TCRLA_Public/050817.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

            Wednesday, August 17, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 162

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AGRONORD S.A.: Claims Review Report Court Filing Due Thursday
ARATIC S.A.: Trustee Submits General Report
BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Net Income for 2Q05 Continues 8-Month Trend
BERSA: Central Bank Authorizes Acquisition by Nuevo Banco
CLINICA BALCARCE: General Report due for Submission

IMPRESIONES ARCO: Claims Review Deadline Approaches
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Board Accepts Messano's Resignation
VIGNA HERMANOS: Trustee's General Report Due Soon


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Representative Settles Claims Totaling $81.6M

B R A Z I L

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Reduces Planned Capex for 2005
MRS LOGISTICA: Net Income Surpasses $199M in 1st Semester
UNIBANCO: Net Income Up 48.5% in 2Q05


C H I L E

CELCO: Submits Proposal to Reopen Valdivia Pulp Operation


C O L O M B I A

ECOPETROL: Seven Exploration Wells Find Oil


M E X I C O

ASARCO: Court Defers Ruling on Automatic Stay Provisions
ASARCO: Court Authorizes Use of Existing Bank Accounts
EMPRESAS ICA: Sells 473 Million Shares at Ps. 4.50 Per Share
GRUPO HERDEZ: Restructures $399M in Bank Debt
GRUPO MEXICO: Workers Launch One-Hour Staggered Stoppages

GRUPO MEXICO: Extraordinary Stock Price Growth Unexplained
MINERA AUTLAN: To Build $42M, 30MW Hydro Plant Late This Year


P U E R T O   R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Nasdaq Grants Form 10-Q Filing Extension


U R U G U A Y

UTE: GE Lands $80M EPC Contract to Build Two Gas-Fired Plants


V E N E Z U E L A

FERTINITRO FINANCE: Regulatory Concerns Prompt Rating Watch
PDVSA: S&P Raises Rating to 'B+'; Outlook Stable
PDVSA: Venezuela Evaluates Uruguay's La Teja Refinery Expansion


     - - - - - - - - - -


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

AGRONORD S.A.: Claims Review Report Court Filing Due Thursday
-------------------------------------------------------------
The validated claims of creditors of Agronord S.A. will be
presented to court as individual reports tomorrow, Aug. 18,
2005. These reports explain the basis for the accepted and
rejected claims.

Trustee Alberto Buceta had examined and authenticated the
forwarded claims until June 22, 2005 to determine the nature and
amount of the Company's debts. Creditors who failed to have
their claims authenticated by the said date will not qualify for
the payments that will be made after the Company's assets are
liquidated.

After the submission of the individual reports, Mr. Buceta will
prepare the general report to be forwarded to court on Sep. 29,
2005.

Court No. 14 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Agronord S.A. bankrupt in favor of the Company's
creditor, Kosturat S.R.L., for nonpayment of US$9,924.86 in
debt.

The city's Clerk No. 27 assists the court on the case that will
conclude with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACT: Agronord S.A.
         Teniente General Juan Domingo Peron 1730
         Buenos Aires


ARATIC S.A.: Trustee Submits General Report
-------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Fernando Miguel Altare will submit a
general report on the liquidation of Buenos-Aires based company
Aratic S.A. tomorrow, Aug. 18. The general report contains the
summary of the Company's financial status as well as relevant
events pertaining to the bankruptcy.

Aratic S.A. was declared bankrupt by Court No. 14 of the city's
civil and commercial tribunal, placing the Company under the
supervision of court-appointed trustee.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal Company assets
to repay its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Fernando Miguel Altare, Trustee
         Piedras 153
         Buenos Aires


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Net Income for 2Q05 Continues 8-Month Trend
--------------------------------------------------------------

I. Executive Summary

- Banco Hipotecario recorded net income of Ps.30.1 million for
the second quarter of 2005, and Ps.80.5 million for the first
half of Fiscal Year 2005, building on the positive trend from
the preceding eight quarters.

- Significant expansion in lending to the private sector as
reflected by a 63.2% increase in new housing and consumer loans
during the second quarter of 2005 compared to the previous
quarter. This increase results from the growth in personal
loans, new mortgage loans, credit cards and pledge loans.
Corporate loans also increased by 63.5% during the second
quarter of 2005 compared to the previous quarter, mainly by
other loans and advances.

- Deposits continued to increase substantially. Private sector
deposits increased 20% during the second quarter and 136% during
the year, mainly including savings accounts and time deposits.

- The Bank has experienced sustained improvement in operating
income, as a consequence of the increase in financial margins
and income from services resulting from new products with higher
profit margins, consolidation of the structure and the cost of
funding, continued improvement in operating efficiency levels
and the Bank's lower exposure to inflation risk through hedging
liabilities adjusted by CER.

- Banco Hipotecario successfully closed the third and fourth
series of its C‚dulas Hipotecarias in aggregate principal amount
of Ps.62.5 million and Ps.64.7 million, respectively. The Bank
has successfully issued four series of C‚dulas Hipotecarias in
the local capital market in aggregate principal amount of Ps.
227.2 million under its mortgage loan securitization program.

- Upgrading in Banco Hipotecario's risk rating. Standard &
Poor's and Fitch Ratings raised the Bank's rating to raA and
A(arg), respectively, on a local scale, based on its sustained
positive performance, liquidity and capitalization. In addition,
Standard & Poor's raised to B- the Bank's rating on a global
scale.

- Significant strengthening in the Bank's balance sheet
structure, following reduction of its restructured external
indebtedness for amounts in excess of US$280 million and the
repayment in full the Central Bank rediscounts of Ps.233.5
million, reflecting a balanced, capitalized and profitable asset
and liability structure.

- Substantial improvement in loan asset quality. In the last
twelve months, non-performing loans decreased by 22.4% and non-
performing loans to total loans decreased by 275 basis points.
Total loan loss reserves to nonperforming loans closed the
quarter at 99%.

- Consolidation of the Bank's equity position. At June 30, 2005,
the Bank's shareholders' equity was Ps.2,044.3 million, three
times the minimum capital required by the Central Bank, and its
shareholders' equity/asset ratio was 23.1%, far better than the
average of the financial system and private banks.

During the second quarter of 2005, as a result of growing demand
and broader range of products offered, Banco Hipotecario
experienced a sustained increase in origination of private
sector loans, making further progress in its business
diversification strategy aimed at becoming a diversified
financial institution.

The Bank's positive performance during the quarter resulted
primarily from the improvement in operating results due to its
higher activity levels and volume of business, lower interest
bearing liabilities and inflation adjustment due to its
prepayment of Central Bank liabilities, adequate control of
operating expenses, higher income from government securities and
the success of its efforts to preserve asset quality.

In addition, the Bank's significant financial hedging efforts
aimed at conservatively managing business performance risks
contributed to strengthening the Bank's balanced, capitalized
and profitable asset and liability structure, as reflected by
the recent credit risk upgradings obtained by the Bank from
Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, which raised the Bank's
rating to raA and A(arg), respectively.

Administrative expenses for the second quarter of 2005 totaled
Ps.29.8 million, representing a 10.0% increase compared to the
first quarter of 2005, resulting primarily from higher
advertising expenses related to the launch of new products and
an increase in other expenses related to the development of the
Bank's retail banking business. As of June 30, 2005,
administrative expenses represent only 1.29% of the Bank's
assets (in annualized terms).

At June 30, 2005, non-performing loans accounted for 10.2% of
the Bank's total loan portfolio, reflecting a significant
improvement compared to 12.9% at June 30, 2004. Total loan loss
reserves were 99% at June 30, 2005.

The Bank reinforced its commitment towards its business
diversification strategy, targeting the consolidation of its net
financial margin, rebuilding its portfolio of private loans, and
optimizing its structure and cost of capital while further
improving efficiency.

II. Relevant events during the quarter and recent developments

As previously informed, on February 15, 2005, Banco Hipotecario
reported that negotiations were being held with Banca Nazionale
del Lavoro S.p.A. ("BNL SpA") for the purchase of its local
banking business, and that a group of members of the Bank's
board of directors had been appointed to conclude negotiations
and execute the relevant agreements. On March 10, 2005, the
Argentine Secretary of Finance requested that closing of the BNL
transaction be postponed in order to resolve certain outstanding
shareholder issues.

On July 21, 2005, Banco Hipotecario reported that the referred
agreement had not been executed and that therefore, although
negotiations with BNL S.p.A. had not yet concluded, the
conditions originally reported could be affected due to changes
in such conditions or in the assets subject to purchase.

On April 5, and June 16, 2005, Banco Hipotecario successfully
closed its third and fourth series of C‚dulas Hipotecarias in
the local capital markets for an aggregate principal amount of
Ps.62.5 million and Ps.64.7 million, respectively, issued under
the "C‚dulas Hipotecarias Argentinas Ps.500 million Note
Program". The offer was oversubscribed by more than four times
in the case of the third series and more than twice in the case
of the fourth series. The Bonds accrue interest at a variable
rate equal to the higher of (i) CER plus 1% and (ii) the
interest rate for time deposits between Ps.100,000 and
Ps.500,000, up to 59 days, reported by the Central Bank plus 2%,
subject to a floor of 8% per annum and a ceiling of 15% per
annum. The Bonds are collateralized by residential mortgage
loans and were rated by Standard & Poor's as "raAA" for the
third series and "raAA+" for the fourth series.

On May 3, 2005, the Bank prepaid in full all of its borrowings
with the Central Bank in accordance with the provisions of
Decrees No. 739/03 and 1262/03. The total amount paid, which
includes principal, CER index and interest, was Ps.233.5
million.

On July 22, 2005, the CNV gave formal notice to the Bank, its
board of directors, supervisory committee members and market
relations officer, that it had initiated a proceeding in
connection with certain payments made in 2005 to the members of
the Bank's executive committee under its Management Compensation
Plan, which had been approved by the Bank's shareholders at
their meeting dated May 31, 2004. In these proceedings, the CNV
alleges that (i) to be valid, such payments required prior
approval of the Bank's shareholders; (ii) it was necessary,
given the fact that the Bank is a public company, to give notice
to the CNV of changes in the compensation method; and (iii) the
amount of the payments was not consistent with market standards.

These payments were made under the Bank's Management
Compensation Plan approved by its shareholders on May 31, 2004,
which has a five-year duration as from January 1, 2004;
therefore, it expires on December 31, 2008.

The Bank's Board of Directors has called a shareholders' meeting
to be held on August 31, 2005 in order to deal with the above-
mentioned fees. In addition, the board of directors accepted to
hold in escrow the certificates evidencing time deposits held in
the Bank by the directors who were paid fees under the Bank's
Management Compensation Plan, for an amount equivalent to such
fees, pending the decision to be adopted by the shareholders'
meeting mentioned above.

In the financial statements for the fiscal year ended December
31, 2004, the three-months ended March 31, 2005, and the six-
months ended June 30, 2005, provisions were recorded to reflect
the respective estimated liabilities due under the profit-
sharing and stock appreciation compensation plans. In addition,
the Bank's assets as of June 30, 2005 include the amounts to be
dealt with at the shareholders' meeting scheduled for August 31,
as mentioned above.

On August 3, 2005, the Bank made the second principal payment
and fourth interest coupon payment under its medium-term
guaranteed debt due on 2010 for US$16.7 million and US$2.8
million, respectively.

III. Presentation of Information

The Bank's assets include Argentine government bonds (the so-
called BODENs) issued pursuant to Decree 905/ 02 as compensation
for the loss suffered by the Bank as a result of the asymmetric
"pesification" of assets and liabilities and the devaluation of
the peso that took place in 2002. The Bank's loss suffered as a
result of pesification amounted to US$1,193.6 million
(equivalent to Ps.3,450.5 million, based on the exchange rate at
June 30, 2005, of Ps.2.8908 per dollar).

Compensation for this loss resulted in the Bank becoming
entitled to receive from the Argentine Government US$360.8
million in "compensatory" BODEN and US$832.8 million in
additional BODEN. As of June 30, 2005, the Bank had received
US$344.1 million in compensatory BODEN from the Central Bank but
had not received the additional BODEN. The Bank maintains the
right to subscribe for the US$832.8 million of additional
BODENs, all of which are reflected as assets of the Bank at June
30, 2005. The definitive amount of BODEN the Bank ultimately
receives is subject to approval by the Argentine Ministry of
Economy.

In accordance with Central Bank regulations, the Bank's right to
receive compensatory and additional BODEN from the Argentine
government is recorded at book value, including the accrual of
interest on such bonds during the periods under analysis in this
press release, which is recorded as income on the Bank's income
statement.

Assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency as of
June 30, 2005 were converted into Pesos at the exchange rate of
Ps.2.8908/US$1.00 and Ps.3.49038/EUR1.00, which was the
reference exchange rate published by the Central Bank on such
date.

NET INCOME

The Bank's net income for the second quarter of 2005 was Ps.30.1
million, compared to Ps.50.5 million recorded in the first
quarter of 2005. This variation mainly reflects changes in
certain non-recurrent items, including: i) a reduction in
financial income due to lower prepayment of restructured debt at
market prices; ii) the adverse effect on income from derivative
transactions aimed at reducing the effect of the appreciation in
the price of the Bank's shares; and iii) charges made during the
period for adjustment of additional BODEN and other charges.
Excluding the effect of the non-recurrent items described above,
the Bank's operating income experienced a sustained improvement
due to: i) the contribution to operating income derived from
higher intermediation activities and the new services offered by
the Bank; ii) lower financial expenditures due to the prepayment
of Central Bank borrowings; iii) the positive impact of the
matched position in assets and liabilities adjusted by the CER
index resulting from hedging transactions made during the
quarter; and iv) higher income from government securities. These
effects were partially offset by: i) higher administrative
expenses related to the Bank's efforts to develop its retail
banking business; and ii) the adverse effect of the appreciation
of the peso against the U.S. dollar on the Bank's net foreign
currency position recorded during the quarter.

Net income in the second quarter of 2005 was Ps.30.1 million,
compared to Ps.61.0 million as of June 30, 2004. Results for the
second quarter of 2005 primarily reflect: i) lower financial
income resulting from the application of the CVS index on
pesified mortgage loans in the second quarter of 2004 and lower
income from the buyback of restructured financial indebtedness
at market prices; ii) higher financial expenditures from Central
Bank borrowings due to the impact of the CER index and higher
interest due on foreign currency-denominated financing due to
higher interest rates; iii) the adverse effect of the
appreciation of the peso against the U.S. dollar on the Bank's
net foreign currency position recorded during the quarter; and
iv) higher administrative expenses due to the Bank's increased
level of business activities. These effects were partially
offset by: i) lower financial expenditures resulting from the
reduction in debt balances owed to the Central Bank as a
consequence of the prepayment of Central Bank liabilities; and
ii) increased loan recoveries due to the Bank's efforts to
improve asset quality.

FINANCIAL INCOME

Financial income for the second quarter of 2005 was Ps.149.5
million, compared to Ps.216.3 million recorded in the first
quarter of 2005, mainly due to lower non-recurrent income: i)
the adverse impact of hedging transactions whose underlying
assets are the Bank's shares, due to the reduction in the price
of such shares experienced during the period; and ii) lower
income from buyback of financial indebtedness at market prices.
These effects were partially offset by: i) higher interest
accrued on consumer and corporate loans as a result of increased
activity levels and volume of business; ii) higher interest
accrued on compensatory and additional BODEN due to the increase
in the Libor rate; iii) higher income from guaranteed loans due
to the increase in the CER index during the period; and iv)
higher income from other government and private securities due
to the increase in their market value.

Financial income was Ps.149.5 million as of June 30, 2005, a
decrease of Ps.16.2 million or 9.8% from the Ps.165.7 million
recorded in the second quarter of 2004. This decrease was mainly
due to: i) lower income from mortgage loans due to the positive
impact of the CVS index on pesified mortgage loans recorded in
the second quarter of 2004; ii) lower income from the prepayment
of financial indebtedness at market prices; and iii) the adverse
effect of the appreciation of the peso against the U.S. dollar
on the Bank's net foreign currency position recorded during this
quarter. These aspects were partially offset by: i) higher
income from government and private securities and other
investments; ii) higher financial interest on consumer and
corporate loans resulting from the Bank's increased retail
business.

FINANCIAL EXPENDITURES

Financial expenditures for the second quarter of 2005 decreased
to Ps.116.4 million, from Ps.130.5 million as of March 31, 2005,
as a result of: i) lower average balances of Central Bank
borrowings due to their full prepayment under rediscounts
transactions; and ii) lower contributions and taxes during the
period. The reduction in liabilities adjusted by the CER index
contributed to strengthening the Bank's balance sheet structure
and allowed it to maintain a balanced position of assets and
liabilities exposed to inflation.

In addition, financial expenditures as of June 30, 2005
increased 28.5% from Ps.90.4 million recorded in the second
quarter of 2004. This increase resulted primarily from: i) the
higher index accrued on Central Bank borrowings due to a higher
CER index, partially offset by lower average balances; ii) the
impact of the increase in interest accrued on restructured
financial debt, partially offset by lower average balances due
to scheduled repayments made and amounts prepaid at market
prices; iii) higher interest liabilities resulting from
increased balances on savings accounts and time deposits; and
iv) the negative effect of the appreciation of the peso against
the U.S. dollar on the Bank's net foreign currency position.

NET CONTRIBUTION FROM INSURANCE

As compared to the first quarter of 2005, net contribution from
the Bank's insurance business decreased 1.1%as a consequence of
higher claims paid during the period, partially offset by higher
income from new insurance products. As compared to the second
quarter of 2004, the Bank's insurance business increased 8.4%,
to Ps.9.3 million as of June 30, 2005 compared to Ps.8.7 million
as of June 30, 2004. This increase reflects the higher premiums
earned from new loan originations and new insurance products
offered, and to a lesser extent, lower claims paid during the
period.

OTHER INCOME FROM SERVICES, NET

For the second quarter of 2005, other income from services, net
decreased Ps.2.2 million compared to the first quarter of 2005.
This decrease was mainly due to non-recurrent fees related to
the issuance of two new series of C‚dulas Hipotecarias during
the period and an increase in other expenditures on services
related to new retail products offered by the Bank. These
effects were partially offset by higher commissions on loans and
income from services resulting from the Bank's increased
financial intermediation activities and higher volume of
business.

In addition, income from services, net amounted to Ps.0.3
million as of June 30, 2005, compared to Ps.1.2 million in the
second quarter of 2004. The changes in other income from
services, net resulted primarily from higher expenditures on
services due to the Bank's increased retail business, basically
fees and expenditures paid to third parties for the origination
of products, partially offset by higher income from commissions
on loans and other services related to the Bank's increased
intermediation activities.

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES

Administrative expenses for the second quarter of 2005 were
Ps.29.8 million, compared to Ps.27.2 million recorded as of
March 31, 2005. The main changes reflect: i) higher salaries and
social security contributions required under Argentine Law; ii)
higher advertising and publicity expenses during the second
quarter resulting from the launch of the Bank's new products and
iii) higher operating expenses related to the efforts made by
the Bank in developing its diversified business strategy.

As compared to the second quarter of 2004, administrative
expenses increased by 31.3%, due to higher salaries and social
security contributions required under Argentine Law, and higher
advertising and other expenses during the quarter related to the
Bank's growth strategy focused on the retail banking segment.

MISCELLANEOUS INCOME, NET

As of June 30, 2005, miscellaneous income, net increased to
Ps.21.5 million, Ps.36.0 million higher than the miscellaneous
losses recorded in the first quarter of 2005. The main changes
reflected: i) higher loan recoveries during the period resulting
from the Bank's collection efforts; and ii) lower provisions
recorded in the second quarter.

In addition, for the second quarter of 2005, miscellaneous
income, net increased by 17.0 million from Ps.4.5 million
recorded at June 30, 2004. This increase resulted primarily
from: i) the sustained increase in recovered loans; and ii)
lower provisions for loan losses due to the Bank's lower
exposure to certain priority contingencies.

LOANS

The Bank's total loan portfolio, net of reserves, increased by
Ps.39.0 million at June 30, 2005, from Ps.2,633.5 million at
June 30, 2004. This increase resulted primarily from i) higher
balances of public sector assets due to the increase in the CER
index during the quarter and the change in the valuation
criteria of guaranteed loans; and ii) the significant expansion
in private sector lending reflected by the higher origination of
new housing and personal loans and the increase in products for
the corporate segment. Such effects were partially offset by: i)
the suspension of the application of the CVS index on the
balance of pesified mortgage loans and the natural amortization
of mortgage loans; and ii) lower balances of mortgage loans as a
result of three securitizations made during the period, for
Ps.177.2 million. During the second quarter of 2005, the Bank
originated Ps.46.9 million in new mortgage loans and Ps.31.1
million in personal loans, exceeding growth expectations for the
first half of 2005.

In addition, the Bank's total loan portfolio at June 30, 2005
decreased slightly by Ps.49.5 million to Ps.2,672.5 million from
Ps.2,721.9 million as of March 31, 2005. This decrease resulted
primarily from lower mortgage loan balances derived from the
issuance of two series of C‚dulas Hipotecarias for Ps.62.5
million and Ps.64.7 million during the quarter, partially offset
by the increase in personal loans, new mortgage loans, credit
card balances and pledge loans, and higher loans for the
corporate segment, in particular other loans and advances.

FUNDING SOURCES

Total on-balance sheet funding as of June 30, 2005, was
Ps.5,409.3 million, 1.3% lower than the Ps.5,479.1 million
recorded as of June 30, 2004. The decrease in total funding as
compared to the second quarter of 2004 is primarily the result
of lower average balances of corporate bonds and external
financing as a consequence of the reduction in restructured
liabilities and lower Central Bank borrowings due to the early
prepayment of outstanding balances owed to the Central Bank.
Such effects were partially offset by the significant increase
in deposits, mainly including savings accounts and time
deposits.

Total on-balance sheet funding for the second quarter of 2005
was 4.5% lower than the Ps.5,661.3 million recorded in the first
quarter of 2005, mainly as a result of the early prepayment of
Central Bank borrowings under the matching transaction and
prepayment of restructured debt at market prices. These effects
were partially offset by higher private sector deposits related
to the new products offered by the Bank.

As of June 30, 2005, shareholders' equity amounted to 23.1% of
assets and the ratio of debt to shareholder's equity was 2.6
times.

On April 5, and June 16, 2005, Banco Hipotecario successfully
closed its third and fourth series of C‚dulas Hipotecarias in
the local capital markets for an aggregate principal amount of
Ps.62.5 million and Ps.64.7 million, respectively, issued under
the "C‚dulas Hipotecarias Argentinas Ps.500 million Note
Program". The offer was oversubscribed by more than four times
in the case of the third series and more than twice in the case
of the fourth series. The Bonds accrue interest at a variable
rate equal to the higher of CER plus 1% and the interest rate
for time deposits between Ps.100,000 and Ps.500,000, up to 59
days, reported by the Central Bank plus 2%, subject to a floor
of 8% per annum and a ceiling of 15% per annum. The securities
are collateralized by residential mortgage loans and were rated
by Standard & Poor's as "raAA" for the third series and "raAA+"
for the fourth series.

On August 3, 2005, the Bank made the second principal payment in
the amount of US$16.7 million and the fourth interest coupon
payment in the amount of US$2.8 million under its medium-term
guaranteed debt due on 2010. In addition, on August 4, 2005 the
Bank released US$34 million of BODEN due 2012 held in trust as
collateral for the guaranteed debt, US$1.4 million of guaranteed
loans and US$24.2 million in cash. The excess of assets
deposited in trust as collateral for such debt results from the
repayment of principal, buyback and subsequent cancellation of a
substantial portion of the referred debt and the interest
payments made by the Argentine government on the BODEN due 2012
given as collateral for the medium-term debt.

To see financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Banco_Hipotecario.pdf

CONTACTS: Banco Hipotecario
          Marcelo Icikson
          Nicolas Vocos
          Capital Markets
          Tel. (54-11) 4347-5122
          Fax (54-11) 4347-5874
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          E-mail: micikson@hipotecario.com.ar
                  nmvocos@hipotecario.com.ar

          Gabriel Saidon
          Chief Financial Officer
          Tel. (54-11) 4347-5759/5212
          Fax (54-11) 4347-5874/5113
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          E-mail: gsaidon@hipotecario.com.ar


BERSA: Central Bank Authorizes Acquisition by Nuevo Banco
---------------------------------------------------------
The Central Bank has approved Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe's
acquisition of Banco de Entre Rios (BERSA), reports Business
News Americas. Central bank sources said the key point for the
approval was the agreement with the provincial government to
maintain BERSA as the Entre Rios province's financial agent.

Nuevo Banco emerged as the winner in the Bersa auction in June,
offering ARS172 million (US$59.9mn) for the bank and surpassing
competitors Banco de Santiago del Estero and Comafi's ARS120
million and ARS98 million, respectively.

French banking giant Credit Agricole left Argentina in the midst
of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002 and left
behind three subsidiaries, BERSA, Suquia and Bisel. Banco Nacion
took over the banks for the purpose of selling them back to the
private sector at a later stage. Suquia was auctioned last year
and the Bisel auction could take place this year.


CLINICA BALCARCE: General Report due for Submission
---------------------------------------------------
The trustee assigned in the reorganization of Clinica Balcarce
S.A. is expected to submit to the Mar del Plata civil and
commercial Court No. 13 a general report tomorrow, Aug. 18,
2005. The report includes an audit of the Company's accounting
and business records.

Clinica Balcarce S.A., a Company operating in Mar del Plata,
began reorganization proceedings after Dr. Salgado Creo,
serving for Court No. 13 of the city's civil and commercial
tribunal granted its petition for "concurso preventivo." The
trustee assigned in the Company's reorganization is CPN
Rojo, Blanco Martinez.

The reorganization enabled the Company to negotiate a settlement
proposal for its creditors so as to avoid a straight
liquidation.

An informative assembly, to be attended by all verified
creditors, has been scheduled for February 16 next year.

Mr. Raul Eduardo Garros, the city's judicial clerk, assists the
court on this case.

CONTACT: Clinica Balcarce S.A.
         Calle 16 No 624 de Balcarce
         Mar del Plata

         CPN Rojo, Blanco Martinez, Trustee
         Luro 3894
         Mar del Plata


IMPRESIONES ARCO: Claims Review Deadline Approaches
---------------------------------------------------
The deadline for the verification of claims against Impresiones
Arco Iris Cordoba S.A. (formerly Arco Iris Impresiones S.A.)
will be tomorrow, Aug. 18, 2005. Mr. Carlos Daniel Brezinski,
the court-appointed trustee tasked with examining the claims
forwarded by the Company's creditors, will submit the validation
results as individual reports on September 29. He will also
present a general report in court on November 11.

On April 13 next year, the creditors will vote on the settlement
proposal prepared by the Company. The reorganization of
Impresiones Arco is under the jurisdiction of Court No. 22 of
the city's civil and commercial tribunal. Clerk No. 44 assists
the court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Daniel Brezinski, Trustee
         Lambare 1140
         Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Board Accepts Messano's Resignation
------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Argentina S.A. informed in a letter dated August 1, 2005
addressed to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange that Mr. Alberto
Yamandu Messano presented his resignation as acting director to
the Board of the Company, due to his move to another country in
order to assume new responsibilities in a company of the Telecom
Italia Group.

Mr. Pedro Gaston Insussarry, Responsible for Market Relations,
wrote:

The Board of Directors of Telecom Argentina, in the meeting held
today [August 10], accepted the resignation of Mr. Messano, and
in accordance to the dispositions of Art 258, second paragraph
of the Corporate Law, has requested the Surveillance Committee
the designation of an acting director as replacement of Mr
Messano. The members of the Surveillance Committee have
designated Mr. Jorge Alberto Firpo, who will take this
responsibility until the next Shareholders Meeting.

Mr. Firpo qualifies as a "non-independent" director, in
accordance to the criteria of the Comision Nacional de Valores.

CONTACT: Telecom Argentina S.A.
         Pedro Insussarry
         Pablo Caride
         Phone: (54-11) 4968-3627/3626


VIGNA HERMANOS: Trustee's General Report Due Soon
-------------------------------------------------
Mr. Eduardo Miguel Rojas, the trustee appointed in the Vigna
Hermanos S.H. reorganization, will submit to court the general
report tomorrow, Aug. 18, 2005. The said report includes an
audit of the Company's accounting and business records.

Vigna Hermanos S.H., a Company operating in La Plata, began
reorganization proceedings after the city's civil and commercial
Court No. 8 granted its petition for "concurso preventivo".

An informative assembly for the Company's creditors
will be held on February 7 next year.

CONTACT: Vigna Hermanos S.H.
         Avda 44 Nro. 2878
         La Plata

         Mr. Eduardo Miguel Rojas, Trustee
         Calle 45 Nro. 1047
         La Plata



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

GLOBAL CROSSING: Representative Settles Claims Totaling $81.6M
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to certain settlement agreements, the GX Representative
informs the Court that it has resolved 26 claims aggregating
$81,637,722, which claims were covered in previously filed
omnibus objections.

The GX representative resolved 16 claims pursuant to certain
settlement terms:

                 Claim       Claim
Claimant         Number     Amount   Settlement Terms
--------         ------     ------   ----------------
WXIII/PHL         1209  $2,821,861   WXIII will be deemed to
Real Estate Ltd.                     hold an Allowed General
Partnership                          Unsecured Claim for
                                     $2,571,209.

New England       5071     unknown   Claim will be deemed an
Digital                              Allowed Administrative
Distribution Inc.                    Expense Claim for $35,000.

Blufftone         3977      83,986   Claim Nos. 3977 and 3978
Telephone Co.     3978     481,652   will be allowed for
and Hargray                          $45,000 and $255,000.
Telephone Co.                        GX will pay Hargray and
                                     Bluffton affiliates
                                     $80,500, consisting of
                                     24 equal installments of
                                     $3,354, payable on each
                                     month starting on July 1,
                                     2005.

Gaedeke Holdings   363       8,942   Claim No. 11148 will be
Holdings Ltd.     5436       3,786   deemed an Allowed
                  9905       8,942   Convenience Claim for
                 11148       8,942   $8,942.  Gaedeke will be
                                     entitled to a distribution
                                     on Claim No. 11148.
                                     Claim Nos. 363, 5436, and
                                     9905 will be expunged and
                                     disallowed.

National Assoc.   5051     160,000   Claimant will be deemed
of Manufacturers                     to hold an Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claim
                                     for $166,254.

Citizens          9628  58,534,556   Claimant will be deemed
Communication Co.                    to hold an Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claim
                                     of $21,890,150.

Park Centre       5924     250,000   Claim Nos. 5924 and 5923
Properties, LLC   5923     121,304   will be deemed as Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claims
                                     for $250,000 and
                                     $121,304.

Carlyle Market    7435     413,878   Claimant will be deemed
Post Tower, LLC                      to hold an Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claim
                                     for $295,032.

John Burns        1906     600,341   Claimant will be deemed
Construction Co.                     to hold an Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claim
                                     for $300,000.

Teligent Estate   9731  10,000,000   Claimant will be deemed
Representative                       to hold a General
                                     Unsecured Claim for
                                     $2,875,000.

PWREF/MCC-China   4107     256,113   Claimant will be deemed
Basin L.L.C.                         to hold an Allowed
                                     General Unsecured Claim
                                     for $221,714.

Furthermore, the GX Representative informs Judge Gerber that
seven administrative expense claims have been settled or
withdrawn by claimants:

   Claimant                       Claim No.  Asserted Amount
   --------                       ---------  ---------------
   Gila Valley Resources             9922             $5,983
   Jennings                         10151                636
   Aspect Communications            10192             30,844
   Wil Bijil                        10579       undetermined
   AT&T Corporation                 10601          7,381,068
   Avaya Inc.                       10602            214,394
   Winstar Holdings, Inc.           10678            149,002

The GX Representative also resolved three tax claims:

   Claimant                         Claim No.  Asserted Amount
   --------                         ---------  ---------------
   South Carolina Dep't. of Revenue   10178           $2,225
   Clark County, Indiana              10571            2,500
   Ohio Dep't. of Taxation            11127           96,769

Headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, Global Crossing
Ltd. at http://www.globalcrossing.comprovides
telecommunications solutions over the world's first integrated
global IP-based network, which reaches 27 countries and more
than 200 major cities around the globe. Global Crossing serves
many of the world's largest corporations, providing a full range
of managed data and voice products and services. The Company
filed for chapter 11 protection on January 28, 2002 (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 02-40188). When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they listed $25,511,000,000 in
total assets and $15,467,000,000 in total debts. Global Crossing
emerged from chapter 11 on December 9, 2003.

At June 30, 2005, Global Crossing's total liabilities exceed its
total assets by $71 million. (Troubled Company Reporter,
Tuesday, August 16, 2005, Vol. 9, No. 193)



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

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Reduces Planned Capex for 2005
---------------------------------------------------------
Delays in the licensing of new projects have prompted power
utility Eletropaulo Metropolitana de Eletricidade SA to slash
its 2005 investment program by 22%. According to Business News
Americas, the Company announced earlier this year a planned
capex of BRL450 million. Now, planned capex is down to BRL330
million (US$141 million).

"We saw that the licenses were taking too long so we
reprogrammed the three large [substation modernization] projects
for next year," Eletropaulo CEO Eduardo Bernini said.

Sao Paulo state authorities are holding up granting environment
licenses for the refurbishment of the Taipas and Tiradentes
substations and a third station in the northern region of Sao
Paulo city.

In addition, power regulator Aneel is holding up its approval on
Eletropaulo's plan to spend BRL38 million in research and
development activities.

In addition, the company reorganized its system for buying new
equipment, resulting in a lower amount allocated for purchases,
Bernini said.

Eletropaulo is controlled by a joint venture of AES Corp (AES)
and Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES).

CONTACT: Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de Sao Paulo S/A
         Investor Relations Manager
         Ms. Clarice Silva Assis
         E-mail: clarice.assis@aes.com
         Phone:(55 11) 2195-2229
         Fax:(55 11) 2195-2503


MRS LOGISTICA: Net Income Surpasses $199M in 1st Semester
---------------------------------------------------------
MRS Logistica S.A. (MRS) transported 27.2 million tons in the
2nd Quarter of 2005 (2Q05), 12.0% above the volume achieved in
2Q04. The Company established a new monthly transportation
record in May, with 9.35 million tons shipped. This mark was
achieved due to the increase in iron ore, coal and coke volumes.

Volumes in the 1st semester of 2005 (1H05) reached 52.4 million
tons, 3.6% higher when compared with 1H04. Volumes of heavy haul
cargo and general cargo were up 15.2% and 8.4%, respectively,
when compared with 1H04.

Gross revenues in 2Q05 reached R$485.3 million, 28.1% higher
when compared with 2Q04, as a result not only of higher volumes,
but also of a 14.4% increase in the Company's average tariff
throughout the period. Gross revenues in 1H05 reached R$938.7
million, 31.6% higher when compared with same period of 2004.

Fuel and lubricant costs in 2Q05 were 24.0% higher than in 2Q04,
as a consequence of higher volumes shipped (13.6%) and a 10%
rise in diesel prices throughout the period.

Confronted to 1Q04, material and services costs rose 9.9% and
13.4%, respectively, due to the increase in prices and
transported volumes.

In 2Q05, there was a significant rise in depreciation costs
(77.7%), mainly due to an increase in capital expenditures in
2004 and 1H05, especially in the permanent way and in the
purchase of locomotives and railway cars.

EBITDA in 2Q05 amounted to R$194.3 million, 32.5% and 7.0% over
2Q04 and 1Q05, respectively. Accumulated EBITDA in the 1H05
totaled R$375.9 million. EBITDA margin in 1H05 beat the same
period of last year by 3% and the margin in 2Q05 held steady at
46.3%.

Operating and Net Income

Operating income, before financial effects, totaled R$167.7
million in 2Q05, up 28.5% and 6.7% regarding 2Q04 and 1Q05,
respectively.

Net income in 2Q05 reached R$107.4 million, increasing 132.5%
and 17.1% over the figures achieved in 2Q04 and 1Q05,
respectively. In 1H05, Net Income totaled R$199.1 million, an
increase of 145.6% regarding 1H04. This Improvement resulted
from higher operating income and a decrease in exchange and
monetary variations throughout the period.

As a result of the sustained profitability reported by the
Company, shareholders' equity amounted to R$612.9 million in
2Q05, against R$361.7 million in 2Q04.

Indebtedness

Net debt at 1H05 was reduced to R$388.7 million, 29.9% lower
than the R$554.5 million recorded in 1H04, as a result of the
increasing cash generation throughout the period. The net
debt/EBITDA (last 12 months) ratio in 1H05 was 0.54x, down from
0.96x in 1H04, a solid improvement in the Company's capacity to
meet its financial obligations.

Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures totaled R$150.3 million in 1H05. Highlights
for the purchase of 29 GE C-36 locomotives acquired in the U.S.
secondary market, of which 20 were received in the 1Q05 (already
in operation) and 9 in the 2Q05.

In 2005, capital expenditures should amount to approximately
R$550 million, with the objective of improving the railway's
capacity, productivity and safety.

Commercial/Operational Highlights

Throughout the quarter, several new projects/businesses should
be highlighted:

- A five-year contract with Usiminas to transport iron ore and
steel products which includes a performance commitment clause
ensuring a volume of 145,000 tons per year of iron ore from
Sarzedo to Patrag and 1,200,000 tons per year of steel products
from Lafaiete Bandeira to Sao Paulo.

- Utilization of new equipment for transportation of raw
materials and final products for the company Belgo Mineira. This
equipment made the return freight for this flow possible. This
project has 32,000 tons per year potential.

- A five-year contract with Cosipa to transport steel products
which includes a performance commitment clause ensuring a volume
of 768,000 tons per year, from Cubatao to Sao Paulo.

- Along 2Q05, the following records were broken.

  Pig Iron Exports - 78,000 tons in June
  CST's Steel Products - 39,000 tons
  Over 100,000 tons of containers in April.
  9,983 TEUs in June.
  CVRD Iron Ore - 1,435,000 tons in May
  MBR Iron Ore - 3,431,000 tons in June

- The MKBF (average distance between failures) statistics
improved to 30,600 km at the end of 1H05, a 64.5% increase
regarding 1H04, due to the intensification in the preventive
maintenance of locomotives.

- The railroad accident statistics in the first semester reached
10.0-accidents/million trains-km in 1H05; a decrease of 46.8%
when compared with 1H04.

- The special edition "Melhores e Maiores" (Best and Largest) of
the trustworthy EXAME magazine ranked MRS Logistica as the 8th
most profitable Brazilian enterprise, as well as the 3rd best
and the 3rd most lucrative company in the sector. These results
are a consequence of high investment efforts and of appropriate
management implemented by the Company.

CONTACT: MRS Logistica
         Marco Andre Guimaraes
         Treasurer

         Daniel Franca
         Financial Manager

         Maria Lucia Silveira
         Financial Analyst

         Praia de Botafogo,
         228, 1201-E
         22250-906 - Rio de Janeiro
         Tel: 55-21-2559-4600
         Fax: 55-21-2552-2635
         E-mail: daf@mrs.com.br


UNIBANCO: Net Income Up 48.5% in 2Q05
-------------------------------------
Consolidated Results Second Quarter, 2005

Profitability

In 2Q05, Unibanco's net income increased by 48.5% from 2Q04 and
13.0% from 1Q05, reaching R$453 million. In 1H05 net income
reached R$854 million, an increase of 47.0% Y-o-Y. Operating
income was R$684 million, up 70.6% from 2Q04. The graph below
shows the evolution of the return on average equity:

Net income growth in 2Q05 over 1Q05 was largely due to:

- 6.0% credit portfolio growth, relative to an expansion of 3.7%
in the financial system credit operations (source: Brazilian
Central Bank);

- Credit quality improvement: non-accrual portfolio coverage
ratio rose to 125.7% from 118.8%. The nonaccrual portfolio
represented 3.9% of the credit portfolio, improving from 4.3%;

- 9.5% growth in the individuals credit portfolio, positively
impacted by consumer finance portfolio and commercial bank
finance;

- 3.9% growth in the corporate credit portfolio. The portfolio
of small and medium sized companies posted a 7.2% increase,
mainly due to account receivables financing. Cross-sell
activities were implemented this quarter, leading to acquisition
of payroll accounts and to the offering of banking services to
retailers associated with our consumer finance and credit card
companies.

- 3.2% increase in the level of core deposits, while core
deposits in the Brazilian financial system decreased by 0.5%
during the quarter;

- Improvement in the efficiency ratio, from 53.7% in the first
quarter to 52.8% in the second, in line with the restructuring
process started in June 2004.

Assets and Funding

Unibanco consolidated total assets reached R$82,992 million on
June 30, 2005.

Unibanco's total credit portfolio reached R$35,154 million,
21.0% up Y-o-Y.

Total credit portfolio for individuals grew by 33.8% over the
last 12 months. Total corporate credit portfolio posted a 14.3%
growth Y-o-Y.

Unibanco overall funding reached R$100 billion, including
R$35,119 million in mutual funds and assets under management.
Core deposits posted 23.6% growth Y-o-Y, which demonstrates the
initiatives towards improving the funding mix.

Performance Highlights

Financial margin before provision for loan losses, adjusted by
the net impact of investments abroad, reached R$3,763 million in
1H05, an increase of 28.6% when compared with 1H04, mainly due
to credit operations increase and change in its composition, to
core deposits growth, and to the high level of the basic
interest rate (Selic) during the period.

The annualized financial margin, before provision for loan
losses, increased to 10.2% in 2Q05, from 8.2% in 2Q04 (9.5% in
1Q05).

Personnel and Administrative Expenses

The internal restructuring process of the company, initiated in
the second semester of 2004, continues to show results such as
the reduction of 0.8% in personnel and administrative expenses,
2Q05 vs. 2Q04, while the IPCA inflation index posted a 7.3%
growth. During the 1H05, The Company highlights simultaneous
movements, as the expansion of Hipercard and the consumer
finance companies, and the savings in the internal processes -
leading the efficiency ratio to 52.8% in the 2Q05.

Perpetual Securities

In July 2005, Unibanco issued perpetual securities in the total
amount of US$500 million.

Interest on the securities will accrue at a rate of 8.70% per
annum. Approximately 875 investors took part in the book, with
emphasis on the Asian and private banking markets, which
expanded Unibanco's breadth of offerings in the international
capital markets and its investor base, while further solidifying
Unibanco's funding sources.

Results

Highlights

In 2Q05, Unibanco's net income increased by 48.5% from 2Q04 and
13.0% from 1Q05, reaching R$453 million.

In 1H05 net income reached R$854 million, an increase of 47.0%
Y-o-Y. Operating income was R$684 million, up 70.6% from 2Q04.
The graph below shows the evolution of the return on average
equity:

First half results were, in part, a consequence of Unibanco's
restructuring process, started in June 2004, when structural
changes led the bank to a new level of results. The highlights
among the changes are:

- Consolidation of Unibanco as a universal bank, operating in
the Retail, Wholesale, Wealth Management, Insurance and Private
Pension Plans segments, leading to the improved use of cross-
selling;

- Segmentation strategy focusing on the segments with higher
margins and higher growth rates, while maintaining the
leadership in the consumer finance segment.

Net income growth in 2Q05 over 1Q05 was largely due to:

- 6.0% credit portfolio growth, relative to an expansion of 3.7%
in the financial system credit operations (source: Brazilian
Central Bank);

- Credit quality improvement: non-accrual portfolio coverage
ratio rose to 125.7% from 118.8%. The non-accrual portfolio
represented 3.9% of the credit portfolio, improving from 4.3%;

- 9.5% growth in the individuals credit portfolio, positively
impacted by consumer finance portfolio and commercial bank
finance;

- 3.9% growth in the corporate credit portfolio. The portfolio
of small and medium sized companies posted a 7.2% increase,
mainly due to account receivables financing. Cross-sell
activities were implemented this quarter, leading to acquisition
of payroll accounts and to the offering of banking services to
retailers associated with the Company's consumer finance and
credit card companies.

- 3.2% increase in the level of core deposits, while core
deposits in the Brazilian financial system decreased by 0.5%
during the quarter;

- Improvement in the efficiency ratio, from 53.7% in the first
quarter to 52.8% in the second, in line with the restructuring
process started in June 2004.

The seek of synergies among the business units, through a cross-
selling program, was further developed.

Initiatives from all business units were also reflected in the
results. In the first half of 2005, focus on the retail segment
was intensified through the launch of an expansion program for
Hipercard and Fininvest. In wholesale, the Company highlights
the third position in the ranking as financial agent for BNDES,
the National Economic and Social Development bank, and second
position in the BNDES-exim category. Insurance and private
pension plans businesses maintained the leadership in the
property risks, aviation, D&O (Directors & Officers),
international transportation, and extended warranty segments,
according to the latest industry data released by SUSEP (as of
May 2005). In the industry Global Ranking, published by ANBID,
Private Bank's asset under management hold the second position,
with 10.2% market share in June 2005.

Results Performance Indicators

Stockholders' equity, in June 2005, amounted to R$8,660 million,
up 12.4% from June 2004. Annualized return on average equity
(ROAE) was 23.0% and 21.4% in the quarter and in 1H05,
respectively.

Financial margin before provision for loan losses, adjusted by
the net impact of investments abroad, reached R$3,763 million in
1H05, an increase of 28.6% when compared with 1H04, mainly due
to credit operations increase and change in its composition, to
core deposits growth, and to the high level of the basic
interest rate (Selic) during the period. Financial margin after
provision for loan losses reached R$1,529 million in the
quarter, presenting a growth of 2.7% Q-o-Q, influenced mostly by
an additional provision made in 2Q05.

The annualized financial margin, before provision for loan
losses, increased to 10.2% in 2Q05, from 8.2% in 2Q04 (9.5% in
1Q05).

Assets

Unibanco consolidated total assets reached R$82,992 million on
June 30, 2005 (1.1% growth when compared with March 31, 2005).
The change was mainly due to the 6.0% growth on loan portfolio
and the 9.2% decrease on securities portfolio, the latter as a
consequence of marketable securities sales and redemptions at
maturity.

Marketable Securities

The market value of the marketable securities held to maturity
was of R$4,533 million on June 30, 2005.

Loan Portfolio

Unibanco's consolidated credit portfolio increased by 21.0% Y-o-
Y. For better comparison, the portfolio of Credicard (company
sold in 4Q04) was excluded and installment credits from Unicard
and Fininvest cards were included.

On June 30, 2005, the total credit portfolio for individuals
amounted to R$13,359 million, up 33.8% in the last 12 months.
This growth is consequence of Unibanco's strategy to focus on
more profitable, higher margin segments, which includes mainly
financing for individuals.

Total corporate credit portfolio posted 14.3% growth in the last
12 months and 3.9% growth in the quarter, mainly due to the
increase in the SME portfolio of 37.4% Y-o-Y and 7.2% Q-o-Q. It
is important to note that, in this segment, Unibanco, in 1H05,
in addition to offering cash management, with a focus on account
receivables financing, also implemented cross-sell activities,
leading to the acquisition of new payroll accounts and the
offering of banking services to retailers and partners of the
credit cards companies.

Total credit operations in the Retail segment, which consists of
individuals and SMEs, grew by 34.9% in the last 12 months.
Retail credit operations, in June 2005, accounted for 56% of the
total portfolio, vs. 50% in June 2004. Given the revision of
credit segmentation process, a credit portfolio of R$388 million
was reclassified from Retail to Wholesale, as of June 2004, in
the segment of medium sized companies. The Wholesale portfolio
posted growth of 6.7% vs. June 2004. The credit portfolio pegged
to the US dollar rose from US$2,139 million in June 2004 to
US$2,674 million in June 2005. However, due to the appreciation
of the local currency, such portfolio posted a negative
fluctuation of 5.4%, in Reals.

The auto financing businesses credit portfolio reached R$4,143
million in 1H05, up 33.3% Y-o-Y. In May 2005, consolidating the
strategy of expanding its businesses in the car and heavy
vehicles segments, Unibanco increased its equity interest in
Banco Dibens, to 100% of the shares.

Allowance and Provisions for Loan Losses

At the end of June 2005, the balance for the consolidated
allowance for loan losses reached R$1,739 million, representing
4.9% of the portfolio, composed of:

- R$597 million according to Resolution 2682, related to overdue
credits;

- R$730 million according to risk parameters of Resolution 2682,
related to falling due credits;

- R$412 million based on more conservative percentages than
those required by the Regulatory Authority;

- above the R$343 million balance of March, 2005.

As of June 2005, the balance of credits classified as AA-C
represented 92.8% of total loan portfolio, better than the
figure of 91.9% of June 2004. The balance of credits classified
as E-H represented 4.3% of total loan portfolio improving from
the 5.2% figure of June 30, 2004, whereas provision for loan
losses represented 4.9% of total balance of credits on June 30,
2005.

The allowance for loan losses over the balance of credits with
principal or interest past due for 60 days or longer (non-
accrual portfolio) reached 125.7%. As of June 2005, the ratio of
non-accrual portfolio over the total credit portfolio reached
3.9%, presenting improvement.

Allowance for loan losses over credits with past due
installments improved to 124,3% on June 30, 2005, from 99.6% on
June 30, 2004, thus evidencing credit portfolio quality.

The following chart shows the continuous improvement of the
credit portfolio, as the net-write-off added to the D-H credit
portfolio over total credit plus write-off reached 8.1% in 2Q05,
while in 2Q04 it was 8.8%.

Funding

As of June 30, 2005, Unibanco overall funding reached R$100
billion, including R$35,119 million in mutual funds and assets
under management.

In June 2005, core deposits posted 23.6% and 3.2% growth Y-o-Y
and Q-o-Q. Such growth exceeds the core deposits growth of the
Brazilian Financial System, which increased 9.0% Y-o-Y and
decreased 0.5% Q-o-Q, and demonstrates the initiatives towards
improving the funding mix.

Funds and portfolios managed by UAM (Unibanco Asset Management)
reached R$35,119 million by the end of June 2005, up 15.1% when
compared with June 2004.

During July 2005, Unibanco concluded the issuance of Perpetual
Securities, in the amount of US$500 million, through its Grand
Cayman branch. Interest on these securities will accrue at a
rate of 8.7% per year, payable on quarterly basis. Moody's
Investors Services, Inc. rated these securities as Ba2.

In June 2005, funding in domestic currency reached R$51,739
million, up 9.8% Y-o-Y. Growth is explained by the decrease in
the open market funding and by the strong growth of deposits.
Funding in foreign currency dropped by 5.6% Q-o-Q, amounting to
R$13,142 million at the end of March, 2005, impacted by the Real
appreciation of 11,8% in the period.

Capital Adequacy and Fixed Asset Ratios

The BIS ratio stood at 16.1%, above the minimum level required
by the Brazilian Central Bank of 11%.

Relative to March 2005, the decrease of 30 b.p. is mainly
explained by the assets increase, and by the impact of the 11.8%
local currency appreciation, occurred in 2Q05, over the
Subordinated Debt, a part of the Reference Equity.

Y-o-Y, the drop of 60 b.p. is basically due to the assets
growth, partially offset by the increase in the stockholders'
equity in December, 2004.

The issuance of perpetual securities, if consolidated in June
2005, would make the BIS ratio to increase to approximately 18%.

The fixed asset ratio improved from 48.3% in June 2004 to 41.9%
in June 2005, primarily as result of incorporated companies'
goodwill amortization at the end of 2004.

Investments Abroad

Investments abroad amounted to US$691 million in the end of June
2005, from US$631 million as of March 31, 2005. The increase was
caused by the net income of the period.

Unibanco adopts the practice of hedging its investments abroad,
reducing adverse tax effects and exchange rate effects.

Efficiency ratio

Unibanco improved its efficiency ratio(1), reaching 52.8% in
2Q05 from 63.4% in 2Q04, as a result of its efforts to optimize
revenues and rationalize expenses.

The 1060 b.p. improvement in the efficiency ratio in 2Q05,
compared with 2Q04, was driven by the 19.0% revenue increase and
by the 0.8% administrative expenses decrease.

Revenue by Business

The share of the financial income in the total revenue by
business increased to 48% in 1H05, due to credit growth, under a
scenario of higher basic interest rate (SELIC). The growth of
200 b.p. in the credit card fees is primarily due to the
Hipercard acquisition.

Fees from Services Rendered

Total fees reached R$794 million in 2Q05, up 10.4% Y-o-Y
(excluding fees from Credicard and Orbitall, both sold during
the 4Q04).

Banking fees reached R$448 million in 2Q05, a growth of 11.2% Y-
o-Y, mainly coming from the companies segment. Credit card fees
reached R$246 million in 2Q05, up 11.8% from 2Q04.

Fees from asset management reached R$200 million in 1H05, a
growth of 7.0% Y-o-Y.

Personnel and Administrative Expenses

The internal restructuring process of the company, initiated in
the second semester of 2004, continues to show results such as
the reduction of 0.8% in personnel and administrative expenses,
2Q05 vs. 2Q04, while the IPCA inflation index posted a 7.3%
growth. During the 1H05, the Company highlight simultaneous
movements, as the expansion of Hipercard and the consumer
finance companies, and the savings in the internal processes -
leading the efficiency ratio to 52.8% in the 2Q05.

Compared with 1H04, personnel expenses presented a decrease of
R$30 million, influenced mostly by the internal restructuring
process of the company, the "Collective Wage Agreement" of 8.5%
and also the sale of Credicard and Orbitall, occurred in
November 2004.

In 2Q05, excluding the seasonal effects caused by concentration
of vacations, personnel expenses was kept stable when compared
with 1Q05.

In 2Q05, excluding the effect of organic growth (responsible for
a growth of 2.5%) and marketing expenses, especially at
Fininvest and Hipercard, "other administrative expenses" account
grew by 0.3% Q-o-Q.

Other Operating Income and Expenses

This group of accounts include, to a large extent, fiscal, labor
and civil provisions, goodwill amortization and dividends
received from other investments. The result of this account went
from R$(202) million in 1Q05 to R$(241) million in 2Q05,
primarily due to tax provisioning.

Retail

Unibanco has around 19.3 million clients in its Retail
businesses. The commercial bank serves individuals and small and
medium enterprises (SMEs); Unicard and Hipercard are credit card
companies; Fininvest, PontoCred and LuizaCred are companies that
focus in Consumer Finance; and Banco Dibens and Unibanco
Financeira promote financing of cars and heavy vehicles.

Total Retail loans grew by 34.9% Y-o-Y and reached R$19,773
million. Retail loans represented 56% of the total loan
portfolio in June 2005, compared with 50% in June 2004.

Total individuals loan portfolio amounted to R$13,359 million,
up 9.5% in the quarter. The highlight of the period was the
increase of R$777 million Y-o-Y in the loan portfolio of the
consumer finance companies, up 43.3% from June 2004 and 7.3%
from March 2005. The SME loan portfolio grew by 37.4% over the
last 12 months and by 7.2% from March 2005, driven mainly by
discounting receivables and rotating credit.

Commercial bank and other companies increased by 31.5% Y-o-Y and
10.2% Q-o-Q.

Branch Network

Unibanco ended 2Q05 with a network of 908 branches and 362
corporate-site branches. In March 2005, Unibanco adopted a new
marketing stance, promoting a simpler, clearer, more
transparent, more agile and closer bank. The logo and the
company colors were changed to match the new stance. The points-
of-sale are also being adapted to the strategy, to go along with
a new service model. The roll out of the new format to all
Unibanco branches will be completed by the end of 2006.

The Consumer Credit Companies

Unibanco's Consumer Credit Companies are present in the credit
card and consumer finance segments. They are Unicard, Hipercard,
Redecard (partnership with Citibank, Ita£ and Mastercard),
Fininvest, PontoCred (partnership established with Globex,
parent company of Ponto Frio department store chain), LuizaCred
(partnership with Magazine Luiza department store chain), Banco
Dibens and Unibanco Financeira and SonaeCred (partnership with
rede Sonae Distribuicao Brasil).

Credit Card Companies - Unicard

Unicard's credit card business posted net earnings of R$73
million in 1H05, up 15.9% Y-o-Y. In the 2Q05, net earnings
amounted to R$32 million, up 6.7% from 2Q04.

Revenues, measured in terms of volume of purchases and cash
withdrawals made by the customers, reached R$2,067 million in
2Q05, up 29.8% from 2Q04 and 12.4% from 1Q05. The loan portfolio
reached R$1,756 million in June 2005, 30.5% above 2Q04 and 11.4%
above March 2005. The number of transactions increased by 16.0%
in 2Q05 compared with 1Q05.

Credit Card Companies - Hipercard

Hipercard, the credit card business launched by the Bompreco
supermarket chain, and acquired by Unibanco in March 2004,
posted net earnings of R$41 million in 2Q05, up 156.3% from
2Q04. In 2Q05, earnings were at the same level of 1Q05, due to
investments in the expansion of infrastructure and customers
base. In June 30, 2005, Hipercard's loan portfolio stood at
R$1,125 million, up 34.6% from 2Q04. The average financed volume
grew by 10.0% in the quarter.

Credit Card Companies - Redecard

Redecard equity income was R$33 million in 2Q05, up 43.5% when
compared with 2Q04 (including Consorcio Redecard revenues after
Income Tax/Social Contribution). In 1H05, the equity income was
R$59 million, 40.5% above 1H04. In 2Q05, the company processed
more than 242 million transactions, and revenues amounted to
R$15,525 million, 9.3% above 1Q05.

Consumer Finance Companies

Unibanco's consumer finance companies are Fininvest, LuizaCred
and PontoCred.

Consumer Finance Companies - Fininvest

Fininvest contributed with R$51 million in equity income in
2Q05, an increase of 6.3% Q-o-Q. In 1H05, the company's equity
income was R$99 million, up 8.8% from 1H04.

The highlights of the period were the volume increase due to the
expansion plan, the generation of 32 new partnerships in the
private label segment and the launching of a new marketing
campaign.

The company ended 1H05 with R$1,957 million in credit portfolio
(individuals and corporate portfolio), an increase of 9.5% over
1Q05 and of 54.3% over the last 12 months. Fininvest ended 1H05
with 258 stores and more than 12 thousand points-of-sale.

Consumer Finance Companies - Auto Financing

The auto financing business includes Banco Dibens and Unibanco
Financeira, and offers financing for cars, motorcycles, trucks
and buses.

In May 2005, Unibanco, following its strategy of expanding its
businesses in the car and heavy-vehicle segments, became holder
of the totality of the shares of Banco Dibens. The equity
interest transferred to Unibanco, equivalent to 49% of Dibens'
capital, was valued at R$128 million.

The auto financing businesses posted a net managerial income of
R$4.5 million in 2Q05 and R$18.0 million in 1H05. At the end of
June, the loan portfolio reached R$4.1 billion, up 33.3% from
the same period in 2004.

Unibanco Capitalizacao

Unibanco Capitalizacao, which is responsible for the annuity
business, posted revenues of R$109 million in 2Q05, up 36.2% Q-
o-Q, due to commercial efforts to sell the MegaPlin product. In
1H05, the company had revenues of R$189 million, an increase of
22.7% compared with 1H04.

The annuity business earnings amounted to R$24 million in 2Q05,
up 50.0% from 1Q05, influenced by the revenues growth.

Wholesale

With a strategy that blends regional coverage, with industry-
specific expertise and focuses on long-term relationships, the
Wholesale segment serves companies with annual sales greater
than R$150 million and institutional investors. It has
consistently ranked among the industry leaders in mergers and
acquisitions, project finance and fixed income and equity
markets.

The following operations were the highlights of the Wholesale
segment in 1H05:

- Release of R$708 million as financial agent for BNDES
(National Economic and Social Development Bank), ranking third
overall and second in the BNDES-exim segment, with releases of
R$385 million.

- Participation, as a coordinator, in five debt issues
(Votorantim Financas, Tractebel, Coelba, Telemar and Vicunha
Siderurgia), which amounted to R$3.34 billion. Unibanco ranks
third in debt origination and second in debt distribution in
2005, according to the Anbid (National Association of Investment
Banks) ranking.

- US$1.8 billion balance in foreign trade financing from import
and export operations, as well as international guaranties,
posting a growth of approximately 11.0% over 1Q05.

- In project finance, an issue of convertible debentures for a
total of R$255 million for an 11-year term.

Proceeds will be directed to build the Fundao and Santa Clara
hydroelectric complex, which will result in 250 MW installed
power for Elejor (a Copel subsidiary).

- Structuring of a revolving credit facility for a total of
US$100 million for Odebrecht Overseas Ltd.

Unibanco acted as one of the Leading Coordinators, as well as an
administrative agent. A syndicated import note facility
operation of US$125 million was also completed for Braskem;
Unibanco acted as joint arranger.

Insurance and Private Pension Plans

The insurance and private pension plans businesses posted net
earnings of R$84 million in 2Q05 and R$160 million in the 1H05.
Annualized ROAE was 24.5% in the 1H05. Insurance and private
pension consolidated technical reserves amounted to R$6,272
million at the end of the quarter, increasing 29.4% from 2Q04.

Consolidated revenues for insurance and private pension plans
amounted to R$1,033 million in 2Q05, and R$2,211 million in
1H05.

The combined ratio, which measures the operational efficiency of
insurance companies, was of 99.2% in 1H05, the same level as in
1H04. In 2Q05, the combined ratio was of 100.0%. The combined
ratio, in the extended concept, which includes financial
revenues, reached 86.4% in 2Q05.

In 1H05, the extended warranty business posted a sound
expansion. The retail businesses also posted a sharp increase,
especially in the individual life insurance segment, with an
increase of 32.5% in premiums written compared with 1H04, and in
the personal injury insurance segment, up 26.9% from 1H04.

Unibanco's insurance and pension plans companies ranked fourth
in consolidated terms, according to Susep (Private Insurance
Regulatory Body), Anapp (National Association of Private Pension
Funds) and ANS (National Supplementary Health Agency), with an
8.1% market share (May, 2005).

The company maintained its leadership in the property risks, D&O
(Directors & Officers), aviation, international transportation,
and extended warranty segments, according to the latest industry
data provided by Susep (May 2005).

The Pension Plans business posted net earnings of R$21 million
in 2Q05, increasing 50.0% when compared with the same period of
2004. In 2Q05, revenues reached R$249 million and, in 1H05,
reached R$654 million.

Unibanco AIG Vida e Previdencia ranked fourth in pension plan
revenues up to May 2005. In corporate pension plans, Unibanco
AIG Vida e Previdˆncia ranked second in accumulated sales for
the year, amounting to R$375 million, according to Anapp's data
for May 2005. The company services 1,252 corporate clients and
744 thousand individual customers, of which 222 thousand come
from corporate clients, with 27.9% market share.

Wealth Management

Unibanco Asset Management (UAM) ended June 2005 with R$35,119
million in assets under management, up 2.7% Q-o-Q and 15.1% Y-o-
Y. Market share in June 2005 was of 5.0%.

For the third consecutive year, Unibanco Asset Management
received the "Top Gestao de Renda Variavel", an award created
exclusively in Brazil, by Standard & Poor's for Valor Investe
magazine, and published by Valor Economico newspaper. This award
is given to asset managers that post the most consistent results
compared with their peers. The selection combines qualitative
and quantitative criteria, on a three-yearly basis.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services reaffirmed, in July 20, 2005,
the `AMP1' rating (very sound), reflecting the quality of
Unibanco Asset Management - Banco de Investimentos S.A.
practices in managing third parties' funds.

According to the industry's Global Ranking, published by Anbid,
Private Bank assets under management, in June 2005, were up
21.4% from December 2004. Unibanco's Private Bank holds the 2nd
position in the market, with a 10.2% market share as of June
2005.

Unibanco Holdings

Unibanco Holdings assets consist only of its interest in
Unibanco's capital. Unibanco Holdings shareholders' equity is
fully invested in Unibanco - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
and, as a consequence, its performance and operational results
reflect the performance and results of Unibanco.

Net income for 2Q05 reached R$249 million, corresponding to
R$0.30 per share. Stockholders' equity at period end was R$5,149
million and ROAE stood at 19.8%, impacted by tax provisions (PIS
and COFINS) on interest on capital stock revenues.

Human Resources

Unibanco, with a total staff of 26,999 professionals, invested
approximately R$ 11 million in the first half 2005 in several
training and development activities, including MBA programs in
Brazil and abroad, and the courses "Providing Service with
Excellence" and "People Management - Module III".

The objective of the "Providing Service with Excellence" program
was to upgrade customer service practices the Branch and
Corporate Site Branch Network. In 1H05, 5,429 employees
underwent training. The purpose this program is to train the
entire customer service network by October 2005, increasingly
aligning people with Unibanco's new positioning and profile of
activity.

In February 2005, the bank started Module III of the People
Management Program, as part of the ongoing development process
for our leaderships. Its key objective is to develop critical
success factors and to spur teams to pursue the strategies
defined.

The Extrajudicial Reconciliation Commission, instituted in 1Q05,
has the purpose of reducing the number labor lawsuits and of the
liabilities related to them, enabling former employees to
communicate directly to the Organization and union
representatives. Up to June 2005, approximately 100 agreements
with unions had been signed in several areas of the country.

Corporate Governance

Stock Indices

Unibanco Units (UBBR11) are members of the main stock indices of
the Brazilian market.

Interest on Capital Stock Payment

The total amount of dividends in 1H05, net of income tax, was of
R$283 million, up 38.7% from the R$204 million of 1H04. Since
1Q05, Unibanco and Unibanco Holdings distribute quarterly
dividends. The first two quarterly payments took place in April
29 and July 29, 2005. The next quarterly payments for 2005 are
forecasted to take place at the end of October/2005 and
January/2006.

Unibanco's distribution policy establishes a minimum payment of
35% of the annual net income, after legal reserves. In the case
of Unibanco Holdings, its entire profit is distributed to its
shareholders, also after the establishment of legal reserves.

Social Responsibility

Unibanco Institute

For the Unibanco Institute, 1H05 was a period of major
achievements. The Institute renewed alliances for the execution
of the following projects:

- From the Streets into Companies (Municipal Bureau of Social
Welfare of Rio de Janeiro and Life, an NGO);

- Arts and Crafts Area (Rio de Janeiro City Council and Aplauso
Rio, an NGO);

- Citizenship Training (the Carpe Diem Association);

- Basic Training for Senior Citizen Caretakers (SEADS);

- Solidary Literacy (with an NGO of the same name);

- Apprentice Studio (with CIPO, an NGO), "Se Liga e Acelera"
(EDH-Lide);

- Preparation for Work Program (Solidary Training).

All the projects are educational in nature and are directed to
low-income youngsters, with the purpose of educating them and of
including them in society.

In addition to the projects listed above, which will help
hundreds of people, the Unibanco Institute stood out, in the
first half of this year, for certain activities of an ad hoc
nature, the key example of which was fund raising among Unibanco
employees, clients, partners and suppliers in support of Sri
Lanka orphans, following the tsunami tragedy that devastated
part of Asia in December 2004.

Social Responsibility 4Moreira Salles Institute

The main highlights of the Moreira Salles Institute during the
first half of 2005 were:

- More than 33 thousand visitors to the 18 exhibitions offered
during the period.

- 184 guided tours for 8,473 students at these exhibitions.

- 52 art education activities, movie and theater sessions
provided by the institute for children and teenagers.

- More than 1.5 million attendees at the movie theatre sessions
in the Espaco Unibanco/Unibanco Arteplex chain of theaters.

Subsequent Events

Proposed Global Public Offering of Units and GDSs

In July, Unibanco and Unibanco Holdings filed registration
statements in Brazil and in the United States for a global
public offering of the equity interests in Unibanco and Unibanco
Holdings held by Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD). The offering
will consist of Units (Bovespa: UBBR11) and Global Depositary
Shares - GDSs (NYSE: UBB).

Following the offering, Unibanco and CGD will maintain their
current commercial relationship and cooperate in developing
Unibanco's business in Portugal and CGD's business in Brazil.

Studies for a Stock Repurchase Program

In a meeting held on July 19, 2005, the Unibanco Board of
Directors authorized the Executive Board to analyze the
structuring of a stock repurchase program, with a view to
presenting to the Board of Directors the conclusions from the
analyses and a proposal for implementing such program.

Cancellation of Treasury Stock

In an Extraordinary Shareholder's Meeting held on July 19, 2005,
Unibanco Holdings shareholders approved the cancellation of
12,970,890 shares held in treasury, with no reduction of
corporate capital, by using R$68.2 million of the corporate
capital reserves.

Perpetual Securities

In July 2005, Unibanco issued perpetual securities in the total
amount of US$500 million. Interest on the securities will accrue
at a rate of 8.7% per annum. The securities may be subject to
redemption by Unibanco, in whole, but not in part, on July 29,
2010 or on any interest payment date occurring thereafter, upon
Brazilian Central Bank's approval. Approximately 875 investors
took part in the book, with emphasis on the Asian and private
banking markets, which expanded Unibanco's breadth of offerings
in the international capital markets and its investor base,
while further solidifying Unibanco's funding sources. The
Securities received a rating of Ba2 by Moody's Investors
Service, Inc.

CONTACT: Unibanco - Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
         Investor Relations Area
         Av. Eusebio Matoso
         891 ? 15th floor - Sao Paulo
         SP 05423-901- Brazil
         Phone: (55 11) 3097-1980
         Fax: (55 11) 3813-6182
         E-mail: investor.relations@unibanco.com
         URL: www.ir.unibanco.com



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

CELCO: Submits Proposal to Reopen Valdivia Pulp Operation
---------------------------------------------------------
Pulp giant Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion SA (Celco) has
presented to environmental regulator Corema an environmental
proposal to reopen its US$1-billion Valdivia pulp plant, says
Business News Americas. Under the proposal, Celco will start
pulp production at 59% of the authorized level (1,000t/d) in the
first month of operations to reach an average monthly production
of 1,344t/d, 80% of the authorized amount.

In addition, Celco will install new waste filters and substitute
the chemical elements used in the plant's processes, such as
aluminum sulfate, for others, which are less toxic.

But, since Celco shut down its Valdivia plant voluntarily, the
approval of their environmental plan is not up to Corema, which
can only supervise the plant's operations once the plant is
actually working, a Corema official said.

Celco voluntarily shut the Valdivia plant down on June 8 after
the Corema imposed more stringent environmental rules. The
closure has resulted to a US$60-million loss in revenues for
Celco.



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

ECOPETROL: Seven Exploration Wells Find Oil
-------------------------------------------
Out of the 16 exploration wells drilled by state oil company
Ecopetrol and its partners this year, seven have found oil so
far, Business News Americas reports, citing the SNE government
news service.

Ecopetrol exploration VP Pedro Restrepo said the seven
successful have added 68 million barrels (Mb) of possible crude
reserves.

Ecopetrol and its partners plan to drill a total 25 exploration
wells this year, which could rise to 40 including wells to be
drilled under contracts recently signed by the country's
hydrocarbons regulator ANH.

In its 2004 annual report, Ecopetrol revealed that twenty-one
exploration wells were drilled during the year, of which private
companies drilled 20 and Ecopetrol drilled only one.



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

ASARCO: Court Defers Ruling on Automatic Stay Provisions
--------------------------------------------------------
The Bankruptcy Code provides debtors with various protections
from their creditors.  Specifically, Section 362(a) of the
Bankruptcy Code provides for an automatic stay of:

(1) the commencement or continuation, including the issuance
     or employment of process, of a judicial, administrative,
     or other action or proceeding against a debtor that was or
     could have been commenced before the Petition Date, or to
     recover a claim against a debtor that arose before the
     Petition Date;

(2) the enforcement, against a debtor or against property of
     the estate, of a judgment obtained before the Petition
     Date;

(3) any act to obtain possession of property of the estate or
     to exercise control over property of the estate;

(4) any act to create, perfect, or enforce any lien against
     property of the estate;

(5) any act to create, perfect, or enforce any lien against
     property of a debtor to the extent that the lien secures a
     claim that arose before the Petition Date;

(6) any act to collect, assess, or recover a claim against a
     debtor that arose before the Petition Date;

(7) the set-off of any debt owing to a debtor that arose
     before the Petition Date against any claim against a
     debtor; and

(8) the commencement or continuation of a proceeding before
     the United States Tax Court concerning a debtor.

Creditors unfamiliar with the automatic stay may attempt to
proceed against ASARCO LLC'S property despite the commencement
of these Chapter 11 cases.  Any unilateral self-help action
could jeopardize the Debtor's reorganization efforts and result
in irreparable harm to the Debtor's estates and other parties-
in-interest.

Although the stay arises by operation of law, ASARCO believes
that a court order is necessary and helpful to ensure creditor
compliance with the stay.  Accordingly, the Debtor asks the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to confirm
the applicability of the automatic stay.

ASARCO also asks Judge Schmidt to confirm that:

  -- it is authorized to continue operating its businesses and
     managing its properties;

  -- it has the power to enter into all transactions, including
     obtaining services, supplies and inventories, that it
     could have entered into in the ordinary course of
     businesses had there been no bankruptcy filing; and

  -- suppliers and other parties may continue to engage in
     transactions with it in the ordinary course of business in
     the same manner and on the same terms and conditions as
     they did before the Petition Date.

Section 1108 of the Bankruptcy Code authorizes a trustee to
operate the business and manage the properties of the estate in
the ordinary course of business.  Section 1107(a) provides that,
with certain exceptions, a debtor has all of the rights, powers
and duties of a trustee in a case under Chapter 11.

Hence, ASARCO notes that it is authorized under the Bankruptcy
Code to operate its businesses and manage its properties in the
ordinary course of businesses without Court approval.

ASARCO points out, however, that certain parties with whom it
does business may be reluctant to continue their business
relationships without evidence that the Debtor is indeed so
authorized.

                     Texas Commission Objects

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, through the
Office of the Attorney General of Texas, asks the Court to set a
hearing on the Motion in the ordinary course.  The Commission
wants more time to review the Debtor's request.

Greg Abbot, Attorney General of Texas, asserts that the Debtor
has offered no evidence of an actual dispute or adversary party
against whom it is seeking these orders, thus creating no
immediate problem which would necessitate the hearing of the
motion on an emergency basis.

The Texas Commission requests the Court to set the matter in the
ordinary course so that parties-in-interest may have an
appropriate opportunity to respond.

Mr. Abbot says a brief review of the Debtor's request raises
several concerns, one of which is the broad language the Debtor
has employed with respect to the applicability of the automatic
stay.

Mr. Abbot informs the Court that the Commission seeks more than
two business days' notice to brief this highly important issue,
and for the Court not to entertain the Debtor's request on an
emergency basis.  In the alternative, the Commission objects to
the Motion and asks the Court to deny it in total.

                         Court's Ruling

The Court authorizes ASARCO to operate its business and manage
its properties in the ordinary course as well as maintain all
prepetition business relationships incident thereto.  The Debtor
is also authorized to promptly pay for all services rendered to
or for it as may be agreed, absent a bona fide dispute.

Judge Schmidt deferred ruling on the Debtor's request to enforce
the automatic stay provisions.

Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, ASARCO LLC --
http://www.asarco.com/-- is an integrated copper mining,
smelting and refining company.  Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. is
ASARCO's ultimate parent.  The Company filed for chapter 11
protection on Aug. 9, 2005 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Case No. 05-
21207).  James R. Prince, Esq., Jack L. Kinzie, Esq., and Eric
A. Soderlund, Esq., at Baker Botts L.L.P., and Nathaniel Peter
Holzer, Esq., Shelby A. Jordan, Esq., and Harlin C. Womble,
Esq., at Jordan, Hyden, Womble & Culbreth, P.C., represent the
Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  When the Debtor filed for
protection from its creditors, it listed $600 million in total
assets and $1 billion in total debts.

The Debtor has five affiliates that filed for chapter 11
protection on April 11, 2005 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Case Nos. 05-
20521 thru 05-20525).  They are Lac d'Amiante Du Quebec Ltee,
CAPCO Pipe Company, Inc., Cement Asbestos Products Company, Lake
Asbestos Of Quebec, Ltd., and LAQ Canada, Ltd.  Details about
their asbestos-driven chapter 11 filings have appeared in the
Troubled Company Reporter since Apr. 18, 2005.  ASARCO has asked
that the five subsidiary cases be jointly administered with its
chapter 11 case. (ASARCO Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 2;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


ASARCO: Court Authorizes Use of Existing Bank Accounts
------------------------------------------------------
The United States Trustee has certain operating guidelines,
including one provision requiring a debtor-in-possession to open
new bank accounts and close all existing accounts to provide a
clear line of demarcation between prepetition and postpetition
claims and payments. The Debtor seeks a waiver of this
provision.

James R. Prince, Esq., at Baker Botts L.L.P., in Dallas, Texas,
tells that Court that, if enforced in this case, this
requirement would cause enormous disruption in the Debtor's
business and would impair its efforts to reorganize.

Mr. Prince further asserts that maintenance of the bank accounts
would greatly facilitate the Debtor's transition to postpetition
operations.

ASARCO assures the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of Texas that it will not intentionally pay, and each
of the banks where the accounts are maintained will be directed
not to pay, any debts incurred before the Petition Date other
than as specifically authorized by the Court.

Mr. Prince says ASARCO is aware of a number of outstanding
checks that were issued prepetition to various parties, and that
the company has implemented safeguards like freezing accounts
and issuing stop-payment orders to prevent prepetition checks
from clearing postpetition.

The Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of Texas has allowed
debtors to maintain their existing bank accounts in the past,
Mr. Prince reminds Judge Schmidt, citing In re Encompass
Services Corporation, et al., Case No. 02-43582-H4-11 (Bankr.
S.D. Tex. November 20, 2002); EOTT Energy Partners, L.P., et
al., Case No. 02-21730-H1-11 (Bankr. S.D. Tex.  October 9,
2002); and In re Sterling Chem. Holdings, Inc., et al., Case No.
01-37805-H4-11 (Bank. S.D. Tex. August 22, 2001).

                         Court's Ruling

Judge Schmidt authorizes the Debtor to designate, maintain,
close or continue to use, with the same account numbers, all of
its bank accounts existing as of the Petition Date. (Troubled
Company Reporter, Tuesday, August 16, 2005, Vol. 9, No. 193)


EMPRESAS ICA: Sells 473 Million Shares at Ps. 4.50 Per Share
------------------------------------------------------------
Empresas ICA, S.A. de C.V. (BMV and NYSE: ICA), the largest
engineering, construction, and procurement company in Mexico,
announced on August 10, 2005 the placement of 472,813,000 newly-
issued shares at a price of Ps. 4.50 per share through the
Mexican Stock Exchange, as well as to institutional investors
outside of Mexico. The total proceeds from the placement, before
the deduction of costs of the placement, will be Ps.
2,127,658,500.

Sixty-five percent of the shares will be placed through the
Mexican Stock Exchange, while the remaining thirty-five percent
will be placed with institutional investors outside Mexico,
including to certain qualified institutions in the United States
in an offering exempt from registration under the U.S.
Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The placement includes an
over allotment option covering an additional 70,921,950 shares,
which is exercisable for 30 days following the placement.

Following this placement, the total number of outstanding
shares, without taking into account any shares sold pursuant to
the over allotment option, will be 2,341,702,516, compared to
1,868,889,516 shares as at June 30, 2005.

ICA was founded in Mexico in 1947. ICA has completed
construction and engineering projects in 21 countries. ICA's
principal business units include civil construction and
industrial construction. Through its subsidiaries, ICA also
develops housing, manages airports, and operates tunnels,
highways, and municipal services under government concession
contracts and/or partial sale of long-term contract rights.

CONTACT: Empresas ICA Sociedad Controladora S.A. de C.V.
         Col. Escandon Del Migual Hidalgo
         Mexico City, 11800
         Mexico
         Phone: 525-272-9991
         URL: http://www.ica.com.mx


GRUPO HERDEZ: Restructures $399M in Bank Debt
---------------------------------------------
Mexican group Grupo Herdez, S.A. de C.V. announced on August 9
that it has finished the restructuring of US$399 million in bank
debt, extending maturities due in 2007 and 2008 to 2009 and
2010. This amount represents a third of Grupo Herdez's
liabilities.

With this restructuring, the Company said, the funds allocated
to paying liabilities will be lower than 50% of the estimated
annual free cash flow during the following years.

Grupo Herdez is a leading company in the processed food sector,
with a background of over 90 years. If manufactures and sells
products under the brands Herdez, McCormick, Dona Maria,
Barilla, Yemina, Carlota, Hormel, Solo and Yavaros, among
others.


GRUPO MEXICO: Workers Launch One-Hour Staggered Stoppages
---------------------------------------------------------
Workers at all mining and steel operations and refineries across
Mexico launched Monday one-hour staggered stoppages, Dow Jones
Newswires reports, citing a spokeswoman from the Mexican Mining
and Metallurgical Workers Union.

These actions were being carried out to support copper workers
at Asarco Inc. in the U.S. and steel workers at the Sicartsa
mill in Mexico's central Michoacan state.

Workers at Asarco, a unit of mining giant Grupo Mexico, have
been on strike since early July over a labor dispute, while
workers at Monterrey-based Grupo Vilacero's Lazaro Cardenas
steel plant have been on strike since Aug. 1.

A one-day strike in support of the Asarco workers initially had
been planned for last Friday at all of Grupo Mexico's operations
in northern Sonora state, including the country's two biggest
copper mines, La Caridad and La Cananea.

But when the Labor Ministry authorities declared the strike at
the Sicartsa steel plant void and ordered workers back to work,
the union decided to combine its reactions to all the mining
conflicts into a single, nationwide action.

The union warned that unless workers' complaints were taken into
consideration by the companies and progress was made in talks,
the union would begin extending the staggered stoppages to
longer intervals and eventually go ahead with a full one-day
nationwide mining strike.

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


GRUPO MEXICO: Extraordinary Stock Price Growth Unexplained
----------------------------------------------------------
Copper producer Grupo Mexico (BMV: GMEXICOB) has seen a 13%
increase in share price on the Mexico City's stock exchange
since August 1, reports Business News Americas.

The Company has been unable to explain this positive movement in
the stock. But reports indicate that this could be driven by the
Company's announcement early this month that it reduced its
total debt by 23% to US$2 billion from December 2004-June 2005
as well as the bankruptcy filing of its US subsidiary Asarco.

The latter was a positive step for Grupo Mexico, considering
Asarco has been undergoing strikes for six weeks, said Ixe Casa
de Bolsa analyst Jorge Beristain.

Indeed, the market had been waiting for good news on the Asarco
front, Casa de Bolsa Scotiabank analyst Marco Reyes said.

Grupo Mexico closed Monday at MXN20.76 (US$1.96).


MINERA AUTLAN: To Build $42M, 30MW Hydro Plant Late This Year
-------------------------------------------------------------
Manganese-ferroalloys producer Minera Autlan (BMV: AUTLANB) will
team up with energy company Compania de Energia Mexicana to
build a US$42 million, 30MW hydroelectric plant in the town of
Atexcaco in Puebla state, reports Business News Americas.

Funding for the project will come from debt and capital
financing, Autlan said, adding that construction is scheduled to
kick off in the fourth quarter and finish next year.

The project is part of Autlan's objective to reduce high-energy
costs through a power efficiency plan.

Under the said plan, Autlan will invest US$15 million this year
on a series of projects aimed at reducing gas consumption in
production processes.

Autlan investor relations manager Gustavo Cardenas said reduced
gas consumption could generate accumulated savings of US$11.2
million and significantly help company profitability.



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

DORAL FINANCIAL: Nasdaq Grants Form 10-Q Filing Extension
---------------------------------------------------------
Doral Financial Corporation (NYSE:DRL) announced Monday that on
August 1, 2005, the Company received notice from The Nasdaq
Stock Market that a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel had
extended to September 30, 2005 the deadline for the Company to
come into full compliance with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule
4310(c)(14).

The Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel's decision to continue
the listing of the Company's 7% Noncumulative Monthly Income
Preferred Stock, Series A, 8.35% Noncumulative Monthly Income
Preferred Stock, Series B and 7.25% Noncumulative Monthly Income
Preferred Stock, Series C (collectively, the "Preferred Stock"
on Nasdaq is subject to the condition that the Company files its
Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31,
2005 and June 30, 2005, and all filings that reflect
restatements for prior periods, where required, on or before
September 30, 2005.

As previously announced, on May 19, 2005, the Company received a
notification from The Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Qualifications
Department that the Company was not in compliance with the
reporting requirements for continued listing of the Preferred
Stock set forth in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(14) because
of the Company's failure to file its Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2005.

On August 12, 2005, the Company received an additional
notification from The Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Qualifications
Department stating the Company was not in compliance with the
reporting requirements for continued listing of the Preferred
Stock set forth in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(14) based on
the Company's failure to timely file its Quarterly Report on
Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2005.

The failure to file the second quarter 10-Q constitutes a
separate and distinct basis for delisting of the Preferred Stock
from Nasdaq under Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(14). However,
as noted above, the extension until September 30, 2005 also
applies to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the second
fiscal quarter.

The Company continues to work expeditiously to complete the
previously announced restatement of its financial statements for
one or more of the periods ending on or prior to December 31,
2004 and to become current in its filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

The Company, a financial holding company, is the largest
residential mortgage lender in Puerto Rico, and the parent
company of Doral Bank, a Puerto Rico based commercial bank,
Doral Securities, a Puerto Rico based investment banking and
institutional brokerage firm, Doral Insurance Agency, Inc. and
Doral Bank FSB, a federal savings bank based in New York City.

CONTACT: Doral Financial Corporation
         Investor Relations:
         Richard F. Bonini
         Phone: 212-329-3729
         Lucienne Gigante
         Phone: 212-329-3733



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

UTE: GE Lands $80M EPC Contract to Build Two Gas-Fired Plants
-------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay's state power company UTE has awarded US company GE
(NYSE: GE) an US$80-million EPC contract to build two 100MW gas-
fired thermoelectric plants, reports Business News Americas.

In a statement, UTE said GE has 180 days from the time of
signing the contract to install the first plant and 300 days to
install the second. The location of these plants has not been
decided yet but according to UTE, they could be in San Jose or
Montevideo department.

Environmental studies are in an advanced stage at Punta del
Tigre in Montevideo, the statement added.

The plants, designed to be used in emergency situations only,
must be ready to start operations by mid-2006 and will be able
to use either fuel oil or natural gas.

UTE awarded this contract as part of effort to increase the
country's generation capacity in light of a drought earlier this
year that forced the Company to seek imports from Brazil and
switch on expensive diesel-fired plants.



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

FERTINITRO FINANCE: Regulatory Concerns Prompt Rating Watch
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has placed the 'B-' rating of FertiNitro Finance
Inc.'s (FertiNitro) US$250 million 8.29% secured bonds due 2020
on Rating Watch Negative status.

The Negative Watch status portends a heightened probability of a
rating downgrade in the short term and is fundamentally
associated with the possibility that a new petrochemicals law
drafted by the Venezuelan government will be implemented within
2005. Essentially, the proposed law would force FertiNitro to
redirect portions of its fertilizer output from the world export
markets to the domestic Venezuelan market with sales subject to
regulated pricing dictated by the government.

According to the offtake agreement between Petroquimica de
Venezuela, S.A. (Pequiven) and FertiNitro, Pequiven is obligated
to re-sell most of its 50% share of the plant's production
outside Venezuela at market prices. Fitch believes that the
redirection of output called for under the proposed law would
contravene the agreement and, if enacted, would most likely
subject the project to lower, state-dictated pricing. Fitch
estimates that, in consequence, cash collections would decrease
significantly during the remainder of 2005 and to a greater
degree in 2006. The drop in cash revenue in 2006 could result in
an after-tax operating deficit and significantly diminish cash
flow available for scheduled debt service payments.

The proposed change in law arrives at a crucial time for
FertiNitro. In 2004, the plant achieved notable performance
milestones, as it recovered from the technical defects and other
difficulties experienced over the last several years. As a
result, FertiNitro's debt service margins reached 1.46 times
(x). In 2005, due to the expiration of tax credits and a return
to profitability, cash tax payments are forecast to increase to
$21 million. However, in the absence of a change in law, the
ample cash balances accumulated in 2004 should raise debt
service margins in 2005 to about 1.70x, including the full
payment in April of the previously deferred bank loan principal,
as well as scheduled debt service.

The project's substantially stronger cash position is directly
associated with both higher prices for ammonia and urea and
improved utilization rates. As of June, the average price of
urea, which generates 80% of the project's cash collections, was
24% higher than the 2004 average and 47% higher than the 2003
average. Likewise, the plant's utilization rates have slowly but
steadily improved to levels more consistent with its nameplate
capacity even as essential repairs have required temporary shut
downs. So far in 2005, the urea trains have operated at 85% of
capacity (from 77% in 2004).

FertiNitro ranks as one of the world's largest nitrogen-based
fertilizer plants. It is owned 35% by a Koch Industries, Inc.
subsidiary, 35% by Pequiven, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., 20% by a Snamprogetti S.p.A.
subsidiary, and 10% by a Cerveceria Polar, C.A. subsidiary.

CONTACT: Gersan Zurita +1-212-908-0318, New York
         Randall Biang +1-312-606-2342, Chicago
         Carlos Fiorillo +58 212-286-3356, Caracas

MEDIA RELATIONS: Brian Bertsch +1-212-908-0549, New York


PDVSA: S&P Raises Rating to 'B+'; Outlook Stable
-------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) to 'B+' from 'B'.
The outlook is stable.

"The upgrade on PDVSA follows the raising of the long-term
foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to 'B+' from 'B'," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jose Coballasi. "The outlook on
the ratings on Venezuela is stable. The ratings on PDVSA and
Venezuela are equalized because of their ties of ownership and
economic interests."

Through its subsidiaries, PDVSA engages in the exploration and
production of crude oil and natural gas (upstream) and the
refining, marketing, and distribution of crude oil, refined
products, and petrochemicals.

The stable outlook reflects that of the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela. Future rating changes for PDVSA will be linked to
changes in the ratings on Venezuela.

Primary Credit Analyst:

  Jose Coballasi, Mexico City
  Tel: (52)55-5081-4414
  Email: jose_coballasi@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst:

  Richard Francis, New York
  Tel: (1) 212-438-7348
  E-mail: richard_francis@standardandpoors.com

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


PDVSA: Venezuela Evaluates Uruguay's La Teja Refinery Expansion
---------------------------------------------------------------
During President Hugo Chavez Frias' visit last week to the
Eastern Republic of Uruguay, the Minister of Energy and
Petroleum of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Rafael
Ramirez Carreno, and the Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining
of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, Jorge Lepra, signed a Letter
of Intention to assess Venezuela's participation in the energy
sector of this southern country.

This Letter of Intention shall be performed through State-owned
enterprises, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the
Administracion Nacional de Combustibles, Alcohol y Portland
(ANCAP), and provides for exchanging information and carrying
out the technical, economic, legal, and political feasibility
study for a possible participation by PDVSA in La Teja Refinery
expansion, as well as in the processing of heavy and extra heavy
crude, and in marketing and supply activities related to such
expansion.

Minister Ramirez explained that "this Project will be vertically
integrated to the joint development of a block in the Orinoco
Oil Belt, aligned with crude needs of la Teja Refinery, and
focused on guaranteeing long term supply of products to Uruguay
and other countries of the region.

"Petrosur makes it possible to meet the need for these products
of a fellow country, and its South Cone neighbors through
Bolivarian integration principles. We are leveraging joint
investments and developments in the hydrocarbon upstream sector,
in Venezuela, and downstream sector in Uruguay," added Rafael
Ramirez.

La Teja Refinery, located in the capital of Uruguay, currently
has a daily processing capacity of about 50 thousand barrels of
light crude. As a result of the expansion plan, it would
increase this refining capacity in approximately 50 thousand
barrels, being able to process heavy and extra-heavy crude from
the Orinoco Oil Belt. "Venezuela keeps taking specific steps
towards increasing its heavy crude refining capacity," said the
Venezuelan Minister.

First crude shipment to Uruguay

On August 17 of this year, the first Venezuelan crude shipment
will arrive in Uruguay, pursuant to the Caracas Energy
Cooperation Agreement signed by Presidents Tabare Vasquez and
Hugo Chavez on March 2nd, 2005.

This first shipment contains 933 thousand barrels of Leona, Mesa
and Santa Barbara type crude. 25% of the payment due for this
shipment shall be financed on a long-term basis, and the
remaining 75% shall be paid in 90 days. Part of this 75% could
be exchanged for goods and services required by Venezuela, such
as cement, alcohol, and technical assistance in other areas in
which Uruguay has many strengths.

Electric power sector also contributing to bilateral synergy
Likewise, a Memorandum of Understanding was executed by Compa¤¡a
Anonima de Administracion y Fomento Electrico (CADAFE), of
Venezuela, and the Administracion Nacional de Usinas y
Transmisiones Electricas (UTE), of Uruguay, to define the
conceptual basis of the Management Improvement Project of
CADAFE, where UTE will be providing technical assistance
services, professional collaboration, and tools supply.

The Memorandum was signed by the Vice-Minister of Energy of
Venezuela and President of CADAFE, Nervis Villalobos; the
Chairman of the Board of UTE, Beno Ruchansky; and the General
Manager of UTE, Carlos Pombo.

The purpose of this project is to fulfill the expectations of
CADAFE's customers in terms of quality, service, and price; as
well as to gather reliable, timely, and specific information for
the company's decision making process; improve the positioning
of this institution vis-…-vis suppliers, financial sectors, and
other market agents, and back the State's effort to provide
well-being to Venezuelans in the area of electric power supply.



                            ***********


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
Sheryl Joy P. Olano, Editors.

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

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

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

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


* * * End of Transmission * * *