TCRLA_Public/050429.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 29, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 84

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

DROGUERIA MAGNA: Evaluadora Maintains Junk Ratings on Bonds
EASA: $200M of Notes Remain in Default
EDENOR: Fitch Maintains Default Ratings on $600M of Bonds
GIAPPON S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy via Court Order
HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Weak Finances Prompt Fitch's Junk Ratings

ITALPANAL S.A.: Seeks Court Authority to Reorganize
MIR S.A.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
MULTICANAL: $1.3Bln in Bonds Retain Junk Status
SANCAYET S.A.: Halts Debt Payments, Set To Reorganize
ZEITEK S.A.: Court Rules Liquidation Required

* ARGENTINA: NY Appeals Court Adjourns Case Without Ruling


B E L I Z E

BTL: Belize Government Illegally Takes Over U.S. Held Telecom


B E R M U D A

HEALTHCARE SERVICES: Appoints Ernest Morrison as Liquidator
LIBERTY COMMERCIAL: Resolves to Wind-Up Business
LORAL SPACE: Completes Sale of TV Product Line to DBSXMEDIA


B R A Z I L

BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Releases Ratings Analysis
CSN: Better Sales, Margins Yield Higher 1Q05 Earnings


E C U A D O R

PACIFICTEL: Ex-Senatel Employee Becomes CEO
PACIFICTEL: Accounts for Less than 2% of Parent's 2004 Profit
PETROCUADOR: Makes Fuel Supply Assurances


J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: Senior Official Hints at Closure


M E X I C O

CINTRA: Returns to Black After Four Years of Losses
GRUPO IUSACELL: Receives Concession Titles for PCS Frequencies
GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Details Positive Ratings Analysis
TV AZTECA: Files Lawsuit Against Finance Minister
VITRO: Bear Stearns Warns Investors Against Buying Stock


P U E R T O   R I C O

R&G FINANCIAL: Restatement Prompts Informal SEC Investigation
R&G FINANCIAL: Shareholders Commence Class Action Suit
R&G FINANCIAL: Schatz & Nobel Announces Class Action Lawsuit


V E N E Z U E L A

CNV: President Chavez Authorizes Expropriation
PDVSA: Orimulsion to be Replaced With Fuel Oil


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

DROGUERIA MAGNA: Evaluadora Maintains Junk Ratings on Bonds
-----------------------------------------------------------
Evaluadora Latinoamericana S.A. Calificadora de Riesgo assigned
junk ratings to corporate bonds issued by Drogueria Magna S.A.,
reports the Comision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's securities
regulator.

Some US$5 million worth of the Company's bonds were rated `C+',
denoting significant risk of nonpayment, based on the Company's
financial status as of January 31, 2005.

The recently issued rating applies to bonds called "Obligaciones
Negociables Simples", which are classified under "Simple Issue".
The bonds matured in April 17, 2003.


EASA: $200M of Notes Remain in Default
--------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. confirmed the D(arg)
rating assigned to US$200 million worth of Obligaciones
Negociables (ON) issued by Electricidad Argentina S.A. (EASA).

EASA struggles to meet debt obligations after local distributor
Edenor, upon which EASA derives its sole income, has seen its
ability to generate funds deteriorate due to the peso
devaluation over their debt nominated in dollars in view of the
pesification and tariff freeze.

EASA was founded in 1992 with the aim to acquire the majority
share capital of Edenor S.A. (51%). Edenor owns the concession
to supply electricity in the north area of Capital federal and
Greater Buenos Aires for a period of 95 years. Edenor is the
first electricity supplier company in Argentina with 2.27 M of
clients. EASA is controlled by EDF International (100%).


EDENOR: Fitch Maintains Default Ratings on $600M of Bonds
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. maintained the
default ratings given to corporate bonds issued by Edenor S.A.,
according to the Commision Nacional de Valores, Argentina's
securities regulator.

The `D(arg)' rating, based on the Company's finances as of the
end of December 31, 2004, is assigned to financial commitments
that are currently in default, the ratings agency said.

The affected bonds are described as "obligaciones negociables",
with undisclosed maturity date. The bonds, worth a total of
US$600 million, are classified under "Program", the CNV adds.


GIAPPON S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy via Court Order
-----------------------------------------------
Giappon S.A., formerly called Daniel Cassin y Asociados S.A.,
entered bankruptcy protection after Court No. 17 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal 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 Mr. Hector Ricardo
Martinez as trustee. Mr. Martinez will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claims until the end of the verification phase on June
7.

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 August 4, followed by the general report that is due on
September 19.

CONTACT: Giappon S.A.
         Teniente Benjamin Matienzo 1523
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Hector Ricardo Martinez, Trustee
         Avda Independencia 2251
         Buenos Aires


HIDROELECTRICA PIEDRA: Weak Finances Prompt Fitch's Junk Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a 'D(arg)'
rating to various corporate bonds issued by Hidroelectrica
Piedra del Aguila S.A., the CNV reveals.

The rating affects:

- US$35-million issue described as "Clase V subordinada dentro
del Programa de U$S 300 millones;"

- US$62.5-million issue described as "Clase IV dentro del
Programa de U$S 300 millones;"

- US$62.5-million issue described as "Clase III dentro del
Programa de U$S 300 millones;"

- US$97.3-million issue described as "Clase II dentro del
Programa de U$S 300 millones;"

- US$97.3-million issue described as "Clase I dentro del
Programa de U$S 300 millones"

Meanwhile, Fitch assigned a `B(arg)' rating to these bond
issues:

- ARS64.5-million described as "Obligaciones Negociables Serie
A"

- ARS35.6-million described as "Obligaciones Negociables Serie
B"

- ARS39.3-million described as "Obligaciones Negociables Serie
C"

- ARS22.0-million described as "Obligaciones Negociables Serie
D"

The ratings agency said a `B(arg)' rating means that the bond
issue has a significantly weak credit risk relative to other
issues in Argentina. Financial commitments are being met but a
limited margin of safety remains and capacity for timely
payments is contingent upon a sustained favorable business and
economic condition.

The maturity dates of all the bond issues mentioned above were
not disclosed. Fitch took the rating actions based on the
Company's financial status as of December 31, 2004.


ITALPANAL S.A.: Seeks Court Authority to Reorganize
---------------------------------------------------
Italpanal S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, has
requested for reorganization after failing to pay its
liabilities.

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

The case is pending before Court No. 14 of the city's civil and
commercial tribunal. Clerk No. 27 assists the court in resolving
this case.

CONTACT: Italpanal S.A.
         Esmeralda 740
         Buenos Aires


MIR S.A.: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
----------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Mir S.A. will begin liquidating its assets
following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 12 of
the city's civil and commercial tribunal, reports Infobae.

The bankruptcy ruling places the company under the supervision
of court-appointed trustee Norma Alicia Balmes. The trustee will
verify creditors' proofs of claims until June 2. The validated
claims will be presented in court as individual reports on July
28.

Ms. Balmes 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 September 8.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal company assets
in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Ms. Norma Alicia Balmes, Trustee
         Avda Roque Saenz Pena 1185
         Buenos Aires


MULTICANAL: $1.3Bln in Bonds Retain Junk Status
-----------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. reaffirmed the
'D(arg)' rating on US$1.3 billion worth of corporate bonds
issued by Multicanal S.A., the CNV reports.

The bonds affected are:

- US$1.05 billion worth of "obligaciones negociables" with
undisclosed maturity date;

- US$125 million worth of "obligaciones negociables simples"
with undisclosed maturity date; and

- US$125 million worth of "obligaciones negociables" with
undisclosed maturity date.

Fitch also gave a 'C(arg)' rating to US$300 million worth of
bonds described as "Programa de ONs por U$S 300 MM."

Fitch gave the rating based on Multicanal's financial condition
as of December 31, 2004.


SANCAYET S.A.: Halts Debt Payments, Set To Reorganize
-----------------------------------------------------
Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of a petition to reorganize
submitted by Sancayet S.A., says La Nacion. Clerk No. 47 assists
the court on this case.


ZEITEK S.A.: Court Rules Liquidation Required
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 25 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
ordered the liquidation of Zeitek S.A. after the company
defaulted on its debt obligations, Infobae reveals. The
liquidation pronouncement will effectively place the company's
affairs as well as its assets under the control of Mr. Bartolome
Horacio Barrio, the court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Barrio will verify creditors' proofs of claims until June 8.
The verified claims will serve as basis for the individual
reports to be submitted in court on August 8. The submission of
the general report follows on September 20.

The city's Clerk No. 50 assists the court on this case that will
end with the sale of the company's assets.

CONTACT: Mr. Bartolome Horacio Barrio, Trustee
         Avda de Mayo 1324
         Buenos Aires


* ARGENTINA: NY Appeals Court Adjourns Case Without Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's planned US$103 billion debt restructuring was thrown
into limbo Wednesday after a New York appeals court adjourned a
hearing without ruling on whether to uphold a freeze on the US$7
billion in defaulted Argentine bonds held by creditors. The
freeze on the bonds has delayed the country's long awaited debt
swap.

Argentina was due on April 1 to issue US$35.3 billion in bonds
in exchange for US$62.3 billion in old defaulted bonds in a swap
aimed at turning the page on its 2002 sovereign default.

But it delayed issuing new bonds until the 2nd Circuit Court of
Appeals in New York rules on a request by holdouts to freeze
US$7 billion of old bonds tendered in the exchange.

It is unclear when a final ruling will come from the appeals
court, although lawyers involved in the case suggested it could
take days or even weeks.



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

BTL: Belize Government Illegally Takes Over U.S. Held Telecom
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Central American country of Belize, known for its paradise-
like surroundings, is in a state of chaos again this week with
vital telecom services and who runs them still in question. Last
week, rioting, looting, violence and vandalism occurred, harming
its tourism industry and angering Belizeans as workers shut down
all telephone communications in the country -- land lines,
cellular and Internet.

In February, the Government of Belize (GOB) illegally seized
control, from a U.S. investor, of the Belize phone company known
as BTL.  Originally invited by the government to take over BTL
and modernize Belize's telecommunications, the U.S. investor was
forced to go to federal court in Miami.  In March, the U.S.
court ordered the government to restore control to the U.S.
investor and the court has now held the GOB in contempt.

BTL's workers, the teachers union, university students, the
National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the United
Democratic Party, the opposition party, have demanded that Prime
Minster Said Musa and his government resign. It was Mr. Musa who
precipitated some of the unrest by illegally seizing control of
BTL, which is owned by Belize Telecom Ltd., a subsidiary of
U.S.-based Innovative Communication Company, LLC (ICC LLC).

In late 2003, at the height of telecom innovation, the GOB
invited Jeffrey Prosser, the president, CEO and chairman of ICC
LLC, to buy BTL and modernize and expand its telecom
infrastructure. Mr. Prosser has a proven track record of
improving telecom infrastructures and systems in the U.S. Virgin
Islands. It was a match made in heaven, they thought.  To date,
ICC LLC has invested more than US$60 million in BTL and had BTL
spend another US$15 million to improve telecommunications
services throughout the country, doing everything the GOB
requested to modernize the country's telecom systems and more.

On March 11, a U.S. District Court ordered the GOB to return
control to ICC LLC/Belize Telecom.  It did not.  On March 31,
the court found the GOB in contempt of court and later imposed
sanctions, including fines of US$50,000 a day. Fines owed are
more than US$1 million dollars. The judge said that the GOB
seemed to want to be "hit over the head with a 2x4" and pointed
out that the GOB had assets in the U.S. that it was putting at
risk through its defiance.

Members of Congress, various departments of the U.S. government
and international banking and finance institutions have taken a
special interest in this case and are also pressuring the
Government of Belize to make amends and honor their agreement
with ICC LLC.

Lanny Davis, counsel for ICC LLC and former special counsel to
President Clinton and currently partner of Orrick, Herrington
and Sutcliffe, LLP, added: "The lawless acts of the Belize
Government as found by the U.S. court in Miami send a message to
all U.S. Companies -- beware before you invest in Belize unless
the Belize government is prepared to follow the rule of law."



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

HEALTHCARE SERVICES: Appoints Ernest Morrison as Liquidator
-----------------------------------------------------------
          IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                           And

        IN THE MATTER OF Healthcare Services Ltd.

By Written Resolutions of the Sole Member of Healthcare Services
Ltd., April 20, 2005, the following resolutions were duly
passed:

RESOLVED that:

1) the Company be wound up voluntarily pursuant to the
provisions of the Companies Act, 1981; and

2) Mr. Ernest A. Morrison, of "Milner House", 18 Parliament
Street, Hamilton, Bermuda be and is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of winding-up, such appointment to be effective
forthwith.

The Liquidator informs that:

- Creditors of the Company are required on or before May 12,
2005, to send their names and addresses and the particulars of
their debts or claims to the Liquidator of the Company and, if
so required by notice in writing from the said Liquidator, to
come in and prove their said debts or claims at such time and
place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof
they will be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made
before such debts are proved.

- A Final General Meeting of the Sole Member of Healthcare
Services Ltd. will be held at the offices of Cox Hallett
Wilkinson, Milner House 18 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM12, on
May 31, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. for the following purposes:

1) receiving an account showing the manner in which the winding-
up of the Company has been conducted and its property disposed
of and hearing any explanation that may be given by the
Liquidator;

2) by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator
shall be disposed of; and

3) by resolution dissolving the Company.

CONTACT: Healthcare Services Ltd.
         Milner House
         18 Parliament Street
         Hamilton HM 12
         Bermuda


LIBERTY COMMERCIAL: Resolves to Wind-Up Business
------------------------------------------------
            IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 1981

                            and

        IN THE MATTER OF Liberty Commercial Services Ltd.

By Written Resolutions of the Sole Member of Liberty Commercial
Services Ltd., on April 20, 2005, the following resolutions were
duly passed:

RESOLVED that:

1) the Company be wound up voluntarily pursuant to the
provisions of the Companies Act, 1981; and

2) Mr. Ernest A. Morrison, of "Milner House", 18 Parliament
Street, Hamilton, Bermuda be and is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of winding-up, such appointment to be effective
forthwith.

The Liquidator informs that:

- Creditors of the Company are required on or before May 12,
2005, to send their names and addresses and the particulars of
their debts or claims to the Liquidator of the Company and, if
so required by notice in writing from the said Liquidator, to
come in and prove their said debts or claims at such time and
place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof
they will be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made
before such debts are proved.

- A Final General Meeting of the Sole Member of Liberty
Commercial Services Ltd. will be held at the offices of Cox
Hallett Wilkinson, Milner House 18 Parliament Street, Hamilton
HM12, on May 30, 2005 at 10 o'clock in the forenoon for the
following purposes:

1) receiving an account showing the manner in which the winding-
up of the Company has been conducted and its property disposed
of and hearing any explanation that may be given by the
Liquidator;

2) by resolution determining the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator
shall be disposed of; and

3) by resolution dissolving the Company.

CONTACT: Liberty Commercial Services Ltd.
         Milner House
         18 Parliament Street
         Hamilton HM 12
         Bermuda


LORAL SPACE: Completes Sale of TV Product Line to DBSXMEDIA
-----------------------------------------------------------
Loral Skynet announced Wednesday that it has completed the sale
of its business television product line to dbsXmedia, part of
the Ariel Way, Inc. group of companies, for a combination of
cash, stock of Ariel Way and ongoing contracts for
infrastructure support from Loral Skynet.

Certain Loral Skynet employees have accepted offers of
employment with dbsXmedia and will transfer to the company's new
offices in Plymouth, England and Frederick, Maryland. This
highly experienced team will continue the daily operations of
customers' corporate communications networks for dbsXmedia,
ensuring seamless, high quality service.

"Divesting our BTV business was an important step shaping Loral
Skynet into a pure FSS and network services business," said
Patrick Brant, president, Loral Skynet. "This transaction allows
Skynet to focus on its core satellite service businesses, while
gaining the advantageous position as a primary provider of
satellite and terrestrial communications services to dbsXmedia."

With its unique combination of satellites in space and fiber
connectivity around the globe, today's Loral Skynet is the only
satellite services company that has the capability and
infrastructure to offer customers a complete package of leased
transponder services, IP-based and heritage network services and
professional services, including satellite TT&C (telemetry,
tracking and control).

About dbsXmedia

dbsXmedia, part of the Ariel Way, Inc. group of companies,
provides communications infrastructure and integrated multimedia
services to corporations throughout the United States and
Europe. dbsXmedia's executive management has over 25 years of
experience in the video and transmission industry. dbsXmedia
operates from offices in the United States and United Kingdom,
providing industry- leading solutions for BTV, digital signage
and interactive media delivered over a combination of satellite,
terrestrial and wireless networks.

About Ariel Way, Inc.

Ariel Way is a technology and services company providing highly
secure global communications solutions. The company is focused
on developing innovative and secure technologies, acquiring and
growing advanced emerging technology companies and national and
global communications service providers. The company also
intends to create strategic alliances with companies with
complementary product lines and service industries.

About Loral Skynet

A pioneer in the satellite industry, Loral Skynet delivers the
superior service quality and range of satellite solutions that
have made it an industry leader for more than 40 years. Through
the broad coverage of the Telstar satellite fleet, in
combination with its hybrid VSAT/fiber global network
infrastructure, Skynet meets the needs of companies around the
world for broadcast and data network services, Internet access,
IP and systems integration. Headquartered in Bedminster, New
Jersey, Loral Skynet is dedicated to providing secure, high-
quality connectivity and communications.

In addition to being the parent company of Loral Skynet, Loral
Space & Communications (OTC BB: LRLSQ) is a world-class leader
in the design and manufacture of satellites and satellite
systems for commercial and government applications through its
Space Systems/Loral subsidiary.

CONTACT: Mr. John McCarthy
         Phone: (212) 338-5345



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

BANCO VOTORANTIM: S&P Releases Ratings Analysis
-----------------------------------------------

CREDIT RATING
  Local currency: BB/Stable/B
  Foreign currency: BB-/Stable/B

Outstanding Rating(s)
  Counterparty Credit (Local currency): BB/Stable/B
  Counterparty Credit (Foreign currency): BB-/Stable/B
  Senior unsecured (Foreign currency): BB-/B
  Short-Term debt (Foreign currency): B

Major Rating Factors

Strengths:
- Implicit support from the Votorantim Group
- Strong brand-name recognition
- Experienced management team, efficient decision-making
processes
- Good profitability

Weaknesses:
- Potential risks associated with the bank's treasury business
- Exposure to sovereign risk through its securities portfolio
- Risks related to the economic environment in Brazil

Rationale

The ratings on Banco Votorantim S.A. incorporate the potential
risks associated with the bank's treasury business; its exposure
to sovereign risk through its government securities portfolio, a
common issue for Brazilian banks; and the risks associated with
the volatile economic environment in Brazil that might cause
asset quality deterioration. The ratings benefit from the
implicit support of the Votorantim Group (FC: BB-/Stable/--; LC:
BBB-/Stable/--); the group's strong brand name; and the bank's
good profitability. The ratings also factor in the bank's
experienced management team and efficient decision-making
processes.

Banco Votorantim's treasury is very active in providing hedge
instruments to its clients. For this reason, the bank usually
carries exposure to Brazil's sovereign risk through its
government securities portfolio and open-market operations.
These were equivalent to approximately 5.4x its equity (based on
consolidated figures) as of December 2004.

The quality of Banco Votorantim's loan portfolio remains
adequate. On a consolidated basis, the ratio of nonperforming
loans (credits classified from 'E' to 'H' under local
classification rules)-to-total loans dropped to 1.8% in December
2004 from 5.4% in December 2003. This ratio remains at
manageable levels and is better than the average of the
Brazilian banking industry. There has been an increase in the
auto finance portfolio at a much faster pace than average in the
market. Therefore, the bank is exposed to a potential worsening
in asset quality if domestic economic conditions deteriorate.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects asset quality ratios
to be maintained under control or to present some improvement in
the coming quarters, helped by the bank's good risk management,
based on disciplined systems and controls.

The Votorantim Group is one of the largest and most influential
industrial conglomerates in Brazil. Its brand-name recognition
has helped the bank to leverage on its business, and the images
of both organizations are closely linked. The ratings
incorporate implicit support from Votorantim Group, although
this is not expected in the event of system risk. The Votorantim
Group supervises the bank's activities and operations, and its
conservatism permeates the bank's activities. Banco Votorantim's
management is made up of professionals with vast experience in
the financial markets and the Group's companies.

Banco Votorantim's profitability is good, and we expect it to
remain so in the short to medium term. Results are in line with
the bank's profile and benefit from the good margins from its
car financing activities, good treasury gains, and the results
from corporate clients. Its lean structure with low operating
expenses is also a benefit for the bank. We expect the bank to
improve the quality of its earnings by continuing the
diversification of the mix of revenues and maintenance of
recurring results.

Outlook

The stable outlook on the local currency rating reflects a
balance between its negative ratings factors, namely the
economic risks of the Brazilian banking industry, and the
potential risks related to asset quality, especially its car
financing segment and its holdings of government securities; and
its positives, including its implicit support from the
Votorantim Group, its good business profile, and its
consistently high profitability. In the event of a downgrade or
negative change for the local-currency sovereign credit rating
and/or outlook on Brazil, the local currency credit rating
and/or outlook on Banco Votorantim would move in tandem. If, on
the other hand, the sovereign local currency rating has positive
changes, the bank would not be automatically affected; we would
make an assessment based on its own merits, on a case-by-case
basis. The main negative item that could generate downward
pressure on the ratings is asset quality and worsening in
profitability. On the upward side, the rating would benefit from
maintaining asset quality under control and qualitative
improvements in profitability and capitalization.

The stable outlook on the foreign currency credit rating on
Banco Votorantim reflects the outlook on the sovereign credit
rating on the Federative Republic of Brazil. At current levels,
a change in the foreign currency sovereign credit rating would
lead to a similar action on the foreign currency rating on Banco
Votorantim.

Profile

Banco Votorantim started its operations as the financial arm of
the Votorantim Group. The bank is gradually changing its
business profile from a wholesale bank to a more diversified
operation, with its major focus on car financing. Total assets
reached Brazilian reais (BrR) 36.6 billion in December 2004,
placing the bank as the ninth largest by total assets among
Brazilian private banks. The bank has a small market share in
terms of deposits and loans (approximately 2% and 1%,
respectively) but has seen some of the fastest growth in the
industry in the car-financing segment.

Banco Votorantim's continuous growth results from its well-
defined strategy and competitive business profile. In 2004, the
bank further increased its market share in auto finance to 12%
(versus 10% in 2003 and 7% in 2002). The increased market share
reflects the opportunities derived from the restructuring
process of the large retail banks in consolidating their
acquired consumer finance companies to their bank structure, but
also Banco Votorantim's strategy to increase its penetration in
some regional areas. The consumer finance business is expected
to exhibit high growth in 2005 as well, but this should be more
moderate thereafter. Although Banco Votorantim has been managing
the evolution of the loss ratio in car financing, the group's
higher-than-market growth strategy for the auto finance business
means exposure to a potential deterioration in asset quality if
Brazilian economic conditions get worse in the future.
Nevertheless, we expect delinquency to be maintained at adequate
levels given the bank's strong management and recovery controls
and well-defined systems to ensure asset quality management.

Banco Votorantim is about to enter the new segment of loans to
individuals with the payroll discount mechanism. This will be
directed mostly to retired people. Many other banks recently
started this business, which is viewed as low risk.

As a wholesale bank, a small distribution network is one of the
reasons for Banco Votorantim's lean operating structure. Even
though the group has 32 offices (as of December 2004) spread out
in Brazil, the overall portfolio continues to be geographically
concentrated in the south and southeast region, which does not
have a negative implication as it presents the highest regional
distribution of Brazil's GDP.

Banco Votorantim is also very active in dealing with federal
government securities and offering treasury instruments (mainly
hedge) to its corporate clients together with lending and
tailor-made operations. The bank's brand recognition
(facilitating good relationships with the top management of
companies), innovative products, and agile decision processes
have contributed to the bank's successful growth.

Ownership and Legal Status

Banco Votorantim is fully owned by Votorantim Finanças S.A., the
financial holding company of the Votorantim Group. Through the
holding company, the Ermírio de Moraes family controls Banco
Votorantim. The four members of Ermírio de Moraes' second
generation equally control the group's industrial and financial
holding companies. Avoiding succession risk, eight of the 12
members of the third-generation family take seats in the Board
of Director's of the group's companies, while management is kept
in market professionals' hands. For each business activity, the
group created a holding company for fiscal planning purposes.

Strategy

Banco Votorantim's strategy to diversify its activities into car
financing and asset management has proven sound and successful.
This resulted in a more stable funding profile and better
revenues mix. In 2005, the bank intends to enter the segment of
loans to individuals with payroll discount, a very attractive
business line in Brazil. The bank also aims at maintaining a low
cost, lean structure as compared to retail banks. This lean
structure makes it easier to control expenses and to operate
conservatively.

In car financing, the strategy is to reach and defend a top
position. Votorantim has been increasing its market share in
this business segment, benefiting from the restructuring process
of some banks following several acquisitions. Although strategic
goals are likely to be achieved given market opportunities, the
aggressive expansion in this segment increases the bank's credit
risk given the higher delinquency risk. Nevertheless, Votorantim
will also keep focusing on the secondhand vehicle market, which
shows a better recovery as compared to other segments.

Asset management is another key area for the bank due to its
growth potential, and market share tends to increase, benefiting
from the bank's client base and its strong brand. The merchant
banking area and Treasury will continue to be important to the
group's results and benefit from Votorantim's client base and
the bank product offering (working capital, derivatives, etc.).

The loans to individuals with payroll discount is the new
product for the bank as of 2005. This product is aimed mostly at
retired people, but a similar structure can be applied to civil
servants ad private-sector workers. This is one of the products
with the fastest growth in the industry. Risks are very low,
especially for retired people. High competition is anticipated
in this field.

The volatile environment together with the consolidation process
undergone by the retail banks helped Banco Votorantim achieve
good growth in treasury operations and consumer finance. Under a
more competitive market and the potential interest rate
reduction in the medium term, however, the challenge is
maintaining its growth in lending activities while controlling
asset quality. Votorantim's good credit systems and controls may
help the bank to maintain its good profitability, while managing
its credit risk.

The bank's management is in the hands of market professionals.
Nevertheless, shareholders supervise the bank's activities,
control the bank's positioning, and are involved in all
strategic decisions. Banco Votorantim's management is made up of
professionals with vast experience in the financial market and
in the Group's companies. One positive point is the agile
structure arising from the fact that all executives are in the
same location, with flexible timing for committee decisions.

Being part of the Votorantim Group-one of the largest privately
held Brazilian conglomerates and one of the leading producers of
cement, aluminum foil, zinc, nickel, pulp and paper, energy, and
agribusiness in Brazil-provides Banco Votorantim with several
advantages: to manage part of the group's cash, to benefit from
the group's main client database, and to be recognized by
Votorantim's strong brand-name recognition. The bank is an
important business of the group, representing approximately 20%
of its net income in 2004.

Asset Quality

Banco Votorantim maintains adequate asset quality indicators.
These are better than the average of the banking industry in
Brazil. The ratio of loans to total assets should further
increase in the near future. As of December 2004, its
consolidated loans represented 20% of total assets. This
proportion is below that of its peers, but has gradually
increased from extremely low levels and should remain with an
upward trend. The high 69% increase in loans in 2004 is
explained by the strategy to consolidate the position in car
financing by taking advantage of market opportunities, and was
also helped by the GDP growth of approximately 5%. We expect
this trend to prevail in 2005, also helped by forecast 3.5% GDP
growth.

Despite the aggressive increase in the car financing portfolio
in the past three years, the quality of the loans has been
maintained at adequate levels given the bank's strong operating
controls and systems and better recovery prospect as the car is
the guarantee for the lending. In addition, the bank's sound
profitability allows the creation of provisions to cover
potential losses.

The credit portfolio within the wholesale segment is well
diversified by economic sectors and includes the largest
corporate entities operating in Brazil. On a consolidated basis,
the concentration risk has been declining because of the impact
of the growth in the car financing portfolio, which is atomized.
This reduction in concentration by borrower is expected to
further improve with the growth trend in car financing.

Historically, Banco Votorantim's consolidated figure asset-
quality ratios have been better than those of its main peers and
the average reported by the private banking sector. In a
scenario of lending activities growth, the bank has implemented
sound credit policies and procedures and also tuned scoring
systems that should help the bank to maintain its asset quality
measures. Nonetheless, because the more pronounced growth in car
financing portfolio is relatively recent, we are constantly
monitoring its evolution. A challenge for Banco Votorantim is to
keep growing this portfolio while maintaining better-than-
average asset quality indicators.

Banco Votorantim's treasury is very active in providing hedge
instruments to its clients. For this reason, Votorantim usually
carries a high exposure to Brazil's sovereign risk through its
securities and open market portfolio, equivalent to
approximately 5.4x in December 2004 (based on consolidated
figures) its equity.

Profitability

Banco Votorantim's profitability remains strong. The bank's
return on assets (ROAA) of 2.5% is one of the best in the
industry in 2004. This benefited from the good margins generated
mainly from its car financing, corporate finance, and treasury
activities. The bank continues to take advantage of a clean
structure and low operating costs.

We expect the quality of Banco Votorantim's revenues and bottom
line to improve. Treasury gains still played a significant role
in 2004. Nevertheless, the bank has been making strong efforts
toward diversification on a consistent basis and is poised to
have a reduction in treasury gains while increasing the lending
activity results and slowly improving fees and commissions,
including the asset management business. The growing size of the
bank's loan book mainly in car financing has allowed the bank to
preserve sound net interest income. In light of a potential
reduction in interest rates, however, the bank should benefit
from larger auto finance operations and the results derived from
its treasury and merchant banking. Profitability also benefited
from lower credit provisions in 2004. We expect provision
coverage to be maintained at levels at or above 100%.

An important feature of Banco Votorantim is its efficiency. The
bank shows low operating expenses as a result of the small
number of branches and the bank's stringent cost control. In the
past four years, the noninterest expenses-to-revenues ratio
averaged 43%, which is significantly better than that of retail
banks.

We expect Banco Votorantim to keep its profitability at good
levels-with an ROAA at or above 2% in the next two years by
means of increasing car financing and loans to individuals with
payroll discount while maintaining asset quality under control.
Profitability should also benefit from the bank's very good
expense control.

Asset-Liability Management

Banco Votorantim continues to enjoy a good liquidity position,
with customer deposits largely exceeding the loan portfolio
balance. Banco Votorantim's funding base continues to be
wholesale-supported, with core deposits representing 33% of
total liabilities and covering its loan operations in full. A
positive point is that Banco Votorantim has been increasing its
third-party deposits when compared to deposits coming from the
group, evidencing the strong brand recognition. Historically,
Votorantim Industrial group invests part of its cash excess in
Banco Votorantim.

Liquidity is further enhanced by the ability to reach resources
in the international market. Banco Votorantim benefited from its
strong image in the market to obtain funding in foreign
currency. More recently the bank was the pioneer in funding
denominated in local currency (i.e. remuneration to the investor
based on the local currency, but the settlement in U.S. dollars,
meaning that investors take foreign exchange risk). Given the
high levels of federal government securities on the balance
sheet, Votorantim routinely enters into repurchase agreements to
fund these assets as part of its liquidity management program.

Usually, the bank does not carry open currency and interest
positions due to the use of derivative instruments. The group
monitors daily trading position and the risks involved in such
positions based on reports. Limits are established by a
committee comprised of the top management and Treasurer, and has
been very low. The risk manager is located close to the Treasury
and reports directly to the vice president on a daily basis.

Capital

Banco Votorantim's capitalization is adequate for the profile of
its operations. The bank had a regulatory capital-to-risk-
weighed assets ratio of 17.5% at year-end 2004, which is in line
with the larger private banks in the system and above the
minimum regulatory requirements of 11%.

The Votorantim Group has been reinforcing the bank's capital
with capital injections and earnings retention. Although the
capital increase in 2002 was done through an issuance of
debentures by Votorantim Finanças S.A. (the bank's shareholder),
there was a change in strategy with new capital coming from the
group in 2003 and 2004, thus reducing double leverage at the
holding company to 1.2x in 2004 (from 1.5x in 2003 and 2.4x in
2002). Double leverage risk is offset by the fact that the
debentures are guaranteed and are to be repaid by the Votorantim
Group. In terms of dividends, although the law requires a
minimum dividend of 25% of annual net income, in the past four
years, the bank's good financial profile helped it surpass this
requirement.

CONTACT:  Primary Credit Analyst:
          Daniel Araujo, Sao Paulo
          Tel: (55) 11-5501-8939
          E-mail: daniel_araujo@standardandpoors.com

          Secondary Credit Analyst:
          Tamara Berenholc, Sao Paulo
          Tel: (55) 11-5501-8950
          E-mail: tamara_berenholc@standardandpoors.com


CSN: Better Sales, Margins Yield Higher 1Q05 Earnings
-----------------------------------------------------
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) (NYSE: SID) (BOVESPA:
CSNA3) released its first quarter 2005 results (1Q05), in
accordance with Brazilian accounting principles and denominated
in Reais. The comments presented herein refer to consolidated
results and comparisons are related to the first quarter 2004
(1Q04) unless otherwise stated. On March 31, 2005, the US
dollar/Real exchange rate was R$ 2.6662.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

- Net income increased by 115%, due to better prices and sales.
- EBITDA was up by 69%, with an increase of 4 p.p. in the EBITDA
margin.
- Net debt decreased by R$1.2 billion in comparison to December
2004, and the net debt over EBITDA ratio reached 0.65x.
- GalvaSud operating at full capacity, with a 200% increase in
output, contributed to the 52% share of higher value added
products in the Company's sales mix.
- First deal closed for iron ore sale with delivery volume of
54.7 million tones.
- Acquisition of ERSA (tin mine and smelting), reinforcing the
commitment with cost optimization and leveraging the mining
business.

CONTACT: Mr. Marcos Leite Ferreira
         Investor Relations of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional
         Phone: +5511-3049-7591
         E-mail: marcos.ferreira@csn.com.br
         Web site: http://www.csn.com.br



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

PACIFICTEL: Ex-Senatel Employee Becomes CEO
-------------------------------------------
Alberto Perez-Llona resigned from his post as CEO of state-run
fixed line operator Pacifictel on Tuesday, Business News
Americas reports without revealing the reason for the
resignation. Ivan Nunez has been appointed to replace Perez-
Llona. Prior to this appointment, Nunez worked at the local
telecom authority Senatel.


PACIFICTEL: Accounts for Less than 2% of Parent's 2004 Profit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pacifictel contributed only US$982,659 last year towards the
US$88.5 million profit of its owner, state holding company Fondo
de Solidaridad (FS), reports Business News Americas.

The figure is substantially lower than its sister company
Andinatel's US$82.3 million contribution, which represented 93%
of FS's total 2004 profit.

FS is the largest shareholder in 19 electricity companies and
fully owns another six electricity companies, as well as the two
fixed line operators.

In the past two years, FS has invested US$137 million, which
equates to 51% of the total profit the agency has accumulated in
its eight years of operations. FS uses the profit to finance
social development projects.


PETROCUADOR: Makes Fuel Supply Assurances
-----------------------------------------
State-oil firm Petroecuador reassures consumers that its current
oil reserves are sufficient to guarantee uninterrupted fuel
supply. Business News Americas reports that Petrocomercial, the
company's sales and distribution arm, has around 35.2 million
gallons of fuel reserves to date. The reserves are stored at the
Pascuales terminal in Guayaquil, with 17.6 million gallons, at
Manta, with 3.22 million gallons, and at Quito, with 7.48
million gallons.

Petroecuador also reported premium gasoline reserves totaling
3.8 million and Extra gasoline reserves at 12.2 million. In
addition, available diesel supplies are estimated at 35.7
million gallons.

Petroecuador dominates oil production in Ecuador. The company
controls about 37% of Ecuador's total oil production. Private
companies have begun to operate many Petroecuador-owned fields
under service contracts after the government enacted aimed at
attracting more private investment.



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

AIR JAMAICA: Senior Official Hints at Closure
---------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica's financial state is in a worse position than had
been originally thought and is likely to fold its wings,
according to a senior official.

"While the airline continues to enjoy the goodwill of many
passengers and nationals, keeping it flying at a huge financial
burden might not be practical," said Dr. Vin Lawrence, Chairman
of the restructuring group.

As a nation, "we will have to accept the point that it cannot
survive and this is a very important question that needs to be
understood. If we cannot get cost structure in line, we have to
make a hard decision and hard choices," Dr. Lawrence added.

The airline is struggling to deal with a million-dollar debt,
part of it owed to the Jamaica government. It is undergoing a
restructuring program, under which it is laying off 40 pilots.

CONTACT: AIR JAMAICA
         Corporate Communications
         Tel: 876-922-3460 ext 4060-5
         URL: www.airjamaica.com



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

CINTRA: Returns to Black After Four Years of Losses
---------------------------------------------------
CINTRA, S.A. DE C.V., (BMV: CINTRA) Mexico's and Latin America's
leading air transportation system, reported its unaudited
results for the first quarter of 2005. For the first time in
four years, Cintra reported positive operating results in the
first quarter of the year.

In contrast with the losses reported by other airlines in the
world, net income of the Group in this period was 362 million
pesos, which exceeds the results obtained in the same period
since 2000.

This result contrasts favorably with the net loss of 516 million
pesos recorded in the same period of the previous year.

Revenues of the Group increased by 14% in real terms with
respect to the first quarter of 2004. This increase is the
highest in the last 5 years.

Operating expenses other than jet fuel expense were maintained
practically unchanged with respect to the previous year.

Maintenance expense during January-March of 2005 was 9% higher
in real terms with respect to the same period of the previous
year, which demonstrates the firm commitment of Cintra to the
safety of its passengers.

For the first time in the last 5 years, cash flow in the first
quarter of the year increased, totaling 3,924 million pesos, an
amount exceeding by 54% in real terms that of the same period of
the previous year.

Cintra presents for the first time separate financial and
operating information for its two airline groups: Aerovias de
Mexico and Compania Mexicana de Aviacion.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Load factor                63.4%
Total revenues
(millions of  pesos)      8,994
EBITDAR
(millions of  pesos)      1,178
Operating income
(millions of pesos)          3
Net income
(millions of  pesos)       362

First quarter 2005 compared to first quarter 2004

Comparative Highlights

                          First Quarter
                       2005         2004   Variation
Load factor            63.4%        60.8%  2.6 p.p.
Total revenues
(millions of pesos)   8,994       7,900  13.9%
EBITDAR
(millions of  pesos)  1,178         691  70.3%
EBITDAR (% of revenue) 13.1%        8.8%  4.3 p.p
Operating income
(millions of  pesos)     3        (459)
Operating income
(% of revenue)         0.03%      (5.8%)
Net income (loss)
(millions of  pesos)    362        (516)


Total revenues showed an increase of 13.9% compared to the first
quarter of 2004, principally due to the effect of growth in the
volume of passengers transported of 5.8% and an increase of 1.8%
in yield.

EBITDAR experienced an increase of 70.3% compared to the same
period of 2004 derived from the growth in revenue, which offset
the 8.4% increase in operating expenses, principally because of
the rise in jet fuel expense and the increase in maintenance
expenses, traffic services and salaries and wages. It is worth
noting that, as result of various programs of revenue
enhancements and cost reduction, in the first quarter of 2005
savings were generated in insurance, traffic services,
administration and IT, passenger services, sales and advertising
and travel agency commissions.

EBITDAR, reduced by capital expenditures, which increased by
2.1% compared to the first quarter of 2004, produced positive
operating income of 3 million pesos, compared to an operating
loss of 459 million pesos in the first quarter of 2004.

CINTRA generated net income during the January-March period of
362 million pesos, compared to a net loss of 516 million pesos
in the same period of 2004.

Available Seat and Revenue Passenger Kilometers

                                   First Quarter
                                2005  2004  Variation

ASKs (millions)                10,829  10,158  6.6%
RPKs (millions)                 6,863   6,171 11.2%
Yield
(Passenger income / RPKs)
(pesos)                       1.1262  1.1061  1.8%
Cost per ASK(pesos)            0.804   0.808  (0.5%)
Cost per ASK without fuel
(pesos)                        0.634   0.679  (6.6%)

During the period January-March 2005, the Available Seat
Kilometers (ASKs) were 10,829 million, higher by 6.6% than in
the same period of 2004, as a result of a 0.4% increase in
operations and a 4.8% increase in flight hours achieved. Demand
expressed in RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) for the first
quarter of 2005 reached 6,863 million, representing an increase
of 11.2% with respect to the same period of 2004, as a result of
the 5.8% increase in passengers carried and longer flight
segments.

In the first quarter of 2005, the yield (average passenger
income per RPK) reached 1.1262 pesos, an increase of 1.8%
compared to 2004, a principal result of the mix of fares and the
effect of the fuel surcharge charged to passengers.

The cost per ASK in the January - March 2005 period was 0.804
pesos, lower by 0.5% from 2004, an effect of the various savings
and cost reduction measures that have been applied. In this
regard, it is worth noting that the cost per ASK in this quarter
without giving effect to jet fuel expense was 0.634 pesos, lower
by 6.6% than in the same period in 2004.

A. Operating Results.

Revenues

During the first quarter of 2005, revenues totaled 8,994 million
pesos, a 13.9% increase compared to 2004, generated by increases
of 23.3% in excess baggage, 19.9% in international passenger
revenue, 19.1% in other items, 13.5% in cargo revenue and 8.4%
in domestic passenger revenues.

In U.S. dollar terms, total revenues grew to US$ 801 million
during the first quarter of 2005, a 16.7% increase with respect
to the same period in 2004, caused by the increases in all
revenue items.

Operating expenses

Total operating expenses during the January - March 2005 period
were 7,817 million pesos, an increase of 8.4% in relation to
2004.

Personnel expense reached 2,605 million pesos, a slight increase
of 1.2% over the first quarter of 2004, principally from the
effect of salary adjustments agreed upon in the collective
bargaining agreements of the group's companies over the past
year. It is important to mention in this regard that personnel
expense represented 29.0% of total revenues during the first
quarter of 2005, compared to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2004.

Jet fuel expense during the January-March 2005 period totaled
1,903 million pesos, an increase of 42.6% compared to the same
period in 2004.  This increase was due to the growth in the cost
of jet fuel, the average price per liter of which increased by
32.1%, compared to the average price during the first quarter of
2004, as well as the 4.8% increase in flight hours.  Another
factor influencing this increase relates to the average peso-
dollar exchange rate during the period, which was MexPs. 11.18
per U.S. dollar compared to MexPs.10.98 during the same period
of 2004.

Platform and traffic servicing expense totaled 913 million pesos
during the first quarter of 2005, an increase of 3.2% compared
to the same period in 2004, caused by a 24.6% increase in the
international traffic of Mexicana de Aviacion, an expense booked
in foreign currency, and the cargo operations of the group.

Maintenance expense reached 823 million pesos, an increase of
9.0% over the January-March period of 2004, due to the 0.4%
increase in flight operations and the 4.8% increase in flight
hours, which results in additional maintenance services for
aircraft generally and particularly for engine repairs, as well
as the booking of reserves related to aircraft return for
Aeromexico and Mexicana.  A factor that contributes to the
increase in this item is the peso - dollar exchange rate,
because aircraft parts, components and spare parts are foreign-
sourced.

Passenger service expense totaled 224 million pesos, a reduction
of 3.0% compared to the first quarter in 2004, as a result of
various cost saving programs implemented, in particular with
respect to food and beverages.  It is important to note that
this decrease occurred despite the 5.8% increase in passengers
carried during the period.

During the first quarter of 2005 commissions to travel agents
were 523 million pesos, 1.4% lower than in the same quarter of
2004, a savings produced despite the 13.2% increase in domestic
and international passenger traffic.  This resulted from actions
taken to strengthen direct sales and to the fact that the public
is utilizing the internet with increasing frequency to purchase
travel tickets - both means reduce the cost of commissions paid
by the airlines to travel agencies.

Promotion and sales expense during the January - March 2005
quarter was 460 million pesos, a reduction of 2.8% compared to
2004, as a result of cost savings programs implemented, among
the most notable being the strengthening of direct sales and
internet sales, as well as achieving more effective results from
sponsored events and publicity schemes at a lower cost.

Insurance expense was 100 million pesos during this quarter, a
reduction of 19.6% compared to the first quarter of 2004,
resulting from the excellent operating record of the companies
of the Group that permitted the negotiation of reductions in
premium payments with insurance companies for the 2004 - 2005
program.

During the January - March 2005 period, administration and IT
expenses reached 267 million pesos, a decrease of 12.0% compared
to the same period of 2004, resulting from the implementation of
various discipline and austerity measures, which included the
reduction of billings from service providers, the cancellation
of consulting agreements and the optimization of personnel
resources.

During the first quarter of 2005, operating expenses expressed
in dollars totaled US$696 million, an increase of 11.1% compared
to the same quarter in 2004, resulting from the increases in
expenses denominated in this currency for the following items:
personnel, jet fuel, maintenance, and platform and traffic
services.

EBITDAR

As a result of the revenue and expense items described above,
EBITDAR in this quarter was 1,178 million pesos, a 70.3%
increase with respect to the first quarter of 2004.

Capital expenditures

Capital expenditures during the January - March of 2005 period
reached 1,175 million pesos, a 2.1% increase with respect to
2004. Flight equipment rental expenses totaled 921 million
pesos, an increase of 2.3% compared to 2004 as a result of the
fleet renewal in the companies of the group.

Depreciation expense was 254 million pesos, a slight increase of
1.4% compared to the first quarter of 2004, principally as a
result of the exchange rate in effect during the respective
periods.

Operating income

During the first quarter of 2005 period CINTRA generated
operating income of 3 million pesos, compared to an operating
loss of 459 million pesos registered in the same period in 2004.

Integral cost of  financing

The integral cost of financing during the January-March 2005
period reached 17 million pesos, compared to integral financing
income of 46 million pesos in 2004.  Financial expense was 46
million pesos, a reduction of 39.2% compared to the same period
of 2004, resulting principally from an increase in cash flow and
a reduction in liabilities.

Foreign exchange loss in the first quarter of 2005 was 0.2
million pesos, compared to a foreign exchange gain of 19 million
pesos in the same period in 2004, as a result of the movements
in exchange rates between the respective periods as well as from
prior quarters.

During the period January - March 2005, results from monetary
position generated a positive figure of 29 million pesos,
compared to a similar gain of 102 million pesos during the same
period in 2004.  This variation is due to the composition of the
monetary items, as well as the effect of inflation during the
period.

Extraordinary Items

In the first quarter of 2005, income of 741 million pesos was
registered, principally as a result of a favorable resolution
for the company in tax-related litigation.

Net income

During the first quarter of 2005 Cintra generated net income of
362 million pesos, compared to a net loss of 516 million pesos
during the same period in 2004.

Relevant events

These are the most relevant events, among others, during the
first quarter of 2005:

Program for the sale of the assets of Cintra

In its session of February 7, 2005, the Board of Directors of
Cintra approved its transformation and sale, re-grouping into
three different asset packages.  The first is made up of
Aeromexico, a leading company in domestic passenger
transportation, and Aerolitoral, transformed into the best
regional airline in the country.  The second comprises Mexicana
de Aviacion, a leading company in international passenger
transportation, and a new low-cost airline.  The third is made
up of Servicios de Apoyo en Tierra, a leading ground services
company.  Additionally, it was decided to analyze the different
alternatives to sell Aeromexpress and Alas de America, as well
as Cintra's holdings in ITR and Sabre Sociedad Tecnologica, S.A.
de C.V.

Hiring  of a Financial Advisor for the sale of the airlines of
the Group

In an extraordinary session held on February 24, 2005, the Board
of Directors of Cintra approved the hiring of a financial
advisor that will assist in the design and execution of the sale
of the two groups of airlines, headed by Aeromexico and
Mexicana.  After analyzing the technical and economic proposals
from seven invited investment banks, the Board of Directors
determined to approve the hiring of Credit Suisse First Boston,
considering that its proposal offers the best technical and
economic conditions for Cintra.

Official presentation of Click Mexicana

On April 11, 2005, Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion officially
presented Click Mexicana as its new low-cost airline, which will
operate 10 Fokker aircraft with a 100-seat configuration and
will initially cover nine domestic destinations with round trips
from Mexico City. The name Click is the result of a study
carried out by the company Landor, internationally recognized
for its specialization in branding.

Coverage of jet fuel costs of up to 50% of consumption for the
2005 fiscal year

With the goal of reducing the exposure of the companies to the
risk of important increases in the price of jet fuel, during the
quarter hedging coverage continued to be contracted for
approximately 50% of estimated jet fuel consumption for the
current fiscal year.

Changes in fleet composition

In order to improve the efficiency of its operations and its
passenger service, during the period Mexicana added 3 Airbus A
318 aircraft and grounded 4 aircraft, 2 Fokkers and 2 Boeing
757.  Aeromexico grounded 2 MD 82 aircraft.

Additionally, in its meeting of March 4, 2005, the Board of
Directors of Aerolitoral authorized the incorporation of up to
10 regional jets to strengthen its operations, which are
expected to begin to be introduced into the fleet in the second
half of 2005.

Increase in jet fuel prices

An external factor out of Cintra's influence and control is the
price of jet fuel, the average price per liter of which during
the first quarter of 2005 was 4.40 pesos, 32.1% higher than in
the same period in 2004.  This item directly impacts the
financial results of the companies of the Group and its effects
counteract the positive effects of the savings generated in
different expense items.

Foreign exchange

The exchange rate of the Mexican peso during the first quarter
of 2005 reached 11.18 pesos per U.S. dollar compared to 10.98
pesos per U.S. dollar during the same quarter of 2004.

Improvement in cash flow

During the period from January through March 2005, cash flow had
a positive shift from the end of the fourth quarter of 2004 of
approximately US$6 million.

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

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


GRUPO IUSACELL: Receives Concession Titles for PCS Frequencies
--------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V., announced Wednesday that it has
received from the SCT (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y
Transportes), the concession titles of the radio electric
spectrum in connection to the auction of the 1900 MHZ band that
it grant the rights to use 10MHZ in the PCS regions 2, 3, 5, 6,
7, 8 and 9, for the next 20 years.

About Iusacell

Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (Iusacell, NYSE and BMV: CEL) is a
wireless cellular and PCS service provider in Mexico
encompassing a total of approximately 92 million POPs,
representing approximately 90% of the country's total
population.

Independent of the negotiations towards the restructuring of its
debt, Iusacell reinforces its commitment with customers,
employees and suppliers and guarantees the highest quality
standards in its daily operations offering more and better voice
communication and data services through state-of-the-art
technology, such as its new 3G network, throughout all of the
regions in which it operate.

CONTACT: Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V.
         Investor Contacts
         Mr. Jose Luis Riera K.
         Chief Financial Officer
         Phone: +5255-5109-5927

         Mr. J. Victor Ferrer
         Finance Manager
         Phone: +5255-5109-5927
         E-mail: vferrer@iusacell.com.mx
         Web site: http://www.iusacell.com


GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Details Positive Ratings Analysis
---------------------------------------------------
Rationale

The rating on Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Gmexico) reflects the
company's above-average debt profile, cyclical and volatile
copper prices, cash-flow generation, and high fuel cost, which
is somewhat affecting its railroad and mining divisions. These
factors are balanced by Americas Mining Corp.'s (AMC; Gmexico
subholding) better financial profile, Ferromex's (Gmexico's
direct railroad operational subsidiary) steady cash-flow
generation, and AMC's position as the third-largest copper
producer in the world, including the very low-cost mines of
Southern Peru Copper Corp. (SPCC; AMC direct operational
subsidiary).

Gmexico has been benefiting from AMC's debt reductions and
strong cash-flow generation due to the strong and sustained
copper and other metals' prices. For 2004, Gmexico's debt-to-
EBITDA ratio was 1.2x, which compares favorably with the 4.0x
ratio a year ago. Moreover, Gmexico's interest coverage ration
had boosted from Minera Mexico S.A. de C.V.'s (MM; AMC direct
operational subsidiary) substitution program of high-cost debt
for low-cost, such as the syndicated loan to prepay the Security
Export Notes. As a result, this ratio improved to 9.3x in 2004
from 4.2x a year ago. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects
the company to maintain 2004 levels during the next couple of
years.

AMC's copper production during 2004 reached 888,000 tons, or
4.8% higher than the previous year in the same period. The
company has 15 mining units and 17 smelters and refineries. In
addition, AMC is the fourth-largest silver producer and fifth-
largest zinc producer in the world. Because of the strong copper
price environment, AMC represents 85% and 89% of Gmexico's total
sales and EBITDA, respectively, which increased from 77% and 71%
in the previous year because of the strong copper price
environment. We believe the mining division will reduce somewhat
its importance in Gmexico's EBITDA, but will remain above 80%.

Additionally, AMC's organization structure has change. 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.
We have already taken the merger into consideration in the
rating.

Ferromex, a joint venture with Union Pacific, is the largest
railroad in Mexico and connects at five points along the border
with the U.S. During 2004, Ferromex showed strong volumes,
operating cost reductions, and real price increases. Although
higher fuel prices have hurt the company's profitability, so far
in 2005 the company has been able to surcharge fuel price
increases. Despite the current and expected high fuel prices, we
expect the company to continue its strong cash-flow generation
(free operating cash flow-to-total debt ratio of 26%).
Additionally, we expect Ferromex to continue with its dividend
policy, which is considered aggressive.

Liquidity

Gmexico's liquidity is adequate. The company had cash in hand,
as of Dec. 31, 2004, of $986 million, of which SPCC's cash
represents almost 56%. Gmexico does not have any committed
credit lines, and maturities for the next 12 months of $227
million. Additionally, we anticipate at least a $600 million
free operating cash flow generation in the next couple of years.

At the holding level, Gmexico's only cash source to cover its
debt maturities and interest expenses is Ferromex's dividend.
Nevertheless, as of December 2004, Gmexico's total debt was $15
million and its cash position was $21 million. We believe
Gmexico, or any of its subsidiaries, will not face any trouble
to cover its maturity and will continue to receive Ferromex's
dividend.

Outlook

The outlook is positive. The rating on Gmexico could be raised
if the rating on AMC is raised and if the railroad operation
continues its positive performance. In turn, the rating on AMC
could be raised if its ability to sustain its cash-flow
generation continues, if it keeps its leverage reduction at AMC
holding and MM level, and if the financial policy regarding
dividend payments continues unchanged.

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

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


TV AZTECA: Files Lawsuit Against Finance Minister
-------------------------------------------------
TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: TZA; BMV: TVAZTCA, Latibex:
XTZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish language
television programming in the world, announced Wednesday that it
is suing Finance Minister Francisco Gil Diaz, relates Dow Jones
Newswires.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday with the Federal Attorney General's
Office alleged that Gil threatened he would charge Chairman
Ricardo Salinas Pliego with violations of the country's
securities laws if TV Azteca continues to air a critical program
about Citigroup Inc. (C) and its 2001 acquisition of Mexico's
Grupo Financiero Banamex.

On Tuesday night, TV Azteca aired a program, the second in a
series, about Citigroup and its US$12.5 billion acquisition of
Banamex. The series criticizes the tax-free sale of Banamex and
delves into disputes about bad loans that Banamex transferred to
the government as part of the US$70 billion bank bailout of the
mid-1990s.

TV Azteca alleged that Gil called its head of information and
public affairs to his offices on Tuesday and demanded that the
program be stopped.

The lawsuit also alleged that Gil also demanded that TV Azteca
pay fines related to 2003 debt transactions at wireless phone
company Unefon SA (UNEFON.MX), that the TV company stop trying
to discredit banks and authorities, and that it drop court stays
against regulators' demands for information.

The demands were "an attempt against freedom of expression" and
against "transparency and good government," TV Azteca news
anchor Javier Alatorre said Tuesday.

CONTACT:  TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V.
          Investors, Bruno Rangel
          Tel: +5255-3099-9167
          E-mail: jrangelk@tvazteca.com.mx

          Media, Tristan Canales
          Tel: +5255-1720-5786
          E-mail: tcanales@tvazteca.com.mx

          Daniel McCosh
          Tel: +5255-1720-0059
          E-mail: dmccosh@tvazteca.com.mx
          URL: http://www.irtvazteca.com/


VITRO: Bear Stearns Warns Investors Against Buying Stock
--------------------------------------------------------
Bear Stearns slashed stock recommendation on Vitro SA (VTO) and
advised investors to continue to avoid the Mexican glass
manufacturer on expectations of further equity weakness ahead.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the investment house
downgraded Vitro's stock to "underperform" from "peer perform"
after the Company posted a net loss for the first quarter.

"We feel financial and shareholder risk at Vitro remains high,"
Bear Sterns said in a research report.

It noted that Vitro's flat glass business is suffering "major
setbacks" and added that the company has "explained very little"
about the causes.

Bear Sterns stressed that Vitro didn't say why interest expenses
rose in the first quarter or why net debt hasn't declined since
2002.

"We expect Vitro to go the way of Desc," said Bear Stearns,
referring to the Mexican conglomerate Desc SA (DESC.MX), which
delisted from the New York Stock Exchange last year. It said
Vitro will likely "recognize its low equity commitment, pull its
ADR program, and possibly seek fresh equity from a white
knight."

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

CONTACT: Investor Relations
         Mr. Adrian Meouchi (ameouchi@vitro.com)
         Ms. Leticia Vargas (lvargasv@vitro.com)
         Vitro S.A. de C.V.
         Phone: + (52) 81-8863-1350 / 1219

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

         Web site at: http://www.vitro.com

         Breakstone & Ruth International
         U.S. agency
         Mr. Alex Fudukidis (afudukidis@breakstoneruth.com)
         Ms. Susan Borinelli
        (Sborinelli@breakstoneruth.com)
         Phone: (646) 536-7012 / 7018



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

R&G FINANCIAL: Restatement Prompts Informal SEC Investigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission")
informed R&G Financial Corporation (NYSE: RGF - News; "R&G
Financial), a diversified financial services company, on Tuesday
that the Commission was conducting an informal investigation
regarding (i) the April 25, 2005, announcement that R&G
Financial would restate its financial statements, and (ii) the
underlying issues addressed in that press release. R&G Financial
said it intends to cooperate with and assist the Commission in
this informal investigation.

R&G Financial, currently in its 33rd year of operations, is a
diversified financial holding company with operations in Puerto
Rico and the United States, providing banking, mortgage banking,
investments, consumer finance and insurance through its wholly
owned subsidiaries R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico, a Puerto
Rico-chartered commercial bank; R-G Crown Bank, its Florida-
based savings bank; R&G Mortgage Corp., Puerto Rico's second
largest mortgage banker; Mortgage Store of Puerto Rico, Inc., a
subsidiary of R&G Mortgage; Continental Capital Corp., R-G
Crown's New York and North Carolina-based mortgage banking
subsidiary; R-G Investments Corporation, a Puerto Rico broker-
dealer; and Home and Property Insurance Corporation, a Puerto
Rico insurance agency. As of December 31, 2004, R&G Financial
had previously reported consolidated assets of $10.2 billion and
consolidated stockholders' equity of $855.6 million.


R&G FINANCIAL: Shareholders Commence Class Action Suit
------------------------------------------------------
Class actions have been commenced again R&G Financial
Corporation (NYSE: RGF - News; "R&G") and several of its senior
officers, alleging violations of the anti-fraud provisions of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The actions are pending in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York. The complaints allege that from April 21, 2003 through
April 25, 2005 ("Class Period"), R&G failed to disclose that its
earnings quality was materially undermined by aggressive
assumptions relating to "gain on sale" income and the value of
"interest only" or "IO" strips it retained upon the completion
of securitization transactions and that those and other material
accounting and valuation issues caused it to prepare and to
disseminate materially false financial statements in violation
of generally accepted accounting principles. The complaints
allege that R&G's knowing or reckless misrepresentations about
its true financial condition inflated the price of its
securities artificially during the Class Period. Ultimately, on
April 25, 2005 R&G announced that it would restate its audited
financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2003 and
December 31, 2004 and interim periods therein. On April 26,
2005, R&G announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission
had launched an investigation into its announced restatement.

If you purchased R&G securities, including its common stock,
during the period from April 21, 2003 through and including
April 25, 2005, and you wish to know your legal rights with
regard to the actions that have been filed, contact Jacob A.
Goldberg, Esq. LLC at (215) 782-8235 or via email at
jacobagoldberg@comcast.net for a consultation at no cost or
obligation to you.


R&G FINANCIAL: Schatz & Nobel Announces Class Action Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., which has significant
experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of
securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action
status has been filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern of District of New York on behalf of all persons
who purchased the publicly traded securities of R&G Financial
Corporation (NYSE: RGF - News; "R&G," or the "Company") between
April 21, 2003 and April 25, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that R&G violated federal securities laws
by issuing false or misleading public statements. Specifically,
the Complaint alleges that R&G used improper accounting
assumptions to value its interest only ("IO") residuals used in
securitization transactions. On March 25, 2005, R&G announced
that it would restate its financial results for fiscal years
2003 and 2004. Then on April 26, 2005, R&G announced that it was
subject to an informal SEC probe relating to its restatement
announcement. On this news, shares of R&G fell from a close of
$23.18 per share on April 25, 2005, to close at $15.10 on April
26, 2005.

If you are a member of the class, you may, no later than June
27, 2005, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff
of the class. A lead plaintiff is a class member that acts on
behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.
Although your ability to share in any recovery is not affected
by the decision whether or not to seek appointment as a lead
plaintiff, lead plaintiffs make important decisions, which could
affect the overall recovery for class members, including
decisions concerning settlement. The securities laws require the
Court to consider the class member(s) with the largest financial
interest as presumptively the most adequate lead plaintiff(s).

For more information about the case, its claims, and your
rights, contact:

     Wayne T. Boulton or Nancy Kulesa
     Tel.: (800) 797-5499
     Website: http://www.snlaw.net
     E-mail: sn06106@aol.com



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

CNV: President Chavez Authorizes Expropriation
----------------------------------------------
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed Wednesday an order to
expropriate Constructora Nacional de Valvulas (CNV), an
industrial valve company that went bankrupt in April 2002. The
president called on the military to secure the Company's
remaining assets immediately.

"We decree the forced acquisition of the assets" of CNV, Mr.
Chavez said.

The move came a day after Venezuelan lawmakers declared the
company as "public interest," a move that paved the way for
expropriation.

CNV closed its doors in 2002 in support of a nationwide work
stoppage that almost toppled Chavez's presidency. The Company
went bankrupt a few months later.

President Chavez revealed that even before the expropriation
process begins, the government will help reopen the valve
company under the name Inveval. The government will control
approximately 51% of the new company and the rest will be
managed by a cooperative of factory workers.

Part of the plan to reopen the Company includes a VEB5.8 billion
investment, roughly VEB2.9 billion of which will be in the form
of a direct government investment.

The rest of the money will come from workers who stand to borrow
that money from the government at a 4% interest rate and other
favorable conditions, the president added.


PDVSA: Orimulsion to be Replaced With Fuel Oil
----------------------------------------------
Following a decision to phase out production of its patented
boiler fuel known as orimulsion, state oil firm PDVSA will ship
fuel oil to several foreign clients, reports Business News
Americas.

Orimulsion manufacture has been greatly reduced and is scheduled
to stop completely in February 2006. Energy and oil minister
Rafael Ramirez has said that, once production stops, all the
freed stock will be used to manufacture synthetic crude. The
main reason is that synthetic crude sells for a much higher
price than orimulsion, which sells for about the price of coal.

Venezuela currently exports some five million tonnes a year of
orimulsion to the following countries, with the years in which
their contracts expire in brackets: South Korea (2005), Japan
(2009), Lithuania (2012), Canada (2013) and Singapore (2014).

PDVSA, one of the world's largest energy corporations, is owned
by the Republic of Venezuela and is responsible for developing
the country's petroleum and petrochemical resources. PDVSA's
largest market is the United States, where most of its products
are sold by its wholly-owned subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corp.

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


                            ***********


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

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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