TCREUR_Public/130301.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

            Friday, March 1, 2013, Vol. 14, No. 43



SPANGHERO: Files for Protection From Creditors
TEREOS: Moody's Rates Proposed Senior Bonds Issuance '(P)Ba3'


FREESEAS INC: Issues Add'l 90,000 Shares to Hanover


HENRY GOOD: KBC Bank Appoints KMPG as Receivers
IRISH BANK: Taoiseach Uncertain of Credit Unions Exposure
ZOO ABS II: Moody's Lowers Ratings on Five Note Classes


BANCA UBAE: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Issuer Default Rating


TRONOX LTD: S&P Retains 'BB-' Rating on $900MM Senior Notes
* Rabobank Faces Libor-Rigging Fine of $440 Million


* PORTUGAL: Bank Loan Provisions to Continue in 2013, Fitch Says


FONOMAT LTD: Failed Partnership Deals Prompt Insolvency


MARI EL REPUBLIC: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Currency Ratings
RUSSIAN OJSC: Fitch Assigns 'BB+' Rating to Domestic Bond Issue


CAJA DE AHORROS: Moody's Withdraws B1 Rating on Subordinated Debt
CERTAMEN MISS ESPANA: Miss Spain Organizer Files For Insolvency
INNOVACION EN ALTA: Files For Insolvency Amid Tough Trading
NCG BANCO: Fitch Keeps 'BB+' IDR on Rating Watch Negative

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

ALPHA GROUP: S&P Corrects Stock Rating by Lowering it to 'C'
ASHTEAD GROUP: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB'; Outlook Stable
CORNERSTONE TITAN: Fitch Cuts Rating on Class D Notes to 'CCC'
HMV GROUP: Administrators Sell Asian Business to Air Partners
J&T BLACKSMITHS: In Administration; 40 Workers Lost Jobs

MILLBRAID LTD: Under Probe After 7 Years in Liquidation
PENTA CLO 1: S&P Affirms BB+ Rating on Class D Notes
PIRAEUS GROUP: S&P Corrects Rating on Stock by Lowering it to 'C'
* Moody's Outlook on Euro Sovereign Debt Markets Stays Negative


* EGYPT: Fitch Says Vote Timetable, Boycott May Delay IMF Deal
* BOOK REVIEW: Performance Evaluation of Hedge Funds



SPANGHERO: Files for Protection From Creditors
Agence France-Presse reports that Spanghero filed protection from
creditors on Wednesday as the French firm at the heart of the
horsemeat scandal rocking Europe sought time to recover from a
collapse in sales.

AFP relates that the firm based in the southern town of
Castelnaudary filed an outline survival plan with a commercial
court in the nearby city of Carcassone.

According to the report, the move will allow the company's
management up to six months in which to negotiate with creditors
under judicial supervision without the immediate threat of
bankruptcy hanging over their heads.

"The clients are returning and the volumes are slowly
increasing," the company said in a statement, adding that it
hoped to eventually recover and avert bankruptcy, AFP relates.

The company last week stopped the wholesale trade of frozen meat
after the agriculture ministry upheld a ban on it stocking frozen
meat following a probe, the news agency recalls.

AFP relates that the ban means Spanghero cannot act as middleman
between abattoirs and food-processing companies, the situation
which allegedly allowed it to change labels on horsemeat and sell
it on as beef.

Spanghero sparked a continental food alert by allegedly passing
off 750 tonnes of horsemeat as beef, and had its sanitary license
suspended, the report adds.

Spanghero is a meat processing and wholesale company based in
Castelnaudary, France.

TEREOS: Moody's Rates Proposed Senior Bonds Issuance '(P)Ba3'
Moody's Investors Service assigned a provisional (P)Ba3 long-term
rating with a loss given default assessment of 4 (LGD4) to
Tereos's proposed issuance of senior unsecured bonds due 2020.
All other ratings and outlook remain unchanged. The size and
completion of the bond issuance remains subject to market
conditions. Moody's understands that Tereos will use the proceeds
of the proposed issuance to pre-fund the upcoming maturity of its
EUR500 million of senior secured notes due April 2014.

"The (P)Ba3 rating we have assigned to Tereos's senior unsecured
bonds is one notch below the group's Ba2 corporate family rating,
which reflects that the bonds are subordinated to the group's
substantial senior secured bank facilities," says Andreas Rands,
a Moody's Vice President - Senior Analyst and lead analyst for

Moody's understands that the bonds are being issued by Tereos
Finance Groupe I, a special purpose vehicle created to issue the
bonds. Tereos Finance Groupe I is wholly owned by Tereos UCA, the
holding company of Tereos. Moody's further understands that the
bonds are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Tereos
UCA ('Tereos' or 'the group'), such that the guarantee is
provided by entities covering all of the group's EBITDA and
assets. The rating agency further understands that Tereos has
successfully secured the refinancing of Tereos UCA's and Tereos
EU's bank credit facilities. Moody's understands that the
security attached to the notes due April 2014 will fall away
post-refinancing. Such that, once the new credit facilities close
and fund, Moody's expects the proposed bonds to rank pari passu
with the EUR500 million of senior secured notes due April 2014
which will only be amortized at maturity.

Moody's issues provisional ratings in advance of the final sale
of securities and these ratings reflect Moody's preliminary
credit opinion regarding the transaction only. Upon a conclusive
review of the final documentation, Moody's will endeavor to
assign a definitive rating to the bonds. A definitive rating may
differ from a provisional rating.

Ratings Rationale:

The (P)Ba3 rating assigned to the senior unsecured bonds is one
notch below the group's Ba2 corporate family rating (CFR),
reflecting the subordinated nature of the bonds relative to the
group's substantial drawn senior secured bank facilities, which
Moody's understands amount to approximately EUR1.4 billion as at
Sept. 30, 2012.

Whilst Tereos's existing EUR500 million of senior secured notes
will remain in place after the proposed senior unsecured bond
issuance, Moody's understands it will only be for a short period
of time, pending maturity in April 2014.

Tereos's Ba2 CFR reflects (1) the firm's significant and growing
exposure to commodity price volatility as it expands outside of
the regulated European sugar market; (2) high capital expenditure
(capex), as the group invests to increase production capacity in
its international markets, as well as its production flexibility
and efficiency improvements in Europe, all of which constrains
debt reduction; (3) currently tight covenant headroom at the
Tereos EU level (albeit Moody's understands this will be resolved
by the proposed bank debt refinancing); and (4) uncertainties
surrounding the regulatory environment for sugar producers in the
EU over the medium- to long-term horizon.

However, more positively, the rating also reflects (1) Tereos's
market position as the third-largest sugar producer in Europe;
(2) its pre-eminent position in the French beet sugar industry,
one of the most competitive in Europe; (3) its diversification by
geography (Europe and Brazil), product (cane sugar, beet sugar,
ethanol, alcohol and starch) and end use (food, fuel and
industrial applications); and (4) its stable sources of raw
materials, the result of its co-operative structure in Europe and
its long-term supply contracts and partial vertical integration
in Brazil.

Moody's expects that Tereos will use the proceeds of the proposed
bond issuance to refinance the upcoming maturity of the EUR500
million of senior secured notes due 2014. The rating agency
further understands that the group has successfully secured the
refinancing of a significant amount of its senior secured bank
debt due over the next two calendar years. It is also in the
process of completing an internal reorganization to simplify its
group structure. As part of this process, Tereos UCA will
transfer its French sugar beet assets and liabilities to Tereos
France. Moody's notes the transfer is subject to shareholder and
workers' council approvals, amongst other things, but the group
expects it to conclude around 30 September 2013. Moody's also
notes that Tereos proposes to change its financial year-end to
March 31 as at March 31, 2013 and thereafter. This aligns the
year-end of all divisions across the group. This change is also
subject to approval at the forthcoming shareholder meeting in
March 2013. Subject to successful completion of both the bond and
bank debt refinancing, Moody's expects that Tereos's liquidity
profile will improve considerably. Whilst the proposed
refinancing is credit positive, it is not rating positive due to
the constraints.

Moody's notes that Tereos has recently delivered a strong set of
FY2011/12 results. Reported sales of EUR5.0 billion were up 14%
on the previous year, principally due to the group's Sugarbeet
operations. Tereos achieved record beet yields and continued to
benefit from high and rising EU sugar prices. Due to the
combination of volume and price increases, on a fixed cost base,
the group's reported adjusted EBITDA (before price complements)
increased by 20% to EUR904 million. In addition, Tereos's
reported adjusted EBITDA margin increased slightly to 17.9% from
17.1% in the previous year. Moody's further notes that the group
has built up good balance-sheet cash over the past couple of
financial years, to EUR367 million in FY2011/2012 from EUR240
million in FY2009/2010.

Despite this improved performance, Tereos's Moody's-adjusted
gross debt/EBITDA has been fairly stable over the past two
financial years at 3.5x in FY2010/11 and 3.2x in FY2011/12. This
is in the context of the group's continued high appetite for
expansion. In 2011 and 2012, Tereos made acquisitions in Brazil
(Halotek: R$45 million: EUR17.2 million), France (Haussimont
potato starch production plant) and the Czech Republic
(acquisition of a distillery in Moravia) and is in the process of
completing an acquisition in Romania (Ludus sugar plant). Moody's
notes that Tereos's reported capex increased substantially in
FY2011/12, to EUR653 million from EUR460 million in the previous
year. Tereos is directing this capex at the expansion of its
Sugarcane and Cereal divisions, amongst other things.

Further, Moody's notes that key sections of the EU sugar
regulations which cover the group's core Sugarbeet operations
(approximately 43% of reported sales and around 56% of reported
adjusted EBITDA) are due to expire in September 2015. At present,
a rollover of the current system to 2020 seems most likely.


The stable outlook reflects Moody's view that expected
deleveraging and improved cash generation will leave Tereos
solidly positioned over the next 12-18 months and that the
group's metrics may improve further on the back of supportive
industry conditions. Moody's notes that Tereos's pursuit of
growth is likely to preclude significant reductions in the
absolute amount of debt on its balance sheet, leaving
improvements due to increases in EBITDA vulnerable to reversal.
Moody's will continue to monitor Tereos's execution of its
partnership with Petrobras and any further expansion by the
former into Brazil or elsewhere. The current rating and outlook
assume the absence of any material debt-financed acquisitions or
aggressive shareholder distributions, and that Tereos will use
the proposed bond to refinance the EUR500 million of senior
secured notes due 2014. Over the coming 12-18 months Moody's
would expect Tereos to build on its cash balances and further
improve its financial flexibility to ensure that it builds a
cushion to sustain strong "through the sugar cycle" credit

What Could Change The Rating Up/Down

Despite the risks involved in Tereos's expansion, positive
pressure on the rating or the outlook could develop during the
next 12-18 months as a result of the positive dynamics in the EU
sugar market. However, positive rating pressure would be reliant
on (1) Tereos further strengthening its operating performance and
cash flow generation over a sustained period whilst continuing to
deleverage, with a debt/EBITDA ratio (as adjusted by Moody's)
comfortably below 3.0x on a sustained basis; (2) there being
increased visibility with regard to the group's financial
policies going forward, as well as clarity concerning the
regulatory environment in the context of the potential reform of
EU sugar market regulations, given that key sections expire as of
30 September 2015; and (3) the group building on its cash
balances and financial flexibility cushion to ensure that it can
sustain strong "through the sugar cycle" credit metrics.

Conversely, although not expected in the short term, negative
rating pressure could develop if (1) Tereos's adjusted
debt/EBITDA ratio were to remain above 3.5x on a consistent
basis; (2) its liquidity were to become constrained (including,
but not limited to, through weaker covenant headroom); or (3)
Moody's were to become concerned about the group's ability to
access credit facilities. Any material debt-financed acquisitions
or aggressive shareholder distributions could also exert downward
pressure on the rating.

Principal Methodology

The principal methodology used in this rating was the Global
Agricultural Cooperatives Industry published in August 2010.
Other methodologies used include Loss Given Default for
Speculative-Grade Non-Financial Companies in the U.S., Canada and
EMEA published in June 2009.

Headquartered in Lille, France, Tereos is the third-largest
European producer of sugar from sugar beet, the third-largest
European producer of starch and the largest alcohol and ethanol
producer from cereals in Europe, and the third-largest Brazilian
sugarcane processor. The group posted FY2011/12 revenues of
EUR5.0 billion.


FREESEAS INC: Issues Add'l 90,000 Shares to Hanover
The Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York,
on Feb. 13, 2013, entered an order approving, among other things,
the fairness of the terms and conditions of an exchange pursuant
to Section 3(a)(10) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, in
accordance with a stipulation of settlement between FreeSeas
Inc.,  and Hanover Holdings I, LLC, in the matter entitled
Hanover Holdings I, LLC v. FreeSeas Inc., Case No. 150802/2013.
Hanover commenced the Action against the Company on Jan. 28,
2013, to recover an aggregate of $740,651 of past-due accounts
payable of the Company, plus fees and costs.  The Settlement
Agreement became effective and binding upon the Company and
Hanover upon execution of the Order by the Court on Feb. 13,

Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement approved by the
Order, on Feb. 13, 2013, the Company issued and delivered to
Hanover 185,000 shares of the Company's common stock, $0.001 par

The Settlement Agreement provides that the Initial Settlement
Shares will be subject to adjustment on the trading day
immediately following the "Calculation Period" to reflect the
intention of the parties that the total number of shares of
Common Stock to be issued to Hanover pursuant to the Settlement
Agreement be based upon a specified discount to the trading
volume weighted average price of the Common Stock for a specified
period of time subsequent to the Court's entry of the Order.

On Feb. 19, 2013, the Company issued and delivered to Hanover
90,000 Additional Settlement Shares, and on Feb. 25, 2013, the
Company issued and delivered to Hanover another 90,000 Additional
Settlement Shares.

Since the issuance of the Initial Settlement Shares and
Additional Settlement Shares, Hanover demonstrated to the
Company's satisfaction that it was entitled to receive another
90,000 Additional Settlement Shares based on the adjustment
formula, and that the issuance of those Additional Settlement
Shares to Hanover would not result in Hanover exceeding the
beneficial ownership limitation.  Accordingly, on Feb. 26, 2013,
the Company issued and delivered to Hanover 90,000 Additional
Settlement Shares pursuant to the terms of the Settlement
Agreement approved by the Order.

A copy of the Form 8-K is available for free at:


                        About FreeSeas Inc.

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, FreeSeas Inc., formerly known as
Adventure Holdings S.A., was incorporated in the Marshall Islands
on April 23, 2004, for the purpose of being the ultimate holding
company of ship-owning companies.  The management of FreeSeas'
vessels is performed by Free Bulkers S.A., a Marshall Islands
company that is controlled by Ion G. Varouxakis, the Company's
Chairman, President and CEO, and one of the Company's principal

The Company's fleet consists of six Handysize vessels and one
Handymax vessel that carry a variety of drybulk commodities,
including iron ore, grain and coal, which are referred to as
"major bulks," as well as bauxite, phosphate, fertilizers, steel
products, cement, sugar and rice, or "minor bulks."  As of Oct.
12, 2012, the aggregate dwt of the Company's operational fleet is
approximately 197,200 dwt and the average age of its fleet is 15

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 18, 2012,
Ernst & Young (Hellas) Certified Auditors Accountants S.A., in
Athens, Greece, expressed substantial doubt about FreeSeas'
ability to continue as a going concern, following its audit of
the Company's financial statements for the fiscal year ended Dec.
31, 2011.  The independent auditors noted that the Company has
incurred recurring operating losses and has a working capital
deficiency.  "In addition, the Company has failed to meet
scheduled payment obligations under its loan facilities and has
not complied with certain covenants included in its loan
agreements with banks."

The Company's balance sheet at June 30, 2012, showed
US$120.8 million in total assets, US$104.1 million in total
current liabilities, and shareholders' equity of US$16.7 million.


HENRY GOOD: KBC Bank Appoints KMPG as Receivers
Vincent Ryan at the Irish Examiner reports that the failure of
Cappoquin Poultry Ltd to repay almost EUR4 million in debts to
Henry Good Ltd feed mill in Kinsale, Co Cork, has resulted in
receivers being appointed to the family-run company.

The Examiner relates that Kieran Wallace and David Swinburne of
KPMG were appointed joint receivers to Henry Good.  The report
says the management of the company requested KBC Bank to appoint
receivers to protect the business. It is understood the debts
owed to the bank were not very large.

According to the report, sources close to the process said Henry
Good had been looking to find an investor to help cover the
losses that arose out of Cappoquin's debts, which went unpaid and
left the company facing a "solvency issue".

Henry Good employs 50 people and will continue to trade on a
"business as usual" basis, the report notes.

The Examiner says the receivers have moved to sell the business
and assets of Henry Good as a going concern. It is understood
there are a number of interested parties looking to purchase the

The receivers acknowledged that it is a very difficult day for
Henry Good's directors, Cameron Good, Roger Frederick Dale, and
Timothy Francis Kelly, as the business has been in the Good
family since 1927, the report adds.

IRISH BANK: Taoiseach Uncertain of Credit Unions Exposure
Paraic Gallagher at Newstalk reports that the Taoiseach said he
has no idea of the exposure of credit unions in the liquidation
of the former Irish Anglo Bank.

It is estimated that credit unions could have had as much as
EUR17 million on deposit at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation
(IBRC), the report says.

According to the report, Enda Kenny said there is a EUR500
million recapitalisation fund that could be called on.

Newstalk says that a number of credit unions had fixed term
deposits with the former State-owned bank which may be lost in
the liquidation.

The report relates that the Taoiseach told the Dail emergency
funding for the credit unions may have to be tapped depending on
the scale of the losses.  But Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin
said the coalition has done to credit unions what it should have
done to bond-holders.

Anglo Irish Bank was an Irish bank headquartered in Dublin from
1964 to 2011.  It went into wind-down mode after nationalization
in 2009.  In July 2011, Anglo Irish merged with the Irish
Nationwide Building Society, with the new company being named the
Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it lowered its long-
and short-term counterparty credit ratings on Irish Bank
Resolution Corp. Ltd. (IBRC) to 'D/D' from 'B-/C'.   S&P also
lowered the senior unsecured ratings to 'D' from 'B-'.  S&P then
withdrew the counterparty credit ratings, the senior unsecured
ratings, and the preferred stock ratings on IBRC.  At the same
time, S&P affirmed its 'BBB+' issue rating on three government-
guaranteed debt issues.

The rating actions follow the Feb. 6, 2013, announcement that the
Irish government has liquidated IBRC.

ZOO ABS II: Moody's Lowers Ratings on Five Note Classes
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the ratings of the
following notes issued by ZOO ABS II B.V.:

- EUR18.75M Class A-2 Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due
   2096, Downgraded to Ba1 (sf); previously on Oct 20, 2009
   Downgraded to Baa3 (sf)

- EUR10M Class B Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2096,
   Downgraded to Caa2 (sf); previously on Mar 11, 2009 Downgraded
   to Ba3 (sf)

- EUR9.25M Class C Deferrable Interest Secured Floating Rate
   Notes due 2096, Downgraded to Caa3 (sf); previously on Oct 20,
   2009 Downgraded to Caa1 (sf)

- EUR4.25M Class E Deferrable Interest Secured Floating Rate
   Notes due 2096, Downgraded to Ca (sf); previously on Oct 20,
   2009 Downgraded to Caa3 (sf)

- EUR7M Class R Combination Notes due 2096, Downgraded to Ba1
   (sf); previously on Mar 11, 2009 Downgraded to Baa3 (sf)

Moody's also affirmed the ratings of the following notes issued

- EUR5.5M Class X Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2015,
   Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on Mar 11, 2009 Confirmed at Aaa

- EUR167M Class A-1 Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2096,
   Affirmed A1 (sf); previously on Oct 20, 2009 Downgraded to A1

- EUR9M Class D Deferrable Interest Secured Floating Rate Notes
   due 2096, Affirmed Caa3 (sf); previously on Oct 20, 2009
   Downgraded to Caa3 (sf)

- EUR5.7M Class P Combination Notes due 2096, Affirmed Ba1 (sf);
   previously on Mar 11, 2009 Confirmed at Ba1 (sf)

- EUR6M Class Q Combination Notes due 2096, Affirmed Ba3 (sf);
   previously on Oct 20, 2009 Downgraded to Ba3 (sf)

Zoo ABS II CDO is a managed cash-flow collateralized debt
obligation backed primarily by a portfolio of Euro dominated
Structured Finance securities. At present, the portfolio is
composed mainly of Prime RMBS (60%), CLO (15%), CMBS (9%), ABS
consumer/auto (7%) and other CDOs (4%).

Ratings Rationale:

According to Moody's, the rating actions taken on the notes are a
result of the material credit deterioration of the underlying
portfolio. This is observed through a decline in the average
credit rating as measured by the portfolio weighted average
rating factor 'WARF'. In the latest trustee report of January
2013, the WARF is 1,813, corresponding to an average B1 rating,
as compared to a WARF of 862 reported, corresponding to an
average Ba1 rating, in September 2009 at the time of the last
rating action. Moody's notes that the proportion of securities
rated Caa and Ca taking into account the rating notching for
assets currently on review for downgrade has increased to roughly
26% from 9%. This portfolio also has a 39% exposure to assets
which are currently under review for downgrade. As the review for
the assets is concluded Moody's expects that the increased level
of rating based haircuts will affect the junior
overcollateralization tests, potentially triggering the deferral
of interests for the most junior notes.

Moody's also notes that the deal has a 54% direct exposure to
assets domiciled in Italy (36%), Spain (13.6%), Portugal (3.6%),
Greece (1.0%) and Ireland (0.1%). In particular the Spanish,
Portuguese, Greek and Irish exposures are entirely made by RMBS
and SME CLO mezzanine and junior tranches which are on average
rated Caa2.

In Moody's base case analysis, all assets that are under review
for downgrade were assumed to be downgraded by 2 notches. Moody's
also performed sensitivity analyses of the rated notes testing
several scenarios of the eventual resolution of the reviews on
reference assets. In particular Moody's assumed that speculative
grade rated assets will be downgraded more than the investment
grade rated assets. The model returned results about one notch
worse than the base case results.

Moody's notes that this transaction is subject to a high level of
macroeconomic uncertainty, which could negatively impact the
ratings of the notes, as evidenced by uncertainties of credit
conditions in the general economy. SF CDO notes' performance may
also be impacted either positively or negatively by 1) the
liquidation agent behavior and 2) divergence in legal
interpretation of CDO documentation by different transactional
parties due to embedded ambiguities.

The principal methodology used in this rating was "Moody's
Approach to Rating SF CDOs" published in May 2012.

In rating this transaction, Moody's supplemented the model runs
by using CDOROM to simulate the default and recovery scenario for
each assets in the portfolio. Losses on the portfolio derived
from those scenarios have then been applied as an input in the
Moody's EMEA Cash-Flow model to determine the loss for each
tranche. In each scenario, the corresponding loss for each class
of notes is calculated given the incoming cash flows from the
assets and the outgoing payments to third parties and
noteholders. By repeating this process and averaging over the
number of simulations, an estimate of the expected loss borne by
the notes is derived. The Moody's CDOROM relies on a Monte Carlo
simulation which takes the Moody's default probabilities as
input. Each asset in the portfolio is modeled individually with a
standard multi-factor model reflecting Moody's asset correlation
assumptions. The correlation structure implemented in CDOROM is
based on a Gaussian copula. As such, Moody's analysis encompasses
the assessment of stressed scenarios.

In addition to the quantitative factors that are explicitly
modeled, qualitative factors are part of the rating committee
considerations. These qualitative factors include the structural
protections in each transaction, the recent deal performance in
the current market environment, the legal environment, specific
documentation features, the collateral manager's track record,
and the potential for selection bias in the portfolio. All
information available to rating committees, including
macroeconomic forecasts, input from other Moody's analytical
groups, market factors, and judgments regarding the nature and
severity of credit stress on the transactions, may influence the
final rating decision.


BANCA UBAE: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Issuer Default Rating
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Italy-based Banca UBAE's Long-term
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB' with a Stable Outlook, Short-
term IDR at 'B', Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb' and Support Rating
at '5'.


UBAE's IDRs are driven by its intrinsic strength as reflected in
its VR. The VR and IDRs reflect UBAE's operations as a niche bank
concentrating on trade finance business with strong business
relations in a number of emerging markets, including Libya but
also other countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The
ratings also reflect the bank's operations in potentially more
volatile countries, its relatively small absolute size, improved
operating profitability, concentration in its wholesale funding
base and good asset quality, albeit in a concentrated loan book.

The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's expectation that UBAE will
continue to operate with an unchanged strategy, and to benefit
from ordinary support, which includes the bulk of its funding,
from its majority shareholder, the Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB).


The bank's Support Rating reflects Fitch's view that in case of
need the bank would first look to its majority shareholder, the
LFB, which has shown a high propensity to support UBAE. However,
Fitch does not assess LFB's ability to provide support in the
Support Rating as LFB is not rated and as Fitch believes that the
situation in Libya remains potentially volatile, which means that
support from LFB cannot be relied on.


UBAE's ratings are sensitive to changes in the bank's strategic
importance to its majority shareholder, which has continued to
provide ordinary support in the form of funding and business
relationships to the bank. The ratings would come under pressure
if the situation in Libya significantly deteriorated, which could
result in a reduction of business volumes or a withdrawal of
funding. UBAE's ratings could benefit over the longer term if the
importance of the bank to its shareholder increased, but any
upgrade would likely require a material increase in the size of
the bank's capital base.

UBAE's ratings are constrained by its operations in higher-risk
markets. The bank is diversifying its geographic coverage, which
mitigates the risk of over-reliance on a small number of
counterparties or countries. The ratings could see moderate
uplift if diversification resulted in lower geographic
concentration, but would come under pressure if there were signs
that increasing geographic expansion into new areas resulted in
increased risk appetite.

UBAE's performance and asset quality has to date not been
materially affected by the difficult operating environment in
Italy. However, the bank is exposed to Italian counterparties,
and ratings would come under pressure if the quality of its
counterparties deteriorated materially, or its asset quality
significantly weakened.


UBAE's Support Rating is sensitive to changes in Fitch's
assumptions regarding the probability that LFB would support the
bank. An upgrade of the Support Rating would require Fitch to be
able to assess LFB's ability to provide support.


TRONOX LTD: S&P Retains 'BB-' Rating on $900MM Senior Notes
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it assigned its 'BBB-'
issue rating and '1' recovery rating to the $1.3 billion term
loan issued by Tronox Ltd. subsidiary, Tronox Pigments
(Netherlands) BV.  The '1' recovery rating indicates our
expectation for a very high (90%-100%) recovery in the event of a
payment default.  The 'BB-' issue rating and '5' recovery rating
on Tronox Finance LLC's existing $900 million senior notes remain

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'BB' corporate credit rating
on Tronox Ltd.  The outlook is stable.

"The ratings on Tronox reflect the company's focus on the
cyclical TiO2 market, the potential for depressed credit metrics
in 2013, and exposure to demand variations that reflect economic
growth in key markets," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Seamus Ryan.

The ratings also reflect the company's good geographic diversity,
its position as the only fully vertically integrated global TiO2
producer, and S&P's expectation that improving industry
conditions should support operating performance and cash flow
over the next year.  S&P characterizes Tronox's business risk
profile as "fair" and its financial risk profile as

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Tronox's
substantial cash balance and continuing cash flows will support
the company's significant financial risk profile despite an
increase in debt as a result of this transaction.  We expect
management will use this cash balance to fund strategic growth
opportunities rather than further share buybacks or a special
dividend," S&P said.

"We could lower the ratings if Tronox meaningfully increases the
size of its proposed term loan, or if it does not use the
proceeds to fund strategic growth or reduce outstanding debt.  We
could also lower ratings if volumes continue to decline over the
next year and lead to continued pressure on EBITDA margins. In
this scenario, we would expect revenue to decline and EBITDA
margins to drop to less than 10% over the next year, with no
near-term prospects for improvement. At this point, FFO to debt
could remain below 20% beyond 2014," S&P added.

While less likely, S&P could raise the ratings modestly if demand
volume rebounds strongly and the company can resume double-digit
annual TiO2 selling price increases.  In this scenario, EBITDA
margins could rebound to greater than 30% and FFO to debt would
approach 40% on a sustainable basis.

* Rabobank Faces Libor-Rigging Fine of $440 Million
Lindsay Fortado, Maud van Gaal & Greg Farrell, writing for
Bloomberg News, reported that Rabobank Groep faces a fine of more
than $440 million for Libor rigging as global regulators seek to
increase the $2.5 billion in penalties already levied in the
rate-manipulation scandal.

The Bloomberg report related that Rabobank, the second-biggest
Dutch lender, is next in line to reach a settlement with the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice
and the U.K. Financial Services Authority over claims it tried to
manipulate benchmark interest rates, said four people with
knowledge of the probe who asked not to be identified because the
talks are private.

According to the report, the penalty, which may come as soon as
May, is likely to be between the 290 million pounds ($440
million) Barclays Plc (BARC) paid in June and the $612 million
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc paid this month, one of the
people said. Rabobank, formed in 1898 as a co-operative to lend
to Dutch farmers, is the country's only contributor to the London
interbank offered rate, the benchmark for more than $300 trillion
of securities.

Barclays, UBS AG and RBS have been fined more than $2.5 billion
following a global probe into Libor manipulation, Bloomberg
related. Traders rigged the benchmark to profit from bets on
derivatives, while banks sought to submit artificially low rates
to appear financially healthier than they were, according to

Closely held Rabobank is under scrutiny for alleged attempts to
manipulate sterling Libor, dollar Libor, Japanese yen Libor and
Euribor in its London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong
offices, one of the people said, according to Bloomberg.


* PORTUGAL: Bank Loan Provisions to Continue in 2013, Fitch Says
Increases in Portuguese banks' loan impairment charges in the
second half of 2012 are likely to continue through 2013, Fitch
Ratings says. Profitability last year was hit by rising
impairment charges, and further asset-quality deterioration
remains a key risk, especially in view of the recession and
rising unemployment.

An acceleration in asset-quality deterioration and some one-off
items led Banco Comercial Portugues and Caixa Geral de Depositos
to report net losses in 2012. Growth in Millennium bcp's
impairment charges was exacerbated by extra requirements from the
Bank of Portugal and from its Greek exposures. CGD's impairment
charges were partially related to equity stakes in Portugal and
Spain, insurance assets and property investments.

The other two major banks we rate, Banco BPI and Santander Totta,
reported positive, but low, net income, again reflecting asset-
quality pressures due to the difficult economic environment.

Fitch says: "We forecast further rises in domestic bad debt
charges, especially as we expect Portuguese GDP to fall a further
1.5% and for unemployment to reach 16.5% this year. There is also
a risk of an increasing spill-over of provisions into other
assets, for example property assets, although unlike other
European countries Portugal has not experienced a housing bubble.

"We expect Portuguese banks' performance in 2013 to be weak as
margin pressure persists from high retail funding costs, low
interest rates and the cost of state capital for some banks.
Efforts to raise spreads on renewed loans are unlikely to fully
offset these strains. Lower customer volumes and bank
deleveraging will subdue domestic revenue.

"Foreign operations offer better growth prospects, but only Banco
BPI and Millennium bcp have a meaningful international presence.
However, the positive contribution, particularly from Portuguese-
speaking African countries, is unlikely to fully compensate for
the weaker domestic performance.

"Further cost-cutting could help stabilise earnings. Much has
already been done, with domestic operations reduced and
optimised. Costs were down between 3.2% and 10.7% in 2012 at the
largest four Fitch rated banks.

"While Portuguese banks face profitability and asset quality
pressures, they also benefit from improved capital, funding and
liquidity positions. Their loans/deposits ratios improved in 2012
through deleveraging and strengthening of the retail deposit
base. Encouragingly, there have been recent issuance
opportunities for a few banks. But these windows may be short-
lived and so shrinking loans and attracting deposits remain focus
areas for banks' funding strategies. We expect funding imbalances
to persist and use of European Central Bank funding, although
reducing, to remain significant until wholesale markets

"The Bank of Portugal core capital ratios of the four major banks
we rate were between 10.5% and 15% at end-2012, comfortably above
the 10% minimum required. This helps underpin their standalone
credit profiles. Except for Santander Totta they all received
state support to meet the European Banking Authority's minimum 9%
core capital ratio at end-June 2012.

"Fitch analysts will be discussing the outlook for the Portuguese
banking sector and other European bank topics in a conference,
"European Credit Outlook 2013" on February 28 in Lisbon."


FONOMAT LTD: Failed Partnership Deals Prompt Insolvency
Telecom.paper reports that Romanian paper Ziarul Financiar citing
reports made by Fonomat's judicial administrator RTZ & Partners
said that the main reasons behind Fonomat Ltd's filing for
insolvency in 2012 were the termination of its partnership
contract with Orange Romania followed by the interruption of its
negotiations with Vodafone Romania.

Telecom.paper relates that the negotiations with Vodafone Romania
concerned the acquisition by Vodafone of the business of the
debtor, which counted 43 stores by the end of 2011. In 2009,
Fonomat had a network of nearly 200 stores and a business of over
EUR20 million.

Fonomat entered insolvency in 2012 and is confronted with payment
requests of over EUR14 million after the company failed to reach
a deal to extend its partnership with Orange Romania in 2010.  In
2011, it also ended negotiations with Vodafone Romania concerning
the sale of its remaining shops, Telecom.paper discloses.

Fonomat Ltd. was the largest GSM retailer in Romania.  It was
founded in 2007 through the acquisition of three GSM networks -
Dasimpex, Pulse and GSM Land - by GED Private Equity, a Spanish
investment fund.


MARI EL REPUBLIC: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Currency Ratings
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Mari El Republic's Long-term
foreign and local currency ratings at 'BB', with Stable Outlooks,
and its Short-term foreign currency rating at 'B'. The agency
also affirmed the region's National Long-term rating at 'AA-
(rus)' with Stable Outlook.


The affirmation reflects the republic's satisfactory budgetary
performance and low contingent risk. However, the ratings also
factor in the region's growing direct risk and the small size of
its economy with wealth indicators below the national average.

Fitch expects stabilisation of the region's budgetary performance
in 2013-2015, with margins slightly above 2012's actual level
(8.5%). The republic's operating balance decreased to 8.5% of
operating revenue by end-2012 from 12% in 2011, negatively
affected by increased opex marking the commencement of national
elections. The region's deficit before debt variation widened to
9.6% of total revenue in 2012 (2011: 6.8%) underpinned by the
opex growth, but remains manageable.

Fitch expects a further increase in Mari El's direct risk up to
about 45% of current revenue in 2013 and 50% in 2014-2015.
Despite the increase in direct risk to RUB7.2bn in 2012 from
RUB5.4bn in 2011 the republic's debt portfolio was effectively
diversified with medium-term bank loans and domestic bonds with
prolonged maturities.

Fitch assesses the region's refinancing risk as moderate,
considering plans to continue issuance of medium term bonds,
supplemented by bank loans with above 24-months maturity.

Fitch expects the republic's debt management policy to remain
conservative, safeguarding debt and debt coverage ratios below
50% of current revenue and eight years of current balance in
2013-2015. The agency also expects the republic's contingent risk
to remain limited to minor debt of its public sector entities and
guarantees, while no new guarantees are likely to be issued in

Mari El's socio-economic profile is historically weaker than that
of the average Russian region. Its per capita gross regional
product was about 35% lower than the national median in 2010. The
region's economy demonstrated steady growth in 2010-2012,
expanding by an average of 5.3% yoy. The region contributed 0.2%
of the Russian Federation's GDP in 2010 and accounted for 0.5% of
the country's population.


Improved budgetary performance would be positive. The region's
ratings could be positively affected by an improved budgetary
performance with the deficit before debt scaling below 5% of
total revenue coupled with the extension of the debt maturity

Weak debt ratios would be negative. A downgrade or revision of
the Outlook to Negative could occur as a result of consistent
deterioration of operating performance with operating margin
below 5% and growth of direct risk above 50% of current revenue
in the medium term.

RUSSIAN OJSC: Fitch Assigns 'BB+' Rating to Domestic Bond Issue
Fitch Ratings has assigned the Russian OJSC Southern Urals Civil
Construction and Mortgage Corporation's RUB2.5bn domestic bond
issue (RU000A0JTGC8), due Feb. 23, 2016, a Long-term local
currency rating of 'BB+' and a National Long-term rating of

Chelyabinsk Region is the sole shareholder of SU CCMC and a
guarantor of the principal and coupons of the issue. Chelyabinsk
Region has a Long-term local and foreign currency rating of 'BB+'
and a National Long-term rating of 'AA(rus)'. The Long-term
ratings have Positive Outlooks. The region's Short-term foreign
currency rating is 'B'.

The bond issue will have a fixed coupon rate of 10%. The
principal will be repaid at the bonds maturity. The proceeds from
the bond issue will be used to refinance maturing debt and to
fund construction of new apartment units in the city of


CAJA DE AHORROS: Moody's Withdraws B1 Rating on Subordinated Debt
Moody's Investors Service has withdrawn the following ratings of
Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona (1) the long-term issuer
rating of Ba2; (2) the government-guaranteed debt rating of Baa3;
and (3) the dated subordinated debt rating of B1. At the time of
withdrawal, all the ratings carried a negative outlook.

Moody's has withdrawn the rating for its own business reasons.

CERTAMEN MISS ESPANA: Miss Spain Organizer Files For Insolvency
Associated Press reports that the company which organizes the
Miss Spain beauty contest has filed for protection from
creditors, the latest victim of the country's crippling economic

AP relates that Spain's official state gazette said Wednesday
that Certamen Miss Espana S.L. had declared insolvency and would
have a month to present its debts.

The Miss Spain competition has struggled economically for several
years and was not held last year, the news agency notes.

AP notes that the country is struggling to emerge from its second
recession in three years following the collapse of the
construction sector.  The unemployment rate is 26 percent, the
report discloses.

INNOVACION EN ALTA: Files For Insolvency Amid Tough Trading
Kizzi Nkwocha at reports that Spanish photovoltaic
panels producer Innovacion en Alta Tecnologia Solar (Iatso) has
filed for insolvency.

The report says the company fell victim to tough trading
conditions, which included Spain's recent reduction of renewable
energy premiums. Spanish manufacturers have also had to tighten
their belts in the face of a deteriorating domestic market and
stiff competition from Asian companies.

Iatso is the second Valencia-based photovoltaic panels producer
to have filed for insolvency, following Siliken, the report

Innovacion en Alta Tecnologia Solar (Iatso) was established in
2006 and focuses on the production of photovolatic modules and
ground fixing systems.  The company's revenues for 2011 amounted
to EUR3.19 million, discloses.

NCG BANCO: Fitch Keeps 'BB+' IDR on Rating Watch Negative
Fitch Ratings has maintained NCG Banco, S.A.'s Long-term Issuer
Default Rating (IDR) of 'BB+', Support Rating of '3' and Support
Rating Floor (SRF) of 'BB+' on Rating Watch Negative (RWN).

Rating Action Rationale

In December 2012, Fitch maintained NCG's Long-term IDR, Support
Rating and SRF on RWN, reflecting the fact that the bank was
being forced to significantly reduce its size as a condition to
receiving capital assistance from the European Stability
Mechanism through the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB).
As a result, the bank is becoming less systemically important
within the Spanish banking system.

The maintained RWN reflects that since December and, as with some
other recapitalised Group 1 and Group 2 Spanish banks (as defined
in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Spain and the
Eurogroup in July 2012), Fitch has been reassessing NCG's
systemic importance following restructuring and recapitalisation
and determining whether support would potentially be forthcoming
a second time around for a less systemically important
institution. Fitch expects to resolve the RWN within the next
couple of months. The agency's review will focus on an assessment
of support propensity and an analysis of further details of the
restructuring process.

As a condition to the receipt of capital by end-2012, NCG
transferred virtually all of its real estate assets (loans,
foreclosed assets and stakes in subsidiaries) to the bad bank,
Sareb, in December 2012 and received Sareb bonds guaranteed by
the Spanish government in exchange. NCG is undertaking a
significant restructuring and downsizing, in particular in
expansionary regions and riskier activities, and will focus on
retail banking activities in its home region.


NCG's Long-term IDR is at the SRF of 'BB+'. This reflects Fitch's
current belief that there is a moderate probability of sovereign
support being available to the bank, as has proven to be the case
to date.


NCG's IDRs, Support Rating and SRF are sensitive to a downgrade
of the Spanish sovereign rating or to any change in Fitch's
assumptions around the systemic importance of the institution as
well as the propensity of the state to support the bank in the

NCG's IDR could ultimately be affirmed or upgraded if the bank's
VR was upgraded to 'bb+' or higher or if the bank was sold to a
higher-rated bank. The latter is a potential scenario. An
affirmation could also result if Fitch concludes that the support
propensity has not materially weakened.

The rating actions are:

-- Long-term IDR: 'BB+', maintained on RWN
-- Short-term IDR: unaffected at 'B'
-- Viability Rating: unaffected at 'f'
-- Support Rating: '3', maintained on RWN
-- Support Rating Floor: 'BB+', maintained on RWN
-- Senior unsecured debt long-term rating: 'BB+', maintained
    on RWN
-- Senior unsecured debt short-term rating and commercial paper:
    unaffected at 'B'
-- Subordinated lower Tier 2 debt: unaffected at 'C'

-- Subordinated upper Tier 2 debt (ISIN: ES0214958045):
    unaffected at 'C'
-- Preferred stock: unaffected at 'C'
-- State-guaranteed debt: unaffected at 'BBB'

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

ALPHA GROUP: S&P Corrects Stock Rating by Lowering it to 'C'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered to 'C' from 'CC' its
issue ratings on preferred stock (ISIN: DE000A0DX3M2, WKN: A0DX3M
and ISIN: XS0159153823) issued by Alpha Group Jersey Ltd. and
guaranteed by Greece-based parent Alpha Bank A.E.  The
outstanding amounts on the two issues are EUR60.8 million and
EUR98.7 million respectively.  Due to an error, S&P did not lower
the ratings on these two issues when Alpha Group Jersey did not
pay dividends on Feb. 20, 2012 and March 5, 2012.  To S&P's
knowledge, Alpha Group Jersey has not resumed the payments.

                                        To                 From
Alpha Group Jersey Ltd.
Preferred Stock*                        C                  CC

*Guaranteed by Alpha Bank A.E.

ASHTEAD GROUP: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB'; Outlook Stable
Standard & Poor's Rating Services said that it raised its long-
term corporate credit rating on U.K.-based plant-hire firm
Ashtead Group PLC (Ashtead) to 'BB' from 'BB-'.  The outlook is

At the same time, S&P raised its issue rating on the group's
second-lien debt to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The recovery rating on this
debt is unchanged at '5', indicating S&P's expectation of modest
(10%-30%) recovery in the event of a payment default.

The upgrade reflects the improvement in Ashtead's financial
ratios thanks to solid operating earnings and cash flow
generation on the back of favorable conditions in the U.S. rental
equipment market. The improvement is also the result of Ashtead's
ability to increase its earnings in the U.K. despite the weak
state of the construction industry.

Furthermore, the upgrade reflects S&P's forecast that Ashtead
will continue to benefit from positive trends in the U.S. rental
equipment market and to post solid earnings and operating cash
flows.  According to S&P's base-case credit scenario, this should
allow the group's credit metrics to remain comparable in the next
12 months with levels in the year to April 30, 2012.

In the 12 months to Oct. 31, 2012, Ashtead posted Standard &
Poor's-adjusted EBITDA of an all-time high of GBP464 million,
translating into strong funds from operations (FFO) of almost
GBP400 million.  At the same time, Ashtead posted a relatively
modest year-on-year increase in adjusted debt of 16% to
GBP1.2 billion.  Consequently, the group's financial ratios were
strong, at 2.6x debt to EBITDA and 33% FFO to debt, in the 12-
month period ending Oct. 31, 2012.

In S&P's opinion, Ashtead will be able to maintain its leverage
in the range of 2x-3x adjusted debt to EBITDA in the next 12
months. This is thanks to a solid operating performance supported
by improved conditions in the rental equipment industry,
especially in the U.S.  In S&P's view, the group is also able to
manage net fleet-related capex and acquisitions so as to reduce
and sustain reported debt to EBITDA at 2x or less in the medium
term, as per management's leverage guidance.

S&P could take a negative rating action if Ashtead's credit
metrics deteriorate, including adjusted debt to EBITDA exceeding
3x for a prolonged period of time.  S&P sees debt-funded
acquisitions as a possible reason for such deterioration, which
could be aggravated if end-market dynamics turn negative, for
example, as a result of a recession in the U.S.

S&P believes that upside rating potential is limited.

CORNERSTONE TITAN: Fitch Cuts Rating on Class D Notes to 'CCC'
Fitch Ratings has downgraded Cornerstone Titan 2005-1 plc's
class C and D CMBS notes due, July 2014, as follows:

-- GBP12.4m class C (XS0227571642) downgraded to 'BBBsf from
    'A+sf'; Outlook Negative

-- GBP54.4m class D (XS0227571725) downgraded to 'CCCsf' from
    'Bsf'; Recovery Estimate (RE) 80%


The downgrades reflect both the residual value risk surrounding
Mitre House, the remaining property securing the Eagle Office
loan (92% of the outstanding transaction balance), as well as the
approaching legal final maturity (LFM) of the notes in July 2014.
The Negative Outlook on the class C notes reflects that the notes
could be further downgraded if proactive efforts are not made
with respect to selling this asset and resolving the loan prior
to the notes' LFM.

The Mitre House office property is located on the fringes of the
City near London's Barbican. The property's sole tenant is CMS
Mckenna, on a lease expiring in 2015. It is expected that the
tenant will depart on lease expiry. With the property's
contracted income having approximately two and a half years to
run, Fitch believes that there is further scope for value decline
since its most recent GBP70m valuation, which took place in March
2012. While the property's vacant possession value at this time
was estimated at GBP50m, Fitch believes that even in the event of
tenant departure, there is likely to be upside potential given
the collateral's location and potential alternative use.

The Jubilee Way loan (8%) remains distressed, with the underlying
retail units generating little interest to date. Given the
property's tertiary location and relatively weak tenancy profile
(HMV, the asset's largest tenant accounting for around one-third
of passing rent, is currently in administration), Fitch expects
this loan, which is at elevated risk of not being resolved before
LFM, to make significant losses.


Fitch considers the principal risk inherent within the
transaction as binary. While Fitch believes that the
characteristics of the Mitre House asset are conducive to a
successful sale, (which would comfortably repay the outstanding
class C tranche) significant operational risk remains. The
special servicer remains in dialogue with the borrower, and the
sales agent selection is only now being initiated. The risk
remains that the property sale will not occur prior to July 2014,
and this increased risk is reflected in the downgrades. However,
if the asset is successfully sold, the class C note will be most
likely repaid in full, while loan amortisation of approximately
GBP1.5m per quarter, as a result of a cash sweep initiated due to
the Eagle Office loan's default, could also contribute to
redemption of the class D notes, if the property is liquidated at
a high enough price.

Fitch will continue to monitor the performance of the
transaction. A performance update report will shortly be
available at

HMV GROUP: Administrators Sell Asian Business to Air Partners
BBC News reports that the administrators of HMV, Deloitte, have
sold its business in Asia to private equity firm Aid Partners.

According to the report, the administrators said Aid has bought
HMV's six shops in Hong Kong, two shops in Singapore and branding
rights in China, Macau and Taiwan.

No details have been given of how much Aid has paid for the
business, which generates annual sales of more than HKD300

"We are delighted to have completed the sale of HMV's Asian
business and wish Aid Partners and the HMV Asia team every
success for the future in developing this iconic brand further,"
BBC News quotes joint administrator Rob Harding as saying.

Aid Partners is a Hong Kong-based firm that specialises in
investing in China.

                       About HMV Group

United Kingdom-based HMV Group plc is engaged in retailing of
pre-recorded music, video, electronic games and related
entertainment products under the HMV and Fopp brands, and the
retailing of books principally under the Waterstone's brand.  The
Company operates in four segments: HMV UK & Ireland, HMV
International, HMV Live, and Waterstone's.

On Jan. 14, HMV Group went into administration after suppliers
refused a request for a GBP300 million lifeline for the company.
Deloitte was appointed as administrator to the chain, which was
hit by growing competition from online rivals, supermarkets, and
illegal downloads.  Deloitte is currently in talks with potential
buyers of the business, which has 223 UK stores in total, and a
workforce of about 4,000.

The administrators received "well over 50" expressions from
parties interested in buying HMV as a going concern.  Hilco, a
restructuring specialist, emerged as one of the front runners.
Potential bidders include video game retailer Game, private
equity firm Endless, Jon Moulton's Better Capital as well as
Oakley Capital.  No deadline has been set for formal bids for

On Jan. 22, Hilco acquired the bank debt of HMV, effectively
giving it control and paving the way for a rescue of the company.
Hilco had acquired the debt from the group's lenders, Lloyds and
Royal Bank of Scotland for about GBP40 million.  HMV had
underlying net debt of GBP176 million as at the end of October.

On Feb. 4, around 200 jobs were secured after HMV's
administrators offloaded the company's last remaining music and
entertainment venues.  HMV's majority shareholding in G-A-Y
Group, which comprises a number of bars and Heaven nightclubs,
was sold to the founder and other shareholder in the business,
Jeremy Joseph.

On Feb. 7, Deloitte announced the closure of 66 lossmaking HMV
stores, resulting in the loss of 930 jobs, taking the company's
headcount nationwide to about 3,000.

                         Irish Operations

On Jan. 16, HMV's operation in the Irish Republic, which employs
300 people, was put into receivership.  A total of 16 HMV outlets
were closed in Ireland.  Deloitte, which was appointed receiver,
is also attempting to secure a purchaser for the Irish stores.

J&T BLACKSMITHS: In Administration; 40 Workers Lost Jobs
Kristy Dorsey at reports that more than 40 jobs have
been lost and a further 42 are under threat following the
collapse of J&T Blacksmiths.

J&T Blacksmiths and its construction subsidiary, William Crawford
& Son, have gone into administration after suffering cash flow
problems, the report says. relates that administrators from Begbies Traynor
have made 46 people redundant as they continue to trade the
businesses, based at Hillington Industrial Estate.

According to the report, joint administrator Paul Dounis -- -- said a quick sale would be
needed to win contracts and maintain sales revenues.

"The businesses hit unresolvable cash shortfalls partly as a
result of the slowdown in the market in general, but also as a
result of reacting slowly to the downturn," the report quotes Mr.
Dounis as saying.  "However, both firms have a highly skilled
workforce and very strong reputations and we are confident their
accreditation and solid customer relationships will make the
businesses attractive to an acquisitive construction or
manufacturing group." relates that Mr. Dounis said the future for the 42
remaining workers was uncertain once existing contracts were
completed. "We are unable to make any guarantees regarding how
long jobs will remain viable until we secure a buyer, but we are
making every effort to secure a return for the creditors and a
future for the businesses and their staff," he said.

Established in 1979, J&T provides industrial and architectural
steelwork to major contractors and utility companies.  The
family-owned construction firm is based in Glasgow.

MILLBRAID LTD: Under Probe After 7 Years in Liquidation
Alan McEwen at reports that Millbraid Ltd., a
property firm owned by a crooked New Town lawyer, has sparked an
investigation by an insolvency watchdog after staying in
liquidation for seven years.

Michael Karus, 51, who was jailed for three-and-a-half years for
embezzling GBP400,000 from a pensioner's estate, was the owner of
Millbraid Ltd., discloses.

Now the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) is understood
to be probing its liquidation, which has dragged on since 2006,
the report says.

According to the report, creditors are believed to be unhappy
with the protracted nature of the winding up of the firm, which
was formed in 1997 as a property development and buy-to-let
business in Edinburgh.

"Seven years is a ridiculously long time for a liquidation.
During most of that time, Karus was banned from being a company
director so he shouldn't have had anything to do with the
process," quotes a former business associate of
Karus as saying.  "There were 20 properties in the company but
only three are left now. It's impossible for a liquidation to
take that length of time. You have to wonder what's being going

The liquidation is being carried out by Glasgow-based insolvency
practitioner Kenneth Pattullo --
-- a partner at accountancy firm Begbies Traynor. It is
understood that Mr Pattullo's actions over Millbraid are the
subject of the IPA investigation following a complaint.

PENTA CLO 1: S&P Affirms BB+ Rating on Class D Notes
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its credit ratings on
Penta CLO 1 S.A.'s class B and C notes.  At the same time, S&P
has affirmed its ratings on the class A-1, A-2, D, and E notes.

The rating actions follow S&P's review of the transaction's
performance.  S&P performed a credit and cash flow analysis and
applied its 2012 counterparty criteria to assess the support that
each participant provides to the transaction.  In S&P's analysis,
it used data from the latest available trustee report, dated
Dec. 31, 2012.

S&P subjected the capital structure to a cash flow analysis to
determine the break-even default rates for each rated class of
notes.  In S&P's analysis, it used the reported portfolio balance
that it considered to be performing (EUR365,588,642), the current
and covenanted weighted-average spread, and the weighted-average
recovery rates that S&P considered to be appropriate.  S&P
applied various cash flow stress scenarios, using four different
default patterns, in conjunction with different interest rate
stress scenarios for each liability rating category.

Since S&P's last review on Dec. 23, 2011, the aggregate
collateral balance has decreased by EUR10.6 million, to EUR386.42
million from EUR397.06 million).  In S&P's view, this has reduced
the available credit enhancement for all classes of notes.  In
S&P's opinion, the decrease in the aggregate collateral balance
is related to notional write-offs, due to restructured loans, and
an increase in defaulted assets.

The decrease in the aggregate collateral balance is mitigated by:

   -- An increase in the weighted-average spread earned on Penta
      CLO 1's collateral pool to 404 basis points (bps) from 334
      bps, at S&P's last review;

   -- A decrease in the proportion of assets that S&P considers
      to be rated in the 'CCC' category ('CCC+', 'CCC', and
      which together with the portfolio's shorter weighted-
      average life, improved the scenario default rates.

"Our analysis shows that the non-euro-denominated assets
currently comprise 1.7% of the aggregate collateral balance.
These assets are hedged with Credit Suisse International
(A+/Negative/A-1) under cross-currency swap agreements.  In our
opinion, the downgrade provisions for these cross-currency swaps
do not fully comply with our 2012 counterparty criteria.
Consequently, in our cash flow analysis, we have considered
scenarios where the currency swap counterparty does not perform
and where, as a result, the transaction is exposed to foreign
exchange risks. After applying foreign exchange stresses at the
'AAA' and 'AA+' rating levels, our cash flow analysis shows that
the class A-1 and A-2 notes are able to maintain their current
ratings under these stresses.  We have only applied foreign
exchange stresses at rating levels above our long-term rating on
the counterparty plus one notch," S&P said.

"In our analysis, we have also applied our nonsovereign ratings
criteria.  We have considered the transaction's exposure to
sovereign risk because some of the portfolio's assets--equal to
15.35% of the transaction's total collateral balance--are based
in Spain (BBB-/Negative/A-3) and Italy (BBB+/Negative/A-2).  When
applying stresses at the 'AAA' and 'AA+' rating levels, we have
given credit to 10% of the transaction's collateral balance
corresponding to assets based in these sovereigns in our
calculation of the aggregate collateral balance," S&P noted.

"In our opinion, taking into account our credit and cash flow
analysis, the credit enhancement available to the class B and C
notes is commensurate with higher ratings than previously
assigned.  We have therefore raised our ratings on the class B
notes to 'A+ (sf)' from 'A- (sf)' and on the class C notes to
'BBB+ (sf)' from 'BBB (sf)'," S&P added.

"In our credit and cash flow analysis, we have considered the
transaction's exposure to foreign-exchange and sovereign risks,
which indicates that the level of credit enhancement available to
the class A-1 and A-2 notes remains commensurate with our ratings
on these notes.  We have therefore affirmed our 'AAA (sf)' rating
on the class A-1 notes and our 'AA+ (sf)' rating on the class A-2
notes," S&P said.

S&P has affirmed its 'BB+ (sf)' rating on the class D notes and
its 'BB (sf)' rating on the class E notes because its credit and
cash flow analysis indicates that the level of credit enhancement
available to these notes is commensurate with S&P's current
ratings on these classes of notes.

Penta CLO 1 is a managed cash flow collateralized loan obligation
(CLO) transaction that securitizes loans to primarily European
speculative-grade corporate firms.  The transaction closed in
April 2007 and is managed by Penta Management Ltd.


SEC Rule 17g-7 requires an NRSRO, for any report accompanying a
credit rating relating to an asset-backed security as defined in
the Rule, to include a description of the representations,
warranties and enforcement mechanisms available to investors and
a description of how they differ from the representations,
warranties and enforcement mechanisms in issuances of similar
securities.  The Rule applies to in-scope securities initially
rated (including preliminary ratings) on or after Sept. 26, 2011.

If applicable, the Standard & Poor's 17g-7 Disclosure Report
included in this credit rating report is available at:



Class         Rating
         To             From

Penta CLO 1 S.A.
EUR405 Million Floating-Rate Notes

Ratings Raised

B        A+ (sf)        A- (sf)
C        BBB+ (sf)      BBB (sf)

Ratings Affirmed

A-1      AAA (sf)
A-2      AA+ (sf)
D        BB+ (sf)
E        BB (sf)

PIRAEUS GROUP: S&P Corrects Rating on Stock by Lowering it to 'C'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services corrected its ratings on
preferred stock (ISIN: XS0204397425) issued by Piraeus Group
Capital Ltd. by lowering them to 'C' from 'CC'.  The stock, of
which EUR74 million is outstanding, is guaranteed by the parent,
Piraeus Bank S.A.  Due to an error, S&P did not lower the ratings
on this preferred stock when Piraeus Group Capital did not pay
dividends on July 27, 2012.  To S&P's knowledge, Piraeus Group
Capital has not resumed payments.


                                        To                 From
Piraeus Group Capital Ltd.
Preferred Stock*                       C                  CC

*Guaranteed by Piraeus Bank S.A.

* Moody's Outlook on Euro Sovereign Debt Markets Stays Negative
As the past few days have demonstrated, Moody's Investors Service
believes that euro area's sovereign debt markets remain
vulnerable to further shocks to investor confidence because of
limited advances in euro area countries' growth prospects, debt
trajectories and institutional reforms. As a result, Moody's
outlooks on most euro area sovereign ratings remain negative for
now. Prerequisites for improvements in creditworthiness are not
just a sustained period of calm, but also a reversal of at least
some of the broader economic and political pressures.

Moody's has observed an easing of market tensions in recent
months, with risk premia falling and investors appearing
increasingly willing to invest in debt instruments issued by
peripheral sovereigns and by other borrowers. The oversubscribed
recent bond issuances by Ireland and Portugal and take-up of
issuances from corporates and financial institutions from
peripheral countries are indicative of this trend.

However, market volatility in recent days proves that the euro
area sovereign debt markets remain vulnerable to further shocks
to investor confidence because of the limited fundamental changes
in euro area countries' economic indicators, debt trajectories or
institutional reforms since last July. The growth outlook for
peripheral countries is still weak, and progress in reversing
debt trajectories remains slow and halting. Political and
implementation risks remain significant, with little evidence of
cohesion among policymakers and a rising risk of complacency
setting in as market pressure for reforms subsides. And while the
introduction of the Outright Monetary Transaction facility by the
European Central Bank has successfully reversed the rise in
sovereign debt yields for now, the potential for further shocks
remains, for example with investors in Greece (C) and Cyprus
(Caa3, negative) still exposed to heightened default risk.

Overall, for most euro area countries, the balance of
macroeconomic, political and implementation risks as well as the
'event' risks of further shocks to confidence remain firmly to
the downside, supporting Moody's negative outlooks for most euro
area sovereign ratings.


* EGYPT: Fitch Says Vote Timetable, Boycott May Delay IMF Deal
Further delay to an agreement on an IMF programme resulting from
the extended timetable for Egypt's parliamentary elections and
boycott plans by the main secular opposition grouping would
heighten risks to the country's fiscal and external financing
positions, Fitch Ratings says.

Fitch says: "We had expected a new deal to be agreed in Q213. But
voting is now set to continue until late June, shortly before the
start of Ramadan and the summer holiday season. This need not
hold up negotiations, but finalising a programme would probably
be more straightforward after contested elections that produced a
government with a clear mandate to conclude a deal. So a deal
might now be delayed until well into Q313 and may prove tougher
to sell to the Egyptian people.

"An IMF deal is vital for a sustained improvement in the balance
of payments, and to prevent uncontrolled currency depreciation. A
sustained period without IMF support could result in tighter
capital controls and a sharper fall in the pound. The need for an
IMF deal is becoming more pressing in the absence of further
pledges of bilateral support beyond a reported agreement by Qatar
to buy USD2.5bn of Egyptian T-bonds in March.

"Ad hoc bilateral inflows have hitherto helped the central bank
manage a gradual depreciation while keeping reserves around three
months of CXP. However, reserves fell to USD13.6bn at end-
January, below the level needed to cover three months of imports
- although there is scope for net FDI to increase in 2013 under
deals already agreed in the oil exploration, banking and
construction and fertiliser sectors. Political stability would
further support private inflows of FDI and portfolio investment.

"We downgraded Egypt by one notch to 'B'/Negative on 29 January,
due to weakening public finances, pressure on reserves and
ongoing political upheaval, which contributed to the postponement
of an IMF programme.

"This month President Mohamed Morsi called parliamentary
elections to start in late April. They will be held over four
stages and a new parliament will convene in July. However, the
National Salvation Front, a multi-party grouping that took shape
last year to oppose a new constitution, said on Tuesday it would
boycott them due to concerns that they would not be free and

* BOOK REVIEW: Performance Evaluation of Hedge Funds
Edited by Greg N. Gregoriou, Fabrice Rouah, and Komlan Sedzro
Publisher: Beard Books
Hardcover: 203 pages
Listprice: US$59.95
Review by Henry Berry

Hedge funds can be traced back to 1949 when Alfred Winslow Jones
formed the first one to "hedge" his investments in the stock
market by betting that some stocks would go up and others down.
However, it has only been within the past decade that hedge funds
have exploded in growth.  The rise of global markets and the
uncertainties that have arisen from the valuation of different
currencies have given a boost to hedge funds.  In 1998, there
were approximately 3,500 hedge funds, managing capital of about
$150 billion.  By mid-2006, 9,000 hedge funds were managing $1.2
trillion in assets.

Despite their growing prominence in the investment community,
hedge funds are only vaguely understood by most people.
Performance Evaluation of Hedge Funds addresses this shortcoming.
The book describes the structure, workings, purpose, and goals of
hedge funds.  While hedge funds are loosely defined as "funds
with no rules," the editors define these funds more usefully as
"privately pooled investments, usually structured as a
partnership between the fund managers and the investors."  The
authors then expand upon this definition by explaining what sorts
of investments hedge funds are, the work of the managers, and the
reasons investors join a hedge fund and what they are looking for
in doing so.

For example, hedge funds are characterized as an "important
avenue for investors opting to diversify their traditional
portfolios and better control risk" -- an apt characterization
considering their tremendous growth over the last decade.  The
qualifications to join a hedge fund generally include a net worth
in excess of $1 million; thus, funds are for high net-worth
individuals and institutional investors such as foundations, life
insurance companies, endowments, and investment banks.  However,
there are many individuals with net worths below $1 million that
take part in hedge funds by pooling funds in financial entities
that are then eligible for a hedge fund.

This book discusses why hedge funds have become "notorious as
speculating vehicles," in part because of highly publicized
incidents, both pro and con.  For example, George Soros made $1
billion in 1992 by betting against the British pound.
Conversely, the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management (LTCP)
imploded in 1998, with losses totalling $4.6 billion.
Nonetheless, these are the exceptions rather than the rule, and
the editors offer statistics, studies, and other research showing
that the "volatility of hedge funds is closer to that of bonds
than mutual funds or equities."

After clarifying what hedge funds are and are not, the book
explains how to analyze hedge fund performance and select a
successful hedge fund.  It is here that the book has its greatest
utility, and the text is supplemented with graphs, tables, and

The analysis makes one thing clear: for some investors, hedge
funds are an investment worth considering.  Most have a
demonstrable record of investment performance and the risk is
low, contrary to common perception.  Investors who have the
necessary capital to invest in a hedge fund or readers who aspire
to join that select club will want to absorb the research,
information, analyses, commentary, and guidance of this unique

Greg N. Gregoriou teaches at U. S. and Canadian universities and
does research for large corporations.  Fabrice Rouah also teaches
at the university level and does financial research.  Komlan
Sedzro is a professor of finance at the University of Quebec and
an advisor to the Montreal Derivatives Exchange.


Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look
like the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell
short.  Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at
historical cost net of depreciation may understate the true value
of a firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its
balance sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The
prices at which equity securities trade in public market are
determined by more than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through  Go to order any title today.


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-Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.
Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T. Fernandez,
Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Frauline S. Abangan and Peter
A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

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 Europe subscription rate is US$775 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 US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at

                 * * * End of Transmission * * *