2.3B to Upgrade Refineries
PDVSA: Mulls New Debt Issuance to Finance 4-Yr Investment Plan
SIDOR: Launches Skin Pass Processing Line

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: In Talks With Govt to Secure Concession
---------------------------------------------------------
Negotiations on the future of Aguas Argentinas, a water & sewage
concessionaire 50 percent owned by the Suez Group of France,
have moved to discussions on the technical aspects of the
contract.

The development bodes well for the troubled utilities company
since a shift away from the political aspects of the concession
will enable Suez and the Argentine government to seek the best
solution for the Company's problems.

Local news source El Cronista reports that representatives from
both sides are eyeing a possible single adjustment to Aguas'
current tariffs of a little less than 40 percent to be
implemented next year. Aguas' earlier request for a 20 percent
tariff adjustments in 2005 and 2006 was turned down by the
government, which in turn made a counter-offer of a 16 to 20
percent adjustment only for 2005.

The Argentine government has threatened to revoke the Aguas'
concession in the last several months. Early this year, Suez was
fined ARP2 million for cuts in its services. Aguas was also
ordered to place significant investments or risk further
penalty.


ALIMENTOS FARGO: Bimbo Won't Increase Stake
-------------------------------------------
The unresolved issues surrounding the debt restructuring of
Argentine bakery chain Compania de Alimentos Fargo SA have
dampened Mexican baked-goods maker Grupo Bimbo's interest in
increasing its stake in the former.

Dow Jones Newswires reveals that Bimbo owns 30% of Fargo's
controlling consortium, but has an option to purchase the
remaining 70%.

"While the bankruptcy issue remains unresolved, we're not going
to increase our participation," Argentine financial daily El
Cronista quoted Luis Sampson, Bimbo's deputy chief financial
officer, as saying.

Fargo has a ARS496.6-million debt load to restructure. It needs
Argentine courts to verify an additional ARS97.4 million that
could be included in the workout and plans to restart talks with
creditors. Negotiations in 2004 were unfruitful, and many of the
Fargo bonds have since shifted into the hands of institutional
investors.


ARCO POLAR: To Hold Informative Assembly on June 17
---------------------------------------------------
Arco Polar S.A., a company operating in Mar del Plata, will hold
an informative assembly with its creditors on June 17. Creditors
will vote to ratify the company's completed settlement plan
during the said assembly.

Infobae reports that Court No. 4 of the city's civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this case. Clerk No. 7
assists the court with the proceedings.


BANCO DE LA CIUDAD: Moody's Assigns New Ratings
-----------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a first time Global Local
Currency Rating of Ba1 and Not Prime to the long and short term
local currency deposits of Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
(Banco Ciudad), respectively.

Moody's also affirmed Banco Ciudad's Aaa.ar National Scale
Rating for local currency deposits and assigned a first time
National Scale Rating for foreign currency deposits of B1.ar.
The outlook on all of Ciudad's ratings is stable.

Banco Ciudad's Ba1 local currency deposit rating is the highest
Moody's assigns to banks in Argentina. The rating indicates the
view that because of its ownership and the importance of its
deposit franchise to public policy and to the Argentine
financial system, Ciudad would enjoy priority for support to
cover its local currency deposit obligations, if needed, from
the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA). The rating therefore
reflects the predictability of institutional support for these
obligations, and benefits from several notches of lift above the
bank's stand-alone intrinsic financial strength.

The foreign currency National Scale Rating (NSR) of B1.ar is
much lower than the local currency NSR of Aaa.ar as it reflects
foreign currency transferability and convertibility risk and is
similar to that of other Argentine banks rated for foreign
currency deposits.

Moody's noted that NSRs are assigned based on a corresponding
global rating for either local or foreign currency-denominated
instruments. Its NSRs for the Argentine banks carry the
identifier of ".ar" and rank the likelihood of credit loss on
obligations of issuers in a particular country relative to other
domestic issuers. The NSR is intended for domestic use only and
is not globally comparable. The NSR is not an opinion on
absolute default risks; therefore, in countries with overall low
credit quality, even highly rated credits on the National Scale
may be susceptible to default.

Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires was Argentina's fifth largest
bank in terms of deposits with $2.1 billion as of December 31,
2004 and assets of $2.5 billion.

The following new ratings were established for Banco de la
Ciudad de Buenos Aires:

Long Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba1

Short Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime

National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits: B1.ar

The following ratings were affirmed:

National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aaa.ar

Bank Financial Strength Rating: E

Long Term Global Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa2

Short Term Global Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime


BUFFALO S.R.L.: Reorganization Concluded
----------------------------------------
The settlement plan proposed by Buffalo S.R.L. for its creditors
acquired the number of votes necessary for confirmation. As
such, the plan has been endorsed by Court No. 7 of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial tribunal and will now be implemented by the
company.


CAPEX: Fitch Assigns CC(arg) Rating to Bonds
--------------------------------------------
The Comision Nacional Valores (CNV), Argentina's securities
regulator, reveals that a total of US$190 million in corporate
bonds issued by Capex S.A. have been given a `CC(arg)' rating by
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A.

The bonds affected by the current rating include:

-  US$40 million worth of bonds described as "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples" that matured on June 11, 2004; and

- US$150 million worth of bonds also described as "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples" that matured on January 1, 2005.

Fitch assigns a `CCarg' rating on issues that possess high
default risks. With these bonds, capacity for meeting financial
commitments is dependent upon sustained, favorable economic
conditions.

Concurrently, Fitch placed a default rating on US$105 million
worth of bonds. The bonds described as "Obligaciones Negociables
Simples" matured on December 23, 2004.

The ratings were based on the Company's financial status as of
January 31 this year.

Capex produces gas and generates electric power at the wellhead
in Neuquen province.

CONTACT:  Capex SA
          5/F DepartmentC
          948/950 Av Cordoba
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4322 4884
          Home Page: http://www.capex.com.ar


CLISA: Fitch Leaves Debenture Ratings Unchanged
-----------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of ratings agency Fitch Ratings reaffirmed its
CCC(arg) rating on debentures of up to US$120 million and its
D(arg) rating on debentures for US$100 million issued by
infrastructure and public services holding CLISA, reports the
CNV on its website:

The affected bonds are:

- US$100 million worth of bonds described as "Obligaciones
Negociables con garantia" that matured on June 1, 2004.

- US$120 million worth of bonds described as "Obligaciones
Negociables con garantia (AGO 21-01-03, AD 23-01-03)" maturing
on June 1, 2012.

Fitch rated these bonds based on the Company's financial status
as of December 31, 2004.

CLISA has four operating divisions: mass transportation
management (Metrovias); waste management (environmental
engineering); construction (Benito Roggio e Hijos); and toll-
road management.


CRESUD: Reduces Debt by US$247,204
----------------------------------
Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A. (Nasdaq: CRESY - News; BCBA: CRES), a
leading Argentine producer of agricultural products, informed
the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and the Comision Nacional
de Valores that a holder of Company's Convertible Notes
exercised its conversion rights.

Hence, the financial indebtedness of the Company shall be
reduced in US$ 247,204 and an increase of 486,811 ordinary
shares face value pesos 1 (V$N 1) each was made.

The conversion was performed according to terms and conditions
established in the prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate
of 1.96928 shares, face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of
face value US$ 1. As a result of that conversion the amount of
shares of the Company goes from 158,597,907 to 159,084,718. On
the other hand, the amount of registered Convertible Notes is
US$ 40,164,007.

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


INSTITUTO COGHLAN: Gets Court Approval for Reorganization
---------------------------------------------------------
Instituto Coghlan S.R.L. will begin reorganization following the
approval of its petition by Court No. 4 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal. The opening of the reorganization will
allow the company to negotiate a settlement with its creditors
in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

Ms. Irma Susana Aguilera will oversee the reorganization
proceedings as the court-appointed trustee. She will verify
creditors' claims until May 23. The validated claims will be
presented in court as individual reports on July 8.

Ms. Aguilera is also required by the court to submit a general
report essentially auditing the company's accounting and
business records as well as summarizing important events
pertaining to the reorganization. The report will be presented
in court on September 5.

An Informative Assembly, the final stage of a reorganization
where the settlement proposal is presented to the company's
creditors for approval, is scheduled on March 29.

Clerk No. 8 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Ms. Irma Susana Aguilera, Trustee
         Luis Saenz Pena 1690
         Buenos Aires


INSTITUTO OFTALMOLOGICO: Court OKs Bankruptcy Petition
------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Jorge Chiaramonte successfully sought the bankruptcy of
Instituto Oftalmologico Cordoba S.R.L. after Court No. 19 of
Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal declared the Company
"Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, the Company will now start the process with Mr. Jose
Cueli as trustee. Creditors must submit proofs of their claim to
the trustee by August 5 for authentication. Failure to do so
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$8,113.

The city's Clerk No. 37 assists the court on the case that will
close with the liquidation of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Instituto Oftalmologico Cordoba S.R.L.
         Avenida Cordoba 2692
         Buenos Aires


IRSA: Noteholder Converts US$408,260 Debt to Shares
---------------------------------------------------
Inversiones y Representaciones Sociedad Anonima (IRSA) informed
the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and the Comision Nacional
de Valores that a holder of the Company's Convertible Notes has
exercised its conversion right.

Hence, the financial indebtedness of the Company shall be
reduced in US$ 408,260 and an increase of 749,098 ordinary
shares face value pesos 1 (V$N 1) each was made.

The conversion was performed according to terms and conditions
established in the prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate
of 1.83486 shares, face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of
face value US$ 1. As a result of that conversion the amount of
shares of the Company goes from 302,586,526 to 303,335,624. On
the other hand, the amount of registered Convertible Notes is
US$ 63,382,994.

IRSA is Argentina's largest, most well-diversified real estate
company, and it is the only company in the industry whose shares
are listed on the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and The New
York Stock Exchange.

Through its subsidiaries, IRSA manages an expanding top
portfolio of shopping centers and office buildings, primarily in
Buenos Aires. The company also develops residential subdivisions
and apartments (specializing in high-rises and loft- style
conversions) and owns three luxury hotels.

Its solid, diversified portfolio of properties has established
the Company as the leader in the sector in which it
participates, making it the best vehicle to access the Argentine
real estate market.

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


JECAR S.R.L.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 17 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared local company Jecar S.R.L. "Quiebra", relates La
Nacion. The order comes in approval of he bankruptcy petition
filed by Maqueleva S.A.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Juan
Carlos Flores as trustee. Creditors are required to present
proof of their claims to Mr. Flores for verification by May 12.
Creditors who fail to submit the required documents by the said
date will not qualify for any post-liquidation distributions.

Clerk No. 33 assists the court on the case.

CONTACT: Jecar S.R.L.
         Pasaje El Nene 1954
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Juan Carlos Flores, Trustee
         Arcos 2534
         Buenos Aires


KATIL S.A.: Proceeds Toward Liquidation
---------------------------------------
Mr. Jorge Carosielo successfully sought the bankruptcy of
textile manufacturer Katil S.A. after Court No. 9 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal declared the Company
"Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, the Company will now start the process with Mr. Ricardo
Bataller as trustee. Creditors must submit proofs of their claim
to the trustee by May 13 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 city's Clerk No. 18 assists the court on the case that will
close with the sale of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Katil S.A.
         Alsina 1123
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Ricardo Bataller, Trustee
         Junin 684
         Buenos Aires


MATERIALES CORDOBA: Debt Payments Halted, Moves to Reorganize
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 11 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently studying the request for reorganization submitted by
local company Materiales Cordoba S.R.L., says La Nacion.

The report adds that that the construction company filed a
"Concurso Preventivo" petition following cessation of debt
payments on June last year.

If granted, reorganization will allow the company to retain
control of its assets and avoid a straight liquidation.

The city's Clerk No. 22 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Materiales Cordoba S.R.L.
         Esmeralda 819
         Buenos Aires


NEW CATERING: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
--------------------------------------------------
New Catering S.R.L. entered bankruptcy after Court No. 18 of
Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal approved a
bankruptcy motion filed by Jose Luis Varese, reports La Nacion.

Working with the city's Clerk No. 35, the court assigned Mr.
Javier Espineira as trustee for the bankruptcy process. The
trustee's duties include the authentication of the Company's
debts and the preparation of the individual and general reports.
Creditors are required to present their proofs of claims to the
trustee before May 5.

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

CONTACT: New Catering S.R.L.
         Luis Saenz Pena 739
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Javier Espineira, Trustee
         Viamonte 783
         Buenos Aires


PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Summary of Meeting Held March 31
---------------------------------------------------
Below is a summary of the resolutions adopted with respect to
each item of the Agenda of the Ordinary and Extraordinary
Shareholders Meeting of Petrobras Energia Participaciones S.A.
held on March 31st, 2005 at 3.30 p.m. at the 2nd Underground of
the corporate premises located at Maipu 1, City of Buenos Aires.

The meeting was held with the presence of 30 shareholders, of
which 24 shareholders were present in person, while the
remaining 6 shareholders were represented.  The aforesaid 30
shareholders represented a capital stock of a nominal value of $
1,597,851,089 entitled to 1,597,851,089 votes, and a quorum of
74.94 %.

The resolutions adopted were:

1) The Meeting approved by majority vote, with 13,029,330
abstentions and 31,621 nays, the Annual Report and Summary of
Activities, Inventory, General Balance Sheet, Income Statement,
Statement of Changes in Shareholders Equity, Cash Flow
Statement, Notes and Supplementary Exhibits of the Balance Sheet
and the English version of the aforesaid documents; the
Auditor's Report, the Report of the Supervisory Committee and
Additional Information required by Section 68 of the Regulations
of the Stock Exchange and the performance of the Management
Board and Supervisory Committee, corresponding to the fiscal
year ended December 31st, 2004.

2) The Meeting approved, by majority vote with 2,000 abstentions
and 31,621 nays, that fiscal year profits in the amount of $
677,514,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy Seven Millions Five Hundred
Fourteen Thousand Pesos), be charged to the statutory reserve,
in the sum of $ 33,875,700 (Thirty Three Millions Eighth Hundred
and Seventy Five Thousand Seven Hundred Pesos) corresponding to
5% of the fiscal year profits and to a new account, the
remaining sum of $ 643,638,300(Six Hundred Forty Three Millions
Six Hundred and Thirty Eight Three Hundred Pesos). As a result
thereof, the balance remaining in the account of retained
earnings amounts to the sum of $ 643,638,300 (Six Hundred Forty
Three Millions Six Hundred and Thirty Eight Three Hundred
Pesos).

3) The Meeting approved by majority vote, with 33,421
abstentions and 121,200 nays, that the body of Regular Directors
be fixed in the number of nineteen (19) and the body of
Alternate Directors be fixed in the number of two (2), the
structure of the board being as follows: Jos‚ Eduardo de Barros
Dutra, N‚stor Cu¤at Cerver¢, Jos‚ Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo,
Paulo Roberto Costa, Oscar Anibal Vicente, Alberto da Fonseca
Guimaraes, Cedric Bridger, Decio Fabricio Oddone da Costa, Ildo
Luis Sauer, Guilherme de Oliveira Estrella, Renato de Souza
Duque, H‚ctor Daniel Casal, Daniel Maggi, Carlos Alberto Pereira
de Oliveira, Nicol s Perkins, Roberto Alejandro Fortunati, Luiz
Augusto Marciano da Fonseca, Alberto Javier Saggese and Luis
Miguel Sas, as Regular Directores and Vilson Reichemback da
Silva and Pablo Cavallaro as Alternate Directors. In accordance
with Resolution No. 368/2001 of the Argentine Securities
Commission, it was put on record that Roberto Alejandro
Fortunati, Nicol s Perkins and Pablo Cavallaro shall be
independent directors. The other nominees shall not be
independent directors pursuant to the aforesaid rule.
Independent Regular Directors shall be replaced by an
independent Alternate Director and Regular Directors that are
not independent shall be replaced by an Alternate Director that
is not independent.

4) The Meeting appointed, by majority vote, with 154,421
abstentions and 200 nays Rogelio Norberto Maciel, Justo Federico
Norman and Juan Carlos Cincotta as regular members of the
Supervisory Commission and Olga Margarita Morrone de Quintana,
Mariana Paula Ardizzone and Maria Laura Maciel as alternate
members. In accordance with Resolution No. 368/2001 of the
Argentine Securities Commission, the independent capacity of the
public accountants was put on record, in the terms of Technical
Resolution No. 15 of the Argentine Association of Professional
Councils in Economic Sciences.  It was informed that Juan Carlos
Cincotta and Olga Margarita Morrone de Quintana are public
accountants and are independent, in the terms of Technical
Resolution No. 15 of the Argentine Association of Economic
Sciences Professional Councils.  Olga Margarita Morrone de
Quintana is a member of the firm Estudio Morrone de Quintana,
Seoane & Quintana, which firm maintains a professional
relationship with, and is paid fees by, the Company and other
companies within the group. Justo Federico Norman, Rogelio
Norberto Maciel, Mariana Paula Ardizzone and Maria Laura Maciel
are attorneys-at-law and work for the firm Estudio Maciel,
Norman & Asociados, which firm maintains a professional
relationship with, and is paid fees by, the Company and other
companies within the group.

5) The Meeting approved, by majority vote, with 154,421
abstentions and 8,450 nays the sum of $ 108,900 (One Hundred
Eight Thousand Nine Hundred Pesos) in concept of Board of
Directors fees, which fees are in agreement with the duties and
responsibilities of its members, the time devoted to the
performance of their duties and the fair market value of the
services rendered.  Moreover, the Meeting approved the sum of $
54,289 (Fifty Four Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Nine Pesos)
in concept of fees to the members of the Supervisory Committee,
which fees are fair and in agreement with the duties to be
performed and responsibilities to be assumed.

6) The Meeting approved, by majority vote, with 33,421
abstentions and 8,450 nays to fix the sum of $ 99,872 (Ninety
Nine Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Two Pesos) as fees of
the firm Estudio Pistrelli, Henry Martin y Asociados S.R.L., a
member of Ernst & Young, which firm, through its representative
accountant, Dr. Enrique Carlos Grotz, certified the general
balance sheet as of December 31, 2004. Furthermore, I propose
that Enrique Carlos Grotz, be appointed to certify the general
balance sheet of the next fiscal year, in its capacity as
regular auditor, and that accountants Ezequiel Alejandro
Calciati and Pablo Gabriel Decundo, be so appointed in their
capacity as alternate auditors, who shall represent the firm
Estudio Pistrelli, Henry Martin y Asociados S.R.L., in order for
them to discharge the aforesaid duties in accordance with the
provisions of Executive Order 677/2001 and further regulatory
resolutions

7) The Meeting approved, by majority vote, with 154,421
abstentions and 200 nays, the sum of $ 159,000 (One Hundred
Fifty Nine Thousand Pesos) in concept of budget of the Auditing
Committee

8) The Meeting approved, by majority vote, with 46,421
abstentions and 42,721,680 nays to amend Section 10 of the
Corporate Bylaws in accordance with the following text: "Section
10. "Each director shall post a bond to secure performance of
its duties in accordance with applicable rules.  The minimum
amount of the said bond shall not be less than $ 10,000 or of
such amount as shall be fixed by current regulations and shall
be maintained up to the expiration of a minimum 3-year term as
from the termination of the relevant officer"

9) The Meeting approved, by majority vote, with 200 nays that
the Chairman should appoint the Shareholders who shall sign the
Minutes, being accordingly appointed Ricardo Trucco and
Guillermo Lolla.

CONTACT:  PETROBRAS ENERGIA PARTICIPACIONES S.A.
          Maipu 1, Piso 22
          (1084) Buenos Aires, Argentina


PRESTACIONES ODONTOLOGICAS: Gets Court Approval for Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Prestaciones Odontologicas S.A. entered bankruptcy protection
after Court No. 13 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial
tribunal opened the Company's liquidation proceedings.

Argentine daily La Nacion reports that the court assigned Mr.
Hector Bazzini to supervise the liquidation process as trustee.
Mr. Bazzini will validate creditors' proofs of claims until May
5.

The city's Clerk No. 26 assists the court in resolving this
case.

CONTACT: Prestaciones Odontologicas S.A.
         Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 740
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Hector Bazzini, Trustee
         Uruguay 1662
         Buenos Aires


SALUD TOTAL: Court Resets Submission Dates
------------------------------------------
Key events in the reorganization of Mendoza-based Salud Total
S.A. have been moved to the following dates:

1. General Report Submission: May 2, 2005
2. Informative Assembly: September 7, 2005

Infobae reports that Mr. Carlos Piatelli oversees the
reorganization proceedings as the court-appointed trustee. The
case is under the jurisdiction of the city's Court No. 1. Clerk
No. 1 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Salud Total S.A.
         Colon 277
         Mendoza

         Mr. Carlos Piatelli, Trustee
         Capitan de Fragata Moyano 53
         Mendoza


TRANSENER: Extends Debt Offer to April 15
-----------------------------------------
High-voltage power transporter Transener has again granted
bondholders more time to participate in the Company's US$465-
million debt restructuring offer.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Transener has extended the
restructuring deadline to April 15. The debt offer, which was
launched on Feb. 22, was originally scheduled to close on March
23 but was extended to April 6 for the same reason.

Transener is offering three options. The first is a par bond
that matures in 2016. The second alternative is a cash payment
worth 55% of the original face value of the notes. The last
choice is a combination of Class B shares and a 2015 discount
bond that carries a 18% reduction in principal.

Latest data show that Transener has secured agreement from
creditors representing US$449.6 million, or 96.9% of the total
eligible debt. This very nearly qualifies Transener for the 97%
acceptance rate it needs to bypass the legal-approval process
for its debt offer. Below that level, the company would have to
file its debt workout with local courts and faced greater delays
in settling the deal.

Argentine oil and gas producer Petrobras Energia (PECO.BA) and
local investment group Dolphin Fund Management hold equal stakes
in Citelec, Transener's holding Company. Petrobras Energia is
owned by state Brazilian oil Company Petroleo Brasileiro, or
Petrobras (PBR), which promised Argentine regulators it will
sell its stake in the power transporter. Petrobras is expected
to move ahead with that commitment once Transener has completed
its debt workout.

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


VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Schedules Annual Stockholders' Meet May 10
-------------------------------------------------------------
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Stockholders
of Vintage Petroleum, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the
"Company"), will be held in the Tulsa Room on the 9th Floor,
Bank of Oklahoma Tower, One Williams Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on
Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., local time, for the
following purposes:

1. To elect two directors to Class III for three-year terms;

2. To consider and act upon a proposal to approve an amendment
to the Vintage Petroleum, Inc. 1990 Stock Plan as described in
the proxy statement;

3. To consider and act upon a proposal to ratify the appointment
of Ernst & Young LLP as the independent registered public
accounting firm of the Company for 2005;

4. To consider and act upon a stockholder proposal; and

5. To transact such other business as may properly come before
the meeting or any adjournment thereof.

The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on March
23, 2005, as the record date for the meeting, and only holders
of the Company's Common Stock of record at such time will be
entitled to vote at the meeting or any adjournment thereof.

A complete list of the stockholders entitled to vote at the
meeting will be open to the examination of any stockholder, for
any purpose germane to the meeting, during ordinary business
hours for a period of 10 days prior to the date of the meeting
at the offices of the Company and at the time and place of the
meeting.

CONTACT: Vintage Petroleum, Inc.
         110 W. 7th St.
         Tulsa, OK 74119
         USA
         Phone: 918-592-0101
         Web site: http://www.vintagepetroleum.com


* ARGENTINA: No Legal Basis to Avoid Settling Offer, Says NML
-------------------------------------------------------------
NML Capital, Ltd., a private investment firm that owns defaulted
securities issued by the Republic of Argentina, issued Wednesday
the following statement regarding Argentina's decision to
postpone the settlement of its pending Exchange Offer because of
litigation surrounding NML's and other creditors' attachment of
bonds irrevocably accepted by Argentina pursuant to the Exchange
Offer:

"Argentina's claim that the attachment of $7 billion of the $62
billion of tendered bonds prevents it from settling the Exchange
Offer is baseless. Argentina can complete the Exchange Offer at
any time by delivering new securities to all of the tendering
bondholders and taking possession of over $55 billion in
tendered bonds that are not subject to attachment. In fact,
having already announced its acceptance of the tendered
securities, Argentina is contractually required to settle the
exchange in that manner. The fact that $7 billion of the
tendered bonds must remain at The Bank of New York until the
conclusion of the pending court proceedings does not, in our
view, excuse Argentina in any way from its legal obligation to
deliver new securities to the bondholders who tendered.
Moreover, even the attached bonds could be released if Argentina
would deposit the amounts it owes NML and the other attaching
creditors into an account controlled by the Court. Argentina has
made a choice not to follow that course, a choice that reflects
its decision to rebuff creditors who insist that Argentina honor
its debts.

We think that the attachments will be upheld by the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Whatever that
court decides, NML will, of course, abide by the decision. We
trust that Argentina also will recognize and abide by the
decisions of the appropriate U.S. legal authorities in this
case."

CONTACT:  Steve Bruce or Kathleen Merrigan
          Abernathy MacGregor Group, Inc.
          (212) 371-5999



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

TRIMINGHAM BROTHERS: Begins Winding Down Process
------------------------------------------------
Trimingham's department store began to wind down its 163-year-
old business on Wednesday with the launch of final, going out of
business discounts on its entire stock of fashion apparel,
jewelry and home furnishings, the Royal Gazette informs.

Company president Lawrence Trimingham anticipates extremely
brisk sales because the store will be discounting merchandise
that "never goes on sale".

In a press release, Trimingham said: "These sales offer an
unprecedented opportunity for Trimingham's Smiths shoppers to
find considerable savings on the Island's most sought-after
merchandise. This event also affords our associates the
opportunity to thank our loyal customers for 163 wonderful years
together."

Trimingham Brothers shocked the region last month when it
announced that the largest and most recognized retailer in
Bermuda would close its doors this summer after 163 years in
business. With the closing, Bermuda will no longer have any
department stores in operation.

Trimingham's took over its biggest rival, HA&E Smith, in a
merger last year. Those close to the industry speculated that
the Smith's buyout may ultimately have been Trimingham's undoing
by putting too heavy a burden of debt on the latter.
Trimingham's management told the press that the closing is not
due to bankruptcy, although it did admit that it was not able to
secure long-term financing.


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

CEMIG: Aneel Approves 23.88% Tariff Increase
--------------------------------------------
The annual increase in electricity rates charged by Cemig
Distribuidora takes place on April 8. This increase is approved
by Aneel - Brazil's electricity regulator - and is provided for
under the concession contract. Its purpose is to align the new
rates to changes in the concession holder's costs. This
mechanism for adjustment of tariffs is standard for all the
holders of Brazilian electricity distribution concessions.

THE TARIFF INCREASE

Aneel has published on its website a report which provides for
an increase of 23.88% in the tariffs of Cemig Distribuicao (the
Cemig distribution company), to come into effect on April 8,
2005.

This increase cannot be directly compared to the inflation of
the last 12 months, because part of it refers to liabilities of
previous years, and increases in taxes and electricity sector
charges.

The increase is made up of the following items:

IRT            6.68%
Delta PB       5.72%
CVA            7.35%
Pasep/Cofins   2.46%
Other items    1.67%

Total          23.88%

Where:
RT - 6.68% = Tariff Adjustment Index, divided into three parts:

A) 3.51% - INFLATION: Adjustment for inflation, to match the
increase in Cemig's operational costs, such as personnel,
materials, etc.

B) - 1.44% - REGULATORY CHARGES: Adjustment of the part of the
tariff that is charged to consumers and passed through to
government agencies: Eletrobras (the Fuel Consumption Account -
CCC, and the Global Reversion Reserve - RGR); Aneel (inspection
fee, and Financial Compensation); and the Energy Ministry
(Energy Development Account - CDE); and

C) 4.61 % - PURCHASED ENERGY AND TRANSPORT: Adjustment of the
price of energy bought for resale and the tariff for transport
of energy.

Delta PB - 5.72%: This is the portion of Cemig's 2003 tariff
review adjustment which had not yet been recognized by Aneel. It
is made up of:

  - 2.42 %: Adjustments in remuneration on and depreciation of
investments made by Cemig's urban and rural distribution system,
consisting of adjustment in the value of the asset base and the
depreciation rate;

  - 3.13 %: Adjustment in the sales volume used as the basis for
the Tariff Review;

  - 0.18 %: Adjustments to the "Company of Reference" (the model
that represents the costs accepted by Aneel for the definition
of the tariff), through recognition of costs practiced by Cemig
which had not been recognized by Aneel such as expenses of
substation security, handling of mineral and Askarel oils, legal
publicity and R&D management.

CVA - 7.35%: This account is the variation of the "Part A" costs
which reimburse Cemig for non-manageable costs (in addition to
those considered in the tariff) incurred in previous years, as
described in items B and C above:

  - 2.65 %: Regulatory charges.
  - 4.70%: Purchased energy and transport.

Pasep/Cofins taxes - 2.46%: Represents the increase in the rate
of Pasep in February 2003, from 0.65% to 1.65%, and the increase
in the rate of the Cofins tax in December 2004, from 3% to 7.6%.

It also reimburses Cemig for the amounts already paid to the tax
authorities since the increases in these tax rates.

Other items - 1.67%: This refers to the amounts of the 2003
Tariff Review not received in 2004.

THE IMPACT

For the consumer the average impact will be less than the
nominal amount of the increase. It will be 19.79%, since part of
the increase (4.09%) is already being charged.

The application of this increase will not be uniform for all
categories of consumers. It will be lower for the low-voltage
consumers - connected at 110/220 Volts (residential, commercial,
rural and small industrial users).

The amount of the tariff that is actually received by Cemig
Distribuidora is in fact only 27% of the total paid by the
client. This portion is being increased by 8.38%, that is to
say, less than inflation as measured by the IGP-M index, which
was 11.12% in the period. The difference of 2.74%, corresponding
to the gain in productivity on the part of Cemig, has not been
passed through by Aneel to the tariff, representing a benefit
for the consumer.

CONTACT: Cemig-Companhia Energetica
         AV. Barbacenda 1200
         Bello Horizonte MG, 30161-970
         Brazil


CESP: Debt Sale Road Show to Start Mid-April
--------------------------------------------
Sao Paulo electric power generation firm Companhia Energetica de
Sao Paulo SA (CESP) will start road shows in Europe and the US
in the middle of the month for the sale of US$120 million in
debt on the international market, reports Business News
Americas.

The debt sale is part of CESP's efforts to pay down part of its
BRL11-billion (US$4.2 billion) debt that matures in May this
year.

The Company accumulated its debts following the privatization of
other electric power and natural gas assets held by the Sao
Paulo state government. CESP Finance Director Vicente Okasaki
earlier said that the debts remain CESP's biggest challenge, as
spending is minimal and limited to US$30 million per year for
operations and maintenance.

CONTACT:    Companhia Energetica De Sao Paulo
            Rua da ConsolaO o, 1.875
            CEP 01301 -100 S o Paulo, Brazil
            Phone: +55-11-234-6322
            Fax: +55-11-287-0871
            Home Page: http://www.CESP.com.br/
            Contact:
            Mauro G. Jardim Arce, Chairman
            Ruy M. Altenfelder Silva, Vice Chairman
            Vicente Kazuhiro Okazaki, Finance Director


COPEL: Reports Changes in Shares Structure
------------------------------------------
Companhia Paranaense de Energia - Copel announces to its
shareholders and to the market that, during the period between
11/01/2004 and 12/31/2004, 48,453 preferred class A shares (PNA)
were converted into preferred class B shares (PNB), as requested
by shareholders, in accordance to paragraph 1 of article 7 of
the Company's By-laws.

Therefore, at the time of the next General Shareholders'
Meeting, the Company's capital stock registered on article 4 of
our By-laws, will be 145,031,080,782 common shares, 404,332,021
preferred class A shares and 128,219,963,467 preferred class B
shares.

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



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

COEUR D'ALENE: To Elect New Board at May 10 Annual Meeting
----------------------------------------------------------
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders
for Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation will be held at The Coeur
d'Alene Resort and Conference Center, Second Street and Front
Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at 9:30
A.M., local time, for the following purposes:

1. To elect a Board of Directors consisting of nine (9) persons
to serve for the ensuing year or until their respective
successors are duly elected and qualified;

2. Approve the 2005 Non-Employee Directors' Equity Incentive
Plan and authorize 500,000 shares of common stock for issuance
thereunder; and

3. To transact such other business as properly may come before
the meeting.

Nominees for directors to be elected at the Annual Meeting are
set forth in the enclosed Proxy Statement.

Only shareholders of record at the close of business on March
25, 2005, the record date fixed by the Board of Directors, are
entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting.

About Coeur D'Alene

The Company is principally engaged in silver and gold mining and
related activities, including exploration, development and
mining at its properties located in the US (Nevada, Idaho and
Alaska) and South America (Chile, Argentina and Bolivia). Its
operating segments include the Rochester (Nevada), Coeur Silver
Valley (Idaho), Cerro Bayo (Chile) and Martha (Argentina). All
operating segments are engaged in the discovery and/or mining of
gold and silver and generate the majority of their revenues from
the sale of these precious metals.

CONTACT: Coeur D'Alene Mines Corp.
         400 Coeur D'Alene Mines Building
         Post Office Box I
         505 Front Avenue
         Coeur D'Alene, Idaho 83814
         Phone: 208-667-3511



===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Senate Passes DOP1.89 Bln Bond Issue Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
The proposal for a new bond issue of DOP1.89 billion progresses
in the Dominican Republic legislature after Senate approved the
bill in two readings.

DRI Daily News reports that the government expects to pay around
half of its 1999 DOP5.0 billion bond debt with the issue, which
will mature in four years and carry a 2% charge above the
inflation rate. The 1999 bonds were used to refinance private
sector debt.

The proposal, however, has to gain approval from the Chamber of
Deputies, composed of representatives from the country's
provinces, before the Executive Branch can authorize a new
issue.

In addition, the Senate also passed a World Bank loan worth
US$7.3 million slated for the rehabilitation of the country's
electric sector.



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

DYOLL GROUP: Sale of Drax Hall Nears Conclusion
-----------------------------------------------
The sale of 800-acre Drax Hall property to a consortium of
businesses with Californian and Jamaican interests is nearing
completion, the Jamaica Observer reports, citing reliable
sources.

The ailing Dyoll Group owns a stake in Drax Hall, which was
slated for a major development in the 1990s. The development,
which was to have been undertaken by Drax Hall Holdings Ltd,
Dyoll's partner in the venture and the owner of the property,
never materialized in light of the high interest rates in the
mid-1990s and the collapse of the real estate market.

In 1998, Dyoll used its stake in Drax Hall as collateral for a
$135-million cash injection from Finsac. The same property was
later used by Dyoll to secure another Finsac injection, this
time by way of preference shares.

Subsequently, Dyoll ran into conflict with Drax Hall Ltd, and in
1999 took the latter to court and won an order in 2002 to
recover the principal amount of its investment with interest
accruing from July 1, 1999 to March 15, 2000 at approximately 33
per annum.



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

GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Releases Ratings Report on AMC, Other Units
-------------------------------------------------------------
ISSUER CREDIT RATINGS
  Southern Peru Copper Corp.
     Corporate Credit Rating:        BB-/Positive/--

  Grupo Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
     Corporate Credit Rating
     Foreign currency:               BB/Positive/--

  Americas Mining Corporation
     Corporate Credit Rating:        BB-/Positive/--

  ASARCO Inc.
     Corporate Credit Rating:        BB-/Positive/--

  Minera Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
      Corporate Credit Rating:       BB-/Positive/--

AFFIRMED RATINGS
  Ferrocarril Mexicano, S.A. de C.V.

  ASARCO Inc.
     Sr unsecd debt local currency:  BB-

Major Rating Factors

Strengths:
    * Worldwide third-largest copper producer
    * Vertically integrated

Weaknesses:
    * Aggressive, but improving, debt profile
    * Limited product diversity
    * Volatile copper prices

Rationale

The ratings on Americas Mining Corp. (AMC) and its subsidiaries
reflect the company's below-average debt profile, volatile metal
prices, average cost position, limited product and geographic
diversification, and reliance on Southern Peru Copper Corp.'s
(SPCC) and Minera Mexico S.A. de C.V.'s (MM) dividends. These
factors are balanced by AMC's position as the third-largest
copper producer in the world, its vertical integration, its
improved financial flexibility, and its realized and expected
cash-flow generation due to higher copper prices, as well as the
merger of SPCC and MM.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services views the ratings on MM,
ASARCO Inc., and SPCC to be equal due to common ownership and
management, centralization of certain functions, and
intercompany transactions.

Despite the debt reductions in 2004, we consider that the total
debt-to-EBITDA is aggressive, and we expect AMC's ratio to be
less than 2.0x during 2005. Additionally, the total debt-to-
capitalization ratio is average compared with those of other
global copper peers, and we anticipates AMC's consolidated
leverage ratio to be at 40% levels for the same period.

AMC's copper sales represent almost 80% of total sales. As a
result, the company's cash-flow generation is extremely
sensitive to movements in copper prices. An indication of this
is the fluctuation in EBITDA margin, which during the past two
years, has ranged between 14.5%-26.8%. Although the last 12
months (LTM) EBITDA margin is at its highest level in the past
five years (47.5%), we expect a slight reduction in the
company's margin, to more than 45% in 2005.

On March 28, 2005, SPCC's shareholders approved the merger of
SPCC and MM. Now, AMC controls 75% of the merged company. SPCC
will continue to be listed on the NYSE and Peruvian Stock
Exchange. With this transaction, the cash flow can go back and
forth without restriction. Standard & Poor's has already taken
the merger into consideration in the rating.

Although AMC has operations in three different countries (the
U.S., Mexico, and Peru), its copper production is concentrated
in three mining facilities: Toquepala, Cuajone, and Cananea.
Together they represent almost 66% of total copper production,
while the rest is sourced from the other facilities. About 96%
of AMC's 2004 EBITDA was generated from the new merged company
(SPCC-MM); and the remainder was generated in the U.S.

AMC has 15 mining units and 17 smelters and refineries, and
ranks as the world's third-largest copper producer, with 651,556
copper metric tons of production in 2004; the fourth-largest
silver producer; and the fifth-largest zinc producer. Moreover,
the company ranks as the world's second-largest company in terms
of copper ore reserves.

MM's refinancing in 2004 will not only provide comfortable debt
maturities, but also will reduce its interest expenditures,
which will have a direct effect on AMC's interest coverage
ratio. Although the LTM ratio in 2005 is expected to increase to
10.0x, we still consider it below industry average.

Liquidity

Liquidity at the level of AMC, the holding company, is fairly
adequate but is still dependent on SPCC's and MM's dividend. We
believe that after MM's SEN prepayment, MM will reestablish its
dividend policy; however, it will not be as aggressive as
before. AMC does not have access to bank lines. AMC's dividend
from subsidiaries is expected to average $150 million per year
for the next three years. Although highly dependent on copper
prices, SPCC's and MM's dividend should be adequate to cover
AMC's maturities in the next two years ($85 million in 2005, and
$50 million in 2006). AMC's subsidiaries' liquidity positions
are adequate; free cash-flow generation will allow them to face
maturities in the next couple of years, except for negative free
cash flow at ASARCO, which should be supported by AMC's cash.
The consolidated AMC Group has $819 million in cash, and short-
term maturities for the next 12 months of $196 million, as of
December 2004.

Outlook

The outlook is positive. The rating could be raised if AMC
demonstrates its ability to sustain its cash-flow generation and
continues its leverage reduction at the AMC Holding and MM
levels, while continuing to serve debt payments on all
subsidiaries, and the financial policy regarding dividend
payments continues unchanged.

Business Profile

Copper industry

Continuing strong demand for copper, mainly from China and the
U.S., combined with very low inventory levels during the first
two months of 2005, has driven up prices to an average of $1.46
per pound, from 2004's already-high levels and average of $1.30.
Total worldwide demand reached about 16.4 million metric tons in
2004-up 6% from 2003-and exceeded production levels by about
700,000 metric tons. Given very low inventory levels and
expectations of slightly lower demand growth until new
production comes through this year, we expect copper prices to
remain strong in the first half of 2005 at more than $1.30 per
pound. Total worldwide supply is projected to increase by about
1 million metric tons in 2005, based on expected higher
production levels from Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.'s
mining operations in Indonesia; Escondida in Chile; the full-
year operation of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce's Sossego new plant
in Brazil; and some mines reopening in the U.S.

A projected higher supply, combined with slower demand growth
(about 4%, or 600,000 to 700,000 metric tons) in 2005, is likely
to result in higher inventory levels and in lower copper prices
in the second half. Although Standard & Poor's uses a long-term
base-case copper price scenario of 90 cents per pound for
internal analysis purposes, we estimate that the annual copper
price will average between $1.20 and $1.30 per pound in 2005.

AMC

AMC's average business profile reflects its significant
participation in the highly cyclical mining industry and its
fair operating cost for copper. AMC's 2004 copper production
reached 873,450 metric tons, making it the third largest in the
world. The company's average cost structure is above industry
standards; in 2004, average cash cost was around 46.7 U.S. cents
per pound. Among the three subsidiaries, ASARCO has the highest
cash cost (around 98.0 U.S. cents per pound in 2004), followed
by MM (around 40.0 U.S. cents per pound) and SPCC (around 28.0
U.S. cents per pound). AMC's average cash cost has been
decreasing since 2001. In 2004, the cash cost reduction was
close to 10%, due to a strategy focused on efficiencies, as well
as higher mineral ore grades. We anticipate further reduction in
AMC's 2005 cash cost compared with 2004 due to efficiencies
implementation.

AMC's product diversification is limited. AMC's copper sales
represent almost 80% of total sales in 2004; molybdenum's sales,
AMC's second main product, correspond to 13% of total sales. So,
AMC has a huge exposure to the volatile copper-price adjustment.
Moreover, the lack of geographic diversification could be a
potential risk. Although the company has 15 mining units spread
out in Mexico, Peru, and the U.S., 66% of total copper
production is realized in three mines (Cananea, Toquepala, and
Cuajone). This concentration increases risk perception, due to
the ability of any kind of problem or strike in these mines to
cause an important decrease in production and profitability.

According to AMC, proven, probable, and inferred reserves in its
mines assure 50 years of operation at current operating rates.
MM represents almost 52% of AMC's total reserves, SPCC 32%, and
Asarco 16%. AMC continues to make exploration in the top mines
to increase its reserves and ore grade.

AMC is developing 12 projects in nine countries around the world
(Canada, U.S., Mexico, French Guyana, Peru, Chile, Ireland, and
Australia). Now that the company's financial situation has
improved from a year ago, AMC will designate about 5% to 10% of
its total capital expenditure program to these projects.

On March 28, 2005, SPCC's shareholders approved the merger of
SPCC and MM. Now, AMC controls 75% of the merger company. SPCC
will continue to be listed on the NYSE and Peruvian Stock
Exchange. With this transaction, the cash flow can go back and
forth without restriction. Standard & Poor's has already taken
the merger into consideration in the rating.

After SPCC-MM's merger, the created company has nine mining
units, and 13 smelters and refineries. The most important mines
are Cananea, Cuajones, and Toquepala. The company represents
about 87% and 96% of AMC's total sales and EBITDA, respectively.
We estimate that the combined average copper cash cost should be
around 35.0 U.S. cents per pound, and if copper prices were to
change by a penny, the effect on SPCC-MM's EBITDA would be
around $15 million. Moreover, because of the distance between
the mining and smelters and refineries, we do not expect the
company to obtain any significant synergies.

ASARCO has six mining units and four smelters and refinery
complexes. The company's copper cash cost is among the highest
in the industry, but ASARCO expects to reduce greatly to 75.0
U.S. cents per pound in the long-term. We consider it an
aggressive target, but we expect a slight reduction in the cash
cost to 90.0-85.0 U.S. cents per pound. If copper prices change
by a penny, the effect on ASARCO's EBITDA would be $2.5 million.
Asarco is currently negotiating with the U.S. Federal
authorities to quantify its environmental obligations; this is
on top of the $100 million environmental remediation trust.

Financial Policy: Aggressive

The combination of MM's debt reduction in 2004 and Security
Export Notes' refinancing improve AMC's financial profile, but
debt leverage remains aggressive. During the past, AMC has been
aggressive in terms of acquisitions and leveraging the company.
Nevertheless, strong copper prices in 2005 and first-half 2006
will result in strong cash flow generation that could lead to an
important leverage reduction and continue to support its
subsidiaries, if necessary.

Financial Profile

Profitability and cash flow

Because of the company's high product concentration on copper
sales, AMC's profitability and cash flow are extremely sensitive
to changes in copper prices. AMC also benefits from a weaker
Mexican peso and Peruvian nuevo sol, due to most of the total
cost of production being denominated in local currencies.
Consequently, AMC shows a record EBITDA margin of 48.7%. We
anticipate AMC maintaining an EBITDA margin above 45% in 2005.

Despite AMC's high debt leverage, the company shows an increase
in its EBITDA interest coverage ratio. The current ratio, as of
Dec. 31, 2004, is 9.8x, which compares favorably with 3.7x at
year-end 2003. Despite the important improvement in 2004, this
ratio is below average compared with international peers. We
expect a higher ratio in 2005 due to strong cash-flow generation
and lower interest payments because of MM's debt refinancing.

Capital structure and financial flexibility

In 2004, AMC was able to reduce debt by almost $400 million
($281 million by MM, $60 million by SPCC, and $60 million by
AMC). This debt reduction raises the total debt-to-EBITDA ratio
to 1.1x as of year-end 2004, from 4.6x in the previous year. We
do not expect any other early amortization in 2005, and
anticipate the ratio in 2005 to be around 1.0x.

AMC's financial flexibility is limited. After the SPCC-MM
merger, AMC has diversified its source of income to cover its
debt and interest expenses; now, the company has SPCC and MM's
dividend. On top of that, SPCC is expected to declare an
extraordinary dividend before the merger concludes. AMC will
receive around $54 million for this extraordinary dividend. As
of Dec. 31, 2004, AMC held $250 million in debt at the holding
level, and cash of $82 million (almost $136 million after the
extraordinary dividend). AMC's consolidated numbers have $819
million and $1,990 million in total cash position and total
debt, respectively. AMC does not have any bank lines.

Primary Credit Analyst: Juan P Becerra, Mexico City (52) 55-
5081-4416; juan_becerra@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Santiago Carniado, Mexico City (52)
55-5081-4413; santiago_carniado@standardandpoors.com


HYLSAMEX: To Pay Dividends Next Week
------------------------------------
For the first time since the late 1980s, Hylsamex SA, the steel
unit of conglomerate Grupo Industrial Alfa SA, will pay
dividends, says Dow Jones Newswires.

At a recent assembly, Hylsamex's shareholders approved the
payment of US$0.1646 a share in dividends on April 13. The
Company will make the payment since it saw a net profit of
MXN6.18 billion last year as a recovery in world steel markets
prompted a turnaround.

In addition, Hylsamex's shareholders also approved using up to
MXN4 billion for share buybacks in 2005.

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


HYLSAMEX: Deutsche Ixe Cuts Alfa's Recommendation to Hold
---------------------------------------------------------
Alfa SA's announcement that it has been approached by several
companies interested in buying its steel unit Hylsamex SA has
prompted Deutsche Ixe to cut its investment recommendation on
the Company's shares to hold from buy, reports Dow Jones
Newswires.

"Alfa's public confirmation that it is entertaining offers for
Hylsamex changes its potential upside," Deutsche Ixe said. "With
further capital upside limited as Alfa is near our MXN60
($1=MXN11.2317) price target and the expectation of reduced
dividends, we take this opportunity to downgrade the shares to a
hold."

Alfa spun off 39% of its 90% stake in Hylsamex over a year ago
and had planned to complete the spin-off in the first quarter of
this year.

On Tuesday, however, Alfa announced that it will delay spinning
off the remaining 51% of Hylsamex to shareholders. A rebound in
steel prices has led several steel companies to approach the
Company with the idea of buying Hylsamex or merging it into
their own operations.

"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.



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

PDVSA: Earmarks $2.3B to Upgrade Refineries
-------------------------------------------
As part of an effort to boost refining capacity in Venezuela,
state oil firm PDVSA will invest US$2.3 billion to upgrade its
El Palito and Puerto La Cruz refineries by 2010, reports
Business News Americas.

PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez
revealed that the Company will invest US$1.1 billion in El
Palito and US$1.2 billion in Puerto La Cruz to improve the
refineries' efficiency, increase output and improve safety at
the plants.

Ramirez also revealed that PDVSA is considering building three
new refineries to boost its worldwide refining capacity by
600,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) to 3.9 million b/d.

The new refinery projects are Caripito, Barinas and Cabruta, all
of which are near the Orinoco belt, and are scheduled to start
operations in 2010, Ram¡rez added.

Ramirez didn't provide an investment figure for the three new
refineries.

"These are important investments, we are still conceptualizing
that," he said.

Meanwhile, Ramirez announced that PDVSA and state-owned
transmission and distribution firm Cadafe will jointly build a
new 300MW thermoelectric plant to supply PDVSA's refining
facilities in the western state of Falcon.

Investment in the project will be some US$500 million, he said,
without giving details about when it would start construction.

The announcement came after PDVSA's CRP refinery complex
completely shutdown last week due to a power failure.

"Obsolete, very old machines were servicing Amuay [one of the
three refineries that make up CRP]," Ramirez said.


PDVSA: Mulls New Debt Issuance to Finance 4-Yr Investment Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA is analyzing the possibility of issuing new debt
denominated in foreign currencies to finance part of its
US$43.8-billion business plan for the next four years, Business
News Americas reports, citing PDVSA internal director Eulogio
del Pino.

Earlier this week, PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez revealed that
the total investment for 2005-2009 would be US$43.8 billion, of
which US$31.3 billion will come from PDVSA's own coffers.

The Company hopes to finance the remaining US$12.5 billion with
the help of business partners in several different ventures.

According to del Pino, PDVSA has a debt-equity ratio of 9%,
which certainly works in its favor in terms of issuing new debt.

"We have a much larger capacity to take on debt, we are working
on this business plan and we will evaluate all the financing
mechanisms we have, including financing from private investors
and financing from banks," he said.


SIDOR: Launches Skin Pass Processing Line
-----------------------------------------
Steelmaker Sidor has launched its new US$18-million hot-rolled
products processing line known as Skin Pass, reports Business
News Americas.

The project, which has installed capacity of 600,000t/y, will
allow Sidor to boost its range of value-added products.

With the Skin Pass process, Sidor can offer black laminated
coils, either hot dipped or pickled, for the car, piping,
pressure vessels, construction, and agricultural accessories and
machinery industries, among others.

Based in Puerto Ordaz in the eastern state of Bolivar, Sidor is
60%-owned by the Amazonia consortium made up of Mexico's
Hylsamex, the Techint group, Brazil's Usiminas and Venezuela's
Sivensa.



                            ***********


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

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