TCRLA_Public/050824.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 24, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 167



ASKING EDITORES: Trustee to Submit Bankruptcy General Report
AUTOPISTAS DEL SOL: S&P Retains 'raB+' Ratings on Several Bonds
CORSETERIA INFORMAL: Trustee Terminate Claims Filing Period
IRSA: Conversion Right Exercised, Debt Minimally Reduced
KEY ENERGY: Welcomes New Chief Accounting Officer

MARTORELL Y CIA: Individual Reports Due for Submission Aug. 25
METROGAS: Extends Noteholder Consent Solicitation to October 19
PLASTITREBOL: Individual Reports Due Aug. 25


BANCO ITAU: 2,202,408 Book Entry Shares Cancelled
NII HOLDINGS: Expands Contracts with Glenayre
TELEMAR: Banco do Brasil to Relinquish Voting Rights


TELECOM: Announces Partnership Agreement With Telmex
WEST CARIBBEAN: France Denys Safety Violation Foreknowledge

C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: May Delay New GSM Lines Launch
RICA FOODS: Campesinos Seeks to Acquire Outstanding Shares


PETROECUADOR: Oil Output Improves as Protests Subside
* ECUADOR: Fitch Says Oil Shutdown May Affect Sovereign Ratings


BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Ratings Reflect Adequate Financial Profile


HYLSAMEX: Alfa Completes 42.5% Stake Sale


ACEPAR: President Denies Government Pressure to Repay Debt
* PARAGUAY: IMF Completes Fifth Review of Stand-By Arrangement

P U E R T O   R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Ratings Hold Despite Management Change


BANCO COMERCIAL: Banks Claim Cenbank Failed to Prevent Collapse


PDVSA: Awards Exploration Block to Repsol
PDVSA: Opens Unit in China

     - - - - - - - - - -


ASKING EDITORES: Trustee to Submit Bankruptcy General Report
Court-appointed trustee Emilio Reboiras will submit the general
report on the Asking Editores S.A. liquidation case tomorrow,
Aug. 25, 2005, following the submission of the individual
reports on June 29, 2005. Prior to this, the validation of
creditors' claims, which serve as basis for the individual
reports, ended on May 16, 2005.

Asking Editores S.A. started winding up its operations following
the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 23 of Buenos
Aires' civil and commercial tribunal.

Clerk No. 45 assists the court on this case that will end with
the sale of the company's assets. Proceeds from the sale will be
used to repay the Company's debts.

CONTACT: Mr. Emilio Reboiras, Trustee
         Avda La Plata 326
         Buenos Aires

AUTOPISTAS DEL SOL: S&P Retains 'raB+' Ratings on Several Bonds
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
assigned its 'raB+' rating on the following corporate bonds
issued by Autopistas del Sol S.A.:

- US$112,334,466 worth of bonds described as "Obligaciones Neg.
  original" with undated maturity.

- US$49,306,639 worth of bonds described as "Obligaciones Neg.
  original" with undated maturity.

- US$215,225,419 worth of bonds described as "ONS a tasa de
  interes escalonada creciente a 10 anos de vencimiento, monto
  original" with undated maturity.

The rating action, according to the securities regulator
Comision Nacional de Valores(CNV), was based on the Company's
financial standing as of June 30, 2005.

An `raB+' rating denotes that the bonds face exposure to adverse
business or economic conditions, which could lead to the
Company's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment,
according to S&P.

CORSETERIA INFORMAL: Trustee Terminate Claims Filing Period
Court-appointed trustee Gustavo Fiszman will stop accepting
claims from creditors of textile manufacturer Corseteria
Informal S.R.L. tomorrow, Aug. 25, 2005.

Corseteria Informal S.R.L. was declared bankrupt after Court No.
19 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal endorsed the
petition of Algodonera del Valle S.A. for the company's
liquidation. The creditor has claims totaling US$5000 against
the Company.

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

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

         Mr. Gustavo Fiszman, Trustee
         Acevedo 237
         Buenos Aires

IRSA: Conversion Right Exercised, Debt Minimally Reduced
IRSA - Inversiones y Representaciones Sociedad Anonima informed
the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires and Comision Nacional de
Valores on August 17, 2005 that a holder of the Company's
Convertible Notes exercised its conversion right. Hence, the
financial indebtedness of the Company shall be reduced in
US$192,667 and an increase of 353,517 ordinary shares face value
pesos 1 each was made.

The conversion was performed according to terms and conditions
established in the prospectus of issuance at the conversion rate
of 1.83486 shares, face value pesos 1 per Convertible Note of
face value US$1. As a result of that conversion the amount of
shares of the Company goes from 359,467,484 to 359,821,001. On
the other hand, the amount of registered Convertible Notes is

CONTACT: IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones S. A.
         Alejandro Elsztain, Director
         Gabriel Blasi, CFO
         Tel: +011-5411 4323-7449

KEY ENERGY: Welcomes New Chief Accounting Officer
Key Energy Services, Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: KEGS) announced
Monday that J. Marshall Dodson has joined the Company and will
serve as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, reporting
to Bill Austin, Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. Dodson brings
thirteen years of experience, having served most recently as
Managing Director and Controller, Dynegy Generation for Dynegy
Inc.  Prior to joining Dynegy, Mr. Dodson spent approximately
ten years with Arthur Andersen LLP in Houston, Texas.  Mr.
Dodson is a Certified Public Accountant and is a graduate of the
University of Texas at Austin.  Mr. Dodson will be based in
Houston, Texas.

Key Energy Services, Inc. is the world's largest rig-based well
service company.  The Company provides oilfield services
including well servicing, contract drilling, pressure pumping,
fishing and rental tools and other oilfield services.  The
Company has operations in all major onshore oil and gas
producing regions of the continental United States and
internationally in

CONTACT:  Key Energy Services, Inc.
          John Daniel
          Tel: (713) 651-4300

MARTORELL Y CIA: Individual Reports Due for Submission Aug. 25
The submission of the individual reports on the claims of
creditors against Martorell y Cia S.A. Sociedad de Bolsa will be
tomorrow, August 25, 2005. Mr. Carlos Federico Berger, the
trustee assigned to supervise the Company's liquidation, will
explain in the report the basis for the accepted and rejected
claims. Mr. Berger will also submit a general report of the case
on Oct. 6, 2005.

Court No. 3 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
handles this bankruptcy case, with the assistance of the city's
Clerk No. 6.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Federico Berger, Trustee
         Santiago del Estero 112
         Buenos Aires

METROGAS: Extends Noteholder Consent Solicitation to October 19
MetroGAS S.A. (the "Company") said it is further extending its
solicitation (the "APE Solicitation") from holders of its 9-7/8%
Series A Notes due 2003 (the "Series A Notes"), its 7.375%
Series B Notes due 2002 (the "Series B Notes") and its Floating
Rate Series C Notes due 2004 (the "Series C Notes" and, together
with the Series A Notes and the Series B Notes, the "Existing
Notes") and its other unsecured financial indebtedness (the
"Existing Bank Debt" and, together with the Existing Notes, the
"Existing Debt"), subject to certain eligibility requirements,
of powers of attorney authorizing the execution on behalf of the
holders of its Existing Notes of, and support agreements
committing holders of its Existing Bank Debt to, execute an
acuerdo preventivo extrajudicial (the "APE") until 5:00 p.m.,
New York City time, on October 19, 2005 (the "New Expiration
Date"), unless further extended by the Company.

As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 18, 2005, powers
of attorney and support agreements had been received with
respect to approximately US$76 million principal amount of
Existing Debt.

The APE Solicitation will remain in all respects subject to all
terms and conditions described in the Company's Solicitation
Statement dated November 7, 2003.

The Settlement Agent for the APE Solicitation is:

    JPMorgan Chase Bank
    Tel: (212) 623-5136
    Fax: (212) 623-6216

Any holder wishing to receive a copy of the the Solicitation
Statement and/or ancillary documents should contact J.P. Morgan
Securities Inc. at 1-877-217-2484 in the United States or
JPMorgan Chase Bank Buenos Aires at 54-11-4348-3475/4325-8046 in

         Pablo Bosellli
         Phone:(54 11) 4309-1511

         Financial Information Advisor
         Lucia Domville
         Phone:(917) 375-1984

PLASTITREBOL: Individual Reports Due Aug. 25
The individual reports of the Plastitrebol S.R.L. liquidation
are due tomorrow, Aug. 25, 2005. The reports shall contain the
claims forwarded by the creditors against the Company. These
claims underwent verification phase that lasted until June 29,
2005. The submission of the general report follows on October 6.

Court No. 23 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
ordered the liquidation of Plastitrebol S.R.L. after the company
defaulted on its obligations and appointed Mr. Manuel Omar
Mansanta as trustee.

Clerk No. 46 assists the court on this case, which will end with
the disposal of the company's assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Plastitrebol S.R.L.
         Estomba 3932
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Manuel Omar Mansanta, Trustee
         Avda Cordoba 1351
         Buenos Aires

Mr. Hector Pedro Bazzini, court-appointed trustee for the
liquidation of Buenos Aires-based company Prestaciones
Odontologicas S.A., will submit the general report tomorrow,
Aug. 25, 2005. The submission of the said report followed the
presentation of individual claims of the Company's creditors in
court on June 29, 2005. The trustee examined the claims for
authenticity until May 16, 2005.

The city's civil and commercial Court No. 13 handles the
Company's case. Clerk No. 26 assists the court with the
wind-up proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Hector Pedro Bazzini, Trustee
         Uruguay 662
         Buenos Aires


BANCO ITAU: 2,202,408 Book Entry Shares Cancelled
Banco Itau Holding Financeira S.A. reported to the Comissao de
Valores Mobiliarios that the Company has decided during the
extraordinary general meeting held on Monday the cancellation of
the 2,202,408 book entry shares issued by the company, with no
reduction in the value of the capital stock.

The decisions taken during the extraordinary general meeting:

a) the cancellation of 2,202,408 book entry shares issued by the
company, held as treasury stock, being made up of 2,408 common
and 2,200,000 preferred shares, with no reduction in the value
of the capital stock;

b) the increasing of the limits for authorized capital from
200,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 book entry shares with no par
value, being 1,000,000,000 common and 1,000,000,000 preferred

c) the stock split in a ratio of 900% of the existing
113,294,129 shares making up the subscribed capital stock,
including the proposed cancellation in item "a" above, total
book entry shares increasing to 1,132,941,290 with no par value,
being 605,963,420 common and 526,977,870 preferred shares, with
no alteration in the monetary expression of the capital stock;

d) the alteration of the wording of Article 3 ("caption
sentence" and 3.1) of the Bylaws to register the new quantities
of shares resulting from the preceding items and the consequent
adjustment in the value of the minimum annual dividend of R$0.55
per share to R$0.055 per share.

2. As a result of the stock split in item "c" above, the
stockholders shall receive 9 (nine) new shares for each existing
share of the same type currently held; the existing shares
issued by Banco ItaŁ Holding Financeira S.A. shall continue to
trade with stock split rights and the new shares, resulting from
the split, shall be available for trading once due ratification
of the General Meeting's deliberations is received from the
Central Bank of Brazil and to be the subject of an announcement
to the market.

3. The monthly interest on equity capital shall be adjusted at
the same ratio as the stock split, that is, the payout changing
from R$0.21 per share to R$0.021 per share, the new shares
resulting from the stock split to enjoy full rights to any
distribution of income which may be declared after August 22

4. Simultaneously to the operation in the Brazilian Market, the
securities traded in the International Market shall be split as

a) in the United States Market (NYSE), where currently every 2
(two) ADR's - American Depositary Receipts represent 1 (one)
preferred share, the ADR's shall be split by a ratio of 400%,
investors receiving 4 (four) new ADR's for each ADR held; as a
result, each ADR shall represent l (one) preferred share;

b) in the Argentinean Market (BCBA), where currently each CEDEAR
- Certificado de Deposito Argentino represents 1 (one) preferred
share, the CEDEAR's shall be split by a ratio of 900%, investors
receiving 9 (nine) new CEDEAR's for each CEDEAR held; as a
result, each CEDEAR shall continue to represent 1 (one)
preferred share.

5. The respective minutes will be forwarded to you via the
Periodical and Eventual Information (IPE) system within the
timeframe established in Article 17, subsection III, of the said

NII HOLDINGS: Expands Contracts with Glenayre
Glenayre Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: GEMS), a global leader in
next-generation messaging solutions and enhanced services,
announced Monday it has extended its contracts with NII
Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NIHD) in several Latin American markets.
Glenayre's Versera Messaging platform and applications will be
deployed with NII mobile operators in Brazil, Mexico and
Argentina. As a current partner to NII, Glenayre will provide
additional solutions to address NII's rapid expansion and
accommodate the growth of their customer base.

"NII chose to continue to leverage Glenayre's enhanced services
platform because of the broad array of features and services
they provide in their messaging solutions," said Doug Dunbar,
Vice President of Marketing & Sales for NII Holdings.
"Glenayre's technology will enable us to rapidly scale to meet
the increasing demand in Latin America."

"With NII, we are building on a successful eight year
relationship and I am pleased that they continue to choose
Glenayre as a partner in messaging," said Dan Wessel, Vice
President of Global Sales for Glenayre. "We are proud to serve a
company that shares our vision for the future of mobile
messaging in Latin America, where we have substantially
increased our revenues and our workforce."

With the current planned installations, NII is employing
architectural components of the Versera Intelligent
Communications Environment, Versera ICE(TM), Glenayre's next-
generation messaging environment. With this unique platform
evolution, NII will continue to leverage its existing Glenayre

Glenayre Messaging, a division of Glenayre Technologies, Inc.,
is a global provider of next-generation messaging solutions and
enhanced services for wireless and wireline carriers and
MSO/cable companies. Glenayre systems are designed on open
platforms with a standards-based architecture that supports IP
and traditional telephony networks. More than 250 operators in
over 60 countries have deployed Glenayre messaging solutions,
including voice mail, video mail, multimedia messaging (MMS),
and short message service (SMS). Glenayre Messaging,
headquartered in Atlanta, GA USA, has been providing carrier-
grade communications solutions for the global market for over 40

CONTACT: NII Holdings, Inc.
         Investor Relations
         Tim Perrott
         Phone: 1-703-390-5113
         Media Relations
         Claudia E. Restrepo
         Phone: 1-786-251-7020


         Glenayre Technologies, Inc.
         Mike Neumeier
         Phone: 1-404-451-7832
         Stacy Adams
         Phone: 1-770-283-2719

TELEMAR: Banco do Brasil to Relinquish Voting Rights
Federal bank Banco do Brasil SA plans to give up its voting
rights on the controlling group of the country's largest fixed
line telecoms operator Telemar, reports Bloomberg. In a note to
the Sao Paulo stock exchange, the controlling group, Telemar
Participacoes, said Banco do Brasil agreed to the change to head
off concern it has too much power over Brazil's telephone

Previ, Banco do Brasil's employee pension fund, is one of the
controlling shareholders of Brasil Telecom SA, Brazil's third-
largest phone company.

Telecoms regulator Anatel had previously said that individuals
and institutions could not hold controlling stakes in more than
one phone company.

Anatel therefore questioned whether Banco do Brasil could own
shares in both Telemar and Brasil Telecom.

          Roberto Terziani - 55 (21) 3131-1208
          Carlos Lacerda - 55 (21) 3131-1314
          Fax: 55 (21) 3131-1155

          Kevin Kirkeby (
          Tel: 1-646-284-9416 Fax: 1-646-284-9494


TELECOM: Announces Partnership Agreement With Telmex
Mexican fixed-line telephone company Telefonos de Mexico SA
(Telmex) has reached a preliminary agreement to form a cell
phone partnership with Colombia Telecomunicaciones (Telecom),
reports Bloomberg. Telmex may pay about US$3 billion in the
transaction, which will guarantee Telecom the resources needed
to provide cell phone services.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's office said in a statement
that the government will announce details of the alliance with
Telmex, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, on Friday. Other
companies interested in competing against the agreement reached
with Telmex may present a bid, Uribe was quoted as saying.

Since early August, the government has been reported to be in
talks with Telmex over plans to administrate Telecom for 5-10
years. From these talks, it has been suggested that Telmex would
pay a fee to operate Telecom's infrastructure, and would need to
pay pension liabilities of COP6 trillion (US$2.6 billion).

Other conditions established to allow the partnership include a
guarantee that the state will not sell its entire stake in
Telecom, coverage will be maintained in areas where the Company
now operates and a guarantee that Telecom will be able to enter
the mobile business.

All the conditions established by the government make the
process of finding a partner for Telecom very difficult, Yankee
Group senior analyst Wally Swain told BNamericas.

"The US$2.5bn in pension fund commitments is about exactly what
the company is worth so if the country has the expectation that
someone is going to pay this much they are dreaming. On the
other hand, Telecom has to enter the mobile telephony segment,
but it is hard to do it in a meaningful way," he added.

The analyst said Mexican holding company Grupo Carso Telecom,
Telmex controller, is not interested in getting involved in
difficult political and legal situations, "so there is a good
chance that conditions imposed by the government would scare
them off. This company likes to maintain a low profile."

WEST CARIBBEAN: France Denys Safety Violation Foreknowledge
France was unaware that Colombian airline West Caribbean, the
owner of the plane that crashed on August 16, killing 152 French
people from Martinique, had been fined for safety violations,
Dow Jones Newswires reports. It was only after the plane crash
last week that France learned that the airline had been fined
US$45,000 in January for more than a dozen safety violations
including pilots flying too many hours without rest,
insufficient crew training and failure to log flight data.

General director of France's Civil Aviation Authority Michel
Wachenheim informed that Colombia did not notify any other

"If we had known, it might have provoked a reaction for us, like
asking Colombian authorities for more information," he said.

Mr. Wachenheim, however, understood that under current
international policy, each country is responsible for monitoring
its own airlines and does not have to share details of security
failings. According to him, circulation of information among
countries is minimal due to a certain number of states that are
not favorable to it.

The airline's safety record is under investigation after the
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashed in Venezuela, killing 152 French
people and eight Colombian crew members. It was the second crash
to be suffered by West Caribbean in six months.

"About 30 nations have insufficient safety measures in their
airlines," Mr. Wachenheim said, citing the International Civil
Aviation Organization's security audits of airlines in 181
countries. "Colombia is not one of them," he added.

C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: May Delay New GSM Lines Launch
Telecoms and electricity monopoly ICE is likely to delay
launching its new GSM Lines until the end of the year, according
to ICE president Pablo Cob. Business News Americas recalls that
ICE had been expecting to have around 200,000 lines ready for
sale on October 5, out of 600,000 new GSM lines that are being

But the Company's efforts to negotiate the acquisition or rental
of up to 50 sites for base stations, as well as securing some
one million mobile phone chips it needs, have proven tough.

Swedish equipment firm Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) won a US$130mn
contract to install the 600,000 lines, approved in March this
year despite an internal investigation into possible bribery.
According to the initial plan, Ericsson was to install the
towers in five months, ending September 5.

While Ericsson claimed it was working on 85% of the radio bases,
a progress report on July 26 said it had only started work on
33%. However, almost 100% of the equipment has been imported,
according to the report.

RICA FOODS: Campesinos Seeks to Acquire Outstanding Shares
Avicola Campesinos, Inc. (Campesinos) informed the board of
directors of Rica Foods, Inc. in a letter dated August 18, 2005
of its intention to proceed with a transaction by which it would
acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Rica
Foods, Inc. not currently owned by Campesinos for a price of
$5.10 per share.

In the letter, Campesinos President Gerardo Matamoros stated
that the transaction would be initiated by an all-cash tender
offer to stockholders of Rica Foods to acquire shares at that
price. If Campesinos' offer is successful and its ownership of
Rica Foods shares increases to at least 90%, Campesinos said it
will, as soon as practicable after the tender offer, effect a
short-form merger of Rica Foods into Campesinos in which the
remaining stockholders will be entitled to receive the same
price per share as in the tender offer. Stockholders electing to
comply with Nevada law in connection with the merger will be
entitled to exercise appraisal rights.

"The tender offer, which we expect to commence as soon as
practicable, will be conditioned on our receipt of valid tenders
of enough shares to increase our ownership of Rica Foods to at
least 90%. It is our understanding that, if this condition is
met, we will have acquired in the tender offer more than a
majority of the shares not owned by us, our parent company, our
affiliates or by directors and executive officers of Rica Foods.
We will not waive this condition," Campesinos said in the

"Our offer will also be conditioned on other customary
conditions but will not be conditioned on financing, since we
expect to have the necessary financing in place before the
tender offer commences. We and our parent company, Tenedora
G.S., S.A., have received oral assurances from two financial
institutions with respect to the financing of the price required
for the purchase of all of the shares in the offer and in the
merger and we expect to enter into definitive loan agreements
with both of them before the commencement of the tender offer."

"We believe that this offer is fair and in the best interests of
the minority stockholders of Rica Foods. The price represents a
premium over today's closing price and, considering the
illiquidity of the trading market for shares of Rica Foods,
offers a useful opportunity for all minority stockholders,
especially those holding significant numbers of shares, to sell
at a price exceeding $5 per share."

"We also believe that the proposed transaction makes sense for
Campesinos since it will enable us to relieve Rica Foods of the
expense of being a public company in the United States by
permitting the de-listing of the company's shares from the
American Stock Exchange and de-registration under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Our ultimate goal is to remove the company
entirely to Costa Rica, where almost all of its operations are

"We expect that you will consult with your legal counsel as to
the formation of a special committee of independent directors to
evaluate our offer and as to the retention by the special
committee of its own financial and legal advisors to assist in
this process. If a special committee is formed, we will be
pleased to discuss with the committee and its advisors the terms
of our offer and the reasons why we believe they are fair and in
the best interests of the minority stockholders of Rica Foods.
The special committee will, of course, be free to reach its own

"In considering our offer, you should be aware that we are
interested only in acquiring the shares of Rica Foods not
already held by us and we will not sell our interest in Rica

          200 South Biscayne Boulevard
          Suite 4530
          Miami, FL 33131
          Phone: 305-858-9480
          Fax: 305-365-8665
          Web Site:


PETROECUADOR: Oil Output Improves as Protests Subside
State oil company Petroecuador has begun to recover oil
production levels after protests in the oil-rich Amazon
provinces cut output last week. Citing an unnamed Petroecuador
executive, Dow Jones Newswires reports that the Company, which
normally produces 201,000 barrels a day (b/d), has raised its
output to around 90,000 barrels Monday.

"With more than 500 people, between engineers, technicians and
other workers who worked very hard over the weekend, we are
(now) getting around 90,000 barrels of crude oil from our oil
fields," the company executive said, although he doesn't discard
the possibility of more problems reducing current output again.

"We are evaluating the situation," he said. "Nothing can be

Inhabitants of Sucumbios and Orellana provinces took over wells
on Petroecuador's fields last week in protest against the 13
private oil companies that operate in the region. The protesters
say foreign oil companies have not invested enough in local
infrastructure, health and education projects and should leave
so that Petroecuador can reclaim sovereignty over the country's
hydrocarbons resources.

Petroecuador declared force majeure on oil exports last
Thursday, which is bad news for Ecuador's heavily oil-dependent
economy and a government already struggling to make debt

* ECUADOR: Fitch Says Oil Shutdown May Affect Sovereign Ratings
Recent production interruptions and sabotage related to protests
in Ecuador's oil-producing Amazon provinces have raise concern
about their impact on government revenues and export receipts.
Protests and highway blocks have forced the state-owned oil
company and private producers to cut output sharply. The
government has called a state of emergency and has declared
force majeure for certain oil export contracts. According to
Morgan C. Harting, Senior Director-Sovereigns, Fitch Ratings,
'if oil production is not restored quickly and near-term public
and external financing needs are not secured, the credit
implications for the sovereign will be negative.' Fitch
currently maintains a 'B-' rating with a Stable Outlook on
Ecuador's long-term foreign currency debt.

Harting added that 'because Ecuador's public and external
liquidity is very low, even short interruptions in production
could generate payment irregularities. Among the 20 sovereigns
that Fitch rates in the 'B' category and below, Ecuador's
international liquidity is the lowest: international reserves
and bank external assets cover just 53% of short-term debt and
next year's estimated debt service requirements.' Refinancing
risk for the government is also higher than its peers because
the government has limited access to markets to cover its
estimated US$3 billion in debt service next year. Depending on
how protracted the oil shutdown is, export and government
revenue shortfalls could add further to public and external
financing needs.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings
are available on the agency's public site,
Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from
this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct,
confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall,
compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also
available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.

         Morgan C. Harting, 212-908-0820
         Kenneth Reed, 212-908-0540 (Media Relations)


BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Ratings Reflect Adequate Financial Profile

Outstanding Rating(s)
  Counterparty Credit:  BB-/Stable/B
  Certificate of deposit:  BB-/B

Bank survivability assessment
  Local currency:  BBB-


The ratings assigned to Banco Industrial S.A. consider its
leading market position and adequate financial profile. The
bank's modest efficiency levels, a vulnerable regulatory
framework for the Guatemalan financial system, and the slow
economic environment in which the bank operates limit the rating

Banco Industrial is managed prudently and benefits from an
adequate financial profile. Asset quality is adequate in terms
of growth and consistent trends in low levels of delinquencies.
Reported nonperforming assets (NPAs) stand at 1.0% of gross
loans. As of March 2005, loan-loss reserves cover 117% of past-
due loans, and represent 89% of NPAs. Growth in total net loans
has a positive trend, with a compound rate of growth of 17.7%
for the past four years. Derived from its orientation toward
commercial banking, the bank's loan book shows relatively high
concentrations in terms of economic sector, individual
exposures, and according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services'
view, there are some related party exposures, which add risks to
the overall asset quality profile. As of March 2005, Banco
Industrial and subsidiaries had assets of Quetzales (Q.) 19,815
million ($2,555 million at Q.7.755 to $1), of which gross loans
represented 45%.

As the largest bank in Guatemala, Banco Industrial benefits from
a large and stable deposit base, strong brand-name recognition,
and the largest branch network, with 186 full-service branches,
84 kiosks, and 245 ATMs of its own network located throughout
Guatemala. It has a market share of 20% in terms of assets and
19% in terms of deposits. Concentration in the Guatemalan
banking industry is high, as the seven largest banks concentrate
71% of total assets. The importance of Banco Industrial to
Guatemala's payment system is high, as 24% of total transactions
in the country are done through its network.

The bank's capital base is of good quality, composed basically
of Tier-1 elements, although its capitalization levels are below
the average reported by other rated Central American peers rated
by Standard & Poor's. Banco Industrial's capital base in
absolute terms and on a consolidated basis is small at Q.1,464
million ($189 million), and results in an adjusted equity-to-
assets ratio of 6.67%. Trends in capital growth are good, and
are reflected in a compound rate of growth of 25.4% for the past
four years. The dividend payout ratio is high at 54%; however,
retained earnings and additional capital injections contribute
to maintain capital accretion at a level that is considered
adequate to support expected growth.

Profitability measures at the bank's level are good, and a key
factor in supporting its financial profile. The bank's operating
performance has improved in recent years with ROA and ROE of
1.4% and 16.7%, respectively, benefiting from increased fees and
commissions; but the main source of revenues is interest margin.
Efficiency constitutes a weakness, particularly if compared to
efficiency levels reported by other Central American peers rated
by Standard & Poor's. Also, at the bank's level, the pace of
expenses has grown at a rate below that of the bank's revenues,
thus yielding improvements in efficiency in spite of branch
expansion. As of March 2005, operating expenses as a proportion
of total revenues were 57.7% for Banco Industrial, a level that
compares favorable to the 64.9% reported in 2003. Although the
efficiency ratio is modest, it compares favorably with the
Guatemalan banking system, which averages 77%. Personnel
expenses represented 42% of operating expenses as of 2004, which
is also a relatively high ratio.


The outlook is stable. In spite of challenges derived from the
competitive environment and the limited structure of the
Guatemalan economy, it is expected that Banco Industrial's
financial profile and strong market presence will be maintained.
As investments on expanding its branch and technological
networks are assimilated, efficiency should show modest
improvements. As growth trends are expected to remain strong,
the bank has the challenge to maintain capital and asset quality
levels similar to those reported historically.

Primary Credit Analyst: Francisco Suarez, Mexico City, (52)55-

Secondary Credit Analyst: Jaime Carreno, Mexico City (52) 55-


HYLSAMEX: Alfa Completes 42.5% Stake Sale
ALFA, S.A. de C.V. (ALFA) announced Monday that it has
successfully completed the sale of its 42.5% stake in Hylsamex,
S.A. de C.V. (Hylsamex). The sale was completed under the same
terms and conditions as announced on May 18, 2005.

As previously announced, ALFA tendered its shares concurrent
with the tender offer launched by Grupo Techint's Industrial
Investments Inc. and Siderar, S.A.I.C. for the 57.5% of the
Hylsamex shares not owned by ALFA. As informed by Techint, its
subsidiaries acquired a total of 99.29% of the Hylsamex shares.

Proceeds to ALFA from the sale of the Hylsamex shares, plus the
sale of a minority ownership in Sidor, amounted to US$ 1,065
million, approximately. The proceeds initially will be used to
retire US$ 107 million in debt at the holding company level.
ALFA continues to asses the optimal use of proceeds to maximize
shareholder value, including the payment of dividends.

ALFA is a Mexican company consisting of four business groups:
Alpek, dedicated to the production of petrochemicals; Sigma, a
producer of refrigerated foods; Nemak, involved in high-tech
aluminum cylinder heads; and Onexa, a company that provides
telecom services in the Mexican market. ALFA is the world's
largest producer of aluminum cylinder heads, the world's second
largest producer of PTA and the leader in Mexico's refrigerated
foods industry. ALFA has production facilities in Mexico, the
United States, Canada, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic,
the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Its products
are marketed in more than 45 countries. In 2004, ALFA reported
sales of US$ 5,069 million and employed more than 42,000 people.

          Enrique Flores
          Vice President, Corporate Communications
          Phone: +52 81 8748 1207


ACEPAR: President Denies Government Pressure to Repay Debt
Acepar President Sergio Tasselli confirmed that Paraguay's
President Nicanor Duarte has asked the steelmaker to pay total
debt of some US$24 million from its 1997 privatization, reports
Business News Americas. Mr. Tasselli, however, dismissed reports
that Mr. Duarte is pressuring the Company to pay up debt.

"Everyone wants to collect a debt, but the government is not
pushing the company for that. Acepar is up to date on debt
payment in Paraguay, we have a payment scheme that is working
well and six more years to pay," Mr. Tasselli said.

The administration is seeking a debt restructuring agreement,
"but there are no problems with payments. Acepar is in good
health and has the funds to pay," he added.

The next payment is due on November 10, 2005.

Responding to a claim by Nicolas Caballero, general secretary of
Acepar's union Sitrasa, that the Company has not invested enough
in the plant, Mr. Tasselli said: "Investing in a company that is
not ours is somewhat delicate, so the first step is to close the
purchase of the company and make the respective investments
later on." Meaning, Acepar's management wants to pay the
government what it owes from privatization before embarking on
major investments.

Mr. Caballero also revealed that workers are concerned about the
depletion of company funds through the sale of billets to
another Tasselli-owned company at preferential prices. Billets
are a semi-finished product.

But, according to Mr. Tasselli, Acepar manufactures billets, pig
iron and construction steel and "everything is sold to the
highest bidder, whether to the US, Brazil, Argentina or Bolivia.
The material is produced to be sold not stored."

Acepar was privatized in 1997 and is now controlled by an
Argentine and Paraguayan business consortium, while workers hold
a 33.33% stake.

* PARAGUAY: IMF Completes Fifth Review of Stand-By Arrangement
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
completed the fifth review under an SDR 50 million (about
US$73.3 million) Stand-By Arrangement for Paraguay, originally
approved on December 15, 2003 for 15 months.

The completion of this review makes a cumulative amount
equivalent to SDR 47 million (about US$68.9 million) immediately
available to Paraguay. However, Paraguay has not made any
drawings under the arrangement so far, and the authorities have
indicated that they will continue to treat it as precautionary.

In completing the review, the Executive Board also granted
waivers for the nonobservance of two performance criteria
related to the approval of a new comprehensive banking
legislation and the audits in public entities.

Following the Executive Board's discussion of Paraguay's
economic performance, Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director and
Chair, stated:

"Paraguay's overall performance under the program continues to
be satisfactory despite a challenging political and economic
environment. Inflationary pressures resurfaced during the first
half of 2005, but monetary tightening and a more flexible
exchange rate policy are expected to keep inflation under
control. The overall fiscal position has remained in surplus, as
a strict financial plan was applied successfully to the
execution of the budget. Banking system indicators continue to
improve, and dollarization has remained at a lower level than in
previous years. However, unemployment and poverty levels remain
high, underscoring the importance of pressing ahead with the
structural reform agenda.

"The authorities have been successful in maintaining fiscal
discipline, notwithstanding the higher spending implicit in the
budget approved by Congress, in part through improvements in tax
administration and effective expenditure control. Continued
fiscal discipline will be needed. To consolidate the gains
achieved to date, further institutional strengthening will be
needed. In this regard the authorities' recent measures to
reduce, and eventually eliminate, the oil company's financial
difficulties are welcome.

"Monetary policy has so far contained resurgent inflationary
pressures. The authorities should stand ready to tighten
monetary policy further should inflationary pressures continue.
It is also important to strengthen further the financial system,
building on the insights gained by the ongoing technical
assistance from the IMF. In this connection, the authorities
have made substantial progress in strengthening public banking
legislation. The second-tier public banking law was enacted in
July 2005. However, the reform of general banking legislation
has fallen behind schedule. The authorities remain committed to
the objectives of this reform, and are drawing up an action plan
to achieve these objectives," Mr. de Rato said.

CONTACT: IMF External Relations Department
         Public Affairs
         Phone: 202-623-7300
         Fax: 202-623-6278
         Media Relations
         Phone: 202-623-7100
         Fax: 202-623-6772

P U E R T O   R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Ratings Hold Despite Management Change
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings for Doral Financial
Corporation (Doral) and its subsidiaries, and maintained the
Rating Watch Negative. Doral's senior obligations are currently
rated 'BB+', and the short-term rating is 'B' by Fitch. A
complete list of ratings is provided at the end of this release.

The rating action is in response to Doral's announcement that
its executive management team has undergone significant change.
Through a combination of resignations and terminations made
public last Friday, Doral has replaced its chief executive
officer, chief financial officer, and treasurer, as well as its
director emeritus. The changes in management were implemented in
response to the findings of a report by Latham & Watkins LLP.
Latham & Watkins was hired in early 2005 as an independent
counsel for Doral's outside directors as part of the corrective
action process to resolve the issues raised by the need of Doral
to restate its financial statements.

The most important factor in Fitch's decision to affirm the
company's ratings at this time is the comfort that the named
replacements for the three management positions have the ability
and knowledge to lead Doral through the restatement process and
beyond. The new treasurer and chief financial officer have been
actively involved in the restatement process and the
implementation of enhancements to Doral's risk management
process. Fitch has had ongoing dialogue with these individuals
as part of its own assessment of the progress made in the
restatement process. Furthermore, Fitch believes that the
departures of the former management team members were not
necessitated by new findings that have not already been made
public. Fitch expects that the timing, scope, and magnitude of
the financial restatement process remain unchanged.

The changes in executive management, while not a surprise, do
present near-term issues that could influence Doral's
creditworthiness. The new management team must work to ensure
staff members are not overly distracted by the abrupt departure
of long-term members of Doral's management team. Uncertainty at
the staff level could translate to loss of focus on some of the
important work being conducted as part of the restatement as
well as confusion among Doral's current and prospective
customers that seek clarification from employees on the future
direction of the company.

Fitch still anticipates resolving its Rating Watch status within
45 days. It is expected that the financial restatement process
will be near completion within this time frame. Unexpected
delays in the restatement process, expansion of the scope of
transactions being reviewed, or an increase in the size of the
expected restatement relative to previous indications, would be
the most likely factors that would place additional pressure on
the ratings. Fitch will also be seeking information on business
flow at Doral in near-term to assess the influence of the
management changes on Doral's financial profile.

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings and they remain on
Rating Watch Negative:

Doral Financial Corporation
-- Long-term issuer and senior unsecured at 'BB+';
-- Short-term issuer and short-term notes at 'B';
-- Individual at 'C/D';
-- Preferred stock at 'BB-'.

Doral Bank
-- Long-term deposit obligations at 'BBB';
-- Long-term issuer at 'BBB-';
-- Short-term deposit obligations at 'F3';
-- Short-term issuer at 'F3';
-- Individual at 'C'.

The following ratings are affirmed by Fitch:

Doral Financial Corporation
-- Support at '5'.

Doral Bank
-- Support at '5'.

         James E. Moss, 312-368-3213, Chicago
         Ileana Cervantes, 312-368-5472, Chicago
         Brian Bertsch, 212-908-0549, New York (Media Relations)


BANCO COMERCIAL: Banks Claim Cenbank Failed to Prevent Collapse
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), CSFB (NYSE: CSR) and Dresdner,
claimed that the central bank failed to prevent the bankruptcy
of Banco Comercial, says Business News Americas. The three
foreign banks were all co-shareholders in Banco Comercial, which
was intervened in 2002 together with several other banks due to
capital problems and a massive run on deposits.

The three banks brought in documentation that reportedly showed
the central bank had permanent access to information on Banco
Comercial but did not detect the fraud that was being
perpetrated by the local Rohm brothers, who were co-shareholders
with the international banks at the time.

These reports were used by the International Chamber of Commerce
(ICC), which last January ruled that the Uruguayan government
must compensate the banks for US$128 million of a capital
injection they undertook during Uruguay's financial crisis in

Indeed, an administrative investigation by the central bank
concluded that there were delays, insufficient number of
personnel to adequately supervise the bank and "serious

The claims made by JPMorgan, CSFB and Dresdner came after the
Uruguayan government announced it will file a civil suit against
the three foreign banks for not honoring their obligations to
Banco Comercial, which was Uruguay's largest before the crisis
brought it down.


PDVSA: Awards Exploration Block to Repsol
State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) assigned Spanish-
Argentine oil company Repsol YPF SA the 500-square kilometer
Junin 7 exploration block in the Orinoco basin. Repsol, the
first foreign company to be awarded a block in the area, plans
to operate the block jointly with PDVSA, starting in 2011.
Repsol produces 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in three
Venezuelan blocks, and some 220,000 B/OE in the entire Caribbean

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

PDVSA: Opens Unit in China
With the aim of consolidating the market diversification of
Venezuelan oil in Asia, Petroleos de Venezuela inaugurated the
PDVSA China commercial office in Beijing, a ceremony that took
place during the official visit paid by Venezuelan Energy and
Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez, President of PDVSA, to China.

"PDVSA China will evaluate business opportunities in the region,
both upstream and downstream, and will become the focal point
for supporting relations with new strategic partners.
Additionally, it will further strengthen the existing China-
Venezuela solidarity alliance, to the benefit of both peoples'
social and economic development," according to Minister Ramirez.

In preliminary terms, potential Venezuelan oil exports to China
are estimated at close to 300,000 barrels per day of crude and
products; which is to say, some 100 million barrels per year.
This implies the monthly shipment of at least four very large
crude carriers (VLCC), with an approximate capacity of two
million barrels each.

An average of 12,300 barrels per day was shipped to China during
2004, while during the current year to date, this average
increased to 68,800 barrels per day, a 560% increase.

The opening of PDVSA China is being undertaken within the
context of efforts aimed at achieving international energy
integration, while structuring a multipolar world that is more
balanced and just. In this direction, the Venezuelan content of
oil production and marketing goods and services offered will
continue to be promoted.

PDVSA China is based on the complementary features of both
economies. Venezuela has oil reserves sufficient to last more
than 285 years, at the current rate of production, and is the
world's fifth largest hydrocarbons exporter. On the other hand
China, the world's second largest oil importer, seeks to expand
its supplier base to meet its growing energy demand.

In this way, PDVSA is taking a step forward in diversifying
Venezuela's oil exports, expanding its business vision to
promote integration based on equality, reciprocity and mutual

Minister Ramirez, together with his Energy and Petroleum
Ministry and PDVSA entourage, is developing an intense work
agenda with government and business representatives. This
includes a meeting with President Ma Kai of the National
Commission for the Development and Reform of the Chinese Popular
Republic; He Lianzhong, Director of the Commission's Foreign
Capital Use section, and the presidents of companies such as
Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China
National Oil and Gas Development Corporation (CNODC) y Zhenghua
Oil, among other senior executives.

The Venezuela-China energy agenda aims at promoting further
progress based on the agreements previously established in the
Memorandum of Understanding on Greater Cooperation in the Energy
Sector, signed by President Ma Kai and Minister Ramirez during
the visit paid by Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela, to Beijing in December 2004 when,
together with his opposite number Hu Jintao, agreed to promote
integral bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The oil negotiations being undertaken by both parties include
areas such as the long-term supply of crude and products, the
migration to joint ventures of the temporary agreements for the
development of Intercampo Norte (in Lake Maracaibo) and
Caracoles (eastern region), the creation of a joint venture for
the development of the Zumano area (eastern region), the
quantification and certification of reserves, the evaluation of
a possible joint development of Block Junin 4 in the Orinoco Oil
Belt, the construction of a product pipeline through Colombia to
the Pacific Ocean, together with shipping construction,
technical assistance and the creation of a fund for the
financing of infrastructure construction.


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

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